Turning Conversations Into Customers – In Just 7 Minutes with Tom Martin

Check out episode
  • Discover what is the promising “painless prospecting” and how you can practice it in your business
  • Learn how you can turn conversations into customers by disregarding the “numbers” mentality
  • Understand how you can become the sales prey and let your prospects come to you instead

Resources/Links:

Summary

Are you tired of selling and selling but nothing seems to be working?

Selling isn’t to be scary and tiring, especially in a digitally-centric world. Establishing relationships and connecting with your audience is a crucial step in increasing your sales. Introduce yourself, get connected, and feed them the information they might need.

Tom Martin, the author of The Invisible Sale, is a no-nonsense, straight-talking 30-year vet of the sales and marketing business who favors stiff drinks, good debates, and helping people and organizations turn conversations into customers.

Take a break and listen to Tom’s amazing insights on how you can skip the sales stress and turn your simple conversations into some promising sales!

Check out these episode highlights:

  • 02:01 – Tom’s ideal client: We have two. The first is agencies that lack efficient, effective, or ongoing business development programs in place, and we help them create those.
  • 02:57 – The problem he helps solve: It really comes to the two places. In the agency world, it tends to be the problem we solve is that agencies often are owned by people who don’t think they’re very good at selling, don’t know how to sell, and maybe dislike it because it makes them feel like a used car salesman.
  • 05:24 – Clients’ common mistakes before consulting Tom: If it’s in the agency world, they’ll hire a rainmaker, a salesperson for the agency, and that usually, more often than not, completely backfires.
  • 07:29 – Tom’s Valuable Free Action (VFA): A top tip is to pick five people you want to work with, spend some time and research, and learn everything. You stalk them and learn everything you can about them.
  • 08:14 – Tom’s Valuable Free Resource (VFR): Want to learn a more effective way to prospect clients? Click here: https://www.conversedigital.com
  • 08:58 – Q: How do you stay cool when you’re in 100 and some degree weather, nonstop, all day, every day? A: You jump in your pool. You buy lots of ice and throw it in the pool because even the darn cool water’s hot!

Tweetable Takeaways from this Episode:

“Continue building a relationship. Eventually, you'll find an opportunity to start selling. And when you do, you'll find a much better success rate.” -Tom Martin Share on X

Transcript
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Tom Poland 00:10
Greetings, everyone! I’m Tom Poland beaming out to you from the Sunshine Coast in Australia, as ever. This is Marketing the Invisible, joined today by Tom Martin. Tom, good day! A very warm welcome from Down Under. Where are you hanging out, sir?

Tom Martin 00:21
Well, a good day to you too. I’m actually here in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Tom Poland 00:25
Are any of you suffering from this extraordinary heat wave that’s going through the South?

Tom Martin 00:28
Oh, yes! It has been the hottest summer on record. We’ve had some of the hottest days ever in the city of New Orleans. It’s been absolutely horrific!

Tom Poland 00:38
Yeah. And I’ve heard something like 40 successive days over 100 degrees, that sort of thing, in some parts. It’s just nuts and insane! Okay. Well, fortunately, in the US they believe in air conditioning, unlike in Europe, where they just open windows and put a ceiling fan on it. I mean, where I’m in a subtropical part of Queensland, Australia, and we just have aircon on 24/7 for about four months. It’s just yeah. It’s just at a swimming pool place. It’s just not worth otherwise living.

Tom Martin 01:10
Yeah, I agree.

Tom Poland 01:11
Off the climate! Stay cool, as you probably will. Folks, Tom is the author of the Invisible Sale. And I just love that title for a whole bunch of reasons. But the chief of which is it just gets captured, isn’t it? You hear that, think about it, and think, “That’s clever.” He’s a no-nonsense, straight-talking, 30-year veteran of sales and marketing businesses. He enjoys a stiff drink, a good debate, and helping people and organizations turn conversations into customers. And I would like to see you do all those three things at once, Tom. That would be fun! We could get a good podcast out of that.

Tom Martin 01:51
You can try that.

Tom Poland 01:52
Let’s talk about turning conversations into customers. Again, a great turn of phases. Our seven minutes start now. Question number one, sir, who’s your ideal client?

Tom Martin 02:01
We have two. The first is agencies that lack efficient, effective, or ongoing business development programs in place, and we help them create those. On the other side of our businesses are small privately-owned companies that use human sales forces, primarily B2B, but also B2C, to prospect, nurture, and close. And if it happens to be a company where it’s a very small sales force trying to cover a huge geography. That’s our sweet spot because that’s what we teach. And the tools we built are specifically designed to help people network and scale, and that helps them out a lot.

Tom Poland 02:31
So inside of that, unpacking that a bit. It sounds like you’re big on systems and processes on tracks for salespeople to run on. How would you- because that’s what I’m hearing. The common denominator between those two target markets is the development of processes that help people turn conversations into customers. What’s the problem you solve? How would you define that? Obviously, there’s a lack of sales, but is there something beyond that? Is there something-

Tom Martin 02:57
It really comes to the two places. In the agency world, it tends to be the problem we solve is that agencies often are owned by people who don’t think they’re very good at selling, don’t know how to sell, and maybe dislike it because it makes them feel like a used car salesman. In the small business world, it tends to be that the business starts to see that their sales teams are plateauing on a per sale, sales per salesman, or salesperson or revenue, etc. And no matter what they do, they can’t break through that. And in both cases, we’re able to bring in our process, which we call “painless prospecting”, and our sell greatly approaches once you’ve actually made a contact. And we’re able to show them how to apply these systematic approaches that really do produce conversations, help you manage the conversations better, and ultimately convert them in a higher percentage into new clients than maybe traditional badgering sales techniques tend to produce.

Tom Poland 03:51
Right! And another great turn of phrase, is “painless prospecting” because have you found that when people have no fear of prospecting, they actually do it? And that core reluctance is often because they’re sick of getting beaten up?

Tom Martin 04:06
Yeah, I think for us, where we find more is when people hear the word “sell”. You know, if you ask- they did some research on this and when I say the word “sell”, or “selling”, you know, what kind of words come to mind? And people will say things like “cokes”, “persuade”, “cajole.” You know, all those sorts of, kind of, negative words. And that’s what happens. That’s what we associate sales with as soon as we can break people free from that and help them realize it. Another definition, if you look up the definition of “selling” and the definition of “helping” in the dictionary, they’re remarkably close and very similar. Again, what we teach is that “Look, stop thinking about it as you’re selling, you’re just trying to help. You have a problem and either I can help you solve it. Or I know people or know things that can help you solve it. And at the end of the day, I just want to help you solve it.” If it happens to me, you hire me– great! If not, that’s okay too because you might hire me later. Or you might tell 10 people to hire me in which case I won either way!

Tom Poland 05:00
That takes an awful lot of stress out of the relationship and helps folks to relax and focus on a solution. We’ve covered a couple of symptoms. So I’m going to skip to question four. We’re talking about growth-orientated individuals and organizations here. Well, they’re going to try stuff to solve this selling problem. What would you say are a couple of the top common mistakes that people are making before they find your solution?

Tom Martin 05:24
Well, if it’s in the agency world, they’ll hire a rainmaker, a salesperson for the agency, and that usually, more often than not, completely backfires. You also have people that will, on the business side of it, I see a lot of just doubling down on sort of that traditional sales is the “numbers game” mentality. They’ll maybe just fill more people at it. Start adding to their martech stack, thinking that somehow software’s going to solve the problem. But they won’t or can’t break free from that one-to-one selling mindset, and reframe, you know, just sort of recast it as a, “You know, why do you want to just sell to one person when you could sell to 100? And really not work any harder?” Yeah, well, I mean why do you want to constantly be the hunter and go out and find prospects that you can bring? Why not spend your time becoming the prey, and putting bait out there in the water, kind of, you know, I’m sure you all do. Where you’re at, seafood are probably a big thing. I’m a big fan of just dropping bait in the water and sitting back cracking a beer pulling the crab trap up an hour later, and having dinner! And I didn’t have to work really hard, versus going fishing, and I gotta go catch every single fish, right? It’s just a different mindset. And so you can flip that and people go, “Okay, we can fix this now. We can fix the problem in a way that scales frankly.”

Tom Poland 06:45
It sounds like mindset’s a big part of what you’re doing initially with not just during the teaching and sales process, but perhaps also during your own prospecting system.

Tom Martin 06:54
Oh, yeah. Our system is based exclusively on becoming known for knowledge that you spread around the world freely, try to help as many people as possible because some portion of those people are going to figure out. It’s not why I can’t do it themself, they’re gonna hire you. And if they can’t hire you, they’re gonna tell 10 other people to hire you. And that produces a steady stream of really qualified prospects. People who are pretty sure they want to do business with you before they ever pick up the phone.

Tom Poland 07:20
Gold! Absolutely. So let’s shift to the top tip. We’ve only got a minute left, so we better fly. What’s one top tip that’s not going to solve the whole problem, but it might help people?

Tom Martin 07:29
A top tip is to pick five people you want to work with, spend some time and research, and learn everything. You stalk them and learn everything you can about them. And then use that to build a dossier, and use the dossier to find common connections or common ground between you and them. Find a way to introduce yourself, and then just start feeding them information. Grow big ears and eyes and feed them information that you’re pretty sure they’re going to find useful and interesting. And, eventually, they’ll talk back and when they do enter a conversation, don’t immediately try to start selling. Continue building a relationship. Eventually, you’ll find an opportunity to start selling and when you do, I think you’ll find a much better success rate.

Tom Poland 08:06
Perfect! Loosen the lid on the jar. Thank you for that! 45 seconds left. One valuable free resource where can people go to find out more about your work, Tom?

Tom Martin 08:14
Well, the easiest place is to go right to our website at www.conversedigital.com. Click on the “What We Think” tab and you’ll drop into our painless prospecting newsletter archive which is 13 years of everything we’ve ever written or said or thought about the subject. We add to it once or twice a month. You can sign up there to be notified when we do and probably the single biggest free resource that we offer to folks!

Tom Poland 08:37
Folks, it’s conversedigital.com. If you go there, and then go to the “What We Think” tab, sign up for the newsletter and get access to 13 years of Tom stuff. Fantastic! Tom, the last question, sir. What’s the one question I should have asked you but didn’t?

Tom Martin 08:58
Oh geez! I guess, how do you stay cool when you’re in 100 and some degree weather, nonstop, all day, every day? And the answer would be you jump in your pool. You buy lots of ice and throw it in the pool because even the darn cool water’s hot!

Tom Poland 09:11
Yeah, we get that in the summer here too. Tom Martin, thanks so much for your time!

Tom Martin 09:15
You’re welcome! I appreciate you having me.

Tom Poland 09:17
Thanks for checking out our Marketing The Invisible podcast. If you like what we’re doing here please head over to iTunes to subscribe, rate us, and leave us a review. It’s very much appreciated. And if you want to generate five fresh leads in just five hours then check out www.fivehourchallenge.com.

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