The 21-Word Email and Other Powerful Tools To Win More Sales Now, with Ian Brodie [Episode 86]

In this episode, Ian Brodie, author of the best-selling Email Persuasion: Captivate and Engage Your Audience, Build Authority and Generate More Sales With Email Marketing shares his secrets for how to use email to generate a pipeline of warm leads and accelerate your sales productivity. Building on his own beginnings as an introverted sales rep with call reluctance, Ian describes how he, and his clients, have built successful profitable businesses using the techniques in his book. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • How to make every buyer interested in meeting with you
  • How to absolutely add value to every interaction with a prospect
  • Why sales reps needlessly worry too much about technique
  • How to build a nurture campaign that delivers relevant value to the buyer
  • How to win sales fast with a simple 21-word email.

If you’re in sales or sales management, then you definitely need to listen to this episode.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul: Ian, welcome to the show.

Ian Brodie: A pleasure to be here, Andy.

Andy Paul: So take a minute, introduce yourself to the audience a little bit.

Ian Brodie: Okay. I think you’ve said my name, Ian Brodie based here in the UK. I am, I guess a consultant by background, I would say rather than a sales person, I was considered myself an amateur or a meddler when it comes to sales. In that I think many people in a great number of professions, start off from it from a technical background. I actually worked in R&D for a while, and then became a management consultant. and it was a huge shock to me. It was a horrific shock at the time when I discovered that in order to work on the exciting consulting projects that I wanted to work on in order to get promoted, I would actually have to learn how to sell and I don’t know why, but I just had not realized that because I’ve come from working for a high tech R D firm where we had dedicated salespeople. I just had thought assumed that people would sell stuff. And I would go and deliver it and be a wonderful consultant and clients would love me. And I wouldn’t have to get involved in that horrible meeting and talking to people and persuading them to hire you. But I was just so far from a natural it was ridiculous, but out thankfully I had some good mentors and I learned ways that worked for me.

Andy Paul: what was the hardest thing for you to learn about selling?

Ian Brodie: The hardest thing for me to learn about selling. Oh, there were lots of hard things. I am painfully shy. That was probably the biggest initial thing I just did not like, or enjoy any form of cold contact. I’d be the kid who, where, you know, when they have the school dance, one of the many kids, standing at one side of the room,  the wallflowers waiting for a girl to come and ask me to dance. It comes all the girls that you want to dance with it over the other side of the room, waiting for you to come and ask them to dance. eventually someone’s got to us, so Wanda does, but of course it just doesn’t happen. And I are painfully shy.

I didn’t enjoy that. and I guess that was one of the things that worked for me was finding ways in which I could interact and make contact with people that didn’t feel to me as if I was being an imposition as if I was being pushy as if I was being some annoying person. You mentioned before in the intro about the, the cold spammy emails and that I’ve had that, both we with email with, an in real life, I just don’t feel comfortable doing that. So I had to come up with, or learn or discover or copy from other people, ways of selling and marketing that I was actually capable of doing. And the more I became, the more experienced I became, the more I realized that, yeah, it wasn’t like a massive outlier on the 99th percentile. Actually, the stereotype of the sales person is some huge extrovert that, really enjoys meeting people and schmoozing and shaking hands, even if he doesn’t know them and slaps their back and all that kind of stuff that does that person is a rarity that, most of us in reality are somewhere in the middle.

I think it’s been known as an ambivert these days. We’ve got hints of an introvert, hints of extrovert. Most people I think are somewhere in the middle and, therefore need a little bit extra and need some methods and techniques that they feel comfortable with there rather than being absolute naturals at just flouncing up to anyone and meeting them or emailing anyone called and just managing to get away with it through sheer force of personality. so

Andy Paul: So what techniques did you develop? Was this before email?

Ian Brodie: Yeah, this was before email. It was, yeah,

Andy Paul: Not to date you, I didn’t mean to date you,

Ian Brodie: Well to be truthful, it wasn’t before email, but it was before email was very common out. I suppose I was lucky enough that I was sending emails in the eighties. Perhaps even earlier, even before the world was connected through the worldwide web. I used to get involved a lot of technology stuff so I was quite email very early on, but in those days that I’m talking about what I found worked for me was the, the real shock for me was when I stopped being a consultant for a big client, I was working for one of our biggest global accounts and I became an account manager. And suddenly I became responsible obviously for sales rather than delivery of project. And all of a sudden the clients stopped wanting to have meetings. That was the painful thing for me before I’d been Mister nice guy, whatever, whenever I called them, it would have been to, with some ideas or to talk about a project we were working on and stuff like that. Now they knew whenever I called them, it was because I wanted to sell them something. And they perhaps weren’t ready or didn’t particularly want to talk about selling or the approach I was using was wrong or whatever.

And there was a combination of factors. One is of course the, the willingness of clients to take calls from me now, they knew my main goal was to sell them stuff, went down. Secondly, because I didn’t feel all that comfortable calling people to say, would you like to grab a coffee and talk about maybe some of your needs and how we could help you? I didn’t do that as much as I should. And so of course the sales began to dry up and, and my future was not looking very positive. but then almost accidentally what happened is we, our company did a research. We did an annual research project and this is the client was a pharmaceutical company. And we did annual research project and the latest trends in pharma and particularly in marketing and sales and they did the research and they had the published report. And I thought just almost on the off chance, I emailed a couple of my contacts or phoned one of them and said, would you like a copy of this research report?

And to my shock, they all went, Oh yeah, that sounds really good. And then I said, Oh great. And after you’ve read it, would you like one of the people who wrote it to come and talk to you and present the results? Oh that’d be brilliant. Thank you very much. And I thought, Oh my God, this is all of a sudden, instead of me being the unwanted person, trying to push something on them they’re interested in taking a call from me. And then I found that, even simple things, like if we had a, if we were hosting a dinner with a guest speaker where he was talking about an interesting topic, they were interested in that as well.

Andy Paul: You had something of value for them. That’s one of the key, one of the key things I, I tried to get across to salespeople on the show and in my books is you deliver something of value they want to talk to you.

Ian Brodie: That, for me, that is just that, that was a staggering realization. Of course, I slapped myself afterwards for not realizing it earlier because I’m exactly the same. And I’m sure all of us are, we, we want to have meetings with people who can add value to us. We don’t want to have meetings with people whose only agenda is to sell our stuff, unless you’re in that particular point of time where you really do need what it is they have to sell. And even then these days I found out I had a color.

I remember a couple of years ago from, where I was, I was. Thinking about changing banks because my, the online banking experience with the bank I was with was pretty awful thinking of changing banks. And I got a cold call from one of our bigger banks here in the UK, and it was perfect timing cause I was thinking of changing banks and and they called to say, we’ve got this great new online banking thinking good for business. Would you like me to explain it? So it was absolutely perfect. So of course I said, no, thank you and hung up because we just, what many of us these days, and it may be, I’m an extreme example just would prefer to do our own research. We want to give an information. Now, if that person phoned up and said, Hey, what we’ve done is we’ve just made a quick cheat sheet, comparing all the different business bank accounts and the different features of the wheel I’m going to send you a copy. Yeah. Great. That’d be really handy, but because of their agenda was obviously to sell to me. and because I don’t need to be sold to, I can do research. I can do it myself. Now. there used to be a time when the, having a meeting with a sales person was the price you had to pay to get information about what was on the market.

That’s no longer the case. we’re not willing to pay that price. We’ll do our own research by and large, unless the sales person has something of value. To offer to us. the way I describe it these days is, anD apologies to insurance salespeople here. it’s because of the stereotype that the description works and gets my audiences to laugh when I talk about it.

But I offer them a chance of kind of meeting with an insurance sales person, to those people in the audience who don’t need to renew their insurance right now. I know there’s great insurance person, sales person, you’d love him, he’s a really nice guy. Would you like to meet with him for 15, 20 minutes for him to tell you about his products and services. Now they might help you. And usually out of a room of 20-30 people, one person says, all but then if you say to them, Tell you what, here’s an alternative. How about if I can get you 15 minutes with Richard Branson, where you can bounce some ideas about business, anyone up for that.

And of course everyone, except the one person who prefers Warren buffet or whatever, but the differences is huge and it’s because they think they’ll get value from a meeting with Richard Branson and they think some of his ideas might actually be useful to them, to them not just value from, and we all have value.

I’m sure the insurance sales person thinks a meeting with them will be hugely valuable because cause they will be able to do them a great deal on their insurance, but that’s all future value. It’s all. If you buy from me, you get great value from it, with the meeting, with Brunson it’s value in the meeting itself.

The ability to add value in every interaction you have with a potential client, to me is it’s an order of magnitude difference in terms of the number of meetings you get.

Andy Paul: Absolutely. Yeah. And I, and my first book, I coined an acronym for that, which I called. Selling with MILT, which has maximum impact in the least time and that impact, That’s what you’re trying to do when you, cause you’re trying to consume the least of the customer’s time as possible to be able to accomplish that. But you have to deliver the maximum value.

Ian Brodie: Absolutely. And I think we were, I personally think we worry too much about technique. Whenever people talk to me about making a full first approach to a potential client they’ll go, what’s the right subject line I should use on the email. And, should I email cold? Should I maybe call them, should I ask for a referral? If I’m asking for a referral, what word should I use? And they go through all these machinations about the technique they’re going to use. But the bigger question is, do you have something of value to offer? Because frankly, the insurance sales person and the example I gave before could hire a plane and sky write their invite, and it wouldn’t work.

Wouldn’t want to have the meeting. On the other hand, Richard Branson could, mumble and stumble and screw up his words and get it all completely wrong. But we’d all say yes. B C because of the inherent value in the meeting. So yeah, of course, having a better technique is going to get you incremental improvements, but having something of real value is going to get you order of magnitude improvements.

So for me, that’s the place to start.

Andy Paul: So then how do we translate that then into email marketing?

Ian Brodie: Okay. So it depends on the type of email marketing we’re talking about. Cause if you think of on a scale, when you’re emailing people, you could be emailing them completely cold.

You could be emailing them as I like a one off as a followup to a meeting you’ve had, you’ve met them in a event someone’s referred you to them or whatever. And then of course, you’ve got the kind of permission based email marketing, where they maybe come to your website and they’ve signed up for your newsletter, et cetera.

So you may want to do different things in different cases, but I think when we’re talking about salespeople, especially if you work for an organization, you probably have less discretion and control over the people signing up for the emails and the regular newsletter and stuff that goes out. So if we look at maybe the first couple of conditions where you’re emailing, called, or if you’re following up, I let them take the followup one as an example. So let’s say you’ve met someone, you had an interesting discussion with them. you talked about topics X, Y, and Zed, nothing immediately came of it. usually what most of us do, if there’s no immediate actions, we then never follow up with that person. Of course, we only get back in touch maybe to sell you. We spoke a few months ago and you weren’t quite ready to move forward with the project. Are you ready now? And of course that’s a contact point that’s not adding any value. The only person who gets any value from that contact. Is you, if they say yes or you may, email them and say, I’d really be interested in getting together and finding out more about your business so I could, blah, blah, blah.

And all it sounds to the client at the other end is me kind of self-interest right. obviously in order to propose the best solution to a potential client, we need to know more about their business and we need to find out about their needs and their buying process and all that kind of stuff.

But to them, they already know what they need and they already know they’re buying. Maybe they do they’re buying for. So they’re not getting any value from it. It’s only us getting value from it. The value for them, it is potentially down stream. If you offer something great to them, but that’s by no means guaranteed.

Instead of emails that follow will emails. chasing and just checking in. I hate any email that begins just checking in due to failure. I think, checking in to see how you are. what value is that adding? So just the first thing to think is how can I add value with this email? And you might decide that for a really high potential prospect, you want to be emailing them at least once a month.

Don’t think about emailing them once a month, just to check in or to try and get a meeting with them, to ask them about what they need, think about that person and what you know about them and what you could send them that might be valuable or useful. So that might be a link to an article that you’ve seen or an article you’ve written, ideally because they build your own credibility. On a topic that, they’re interested in, or it might be you introduce them to a person of interest, or you might, maybe you invite them to an event like a conference or a presentation that you think might be useful to them. So just go through and over time, the more and more you do this, the more you build up your own database of useful stuff that you can email to people, or you can invite people to.

and sometimes it can, it doesn’t have to be all that formal. So if you know someone reasonably well. Then if they’re the kind of person who enjoys, industry gossip and talking about, Oh, did you hear, moved from this company to that company. I wonder how that’s going to play out and that’s valuable to them.

So your value is in the eye of the beholder in many ways. And that’s why, of course, when you meet people and you talk to them at events, it’s absolutely critical that you focus on asking them questions and finding out about them rather than spending time telling them how great you are.

So the more you know about them, The better, the impression you make, as we know, but also the more able you are to follow up, afterwards, based on what they’re interested in,

Andy Paul: you said a couple of tips for that too, that are very easy for salespeople because, sales, person’s probably not gonna write something very often in terms of original content is set up Google alerts, right?

So when you go new prospects, met at a meeting, I think there might be some opportunity for followup. Set up a Google or a, several keywords about their business, their industry, the company competitors, and whatever you want. And every day, Google sends you an email with a bunch of links to articles and white papers and so on.

And so you’re not going to be short of things that might have relevance and value to a prospect, given the value of the world wide web that’s out there.

Ian Brodie: Absolutely.

Andy Paul: You almost never have that. And then I like to do is I’ll send an email instead of saying, Hey, checking in. Instead just say something like, geez, mr.

Prospect. I was thinking about you this morning. When I read this article about how companies like yours are using technology to improve whatever, throughput or yield or of your business, but just simple thing like that. And then you can eat if you want say, it’s a couple points in there.

I think it’d be great for us to discuss. Do you have time Tuesday at nine o’clock

Ian Brodie: to do it? Absolutely. So you’re using the thing of value you send them as a springboard. To get your meeting. And again, but you’re just in the example you gave there, you’re asking for a meeting where again, you can add more value by discussing this thing of interest, as opposed to, Hey, here’s an article about football.

would you like to meet for me to ask you questions about your business? they’re not related. No, we’re actually adding value in the fall. Hey, by the way, in terms of tools, I’ve just come across very recently, a really great tool. I think that I’m a bit like Google alerts. It’s a tool called grip.

Find six. it’s completely free right now. I think it’s pretty new. of course, I’m sure they might be thinking of charging for it in the future. It’s called grip fines.com.

Andy Paul: Now is that spelled out six or numeric?

Ian Brodie: Numeric six. So numeric six. So the word grapevine and then six.com. And what you do is you sign in with your LinkedIn profile.

and basically just scans your LinkedIn contacts. and then, so what you would want to do is any prospects that you meet, you’d like to follow up with, you would, you’d connect with offer to connect with them on LinkedIn. and what it does is it checks out their interests on LinkedIn. It checks out what they’re actually posting updates about and what the kind of things they’re in.

They seem interested in based on their LinkedIn profile. And it then suggests articles related to those interests.

Andy Paul: Very cool.

Ian Brodie: So it’s almost like a little art and it lets you change it. So I have a friend, I just tested it out recently. And I have a friend who is a sales trainer based in Scotland. And I, he was the first name that came up on the list and he does customer service and sales and it did indeed say customer service sales, and then it said insurance and he must have, for example, put out a message to his network saying, Hey, anyone got any good quotes for professional indemnity or whatever?

so that was so I just. uncheck the tick box next to it. So it wouldn’t show me any of that. So you can adjust what those interests are. It also lets you put in their Twitter profile and their Facebook link. If they’ve got that, it’ll check those. and even if you don’t use the articles.

That, that it recommends it’s still got this little graph there of what the things they seem to be interested in are. so that gives you information for the future to let you see, Hey, I’m going to talk to them about that topic. I wonder why they’re interested in that. or send them articles about it, that topic or whatever it might be.

So it is a really handy little intelligence tool. It’s a kind of thing. If you had many hours in the day, And you had a really high potential prospect. You might do manually. You might go and look at their LinkedIn prospect profile. You might see where they’re mentioned in Google, as you said, you’d have the Google alerts, feeding you information, you for a really high potential prospect.

if you only had one potential client in the entire world, you do all the research you possibly could to find note about them. This tool just lets you do not that amount of research, but a good amount of research automatically and just drops it on your desktop.

Andy Paul: Perfect. Perfect. I love it. We’re going to take a short break now, before we go on the break though, I have a hypothetical scenario to pose for you, and you can think about it during the break.

Come back. We’ll get your answer. So here it is. You’ve just been hired as a new sales manager at a company that needs a sales turnaround, and senior management’s really has a highly developed sense of urgency to make it. So what two things would you do in the first week on the job that would have the biggest

Ian Brodie: I would do two things. I’m working here on the assumption that I’m not going to fire the entire sales force.

Andy Paul: That’s up to you. That’s up to you.

Ian Brodie: We’ll work on the assumption that we’re going to keep people we’ve got at least for now until at least until I know more about them, I would do two things.

usually I find, a couple of things to be true. one thing. That I find to be true. Is this always some kind of 80 20 going on in your client accounts? And very often, although everyone knows 80 20 in theory, very few people are living 80 20, especially when it applies. across the whole business.

You just usually for purpose, common sense, do you divide up, reps into territories or whatever it might be. And so everyone is, you got a big one and a medium and one and a small one. And usually what ends up is you end up dividing your effort often based on who seems to be the most friendly and accepted rather than wandering into, to resistance.

So often very high potential clients don’t get covered as much as they should simply because there may be a bit more challenging. So what I would do is probably get everyone together and we would pool our ideas and thoughts and resources and do an analysis of what the real 80 20 is in terms of our client accounts and focus as a team on the top 20% and doing something there.

Cause whenever I’ve looked at something glad it almost always works. Cause I think it’s almost like a natural tendency is that you just drift away. From that obsessive focus on the top 20. The second thing I would do is yeah, I would build on strengths. So I’m a great believer that it’s much easier to build on what’s working and generate real lot of positive momentum behind that than it is to spend all your time, digging around and what’s not working.

And why might that not be and how can we fix it, et cetera. So in combination with getting everyone together and looking at the top 20% of clients and really fully refocusing our efforts on them and maybe reallocating and inevitably finding that one person was not working on that account actually knows someone in that account, all that kind of stuff. What I would also do is get from the team, what has been working really well for everyone individually, share that across the team and just get that more consistently implemented everywhere. So pick the top two or three things that are working well already. So rather than, getting stuck in recriminations and discussions about root causes of various problems. We can worry about those later. I would just do more of what is working well.

Andy Paul: I love it. Great answer. All right. So back to email now you’ve got this powerful tool called the 21 word email. So tell people what that is and how it works.

Ian Brodie: It works a lot like you were actually just saying yourself when you were talking about following up. 21 word email is just a short email that you can send to certain types of, potential clients. And I find one of the keys to getting things going fast, as we just said, with that 80 20. And if you want someone to buy something from you fast, think of the conditions before someone will be ready to buy, obviously they have to have a problem or a goal they’re trying to achieve that’s relatively urgent. Otherwise there’s no real motivation to buy anything. The second thing is they need to, you need to have credibility that you or your company’s products services can solve that problem. And the third thing is they need to have a reasonably high degree of trust, a good relationship with you. So they know that in theory, even though in theory, you’re telling them that this is a great solution. If they can’t really trust you, then they don’t know whether it’s going to play out or you may disappear after the seal or whatever. So those three things have to be in place and they have to have a problem that’s relatively urgent, you have to have some credibility in you that you have to have some trust. So if you want to get a sale fast, trust and credibility and the existence of a problem often take time to develop. So you know, long term, you want to be connecting with people when their problems are just arising, building trust and credibility over time.

So that you’re, you’re top of mind when they really decide to do something. But if you want to do something fast, what you have to do is go the other way around and find people for which as many of those three conditions are actually already in play. So you want to try and find people amongst your contact base, who already trust you, who already think you’re credible or your company is credible and who you already know have some kind of problem.

So one of the, one of the places you can go to look there that I find works really is what I call dropped prospects. Whenever you, work with a potential client in you’ve, maybe had a couple of meetings with them. You’ve talked about doing some work with them or them buying your product.

and then, for one reason or another, it doesn’t happen. Now, usually our assumption when that doesn’t happen is, they hate me. They fell out with me. They’re my competitor was much better. They’re an idiot. you make all these assumptions about why the deal didn’t go ahead and often.

They are often, they’re just not true. It could well be for example, that, six months ago when the deal didn’t go ahead. they had another problem elsewhere in their business. No other priorities took over. So they deprioritize this or they just had a problem getting hold of the budget, or they may indeed have gone with a competitor, but that might not have worked out so often.

If you go back to drop prospects from three, six, nine months ago, the great thing about drop prospect is you obviously got far enough in the sales process that they trusted you and you had credibility enough to have a series of meetings with them. And, they have a problem. They had a problem then.

But with drop prospects, it may well be that, the reason that they didn’t go ahead with you does not exist anymore. So maybe they’ve got the budget. Now, maybe that other priority has been solved. Maybe they worked with, they tried working with a competitor, but it fell through. So that’s not always going to be the case, but very often a drop prospect is actually a very good prospect for them.

Andy Paul: If some companies have thousands of them. I was talking to a company a lot. It’s not that long 6,000 names that fell into this category That they had never followed up.

Ian Brodie: Oh, it’s ridiculous. Isn’t it? But let me say logically, it’s understandable because you’ve got this huge buildup of excitement. And then when they say, no, you get this huge, Oh no, it’s a disaster. And you almost have to justify it. In your own mind, , it’s almost like we can’t live with the thought that we only failed by a whisker.

Andy Paul: And most failure is most will spell your ears. I’m a firm believer that the margin of defeat or margin of victory, either one in sales is 1%.

Ian Brodie: Oh, absolutely. It can absolutely be. Mentally thought what we do is we say, Oh no, they hated us. when they, mostly, I must’ve said something wrong. Oh no, they must be idiot. So no, the, the, our competitor, must’ve done some sneaky deal with them behind the scenes. And we in mentally, in order to close the cognitive dissonance we have about, why we didn’t win. We create all these excuses and reasons in our mind that actually aren’t true. And actually, just, as you were saying, if you go back to them, you might find they’re very open to talking to you. And even if you go back to that, even if that same deal isn’t on the table, it might be something else.

But the key is you’ve got to go back to them in a way that just isn’t there, oh, we spoke six months ago or are you ready to progress now? Because that’s not value added, that’s nagging. That might work every now and then, but you’ll get a much better. response, if you go back to them with a value added email. So usually my 21 word email ruins something along the lines of, high, whatever the name is , are you still interested in then boom, whatever the thing they were interested in, are you still interested in cutting your procurement costs and thought you might find this article useful. So then you just point them at one of those articles we were just talking about before that obviously relates to the topic that you were talking about before. So it’s gotta be an article or a resource of some sort that specifically deals with the topic you were talking to them about before. So that brings it back to their mind. It adds value. It increases your credibility over and above where it was before. And then just underneath. Exactly. As you were saying before, Andy. You just say to them, would you be interested in discussing over a short coffee, et cetera. And that’s all it takes. Now the funny thing I think about the 21 word email is, I’ve had w whenever I suggest this to people, I get emails back.

I can’t believe it. I had a meeting set up within a day. I had three meetings set up within a week, but the funny thing I find is that, the structure of the email, the value added nature of the email. Yes. I’ve just said it makes it more likely people will say yes, because you’re adding value.

But I think the biggest thing it does is in the psychology of the person, sending the email, it makes them feel more comfortable sending it. Very many people when they’ve dropped a prospect and their feelings if the relationship has dropped off a bit, they feel embarrassed getting back in touch. And so they don’t and an email just going back saying, Hey, we haven’t spoken for six months. How’s it going with our project? Some people are absolutely fine doing that. And if you’re absolutely fine doing that’s great. But a lot of people aren’t, a lot of people feel a bit icky about doing that, but the very nature of adding a little bit of value add, thought you might find this article useful. That gives them the confidence to think hey, I’m strengthening my relationship through this email, even if they’re not ready to go ahead now, even if that are the competitors doing great with them, even if this time of the budget I’ve strengthened my relationship, I’m in a better position than I was before. And it gives them the courage to send the email.

Andy Paul: Yeah. I agree. And I think one of the beauties of this approach that Ian’s laid out with 21 word email is when people have to go back, they always want to write too much. They always want to say the struggle with what to come up with and it’s always  too much. And this is just right to the point and value added.

Ian Brodie: You’ve got a really good point there. I must be honest. I had not thought about it, but you do, you have, and the more you write, I found this, I did a cold, it was a LinkedIn message campaign a couple of years ago and it was just to connect with people and offer them one of my free reports.

And I send it out to consultants and coaches who are my kind of target market. And the first draft I came up with it was really good sales copy. In the sense that it was, an introduced the report, it had some bullet points about how great the report was in the, the wonderful things they’d learned in the report and how it would benefit them.

And I just bounced it off a friend of mine who is a really brilliant copywriter and kind of looked at it and he said, this is great sales copy book but it doesn’t feel like a little personal message you would send someone feels like you’re trying too hard. And so I rewrote it and just made it a really simple, Hi, I noticed you’re in the so and so group on LinkedIn and your consultant like me, in the past few weeks, I’ve written this, I’ve created this, I’ve taken the approach I’ve been using and to winning more clients and written to a short report, and I’m just sharing it with us for the consultant so they can benefit from it. If you’d like a copy, just hit reply and I’ll send it to you.

So it was really short, there was no attempt to sell it. It was just, there was a kind of subtle, Hey, it’s worked really well. And the name of it was pain, free marketing, which in and of itself is attractive. But there was no kind of bullet points and sales copy in there.

And I think it’s the same with the trends. One word email, the more you write, the more it feels like you’re trying too hard. and of course the more you’ll procrastinate as well, trying to get the perfect word.

Andy Paul: That’s right. That’s right. Absolutely. So here’s the template. And at the end of the episode, Ian is going to tell you where you can find out more about it. Great advice. We’re going to jump into the last segment of the show, where I ask you some rapid fire questions. You can give me one word answers, or you can elaborate if you wish purely up to you. You’re ready?

Ian Brodie: Let’s go.

Andy Paul: All right. So what’s the most powerful sales tool in your arsenal.

Ian Brodie: Oh, I’ve got to say email haven’t I.

Andy Paul: Sure. Why not? So name one tool you use for sales management that you can’t live without?

Ian Brodie: Okay. Right now I would probably say Contractually there’s only the one of me, so I don’t have to manage a big team so much. So it’s self management and it’s contextually because it’s a little CRM that reminds you when you haven’t been back in touch with people who you said you should be back in touch with on a regular basis.

Andy Paul: So that’s a very good app. So who’s your sales role model?

Ian Brodie: My sales role model. Oh, cause I’ve got loads. I’m going to give you an unusual one. it’s a guy called Jim’s. I don’t even know his second name. He’s a guy who appeared at our house about five years ago. Funny looking guy, very weather, beaten, face missing a tooth, and he knocked on the door and said, would you like me to clean your gutters out? And he offered to do it for 10 pounds. What are you going to, you’re not going to say no to someone cleaning your gutters out. You don’t want to bother doing it yourself. So he went off and did it. He did a good job. And then he came back and he said, you know what, while I’m here, I’ve noticed your decking is looking a bit, a bit of the paint has gone a bit on if you want, I could come back and take a look at that and maybe refresh that. And he did that and he went through a series of upsells. And this is a guy who went to school after about the age of 12, but he went through this perfect upsell sequence of just offering me some value, with a 10 pound gutter clean, doing a really good job of it. They build some credibility and then I don’t have just enough credibility for them to pitch me the next thing up, which in this case was doing my decking, et cetera. So I would say Jim’s is probably my role model because he did it really well. He still comes back every year. Still always managed to find extra jobs to do. And we still always say yes.

Andy Paul: Excellent. Love it. So what’s the one book sales book or not what’s the one book every sales person should read?

Ian Brodie: I’m going to see, and this is particularly for people who, like people like consultants and coaches or people who need to sell who aren’t naturally great salespeople and I found a book called Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play by Mohan Khalsa  was a really great book for me. It gave me lots of different ways of thinking about selling and my attitude and my mindset to it, and a whole bunch of techniques that really worked very well for me.

Andy Paul: Excellent. Yeah. You’re the second person who’s mentioned that book.

Ian Brodie: I would just say I do happen to think that spin selling or making major sales by new Rakim is almost like the foundation of a lot of these things. So you can see bits of Neil’s work in almost every day. It’s almost like I remember once when I was working for a client who was a run a steel, is the managing director of a steel mill. And, we were doing a project for him and one of the people in the audience, as he was speaking said to Ralph, the managing director had gone up and said, this is our number one priority right now. And the guy, one of those cynics in the audience put up his hand and said, but I thought you said safety is always our number one priority. Of course it is in a steel mill, people die. And it’s Ralph kind of thought for a second and then said, he said, yes, he said, but safety is in our blood. This is our number one priority. So I’d like to say spin selling should be in everyone’s blood.

Andy Paul: Excellent. Here’s a tough question. So your favorite music to listen to the psych yourself up for an important meeting or sales call?

Ian Brodie: Ah, I. For me, it really varies. For me, it really varies. It depends, I’ve got like really very tests over time, but probably if I was to fall back on one, it would probably be, This is The One by the Stone Roses.

Andy Paul: Okay. Gosh, first time we had that answer.

Ian Brodie: Wow. Probably I grew up with the stone roses here cause I moved to Manchester in the mid eighties and they were the big band in the big cult following in Manchester and helped form that whole scene that took over the UK for about 10 years. And that was one, I think that’s one of their best and it has the interesting thing about that song is I played at workshops as well. It speeds up as it goes through. So it starts off relatively slow, but the beat is very driving and it gets faster and faster to come to the end. And you’re pumped up because it’s got fast. It catches you by surprise and then gets your pulse going faster.

Andy Paul: Alright, Stone Roses. Excellent. ACDC is number one so far. so what’s the first sales activity you do every day?

Ian Brodie: The first sales activity I do everyday. firstly, I don’t do a sales activity first. I am a grip believer. I do some, I try and read first, try and read first and do something creative. And one of the reasons for that is, I read a little while back some stuff by Donna Really, the, the economist that said your brain is not isn’t working at its peak until about an hour after you wake up. So I do stuff like reading to try and get my brain. I sound like a machine yet, or I don’t always do it. Many, a stagger into the kitchen and grab a coffee, obviously. But apart from that, ideally I would like to read a bit first and then the first sales activity, especially on a Monday would be followup. So it would be looking at my list of my top priority contacts and thinking what kind of follow up can I do to build my relationship with them.

Andy Paul: Excellent. All right. Last question. What is the one question you could ask most frequently by salespeople?

Ian Brodie: I don’t get it. A lot of questions by salespeople. I get asked a lot of questions by people who need to sell, but aren’t

Andy Paul: That’s fine. That’s same thing. What’s the question you get asked?

Ian Brodie: And the number one question is almost always some form of how can I do it without being pushy, without being seen as being a salesperson without it coming across negatively.

And there’s always two answers to that. The first answer is often a little bit harsh and it’s look, if you cannot bring it- none of us, very few of us naturally extrovert people who love reaching out to new people – but if you cannot bring yourself to reach out to someone you don’t know and speak to them, then maybe you ought to consider getting a job rather than running your own business.

So do have a thing about if you’re so far to the extreme, most of us are somewhere in the middle of the normal curve. We’re not that extreme extrovert sales person who has no problem with it, but neither are we that total introverted can’t speak to anyone. They don’t already know if you are in that, then consider another job. But for most of us in the middle of the thing then is, that goes back to exactly what we said. We were talking about earlier. Find a way of adding value with your key communications. That way people will want to listen to them more and you’ll feel better about doing them.

Andy Paul: Excellent. And for people to find out more about how to do that. Ian Brodie tell people how they can learn more about you.

Ian Brodie: They can just go either to www.ianbrodie.com , just go there and you’ll get, that’s my blog, my regular videos, and plenty of offers to get all of the 21 word email. And the other thing is if your interest in the book, there’s a website called www.Emailpersuasion.com that contains a lot of free resources and videos and other training specifically about email marketing.

Andy Paul: Great. Thank you for joining me today.