Episode 169: Patty Block – The SNAP System: Attracting the Right Fit Clients, Strategies and Roadblocks for Women Business Owners
Patty Block graces us in this episode to reveal shocking truths about finding the right clients using the SNAP system she created. Let’s face it many business owners and salespeople come across clients/prospects who drain you of your patience and resources. It’s time to put a stop to that bad cycle. In this episode, we’ll help you address the things you’re currently doing that are preventing you from finding the right fit clients. Here’s a hint: your current pricing might be attracting the wrong clients to your business.
Patty Block is the Founder & President of The Block Group Inc. She’s a business advisor and one of the most innovative pricing experts in the industry. For decades she has empowered women business owners to turn up their power to price, sell, and run their businesses on their own terms. On this episode, The LinkedIn Whisperer Brynne Tillman and the LinkedIn Sherpa Bob Woods have given us front-row seats to amazing insights from Patty’s book: “Your Hidden Advantage: Unlock the Power to Attract Right-fit Clients and Boost Your Revenue.” Tune in closely and learn how to apply to your advantage the SNAP system mentioned in her book.
Patty Block 00:00
Finding out about people’s stories, what’s important to them, where they fit in the marketplace or where they want to fit and seeing where I can be helpful. For me it’s all about building relationships and not worrying about sales.
Bob Woods 00:17
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 00:42
Welcome back to Making Sales Social. Have you found your hidden advantage? Business advisor and pricing expert Patty Block, our guest today believes that consistent business success comes from leveraging your hidden advantage, making informed decisions, communicating powerfully and taking calculated actions.
Since 2006 Patti has empowered women business owners, who are experts in their fields to turn up their power to price, sell, and run their business on their own terms. In her book, “Your Hidden Advantage: Unlock the Power to Attract Right-fit Clients and Boost Your Revenue.” Patty reveals a new perspective and proven practical solutions, guiding women to unleash their inner power to run their business with less stress and more joy, achieving a more profitable future.
Patty, welcome to the show, I am so excited, not just because of all the brilliance you’re about to share with the audience, but because you’re my friend and I adore you as a human being. So welcome.
Patty Block 02:01
Thank you. Thank you, Brynne. I’m thrilled to be here.
Brynne Tillman 02:04
So the first question we ask everybody is: What does making sales social mean to you?
Patty Block 02:10
For me, it’s all about relationship building. So it’s not just handing out business cards, It’s not just meeting with someone once and feeling like now we’re acquainted and we know each other. No, we don’t. It’s about building relationships, and having an ongoing dialogue. So whether or not I’m speaking with someone who is a potential buyer, for me, in my view is not the important part. The important part is finding out about people’s stories, what’s important to them, where they fit in the marketplace, or in where they want to fit, and seeing where I can be helpful. So for me, it’s all about building relationships and not worrying about sales.
Brynne Tillman 02:59
So I love that! And one of the things that I love about your perspective, is your goal is to help people, to bring value to folks, the sale comes when they have a need, but they’ve already fallen in love with you. And the resource that you are and so that is something that attracted me to you originally and then the more I get to know you, the more of a giver I find you to be so I love that. And so I thank you for that. So my first real question outside of you know, my general question, and I’m gonna preface it by in the greenroom before we started, I started to talk to you about a potential wrong fit client, someone that I want, I’m not sure I want to bring on and one of the things that you talk about are attracting the right fit clients. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Patty Block 03:57
You bet. And it’s so critical. Part of it is we became business owners because we wanted to be our own boss, we wanted to have that freedom. And yet, we sometimes end up working with clients who were not excited about or who really, I don’t want to say “take advantage” but they pushed the boundaries. And it makes it uncomfortable and we often wish we could fire them but you know, then you’ve got a situation where it might feel like conflict. So yes, attracting the right fit clients. In my book, Your Hidden Advantage, I talk about a four step process, and it’s called the SNAP System and SNAP stands for Stop believing the myths, Narrow your focus, Assess your value and Practice your power.
And the narrow your focus is the piece of attracting and finding your right fit clients. And there’s a methodology around that because there’s something that I call the hope factor. So when you were first dating, and someone showed interest in you, didn’t you think they were the one?
Brynne Tillman 05:08
Oh, sure, every one of them.
Patty Block 05:10
Exactly! And if they weren’t the one, you could change them, right? Every one of them, we all do that. And so we bring that into our business and we think every buyer who comes to us is an ideal buyer and if they’re not, we can turn them into one and you and I both know, that’s never the case. So really defining who you want to work with, why you want to work with that type of person or that industry, having all of that clear, and then attracting them and going out and finding them is the key to narrowing your focus and really working with the clients who value you.
Brynne Tillman 05:51
See, I love that, because there are those clients that really drain you and even if they’re paying good money, you have to really ask yourself, is it worth it? Is it you know, and that’s where I am with this prospect at the moment. So this is great timing for me as well, to hear some of this so thank you. You know that bringing in the wrong fit clients is a roadblock and you talk a lot about many roadblocks that particularly women, business owners face. So share with me how you identify a client’s roadblocks.
Patty Block 06:31
You bet! And there are roadblocks in many different steps. So let’s go back to the snap system where we’re talking about stop believing the myths, which is the S for SNAP, and we all have limiting beliefs, we’re all raised to believe certain things about ourselves, about our business, about our prospects about the community at large. So we all have these beliefs, some of them can work to our advantage, but many of them don’t. And so that’s always where I start. What are your beliefs?
So for example, a lot of people believe that they need to bring in more and more clients, what I call the myth of more and often, you don’t need to bring in more clients. If you’re pricing appropriately, you can bring in the number of clients that you’ve planned and not feel like you have to constantly be bringing in clients, because you’ll be generating the level of revenue that you want, because you addressed your pricing.
And I often say to my clients, you can sell until you are blue in the face but if you haven’t addressed your pricing, then you haven’t positioned yourself in the marketplace and you’ll tend to attract the wrong buyers. So a lot of women are pricing artificially low and in fact, I can share a story with you when I was growing up. My mom used to make these fabulous cookies. The whole house smelled good. It was warm, the cookies were gooey and all my life. I watched my mom eat the broken cookies but it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I even thought to ask her. Why do you only eat the broken cookies? Do they taste better? And she laughed and said, “No, I eat the broken cookies. So you can have the whole ones.”
And not too long ago, I saw this really shocking statistic. 62% of women rely on their business for their primary income and 88% of Women Business Owners generate less than $100,000 a year. (Brynne: Oh, that’s awful.) And all of a sudden, this image of my mom eating the broken cookies popped in my head and I realized that’s the pattern that I had observed since I started my company in 2006 but I didn’t have language around it. And as soon as that image popped in my head, I realized that’s what we as women business owners are doing. We are watching our role models, our moms and our mothers. They’re all eating the broken cookies, and they’re teaching us about that spirit of self sacrifice. And we’re bringing that into our business, so we’re undervaluing our son, underpricing, then we’re over delivering on our services and then our profit goes poof.
So we’re less profitable, we often feel like our businesses are a burden. And we’ve lost the joy that we had when we first started our business. So that’s what I call the broken cookie effect and that is the pattern that I see over and over, especially with women business owners and so I teach how to beat the broken cookie effect and all of this is to say, you really need to address your pricing first and have a structure and a rationale. So that not only is it you’ll feel more confident when you talk about it, but your buyer will understand it better as well. So that is a big Part of what I teach and then I also teach a sales method called Painless Selling To Ideal Buyers. That is more like matchmaking.
Brynne Tillman 10:08
Oh, interesting. I just want to stick to the pricing for one second, because I’m gonna bet that everyone heard that and leaned in because for many of us that are entrepreneurs, even some coaches and solopreneurs, it is sort of like throwing a dart at the dartboard on pricing. It is, well, if I want to make $250 an hour, versus your worth of the last 10 years of experience coming into that hour, then, you know, they’re under-valuing themselves for sure. Side note on this, and then I’m gonna have a question for you. I can’t remember. It’s a joke. So I don’t even think it’s real. But like Salvador Dali was at a bar and coloring on a napkin and he went to throw it out and the guy took it out of the garbage and he goes, that’ll be $10,000 because it took you 30 seconds to draw it and he said, “Yeah, but it took me 40 years to get this good.” So the value and that was something that always stuck in my head and I don’t know if that was the right story or not, but it gets the point across. How do women identify women business owners, business owners, period? Because men go through the same thing? I’m sure. How do they identify what the right price point is?
Patty Block 11:32
So there’s not a simple answer to that. Part of that is, who are you selling to? What does your audience expect? So there are three types of value that I talk about: Extrinsic value, which is your pricing, and it’s the pricing of services and goods that you buy as well, somebody put a price on that, Intrinsic Value, which is when your buyer comes to you, they already have some idea or expectation and they already have some measure of trust, or there’s that likeability or they wouldn’t be talking to you, right.
So a lot of times, we all deal on referrals. So somebody has referred them to you, now you’re visiting with them and so they already have some sense of your value, or they wouldn’t be having the conversation and so that’s the intrinsic value.
Perceived value is the level to which your buyer believes you can either solve their problem, or help them grab an opportunity. And the really good news is that perceived value can be built and it’s built by everything you say and do when you meet that buyer. So it’s a multi-step process of how you can build that value. So when someone comes to you, we often assume that and sometimes we make up things in our mind about why they won’t buy.
Brynne Tillman 12:58
Oh, yes. Lots of stories when I first started.
Patty Block 13:02
Exactly, yeah, and, or if you’re feeling insecure about somebody or somebody comes to you, that’s a big name and you think, “Wow, this would be so great to work with this company or this person.” But you’re also feeling a little intimidated so all of those things conspire for us to approach it cautiously. Price is low. All of this, there’s mental gymnastics that we do. And so when you’re starting with your pricing model, the key is to have some structure to it because it’s not personal. It’s structural. So the problem we have…
Brynne Tillman 13:41
Can we go deeper on that for a second? I want a little clarification, because I think that’s amazing, but I’m not 100% Clear.
Patty Block 13:50
Okay, so I’m gonna give you two examples. One is you have a client who comes to you, and they ask you a question. Many of us assume it’s a criticism, they ask a question, and we get scared. And we think, “Oh, they’re questioning my experience, my expertise, they’re questioning that I don’t really know what I’m doing.” And that’s not the case. They’re just asking a question but our insecurities get in there.
So we take it personally. But the second example I’m going to share is you’re talking to a prospective buyer, and that buyer asked questions, or you’re getting ready to talk about the compensation. And you have aided them through the sales process. You’re now ready to talk about pricing and you get nervous and as you’re talking about it, they have an objection or they ask a question, or they push back, again, we take it personally and that can scuttle that whole conversation because we’re going to be reactive, and we’re going to answer in a defensive way.
So if you have a structure around your pricing, and you talk about that structure, then it’s not personal. And you will get no objections, you might get a few questions but that’s only because they need more explanation, not because they’re questioning your pricing. And if they are questioning your pricing, that’s not an ideal buyer, because that means…
Brynne Tillman 15:23
Or you haven’t proven ROI yet.
Patty Block 15:27
Yeah, If you haven’t built the perceived value, and if they don’t, yeah, and if they don’t get it, that kind of value that you really provide, and they’re shopping. My contention is that’s not an ideal buyer for you.
Brynne Tillman 15:41
So that goes into the right fit or wrong fit.
Patty Block 15:44
Exactly. And where do you find those right fit clients? And sometimes we’re looking in the wrong markets.
Brynne Tillman 15:52
So how do you identify that you’re doing that? That you’re in the wrong market?
Patty Block 15:57
So if your prices are relatively low, and you are not profitable, so profitable is a confusing concept, because you’re bringing in revenue. But if you’re spending as much as you’re bringing in, if you can’t take a paycheck, if you can’t hire people to help you, then something’s wrong, could be your pricing, I will guarantee it’s your pricing, we’ll start with that and then it could also be your sales process could be that you’re not finding the right buyers. So it could be any number of things, it could be a combination, but something’s off. And the problem we have, especially as women, is that we just keep going, we think if we work harder, that it’s going to solve our problems and the proof is those aren’t problems, those are symptoms.
Brynne Tillman 16:45
You’re just putting out fires really.
Patty Block 16:47
Exactly. You’re putting out fires, and you’re just pedaling faster, you’re working harder, but you’re not getting a better result and you’re still working with people who might not be the right fit for you and your prices are still artificially low. So it is so difficult to be profitable and that’s when you feel burned out and frustrated and disappointed in your business and it doesn’t have to be like that.
Brynne Tillman 17:11
Yeah, how do you identify where to look for the right industry or the right market?
Patty Block 17:15
So business owners know that experimenting, and iterating is the magic sauce, right? So your market will tell you. So if you have a lot of people coming to you that are price shopping, and you’ve already identified you do not want to work with price shoppers, because there are a lot of problems that will come as you continue working with them. And if that’s the case, and also they probably won’t stay with you.
Brynne Tillman 17:40
Right? Because they’ll probably show up next year.
Patty Block 17:43
Exactly! So if you’ve identified that as a red flag, then, but that’s who you’re attracting, that’s a clue that you need to be looking in other markets, it could be within the same industry but maybe you need a different type of buyer. So that’s something you have to experiment with and that’s also what I teach. And that’s where I come in, because I’m looking at it with fresh eyes.
And I don’t have the emotional attachment to take things personally for your business. So, I can be objective and say, I have to say my clients don’t like it when I say “That’s not an ideal buyer.” Because it’s work to go out and find the right people but once you do know you’re in the right market, and your pricing is appropriate for the value that you bring. It changes everything in your business.
Brynne Tillman 18:36
Yeah, I love that. And we actually, recently, in the last year or two recognized that the clients we were helping the most that had the fastest success rates that were, you know, just thrilled at how easy it was, you know, we’re bankers, and so I’ve partnered with someone to launch The Modern Banker, and to serve that specific client, in a way.
That’s exactly your point. I didn’t even realize I did that but we found the niche where we could help the most. They had a budget, hey got great value and we have relationships there. So I just thought I’d so I don’t know if you rubbed off on me over the, in our master masterminds or wherever that is, but I did that I didn’t even realize that, you know, that was a thing. Exactly.
Patty Block 19:39
It is a thing and congratulations, you did a good job.
Brynne Tillman 19:42
Yeah, that’s awesome. So I’m excited about that. I have a quick couple things and then I’m going to ask you what I forgot to ask you. But before I do that, you know we talked about these roadblocks, Our mindset is in the way. When you’re not making a lot of money, you’re stressed about the money. And I’ve always felt like when you focus on the money, you don’t make money. So I know that that’s a piece of what you help people get control over. Someone who’s listening right now who’s like, you know, “This sounds great, but I just have to take all those clients because I have to make the money I have to make it now.” What do you say to that?
Patty Block 20:22
Well, I say two things. One is read my book, because my book was written, it’s called Your Hidden Advantage and it was written for women business owners that are in that building stage where they have some clients, they’re doing okay, they’re able to, you know, the business is viable, but they know, there’s so much more opportunity that they’re not realizing. So that’s why I wrote the book, because I wanted to reach more women business owners, because I know I can help them and because they don’t have to feel so desperate and scared and I don’t like that people feel that way in business, it should be joyful, and fun and interesting.
So that is the message that I’m spreading. So that’s the first piece but the other piece is when you are feeling that scared and kind of desperate, your buyers will sense it, your colleagues will sense it, it comes across, and we think we’re hiding it, but we’re really not. And when it comes across, people will not refer to you, because they’re going to be worried that that will come across with whoever they refer to you.
They won’t make those introductions, your buyers are less likely to buy from you because you don’t sound very confident. So it’s that downward spiral kind of thing that happens, everything that I teach is about building your confidence. And you know, I don’t necessarily like this example, but I’m going to share it. The example of people out in the marketplace, you know, we sometimes refer to it as “Bro marketing” where there aren’t usually…
Brynne Tillman 22:01
You brought this to my attention, this blew my mind. So start over with the “Bro-Marketing” this is brilliant.
Patty Block 22:08
So we think of it as “Bro marketing” bro, short for brother and it’s typically very young men, maybe in their 20s and 30s, that don’t have a lot of substance underneath what they’re doing. They don’t have much experience, but they have a ton of confidence. And they go out and they are really good salespeople. So they market the heck out of what they’re doing. They sell to everybody, they don’t make a distinction about an ideal buyer. Anybody who buys is fine with them but there’s nothing underneath it. There is not that substance that you have when you hire an expert and someone who has 25 or 30 years of experience and advanced degrees and they’re highly educated, and life experience. So that bro marketing, we all of us, I think tend to fall into that trap every once in a while of buying from somebody and then being disappointed and those of us who are really experts, it gives us kind of a bad name, right? Because then people don’t know who to trust. So if you’re an expert in your field, then you don’t need to do any kind of trickery, you need to build the perceived value in the mind of your buyer, find the right buyers for you, not just anybody’s right buyers, the right buyer for you. Define that and again, if you read my book, there are exercises in the book that walk you through all these steps. So that you can clearly define, you can clearly figure out your pricing model and you’re talking to the right people for you.
When you do that, all those pieces come together and the first time that that happens, you’ve got to bottle those feelings, because that’s the way you want to feel with every buyer.
Brynne Tillman 23:56
I love that. So for everyone listening, it’s Your Hidden Advantage by Patti Block. I highly recommend just go to Amazon right now and buy it. You will be blown away by how actionable it is and how you know a small investment can have a huge impact on your career and your confidence on your future. So I highly recommend that. So last question of the day. I can’t believe how fast this flew by. What questions should I have asked you that I didn’t?
Patty Block 24:29
Perhaps what’s important to know about me that we didn’t talk about?
Brynne Tillman 24:35
Okay, that’s perfect.
Patty Block 24:36
Okay. And again, this is about relationship building, and building relationships with your audience that you know about me now from a business perspective, but you don’t know about me as a person. So that’s what I’d like to share is that I have been the single mom of three kids, since my youngest was two and he just turned 30. So I have raised my kids myself, I had a surprise divorce when I was 35 and turned everything upside down for me but I quickly realized that the most important thing was raising good human beings. And everything was focused on that and once I did that, everything else was a detail, everything else could be handled. So now all three of my children are business owners, I helped them in their businesses, and they helped me in mine, and I’m so proud of them. They are such fine people and I’m also a new grandmother. I’m a first time grandmother. And I’m super excited about that. I have a little grandchild.
Brynne Tillman 25:40
Welcome to the club. It’s the best one ever.
Patty Block 25:44
I know. You’ve told me that for such a long time and it’s not that I didn’t believe it.
Brynne Tillman 25:47
For two years I’ve been saying it, because that’s how are, but yeah.
Patty Block 25:51
But it’s not that I didn’t believe you. It’s that I hadn’t experienced. So those values, I have a large extended family. I’m very close with my siblings, my mother just passed away, just recently, very suddenly. So all of those pieces fit together to define who I am as a person. And that influences of course, who I am as a business person, and why I care so deeply about women business owners in particular, because this is the second company that I’ve owned, the first focused on political consulting, and lobbying, and I was very frustrated in that business.
So it motivated me to want to be that resource for other women business owners. So that’s what I think is important to know about me as a person, and that I’m very focused on helping others and want to reach more women business owners, so you can get more joy from your business.
Brynne Tillman 26:50
I love that. And I just adore you, Patty. We have really grown to be good friends. Over the last couple of years, maybe only for a year or so… year and a half. And it’s one of the best things that came out of the pandemic are some of these relationships, and you are absolutely one of them. I am grateful to have you in my world. And I’m glad I could bring you to my audience and just hear the incredible impact that you’re having through helping women with confidence, and really going out there and earning what they’re worth. So that’s appreciated. Thank you for being here.
Patty Block 27:34
Thank you. I feel the same way about having you in my life. And I’m so grateful and thank you for having me on today.
Brynne Tillman 27:41
Oh, thanks for sharing your brilliance. So for those of you listening, I’m sure you have leaned in many times today. I recommend you go get the book. You really, just go and go to Amazon and look for Your Hidden Advantage by Patty block. And when you are out and about don’t forget to make your sales social.
Bob Woods 28:12
Thanks for listening and join us again for more special guest instructors bringing you marketing, sales, training and social selling strategies that will set you apart. Don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest episodes from the Making Sales Social Podcasts, leave a review down below. Tell us what you think, what you learned and what you want to hear from us next.