Liz J. Simpson | A Journey of Self-Discovery Through Sales

Many business owners, especially professional service providers, downright fear selling… or they think of it as a necessary evil.

Liz J. Simpson, founder of B2B sales consultancy Stimulyst, helps them embrace sales – and make it easy and fun.

First, with techniques for changing their attitude. Second, with tools and techniques that anybody can use to boost their business development efforts and land high paying clients… even if you think you’re “bad” at selling.

We also chat about…

  • Overcoming the #1 barrier to selling
  • How to truly get to know yourself – and how it changes your business
  • The unexpected benefits of meditation
  • Controlling the Buyer’s Journey
  • And much more…

Listen now…

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Transcript

Steve Gordon: Welcome to the Unstoppable CEO Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Gordon. And today we’ve got a fantastic interview. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. I’m talking with Liz J. Simpson. She is a self-described millennial, obsessed with all things business and personal growth. After a decades long career in sales, she fled corporate America and really began pursuing fulfillment. And she’s got just a really eclectic journey, which includes writing a book on self-discovery and creating a global domestic violence awareness movement. I think she’ll tell you that she never really expected that journey to bring her right back to where she started, which is in B2B sales. And so she is now the founder of Stimulus, they’re a B2B sales consultancy. She’s helped clients close as much as $2.3 million in new sales in 18 months, all by leveraging authenticity and some business smarts and a consultative sales approach.

So we’re going to have a fun conversation today and we’re going to geek out a little bit on marketing. So hang on for that. Liz, welcome to the Unstoppable CEO. Really glad to have you here.

Liz J Simpson: Excited to be here. We’re going to have some fun. Thank you for having me, Steve.

Steve Gordon: Yeah, this is going to be a good time, at least for us. Hopefully everybody that’s listening will enjoy it, too.

So take us a little bit, before we get started into the marketing stuff. Take us beyond the bio. What got you to this stage? We’ve got a little high-level view, but what really got you to this stage of your career?

Liz J Simpson: Okay, big question. So really, I went to a Big 10 university, found myself in a domestic violence situation where I had to leave college and I was a single mother. So I found myself turning to sales by necessity, as I believe most people with sales career say, most of them identify with the fact that life led them to sales. It wasn’t necessarily the end goal. So I ended up falling into sales and really loved it. It felt, I have a performer mentality sometimes. I felt like I got to meet all different types of people and different personalities.

But after about 10 years in corporate sales, I found something missing. And so I left corporate America and as you talked about in the bio, really became obsessive about neuroscience, peak performance, human behavior. I launched a global domestic violence awareness movement. That was my time to give back, to really fulfill a gap in my life, to really be in service. But then in that time I was brought into a couple of agencies to help advise them on digital marketing and sales and I just really, it was mind blowing for me how many business owners really just had an aversion to business development and sales or really just weren’t being given the tools to really focus on new client acquisition.

So that became my next passion, is I really want to empower entrepreneurs and leaders with the skill sets to go out there and get their money and close high value clients.

Steve Gordon: Yeah, that is a particular challenge. I know that you followed some of our stuff. We write about it all the time because the group of folks that we serve, just they usually got trained to do some type of service that was super high-level training and they’ve got graduate degrees and professional degrees and all of that. But this idea of going out and then having to sell is one that nobody particularly loves, except for the professional salespeople. And that was kind of my journey as well. I came up in the technical background and, and sort of had to learn to really embrace and enjoy it mostly because of the results that it produces.

But yeah, I mean to me that’s a fantastic observation. I think that that people just aren’t, most business owners aren’t tuned in enough to business development. They know they need to do it. They don’t have to know what to do. And we’ll talk some about that. And often they’re not organized in a way that helps them execute on it very effectively. So it just becomes really difficult.

Liz J Simpson: Absolutely. And there’s never been a better time for the specialists to embrace business development, which I’m sure we’ll talk about later.

Steve Gordon: Yeah, absolutely. So clearly, you’ve had kind of an interesting path to get to where you are now. Certainly not the straight line that all the rest of us take.

Liz J Simpson: All you perfect people. No, I’m teasing.

Steve Gordon: Yeah, right. If you believe that I got some swamp land down in Florida.

Liz J Simpson: No, trust me, I’ve spoken to enough people. I understand that all of our journeys are truly eclectic when we start.

Steve Gordon: Well, absolutely. And that’s why my favorite part of the podcast is what we’re about to get into. It’s also the part that we get the most feedback on. I would love for you to share with everybody that’s listening, as you reflect on some of the challenges that you’ve had, what are some of the ways that you’ve used mindset or used habit to really persevere and push through when things weren’t going your way?

Liz J Simpson: Absolutely. What’s interesting is that I stayed in a corporate sales career for 10 because there were things about it that I really loved. But around the time that I left, I was burnt out and I started to believe the narrative of society that it just wasn’t a career to be proud of. And that’s why I left, because I thought leaving that would provide fulfillment. And when I left corporate, as tongue in cheek as it sounds, I realized that I had chased the definition of success. And really when I left corporate America, there are a lot of people in my life that were like, what are you doing? You have this successful life and you’re making all this money and you’re doing these amazing things and you have a lot of flexibility in your career. I was living the facade or appearance of success, but I really was miserable.

And it came down to when I left corporate, I realized I had never spent any time to really get to know who I was. And to this day I believe one of the most important journeys that each of us can take is the journey of self-awareness and the journey of self-discovery, of really truly knowing who you are, what motivates you, what do you want and what does … I always say success is not one size fits all. It’s something that needs to be tailored to who you are as an individual.

So when I look today at my life, the first thing was really just spending the time. I believe Bill Gates talks about think week and how he has think weeks throughout the year. I’m a huge proponent of orthogonal thinking and me time. So weekends where I’m buying six to eight books and I’m just spending a weekend reading and then journaling my thoughts, my insights, what do I think about these things? Meditation was huge, just to really silence the noise because we’re in such a fast-moving society economy, everything’s just changing rapidly. But taking the time with yourself to get to know yourself and to think about what’s happening in business and in life, to really steer the path and make sure that as they say, you’re kind of working on yourself and the business instead of always working in it.

Steve Gordon: I think that alone is, I think, a huge insight. I mean, for those of us running entrepreneurial businesses, we are the business.

Liz J Simpson: Absolutely.

Steve Gordon: Whether we want to admit it or not and whether or not we have a team, at the end of the day, we’re the creator of the business, so it is a reflection of us and by definition then can’t grow beyond our own limits, which are generally opposed. I don’t know about you, but I think one of the most effective ways to get to know yourself is actually being an entrepreneur.

Liz J Simpson: Yeah. You get to know yourself a little bit too well. I don’t think, I mean this journey, one of my favorite quotes is you don’t build a business, a business builds you and I thought that could not be truer. Absolutely. Who you are and how you show up in business. Every day I’m like oh my gosh, it’s mind blowing.

Steve Gordon: Yeah. You learn an awful lot about yourself in the process, which is one of the reasons that that I absolutely love this thing called entrepreneurship that most folks on the planet would never in a million years voluntarily sign up to do. So I think there’s a huge insight and it’s funny, I’m a good bit older than you. I’m not a millennial. I came into the business world in the mid 90s and I grew up in the 80s and back then to talk about meditation, you were like a nut job out. Literally people would look at you like what, where are you from?

And I’m thankful that that’s changed because you mentioned the noise and I think for this kind of a role in life there is so much noise and often your own head can become the sort of echo chamber. So help us understand for you, like how have you used meditation in that way? And for somebody who is hearing this, what are some things that might push them forward to actually start that habit?

Liz J Simpson: Absolutely. And I resonate with what you said. I wrote a book and the time that I left corporate America, I spent a lot of time in solitude and I wrote a book on self-discovery and just spent a lot of time meditating. And even in the book I joke about how I thought it was ludicrous. I’m a high D, I’m a high achiever on my personality profiles. I’m a doer, I’m a get stuff done type personality. And so the idea of sitting quietly in a corner being the answer to all of my prayers, I thought it was hilarious. Until I tried it. And then it was really powerful for me.

So I joke, the first time that I tried meditating, I woke up 20 minutes later with slob on my face because I fell asleep during it.

Steve Gordon: I’ve done that.

Liz J Simpson: I’m like, oh, it’s just nap time. But what I found over time is as I took it seriously is subconscious, just clarity. I don’t have a better way to say it. Complete clarity on direction. A lot of times I would find myself randomly getting answers to things that I was mulling over. Peace, tranquility, confidence, rest. I mean there’s so many benefits if you just, at this point, because it is more of an accepted practice, if you look into the benefits of meditation, I mean everything from reducing stress, chronic ailments, there’s so many benefits of it. And it’s really about, again, finding what works for your lifestyle.

So I’m typically the person that I’ll get up and I’ll spend 15 minutes meditating and then I do a brain dump after my meditation. So I’ll meditate because I’m a thinker and I get tons of thoughts after meditation. So I have to brain dump in a journal. And then from there that kind of clears my head so that I can move forward with my day being. In a business development role, whenever I have presentations or high stress, I’m a speaker, when I have speaking engagements, I’ve found a great practice and making sure I take, sometimes it’s only five minutes of just stillness, quiet to prepare my thoughts for whatever I’m coming up against.

Steve Gordon: You’re right, it doesn’t take long. It’s actually sometimes difficult to do it for very long. And I came across, I was on a plane and downloaded a video a couple of years ago onto my iPad and was watching some of the Tibetan monks go through their meditation practice. And the comment that I’ve kept from watching that, because it wasn’t the most honestly exciting video. But the comment that I kept from that was that the reason they practiced it so much was because even with all that practice, they were still really bad at it, at least by their standards. It’s very difficult to clear your mind of any thought and just have it be free for even a few minutes. And so, yeah, I love that tip. Just five minutes. If that’s all you can get away to clear head, very valuable.

Well, I want to take a quick break and I want to come back Liz and I want to talk about some marketing because we’re going to have some fun with this. So everybody, hang on, we’re going to be right back with more from Liz J. Simpson.

Hey everybody, welcome back. It’s Steve and I’m talking with Liz J. Simpson of Stimulus. Let’s talk some marketing.

Liz J Simpson: Yes.

Steve Gordon: So I know you work with businesses that are selling to other businesses and as you go in and work with a client, what are some of the first things that you notice typically? What are some of the areas where they’re maybe struggling right at the beginning?

Liz J Simpson: Absolutely. Number one barrier is positioning and value proposition. It’s very rare that someone wants to accelerate new client acquisition, has the foundation of a value proposition or positioning that we can run with. So often times when someone wants to increase new client acquisition, acquire new clients, every single time for the most part we’re having to revisit their value proposition and positioning before we can accelerate. Just really making sure we clearly understand the buyer, the value, the impact that they create for business and speaking that buyer’s language first and foremost.

Steve Gordon: Yeah, I will tell you that I think that’s probably about 80% of success in sales and marketing.

Liz J Simpson: Absolutely. That’s the hardest part. I tell people, I’m like, business development practices, sales practices have stood the test of time. What I teach technically isn’t new. The foundations of sales are pretty solid. As you said, 80% of it is knowing your buyer. And then from there the easy part is selling. I can teach you that. Those are simple systems.

Steve Gordon: Well, and if you get the value proposition right or you might describe it as your offer, if you get your offer right, meaning that it’s tuned into what the buyer really wants, at that point the selling becomes pretty easy.

Liz J Simpson: Absolutely. Prospecting is a whole new ballgame and as you know, there’s so many types of ways that you can diversify and monetize what you’re doing with the right value proposition.

Steve Gordon: So let’s dig a little bit deeper on that. So let’s just imagine you’re working with a client, you’re taking them through this process and you’re beginning to look at their value proposition. What are some of the questions? So if somebody’s listening to this as if they were kind of your client sitting across from you, what are some of the questions you would begin asking them to get them thinking the right way about value proposition?

Liz J Simpson: Absolutely. The first question is what’s the business problem that you solve? So for your buyer, what’s the problem you’re solving? So the great thing about your audience and those who are listening is that you guys are experts. So technicians, you have a trade, which means that you have a wealth of business acumen, expertise, you’re specialists at what you do. And oftentimes it’s just having an outsider to be a sponge and absorb that.

So one of the first things that I do is go deep on what’s the business problem that you solve? How does your buyer articulate that problem? We’ll go deeper and will actually qualify and quantify the cost of the status quo. Because in the B2B space, oftentimes your greatest competition isn’t the business down the street. It’s business as usual. It’s them deciding that they don’t want to disrupt what already is.

So being able to understand the problem you solve, qualifying that problem, what does it look like, what are the symptoms of that problem and then quantifying it so that you can understand the true value but the impact that you create for businesses. So that’s just the first question that we dive deep into.

Steve Gordon: Yeah, I think going through that sort of thinking process is, for a lot of experts, that’s difficult to do without having an outsider come in and help you because you have the curse of knowledge, you’re so close to it. You often, and I go through this a lot of times with our clients, they see the world from the perspective of their deliverables, not from the perspective of the result it creates for the client. And I don’t know if you see that as well, but to me that’s a little switch that if you flip it, all of a sudden it makes a world of difference.

Liz J Simpson: Yes. It’s funny that you say that because sometimes it’s like pulling teeth. I mean I’ll do VIP strategy days where we will literally for eight hours work on that problem and I give pre-work beforehand and it’s very difficult, especially because typically technicians are specialists by nature. tend to be very detail oriented. So they’re used to being in the weeds. And so it takes, they talk about outsiders, it takes a good outsider, someone who might be more of a visionary to pull out and take that 30,000 foot view to look and say, okay, this is the domino effect of the impact that you make, this is really how they value it. Because oftentimes, yeah, you have to do that work on your own.

So in business development, when we’re talking about sales processes, I always talk about you can’t take the first answer that a prospect gives you at face value. You really want to get to that third level of why so you can really understand from them what they’re trying to achieve. So oftentimes if you haven’t gone deep in your business development process or if you’re not going deep in your engagements, you may have never heard a client really tell you the value of the impact you’re making. So sometimes it takes doing research, looking at industry publications to really understand what they’re trying to achieve and the value of what you offer.

And so to your point, a lot of times an outside consultant or someone in your network can be a great way to frame that for you and better understand. And also when you talk about us being the business owner, sometimes there are some humility or imposter syndrome that shows up and sometimes we shrink from the massive value that we create for our clients.

Steve Gordon: Yeah, I think without a doubt. But this is so important. Getting this stuff right can really determine you’re going to get paid. It can determine how difficult or how easy it is to sell and acquire clients. And I mean, I think to ignore it just kind of dooms you to having a really difficult business to grow and to run and certainly makes it hard to go out and fetch premium prices.

Liz J Simpson: Absolutely. You become a commodity because you sound like everyone else, you’re using the same language. I mean it’s really sad. It really commoditizes the value that you bring.

Steve Gordon: So all right. With our imaginary client here, you’ve solved the problem of the value proposition and the positioning. So once you’ve got that done, where do you go with them next?

Liz J Simpson: Sure. So once the value proposition is completely done and there’s typically eight questions I ask to nail that down, once we have that done from there it’s mapping out their sales playbook or their business development playbook where again, it’s a deep dive into the buyer. So we are becoming obsessive about understanding our buyer, their world, their symptoms, their language, everything. So the sales playbook or business development playbook is the map to each step of the buyer’s journey. So at the awareness stage, what do we need to provide for them to be aware that our solution might match up to the problem that they’re having?

So there’s typically five, depending on the business, but typically there’s five stages of the buyer’s journey that we’re focused on. And the key in the B2B space, which ties to digital marketing, is that your typical B2B buyer does about 60% of their research and their decision making before they ever raised their hand and announced themselves to you. So the importance of digital marketing is that you have to understand the value, the impact, the buyer’s journey because most of what you’re doing is trying to educate the market before they ever interact with you, right? So helping them to map out that journey and then tie down what assets, collateral, white papers, resources are there are they going to use to educate the market so when that buyer’s doing their 60% of research, they realize that you are one of the prime providers that should be in their top two or three that they explore and have a conversation with.

Steve Gordon: Yeah. And I think it’s just so critical these days to insert yourself there. It used to be that the only way for a potential client to get any information was to get on the phone with you. You controlled so much of that interaction.

Liz J Simpson: Oh Gosh, yes.

Steve Gordon: And now they can sort of wander around the web and be anonymous. And so being intelligent about how you’re putting yourself out there and making sure that you’re doing that in a way that is going to attract the right people is, I think it’s sort of the baseline for being in business these days.

Liz J Simpson: It’s paramount. And there’s such an opportunity because what’s happening in the digital marketing space is that, as you know, the seller used to be in control, as you said. We controlled the information, the journey, marketing, everything. But now the buyer is in complete control and a lot of them have become numb to tongue in cheek tactics, right? So at this point in the B2B space, they are truly looking for value creators and specialists and trusted advisers.

Data and information are everywhere. But what they’re looking for is who do I trust to translate this data into actionable business insights that will create the impact I’m looking for. So with all the data, they want to know who they can trust. I always compare it to a recipe in cooking. There are so many people I can go to on how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. But there’s a couple websites that I trust because I liked their aesthetic. I know if I use the ingredients that they provide, it’s going to create something that is palatable to me and my preference.

So as for experts in this space, I never do hard closes. I never have to do any manipulative heart closes because I show up as a value creator. I show up with my business acumen, I put myself in the shoes of my buyer and by the time we get to the close, I mean it’s a no brainer. It’s like do we want to partner together or not? We can negotiate some of the stipulations, but at this point I’ve created enough value. I understand, I’ve invested so much in your business and understanding your culture that you really don’t want to invest that time anywhere else because you trust me.

Steve Gordon: Yeah. I think this is actually one of the best times for experts, for professionals to be able to sell because now the buyers are doing, this is their behavior, kind of their default behavior and it’s also the most economical time in the history of the planet for you to publish that interpretation of the facts that they’re looking for. Back when I first started in the mid 90s, I mean this is old, old school, I’m so old, we didn’t have the internet when I first started out of college, so it was like a year and then it was the internet in a box.

But for us to publish anything, there were a handful of trade journals. So not a lot of inventory like there is infinite inventory now of publication space. And we couldn’t easily create our own. So you had a network your way in to meet an editor somewhere and hopefully build a relationship them and then create really, really good articles if you wanted to get published and you had to hope that they picked you for that particular issue. And if you got one article published a year, you were doing pretty good in that particular publication, you know? And so if you were in a B2B space where there are only two or three trade journals, there just wasn’t that much that you could do there unless you worked your way into getting a column. And that was usually pretty challenging.

Fast forward now and you can create your own media platform and share your wisdom with your little part of the world. It gives you a huge advantage. And I love what you said at the end where you don’t have to ever hard close anyone. To me this now makes sales easy and accessible for all of us normal human beings that weren’t born to sell.

Liz J Simpson: Absolutely.

Steve Gordon: I saw us a say a statistic, I don’t know, probably 15 years ago there about 4% of the population are just born, they have naturally gifted, they’re personalities wired to sell. The other 96% of us, we have to figure it out more.

Liz J Simpson: It’s a learned skill set. And I tell people that all the time because when I left corporate, I was burnt out from sales and really digital marketing is what made me fall back in love with sales because I just realized it changed the game. Now, I don’t have the same story as you for sure. But when I started my career in sales, I’ve done everything from door to door and call centers and I was horrible at it. I’m a product of Fortune 50 companies investing a lot of money where I would go off for training for six weeks. So, I mean I’ve been heavily invested in. And 13 years later, I think I’m fairly okay with it where I can teach it, but I’m learning every day.

But to your point, I mean, it blows my mind the skills, the opportunity, the resources that individuals have now to grow a business. Just that person who started off in sales to your point where I had no way of finding the decision maker. I mean, I have so much fun on LinkedIn these days. I mean, you can be connected to anyone. And when you talk about digital resources, there are so many tools that make it easy for you. I mean, one tool I use is the Link Match, which connects with my pipe drive. So when I’m on LinkedIn, there’s a X if I’m not connected with someone. And if I see someone on LinkedIn who might be a good prospective client for me to explore, all I have to do is click one button, it populates pipe drive and then now that person is added as a prospect in my pipeline.

Sometimes I’ll look at job boards and see someone’s hiring business development and then I’ll find them on LinkedIn and say hey, I see you’re hiring a business development role. Is any way I can support you in that? There are so many ways to get close to your buyer regardless of their job title and to authentically build a relationship. And because of all the spam in the marketplace, where there’s a lower barrier to entry, you get all types of business people. But again, we are looking for authentic connection with trusted advisors. So if one, you can do the work of digging deep and truly understanding the problem you solve and the impact, and then if you can translate that into a value proposition and messaging that resonates with your buyer, you cut through the noise immediately. And regardless of what format you use, now you can really leverage digital, digital to get front and center with any of your buyers.

And the last thing I’ll add to that is that in the space that I operate in, which is mostly professional services firms, consultants, B2B, service-based businesses, most of my clients don’t need thousands of clients. They need normally 25 to 100 clients to really catapult their business. So we talk about positioning, that going deep doesn’t mean going small. It’s just you’re going narrow and you’re being very targeted in your approach. And by doing so, you get so much a higher value clients to make, it’s a game changer for business completely.

Steve Gordon: Well, and not only that, it’s just easy.

Liz J Simpson: It is.

Steve Gordon: Comparison, I mean, so much easier. I always joke that when you start off a business, you have two criteria for who looks like a good prospect. They have a heartbeat and a wallet.

Liz J Simpson: Some people are just looking for a heartbeat.

Steve Gordon: Right. Yeah. I like them to have a wallet though. I do like to eat. But when you begin to go from that definition, and that definition is problematic because you know I used to work a lot with financial advisers and still work with some, and for them literally every adult that’s employed is a potential client. And so they could walk through the supermarket and it’s like prospecting city right there for them. Except that there are all of these things that wouldn’t be really a good fit for them.

And so when you start to focus in like you’re advocating and you get really specific, the job of attracting clients becomes so much easier because you now are talking to a specific group of people and it’s a small specific group and you can identify their qualities. It just becomes infinitely easier when you do that. But I don’t know about you, a lot of business owners, you have to drag to that kicking and screaming.

Liz J Simpson: It’s scary for a lot of business owners. Going back to positioning and why it’s the first step. I’m a huge fan of strategy leaders like Tim Williams or Peter Drucker, people of that nature, and they talk about how strategy is more about what you’re not going to do what you will do. And so if you believe in strategy and if you understand the importance of strategy for a sound business, then you have to understand strategy is about creating scarcity in order to position yourself. It’s more about saying no. They talk about, Seth Godin I believe has the quote where he talks about what makes a great museum isn’t about what’s on the wall. It’s about what’s not on the wall. And so in order to cure rate a great museum, it’s editing out all of the things that you’re not going to allow.

And so sometimes it’s really hard for people to really embrace that. But if you can really focus on who you’re best called to serve. And in the B2B service space, there’s a phenomenal business case for it because I challenge each one to talk about profitability. The time it takes to wrap your head around every engagement for businesses of all different sectors, there’s a cost to that and it’s eating at your profitability. But if you focus on the avatar, you get deep domain expertise, you gain countless insights where then it becomes more about replication and the whole point of being an expert is so that you’re more profitable and you’re not trading time for dollars.

And the other prediction that I boldly make is I think digital is going to disrupt the generalists. When you look at buyer behaviors, when you look at the fact that voice search is only becoming more and more popular, people are not going to go to Google and search for a generalist. They’re going to be very specific in their voice search of I’m looking for a leadership consultant in the manufacturing space who solves this problem and you’re not going to be able to compete.

Steve Gordon: Yeah. I completely agree. And to me, that’s incredible news though. Incredible news. It’s really difficult to be a small fish in an ocean. But it’s really profitable to be the big fish in a puddle.

Liz J Simpson: And it’s so easy.

Steve Gordon: It is. It’s really easy. And for most of the folks who would listen to this, you’re absolutely right. They don’t need 1,000 clients this year.

Liz J Simpson: No.

Steve Gordon: To have a phenomenal year. I’ll never forget, I talked with one guy a couple of years ago and we didn’t end up working together, just wasn’t the right fit, but he had only had over the previous two years one meeting with a potential client on average per quarter. And I guess the business was operating, he had some existing client base, but that was an extreme example. But I talk to businesses all the time that aren’t having more than a couple of those meetings a month. And so you don’t have to, so much of what’s written online, and this is one of the things that’s really frustrating, at least in our world of marketing, is that you see all of these zero to a billion dollar case studies out there like fell asleep half drunk on Friday night and Sunday morning and they were a billionaire. Wow. What did he drink?

And so that stuff gets glorified and I think it’s distracting because for most of us in business, we need like a consistent way to make base hits month in and month out. And if we can keep making base hits, we’re going to have a phenomenal business that’ll go for a really long time, serve us well, serve our families as well, and do good in the world. And I love that that’s kind of what you’re sharing. I think it’s just such an important message.

So how about before we wrap up, a practical tip that somebody can take away? So like if you’re working with a client, what’s one of the very simple practical things that you would give them to go do to help them kind of get organized and keep moving forward and improve their sales?

Liz J Simpson: Absolutely. So I’m passionate about activity-based selling. So as they say, what you focus on is what shows up for you. And myself included as an entrepreneur, it’s really easy to be caught up in being busy and thinking that you’re being productive. So I teach every single one of my clients to focus on income producing activities. So look at structuring your week and chunk your calendar. So if you know you’re really busy, I typically for a client that I’m just getting their head wrapped around business development will say choose two days a week that you will commit two hours non-negotiable to income producing activities. So that might be Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM to 11:00. And for income producing activities that could be prospecting, that could be sales presentations, proposals, but they have to be very focused, intentional efforts that are going to move the needle taking from a prospect to a client. Because to your point, it’s very easy to let months pass by think you’re busy and then I’ll come in as an outsider and audit your time and realize none of that actually was moving the needle for any new clients to come into the business.

So if I could have you take one habit, commit to four hours a week that you are focused on business development activities and growing your business.

Steve Gordon: Yeah, that’s fantastic advice. And thank you for sharing it. And Liz, thanks for investing a little bit of time with me today. It’s been fun and I’m glad we had the opportunity to connect like this. I think it’s been, I hope it’s been really educational for everybody listening. We could probably go on for hours on the topic and have a really good time. So before we wrap up, how can everybody find out more about the work that you’re doing? Where can they connect with you?

Liz J Simpson: Absolutely. So Liz J. Simpson, I’m on LinkedIn, Instagram, they can always text revenue to 444999. I’m a millennial so I have a text opt in if you want to join me there. And Steve, I love what you’re doing, podcasting for business development. I’m such a fan, so thank you for building this platform to educate all of us.

Steve Gordon: Yeah, I know. This is funny. This is my fun work. This is a Friday afternoon as we record. This is the way I get to end my week, so it’s a blast and thanks for being here and thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.

Liz J Simpson: My pleasure.