If you’re already rocking it selling 1-on-1… it might be time to consider scaling your sales. But don’t worry – this doesn’t mean what you think it does!
Bob Gentle talks to us about what it looks like to truly scale your sales – and where your attention will go instead. He’ll break down what it looks like to be successful as well as some pitfalls along the way.
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Alyson Lex 0:03
We have talked a lot on this podcast about sales. We've talked about how to be better at sales, we've talked about how to raise your prices and increase your sales. We've talked about all things sales, what we haven't yet talked about, is how to sell at scale. And how selling is actually one of the most time consuming things you can do as a business owner, especially if you're doing it, right. And so when we, Jenny and I met Bob gentle, the CEO and founder of amplify, which is an amazing personal branding agency, he's an incredible consultant. He's a lot of things to a lot of people. But he talks about the scale of sales. And I think that is so interesting, Bob, because we really do spend a lot of time selling, don't we?
Bob Gentle 0:54
Some people not enough? If I'm on Yeah. Thank you very much for having me. It's great to be here. I love being on podcast, it's my favorite thing. So yeah, I, a lot of people talk about selling, but they don't actually execute. And when they do, a lot of the time, they're playing small. There's a lot of mental games around sales. So there's so many places we can go today. I know you have questions. But yeah, let's go.
Alyson Lex 1:26
Alright, so and I know that you talked about this on Jenny's virtual summit grown profit online, you talked about this topic, which is why I wanted to bring it here because it was so good. Before we dive into sales at scale, let's actually talk about what scaling and what scale is. Can we do that for a sec?
Bob Gentle 1:47
Well, let's start with selling what is what is not? What does not scale look like not scale is when you're having to go from creating a relationship through to nurturing that relationship through to having a sales conversation through to actually asking for a sale on a one to one linear basis. That's where people should start, they should become good at that. But that's very difficult to scale. If you're going to do it in a very linear linear analog way, one on one. So what does selling scale look like? Well, if you're Walmart, you're talking about footfall. And you're talking about selling millions of products. So you have a very simple formula of millions of feet, millions of products, there's going to be a value connection between them. So you're going to sell millions of products, that's not going to work for you and me. So we need a different dynamic there. So selling at scale, when you're a personal brand, or a knowledge experts, or a knowledge on entrepreneur, an expert consultant of any kind, you still need to sell person to person. But you need a way of scaling that up. So every sale essentially is a relationship sale people buy from people in our business, that's especially true. So what we need to do to begin with is build relationships at scale. And there's different ways that we can do that. But essentially, we want to find ways to bring people in close. So we can have those sales conversations on scale at scale. So there are different methods for this. But maybe let's look, first of all, what is it that we're trying trying to achieve? And I don't know if either of you ever met a celebrity, even even a smart micro celebrity in your world? Yeah. It's a really weird experience, because you know them intimately. They have no idea who you are. And you're having this bizarre encounter where you know everything about they don't know who you are. And that's a very powerful thing. So this is really what we're trying to cultivate, through our content and our content marketing, is what we're trying to cultivate. through social media is what we're trying to cultivate, through things like virtual summits where we met or challenges or any kind of online experience where we're trying to bring people in close, so they can get to know us. That is really step one, build relationships at scale. Step two, is start the sales conversation. And that's why For example, I love the way you go about building these summits. It's why I love things like challenges because people get to know not just the superficial asked that they do through social media, but they get to know what we're about. They get to know where our value is. And at the end of a summit, hopefully there's a sales conversation where people can say You know what this is who I am, this is what I do. If you want to connect with that value, like value connects with a need you have, maybe the two can come together and some magic can happen. And money will change hands. That's great. So that's really what selling at scale is about. It's about doing exactly what you would do on a person to person basis if you were selling pots and pans door to door. But you're doing it ideally, with hundreds 1000s 10s of 1000s of people in order that you can connect your value with the people who need that value. That's the very long answer to answer your question, Alex Allison.
Jennie Wright 5:38
It's an important answer. And it goes to the depth that we kind of need to and I think some people just gloss over it. And I think it's important to kind of go deeper. So we know we understand more now about how or why we want to do this. But how are we actually going to get that process on board? Why is it so important that we scale in our sales process to facilitate the goal? And like, how do we get there as well?
Bob Gentle 6:07
Well, the first thing is goals shift. And I remember I had a, I was speaking to an entrepreneur, and she made soap. Now, that sounds quite bargain, Ben doesn't know. She had taken a business that you and I probably see people try all the time making soap at home in the bathroom, she turned it into a $20 million company. And I thought, Okay, what she done differently? Well, simply put, she connected with lots of people who really wanted what she had. She leveraged relationships, and she had affiliates. And I think she was selling through network marketing. But she took a whole home business and turned it into something incredible. But what I asked her, What is it? What did you do differently. And she said, it's all about personal goals, and mindset, and growth. Most importantly. And she said something that was really important, she said your business will grow when you grow. And for me, this is quite important. Because if I met somebody on the street today, their sales goals might be I need to make two grand a month. And that will cover all my grocery bills, two grand a month, you will sell in one way. If your sales goals are 20 grand a month, you're going to have to have a different strategy. So there is no one sales strategy that suits all these What are your goals?
Bob Gentle 7:41
So let's assume I mean, pick a number one, have you pick a number? What's the sales goal here?
Jennie Wright 7:51
250k a year.
Bob Gentle 7:53
Okay. So the first question you're going to have is what are the products that are going to support that sales strategy, it begins with the product. Because if you've got a $25 ebook that you're trying to sell, and you want to make 250 grand a year, that's an uphill struggle. So you're going to need to look at your product first, maybe you want to look at. And I'm going to speculate that the people listening to this are probably in the knowledge expert business. So you're going to need to look at maybe coaching, maybe group coaching, maybe a mastermind, maybe a course, maybe a high end product. This is important, because these will allow you to factor in different sales volumes. I went through the exercise in my business, I know this is a bit of a tangent. But looking at, okay, let's imagine I had the ideal customer in front of me, and they had 100 grand to spend, what would I need to do in order to be valuable enough that they would give me that 100 grand. So I went through that exercise, I now have a product that reflects that. So my sales process now has become super easy. I just need to be very valuable to the person who needs that. So I know I'm not answering the question directly. But it begins with your product range. And then what are the vectors for that sale? How are you going to build those relationships with the right people? And what's your personal style? What are you comfortable with? And then go from there. So the mechanical answer is going to be is probably going to be a range of list building, you're going to need an email list. So you're going to need a vehicle for that. That might be lead magnets. at the low end, it might be hell yeah, let's go for a virtual summit and the other depends on your experience on your means. It might be somewhere in the middle with a simple Facebook Virtual challenge, but you're gonna need to build an email list, you're going to need to build relationships. So that's one element, you're going to find it easier to sell, if you've got some credibility if you've got some authority, so maybe you're going to need to look at a vehicle for building that as well. So maybe a podcast, maybe a YouTube channel, where you show before you try and sell. So that's my roundabout answer to the question. There is no simple answer to that question.
Jennie Wright 10:31
It's, uh, you know, what, it was sort of a little bit of a, it was a bit of a question that I knew was gonna be challenging to answer. But I think you, I think you explained it really, really well, like, it's important to scale, it's important to understand the different things. And if your goal is, let's say, like that number, we throw out the 250k, then the things that you're selling, the program's products and services have to support that. And that work back. So you've we're talking about almost working backwards, from that big goal and how you were going to support it. And then you, you eloquently talked about the vectors that make that happen, the list building and the lead generation and the things that kind of make that happen. So I actually think you did a great job answering it. Okay, numbers are not my strong point. So I stay away from making embarrassing mistakes.
Alyson Lex 11:15
If I had a hashtag, like that said, Alyson Lex, it would be hashtag writer for a reason. And the reason is that I could not pass remedial math, and thus did not graduate from college. So my question is, do we lose a little something in this transition from one to one to one on many, we get to know people so much differently, when we're one on one. How does that change it?
Bob Gentle 11:49
It does change it, and that what's your most valuable commodity, it's time it doesn't matter who you are, and where you are. And the bigger the impact you want to have, the more you're going to have to be very mindful of your time. So I would say what you potentially lose, when you go one to many is intimacy. But if you're mindful of that, you can find ways to build that in in other ways. Because if you know that, that intimacy is probably in the beginning, when you're just starting out is the thing people value most about that you've got time for people that you pay attention. So if you can build in systems to manage that attention, and name James, who had on the podcast, he had a brilliant he had a book about this called attention pays, it's a great book. But if you've got systems that manage attention, you can hold that intimacy, and you can show pay attention where it matters. I think that's one thing you do lose when you go one to many, potentially. But if you're focused on what is it that your customer wants, as the result, what is the return on investment they're looking for you keep that front of mind that I don't think you need to lose anything. If you Yeah, I think there is potential for to lose teeth for you to lose something, but I don't think you have to, it really comes down to your values. If you've put your values first. And you're led by your values, I don't think you're going to lose anything important, or essential.
Jennie Wright 13:31
So there's something there that you said that I really want to touch on, because I think it was really important. And you said, you know, when we're scaling and Allison was like, if we scale Aren't we going to lose that, that connection, and that understanding of the people are in things. And I think in the beginning if we set up our processes properly. So that being the onboarding experience that we create for people with our sales process, and we create that really good onboarding process where they, you know, they get a welcome email and a welcome packet and whatever it else is that you're going to create, to really bring them on board into the program, product or service that you're selling. Then when you go to scale, you're not losing a heck of a lot. And you're not going to have that overwhelm of, oh my gosh, I just I you know, I have to onboard 15 people, or 30 people or 50 people, and you don't know how to do it. And I think some entrepreneurs see that happening to them, when they scale really, really quickly when you see people go from nothing to Super scale. And that is a growing pain. And knowing how to circumvent that, I think is really, really important. And it kind of leads me to my next question. And that is, you know, what are some of the pitfalls that we need to avoid in the scaling process and in the sales process that's going to help us get to those goals that we're talking about?
Bob Gentle 14:47
Well, I think price is the first one, that if you scale on the wrong business model on the wrong pricing, you're simply scaling a problem. And that's a problem I had. Feels like A long time ago now, but I had a great business item, I had a big business, I employed a lot of people. But it wasn't very profitable. It was honestly, it was just like a hamster wheel of crushed glass every day, it was horrible. But to other people looking in, I'd made it so big doesn't necessarily mean productive or profitable. So build with profitability in mind, not with revenue, that's really important. I have a much more profitable business now with a tiny little team than I ever had one employee, 20 people. So personally, I make more of a tiny business than I ever did have a big business. What was the question again?
Jennie Wright 15:45
So we're talking about wondering where the pitfalls are. And I think you just mentioned one of those pitfalls, which is great.
Bob Gentle 15:51
I think the other pitfall, as I mentioned earlier, was when you grow quickly, and this is, let's imagine this time you got the pricing, right, so your business is profitable. But you're busy putting all that in your back pocket, or you're spending on ads trying to scale and you're not investing in your team, or an IC team, I don't necessarily mean your staff, I mean, who's on your team, people like you, people like maybe somebody to help you with the website, maybe somebody to help you with search engine stuff, maybe somebody to help you with community management. If you invest in those people early from a position of strength, because you could do pricing, right, then you can maintain the service levels, and most importantly, the intimacy. Because one thing I had a really good experience in one community with, where I work with a coach. He's running probably three businesses, each of them in seven figures. His time is super valuable. But because he has the team, right, he's got time to dip in and pay attention to people. And when he does, I know that he's made the time and his time is valuable. So I would say that's another potential pitfall is creating such a big gap between you and the people for whom you matter, that it appears as arrogance. And people feel like you're taking your customers for granted. But you're just $1 bill, that's not a nice place to be, and you will lose in the long term.
Alyson Lex 17:33
From what it sounds like. And I really liked the way you said that. Because it just hit my head, I really want to go back, when you create that gap between you and the people that matter. That was really poignant to me, I just really wanted to call that out. But from what you're saying, it sounds like we can really scale up the pre part of a sale, the relationship building the content, the value, we can also work to scale up the post, right, the service, the product delivery, the customer experience. Are we still doing those one on one sales conversations? Are we scaling that too?
Bob Gentle 18:15
I think that has to scale. And again, it kind of depends where you are on that. I'm gonna use this horrible phrase the value ladder. So if you're selling $100,000 turnkey solution, you're going to be having no sales conversations one on one. But if you're selling a $35 membership, no, you're not doing that. You're going to be selling that exclusively through things like a virtual summit, or like a boot camp type online event, or through an ad funnel or a remarketing funnel. You're not going to be doing that one on one. If it's day one for you. Yeah, you are probably doing that one to one. Because you have to earn your stripes. You can't jump straight into selling sort of one to many, you need to understand how to sell something one to one, then you scale it up. But yeah, it's depending on where you are in your sales journey where you are in your business. Evolution. Yeah, when you're at the high end, you're still doing the donkey work. You're still trying to hustle. But if you're if you have a six figure business, yes, you need to be building an automation at the bottom end. That would that's definitely true.
Alyson Lex 19:41
That really goes in line with what Jenny and I tell our our shared and individual clients in that the higher the price, the more interaction and more intimacy if you will they need with you. Yeah, it's very difficult to sell multiple 1000s of dollars of a webinar. You don't have the credit yet? Um, there are some people that can do that. Right? I think Tony Robbins probably can do that.
Bob Gentle 20:09
However, and this is the thing. Where's Tony, when we something I find a lot, as businesses will plateau, they'll get to a point and then they can't break past it. And this is usually a sign where you need to address your product range, and your mindset and your, your preconceptions about what's possible. Because what got you here will not necessarily get you there. So a good example is there are lots of people who sell coaching groups. But I would ask them, just think, well, what's the what's the price point that you haven't addressed at the moment? Have you maybe got a $50,000 product and you if you haven't had one before, if you've been busy selling 12 grand a year masterminds, for example, what might a 50 grand product look like for you, and then put your attention there, that's the product, you need to be selling one to one as the product you need to be hustling on. And let everything else just kind of take care of itself. So Tony Robbins, could probably be selling a $20 million coaching package, but he would probably need to hustle for it. No,
Jennie Wright 21:25
he's better at the he's better at the one to many. And at a price point where he's getting that, you know, they're not cheapest programs aren't cheap, but a lot more people can take them and go through them. And I think I think he's sort of mastered that ability. And he still hustles with all of those live events that he does and things like that. But I think it's a little bit different. And what you say and I completely agree.
Bob Gentle 21:47
He's probably not the best example. that a lot of people, they get to the point where they're just trying to do more of what they've already been doing. And it's difficult to do because the the mathematics don't support continuing to grow it because their audience has changed, their network has changed. Because it's not just your possibility to potentially you have changes over time, the longer you're selling something, the bigger your network gets, the bigger your audience gets. So the opportunities have changed. So I found this to Yeah.
Alyson Lex 22:38
I yeah, I totally agree. And, and Tony's probably not the best example. But it's the name that fell out of my mouth when I set it. So I ran with it. And thank you for running with it with me. Well, you've really given me a lot to think about, especially with what got you here will not get you there. And don't build so much between you and the people that matter. You had a lot of really good sound bites in this episode. So I thank you so much for sharing all that with us. Where can we find out more about you?
Bob Gentle 23:14
You can find me on social media, wherever you hang out, you'll find me at Bob gentle, it's super easy to remember. My website is amplify me dot agency. Again, it's slightly harder to remember. But
Jennie Wright 23:29
I think that's still pretty easy. I think that one works pretty well, don't you? And just to you know, just take a second, I want to say thanks. Because Bob, you were on my event grown profit online, which we talked about a little bit earlier. And it was our opportunity to kind of get to know each other. And we've stayed in contact since which I think is important. And, you know, having you on the podcast was a natural feeling for Alison and I at this point, just to make sure that we, you know, shared what you shared on the summit with other people. And as a result, Allison, I have a couple takeaways that we want to share, you know, from what you said today. And I think these are really, really helpful. And it's things that you said in the podcast. So the first one, I'm going to take the first two analysing grab the last two if she wants. So the first one that I saw was if you scale the wrong business model, or you have the wrong pricing, you're simply scaling a problem. And I think people don't realize that and it felt really personal when you said that to me. Because when I was first trying to scale, I had a pricing problem, and I had a problem and a couple other problems that I won't go into. This isn't storytime. But this felt really personal to me. And I really appreciate you saying that because it's so true. If you're you know, if you're on the wrong business model, you're just scaling problem and I really sort of resonated with that. Number two was is that it doesn't matter who you are or where you are. Your most valuable, valuable commodity is your time, right? So the bigger an impact you want to have, the more time or the money, the more money It has been about time, or the more leveraging of that time, you're actually going to have to make, that's an important point as well.
Alyson Lex 25:08
I also aside from the ones that I already gushed over, your business will grow, when you grow, I heard that circle, your business will grow when you grow is really important too. Because it's very similar to the same thing that got you here won't get you there. You're not the same person you were when you started your business. And five years from now, you won't be either. So you got to grow to grow. And then also, this is this is true for scaling your sales, scaling your ads, scaling everything, start the one on one way, get good here, and then look to grow and scale it up. Because going back to what Jennie said, If you scale it wrong, you're gonna scale a problem. Yeah. So I really liked both of those.
Jennie Wright 25:56
Absolutely. Me too. Bob, I just want to take a second to say thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. You know, I know you've got a lot going on. You're all over social media right now. You're doing all the things. I see it everywhere. And you know, I'm just really, really thankful that you took some time out of what you're doing to come and talk to us about this. We're very grateful for it. So thank you so much.
Bob Gentle 26:16
No, it's absolutely My pleasure. It's one of my favorite things to do. And I'm never too busy for an interview.
Jennie Wright 26:24
They're good and you're what your message is fantastic. So I hope everybody enjoyed the dulcet tones of Bob gentle today because his voice is incredibly relaxing. And this is definitely one of those podcasts that you kind of listen to, and chill out to and absorb as much information as humanly possible. And hopefully, you're going to get a ton of information from this particular episode. So just want to thank everybody for listening. If you haven't already, go and follow the podcast so you don't miss any of these incredible episodes with our awesome experts. And we'll be back again soon answering another big question.