Did you know that ethical influence is not a skill you’re born with, but instead one that is learnable? In an empowering message, Alex talks about how to nurture a relationship capital with your clients by developing a proven conversion process to grow and sustain it.
As he identifies the five stages of converting candidates into cash-paying clients, Alex also shares some insights on how you can grow your business faster and exceed your sales’ potential. Additionally, Alex explains why it matters to build rapport and be relational instead of transactional.
Listen to the podcast here:
Transform Ice Blocks Into Steam
In this episode, you’ll discover the five stages of converting candidates into cash paying clients. You’ll learn that conversion is the rapport building process, not a selling process. You’ll also learn that your client path is to be like bamboo instead of like a eucalyptus tree. This episode could have a significant impact on how you can quickly and easily win the hearts of others.
Let me tell you the story of Coach Carla. Coach Carla is my avatar. 66% of my list is made up of Coach Carla’s. They could be consultants. They could be service professionals in other areas, but they are women. Most of them are in their 40s. They don’t make $100,000. Some of them do, but most of them are under the $100,000 range of income from their job.
They may be doing coaching and consulting part-time. That’s the part I’m focused on, it’s their coaching and consulting, not their day job. Coach Carla hates to sell. She’s not good at technology. What she has learned and learning at All Selling Aside is that seeding through storytelling is the new selling.
I’ve taught Coach Carla how to tell a story and the Sixth Stage Template on how to do that. Whether you are Coach Carla or maybe you’re Coach Carl, which makes up less than 45% of my subscription list, if you don’t make $100,000, if you hate to sell, if you’re a tech dummy like me. I came onboard with digital marketing back in 1995, so that makes me BG. That’s Before Google. I still don’t know how to put up a webpage.
I can write a blog post on WordPress, but I’ve never been very much interested in becoming a webmaster. Although many of my students, my friends, my colleagues are very good at it. I focus on content. I focus on delivering content. I teach others to do the same as in this podcast.
Here are a few other facts about Coach Carla’s aspirations, affiliations and attributes. She does have fears, frustrations and a few foibles. She’s a good coach. She lives a simple lifestyle, but she spends richly in continuing education. She’s got in the habit of hiring mentors. In other words, she’s a lifelong learner.
She’s proud of the quality of her work. She is self-supportive in many ways, even if she’s married and provides additional income for her family or divorced. She desires a passive income, but her business model, coaching or consulting, forces her to consistently trade dollars for hours. This is not necessary whether you’re a Coach Carla or Coach Carl.
Coach Carla cultivates her relationship capital with her clients because she believes that it is her most important asset. In fact, it’s her most valuable asset with her business network. Every once in a while, she experiences cashflow famine, which means there’s not enough cash coming in to cover her expenses. She prefers to keep coaching and doesn’t keep her eye on the selling process.
[bctt tweet=”Be relational instead of transactional. ” via=”no”]
You know by now that nothing happens in any business until something is sold. Albert Einstein said, “Nothing happens until something moves.” Movement in business is life and that’s sales. If you don’t like the word sales, then call it enrollment. Whatever you call it, client acquisition, customer acquisition, patient acquisition, if you’re in the medical field, no matter what happens, it is all about the sale that causes movement from one stage of conversion to the next.
Technology is not Carla’s best friend. She has a team of independent contractors to do a lot of her busy work, but most of them work part-time. She doesn’t have lots of full-time employees, maybe one personal assistant full-time. She has yet to develop a proven conversion process to grow and sustain her business, but she wants one.
If your name was Carl or you’re like a Carl, which is the male version of Carla, you’re in the right place because you are so busy working in your business as a coach or a consultant, as a financial advisor, as a dentist, as a chiropractor, as a service professional. Maybe you do lawn care or any other business, you don’t have time to work on your business, which is the art and science of sales.
Carla loathes, in other words, hates manipulative sales techniques, which is why I started All Selling Aside, because I hate that too. “People hate to be sold, but people love to buy.” That’s a quote from my good friend, Jeffrey Gitomer, who’s been teaching sales for over 30 years.
Carla’s business network is strong. It’s growing. She wants it to grow faster. If Carla sounds like you or if you’re Carl, remember that storytelling is the new selling. Storytelling is not enough. It’s seeding through storytelling.
Seeding objectives before they come up. Seeding part of your offer before it needs to come up. Seeding through storytelling is the new selling because people don’t question storytelling. People enjoy it. People remember it because of the way you made them feel.
A story has a beginning, a middle and an end. My goal for you is that you get so good at seeding to storytelling that you will be interviewed by me one day when All Selling Aside goes through the interview phase, which I hope to do.
If you have ever dated in your life and let’s say you’re married now, the dating part wasn’t to have a one-night fling because many times that ends up in disaster. It’s about starting with a date and then having another one. Through intimacy, just like marketing has marketing intimacy, you get closer and closer, you get engaged. You get married. If that’s what’s for you and then you have kids.
In the world of relationships, children are the backend of your business and every business requires a backend so that you have passive, recurring revenue, and not transactional revenue. If I could teach you anything right now, it would be relational instead of transactional.
Transparency is the key to selling. I tell people it is my intention to inspire and influence you to make a decision when I ask you to make one during this presentation. Many presentations are dysfunctional because they don’t have a level of transparency. When they get to the sales portion, there’s a seam. There’s no natural transition.
People feel manipulated. It feels yucky. They feel like they’ve got to take a bath. Many times, it’s not even the seller’s fault. They don’t know how to do it because they haven’t learned the skill. They’ve watched other salespeople. They’ve tried to mold themselves into their personalities. Let me share with you something you probably don’t know.
Many of my colleagues, many far smarter sales trainers and I have taught three stages of conversion. First, you have a cold candidate, then you have a warm candidate, then you have a hot candidate. I believe and based on my experience, that’s not enough. It’s about five stages of converting candidates into cash-paying clients.
You may call them customers. You may call them members or students, perhaps patients. I believe there are five stages and here they are. The key to conversion is moving them from one stage to the next and not leapfrogging because the moment you attempt to go too fast, that feels like a fling. That feels like a transaction. That feels manipulative.
If you do it quickly, speedily and swiftly through seeding and storytelling, in my experience, you don’t even have to be good at sales. You become an ethical influencer, which is the point of not only this episode but this podcast in general.
Block Of Ice
Here are the five stages. Stage one is you have a block of ice. You’re transforming an ice block into steam. Stage five is steam. Let’s go through it. A block of ice in Fahrenheit is under 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Centigrade is under zero. I’m going to go with Fahrenheit because I live in the United States.
When you melt that block of ice, it gets into a transition called ice cold water. Let’s just call it cold water. The Titanic, when it went under, it was near a very cold patch close to the Northern Pole. There was an iceberg. The water there was so cold, it killed people when they fell into the ocean when The Titanic sank. That’s what I would call cold water. That’s like 40 degrees Fahrenheit, 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
[bctt tweet=”How you do anything is how you do everything.” via=”no”]
I used to be a triathlete. I swam in 55-degree water. Even with all the lanolin rubbed all over me in a wetsuit, I still walked out going to my bike race because we swam, we biked and we ran. I had hypothermia. I was dizzy. I remember that my mother was weeping seeing me.
You go from an ice block when you melt the ice block, you have a conversion to cold water. When you warm up the cold water, you go from about 45 degrees to about 80 degrees, which is let’s say the Gulf of Mexico off the West Coast of Florida.
Even in the Yucatan Peninsula, if you swim in the Gulf of Mexico, you may have to look out for some jellyfish. It’s warm water, 80 to 85 degrees. It’s warm, but you still don’t have a sale. It’s a warmer candidate prospect or lead. When you warm it up some more, you get to the spa level.
With spas like a hot tub, we have a brand here in California called Jacuzzi. That hot tub, the most I can stand is about 105 degrees before it becomes unbearable. I have friends who go up to 110 degrees, but somewhere between 100 and 105 degrees, that is hot water. You still don’t have a sale because they haven’t changed from water to steam.
Steam is at about 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Centigrade. At steam, you can propel a rocket. You can propel a ship, a locomotive. There’s power with steam. That’s the fifth stage. Stage one: a block of ice. Stage two: melted into cold water. Stage three: warm water. Remember, Gulf of Mexico. Stage four: hot water. That’s the hot tub. Stage five: steam. That’s where you have the sale.
When you make a sale, many times that customer, client or student, whatever you call them, cools down a bit. You have to take them through the stages again, if they haven’t purchased from you for a year or even six months, they may be warm or even cold.
You got to warm them up. You can’t go from cold to steam. It is an analogy. I believe it’s useful because if you don’t utilize this process, then your sales process is dysfunctional. It’s manipulative. It doesn’t work. You throw up your arms and say, “This doesn’t work. I hate selling. I feel like I’m getting rejected all the time.”
You’re a great service provider, but you’re a horrible salesperson. Why be a horrible salesperson? Learn the process and here are the skill sets. Remember five stages of conversion, ice, cold, warm, hot, steam and you have cash-paying clients. Keep them hot by constantly reminding them, appreciating them and acknowledging them. Don’t ignore them.
That brings me to what conversion is. When you’re converting from ice blocks to steam, you’re changing the molecular structure of water. First, it’s frozen, it’s super cold, warm, hot and it’s going to steam where all the power is. That’s a rapport building process. It’s not a selling process. It’s a conversion process.
When I’m on stage, I asked people to be like bamboo. I speak overseas where English is not their primary language. If I’m in Brazil, it’s being translated in Portuguese. If I’m in Asia, it’s being translated in Thai, Mandarin and Vietnamese. If I’m in Europe, it’s being translated into German many times and Polish.
English is not the primary language. When I say be like bamboo, they look at me and say to themselves, “What am I doing here? What is he saying be like bamboo?” Every Friday I have a Facebook Live, which I’ve been doing video training that’s been a public service.
It’s no cost to my subscriber base. There’s a revolving URL. It’s MarketingOnline.com/FridayLive. That will always go to a new page. It changes every Tuesday. The reason we use Facebook Live is that Facebook has the networking effect and the simulcasting effect where just by clicking the share button, I can get tens of thousands of views as you can.
I have bamboo behind me. I have a mural behind me. They’re thirteen stocks of or shoots of lucky bamboo. Thirteen is a lucky number for my family. The fact that I have bamboo behind me is a symbol, because bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth.
That’s what we’re told by Encyclopedia Britannica. If you’re old enough to remember, if you’re a Millennial, never mind. Just look it up on Wikipedia. Bamboo doesn’t grow fast above ground. Bamboo grows underground for three years, some species, five years. There’s one species in Indonesia, it takes fifteen years before the first bamboo shoot. That’s why they call it a shoot. It shoots up. At that point, it will grow four to six inches a week.
If you have bamboo in your backyard, it will take over your backyard, underground and above ground. My good friend, Jack Canfield, has bamboo all over. He has to have his gardeners come in and his lawn care professionals to trim and prune because bamboo grows so fast.
Imagine the first bamboo farmer maybe back in Indonesia or some part of Asia. He was so proud he planted bamboo. I don’t know what the process is, but it didn’t grow up. He probably was laughed at by other villagers. His wife maybe even left him because he spent all this money and the family riches on bamboo and harvesting bamboo. They make the best hardwood floors ever. They even make pillowcases and sheets these days.
[bctt tweet=”Seeding through storytelling is the new selling.” via=”no”]
I may be going overboard on this, but bamboo grows slow going to show itself, but very fast once it’s ready. In other words, a deep foundation and a very fast-growing plant. Compare bamboo to eucalyptus. Eucalyptus trees come from Australia as far as I know.
I remember as a kid, I went to Allendale Elementary in Pasadena, California. I used to pray for the Santa Ana winds because when there were Santa Ana winds, I remember being bused to school and all the eucalyptus trees toppled down into the streets. The buses couldn’t get around them because eucalyptus trees grow very fast north, but they don’t grow south too deep.
When there’s a very strong wind, those eucalyptus trees come toppling down. Like thunder and lightning, it’s very impressive. You can see it above ground like that great salesperson. Unlike bamboo, it doesn’t matter what kind of wind there is. Bamboo isn’t falling over because of its roots.
Be like bamboo means grow your roots deep, build that rapport. With bamboo, it happens to be with earth. It’s not transactional like eucalyptus. If you had a choice, be like bamboo, not like eucalyptus. I think the greatest trick Australians played on us, and I do have an investment property in Gold Coast Australia. I love the continent. It’s a giant island. There are five great cities there. I prefer Brisbane and Gold Coast area.
Bamboo works a lot better if you want to get bused to school. If the streets of Pasadena were lined with bamboo, I would have been to school more often. Santa Ana winds had nothing on bamboo. Once again, be like bamboo, not eucalyptus.
The Alexism for this episode is this. Your professional life is always a projection of your personal life. How you do anything is how you do everything. What does that mean? A projection means that whatever your personal life is like, are you transactional with your friends, with your relationships with your kids? If you are, then chances are you’re going to project that onto the blank screen of business. It’s very difficult to change those habits. Habits die hard.
How you do anything is how you do everything. I had a girlfriend back in high school who wanted to see the way I interacted with my mother. I say, “Why do you want to meet my mom?” She said, “If I know how you treat your mother, then I’ll have a sense of how you treat me.” She’s a very smart lady. I’m still a friend with her now. How you do anything is how you do everything.
Alexism once again, your professional life is always, not sometimes, always a projection of your personal life. How you do anything is how you do everything. If you’re not good professionally, start personally to be like bamboo, to remember the five stages of conversion and to build rapport, to be relational instead of transactional.
Here’s a quick review about the specific insights you and I have rediscovered in this episode. Number one, the five stages of sales conversion: ice block, cold water, warm water, hot water and steam where the sale happens.
The next is transactional means manipulative, short-term, a fling. Relational means ongoing, loving and long-term. Transactional versus relational, those two processes determine your revenue. Be like bamboo and be relational. Going back to bamboo, the bamboo shoot is more powerful than the eucalyptus tree. The inner game underneath the soil determines the outer game above the soil.
Remember one thing. These principles and strategies I have taught you can only work for you if you work them. Speaking of reviews, I want you to go to AllSellingAside.com/iTunes and type in your biggest takeaway or your a-ha moment you experienced during this episode.
You can do this now in the review section. When you do it, iTunes will ask you to rate this episode. I do hope I’ve earned five stars from you. If you are a returning reader, whether you’re Carl or Carla and you’ve already done this, write your biggest takeaway away, your a-ha on an index card. Better yet, let me know about it on one of our Facebook Live shows, which are live every Friday at MarketingOnline.com/FridayLive.
Go ahead declare your one big takeaway in iTunes reviews, AllSellingAside.com/iTunes. It will take three minutes out of your day, but what you declare could provide you a lifetime of learning and me a lifetime relationship. Your best friend now was once a stranger, so I’m hoping we can connect somehow. If you’ve already given a review, then you can write it down and share it with me at a later time.
I have one final gift to you in honor of this episode. The episode for All Selling Aside has been all about how to transform ice block into steam, those five stages. The gift I have for you is a complimentary copy of my digital eBook that’s titled Alexisms: Useful Lessons from a Recovering Serial Entrepreneur. Remember to download the book. You can download it instantly at AlexismsBook.com.
That does it for this episode. I hope our paths cross again on the next episode of All Selling Aside. This is the show dedicated to making ethical influence not only within your reach, but it makes it possible so that you don’t just achieve, but you will exceed your sales potential even if you dislike selling prior to reading.
Please do whatever it takes to join us next time because the topic will be Discovering the All-In Principle. I wrote a book about it with my good friend, T. Harv Eker. I encourage you to invite a friend because having a study buddy makes learning a lot more fun. I’m a lifelong learner. I hope you are. I can’t wait to connect with you. All good wishes.
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