The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines

Episode 19: Stop Overcomplicating Your Marketing

August 19, 2022 Scott Scully, Jeff Winters, Eric Watkins Season 1 Episode 19
The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines
Episode 19: Stop Overcomplicating Your Marketing
Show Notes Transcript

With all of the different ways you market your business, it's easy to complicate your sales and marketing. When it comes down to it, the best way to sell your business is to focus all of your messaging around the problem you solve. In this episode, we cover how to make your product a must-have, the do's and dont's of selling around a problem, and more!

Thanks for listening!

Eric Watkins:

Welcome to the grove show where we make it easier for entrepreneurs and leaders to grow their businesses. You'll hear from real leaders with real stories about their successes and failures. So you don't have to make the same mistakes. We won't break out textbooks or talk theory only raw stories from the front lines with actionable takeaways.

Unknown:

The gross show sponsored by sapper consultant, let us schedule your sales appointments. So you don't have to abstract cloud solutions, leveraging the power of the Salesforce platform to solve complex business problems, the straightforward solutions. Here's the next episode of the gross show.

Eric Watkins:

All right, welcome back to the gross show. No theory, no textbooks, only straight from the street. What's going on in real life? What we're learning every single day just working with as Mike Jeff, how you doing today? My partner and growth Jeff winners, managing some of the equipment, our other partner and growth. Scott Scully. How are we doing today? Scott?

Scott Scully:

I'm doing great. Thanks for looking forward to this topic, I think it's gonna be another gem. Like it's one of the biggest reasons why we've been able to grow and pretty simple in nature, not so easy to do. So hopefully, we clear it up a little bit. Absolutely. folks listening.

Eric Watkins:

Absolutely. So for today's topic, what we're going to be talking about is, you know, and this is for really the small to medium sized businesses, you know, a lot of the market that we work with, when we work with some of these companies, and we look at their marketing strategy. A lot of times it is, you know, my name is ABC Company. I've been in business for X amount of years, and I do XYZ services. And what we feel like is a big opportunity for people to take their marketing to the next level, is to actually center all of their marketing around the problem they solve. Every single piece of marketing should relate back to the problem that you're solving for your target market. And we're gonna go through some examples, we're gonna go through some examples of good businesses, either b2c or b2b that have done that, and go through some do's and don'ts. So Scott, do you want to start it off here and tell us a little bit about why it's so important to start with the problem you solve as a business?

Scott Scully:

Yeah, you know, I just don't think that the small to medium size, business is going to make any significant investment in a product or a service. If it doesn't solve a problem. Of course, you have the fun, nice to have low priced items, you know, where a lot of that can be sold. But if you are selling a product or a service, and it's, you know, a significant amount of money upfront, or on a monthly basis, you gotta solve a problem. And you gotta make that problem seem big enough, where if you don't solve it pretty quickly, you're in trouble. And there are so many different examples of that, that we'll talk about. But ours, for instance, is, you know, the problem that we solve is we build predictable sales pipeline. So the businesses that we are talking to, are in a spot where they may be frustrated with their growth, they might want, you know, more meetings, whatever it may be. And it's our job to, you know, kind of open the playing field and look at their current processes, and point out the fact that the lack of growth that they're having is primarily because of the number of new sales meetings that they have on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. And if they were to fix that problem, that growth would be predictable. They'd be around for years, their employees would have an unbelievable amount of opportunity. You know, just fixing that one problem takes care of a lot of the rest. So it's our job to make sure people understand that a predictable sales pipeline is one of the most significant either problems or assets that you would have in play in your business to be safe and thriving, going forward. That's ours. You know, there's other examples, but so that's what we've done. We've identified that major problem, segmented, and all of our messaging is around that.

Eric Watkins:

And Jeff, I'm, I'm gonna go to you in a second as well. I think as Scott was talking there, if you want to measure up as a company, am I solving the right problem? Will people buy your services when they don't have the budget for it? Yeah, well, they Buy your services when there's not that money allocated to the side to pay for your service. If it is, then you're doing a good job of making that a problem that they need to solve immediately. Jeff, what are your thoughts on this?

Jeff Winters:

I think that you could very easily gloss over this episode. And say, defining the problem is easy. And we do a great job. It's really not like most people define problems by the solution. Because that's when you think of a business when you conceive a business. That's what you think of like, oh, my gosh, we make amazing microphones. We make microphones that are so good. You will hear yourself clearly on a podcast, or in a video or wherever you use your microphone at a rehearsal dinner, whatever you do, we make the best microphones and it's so easy to get okay, but But what problem are you solved? That's not defining your solution in terms of a problem. If you have to think deeply about the problem you solve, because I guarantee you if you haven't, you're defining the problem in terms of a solution. So I would really encourage listeners, business owners, salespeople, folks that are going to be attending a cocktail party soon, truly think about the problem that you actually solve, and don't construct it in terms of a solution. And the second piece of advice I could give, is make sure your mother in law understands the problem. Because I have to tell you, I was years into a business that was going okay. And I remember every time I went over, and I'm talking cheap, it figured out and for me, it was my mother in law, whoever it is for you. And I could not she go, Jeff, you know, I love what you're doing. I'm so excited for your entrepreneurial journey. Whenever my friends asked what you do, I have no clue. And I've been telling this woman for years, she's only there's like three people to give a shit about my business. She was one of the three because I was supporting her grandchildren. And I mean that I say that tongue in cheek, but I really am serious about it's got to be simple and easy to understand for everyone, not just your technical users spend time thinking about the problem, not in terms of the solution to find the problem as the problem and make sure it's easy for my mother in law to understand. It's a

Scott Scully:

great point, that is a great point, right? Where your your mother in law would say, Well, why the hell wouldn't they use you? They have to use you. Right? Like the like. So it's not a problem for you to sell new clients, because they have to have that right, Jeff? And if it was that good, then you'd be in a good spot. Yeah, and

Jeff Winters:

you know what you want, again, to move off of my mother in law slightly. You want people to be able to define your problem to like you want them to even the person who's not in the business, you want them to relate to the problem. And then you want them to amplify that problem to other people, like you want your problem to be so easy to understand a, anybody who's not technical can understand it, and be they can relate it to others. So that hey, you know, you might wind up with little referral business as a positive, unintended consequence of defining your problem in such a clear and understandable and like, visceral way.

Eric Watkins:

Yeah, I love that. And I think the, you know, the next step, I guess, as you're defining your problem, is what you're going to find is you're actually going to have to educate on your problem as well. And it doesn't mean that the problem is not a big one, just a lot of times, they don't understand the gravity of the problem. So in our case, you know, for for business to business lead generation, we may have a client that knows they're not quite reaching their sales goal, right, or they don't quite have the pipeline that they need to predict their sales in the future. But they don't know what's going to happen next month when their biggest client leaves. They don't know what happens when their two reps just get recruited to the top company across the market, and that they're left with zero pipeline, and they take some clients with them. I'm just using examples of that's a problem. And that's a problem that you need to protect and you need to fix right now. So what are some good ways that you've seen Scott on how people educate when they're going into these sales presentations on the actual problem they solve? Because at face value, some people just don't feel like that problem is that big.

Scott Scully:

I wanted to use another example. And I think that I can dress what you're asking with that. And it's managed service providers, which happened to be, you know, our largest group of partners, a lot of them are talking about problems they solve through services, cybersecurity, desktop support, network infrastructure, those kinds of things,

Eric Watkins:

right, downtime response time. Yes.

Scott Scully:

Okay. We've got a great team. We've been around for 10 years we can solve these problems as opposed to or in addition to, like, Sure, there's something before that to me, which is look, if you have 50, you know, and depends on the industry that you're in anywhere between 50 and 100. Employees, that's when it's time for a dedicated IT person. And if you're going to do that, and you're gonna go out and hire someone, you know, the problem is, with technology, the word where it is today, there isn't a person out there that knows everything there is to know about infrastructure, design networks, desktop support security, cloud, there isn't. So that's an issue, you're gonna go spend six $7,000 a month, hire somebody, and they're going to be good at a couple of those areas, and they're not going to be good at the rest, and then you're going to have significant business issues, I don't know what it's going to be, it's going to be security breach, it's going to be you're going to go build out, spend a lot of money on on infrastructure design that isn't scalable, you're not going to have good desktop support, and your people aren't going to be up and running something is going to be a problem. And it's going to be a big one. And then when you grow, it's really going to be a problem or when that person turns over. And then you got to have somebody transition in. And there's all these things that are in process. Like if you're 50 to 100 employees, and you're about ready to go make an investment, you need an MSP period. And if you don't, you've got a huge, huge, huge problem. And just really outline that and then getting into Okay, and then here's who we are. And here's how we're different. Yep. But I, but I see your

Eric Watkins:

problem, I see exactly what you're saying there, it's, it's probably overlooked, because a lot of people who started an IT business, we're good at it. So what they love telling me or you about is how much better their new security system is. And I don't know what the hell that is. It doesn't mean anything to me. But that what you're talking about, that means something to me,

Scott Scully:

I think that more MSPs around the country would come at you, Eric as a decision maker and say, All right, you know, like all other MSPs we can solve these problems. But here's why we're better than the other guys. Assuming that you know that it's a significant problem to not hire an MSP like, right, you don't even I already assume you're right. You don't even know all the reasons why you should hire an MSP and why it's a significant problem if you don't. And now, you know, the other guy's in here talking to you about? Well, of course, we have all these services we can provide and going through all of those and then saying, and here's why I'm different than these three companies. I don't even know that you need to get to the other three companies, because you could present a case where I feel like if I don't have a relationship with you as an MSP tomorrow, my business is in trouble.

Eric Watkins:

Yeah, that's a great example.

Scott Scully:

So it makes sense that we've seen that we've seen really good MSPs that have done that lead with that. And then they didn't even have to get into why they were different than their competition, because the person felt like it was a big enough problem, to not have a contract right now with an MSP, right, that's an example of we've seen that execution. And those MSPs are growing at a bigger rate

Eric Watkins:

well, and and just and then we'll get off the MSP model. But obviously, a lot of our clients are in it, having that same pitch to the IT director from the standpoint of, listen, you're not gonna keep this job, if you don't bring on an outsource partner to help you with some of these things. Because it's not possible for one person to stay on top of all of it. It's just not in having that message in a way of like, I'm here to help you and support you as a business.

Jeff Winters:

Yeah, it's interesting. And sometimes we read the sales theory out there on the internet, from the experts, those guys, and what they would say is, you got to, like, have people self discover what Scott said, right? Don't just tell them they got to self discover. I'm not into the self discovery. All the time. I like the I like the approach of like, oh, like, look, I'm going to tell you, here's your problem. You can use us to solve it. You can never solve it. You can use no one to solve it. But I've been here enough to know what your problem is. And here's what it is. And like, I can then make it big with statements. There's no law against me. Getting a problem big with statements that you have to use questions? Hey, Scott? Well, Tom, you know, in your opinion, what would happen if you didn't solve that problem? And then after that, how would that impact the business? And then what do you think that's a good idea? How would that feel if you did that? It's like, just to be like very clear for the audience. This is in the sales moment. Are you going to ask a bunch of questions, some of which are kind of obvious sometimes. And you're like, oh, you know, as a buyer, like, I don't need to answer that. Like, if I threw you a lifejacket and you were drowning? Would you take? It's like, Yeah, I'd take the life jacket, like, okay, all right, the Internet was out. Would that be an issue for you? Like, yes. Like, I love Scott, how you'll just go in and be like, Okay, I've asked some questions to figure out what the hell's going on here. But now I know the problem. And I'm just going to tell you,

Scott Scully:

right? Like, someone that I know, we're laboring this to death, but it's a really good industry to point this out, you know, this topic out. So I'm going to hire an IT person internally. And I'm going to primarily hire them for desktop support. Right? Now, all of a sudden, this person is helping build out the future infrastructure growth structure, oh, my God. Like, what and you know, what? Hardware, what software, a building out systems for what is a 50 person company now, and a few years laters, a 500 person company. That person knows what they're doing. I mean, they hired him, primarily for desktop support. Like, you gotta point you got to ask enough questions and just make it a huge problem. Yeah, if they're not in that relationship for that particular example.

Eric Watkins:

Alright, so new new segment of this, we're gonna do a little do's and don'ts. So you're a company out there, they're hearing this and they're like, You know what, I don't like my messaging right now. Like, I need to, I need to think about how I can rework this to really solve the problem. So I'll give you one thing, Jeff, you sparked this, one thing to do, is at the end of your pitch us, I'm confused. Because if you can use that, you say I'm confused, Scott, based on our conversation today, if you don't hire an MSP tomorrow, you agreed with me that we would be in big trouble if something were to go wrong for your business. So I'm allowed, if I am selling around a problem, you're allowed to say that at the end, when they say, I need to think about it, I need to talk with my peers, I need to do this, that accent or whatever it is, the I'm confused statement at the end of a sales pitch, I think is an easy way to bring it back to the problem yourself.

Scott Scully:

Can I do it, don't do it Don't. Don't have your whole sales process, be centered around your competition, and why you're better than your competition. I don't think that you're getting someone to trust you. I think you're poking holes in other organizations, versus making them understand why they need, why they have a problem and how you can fix it. And if you do a good enough job there, again, you don't have to talk about the competence do not do not have your sales process centered around your competitors, and why you're better than them.

Eric Watkins:

And to that point, there's really two sales, especially in the services industry. Like if they're not outsourcing yet, that's the first sale like you got to sell them on why they need to outsource before you sell them on why you're the better service partner.

Jeff Winters:

Do use the phrase, use us use somebody else do nothing. Here's what I do if I were you. I like that. It just gives off so much. I mean, I was thinking back, I don't coach this in sales, but I do it on every call, right? Here's what I do. If I Are you, you can use us to do it. You could do it yourself. You could use nobody. I'm just telling you what I would do having seen this a million times. And people always have the same reaction. Thank you for your candor. I really appreciate that honesty, because I am being honest. Use that

Eric Watkins:

phrase. Yeah. And you're not begging them for their business? No, I'm giving

Jeff Winters:

them the option to literally not use us twice. The only there's only one option to use us. And there's two options to not use us. But I do know what you need to do. And you need to do this.

Eric Watkins:

I have a Don't. Don't be better than your competitor customer service. Don't pick a and I'm joking saying that. But don't pick a service that anybody else could say and probably already does. If you're going to use a differentiator, make sure you're truly different than somebody else.

Scott Scully:

Do get people to visualize the problem. Like you were alluding to that earlier right Get them to live in what it would look like if they had that problem. Maybe you're in HVAC, and b2b service contract world. And there's 100,000 square foot facilities that depends on a particular temperature, for productivity. And now you're down for two days. And sit in that live in that, what's that look like? How much productivity is lost, sending people home, they're out of wage, how much product doesn't get out the door, and just have them sit there and think about that and live in that visualized problem. And you do that enough? You know, then I think they're more apt to, to buy.

Jeff Winters:

There's like a don't in a do and what I'm going to say, which defeats your do's and don'ts thing, and I know you were hot on the do's and don'ts thing from the beginnings you're doing and doning do's and don'ts, he was determined to get this do's and don'ts thing. I think it's working. Don't spend a ton of time wandering around trying to figure out what the product what the context is for the problem you solve in that in that business? Do you something like the following? Typically, when people come to us that end up being clients, they're trying to solve one of three general challenges. Tell me if any of these resonate with you. And then say, three general challenges that your future or your current clients, your former prospects had, it'll help center you on what path you should go down, before you sort of dig to Scott's point and then ultimately, make the problem, like articulate the problem and make it big. So don't spend a lot of time wandering. That's the don't do use something like the three options to help center the context for the problem that you're going to solve at that particular business.

Eric Watkins:

I like that a lot. And I think we talked about that a lot of just not over discovering. And a lot of this comes from I think these this large software sales environment where they're selling million dollar deals to companies, and you need to ask them all these questions. And you probably do, like, that's probably the approach you need to take. When you're in the service industry. And it's a relatively affordable service. You need to spend more of your time explaining why that problem is such a big deal for their business and around that, and not the context and all the details of their business. Because a lot of it's the same.

Jeff Winters:

I don't want to answer a lot of questions. I think buyers are hip to that, like I get, I am going to have to answer a few questions. But like, you know, think about you out there if you're if you want to go buy a car. Do you want to answer 42 questions about you know, well tell me. Tell me about how often you go to the grocery store. When you do go to the grocery store? How many bags do you get? Because I gotta figure out how big the trunk it's like, come on. A couple of questions. I'm okay with 52 questions I'm not so like get to it.

Scott Scully:

Your one thing that I'd get a do, I guess is in getting them to participate? Once you've pointed out the problem, get them to talk to you about how they would solve, right? Because most of the time, they're not going to have a way a solution to solving the problem. And then then it's easier to say okay, well, this would and here's how much it costs, right? How would they solve it, you got to also get them to agree that it's a significant enough problem that if it happened, there'd be serious business interruption. But if you accomplish that, then it should be easy to sell. Agree.

Jeff Winters:

One more do before you start a business, make sure the problem is a problem. That's bad enough that people will pay to solve it. Just talking with some people, aspiring business owners, which I love, we love entrepreneurship. But, you know, you hear some people have leapt into these businesses and they're not going that well. And you go well tell me the problem. It's like, oh, that's not a problem anyone's going to necessarily pay to solve. So just make sure whether it be a new product line or a new business, make sure the problem is bad enough that people will spend money from their budget to solve it.

Scott Scully:

I feel like that's huge in software. There are some software companies that really figure out a significant problem and and develop software to solve it. And then there's

Eric Watkins:

billions and make billions of dollars. Yeah, those

Scott Scully:

those skyrocket quickly. Right, right. And let's just be real. All of the ideas and software can probably go raise $100 million, but the ones that actually work solve the problem. And the ones that fizzle out very quickly, it wasn't something people cared about enough. Yeah, right.

Eric Watkins:

I have a don't. And then let's get into a couple examples of companies, we feel like do that well do this well, as far as solving a problem for their customers, don't be everything to everyone. Some of these websites that you look at, there's every service and feature possible. And when you do that, you start diluting the problem you're solving, and it gets hard. When I go to your page, or I hear from your sales rep, what's the problem you actually solve? And it's kind of all over the place. I think really playing your flag, I love that our business, you know, we're really solving the problem where you never have to worry about where your next deals coming from at the end of the day. That's basically it. And I love the fact that we have that core, because then all these other departments and services that we built off, have tied back into that on how to build that predictable pipeline. All right, Scott, what's a good example of a business that sticks out to you?

Scott Scully:

You know, on the software side, I would say QuickBooks. You know, they were one of the first out in making in establishing that there was a significant need for accounting to be easy and where they started the small business. Right, and that it was hard to put together books and and, and kick out financial reports. And for a pretty insignificant fee. They put together a really good program that was so good that their market shares insane. I think that's an example. It's

Eric Watkins:

a great example. Quick Books. Thanks. Yeah,

Jeff Winters:

I'm going low tech. frozen treats. My family wants ice cream, and everyone wants a different flavor. who solves that problem?

Unknown:

Baskin Robbins Baskin

Jeff Winters:

Robbins solves that problem. That's right. That's who solved that

Eric Watkins:

thought. You were saying you had me thrown off with that

Jeff Winters:

sees absolutely no family. That's no kids. That's a no kids guy. Scott immediately. I'm halfway through that Scott goes Baskin Robbins. That is a problem. 31 flavors. 31 flavors. Every county in the country. Baskin Robbins solved the problem. My family wants ice cream. And everyone wants a different flavor.

Eric Watkins:

That's a good one. Baskin Robbins sucks.

Jeff Winters:

A cut cut the first one cut,

Eric Watkins:

cut Dairy Queen, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard all day every

Jeff Winters:

day. So you need I bet you're gonna give me like a July like you want like jello. No

Eric Watkins:

I'm not fancy Dairy Queen. Dairy Queen there's a reason Dairy Queens line is into the street every night.

Unknown:

That's a different product a different problem.

Eric Watkins:

Different product I'm not I'm not using it as a problem. I'm just stating where I like to

Jeff Winters:

go get my just Dairy Queen solve the problem of my family once ice cream and Well yeah, but what if

Eric Watkins:

you want? What if you want hot eats and Cool Treats? What if you want food and ice cream? You can't go to Baskin Robbins. That's the problem. Dairy Queen solves totally different problem. It is a different problem. Yes, it doesn't solve your problem. I don't have a family though. I guess I'm not I'm not in their target market.

Jeff Winters:

You don't have the problem that Baskin Robbins solves

Eric Watkins:

is their asset. The end of baskets there is now all right, my business subway, eat fresh. People want fast food but they don't want to get fat. So subway came out. We're going to eat fresh. We're going to be the healthy fast food option and they blew up. You saw subway stores growing all over the country. What's your favorite sub? The spicy Italian? Oh, yeah. Oh wait Is that Is that the one Italian being Italian BMT. Italian BMT Is there a spicy Italian BMT like 1000s like 1500 calories but yes, I like it's not healthy. But pick the right it's good sales. Yeah, it's good sales. Yeah, the spokesperson didn't that didn't age well, but that's not what I'm talking about. The slogan still stands Eat Fresh, fresh. Yeah. So today, great episode talking about marketing your business. Don't overcomplicate it, what's the problem yourself, build your messaging around that and find the things that truly make you different. We gave you some good examples, some things to do some things not to do. Hopefully, we had some good takeaways. Thanks for tuning in. Always be growing. Always be growing. Always be growing. Thanks for listening to the growth show. Leave us a review and let us know how we're doing or if there's a topic you'd like us to cover in the future.

Unknown:

The gross show sponsored by Reggie are your outbound sales campaigns not driving the engagement you're looking for. Revenue leaders rely on reggie.ai to write high performing sales copy that cuts through the noise in books more meetings. Want to see how it works. Head over to reggie.ai/grow show and learn how to put the power of best practices in AI into the hands of your sales team.