Steve Gordon | The Two Kinds of Prospects

You’re ready to grow your businessand that means more clients. But if you just go out into the world and are willing to take on anyone with money who will hire you… you’re going about it all wrong. 

Sure, you might make some money in the short-term, but you won’t have sustainable growth. 

Instead, you should be very clear on who your ideal client is and then find specific people who fit the profile. Might sound daunting, but…  

There are some very effective ways to use that strategy— which should inform your marketing, your sales conversations, and everything else— that are actually not too difficult to implement. We get into detail on how to do that, including… 

  • How to showcase your true value in your marketing messages
  • The factor that is more powerful than referrals when identifying potential clients
  • Ways to leverage common ground you have with your sales prospects
  • Using technology in unexpected ways to make your prospecting even more effective
  • And more

Listen now…

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Steve Gordon: Welcome to the Unstoppable CEO podcast! I’m your host, Steve Gordon, and we’ve got a special episode for you today. I’m again stealing a little bit of content from the other podcast that I do, called the Advisor Inner Circle, with my buddy John Curry. And if you haven’t checked that one out, it’s primarily geared for people who are in the financial services industry. But we spent a lot of time going deep on sales topics, and most of the time they apply to any business. And so if you’re looking to improve your sales, you might want to go check that podcast out at

But today, I’m going to share with you an episode that we recorded and released recently on prospecting, and John and I go deep into some things that are I think, really practical that a lot of us probably know and learned at one point, but we forgot about. But we’re also going to go deep into some things that maybe you haven’t thought about before. And so as you listen to this, the context is around financial services. However, the techniques that we talk about apply to virtually every business and sometimes some of the best ideas that I ever find come from a different industry. And so I think you’ll get a lot from it.

And what I’d like for you to do is listen to this and look for ways that you can adapt it and apply it in your business. And I hope it helps you. So stay tuned. Here’s that episode.

John, good morning. Welcome to the show.

John Curry: Good morning, Steve. Looking forward to this.

Steve: Yeah, I’m excited about it. We just came from one of our regular breakfast meetings. And we had some great brainstorming that I think it’s just going to carry over into this episode. We were talking about how to engage and reach out to prospects that you don’t know. And it’s funny how you and I seem to are thinking, for whatever reason is so aligned, we’re always running on these parallel tracks, because we show up at breakfast, and I’ve got my agenda, you’ve got your agenda. And invariably, we’re on the same topic. And this morning, it was much like that. And so I think this is going to be a particularly useful episode for folks. No matter where you are in your career. If you’ve got to reach out to prospects that you don’t know, and you need a way to do that, I think you’re going to get some things out of this. I’m looking forward to it’s gonna be fun.

Two Kinds Of Prospects

John: I agree totally. And I think it’s going to be fun, because, as I’ve told you, many times, there are only two kinds of prospects and who are those?

Steve: The ones you know, and the ones you don’t know?

John: That’s right. There are only two kinds. The ones you know and the ones you don’t know, and the key has to be… and I’ll always say this in some form every time… the key is you have to take care of the people you choose to serve. And always treat them properly and ethically. At the same time, you deserve to make as much money as the marketplace is willing to pay you.

So if you bring value take good care of those people that you know or don’t know that you deserve to make as much as the universe as you earn. So with that in mind, let’s share with the folks what we did this morning and I’m gonna take your lead on it because I’m just gonna chill here for a minute.

Steve: Well, so I think for a little bit of background so you came this morning and said, You know, I’m ready to go to another level which every time you say that I’m always looking at you like… aren’t you at a pretty high level already? But then you go to another level and you came and sat down and said, “You know, I want to double my business.” I think you said specifically your annuity business already. And that’s a big number. And, and so you wanted me to help you kind of figured out how to do that. And it’s funny, I was kind of on that line myself. For us. It’s, if we can pull it off, which I think is achievable, it actually triple our business. But we don’t need that many new clients to do that.

And where we both were ending up was on what one of our mutual mentors Chet Holmes would call the Dream 100 process. With our clients, we call it the Target 100 process. It’s the same idea. And it really is about getting very specific about who you want to do business with making a list. I mean, knowing them by name, and I think that’s John, I think that’s a big mistake a lot of folks have is they go out to the marketplace, and they don’t have anything really specific in mind. And so I think the first part of this is, is being specific about what you want and who you want to work with. You know, I describe it when I’m giving presentations.

As you know, imagine if you went in into the grocery store Use the standard criteria that most people have for who they want to do business with, they got to meet two qualifying criteria, a heartbeat, and a wallet. And everybody in the grocery store qualifies based on that definition. So how do you know who to go talk to? So you got to be a little bit more specific than that. So I think it starts with knowing who you want to work with, but then how you’re going to reach out to them and there are a lot of different ways that you can do that. And, and I think it’s a, it’s a more confusing challenge right now than it’s ever been because there are about a million different ways you can market today.

A Wallet & A Heartbeat

John: Alright let me jump in on that. Because based on those two things, you said, somebody’s got a wallet, and a heartbeat, okay. And then the challenge is about marketing and finding people that you can serve the person who has a heartbeat. You don’t know if they have a strong heartbeat or a poor heartbeat. So if you’re selling life insurance, just because they got a heartbeat doesn’t mean they’re a good, healthy prospect, right? Just because they have a wallet doesn’t mean they’re willing to hand that wallet or the contents, they’re up to you.

So you have to have some message, the guest stops them in their tracks and they go work. This person has something of value, they can create value for me, I’m willingly and you can see that they can, I am willingly reaching into my pocket, taking out my wallet and handing it to you. Because you have something of value that I am willing to write a check for. That’s what we are in the job we’re doing, folks, it’s showing people that we bring so much value that they will write a check, or whatever they need to write the check to get us.

Steve: Absolutely. So talk for a minute about building that list because I think that’s the first step in this. It’s really going to be difficult to be successful with the things that we’re going to get into. If you can’t figure out how to build that list you’ve been doing. For a long time, John and I know who you put on that list over the years has probably evolved a number of times.

John: It has, it has so so gone way back to September 13 of 1975 the people on that list for people that I because I knew two people in jail. Well, I knew I knew my mother and my brother, and I knew my uncle and his wife. So I guess for me so I started by literally, I would go to the pipe shop, pipe tobacco shop, and I would chat with people there, introduce myself get their name we chit chat, and I would ask him in front of one. So as a form of a cold call, if you will, in a warm place, and we had a common interest cigars or pipes. And I learned at an early age, ripe age of 22 years old at that time, to engage in a conversation to get people to tell me something about themselves. Tell them about me and that would lead to you at some point we should get together.

Didn’t have cell phones back in 1975 didn’t have computers in 1975. So I still carry around my little notepad and a pen to this day and I would write down their name and phone number call. So the list then was whoever I got to know from personal observation. And folks, I would encourage you to write those two words down the personal observation. Because they’re more powerful than referrals. They’re more powerful than a list that you buy because the keyword says it all personal. You know, then they know you even if it’s only briefly, but that’s where it started originally, Steve. And then over the years, I just kept adding people’s names to my list, and I didn’t take them off the list.

Steve: Let’s talk about that. Because when we were at breakfast this morning, you made a comment that you thought personal observation was one of the most powerful prospecting tools you’d ever used was more powerful and more important than referrals. Any, any other thing that you’ve done and you’ve done a lot of different forms of prospecting?


John: Actually, what I said was, I thought it was the most powerful now one of the most powerful. Because when I go to a function, let’s just use two examples. Well, three examples, Rotary Club, I go to rotary and I see someone that I haven’t talked with in a while I will meet with, I can walk right over and say, Steve, nice to see you. We haven’t talked in a long time. Let’s have breakfast one morning. So sit down, we’ll talk about such and such. So I don’t want inside your family’s economic club.

So I’m either looking for people that I want to nurture the relationship or starting, sometimes I say, hey, I’d like to interview you on my podcast on the Secure Retirement Podcast. I know wherever I am. I’m going number one because I enjoy being there because of these various speakers and being around people that I like to hang out with. So for me, the personal observation is you know me, I know you I know a little bit about you. It’s not like a cold where I got to sit there and get to know you. If I may if I say a rotary, we have rotary in common, economic love we have that income. Because at a Boy Scout meeting because when they remember insulin, we have that in common. So it makes sense

Steve: Completely. Makes things simpler, doesn’t it?

John: Makes things simpler and makes things more fun because now I’m not only trying to grab you by the neck and wrestle you to the ground was serious up in the conversation starts where we have common interests, a common bond. And if the chemistry is right, guess what? It’s just a matter of time before we get together and have a discussion. Now, you may not do business with me. The likelihood is very high that you will over time if I keep in touch and I’m not a jackass and try to high pressure you found just nice and polite and be a professional then, once you know who I am what I do.

At some point, you’ll probably say, you know, john, it’s time to talk about my retirement. The client came in yesterday. He has term insurance with me a term policy 500,000 return policy from rotary your time I saw not interested in talking will last Tuesday at rotary. He reached out to me. Is it last week? So we booked lunch in a moment. So he came in yesterday. He says, Now I’m ready to start talking about my retirement. I need help. So he’ll pay a $3,000 fee. And then we’ll move over with the planning.

Steve: So, I want you to help us with two objections that I think are probably in the minds of the people listening. And so the first one is, that’s great, but I haven’t been in my community in business for 45 years like you have and I don’t know all the people that you know, so how do I make a living? How do I get success? How do I reach those high levels of the industry like you have done this?

John: I did back in 1975. I moved to Tallahassee, October ’74. Steve I loaded in milk trucks and borders dairy had to go in at 1:30 in the morning live big old semi-truck with cases of milk, and then I went to Tallahassee Community College in the daytime. And I worked. I did that for a year. And luckily, they chose not to let me go into the milk route, have my own milk route because I want to get into sales. And I got angry and quit. And I was approached about selling insurance. And I did that. I’m glad I did. But I knew no one. So no matter where I was if I was at the school campus, if I was at a grocery store, or if I was at the pipe shop, wherever I was, I made sure that I engage in the conversation with people because it was easy to like people.

So it was one on one. I’d never heard of direct marketing back then I’d never heard about direct mail his stuff. So it was all one win to win and I made very few cold calls. I’ll share with you this morning a breakfast where we would do the dialing for dollars on Sunday night. And the manager assistant, we just picked 10 names out of the phone book and call. He was pushing us to stretch our limits. And that particular night, all 10 people agreed to see me. And ultimately five of those 10 became clients. I never had that happen again. I might make 10 calls and get one appointment if I was lucky, maybe two on the high side, but it was just Beginner’s luck, I guess. And it just happened, you know, and two of those were big, whopping $25,000 face a month policy, which was humongous back in 1975 and 76. For us anyway, that is one step at a time. I didn’t and I’ll come back in a minute. If you want to dig deeper, that use a word form to help people be reminded of it is easy to go find those people if you have a process.

Steve: Okay, so once that at a time, I think that’s good advice. And it didn’t take you very long after that to get to the point where you were producing at a high level. Because you were you were producing it at MDRT levels. Within a few years, not too many years after that, correct?

John: It took me five years. I qualified for the MDRT in 1980 attended my first meeting in New York City in 1981. So it took me five, which took four and a half years to be exact.

Steve: Okay. All right. So that’s one objection. And we can go deeper into that. But the other objection that I think is, is out there is well, that’s great if you’re marketing to a local area, and I frankly, I gave you this one this morning, we work with businesses all over the country. In fact, you’re my only client here in town. So doing personal observation around here. doesn’t really do me a whole lot good. And I can’t go observe and we’ve got advisor clients that are in that same boat where they’re selling regionally, or nationally, far outside their local area. And that observation is difficult.

John: Actually, you can do observation and it’s even better and easier now because of the technology we’re utilizing right now, you can go find out anything you want about anybody in this country in a matter of minutes. Okay, that’s personal observation. I am, I’m going to shut you down. I’m gonna find some common interests and I’m gonna find a way either to get an introduction to you. If I can’t find someone to introduce me, introduce myself. And here, guys, let’s say some email or phone call. That matter, same script.

Steve. My name is John Curry. I’ve been following you. I admire your work. I was looking for someone to introduce us. I couldn’t find that person. So I’m taking a direct approach. I’d like to have a chat with you, I think we might be able to do some business together. If we have that chat. Are you open to a 10-minute conversation with me? Now, what person can refuse that? If they’re trying to make money. They’re an idiot if they say no to that.


Steve: Yeah.

John: It’s like going to chamber commerce. I’ll call somebody who’s a chamber I said, I said, Steve, John Curry here. We’re both members of Chamber of Commerce I’m calling to see if we can do some. Somewhat? Commerce, of course

Steve: Sort of removes all of the stress out of that situation, doesn’t it?

John: It does, they have a laugh and a good time, they chuckle, and they say, yeah, I’d be a fool not to chat with you, at least.

Steve: So this morning, we were both again, kind of on this parallel track, about how do we go engage prospects that we don’t know. And, you know, and so we’ve talked about some pretty basic ways to do it. But you and I are looking at ways where we can create a system a process so that we’re very consistent and very intentionally reaching out to hand-selected specific types of prospects. And in your case, that’s likely members of the Florida retirement system. In our case, that’s, you know, clients that our prospects that are in certain industries and certain sizes, that we’re going to go build a list around. And I want to break that down a little bit. So you want to kind of begin and give us a little bit of an overview of how because you’ve done this for years, this isn’t new. You’ve been doing this for years, you want to give a little bit of an overview before we dive into the details?

John: I’d be happy to have two distinct markets. So don’t people listen to this, understand that you probably have more than one market. No more than three, I think two or three so you can stay focused, but all of my market marketing has one common theme, and that is preparing for a secure retirement. So if you’re a business owner, Steve, as you are and you sold your business for 10 years In bucks, you got to do something with that $10 million in order to have a secure retirement. So it could be retirement money. It could be money from a business, it could be inherited money. I don’t care where the money comes from. But we talked on another episode, I’m looking for people who have the mindset to prepare for a secure retirement, which means they are concerned about protecting what they’ve got first. That’s number one.

Number two, money is either in motion now or will be soon. Now it could be 10 years down the road, this emotion if I know that now, what have I got? I’ve got a 10-year runway to make sure that when the time comes that I’m the guy. So only business 10 years from now, just like a wheel today. So that’s the first thing I would say. And then along the way, all the years of doing is I’ve done everything from mailing a handwritten note to someone and then make a phone call. I’ve done direct mail pieces that didn’t have your name on it. So you Dear Mr. Jones, in addition, So dear friend, one of my best clients came from the mountain like that back in May of 1979. And but we still talk on a regular basis Good one. And he responded to a mortgage life insurance lead to cover the mortgage on his home. And it shocked me because this guy back then might have made all here as an attorney, but he had a mortgage and it just happened short right jam, he called. And we did this. So the concept is simple. You can pick up cell phone and call people. Most of us won’t do that because we’re fearful. So we will mail them something to soften the call.

It comes down to your personal style. I’m of the opinion in today’s environment, you’re better off sending something for me I like to send postcards. Why? Because they’re quick and easy. You can throw it away at least you have to look at it as you’re flipping it away. You saw the picture, those bars and then make the call The postcards, email letters, newsletters. Yeah, you’re mastering these newsletters. Now. We’ll talk about that sometime during a presentation here today because I’m not as consistent with newsletters as you been, but I’ll send at least two or three a year, but the restaurant pretty much postcards and emails

Steve: Yeah we built this business just off of a, an email newsletter, frankly. But for a long time, we did a printed newsletter, we actually charged folks hundred bucks a month for it and had people pay it to be on our newsletter list and some of the most powerful marketing we’ve ever done. Those people I can look at our current client list, and about 50% of our current clients. Were subscribers to that newsletter at one time or another. And, and so yeah, it’s really really powerful.

John: Take something I think you should do. I think you should explain to our listeners, our audience here, how you and I connected because there’s a valuable lesson they’re talking about doing prospecting. So you want to share that story?

Steve: Gosh, you probably remember better than I do. Did we connect through rotary or through marketing?

John: Through David Ferguson. Not Ferguson, I’m going blank now, the Vistage group.

Steve: That’s right. David Loveless, right. That’s right. I forgot. That’s where we first met. Yeah, I was in a CEO. peer group called Vistage. And he was the chair and right. He brought you in as a guest or speaker. Something and we met at one of those meetings.

John: It was a breakfast meeting. That’s where I met you and Marjorie at the breakfast, the orientation to bring in new people. And we met, we hit it off and on our dear friend, Marjorie is like a sister to us. And we just had a conversation and we said, hey, let’s follow Have to breakfast one day we did. And then you became my very dear friend, we’ve been through hell together. And you became my client, I became your client. And it’s just been a beautiful nurturing relationship ever since just because I accepted an invitation to go to breakfast. And then where we next? Multiply that was that I was invited to attend your meeting. It was a special meeting that you had a guest speaker and David invited me to come in. And that’s where you and I sat together and talk some more that that’s what about so that the lesson here is when you go to something, I would encourage you don’t go just because you want to sell something good because you want to meet new people. And you’re doing things that are important to you. And you’re energized by it, and the business will come.

Steve: Yeah, without a doubt. I mean, it all comes ultimately from the people, doesn’t it? It’s all about people. I mean, everybody that’s listening to this is selling something that people need. And they don’t maybe know that they need it. They don’t maybe know why they need it or how it will work in their lives. But if you put yourself around the right people and then create, and this is I think part of what we’re going to get into and then create a system to stay in those lives consistently over time until they get to a point where they’re ready to make a move. You can’t help but be successful. And yeah, that’s one of the things john, you said a minute ago.

You know, you might meet somebody and they may have money in motion in 10 years. And that’s perfectly fine with you. Because you’ll figure out a way to stay in touch and we’ll figure out a way you have a system in place. I would, I would submit that One of the reasons that you tend to outperform a lot of folks who are in bigger markets where there’s on the surface, more opportunity, more wealth in the community, more people, more prospects, all of that is simply because you’ve created that system. And where I think a lot of people get a little bit scared is they’ll, they’ll say, Well, yeah, I’ll make I made that contact, but he’s not ready to do anything for 10 years, and then they don’t have a system in place to stay in that person’s life over time in a way that doesn’t take you a lot of time.

John: Correct. Correct. And so the power today of automation, you know, back when I started 45 years ago, it was a write your name down on the index card, put her in alphabetical file box, and then follow up occasionally, and use one card system that anybody in the service business knows about that algorithm created. So every six months you touch base, but today, you can use automation for that. But one thing we’ve gotten away from you’ve talked about this morning, that’s some of the people on your team that for some people on my team, they’re fearful of the telephone. This is like some big monster gonna jump out and eat them that they picked the damn phone. So we want to send out emails and do everything but talk to people. Now just pick up the phone. So they say, John’s career or great things about you. Let’s visit you know, I want to circle back on something you said a moment you said two words that I use every day. Almost every moment probably.

If I went back and checked and had a recording, I bet every interview comes up the need and what I submit to you that if you have the courage to say, you know what, you don’t really need me. You don’t really need life insurance. You don’t need annuities. You don’t need disability insurance. You don’t need all that. But if you’re interested, I’ll share with you why you might want them because you’re already thinking you don’t need it. And you thought you’re gonna tell me I don’t need that. You will say I don’t want it which you say I don’t need it. And I like to have them as well. You don’t need it. You don’t need me. Truth is I’ll make it you know I’m not looking for a sale today I’m doing just fine thank you very much. So So we’ve already agreed we’ll meet each other let’s find out if we want each other. What do you see people’s lives good about the size of a saucer-like a What do you mean? Well, would you like to explore the conversation?

Let’s just have a conversation see where it goes in the conversation will either like each other want to meet again or we don’t we’ll say goodbye. Let’s talk about need versus one. ‘m gonna pick on you and tell him I’m gonna pick on me Really? Don’t tell him what you did. Remember that then whenever? I do, yeah, I’m watching this and I had gone and bought a very expensive just the strap was like 200 and something bucks. So we’re walking down the street and I’m sure and it was Steve on our way to dinner. From one of your mastermind groups and I’m explaining his thesis john. You don’t have to explain, rationalize or justify. You want it because you want it and I was intrigued so sat down and had a cocktail before dinner as okay. If you get my face out there on the streets of expanding on this you will share with me how that came up and what you said.

Steve: I actually got frustrated. We stopped walking down the street I got your face and I just said shut up. The only reason for you to have that thing because it was a watch. I don’t know if you want to share what kind of watch it was but…

John: It was a watch strap is a Rolex watch and I went and bought a rubber strap for there was like 200 and almost 400 bucks and I didn’t need it, but I wanted it.

Steve: Well and you had a few months before that bought that gold Rolex.

For you to know what a lot of people would consider a lot of money. Probably could buy car for that and you had deliberated over whether or not you should buy that watch for several months and I finally just got fed up and said the only reason to have that thing was to stop justifying it stops you know making you know, rationalizing it and just admit that you want it and be okay with that. And I think that’s powerful.

John: Yeah, that was two parts it was the watch itself which was rather expensive but then the strap later but what came out of that for me folks, is when I catch myself trying to explain justify rationalize, I remember that I go, it happens this week rotary watch I’m wearing right now the guy says curry, you don’t need that. Watch. I know you get a few of the gold watches one world you bought another watch and I said I don’t need it. But I want it. Therefore I have it. And he’s like, Well, okay, then. So shut it down. So when people start telling you what They need or don’t need. So you don’t need it. courses. Do you want it as far as people in your tracks?

Steve: Well, this is I think this is really powerful in, in a sales conversation, because we all get trained and the fact that we’ve got this solution and people need it, right?

John: Yes.

Steve: We all do. I, you know, I used to watch folks in engineering, which is the industry I came from and under business and for a long time, and you go to the association meetings and there, you know, be people who were just aggravated that, that, you know, clients or clients were developers at the time that clients needed to do things this way or needed to do that. And they just be up in arms over, you know, I mean, someone wanted to go and legislate stuff, literally pass laws, make them do it this way. And, and I just kind of looked at it like, well, maybe there’s a reason they don’t want to do it. Right. And maybe those reasons, okay. And I think if you when you come at something or come to someone with, you need this, you need this, you need this. If you know, it’s almost like you’re trying to be the parent and a grown-up need a parent, they’re going to bristle at that most people are okay. They don’t want to be told they need something because what that immediately does it throws them into what our coach Dan Sullivan would call the gap.

John: Let me say this, uh, here’s something Dan says I love this along this. I’ve heard him say go first encountered him back in 1994 when I was in this program, and because of our relationship going back into coaching September to that. He talks about their 7.2 billion people on the planet roughly 7.2 billion. He said, everybody there needs us ever. Everyone knows people need financial services. Got a newsflash for you folks. The majority of don’t want us and they’re not sitting around just waiting for us to call. They can’t. They’re not saying the first thing I want is a cup of coffee and John Curry calling me and selling me a whole bunch of annuities of life insurance and disability insurance, this long term care… I hope today is the day he calls. They don’t even know my name. They don’t care.

Steve: They don’t think that, I woke up just this morning thinking.

John: Well, now your nose is growing like a Nokia. But here’s the thing though, our job is to accept the fact Yes, everyone needs us. Everyone needs our product. But the minute that you can then follow quick aside but I know the majority don’t want me and don’t take it personally. Then you create you set to the task of creating a way of making them want you and what you have and that is what is called marketing or selling. So if you create your message to where it stops them in their tracks, I go, Wait a minute. my subconscious just told me the RAS, the particular activating system, the base of your brain says, Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute.

You’ve been thinking about this for a long time to secure retirement thing you’ve been worried about to stop accounts dropping many. Your interest rates are low. Oh, the message message message alert, alert, listen to it. You got to do it. You got to create messages where it stops people quickly and then they pause long enough that you can engage in the conversations to even it goes full circle back to what we’re talking about this morning. about developing that dream 100 list that Chet homes always talked about. You don’t need a universal people just 100 if you just had 100 would you share the story from his book about what he did? I think

Steve: So he built a list of of I think he was in the publishing industry or something because we’re Buffett’s partner, so an ad space in magazines, right? And they made a list of the hundred advertisers that they wanted to have in the magazine. And he put together a 12-month campaign. So every month, he sent him something a little bit unique. What you and I would call 3d mail. In other words, it wasn’t just a letter, there was some trinket in there that gave the envelopes in bulk and made people think, well, there must be something in here that I actually need to pay attention to. And he had some fun with it, you know, so he’d send him a Rubik’s cube and have the letter themed around, you know, you might be puzzled or something.

And there’s a whole series up and he just relentlessly mailed and called and mailed and called these hundred prospects, and I believe he ended up doing business with about 50% of them. I recall, it was much higher percent modified show a good day. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book, but you know, We’re, that’s one of the one of the things that we teach our clients, john, is that, you know, because all this internet marketing stuff is a can be a real distraction. There’s a place for it, but it can be a real distraction. Most people think that now because I have access to the internet, I really need to go out market all 7.2 billion people that you just mentioned, right? But for businesses like ours, where you’re selling something that’s expensive, that’s probably high profit. If you’ve got 100 of the right people right now, and you work that list, and then as you close people, you add another one on and you are constantly working a list of 100 you may never need anything else. You can ignore all these other distractions. That’s all you need. You can build an incredible practice.

John: Just with that. Absolutely. And what I was sharing with your breakfast this morning is I want three dream winners on one of my top one Hundred clients 100 people on the marketing list that I pursue, and then 100 that are people that I know from various activities at him with the economic club, rotary Tiger bank, whatever. I’m starting now just every time I see the membership directory or the listing of it, or I’m in the room, okay, is that a person that I want to find out? If they should be on my dream 100 lists.

And I don’t know until I have a conversation with now, I may have the conversation and we decided not a good fit. Well, they come off and I have no, but that’s the stuff that I’m working on. And you’re right. In my case, I’m gonna have my three list put together I’ve got only 300 people to worry about. Now, don’t get me wrong. The rest of my team will take care of the other thousands. We’ve got we got 5000 people just on our email list that I’m talking about elevating that to where the people that I personally want to engage with at a high level. Well, I can manage 100-200-300 I can’t manage 3000-5000.

Steve: Yeah, it’s too many. Now you can get through 3000 over time, yes, but you got to take them in focus groups. So john, I know we’re about out of time, I want to I want to start bringing this to a close. One of the places where people get tripped up is building the list. And I want to talk a little bit about that. So you’ve already mentioned personal observation, as the most powerful way to build that list. And so folks, as you’re observing people that you want to be in your market to the extent you can do that, you you put them into a database and the spreadsheet somewhere, get them into a list. If they’re not in a list that you can review on a regular basis, you’re gonna have a hard time making any of this work. But if you don’t have that, if you’ve got to go build a list cold that now is easier than it’s ever been. So john, I was sharing with you a breakfast one of the things we do for our clients is when they run out of people That, you know, they’ve got your in their database already, or that they’ve found through personal observation, we’ve got researchers on our team will go out will take their ideal client definition, and we’ll go out and build a list for them.

And it’s easy for you to go get that kind of thing done these days. You know, you need to have a clear picture of who your ideal client is. And that’s one of the reasons first thing we do with people before they can even become a full client with us, we take them through a planning process, much like you do called the growth audit, where we, we get clear on who their ideal client is. So they have that definition. But then you can go build a list from that once you know who that ideal client is. Very easy to do, very easy to validate through, you know, things like LinkedIn, and Facebook and all these other tools. You don’t even have to necessarily have to use those to reach out but you can use them to understand more about those people. To better qualify them, make sure you’ve got the right list. And then once you’ve got them on the list, then there’s all kinds of ways you can reach out and today we were talking about, you know, each of us we’re working on building campaigns or combination of direct mail and, and phone calls, and email and, and so maybe in another episode John, we can talk a little bit about how that flows. But the first thing is you got to start building that list and that’s got to be a part of what you do. Every week that you’re you’re thinking about adding people to.

John: Let’s address that real quick from another angle. Everybody listening to this is involved as some group organization, there’s a directory. I wouldn’t I don’t encourage you just to mass mail them been directory, but you can take that directory and I just did it. This is Friday, right Tuesday with the leadership Tallahassee directory. There are hundreds of names before how many years 32 years now. I just took a yellow highlighter, Steve, I just started going through because like I said, all this week I’ve been working on this dream 100 things. So I just sort of how many people I don’t hang up how to say for that matter. Get to the old book, go back. I’m gonna do something with the rotor directly. Same thing with economic club saying thank you Tiger Bay. And then the ones that I want to personally follow up with, I will eventually get to either Hey, Steve, how you doing at a meeting, or may eliminate or mail them? I’ll probably send them something like one of my dinosaurs I like to send out or one of the sharks that also make it lumpy mail, things like that. Yeah.

Steve: Well, it’s funny, you mentioned that. So back in 2010, when I left, my first business started this business. That’s exactly how I started fact, I started with the leadership, Tallahassee list, because I have just gone through that program. I’ve been involved in the chamber. So I had that directory. And I’ve been involved in rotary and I had that directory. And I just sat down and I built a list of I think about 150 people out of that. And I came up with a three-step three-letter direct mail campaign, and I mailed and called and mailed and call it and mail and calling Guess what, pretty soon I had clients and I was paying bills. That’s how the business got off the ground. And so anyway, yeah, that kind of brought back memories. So we can we can go into that in more detail in a future episode.

Hey folks it’s Steve again, I hope you enjoyed that episode. If you do like I do whenever I do these interviews with John, I always end up with notes. Afterward, I end up with ideas and things that I go and implement in our business. And I hope that you were able to come away with some great ideas that you can take away and go track some clients. And I’d love to know what you learned.

So drop me an email. You can send me an email at, and I’d love to know what you learned and loved how these episodes are benefiting you. And until next time, stay unstoppable.

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