What the heck is invisible selling?

Bryan Rider is a global consultant, working in over 50 countries around the world. Bryan's focus is on helping clients build sustainable strategies to create yearly six and seven figure business growth.

Every business is different. Yet, every business must create influence and value in their sales and marketing strategy to be successful. Bryan has helped hundreds of businesses increase revenues through his effortless influence process.

In this interview Bryan digs deeper into his invisible selling process and how to engage prospects and build long term relationships. When you focus on building and maintaining relationships, you will never need to chase a prospect again. Business will flow your way every day.

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Ted:
Welcome, everybody. It's Ted Prodromou. This is Social Selling Television and you can find this episode and past episodes at www.socialsellingtelevision. This week's guest is Bryan Rider. I met Bryan a couple years ago. I've been going to internet marketing and marketing type events for probably 15 years now and I've been to hundreds of them, I'm sure. Some were free, some you pay for. What I noticed is … a couple years ago, I went to an event … it was a Frank Curran event. I actually paid $10,000 for the program. It was one of the first big ticket items I ever purchased. I always went to the smaller and I'd buy the $1,000 or $2,000 products. I'd go to the conferences and there was some good people there but for the most part people were there for hope. They weren't successful in business. They weren't successful on the internet. When I went to this Frank Curran conference there was about 100 people there and instantly you could tell this were all A-list players. These guys were making money. They knew how to grow a business. They knew how to start a business. They knew how to market. Bryan was one of the first people I met when I walked in the door. I want to welcome Bryan Rider.
Bryan:
Thanks for having me, Ted.
Ted:
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you got started.
Bryan:
How I got started in the consulting and marketing business is when I was 25 I went overseas and I started figuring out … I was really lucky in my early 20s to have an incredible mentor who, instead of going after shiny objects, he realized that as long as you're focused on building relationships and that is your focus and contributing and creating value, you'll get to wherever you want to go. I'd learned this and I adopted this from a very young age. I was in an internship at the time. It's a really funny story. I was actually working at a cleaning company as my internship. He said, “Just keep creating value, building relationships.” I did it the whole summer and I created relationships with anybody, a wide range of people.

After the summer he was like, “You just did what you said you were going to do. You built relationships. Here's the options.” I ended up going to work in the Middle East for 4 years after that and it was so much around just building relationships. I love traveling. I've been to 51 countries. We're going to add 4 here next month, which is fun. Just figuring out, what is business about? What are we really doing in business? Is it about trying to market? It really just comes down to building relationships and making a difference for people. That's really what got me started and then in the marketing world, my experience has been where so many people are looking to must make money and short-term sell at the expense of long-term relationships.

What I really saw is, I was like, “All these businesses are doing it completely backwards.” If you just go out and creating relationships is your main focus and you're just working on that, in 6 months, 12 months, you don't really have to market anymore because you have so many valuable relationships and repeat customers. When I learned that, and then just doing that in my own business, I've been really passionate about teaching people that process.
Ted:
I think the first thing you said, way back to the beginning of that, is you had a mentor. That is the key to getting started going the right direction because without a mentor you're trying to figure this all out yourself. You're spending a lot of money that you shouldn't have to spend. Someone that can guide you.
Bryan:
We're in the service business of helping people and one of the first things … I lost a good chunk of money probably 5 years ago in making this mistake, investing in a business. What it comes down to, if we're serving people, and you're helping people, and you're not willing to ask for help yourself, I've learned anybody that isn't under mentorship themselves or hiring consultant, anything like that, I run from as fast as I can, simply because if you're going to help people you need to be getting help from other people.

It's just the integrity piece. Without that it's amazing how many businesses that I've seen that they're like, “I'm a coach.” It's like, “Great. Do you have a coach.” “No, I don't need a coach.” You're just blown away because you're like, “Why would anybody pay you for coaching, then, if you don't see the value in it?” That mentorship … I think I'll have a coach for life in whatever areas that I need support in, just because that's the fastest way to grow a business.
Ted:
It's the only way. You really need someone to look over your shoulder because we work on our businesses all the time and in our businesses, but you get blinders. To have somebody looking over from the outside … they just say the simplest things sometimes. You're like, “God. It was right in front of my eyes and I didn't see it.”
Bryan:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, and even though I coach people on this and we consult with people on this, I've learned I'm just as susceptible of doing the same thing, of getting … even though I coach people on it, I'll make the same mistakes. Making sure you have somebody giving you that feedback, because we're just unable to see what's getting in the way, and that's human beings. That's the biggest thing, is we don't see what's getting in the way.
Ted:
Armand says, “Making a relationship and making a difference for the people, bingo.”
Bryan:
It's that simple. We were talking about this just a little bit ago. We're just finishing up a big deal in Europe. Everybody is like, “Okay, how do you go out and do a big deal in Europe?” I work with a very small amount, high-end coaching clients, good sum of money up front. I didn't do that through an ad. I did it through building long-term relationships and what people miss is this has been about two years in the making of just developing the relationship and I didn't know where it would go. What did I do? I just created value and made a difference for that person long before we ever talked about business. Then that person has come back to me and said, “Hey, I trust you. How can we put this project together?” That's really, at the core of it, that's simplicity in business. I have multiple deals over there and possibilities now. This one just went through. It's actually a business in Ukraine. That's it. That's really all it comes down to, is simplicity, long-term relationships, and making a difference.
Ted:
Let's take this new client, for example. How did they find you? How did you provide all this value? Take us from … Beginner's level, how did they-
Bryan:
Beginner's level, how they found me was interestingly enough … This is probably 3 levels of separation. I met somebody online. I believe actually when I met this person was through LinkedIn and I was just going out making a difference for them and then, with that, I met one of their friends. I just had a conversation with one of the friends, told them a little bit about what I do, and that never went anywhere from that standpoint, though I stayed in touch. It wasn't a one-time thing. I just stayed in touch. I called them and made a difference for them. One time I referred them a few clients and just was a person of value and didn't want anything from the relationship. Then a couple months ago they're like, “Hey, we're going to hire this team. It's going to cost us about $20,000 a month. How can you help us with that?” I was like, “Yeah, great, easy.”
Ted:
You said a few things that are really important, there. You called the person to check in, just to keep in touch. That doesn't take long, a couple minutes. You say, “Hey, how you doing? Haven't heard from you in a while. Just checking in to see if things are okay.”
Bryan:
Yeah and we've talked quite a bit about LinkedIn, of what makes LinkedIn work. Everybody wants to know, “Hey, how do I get highly qualified appointments?” That's all the rage out there. I think if you look at your Facebook news feed, highly qualified 7-figure businesses. That's what being sold, and in reality it's done through building relationships. I don't know how many actual personal millionaires I have, though I have two that come right to the top of my mind and they don't even have a market. They don't even market. They just go out and they have relationships and multimillion dollars of business and it's just that's really how business is created.
Ted:
Getting in touch with people, finding people. LinkedIn, like you said, it's a gold mine and people don't realize it.
Bryan:
I think what happens on LinkedIn is everybody is … I think there's this big misnomer that you can just go out on LinkedIn and blast … It's just like when you send the friend request and then you get the message like, “This is everything I do and do you want to buy?” It's almost like a cold call. There's a big misnomer that that's how business is done, versus if you look at building good relationships and creating value … Obviously you have to be able to create an experience where somebody wants to work with you. If you can create one valuable relationship a week and make a difference for one person and then continue to follow up, in 6 months you stop marketing because people are out there supporting you. It's just so much easier to do business on relationships. How much were you saying, Ted … We were talking about this … how much of your business is repeat or long-term relationships?
Ted:
Yeah, like 80%. We were guessing but it's people that have been on my email list for 5 years, some people, and they've never bought and all of sudden they become a client.
Bryan:
Yeah, mine is 80, probably more. If we are looking at revenue value it's definitely more. You just look at that. That's what it looks like. You build relationships and you continue to … Everybody asks that. Invisible selling, selling without selling. If you know how to create an experience of what it's like to work with you, very quickly, and then you're out building relationships it's almost a natural process. It's simple. It's really simple and I think that's what people miss of it, is they want to go buy 1,000 shiny objects. There's more shiny objects today than any time in history.
Ted:
You said something about a great way to provide value, probably the best way. You met somebody and you gave them a referral, or a couple referrals, and you weren't expecting anything in return. That's huge.
Bryan:
One of the strategies that we teach is to have a million-dollar business you need to create 25 powerful relationships with people … People know this. I teach this … 25 relationships where you are referring business back and forth. Maybe they're a client, though, that's the type of relationship you have. It's not about the money. It should be somebody that you would hang out with and you would talk to regardless of business. If you have 25 of those it becomes very, very difficult not to make half a million or a million dollars. People will go, “How is that?” If that's how you're walking through the world and you're just constantly creating value people will flock to you.
Ted:
That's really incredible, what you just said, 25 good relationships, really. I get clients, they contract with me to get 1,000 leads a month on LinkedIn. I say, “Why do you need 1,000 leads a month? How many sales can you close? Why don't you learn to sell better?” If you focused on 25 people and build strong relationships you'll have more business than you can handle.
Bryan:
Yeah, I think what happens on LinkedIn, or any platform, is because we can go to the masses, and unless your business model is set up for that, probably the best salespeople in the world … One of my clients is a software as a service salesman. He's doing about $70,000, $80,000 a month. He does the same thing. He has his top 25 relationships and then he's constantly … He has a top 150, too … that's he constantly calling new people and bringing them into that relationship. For one salesperson that's about the max that they can do. That's a proven system in software sales to be a million-dollar earner, proven over and over. It's the same thing in business. It's the exact same process. If you just focus on that it works and all the other things that you can do support it, though at the core of it that's the easiest way to really build a long-term, strong business.
Ted:
That's what people get confused is they think … In the old days we used to have to go meet people in person. We'd cold call. You had to meet one person at a time. People with the internet think, “I can reach millions of people now so I'm just going to focus on blasting my message out,” but they don't [crosstalk 00:14:36] wants to blast the message out.
Bryan:
Yeah, or it becomes a one-way … you look at that. You can get 150,000 people and it's a one-way conversation. It's like you're talking at that person the whole time. If you think about that is, how much do you enjoy … Think about going into a room and sitting down and somebody talking at you for an hour straight. How much fun is that for you? It's the equivalent of what everybody's doing. Then, instead of understanding, asking questions, and having empathy it would be the same as telling them all the things they're doing wrong. It's almost like scolding them. I'm not a parent yet, though you see this, it would be like talking to your kids and scolding them and not having any interaction and then expecting them to do what you'd like them to do.
Ted:
Those are the kids that act up the most, the ones that have the dominant parents that are just constantly yelling at them.
Bryan:
Yeah, exactly. You would see it would never work in a relationship so I don't understand why people in business think it's anywhere different, that if you just constantly talk, and talk down, to people … because it really is at that point, not getting feedback … that would ever turn into a strong business.
Ted:
I tell people, “Look, we go to a networking event and you meet somebody and they shake your hand, you exchange business cards, and then they just start talking about themselves and how wonderful their car is and how much money they make and they have a big house and, ‘you want to buy my products,' you'd want to run for the hills.”
Bryan:
Yeah, so you can do the same thing. That's really what people do and you just see the value is missing. There's not the value created. My biggest experience of selling is if you tell people what you do versus creating an experience and letting somebody into that experience it never works. Those people are always wondering … You tell them, “Go build relationships,” and they're like, “I'm out talking to all these people. I'm out doing all these tactics. I'm posting 80 times a day on social media and Twitter and all of that.” Great. You can have a million people and if you're talking at a million people it doesn't work. Just because you have more of them doesn't mean it'll work.
Ted:
Tell me more about this experience. That's a good one. Starbucks doesn't sell coffee, they say. They create an experience. How do you create an experience for your potential clients?
Bryan:
I think, in my opinion, this is the most important thing in business. I sent an email out to my list probably a week ago, some of the people that are in one of my memberships. I said, “If I could credit working across the world is, one, I would say relationships and then going out and creating an experience of what it's like to work with me and what it is that I do.” In every business that we own or we have interest in focuses very, very clearly on … instead of describing it I would put somebody actually into the experience so they could see, “Okay, this is how I would solve the problem.” It's so much different than talking at people because we're taught these elevator pitches and you can do that and immediately you have to start asking questions to demonstrate how you can help them and show them that you can help them go out and get results.

An example would be … You're going to make me go off the cuff here. I know a little bit about you, Ted. Maybe I'll set an appointment with you here. We'd be talking. I know you have a couple very successful businesses and you're so much about creating value and relationships, so if I knew that and I wanted to create the experience if you were to ask me what I do and say it was centered around somebody who really has a vision and they're figuring out how to go from … say they're at 100,000 to a million. Typically in coaching clients are somewhere between 100 to 300,000. They want to go to a million. Typically for the high-end coaching that's just what I do.

I'll ask you a couple questions because you're going to have to be with this to role play because hopefully it'll help bring out the experience. I would say, “What I do is I listen to you in a way that you've never been listened to before,” and then I help you get really clear on what it is you would like to create and why, and even if that seems impossible. Then I'll help you flesh out and go out and create that in the real world. That would be the hook and then I'd say, “Ted, tell me a little bit about where you're at right now in your business.”
Ted:
It's interesting you say that because for years people have asked me those questions, other coaches, and I couldn't put it into words what I wanted for my life and my business to look like. I realize now, I'm living exactly what I've dreamed about, is I can work from anywhere. I have flexibility. I can work 10 hours a day, 20 hours a day, and then take 3 weeks off. I created this, but I couldn't put it into words on what I wanted, freedom. We've talked about this. Freedom is the word we all want.
Bryan:
Yeah. If you were describing that, and say you were saying, “Hey, this is what I'm looking for. I really want this business XYZ,” and so creating the experience would be … what I would do is help figure out exactly how many hours a week you want to work and really define that, though also talk about the difference you want to make because that's a lot of times missing in the process. What makes business work is you have to contribute and getting clear on that contribution. You could see how I'd create the experience. I would be asking questions. Instead of … getting away from money, what is it you really want to make a difference in the world? Then I would demonstrate, “This is how I would help you,” and I'm not even selling to you at that point. I'm just creating an experience of me listening to you. By the way, your whole experience is listening in a way. I listen, and then I just demonstrate how I would listen to you and help you flesh it out, so basically telling you what I'm doing in a minute.
Ted:
We're having a conversation rather than you … I don't feel like you're grilling me. You're not trying to sell me anything. We're just having a conversation.
Bryan:
Yeah. That experience … If anybody was here and watches this and if they get clear on you can create that experience, you will want to talk to people as often as possible. A lot of people are really afraid in conversations to go out and talk with people. If you really master this experience, of how to create this experience with people, you'll want to talk to everybody because you'll realize it's irrelevant of what I do. If I'm coach, you care less if I coach. If I create an experience of you being helped without and being supported in the way that you'd like to be supported, well that creates interest. Maybe I could say, “Hey, does that sound good to you? We could talk about it.” If not, you know what that experience is like. I don't know how many referrals I've gotten from just demonstrating what it's like to work with me and somebody goes, “You know what? I have a friend who is stuck here. Can you go talk to them?” At that point it's that experience of where somebody is stuck, helping them move forward.
Ted:
I've known you for a couple of years now and just watching you and seeing you do this. You have a genuine interest and curiosity about people. You just come up to people, you have a nice demeanor, and you just start talking to people and asking them questions about them. You don't talk about yourself much at all. [crosstalk 00:23:20] factor.
Bryan:
It's funny. I learned that really early on. You go into a conversation and you ask a lot of questions and people love you and they're like, “Oh my gosh. He's such-” They don't even know, because they got the experience of being heard, which is totally missing in the marketplace when we look at that, everywhere, it's arguing. They've been heard and they love you because they're like, “I don't know what it was.” Interestingly enough, people believe that you can help them at that point. They know nothing about me. It's always interesting. I could back it up. I've traveled the world. I've worked with a couple billionaires, prime minister, incredible client list, and I may use that just as a reference point but it's more to say, “Yeah, this works really, really well.” It's not because I have some big ego that I think I'm special. I just go out and help people. That's the type of things that happen when you can create an experience and then just genuinely be interested in people.
Ted:
In my high-tech days I used to manage 75 tech workers, basically, desktop network-support people, and they would come in and talk to me. They'd have big issues with one of the users or some big problem. I would just listen. I'd just listen, they'd vent, they'd go off, and then I'd just say something like, “What else could you do?” something like that. I wouldn't answer the question for them. They would go, “That's it! I'll try that.” That's why I became a coach because I love doing that. I just listen 80% of the time, make a few comments, and let them make the decision and they run with it. You're doing that the way you do your invisible selling, as you call it.
Bryan:
It works because if you're talking at people you're really diminishing their value versus if you're listening to people. The way I look at it, people are more than capable of being successful and more than likely they're just getting in their own way a little bit. If you can help them take out those roadblocks, that's really the job of a coach, is there's things in the way. A coach isn't going to tell you, “This is what you should do in the world.” A good coach just takes out the roadblocks that are in the way, enabling somebody to be successful, versus the other direction that people go, is they're constantly telling them. If somebody does it wrong they're like, “Hey, you're doing it wrong.”
Ted:
Right. James says, “Show, don't tell,” like a fiction writer does, right?
Bryan:
It's so, so that. It's the experience. We described it. I just did that off the top of my head. It would have been more fun if you were working through something specific. Yeah, that's what people love. People go, “Wow. I was empowered in that.” Really, at the end of the day, at the core of coaching, if you're going to empower people to get clear and enable them, if you don't do that in the first minute that you're speaking with them there's not integrity there. I need to match the experience that people have with me very early on to what it is that I do. There's a thing, if you say, “Hey, I'll help you with that,” and what they don't experience that same piece, well, you'll lose them forever. You realize that's how you build trust in a relationship. You just start demonstrating that you do it. You can do it through marketing, though it's easier to do it in relationships because I can ask questions at that point and I can really get to know the person. Makes it very, very easy.
Ted:
Yeah, if you just really help people, offer to help, with no expectation of returns. Yesterday I was talking to Alex Mandossian. He's doing a big launch right now and he's right in the thick of it. I texted him. I said, “Hey, Alex, if you need coffee or any food, give me a holler. I'll bring it to you.” He called me two seconds later. I know he's in the middle of a million things. He goes, “I genuinely appreciate that. You really care.” We joke, because we have coffee together a lot and I know he likes coffee. I said, “If you need anything at any time just call me. I'll drop everything and I'll help you out because I know you're in the middle of this.” He goes, “I haven't seen my kids in two weeks.” We just started talking like that. He goes, “I really appreciate. You just did that simple, little task.”
Bryan:
Yeah, and you look at that and it's always that simple. I almost wish sometimes if people could do this first and they realized how simple it was because people would have a lot more successful business instead of … The other way is everybody else that is doing everything else, it's because they haven't figured out this whole relationship, or they're in a relationship, it's not really a relationship. They're there to try to get money from that person. That's the only focus. Until you bump around for a couple years and struggle to create money that way, people are probably going to actually believe that.
Ted:
People don't know how to build relationships anymore as much. The simple thing like the happy birthday, say, “Happy birthday,” on LinkedIn or Facebook to people, at least 40% of the time they reply to me and say, “Thank you,” with a personal message.
Bryan:
Yeah, yeah, no, definitely. It's amazing that's what people are getting away from. The people you see successful on LinkedIn, what do they go out and do?
Ted:
Everything you've been saying. Don't focus on selling. Focus on building as many relationships as you can. Nurture those relationships. Really care about people. That's what it comes down to.
Bryan:
Yeah, that's why you're successful on LinkedIn. It doesn't matter what business, when you build those relationships you could alter your business model and those people stay. That's why LinkedIn is so easy to be successful on. I believe it's so easy to be successful on because you can target the right relationships, though you see what people want to do is they want to get these highly qualified … I look at this. People are like, “I want highly qualified appointments with decision-makers,” and that sounds really, really good. I've found that's good for two things, is anybody that's going to be a really good long-term client, very difficult. You'll get a few that way. That's the best way to get a client that's an absolute nightmare to work with, long-term. It's the same thing. If people don't understand and know how you operate and then you go out and you hard sell somebody and then it's a bad fit, whose fault is that? Of course, people want to blame it on the customer, though it's like, “Look at your sales process. You're just as at fault because of your sales process.”
Ted:
Right, yeah. We were just on a timeshare presentation. I wrote about it last week. We were in Mexico and it was the incredible hard sell, where they just came at you full force from the beginning. Sure, they're going to sell some people because they're intimidating them. People were actually scared, but you're not going to get happy customers, then.
Bryan:
Yeah, everybody asks, “Why don't you hard sell?” It's a great question. The only people that are going to buy when you hard sell are people that are very timid and they're very scared and you're forcing yourself on them. Very timid and scared people. I see this all the time. I don't know how many masterminds … I've seen people, it's a bad fit and they got forced into it and they don't really say anything and then it's like a dog getting angry and then they just bite and they get so angry at the person and then blow up. You're like, “Look at that. That's the type of people that you're attracting with beating over the head. If you want to beat people over the head and hard close people, don't be surprised when somebody does the exact same thing at you and screams at you or anything like that because you've created that.”
Ted:
We see that a lot in the internet marketing space. We've both seen it. People are selling hope and there's desperate people that pay a lot of money that they don't have. They can't afford to spend $2,000 on a product but these people, the sales process, they just really play on their desperation.
Bryan:
Yeah, yeah. There's a few, I can count them on one hand, the people I think that are incredible, that really, genuinely are incredible in that space. That's what they're doing. It's like anything. “You didn't follow through.” I think it was 2014, 2015, where like, “You just need to take massive action,” type thing. I was just like, “That's an easy scapegoat to say you have a terrible product and you're not good at getting people results. If you turn it around on somebody who's fearful, then they're probably not going to say anything and you turn it around on a true business owner, that's what's going to happen.” We're in the business of keeping people long-term. If that's how you start the relationship, that's the ego that comes into the- How well is that going to work long-term? I always ask people that. “You beat someone over the head long term. Imagine doing that to one of your friends. It's totally talking them down. What does that do to the relationship long-term?” They'll talk behind your back. It's just what happens.
Ted:
Yeah. It's like a couple that's in a marriage where they just are screaming at each other all the time. It's just not good.
Bryan:
I dare anybody that's married … I dare anybody to do that. My wife would kill me.
Ted:
Today's guest is Bryan Rider and if you have questions for Bryan, type them in the chat window and you can-
Bryan:
We got to have some questions.
Ted:
Pick his brain. What are three ways you provide value? Referrals is one. You mentioned that.
Bryan:
What's three ways that I provide value? Referrals. There's so much value in listening to people and just being honest and listening with people. There's just so much value in that in the relationship. There's lots of things. We give away a lot of free content. We support people. So much of value is listening to people and just being there with them, and not listening in the sense to tell them what to do, just hanging out with them and just listen. It's hard to describe. It's just listening. Just get to know them. Get in their world. I think that's one of the most valuable things you can ever do to somebody. When I was in the Middle East I put together a big program to help people who were illiterate. Really, I wanted to support them. Up until that point I was like, “Oh, how can I help them?”

What I did to really learn was just hang out with them and just listen to them. It's the easiest way to start a business. Instead of thinking what they need or what they want or knowing better, you just hang out with them. Get to know them and listen and they will tell you exactly what they need, or exactly what's getting in the way for them, exactly what emotions are there. They'll literally tell you what they need. Then, yeah, you can just help them from that point. If you're not able to help them and you don't know somebody, you can either refer them, and even if you're not able to help them they will always remember being listened to. People are like, “Okay, I go talk to 100 people.” If you listen really well to somebody that person will listen and refer you and remember you years down the road.
Ted:
It's sales 101. Listen 80% of the time and talk 10 to 20% of the time.
Bryan:
The interesting thing is none of this has ever changed. I was really interested in this because social media is valuable and you can build relationships with it. You just see every kind of era that something gets in the way of just being really, really good at creating relationships. It's always these new, shiny objects, always, always, always new, shiny objects. If you know how to build relationships you look at them and you're like, “Hey, I could do that, these shiny objects, though I don't really need them.” My coaching business, full. I don't really need a shiny object. It's the person whose coaching business isn't full is chasing the shiny object and it's because it's sold as that's the solution to all your ills. Then you look at that you have that problem because this relationship … It is selling 101. You have to become effective at that to grow a business. There's no way around it.
Ted:
Yeah. James has a question for you: “Can you address the immediate need for sales that drives direct sales process mindset compared to relaxing enough to wait out the experience?”
Bryan:
I think there's a big misnomer, too, is if you create that experience for somebody right away. We're not just saying build a relationship. The experience we are talking about is if I create that experience, say you're struggling with something and I demonstrate how I'm going to help you, you'll be shocked at the amount of people that you'll have another sales conversation with right away. There's the part. You're selling without selling because they've experienced how you can help them. Some people will be like, “Hey, when can we talk again?” That's a small percentage of what you do.

Interestingly enough, by just creating experience, without trying to push to sell something, percentage-wise you'll be a little bit higher than cold-calling asking for sales. That's where I think people in this process, they're like, “Oh, you're leaving money on the table.” If you do a good job up front you're going to get the customers that are ready to go and where the long-term value is, is in the long-term relationships. You're still going to sell a lot on the front right away, so don't think that this is sacrificing sales up front.
Ted:
It's like planting seeds and it takes time for them to grow. When you start these conversations people remember you. They depend on you. Then, when it's time for them to buy, the closing process is a lot easier than pulling teeth. Whenever you're really trying to sell someone and close hard, it doesn't work out usually.
Bryan:
Somebody asked me that. I just finished up a sales product. They're like, “How much of it is objection handling?” I was like, “None of it.” Yeah, you can talk about it, and if you're not listening to that person the whole way and providing clarity, if you really have to hard-core close somebody, objection handle, something's missing. Something is missing. If you get in a spot where you have to really push on somebody to buy, something is missing along the way. Up front, some people will be ready to buy right away and there'll be no resistance, though the less you know people the harder it is because it's the trust factor. You should be able to do it. It sounds crazy. People ask me. I'm like, “I really don't teach that.” If you're having a lot of objections you didn't create a very clear experience in the beginning and demonstrating how you could help them, because from that point it should be a lot of clarification questions of making sure it covers that. That's really an objection, it's just clarity. If there's something else in the way, you just missed something early on in the process.
Ted:
When I was going through coaching certification they taught us their concept called active listening, where you're having conversations and when you're coaching somebody you don't give them advice. You just ask them more questions and let them guide themselves, actually. The active listening is they're saying something but their face is telling you something else, if you're face-to-face, or the tone of their voice is not matching what the words are. That's really effective, when you do that, because you can say, “Wait a minute. You said that you wanted to make a million dollars a month next week, but, you're not spending any money on marketing.”
Bryan:
You're exactly right. There's the thing. If you just listen to people … it's eerie for people. I have a couple clients that they're like, “It's really eerie how you will spot what it is and I never said anything about it.” If you just listen people will tell you pretty clearly what's in the way and what isn't working. Really, if you listen intently people will tell you pretty clearly what's in the way of them getting the results.
Ted:
When you start working with somebody, what are some of the big challenges people have that you can easily clear the block?
Bryan:
One of the big challenges is, I think what happens when people know what they want to do and they're not quite sure, I describe it … It's like being a dog on a chain. If you're a dog and you're on a chain and say you want this bone that's outside of how far you can go on the chain and so you just run at it and the chain grabs you and you're snapped back against the chain and then you do it again, and you run again, and the dog is getting frustrated and it's getting angry. Typically, it gets angry and then it's going to start fight barking. Really, at the end of the day, it's a dog on a chain that's stuck.

That same thing happens with business owners. I think the best thing that I can do, I believe better than anybody else, is that if there's this chain that they don't see what it is, is helping them get off the chain and actually getting to where they'd like to go because they know where they want to go and they fought for it. Typically what happens is the clients I work with have probably failed 5 or 10 times. At that point there's the listening for that it's something different. If they haven't failed yet they're going to buy shiny objects. I'm like, “You need to experience buying the shiny object and still being the dog on the chain.”

That's just typically what happens. They get angry and they can't figure out how to get off the chain. That's really the listening and the clarity. People will tell you what the chain is and then how to dissolve what's getting in the way for them. At the core, that's everything that I do. Typically it's something different, whether it's in sales and marketing or teaching people to sell the high-value customers or salesperson to produce results, or it's the business owner that's at a couple hundred thousand dollars. Those are pretty easy problems to solve if you know what to look for.

The problem is, they don't know what … It's just like this whole relationship part that we talked about in the beginning. They're like, “I'm good at relationships.” I always say, “Tell me 25 people that you're referring business back and forth or that you could go out and ask for business or help tomorrow.” That's usually like 1 or 2, maybe. It's a big difference between living that and the real world. I've never met somebody that's struggling to sell that had those relationships, ever.
Ted:
Yeah, Zig Ziglar, Bryan Tracy, all the old-school sales trainers, it's all about relationships.
Bryan:
Yeah, yeah, definitely, working on that and then creating an experience. I'd say the most important thing that I've learned in sales … My mentor took one company from 3 million to 120 million. I've helped, last time I looked it was 120-something million that I'd help people sign in business or that we had signed. At the core of it, so much of it is how do I create … Most people have a hard time getting in front of qualified people. That's why they're out buying all these different plans. Really, it's just creating that experience that you can duplicate.

I'm comfortable going into a networking room. If you don't think you could go into a room with people and walk out of there with business or good opportunities, something's really wrong in your business and how you're approaching sales. If you can do that I think, personally, the next best thing is LinkedIn. If they learn that experience they could buy one of your trainings on LinkedIn and you could have a couple hundred thousand dollar business that easy. It's really not that hard. 6 months of work at it and you could make 10, 20, $30,000. I had a client, she's killing it. She just does LinkedIn. She makes 30 … I think her best month was $80,000. $30,000 a month on LinkedIn. What does she do? She just goes out and builds relationships.
Ted:
If you have trouble with relationships … I was in BNI for years, Business Networking International … that's the thing. You go locally. You go every Friday or whatever day of the week for 2 hours and you bring leads for other people. You don't go there to get business. You go there to give referrals. [crosstalk 00:47:19] gain. It's all about, “I'm going to give you business and, in return, business will eventually come back to me.”
Bryan:
I always say if you can make that work for you, that's the time to start doing a lot of online stuff, is when you can make the network and all of that work, because at that point, one, it's clear what you do. You've created the experience. Then you have clarity of how to sell it. Most people that start online, they have no clarity on how to sell what they're doing and they think that doing leads on LinkedIn and saying, “I'm this big guru,” is going to solve the problem. Really it masks, it covers up, the problem so it perpetuates over and over again. They buy Facebook ads and then those don't work so they hire another Facebook guy and another expert. It's the dog on the chain.

I have a client, he's doing really well now, million-dollar earner. Our company was the 7th person he hired in marketing. He'd hired a lot of the “experts” out there. What finally got him results is, instead of just taking his money I sat him down and said, “Hey, this doesn't work and this is what's missing. If you want to work with me you got to do this. If you don't, that's fine. That's the only way I can help you.” At the core it you have to use this. Then, if you use LinkedIn, it's really there to build relationships and make a difference for people. It'll almost be so productive … We've been working on this.

In 6 months if people are going out on LinkedIn and building relationships and focusing on long-term they don't even need that much work in 6 months. I tell people that. “In 6 months if you're still having to buy a bunch more leads, you're doing something wrong.” Now, if you have a business where you can handle a big influx of business, you need a bunch of customers, lower ticket, that's different. If you're a one-on-one coach or you're the sole service provider and in 6 months you're still having to buy a lot of traffic instead of having relationships, something is wrong. Just look at what's wrong instead of buying another shiny object.
Ted:
Take me through a typical day on LinkedIn for you.
Bryan:
A typical day on LinkedIn for me? This is a good one. We outsource it to ourselves. What do we do? We provide it as a service. What I realized about LinkedIn is it's all about touch points. All lead generation is all about the number of touches. A typical day on LinkedIn is my assistant will do 50 to 100 touches on my profile, just sending messages, building relationships, creating value. Typically 50 touches comes to be about 1 to 2 people reaching out, want to have a conversation. From that I'll usually talk to about 40, 50% on the phone, and then probably 1 out of … I'm going through the numbers in my head … 1 out of 20 of those people that we go out and they respond back turn into a client. Very quickly it gets to the point where you're like, “I don't need very many of these.”

That's the only thing bad about that service, is you teach people how to sell really well and they're like, “Just slow it down. I got too much. I got too much.” What we figured out, we actually had to start training their salespeople to do it because we would train ourselves out of business, which is okay. We'd do the work. There's the thing, I'm sure you've learned this, too, about LinkedIn, is you just do such a good job that they're like, “All right, I got so much business. Thank you.” That's fine. It's funny what happens with people that do this well.
Ted:
When you do it right you have too much business or you can just control it. I need a couple more clients, you step on the gas a little bit.
Bryan:
Yeah, when I look at what you do, and I hope everybody knows the value of the systems that you create. If you want to hard-sell people it's not going to work, though if you want to build relationships, and how you teach it … I've read the book. I've seen your programs … how you teach it, that's all you need. You just follow it. I think people probably think something is missing there. I have this all the time. We just teach them and they're like … I don't know if you have this. They're like, “No, Ted. You've got to be leaving something out here. I can't really just do this and have the exact business that I want and spend an hour … ” If somebody spends an hour, hour-and-a-half a day on LinkedIn, that's the best lead generation. They're like, “No, it can't be that easy. You got to have something else to sell to me or you have to be selling me into some up-sell.”
Ted:
Like you said in a Facebook post earlier today, I'm going to share all my secrets. I said, “I don't have any secrets.”
Bryan:
It's hilarious. I'm a big believer in making stuff so simple. Any of the products that we've ever … I'm not really a product guy though we do it just to be helpful and to serve more people. Everybody goes, “You make it so simple it's like something's missing.” People have called up and it's like, “Is that it?” I'm like, “Yeah, yeah, it's that simple. That's all you have to do.” For some people they're like, “No.” It's almost like they have to make it more complex than this. Those are the people that are continuing to buy program after program and not getting results. One, it's the same thing, we're in the business of long-term customers, and they'll do that. They will go and buy something else or believe something is missing. It's part of just how the brain is wired.

Those are the people that bump along and have a hard time breaking 100,000 a year. You just look at the core of it. How could I grow a business? I'd go learn how to sell. I could spend … I don't know what your price point is, probably 5 grand on one of your courses right now. I could learn how to sell. That's all you need. That's it. You don't need anything else. You just need to get really good at that process. That's assuming you're already good at your service. That's it. Build relationships, 6 months, you have more business. I know we're making it so simple and everybody is probably going to go, “Oh, I need these shiny things.” Maybe we should talk about shiny objects.
Ted:
There you go. We create a $20,000 product for them.
Bryan:
There you go. I do have this up-sell behind and you're going to get the link coming in 12 seconds. No, I'm kidding.
Ted:
That's right.
Bryan:
That's what funny about in all these long-term relationships that I have is we just help people. I don't know how many people we've either hired on our team or that now we're in long-term business relationships and it all just started just contributing, going out, making a difference for them. I remember some person did this the other day. He's so big about, unless I was buying something he didn't want to get on the phone, or specific agenda. I said, “I want to get to know people.” True story. This is interesting. He's like, “Probably can't afford me.” I laughed, because this is actually a person, costs him probably 20 grand a month … It's for a client of mine. I'm just like, “What the …” I literally was like, “What are you doing?” I just stopped talking to him. You're like, “What are we doing?”
Ted:
Focus on one relationship a day and you'll have more business than you can handle.
Bryan:
Yeah, or referral. One of the other things I've learned is if I have any clients that I'm speaking to regularly and it's someone … Great, you drank water. I've been looking at my water over there going, “Can I drink it?” If I have clients, long-term relationships with people, if I don't want to hang out with them something is wrong with the clients I'm attracting. We were sitting here before this talking about skiing. We're like, “We're friends and we'll probably going skiing. Maybe 5 years from now we'll have some business.” You never know. If I'm hanging out with people I don't enjoy, what am I doing in business, really?
Ted:
Yeah, yeah, we work too hard. We've got a couple minutes left. If you have questions for Bryan type them in the chat window while you grab some water. You mentioned something about the dog on the chain. That's another way you provide excellent value for people, your newsletter. People go to BryanRider.com and sign up for his newsletter because he tells amazing stories in his newsletter.
Bryan:
Yeah, yeah. Go to the blog and opt in for the Invisible Selling. I split test two titles. I do a little marketing here. It's either Invisible Influence template or Stealth Pitch template, depending on what split test you're on. It's really creating value in a community and sharing. I think something interesting happens, and I noticed you do this as well, is when you build relationships you just share everything you do. We're running a promotion to sell this course and I'm going to just, literally, after it's done give all the numbers, all the Facebook ad spend, and just give it. I'm like, “Okay.” What I've learned is people can copy it and they could even take out the same templates and it's the relationships I've created. Though you share the process, there's a lot of value in sharing the process with people, and then also they have to have their own unique way to create relationships, otherwise it's just a process.
Ted:
Yeah. I like what you say. You measure everything you do. You know every time you do something on LinkedIn how many times you have to do it to get a client. That's so important.
Bryan:
Yeah, yeah. We have some client accounts we manage there and it's typically between 300 and about 550 touches per sale. That's just historically our numbers. I learned that from the $120 million business. I've had 4 businesses that cracked $2 million. You just learn, it's that predictable. If you're doing that and you're not making sales there's something missing in the relationship or how you're communicating value. I think LinkedIn, personally, if I was training somebody I would use LinkedIn. We did this a little bit ago and I think it's literally the easiest way to test a business idea. You can write your profile. You can spend 20 hours actually doing the messages and everything, and you're going to know if your idea works or not. You don't have to pay $10,000 or $20,000. You can go out and do it yourself. Just buy a good program. What's the program that you teach that on, to do the profiles and the messaging campaigns? I forget.
Ted:
Yeah, Linked Accelerator.
Bryan:
Yeah, you go buy Linked Accelerator and you go do that and you see what relationships happen. If you're not getting appointment every 50 touches that you do, something is missing, your messaging. It's your offer. Literally, when we teach people it's like, “Okay, your offer is off. If you're not building relationships, in every 50 messages there's not one person reaching out that's interested in getting on the phone, your offer is off.” It's very simple. If your offer is off, it doesn't matter what marketing you put on it. Never going to work.
Ted:
That's like if you owned a brick-and-mortar store and you did some advertising, got people to come into your store, but they never bought, you have the wrong products. If they're not getting to your front door there's a problem with the front part of the ads.
Bryan:
It's that simple. It's always the marketing or the offer. If I'm getting on the phone, something in the sales process, something where I created value, how I'm coming across. If people haven't reached out, the offer or you haven't communicate your value clear enough. That's it. You look at that and once that gets down, that'll get you that $100,000, $200,000 and if you're buying media or something like that we're really in the business in a marketing company, and I know some of the things you do is, helping somebody go from 100 to 200 to a million. That's a totally different problem. In that, you have to create leverage. We didn't talk much about your magazine. That's a great spot. When you've shown it works now you can create leverage with it. Until that happens you got to stay with the core basics.
Ted:
Yeah, crawl before you walk. Walk before you run.
Bryan:
People want to run … it's like trying to run with a broken leg. I keep saying I wish we could make it more complicated. We should say why people make it more complicated is to make more money. It's real clear. You just keep making it more and more to buy, or you could just be honest with people and I've learned if I help somebody, if somebody pays me a little bit of money …  and we've talked about it. Both of us do this … if somebody pays you a little bit of money and you help them they will keep buying from you over and over again. You solve this problem-
Ted:
Yeah, we both do this. On a sales call and we see it's not a fit for us or them, we turn down the business. They may want to hire us a lot of times.
Bryan:
Yeah, then they email you back and ask, because people aren't used to that. It's simple. I never wonder why you're being successful because you create value. You turn people away, and then you look at what's in their best interest. If somebody is not a good fit, you're like, “This isn't a great fit. That's fine,” or they don't want to go out and do the core for your program and they don't want to go do … How much is that? I don't even know how much that is anymore, your Linked Accelerator.
Ted:
You get the replays for $297.
Bryan:
Okay, $297. If they follow that for $297 and that's super cheap to start a business and you just stay in it, you do the work, that'll open up other opportunities, that's it. Hey, you can get coached and that's great. If you're just starting out buy something like that and execute on it and it works. That's it.
Ted:
It's all about helping people out and being consistent. How do we get in touch with you, Bryan, to learn more about you? This has been great. We've already passed the top of the hour. We could go on for days and talk.
Bryan:
Man, I can talk. [crosstalk 01:03:14] see me in the Middle East. True story, you might have to go there 6 times and build relationships before you ever talk any business. If somebody is here and they'd like to talk to me just send me an email at Bryan@BryanRider.com, or send Ted an email and he'll forward to it me. I hope you get 1,000 of these, too [crosstalk 01:03:40].
Ted:
There we go, at least.
Bryan:
Bryan@BryanRider.com. I didn't put the thing on the bottom. I'm not too much of a tech guy. Yeah, just send me an email if you've found something of value. Ask questions.
Ted:
Go to his blog and sign up for the newsletter, too, because you get some incredible learning. It's great value.
Bryan:
Yeah, yeah, if you're on there you're going to see some of the new webinar series. So much of it is about this process and just how it works and then, also, there are some real numbers to support this way of selling. You're really getting after 10% of the market instead of the 3% of the market if you're hard-selling or you're just asking for the sale. You triple the market size and you get to that market before they get in the feeding frenzy. It's like in real estate. If you wait for people that are getting ready to list their house, it's a price war and all of that happens. If you catch them 6 months before and you build the relationship, they'll never get to that part of the market.

The new webinar really talks about that. That's the biggest game-changer. If I look at 4 $2 million businesses, I look at traveling in the Middle East and making things work, it's always that piece that people figure out and then they don't have to be flashy or have the big web presence. They sell on referral. My coaching, referral, all referral-based, fills up. Probably next month it'll just be waiting list.
Ted:
Cool. Thanks for your time, Bryan. This has been awesome.
Bryan:
Yeah, thank you so much.
Ted:
We'll talk soon. We'll plan our ski trip for next year.
Bryan:
We should do some event. Actually, send Ted an email. If you want to do an event as an excuse to write off a ski trip, I'm in.
Ted:
Awesome. Great. Thanks for your time. We'll talk soon.
Bryan:
All right, talk to you soon.

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About the author 

Ted Prodromou

Would you like me to help you? I'm the #1 best-selling author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. People call me America's Leading LinkedIn Coach. I'm the founder of Search Marketing Simplified, LLC, a full service online marketing agency. The SMS team designs and implements advanced LinkedIn and social media lead-generation strategies for small to medium-sized businesses. SMS will set up and manage your marketing funnels using organic, social and paid traffic. Did you know I've been working with the internet since 1991, long before Al Gore invented it?

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