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  • Positive Polarity Podcast

Why Selling Benefits Not Features Is the Key to Success With Pat Miller

I am honored to be hanging out with a cool guy that probably a lot of you already know. So, we're going to dig deep into his story, but we're talking with Pat Miller, the idea coach. How are you Pat?

I'm great. Dave, how are you? Thanks for having me.

Oh my gosh. I'm honored to, to pick your brain here for a little bit. So, I see a ton of your good stuff on LinkedIn. I see a lot of people learning from you and who doesn't need an idea coach. Right? You got to have one. Everyone needs one of them on speed dial, don't they? We all have a guy, right? Whether it's for cleaning, painting, fixing whatever. So, I have a LinkedIn guy, I got a memory guy. Now I'm about to have an idea guy. So, give me an overview of what that idea coach concept is and what that means to the listeners.

I think idea coaching is a way that I can express the unique value that I bring to small business owners to help their marketing. I could have said that I was a marketing agency or a marketing strategist or come up with a different way to express my unique value. But my real purpose is to help people find a way to say something that they just can't get to come out. Right? Like how do I express this? So, my customer hears it right the first time. How do I uniquely position myself in the market? And how do I run for office on that idea to increase my sales and get more attention.

When I hear marketing, everybody has their own kind of connotation of that. So, when you use that word, what memories or what things come to your mind to be able to help us understand marketing from your perspective?

My perspective of marketing is just basically the activity that you engage in to get the attention of your customers. So, you can improve the standing in their mind or maybe convert something to a sale, but the art of getting the attention of your customers, that's probably the easiest way I would describe marketing activity.

Sales and marketing are kind of always at odds with each other sometimes. And so, I see it as marketing gets the phone to ring and then sales kind of picks up the phone and takes it from there. So that's how I view it. So obviously everybody listening has their own kind of view. I just wanted to get the professional's opinion before moving into it because again, we’ve got to be talking about the right thing. And so, when marketing comes up, it just creates a lot of different topics in people's minds.

And what's the old phrase, nothing happens until something sold. So, I have a ton of respect for people that are sales experts in sales coaches, because I can get their attention just fine. But when the lead comes in, you got to be able to convert it to dollars. And you're exactly right. Those are two different things.

I just printed out something this morning and it says, “dear realists, optimists, and pessimists, while you guys were busy arguing whether the glass is half full or half empty, I sold the glass.” I like that because sometimes sales get such a negative connotation in people's minds. I mean, I think back to third grade sitting in that school room and they said, so what do you guys want to be when you grow up? And you hear firemen, you hear lawyer, dentist, you hear all these people. I never once heard sales. And I can't wait teacher to get out of high school and go down to Joe's use cars and just sell my life away. Nothing sales related came up. So, what about your third year?

Yeah, we didn't really go over that in third grade, but what's interesting is if you're a small business owner or an entrepreneur, no matter what you do, you're in sales. If you're not good at sales, you're not going to be good at business. So, you got to learn how to at least get your arms around it and set yourself up for success.

That's awesome. And so often now we're trying to find other words instead of sales and so like business development is like the new wave of, “Hey, I'm in business development. I don't sell anything.” And I, I laugh. It's like, if you've ever been on a date, you've sold something right there just to get yourself on that date? So yeah, I just wanted to kind of clear up upfront what your definition is of marketing. So, you talked about unique value. It's in a sea of everything going on in the marketing world. How do you carve out something for yourself in your estimation?

I think your unique value position is directly related to your confidence at what you do. And what I mean by that is that if you want to be a generalist and say that you're available for someone's marketing needs, I can help you with everything. I would assert that you're not very confident when it comes down to having that unique value proposition. The first thing I would ask you is, okay, what are you the best in the world at providing everyone has a certain slice of their expertise that they're really good at and that they really enjoy that. There's one little part that they're better at than everybody else. And that little part is what I would say is your unique value proposition. If you have the courage to pursue it. So, you may have to say, I'm the idea coach. Like that's the one part that I do. And to make a business for that, I have to run for office against a wider potential customer audience than I would if I was a marketing agency for small businesses in Milwaukee. So, you pick that one lane and you go aggressively after it. That's what I think the great unique value propositions are.

What do you think you're the best in the world that then when somebody asks that question to you, what's your answer?

I'm the idea coach, I connect the disconnected. You tell me what the outcome is. You tell me what the inputs are, and I'll help you find a way to say it and make it come to life in a way that it probably didn't occur to you. And that's the one little piece of marketing that I do. There are brilliant marketing people all around us and everybody has their strengths. That's my strength. And when it comes to making my ideas, come to life, I turn to experts to fulfill them because there are people better at Instagram, better at websites, better at TV commercials than I am. But this one little piece of, I don't know how to say this. How should I say this? That's my jam.

So, if I have an idea in my head that I'm struggling to get on paper or on social media, ideally, I'm struggling getting an idea to the end user. So, if I'm understanding you right, that's kind of where you jump in and help. I'm getting into the weeds a little bit. Are you helping me get that out of my head? Are you working on getting it to the customer? Are you doing both? Where do you kind of jump in in that?

It's a little bit of both because you have to identify, what does success look like? That's the first thing you have to figure out and then you have to figure out who's going to care and why? So, the two inputs are what's unique and then what's in it for me is the customer. And then the winning idea will express the unique value proposition in a way that the customer wants to hear it. So that way you say, as a salesperson, you can write in and know that you're hitting that emotional benefit that they need to say. If you try and sell someone your features, it's not going to work. It's all about selling those benefits. So, my job is to help you say what you're doing in a way that has benefit rich so that the customer feels that emotional bond with what's in it for me.

It's pretty strategic when we pull out the why of the idea, the what's in it for me, for the customer. And then if you really want to get down in the weeds, can we get down in the weeds for a minute? All right, cool. So, what you need to do to find a way for the customer to get it the first time. The device I often use is like a shared cultural experience. Something that the customer knows about and can relate to. So, you're not trying to teach them something as you're introducing something, they're unfamiliar with. So, if you can find a way to present your idea in a way that they're already kind of familiar with. Then you're going to be way down the road on getting them to understand it quickly and understand the emotional benefit of buying it or engaging with that person.

So that makes a huge assumption that I know my prospect then, correct?

You need to know your target market. So, you can fully define who you're going to go after, and more importantly, who you're not going to go after, right? So, if you can define, I'm looking for this type of person that is wanting this type of product for these reasons, and I'm going to go after those people, then you can present your product in a way that it's easy for them to consume. But then again, that goes back to courage. Do you have the courage to target a narrow market? That's going to absolutely fall in love with your product rather than putting a line in the water and fishing for whoever might bite.

So, you bring up a really good point, which I want to get your feedback on. And I'll probably offend people by saying it, but, it's my podcast, right? So, you have these companies like Walmart and I'm not a Walmart fan. I personally wait in the car when my wife goes, I'm just not a fan because to me, it really hurts small business, but that's neither here nor there. But the world today is thinking about “man, if I can get my tires changed while I'm getting my teeth cleaned while I'm getting my laundry done, I mean, I have multitasked and I have created I'm doing great, right?” How do you home in on something specific when in the world in general, generalists are becoming more and more the daily routine? And I'm just curious how you combat that?

The phrase that they use is trip assurance. So, they would market to those people saying, “you can get your tires changed and your toothpaste all in one spot,” it's called trip insurance. So, they'll say we're convenient. So, what's in it for me. I only want to go to one stop. I want to be able to get everything that I need, and I want to get out. So, you would market trip assurance. And if you've listened to what Walmart is marketing, they're using that more than their finest cuts of beef for expertise and changing tires. So that's how you would package it under those benefits.

And that's where I guess you then have to really know yourself on which where you want to be, because I'm seeing some of my customers, some of my clients trying to grab market share that they may or may not should be doing. So, they have this idea like we talk about, and then it just keeps expanding. So how do you get people to narrow their focus? Somebody told me once, if you could just sell to left-handed plumbers, you would really be fantastic on what you do. So how do you narrow people's focus when their ideas?

Well, the way that I normally do it is I'll sit someone down and just say, what do you love doing? What do you love doing more than anything else on the planet? And the secret that I've heard expressed. And this isn't my phrase, but I use it is what do you do that feels like play to you but work to everybody else. So, let's say you were a tax accountant, can you just love doing taxes and money and to everybody else, they think it's just the most awful job on the planet. So how do I help people narrow is I say the two questions, like go in combination. What are you the best in the world at? And is that the thing that you love more than anything else? And again, because we were talking about my business, the idea generation and creativity portion is the thing that I love more than anything else.

So, I'm trying to make a business just on that. And when you give them one, the affirmation and the mindset that you can make a living doing just what you love. And it won't feel like work, it trips something in their head, and they get better and they feel more fulfilled and they feel happier and their product improves, and their customers are happier because they're delivering that one thing that they love more than anything else. That's how I go about it. And organically you've run into these people. I'm sure that are better salespeople than they are strategists. They can sell a bunch of stuff and then they get mad at fulfilling the work. If you were doing work that you hate, that's a pretty good sign that you're a better seller than you are actually fulfilling it because you got mad at what you actually do.

Do you work with people's head trash, so to speak, is that part of your job? Part of your daily routine with them is to try and talk them out of some of that stuff?

As a coach that comes with the territory when you're helping them express who they are and why they're great. Because I take this idea coaching and it turns into a flavor of business coaching where I have monthly relationships and we're talking about their objectives and it has a creative flair, but it definitely has some ongoing business value and coaching stuff built in. So, you run into that around every corner. So, what will happen is that doubt will come back in or they will feel they'll express or externalize something that is a negative thought or a doubt. And then your kind of obligated to say, there you go again, don't do that. We talked about that. And then normally they'll catch themselves and move forward.

It's interesting because blind spots are very tricky for business owners. Number one, you don't know what you don't know. So, you can't really be held accountable for that. However, you can't use that as an excuse to the bank. Hey, I didn't know. And they don't care, right? There's are certain customers. A lot of times they're like, Hey, too bad. So, you have to kind of create a zone where people are helping you with your blind spots, which I think is really why you have groups and you have different things that are going on. If I was somebody that had a blind spot that was struggling with it, how do you typically work through that with them?

You got to identify where it hurts, right? What's their pain point. It's a conversation of what's not working. And the phrase that I always use with people to the point where it's kind of a joke with people that are in my closest network is, I'll hold up my pen and I'll say, okay, here's a magic wand, wave the magic wand. And the problem goes away. What's the problem? And normally they'll say something that relates to their blind spot or the outcome that they need to have different. And that opens the door in a fun kind of quirky way that allows them to say out loud, the actual thing. It kind of disarms everything.

That's so cool and people, isn't it funny? I mean, when we were kids, we just couldn't wait to, let's pretend let's play. We couldn't wait to do that stuff. And now as we grew up, it's like, man, that's like kids’ stuff. I don't want a magic wand. What are you nuts?? But the reality is, my learning level is probably sixth or seventh grade. So, I use like Mr. Potato head because I want to build my ideal client. I want to build my ideal prospect. I try and use simple things and some people really can gravitate to that. And some people, they struggle with that. And so, you brought up the word pain and I had a great discussion with Jeff Van Kampen on one of my podcasts, and he said, it's a whole lot easier to sell pain pills than vitamins. And I thought, oh my gosh, that's like brilliant from a sales perspective, because people will buy pain to get something to go away. But how many people are really buying vitamins to actually improve something? So, I thought that was kind of good. Do you find a lot of pain as a coach with when you're coaching somebody along in that process, is that a typical thing for you?

A lot of times they'll think if they build a better mouse trap, that's the key to success and that's not the key to success. Sometimes you don't need the better mouse trap, right? You just need to be able to communicate the trap that you have, and someone will buy it from you. And that's not encouraging people not to make excellent work. As you well know from being a salesperson, you can't invent your way to great sales. You have to express what the item is in a way that people want it. So, the reason why I'm on the planet is to make sure that people understand why they're unique. They used that unique value to connect with the benefits for the client and they sell benefits, not features because too many people want to talk about what their product does and not nearly enough. People want to talk about what the product does for me. The end-use. If everyone understood that I'd be out of a job, but those are the things that I try and remind people on a daily basis.

And so, interestingly enough, when you talk about emotions and selling emotions and marketing, so I do a lot of work with the DISC personality profile. So, we use it in selling, we use it in leadership. We use it pretty much in team building. We use it everywhere we possibly can. Now it's interesting when you talk about emotion in this situation, because there are, and I'm going to say for simple math, roughly half of the people that you talk to are very emotional people. Let's use a marketing message for instance, because that's what your focus is. So, if the message is emotional, it will resonate with about half of the people that are reading it. Now, if you do it, non-emotional, it really resonates with the other half. There are certain people and it's interesting in the sales training that I do, we have to be really careful because everybody's talking emotion, let's get emotional, blah, blah, blah. Well, we watch these videos of actual people and they say, one side of the coin says, “Hey, if you're not emotional, then why would I get emotional?” Then you have the other guy that says, “if you're getting emotional, I don't buy emotionally.” So your message when you're delivering a message for somebody, how do you make sure that you're and I'm going to use brand, how do you use make sure you're hitting both sides of that brain, the analytical side and the emotional side, because you don't know, who's really watching that or listening to that message.

And I think that's a great point because how the actual words are used can get too touchy, feely for some people, right? So, when I say emotion and customer benefit, it's about positioning the outcome of using their product. Not necessarily how you talk about the product. I'll give you an example. If I owned a lawn care company, I would not position my lawn care company as the grass will look great. The shrubs will be trimmed. There won't be bugs in your lawn, blah, blah, blah. I'm not selling lawn care. What I'm selling are long naps, rounds of golf time with your kids, one less headache. When I say emotion, those are the emotional outcomes that you get from buying the product, right? So, it's not how you feel when you buy it. It's what the emotional outcome of not having to mow my lawn might be. So that's what I mean when I talk about emotions, not necessarily the touchy, feely nature of how I messed up.

And that's really important to bring up because again, there are certain people that will not get emotional when it comes to purchasing and they will not allow you in at all to that spot for them. So, that's what I think is hard for somebody that's emotional. I'm an emotional person. And if I'm trying to sell you something in this case, Pat, and you're not emotional, the more emotional that I go, the farther you're going to retreat back. And so, the harder it is for me to be like, come on, dude, just what's going on here? And you're just like, well, you’re, you're analyzing things, you're taking your time creating the responses and things. And I'm just like, seriously, come on, let's go. This is going to be a blast. We are going to have so much fun doing this. And you're like, fun has nothing to do with this. So I think it really takes a skill to be able to kind of hit both sides of that; to be able to hit the emotional side, but also to hit that analytical side.

I think you've struck gold in that because the vast majority of people fall into one of those two categories. And the best way to do that is to thoroughly understand the customer and something that you can do that unfortunately few people do. And I'll put this out as a challenge to your listeners. When is the last time you sat down with one of your best customers and just talk about the product? Don't sell them anything, ask how they're doing, ask how the product is working, ask them how they feel about it. What are the benefits that they get out of it? What can we do to get better? When have you connected with your customer last? Sadly, very few people do it. And if you have, again, this goes back to courage. If you have the courage to call up a customer and say, how can I get better? And then actually listen to what they say. They'll tell you when it comes to marketing, if you ask the customer what they want, they'll probably use the words that you'll end up using in your marketing campaign.

But you have to be confident enough to call them and be willing to hear them say, yeah, that thing you love is really not that it's not that good. And that takes a lot of guts. So, a lot of people don't do it. I'm sure you run into people that don't want to make sales calls because they don't want to hear, “now, this is similar to that.” You’ve got to have the courage to call your best customers and hear how you can do better. And when you do that, you'll be closer to them and you'll dial in your messaging and your product even further.

So back in the day, remember those pink slips that had a message on there for you? If you had to have those in front of you when you come back from lunch and on your desk, there's one from a brand-new client that you've never heard of before and then there's one from an existing client. Which one do you call back first? And, and the answer to that kind of gives you an insight into where people are because plenty of entrepreneurs are like, “Oh my gosh, I'm totally calling that new customer, I need a sale” and there's that excitement there. And then there's a lot of people that are like, “Hey, I'm taking care of what got me here.” And I don't think there's a right or wrong to it. It just kind of is good conversation. So, if you got done with this podcast and there were two notes, one from a new client you've never heard from before and one from your best customer, which one would you call back first?

Absolutely my best customer. No doubt at all. Because as you say, that's who got me here, but also, I'm already contractually bound to make sure that they get the results that they need. So not to be analytical, but I'd probably call them back. But then, but here's the thing. And I think this is going to the heart of what you're saying. And to be honest, I'd probably be more excited to call the new person to see, Ooh, here's a new person, right? Yup. And again, that's the cool part about it.

On my DISC assessment, and it took me a long time to own up this, my assessment says that I get bored easy. So, I have to constantly be creating opportunities. So that's what I like is I'm like, Oh my gosh, here's a new opportunity. Here's one that, I feel like I've already accomplished that. I've already done what I need to do. But I'm the only one here in my company by design, I have to obviously wear both hats. So, in your situation, you contractually want to do that, and you enjoy wearing that other hat. Do you see the business development part from your perspective as you enjoy that? Or is that like kind of a burden that has to be done?

The way that I look at it and I don't think this is unique, but the strategy that I've used is all I do is connect and give to people. There are coaches and consultants and subject matter experts that will have a one-on-one and they might have something that would help you, but they will not share it until you say, I'm not that guy. If someone calls me and wants to talk, I talk to him. If we're having a one-on-one and I say, Hey, Dave, have you ever XYZ? Cause I think that might work for you. I would not ever hesitate from sharing that. Or if you send someone my way saying you might want to call Pat, he'll help you. I will help them. And that has been my business development strategy, as long as I can remember. And what happens is if I feel like it's like a circle that's going around. And every time the circle comes back to the topic, it's bigger and it gets bigger and it keeps on getting bigger because you keep on earning a reputation as someone that will help people. And I feel like that opens more doors than the missed revenue of holding back ideas. So, my business development strategy is just building and giving to my network. And then when I need something, I've been very fortunate that they have given me.

So, it's so easy for anybody to say anything about themselves that they want. I mean, I've sat in hundreds of interviews in my life. I sat in one that they were interviewing me. And that was 30 some years ago when I ended up starting that company. But I'm usually on the side of the employer. And everybody that I usually talk to is like, they can do it all right. I mean, if I say, Pat, what's your weakness? Oh my gosh, I work too much. I care too much. So, they have the right answers at the right time. So, it's easy for you to say that about yourself.

Now, the cool part is, is that I was privy to another podcast where your name came up and it was with Lory Rifkin back in a golf cart, where your 15 minutes literally changed the course of his life. And I bring that up because third-party testimonial is so strong because you can tell me what you want and I don't have any choice, but to believe you, when a third party comes along and says, Hey, I spent 15 minutes with this guy. And like, he changed the course of my business for the good. Then I sit up and take notice. I'm like, oh my gosh, that, that catches my attention. You remember that situation at all?

Yeah, absolutely. Lory and I, we had not met each other, and we were playing in the Cosby golf outing for the MMAC. And we were riding in the same cart and I had never met him before. And Laurie just got the idea that he was going to make me tell him how I was different than everybody else. And I couldn't articulate it. And he rode me like a dog for like, I mean the entire front nine, he would not let go. Oh my gosh, he was just relentless. And I finally had to say, I don't know. And his output was okay, well fine then figure it out and call me back. And it was, it really it really got my head and it really helped me. And as a result of that, we earned a relationship where I had the ability to do the same thing back to him and talk to him about what the same process that we've just gone through. How are you unique? Who are you trying to influence? What are you the best of the world at and helped him develop a brand in a way that he can run for office to position himself to grow his business?

Your ears were burning that day, but we were talking about just so thank you. So, what are some exercises or what are some tools or tips or some things that we can do moving back into that competitive advantage? Because I really think that that's huge for people. How do we discover that? What are some things that you found that people can do to kind of try and find that out on their own?

Well, you got to listen to yourself and you've got to really think about what you enjoy doing. There is a much longer list of things that we have the ability to do, and a very small list of things that we absolutely love to do. So, I would write down a couple of exercises, you're going to get me going here, but here's a couple of exercises. I think you're pretty good. The first one is, write down everything that you do and highlight the things that you love to do. And those are usually the things that you do first because you enjoy them. So that's going to be the first guidepost of what you should be doing for a living, because you're probably providing too many services to too many audiences as it is because all of the barriers have been removed. Now, if you're a coach, if you're a subject matter expert, if you're an advisor, literally the entire world could be yours.

So, you can focus on one thing and even one audience and have more business than you know what to do with. That's the first thing, the second thing I've been on lately is delegate to accelerate, which is something that I think is really important. Again, you're going back to not all the products that you provide, but all of the activities you need to do to run your business, write down the top 10 activities that you have to do, and which one of those activities, or two or three, maybe that literally only you can do. So, in my business, just to give you an example, my top 10 is everything from billing to email newsletters and production and that kind of stuff. But the two things that I cannot outsource are performances and the actual coaching of my clients, everything else has to get delegated.

Doing those two exercises, you're going to be left with what, what do you love to do that? You're the best in the world at, and to make a business out of it, what activities do you have to do? And only you can do to make that business come to life. So, you're going to take a very broad opportunity and narrow it, not only to what subject you're going to talk about, but what part of the business you're going to operate. And when you take a light and you laser focus, it like that every minute of every day is going to be spent doing the reason why you're on the planet. The third thing I would say is an exercise. I was taught called edge crafting. Now this was taught to me this isn't my exercise, but this is something that we would do on a whiteboard.

And I learned it from one of my previous jobs. Edge crafting is you're going to solve a customer's problem. You're going to start throwing out solutions that get more and more intense and keep on moving it until you've crossed the line and then pull it back just slightly behind the line. And when you do that, you're going to have a solution that stands out because you've moved it so far forward and so intense and unique that it will be different than what everybody else will do.

Can you give us an example of what that looks like at all? Because I mean, I've never heard of edge crafting.

Let's say you’re a you're a mattress store. So, you want to make sure that they love their mattress. So, you're going to have a showroom where the mattresses are. Well, the next thing you want to do is you want to make sure that they love their mattress in their house. So, you're going to deliver the mattress to their house and give them a free trial. Everybody does that. And what else you're going to do? You're going to put comfy sheets on the mattress when they show up, because nobody does that. People will deliver the mattress, but they won't actually put the nice sheets on the mattress. That's going to be a differentiator. And then, I'm going to keep on going. And I'm also going to make sure that I leave with brand new pillows and chocolates on them.

And then the next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to call them the next morning, and then the next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to sleep in the bed with them. That's one step too far. What I mean, like you keep on getting more and more and more intense on what your service is. And by doing that, you'll drive yourself past where the competitors will go, but you'll stop just short of being inappropriate.

I mean, is it like value stacking where you just keep stacking things on top of what you're already providing? Or is it a different, it almost sounds a little bit different where you're trying to find that edge.

Yeah. It's positioning. It's helping you position yourself in a unique way that you're going to solve the problem in a way that nobody else solves the problem. So, it's not necessarily adding more value onto the purchase. It's positioning the purchase activity and the results of the purchase in a way that nobody else would do it that way, because you ultimately want to offer the most unique position that you can to the most unique customer you can to make a living. So, going back to your left-handed plumbers. If you sold a tool that left-handed plumbers would love to have, and there were enough lefthanded plumbers for you to make a living, you could dominate that space. So, you want to, you want to find a unique audience with a unique product solved in a unique way that feels like play to you and work to everybody else. If you can do all of that, you're going to be wealthy and happy, which is what everybody wants.

So, you start with writing it down, like you talked about, and then you kind of delegate as much as you can and focus on those things that only you can do?

Correct. And then you create that edge crafting message. So, do those three kind of stacked on top of each other. It doesn't feel like you can start halfway through, because I think a lot of people struggle with I'm going to call it quiet time, where you sit with a blank sheet of paper and you turn off your email and you shut everything down. And ideally you get into a place where nobody is, and then you just start writing those things down. That's probably a place where most people, they never even get to that. Right. Cause we want to do something.

If we're not doing something, we're not successful. My parents said, don't just stand there, do something. Right? I'm kind of looking at both ways and I'm kind of absorbing what you're saying and I'm like, man, if I don't just stand there, I'm this will never work. Just give me something to do Pat. Give me 40 pushups. Let me run around to 47 networking events, Pat. I just got to do something. Right? And the first thing you're saying that I'm hearing and I'm interpreting as you kind of stop and not do anything.

A lot of people would rather stay busy than listen to their inner voice. Being busy will mute their inner voice and their inner drive because a lot of people think, well, I'd love to create ideas, but I can't create a business just about creating ideas. And I would challenge you to say you absolutely can. And if you can take what you love and turn it into a business, then you're going to be so successful in so many different ways. And the one thing that we didn't talk about with the exercise is that you then have to do a deep dive analysis on exactly who your customer is. If what you love, what your customer wants, what you need to do to be successful and delegate everything else. It'll give you the opportunity to run for office on that very narrow product deliverable on a people, happy and have a lot of fun.

And that's why I'm glad you brought that up because deep diving that on the customer, on the prospect, where does your customer eat? Where do they sleep? What do they think about? What exactly are they doing? And you get to create your ideal customer that way. When I've done that with people in, in sessions, some people just, again, they don't just give me something to do. Tell me what to do. Tell me the top 10 people. They want me to tell them, and if I tell them the next person is going to tell them something different and they're going to totally be on that path. So, I'd much rather people discover it on their own rather than have me convince them.

And not all customers are created equal. So, this exercise originated back when I was in radio, is that we would make an avatar for the listenership. And the way radio works is that it's like a lot of businesses. There are super users and casual users and the super users listened three times as much as the casual users. So, every aspect of a radio station is targeted at those super users. They call them P ones in the industry. Any business that's been open can also look at their customer reports and their profiles, and probably find who their super users are and who their casual users are. So, if you don't kind of get the idea of how to draw your customer out of thin air, go to your CRM, and look, who's doing the most business with you. I bet you'll find some unite uniting factors about who those people are.

They may not be demographic. They may not be regional, but there may be industry related or the method in which they buy or the, that they buy, right? And you identify those uniting factors that gives you the idea of who to run after you. It will help you with your targeting, with your new product creation, with your messaging, for sure. And it makes things a lot easier. So, if you can't visualize this exercise of who you should be talking to them, just looking to see who's doing business with you and then call them, they'll tell them.

In my last business we did that, and we realized that the ideal customer for us, the number one thing was we were selling to the construction world. And so, the number one thing that we needed was when the owner took an active role in the decision making and the daily activity of the business, we had a fantastic chance at a good relationship. So, we always knew, the bigger builders, the people that you could never talk to the people that were the owner, or they weren't in the decision-making process. They had a purchasing manager, or they had somebody else involved. That was that relationship wasn't as successful as sitting down with the owner and explaining that. So, we were able to really do that deep dive. So that's really, I'm glad that you shared that.

And in that kind of messaging, you would say something like we help owner operators build better houses. And so that way you're saying those are my best customers, and I'm going to go say, those are the people that I'm going to go home or whatever the term is and just made that up. But that kind of idea, right?

So, what are, what are the top three things right now that you are involved with outside of the idea coach thing?

So, I'm trying to create as many stages as I can and put small business owners on them so we can all get better. So, I have a podcast, I have a weekend radio appearance and I have a new small business owner community, two of them, in fact that I'm really excited about. So, the radio thing that I'm doing is with WTMJ. On Saturday and Sunday, I host the small business showcase where I do an interview, just like this. And we get to know business owners from all around the state. Tell us about your business, tell us how you've grown your business and what can we learn from what you've done. So, anyone listening to the show that would like to appear on that show, just hit me up on my website and I'd be happy to consider you because I'm here to support small business owners as they grow.

I also host a national podcast. The Women Network is a national network of female entrepreneurs. And their mission is to get a million women to make a million dollars a year. I'm a premier success coach for that organization. And I host a podcast called Lift as We Climb where same mission, different platform. I'm interviewing entrepreneurs from all around the world and putting them on that show and distributing it through the women network. So those are two pieces of content. Oh, I forgot one. I'm also participating in why GTV the young guns movement, which launched last fall or last February, rather we're launching a new television network called why GTV. And I'm going to host a show called Wiji round table where I'm going to interview thought leaders and subject matter experts again, to get great content out there to help entrepreneur entrepreneurs and small business owners grow. And then I host two communities on Facebook. I run a group called Brand Crafted, which is a small business owners meetup group for Southeast Wisconsin. We host coffee events, educational events, lunch meetups, and a vibrant Facebook group free to join. We'd love to have you, if you're an entrepreneur in Southeast Wisconsin, and then there's a national group called the Idea Collective. Now the Idea Collective is different because there are a lot of places where we can go network. There aren't a lot of places we can go to get help. So, the Idea Collective is a group of small business owners from all around the country that are working together to master the art of small business. And again, this helps us cover up our weak spots, get support and get accountability from other small business owners. That's new that launched in June, but it's off to a great start.

If you had to give a tip of the week for an entrepreneur listening, what tip would you give to a struggling entrepreneur?

I'd give to one that I alluded to earlier, but I'm going to give another one. Because I think it's pretty important. The thing that I alluded to earlier is that virtual assistants are a complete cheat code for small business owners. If you're busy right now, don't be busy. Hire people who work at an hourly rate lower than what you charge and delegate your work. It's a cheat code. If you're not doing it, you're doing it wrong. That's the first one. The second thing that's really helped me out is that one of the most powerful forces in the universe is the power of digital replication.

If I perform something and put it out on the web, it costs me $0 to replicate it. So, if I perform one thing for one person or one thing for a thousand people, it costs me the same. So, if you're trading time for dollars, you're doing it wrong. As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you need to find a way to create content or offer your product in a way that digital replication, which has a zero cost to scale is a part of your strategy. And if it's not, you need to find a way to make it part of your strategy.

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