On a recent 710 WOR “Mind Your Business” broadcast, Yitzchok Saftlas (YS) spoke with guest Amanda Holmes (AH), CEO Of Chet Holmes International, on the rerelease of her father’s book, The Ultimate Sales Machine.
YS: How has marketing evolved since the original release of The Ultimate Sales Machine?
AH: In 2007, when my father, Chet Holmes, originally released the book, he had really built this marketing infrastructure at a time when the Internet wasn’t really something that we were doing a lot with. Back then, the average company was on 7 different marketing mediums to promote their business. Now, with social media channels and paid advertising sites, we’re on an average of 13 marketing mediums. We’re doing double the amount of work, and yet, for a fraction of the results. My father used to talk about how there are 40,000 commercial messages hitting your prospect every day. But, that was before 3.8 billion people decided that they needed to have a voice on social media. There are 3.8 billion social media pages online today. Just on Facebook alone, there are around 9 million users promoting their businesses with Facebook Ads. The clutter factor has gotten so high. If you’re saying, “I wonder why my prospects don’t hear me. I wonder why I’m not getting responses when I call them or do marketing. Why aren’t they responding?” It’s because of the clutter factor. So, you really have to know who you’re speaking to, and you have to speak to them specifically. Because when you market to everyone, you market to no one. Think about where your message is landing, so that you are actually speaking to where they are, instead of just speaking out into the universe.
YS: With the landscape changing so much since the book’s original release, how can we apply your father’s lessons to the modern world of marketing?
AH: One of the things that has made my father’s methodologies so timeless is that they are based on strategic thinking, rather than just having a different tactic for each medium that comes around. For example, I took what my father taught about radio ads, used his original copy, and put it into a Facebook ad. That ad decreased our cost per lead by 30%. It’s just the mediums that change. The same ads and strategies that he was running in newspapers, I now use for Instagram Reels, LinkedIn posts, and YouTube ads. It’s all the same concepts. For example, my father had four rules for advertising. Rule One, it must be distinctive. One of the things that makes an ad distinctive is when you have some kind of human element. It’s one thing to show a picture or video of a mug that you’re selling. It’s another thing to have a person holding the mug and looking happy. It makes it more human. So, every time that I post an Instagram Reel, I will make sure to add that human element. Because I know that my father proved generations prior, that when you have a human element in your ads, it makes them more distinctive and more relatable. Rule Two is that you want to capture attention with a screaming headline. We had a client that said, “learn the three things that are making humans go extinct.” Now, obviously, that’s a pretty head turning title, and you have to go, “what does this person have to say?” And that leads to Rule Three, which is that you have to get their engagement and allow them to want to read more. So, in this client’s education, it discussed how humans don’t get the proper nutrition, and then that led into the fact that they sold supplements. And of course, Rule Four is to have a call to action. So, all four of these steps can be proven with every social media post you put out or every email that you send. Every time we post on social media, that is the perfect breeding ground to track how many impressions we’re getting, how many views, how many likes, how many comments, how many shares, etc. With every single post, as we’re tracking them, we can identify one that went soft viral, and use that to guide our ads. We have so many platforms enabling us to test and determine what headlines will grab people’s attention. The majority of people just post without tracking or looking back. I got a billion-dollar client from a Facebook ad where someone was asking in the comments about pricing. I followed up, and it turned out that he ran a multibillion-dollar company. I couldn’t get to him by email. I couldn’t get to him by phone. But I could talk to him on Facebook Messenger.
YS: With so many new marketing mediums, how can a business ensure that their marketing generates ROI?
AH: My father had a five-point checklist that he put in the original book, and we decided to take that and implement it through every marketing medium. Step One on the checklist is that you want to target your buyers. We had a client in New Jersey that used to go to this trade show every year, and we did an audit of the revenue that they were generating. They spent a million dollars, and they only generated $60,000 from that trade show. So, we begged the question, “are your target buyers even at this trade show?” And the answer was no. So, why were they marketing there? Target your buyers. Where are they? Where do they spend their time online? Where do they spend their time offline? Who are the influencers that they watch? What Facebook groups are they a part of. Step Two is to capture leads. You have to grab their attention and get their information. Whether it’s their email, phone number, or social media accounts, if you don’t capture their information, then you’ll never follow up. 80% of leads that are generated from an event are never followed up on. I’ll give you a great tip for capturing leads. When you meet a prospective lead, say, “it was really nice to meet you. Let’s do something fun. Let’s take a selfie together.” Pull out your phone, take the picture, and then say, “I’ll text it to you, what’s your number?” You’re assuming the sale. I have done this with nine-figure CEOs and billion-dollar executives in the automotive industry, and time and time again, they go, “wow, that was brilliant.” And it doesn’t cost you a dime. We call it the “signature selfie.” Another great way to capture leads is with your web presence. Make sure that your website has a way to capture emails. Step Three is to educate. Stop selling and start educating. Because of purchase avenues like Amazon, 97% of our prospects don’t want to be sold to anymore. They want to be educated. Why? Because they can go online today, and they can purchase something on Amazon without ever having to talk to a sales rep. People are buying houses and cars without having to talk to a sales rep. This is absurd for any person that has been selling for a decade or more. We’re flabbergasted by this concept. So, what are you doing to educate your prospects, so that they see your information and decide they want to talk to a sales rep? The average B2B consumer views five pieces of content before they raise their hand and say, “okay, I’d like to talk to a sales rep.” Step Four is to interact and foster community. We have the ability to create communities unlike ever before. I’ve keynoted for the last three DLP Capital events. They have a billion dollars in real estate. They’ve hit the “Inc. 5000 List” 10 years in a row. So, every quarter, they have an event, and the community sells the prospects on their services. The ability of what we can do with communities today is magnificent. Finally, Step Five is to convert to sales. If all of these steps don’t lead to a conversion, you are either in the wrong place, marketing to the wrong people, or not following the steps.
YS: How can businesses take advantage of direct mail in an increasingly digital world?
AH: There’s around 3 billion emails sent every 60 seconds. Now that our digital inbox is so full, our physical mailbox is much less full than it used to be. So, direct mail has become such an effective method. But you have to know how to do it correctly. So many people will send a piece of mail that doesn’t look like it’s been personalized in any way. When it comes to direct mail, you need to narrow down to the 12 prospects that you’re targeting. Because of the Internet, you have so much information on these prospects available to you. If my father had the amount of information that we have today about prospects, I can’t even imagine what he would do. You can be so specific to a person and leave a lasting impression that they’ll always remember. For example, one person, named Dennis Yu, sent me socks with my face on them. And now, every time I open my sock drawer, I will continually think of Dennis Yu. It will always create him as top of mind in my head. So, what can you do to be out of the box while showing them that you are listening, that you’re thinking about them, that you care about them, and that you actually want to provide them with value?
YS: What is a “core story,” and how can it be used to capture prospective buyers’ attention?
AH: Let’s say that you were in a stadium full of your prospects. If I were to hand you a mic right now, would you be able to say, “hello, this is the title of my talk?” When given that opportunity, the majority of businesses would say something along the lines of, “hello, we’ve been in business for 12 years. This is what we do to support our prospects and clients. This is the product or service that we provide. We’re great.” It’s all about me, myself, and I. And that will only get 3% of the marketplace. On the “Buyer’s Pyramid,” 3% of prospects are in the “buying now” category, 7% are open to it, 30% aren’t interested, the next 30% think they’re not interested, and the last 30% are definitely not interested. So, 90% of that stadium will get up and walk out as soon as you’ve started just talking about yourself. Your core story is a way of educating your prospects, no matter where they fall on the “Buyer’s Pyramid,” to joining the “buying now” category, by using a blend of market data. Our world has gotten so critical because of the Internet. It’s hard for us to trust anything. So, that market data builds trust and gets you credibility through the logical side of science, which you can then back up with a story, because stories are what we remember. Our whole history is told in stories, so that we will remember it and retain it. So, with that blend of the logical and emotional sides, it will lead your prospects to see you as the only logical conclusion. So, that is what your core story does. It takes anybody that’s listening to you, grabs them with an intriguing story, and leads them to you as the only logical conclusion.
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