Small Biz Buzz—096—Brendan Alan Barrett—Why Follow Ups are Critical

Small Biz Buzz hosts Crystal Heuft and Jack Smithson are joined by Brendan Alan Barrett, founder of StartInPhx, who talks about how to overcome pushback when it comes to following up with B2B clients. It’s a matter of talking to as many people in the same area on the same day to build content, collateral or touch points that you can refer back to. While prospecting into an account, there's always something that can be learned. The rule with prospecting and follow up is questions. You're going for engagement, but if you're asking the right questions, you can decipher if this is engagement for their benefit versus engagement for your benefit. Know who your audience is so you don’t spread yourself too thin and make sure you're following up with the people who are going to move through the funnel and be acquired. At a certain point, you should also know when to cut your losses. In matters of work-life balance, the big themes are boundaries. To set good boundaries, you have to have good clarity and best practices put in place. Tune in for more.

Transcript:

Derek Harju (00:00):

Howdy listeners. As we all know, Planet Earth has 7.5 billion people and 7.4 billion of those people have small businesses. Now to be fair, numbers that size can be hard to envision and to be even fairer, most of what I just said is entirely made up. But I'll tell you what isn't made up, Keap. Keap is the all in one client management software designed specifically for small businesses. Keap takes the most annoying and laborious parts of running a small business and metaphorically tosses them into the sun. Stop grinding yourself to death with busy work and repetitive tasks. Let Keap integrate your customer follow ups, messaging automation, next level appointment setting and so much more.

Derek Harju (00:37):

Head over to keap.com and start your free trial of Keap Grow, Keap Pro, or for those looking for something beefier, talk to one of our coaches about Infusionsoft, the product that started it all. More business, less work, that's Keap. Just go to keap.com to start your free trial. That's K-E-A-P.com. One more time, that's K-E-A-P.com.

Crystal Heuft (01:05):

Okay, we will be ready if you stop chatting. Just kidding. Dusey knows I love him. Okay, gentlemen, I want to hear about your great weekend plans. Dusey was teeing it up earlier, Jack, so what do you got going on this weekend?

Jack Smithson (01:21):

Well, something I feel very strongly about, actually, yeah, we do have to come in with the intro to the podcast.

Crystal Heuft (01:33):

Okay, that's my fault. Geez, I'm so messed up. No, yeah, good. Because then I would have to fake a reaction and I'm not someone who lies. Okay, so hi, I'm Crystal.

Jack Smithson (01:47):

I'm Jack.

Crystal Heuft (01:48):

And this is Small Biz Buzz. Let's get into it. I'm dying to hear because this has been teased for a bit and we've been waiting for this moment to share it. What are you doing this weekend, Jack?

Jack Smithson (02:01):

I have been forced into a coed baby shower. New day.

Crystal Heuft (02:10):

Sounds dreadful.

Jack Smithson (02:11):

It's, yeah, good God, right? Now, what guy, point to him, that said when he heard about a baby shower said, "Man I wish I was invited to that?"

Crystal Heuft (02:22):

I'm going to be real honest, I don't know a lot of women... Oh, gosh. Dusey's raising his hand. I was just about to say I don't even know any women that actually like going to a shower. If I was a man, I think it would be worse because women at least tend to be a little bit more like, "Okay, well we've got to rally for our friend." But showers are freaking boring but go on. Not many men and not many women.

Jack Smithson (02:46):

Yeah, it's actually family, but it's my wife's best friend. My cousin but, literally, her best friend and I said, "I'm going to be sick that day." She said she would be disappointed in me if I was sick that day.

Crystal Heuft (03:05):

The D word.

Jack Smithson (03:05):

Yeah, that's-

Crystal Heuft (03:06):

The only D word that comes after that D word is divorce, and you're not getting there with your great wife.

Jack Smithson (03:11):

No, and there will be like certain benefits to my marriage that I won't get for a while if I don't go to this.

Crystal Heuft (03:19):

You better go.

Jack Smithson (03:20):

Yeah, so I'm going.

Crystal Heuft (03:21):

Don't lose benefits.

Jack Smithson (03:22):

That's, actually, we have Brendan, Brendan Alan Barrett with us and you just had a child recently.

Brendan Alan Barrett (03:31):

I did, yeah, we're like six, seven. I should know better, but he's either six or seven weeks in.

Crystal Heuft (03:36):

He's so cute. I'm going to have to see an updated picture because although I don't like showers, I do like babies. I don't want people to think I'm like vicious.

Brendan Alan Barrett (03:44):

Well, my weekend is filled with making up for all the time I've been at work not doing my daddy duties and letting wife sleep. If I can talk her into it.

Jack Smithson (03:55):

How about your baby shower?

Brendan Alan Barrett (03:58):

I wasn't even aware it was happening.

Crystal Heuft (04:03):

Proper answer.

Brendan Alan Barrett (04:04):

Just guests showed up and I was like, "Cool. That's less stuff I got to buy. Awesome."

Jack Smithson (04:07):

You weren't invited, which is the way it should be. You weren't invited.

Crystal Heuft (04:10):

It should. My sister just had a shower two weeks ago but I don't have kids as I think I told you last time. She has these great sister-in-laws that love her and they have kids so they do all the work. I just showed up, which still, like I said, was painful. This time it was easy because it wasn't too showery but, yeah, their showers get crazy. Let's get to what we're talking about today because we're starting to go down a rabbit hole of misery and showers. But we have Brendan Alan Barrett here and you're pretty known out there for killing it in sales. So go ahead and tell everyone all the things you do because, to be honest, I wouldn't even know where to start. You have so many businesses, jobs, things you're working on for sales. You're definitely an expert. Go ahead and share so that we make sure we get it the way you like it and I don't mess up.

Brendan Alan Barrett (04:58):

Well, we'll keep it real simple. Yeah, I'm the founder of StartInPhx or startinphx.com, which is home to all kinds of training and content on best practices and sales and sales leadership. It's also home to the business of family and selling podcast, which interviews people who are doing it better than a lot of folks when it comes to sales and sales leadership. But more, importantly, the best practices that enable healthy work life, balance, or integration.

Crystal Heuft (05:28):

That's great. So important. I don't even have a family. I literally don't know how people do it. I can't even balance my own life without a family, so my dog doesn't get enough time. She really doesn't and she makes sure I know when she's not but also it's just hard to make sure you're getting enough rest. I'm still tired. I told you last time how tired I was. I'm still feeling tired.

Brendan Alan Barrett (05:51):

For a lot of people it's just like invention, it comes from necessity, right?

Crystal Heuft (05:58):

Yeah.

Brendan Alan Barrett (05:58):

There is the baby effect is a very real thing.

Jack Smithson (06:01):

Oh, for sure.

Brendan Alan Barrett (06:03):

The birth of my first son definitely changed my perspective on a lot of things and it became very clear that, hey, I can't be the rep who's working 12, 16 hours a day because I don't have 12, 16 hours a day to do it anymore. I better get real smart and intentional about how I'm going about building a book of business, generating revenue for the companies that I'm representing. So then down the rabbit hole I went into best practices and sales and how do I get-

Crystal Heuft (06:29):

That's great.

Brendan Alan Barrett (06:29):

... really good at this so that I can fit it in between 8:00 and 5:00 PM. 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

Crystal Heuft (06:37):

That's pretty good.

Jack Smithson (06:37):

And getting a solid three hours of sleep at night, right?

Crystal Heuft (06:40):

Yeah, hopefully.

Brendan Alan Barrett (06:41):

Indeed, indeed.

Crystal Heuft (06:43):

You must be a great husband because you've mentioned a few times about how your wife's not getting as much sleep as you, but you always put it back on what she's doing. Which I think is really cool and stands out as a family man.

Brendan Alan Barrett (06:55):

She's a saint, she carries so much of the weight and I think that was clear from the beginning that that's the kind of person she was going to be and I'm like, yeah, I'm planning to have a family, this is a good partner to do that with.

Crystal Heuft (07:10):

Yeah, that's awesome, that's awesome. Well, one of the ways you've gotten smarter, worked smarter, not harder is really looking at sales follow up, right?

Brendan Alan Barrett (07:19):

Indeed, yeah.

Crystal Heuft (07:21):

You're really focused in on B2B although you've had probably experience in both?

Brendan Alan Barrett (07:25):

Oh, yeah.

Crystal Heuft (07:27):

What are some main things that small business out there should really be considering when they're thinking of following up with B2B?

Brendan Alan Barrett (07:35):

Well, going back to necessity, like it is a necessity. I think what DiscoverOrg just did like an internal, I don't know if they just did it, but internal study on what does it take just to get that first demo? How many times do you have to touch, to prospect just to win their attention and have a legitimate conversation? What they found over 10s of thousands of demos booked was that their average was seven touches. A combination of phone calls, email, social media touches just to have that conversation to say yes or no we're going to do this thing. I think if you're not good at it, it might take more than seven, right?

Crystal Heuft (08:16):

Well, and I think seven only accounts for the ones you knew you saw. A lot of times I think marketing today is so sly, you don't always know you even saw it. There probably is more than that but seven that someone will remember.

Jack Smithson (08:29):

Sure, and we're talking five to seven just to get people engaged with you in a meaningful way in the sales conversation and then there's your sales process.

Crystal Heuft (08:41):

Yeah, Jack you know all about this.

Jack Smithson (08:44):

Yeah, just getting people engaged just to get people engaged with you. You're talking five to seven people balk at that all the time. I've covered that one on one with small businesses in my webinars and live demo like people balk at the idea of having to follow up that often.

Crystal Heuft (09:02):

Yeah, totally.

Brendan Alan Barrett (09:03):

Well, that often and that many times in a short period of time. It does surprise a lot of people. I think my first wake up to that was one of my first sales gigs. I was painting houses between my junior and senior year of college and I got a call from my manager and he's like, "Brendan, you've gone through more marketing material than anybody, you're working hard but like why aren't you getting as many quotes out as everybody else?" The reality was I was spreading myself too thin. I was focusing on too large of an area and not touching the same people multiple times, and so I was burning through my collateral and not getting as many meetings as people who went back to the same neighborhood three, four or five times, right?

Crystal Heuft (09:45):

Yeah, that's interesting. It always makes you wonder, because there's all kinds of marketing. They can have door to door. That's a great call out, I would not have thought about going to the same neighborhood multiple times but that's exactly how these touch points started, right? They used to start by getting in front of the actual person.

Brendan Alan Barrett (10:03):

Well, a good example of that is I interviewed the guys at 4energy, or one of the guys over at 4energy, they do energy efficient windows, doors, solar insulation, and so they're targeting homeowners. People who just moved in, older house typically. Their first touch is telemarketing. They're calling into a neighborhood, then they're working that neighborhood by knocking on the doors. If you don't get somebody to answer, you leave a door hanger or a flyer in the door. Then when you get a job, then there's two appointments, both those trucks are wrapped with company logos. When you get the job, then the sign is in the front yard and then you keep working those houses around that sign and around that job-

Jack Smithson (10:47):

Right, you canvass that neighborhood.

Brendan Alan Barrett (10:48):

Yeah, you're building momentum upon all of those exposures to your brand, to your message, and as you get a customer, now you have something new to bring to the conversation, "Hey, now we're working with somebody you know. Somebody in your neighborhood who's got a house exactly like yours because it was built by the same person." There are people who are going to be the low hanging fruit, and through follow up, you can build upon those experiences and make the thing you sell whether it's a service or a product that much more relatable to the laggards, the people who are harder to win over.

Crystal Heuft (11:20):

Totally, so what you're just saying, though, is a lot of B2C. If we think B2B, sometimes it's tough to get one touch point with a business. How can someone really get to those touch points through working business contacts? What are some of the ways people are getting in front of B2B clients?

Brendan Alan Barrett (11:39):

Well, people are people in like one thing. When we talk follow up, some of the push back is, "Well, it's so expensive to send a rep back to that office three, four, five times." I was like, "Well, I'm not telling you to send them three, four, five times. Let's place a call, send a couple of emails. See if we could win their attention. Then if still we can't win their attention and have a meaningful conversation, then maybe we deploy somebody to go out and when we do that, let's plan the route."

Crystal Heuft (12:05):

That's smart, so you're hitting up lots in the same area?

Brendan Alan Barrett (12:07):

Lots, as many people in the same area and the same day who we've already exhausted some of these other things and now we have maybe content or collateral or touch points that we can refer back to. Because while we're prospecting into an account, like on every call, there's something that can be learned. It's really cool if the thing that we learn is, "Hey, this person's as excited as I am to buy the thing I have to sell." But, typically, it's, "Hey, on the first call I tried to talk to Michelle. She's not the person, I got to talk to Michael. On the second call, I captured Michael's email address, so now I don't just have a way to call them, I can follow up with an email. Now they can hear what I have to say and read what I have to say. I can bump it up in their inbox a couple of times.

Brendan Alan Barrett (12:51):

Now I captured the cell phone because they replied to an email and now we're playing the scheduling game. But now I can send. Now because I have an email signature with a cell phone in it, now I can start sending text messages. Oh, they're really responsive to text messages because maybe nobody else is texting them." You're learning all these things and you're collecting. A lot of people, especially, when we're going into follow up for first meetings, prospecting into an account with all of these touches, a lot of people... when you say that, they hear cold calling and just like spray and pray, but the reality is prospector. If you think of the term, like gold prospector, they weren't going out there blindly.

Crystal Heuft (13:33):

The worst prospecting however.

Brendan Alan Barrett (13:35):

They're panning for gold defined deposits-

Crystal Heuft (13:38):

One little nugget.

Brendan Alan Barrett (13:40):

... to find a place worth digging really deep because that's where the real gold is. That's where the real material is but you don't want to dig a real deep hole and waste six months worth of work and food and time. Unless you got an indication that that's the place to dig.

Crystal Heuft (13:54):

What's the fool's gold of sales follow up for B2B? Because that fool's gold will get you every time. Suddenly, you're digging the big hole and it wasn't worth your time.

Brendan Alan Barrett (14:06):

The time vampires for sure.

Crystal Heuft (14:09):

Agreed.

Brendan Alan Barrett (14:10):

People who'll talk with you and if you've got a sales team of a couple of people and you're tracking talk time and that's one of your metrics that you're... A salesperson would love talking for 20 minutes to somebody who has no authority.

Jack Smithson (14:23):

That's such broken metric.

Brendan Alan Barrett (14:25):

Yeah, their talk time looks fantastic.

Crystal Heuft (14:27):

Yeah but can't make a sale. How do you spot a time vampire coming a mile away?

Brendan Alan Barrett (14:34):

Well, like the rule with prospecting and follow up is questions. You're going for engagement but if you're asking the right questions, you can tell like this is engagement for their benefit versus engagement for my benefit. You should be a decent person and a nice person, enjoy the work that you do but at a certain point, yeah, you should know when to cut your losses. And through questions, through knowing, asking questions because even if they're not a champion, it could be a coach through that account. They could tell you who really pulls the strings, and then you have to be honest with yourself and know, "Okay, I've got what I've got, or I can get from this specific individual. They've coached me as much as they can coach me, now I got to go execute on the information.

Crystal Heuft (15:19):

Back in the day, I did do some sales. I actually was pretty damn good at it, but darn good, maybe I've just got a bleep, I'm not sure.

Jack Smithson (15:27):

I think damn's okay.

Crystal Heuft (15:29):

But I wasn't selling. I wasn't selling B2B, I wasn't selling some services, I was selling family portraits. But I think one of the things I always found is that there are time vampires, and you have to be daring enough to ask bold questions to start identifying what their interest level really is. Like what's stopping you from buying this extra portrait package? Is it that you don't like the portrait because then let's cut our losses. Take this other one and let's go. But I think sometimes in B2B, we get nervous to ask the tough questions because you don't want to burn the bridge. But sometimes they're just not ready. I was always shocked when you'd ask a more serious follow up question, and you'd find out they're either just sometimes just waiting on getting answers from other people, and that's great, that you can handle. Then it's like, "Okay, well, I'm going to check in with you. Does two weeks sound good?"

Crystal Heuft (16:22):

Then you know when to check back and you're not waiting those two weeks hitting them up every day? But what are some good questions that people can ask to identify if they should continue following up or should they cut their losses?

Brendan Alan Barrett (16:35):

Okay, well, here's a linkable moment for you because when I was talking to, or when I was here last time talking with Clate, one of his big insights was, "You have to ask for the business." If you're just tiptoeing around it, at a certain point, you got to ask for the business or you're not going to get a yes or a no. If it's if you spend a decent amount of time exploring it and you haven't asked for the business, yeah, you haven't given somebody a chance to cut you loose as somebody who's selling to them. That no could be the permission, "Okay, finally, I can leave this person alone and go focus on somebody who I can actually do business with."

Crystal Heuft (17:15):

I think that's great.

Jack Smithson (17:16):

Right, and you brave up and then if it is a no you get reason and a no isn't always a solid no, it maybe no right now or maybe a no depends but it's a no is great, a yes is great, a maybe is not where you want to be.

Crystal Heuft (17:33):

Totally.

Brendan Alan Barrett (17:34):

Well, so asking why, well timings not right. Well, what would make it right? Is it that you don't have time to do it right now, he's like, "Oh, I need three weeks." "Well, why do you need three weeks." He says, "Well, in three weeks, I think I'll be done with this project." "What would help you get that project done sooner? Can I connect you with somebody?"

Crystal Heuft (17:53):

I like it, there's that expert shining his light. Okay, so we're going to take a break and kick it on over to worst business ideas ever. Hopefully, you enjoy that and then stick around, we're going to talk some more with Brendan on some more follow up and how he balances it all. So, thanks come or I guess hang out a little longer and listen.

Derek Harju (18:24):

Howdy folks, I'm Derek Harju.

Dusey Van Dusen (18:25):

And I'm Dusey Van Dusen.

Derek Harju (18:27):

And this is worst business ideas in history.

Dusey Van Dusen (18:29):

The show where we look back at some of the most brutal missteps, failures, and flops in consumer history.

Derek Harju (18:34):

And make fun of it.

Dusey Van Dusen (18:35):

But also learn something.

Derek Harju (18:37):

Nope, it says in my contract I don't have to learn.

Dusey Van Dusen (18:39):

Fine, the rest of us will learn something and you can just mock people's misfortune.

Derek Harju (18:43):

Sounds good.

Dusey Van Dusen (18:45):

Welcome to the worst business ideas in history.

Derek Harju (18:50):

Hi, I'm Derek Harju.

Dusey Van Dusen (18:51):

And I'm Dusey Van Dusen.

Derek Harju (18:52):

And this is worse business ideas in history.

Dusey Van Dusen (18:54):

What are we looking at today?

Derek Harju (18:56):

We're going to look at a couple of interesting topics that I'm excited about, which is the war between HD, DVD, and Blu-ray?

Dusey Van Dusen (19:04):

Okay, these are anybody who listened to the football episode, I know a little bit more about these things.

Derek Harju (19:12):

We've seen the format wars in the past, there was VHS versus Betamax, there was a laser disc tried to take off and didn't really go anywhere and DVD came along. DVD kind of ruled the roost for quite a while, but then it was in the early 2000s we got these two competing formats, HD DVD, which was produced primarily by Toshiba and Blu-ray which was produced primarily by Sony. Some of the factors in the VHS versus Beta debacle was just adoption by things like video rental stores and the ability to tape things off of TV for a long play.

Dusey Van Dusen (19:54):

The amazing thing about all of these wars is usually whichever format has the best quality is irrelevant to whichever wins out over time.

Derek Harju (20:06):

Absolutely, like Beta is an absolutely both on an audio and video standard, preferable to VHS. What VHS had over Beta was that you could record over two hours on a single tape. Which a lot of people what they were using it for was to tape things like football games or other sporting events.

Dusey Van Dusen (20:26):

Movies that would air.

Derek Harju (20:27):

Yep, movies, which if you remember if you were a child of the 80s, every time there would be a TV ad for, say, like The Hobbit on VHS, they would be like, "Do you want this in VHS or Beta?" If you got it on Beta, it came on two tapes.

Dusey Van Dusen (20:40):

Oh, wow.

Derek Harju (20:43):

Blu-ray is going head to head with HD DVD, and the first thing that happens is Toshiba and Microsoft team up and they're like, "We're both backing HD DVD. We think it's going to work better for personal computers." What we find out eventually is that really neither was adopted for PC use. Like Blu-ray, like most personal computers just never shipped with either an HD DVD player or a Blu-ray player.

Dusey Van Dusen (21:11):

Yeah, and it was obviously CD players and DVDs eventually became a really big thing on computers, not so much nowadays as discs are becoming a thing of the past slowly. But, yeah, it never really despite the huge amount of storage space that both these formats had, it just didn't seem to pick up. I guess the internet came and broadband came too soon.

Derek Harju (21:33):

Yeah, that's always I actually was a very staunch believer that I was going to skip the Blu-ray format altogether, but it stuck around long enough to where I had to adopt.

Dusey Van Dusen (21:41):

I'm kind of with you, it's been around longer than I thought it would be.

Derek Harju (21:43):

Yeah, I was like, "I'm just going to wait till everything's 10 ADP streaming and then I won't care about this." Now everything's 4K and that's a whole other, that's a different show. Both sides are trying to get people on their side, and the first place most of them go is the studios. HD DVD had Universal, Paramount, and Warner Bros. on their side. Meanwhile, Sony was backing Blu-ray as well as Walt Disney and 20th Century Fox were on board. Now, both of those have pretty wide movie and TV because this was the time when people were getting excited about owning entire TV shows on discs so they could just play them whatever they want, right? Sit home and binge watch the Simpsons on a Sunday.

Dusey Van Dusen (22:27):

Or Lost, I had all of Lost, I had all of 24. I can't believe I binged those on DVDs.

Derek Harju (22:37):

What ends up happening is that Steven Spielberg actually ends up playing a huge role in this whole thing. He's tied to Warner Bros. at the time who is backing HD DVD, but he specifically stipulated that his movies had to be available on Blu-ray. Which immediately eroded their partnership, and in short order, Warner Bros. ends up jumping ship. Now, Blu-ray has Warner Bros. on their side in addition to Sony, Fox and Disney. So they've got all the powerhouses with the exception of Paramount.

Dusey Van Dusen (23:10):

That first defector it's got to have people worried as soon as you start to see that.

Derek Harju (23:16):

Absolutely, and then the very next thing that happens is Blockbuster Video after they have... they test out both in some target markets and after six months, a year of testing, they're like, "Well, 70% of our sales are going to Blu-ray so we're stocking our shelves with Blu-rays." That's where the holes in the hall of HD DVD really start to show. They try to get a little bit of traction by pairing up with Microsoft and the Xbox 360 comes out and the Xbox 360 is a fairly qualified success. They offer a peripheral which is an external HD DVD player.

Dusey Van Dusen (23:56):

An add-on, which I completely, in my head, it was part of the system, that you had to go buy an add-on and plug it in to the side, it would sit there.

Derek Harju (24:03):

Correct, and it was almost $200. I remember it was like $150 or $200 and that's after you have already bought an Xbox 360.

Dusey Van Dusen (24:10):

An Xbox 360.

Derek Harju (24:13):

Meanwhile, Sony, who owns the Blu-ray format, the PlayStation 3 comes out, so guess what's pre-installed in it? Not as a peripheral, built into the system, you buy a PlayStation 3, you've got a Blu-ray player.

Dusey Van Dusen (24:26):

Now, these PlayStations, I mean, they sold really well, the PlayStation 3. But they were super expensive, especially, those first few years that they were out, weren't they like 400 or even 500 for different models?

Derek Harju (24:38):

Yeah, absolutely. You could make the case you're like, "Well, after you spend all the money, they cost about the same." Consumer mindset can be an odd thing to track. Even though the PS3 was more expensive, because the Blu-ray was bundled in, people who actually didn't have much interest in video games were buying it because it was actually slightly cheaper than a lot of the standalone Blu-ray players that were being put out.

Dusey Van Dusen (25:03):

Blu-ray players, yeah.

Derek Harju (25:03):

Now, Sony did this, this is a fun fact for everyone listening, Sony loses money every single time they sell a console, the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4, they lose money every single time they sell a console.

Dusey Van Dusen (25:18):

That's like they sell a lot of them.

Derek Harju (25:21):

Yeah, they lose, no joke and-

Dusey Van Dusen (25:24):

Like, how does that work? How does that help them?

Derek Harju (25:25):

So they lose anywhere from $100 to $150 every time they sell a PlayStation 3, they get it back when you buy games. What they're really doing is they're paying 150 bucks to gain entry into your living room.

Dusey Van Dusen (25:38):

They're the original, cheap printer expensive ink.

Derek Harju (25:42):

Correct, so things just start sliding from there, Target follows suit, they're only carrying Blu-ray in their stores. Warner Brothers, then one of the last holdouts, like Warner Brothers as I said, jumped ship and is pairing up with Blu-ray. HD DVD producer, Toshiba, tries dropping. They actually slashed the prices of their players in half hoping that it'll spur adoption. But by that time the damage is done. There's nothing they can do.

Dusey Van Dusen (26:18):

What I immediately think of when trying to apply like look at this situation like that loss leader idea really stood out to me. There are a lot of companies that will do this, that they'll sell something, Walmart will sell something at a loss. Not because there's something specifically tied to it, but just because it gets them into the store, it gets consumers into the store and then they pick up other stuff while they're there and then make up their money there. How can a small business apply that idea? Like small businesses don't have a lot to just give away.

Derek Harju (26:48):

It's good to look for places where you can provide people with value that doesn't necessarily have to cost you a lot of money, but you may be giving it away. That may be in instructional videos, and online content, blogs, tip sheets, white papers, that kind of thing.

Dusey Van Dusen (27:07):

Something else that you can do as a step into, so there's that free stuff but you can also have an eBook or a webinar series or something like that, that is 20 bucks to buy. That gets people in the door starting a relationship with you, and then they're more likely to come back to you later after you've made that initial transaction. The thing you want to make sure of is that it's things that aren't going to cost you time and effort. If you're giving away something that you personally have to follow up on or do a service that you have to give, that battle's never going to end in your favor. Yeah, find something that you can give away that doesn't cost you time or effort besides getting it up and running first to start to create a relationship with people that might be interested in your service.

Derek Harju (27:54):

Absolutely. Well, we want to thank you guys for tuning in. This has been Derek Harju.

Dusey Van Dusen (27:58):

This is Dusey Van Dusen.

Derek Harju (27:59):

And this is Worst business ideas in history.

Dusey Van Dusen (28:01):

Bye.

Derek Harju (28:02):

Keeping ever expanding client info straight, sending the same emails hundreds of times, scheduling and rescheduling appointments over and over. Who enjoys this nonsense? No one except my cousin, Brent, and Brent is the absolute worst. Keap is the premier, all-in-one CRM. Just head over to keap.com, that's K-E-A-P.com and start your free trial today. Get the busy work out of the way so you can focus on what's important and make your small business grow with Keap. Start your free trial at keap.com, that's K-E-A-P.com. More business less work, that's Keap.

Jack Smithson (28:47):

Okay, we're back and we are here with Brendan Alan Barrett Barrett and we're going to continue our conversation and we're going to segue over from follow up and then crossing over into sales and work-life balance.

Brendan Alan Barrett (29:03):

Yeah.

Crystal Heuft (29:04):

So how do you do it? I don't know.

Brendan Alan Barrett (29:06):

A little fairy dust, a little blind luck.

Crystal Heuft (29:13):

It seems like something you would need to make that happen.

Brendan Alan Barrett (29:13):

No, so that topic alone was ultimately the spark that started the podcast, the business of family and selling. I was an independent sales rep for a construction company, and I was driving out to a job in Wickenburg at 10:30 at night listening to an audio book that my wife and I had decided to listen to together. That right there was just trying to consume some of the same content that was a step in that direction of work-life balance. Because I think I heard Seth Godin say it first that when you read the same books as people, your conversations start to change. I think that's really true, you start to have a vocabulary from which to have, or a common vocabulary, from which to have really productive conversations no matter what it is. That particular situation it was me and my soon-to-be wife like how the heck are we going to merge our finances? How do we navigate that and we're still doing it.

Brendan Alan Barrett (30:10):

I just suggested another book this week that we should be reading together so that we can start making more plans for the future and refining that. But, again, that was this work-life balance thing and being self-employed and a sales professional, like those are long, stressful days. They can be, especially, if you're not super intentional about it. There came the podcast, the business of family and selling where I interviewed a bunch of people who were farther into fatherhood and farther into marriage than I was.

Crystal Heuft (30:41):

That's cool.

Brendan Alan Barrett (30:42):

Who were doing really big things or had one or two pieces of the equation really well figured out. Really, the big themes were boundaries, but to set good boundaries you got to have some pretty good clarity, and then the other part of it is best practices. The things that work really well right now are the things that are going to give you time back. Whether it's organizing your day when it comes to prospecting the activity, following up on existing pipeline, getting paperwork done. Right, like doing that really well and keeping it organized and efficient is going to make it easier for you to feel good about "clocking out" at 5:00-

Crystal Heuft (31:33):

Totally.

Brendan Alan Barrett (31:33):

... and focusing on the people at the dinner table. Then like as a sales leader, having processes and procedures documented, both written and then maybe in more consumable fashions like video and audio so that sales people don't have to feel like they need to call their boss to get a question answered or to learn how to do something. The bus is already laid out. When you have these questions, search this database, I'll show you how to do it in the video I created two years ago. That was the podcast, and again, the lessons learned are clarity, boundaries, and then always trying to revise best practices. They truly are the most efficient ways of growing revenue and leading a team.

Crystal Heuft (32:18):

That's good.

Jack Smithson (32:19):

Right, and systematizing as you essentially for yourself and for your team members or?

Brendan Alan Barrett (32:26):

Yeah, so if you're going at every day, you're shooting from the hip every morning, like there's no consistency to that. Not only are you going to be frustrated, and at the end of the day, feel like you didn't accomplish anything and then feel guilty about "clocking out" at 5:00 and sitting with the family. But you have no data from which then to reflect on and try to make pivots and improvements upon. I think the last time I was here we were talking about being super organized and documenting your sales processes and your follow ups in your CRM. Because only when you document everything and you document things accurately, are you really going to have true data from which to make decisions and improvements from.

Crystal Heuft (33:10):

Totally.

Brendan Alan Barrett (33:11):

The same thing applies to making time for both being a fantastic provider, getting your feelings of self-actualization from your career, and also being a good husband, wife, parent, child, brother, sister, whatever it happens to be.

Crystal Heuft (33:33):

I feel like for small business owners, it's so tough because you're-

Brendan Alan Barrett (33:41):

Agreed.

Crystal Heuft (33:43):

... trying so hard. I don't know what that sign means Jack, help a girl out.

Brendan Alan Barrett (33:48):

It's audio, they can't see the facial expressions guys.

Crystal Heuft (33:50):

I don't know what this means yet. We need a sign language lesson after so I can take up on the cues Jack gives me.

Jack Smithson (33:58):

[inaudible 00:33:58].

Crystal Heuft (33:58):

Oh, so it wasn't even a sign, I'm like, "What did I do wrong [crosstalk 00:34:03]?" Okay, so back to this topic, I didn't forget guys, what I was talking about is that small business owners really find the struggle to balance that family in life and business. Whether it's a family or you're just on your own, you still need a work-life balance. I have a friend, actually, I've been giving him a lot of feedback lately that, "Hey, you're going 110 miles an hour 24/7. You need to take some time out and make a little time for something outside your business." Because he's very successful, he's doing great things. But at the end of the day, you still need that time for yourself to grow in other ways as well. I guess what would be a tip you would give to my friend, Juntae, if you're listening? But I would say what would you tell him about really managing his work-life balance? What would that tip be? Like the number one thing he should be trying to do?

Brendan Alan Barrett (34:59):

What is your fear if June doesn't take this?

Crystal Heuft (35:02):

Juntae, I don't have any fear, I just want everyone to live like a balanced life. I think he's killing it, so taking time to celebrate is also part of continuing on to big goals. But I also think on all the small businesses we've talked to, this is a struggle they find of it's not a 9:00 to 5:00. If you want to succeed, you're probably working so many hours so-

Brendan Alan Barrett (35:26):

It's a marathon.

Crystal Heuft (35:26):

... if you can't clock out at 5:00, what should they be at least making sure they do to make sure they have a healthy, sorry, work-life balance?

Brendan Alan Barrett (35:36):

Well, one thing for myself right now is focusing on my eating because I tried to make the physical fitness, physical activity, shift first and I was successful with that for a while and then not so successful and then everything was a mess. Like take the early wins, right?

Jack Smithson (35:55):

Have you ever been there at all?

Crystal Heuft (35:55):

Never.

Brendan Alan Barrett (35:56):

Take the early wins. Like right now, for me, it's just eating more Whole Foods and vegetables and making that my first choice over a sandwich.

Crystal Heuft (36:09):

Yeah, that's great.

Brendan Alan Barrett (36:10):

All this processed stuff and french fries from Wendy's that I can get in a minute rather than having to wait five minutes for my steamed vegetables to be ready. I don't know, circle back to the why though because, for me, I want to do all these things. But to do that, I'm going to have to live a decently long life to see my grandkids and give my grandkids the lives that I foresee them to have. Talking about that on a regular basis is important because if you're not revisiting it, yeah, you forget about it, you focus on the now. I guess, focus on the why first, and then two, take the easy wins. What is the easiest thing that you can do and then build upon those wins. I think like even Zuckerberg preaches that kind of stuff, right?

Crystal Heuft (36:58):

For sure.

Brendan Alan Barrett (36:59):

He did the easy stuff first, and that's what allowed them to get build momentum and now do things that a lot of people wouldn't have ever dreamed that they'd be able to do.

Crystal Heuft (37:07):

Yeah.

Jack Smithson (37:09):

Okay, so I'm not organized, I've never been organized. I'm the guy when you said, "Hey, people get up and they shoot from the hip." I'm like, "That's me."

Crystal Heuft (37:17):

But you usually get the bullseye.

Jack Smithson (37:19):

Right. I do okay there but I just recently started listing. My wife is really organized, and her whole life is lists and checking boxes and feeling really good about kicking the crap out of her lists. I've never been a listing guy until recently, and it's made a huge difference. Because if I just try and get something in my head, which I've done for a long time, and then I realize, "Hey, my head it's not a very good organizer." It's all over the place. I drift in the best of times. Actually, having lists and writing something like, "Oh, I need to do this, and now I'm going to write it down."

Brendan Alan Barrett (37:54):

Amen, and that's what my book is. The only thing I brought in were my keys, my phone, and my notebook. I carry that thing with me every day.

Jack Smithson (38:04):

Mine's right next to yours.

Brendan Alan Barrett (38:04):

I sit down while I'm drinking my coffee or when I first get to my desk, if it was a rushed morning, and brain dump all the things that I got going on in my head. A lot of it is from pages before like it just it never happened, whatever. Then after it's all out, then I start numbering it. What's the most important thing I get done today, or what's going to make me feel accomplished at the end of the day? The thing that's going to move that needle the most, that's number one, number two, number three. Then if I do more than three, then I start to get distracted and so I try to only do three at a time. If I get through all three, which some days doesn't even happen, but if I get through all three, then I can renumber.

Jack Smithson (38:44):

Yeah, I don't know if you have Jordan Peterson. I read one of his books recently, the 12 Rules for Life, and he has a conversation with himself where he says, "Hey, self, I'd like to reduce some of the unnecessary suffering around here. Is there something I can do?" He has this conversation with himself, and so I look at that list with that in mind. I'm like, "So which of these are causing me the most pain? Where's the most consternation here and which one should I probably knock off the list so that I don't need the Xanax?"

Crystal Heuft (39:16):

You guys are speaking in book language here, I'm going to go ahead for anyone out there that might be like me, and I'm going to speak to a meme because that's what social media marketing managers do. The one that always gets me to sit and reevaluate is the one that has the lady and she's got her hand up and she's like, "Raise your hand if you've been personally victimized by your own bad decisions." Anytime someone posts that, I put the emoji of the woman with the raised hand because I'm like, "Amen." That's how I get to reevaluate those choices because I'm like, "They are right, I'm personalizing or I'm personally victimizing myself right now by sitting here and eating this ice cream or by skipping the gym or by not prioritizing those things that I need to really recharge." Journaling, and I have started journaling a little, it's foreign to me, but it is important I think for me to clear that head space and get realigned to some of my goals and missions in life. So things like that, I think, really help.

Jack Smithson (40:16):

But some of our best stories come from our worst decisions, I'm just saying.

Crystal Heuft (40:20):

Oh, and the best lessons, best stories and best lessons.

Jack Smithson (40:24):

I have so many great stories-

Crystal Heuft (40:25):

Me too, Jack.

Jack Smithson (40:26):

... because I've made horrible decisions.

Crystal Heuft (40:28):

Me too.

Jack Smithson (40:28):

I'm like, "Yeah, [crosstalk 00:40:30] not to do that," and then it goes.

Crystal Heuft (40:32):

Let's do the sharing of those too, I'm ready. Let's do here. I was just sharing one, actually, yesterday, I should have called you over. I was like everyone was really enjoying it, but we're not going to share that here. But I'll fill you in. But you are 100% right, those are the best stories and they are usually for me the best learning experiences.

Brendan Alan Barrett (40:50):

Well, and for those out there like that is the trend, without conflict, there is no story. But I was just listening to an interview, I think it was Dax Shepard was interviewing Judd Apatow.

Crystal Heuft (41:03):

That's gotta be a good one.

Brendan Alan Barrett (41:04):

Yeah, and he followed the Avett brothers around for I don't know how long, and they were filming and filming and filming and couldn't find the conflict. They are like, "Where is the story?" It took them forever to realize that is the story, there's these two brothers who do this awesome thing together and they don't fight.

Crystal Heuft (41:24):

I don't believe it.

Brendan Alan Barrett (41:24):

It's a beautiful thing and they have a fantastic life like-

Crystal Heuft (41:29):

They didn't get in deep enough. They didn't go in the right closed door, I'm telling you right now, there's no way two siblings go a whole, this amount of years in the industry with no fighting.

Brendan Alan Barrett (41:38):

Well, again, not to the degree that you would think is a story worthy I guess but their whole thing is like they go to their dad like he checks them. When they butt heads, it's not a knock down drag out fight. It's, "Hey, we're struggling with this thing. Let's go to our corners and reassess. Maybe we got to get some outside counsel." Usually, it's their dad telling them to just man up and quit being a jerk and accept that that's the way it is.

Crystal Heuft (42:07):

Well, they've either spent a lot of money in therapy long before this guy was following them, or their dad is a therapist. Because all I'm saying is my sister knows where all the dead bodies are buried, she knows where everything is, and most the time I think she wouldn't sell me out. But every once in a while, I'm like, "Hmm, who would you... how much?" It might only take a 20-

Jack Smithson (42:27):

With siblings with so many like chiclets.

Crystal Heuft (42:28):

Yeah, it might only take a 20 and she might share all of it on some given days.

Brendan Alan Barrett (42:33):

They're also at an age where in their relationship, I think, they're at an age in their relationship because they've known each other since birth that a lot of people won't get to until it's their spouse and they're like in their 90s, right?

Crystal Heuft (42:49):

Or they're just very mature and I'm never going to be that.

Brendan Alan Barrett (42:52):

Well, I would imagine as kids they weren't as peaceful. Like you learn and you grow.

Jack Smithson (42:57):

Oh, sure.

Brendan Alan Barrett (42:58):

I've been married two years now, and we're learning stuff about each other every day but we're also being very conscious about that. Anytime I get into it like argh, it's, "Oh yeah, we're learning how to coexist. We're learning how to do this thing called life together and we are two different people. We came from two different places." Part of that is why I was so attracted to the woman who became my wife. The other part of it, and that's, I guess, growing up in marriage and growing up in business is very similar. You're going to butt heads with people you do business with.

Jack Smithson (43:34):

Oh, yeah.

Crystal Heuft (43:35):

Is it, Jack?

Jack Smithson (43:36):

My wife once did shake me till my ears bleed at least once every other day.

Crystal Heuft (43:41):

His wife is, honestly, so supportive. She's a very cool chick.

Jack Smithson (43:45):

She's lovely.

Crystal Heuft (43:47):

When we do lives with Jack, she's one of the first people viewing and then she immediately like waves or says hi, she's commenting on there. I'm like, "Oh my gosh, what a social media marketing manager's dream come true."

Brendan Alan Barrett (44:02):

There you go.

Jack Smithson (44:02):

It's not that she's not busy, she's a pediatric nurse so she's busy.

Crystal Heuft (44:05):

Yeah, actually, what are your tips for balancing life? Because it's interesting to me, you've got a whole family, you're married. I'm curious about you've got a boss Lady as a wife, you're a boss man here. So how do you guys balance that life at home too?

Jack Smithson (44:23):

Because we're both super A type, we collide hard when we collide. It's, and jokingly, it's like we fight for the pants and it's not overt that we're fighting for the pants. Sometimes it's-

Crystal Heuft (44:38):

Clear.

Jack Smithson (44:38):

Yeah.

Crystal Heuft (44:38):

And other times it's-

Jack Smithson (44:40):

It's covert that we're fighting for the pants, and sometimes it's just right out there. We've been together about eight years, and we're a lot better at it-

Crystal Heuft (44:49):

That's great.

Jack Smithson (44:49):

... but we still collide because we're both like super A type and you know.

Crystal Heuft (44:52):

To Brendan's point, it probably takes time to get to that growth.

Jack Smithson (44:53):

And my way is always better and I'm always right.

Crystal Heuft (44:57):

You better be careful, I'm going to Facebook her right now.

Jack Smithson (45:02):

Well, I mean, she'll tell you different but I know it that my way's better and that I'm always right.

Crystal Heuft (45:07):

Okay, so we're going to go ahead and remind everyone what we've talked about today because I think we, for a minute there, I think Brendan was ready to leave because we were laughing and making jokes and he was really having some good points. I'm going to wrap it up here a bit and say we started this conversation really driving in on the importance of follow up. Then we went to the importance of work-life balance. So, Brendan, as a way to start closing this out, what would be one tip you would give in follow up, one tip, for the small business owner out there? Then one tip for really balancing that work-life balance?

Brendan Alan Barrett (45:45):

Well, it's a mindset thing. Yes, it really does take that many touches to have meaningful conversations with the people who, when they see the light, will be thanking you for interrupting their day.

Crystal Heuft (45:57):

Totally.

Brendan Alan Barrett (45:57):

Yeah, and that realization might keep you from spreading yourself too thin trying to get in front of too many prospects when you have just enough in your database on your spreadsheet, whatever it is, to hit the revenue number you're going after. Only by not following up with that targeted audience, you're going to spread yourself too thin and you're going to be pulling out your hair and, yeah, you're not going to be able to unplug at 5:00 and focus on the people at the dinner table.

Crystal Heuft (46:26):

Totally, so what I'm hearing is know who your audience is so that you can not spread yourself too thin and make sure you're following up with the people that are going to be able to move through the funnel and be acquired.

Brendan Alan Barrett (46:38):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Crystal Heuft (46:39):

Then if you do these things, you will have more time for your family and be able to set those boundaries you're talking about.

Brendan Alan Barrett (46:45):

Yeah.

Crystal Heuft (46:45):

Did I do okay there?

Brendan Alan Barrett (46:47):

Indeed.

Crystal Heuft (46:47):

I was even through the jokes trying to take in the lesson. But, anyways, thank you so much for being here, Brendan.

Brendan Alan Barrett (46:53):

Absolutely.

Crystal Heuft (46:54):

We are going to send people in our blog to get a 98% of the people that aren't opting in to convert. Where can they find that again?

Brendan Alan Barrett (47:06):

Yeah, so if you have a decent digital web presence or internet assets and you're interested in not just continuing to convert the 1, 2% who are already converting on your sites, but there's another 98% of the folks who are visiting your website, checking out what you have to offer. But for one reason or another, fall off the path to doing business with you, you can learn more about ways to convert that other 98% by visiting startinphx.com/b2bleads.

Crystal Heuft (47:37):

We'll put that link in the blog. Thanks, everyone, for listening, thanks for being here, Brendan.

Jack Smithson (47:41):

Right, magic, it's wizardry.

Crystal Heuft (47:42):

Yeah, it is. It was a great topic and we really appreciate your [crosstalk 00:47:46]-

Brendan Alan Barrett (47:46):

Well, thanks for having me.

Crystal Heuft (47:46):

Yeah, great. Thank you guys.

Derek Harju (47:52):

Thanks for listening to Small Biz Buzz, please take a second to subscribe to the show and leave a five star rating. It helps keep the show going. If you need a hand with growing your small business, head over to keap.com, that's K-E-A-P.com and get started. More business, less work, that's Keap.



See demo