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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This podcast was sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales, and featured an interview with Jordan Mederich from DropFunnels.]
Find Jordan on LinkedIn.
JORDAN’S TIP: “Go back and listen, especially if you’re recording conversations on Zoom or otherwise, go back and listen to the last 5 to 10 closes that you’ve made. Start to study and listen intently as an outside observer, what was the energy that you brought to that? What did you maybe do that day that was different, that brought your A game to that level?”
THE PODCAST BEGINS HERE
Fred Diamond: We have Jordan Mederich with DropFunnels. I’m really excited because we’re talking about some things that we typically don’t talk to that I know that our listeners need to be educated on. Let’s get started here. Let’s get really basic on some of the things, a funnel. Talk about what a funnel is, and then talk about some of the unique ways that DropFunnels treats funnels.
Jordan Mederich: Sales funnels have been around for over 100 years. Early 1900s is when literally the first sales funnels were invented and everyone is shopping in a sales funnel all the time. You go to Target, it’s literally a sales funnel. You walk in, there’s a reason that you have Starbucks right there to get you warm and comfortable. Then they’ve got the front end products, the cheap initial products to get you moving. Then they move immediately into women’s apparel, some of the highest profit-making products. Move you around to the higher ticket items in the back of the store. Then ultimately, loss leaders are at the end, but they don’t put their grocery store up front for that very reason. We’re always in sales funnels all the time.
But what I find is that for almost all sales professionals, I’m not talking about the base infrastructure of the company, but a lot of sales professionals and even small businesses, entrepreneurs, they almost have no sales funnel at all. They have no process in place for people to find you online, to be indoctrinated into your message and brand, and to ultimately book a sales call with you so that you actually exist online. It’s what we call old world and new world, and sales funnels is how you take the relational belly-to-belly approach of conversations, door-knocking, the more manual, organic strategy, and moving that into the digital space. I think COVID woke us all up to the concept that you have to have, every business, every salesperson, in my opinion, even if you’re underneath an infrastructure, you should have a sales funnel in place to help people who are cold traffic people to be able to find you, to find out that you’re the right person, established as an authority to help them, and get them excited to be working with you before you even have that conversation.
My final note, and I’m sure we can get granular, we could talk for days about sales funnels, but really the whole purpose of any sales funnel, especially online, is just to guide people to the next logical step and slowly increase their risk as they go, very slowly. We’re automating about 80% of the sales process by getting them warmed up to us before we even hear from them or talk to them. We can do a lot of the heavy lifting that people are doing manually to warm people up through emails or belly-to-belly. But the beauty of automated funnels and why everyone needs one is that it helps to multiply you out to have an army of people working on your behalf.
Fred Diamond: Actually, one thing we talk a lot about on almost every single Sales Game Changers Podcast, is the concept in enterprise sales. Most of the people listening are in enterprise sales, B2B, complex type sales, and everything is about getting to the next conversation. Everything is about how do you continue to move the process through? What are things you need to be doing now? There’s stats that we’ve heard, Jordo, where a customer may be 60% down the road before they even go to the types of companies that we deal with to ask them information, to get more information, to get a quote, whatever it might be. Tell us about DropFunnels. Tell us a little bit about the company. How did you create it, and then who do you typically serve right now?
Jordan Mederich: DropFunnels, at the very highest level, it’s an all in one marketing platform to increase digital sales specifically, to get you ranked online. It’s actually built on a WordPress based infrastructure. It’s one of the highest and fastest ranking tools that you can get. It’s the number one ranking factor in Google, is whether or not you’re built on an infrastructure like this. But really what happened was, years ago I was building brands and companies, and I’d build like a WordPress site, and it would take me six months of design and plugins and these things here and there, and then I’d add sales funnel builders, they’re all over the place now. You duct tape that on and you bolt it and hope it doesn’t break. Then you have automation tools over here, and if you have a digital course or training portal, you add that on here, and it would take so long and it would be so brittle. It’d be like walking on eggshells that any single point of failure brings the entire house of cards down.
I was doing that, and I was using ClickFunnels, and WordPress, and Kajabi, and all these other things, and trying to make a true infrastructure that would rival any of my major competitors that were venture-backed, and nothing existed. You can either go hire tech people, and developers, and designers and have them help you, or you got to figure it out on your own, and most entrepreneurs do not have much time for that.
I decided, “All right. It doesn’t exist.” I actually launched about two and a half years ago, right before February 1st of 2020, so right before COVID. We launched the company bootstrap, never taken a penny of investor money. We’re really proud of what we’ve been able to build. Specifically, you’re able to build your websites, sales funnels, a blog that can help you to rank as well, digital courses or training platforms, and even what we call conversational closing, which is automated SMS and email communication directly with the lead throughout just one platform. For most people that we serve, it’s businesses that tend to be under about 10 million a year and people who want to eliminate tools, not add new things, because all the duct tape can get a little overwhelming. We really focus on helping people to eliminate a lot of the other tools that they’re using and just build it all into one spot for a 10th of the price they would normally pay.
Fred Diamond: You talk a lot about the authority funnel strategy. What exactly does that mean?
Jordan Mederich: It’s a bit of my own IP, as you would say, but an authority funnel is basically what I would consider the MVP or the minimum viable necessity for anyone who’s selling anything online, period. This is if you’re going to ask the question, “Okay. I don’t exist online, you search for my name, and all you get is some YouTube video that I uploaded when I was 20,” or whatever. If that happens to be the case, you have to exist online. You have to show up in the best way possible when people search for your name, and trust me, they are searching for you. Probably 90% to 95% of people are googling your name to find out whether or not they can trust you. What shows up when that happens?
An authority funnel, essentially, it behaves like a website, but it moves people directly into where you want them to go. It behaves like a sales funnel. It’s the minimum foundation that I suggest for anyone who’s in sales. First, you need what we call an authority site, an authority page, but not the type of website with a million different menus and things. The more menu items that you have up there, social, link sharing, and all those things, they might look sexy and make us feel really fancy, but they actually are just leaky buckets. If you imagine a huge bucket with holes poked all over it, every link for them to leave your site is an invitation for them to do so, and they often take advantage of that. If we don’t want that, we need to simplify the path for them to get to us.
If they search fred.com, and you pull up, it should be your initial authority page. It shows you and demonstrates your expertise, your authority, who you are, reviews, companies you’ve worked with, and here’s the secret, one call to action button. One button. That’s it. Put it in the upper right hand corner of your page and the center above the fold of your page with a headline. Very, very simple. We’ve got tons of it. We build these for people all the time too. That primary call to action button should send them directly into your funnel. tonyrobbins.com is a great example of this if people want a reference. He has more menu items than I would probably suggest, but he’s an international brand and he’s got the ability to do so.
When they click on that button, it immediately goes into either an application process for them to be pre-vetted. Because remember, a funnel, the point is not to get as many people into it as possible and to get to you. It’s to filter out as many people as possible. It’s a filtration mechanism. We have that primary page, that’s actually a filter. If they’re not interested in what it is you have to offer, they’ll leave. But if they are, they will click that button. That immediately moves into either an application to filter them to make sure that that works. Then over into a call booking page so that you’re pushing people through. What we find, and we see this happen all the time, when people are maybe all over the place and then they move into DropFunnels specifically, just because we’re really good at this part, is that- One person just said, “Hey, I got 10,000 extra hits from SEO in the first month of moving over,” which is free organic traffic that most people are missing out on.
We want to first think, what’s the end of the road? What do we want people to do? We want them to book calls. What’s the step before that? What’s the step before that? What’s the step before that? Then just build this into a linear path that just slowly, as I mentioned, increases that risk for people to filter out the tire kickers and only bring people into a world that we really want to work with.
Fred Diamond: You talk a lot about the backward sales mentality, which I believe you were just beginning to discuss. Talk about the backwards sales mentality and how it increases trust. If you don’t mind, I just want to ask you a very basic question. We’ve used the word trust a couple of times here. Talk about trust in context of this. What exactly does that mean? Because we talk a lot about becoming a trusted advisor. But again, we’re talking typically in the Sales Game Changers Podcast about the sales professional as compared to how a company wants to represent itself through the DropFunnels. You started talking about the backward sales mentality. Talk about what trust means and how do companies achieve that and what does the customer want as it relates to trust?
Jordan Mederich: Such a great question, no one’s ever asked me that before and I’m glad that you brought it up. I think we are actually in the trust economy. We’re in the trust 3.0 economy, where there’s two trains of thought. There’s the hustle, close hard, shark mentality, where it’s like you beat the sand and try to get as much money as you possibly can. What we find is the lagging indicator of that is lack of trust in a brand, lack of repeat customers, lack of lifetime customer value, because people, they’re being forced into a decision that they don’t really want to make, or they’re being pressured into something. It’s like an arranged marriage to someone. You didn’t get to vet that, you didn’t get to get going. It’s probably not a great fit.
In the trust economy, the way to be thinking about this is very much leaning out instead of leaning in. In almost everything that we do and we train is that even if I were to physically right now lean back in a conversation, or if you do that even in person, people will start to physically lean into you. They’ll start to be more interested in you and what you have to say. Where if you eliminate all the pressure of a sales conversation, and you’re just asking questions, curiosity-based questions, and not saying, “You need this. This is what it’s going to do for you and how.” Instead, what if we ask them, “Here’s how this works. What do you think that this would do for you?” Let them paint the picture of what the outcome will be, instead of us forcing that on them.
Some of my favorite golden questions is, what would this do for you? What would your business look like in six months if you had? They get to tell you what that end result would be. If they say, “Hey, it probably wouldn’t do much,” they’re not a sale. But if they do see a positive return happening from that, it’s like that movie Inception, some of the best ideas are the ones that come from us. The other side is like if you take it away. “Say you don’t have this, where are things going to be?” They come back and say, “Things are just going to be stuck. I’m going to not know where I’m going. I’m going to be lacking clarity,” all those things. They’re establishing their current and future positions for you where closing becomes simple, it becomes really easy, because you’re not forcing them.
You don’t need the sale. You don’t need them to buy this thing from you. Whether they do it or don’t do it, it’s ultimately on them. If they don’t, there’s almost always this gap left in their life. If they’ve self-diagnosed because you’ve been leaned out, that this is the right fit, and they don’t do it, they’re going to be staying awake at night like, “Man, what would’ve happened if I did that?” Versus pushing people hard into this antitrust type of mentality of pressure and force, and then people staying up at night regretting the purchase. We have probably one of the lowest refund chargeback complaint rates probably in the industry because we just don’t force people to do what we want them to do. We let them do what they had already planned to do in the first place.
Fred Diamond: There’s a couple of thoughts that we frequently speak about. We talk frequently, Jordo, about how people like more what they discover as compared to what they’re told. When we work with B2B and enterprise type sales professionals, it’s about getting the customer to discover. Other things we talk about is if the customer does 90% of the talking on a sales call, that will then probably spell you better than if you’re doing 90% of the talking. It sounds like similar concepts on the web there. Talk a little bit about why opportunity volume matters and why that’s a big point. I’m also curious, you said you’ve been around for about two and a half years now with DropFunnels, I’m curious on what you’ve learned over the last two and a half years and where you’ve shifted. Two different questions. Start back with the opportunity volume and then let’s talk about, I’m curious on what you learned from when you started to where you are now.
Jordan Mederich: Opportunity volume I think is a critical question, especially for people just beginning out in sales. People who aren’t into sales or they fear sales, it’s usually because they don’t understand it or they feel like it’s sleazy or slimy. That’s a lot of that antitrust mentality that we think about when you’re afraid of sales. But when you embrace this concept that it truly is serving people, it changes your mentality about how you go about those conversations. What I see in a lot of beginner salespeople, whether you’re selling something directly through a funnel and people just go through and buy it, that’s still sales. Or you’re selling over the phone, that’s sales. Selling at an event, that’s sales.
But there’s an average of the mean where for a lot of people, they’ll consider themselves a bad salesman because they’ve pitched an offer twice and it didn’t close. Well, if you pitch an offer twice and it doesn’t close, you’re not a failure any more than if you go two for two, you’re not technically a success yet. You need an average over time. Increasing opportunity is the mechanism, it is the leverage that you can build into establishing averages and improve those over time. What gets measured gets improved. If I’m closing at a 10%, well then I need at least 10 offers made to even find out if that’s a valid test. Bare minimum would be 10. Probably you’re better off doing 100 sales calls of the exact same pitch, exact same cadence, exact type of lead flow, and then what ends up being the average over those 100 sales calls? That’s where the average of the mean comes through. You don’t really understand truly what your conversion rates are until you have enough opportunity volume to substantiate that.
I always encourage people, especially just starting out, put in the reps. Go get more volume, go test this, go play with it, go practice with someone else and have them pretend like they’re a lead, and have them give you the worst objections that they possibly can, and they’ll probably prepare you really well. I think opportunity volume is really important.
As it relates to DropFunnels, as a platform, I can tell you this. Probably the world’s hardest business model is low ticket recurring software. I’ve learned that this model is one of the hardest on the planet, because you can acquire a customer. If anyone here is in software sales, you understand. If you’re selling enterprise, it’s a different thing. But if you’re selling to smaller or medium businesses, et cetera, there’s so much competition. What I’ve found is the biggest lesson is that people will stick with you when they formed a relationship with the person, not necessarily with the brand, some emotional connection.
That happens through, I think, three individual buckets, is that one, it’s the leader. Right now, probably a certain percentage of people have heard my voice, they don’t like my vibe, and they’ve already turned off the podcast. Another percentage will say, “Hey, I like what this is about.” They’re building a liking to me and my ethos and integrity values and those types of things. Number one, it starts with the leader. Do they like the leader? Are they a person that they’d want to follow and be associated with? Two is the support from the team. That’s one of our biggest things, is we focus and invest heavily in support. When people send in tickets, we always want to go above and beyond. Then third is the future vision. I think if they align ethically or with their own values about where the company is headed and the trajectory and velocity of how quickly that company is moving, those are the three biggest things that we found.
In many cases, everything comes down to belief. We find that the people who stick with us as customers and clients in our platform, they’ve almost always had experiences in all three, trust with me, trust with the team, and future vision of where we’re headed. The people who leave don’t, or they’ve bought into another vision, perhaps a competitor that they more align with that value set. I think if anyone can improve through that, I think that would’ve been one lesson I wish I could’ve taught myself 10 years ago, is focus on those three things. The product, there are people selling incredibly subpar products in the marketplace depending on your industry, but they’re winning because of those three components, which has almost nothing to do with product. It has everything to do with relationships.
Fred Diamond: I mentioned trusted advisor. I’m curious on your thought on this, there’s so many words. As a matter of fact, Insights for Sales Game Changers, our new book, what we did is we took the 15 most uttered words in the history of the Sales Game Changers Podcast, and we found out how often they were quoted on our shows. Then we found some of the best examples. Words like empathy, trust, partnering, prospecting, leadership, et cetera. One of the words that of course comes up a lot, especially more so during the last couple of years, is value. What value are you creating for your customer? Unfortunately, a lot’s changed over the last two and a half years.
Customers, which they might have seen a certain type of value from you two and a half years ago, that’s no longer the case. A lot of times it’s not because of you, it’s because of their business having shifted. For the first time in sales history, so much has been impacted not just by my relationship with you as a customer, but with your relationship with your customer and your customer’s customer’s relationships. The whole supply chain has caused so much disturbance in the sales process that we’ve really never seen before. I’m curious also, you have a background in filmmaking, and I know you’ve won some awards. Would you mind talking a little bit about that? I’m curious on how that’s played out.
Jordan Mederich: If I could have gone back in time, I probably would’ve been into business degrees and entrepreneurship, but I was actually a theater major with a masscomm minor, and was very passionate, still am, about creating film and creative expression and all those types of things. I actually created a documentary film called Church of Felons. It’s a story of Western Wisconsin County. It’s one of the most addicted counties in the United States, and the story of four multi-offense felons and how they came out of their severe addictions and the crimes that they caused, and what’s the story after addiction. We were able to win some cool awards from that. I think it’s still on Amazon Prime, or people can get it on Amazon, it’s free on YouTube as well.
Learning how to create films and create an experience like that is a substantial challenge, but it really helps you to understand storytelling. The beauty in that is that sales is storytelling. It’s telling the story of the future version of someone. People probably disagree with me in certain respects with this, but I’ll take this to the grave, is that people only buy their way out of pain. They do not buy pleasure. They do not buy just niceties. They’re literally, even if they’re buying a really fancy car, fancy ring, any of that, they are escaping the pain of inadequacy in their own mind. People are always buying their way out of pain.
That’s what a story is, is that here’s this primary character who’s struggling with this affliction, or made some bad choices. Often they’ll have an external leader or someone who can come in and guide them to the right side, and what happens to them after that? That’s really what I see in most sales, whether it’s digital sales through a sales funnel or directly through one-to-one conversations, the best salespeople are really storytellers. That’s the beauty of that. What I’ve learned is to tell the story of you and your journey and how someone can join you in that journey to reach their own version of whatever their version of heaven is.
Fred Diamond: As a matter of fact, that’s one thing I’ve learned. We’ve done almost 600 episodes of the Sales Game Changers podcast and typically, we’ll have leaders, again, bag-carrying, quota-carrying sales leaders from companies, and they’re all poised, they’ve all presented many times, they’ve all had success. Where sometimes they’ll fall short is they’ll just spew the company line, or almost features/benefits type of a conversation. Then they’ll say to me afterwards like, “What could I have done better?” I say, “Have a pocket of stories. Have a pocket full of 30-second, one-minute stories. No matter what you’re asked, you’ll always have an example which illuminates how you’ve provided value for the customer, how you’ve helped the customer solve a problem.” I’m going to have to think about your premise there, that sales is all about pain, because I don’t disagree, but I’m going to have to think a little bit more in detail about it.
I get so many people who reach out to me, and I’ll be “qualified”. They’ll say, “Well, you’re a CEO of a company and you’re struggling with getting more leads from your internet. You definitely need…” whatever it is their particular service would be. I always say, “Well, not really.” Not that I’m happy where I am, which is going to lead to my last question, but there’s not enough pain that I’m going to need to team with you who I just met. You just happened to find me on LinkedIn, probably. You did a search on, I don’t know why a lot of people think I’m a coach, but I get a lot of inquiries for coaching services, or CEO, or payroll, whatever. But that really ain’t that big of a challenge. We got it covered.
Last question before I ask you for your final action step. Jordan, what have you seen your customers get wrong? Again, you’ve built solutions, I’m going to guess, for hundreds of companies at this point, what do you see them continue to get wrong time and time again?
Jordan Mederich: Well, I’ll pivot. I wanted to edify and also confirm something that you just mentioned, is that there’s a big difference when people just say, “Hey, you’re a CEO. You’re a good fit to work with us.” There’s a huge difference between eligibility and pain. A better fit would be, if I’m going to go try to find out CEOs, it’s not to say, “Hey, you’re a CEO. Come buy from us.” It’s, “Hey, you’re a CEO and I saw that you had this problem, you posted this over here.” Or, “Hey, someone from our team noticed that this is a problem, and we saw this on your site. Here’s an issue. Would you like for us to solve this for you, or to even just get our advice for free for you to go fix it?” You’re immediately identifying that there’s a recognition and a deeper dive in terms of what that problem is.
As far as the biggest mistake, I think personally the biggest mistake that most digital marketers or entrepreneurs have is really underestimating or overestimating, depending on the case, the customer journey, and understanding where are your people coming from? Where do they exist? Where do they hang out? To find those people who are eligible. Then how do we automatically move them through a series of steps to identify and demonstrate that we can eliminate their pain? Eligibility’s great, that’s the first initial foundation. It’s the first physical evidence of someone being potentially the right fit. Then we need to identify that there actually is a pain there, and do they want this to be solved? Only then can we say, “Yes, we’re demonstrating that we are capable of solving this problem. Here’s the proof. Do you want us to handle this for you?” That’s the customer journey. I think an authority funnel is a great tactical way to start to build some of that trust and existing online so that that customer journey truly exists and you’re not leaving money on the table.
I think the other thing too is to consider longevity. I think we tend to often think weekly, or monthly, or just quarterly, but there’s that old phrase, I think it’s a Tony Robbins quote or something, but he said that you’ll overestimate what you can do in a year, but underestimate what you can do in five years or a decade. That longevity, having a longer time horizon for what you’re trying to achieve can often create for you some incredible results.
Fred Diamond: I actually had a boss, I worked for Compaq Computer in the mid ‘90s in marketing, and my boss, who was a former rear admiral in the Navy used to always say that the worst form of measurement known to man is the year, is one year. But at the same time, if your company needs to bring in revenue and you’re tasked with bringing in the revenue, you need to figure out how to bring in what you’re supposed to bring in to help your company achieve its goals.
This was a fascinating conversation. Again, it’s the first time we talked on some of these particular topics. I want to thank Jordan Mederich with DropFunnels for the insights that he shared. Jordo, give us one final action step. You’ve given us a lot of really good ideas. Give us one more final action step people should take to take their sales career to the next level.
Jordan Mederich: I think beyond what we’ve already discussed here of being able to exist online, understanding customer journey, ensuring that you actually have an authority funnel that can bring people in. Beyond all of that, and ensuring that you just have at least the basics covered, even if you’re not technical or any of that, just get those bases covered. But I’d say one of the biggest takeaways, as I see it in terms of sales, is go back and listen, especially if you’re recording conversations on Zoom or otherwise, go back and listen to the last 5 to 10 closes that you’ve made. Start to study and listen intently as an outside observer, what was the energy that you brought to that? What did you maybe do that day that was different, that brought your A game to that level?
Even if you’re listening to the ones that didn’t close but should have, what were you wearing? What did you eat that day? What happened the night before? What happened in your relationships that caused you to bring in some baggage? I love that phrase that you can’t read the label of the bottle you’re in. The best way to see yourself from the outside is to really review what things have happened in the past and to diligently note, “Hey, I messed up this line.” Go share it with a sales coach, someone who can give you some outside perspective and it’s really going to sharpen your game.
Fred Diamond: One of the things that when people sometimes ask me to describe sales, I say, “Corporate sales is basically, no, no, no, yay.” It’s like, what brought that yay? What was the things that triggered? Because sales for the most part is really about continual rejection, but continuing to keep going. There’s a guy who’s been on the show a couple of times, his name is James Muir, who wrote a book called The Perfect Close. We used to originally think that the close is a moment in time. The sale, the transaction, you give me cash for whatever it is we’re doing, or however that works. Then we’ve come to realize, and actually his book did a great job explaining this, there’s maybe 30 closes along the way, which basically is how you described what the funnels are. It’s getting them to the next stage, filtering them out if they shouldn’t be at the next stage.
Like we talked before, a lot of times people say to me, “I just want to be introduced to CEOs.” “Who’s your customer?” “Anybody who’s a CEO.” Well, Bill Gates was a CEO and the guy who runs three diners in my town is technically a CEO. They both have completely different goals. You got to get very, very honed. Even the companies that we work with, Jordo, the Salesforces of the world, the IBMs of the world, their customer segments are very, very succinct. I live in Washington, DC, right outside of DC. You’re in the Midwest. The government is our big customer here, obviously, in the DC Area. Well, people even get that wrong. It’s like, “Who’s your customer?” “The government.” Well, the government has 20 separate sub-verticals. There’s health and human services, and transportation, and of course the military, and intelligence, and Capitol Hill, and legislation. There’s no such thing as the government. Even the largest companies are successful focusing on a select number. Maybe for a large company like your IBMs and Salesforces of the world, it may be more than your particular company.
Jordan Mederich, thank you so much for being a guest on today’s Sales Game Changers Podcast. Again, for all our listeners, thank you so much. My name is Fred Diamond.
Transcribed by Mariana Badillo