Melissa knows all too well how much time, energy, and money it takes to run a small business.
As a self-proclaimed ‘sales & marketing geek’, her first business was a sales training company that she ran for 11 years. Her sweet spot is the blending of sales & marketing with technology. In other words, how to use technology to increase your sales and marketing effectiveness.
Isadora Samadello 0:00
Welcome to Book of Experts TV. I am Isadora, your host and today we're going to be talking about automating your sales and marketing system with Melissa Blair. Hi, Melissa.
Melissa Blair 0:11
Hi, good morning.
Isadora Samadello 0:12
Good morning, I'm good. So Melissa knows all too well how much time energy and money it takes to run a small business. So as a self proclaimed sales and marketing geek, her first business was a sales training company that she ran for 11 years. Her sweet spot is the blending of sales and marketing with technology, which I personally think is fantastic. So in other words, she works on telling people and helping them on how to use technology to increase your sales and marketing effectiveness. So Melissa, once again, thank you so much for being here. I am excited for we're about to learn. Thank you. Yeah. So just tell me more. Tell me this. This idea of automating your sales and marketing, what does that mean? Exactly?
Melissa Blair 0:58
Yeah. This goes back, like, like the intro said, had a sales and sales training company for 11 years marketing is my education background. And then I'm nerdy. So I love thinking and using technology to help us in the sales and marketing process. I think too often people think technology is going to sell for us. And it's not, it's it's really there to help us keep track of all those people were meeting and keep track of where are they? Where are they in their interest level? And how can I automate some of the things that I really shouldn't be doing because I need to be spending time with people who are ready to buy now, right? Not everybody's ready to buy. Now, it might be a while everybody's sales process is different. But some sales process could be as long I used to be in the automation, factory automation industry, you could spend two years you know, selling robot since stuff to a factory. Other people have a short short lead time, but I'm taking technology and letting it help you nurture people who aren't ready to buy now really makes a big impact. But But sales is still sales, it's a person to person thing. Now we're doing it over zoom. Yeah, hopefully get back to a little bit more person in person. I don't think zoom will go away. But or zoom like process, but it's really about interacting. And the sales training that we had is it was called integrity selling. And it's just like, what it sounds it sales is really a matter of helping people solve problems. And too often again, it's viewed as a negative thing. And it's not. I met with a young gentleman the other day, I think he was probably 25. And he's in the sales industry. And I said, Why did you get into that? And he said, I just love helping people. And I was so happy that he had that viewpoint on it. Yeah, because again, you know, if you buy into the negative, yeah, there's always some of that out there. But for the most part, salespeople are really just there to help you. Yeah. So it's really blending all that together using technologies in a smart way, but freeing you up to spend more time actually talking to people and solving problems.
Isadora Samadello 3:26
That's fantastic. So I love how you put the technology as a resource that we need to know how to use instead of just throwing stuff at it and hope that it'll reach the right people. Yeah, I've seen that too many times that it doesn't work, like even even a Facebook ad needs to be super precise in order for you to reach who you're trying to talk to. So I love that I love that you're educating people on that matter. I think it's very important. And like you said, like, you know, the zoom culture won't go away cuz it made a lot of things so much easier. And people just dressing up from the waist up like who wants to give that up right?
Melissa Blair 4:04
place yesterday and when I got there, I realized I didn't even match you know, it was I looked good from here. And then when I looked around like my pants didn't match my shirt my shoes did.
Isadora Samadello 4:20
That's so funny. Oh my god see that is applying quarantine life to real life. That's hilarious. Oh my gosh. Oh, yeah. A little more about like the first steps on. I mean, you can talk about why this is so important to a business, but I'm really curious to know, like, if a person is really wanting to move in that direction, what do they need to start? What like what do they need to pay attention to in the beginning?
Melissa Blair 4:48
Oh, that's a great question. Um, so we've been doing this the last couple years and we've worked primarily with coaches, consultants, speakers, trainers, podcasters, you know, building An audience. And we assumed we could help anybody that anybody in that market do that. But over time, we realize, and you said it earlier, don't run a Facebook ad run a targeted Facebook ad. Well, you can't run a targeted Facebook ad until you figure out who your target is. Right? So we found the same thing. The software that we offer has all this incredible capabilities, it's in the reason that we even got into this is I would go out and consult with, with small businesses. And I'd say, okay, you have to buy Click Funnels, and you have to buy calendly, and you have to buy a CRM, and you have to buy a sales pipe pipeline program. And the next day, they're looking at me, like, What are you? That's crazy? And I was like, Yeah, I know it is. But you know, and then I would build this little Frankenstein. Me, I knew what to do it so much as a man. And I bet it was expensive. And it was time consuming. And they didn't know how to use it. And so I kept thinking, there's got to be a better way. And that's when we started working with this development team a couple years ago. So what they've done over this last couple years is take all those programs make their own version of it. So we've got our version of clickfunnels I version of calendly, our version of of Active Campaign, because we have workflows and all that. So that's great. But it's a lot. And it's it's a lot to set up your entire sales and marketing system using seven programs. It's were easier because it's just one program. But still, it's hard. So what we've learned over over this last few years is they really have to still identify their target audience, who is that customer or that ideal prospect that they're going after? Because everything else we do after that ties into that it's the advertising, it's where you hang out on social media, it's your copywriting. If you're building funnels, you've got to have funnels that are built to attract that ideal client. So now we're realizing, if you don't know that, we kind of call that step one, if you don't have step one, when step two, we have a nine step process step. Step one is you know, who is your ideal client? But step two is what problem does your offer solve? And who does it solve it for? So in a way, it's it's that right? clarity? Yeah, and you because you can't, you can't do copy, you can't do ads, you can't do funnels, you can't do any of that stuff until you figure that out. And then for us, step three is what is your sales process? Is it a short term sale? Is it a long term sale? Are there numerous meetings are there contracts that need to be sent and returned? And so each client we work with, we have to look at those we call, we have three sections, nine steps, three sections, step one, or section one is plan. Section two is assemble, and then execute. Too often, we all start in, we buy a bunch of software, and we start assembling a bunch of you know what? And then we realize it's not working? Yeah, the ads are because oh, yeah, Facebook ads don't work. And it's like, well, if you don't, that's because you're doing it wrong.
Isadora Samadello 8:25
Melissa Blair 8:26
You didn't do the planning first and planning. You know, I guess some people love planning, but for the most part, entrepreneurs love the action. It's like, let's get going. And the planning is kind of like, Oh, yeah, I've got a plan. But once you plan first, then everything you do when you assemble the pieces, and then when you start executing and running them, it just makes so much more sense than doing it back afterwards.
Isadora Samadello 8:52
Right? You know, that that makes so much sense. Um, walk me through a little bit. Let's explore the nitty gritty of what automation actually means. Like, for a, for your regular business owner. What is that?
Melissa Blair 9:09
Great, um, I, look at it from from capture, mat, lead, nurture that lead flows that lead and then hopefully, you know, get them all this onboarding and everything. So when you think of capturing, how do you get new people into your stratosphere, and so might be putting free ebooks out there or workshops, webinars, things like advertising, social media, your there's so many places we can get our message out there. But we don't want to necessarily be doing that work every day. So you set up let's say we call it a lead magnet. Let's say we set up some sort of checklist or ebook or something. What The software does is allows you to build that bad landing page. A lot of people know what a landing page is with a form on it. So somebody comes here now whether it's through social interaction, ads, networking webinars, however you get them there, we have a way of automating the process of they fill in the form, the form comes into the software, the software says, oh, they've requested this lead magnet, we're going to now sell send them that lead bag. And then you have a series of nurturing steps after that. So our software not only sends emails, but it also does text messaging, it does voicemail messages, it's we can tie in direct mails. So what we're trying to do is do more than the email, email, email cells, we're trying to provide information over a long period of time and tell it's becomes apparent that it's a good time to now book an appointment with you, because all of our customers work off of a free consultation, discovery session type thing. So everything we're doing in lead gen. The call to action is book an appointment book, a time book, a discovery session, and all of that can be automated. Yeah, oh, you don't do anything. And, and our scheduler books, the time and you know, sends out the confirmations and reminders like a calendly or acuity, yeah, acuity. Any of those programs time trade, we'll do, this is just our version of it. And so as a salesperson, all I'm doing is showing up every day, I just my zoom account, I've got appointments booked out every day because of that automation that I do, then that route. And I said to you earlier, when we first started talking, it's a pain in the butt to set this all up, right? You've got it, you've got a lot of work, you've got to make sure it's tied into your ideal client, you've got to have lead magnets and webinars and everything. But once you do it, you just show up for appointments every day, I do a 15 minute before that appointment, I look through and I we capture all their answers to questions on forms and surveys. I look through and i'm i'm looking at who I'm meeting with, I'm checking out their website. But that's all I'm doing. I'm not doing any of the other stuff now. And then the nurturing, you know until they're ready to buy, you need to keep nurturing them. And then once they do by the automation for a sale is you start onboarding and you automate. Okay, onboard, I had a client text me yesterday and said, we're starting our onboarding.
Isadora Samadello 12:39
Melissa Blair 12:40
you don't get there overnight. You know, it's, it is a process. It's like remodeling a house, you don't remodel the entire all at once. But we try to help our clients find what's the most important room you need to remodel first? Wow, that's the bathroom, right? kitchen and bathroom make the most money. And and so for for them? It's like, is it most important to get that lead gen automated? Is it most important for them to get that appointment funnel where they're booking appointments every day that can be part of that? Is it most important to launch your high ticket course. Many best place to start is don't automate your $37 write off your high ticket course because or your high ticket offer. Because once that baby's automated you you have the income coming, then you automate all the other smaller stuff, right? So yeah, it's, it's really looking at each person's business where they are. And again, if you don't know that those first couple steps I am in I'm actually meeting with a lot of different consultants now because I want to be able to refer different consultants where I, hey, you first need to figure this out. Go talk to this person and book of experts is a perfect place for this because so many, yeah, people in the system that I really want to start reaching out saying I would rather refer people to you and now and then when they're ready, send it back to me. They don't get into all that matter of making sure that that person goes through a building process. And you know, they're experts at that piece they do. And we're just experts at the nerdy part of it.
Isadora Samadello 14:42
That's fantastic. That is sounds to me like that saves so much time, man. Wow. Like as you know, I talk to these business owners constantly and their biggest frustration is like, I feel like I have to do everything myself. And that's why things don't Progress, because, you know, you're just literally having to take care of all of these moving parts, some of which you have no clue how they work. So, I fantastic. I love that. I love that so much. Um, so this is my favorite question. I might ask it too much, but I'm going to ask you anyway, what is a piece of resource, it could be a practical advice, it could be a book, whatever it is that you help people like, Hey, here's how you kind of engrossed in this journey right now, or that would help you start thinking about this.
Melissa Blair 15:35
Okay. People that know me know, I tell this story all the time, there's a book called the pumpkin plan by Mike mccalla wits, has written a lot of amazing books, but the pumpkin plan really hit home for me, because a lot of entrepreneurs, they can do a lot of things. It's like, they just have so many interests and ideas are popping up every day and all these amazing things. And I live in Wisconsin. So we're in the Midwest, and we have big state fairs. And so the premise of the book is if you want to have the biggest pumpkin at the State Fair, and you want to win the Blue Ribbon, Uh huh. A secret to doing that. And that's that you plant your pumpkin patch. I'm probably not Tony exactly right. But the the theory is that your pumpkin patch, and you put it in the right light, and you do all that and then you you take a look at those first few pumpkins that are growing. And you find the one that has the most potential, the one that really has it going on, it's bigger than the rest. It's browned. It's a pretty color. And then what you do is you cut the vines to all the other pumpkins off. Oh, that hurt. Yeah. Oh, nutrients and sunshine and all the good stuff is going to that one pumpkin. And so it was two years ago, when because we were in business about four and a half. Now this business and it was about two years ago that I cut all the other pumpkins off. And it was the best decision I ever made. I chose my pumpkin and people that know me know I say it all the time. Because it's like Melissa, you should get you know, let's talk about doing a partnership over here. And I'm like, Huh, this is my pumpkin. Yeah, I know it's your pumpkin but it kind of works into now. It's ready. Right now. That doesn't mean I won't pick up another pumpkin at a certain point manufacturer actually now talking about another pumpkin but to me you don't build another pumpkin until that one pumpkin is thriving and and working on autopilot, basically. Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah. That to me is I, I meet with a lot. And they're like, Well, I do this and I do this. And I do this. And I do this. And I say, Okay, you got to pick your pumpkin because you can't be good at everything. Right?
Isadora Samadello 18:01
It's divided attention. You never go anywhere too fast.
Melissa Blair 18:06
Yeah. And that's at least what's worked for me and it just got easier. Otherwise, you're always chasing your tail and never getting anything done.
Isadora Samadello 18:17
Yeah, no, I love that advice. I literally am gonna spread this around to three different people. No, I love it. That's fantastic. Melissa, thank you so much. This has been fantastic. Not just for me. I'm sure all of our listeners are thriving everything that you're saying. So you so much for sharing. Thank you for your time. For everybody who's listening. You can find Melissa bleyer at book of experts. com just go reach out to her Connect, see how you guys can work together and take advantage of everything that she's offering is fantastic. So thank you once again, Melissa, it was great being with you here.
Melissa Blair 18:59
Oh, thank you for having me.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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