Episode 139: Christopher Carr – Anything You Can Give to Get, Give
Farotech CEO Chris Carr joins The LinkedIn Whisperer Brynne Tillman to share nuggets of social selling wisdom. Find out why he recommends giving anything you can to your prospect, so you can get them to trust you and give you their permission to start a sales conversation with you. Whatever it is you are asked for, give more than that.
Tune in as he talks about what it would take to make your sales social. To him it’s earning the right to be heard and bridging that gap, to bring that connection between you and your prospect closer than when you first started to interact, and eventually, to ask for the right to be heard.
He also discusses the importance of using the right language when your prospect finally gives you that right to be heard. The key, according to Chris, is to take that pressure of having to make a decision, and instead, be unassuming — to take the time to let the prospect know you are determining whether what you’re offering is actually a good fit. Chris also reminds salespeople to “thank profusely,” and one of the ways to show thanks is through giving.
You will also hear Chris talk about his company, a digital marketing agency, and his process when it comes to working with clients. He even shares some pointers to solopreneurs about stepping up their marketing efforts.
Christopher Carr 00:00
I believe that people buy from companies that they know, like, and trust. When I think about social, I want to be able to say, hey, you know what, what happens in the scenarios where they might like you, and they might trust you, but they just don’t know you like you’re coming in just a little cold. So what do you do?
Bob Woods 00:18
Welcome to the Making Sales Social podcast, featuring the top voices in sales, marketing, and business. Join Brynne Tillman and me, Bob Woods, as we each bring you the best tips and strategies our guests are teaching their clients, so you can leverage them for your own virtual and social selling. Enjoy the show.
Brynne Tillman 00:43
Welcome back to Making Sales Social. I am so excited about today’s guest. This gentleman I have been working with probably for more than 10 years on and off. We’ve been in each other’s orbit. I love the work that he and his team are doing, and his company is going crazy.
Chris Carr is the founder and CEO of Farotech. An award-winning digital marketing agency, Farotech is in the Inc 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America by Martech. Is Philadelphia’s 100 fastest growing companies in Philadelphia, which by the way, I, long time ago was on the board of, that is a very hard award to get. So congratulations on that. Farotech is a contributor to Forbes and Chris is on the Forbes Agency Council, and has been a keynote speaker at a variety of events, including SEMrush, Expertech, and the International Trade Association. He’s also the host of two, not just one, two podcasts; Thought Leader Magazine and Digital Marketing Masterclass. Chris, welcome to Making Sales Social.
Christopher Carr 01:54
All right, thanks. This is great. Happy to be here.
Brynne Tillman 01:57
Ah, thrilled to have you. So we start our podcast with everyone with the very question of what does making sales social mean to you?
Christopher Carr 02:07
Awesome! Well, you’re probably going to get the most thorough answer possible, because I got this question in advance and I’ve been thinking about it all morning. So here it goes. So I believe that people buy from companies that they know, like, and trust. And so I’m sure that your listeners have heard that a million times. So what I wanted to do was break this down a little bit more. When I think about social, I want to be able to say hey, you know what, what happens in the scenarios where they might like you, right? And they might trust you, but they just don’t know you like you’re coming in just a little cold. So what do you do? All right and so I broke this down into about nine different steps. And I’m sorry, from long-winded, I’ll get it out, I’m sure that we have tons to talk about.
The first one is you have to earn the right to be heard. And so what I mean by that is, when you do that, I recommend whether you’re doing it in video, or you’re providing data, or whatever that is, you have to make sure that whatever your ask is, is way, way, way, way, way down on your priorities and sometimes you don’t even get to ask it at all. What you’re trying to do is you’re trying to earn trust here. And so that’s one of the things that you do is that you have to make sure that in your mind, before you even start the process, you have to know I want to earn the right to be heard.
The next thing if they’re cold, and they don’t know you have to bridge the gap. And what I mean by that is I would say “Hey, the reason why I’m reaching out to you is because one, I might have helped companies in your industry with innovations that you might not know about.” or I looked at your LinkedIn and I see that you are connected with Brynne Tillman and we’ve helped Brynne do X, Y, and Z. And so these are the things that you’re trying to do is you’re trying to bring that connection closer.
Number three is you have to ask for the right to be heard. And now keep in mind that you might get less responses, but the quality of what you pitch next, doubles, maybe even triples. And so what that means is Bob, it was you know, I bridge the gap. I’ve done all the things I’ve done in step one, two, and three but before I just vomit and send my sales pitch to you, slide deck to you, slide and offer it to you, I actually asked you for the right to give it to you. And what I’m saying and this is what I learned from you is like saying, if they say “Yes, I would like to hear it” that opens the door to a conversation.
It’s very insulting for me to be like Brynne, I got answers to all your problems. Here’s my e-book, here’s my white paper. And even if that white paper has tremendous value, you’re like dude, I never asked for that. So like back off, you’re freaking me out!
Brynne Tillman 04:41
That permission is huge, and that starts to add to the trust, but keep going. I love that.
Christopher Carr 04:48
The next thing is if they say yes, seize the moment. What I mean by that is bring value, answer quickly, bring value, and spoon-feed it so that it’s painfully easy for them to take the first step, and that is my next one down is make the first step easy. Don’t say, “Buy now.” All right, let’s talk about.
Brynne Tillman 05:12
Buy my stuff.
Christopher Carr 05:13
Yeah exactly! Yep. then you know…
Brynne Tillman 05:14
Can I ask you real quick, how do you do that? What kind of call to action is easy to start that journey going?
Christopher Carr 05:23
Yep, I would be unassuming. And what I mean by that is, I’ll say, let’s see if this is a good fit for you, as opposed to “Buy now” because you don’t know that it’s a good fit. And if I can give a demo, I give a demo or a trial, or I give you consultation hours, there’s things that I can do for free, that make it painfully easier than please get out your checkbook.
Brynne Tillman 05:48
So it’s funny, I will often say I’m not sure if you’re exploring this, but if you are, I think that kind of aligns with what you’re saying. But when we ask, “Hey, I don’t know if you’re exploring this. But if you are…” and that takes that pressure off.
Christopher Carr 06:03
Yeah. And it’s always in your mind, you’re always saying, what phrase or call to action? Can I say that disarms, as opposed to makes them think, “Oh, I gotta make a decision right now.” Because nobody wants to be forced into a decision. It’s psychological warfare, but you know,
Brynne Tillman 06:17
One of the things I think I probably learned from you at one point, bringing in a full circle here, is even have a step before you even ask for that free consultation where you’re providing content or an ebook or some kind of value that qualifies them before we even asked for that call.
Christopher Carr 06:38
Yep! I would agree a thousand percent. Anything that you can give to get, give. All right, be over-transparent. I think a lot of people always think that they’re gonna give away their trade secrets. I promise you, if they’re doing their due diligence, they’re looking at your competitors anyway, they’ll probably know the prices of your competitors anyway. And you think that you know what, I just want to clutch all my pearls. You know what I honestly, we’re in a very different world than the one you probably did when you started this business.
We are already in a world where you give to get that expectation now. And so if you hold that back, they think you have something to hide. I literally launched my prices on my website, which is weird for a digital marketing agency to do, but I wanted to be upfront, I’m gonna say, This is my whole process. These are all my prices. And you’re asking, why does it cost $1,200 for me to write a single blog? and I just literally say, behind the curtain, these are the people that have to touch it. These are the writer qualifications you need to have, these are the graphics I need to have. This is the research I need to do. All of that goes into the pot, and that’s why I charge what I charge. Could my competitor steal that verbatim? Sure. But go ahead, try.
Brynne Tillman 07:54
I always believe the more you give away, the more they realize they need you.
Christopher Carr 07:58
Yeah, you know, and it’s almost like one of the things that you’re almost saying, “I have nothing to hide.” And I learned this from Marcus Sheridan, it’s like when you can knock down all of their barriers. The only thing left is trust. And I swear that people want to buy from you that they know, like, and trust
Brynne Tillman 08:15
Did you know what author coined that phrase? (Chris: No, I don’t) Bob Burg, in his book, “Endless Referrals” which is on my bookshelf, all things being equal, people do business with and refer people they know, like, and trust, and that has become probably the most popular sales and marketing saying of all time.
Christopher Carr 08:36
you know, it’s so funny, though, because it rolls off your tongue, but I swear, it’s just like, if you think in your mind, every time you pitch someone, I want you to like me, but do you even know me? And why would you trust me? And if I can’t figure out any one of those two things like maybe I’m going to be, maybe I’m going to freak you out because I’m just coming in missing two of the critical ingredients.
Brynne Tillman 08:59
Well, you know, it’s funny because what you do is not funny, it is awesome. What you do is the steps that get them there. So on social, we talked about how do you get to know on social? Well to attract, teach and engage? Right? And how do you attract and teach? – content. An engagement is asking for their input or engaging on their content but we can’t get to know on social without being a resource. How are they going to know us? So I love that.
Christopher Carr 09:33
Three more are, give more than you were asked for. If they want to download an ebook from you. Give them an ebook and a bonus white paper. If they want to have it in ebook format, also create it in video format because some people like to watch videos. I like to watch videos and it’s terrible because I’m a CEO but I hate to read if I don’t have to. I read what I have to, not what I want to.
Brynne Tillman 09:57
It’s because you’re a multitasker. You’re watching and observing the video while you’re doing your emails, you get two things done at the same time.
Christopher Carr 10:04
Yep, yeah! If they do work with you, thank them profusely. And what I mean by that is, is that not only by being extremely grateful, what I want to be able to do is I like to do something, when you’re paying for my marketing services, the first thing they do once they buy is I send them all of my connections that I have either on LinkedIn or on Facebook, whatever it is, and say, Look, these are the people that I hopefully I know these people, before I even start on your marketing, right? Like, tell me who you want to know, and I’ll try to bridge that gap because if I can pay for the first month of service simply through one introduction. That’s what I want to do. So I don’t want to just say thanks, I want to show thanks by giving.
Brynne Tillman 10:45
Chris, that is brilliant. And If you start to see that in some of my training, the brilliant …and I do it, I offer it all the time. I’ll offer any of my clients can look through my connections, but to say if my introductions can literally pay for my monthly fees. Oh, my gosh! That was my mic drop moment.
I hope the listeners get that. How big is that? None of your competitors are doing that. Doesn’t matter what your price is? If your introduction covers it! (Chris: That’s the deal. That’s the hope, right?) It’s like popcorn in my brain right now. That’s brilliant!
Christopher Carr 11:33
Yeah! And I think what happens is, is that… Did you ever read the book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” he says his wife wanted this car and she said, “I can’t afford that.” And he said, No, that’s the way poor people talk. Rich people say “how can I afford it?” So when I come to you, and I say, “Will you buy my services?” and they say, “Ah, you know, it might be out of my budget.” I want to be able to say, “This is how you can afford my services. This is what you’re gonna get right out of the gate. There’s 10 introductions we’re gonna make tomorrow.”
Brynne Tillman 12:00
I have chills. I mean, really? Like, that’s a game-changer! And do I have permission publicly to use it?
Christopher Carr 12:10
Absolutely, absolutely! And then, if you do a good job, ask for more opportunities because people that give, give often, and other people that don’t give, don’t give very much. And so what I mean by that is, there’s going to be a handful of people that you reach out to, and they just refer, it’s in their nature, they find something cool, and they want to share it.
I’m an oversharer on social media because I find an idea, and I’m like, I want the world to know, you know what I mean? There’s other people that just use social media, and they just consume, you know what I mean? And so sometimes when you’re giving that ask, and you’re not getting it, it’s not because you didn’t bring value, it’s because it’s in the DNA of the person, you’re asking that they’re just like, “I don’t do that.” And that’s okay. You know, because it’s just, it’s, it’s a little bit of a numbers game but if you put all your eggs in one basket, and the DNA of the person is there, and they just don’t want to give, that’s life. There’s a lot of fish in the sea.
Brynne Tillman 13:09
Yeah, there are so many opportunities out there, especially when you can make your offer. There’s no way to get… how can anyone turn that down? When you think about it? How can anyone say, “Hey, I’m gonna get all these amazing services, and it’s going to pay for itself just in introductions and the new clients that I can bring on, not even having used your service yet.” You’ve got a client forever.
Christopher Carr 13:38
That’s the idea! We have over a 96% retention rate and I think it’s just some of these ingredients that just people really gravitate to.
Brynne Tillman 13:45
Let’s talk about that for a moment, and we’ll go a little over, I’m happy to do it. Let’s just talk about when a company comes to you and he’s a CEO, it’s a small company, maybe have 30 employees, they might have one marketing person that’s doing emails and maybe touches some of that, because I think that’s pretty much your perfect customer, right. So now they come to you, and I one thing you’ve done, because I’ve referred you business, and I know that one of the things that you do phenomenally well, is you do an audit of what they’re doing today. So talk a little bit about what you’re looking for around what they’re doing and not doing.
Christopher Carr 14:20
Yeah, well, I mean, the challenge that we have here, and this is just kind of showing you how my industry works is that you might come to any marketing agency and say I have a problem, and usually the problems are always the same. We’re not getting enough leads, and we’re not getting enough opportunities and then that marketing agency is going like you know what, I agree with you, and here’s what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna open up the same software that all of us have, and I’m gonna be like, “You know what, 96 errors on your homepage alone, and you have no marketing automation, and you don’t have this and you don’t have this” And in 30 minutes, the software is agreeing with that bias and you’re like, “okay, cool.” What are you going to do? Well, I’m gonna go get you those things.
Well, in my mind, I’m like, if I went to a primary care physician, and he took one EKG and was just like, “Man, we got to get you in for some heart surgery,” I’d be like, “No way,” I’m gonna need way more testing than your simple EKG.So what we do is a 10-week gap assessment before I even show you or talk to you about your problem. I want to show you through data, where your gaps are, where your opportunities are, you know how to build a three to five-year roadmap to reach your goals because ultimately, we believe that reaching your goals is about numbers.
And so what I want to be able to say is, if you want to grow by $10 million, I had to figure out how many sales and upsells does it take to get the $10 million that’s in sales. Then I got to figure out how many leads does it take to get a sale? And then once I know that I’m gonna say, how many visits does it take to get a lead? And then, ultimately, how many visits does it take to reach your goals? It’s like it worked backwards all the way to a visitation number. And it’s quantifiable.
Brynne Tillman 15:59
That’s great. So that’s awesome. And then okay, so now you’ve identified real things, not just EKG things, right. So you’ve identified real opportunities. What’s the next step? Do you go, “Okay, let’s get some content done. Let’s revamp”
Christopher Carr 16:13
Yeah, you know, it really… So one of the things that we always say, well, we’ve been saying, and I’ve been kind of quoting this lately, is that a lot of times, when I go to a company, I look at their story and their message and their mouse trap and their mousetraps, usually their website. Alright, so I’m going to quote two different things. The first one is by Barry Feldman, and he says, “Your website is the mousetrap, and your content is the cheese.” Pretty cool, right?
Brynne Tillman 16:38
I love that.
Christopher Carr 16:39
It’s pretty cool. The problem is that I look at a lot of people’s marketing, I look a lot at their website, and I’m like, you know what, if this was a bucket, you’ve got a hole in your bucket, and water is pouring out faster than you could ever imagine, but you’re coming to me asking for more water. (Brynne: Oh, wow.) Right? I mean, what if I win? What if I win? it’s just gonna go right at the bottom. So first, I got to lock down your message, I got to lock down your story. I got to get the mousetrap to work. I need to get it so that any leads that come to your website, I can track them, engage them, score them, and arm your sales team, then I figure out how to bring traffic.
Brynne Tillman 17:13
That’s amazing. Image, right, like I picture. I even picture a little box with the mouse, and then they can get through the bars, right? Like I ate my cheese, and I can leave.
Christopher Carr 17:26
It’s one of those things, though, that everyone wants traffic because they want to play with the same numbers. So if I have 10,000 visitors at a 2% conversion rate, right? And I would say I’m getting… I’m gonna blow these numbers up. But let’s say hypothetically, I’m getting a 2% conversion rate off of 10,000. And you know what? The boss wants me to double that. A lot of times, we think I need to get more traffic. Exactly the 20,000! But nine times out of, 10 If you just get to increase your conversion rate, like increase my conversion rate by 1%. I don’t need to double my traffic, I can close more off at the same 10%. And what do you think is more cost-effective? Conversion rate, or doubling your traffic? (Brynne: Conversion rate every single time) But we’re not, we don’t think that way. We think like traffic, traffic, traffic, it’s like, water, water everywhere. Not a Drop to Drink. Like, it’ll always be seawater, if your key metric is traffic, you will never be quenched.
Brynne Tillman 18:25
This is awesome. Alright, so we have, you know, lots of solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, business leaders of small businesses and small teams, what’s the first thing they should do before they call you? So what should they do? So then, okay, well, so they’re thinking guys out there, you’re thinking probably one of three things. This was awesome, but I’m not going to do anything. The second thing is this is awesome. I’m going to send it to my marketing team, and I’m gonna have them try to implement it, and maybe they can or number three, I really need to do this and talk to Chris, right? Like, those are the three things that our listeners that you guys are listening are going to take away from this.
Christopher Carr 19:08
I like number three.
Brynne Tillman 19:11
But what I’m going to ask you is for the number two’s, the ones that are going to go do this, what should be the first thing they do? Right, let’s give them a gift.
Christopher Carr 19:20
Step number one is you have to look at your resources. And what I mean by that is commonly, the people in house and say, “Do I have the subject matter expertise or the time to do the critical parts of marketing?” Because you’ll talk to your sales team, and you’ll say, “Hey, am I on the first page of Google?” They’ll say, “No, but it’s on our list.” Or you know, or am I winning on social? No, but it’s on my list. Do we have a database full of leads and opportunities? You know, to develop a significant newsletter? No, but it’s on my list. But we are putting out PowerPoints, and we are ready for the convention, and we are ready. We’re doing great things, but we’re not building the machine underneath that compounds. And so, in theory, we’re doing something I call R-A-M, which is random acts of marketing. It’s still marketing. It’s still great, but it commonly never compounds. So that’s the thing is, you gotta have sober judgment. That’s step number one.
Alright, then step number two is you’re going to have to say, “Would I rather hire internally, which is very expensive, or would I rather work with an agency that already has the subject matter experts that I could buy only for the time that I need them?” if hiring internally is the way you want to do it, great if you’ve got money to spend, great! But I think that there’s so much subject matter expertise needed in every single level, right? That you know what? Hiring someone that can do it for you is the name of the game.
And then, finally, if you are going to do it in house, don’t assume that your team can do it without training. And so, like, you know, this is a throwback to you. It’s just like, you know, what, like, Sure, they might be able to do your plumbing, but the chances of the water leaking, because they literally watched a YouTube video is very, very high, when they can come to someone like you get expertly trained, get workbooks, look at tools, grade their progress, have regular check-ins, all those things are possible, right? But the CEO doesn’t know what their own people know. And so what I want to know is like, if my model is to hire internal people, they better be armed. And if I can make a $3,000 investment or $8,000 investment, that will triple simply because my people know their stuff. That’s a no-brainer.
Brynne Tillman 21:27
Well, I’d say the biggest challenge I face when I go into a company that has a sales team is they don’t have the right content in place to start conversations with people that don’t know they need them yet. They have content about my products and services or features and benefits. I can tell you all the things about our competitive advantages, but your salespeople are out there selling to people that are not actively looking for your solution.
So the content gap that you fill for a lot of people is that piece that gets them to go, “Oh, that’s interesting. I haven’t thought about it that way, and boy, that would look good in my company, or I should explore that a little bit more.” And so when you have that kind of thought leadership in your marketing, you’re arming your sales professionals to start conversations around needs around topics that get their juices going and get them thinking that’s going to lead to your solution. So I think you do a brilliant job of that. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that. Chris, how can people get in touch with you?
Christopher Carr 22:42
Sure, you can reach out to us at [email protected] You can also go to digitalmarketingmasterclass.com That’s our podcast. And the number one channel I try to use is YouTube. I am obsessed with teaching, and so every time, I can basically learn something that we just used that’s worked for our companies or our clients. It’s just a matter of time before I publish it.
Brynne Tillman 23:04
Awesome. Chris, thank you so much. I enjoyed having you here. And I know that our listeners are taking Fast and Furious notes. guys, reach out to Chris he is on LinkedIn, let him know that you heard him here. When you guys are out and about, make sure that you’re making your sales social.
Bob Woods 23:28
Thanks for watching, and join us again for more special guest instructors bringing you marketing, sales training, and social selling strategies that will set you apart. Hit the Subscribe button below to get the latest episodes from the Making Sales Social podcast. Give this video a thumbs up and comment down below on what you want to hear from us next. You can also listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Visit our website socialsaleslink.com for more information.