Episode 247:

There are very few agency owners who love biz dev. It’s time consuming, sometimes it feels like you are trying to target shoot in the dark, and you often end up settling for prospects that aren’t quite the right fit. But at least it’s a win! Your spidey senses are tingling and you know there’s trouble ahead but you ignore that little voice and forge ahead, hoping for the best. What if you could eliminate those near misses?

I’m a firm believer that every agency should have a clear understanding of what their sweet spot client looks like and how to spot them in the crowd. Every client is right for some agency. But not every client is the right fit for yours.

How do you know who your ideal client is? How do you attract them to you so you don’t have to hunt them down and how do you encourage them to give you that first dance?

My guest will be a great beacon and help us gain clarity around all of those questions. I’ve known Matthew Kimberley for about 4-years and love his unique style and outlook on sales. He leads the business building system called Book Yourself Solid Worldwide, which is based on the bestselling book, Book Yourself Solid, written by Michael Port.

Matthew is waving that flag all over the world and helping salespeople understand there is a proven way to literally book yourself solid. The beauty of the Book Yourself Solid system is that when you do it well, you never have to settle for a not quite right fit client again.

Matthew is also the author of a great book entitled, “Get a F*cking Grip: How to Get Your Life Back on Track” and has an online course about writing delightful emails — which I thought was spectacular. He also hosts his own podcast entitled, “How to Get a Grip.”

Matthew and I talk through the concept of Book Yourself Solid and how it pertains to agency owners. We talk through the questions that I know you would ask around sales, prospecting, and how we as agency owners and leaders can better use our day to drive sales into our agencies.

Today (no matter when you’re listening to this) is the perfect time to get a better set of client filters in place so you protect and build your agency by filling your pipeline with those sweet spot clients.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here.

Agency Owners

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How to create a set of criteria so you and your team can quickly filter out the wrong fit clients and spot the right ones.
  • How to get more right-fit clients than your agency can handle even if selling isn’t your favorite thing to do.
  • How to apply the “rule of three.”
  • How to create new business opportunities around things you already enjoy doing.
  • Why agency owners tend to do well at the top end of the sales funnel but then struggle when it comes time to drive sales into the agency.
  • How to apply the three guiding principles within the Book Yourself Solid business development system.
  • Why blending in “non-negotiable” criteria in your client filtering process will help protect your agency.
  • Why you need a conscious process for developing trust at different points in time for different reasons with your clients and prospects.
  • How you can develop a “Something to Invite People to Offer” so your prospects have an opportunity to get to know you and your agency better.
  • How to apply the five things every agency owner should be doing every morning to fast-track biz dev.

The Golden Nuggets:

“We believe marketing doesn’t get you clients. Marketing creates awareness about who you are and what you do. And it's what you do with that awareness that determines whether your marketing gives you money.” @mjkimberley Click To Tweet “Most agencies are great at the top of the funnel. But they struggle when they have to flip it and actually drive to sales. That's when their discomfort gets super bright.” @mjkimberley Click To Tweet “People will make investments in you. That’s dependent upon two things. The first thing is the amount of trust that you've earned. And the second thing is their situation.” @mjkimberley Click To Tweet “Every client wants to enter into a relationship with your agency when and where they want to enter…based on their need.” @mjkimberley Click To Tweet “The feast and famine cycle — the curvy wave — only exists in companies that do not prioritize sales and marketing on a daily basis.” @mjkimberley Click To Tweet

Ways to contact Matthew Kimberley:

Additional Resources:

Speaker 1 (00:04):

Hey everybody. Drew McLellan here with another episode of Build A Better Agency. Welcome back if you are a regular listener and thanks for coming back. Always grateful for your time and if this is your first go-around with Build A Better Agency, welcome. We try and create a super collaborative and cooperative community around agency ownership. We do that in a lot of places here on the podcast. We have a Facebook group for this podcast, which you are invited to join. You’re welcome to ask us questions about the podcast episodes or anything you have related to agency life and management and we certainly try and do that in our live events, whether those are workshops or our Build A Better Agency conference, which is coming up in November, whatever it may be.

Speaker 1 (01:10):

I am a firm believer that we can learn from each other, we can support each other. No matter how long we’ve been doing this, it’s nice to know that you’re not doing it alone. So welcome. Today’s topic is one that I know is very top of mind for a lot of you now. It’s this whole idea of how do you sell, but how do you sell in an environment that is a little unusual, as we come out of COVID and sort of try and redefine some things for ourselves. And, I think my guest is going to be a great beacon for that. So one of the things I know I want to talk to him about is this idea of every client is not a great client for us.

Speaker 1 (01:58):

And I think if you have run your agency for a day or a decade or multiple decades, you have experienced this more than once where you got super excited about a client, maybe about the project or the budget or whatever it may be, but there you had that sort of nagging little inkling in your gut that perhaps this was not a right fit. And as we all have done, we ignore that feeling. We bring the client on and then chaos ensues and typically those clients end up costing us at the very least money and time, but often, the peace and tranquility of the agency can cost us staff. So I’m a firm believer in you selecting clients that are right for your agency. Every client is right for some agency. It does not mean they’re right for years. And so we have put together a tool called the client’s sweet spot filter that really helps you by going through an exercise, a series of questions, helps you identify what you love about a client, the kind of clients that are the best fit for you,

Speaker 1 (03:13):

red flags that suggest to you that maybe they’re not a great client and you can grab that sweet spot client filter by just going to agency management institute.com/client-filters. You can download it as a PDF, you and your leadership team can go through it. But I think that you are going to benefit from knowing who you should date and who you should date. And that’s just one of the things that I want to talk to our guest about. So let me tell you a little bit about him. So I have known Matthew Kimberly for probably three or four years now and I met him because he offered a sort of an accountability tool and partnership through email and it had the words single malt scotch in it and I was sold.

Speaker 1 (04:12):

So, that’s how I first met him. And, we’ve collaborated on some things together and he’s a sales guy, but not in the way that we think about sales guys. He’s a very thoughtful salesperson and coach around sales. When I realized his background and that he had come out of the Book Yourself Solid world, which many of you are familiar with that book by Michael Port, which if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend reading it. But anyway, when I found out that Matthew had sort of come and worked with Michael and helped launch the coaching business tied to Book Yourself Solid, that made a lot of sense to me cause that’s the kind of business salesperson he is. He really is a collaborative business salesperson. So I was not at all surprised to find out that Matthew has recently taken on the role of heading up Book Yourself Solid Worldwide.

Speaker 1 (05:16):

And now he is waving that flag all over the world trying to help people understand that there is a way to literally Book Yourself Solid so that you can say no to all those wrong fit clients because you have enough right-fit clients in the door. He’s also the author of a great book called Get an Effing Grip. He has an online course about writing delightful emails, which I thought was spectacular and he hosts his own podcast called How to Get a Grip. So without further ado, I would love for you to meet Matthew and for me to start asking him the questions that I know you would ask around sales and prospecting and how we as agency owners and leaders can better use our day to drive sales into our agency. So let’s get to it.

Speaker 1 (00:06):

Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining us.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for having me, Drew, great to be here.

Speaker 1:

So we’re going to talk today about the concept behind Book Yourself Solid. So give everybody an understanding of how you came to have this expertise out your role now in connection with the organization and the book and all of that and then we’re going to dig into how this pertains to agency owners.

Speaker 2 (00:33):

Sure. So Book Yourself Solid, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is a business building system. It’s tagline is how to get more clients than you can handle even if you hate marketing and selling. I was in a previous life of recruitment company owner and I used to do a lot of cold calling and face to face sales and training my guys and teaching them how to hit the phones and how to do account management. And I didn’t love it. There were vast swathes of the business that I really didn’t love. Also, I had a relationship with my business partner that started strong and ended pretty catastrophically. So I was looking for an out and I realized that what I liked to do was train people and I liked to sell and I thought, Ooh, I could combine the two and become a sales trainer.

Speaker 2 (01:18):

Help people sell more. Who doesn’t need that? Really, most small business owners would identify pretty much at any stage of their career that sales are a priority, right? It’s super important on day one because you need the revenue to have a day two and then as your company or your agency grows, you need the revenue to support the scale that you’ve achieved and your overheads become bigger and your salary costs become greater. So it is just something that people have always wanted. Selling money at a discount is basically what sales training is.

Speaker 1:

It’s interesting. They want it, they just don’t want to do it.

Speaker 2:

Right. I mean it takes a weird person and so that’s kind of the hook with Book Yourself Solid. Even if you hate marketing and selling. There is a way to do it.

Speaker 2 (02:04):

So I decided I was going to become a sales trainer/business coach, having met some pretty poor business coaches in my career as a business owner. And I didn’t want to improvise. I didn’t want to make it up. So I looked for franchises. I was looking to buy a coaching franchise. And I looked at some of them, some of the very good things like Action Coach or Sandler Training, brilliant franchises, but more money than I wanted to spend. And I didn’t really want to be tied. So if you’re in a franchise, you can’t sell somebody else’s products alongside. If you can’t sell Big Macs and Whoppers under the same roof. So, I’d read the book, Book Yourself Solid, which first came out in 2006, as a business owner. And I was on the mailing list and I got an email from Michael Port, the creator, the founder that said, I’m looking to license some coaches to sell, Book Yourself Solid to their own clients. I said, ah-ha! So I explored that avenue, became a Book Yourself Solid certified coach, and sucked up to the teacher to the extent that I became an employee of Book Yourself Solid and eventually a business partner in Book Yourself Solid. So I spoke that language for six, seven years, a few years ago. I took some time off. We started a new company called Heroic Public Speaking, which is I think one of the best public speaking and performance training companies in the world.

Speaker 1 (03:28):

Yeah. Many, many of my listeners have been out to hang out with Michael and Amy in New Jersey taking their core course. So absolutely. It’s spectacular.

Speaker 2 (03:38):

Brilliant. It really is. I mean, I don’t think there’s anything quite like it outside of drama school. It’s the beautiful combination of the business of speaking and the performance of speaking, which isn’t easy to find combined elsewhere. And so, around the time that we launched that, I realized I wanted to do a lot of speaking on my own. I was less interested in teaching. Amy was a fantastic and obvious partner for Michael from a business point of view and then I took three years off and I did sales training. I taught people how to write emails. I did a lot of keynote speaking. I ran lots of mastermind coaching style things, all with the focus on selling, but Book Yourself Solid, kept calling to me. It’s world-class, right? It’s a world-class system. It’s intellectual property that’s been appreciated by millions of business owners and there was an opportunity for me to slot back in there, which I did at the beginning of this year and so now I’m training the trainers and licensing and certifying coaches so they can go out and multiply the sales exponentially of all of their clients.

Speaker 2 (04:45):

It’s a system that starts from the ground up. It might be anathema or sacrilegious to many of your agency listeners, but we believe that marketing doesn’t get you, clients. All that marketing does is create awareness about who you are and what you do and it’s what you do with that awareness that determines whether your marketing makes you money.

Speaker 1 (05:10):

Yeah. I actually think that’s one of the reasons why sales are challenging for a lot of agency owners is because they’re brilliant marketers. And so the top of their funnel, if you talk about the traditional sales funnel, and I know you in Book Yourself Solid, I know you have a different philosophy about a funnel, but, if you talk about the traditional sales funnel, most agency owners kill it at the top of the funnel, the marketing part, the awareness. But they struggle when they have to flip it and actually drive to sales. That’s when their discomfort gets super frightened. So, I think they would probably agree with you that marketing is great. It gets me on the radar screen, but I have got to do something with it to actually land a new client.

Speaker 2 (05:52):

Absolutely. Absolutely. There are plenty of people who are doing this very well. Maybe they did it, maybe they worked it out without reading the book. But I think Michael and Book Yourself Solid was the first time that it was really, all of the individual components of having a book solid business were codified. They were put into a systematic structure because the very first thing that needs to happen when somebody responds to your marketing message, is they need to, wherever you’re sending them, whatever they’re doing as a result of your marketing message, they need to immediately feel that it’s relevant. So I was on Instagram the other day and saw something really cool. I can’t remember what it was. I’m just going to say it was a Wallaby. It was a Wallaby that looked really funky. It was really cool, like, it would win branding prizes. It was a cool cartoon and I thought I liked that wallaby. I’m going to click through and it was for a purse and I don’t carry a purse. But the message …

Speaker 1:

Was it a wallaby purse?

Speaker 2 (06:56):

No, it was just a cool brand. It’s like, Tony the Tiger on your Frosties. It was like, this is the logo that represents. I was like, Oh well they just wasted a dollar with my click. So there’s a question about message to market match, which everybody who’s listening to this will be familiar with, but they’re going to say, is this relevant to me? Am I in the target market and does this person and all this organization or this product deliver a result that is relevant to me? And then if they say yes to that, then they’ll say, well what about the person who’s delivering it? Who is the firm? Who is the service provider? Do I like the cut of their jib? Do I like the way they put themselves out in the world? Do I feel anything towards them at all?

Speaker 2 (07:38):

Right? Haven’t we seen a really compelling message on a website that doesn’t entice us to find out more? Sure, because it doesn’t speak to us at that level. What happens then is the sales cycle or in Book Yourself Solid terms, the trust-building exercise begins. So people will make investments. You mentioned that we don’t necessarily believe in the funnel. We believe in the concept of the funnel, but we believe that a funnel has to fit into a cycle, right? People will make investments in you that are dependent upon two things. The first thing is the amount of trust that you’ve earned. And the second thing is their situation, right? I might only buy a mortgage twice or three times in my lifetime but it would be well advised for that mortgage broker to keep in touch with me and build trust with me over a couple of decades to make sure that they’re the obvious choice.

Speaker 2 (08:30):

I give keynote speeches sometimes. I normally, at the end of those 45 minutes, somebody will come up and say, you blew my mind. I want to hire you to be a private consultant or coach. And I’ll say, well, it costs lots and lots of money. They’re like, it doesn’t matter. And it took 45 minutes for them to make a five-figure spending decision, right? It might take somebody else three years to make a $100 decision, but you won’t know unless you continue to nurture, build trust, shower them with love, and scale those messages. How many agencies do you know have proper CRM discipline? How many agencies do you know regularly email their prospect database with delightful, relevant trust building emails?

Speaker 1:

You mean instead of talking about themselves?

Speaker 2:

For example, or even just remembering to do it once a week, right?

Speaker 2 (09:23):

How many agencies do you and I don’t have media assets like information products, courses, books, white papers that speed up trust, demonstrate credibility? Sell, speed up the sale cycle for sure on behalf of them while they’re off working on client work. There are so many areas for improvement and that’s what we do. And then we talk about marketing, we’ve got some very distinct marketing practices as well in Book Yourself Solid. But the core of it is marketing to help get you clients. Also, you don’t have to work with anybody. If you’ve worked with everyone who’s got a checkbook and a pulse, it’s the fastest way to an early heart attack.

Speaker 1:

And misery, right? So one of the things I heard you say about Book Yourself Solid, and I don’t know if it came out of the book or if it was of your own creation, was that Book Yourself Solid is a love story disguised as a business system. So tell, tell me what you mean by that.

Speaker 2 (10:22):

It’s directly out of the book. There are three philosophical principles, three guiding principles in Book Yourself Solid. Marketing doesn’t get you clients. There are some people you’re meant to serve and others not so much. That’s another one. And because Book Yourself Solid is a love story disguised as a business system. And what we mean by that is that nobody goes into business on their own because they say, this is going to be hard work. This is going to be a drudge. I’m going to get to work with some people that I wouldn’t sit down and have a drink with all day every day. I’m going to be at the mercy of my clients. I’m not going to sleep enough. But that’s frequently what happens, right? Then what we say is, well, what if that wasn’t true?

Speaker 2 (11:08):

What if we could implement right at the very beginning of our process, a red velvet rope policy that only allows into your business, the kind of clients, the kind of partners, the kind of employees, the kind of people who energize you and inspire you and motivate you to do your best work because that’s a virtuous cycle, right? You start to do that and what if that was a decision that we made from day one? Now, of course when you’re getting started, your, your red velvet rope policy is going to be a bit looser because you need the cash because you’re learning the ropes because you don’t know how to spot the warning signs, right? But for me, there is nothing more beautiful or luxurious than being able to look for, when I’m talking to a prospective client, look for reasons to say no.

Speaker 2 (11:53):

It doesn’t feel quite right. Didn’t get a great vibe from this person. And the only way you can have the confidence to say no is if you don’t need the money. And you don’t need the money, not only because hopefully, you’ve exercised decent cash flow management, but also because you’ve got a system for bringing in another lead who will have a sales conversation with you tomorrow. You hear about, basically, the more successful people are, the more they get to do that, right? So if you’re a nightclub designer or an architect, you categorically get to pick and choose your clients and your prices. Well, why don’t we? You don’t have to have celebrity status to execute that policy to some degree. And that’s what we encourage everyone to do because it’s a long game and 90% of business problems are personal problems in disguise. So what if we could eliminate the personal problems as much as possible by saying only going to have cool people in there?

Speaker 1 (12:47):

You know, we’ve got a tool called the sweet spot client filter that, as I was prepping for our conversation and reviewing the Book Yourself Solid principles, they aligned perfectly. Some of it is are they in the right industry or they’re the right size certainly but a lot of it is things like, you know what, I don’t like working with clients who’ve never worked with an agency before or I want somebody who actually returns my call in a reasonable period of time. Like all of those intangible things that make us actually like our clients, be able to serve them.

Speaker 2 (13:26):

Right. I love that you’ve combined those two things. Because we see really frequently in marketing exercises or teachings, people say we have to create the ideal client or the avatar and that either looks like a very strict demographic profile. Like this person drives a Mercedes. They are a dentist. They earn $160,000 or more a year. And then we get into the avatar part, which is they love fishing. They have a cabin in the woods. They value their family. But what we don’t really look at is their inherent qualities. And so I like to come up with this and what we recommend our clients do and our coaches teach their clients is come up with a list of non-negotiables. Because we can say anything. Oh yes, I truly, I love kittens, but on the weekends, you go kicking kittens. Is it your action, right?

Speaker 2 (14:16):

Is this person able to laugh at my jokes? That’s one of mine. That’s really important. Because I’m a narcissist or at least I like to get kind of visual feedback when I crack a joke. Do they take responsibility for themselves? And this can be determined when I ask them questions about how’s business and if they say things like, well you know the economy or well, you know, I lost an employee and that’s why I haven’t done any revenue in the last six years. I got the flu and it kept me out of action for three weeks or kept me out of action for 9 months. Always looking to blame somebody else, right? I think good timekeeping, right? That’s important to me. If someone’s late twice, that’s a respect for others issue that’s going to manifest itself much further down. So I like these non-negotiables. You can even go one step further. You know, this person votes for this particular policy or this particular candidate. You can have those conversations with people because we’re looking for their inherent values, not their circumstances. Somebody who’s wealthy today might not be wealthy tomorrow. Right? But somebody who is generous today is probably going to be generous tomorrow.

Speaker 1 (15:28):

That gets to the luxury of being able to really cherry-pick your clients. And you know, I think that’s the position every agency wants to be in. Every agency owner wants to be in. And not just because they’re going to make me great money, but a lot of it is around because they’re going to treat my people well. They’re going to be fun to work with. We’re going to get to do work that we’re proud of. So all the reasons why we got into the business. I think sometimes we allow our clients to take that away from us.

Speaker 2 (15:59):

A hundred percent. And also commercially it makes sense. Imagine that you were an agency owner and you deliver good work to a less than ideal client and it’s difficult to deliver your best work to someone who doesn’t inspire you. Right? But you deliver good work. They’re having a drink with their buddies in a bar afterward and say, wow, you have a new website, you have a new campaign, you have some new branding. How was your experience there? Yeah, it was fine. Because they weren’t, it goes two ways, right? Whereas, if you have raving fans, they’re going to be talking about, they’re going to guys, you’ve got to see this. I’ve been working with this fantastic agency and what does that mean? Referrals.

Speaker 1 (16:36):

Right. So, I know one of the things that you talk about with your coaches and your coaches talk about with their clients is this idea of trust developing at different points in time for different reasons. And so, let’s talk a little bit about what that looks like in a service business, like an agency.

Speaker 2 (17:03):

Okay. So, many, many people are doing this well albeit unknowingly they don’t know that they’re doing it, but they are doing it. We believe that they’re various stages of trust, a demonstration from clients. So clients will demonstrate trust by giving you their contact details. Alright? A client will demonstrate trust by giving you time. A client will generate trust by giving you their undivided attention. The client will generate trust by writing you a low figure check and they’ll demonstrate that trust by writing you a high figure check. So we mentioned already that trust develops at different speeds for different people. But what that means practically is that we need to give our clients or our prospective clients, both of them different investible opportunities. Alright? Different investible opportunities and an investible opportunity is some way that they can give you something in return for you giving them something.

Speaker 2 (17:59):

And one thing that we missed the boat on, which is a technique which is, I think exclusive to Book Yourself Solid, although others may have named it something else, is the concept of always have something to invite people to offer. This is a free thing that we give our prospects. It’s not an ebook, although there is time for that. It’s not the opportunity to watch videos, although that should also be part of our strategy. It is an interactive, group format, frequent meeting, preferably face-to-face. Next step video because how quickly does trust develop when you’re standing next to somebody? Very quickly. How quickly does trust develop when you’re watching somebody’s body language and talking to them? Very quickly. And here’s the purpose that it serves. It allows people who are hovering around you, wondering about whether you might be the right person to get to know you better.

Speaker 2 (18:59):

It allows them to do that and it allows you to get to know them better. It allows you to do it in a nonthreatening, non-salesy environment that also scales your attention to prospecting and marketing. So typically we’d say, Hey, why don’t we jump on the phone for 20 minutes? I want to run some things by you, or I’d love to pick your brain. Or I wonder whether you’ve got half an hour to coffee. When I was an agency, I used to run a recruitment agency, I spent half my life on the road doing getting to know you meetings, right? What we try to do at Book Yourself Solid is save your time, save your energy, and give you a highly scalable, very valuable, way of building trust with your right people. So you always have something to invite people to offer. When somebody says, Hey, should we grab a coffee or I’d love to pick your brain, you say, fantastic.

Speaker 2 (19:45):

Why don’t you come on Wednesday at midday to my happy hour? Well, what’s that? Well, it’s when I open my brain for picking. You can ask me anything you want. I’ll be live for an hour. I get, Oh that’s fun. And then you get the social proof because some of your existing clients show up and they get to meet and you become the center of a network and these people will have you in common and you strengthen your ties and you may not make any sales offers and it may never be about your core offering either. I’ll give you an example. My favorite example, and you may have heard this before, we had a dentist who said I want to get booked solid and I can’t think of what my “always have something to invite people to offer” should be.  Who wants to come to a weekly dental hygiene seminar …

Speaker 1:

or a group flossing?

Speaker 2 (20:31):

Well actually now that you said that, that might be a great idea, but nobody apart from fetishists and weirdos is going to come to, or people will come for information once but they won’t come a second time or third time. We used to track this. So we hadn’t always had something to invite people to offer previously called the coaching success sessions. Anybody who enrolled in the Book Yourself Solid school of coach trainings, it was then called, had attended at least three of those free offers because it was a five-figure investment. It used to cost about $30,000 as a one-off investment. And so people want to get to know you before they do that. And so they’d come three times on average. Some people would come for nine and never buy. Some people would never come and buy, but on average people would come three times, and then they say, we trust these guys now. We know that they’re good for it.

Speaker 2 (21:17):

So the dentist said, I can’t think, what I could possibly do. And here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to have anything to do with your core service. It just has to be for your target market. And so if your target market, in the dentist’s case, is people who lived in the neighborhood, who had teeth, and possibly those that didn’t have teeth and needed teeth, we said, what’d you like to do? He said, well, every Sunday I get on my bike and I go for a ride. He had a Harley Davidson. So invite some people. Stick up a flyer and say, Hey Harley owners, or if you have a powerful motorbike list, there’s hanging out for an hour and a half on a Sunday lunchtime. And he did and he said, I have no idea how this is going to get me clients, but I’ll do it.

Speaker 2 (21:58):

And six months later we said, how’s it going? And he said, well, I think it’s going fine. He said, I’ve got 30, 40 people showing up every week and we go for a ride. And then we said, well, how many of them are clients? And he said, probably more than half of them plus their families, right? Because he’s the cool dentist, right? It’s Malta. I live on a tiny rock in the Mediterranean that many people haven’t heard of, but it’s 10 miles by six or 20 miles by six. There are 500,000 people here and it’s deeply homogenous. We’ve got families here going back generations. So it’s quite difficult to cut into the commercial infrastructure here because there’s one family that owns the casinos. There’s one family that owns the hotels, there’s one family that owns et cetera. So what startups here do is they socialize.

Speaker 2 (22:50):

Where are you going to find a client? Because everyone knows who the best agency owner is here. Well, you’re just going to hang out. You’re going to go and play five a side soccer, you’re going to go to happy hour at the bar and you’re going to get to know and build trust with your clients in a non-work centric environment. Because one day they’re gonna need a website. One day they’re gonna need some ads running and they know you and they trust you. So they always have something to invite people to offer. There are other elements to that. We believe in a menu of services. That’s where we don’t really like the funnel. The funnel says everyone has to first give their email address, then get the upsell, then get another upsell. It goes like this. Whereas if someone were to walk up to me after a speaking gig and say, Hey, I want to give you $15,000 for a consulting engagement, I wouldn’t say, great, here’s what you need to do. Go and download my free ebook. I’d say thank you very much.

Speaker 1 (23:46):

Yeah. Right. Everybody wants to enter where they want to enter based on their need. So I want to take a quick break and when we come back, I want to talk about the five things that every agency owner should be doing every morning to fast track clients and sales. All right, so let’s take a quick break and we’ll come back. We’ll talk about that. All right. We are back. So before the break, I had said one of the things I know you teach is this idea of five things you should be doing every single morning. So let’s walk through those if you will.

Speaker 2 (24:33):

I believe that everybody when they come into the office, when they sit down at work, whether they are a one-person business or a 30, 40, 50, a hundred people business, worse for the smaller companies, but important for everybody is they tend to get their priorities wrong. We prioritize client fulfillment above marketing. We prioritize client fulfillment above sales. If you have a dedicated department that takes care of marketing and sales, that’s great, but even they will prioritize admin like, Oh, why aren’t you on the phone? Well, A –  because even though I work in sales, I hate sales. Or, I haven’t got any leads because the marketing department hadn’t done their job. Why haven’t the marketing department done their job? Because they’ve been in meetings or they’ve been emailing each other. So this is like the lowest requirement or investment of time, 15, 10 to 15 minutes every single morning.

Speaker 2 (25:22):

Every individual, certainly every business owner should be doing this. It’s prioritizing marketing and selling. Using a couple of the Book Yourself Solid marketing or self-promotion strategies. The first one is networking. And for most people, networking means going to events, exchanging business cards, and we say that that doesn’t need to be the case. Networking in our vocabulary is strengthening the relationships with people who are in your network. So we have a loose network. We’re going to make it stronger. We have a small network, we’re going to make it bigger. So what I like to do, and this is a real fun takeaway activity you could do right now, is get an Excel spreadsheet or a CRM system, if you already see how this would slot in, and write down a list of everybody you know who is business-relevant or could be business relevant.

Speaker 2 (26:14):

These can be prospects, but more importantly, it’s the people who can get you access to prospects. So, it’s the editors of the magazines who have a wide readership in your industry or your target market’s industry. It’s the organizers of the conference that hosts the events where your clients go. It’s possibly the owner of a meeting space that you have available in your town. It’s an advertising representative that you frequently have to talk to because by identifying these key relationships, what we’re looking at, relationships will make everything go further. They will make your time go further because you can ask for help. They will make your money go further because you can avoid research and often get discounts, and they make your energy and efforts go further because of the hive mind. So we invest heavily in our relationships. Get yourself started.

Speaker 2 (27:07):

You’re going to draw up a list. We call it the network of 90. Now, it doesn’t matter today whether you have nine people on it or 300 people on it. And what we want to do is we want to touch base with them every single day. Not all of them every day, but the first thing we’re going to do is ask for five things. The first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to contact the first person on our list and we’re going to share our compassion with them. It’s the easiest thing, right? You just say, Hey, I was thinking of you. How are you? Happy birthday. Happy anniversary. You look great in the latest photo. We do it individually, which means we’re not going to be commenting on a Facebook wall. We’re going to be sending a text message, picking up the phone and sending an email, get postcards, something like that.

Speaker 2 (27:46):

We then take that first person, we put them to the bottom of the list, and Hey if you want to contact five people to say something nice to them, contact five people. Then we’re going to go to the second person on the list and for the second person on the list, we’re going to show something else. We’re going to share our knowledge. Now, that doesn’t mean that we call them up and say, Hey, Drew, did you know that, Managua is the capital of Nicaragua? Yeah, that’s not what we’re saying. What we’re saying is, I saw this article and I thought of you. I watched this documentary and I thought of you. I heard about this new piece of legislation that might affect your clients. Are you aware of it? We do it on a daily basis. Anybody who is active on Facebook does it on a daily basis.

Speaker 2 (28:30):

We share links on our wall for broadcast, but we want to share these links for narrowcast. So we’re going to an individual. I’ve never used that word before, but I definitely will again. Narrowcast. We want to go to the individual. Now people might say, does that mean I have to be clipping things or I have to be keeping a database of relevant articles. Drew likes, windsurfing. I have to keep a portfolio of windsurfing related media to send. No, it doesn’t at all. We do it on an as and when basis. I’m going to read an article about Disney, I’m going to send it to Drew because she was a huge Disney fan. Right? Or similar. And then because I contracted Drew, even though he might not be the second person on the list,

Speaker 2 (29:19):

he might be the 20th person on the list, but Disney equals Drew. So I contact you and then he moves from second place or 14th place to the bottom of the list. So we’ve shared our knowledge. The next thing we’re going to share with person number three on our list is our network. And this is where we make introductions. We want to make as many relevant introductions as possible because at the moment, your network, probably looks like a hub and spoke system. So you are the hub and every single person is connected to you but not to each other, right? So what we have then is a relatively weak network. What we want to do is strengthen the internal bonds so that person number one in your network is connected to person number three in your network. Number three is connected to number seven.

Speaker 2 (29:59):

Person number nine is connected to number 14 because then we start to build, I’m doing all sorts of things with my hands that the listener can’t see. We’re building a crisscross super reinforced network, which has you at the center, right? Who doesn’t like a meaningful and relevant introduction? There are some guidelines around making introductions. I prefer that all of my introductions are double opt-in, which means if I’m going to introduce you to someone, Drew, I’m going to say, listen, I think I’m going to try and make introductions to this person. If they agree, are you okay with that? If you are okay with that, you will say yes. They’ll normally say yes and I’ll make the intro. Also, it makes it easier cause I can just say, Hey guys, double opt-in, intro, take it away. I don’t have to write long paragraphs about why you are relevant to each other.

Speaker 2 (30:42):

That’s really powerful. If you can get to the habit of being known as an introducer, it’s very difficult to turn down an introduction. I always look for reasons to say yes. And again, it doesn’t mean that you have to look at person number three on the list and say, who could I introduce Jenny to today? But one day you’re going to meet someone who would be a relevant introduction to Jenny. And even if you contacted Jenny yesterday, you contact her, you make the introduction, and then you put her to the bottom of the list. And so what we have, using that basis so far, our network of 90 where we’re rotating people through every 30 days or more frequently, which means we’re never allowing our relationships to grow or stay stale so that when you do need that favor or when you are going to be in town or when you do want to make the introduction, people are going to be more ready to help you.

Speaker 2 (31:28):

Now we’re not sending anything. We don’t do anything. We’re not giving anything. We’re just sharing our network, our knowledge, our compassion with these people and I’ve practiced it. I’m not going to say daily. I’ve had vacations and I’ve dropped the ball sometimes but you know, I’ve got probably 400 odd people in my network of 90 now and I’ve never regretted it. It really helps with the next step as well, which is the fourth thing you need to do every day is forge a relationship or go a step closer to forging a relationship with somebody new. If you don’t know the organizer of the conference that you want to speak at if you don’t know the editor of the magazine, you want to write a piece for, if you don’t know the local librarian or the local office space representative, but you think it would be useful if you did,

Speaker 2 (32:16):

we’re going to start to make inroads by adding new people to our network. So we’re going to reach out to a stranger. That could be, we can drop a list as well. We always have a list. This is called the direct outreach list of 20. Not clients, but people who can introduce you to clients. Clients are dealt with separately. You’ve got your pipeline system. You should be doing that next, right? Perhaps we’ve identified an influential author or an influential blogger that we want to have on speed dial. And so we’re going to leave a comment on their blog or we’re going to leave a review on Amazon. We’re going to follow them on social media because authors and writers and bloggers are guaranteed to read the comments. That’s guaranteed. Even JK Rowling is reading all of her reviews, right?

Speaker 2 (33:07):

You’re going to perhaps buy access to them if that’s possible. Perhaps they’re hosting a conference or holding a meeting or they run a mastermind or they are going to be appearing at an event that you could show up to in exchange for buying a ticket. We’re going to maybe correspond with them. Social media, Twitter is designed for interrupting people in the middle of conversations. We can show up and why not go one step further. If you’ve read somebody’s book and you’ve enjoyed it, why not record a video saying how meaningful it is to you? Share that all over YouTube, all over Facebook. Tag them on Twitter. Send them a copy. You think they won’t notice. They will. Especially when a month later you show up again and you do something cool. Perhaps you send them a gift, but the easiest way to do this, the better you are at networking and the better you are at strengthening your existing relationships is simply by asking for an introduction, right?

Speaker 2 (33:54):

And the beauty of it is, the more your network grows, the easier it is to add new people. I don’t know about the President of the United States or Oprah, but I truly believe I am a maximum of two introductions away from anybody I would love to meet. And people that I want to meet, I’m one introduction away from. But that’s after 10 years of nurturing my, you probably are as well, Drew. You’ve probably interviewed somebody for your podcast that is connected to that super influential person that would give you 10 minutes of their time if you asked, right? And that relationship capital gets you further. So you do that and that takes 15 minutes a day and people say, well, doesn’t it become unmanageable after a while? Aren’t you just in endless backward and forwards with people?

Speaker 2 (34:43):

Well, possibly, but it hasn’t been my experience in a decade. You know, not everybody replies, even your best friends. My mother tells me I never replied to her text messages and I love her. You know, it doesn’t mean I don’t want to be in her network, but it’s totally manageable. I actually use Asana. Your agency guys will be familiar with this. It has this beautiful, beautiful, a recurring, completion thing. So you set it to recur and it says how often? You say X days after completion. So I’ll talk to you today, Drew. I’ve ticked that I’ve spoken to you and it won’t remind me about it for 30 days unless I speak to you in the meantime, in which case, it will be pushed back. And that is just, there are other tools available. Xcel is how I get my tech-phobic clients started or even pen and paper or index cards work very well for that.

Speaker 2 (35:32):

Just move them to the back of the pile. But I still wonder, is that is the tool that I love to use for managing the access? Just put the name in once. Tick when I speak to them. And the final thing is I think you should make a sales offer every day. And you might say we don’t have enough leads to make sales offers every day. Then you know what you need to do right then mate? That’s what you need to do. Your job in terms of sales is pipeline management. It’s super, super simple when you set it up properly and you have proper CRM integrity and discipline. You come in, you look at your screen, you say, who do I need to move from the left-hand side of the screen to the right-hand side of the screen today? This person is in box number one. I need to move into box number two. Oh, there’s nobody left. Get marketing. And that’s your job, I believe.

Speaker 1 (36:17):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. All great points. And really all of that could be done in a relatively short period of time, right?

Speaker 2 (36:24):

Yeah. I mean if you had a dedicated sales department, they should be spending their entire day doing that. But even the sales department should be building relationships of just an inference. And even if you don’t own a business, you should be doing this for your personal relationships.

Speaker 1 (36:35):

Right. But you know, as agency owners, even if you have salespeople, there’s nobody who sells like the agency owner. And so, if they took 30 minutes a day to manage through these five things, that would be pretty impactful.

Speaker 2 (36:49):

Absolutely. Right. And you bring up a really important point. Yeah. I always remember when I first started as a recruitment consultant in B2B sales, I went to a meeting with one of the senior consultants about probably my first week or my second week. I had body language that didn’t say I’m new around here but I had a business card that said junior consultant, and she had a business card that said senior consultant. And do you think anybody addressed any questions or even eye contact with me? No. So I made a point then when I started my own agency, everybody had a senior vice president of sales on their business card the day they started. Nobody makes more sales than the CEO no matter who you are but if everybody is the senior vice president of sales, they’re going to be taken far more seriously. If you want your juniors to be successful in selling, give them a business card with the title.

Speaker 1 (37:49):

Yeah, that’s very true. Very true. So, I know one of the things that you talk about a lot is discipline. So routine, systems, process, discipline. But you have sort of a mantra or some lessons around how agency owners can be more disciplined. And so I think one of the challenges, and this is probably true of any entrepreneur, but in my world, the only entrepreneurs I see are agency owners every day. They are super intelligent, super creative, and super easy to distract, right? So everyone listening is going, I’m going to do that email thing. I’m going to show compassion, I’m going to show my knowledge, I’m going to do that. And they’ll do it for three days and then something happens and then their rhythm gets knocked off and then it’s hard for them to get back. So talk a little bit about, as we sort of wrap up this conversation, we’ve given people a lot of good ideas, but all of these ideas require a certain amount of discipline to implement. So let’s talk a little bit about how to be more self-disciplined.

Speaker 2 (39:02):

I’m not the most self-disciplined person left to my own devices. I am very good at distracting myself, whether that’s with YouTube or walks around the block or cups of coffee, whatever it is. You know, I’m very, very good at that, which meant I had to develop some rules for myself and sharing these with my clients and my friends, it was useful for them as well. I think having, firstly, we’ve already touched on this, but your job as the owner of an agency is to make sure that your agency survives another day and not just survives but preferably thrives. Right? Which means your top of your mind should be sales every day. Where is the revenue coming from? Revenue gives you cushions for bad times. Revenue gives you options for hiring and scaling. Revenue gives you the luxury that you might not otherwise enjoy even if you’re booked solid today.

Speaker 2 (39:55):

And this is one of the most frequently cited excuses for not doing sales or marketing activities. Cause our capacity, the $50,000 that the client throws at you will help you with your capacity issue because you will hire somebody or you will get an outside contractor and you will work for them. So you’ve got to manage your sales first. Marketing has to happen on a day to day basis because trust develops over time. If people go a long time not thinking about you… So number one, everyday sales, number two, everyday marketing, number three every day a client fulfillment. That’s important, but it’s not the most important thing that you at the top of the organization need to be thinking about. It’s of importance and good fulfillment will mean future client business, no doubt, right? But the feast and famine cycle, the curvy wave only exists in companies that do not prioritize sales and marketing on a daily basis.

Speaker 2 (40:52):

You’re not looking at today’s money, you’re looking at cash flow projections. That’s super important. Admin, you know, you shouldn’t be doing the admin. Somebody else is doing the admin or you’re doing it evenings and weekends and then preferably limiting it. Again, the other thing is the number of projects. No business owner, no agency owner, no entrepreneur suffers from a lack of ideas. Ideas are the squirrels. Ideas are the opportunities, which show up and say, Oh, I could do that. In fact, idearhea is one of the biggest complaints of the unfocused entrepreneur. I think it’s really easy. And what I’ve done is, and it takes, you said, I’ll maybe do this for three days, but then I’ll stop. Get everybody on the team working on the concept of objectives and key results. Alright? There were books about it, Google it, there’s loads of good free reading around it. There are easy to read books around it.

Speaker 2 (41:55):

You should own this beautiful rule of three. Your organization should only be focusing on three key results and all activities should be in service of those key results. At any one time, you’re going to use an agile methodology. You can use Kanban boards or whatever it is to say, this is what we’re working on today, and then every idea you have goes into the ideas folder. That’s the one day, maybe folder. That’s the let’s explore that project once we’ve seen this project through. It took me a long time to do this Drew, to really get this into my head. The idea of context switching costs a fortune. Context switching means today I’m going to be focusing on this this hour. I’m focusing on this project in the next hour. I’m focusing on this project for the next hour and focusing on this project the next. Imagine if you’re giving three dedicated hours to the same project, it would probably be finished by now.

Speaker 2 (42:50):

Right? It took me a very long time to do this because I’m self-employed. I don’t, I do have a team now, but for six years I didn’t have anybody. It was just me and so it was easy to let myself off the hook. But if you’ve got other people involved, you get down to the grassroots with them and you say, Hey, we’re all going to be holding ourselves to this. And if I ever stray from this, remind me of it. And these are the processes and these are the procedures. So the fewer things you have on the go, it doesn’t mean you can’t work with 25 clients at the same time, of course, I’m talking about the new projects, the internal projects, the development projects, their marketing initiatives, right? People have said to me, they’ve come to me frequently,

Speaker 2 (43:31):

they’ve said, you know, I tried Facebook ads. Facebook ads don’t work and I’m stuck with this. That’s categorically not true. We know that Facebook ads work. Why? Because millions of people use them. What you mean is you didn’t stick with it long enough to find a way to disprove your hypothesis that they don’t work. What we should have been saying is maybe we should give this three months, right? Or, nobody wants to buy this thing. I spent years creating my work with a lot of coaches. I created this course, but nobody wants to buy it. Oh, is that true? Well, I’ve only had five buyers. Okay. So it was not true. Because five people bought it. So five people, pretty good chance that 50 people would want to buy it.

Speaker 2 (44:16):

You just don’t, you haven’t found them yet. So stick with things for longer and do fewer things. And when I internalized that in the last couple of years, things changed enormously for me. Projects got finished and they got finished more quickly and they got finished better. And now I don’t beat myself up. In fact, I used to do it internally, use sign with the team. But I have always three things on my to-do list every day. One of them might be to send an email to this, send this important email. Another one might be to spend three hours on this particular project. But if I don’t do four things, that’s fine. My to-do list has me sit down before I leave the office or worst-case scenario over breakfast same day and I’ll say, which of these three things, which are all overdue, are going to be moved into the today column. And that has been, that’s even if you’re a one-person business, that’s 90 things a month. Wow, that’s pretty good. Especially if you choose the right things.

Speaker 1 (45:19):

Yeah. Well, you know, I always say that the best thing about being self-employed is you don’t have a boss. And the worst thing about being self-employed is you don’t have a boss. Right? So you’ve got to be your own boss, which many of us are not gifted at. When you talk about these fewer things, it really, you know, for the listeners who’ve heard me talk about traction and rocks and all of that, I mean, that’s the premise of that whole system, which is let’s all focus on the same things for a 90-day sprint and get it done. And if we don’t get it done in the 90 days, then it becomes the same thing we work on for the next 90 days. And we’re just gonna hammer this together until it gets out of the way. Right? So, easy to say, hard to do, right?

Speaker 2 (46:04):

I’ve worked with a coach for a decade or longer. I’d always recommend working with a coach who works for you. Find the right coach, find somebody who does actually raise your game. Whether the job of a coach isn’t necessarily to be the expert. If you look at the football coaches, they’re not faster than you. They can’t throw further, they can’t kick harder, but they make sure that you do those things, right? So find the right coach for you to hold you to account, to help you do the drills, to give you the reporting line, to become your temporary boss.

Speaker 1 (46:34):

This has been great. Lots of things for people to chew on. If folks want to learn more about the work you’re doing, if they want to get deeper into the study of Book Yourself Solid, you know, we didn’t even talk about your book, so if they want to track down your book, which I know you just came out with a second edition, what’s the best way for people to find all things, Matthew?

Speaker 2 (46:58):

I would say go to Matthewkimberley.com and click around if you gave me your email address. I’ll give you my cheat sheet on the five things we discussed, five things to do every morning to get more clients in 60 days, and then you’ll also be able to go down the rabbit hole. Bookyourselfsolid.com is if you can remember two URLs as you’re listening to this on your job or your car, bookyourselfsolid.com is somewhere else you could go, but Matthewkimberley.com will lead you to all of those places.

Speaker 1 (47:28):

Okay. We’ll put that stuff in the show notes.

Speaker 1 (47:30):

This has been awesome. Thank you, my friend. I appreciate you taking the time to do this. I know you’re super busy, so thank you for sharing your expertise and knowledge with us.

Speaker 2:

The pleasure has been entirely mine. Thank you so much Drew for having me.

Speaker 1 (47:43):

Yeah, you bet. All right guys, this wraps up another episode of Build A Better Agency. Just a couple of quick reminders for you. We were just talking about sort of this idea of the ideal client and understanding who that person is. So, if you have not already taken advantage of our sweet spot client filter, please make sure you do that. It’s on the website and you know how to find it. I mentioned it in the introduction, so go grab it. Also, a reminder that we are gunning towards November 11th and 12th which are the new dates for the Build A Better Agency summit. I want to see you there. We’re going to celebrate that we survived COVID and that we are crushing 2021 together and so we’re going to come together to learn to connect to you.

Speaker 1 (48:34):

I have a lot of new people that you’ll meet to put on your network list that we talked about today and we’re going to celebrate survival and thriving through this. So head over to agencymanagementinstitute.com and check out the Build A Better Agency summit there. Quick thank you to our friends at White Label IQ. As you know, they are the presenting sponsor of this podcast so they make it possible for us to hang out every week and I’m grateful to them for that. So if you’re curious about their services, white label dev design, and PPC, head over to whitelabeliq.com/ami cause they have a special deal there for you. Alright, I’ll be back next week with another guest to get you thinking a little differently about your business. And in the meantime, always happy to hear from you by email or on social. Talk to you soon. Thanks for listening.