Key Ingredients To Refine Your Sales Process & Closing More Sales

December

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Are you ready to transform the way you approach your sales game? Our special guest, Jennifer Bleam from MSP Sales Revolution, has actionable insights that will not only refine your sales process but will significantly up your closing rates. So, if you’ve been yearning for that secret sauce to turn prospects into paying clients, you're in the right place!

Join Tim Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Bleam for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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Key Ingredients To Refine Your Sales Process & Closing More Sales

Tim Fitzpatrick
Are You ready to transform the way you approach your sales game? Our special guest has actionable insights that will not only refine your sales process, but significantly up your closing rates. So if you've been yearning for that secret sauce to turn prospects into paying clients, you're in the right place. I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe you must remove your revenue roadblocks to accelerate growth, and marketing shouldn't be difficult. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I am super excited to have Jennifer Bleam from MSP Sales Revolution with me today. Jennifer, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Jennifer Bleam
Thank you. We're going to talk about the secret sauce. It might get a little spicy, so let's Yes. I'm happy. Let's do it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, I love it. Yeah, you and I, we always have great conversation, so I'm looking forward to this. Before we jump in, I want to ask a few rapid fire questions to help people get to know you. You ready to jump in?

Jennifer Bleam
Let's do it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Jennifer Bleam
I love board games, really in-depth strategy board games like Ticket to Ride and Acquire. Those are my two favorites.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Ticket to Ride and Acquire. Okay, I'm going to have to check those out. I don't know those.

Jennifer Bleam
Ticket to Ride is a good one, easy to jump into, easy to figure out. Acquire, I get to play once a year, usually on my birthday. It is a long game I usually win. It's a cross between a monopoly and a stock market type of game. So there's some strategy and some future casting and all the things. I think you probably be really good at it. So you and I may need to play. We may be the only people in our worlds that would want to play with us.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay, cool. We'll Ticket to Ride and Acquire. What's your head in talent?

Jennifer Bleam
I twist balloon animals.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. Hey, how did you learn how to do that?

Jennifer Bleam
So I went on a vacation with my family, and it was one of these resorts that had a little bit of everything, like underwater basket weaving, and I didn't do stained glass or whatever. And one of my kids said, Mom, he was like, all of seven years old, my whole life, I've always wanted to learn how to do balloon animals. My whole life, he's seven. He's my dramatic child. So we're on vacation. What else are you going to do? There's not a whole lot to do. And I'm like, sure, let's go. Well, he couldn't even tie a balloon, but I learned how to twist. And then I've taught people. And one of my students has twisted balloons on the White House lawn. And so it's a ton of fun. I've twisted in Russia. So yeah, that's my hidden talent.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Man, that is a first. And I'm sure it's probably going to be the only. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Jennifer Bleam
Jump in and do it. Literally, just you don't learn to swim by standing on the edge of the pool. You'll learn to swim by jumping in. And so whether that's learning a new skill for marketing, walking into a prospect, walking into a sales call, growing, expanding your business, adding new line of business, just jump in. You're probably going to flounder a little bit. You probably won't drown. It's more than likely not going to kill you. And you're going to learn a whole lot more than reading blogs and watching videos. Just jump in. Nike has it right. Just do it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. Just do it. That's a really good one because I know for me, I'm a math major, so I'm super analytical. Sometimes I can fall into the analysis paralysis trap, and we just got to put a plan together and just take action.

Jennifer Bleam
Or even not even a full plan. What if you just had the first four steps and you're like, Once I get to the end of step four, probably there's going to be new opportunities and new pitfalls and new roadblocks. I try not to plan all 47 steps because most of them won't apply to the situation.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I always say there's no perfect plan, and the plan that you create is not the plan that you're going to end with, right? It's constantly in flux. You're iterating and optimizing. So I love that piece of advice. What's one thing about you that surprises people other than the fact that you twist balloon animals?

Jennifer Bleam
So I am an introvert. I am a complete introvert. My family will argue with me, my husband, and I had this discussion this weekend, I am a hundred % an introvert, and I can be people. I can be people-y for a very limited amount of time, about three days is my limit. And then you will find me curled in a ball in the corner of my office with a blanket over my head, just recharging. So I am not an extrovert. As much as I love people, that's not what fills me up. And so I truly am an introvert.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You know what's interesting? I think that people fall into the trap of thinking that introvert, extrovert means it's like how you are as a person. To me, it's really about how you recharge and re-drink.

Jennifer Bleam
Correct. Yes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So just because you're an introvert doesn't mean you can't go out there and meet people. It just means that you recharge your batteries in solitude or in quiet, right?

Jennifer Bleam
Yeah, a hundred %. I had an experience where I was leading a SOC simulator at a cybersecurity conference, and I was, picture me like a tour guide for 10 hours at an event. And day one, I was great. And day two, I was great. Bring the fire. If I'm going to play, I play all in. And day three, I woke up and I was ready on the outside, but on the inside, I was mushed. I had nothing to give. And I was in my hotel room crying. I'm like, What is my problem? We lived together. You had a good night's sleep. Is like, What is this? I'm looking in the mirror going, This makes no sense. And so I texted my boss at the time, and I'm like, Hey, I'm going to be a little bit late. And he's like, Yeah, we don't actually start for two hours. And I'm like, Okay. And so that gave me time to step back and say, What is my problem? And it's like, Oh, I've been giving and giving and giving. And so I had two hours to sit in my hotel room and regroup and dig deep. And I'm like, All right, come on, Jennifer. This is what we do. We find out what you're made of. And I made it through that third day, but I still brought the heat, I still brought the fire. I played all in, but it was hard. That third day was tough.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, trade shows. Not my thing. What does success mean to you?

Jennifer Bleam
Working with clients that work hard and being able to help them when they get stuck and having fun doing it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I like it. Where's your happy place?

Jennifer Bleam
Anywhere in nature. The mountains, the stream, the woods, just the quiet. Anywhere, I love nature.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Me too. That's why I live in Colorado. What qualities do you value and the people you spend time with?

Jennifer Bleam
Probably because of my introvertedness, I like people who will fill the conversation, but also those that will pull me out of my shell. So I like the give and take.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. Jennifer, tell us more about what you're doing at MSP Sales Revolution.

Jennifer Bleam
Yes. So I work with managed service providers, as you would guess, based on the company name, and I help them find a marketing system and a sales system that helps them to grow. So we need lead generation, and then we've got to be able to close those leads. And so helping them find ways to market themselves that are, I was going to say, comfortable, maybe a little bit outside their comfort zone, but something that's customized to them, to their unique strengths, and then beyond that, knowing how to close those sales. So I've got a roadmap that I walk my clients through. It works really, really well, and we're growing. We've got a couple of clients going through an acquisition right now, and so it's good. It's all really a lot of fun.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I know MSPs are not in this boat by themselves, but they're great tech people. It's just, man, when marketing and sales are not your thing, you got to find a way for it to become your thing. I can't remember where I heard this, multiple people have said this, but when you're an entrepreneur or a business owner, you are a marketer and a salesperson first and foremost. And then whatever you do with whatever you sell or whatever your services, that's secondary because without sales and marketing, you're going to be a best kept secret and none of the other stuff matters.

Jennifer Bleam
Yes. I think it's Robert Hershevec that says until you're a $10 million company, everybody on your team is a salesperson. And maybe it's not really 100 % of your team, but certainly anybody who's client facing or public facing, they need to have some sales skills.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Marketing, sales, customer service, they are all involved in that front end of sales and marketing in some way, shape or form, whether they realize it.

Jennifer Bleam
Or not. Totally agree.

The Three Parts of a Sales Process

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Let's talk about sales. I was telling you this before we jumped on air. I talked to so many MSPs that they don't even have a sales process. We can't predictably convert if we don't have a sales process. Help us out with this, right? I know you have succinct way of explaining the three parts of a sales process. Let's walk us through that.

Jennifer Bleam
Yeah, I like it. And you said we can't consistently close. We also can't consistently clone the owner if there's no process. And so that's a big thing that my clients are focused on right now is getting out of that marketing seat. And so on the sales side, they're looking for that repeatable process that gives them the end result. So every system is perfectly designed to get the result that it gets. And so the three parts of any sale, I don't care if you're selling managed services, managed security, co-managed, purple umbrellas is what I talk about in my book. The three pieces are revealing the gap, feeling the gap and healing the gap. So revealing the gap is like, hey, you're at point A, we need you to get to point B. You may not even realize that there is a point B. You may be perfectly happy at point A, but you need to reveal that there is a gap. And we can certainly talk about that if you want to. And then the second piece is feeling that gap. No sale is made without emotions. And I think this is probably the hardest piece for our industry to wrap their heads around because they are super technical. In fact, they probably think that they make decisions logically. They don't. They actually make decisions emotionally. But because they're very... I think they almost operate, they almost think in terms of flow charts and if-then statements. Because they're very logical and sometimes a little bit out of touch with the emotional side, they don't realize that that emotional side is important and that they need to tap into that inside of the sales process. And then finally, healing the gap, which is making the sale, closing the sale, being able to go into our opportunities and slide that over to closed one. That's how we keep score in the sales world. And so that is a healing of that gap.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. I love this. So revealing, feeling, healing. Revealing is where we're uncovering the problem that they have that we can help them solve. Feeling it is helping them understand the emotions that they have around that issue, right?

Jennifer Bleam
Yes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So I'm guessing and lead me down the path here. That's about asking questions about, if this problem doesn't get solved, what's going to happen?

Jennifer Bleam
Yes. So it's interesting. There's a lot of surface, fluffy information around discovery. And so I don't think it's going to come as a surprise to any of your listeners, like discovery is the most important part of the sales process. And we all nod and say, Okay, great. Well, what's discovery? Well, it's all about asking questions. Okay, but there's literally hundreds of discovery questions. How do I pick from that library? The teaching on discovery is very, very wrong. And so this is the epitome of beginning with the end in mind. And so if we know that the end is not about us, the discovery is all for the prospect. And so if we go into any sales interaction, knowing that the goal of this is to help the prospect see that there's a gap, and the goal is to help the prospect feel the impact of not bridging that gap, not healing that gap. Now it's all about them. In marketing, we do a whole lot of discussions around, What's in it for me? Tell me about the benefits to me, and that's important, 100 % important. But marketing and sales are two sides of the same coin. And so if it's important in marketing to answer the question, What's in it for me?, then it's important in sales as well. And so the, What's in it for me is the feeling. What would it do to your organization if you had a ransomware attack and you were down for three weeks and you could not access your time and materials and you couldn't create your widget and you couldn't pay your vendors and you couldn't pay your team? Obviously, those questions are going to be unique to the prospect you're talking to, but that's where you're helping the prospect feel that unease, the discomfort, a little bit of fear, uncertainty and doubt. We can certainly talk about that as well. You have to feel something and the uncomfortable feelings pool a lot better than the rainbow. and kittens and like pink, fluffy cloud. Worlds.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. So there's more focus here on the negative emotion than there is the positive?

Jennifer Bleam
Certainly with cybersecurity, because there really aren't a whole lot of positive emotions. We deployed MDR, EDR, XDR. We have multifactor. I feel proud of myself. There's not a whole lot of positive. It's really a mitigation of risk is what the feelings are, and you're not going to get to the mitigation of risk until you believe that risk is something that needs to be addressed.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So that's the feeling side of it. Then you've got the healing, which is where you're actually talking about the solution you have to heal that gap.

Jennifer Bleam
Yes. Well, and I don't recommend that you talk a lot about the solution because do I care how you're going to solve my problem? I may have one or two questions, but I'm not going to... Like my son has something minor on his wrist, and he's got surgery in a couple of weeks. And my questions were like, Okay, are you going to resolve it? How long is recovery? And how likely is it to come back? That's the solution. I did not say what anesthesia are you going to use? And what's the brand of scalpel? I wouldn't know if it was the right brand or the wrong brand because I'm not a surgeon. And so I trust the surgeon to make those kinds of decisions. And so in our industry, there's a lot of MSPs that are not quite confident enough in their own thought leadership, and they need to get past that. I like to use the phrase stand in your greatness. They know so much. If you're an MSP and you're watching, you know so much. And you have taken the time to pick the right brand of scalpel and the right amount of anesthesia. But you don't have to talk about that. Literally, it can be you have a problem, I have a solution. You said it was untenable and the level of risk was such that it was not acceptable. We can solve that. The budget you already admitted was comfortable. Let's work together. Can we solve this? And that's literally healing the gap. That's just simply asking for the sale. There's a couple of different ways you can ask for the sale, but it's not this massive compartment in the submarine not to on Sandler too terribly much, but it really done correctly closing happens all throughout the sales interaction. It is not this compartment at the end. Well, looky there. Now it's time to talk about closing you. I don't like that.


Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So you touched on this a little bit with discovery. We're asking questions, right? We're unearthing the problems that are there so that we can discover those emotions and then heal that. Do you feel like... Is it possible to have a set list of questions that you can ask in discovery each and every time? Or does it... I know this is a loaded question, but this is why it is so nebulous for so many people because they're like, you know? It's like just ask them questions and listen to what they have to say. Okay, so that's where I think a lot of people struggle.

Jennifer Bleam
I totally get that. So let me answer your question then let me give you a framework that will help you. Let me answer the question. Is it possible that let's assume I was single and I was looking for a significant other, is it possible that I could walk into a single bar and pull out my three by five card and read the questions that are on the card and woo someone and go out for a second date? Like, whatever. Is that possible? Yes, probably.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I don't know. It would be tough.

Jennifer Bleam
Does that stack the deck in my favor? Probably not. And so I don't like a lot of canned questions. I do have a list of questions, but you can get them on my website. I share them with my clients. But please don't write them on a three by five card in four point font and just walk into your sales call like, You must now answer a question number 14, that's not what you're doing. So I don't love having a library of questions. There's also tonality. There's a lot that goes into it. So if you're walking into this saying, Okay, this is not just I need a list of questions, and I'll just fake my way through, and I'll fake the tonality, what's the alternative? So the alternative is something that I teach my clients where we're basically building a bridge, and we start with easy questions. And the first thing is that we ask questions about the company. Tim, how would it impact your company if blank? Those are pretty easy questions to answer. They're pretty easy to come up with. They're not confrontational. We're talking about the fear, the whole company, it's an entity, but it's not a person, it doesn't really have feelings. And so it's easy for the prospect to answer that question. So let's start with an easy question, just like you're breaking the ice. If you are on a date or something like that. Let's ask an easy question. So questions about the company. Then once you've gotten them open to you and they're answering the question, then you can ask questions about their department. Okay, how would it impact the company? Well, Mr. Vp of Sales, Mr. Chief Revenue Officer, Mrs. Vp of Marketing, how would it impact your department if you had a ransomware attack? Let's just use the same example. There's lots of examples you can use, but how would it impact your department if you were down for three weeks and you couldn't close sales? You didn't hit quota this quarter. You couldn't answer the request for quotes and you were banking on that would be your big whale for the quarter. How would that impact your department? Well, we've gone company like that. All right, the poor company, whatever. Okay, I'll find another job if the company goes under. But now it's like it's my department. That's a little more personal. These are my peeps. These are the ones I work with all day long. My compensation is tied to that, my one year goal, three year goals, my hiring plan for next year, my request for a new CRM or a new tool to help me do my job better. And so we went from company, and now how is it going to impact your department? And then if we can really dig in and say, How is this going to impact your role, not your but you're the VP of sales and marketing, how is this going to impact you, your role on the org chart? What happens if your team doesn't hit quota? You just told me it was going to make your team hit quota or not hit quota. So what does that do to your position? Is there a bonus on the line? Is your job on the line? What is that? And now you can ask that closing question. Okay, so is this a big enough risk that we need to mitigate this, or is this something that's acceptable? Some things are acceptable. It's okay. If it's acceptable, you move on to a different conversation. If the ransomware thing didn't get you there, then maybe it's leaking of IP. What happens if your sales process leaks? What happens if you're the operations person and your acquisition plan leaks to the world, on the dark web, whatever? What does that do to the company? What does that do to your department? What does that do to you? Weren't you supposed to keep that under lock and key? So, all of a sudden, again, there's feelings associated with the company. There's better, deeper, more feelings associated with my department. And then there's really personal feelings associated with me and my role, because what's in it for me is how it's going to impact me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Got it. So we need to have a loose framework of where we're going to take the conversation, but we have to be fluid enough to adjust based on how they're responding to those questions.

Jennifer Bleam
Correct.

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Tips on How To Become More Successful in Sales

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. I love it. Super simple. I love this three-part framework. Now I want to ask you about individual salespeople. For someone who's just getting started in sales or I've been in and, hey, we all go through slumps, any advice there?

Jennifer Bleam
Yeah. Okay. So two different pieces to this new person getting started versus someone who's in a slump. So if you are a new person getting started, you will hit a slump. It is almost inevitable that it's going to happen. So I would encourage you to be tracking what is going on in your world. If you want to track that every day, how are you sleeping? How are you eating? What leads are you following up with? Because every system is perfectly designed to get the results it's getting. So if you're going through a slump, the problem is somewhere in your system that the natural tendency is for a salespeople to blame it on the quality of the leads. The reality is that we often need to look in the mirror and blame it on that person. So it could be that we stopped following our system. It could be, and this is mine, I will just be super transparent, It's why we've talked a little bit about the scoreboard, like the wins, and really what goes up on that scoreboard are the closed sales. So we close the sale, we feel good about ourselves, we feel good about our role, we feel good about the trajectory of our company, all the feels like we love those wins. But if you are not tallying those wins and more importantly, feeling those wins, all you do is you tally the losses and the frustrations. And EOS would call it the issues list. And some of us have five, 10, 15 page issues lists that you could rattle off like you review those every month. But if you don't also review your wins at least every month, then your reticular activating system is only telling the losses. And then your subconscious is going to feed you more losses because that's all you're talking about. That's all you're thinking about. That's all looking at. It must be what you want. So let me show you more losses. And so you start to get into this downward spiral. That's where a slump is coming from, is really coming from your subconscious. And so taking a few minutes to say, Okay, let me go back to when I was winning. What were my habits? What was my script? How was I overcoming objections? How was I sleeping? How was I exercising? All of those things. We're a package deal. And so when we are off our game, something caused it. It wasn't just one thing. And so a lot of people will like to say, Well, I had one loss. I had a client once who said, I'm in a slump. And I said, Okay, well, let's talk about it. And their job was an SDR. So they were a smile and dialing, telemarketer type of thing. And she said, She's like, Everybody think it's been awful. It's been an awful week. Everybody swore at me or hung up on me. And I said, really? Yeah, it was awful, is it? Everybody? And she's like, Yep. And I said, Okay, you make like on average, a hundred dials a day. So let's say every day you dial a hundred people and ten people answer the phone. So it's Friday. So you're telling me through this whole week, 50 people yelled at you, swore at you or hung up on you? Well, I mean, it wasn't 50. Okay, but how many was it? I don't know. I'm like, was it 40? 40 is a lot. I don't know if I could shrug off 40 people screaming at me. And so we dug in, and it ended up being it was one person. One person, screamed at her, swore at her, hung up the phone. And there's a lot of different ways you can take that conversation. That person probably doesn't remember. They don't remember your name. They aren't saying, Oh, I feel bad. I hung up and swore at Jennifer. They don't care. They were probably having a bad day. It wasn't at you. You just happened to be in the firing line when they needed to vent. And yet she carried that single loss all the way through the week, and her numbers were horrible. And that's part of it is languaging everybody. Every time someone answers the phone, everybody yells and being untrue. And then secondly, there were good conversations that she had that week, but she didn't pay attention to them because she was stuck on that Monday morning at 10:00 AM phone call where someone yelled. And so we reset. That's a lot of times when you're a sales coach or a sales manager, a lot of it is just resetting. Let's reframe this. It is not everybody that hates you. It's probably nobody that hates you. It's not everybody that's rude. It was just that one person, and you just happen to be in the way. How many good calls did you have? Like, okay, let's focus on those instead. Having that ability to step out of the moment, almost like an out-of-body experience where you're observing, Okay, Jennifer, you're taking this way too personally. This is not directed at you. Shake it off, get back into the fight.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Jennifer, you dropped some all kinds of good stuff there. So I want to pull out and highlight a few things. So one of the things that you touched on, the way it resonated with me, and I can't remember where I heard this, but we get more of what we celebrate. So focusing on, even if it's a practice, as simple as just like, What were my wins for the day? And just keeping track of those things so that at the end of the week you can look back and go, Gosh, I did have a lot of wins this week. Let me celebrate that and I'm going to get more of those wins. Because look, the reality is there are so many people that cannot handle the sales side of things. It is tough. It is a hard job, and it can be demoralizing if you don't find a way to let things go and focus on those wins and keep pushing forward. I love the fact that you talked about that. The other thing that I thought was fascinating was touching on when you are in a slump, going back and looking at like, we do this in marketing all the time, you've got to get a baseline and understand where you're at to figure out what you need to do to get where you want to go. And when things were cooking and now they're not, we got to get a baseline and go, Gosh, what have I been doing? And did I? This is another low-hanging piece of marketing fruit that we always look at is, what did you use to do the work that you stopped doing? The same thing happens in sales where it's like you're rocking and things are cranking. You're not really looking at things with this fine toothcomb as you used to, and then all of a sudden things go down and it's like, What's the baseline? And are there things that I stopped doing? Did I start getting sloppy? Or I just-

Jennifer Bleam
And the chances are that the answer is yes, because the things that are easy to do are also the things that are easy not to do. Where did I stop tracking my numbers so that I could make those fine tuned adjustments? Or where did I stop scripting or whatever it is, there's always room to improve. And I think that is a lot of what separates the amateurs from the masters is the ability to stick to it, even after you're really good at it. I was having a conversation with my future daughter-in-law. She's a great violinist, and we were bantering around. She said, if you were... So she plays violin, I play flute. And she said, If you are a perfect floutist and you could pick up any piece of music and play it perfectly start to finish, would you still practice in the practice room? And I'm like, Oh, that's such a good question. And I'm like, I would, because even if it's perfect, there's always another level that you can get to. But then it fuels me to know that I'm showing up with greatness, and I'm always polishing, and then I'm at least observing, Am I slipping in a few areas? And certainly with sales, with marketing, it's not quite as clear cut as did you play the notes correctly? Did you crescendo when you were supposed to crescendo? But there's a little more art, but it is like music. Like music, yeah, you can play the piece exactly correctly, but that doesn't mean you played it artistically. Those are different. And so there is a lot of art to marketing and sales, which is part of why it's so difficult.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I would say too that success in any discipline is about the fundamentals. You've got to get those fundamentals in place. So with the music analogy, it's a great one because they make it look easy because they've nailed the fundamentals, and they've nailed the fundamentals because they practice it over and over and over and over again.

Jennifer Bleam
Yes. It's interesting. You talk about the fundamentals. So when I wrote my book, there's so much that is in here that there are the fundamentals. And so in if you've never published a book, what you do is like behind the scenes, you upload everything and you double check, triple check all the things. And then on go day, it's simple as sliding the little slider from red to green. It's the easiest thing to do technology. In fact, you don't even slide it. You just click it and it changes from red to green. Sliding that slider to green was emotionally one of the hardest things that I did last year because all the voices in my head were saying, This is so fundamental. It's so basic. I don't know if it's going to serve people or not, but the fundamentals are the fundamentals for a reason, and you can't build on a crumbled foundation. You have to have those fundamentals figure it out, then you can go to the advanced levels. But just like in college, you can't take a 401 class till you take the 101 class. So there are certainly things in here that are not 101, but there's a lot that's 101 because you have to make sure you've got those things on lock.

Do Things That You Loved Doing in the Past

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. With the fundamentals, obviously, I talk about the fundamentals in marketing, but the fundamentals, I just look at them… You can look at them in two different ways, I think simple analogies. You touched on one, which is the foundation. The fundamentals are the foundation, and then everything else is the rest of that house. If you skip the fundamentals, you got a house with no foundation. The other way, which I talk about it a lot because I focus on revenue acceleration is the fundamentals, the strategy, it's the fuel and everything else of the vehicles. If you just jump into the vehicle and you got no fuel, well, you're just going to be sitting there. Fundamentals, they don't change in any discipline. They do not change. I think we've got to, with sales and marketing, with anything, we've got to obsess over the things that don't change first, and then we can start to look at, Okay, what else am I going to do? But if you don't have those things, it's just, yeah, it's not a good thing. I want to ask you something. This just popped into my head, so we're going a little off target here. But I think with sales and marketing, it is so easy to get caught up in all the information that's out there and start to do things because we feel like we have to, even though it's not really us as people. So, for example, I was talking to a really good friend of mine who is in sales, he's in business development, and he's in a slump, right? And he was like, Gosh, he's coming off one of his best years ever. Things are slumping. And he was like, I stopped doing the things that really made me different. He was following in this, what I would say are some of the more traditional sales tactics because of, Oh, we've got to hit our numbers, and are you doing this? Or are you doing that? And he was like, no. What made him successful is he did stuff different than everybody else. And really, he focused on value. It was all about building the relationship and doing things from a value perspective that nobody else is willing to do. And he was like, I stopped doing those things. And I was like, Well, it's probably time to start. Doing them again.

Jennifer Bleam
We've got a plan and a path. But we talked about doing that retroactive, or your, or retrospective, I guess is technically the right word, but where you're taking a look back. And I like that you're talking about feelings. One of the masterminds that I'm a part of there, yes, they focus on your numbers and your growth and your revenue and your MR and how many clients are you serving and all the things you would expect. But the metric they are most focused on is your feeling. How do you feel this month? And if you're feeling like, Oh, I think I'm building something I don't like, like by all means, let's fix that before you spend the next 10 years building something that you don't like. I'm talking a couple of my clients right now are saying, I don't like where I'm at because I really want to be the CEO, but I'm running sales and I'm running marketing and I don't like those things, and so I'm doing it, but it feels like it's not my highest and best use. But there's a lot of snarky, sleazy marketing companies out there that don't know what they're doing. And so I want to know just enough so that I can get this off my plate. And so then working with someone like you or I is really a means to the end of elevating themselves to CEO. So that comparison saying like, Oh, maybe I should do what they're doing, whatever it is, they're starting a podcast. Maybe I should start a podcast. They're doing webinars. Maybe I should do webinars. They're doing one call closes. Maybe I should do one call closes. There's nothing wrong with borrowing genius. You also have to know who you are at your core and decide what you want. I was at an event a few months ago, and there was a great conversation around, if you want a lifestyle business, then that's fine. Then what the lifestyle business and own that and pay yourself well, and you may never sell? And that's okay, too. You just understand that for the next 10, 20, 30 years, you need to fund your own retirement. That's okay. Likewise, if you wanted a $25 million multistate conglomerate, that's also okay. And so the whole thing about comparison being the Thief of Joy, a hundred % true, especially in business. I'm creating my own model. Some people say this is too big of a goal. Some people say it's too small of a goal. I want a hundred clients. That's my goal. That's Jennifer's business model. That doesn't have to be Tim's. It doesn't have to be Bob's. It doesn't have to be any... Nobody else is running Jennifer's business except for Jennifer. So I don't want 7,000 clients. That sounds miserable to me. And I know I could offload it to someone else or whatever, but everything rolls up to the CEO. I don't want 7,000 clients. I love everybody, but I don't want to have to serve everybody. Anybody who has a software tool that has served thousands of people, your dev roadmap is insane because everybody wants one thing times 7,000. No big deal. No problem. That sounds like, okay, just split my wrist now. I would like to die. Other people would be like 7000 clients. That fills me with joy and excitement. And I'll wake up at five o'clock in the morning without an alarm clock. Let's build a business for 7000 clients. It doesn't make me wrong in them, right? Vice versa. It's just we're different people. Again, we talked about this at the beginning, standing in our greatness and knowing ourselves build the business that's going to fuel you. Don't build a business that's going to fuel someone else. Don't copy someone else's model, figure out what's going to light you up and build that.

Conclusion

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love it. You've shared a ton of great tips today. Any other tips you want to share with us before we close things out?

Jennifer Bleam
We've talked about closing the sale and how that is the scoreboard. And it is, but I don't like focusing on closing the sale. Of course, I want to close sales. That's what creates monthly recurring revenue is what my clients want. That's the trailing indicator. But it's the trailing indicator. The trailing indicator indicates that the other things are in line. So maybe instead of focusing on how do I close more sales, you can focus on how do I build better relationships? How do I conduct discovery better? How do I get better quality leads from my marketing so that the closing is just a natural occurrence that happens? Yes, you'll still have to control the sales process, sales fundamental. Yes, you'll still have to ask for the sale, sales fundamental. Yes, you'll probably have to follow up, and you may not like it a whole lot, but let's focus less on closing the sale and more on building the relationship and helping people. The way you help people, of course, is closing the sale, but you don't need to focus so much on that if the other pieces of your process are in line and working correctly.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love it. Jennifer, thank you. It's been a fantastic conversation. Where can people learn more about you?

Jennifer Bleam
Yeah. Best Way is on our website, MSPSalesRevolution.com. You can get all kinds of tips and tricks on growing your business. You can find out where to get a copy of my book, which is on Amazon and Audible. There's links on the website. There's also bonuses. So if you're reading the book and you want me to unpack things a little bit deeper, that probably happens inside of the bonuses. So lots of great freebies there and happy to connect either on my website you can also reach out on LinkedIn.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. And we'll make sure that the link to your site and the book are in the show notes as well. Tell me the name of the book one more time so people know.

Jennifer Bleam
It is Simplified Cybersecurity Sales for MSPs, and I think I'm at 83 or 84 reviews on Amazon. My goal is 100 reviews by end of year. Total vanity metric, it's okay, but I want 100 reviews. 100 is a nice round number. I'm a salesperson, so I have to set goals. And so if you've read it and you haven't left me a review, Tim, you can, there's your call to action right there.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's right. Leave a review. So if you've enjoyed this conversation, go connect with Jennifer, MSP Sales Revolution. Jennifer, I always enjoyed chatting with you, so thank you for taking the time. Those of you watching, listening, I appreciate you. Jennifer shared all kinds of great stuff about the sales process. She jumps way more into the sales process than I do. But that sales convert, that conversion process is one of the nine revenue roadblocks that we help clients remove. If you want to know which of the nine roadblocks are slowing down your growth, you can do that over at RevenueRoadblockScorecard.com. Then you can always connect with us over at rialtomarketing.com. Be happy to chat with you on a Free Discovery Call. So connect with us if you are interested and till next time. Take care.


Connect with Jennifer Bleam


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About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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