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How to Win Clients Without Selling with David Newman

December 4, 2023
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

Are you an expert who hates selling? Do you struggle to attract high-paying clients without being pushy or salesy? In this episode of The Recognized Authority podcast, host Alastair McDermott interviews expert consultant and author David Newman about his unique approach to winning new business.

Tune in as David shares:

  • His “helping call” framework for initial client conversations
  • How to collect and catalog problems without solving them
  • Why you should treat prospects like they’re already clients
  • How to naturally transition helping calls into sales calls
  • Key questions and mindsets for highly effective sales conversations

Whether you’re an author, speaker, coach or consultant looking to attract more clients, this episode will revolutionize the way you think about marketing and selling your services.

Bullet points:

  • The major difference between selling services versus products
  • Why prospects take rejection more personally with service providers
  • Outbound masked as inbound: David’s “squeaky wheel” strategy
  • The wrong type of “help” to provide prospects

Tune into The Recognized Authority podcast now to discover a kinder, gentler way to convert prospects into high-paying clients!

Show Notes

Key Insights

  • Treat prospects like they’re already clients
  • Have “helping calls” not sales calls initially 
  • Collect and catalog problems, don’t solve them
  • Sales calls should feel like working with an attorney 
  • Relentlessly ask “Can you put a number on it?”
  • Publishing raises visibility; books raise credibility  
  • PR stands for personalized, professional, public relations   


  • Show up intentionally in your prospects’ world on social media
  • Schedule follow-up sales calls, don’t continue the initial call
  • Sell the destination (results), not the transportation (your services)
  • Develop a questioning plan and strategy for sales calls   

Learn more about David here:

Guest Bio

David Newman runs Do It! Marketing, a strategic advisory firm that helps B2B consultants, agency owners, and boutique consultancies win more corporate clients from the Fortune 500 and Inc. 5000, and make their business more profitable, scalable, and salable.


question, prospect, book, problem, solve, work, sales, selling, talked, people, conversation, alastair, marketing, great, love, publishing, call, client, initial, answer

David Newman, Alastair McDermott


Alastair McDermott  00:04

Hello, and welcome to The Recognized Authority. I’m your host, Alastair McDermott. Today, my guest is David Newman. And David is somebody who I have wanted to have on the podcast, I’d say for the best part of two or three years, David, I’ve been following your work your your books, and you’re somebody who I listened to when I read. I heard you on so many podcast interviews. Well, David, welcome to the show.


David Newman  00:30

Thank you, Alastair, it’s great to be here.


Alastair McDermott  00:32

So you specialize in thought leadership marketing, which is something I’m interested in. I’m interested in the topic. I’m also interested in the terminology, thought leadership, it’s something I think about a lot and thought leader was the alternative word that I could have chosen to call this podcast, something related to thought leadership, I decided to go with The Recognized Authority. And so those this, the semantics of those wordings, is something I’ve thought a lot about. And I know that you’ve written a number of books about selling marketing, speaking, things like that. And I think I’ve heard you use the phrase marketing for smart people, which is yes. Can you tell me a little bit about the way that you think about that kind of marketing? Why is marketing for people like us people who are experts and consultants, why is it different than marketing and selling for people who have different types of services? Oh,


David Newman  01:25

it’s different for so many reasons. So I’ll give you the top two or three. Number one, most of the people that you and I Alastair work with, they hate selling, they hate the idea of selling, they hate the experience of selling, they hate, they pretty much hate everything about the S word. In fact, in my first book, in the duet marketing book, there was a section that had to do with selling that I literally called the S word, because it is it’s anathema. It’s like they’re allergic, they’re allergic to sales and selling. And I think that’s from a variety of reasons. Number one, bad sales experiences as a prospect. Number two, bad sales training. So 1980s 1990s style sales, training that feels high pressure, and yucky and weird. And then just bad experiences. As a seller, when they tried those things on, they didn’t like doing it to others any more than they like when it happens to them. So that’s number one. The second big difference with the S word when it comes to folks like you and me, often as trusted advisors, consultants, coaches, experts, the product is us. So because the product is us, we’re not selling widgets, we’re not selling Netflix subscriptions. When we get rejected. They’re not just rejecting the sale. They’re not just rejecting the product or the service, they’re rejecting us personally. It’s like, you don’t want me as your consultant, you don’t want me as your coach, you don’t want me to come in and do my corporate training, so that there’s almost a sense of double rejection. And no one likes rejection, much less being personally rejected when they take it internal like that. So So all kinds of reasons. And it’s funny, when I first started to talk about what I do, I was using all kinds of buzzwords and all kinds of jargon. And then one day, I just got so sick and tired of no one knowing what I actually do. I was walking into a networking event. And I see these two professionally dressed women, and they’re walking in the same direction. So I asked them, are you going to the networking event? And they said, Yes, we are. Are you going to the networking event? I said, Yes, I am. And they said to me, so what do you do? And I threw out all the jargon, I threw out all the buzzwords, I threw out all the nonsense, and I just told them the truth. I said, I work with professional services firms who love the work of their work, and they just hate the sales and marketing part. And they both turned to me in unison, like time slowed down. They both turned to me in unison, like a Greek chorus and said, Can I have your card? Because they already knew a whole bunch of people that were in this professional services arena that love the work of the work, they just hated the sales and marketing part. So literally, these are my people. These are my problems. This is exactly what we spend all day every day is teaching folks how to win clients without being salesy without being pushy without being weird and without being uncomfortable. I


Alastair McDermott  04:51

love it. And that’s why this is probably around episode 148 or 150 of this podcast because As I’m in that boat, and I know that producing podcasts and talking to people and creating this kind of content is a way that I’d much rather be doing marketing and sales than in, you know, in any of the stuff that you’re talking about. The Glengarry Glen Ross kind of always be closing that horrible, horrible, brilliant movie, you know, with that kind of the high pressure sales tactics and all that kind of stuff. So, can we can you help me connect the dots then? In, like, the kind of so I guess we need to be careful, but you know, completing marketing and sales, because those are two different things. Yeah. But I just want you to kind of spell out the, the the approach that you espouse. Like how, how can we do sales? Without or let me put it the other way around? How can we win win clients without selling.


David Newman  05:52

So I think the the big reframe, and we’re going to eat dessert first, I’m going to give you the punchline right now, the big reframe is to treat prospects like they’re already clients. So think about that for a minute. When you start a brand new client, you’ve already gone through the sales process, whatever that was, don’t worry about what that was, what that could be what that should be. First Contact is, hey, you’re you’re already a client, my main job, if our first conversation is that you’re already a client, my main job is to be helpful to you. My main job is like a lighthouse to illuminate, illuminate what’s going on the good, the bad, the ugly, show you where you’re strong, show you where you’re weak, show you where there’s the safe water to go back to the lighthouse analogy, where’s the safe water? Where’s the rocks? Where’s the cliffs? Where’s all of the risks and the dangers under the surface? So when we start some initial so my recommendation, first of all, is in a sales process. The initial invitation is not a pitch. It’s not you know, on LinkedIn, there’s this cancer called Connect and pitch. People want to connect with you. And I’m sure every listener on the show here has had this experience. Hey, you know, I saw your profile, you’re up to some great things, let’s connect your silly enough to accept that connection request. And then you immediately get bombarded. Here’s what we do. Let me Can Can we get on a call. So I can tell you about our amazing product or amazing service, our amazing program, because people just like you need what we do. That’s like, Oh my god. So first conversation is never a pitch. It’s never an offer. It’s never anything other than a helping call. So I have this entire process mapped out in the DoIT selling book, which is whether it’s on social media, whether it’s email, whether it’s a strategic introduction, whether it’s a referral, the initial conversation is, hey, let’s hop on a call. Let’s see, you know what you’re up to. And I’m happy to give you two or three ideas, to visit the exact language that you use. I’m happy to give you two or three ideas that you can use right away based on your exact situation and goals, whether we decide there’s a next step or not. Now, when I say whether we decide there’s a next step or not, that does two beautiful things. Number one, it says, Hey, if you like what you hear, you know, there is a next step. And we can talk about what that is, when I say or not, it makes it perfectly safe. Because I’m opening up the door to know before you ever open up the door to know. So you get someone on a call. And believe it or not, instead of telling them how you can help them, you actually spend 27 and a half of those 30 minutes, actually helping them. So we’re collecting questions or uncovering issues. We’re finding out what’s going on with them personally or professionally or financially. At minute 27.5. You you leave it like this. You say there’s two final questions that I have here and our remaining two and a half minutes. The final final question is, is there anything else you’d like to talk about? Or how else can I be helpful to you? But before we get to that final question, I’ve got a question for you. There’s two kinds of people that typically jump on these calls with me. The first kind of person just wants the free information, advice, insights, guidance, and that is totally fine. The second kind of person they also want the insights, guidance and advice, but they’re also test driving a little bit of what a working relationship with me might feel like which camp Do you find yourself in? And Alastair, you will be amazed at the number of people that say, oh, no, I totally wanted to test drive. I saw your LinkedIn profile. I’ve been following you for a while I get your emails. I’m a huge fan of your podcast, we have this problem, we think you can help us. So about 30% of people will freely tell you, they’re in Test Drive Mode. 50% of people will say no, thanks. I’m good. This is it. You know, we’re just wanting to, you know, get the information. Thanks. But no, thanks. We have no needs. We have no nothing. That’s cool. So that’s 50% No 30% test drive. What about the other 20%? The other 20%? Because those 27 and a half minutes are so illuminating. So enlightening is so helpful and so valuable. Do not be surprised if you hear the following words. You know, I had no intention of buying anything, or signing up or having you come in to work with us. But I’ll tell you, after this conversation right now, this has been so helpful and so valuable, I think we do need to have a conversation about how you can help us further. So because you have no agenda, no expectations, they’re already a client. Remember, they’re already a client. So you’re giving them the very best 27.5 minutes of your advice, insights, guidance, probing questions, uncovering issues, finding out the problem behind the problem, maybe busting some myths and removing some self soothing delusions, from their brains out from their brain cells, excuse me, they are now very excited about what a working relationship with you might feel like. Why is it 27 and a half minutes when all of that took about a minute, because you’re going to use the next minute to say the following. Totally fantastic. I’m honored that you’d want to explore what the next step might look like. That was not the purpose of our call today. Our call today was 100%. For you, it was a value call. It is not designed to be a sales call. I really appreciate your interest in taking the next step. Let’s schedule our next step right now. Are you in front of your calendar? Yes, wonderful. I’ve got tomorrow at 10 or Wednesday at three. By the way, I’m on US Eastern Time, which one works better for you? So you set up a separate and distinct conversation? You do not pirate the call? You do not stay on that call? You do not say Well, let me tell you about how awesome our services are. Right? You draw a very clear ethical line in the sand. This was the helping call. I asked you if you would like to have a sales call. We didn’t call it that. But would you like to explore how we might work together? Yes. So you asked for the sales conversation. We’re going to book that sales conversation. And the beauty of that Aleister is at that point, they know, it’s a sales conversation that has a commercial outcome and a commercial purpose. You know, it’s a sales conversation that’s going to have a commercial outcome with a commercial purpose. And everything is clear, there’s no bait and switch, there’s no ethical violation. And they asked, they asked for the call to say, let’s talk about how we can work together because this initial 30 minutes was so enlightening and so valuable. So that’s one of the major major keys to the front end of the sales process. The prospecting call is really a helping call at the end of the helping call, you ask if they would like to have the sales call.


Alastair McDermott  13:42

So let me ask you, because I have some objections to this concept that I’m going to talk to you about. So I’ve been in business for about 17 years now. And I have done a lot of those helping calls. And like many experts on engineer, type people technicians, we were talking about the kind of the, the in the wording of Michael Gerber. When you’re in that technician mode, sometimes you want to get straight into the solving the problem. Yeah. And I feel like I have made a mistake by starting to get into problem solving mode on those initial calls too early. Can you talk to me a little bit about that? Because I feel like that conflicts with what you’ve just said.


David Newman  14:24

Absolutely. Right. So let’s be clear about helpful. So here’s the terms helpful, valuable and lightning versus solving the problem on that first call. So I’m so glad you brought this up. We are not solving any problems on this first call. What we’re doing is we are collecting problems. We are cataloging problems. We are probing into problems. So literally one of the first questions that I ask on this helping call is Do you mind if I treat you like a fee paid client? Every word of that is really important. Do you Mind, if I treat you like a fee paid client? And they will say sure, no, that, that’d be great. Sometimes they say, Well, yeah, that’s great. But what does that mean? So I’ll tell you what it means. Just like with my paying clients, I’m going to tell you what you need to hear not necessarily what you want to hear, I’m going to ask for your permission to redirect and interrupt, if I feel that our conversation is not being of the highest value to you. Because we have a very limited time here. So I’m going to have the permission to interrupt and redirect. And then finally, you know, I’m going to tell you the truth about your situation based on what you’re sharing with me. And the truth will set you free. Do I have your permission to do all three of those things? Yes, that would be great. Okay. So now I say, Okay, we’re starting our work together. What’s the first thing you would ask me? Oh, David, we have a real problem with positioning and also our pricing is a disaster. And okay, so I’m writing down pricing. I’m writing down positioning, and then I’m using the magic phrase. And what else? Oh, my gosh, well, our team, our team is just terrible at upselling and cross selling, I’d love to solve that team. upselling, cross selling, got it. So notice, I’m not saying Tell me about your positioning. Let’s fix the positioning problem right now. Tell me about your pricing. You’re charging? How much? Oh my gosh, that’s too low. It shouldn’t be 5000. It should be 12,000. So I’m literally collecting problem collecting is different than problem solving. Question collecting is different than question answering. So I’m writing out our agenda. Should we start working together? And I’m literally saying, Okay, it’s our first session. What’s the first thing you would ask me? Got it? I’m not saying let’s answer or let’s solve. What’s the next question you’d asked me? And what else? And what else? And what else? And then we keep going down that path. As other things start to crop up in the conversation. I might ask some follow up questions. Tell me more about that. How long has that been a problem? I’m curious. What else have you tried to solve that problem? Now? You might notice some of these questions. Don’t tell anyone. Alastair. Some of these questions are traditional initial appointment prospecting questions. But when they’re reframed, as let’s start working together. Give me your punch list. Give me what you know, what’s on your mind. What what do we need to tackle? And then I might read back. Okay, we’ve talked about five different areas. We talked about positioning, we talked about pricing, we talked about the team, we talked about upselling, and cross selling. If you were to pick two of those as the most urgent or the first priority for us to work on, which two, would you pick? Oh, it would definitely be the pricing, and it would definitely be the team. Great. Tell me more about the pricing. Where is the pricing been? Where’s the pricing going? Now? What are you considering changing about the pricing? And again, I’m only asking questions. I’m not giving answers. I’m not making recommendations. I’m not doing any analysis. I’ve gone from collecting big picture questions to collecting some detail level questions. Now, when they say, by the way, David, what what do you think about that? Or David, how could you help us with that? As soon as they start to because they’re going to be hungry? Because they’re human beings, they’re going to be hungry for some specific help. Your answer is going to be the honest, truthful answer. If you and I sat down, no matter how many zillions of dollars you just deposited in my bank account, and thank you for depositing zillions of dollars in my bank account. Our first 20 minutes, I’m not going to have enough information to give you answers about anything. So guess what I tell the prospect when they say what, David, what do you think about our pricing? David? How shall we solve our positioning? How How would you change it? My answer is the honest answer, which is Alastair, you know, I really don’t know yet. You know, we’re just starting, you know, we’re literally 17 minutes into this call, it would be professional malpractice, for me to answer that question, without having a much broader and much deeper understanding of your overall business in a holistic sense. And then I’m going to ask for their agreement about that. And the way that we ask for agreement is, does that make sense? Does that make sense? Right, you know, you probably wouldn’t want a half baked answer, because a half baked answer is not going to get you out of the situation that you’re in. You don’t want a half baked answer, do you? And sometimes they’ll say, Well, just how about a hint? How about I said, I have no hint. Right? And I’m just telling the truth. 20 minutes into any initial relationship, you don’t know the answer. You don’t know the full picture, and it would in fact, be professional malpractice for you to start making recommendations. runs based on partial and incomplete information. So don’t be afraid to say, I don’t have the answer. I don’t know yet. We’re not there yet. These are all little phrases that you can add to your sales phrasebook, right? I don’t know yet. We’re not there yet. I don’t have enough information to give you a good answer, you know, and then put everything good. Every answer every solution, every release of the tension comes, you know, once we begin working together, that’s one of the first things we’ll tackle. And we have some diagnostic tools. And I’ve got a whole bunch more questions for you, we’re gonna dig into this in a three dimensional holistic way, so that we can solve it right. And so we can solve it once and get it out of the way and take it off your list permanently. And you can see the change in their body language, when you say things like that’s like, Oh, that would be so great. That would be so fantastic. So everything good that you talk about on that sales conversation comes after they buy after they become a client after they sign up after they enroll.


Alastair McDermott  21:08

And this is why I wanted to have you on the podcast. So thank you so much. I’m sure that the listener is you know, loving this. I think that one of the things I just want to point out how important is when when you see an expert, a true expert, doing something, there is so much nuance and detail in their approach. I’ve seen this where you know, people have done I was talking to sama Jaffrey last week about YouTube and creating YouTube videos and things like that. There’s so much minor nuance, you look at something with without that expert view and you think, Okay, this is what they’re doing. But there’s actually a lot under the surface. And I think that you’ve uncovered a lot of that just with the terminology and the phrasing that you’re using there. All those little details of those words. So um, one of the things that I wrote down was collecting and cataloging problems, rather than trying to solve them. Because that has been a flaw of my approach. In the past where I’ve gone in, I’ve tried to actually solve problems and be as helpful as possible, in that sense, and it doesn’t work, even if it’s even if your initial call is an hour long. Now, there’s one other thing that I know that some people might see as an objection to what you just talked about, which is okay, so you’re doing your initial call with somebody is a free unpaid get to know you type meeting, like is your calendar, just not full of all of these meetings? How do you how do you inoculate against having too many people taking up your time. So


David Newman  22:35

this is this is about inbound versus outbound. Almost always I am interacting with people on LinkedIn, I am very intentionally, so it’s either LinkedIn or Facebook. But now these days more, more so on LinkedIn, I’m intentionally showing up in their world, like a happy squeaky wheel. So before so I’ve got like an active 20 prospect list. And we talked about what that is in the DoIT selling book, but having a written finite workable list of companies or executives that you want to do business with, and I’m accidentally on purpose, always showing up in their world. I’m liking their, I’m liking what they’re liking. I’m liking things that they’re posting, I’m commenting intelligently on things that they’re posting, I’m sharing a little bit of my experience and my expertise to support their posts and what they’re doing on LinkedIn, then I send a LinkedIn connection request, then I’ll be perhaps interacting with them and saying, hey, you know, a couple of weeks ago, you asked this question about marketing for your team, because your team really hates marketing. You know, this is kind of what I do, I’d be happy to hop on a 30 minute call with you, if that would be helpful. Would you like my calendar link? And people go, Oh, my gosh, that would be great. And sometimes you get ignored and sometimes they say no, thanks. Because again, people are very much now sensitive to this, you know, connect and pitch thing. But it truly is, and helping call. So I would say between 25 and 30% of those invitations say oh my gosh, yes, that would be wonderful. That would be great. So we get on the call and that’s the beginning of the process. But it’s not like I’m opening up my calendar to everyone and saying no, come on in and waste my time. Almost always. So this is this is outbound disguised as inbound. That’s the best way to think about it. Alastair? Its outbound, because I have selected I’ve hand selected the exact people that I want to interact with that I want to show up in their world like a happy squeaky wheel. And they’re just bumping into me. They’re just discovering Oh, there’s this David Newman character. And then we’ll go over to my LinkedIn profile and say, Oh, I see. He works with professional services firms who want to build and grow and that sounds interesting. And then because based on their activity, And based on their comments, and based on their interactions, I’m saying, Hey, I noticed that you were having this question about such and such, I’d be happy to hop on a call and give you some specific again, same thing that I said at the top of our interview here, share some specific ideas that you can implement immediately based on your exact situation and goals. Would you like a link to my calendar? Yes, great, wonderful. And then we just go through the exact same initial 27.5 minute helping call that I described. But it is it is crafty, because it’s outbound disguised as inbound.


Alastair McDermott  25:36

I love it. And I’m all about Inbound authority. Building Authority is inbound marketing that’s inbound for experts, basically. And that’s, that’s why I’m all about this, because I’m one of your people who you’re talking about. I do not want to do I buy marketing, I don’t even want to really do any of that referral and networking type marketing, either. I want to do inbound marketing, where I get to come on camera, talk with interesting people write books, and have people who put their hand up and say, Yeah, I want to work with you. That’s, that’s why I’m doing this is because I’m squarely in that boat as well. So what are the mistakes then? Because I’m sure like, there is a lot of nuance to this. What what typical mistakes do people make when they’re trying to implement this kind of process? Because I know that, you know, I know that, like, I made that problem of trying to make that mistake of trying to solve the problem on that first call. What mistakes do you see people making?


David Newman  26:34

Well, believe it or not, it’s funny people that don’t have enough conversations. And generally folks that come to work with us, one of the problems is nowhere near enough conversations, let alone you know, it’s the quality problem, and also the quantity problem. When you don’t have enough quantity of conversations. You treat these initial calls, like a dog going after hungry meat. And so it’s not unusual when people come to start working with us. Well, David, I have a first meeting with a new prospect. What should I pitch, they totally forget, they forget everything that you and I just talked about. And they go back to old school sales 101. I’m going to get someone on a call, they have a wallet, they have a checkbook, they have a credit cards, what do I pitch them on that first meeting? And I’ve probably answered that question about 8000 times. But I still smile, and I answer it like I’ve never heard it before. I say Well, believe it or not, you don’t Pitch Anything. You go in with diagnostic questions, figuring out what they’re up against figuring out what they’re working on. Ask them about their company, their team, their goals, their leadership, their metrics, their whatever, right, whatever the problem is that you’re already brilliant at solving. And 100% of the time Allaster. People come back after having had that call. They say, David, you won’t believe this, that that whole idea of asking them about their problems, their their their team, their issues, their challenges, their hopes, their dreams, their goals. That worked amazing. I felt great on that call. And it’s like, yes, yes, you did. Yes. Right. Again, guest right again. So it’s, it’s something that we fall so easily back into those old habits that we do not enjoy that literally sticking to this plan of more invitations to conversations about how you can help people and then actually start helping them not by problem solving. But by problem collecting, not by question answering but by question cataloging. And it’s not unusual Alastair, at the end of this 27 and a half minutes to say, I have never had such a valuable 30 minute call, and you didn’t answer anything, and you didn’t solve anything. But like a lighthouse. You help them to illuminate things that were right under their nose that they themselves cannot see. And then the final the final kind of human interaction with this is that everyone needs to please remember, we are always judged far more on the questions that we ask then on the statements that we make. So the more that we’re in this questioning process, the smarter we sound to prospects


Alastair McDermott  29:41

love it. Yeah, I think that this think that this the nuance of enlightening and, you know, shining a light on the problems that are there and collecting and cataloging those problems, rather than trying to solve them and I think that instinctively a lot of people who are like me who are that engineer mindset, we’re, we’re problem solvers. By default, we kind of go in there, you know, maybe stomping around like a bull in a china shop trying to solve a problem before checking out. Okay, what all is going on in here? So yeah, I think that really resonates with me. Let’s see, the next step is to get on that sales call. Ken, can you just give me like the cliff’s cliff notes version of what that sales call is like?


David Newman  30:31

Sure. So the the sales call is really about thinking like a courtroom attorney, a courtroom attorney, always a courtroom attorney doesn’t just come in and start cross examining a witness with random questions that they just thought of in the moment, a courtroom attorney comes in with a questioning plan and a questioning strategy. So my questioning plan, questioning strategy. And again, all of this is in the duet selling book, if you want the step by step recipes and formulas. But I always start with, what are the three biggest problems in this area, whatever area of business we are solving for them? And then what are your three biggest strengths? So I don’t believe in just opening up and dwelling on problem problem problem problem, because that gets the prospect in a very negative sort of mindset. I want to know, what are the three biggest problems? Yes. But what are also your three biggest strengths? Or what are your three biggest assets? Right, so what’s in your arsenal right now to solve this, to give the prospect a sense of empowerment, and a sense that, you know, this is not a hopeless situation. Anything that involves money and metrics, and almost every problem can be taken to some level of money and metrics, I would ask about those money and metrics. So let’s say we’re solving a retention problem, employee retention. I’m curious, how was your retention last year versus now? How much are you spending on recruiting fees? What if you could spend half as much on recruiting fees? Where would the rest of that money go? Where are you now versus where you’d like to be six months from now or 12 months from now. So there’s a little bit of historical excavation of where they’ve been, and as little bit of future pacing of where they would like to go? And then you know, then I would just go into some deep, deep listening. So questions like, you know, what does success look like? what’s new, what’s different, what’s happening, then that’s not happening now. And then as you’re listening and feeding some of this back to them, share some relevant client success stories, share some case histories. But the big trap in the sales conversation is to start talking about your stuff. Please, please do not talk about the inputs, the mechanics, the binders, the sessions, the hours, the calls, the videos, no one cares about that. The mantra here is sell the destination, not the transportation. How we get there is completely unimportant. At this point, it’s painting a very clear picture of what’s that desired future. So some additional questions that you can ask, how do you see this ending up? If all goes well? What would be a home run result for you? And then don’t forget the magic question? And what else? And what else? And what else? And what else? And then I would ask, what’s the impact of solving these problems? So what does that mean for you personally? And then listen to that answer. What does that mean to you professionally? Well, if we get this solved, I’m going to be promoted to executive vice president blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, wonderful. You’d want to know that, that the outcome of solving this problem would result in your economic buyer getting a promotion, then I would ask what does this mean for you financially? Well, financially, you know, I’m due to my my final batch of stock options are vesting next year, and it’s really important that the company’s valuation goes up and our stock price goes up. And you know, what happens if it stays where it is today? Well, I’m out about $90,000. And so you’re saying that you personally would profit by $90,000 if the stock price hits this number versus that number? Yeah. And okay, so now we know something about financially. How would you describe the ultimate destination right, once we get there? Where are we going next? And then the magic question to pepper throughout this entire conversation. Aleister Can you put a number on it? Can you put a number on it? Can you put a number on it? Can you put a number on it? Every statement that they make? Needs to be qualified and quantified? So how much in terms of dollars or hours or percentages or savings or profit, or hassles or rework or retention? Or recruiting costs? Or whatever it is? Can you put a number on it. And so here’s the final soundbite on this, as an independent consultant, or even a boutique consulting firm, what might be a lot of money to us is not a lot of money to them. They have problems that are worth hundreds of 1000s millions or 10s of millions of dollars. And when you say, Well, how much are you spending on recruiters? And they might say, well, we’re you know, we’re spending quite a bit. I don’t know, it’s quite a bit 10 grand, is it 100? Grand? Is it a million? Is it 3 million? Can you put a number, well, that centers thing? Can you put a number on it? And you might be thinking, Oh, it’s about $300,000? Based on what I’ve learned so far, they will tell you, well, it’s about $3 million. And you’re like, Whoa, okay, so, Bob, let me be clear, Bob is my fictional prospect. Bob, let me be clear, in that you’re saying in the last 12 months, you’ve spent $3 million on recruiting fees? Yeah, that’s about right. And you were thinking 300k? And he just told you 3 million. So does that impact the return on investment calculation of them hiring you? I think it does. But unless you’ve relentlessly and religiously use that phrase, can you put a number on it? Can you put a number on it? Can you put a number on it? And there’s variations of can you put a number on it? Like what does that mean in terms of dollars and cents? Right? What does that mean financially, just in terms of an annual numbers, you can lots of ways to ask that question. Until you know the scope and scale and depth of the cost of the problem. You’re always going to be floating in outer space as far as your value based fees. So value based fees is we need to find the value to them, not the value to you, but the value to them, and price your services accordingly. I


Alastair McDermott  37:20

love it. This is this is brilliant. Johnny Byrne says on Facebook, he says great stuff. cubbies says this is genius. So thank you. I had Ron Baker, who is like the godfather of value based pricing back on episode 32. So that’s maybe two and a half years ago. And he talked about about how to do value based pricing because I think it’s a very nuanced topic. But you’ve just given us like a kind of a mini mini masterclass, there. So thank you. I want to ask you a couple of very brief questions. One question I want to ask you is you have been writing books, and I know that some of the people who are listening to this who are experts are thinking about writing a book, can you tell me like, How important was that? How much of a difference has that made in your business? Can you tell me a little bit about your thought process around that? Yes,


David Newman  38:10

certainly. So I think publishing is critically important. I don’t think publishing a book as a first thing is necessarily all that important. So prospects aren’t looking for books, prospects are looking for tangible points of proof of your smarts, your excellence, your thought leadership. So start by publishing articles, start by publishing blogs, start by publishing video content, webinar content, live stream content, podcast content, all of those can be raw material for a book. But so I think publishing is really important. I think a book is secondary. So once a book becomes a primary sort of thing, right, then six second book, third book, etc. But I didn’t know I was in business for 10 years before writing my first book.


Alastair McDermott  39:02

And did it have a material difference on the business? Did you did you feel a jump or a bump? After publishing


David Newman  39:08

did it did but again, that’s after 10 years of publishing other sorts of content. But sure, I mean, the book is kind of like an aircraft carrier, right? My friend Sally Hogshead says, publishing a book is like launching an aircraft carrier in that everything else goes with it. All the destroyers and the submarines and the battleships and the airplanes and everything follows that aircraft carrier. So it’s a directional force in your business. And I would say that for the next three to five years, you should be speaking, coaching, consulting and training on the content of those books. So don’t just publish a crappy book or a crappy consultant book. Make that book a true piece of thought leadership that you’re happy to stick with for at least the next three to five years. Love it. That’s


Alastair McDermott  39:58

great advice. Okay, well Let me ask you something I asked all the guests on the show, what is the number one tip that you would give to somebody who wants to build their authority,


David Newman  40:07

I would give you my three PR formula. So three PR is not necessarily about public relations, that three P stands for personalized professional public relations, and there’s three legs on that stool. One is speaking, because speaking raises your visibility. The other is publishing. The second one is publishing, because publishing increases your credibility, not necessarily a book, but like we just talked about articles, blogs, podcasts, webinars. And then the third piece is social media, because social media increases your share ability. So once you’ve gotten the three PR gameplan, of speaking, publishing, and social media, you are now more visible, you’re now more credible, and you are now more shareable. And that’s going to be a force multiplier in your expert business. Love


Alastair McDermott  41:00

  1. Great advice. Thank you. Is there a business book or resource that’s been important for you or that you’d recommend to people? I


David Newman  41:06

really recommend Seth Godin book linchpin. That is probably one of the underrated books if he has some underrated books, but that’s one of the ones that kind of slips under the radar. And it’s really, really great as far as your impact in the world and your importance to your clients and your community and to the world at large linchpin.


Alastair McDermott  41:27

Yeah, that’s a great choice. I read that about 10 years ago, I’d say, and I probably need to go and read it again. And then do you read fiction? Is there anything that you live in recommend?


David Newman  41:36

I do not read fiction once a year and my wife will force my wife reads a lot of fiction. And she will say you have to read this book. So once a year, I read a fiction book because I sort of have to. But even this year, I haven’t really read a fiction book. So I can’t give you any good tips. Sorry.


Alastair McDermott  41:55

Are there any TV or movies that you really love? Oh,


David Newman  41:59

billions, billions is amazing, so many lessons for entrepreneurs around adversity and cleverness and tenacity. I love billions.


Alastair McDermott  42:12

Yeah, that’s a great show. I like that as well. Yeah. Cool. That is That’s That’s great. David, it’s been a true pleasure to have you on I certainly let you go before the top of the hour, because I know you have another call. Thank you so much, David Newman, where can people find you if they want to learn more? So


David Newman  42:27

everything that we have online is that do it For the folks that want to pick up the duet selling book. There’s also some free resources, downloads and training, some companion tools that go with that book, at doit And we also have a free download, which is our do at marketing manifesto. That’s that do it Awesome.


Alastair McDermott  42:51

And we’ll have links to all of those in the show notes wherever you found this. So David, again, thank you so much for coming on the show.


David Newman  42:58

Alastair, so great to be here. Thanks for having me on.

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