OS 77: Interview with Tom Poland on Getting the Correct Marketing Message

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Tom Poland is a Marketing Mentor who started his first business at age 24 and has gone on to start and sell four others, taking two of them international. In that time he’s managed teams of over 100 people and annual revenue of more than 20 million.

These days Tom’s thing is “Leadsology: The Science of Being in Demand” which is a blended learning program that gives professional advisors a model for generating a flow of high-quality, inbound, new client enquiries into their businesses almost every week of the year.

Over 2000 business owners across 193 different industries and 4 continents have been through his programs and many have gone on to add millions to their earnings and their testimonials are available on his website.

Tom’s work has been published in 27 countries and he’s also shared international speaking platforms with the likes of Michael Gerber of E-Myth fame, Richard Koch from the 80-20 Principle, Brian Tracy and many others.

Find Tom at http://www.leadsology.guru

Here's the transcript from the interview

Hugh Ballou: Greetings, welcome back to Orchestrating Success: Converting Your Passion to Profit. Today, this session, we are going to focus on your message. How do you really let people know what your superpower is? I am recording this in the evening in Virginia, and my guest for the interview is drinking his morning coffee in Australia. Tom Poland, welcome to the podcast.

Tom Poland: Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, depending on where the heck everyone is. It’s morning here tomorrow.

Hugh: It’s always interesting making appointments with people. I’ll call you at 2:00. Okay, what time zone?

Tom: Which 2:00?

Hugh: In your case, it’s Thursday here, but it’s Friday where you are.

Tom: Correct, yeah. Coming up on 20 past 8 in the morning.

Hugh: It’s 6:18 pm here in Virginia. Tom, you and I connected somewhere. You graciously invited me to this small group encounter that we had a week ago, a video session where you taught us some things about marketing. You taught us about our message. You taught us about quite a few things. I took a whole bunch of notes, and then you gave us one of your books. Tell us who you are, what is your superpower, and how did you develop this? How did you get where you are today?

Tom: Great questions. Tom Poland. I call myself the chief leadsologist at Leadsology. Presently, I live near the beach in Castaways Beach in a place called the Sunshine Coast in a place called Queensland, Australia. It’s about nineteen hours’ drive north of Sydney. A pretty long way up the coast. Australia is like the US. It’s quite a big country. The difference is 80% of it is desert here.

Back to what I am doing. My superpower is lead generation. I work with people who are marketing the invisible, people who have an idea, a service. Most of what we’re going to talk about will apply to people who have physical products as well, whether you are making sandals or you are a New Yorker acquisition consultant. The principles are the same. How you apply them is a little different depending on whether you have something that’s invisible or something that’s physical. The magic is around setting up four separate lead generation systems. There is a weekly flow of high-quality inbound new client inquiries. We don’t do cold-calling or anything dumb like sending out 10,000 letters to anyone. We don’t do trade shows. All those things deposition the person providing the service or advice. That is the superpower. It’s creating these four different lead systems so the leads are coming in systematically, automatically into the person’s business.

How I came across that—good question. When I was 16, my father suggested I leave home because he said I knew everything and I could start forgetting things soon if I didn’t leave home. So I did that. I left home. A few years later, in 1995, I found myself in a very similar mindset. I had come out of a senior executive role in a multi-national corporate, and I started my own business again. I thought I knew something about sales and marketing since I had spent 20 years in corporate. So I set up the new business and put all this marketing in place, and nothing happened. So I literally flew and sat at the seat of great marketing masters and read every book and went to every workshop I could. I am a pretty good implementer; I put everything in place, and the best I could do was break even on my marketing efforts. I sat down and thought, I gotta figure this thing out myself. I put all the books away and put all the workshop notes away and started what is now known as Leadsology.

I discovered, Hugh, there is a whole bunch of people out there that are really good marketers, but when you actually buy their stuff, it turns out their marketing is a 10 and their product is a 2. Most of your audience and my clients, when I start working with them, they have a 10 service. If they could get in front of the right people, then the conversions happen, and the clients love them. Most people have a 10 service trapped in a 2 marketing. That is what Leadsology is all about. Sorry, I knocked over my microphone in my excitement. That’s how my Leadsology journey started: trying to figure this thing out as a coach, consultant, and trainer. How do you get the leads coming in without having to stay awake all night stressed about it and without having to engage in these random acts of marketing?

Hugh: Random acts of marketing. You used a word there I tried to capture. Cold-calls and what I call push marketing, you used the word… What is the word you used?

Tom: Deposition.

Hugh: Deposition?

Tom: One of the most powerful psychologies known to mankind is reverse psychology. If I had kids at home and it was raining outside and I said to the kids, “Don’t go outside and play because it’s raining,” then the first thing they are going to want to do is what?

Hugh: Go outside and play.

Tom: Yep. I said to my teenage daughter, “I’m going out with your mom. We’re going to a nice restaurant. We’re leaving the second car here, and the car keys are over there. Do not touch the car keys. Do not drive that car.” A more subtle degree is this. There is a spectrum. The moment we know we can have something, our desire for it decreases. People get blasé. They get apathetic. I can have that anytime I want. What else is there? Somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, can have it, don’t want it, is the sweet spot called reverse psychology where people will want more of what you’ve got if they think they need it more than you need their money.

Hugh: Say that again. That is a key piece of information.

Tom: Let me say I’m a prospective client of Hugh’s, and I’m thinking if I should work with Hugh or not. If Hugh is sending out mail drops and offers every day of the week and I’m getting bombarded with “Pick me” from Hugh, I get apathetic about that. I can work with Hugh anytime I want; he obviously needs more clients because he is sending all these offers out, and every time I go to a trade show, he’s there and he is always handing out brochures. I’m getting letters and emails. Maybe not on Hugh. But if I perceive my belief is that I need what Hugh’s got more than Hugh needs my money, I get much more interested.

Hugh: Wow.

Tom: Cold-calling depositions that. Can I work with you? Going onto LinkedIn and going, “Hey, we do SEO. Do you need help?” depositions that. Sending out 10,000 letters or direct mail pieces depositions that. What we want is to invoke that sweet spot psychology where your audience perceives they need you more than you need their money.

Hugh: Wow. That is just the opposite of what the marketing people are trying to tell us to do, isn’t it?

Tom: Hugh, it’s so different if you are selling a product. Particularly, if it is a commodity, then it will come down to price. There is a massive gulf of difference between marketing a thing and marketing a service because a service is actually a relationship. It’s like going into a marriage. If I am buying a house off of a realtor, and I don’t like the realtor, then if the house is okay, I will still make the buy because I don’t have to live with the realtor. But if I am looking for a wife, which I kind of was 12 years ago, that prospective bride whom I fell in love with instantly and could have married her on the spot, within 90 seconds I was gone. If I had gone up to her and said, “Look, I’ve just fallen in love with you. My name’s Tom by the way. Could we get married, or at least could I come home with you tonight?” When you are offering a service or advice—I didn’t do that honestly, we had some dates first, anyway—but when you are offering a service or advice and are popping the question to people and going, “Work with me,” it’s like going, “Marry me.” With a thing, when we buy it, that relationship is over. We are left with the golf clubs or the boat or the house or whatever. But with an advisory service, consultancy, training, coaching, architecture, CPA, even a lawyer, we’ve gotta enter into a relationship of trust with this person. That means we are probably going to have to have a few dates first before we pop the question of engagement.

Hugh: That is so good. You and I had talked before we went live about coffee, and we both have this love of freshly ground, brewed espresso. I talked about doing the beans, and sitting over here on the couch, my bride of we’re starting 12 years next month, she’s a conductor and I’m a conductor. We met at a church music conference in the same room, and we crossed paths. I was smart enough to pay attention. It took a year to build a relationship and have conversations. It was a year before we talked again. I understand that dynamic really well. You know what? I got it right. It’s not about pushing. There is a synergy here with what I teach my clients. Leadership is a position of influence. We influence people, and we don’t do it by telling people what to do if you are responsible for a team. You create the space for people to raise a functioning around the common purpose.

There is synergy with what I teach. I have the invisible, which is my coaching, my facilitation, my culture creation for corporate clients. But I have something in the middle. It’s not a product; it’s an online program. Where does that fall? Is that the invisible? Is that a product?

Tom: That’s the invisible. So is software by the way. There are a few exceptions. Software, is that a thing? Software development fits in with the invisible as well. I developed and had a software business quite a number of years ago. It’s selling the invisible. Online courses and programs, there is a duration, whether it’s eight weeks, six weeks, six months. I have to be able to trust three things when I buy into that program. I have to be able to validate Hugh and say, “I trust Hugh. He cares. He has integrity. He’s going to be reliable.” I have to validate the service or program. This is true with an architect, consultant, coach, whatever. I have to validate the service. Does this service have integrity? Is it a fit for my needs? The third thing that most people trip up on is: am I going to implement when it comes to a program? I bought these programs before. I have done these workshops before. I got excited, took all the notes, and came back to my business, and then the emails came in or the meetings happened, sitting in this nice little folder in a pile somewhere.

There are three points of validation. The first one is: Do I know, like, and trust Hugh? The second point is: Does the program have integrity? Is it going to fit my needs? The third point is: Will I actually use this thing?

Hugh: Do they use it? Is it so hard I can’t do it? That’s a big deal.

Tom: Implement. We have all bought those $197 downloadable workshop training things and gotten excited. Where are they now? I don’t even know where they are. They are sitting in a digital file somewhere. I have a password to that membership site somewhere, but I don’t know where it is.

When it comes to programs, and it’s a bit of a red herring I guess, but whatever we do, whatever service we deliver, if people don’t implement it and get value. Even though it might be money in my bank account, I want people to implement because I want them to get value because I want the good karma.

Hugh: How do you define red herring?

Tom: Implementation is off the subject of marketing. There is an indirect link in that if people implement it, then they get value and refer. There is an indirect link.

Hugh: Your site, we are going to give them a special link before we’re done here. Your link is leadsology.guru. You are in fact the guru. You’ve written some books.

Tom: I am a little embarrassed every time I hear that .guru, but .com was taken. We tried to buy it. So it’s kind of like these people who write their own bio and say, “I am the world’s expert on XYZ.” Who said?

Hugh: Well, it was there.

Tom: Leadsology.guru, yeah.

Hugh: It was predestined. You were pulled into that. I have one of your books. It’s in my digital folder queued up to read over the holiday here. We have a holiday in America. Read that to me.

Tom: Is that Leadsology: The Science of Being in Demand?

Hugh: Yes, that’s it. Leadsology: The Science of Being in Demand. Oops, I am making a note. It’s a science.

Tom: Yeah, it is.

Hugh: Can people find that on Amazon?

Tom: Yes indeed. Kindle, paperback.

Hugh: Who needs that? Who needs your methodology? I assume the book gives people an overview and gives them what you didn’t find in the seminars and the courses you took before. It gives them a snapshot or maybe some courseware. Tell me what’s in the book and who needs it.

Tom: The book is for anyone who is marketing the invisible and who wants the security and pleasure and enjoyment, satisfaction if you like, of having a regular flow of new clients coming into their business. It’s a systemized approach to lead generation. The book is quite extensive. Some books you buy and end up disappointed because they tell you what you need to do, but they are very light on how to do that. I get into all sorts of things there. There are ten parts to the model. We start with what did you call it? Your superpower? I call it your magic. One thing for example I say to people is you can’t have seven types of magic.

A Canadian client of mine who is a consultant/trainer/coach, Susan, who is a genius at what she does, but she had like nine different things on her website you can pick from. It’s 360 degrees, leadership training, productivity, engagement, human dynamics, whatever that is, organizational change, and Susan was very good at all of these things. I have no doubt about that. The first thing I said to her was, “Pick one.” She said, “What do you mean?” I said, “You can’t market nine things. You can market one thing. Everything else needs to go off your website, off your LinkedIn profile, off your business card. You are going to market one thing. Why don’t you get clients happily engaged in that one thing, getting great value, so they can ask, ‘Susan, what else have you got?’ Then you can show them the other stuff.” The book goes in a step-by-step model with ten parts to it. It starts with your magic/superpower. Pick one.

The first four parts are about your magic, pick one; the market, which is all about focusing your niche; the message, which is the session we had last week on the marketing message and the three characteristics that create an effective marketing message that cuts through and motivates someone to want to know more; and finally the mediums.

The mediums are quite important. For example, the medium could be a webinar, a book, an online session, a lunch-and-learn, a guide of some sort, a challenge. A lot of different ways you can attract people into your list and give them great value. But the mediums are interesting because the mediums have to fit. They have to fit first of all your style, your personality. For some people, running webinars makes them feel like they want to be physically ill. My wife calls herself an e-tard. When we met, she barely knew how to do email. But you know, she is getting better and better. For someone like my wife, running a webinar would cause her sleepless nights for weeks. Don’t do that because it’s not part of your personality style. Pick a medium that fits your personality. I love writing. I could just lock myself up in a cave with a keyboard, and I could write 24/7, just about. Pick a medium that you’re inclined to want to engage in because then you will actually do the frickin’ thing instead of saying it should be done.

Pick a medium that works with the market as well. If I was marketing to tradespeople, say plumbers, I wouldn’t pick webinars as a medium because it’s not a medium they are naturally instinctively drawn to. If I was talking to consultants, I would certainly pick webinars because they are in front of computers all day. You have to match the medium to the market. I got Monty the Marketing Wonderdog here. He is a Border Collie, and he has a dinner bowl out back. I have a beehive as well. If I get a bunch of flowers and put them in Monty’s dinner bowl, that is going to be a hard sell. But if I put it in the beehive, then they are all over it. Vice versa with a nice steak. Put it in front of the bees, and they’re not too interested. Put it in front of the dog? There is no selling required when you match the message to the market and the medium. Zero selling required. It’s like bees onto flowers.

Hugh: There are certain trends in what people are doing online. I think it changes from time to time. What worked last year doesn’t work this year. Sometimes what worked last week doesn’t work this week. You’re honing on some fundamental principles that probably supersedes the fad of the day. Is that making sense?

Tom: Yeah, it makes perfect sense. If you want to go to the highest helicopter view, the strategic view of lead generation, there are two things that intersect when the lead is generated. That has been the case for the history of mankind for thousands of years, and it will always be the case. Whatever changes with online funnels or Facebook advertising or social media, whatever else changes, this never changes. A lead is generated when an ideal client is intersected with an effective marketing message. An ideal client is someone who is aware of their need, so my ideal client is not waking up in the middle of the night, they are waking up in the middle of the morning and saying, “I have to get some systems in place to get leads.” They are aware of their need. They have the money and the timing is perfect. Those are the three characteristics of my ideal client. When that person sees my marketing message in almost any form, and there is about 12 different forms they can see it in, they get interested. That is how inbound inquiries are generated.

Hugh: That is how we connected. Somehow, I was interested in meeting you. We have talked twice now and emailed. I am fascinated by what you do. What do you think it was that got my interest? Do you remember how we connected?

Tom: Yes, we connected through LinkedIn. I invited you to a marketing message maker session. I made a bit of a song and dance about the fact that I was a bestselling international author blah blah blah. There was some credibility in there. Don’t get offended at this, but you were metaphorically speaking a bear in the woods. My message via LinkedIn, we established a 1st-level connection first. I had given you something. I think it was a little bit of a guide like this PDF. We had a couple of little mini dates. Then I invited you to this marketing message maker, which was essentially a 75-minute session where I was showing you how to create a marketing message that cuts through and motivates an ideal client to want to know more about what you do. I said leave your credit card at home because there is nothing to buy. We minimized the sense of risk or just another sales trap.

When I talk about a bear in the woods, the metaphor is this. This describes how Leadsology works pretty well and how you don’t need any sales or manipulative sales techniques. Imagine there is a big forest and there are a bunch of grizzly bears all asleep. I have some honey in a honeypot. I want the bears to eat my honey. The bears are a metaphor for potential clients, and the honey is a metaphor for what it is I do. I think, How am I going to get the bears to eat my honey? I go to a bear-eating-honey seminar. The guy stands up on stage and is holding this big, long, stick with a sharp point at the end, a lance. He says, “Look, I’ve done this. If you want the bears to eat your honey, this is how you do it. You grab the stick, go running through the forest, find a grizzly bear, poke it really hard on the bum to wake it up, and then you wave the pot in front of the bear’s nose. If it is hungry, it will eat the honey. If it is not hungry, it will eat you.” That is selling. That is going out with your marketing message, annoying people, poking them with a sharp stick going, “Pick me, pick me, pick me.”

With Leadsology, what we do is put the honeypot outside the forest, and the bears that are hungry will start dreaming of swimming in honey. Then they will wake up and go, “Darn, just a dream. But hang on. I can still smell the honey,” and they come out of the forest. That’s what Leadsology does. Leadsology is a series of four honeypots, each systemized, different mediums, going to the same market with the same marketing message, and the bear is coming out of the forest. People are making inquiries.

Hugh: So it’s imperative that your message is very clear. You have one product, and you are targeting a specific person.

Tom: The message is what I call the first domino. You see those Guinness Book of Records. You line up one thousand dominos, and you only have to push over one domino and the others go on their own. The marketing message is not what people think it is. It’s not a USP, it’s not an elevated pitch, it’s not a slogan, and it often even won’t mention your service or product. But it’s got to be benefit-rich and differentiated, so it’s got to sound like nothing anyone else is saying. It’s got to contain some specifics. That is where the magic lies in those specifics.

Hugh: What are the top things that people do wrong?

Tom: Number one they do wrong with their marketing message is they tell people what they do for a living. I am an accountant, and I help with your taxes. I am a marketer, and I will help you get your leads in. I am a Facebook Messenger bot guru, and I help you get a better open rate.

Hugh: Why is that a mistake?

Tom: Because people don’t want Facebook Messenger bot gurus, and they don’t actually want bigger open rates. They want the thing the bigger open rates give them, which in this particular example we are talking about, a very exciting product. You can get a 100% open rate with them. But people don’t want 100% open rates. They want the thing the 100% open rate gives them.

In this marketplace, this particular marketer is an online marketer, whose marketplace are beauty salons. Beauty salon owners don’t want Messenger bots, and they don’t want 100% open rates. They want more bums in their seats every single day, please and thank you very much. His marketing message should not be, “I am an expert on Facebook bots,” and it should not be, “I can get you 100% open rates on messengers.” It should be, “I can get you another two customers walking through your door every single day without any print media, advertising, or cold-calling.” That’s it, period. If you are a beauty salon owner, you want two more extra customers every single day. That’s where your profit is. I don’t know if it’s two or five, where the sweet spot is.

The sweet spot in the message, if you are talking about specifics, has to be big enough to generate desirability, but it has to be small enough to generate believability. If he goes out and says, “I can get you 50 new customers every single day,” even if that is true, people aren’t going to believe it. It’s not going to work. If he comes out and says, “I can get you a new customer every single month,” no matter how excited he says it, people are not going to get turned on by that. I don’t know what the number is for the sweet spot, but something like another 2-5 customers every single day. When that beauty salon owner hears that, then they will want to know more, and that is when the lead is generated and the inquiry is made. The question at that point is: How do you do that? That is when messenger bots come in, not before.

Hugh: Okay. Boy this is really helpful. It’s unique. I just changed my LinkedIn messaging from what I do to what my results are like two weeks ago. I am amazed. Between Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, I have like 250,000 followers.

Tom: Wow.

Hugh: I am amazed that 249,500 of them are just pushing out, “Buy my thing. Buy my thing.” They haven’t done any dating. They haven’t built any trust or credibility.

Tom: There is no validation.

Hugh: It is just amazing. There is a whole bunch of noise. Somehow, you got my attention, and you cut through the noise on LinkedIn. I don’t know how that happened, but you got very skilled at that. You have a way of getting right to it and attracting the right person. When I say, “Who needs you?” people like a consultant, people like a speaker, people like a coach, is that the space of invisible?

Tom: I have done a lot of work with architects, accountants. Right now, I have a merger acquisition consultant, an American guy who is operating out of London, works a lot in Europe. His specialty is matching big companies up with smaller tech companies so they maintain a competitive difference. An architect operating out of Oregon who designs luxury apartments in China. A foreclosure lawyer in Philadelphia. It’s pretty diverse. Merger acquisition consultant in Germany. A lot of clients in Australia and New Zealand. A lot of trainers, coaches, consultants. Wealth planners. A new client who is—forgive me, Kevin, I can’t remember where you are, but he is somewhere in your country—he has developed a business where he operates a brokerage for real estate agents. He gets the listings, which is the hardest thing to do, and he brokers them out to real estate agents. So it’s a service. The physical product is there, of course, but he is not directly selling the physical product.

So it’s anyone who has a service or advice or develops software; that is the exception—who wants to quit stressing about where the leads are coming from and have predictability. A lot of good consultants- The classic is they are really good at what they do, so they get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals, which is great and can go on for a few years, but one day it will dry up. Who knows. Something weird happens, like a dictator fires a missile over Japan. That would never happen, right?

Hugh: That would never happen.

Tom: Or someone drives a tank into a desert in Kuwait from Iraq. I don’t know. Stuff happens. Or there is an election. And everything slows down. For some reason, word-of-mouth marketing dries up. Then they go, “Oh wow, I don’t control this thing. There are no buttons I can push or levers I can pull. I need some predictability around lead generation.” Those are the people who need Leadsology, the people who want to set up four different systems so the leads are coming in from four different sources.

Hugh: For instance, you said that before, and I meant to ask you. Give us an example.

Tom: Sure, okay. Let’s just put social media to the side at a moment because it’s not a lead generator. It’s great to keep people’s brand in your brain until they are ready to buy. So you should be doing social media. A blog, a podcast, Facebook, something to keep your brand on the brain until people are ready to buy.

But the direct lead generators: a book when it’s well-written will bring in leads. One of the things I do, when you open the book up, you will see this page here. Leadsology Resources. And there is a bunch of free stuff. We drive people from the book back to the website. We have a few dates with them, as many as they need until they start to validate that Tom is an okay guy and the services are effective. A book is one of those mediums. A webinar can be a medium. You attended what I call a makeover session, a group of people, the bears who come out of the forest interested in a marketing message makeover. Those small sessions. Breakfast meetings or lunch-and-learns, they are all mediums with which you can get your message out to the marketplace. There is a lot of them: surveys, diagnostic tools, interactive models.

What I was saying before just to refresh people’s memory is that choosing the mediums, and there are a lot of different ways you can get your message to the market about your magic through the mediums, is it has to fit your personality. You have to look at it and go, “Yeah, I can do that. I quite like that actually,” whether it’s a webinar, book, whatever. It has to fit the marketplace, meaning it has to fit the market. Flowers in Monty’s bowl is not going to work. And finally, it has to fit your budget, be it your time or financial budget. Most people have one medium. Most people do one thing to get leads. I don’t know if they go to a business networking medium, which depositions them. Or they do webinars, or they have a book. It’s like a one-legged stool. Eventually, a one-legged stool tips over. I want my clients to have four legs on their stools. Four different ways that the leads are coming in. Each of those ways is systemized, whether it’s a LinkedIn strategy, whether it’s a webinar strategy, whether it’s a Facebook or Google Adwords funnel taking you through a series of steps, they are all systemized. We have security because we have a diversification of leads. I see this lady in the States with something like $800 million in the lottery. She is not going to put it all in one place, I hope. The uncle needs to invest in his business—don’t give it all to the uncle. Here’s $800 million; make me some money. The security comes in the diversification of the lead generation.

Hugh: So you said earlier that social media is not for lead generation, but that is how you got me interested.

Tom: Social media- LinkedIn, is it social media? Probably. LinkedIn is good to keep the brand on the brain until people are ready to buy. Most of the posts you get on LinkedIn have the wrong reasons. They have a message that is like putting the flowers in Monty’s dinner bowl. People post articles on LinkedIn, and they get traction. It doesn’t matter if you have 500 reads if you got no more connections or followers or subscribers. Then you haven’t really done a lot. Put aside the fact that the messages are not often aligned to the marketplace. Social media is best for keeping the brand on the brain until people are ready to buy. By all means, have a LinkedIn strategy. Post on LinkedIn some good quality stuff. But understand that you are not going to get a lot of people going, “I want to work with you please.” This is a great example of a terrific added value social media thing, a podcast in this case, that is going to help keep Hugh’s brand in people’s brains until they are ready to buy.

Hugh: You associate with people who are competent, and it raises the value of your brand. Social proof. You have a photo of me with Tom Poland, and it raises the value of me because of your credibility.

Tom: Some people would debate whether it raises your brand, Hugh, but I’ll accept it. I’ll drink to that. It’s water by the way.

Hugh: People can decide for themselves when they hear it. There is a lot of really rich content here. I really resonate with this because I show up in groups and I am starting- I just moved to a new city, so I am starting a series of lunch-and-learns. I am targeting people who run charities, nonprofits. Some of the programs I offer are specifically tailored for them. I have 31 years of experience in that market segment. I am also doing other places. I show up where my clients are. The other segment is mid-cap corporations, $5-50 million in revenue. That is a sweet spot, so I am showing up where those people hang out. I think one of the mistakes people make is they attract the wrong people. This came up in the session I was on. I asked you point blank, “What happens when you keep attracting broke people?” You had a really good answer. Do you want to have a go at that again?

Tom: Yeah. Unfortunately, I only have a couple minutes left so let’s touch on that. There are a series of filters you can set up depending on which part of the process people are in. Typically, what happens in my sort of business is say I am an international law firm, book a free consult, and then I am in danger of talking to a lot of people I can’t actually help significantly because they can’t afford to do anything with me. It’s actually worse than not speaking with them because I can tell them what to do, but if they go and try to do it, they will probably mess it up because there are so many subtleties to it. They are wasting time and effort and will end up disappointed. It’s not good for them if I speak with them for free, and it’s not good for me if I speak with them for free. It doesn’t really make sense. But if I charge $1,000 an hour regularly, then I will say, “I will give you an hour but just charge you $100.” That’s a filter. That cuts all those people out I can’t help. I am doing a disservice to them by meeting with them because it gives them false hope. If I am doing an event, charging $20 will kick a lot of tire-kickers out. Or you can set up an enrollment page where you actually have to click some buttons and say, “Yes, I understand that in order to implement what I hear at this lunch-and-learn, I will probably be required to make an investment. I’m okay with that.” You can put in filters depending on where they are and how much you want to fill them out. If I was going to a new city and doing lunch-and-learns, I wouldn’t put in any filters. I would get my ass out there and build the list and accept the fact that not everyone is going to be perfect.

Hugh: I love it.

Tom: The type of honey you put out will attract certain bears.

Hugh: We’re going to give people a link to leadsology.guru/five-day-challenge. That is a gift you are giving people. It’s a five-day challenge. They have to do a little work, but they will learn something, right?

Tom: More than that, they are going to get more leads in. They are going to get a new client. If people do what I tell them to do in this challenge, it’s like 15 minutes a day over five days. It’s not hard. I get so much positive feedback for this because you will actually put into place your first marketing system potentially, you will generate five fresh, inbound inquiries, and convert at least one of them into a feedback client.

Hugh: Tom Poland, you have offered great value to the listeners of Orchestrating Success. I am going to ask you- I know you have no minutes left. Just give us a closing thought or tip for this interview.

Tom: Okay. The closing thought is, just be smart enough to know how dumb you are. That is the secret to success. The enemy of growing is knowing. I wouldn’t represent myself in court because I’m not a lawyer. Don’t try to do this at home. Find someone who can teach you how to do lead gen because it is a science, and it doesn’t have to be me. Just be smart enough to know how dumb you are with marketing.

Hugh: Tom, thank you for the gift of your time. I thank you, and my listeners thank you. This was so great.

Tom: Thank you. What a pleasure. I look forward to continuing the conversation. Cheers.

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