A lot of business owners find that they eventually hit a revenue ceiling. The actual amount or value of that ceiling varies. It can be a puzzle why some people break through and others bounce off it like birds off a window, failing to build revenue beyond a certain point. What got you there won't get you where you’re dreaming about. You need a new strategy and a lot of the time it's a sales strategy which is missing.
This week my podcast guest is Jessica Lorimer. Jess helps smart people sell into corporates and in this week's show she's going to share how she does this in some very actionable ways. She lifts the lid on her business and will show you exactly how she built it. Jess is a great case study in doing something seemingly simple, courageously and very well.
Jessica Lorimer is the UK's leading sales coach, teaching entrepreneurs how to sell their services to corporate organisations. Having been featured in Forbes, CityAM and We Are The City, Jessica runs two podcasts and is a well known speaker and author in the sales sphere.
Links and mentions
Jessica's podcast : https://smartleaderssell.com/slspodcast/
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Business owners find that they eventually hit a revenue ceiling. The actual amount of that ceiling varies and it can be a puzzle why some people break through that ceiling and others bounce off it like birds off a window. Failing to build revenue beyond a certain point. What got you there? Will get you where you're dreaming about. You need a new strategy. A lot of the time it's a sales strategy that's missing. This week, my guest is Jess Lorimar.
And Jess helps smart people sell into corporates. And in this week's show, she's going to share how she does this and some very actionable ways. She left the lid on her business. And we'll show you exactly how she built hers, too. Jess is a great case study and doing something seemingly simple courageously and very well. Hi there. And welcome back to Amplify the Digital Marketing Entrepreneurs podcast. I'm Bob Gentle. And every Monday I am joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work.
If you're new to the show, then take a second right now to subscribe a new player so you don't miss new episodes and you can grab some older ones when you're done with this one. Don't forget as well to join our Facebook community, just visit, Amplifyme.fm/insiders and you'd be taken right there. So welcome along. And let's meet Jess. So this week, I'm delighted to welcome Jessica Lorimer to the podcast. Jessica runs a business called Smart Meters Sale.
Jessica, why don't you tell us a little bit about who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do now.
Thank you for having me. I'm really excited to be here. So I am a sales coach. I am one of those awful people who spend all of their days teaching sales strategies to customers around the globe. I specifically focus on helping service based entrepreneurs sell their services into corporate organizations around the globe.
I was particularly keen to speak to you because to be honest, you could throw a tennis ball in some situations and hit a sales coach.
Yes, 100 percent. And there are a lot of us who are good and there are a lot of us who are terrible. So it really depends on who you hit on any given day.
But I know you're good because you've worked with lots of my friends. And the one thing you're really well known for is helping people sell into corporates, which is something I would like to unpack a little bit. But maybe if you tell me a little bit about what does your typical customer look like, how do you spend your days?
So I would give myself the definition of being the lazy entrepreneur. I think in sales, it's one of those aspects that we all try and look for as salespeople to find the easiest and quickest way to reach the goal. And that's how I've approached my business over the last six years, was the easiest and quickest way for me to do things. So my days primarily are spent either coaching clients or watching that flicks. I'll be honest, that's pretty much how I roll.
Occasionally I go to my Logemann. I've got an allotment now, so I'm spending more time outdoors, which I think has been good for me. But in all seriousness, I'm somebody who I like to make life easy for myself. So we've we're having this conversation today and I'm on my content creation week. I spend one week of every month, the first week creating all of my content, podcasts, newsletters, you know, any kind of email marketing or launch promotional material that I need.
And then I don't have to look at it for another five or six weeks. And that is an absolute joy for me.
And I can just spend that time on clients instead his time blocking to the max that it's the lazy way. But it works.
Yeah, I think there's so many dominoes falling in my head just from that. I think a lot of people come to that. Content creation in particular in a knee jerk fashion is not really very well planned. Then there are some people who manage time blocking. And then there's what you are doing, which is really just saying, OK, in one week we'll get it all done so that you can really have your head clear for other things. It's really quite nice.
It's really relaxing, actually, and it means that if I do need to create anything that's reactive. So, you know, we're in a time period where the world is changing on an almost daily basis right now. And so actually, a lot of people have had to move launches and things because they didn't have their content created. And then they spent a lot of time creating that knee jerk or reactive organic content to respond to current situations. Whereas with the way that I work, I'm lucky.
Everything is planned down and everything is done. So when something happens that I want to react to, I can. And it doesn't take a ton of time and energy out of my day. And it doesn't mean I have to let something else go in order to make that happen.
I can see her for things like Instagram stories does actually leave you free with the headspace to properly engage in 100 percent. Yeah, I really like. I'm gonna have to go and do some work.
It's really good. And the first month that you do it is horrible because that you spend one week creating content and it just feels like an absolute grind. But once you've done it and you experience an entire four weeks of not having to, you know, sit there on Wednesday and think, oh, God, what do I have to write my newsletter today? Actually, it's so much easier. So I'm about two months ahead now. And I say that with all the smugness, that is too bad.
It feels great. I'm just like, wow, I could sit here and technically take August off and, you know, and that would be wonderful.
So a lot of people listening to the show will obviously be sitting there scratching their head saying, but she's in sales and she's better than me at content marketing. That's fine. Guys, you're just gonna have to suck that up.
No, I'm just lazy. And I think guys like you will put lots of effort into it. And I'm just like, look, I just I just want to make it happen in the easiest way possible.
But what I'd like to understand is how you bring that to sales and sales training, because it's one thing being greater content marketing, but content marketing isn't inherently profitable. So how do you bring that same laziness into sales strategy?
So that's a question I've actually never been asked, and I love it. By the way, say thank you for asking me. Say. Inherently is not difficult. And, you know, for those of you who are listening who would consider yourselves marketers, I have to be clear that marketers are much more intelligent than salespeople. Okay. I think that there are very, very big differences in the way that salespeople operate to the way that marketers operate and the way that we think.
So I've been quite honest right from the start of this, that I always look for the easy and the simple way to hit my goal, whether that's revenue goal or a marketing goal or whatever that that looks like. The problem is that most business owners don't see sales as being something that is inherently comfortable, and that's where the problem lies.
So every human being will look at something that is simple. You know, you're riding a bike, driving a car, making a sale, whatever that happens to be. And if they don't find it comfortable, they will find ways to make it more complicated because that cave man part of our brain doesn't feel safe, you know, in it. And it still feels like we're about to run away from a dinosaur because it doesn't differentiate between dinosaurs and actually being in a quite safe environment, but feeling discomfort.
So when it comes to making sales easy and simple, what we have to do first is think about and acknowledge the fact that it's uncomfortable and that we're going to feel uncomfortable when we make sales. Simple, right? Does that make sense? So perfect sense will feel the discomfort and we'll do it anyway. That stops a lot of the later problems with over complication. Because if we accept from the beginning that this is going to be an uncomfortable process, we don't have to add in tons of extra steps to try and make it more palatable.
Right. So what I mean by that is lots of people, especially when the teaching sales online, will teach varying degrees of complexity when it comes to creating funnels and things, because funnel is inherently designed to make you, the salesperson, feel more comfortable making the sale and less likely to get rejected. And they are designed to allegedly make the buyer feel more comfortable and more palatable about the journey that they're taking.
Now, there are degrees of truth, obviously, to that, but I believe in making it really simple and sticking to the premise that actually all sales is is identifying a problem and offering a solution.
Now, at what point you offer the solution is up to you. So if you're somebody who is trying to avoid discomfort, you're probably going to wait a lot longer to offer a paid solution because you feel uncomfortable. And that in turn, you don't want to reflect onto your buyer. So you try and get these micro commitments, like getting them to download a freebie or getting them to buy a lower ticket or lower entry offer first and move from that to try and make the process more palatable.
Whereas as a sales person, we don't necessarily have you know, once you become a salesperson, you've done it for a number of years.
You don't worry so much about rejection and you accept that you may or may not feel comfortable and that you're going to have to at some point ask the sale. So you generally ask for a lot quicker. And that means that as soon as somebody asks me or they say, Jess, I've got a problem with this, if I have a solution rather than try and get them to jump through a bunch of hoops to find the solution, I'm just gonna tell them about it and I'm going to say, okay, cool.
Well, there are two ways you can fix your problem. You can either go ahead, you can Google, you can find all these resources. You can go through them and you can think about that and maybe implement it, maybe not, and then see what results you get and come back to me. Or I have this thing. It costs you this. These are the exact transformations you're going to get. And as an independent adult, it's totally your choice whether you want to buy that or not.
How do you feel? I think what I'm interested to find out, because two people can make the same offer. Mm hmm. And one person will succeed where the other will fail. And if everything else is equal, then the value perception is what will be the differentiator? And how do you work with people around that? There are actually inherent value. It's American tanks.
Yeah. Now, one hundred percent, you make sense. So value and perceived value is always going to be tricky because it's always on the buyer as to what their perception is. And really, when we talk about offers, it's not the offer that is inherently valuable. It's the pain that the current problem is causing them. So actually, it's not about your offer per say at all. It's actually about how well you do when it comes to qualifying.
Just how much pain that. Or how much they want to solve their problem in the first place. Does that make sense? Yes. So, for example, two people could have exactly the same offer. But because one of them has asked an extra question about, for example, like what timeframe would you like to solve that problem in or how much impact is this problem currently having on your life or your business? Because they've gone that extra step and they have that extra piece of information.
That buyer has already self identified the true impact of the problem that they're facing. They automatically want to solve it more. And so even if the offers are exactly the same, they're more predisposed to go with the person who they feel understands their pain more accurately and who they can then trust to provide a solution that they think is going to provide better experience. The office can be exactly the same. They could be exactly the same wording in the offers.
You can have the exact same transformations that you talk about, but it's that questioning piece that actually makes the difference.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I guess another question that I think a lot of people might resonate with is if you're if you're accustomed to selling to corporates and I use the example of agencies because that's my background. But this will apply in any business. There are those agencies who just sell to corporates. That's just what they normally do because they've always done it. And they came from a company where that was what they did before. And you've got sort of generations of people who sell to corporates through as agencies.
And then you've got those who don't because they never did. They've never been trained. They don't know the language. They don't have the vocabulary. And so the barriers are probably mainly psychological, but they don't have the orientation around the tendering process, the pitching process and all the rest of it. How would you work with somebody to sort of move in to selling to corporate where they just never have before? I guess that's the question.
A lot of it's a good question. No, no, no, no. That's not what at all. It's always one that I get asked because a lot of people worry about it. Right. We we worry naturally when we don't know how to do something, where it's going to be harder or more complicated or more difficult. The reality is the selling to corporate is is obviously different than selling to individuals, but not for the reasons that people think.
So people can often get caught up in thinking, I can't sell to corporate organizations because I have to use a load of jargon that I don't know yet or, you know, I'll have to wear a suit and I don't want to do that, or I'm going to have to go in and work face to face and not have flexibility to, you know, work my own terms. And the reality is that organizations have shifted, I mean, drastically in the last four months alone.
But over the past 10 years, organizations have shifted and they're not necessarily looking for people that as suppliers who come from a corporate background.
Now, don't get me wrong, some companies will be some companies we like. Right. Especially if you're trying to target financial services organizations or particular industries that have specialist needs, particularly when it comes to like regulations and rules.
But for the most part, it's the same application of sales that we see when we're selling B2C business to consumer. People buy from people. So if you're talking to stakeholders in a company they're looking for, does this person understand my problem? Are they courteous when they talk to me? Are they polite? Are they genuinely interested and invested in the company that I work for and the problem that we have and the solution that we want? And do I like them?
You know, they somebody that I want to work with. I want to give business to that. I'm going to want to answer emails wrong.
We held an event last year converting corporate. And we had a hiring manager panel there. And one of our attendees actually asked the hiring manager panel this question and said, like, if I haven't come from a corporate background, how do I start? And one of them just looked at the participants, said, be human. And I thought that that was such a brilliant piece of advice. And we extrapolated on it and explained like selling to corporate is a lot about understanding who you are as a person and not being afraid to ask questions and say when you don't understand something and say, oh, actually, I'm not sure what KPI means.
For example, I'm not sure what PNL is or, you know, how does that work in your particular company? And it's also about being human when it comes to having a consultative sales approach and telling a stakeholder when that plan isn't necessarily correct. And. Being unafraid to say it's great that you're already making a start in this area. But I have to say that I don't necessarily think this is gonna provide you with the outcome that you're looking for.
Would you be okay if we explored different solutions? So, you know, don't don't worry about not having come from a corporate background. Instead, think about the skills that you do have and how you can apply them to the parts of the process that sellings corporate takes. So, you know, obviously with with every sale you make or every sales coach out there is going to tell you they've got some kind of foolproof system. And I'm no different.
I'm in sales. What can I say? But when you're selling, you know, when you're selling to corporates, the first thing you've got to understand is, are you clear?
Are you clear on what you're selling and who you're selling that to? So that's no different than when you're selling business to consumer. OK. Who are you? What are you selling? Who are you selling that to? The second part of selling to corporates. Is that we have to look at lead generation. So we have to look at. Okay, now that we understand what industry we're targeting. How do we actually find the right people to speak to, you know, how do we generate leads?
Now, I'm a big fan because I'm a sales person and we're quite direct of proactively generation. And, you know, I love, for example, cold calling, which I know makes 90 percent of the population cringe. But I just got a real kick from it. So, you know, that might be my method of lead generation, but somebody else might absolutely hate that. And they might want to spend time on LinkedIn or they want might want to spend time creating an email marketing campaign that's going to generate quality leads.
But again, how have you do it is up to you. And that isn't necessarily very different from business consumer either. The bit where it gets different is when we start talking about practical sales skills. Yeah. So when we start talking about business development course, for example, that's very different than selling B2C, because when you're on a business development call, what we're doing with a corporate stakeholder is walking them through situational fluency, gathering ideas and insights about the organization they work for and what kind of problems they have.
And then we're moving them into pain questions and impact questions. We're asking specific questions about specific pain points that they might have and ultimately defining the impact that that problem has on their team or their organization as a whole. What we do after that is use that information to co construct a solution that benefits that stakeholder. That organization according to budgets and timeframes and all of that kind of thing. And that's where it's different because actually what we what we get trained into doing in the business to consumer world is almost becoming an order taker.
Right. What can happen on sales calls with individuals or solo partners is getting into this conversation where the buyer thinks that they are controlling the conversation and they're looking for the salesperson to justify why should I spend my individual hard earned cash on X? What is it going to do for me? Why should I buy this from you instead of X from Y person? Whereas when we're talking to or when we're selling to corporate stakeholders, it's not their money. Right.
That's the first thing we get to identify is not their money. They're not personally attached to it. What they are personally attached to is the potential of solving that problem. From a practical perspective of if I solve the problem. My work pains might go away. But also from a glori perspective, if I solve this problem, I'm gonna look great at work.
So actually, the conversation that you have in a business development call is not about being an order taker. It's not about justification. It's actually all about questioning and demonstrating your expertise without having to say all the time. I'm an expert at this because I've got this amount of qualifications and I've written X amount of books or I've done eczema things. It's about the quality of the questions that you ask that make them realize and understand. This person knows what they're talking about.
And yes, I want to give them money to solve this problem.
I think that's a really beautifully put illustration. I think I've made a list of questions. I really struggling to know which one to go to next. But I do recall I've been on the receiving end of that kind of sales conversation in the past, and you definitely feel like you've been taken on a journey to help you understand your problem and that there are solutions out there. It's very, very different from somebody that somebody is simply trying to hustle you.
But do you ever get the accusations of you're just trying to manipulate me?
Yeah. Hundred percent. And I love that because isn't it great health where people are now and how much more cynical they are now? So actually, as a sales person, you get to hone your skills and you get to explain to somebody or show them in in a better way and demonstrate how good sales looks. You know, often I'll I'll cold call just for fun because I enjoy it and I like to keep my skills relevant. But I cold call sometimes and people will absolutely say, oh God, not another one.
And I always say to people when they say that I'm like, oh, how many of these calls have you had this week out of interest? And they're like, I don't know, like five, 10 maybe. And I always say, And how many people out of those 10 do you think are going to keep calling you back? And they always laugh because the answer is always very close to zero. And I always say that I'm like, well, guess what?
I'm gonna call you every four weeks for the next, like, twelve months. And by the end of it, I promise you that you going to know each of the really well. And B, you are definitely gonna have paid me some money and they always laugh. They're like, oh my goodness, this woman is either insane or supremely confident that she's actually going to do what she says she can do. And I think. People worry so much about being seen as the sleazy salesperson.
Yeah. Okay, it's not pleasant. But the reality is often people haven't experienced good sales processes. So why wouldn't you want to overcome their objections by simply showing up and by saying, OK, cool. Well, you might think right now because you don't know me that I'm never going to call you back or that actually, you know, it's not worth having a conversation with me because I'll never remember anything you say. And I'm just gonna try and pitch you a load of stuff that's irrelevant.
But tell you what, for the next three months, I'm going to show up once a month and I'm going to call you and I'm going to show you the act. I do care about your organization and actually I do care about the problems you are having. And actually, I do list and then I do I say I'm gonna do. And in doing that, you change their perception not only of you, but of salespeople as a whole.
And I think that's that's a really powerful thing.
It absolutely is. And I think from a business owners perspective, I remember I was not that long ago, I used to run a reasonably good sized company and it continuously frustrated me because despite what a lot of people might think about me, I'm quite introverted. I'm actually like you that I really enjoy cold calling and I enjoy selling. I love that.
It's all introverts. We love a cold.
A lot of my team would often think, how can you do that? It just but put in a lot of businesses. Many people don't understand the importance of selling if you can't connect your value with the people that need it. And create a clear path for that transaction to happen. You may as well not be in business. And if you can do it with a smile on your face in a way that brings joy to your customer from a human perspective, that does mastery.
And that's what you've described really clearly.
I think you have to find a way that you enjoy something like you've just said, if you don't have a clear sales process in your business. If you can't make money, you don't have a business. You have a very expensive hobby. And that can only last for so long. And while sales you might view is as being an evil, it's a necessary one. And so you might as well try and find a way to make it work for you or to make it fun or at least interesting so that you continue doing it, because otherwise you don't get to do the stuff that you actually like, which is, you know, for me, the bit of my business that is absolutely best is working with my clients.
You know, the other stuff is all fine and I'll do it know I'll do the content creation, I'll do the the inevitable hiring and firing and all that kind of thing of team members. But that's not the bit that I love. I love working with clients. I love the stuff that I get to strategize on. So in order to do more of that, I have to sell. That's how it works. And that's just the cycle.
So a lot of people, when they come to sales or they fall into a role where they have no choice. They understand the theory, the northern mechanics and making the call. They get to that point where somebody says, okay, how much is it? And that can be in writing. That can be in a pitch. That can be in a proposal. But there's this sort of gag reflex when you come to actually say the price. I think when you're working with corporates, as you said, it's not their money.
So once you actually get into that mindset with, you know, they're not having an emotional reaction to your price. So you probably don't need to anymore. How do you work people through that process?
So here's the thing. I want to be expensive. I've always wanted to be expensive. And so people often worry about naming a price because they think, what if I am too expensive or what if I'm not expensive enough? All these thoughts go through our heads.
The reality is, it's none of our business what somebody else's finances look like, whether that's a corporate stakeholder and whatever their budget happens to be, or whether that is an individual who is is thinking about what they want to pay out that month. So when we talk about getting okay with pricing, it's not actually them that ask. We're okay with it. It's just you getting used to saying it and developing a habit. And actually, when we look at it like that, instead of being emotionally attached to it, it becomes much easier.
So one of the first things I was get my clients to do is just stand in front of the mirror every morning, just five minutes every morning, and just say your prices as if you were saying them to a stakeholder. Because part of the reason we get so worked up about it is because we're saying it to somebody else and we're worried about what they might think. And so because we start worrying, we then get really awkward and then we start breathing much quicker.
We start talking much more rapidly when we say the price. We immediately jump in with her. But don't worry, because we've got 50 percent off this month. And that's all fine. And if you do it here, then we'll give you this extra bonus do. And we don't give them time to even think about the decision that they may. Because we are so worried about saying no, so this thing you can do is every morning stand in front the mirror and talk to yourself as if you were a stakeholder.
Bonus points. If you've got other people in your house you can do this with. I regularly do it with my dog. Right. Hey, Max, just sit there and look at me in a discerning way and get used to saying, okay, if you if you would like to take this solution, which gives you X, Y, Z in terms of transformation, then the investment for that is going to be ten thousand pounds, 20000 pounds, whatever the number is.
And then just practice looking at yourself whilst you are silent because it's really hard and it's really awkward and it's really uncomfortable. There is nothing worse than watching yourself be uncomfortable about talking about money. Yeah, but the more that you do it, the easier it becomes. And I'd rather everybody have to sit and look at themselves in the mirror thinking, oh, my goodness, what an idiot I look like. Then sitting on a sales call thinking, oh, God, this is so awkward.
And they can see it in my body language and in how I'm reacting, because that's the bit that's going to lose you the sale. Ultimately, you know what wins what wins sales conversations is not necessarily can we get everything that we want for the budget that is exact. It's the confidence with which you deliver the message. It's the confidence with which you talk about the translations that they're going to achieve, the belief that you put behind that, and then the confidence with which you deliver the price and the investment.
And the best way that you can do that is to just practice.
That makes so much sense. I think certainly it's the same. The price is one thing, but actually what happens next? That's some being prepared for that. Is everything that you don't automatically jump in to try and fill the silence in order to excuse the other person the embarrassment of having to react.
But that's the thing. Why are we all so oh, why do we always want everything to be so pleasant? Right. I think that's a really hard thing to say, isn't it? Because people worry about discomfort so much that we actively avoid all costs. But sometimes in avoiding it, we actually make it more uncomfortable, because if we give that person the space to just have a moment to think about the price that you've suggested, the value that they're going to get and how they feel about the rest of the solution.
Actually, that's not uncomfortable for them. That's just considerate. But if we start jumping down with price reductions and bonuses and, you know, not giving them space to think, we automatically program that person to assume that we'll worried about having this conversation, which means we are not confident in something, which means that maybe the price isn't right and maybe they shouldn't buy from us.
Yeah, that's that's what makes perfect sense.
I think when it comes to that piece, just to pick up there on that piece, after you've set the price, what do you do?
I think it's important a give give the person space to think about it, give the person space to understand exactly what it is you're saying, but also particularly for selling to corporates, know that negotiation isn't a bad thing. That is absolutely not an indication of your value. If they come back and they say, we'd really love this, but we want it to be this price or we only want to pay this margin. It's not a reflection of your value.
And it's actually something that's really, really useful to practice, like start putting your prices a little higher than you would normally because it gives you some wiggle room when it comes to negotiation. Negotiation is a way for a client, a sometimes to hit the budgets that they want and genuinely hit targets that they need to meet and be. It's a way for them to feel like they've won. And we often underestimate like how how little corporate stakeholders get to win in their jobs.
So sometimes it's worth factoring in just that extra couple of percent so that you can let them negotiate and feel like they've really worked hard to get a great deal. So they feel like they've not only gotten the best solution, but they've also gotten the best price and also to make sure that you actually keep the margin that you were looking for from that sale as well.
Time reminds me of a Japanese design trick. Oh, it's very cool that it's actually it's exactly the same principle that Japanese design is all about detail and intricacy. But what the and they've been doing this for a very long time. And one of is sort of traditional principles, as you always leave a mistake and obvious mistakes with a declining. And walk in and they can go home. We need to fix the mess. They fix it. And then the client can stand back and say, I know it's perfect.
I love that. And what you're doing it with your pricing there is very, very similar really need.
But it is you know, we have to remember that people like to feel good about sales processes. You know, we hate to be sold, too, but we love to buy type thing. I think it was exactly the said that, wasn't it? It might not be. By the way, don't quote me on that again. Salespeople, not particularly bright. So, you know, any quote I give, I'll try and credit all wrestling.
But. But it's true. You know, people love to buy things even if it's not stuff for them. They want to be involved. And the reason that people love to buy is not because we particularly all thrive off of materialism and getting stuff.
But sales as as a process and as an experience is something that is inherently human that we don't get to do all often. And that is why sales people are paid a lot of money in good sales people is because actually it requires a degree of emotional intelligence and knowing how to make somebody feel good. Every part of the process, whether that's letting them feel like they've won a certain part or whether it's making them feel hurt in a day where generally people just talk at them and want something from them and they you, while giving them an outlet to vent and to talk about things that are important to them, but they can't seem to communicate to other people.
Is sales is is this process where people get to feel heard? They get to feel valued as the customer. They get to feel for however long that sales process is that they are the top priority, that they getting attention. And that's something that we don't get very often in the world anymore, not in a world where, you know, social media has become very transactional to it to a certain degree. And, you know, there's this constant competition for attention to be given time dedicated specifically to you.
And your problem is something that is so valuable and that we just underestimate every day.
So something I'd like to look at. No. His most people do business comes home on one of three paths. It's either referrals, lots of people, referrals, all they get and they build their whole business around referrals. And then there are others where it's entirely inbound, either through Facebook cards or content marketing. And then there's the more traditional outbound selling. And I'm always intrigued to understand where people are on that spectrum or what that mix looks like.
And I'm imagining for you that that's probably different now to where it maybe was a few years ago. But maybe what did that mix look like for you and how has it changed over the last few years?
It's really interesting because I I switched my business last year, actually, literally two days ago. Last year, I set up my selling to corporate podcast to switch the business from being more about psychological sales skills to specifically teaching entrepreneurs, households, corporates. And that was because I've been doing it privately. My dog clearly doesn't think it's that interesting, but I've been doing it privately for a number of years for private clients and in my own business, and just hadn't talked about it publicly and decided that it was definitely the route I wanted to go down.
So six years ago when I started my business and I was very much about the online space and funnels and all of that kind of thing, a lot of my business came through that inbound marketing. You know, I was creating a lot of content. I was doing a lot with Facebook ads and things. And then obviously referrals. Now, my business is a lot about referrals and outbound marketing. You know, it's me proactively having discussions and having conversations and starting ways of generating those clients proactively.
And it's actually what I really enjoy. And for my clients, it's the same. They're proactively starting conversations, proactively generating leads, proactively targeting stakeholders that they want to talk to, because ultimately that leads to a much better, much more seamless sales experience. That feels really tailored for the buyer. And it is also easier to do, particularly when you're selling it to corporate organizations. So I'd say I do a lot of that and I have a lot of referrals.
I'm really, really fortunate that my clients are just great human beings. They end up doing really well and then they are always being asked, like, who taught you how to sell to corporates? And so they're always talking about me and always introduce. Two different people and sending referrals by way, which I massively appreciate. And so it's kind of shifted dramatically for me over the last probably 18 months.
It's very unusual, actually, because the transition that you've described is one that's usually the other way around.
Yes. But interestingly, I think because you you have to sales piece nailed down, it makes total sense because, you know, the clients you want, you know how to to bring them in. It's much quicker, much more effective for you to just build a relationship than it is to try and slowly woo somebody through Facebook. It's exciting. So it makes perfect sense.
And for me, I'm quite an impatient person. I don't want to have to wait for somebody to go through six different Facebook cards. And, you know, download a bunch of freebies before they decide if they want to work with me or not. I want people to know, hey, I genuinely think that what you're doing is really valuable. I genuinely think what you're doing is really interesting. And, you know, there could be an opportunity there for you to explore adding a corporate revenue stream to a business if you're open to that discussion.
Let me know if you're not. Also, let me know. That's totally fine. But having that ability to recognize people and again, make them feel valued, make them feel seen. Is it something that is powerful and it is useful to them and it highlights something that they might not have recognized in their own business? And equally, it's also a really good opportunity for people to exercise their boundaries if they want to and say, actually, just.
I'm just not interested in that. Or actually I am really interested in that.
Is it totally up to them? This is my super nosy question. But I guess what I'm wondering is obviously if this is a revenue portfolio related question, I'm not looking for numbers, but I'm curious to know, what do you have on the shelf for people to actually buy?
Oh, I will 100 percent give you numbers. That's the bonus being salesperson. We don't hide anything. So for me, it's really interesting. I came from having a really, really successful business up until I say up until I'm making out like I'm not successful now, but I'm sober 18 months ago when I switched everything over. I had really consistent income. And then one day I burned my business down. So I did something that you should never, ever do unless you're a salesperson and know how to sell effectively, because then it's a little bit less risky.
When I burnt my business down, I decided that I was only going to sell three things. And that comes from a woman who used to have 27 different funnels and one year created 63 different office. So I can tell you that there was a lot on the back end when I was working in sales generally. Now I only have three different office. So we offer a ticket to a two day workshop called Convecting Corporates, and the tickets for that are they range between EarlyBird or four nine seven and up to seven nine seven.
So four hundred ninety seven pounds. Seven hundred nine, seven pounds. We have the opportunity to join the C Suite, which is a program where I basically take everybody through how to sell to corporates and we do live. This is 10 days and hot seats and things. It's really very cool. That's six thousand pounds. So that's probably about as premium as as most people will go on what is effectively a great group program. And then we have the opportunity to work with me one to one.
And that's a lot rarer and generally a lot more expensive because, you know, you have to sit with me looking with my beady eyes on you all the time, which can be frustrating for some people. So, you know, that's where we are now. In terms of numbers, obviously, we're heading to we're at the 12 month mark since I moved everything over. And we have only been selling the C suite specifically. So the six thousand pound offer since January.
We launched at Convecting Corporates last year and we're aiming to have 100 people in the C suite by the end of the end of 2020 and this year will do about seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds in revenue. So it's not bad for first year.
And how is that comparing with the simple product line to where you were previously with a more complex product?
It's way more profit. So we're operating at a much higher profit margin, which is great. My team is actually really lean as well because we're not having to have as many people involved, a different stage of the process. So, you know, before when we had to have somebody always info like graphic design and things like that because were selling so many different things, now we don't have to have that. We have like a skeleton staff. There's the amazing kind of customer care people.
We have, Sara, who who deals with all of our customer care and she deals with all my inbox management as well, which must be horrific. So shout out to her. Amazing. We have one person he focuses specifically on are digital marketing, so deals with everything from active campaign to the Web site and stuff.
And let me just bring in freelancers to, you know, do the occasional piece of graphic design. We had a branding person recently see the rebrand of everything, which is cool. So profit margin has been a lot higher. The team is a lot lean now, which is great and great for Meeks. I'm not a massive people manager. I just don't enjoy it. And I'd say as well, it's much easier for customers. One of the biggest bits of feedback that we've had is from people who had never previously, you know, who'd come over from my previous audience.
They'd never previously thought about selling to corporate organizations who have come along and been like, okay, let's explore this and have ended up, you know, joining my programs and things. And they've said, you know, it's really interesting. It's so much easier to buy from you now because you can only do one of three things, which means that there's not so much choice. You don't have to worry about what I'm gonna bring out every week and whether or not that would have been better than the thing you originally bought.
If that makes sense and that's been really cool to see as well, I, I know my people really appreciate when they get to pick under the bonnet. You've been very, very generous with that.
So of. I think it's it's so valuable because nobody ever tells you and so we end up hedging around it. But the great thing about being in sales is that you do love talking about numbers. Numbers and metrics are kind of like a Bible things.
So speaking of numbers, I have an eye on the clock and you've been very generous with your time. If people want to engage with you, if they want to get in touch with you, how would you like them to do that?
The best place, honestly, to ever get in touch or just find out a little bit more about me and selling to corporates is the podcast. It's called Selling to Corporate. You can find it on ITN, Spotify, any other major podcast player? No, it doesn't have an interesting name because, I mean, I don't have time for that.
Also, Google, Google and I choose. Don't like. Interesting. I know.
I know. Like SCA run. It's killing me. Killing my creativity. But no, you can. You can have a look out for that. And it's honestly great. Like I would say, you know, for anybody who's interested in podcasting just as an f why I like I set up a year ago, we started with one episode a month for the first six months, and it generated over twenty three thousand pounds worth of ticket sales to the event in November last year.
So, you know, if you're thinking about getting a podcast, I'm not sure that they can be monetized. They absolutely can and doesn't have state forever either. And now we we deliver two episodes a month. It's all really practical about how to go and sell your services to corporates.
You can always check that out and get a few tips that, well, Czerski been super generous with your time and really generous with the face and insight into your business. I need to ask you one question. But I always have to remember to ask every because every cast and that's what's one thing you do know that you wish you'd started five years ago.
It's such a tough question for me. Honestly, I think the answer would be worry less about being perfect. And I think it's probably an answer that everybody gives you. But I think I see so many entrepreneurs who start the beginning of a journey. They want everything to be the five year finished result now. And I know I was very liked. I wanted a great website and I wanted all of the the picture perfect things. But the reality is that that stops you making money.
You know, it stops you making money for quite a long time because humans are never going to be happy. Like, we're never gonna be happy even when we think something is perfect. We always find something that isn't within it. So rather than chasing a constant stream of perfection. Actually look at production instead. Just go out, take some action. Do the thing and start getting results. And then you can improve upon it. That would be what I would do differently.
I would 100 percent start and not worry about what other people thought of my brand or my website. I would just go ahead and do the things and then change them as I went.
That's a brilliant answer and you'll be surprised. It is actually the first time we've heard that.
Oh, well, that's good. That's right. Great. Thank you very much for taking the rock. I look forward to seeing you once. All this coronavirus non signs.
I know. I can't wait here. Thank you so much, Hermione. It's genuinely brilliant. So insightful.
If the old adage of if you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you always get. Rings true to you, then I hope you've taken something from this episode. There are many ways to scale a business. There is no one right path. No matter what business you're in, you're in the relationships business and you will achieve more value if you can bring more value. And most importantly, to the people who need it the most.
And often that is corporates. Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't already. Then join our Facebook group. You'll find a link in the show. Notes. Our visit. Amplify me on F.M. forward slash insiders. I would love for you to connect with me on social media. You'll find me wherever you hang out. Just search at Bob Gentle. And if you do connect with me, let me know so I can follow you back.
If you enjoyed the show and I would love for you to review on iTunes. It means a lot to me and it's the very best way to help me reach more subscribers. And that's not just my tunes. Also Spotify, Stitcher and Google podcasts, wherever you listen to podcast. My name is Bob Gentled, thanks to Gests for giving us a hard time this week and to you for listening. I'll see you next week.