Ep. #922 - Balancing Automation and Personalization
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, Andrew Morgans talks to Dan Englander, CEO and founder of Sales Schema. They exchange ideas on how you can build relationships with clients by finding the right balance between automation and personalization in your sales process.
Covered In This Episode
Take your sales process to the next level. Andrew and Dan have a lot of things to share about it with you.
Together, they unveil the secrets of building a good relationship with your clients and its benefits. They also dive into the automation and personalization of your sales processes. What’s more? Dan shares new and exciting things in Sales Schema that everyone should look forward to.
Jump into the conversation. Join this Startup Hustle conversation!
- Dan Englander and his backstory (02:27)
- On learning and accountability (05:48)
- How his business idea came about (09:11)
- Discussing the automation and personalization processes (13:09)
- Getting people onboard with outbound marketing and cold calling (14:32)
- Defining inbound vs. outbound (17:22)
- Finding common ground between you and your clients (21:53)
- What level of personalization is necessary to build a relationship with the client? (29:14)
- Tactical stuff can be misleading (31:58)
- On creating an automated sales process (34:25)
- Automation is a game changer for sales teams (36:25)
- Why is building relationships more valuable? (40:20)
- The future of sales (42:00)
- Sincere advice for new entrepreneurs (44:25)
- Things to be excited about in Sales Schema (47:02)
It’s gotten so competitive. There’s so much noise that the level of sophistication you need is so much higher than it used to be.– Dan Englander
Inbound to me is like a referral coming in. Someone calling me. Someone is being emailed by someone. Someone seeing my blog. Someone seeing our content and contacting me. I think anything that I’m paying to go get them is outbound.– Andrew Morgans
There’s going to have to be a relationship. So it’s like, do you want to wait to build that relationship? Or do you want to do it today instead of five years from now when they happen to find your ad, or they find you some other way?– Dan Englander
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Andrew Morgans 00:01
What’s up, Hustlers? Welcome back. This is Andrew Morgans, founder of Marknology, here as today’s host of Startup Hustle. Covering all things e-commerce, Amazon, and entrepreneurship. And even today, we’re going to be talking about some sales automation and personalization. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Before I introduce today’s guest, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. And has a platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Today’s guest has been a colleague of mine, I guess, almost want to say, friend. But we haven’t met in person yet, so I’ll save that. But Dan Englander from Brooklyn, New York, welcome to the show.
Dan Englander 00:45
Drew, thank you so much for having me on. Appreciate it.
Andrew Morgans 00:47
Yeah, Dan’s representing Sales Schema. That’s his company; he is the founder there. He’s been talking with me about building my sales team for at least 18 months plus. And Marknology is just one I’m holding on to too tightly and trying to prepare for scale and prepare for what’s next. And that includes like, automation and personalization. In regards to, like, you know, email sequences, and all kinds of things. I know that when I first made my first step into automation, I got a lot of feedback from a lot of people that were in that funnel. That just made me feel like, okay, the time you spent doing this is paying off that people recognize it. But before we jump into all of that, I would love to just get to know Dan a little bit better. And for our listeners to get to know Dan a little bit better. You’re in Brooklyn, New York. Talk to me about your early years, I guess, as an entrepreneur or even in sales. Where do you get your start? When did you start thinking business was the thing that you were gonna pursue?
Dan Englander 01:46
Yeah, Andrew, and hopefully, I can rival your background and your travels and everything that you were when you graced us on our show on the digital age and the growth podcast. Appreciate that. And, you know, it’s funny because I grew up in the DC area. I went to college at UC Santa Cruz. And I think during, I was never like the sort of entrepreneurial, you know, lemonade-stand type of kid. But I just knew that I always had a lot of anxiety about monotony. About being stuck in a job and that kind of thing. So I think I was, to be honest, I was mostly running away from something more than running towards something when I started Sales Schema.
Andrew Morgans 02:27
That’s an honest answer. I really liked it, actually, like, I haven’t seen it from that perspective. But I honestly feel like I lean a little bit more that way. Maybe I was running from the fear of monotony more so that I was like, oh, I have to do my own. Thanks. I love that.
Dan Englander 02:43
Exactly. Yeah. But, you know, I came out of college. And I eventually kind of like, worked some kind of BS internships in New York. One funny side story as I worked for this music promotions company, and they fired me because I wasn’t cool enough. I’m pretty sure one time, it was an unpaid internship. And they were just like, hey, we moved around the schedules, you don’t need to come in anymore. So you’re not even paying me. I think it was just because I wasn’t that cool. But anyway, I eventually got a job at an ad agency. And I worked on the accounting side, and I was like, you know, I would do this in the early days of social media agencies and social media marketing back when age agencies could be like, Hey, we will manage your community. And then companies would be like, have all of our money. You know, here you go. And I was working with our main client. I don’t want to won’t say the name but like a bigger consumer electronics brand. And I would have to go on answering requests about headphones, somebody would be like, I got these headphones, and they’re fake, and help us out. And I was like, I don’t know what to do about that. But companies would outsource all that stuff. So I would also, you know, get involved in the agency world, pitch some things, kind of like, learn a lot about that. And then, I moved on to a sales client service role. Where was this a cool, very classic hybrid role in a small company where I was selling animated videos? So we did commercial work, and like animated explainer videos, sold into big companies and startups and like pharma, and all that sort of thing. And really kind of learned about the very common situation, which is where you have kind of like the sales client service shuffle, right? Where I was like, servicing clients dealing with project management, half my time other half having to sell good meetings, like when business and so on, and then eventually, like, you know, originally didn’t take ownership over being in a sales role. Took on sales training, and still, a close friend to this day, Mike Ganzel, who I’m working with now. And, you know, he kind of made the point that like, Hey, you’re in a sales role as you learn how to do this and actually take ownership of it got better at it, help that company grow a lot when I left, I think we’re at multiple, seven figures, and we’re talking hundreds.
Andrew Morgans 04:52
What does that mean, though? What does that mean? To take more ownership of the sales side? If you’re in a startup, you’re in a small business where you’re doing both. He’s saying, hey, why don’t you take ownership of this? And step up? Does that mean that you stop on the client success part? Or like just went more on the sales? Or did it not mean you took accountability for learning the process better?
Dan Englander 05:11
Why do you question it for context? I was an employee in this company. It was a small coach, just a few of us. But it was more of an emotional thing. It was more like I was a salesperson. I remember that years ago, this would have been like 2011, 2010, or something over feeling weird about identifying as being in sales, right? And got over that relatively quickly, you know, and then tried everything under the sun to close business in the context of selling agency services, creative services, big project work, did every tactic under the sun, and then I was in a pretty good job at that point. And I was like, I’m friends with the owner as I am still an interesting product with animated video, but I still was like, I don’t want to have a job anymore. You know, I want to be able to make my own hours, and I have begun running from something. So then, around 2014, I quit, did the whole Tim Ferriss thing for a while, and I quit to travel to Asia with my girlfriend at the time. Did you know Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and Indonesia self-published a book called Mastering Account Management about that role about everything I learned in that role? And everything involved and then like started, it was always very much like the first season of Better Call Saul, I was like, just working with whoever would hire me, you know, winning clients and stuff. And then realize pretty soon that like, okay, the people that tend to want to hire me are agencies, these are people because that’s my background, they also need lots of help. There are a lot of accidental business owners. And the big, big demand is getting the door open, getting meetings and lead generation, you know, it was something that I could build that could scale beyond just consulting time and that sort of thing. And, you know, the rest is a kind of history, I guess. And there’s a lot more to get into there with Sales Schema. But we’ve been around since 2014. We call ourselves a fractional do business team. We specialize in the agency world to B2B space. We get our clients’ meetings and go out and try to get very skeptical people to agree to talk to our clients, basically, which is something I could talk about.
Andrew Morgans 07:11
Yeah, I love it. I think it takes a certain personality to be like, I mean, there’s obviously different personalities in it, but to be in sales, the part you said it said about like, accepting that I’m a salesman, you know, can resonate with me, I don’t like pushing anything on people. I also like helping people. So it’s like this balance of like, I know what I have can help. I don’t want to push you. You know, you think about it in the dating world. It’s like, I don’t want to, like begging you to like me back. Like, I just want to be like, This is who I am. Are you into it, you know, kind of thing? And for me, it wasn’t until I was like, selling a product that I really backed or that I really believed in that all of a sudden, I was like, okay, I can. I don’t mind selling this, like I don’t mind, you know, doing that. So like, to your point, just accepting that kind of like, I guess an emotion or like, Okay, this is what I’m going to do. And if you’re a small business owner, like you have to be the number one salesperson, like at your company, you know, selling your stuff. And so, okay, so you guys went from, you know, just helping whoever, at a fractional level, like as an account manager, somewhere in there, I missed that I missed the point where you went from kind of like that role traveling Asia, and then you have Sales Schema where you’re like, a fractional sales team. Yeah. Talk to me a little bit about that, like, how did that idea come about? Was it like, you just kept seeing all these agencies that needed it?
Dan Englander 08:40
Yeah, for sure. So I was working with lots of different clients in the consulting capacity, you know, and I would say, go do this, go do that. And then pretty soon I realized, like, okay, after a certain point, like very few people want that, that sort of just like consulting help, like, doesn’t mean that you just education training is a huge area, obviously. But I saw, you know, essentially a need in the market for being a fractional team. And for actually like going out and doing this for our clients doing the thing, as opposed to telling them how to do the thing. And beyond that, I think, what I tend to see was very few of our clients like knew how to do knew how to like, get beyond referrals, they would kind of hit the ceiling of their network and have a recurring business, and then there’ll be this like, overwhelm this scramble of like, do we do this? Do we do that and that sort of thing? And that and then that’s where we kind of came in, and I think how we’ve progressed and gotten a lot better through the years. And in the early days, I think we would work with different freelancers and outsource salespeople and partners and put them all under one roof. And a client would be like, Okay, I want to reach e-commerce brands, or I want to reach whatever we like, great. We’ll build a list. We’ll put them through a funnel. We’ll contact them over email or LinkedIn or phone, we’ll try this, we’ll try that, we’ll try this copy, we’ll try that copy, and so on. And I still think that’s what 99% of salespeople are doing. What I think, though, is that process for everyone, but especially for agency services, especially for services, that you essentially just need a laptop and an internet connection to start, it’s gotten so competitive, and there’s so much noise, that the level of sophistication you need is so much higher than it used to be right. So that used to work. And then it stopped working. And you know, we lost lots of clients. We tried everything under the sun. We brought in consultants who brought in all sorts of people. We tried every tactic. And then eventually, like what happened, we had one client that had a lot of experience, they were selling into enterprise tech companies, they had big six, seven-figure branding engagements they had worked with, like every enterprise tech company, you can imagine. And we still just were trying all these things like not getting meetings. And then we said, Okay, what if instead of like sending people more case studies and putting people through more funnels and just like hard selling people, what if we were to find like, people that used to work for one of your big clients, that have since gone on to a different account that you might be able to work with, and we send them like a one line email that says, Hey, Bob, I’m making up the companies. So don’t quote me, but it’s like I saw, you know, used to work at Microsoft, we’ve done tons of work with them over the years, now you’re at HP. We’ve worked on enterprise Tech. I think it’d be good if we talked. And we got tons of meetings, and they went on to close a lot of business. And then they eventually got acquired, and then that planted the seed, and then we just started doubling down on that. And there’s a lot more I can get into there. But philosophically, what we’ve seen is that the reasons that we make decisions, and that we take, we do anything that we do are, you know, back to the lizard brain thing, like they’re often for very tribal, very ancient reasons. But in the B2B space, everybody’s fooled themselves into thinking that we have that we’re like, no longer humans anymore. And that it’s like, oh, this logical list of benefits and features is what’s going to turn me on. And there’s a time and a place for that. I’m not saying that. That’s not important, either. But at the top of the funnel, the thing that’s like getting meetings is like, can I trust this person? Are they within my world? Right? And that’s, do we have a strong enough personal connection? And that’s really the thing. That’s what it’s like. That’s, that’s yeah, that adds the secret sauce effectiveness, right?
Andrew Morgans 12:31
I would agree. I think that can be hard at scale. But we’re talking about personalization, right? Even if we’re talking about automation and personalization, specifically, we’re talking about personalization. And whether that’s, for me, it’s like, how much effort did you put into cold emailing me, because one, if you’re cold calling me, you’re already interrupting my day, and whatever I’m doing, that’s important. Don’t you think it’s important? That’s how I think about it. It’s like, I’m a planned out person, my schedule is packed for at least like, you know, under the second week, and I know some people are booked months out, right? And so if you’re calling that person, let’s say a high-level executive probably double what I am or triple what I am busy. And you’re cold calling them that if they wanted to find you, they would find you number one, so you’re interrupting whatever they’re doing. And you’re saying, hey, this thing that I have to talk to you about that you didn’t have on your plate today, I just want to put it on your plate, like, and that’s what I think about a cold call personally. Now, if you happen to call me, like, right when I need something, maybe I take the call. But it’s got to be that important? Does that make sense?
Dan Englander 13:37
It does. But I’m glad you brought that up. Because I think this is a good time to frame out what outbound is, right? So with outbound, you’re so if you think about your total market, right, and it’s like this big parabolic loop, like a bell curve, rather, on one end, there’s the people that will never work with you, because they’re happy with their current solution, and they’re going to be really hard to win over. And that’s 10 to 20%, you know, on the low end, on the other end of the people that are actively looking for the solution, right? And those are the people that might convert through a search ad or they get referred to you or the here you want to show and they’re like, I want this thing right now, like I’m doing right now, you know, that’s inbound marketing. But then there’s this giant, like 80% 70% of the market that guess what, like they’re vaguely irritated with their solution. They have problems. They don’t really know what the right solution is. But they’re accessible, right? The downside is like, it’s going to take a longer sales cycle, it’s going to take a little more work. But there is a point where like, anybody that’s an inbound marketing long enough will tell you this, like you hit that ceiling reader, there’s too many competitors, the ads get too expensive. You’ve gotten in front of all your total addressable market as much as you can because like, as you start trying to access more of your Tam, it gets logarithmically hard, right, because it’s like you can get to 50% but getting from 50s It is much harder than getting from 40 to 50. Right. So that’s where outbound comes in. And it is harder, but it does take longer. But back to cold calling. Yeah, there’s a way to do it right way to do it wrong. Cold calling, if you’re, if you’re wanting to get in touch with restaurant managers probably got to call them up right there. They’re running around. They’re not answering emails for our area, which is like contacting whatever startups in mid market enterprise white collar areas. Cold calling is mostly by and large a waste of time doesn’t mean the phone’s a waste of time. But it’s not a good use of time to dial for dollars, really. And I would agree with the interruption problem there. Yeah.
Andrew Morgans 15:38
Yeah, no, I just think about it, like, you know, the things that do and thank you for the explanation, I guess a follow up to that is what you would consider like a Google ad or a paid ad. Online, because it’s a direct response, like that’s inbound?
Dan Englander 15:54
I would Yeah, yeah. Because that’s somebody Well, I was gonna think of it as like a search ad, right? And yeah, you know, I’m speaking in broad strokes. Like, if there could be a funnel, where on Facebook, right, where you click on something that looks interesting, and you get a lead magnet, and it brings you along. But there’s a point at which, like, if you are selling, you know, a six figure product development offering, or you’re an agency and you’re, you know, you’re selling a big enough ticket offer. There’s a sales process that has to happen, like nobody’s gonna buy through a digital funnel, that stuff can help, it can help them nurture, it can help get people along. But eventually, like, somebody’s gonna need to talk to those people, right? There’s gonna have to be a relationship. So it’s like, do you want to wait to build that relationship? Or do you want to do it today, instead of like, five years from now? Right? When they happen to find you totally find you some other way? Right?
Andrew Morgans 16:46
No, I just didn’t, I didn’t know if I would refer to like, you know, because inbound to me is like a referral coming in, someone calling me, someone being emailed, someone seeing my blog, even seeing our content and like contacting? I think anything that I’m paying to go get them as outbound. But it’s not necessarily that not not, I mean, that’s kind of too broad. Right. Okay, so follow up question to that. Well, question of that. So, for me, someone like LinkedIn, you know, I get, I wish I got all these on Facebook or Instagram, because that’d be popular as heck, but I’m not on LinkedIn. I get like 100 messages a day that are just like, you know, inbound marketing, or people just like, what’s it called the navigator, LinkedIn navigator, where they’re just like, their messaging, I’m not saying it doesn’t work. But there’s tons. So in order to get my attention, it usually is something very personalized and clever. That gets me to be like, Wow, they’re clever. I liked their process for sales, or I like that. They’re like, you know, they’re creative. Sometimes it’s like a personalized video where they’re using my name. And they’re like, you know, going through like my account or my website or something like that. Maybe they’re referencing where I went to school, or, you know, that I lived in Hawaii, or that I like, wrote a book recently, or, you know, I see some of those tactics. But I would say it’s definitely something that feels like, wow, they took a little bit of time to know a little bit about me and my company before they just called me or emailed me. And the difference in my open rate, I’m speaking from just like someone to get sold to. Yeah, the difference is like night and date for me.
Dan Englander 18:19
Right. Right. And I think that’s a really good point. And there’s There’s people doing that, that well. But then I think the issue is there’s kind of like this arms race of data, right of like saying, of being able to have an insight about the person you’re contacting, and being able to say, I saw this, that and the third about you, I saw this, that in the third about your company or site or whatever it might be. And that arms race is accelerating a lot. The problem is very few people with any are closing the loop on that and saying, Here’s my connection to you, as opposed to just what I know about what you write. And that’s really the thing that gets you from like, the 50 yard line to the 100 yard line. And there are lots of ways to skin a cat. So like, I think that, you know, it sounds like you’re doing this well, or you’ve seen people do this well. And there’s people that send like, crazy lumpy mail, right, where it’s like, here’s, you know, this crazy gift and all that stuff can work towards the same aim. The economics change the list size, change, the effort changes. Our approach, you know, specifically to us and Sales Schema is more about what we call relationship sales at scale. So it’s finding not just to come not just like something about the receiver, but something that unites the sender and the receiver. And to get further into that the way that we think about it is in terms of circles of influence. And I talked about this a lot in the book, but there’s this sociologist named Robin Dunbar and he’s famous for Dunbar’s number, and that’s the idea that there’s like a limited number of relationships you could have in your life and you have these circles that that expand out by by triplets approximately. So you might have like, you know, a close circle of like five I’ve close family members, the people you can find in, and then 15, you know, very close friends, and so on and so forth. And Robert, I think Dunbar’s number, if I remember right, corresponds to like, the number of like, first name basis, people you can kind of have in your life like acquaintances like 150. But our whole hypothesis from a sales perspective is that that keeps going right, and it goes through layers. So it expands out by another three. And now there’s like, 1000s of people that may not be on a first name basis, but they would be willing to talk to you based on something that you have in common. And that’s where you’re kind of able to now do this outreach at scale. Because if I reached out to you, and I was like, Hey, I saw the year Marknology, you guys are doing really great stuff in E-commerce, Amazon. That’s cool. You may or may not take that meeting, but it’s like, hey, Drew, I saw that you can’t, you come from a missionary background. That’s really crazy. I do as well. And also, like, I lived in the Midwest, just like you do. And, and we happen to do a lot of work with eCommerce agencies or you know, like, like you, you’d probably take that. Yeah, you would respond to that. And that’s it. Yeah, exactly, you would have to respond to that almost, you might not take the bait, but you least like, you’d have to pay attention to that you definitely wouldn’t be mad at it.
Andrew Morgans 21:15
Reputation, like, you know, he’s in the Midwest like, and the reason for me, I’d also think, like, well, he’s gonna get along well, with my team, he’s gonna get along with our like, our cadence, the way we speak, like, you know, localization piece like it was, that’d be a home run.
Dan Englander 21:29
Exactly. And the thing is, all those commonalities that I mentioned, by and large, are findable, right, that you could find maybe several 100 people that share those two things Midwest and missionary background, right. It’s not easy. That’s where secret sauce comes in. And there’s, there’s much more, that was just something I pulled off the dome, right, there’s like, things that are easier to find. But if you combine those things, now you’re creating a message that we’re everybody that gets it is like, wow, this is this is cool. And this is just for me. But you know, you can think of this negatively or whatever. But it’s not sustainable. If you were just sending like three little custom level letters a day for one, if you’re not going to get any meat, anything from that, you’re not going to do it, you’re gonna get busy, and this is not going to happen. So there has to be some level of scale, right? But the scale doesn’t have to be hundreds of 1000s of people, or even 10s of 1000s. For each one of our campaigns, we might be contacting as few as several 100 people, maybe up to 1000. But because of the strength of that commonality, it works way, way better in terms of meeting rates, in terms of opportunities, and all that all that good stuff.
Andrew Morgans 22:38
I love it keeping like, you know, is the number three? Are you looking for three things in common? Or like, their specific numbers?
Dan Englander 22:45
It can be just one frankly, like the craziest thing we ever did. We found people that used to play tennis in college, right? And people ask where do you get your data bla bla bla, and like, yeah, proprietary this and that. But the fact is, we don’t have one place where we get the data. For that we had to have list builders go find that piece of data and find, like, first get the total of all the accounts or clients that want to contact all the people that share certain titles. And then really the Venn diagram, the few 100 people that used to like tennis in college, and to get that data, we had to go on bios, a company web pages and find that stuff, right. And then everybody that’s getting that message is like, Oh, cool. Like that’s, that’s special, and it’s emotionally resonant. And they’ll take that meeting. And the fact is, like, at the same time, we’re still talking about what our client does, you’re still selling, they’re not dumb, like they know that they’re entering a sales process. But they’re just de-risking the call because it says, You’re not, this is tasteful, I’m not going to drag you into a horrible sales process. At the same time, I do want to sell you something because I’m talking about this thing that we do. But it is essentially like letting people enter with a certain level of trust, and it builds the relationship. And then once you do that, people, what do I do? What happens after like five minutes of talking ? Tell me what you do? You know? And then you have something cool that you do, hopefully.
Andrew Morgans 24:01
I think what you’re building today is genius. Dan, by the way, don’t just say that, like I mean, this is like good stuff. I feel like part of my success has been because I was raised by missionary parents and like that relationship piece kind of came natural. Like, you know, it was like, you know, mom would say like, go sit by that Katie looks lonely. Like over there. Do you know what I mean? Like, it was like, you just learned how to connect with all different types of people. You saw different types of people come through. And so that relationship part was an easy move for me versus like, almost the salesmanship was difficult. Well, as we start getting more momentum, like with Marknology. Like, I’m sure a lot of the listeners have checked out my page by now. But you know, there’s a there’s an about us with our story there. And there’s an Andrew Morgans page. It’s like digging into my story. And it was that trust piece. You know, I was, you know, when I was trying to create an agency and having all these conversations, I just had so many conversations well, I’ve been burned by this age. So I’ve been burned by this agency or this or that. And I was just like, Okay, well, for the people that have been burned, I’m going to spend a ton of time building trust with them. And with like, by putting out, you know, putting out all these truths about my technology, even if I had some reservations about them, things like working with family, things like being in from a religious family, these are all things that for some people might be like, deal breakers, you know, or they see them as some type of thing. On the other hand, if people respect bootstraps, if people are like, from a family built business, or they care about like, you know, strong ties, and loyalty and trust these things are going to speak to that type of customer. Right. And so, it was almost, I’m not a sales expert, like I haven’t built a sales company. But these were things like I would consider that almost inbound. But if they start doing their research on us, because they’ve heard of us or whatever, they start feeling like they trust even this podcast, right, or our YouTube was about speaking hour after hour after hour after hour about expertise in different things. And essentially building trust with anyone that wants to do their research or that cares about that or wants to build a long lasting relationship. For me, the sales part was always so transactional, that it never felt like I never wanted to make a purchase unless I felt like I had some kind of relationship with the person. And, and I think there’s a lot of people, there’s a lot of people like that as well. Something I was going to bring in a little bit of branding to it is like I went to. I’m also in real estate on a real estate business, Airbnb, short term rentals, regular Property Management here in Kansas City. So it’s an aspect of what I do. And there was a time when I was building my technology, I knew nothing about real estate, I was just growing up the way I grew up, the only people that ever had any kind of wealth were in real estate. And so that was like I needed to get into real estate. And so I started researching and I’m on my own and don’t have anyone in my family that likes it. And I went to one of these, like, three day like weekend, like training things that came to Kansas City a couple 100 bucks, and I learned a lot walking, you know, walking away from it more than I did. But while I was there, there was a speaker and he had all this money and success. And the story was about his brother who passed away and legacy and he’s like, you know, it’s kind of a tear jerker moment like, like, a great story. And I went to look him up, this guy that’s selling us like, you know, he was selling coaching packages and stuff too, along with the real estate courses. But yeah, no social media, no presence, nothing online. And it was in that moment that I was like, you know, I saw this person, or I saw this in person, and I trusted him there in the moment. But whenever I looked for him digitally, there was no trust or reputation online. Yeah. And for me that branding part is like the same thing, I guess, with salesmanship, if someone sells me really well, they’ve like researched that I won’t hear that, from this type of family that my company is like this size, and they’re accurate. This is like actually what we do, and they’re regurgitating that to me, and they’re telling me that they’re gonna go help me sell more. I’m like, Yeah, because this person is doing a great job with their first interaction, which is me, I believe that they can also do this for me as a service. Same thing with us, I guess that Marknology on the branding side is like, I didn’t want to be telling people we were marketing or brand, an Amazon branding agency. And then they go to look at our own brand. And it’d be, you know, subpar. How can I tell them? I’m doing something that I can’t do myself? Well, so I think in the same spirit of that, so to speak, on the salesmanship side is like what level of personalization? Are you going to, you know, to create that relationship?
Dan Englander 28:36
Yeah, I think that’s a great point. And there’s multiple, there’s many ways to achieve the same effect, right? Like if, if your audience is spending an hour with you or their respective audiences on a podcast and listening in, that can get you really, really far as well. oral argument is that, you know, in the B2B space, why not build the actual first name relationships sooner rather than later? I think that there’s a lot of head trash that people have about like, Oh, if we contact them, and they don’t want to talk to us, or they like being burned or we’re never going to be able to get them again. And the reality is like, no, if you do it right, most people will not be mad that you reached out to them, you know, you but once you have that, that initial call, and you’ve had this exchange, everything kind of changes, like you then can reengage that person again, you can bring them back, all the other stuff you’re doing on the inbound side, you know, or the content of the urine side is now that much more resident because they actually know you. So it’s like you might as well find a way to get that door open sooner rather than later. It’s kind of our taking on it anyway.
Andrew Morgans 29:44
There’s a lot of this in your latest book balancing relationship sales at scale.
Dan Englander 29:48
I hope it is. Yeah, it is. So to give a little context on the book. It goes into a lot of the philosophy on this, which I can cover for I’m a high level, but I’m into the historical element of this. And I’m into, like, the macro stuff. Some people aren’t, and they can skip past that chapter if they want. But, you know, I think that this is kind of the order of things that markets and honestly probably like movements in our artistic movements too. You know, they become more saturated and more skeptical over time, right? If we’re talking about the agency space, which is our main niche, that definitely happens, like it happens within the sub-niches like influencer marketing, guess what, like, That was hot a year ago. And now there’s all these influencer agencies. And it’s like, you can’t just say we do influencer marketing you, you’ve now got to identify with people and build trust.
Andrew Morgans 30:39
Like exactly that means, right?
Dan Englander 30:41
So there’s a lot that I’m talking about there. And it’s less about features and benefits and bells and whistles. And that stuff lasts for like five minutes. And then you have to go to where everybody else is, and risk things that build trust with people. So the book goes through what it talks about, but then it gets tactical, it talks about how you can actually do this and ideas for campaigns that you can launch right away. That is when you read them, you’re like, oh, yeah, that would work. That’s something I do anyway. But the thing is, like, none of this is reinventing the wheel. The only thing we’re adding with this is a level of scale that’s recently available, frankly, because of technology and data and all that good stuff.
Andrew Morgans 31:20
No, I think sometimes the tactical stuff can be misleading for me, because I care so much about the tactical move that I’m trying to emulate or copy instead of just how can these principles filter through what I do, you know, and then put them into practice. So I like the high level and something that I’m thinking about, probably my wheels are just turning in the back of my head, is, you know, I do this, I do the same thing at scale with Marknology. Sure, Marknology is an agency with B2B sales. Of course, of course, I was practical here for this conversation. But on the Amazon level, we’re an Amazon agency. And so I’m selling products that are $19, $50, $100, you know, all different price points, scale math, like right, like, you know, 20,000 orders a month on a brand or more more than that, right? So we’re doing the same thing, we are trying to create that emotional connection with the customer, in a way that’s authentic and trustworthy. And that’s how we’re, we’re getting such success on Amazon right now, when a lot of the early movers were, you know, Chinese sellers, or American sellers bringing products from China, where they’re just kind of taking good feet, ad product photos, saying these are the features, this is what it does for you, you know, buy it, versus like understanding exactly how to quickly in a very small space make an emotional connection with the customer through photography, and imagery and words. You know, a good sales copy. But the same principles apply. And I would say the same thing. I’m like, it’s never rocket science. It’s really once you hear it, you’re like, Aha, it’s just the intentionality behind pulling it all in together to work together. That I think is magic. And I think that’s what you’re getting to as well.
Dan Englander 32:57
Yeah, that’s, that’s definitely what we’re going for. And it’s, you know, and I think that it’s, you see it kind of like writ large across the board, not just like in the B2B space, but there’s so much more noise and distraction, that just giving the initial meeting or the initial attention or in the Amazon space, just getting somebody to click and have, you know, an emotionally resonant experience is a lot harder than it used to be. So I feel like the battle is happening more at the top of the funnel, you know, no matter which way you define that.
Andrew Morgans 33:29
Yeah, I got some more questions for you before we jumped to, to our questions as we wrap up the show, shout out again to our sponsor, Full Scale that I O helping you build software teams, quickly and affordably. Okay, so I want to talk a little bit about practically, like, you know, creating automation in your, in your sales process for someone that’s like, obviously, they can come and hire you guys, and you show them and teach them and put people in seats and show them how to do all that. But let’s say they’re just, they’re buying the book. And they’re like, you know, they’re like, I want to figure out how to add more automation into my sales funnel for me, like my first move just to share that was you know, I have a contact form on my website. Yeah, someone you know, selects like, you know, what kind of customer they are and contact me. And, you know, I have a funnel going out. I use HubSpot at the moment. And it’s a I think it’s a five email sequence, okay, that essentially is like, hey, you know, busy at the moment and this was really hard for me. I actually had to hire sales copywriters because I have a really hard time. Like, not being really professional in my emailing, like, you know, it just is like, I don’t talk like with slang and I want it like I’m covered in tattoos and, you know, gauges and so I want to be really professional online. Yeah, it’s almost like a balance. And so they really had to help me kind of come up with this, but it’s like, you know, hey, thank you for the contact form. You know, like, here’s some information on us. Like, we’d love to get a meeting set up as a Calendly link. You know, it’s like a Um, yada, yada, yada, you know, and it’s like it’s a sequence like that. It’s very professionally done, I give them links to our blog, or some extra information on us or an About Us video as we go along. But it was something that for me, a couple years back was like just a huge game changer when I put it into place. Because it was like, I knew if they didn’t book a meeting right away on that contact form, that there was like, you know, four or five emails gonna go out on the one-man show on the sales team at the time. And this is going to help me, and it really helped me book a lot more meetings than me needing to remember to go back through my contact forms for anyone that didn’t respond and get them back on the loop or try to get on a call. What’s some other you know, practical advice or like, areas where automation can be just like, you know, a game changer for sales teams?
Dan Englander 35:46
Yeah, it’s a great question. I think the frame that I had a little bit I think the first consideration is like the who question like, who’s doing what you know, so if you were like a solo agency owner, it’s you, you know, you’ve got to just kind of wear different hats, like we all do, and everything. But if you want to think about your time, in terms of like, high level, closer versus BDR, and getting meetings, I think that can be really valuable. So the idea is like, if you’re if you’re planning out your day, and you have your freshest hours for sales in the morning, like most people or whatever it is for you, then you’re working the pipeline from bottom to top. So you look at the stuff that’s closest to closing where you have a proposal coming up, and you try to get those people over the line, before you focus on booking people and getting new meetings. The one exception is yeah, you have to be timely, if somebody wants to talk to you, you know, you got to get back to them soon, and all that good stuff. So the first thing is like, who’s doing what? Well, that’s the foundation of everything else. Beyond that, to answer your question about automation, you can of course, get really, really fancy with stuff and you know, then you can accelerate the sophistication as things go on. But what you said is really good, you know, having a booking funnel is helpful. Another one is having a re-engagement notification, right? So having a filter or an alert that basically says, Okay, this prospect that I talked to you 30 days ago, or 90 days ago, has not been contacted, and at least 90 days, and then having that hit lists, you know, every day so that you’re like, Okay, there’s these five people, they haven’t been contacted in 90 days. And then from there, you don’t have to, you can automate that you can send them a canned email, but you don’t necessarily have to, and sometimes it’s better not to, that’s where the work lives, right. So being able to say, Hey, Joe, you know, we talked 90 days ago, you know, you guys had this problem, what, what decision did you make? And guess what’s gonna happen? They’re gonna say, we haven’t done anything. You know, it’s like, Well, should we talk again? You know, it seemed important back then what’s what’s going on? Or another way to reengage is like, Hey, I have a couple ideas. We just wrapped up a project for the client, your space, I have a couple ideas, we should talk, that works really well.
Andrew Morgans 37:54
I like that one. I like that one a lot.
Dan Englander 37:56
And you don’t have to say a lot, you know, I can get really far. And then if nothing else, like, make sure basic stuff like people in your CRM going on, just put them on the newsletter, you know, they go on the newsletter, they’re getting the podcast, they’re getting everything else. That works well.
Andrew Morgans 38:15
Would you consider that automation? Or is that more so just like that personalization piece, like of like, going in there and giving them some value?
Dan Englander 38:26
My philosophy on this is that okay, so while we are putting people on a list, you know, with the, with the lukewarm or cold stage, the fact that we want is that nobody thinks that they’re on a list, right? If somebody is on a list, and like a newsletter, then that’s like, presented as a newsletter, and they know it, it’s like, okay, cool, I’m getting the newsletter this month, that’s fine. A week or whatever. So that’s the same vibe that we always kind of won, even if you are sending like 80% of the same email and customizing a line. Once you have a one to one conversation with somebody, the cost of over automating outweighs the benefit, right? So it’s like if you have you know, like if you’re an e-commerce agency, and you’re selling into you know, seven eight-figure nine-figure e-commerce brands and you’re talking to like a senior person there. There’s more to be lost than gained by over automating that process. It’s better to like, three crew think creatively about how you can get them back into the fold. You know, that doesn’t mean you have to, like, write each and every person that completely custom email or do anything nuts, but you might mean spending a few minutes you know, each morning on that. Yeah.
Andrew Morgans 39:45
No, I love it. That’s great advice. And I think that relationship piece is like at the top of that, which is like, no one wants to feel like they’re getting the same selfie from a girl. That’s sending it to 50 Dudes, right? You want to feel like she’s sending you itself. The right or like, tagging in with you and I like I make a joke because I think most of us can just relate to that. But same thing with business, like it’s very similar in regards to just like, make me feel special, even if I’m not, you know, like, like, I want to feel like, like, you know, it wasn’t just a spam or like a blast, you know, like you’re reaching out to me because you care.
Dan Englander 40:21
Yeah, there’s that. But I think that like, the emotional feeling that we get is different than just like, I appreciate this. It’s more like I have to respond to this, you know, you like, oh, yeah, that I mean, what you say is true. That’s also true. But I feel like the guttural feeling that you get when somebody sends an email that’s like, well connected enough that I have to get back to this person. Right?
Andrew Morgans 40:49
That’s why I worked 20-hour days for sure. There’s exactly that emotional connection. Okay, as we’re as we run out the show because we’re up on time, what’s one thing? You two things, one to one piece of advice, regardless of what we talked about today, or not, that you can just share with like a young sales team or a young sales leader or even a founder that’s like, you know, trying to get out of their sales? And where do I start, if outside of just hiring you? Because that’s the number one choice, but then what’s something that you’re working on with Sales Schema that you guys are excited about? You know, just sure.
Dan Englander 41:25
Yeah, thanks for that. Um, I wish I could boil it down to one thing, but hopefully, to be a little long-winded. I didn’t mean I think the first thing is just clarity about this from a sales front. I don’t mean clarity in terms of like, what you want in 10 years with your business, but clarity in terms of like, who is your ideal customer? You know, what’s the problem? You’re solving those key ICP kinds of things, right?
Andrew Morgans 41:49
That’s gonna interrupt up there actually, real quick because I thought of this earlier, something I really struggled with someone that was like kind of front running at the Amazon industry, and Amazon agency and kind contact my avatar on the other side, was, it seems like there’s maybe like 100 different titles for the type of person that I’m trying to connect with on the other side, like, it’s almost like name, name yourself, whatever you want. When it comes to like digital marketing, or marketplace management, or E-commerce director or like, it was just like this very wide way of describing the role that is like a new role in E-commerce, it was something I, you know, I would get asked by someone like you, or consultant will like, who’s your avatar? What would be their position and accompany what’s like, you know, what are those things? And I just felt overwhelmed because there were so many. Yeah, yeah. Is that just a unique challenge?
Dan Englander 42:46
No, that’s not unique at all, especially for people that are selling to bigger companies. And the fact of the matter is, sometimes that’s just the nature of the beast, like, big companies, in general, are dynamic and changing. And there’s, there are various things like, sales data companies will say, we have insights we know when people are going to be buying, and we know exactly, it makes the decision here. But we all know, that’s BS, because if you’ve ever worked for a company, much larger organization, that changes all the time, like there’s somebody you know, and there’s very little outward information that tells you about that. And the same way, like, The Wall Street Journal is not a very good way to get stock tips, right? Because the markets already reflected that information. Right? So the fact is if you’re in that, you know, you approximate, and you have lots of conversations, lots of people do that, you know, until you can afford to get somebody else to do it, basically. But last year, my first question.
Andrew Morgans 43:40
And the first one, the first one was just like, you know, a piece of advice to give, like a young sales team or sales leader that’s handling it all his own, and we were talking about like first is just having real clarity on who you’re selling to. And for me, I just really struggled with that. So I wanted to speak to that.
Dan Englander 43:56
Yeah, no, you’re not alone. And I think, yeah, in terms of, of advice, you know, after the clarity thing, I think the important thing is like, you know, to get the process figured out incrementally, you know, by focusing first on top of the funnel and then going and then and then getting other stuff off your plate from there. I think one of the big problems that we see is that somebody either doesn’t like sales, or they don’t want to do it, or they just want to get a superhero to figure it all out for them too soon. And that almost always fails. Right? And I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had. Where an agency owner whoever is like, man, we’ve hired three salespeople, they all failed, and I was like, Okay, after three, maybe a little reflection should happen here like so the idea is to focus on the top of the funnel first right focus on like getting meetings, getting demand, however, you wanted to whatever buzzwords you want to use. From there, you know, figure out the sales process, invest in sales coaching for yourself, if nothing else, don’t be allergic to that somebody that’s gonna listen to your calls and beat your ass a little bit. I mean, it’s like, we hear a lot of resistance to that. We don’t even sell that. So it’s not like we’re, you know, but I’ve noticed that a high level of resistance to that, especially with owners, so people that have built big companies, like, why do I need that? And it’s like, Michael Jordan had a coach like Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson, like Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson, you could probably benefit from this from somebody listening to your calls, and saying, like, you shouldn’t be saying this in that way. If you get, even if you’re killing it, if you’re getting like a 1% incremental improvement in our world, in the B2B world, that’s like millions of dollars, right? So it’s like, yeah, be thinking about that. And then from there, once you have your processes pretty good, and like, you’re not just getting referral business, you’ve got other channels, whether that’s outbound inbound, etc., then that’s when you want to think about the closer the person that’s going to cost six figures and has experience in enterprise, then they can slot into that situation. But they’re not going to be able to just build that from the ground up like only an owner is going to be able to do that with help, I should say, yeah. So hopefully, that’s useful in some way.
Andrew Morgans 46:08
Question number one, question number two, something you’re working on, you’re excited about besides getting married? And getting off the single rotation. But what’s something you’re working on with Sales Schema that Scott, you know, you guys are working toward as a team or that you’re excited about as a founder?
Dan Englander 46:22
Yeah, thanks for that. So the big thing now is software. We’re thinking about a software product. We’re already doing some software tinkering, like on the back end for our processes and that kind of thing. We’ll see where it goes. It’s kind of like a journey of a million steps. And the way that I’m thinking about it is like, I think the lines are getting pretty well. Melded now, between software and services. I don’t think of it as a completely different business anymore as I used to. But we’ll see where it goes.
Andrew Morgans 46:59
That’s super exciting. Yeah, it’s super exciting. And since we’re speaking about software, remind you about Full Scale.io. That’s the best spot to find a software team quickly and affordably. Do you need to hire software engineers, testers, or leaders? Let Full Scale help. They have the people and the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts. FullScale.io is built by Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson, the founders of the podcast. Absolutely awesome company. We’re looking to, not just you, Dan, but any listeners, like if you’re looking to add your software team and get good quality people that are vetted and managed and really know their stuff, FullScale.io is the place to start. I’ve definitely used them for some of my own stuff. I have yet to have proprietary software, but I’ve dabbled quite a bit. So I know what you mean by a journey of a million steps. This has been helpful. I feel like this is a personal podcast for me to get some questions answered that I just like am curious about, and you shared a ton of value with anyone listening, Dan. I really appreciate you having you on the show.
Dan Englander 47:55
Likewise, we really appreciate you having me.
Andrew Morgans 47:59
Yeah, and we might need part two. I am getting the book. And so maybe we can just go through some of my favorite chapters after I’ve had a chance to read it. We can dig into some of those and get a second look at the book.
Dan Englander 48:11
That sounds great, man. Yeah, I would love to do it again.
Andrew Morgans 48:13
Thank you so much for being on the show. We’ll see you next time, Hustlers.