Welcome to Marketing Lego Thought Leader Interview. Today we will have a word with Wes Schaeffer, Founder & Chief Revenue Officer of The Sales Whisperer, about his journey and how he came up with his marketing consulting agency. We will also talk about the valuable insights on CRM, sales, marketing automation and more.
Hi, everyone. My name is Harshit Gupta, I’m the Director of Business Alliances of two amazing marketing SaaS tools, RankWatch and WebSignals. I’m so excited to welcome you all to today’s marketing legos thought leader interview because we have a brilliant marketer, sales and CRM guru, best Founder and Owner of The Sales Whisperer. Wes, welcome aboard and so happy to have you.
Okay. Wes, I’ll really, so will our viewers would love to know your journey before The Sales Whisperer. You carry so many years of experience with you. I would love to know how you got to where you are today?
We need to remember that everything we do is a sale. The menu at a restaurant, they’re selling you. How they set it up, they’re selling you. Everything is a sale. You want to go on a date with somebody, it’s a sale. So, understanding that sales is the name of the game and embracing that has made all the difference for me and it makes all the difference for my clients. And it’s funny how many small business owners say that they hate sales and marketing, but that’s the job.
Depends on both of these pillars.
Yup. Let’s talk Wes a little bit more about The Sales Whisperer and its service offering,you know, you’re one of the early adopters of the CRM as well. So, let’s talk about that thing in depth and what all as a company the sales expert offers?
Got it. Alright, so, Wes, I’m just curious about marketing automation and CRM. I still consider that as a middle step, the top of the funnel is something which is again very critical and crucial for the company, right? Generating the traffic that eventually leads to a potential client. They fill the lead form or stuff and then go back to your automation and stuff. Do you help people on top of the funnel activities as well? Or is it like just after the lead generation where your expertise comes into play?
But with the right lure and everything, some worms, you can go catch some catfish in a muddy lake, in maybe 20 minutes. And now your family eats today. You can go about it with confidence. So, what are you going after? Right? Who’s the prospect? What’s their pain? Where do they congregate? If you’re selling to senior citizens and you’re focusing on Snapchat and TikTok, you’re going to go hungry. They’re not there. So, you got to know who you’re going after, what it is they buy. But, yes, I can help them around all of those other tools, but I’m more focused on the message and what are you going to say, how are you going to say it? And what’s the call to action that you want to have happen as a result of this? And then everything else tends to fall into place if you get those things right.
Makes sense. I think in marketing, the marketing communication is the biggest pillar and the most important thing that needs to be addressed, has to be consistent and multiple dynamics to it. But, yeah, that’s good to know. Apart from running the Salesforce, you’re also part of two really good podcasts and then you’re the author of a few books. You are also into building communities on Facebook for your sales coaching and stuff. Please tell us a bit about that as well so that any of our viewers, if interested, can reach out to you and be part of it.
Nice. Are SaaS companies also part of it or just the CRM? I would love to be part of it.
Perfect. Wes, apart from this, let’s switch to The Sales Whisperer, how your typical client journey looks like in your organization?
Yep, that’s true.
But at a minimum, they’ll know at the end what the real issues are. A lot of times customers don’t know the true issue and the impact. Like I tell people, with your health, maybe for a few months, yeah, I’ve been kind of tired and I’m falling asleep after work. I’m kind of sore, kind of stiff, and I don’t know. You don’t think anything of it. You think maybe it’s stress or whatever, you blow it off. But once a problem has persisted long enough and you can’t find an answer, right? Because you don’t just run to the doctor one day you wake up and you’re tired, right? You’re like, well, let me try going to bed a little earlier. Oh, maybe I was drinking too much. Let me cut out alcohol for a week or two. Maybe let me change my diet. Yeah, I have been eating bad and nothing improves it. Then you’re like, oh, when the customer can’t find their own answer, then they reach out. Now the doctor can diagnose. They listen to your heart, your x-rays, whatever. Oh, hey, you got some blockage. You might need surgery. Oh, no, but at least you now know the answer.
But if you as the patient, just call the doctor and say, hey, I need you to prescribe surgery for me. What are you talking about? I’m not doing that. I don’t even know you. But that’s what we do as consultants, right? We let the customer call us. Hey, yeah, I need more visits to my website. How much are you going to charge me? How do you know that’s what you need? And really, literally nobody needs more eyeballs on their website. What they want and need is more customers. Because the reality is very few people are converting even to leads, let alone customers. So I’ll ask them, I’ll say, let me ask you something. If I reduced the number of visitors to your website by 50%, but I grew your sales 100%, would you be mad? No, that’d be awesome. So, you don’t really need or want more eyeballs. You want more customers. So, let’s figure out how to do that. Maybe it is, you need more traffic, but I’m not going to let you prescribe to me what to diagnose and prescribe? No, you’re calling me. So, I’m in charge.
Usually, how long is the diagnostic call? Is it like just one call where you kind of understand their problem, look into the analytics, and figure out the problem, the tools, whatever they’re already using? Or does it evolve and take multiple steps?
I’m curious now, what is the nature of the agency revenue cycle mainly? Is it more of one time or is it a recurring revenue model altogether primarily for you?
Yeah, consultation. Is it recurring in nature, primarily, or is it a one time thing, where you fix the problem and then the client takes it from there?
Got it. I think let’s talk a bit more about let’s discuss one of the case studies on how you scaled a business with the help of CRM or automation or via your sales training. And what were the key matrices that basically helped you conclude that this was a successful campaign or venture altogether?
Got you. Because you’re talking about repeatable processes and all and one of the very good ways is introduction of marketing automation. That’s the core value of marketing automation. Do you have any useful tips or hacks that kind of fits for all the businesses and there’s a core reason why they should opt-in for marketing automation altogether?
But the reality is it’s the consistency. You call, you text, you mail a letter, you buy flowers, you take her to dinner, take her to coffee, find out her favourite flower and you bring that. The consistent little things of constantly showing up proves your interest. Okay? And so by showing up in a timely manner, the right message at the right time, the right moment, okay? That’s what eventually wins them over. So, offering some information like I’ll do my podcast, I’ll offer the video, I offer the audio, I’ll offer the transcript, I’ll offer a synopsis. Okay? So, everybody is going to consume the data differently. So, I want to give them whatever they want as long as it’s practical and then from there they can opt-in for maybe a free report. I give a lot of free resources. You don’t even have to opt-in. It’s just there. So, by proving my, you know, I prove my competence by my body of work and that’s what wins them over to say, Alright, this guy’s for real.
Got you. Wes any horror story that you have experienced when it comes to, like, CRM or automation in your journey so far?
Yeah, basically the system kind of stumbled and had negative results basically.
Because yeah, there’s always been… people come to me. Either they’ve outgrown their current platform or their current platform has let them down. I had one lady not too long ago, and I actually had her stay with her platform. They were supposed to be locked in for life on their price, and the guy decided to raise prices. I don’t think he should have done it, but whatever. The world’s crazy. He wanted to raise prices. So, they came to me because they were mad and they wanted to switch. And as we went through things, these were folks that paid for my assessment. And we talked it through and had a couple of calls, several emails, and I helped them negotiate the new terms and they were fine. Things are going to happen infusionsoft over the years, they raised prices for the first time. I think back in 2014, people kind of freaked out. And starting right now in January, they’re raising prices on a handful of older accounts. Again, I don’t think they should, but they are. So, some people are going to get mad and look to switch. I don’t know. I don’t think that’s worth switching. Changing platforms, once you’re really embedded, it’s hard.
Yeah, it definitely is.
That’s one of the biggest reasons why the churn rate on SaaS companies and all of these CRMs is pretty low compared to the general services per se, for the fact that adaptability to the new system altogether is a different ballgame. You have to train yourself, your team, and that is something which is again, really painful for people. So, they stick to whatever they have for the time their core purpose is getting sold. Let’s talk a bit more about what are the common mistakes that you feel businesses make when they’re finalizing a CRM and automation?
It’s better to know where you’re great, where you’re not and excel in those areas. But technology is not going to save you. I always tell people if you’re mediocre at what you do and if you have a mediocre message, then getting great at marketing and paying for great tools to deliver all this is just going to accelerate your death. You don’t want to be great at telling the world how average you are. So, get great at what you do. And really, if you get great at what you do, the world will talk about you. They really will. But I think people, instead of spending that money internally, they try to patch things over. Like an unhealthy person. They go to the doctor and they want blood pressure medication, instead of joining the gym. They’re going to continue eating fried foods and then pay for medications with all the side effects rather than just changing their diet, you know. So, work on yourself. That’s the magic.
That’s true. Wes since you’re way too involved in sales, coaching and training, please share some of the proven strategies with our viewers for converting leads to actual clients. Some of the common things that you can share, strategies that will be building.
I don’t want to spend hours with somebody that’s just curious. And so if I can get them really engaged, spend investing their own time and energy in answering the questions and they come back to me, then it’s an easy sale. I don’t want these hard closes. That era is gone and it’s going to bite you in the butt if you try to tackle things like that today. I want to treat them right. I want them to be happy and confident with moving forward. I want to be the obvious choice and you do that again through that body of work and that takes time. So, if you’re kind of new in sales, then you need to realize that the questions that you ask help you prove your competency. You don’t have to keep talking and selling, ask good questions, answer what you can, really help the prospect come to their own conclusion that it’s in their best interest to move forward with you. That’s when you know you’re doing it right.
Makes sense. Wes since most of our viewers are again like part of marketing agencies or marketing agency owners. Please, if you can share some of the best channels or must have tools that they can use to generate more business new leads and much more stable recurring revenue for them.
Unless you’re going to get 100 million followers, whatever, 100 million views, and you can monetize TikTok in and of itself, you can’t predict that. If you could, everybody would do it, then it wouldn’t be unique. Then nobody can do it. You can’t intentionally create a viral video. I think 99% of the viral videos were lucky. Yeah, maybe they tried a little bit, but something resonated for a certain reason. But if you look at those, it was people doing what they love, right? They were good at it. They put their heart into it, and it caught on. So, figure out what that is. Figure out what you’re great at. Figure out a need and fill it. Don’t get too hung up on the platform until you’re clear on who you are and who you serve.
Well, I think it was a pretty interesting session, and we’re coming to an end, so I would like to have a very quick, rapid fire with you. Are you ready for that?
Perfect. So, since you’ve been working from home for a really long time now, 26 years, what do you miss most about working in an office?
What is the funniest thing you have witnessed during a zoom meeting?
What is most likely to distract you when you work from home?
And the last question for today: what’s your favourite book?
Perfect. Thank you so much, Wes, for all the time. Really appreciate it, and I’m sure so will our viewers. Thank you so much.