Sales requires actually talking to people

create conversationYou all know I do podcasting for a living.

And you all probably know I help my clients leverage podcasting by using the medium to facilitate connections and expediting relationships with prospects important to their business.

Got someone you want to connect with? Invite them to be a guest on a podcast you are involved with. Simple.

Erm… Maybe not.

Was speaking with a prospect today who actually indicated they had tried podcasting as part of their sales and marketing process in the past, and abandoned the strategy, indicating it didn’t work.

When I asked why it didn’t work, here is what he said: “The challenge was because it fell on us to line up the guest. It became a hassle, I’m told.”

Me:

Me:

Now, to clarify, I pitched the idea as a business development strategy. This assumes you have identified prospects you want to close and make customers.

Since the dawn of man, sales works when you connect with people, communicate with them, offer a solution to a challenge they are struggling with, and they buy your solution because you solve the problem.

Works a lot better when you actually speak with the people.

The whole damn point is to invite people…to invite the people YOU WANT TO CONNECT WITH.

There are several clients we’ve sold podcasting services to who failed. Why? Because at the end of the day, they never actually ever invited someone to appear on their podcast.

Makes it hard that way.

Reminds me of a guy I know who flopped at a fundraising gig. When I asked if he ever actually asked anyone for money, his answer was “No.”

That makes fundraising really, really hard.

People… sales are about relationships. You develop relationships when you talk with people.

Sales works when you reach out and actually try to connect with people. Some, like me, invent tactics (my podcasting services) where we try to make this process of connecting with people simple.

Even then, people muss it up.

Why is connecting with someone you can help and serve a hassle, to use the quote above?

If that’s how you view your role and your job, that it’s a hassle to reach out to people, sales is gonna be a real long slog for you.

Find something else to do…

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Drawing by Hugh.

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Why you should podcast, reason #367

Todd SchnickEvery day, I get asked about why you should host a podcast, or any type of media show for that matter. Allow me to share this story.

Just this morning, I received this email [name changed to protect the innocent]:

Hello, I would like to find out how we could have our CEO, John Smith, appear on your Healthcare Insider radio show. Can you tell me how I might go about this? Thanks.

Now, I hope you ponder the wonder of that short email. In fact, allow me to help you ponder:

1. Someone found me because I host a show, and sought me out to connect with me.

2. A potential business opportunity fell into my lap, just like that.

3. This person wants me to spend at least 30 minutes with the CEO of her company.

4. Did you get that? The CEO. And I didn’t have to do ANYTHING to connect with this gentlemen.

5. They already view me as serious and credible. I don’t have to prove anything. They want to spend time with me.

6. I didn’t have to spend one penny on marketing to make this valuable connection happen.

Now, I’ve responded with the appropriate means to get him scheduled on the show, which includes asking about some potential discussion topics they want me to cover on the air.

7. To translate, they will provide me with a list of things important to this fellow. Can you say, market intelligence?

8. Seeing any evidence of the infamous gatekeeper problem here?

[The correct answer is no.]

So, to recap, this is the magic of hosting several radio shows on the Dreamland Radio Network. I receive emails like this frequently, in fact, this is a large part of how I develop business opportunities.

And it can become your strategy too (Let me know if you need help)!

I am hoping this little story helps you answer the question: “Why should I podcast?”

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Join my list to learn more ways to leverage podcasting and other means of media production!

j j j

Podcasting: The Robert Scoble Effect

Robert ScobleI am asked all the time:

Why the hell should I podcast?

Yeah. Important question.

Well, let me tell you a little story:

I’ve done Intrepid Radio for a couple of years now. In fact, just published my 100th episode. And if you check out THE SHOW PAGE, I have a respectable portfolio of guests.

This didn’t happen because I am special. It happened because I’ve stuck with it over several years.

Anyways…

Robert Scoble put out a book recently, called Age of Context. Who is Scoble?

[from wikipedia: Robert Scoble is an American blogger, technical evangelist, and author. Scoble is best known for his blog, Scobleizer, which came to prominence during his tenure as a technology evangelist at Microsoft.]

Robert has hundreds of thousands of followers. On virtually every network. He had front row seats to Steve Jobs’ new product announcements. His Klout score is higher than Obama’s.

You get the idea…

I happened to catch him talking about the new book on Google+. And I thought, “Hey cool, I should invite him to appear on the show to discuss his book’s message!”

I did a little online research, and found an email address to contact him.

I sent a note inviting him to appear on my show to help promote his recent book.

I immediately got an autoresponder email saying Scoble gets billions of emails, and chances are, I wouldn’t hear back.

I thought, “Well, too bad, would have been fun to talk to the fellow.”

Ten minutes later, I got an email from Robert wanting to do the show.

He asked for some suggested times. I sent some.

Those didn’t work, he’s in Europe that week.

I sent some more dates.

Those didn’t work either, he might be traveling with the family.

Then…

He sent an email with his phone number to call him personally to set a time.

Boom.

Why is one of the most respected technology thinkers, thought leaders, and tech journalists giving me his personal phone number?

One reason: I have a podcast. And he’s savvy enough to want to get on my platform to spread his message.

Look, let’s be honest here.

If I emailed Scoble and said, “Hey there! I’d love to just talk with you and pick your brain for an hour about technology, business, and digital trends, I would have been one of those emails that didn’t get answered.

And who could blame him (or anyone).

No, because I’ve built a platform that resonates with his book’s message, he’s interested in investing a few minutes to share his book’s theme with my audience, and perhaps sell a few books, and make some new fans.

As my faithful audience and readership, it is my mission and purpose to inform you about the amazing possibilities that come with podcasting: content generation for market education, business development, and influencer networking (such as connecting you to the likes of Scoble).

It is simple to do, but not easy. It requires time and dedication for the long haul, but the benefits are amazing. And the amazing people that you can not only connect with and learn from are stunning, but more importantly, to provide great content for you the audience are immensely gratifying.

I really hope you’ll explore it further…

To learn more about how I can help you launch your own show, check THIS PAGE out and then EMAIL ME. Talk to you soon. ;-)

By the way, here’s the book Robert and I will be discussing (affiliate link):

P.S. Robert is just the latest example of how podcasting has enabled me to connect with some amazing people. Scoble isn’t the only example I could have written this post about, just so you know… ;-)

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To catch the show when Scoble joins me, sign-up by EMAIL / iTUNES / STITCHER

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Netflix for the business person

I was speaking at ProductCamp Atlanta recently, where I delivered a presentation on how to integrate podcasting into your product marketing.

In preparing for the presentation, I was wondering how to possibly interest people in podcasts who had never gotten into them before. And in this case, to a room full of product managers.

Here’s a thought that came to mind:

“Netflix for business people.”

I haven’t listened to the radio in my car in years. And I don’t listen to music when I drive to and from my studio, or other appointments. And I don’t like to make phone calls from the car. Instead?

I listen to podcasts. They are my Netflix. They are my entertainment. They are my continuing education. And I cannot get enough of them.

45 million

From 2012…

Unless you haven’t been paying attention, podcasting is more popular than ever. The ease with which people can consume audio and video content on their smart phone and tablets is the main driver. People’s consumption habits are clearly changing dramatically.

The purpose of this short essay isn’t necessarily to convince you to START YOUR OWN PODCAST, although nothing makes my day more than when people say they get value out of my various podcasts. To bring value to someone is, as you can imagine, quite rewarding.

No, the real purpose here is to ask you (beg you) to take FULL advantage of the wealth of amazing digital interactive content for free. I am beginning to believe that soon, the iTunes library will become the go to source for learning and information, more so than even the main search engines, and perhaps even Amazon.

Podcasts, like the internet as a whole, cover virtually any subject you could possibly be interested, not to mention the business, management, marketing, sales, and leadership development content readily available.

In fact, hop on board soon. Because like Netflix, the content will soon be so good and so impactful, that we will be paying a premium to listen to some of great stuff already available on iTunes…

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You can get my radio show here –> BY EMAIL –> VIA ITUNES!

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Why I podcast

Todd SchnickIn Florida on a quick trip (see gratuitous vacation photograph), I met a pleasant fellow at a reception last night. In response to telling him a little about what I do, he asked:

“Why in the hell would you want to podcast?”

It’s a great question. And although podcasting is more popular than ever, and thanks to smart phones and tablets, more easily consumed than ever, there are still lots and lots of people who don’t do it, and certainly more who don’t understand it.

Here are the three principle reasons I do this, and the three things I teach my clients on how to leverage the medium:

1. Business development.

There is simply no better way to connect with prospects. Yeah, you can cold call them all you want. I want nothing to do with that. If and when I or my clients identify an organization worth pursuing, we reach out and invite their executives to appear on a show. Simple goal: to advance the relationship, and expedite it to a place where we can build trust and talk business. Fast.

2. Networking.

I don’t go to networking functions anymore. I don’t have the time. But when I want to get to know someone and build a friendship, I reach out and invite them to participate on Intrepid Radio.

How else do you think I know people like Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Julien Smith, and Mike Eruzione?

3. Content for market education.

There is no better way for me to educate my market. When I want to provide helpful information to my market and network, and want to help friends educate their market, we record a podcast. A brochure is boring. A human conversation is amazing.

When I want to share the future of health care, teach people about mergers and acquisitions, demonstrate innovation, or showcase the local real estate market, I can point them to one of my podcasts.

Email me if you want to schedule a conversation to discuss how podcasting can serve you and your organization.

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How even you can host one of the most famous sports figures of all time on YOUR podcast!

So, you know I host many podcasts. And one of the most common questions I get, and the biggest challenge most people struggle with is…guest recruitment for their own podcast. It is the step that holds most people back from launching their own show.

So, let me tell you a story…

My flagship show is Intrepid Radio, a show that showcases “the world’s most intrepid people and organizations.” Thusly, I am always on the lookout for people who have a good story to tell, can motivate and inspire my audience, and make for a fun interaction for all involved (me, the guest, and my audience).

Mike EruzioneRecently, I had the honor of hosting 1980 gold-medal winning US Olympic hockey team captain Mike Eruzione on my show. It was a great conversation, which I will publish soon, and one that was an utter joy and thrill to be a part of.

During the pre-interview promotion of the show, a friend privately messaged me on Facebook and said, and I quote: “How in the f__k did you get “Rizzo” on your show?”

So, here is the complete simple tale of exactly how this interview came to be:

1. Todd watches the film Miracle (again), and is, once again, inspired and weeps like a little school girl.
2. Note that Todd watches this early Sunday morning, because Mrs. Schnick wasn’t interested in watching Saturday evening.
3. An hour after finishing the film, Todd has the whacky idea to invite both Mike Eruzione (the team captain) and Jim Craig (the goalie) to appear on Intrepid Radio.
4. Todd laughs at himself, and says, “these guys would NEVER appear on my show.”
5. Later on Sunday afternoon, Todd sits down with wine and Google, and starts researching.
6. He immediately finds Jim Craig’s website, which showcases his book and motivational speaking gigs, and sends invite.
7. He struggles to find a permanent website for Mike Eruzione. But tracks him down to Boston University.
8. Mike has no email address listed, for obvious reasons, but there is a phone number for Mike’s department.
9. The next day, Monday morning, Todd leaves a voicemail.
10. Todd sounds like a complete idiot on his message.
11. Todd hangs up, laughs, assumes the voicemail is lost forever, and moves on with his life.
12. 24 hours later, while Todd is broadcasting another show, he notices a phone call from New England. He assumes it is a New England based client of his, and makes a mental note to return the call as soon as his show is done.
13. Following the show, he checks his voicemail to listen to his client’s message.
14. Instead, the message says “Hey Todd, Mike Eruzione. Call me back at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Thanks.”
15. Todd vomits. And yells “Holy shit!”
16. Todd suddenly realizes he has been a fan of Eruzione for thirty-three years.
17. Todd runs out to his wife and yells, “Guess who just called me back!”
18. Todd says “MIKE ERUZIONE!”
19. Todd’s wife asks, “Who??”
20. Todd calls him back. They have nice chat and schedule the show for two days hence. Mike even asks for Todd to text him earlier the day of the broadcast, to remind him about the interview.
21. Two days later, Todd conducts the interview, where he personally suggests his interview stylings are more articulate than Al Michaels’ original call of the Miracle on Ice game.
22. Mike laughs…probably rolling his eyes whilst doing so.

So, that’s it. Simple.

See, most people would quit after no. 4. But as proved here, you still have to take the shot, or you’ll never score the goal. And if a guy like me can score this get, so can you.

P.S. So, obviously, credit is due to Mike Eruzione, who was cool enough to return my original phone call.

Let this little story inspire you (as it did me). When you want something, take a shot at it. Just get after it. Because you never know what might happen. The voicemail might be ignored…

…Or, you might just get to talk to your boyhood hero.

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To hear from cool and hip folks like Mike Eruzione, subscribe to my podcast on iTunes by clicking here. And, a review and customer rating would be much appreciated as well!

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Instant Karma, Instant Community, And Becoming A Rock Star!

Todd SchnickI delivered a workshop this past weekend about podcasting, vlogging, and hosting your own online show. I had a great time, as it is always fun to talk about something you are passionate about.

But prepping for the presentation, I was thinking about how best to engage the attendees after the show?

I could ask them to subscribe to my main mailing list, which is a broader conversation around sales, marketing, simplicity, and the general awesomeness that comes with living an intrepid life.

But this audience was seeking content more narrowly defined to hosting their own online show: to grow audience, authority, traffic, and more engagement with their existing platform and social graph.

So honestly, I decided, the morning of my presentation, to just create a new mailing list specific to my podcasting and video work – and how to leverage it for content, business development, sales, etc.

You can sign-up for this new list here.

This isn’t creating more work for me(well, maybe a little), because honestly, I already spend a lot of time researching, learning, studying, and experimenting on ideas, strategies and tools to get better at what I do. Now, I am just going to document it and share it on this new mailing list.

So, when I passed the hat at my session this past weekend, and asked my guests to put their business card in it if they wanted to join this list and get this information, two-thirds of the room did so.

Boom. Instant Community!

Actually, no. You don’t build instant community. That takes time…time to cultivate and build real friendships and relationships. But I’ve got a start! A start of something potentially big, a tribe of people interested in the things I can expose them to, show what I’ve done right and wrong. The karma that comes from this kind of stuff inspires me greatly.

And frankly, my purpose here isn’t to inform you about this new mailing list (but you can sign-up here if you want!).

No. My purpose here is to merely proclaim how simple it is, using your regular email marketing platform, to build niched and specifics lists, engage with people willing and wanting to learn, and communicate to them. And it can happen just like that!

You can do this just as easily as I did it. If there are people willing to learn, and you’ve got something you want to say, you too can build instant community.

And a final key point: your mailing lists don’t have to number in the thousands to have an impact. Even if you just have dozens to start, that’s a start. And you are further along than most. So, get to it.

By the way, I use Mailchimp to do my email marketing, and I heartily recommend it. In fact, they’ve just announced that it is even getting more awesome. But whatever tool you use to communicate with your mailing list, take advantage of the simple ability to create new lists and share what you learn.

And seriously, if you are interested in this new mailing list, I playfully call it my ROCK STAR list! And in it, I will share what I am learning about hosting your own online show (podcast or video). I will share strategies, tools, apps, ebooks, regular books, and articles and essays that I find on the web to help all of us in this little community become rock stars hosting our own online show.

Once more, you can join this community here!

j j j

10 Benefits To Podcasting [New Audio!]

You may or may not know that I offer a FREE Content Marketing Course.

You can sign-up for this course RIGHT HERE.

The goal of the course is to help business folks get a better handle on the ins and outs of content marketing. So, I’ve created, and constantly update, a 30-part weekly course on the strategy and the tactics behind content marketing.

In this case, I just created some new audio content to add to the course, and I wanted to share it here. In this podcast, which you can listen to above, I talk about ten benefits to podcasting:

1. Builds rapport with your audience. Hearing your voice works wonders to deepen the connection.

2. Creating audio content is easy. I recorded the audio here via my smartphone.

3. Interview others to create good content for YOU. You don’t always have to create from scratch.

4. Podcasts are easy to share on the internet. The social webs are great for sharing and spreading!

5. Published podcasts become indexed content on the search engines, helping your SEO. Just tie the audio to the appropriate keywords!

6. The interview process for your podcast becomes high-end networking for you. All everyone benefits. The interview process is a great way to learn about someone.

7. Your audio content is available 24 hours a day. Helpful content when your audience wants it!

8. If your podcast guest is a prospect, the show experience is a kick ass sales call. The experience is memorable and fun.

9. Reaching out to invite someone to your show is much easier approach than a sales cold-call. And more effective. A sales call puts people on the defensive. A radio show invitation does not.

10. The interaction builds trust, rapport, and a friendship. Much easier to sell this way.

Once again, sign-up for my FREE “Workingman’s Content Marketing Course” right here!

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[in addition to the above course, you can also sign-up here to learn more about intrepid business strategy!]

j j j

A New Premium Resource On How To Podcast

I’ve just launched a new premium newsletter where I will share everything I know about podcasting. You can subscribe to this podcasting newsletter here.

This isn’t for everyone. But if you have dabbled in podcasting in the past without much luck, or are trying to make a go of it, this newsletter might be for you.

You see, I am a podcaster too, and I’ve had some success with it. I’ve sold business as a result of my shows, almost 500 of them. I have helped clients sell six figures worth of business as a result of their podcast shows, and by doing “on location” podcasts live from their trade show booths.

Subscribe to my premium letter on podcasting here.

But here is the thing…

I have a lot to learn. I have much more to do to make this an even more successful tool to drive business. So I am researching every day. My clients ask questions that I don’t know the answers to.

I do research on this. Every day. The simple goal with this premium list? To share what I learn…with you.

In other words, I will do a lot of the research, so you won’t have to. Thus, you can apply what you learn, and simply focus on doing that magic voodoo that you do!

As for the list itself, it will be $5 per month. No frills, nothing fancy [you know me, the minimalist]. Just helpful content. Several times per week. As I get it. As I experiment with it. As I succeed…or fail with it. You can unsubscribe ANY TIME by clicking a button.

Subscribe to my premium letter on podcasting here.

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[to join my FREE list chock full of good marketing and business strategy, subscribe here]

[photo from my podcast studio]

j j j

Instant Podcasts. Just Add Water.

Just making a simple point…

…about how simple it is to generate a podcast to educate your marketplace.

I will publish this post at 115pm on Monday, January 16, 2012.

I started this post at 12:50pm.

Using your smartphone, of which most have a voice recorder or voice memo tool, I recorded a short three-minute piece of audio content. I then did the following:

1. Emailed the file to myself.
2. Uploaded the m4a file to iTunes.
3. With a mouse click, converted the file to an mp3 file.
4. Uploaded the file to my hosting service, although for small media files like this, you don’t really need a hosting service.
5. Synched the file to my wordpress blog using a free plug-in called Powerpress.
6. Wrote 130ish words of supporting copy.
7. Hit publish.
8. Boom. Instant podcast.

No more excuses guys, in sharing meaningful ideas with your audience…

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