Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard joins us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast.
He is the Managing Director/CEO of the Napier Group, a $7M PR and marketing agency for B2B technology companies, and also a self-confessed geek who loves talking about technology.
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard such as:
Why a shop is such a perfect example of how a sales funnel works. Duplicate it and make your profits soar.
Why you have to be aware that people rarely buy directly from a website. They need to be nurtured through to a sale.
Why solving peoples problems is the key to everything in business. People buy to move themselves from pain.
Mike shares the steps we need to take to make a sales funnel work effectively. Gold!
How To Connect With Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Interview Transcription For Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard
David Ralph [0:01]
Once upon a time, there was a guy with a dream, a dream to quit his job support himself online and have a kick ass life. Little did he know that dream would lead him into a world of struggle, burnout and debt, until he found the magic ingredient and no struggles became a thing of the past. I of course, was that person. And now My dream is to make things happen for you. Welcome to Join Up Dots.
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be but somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling in Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:52]
Yes, hello man. Good morning, everybody. Good morning and welcome to Join Up Dots. Thank you so much for being here is an absolute delight because If he wasn’t, then I’d be a very lonely individual. But fortunately I’ve got another guy on the other end of the line. He’s from the United Kingdom should have asked him where he’s actually based, but he’s got quite a posh voice. He’s got quite a posh boys. So I imagine he’s probably based in somewhere like heart the chair or Hampshire or something I’m guessing but we will find out. He is a guest who is the Managing Director and CEO of the Napier group as $7 million PR and marketing agency both b2b technology companies. He’s also a self confessed geek who loves talking about technology. Now he believes that combining the measurement accountability and innovation, but he learned as an engineer with a passion for communicating internationally means his company Napier can help clients achieve their marketing goals sooner. Now Napier is an agency that brings knowledge, experience and insight to increase the speed prospects travel through our clients panels, generating opportunities more quickly now Napier’s unique approach to capture Paint strategy today designs in speed to campaigns from the outset, building integrated campaigns that focus on the important tactics where the clients need to increase awareness, generate leads or engage contacts to create opportunities. So why is there such a difficulty in today’s world to market their products and services correctly when there’s all this out there for them? And why do people simply forget to build their marketing strategy into everything that they do throughout their business? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Mike Maynard. Morning Mike.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [2:40]
morning David, thank you very much for that intro. That was great. I really enjoyed it and you were you were very nice particular about my accent,
David Ralph [2:48]
where you are quite posh on yo yo. So I said well, I went with heart for cheer or hemisphere whereabouts are you?
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [2:54]
So I’m actually based in Kitchener, Chichester which is on the south coast, but my early years I actually grew up in Essex not a million miles away from where you are so
David Ralph [3:05]
you’re an Essex boy where whereabouts were you from? Sir?
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [3:09]
I’m so originally from Buckers Hill.
Okay, so that’s more Essex into London, isn’t it?
More Essex into London but I spent some time in my early years you mentioned I was an engineer. I actually worked in Chelmsford, for Marconi, who was an employer. So I know the area very well.
David Ralph [3:29]
I used to live in Chelmsford, when I was a young scallywag, gallivanting but then my wife came along and she rained me back in my gallivanting days are no more. Now we’re with you, Mike. What I want to get straight to is this kind of Mystique. And what I want to do is obviously tap into your expertise on business to business but also bring it more relevant to my audience. Because we hear all the time about sales funnels, you got to have sales funnels, and they’re not that hard, are they? I think people are creating them. Have a mystique about it. Well, actually, it’s all about understanding your client, understanding your clients need, and building a relationship with them so that they trust you.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [4:12]
I think you’re absolutely right there, David. I mean, the interesting thing is, is people talk about sales funnels or, more recently, they start calling them customer journeys. The reality is, is they are actually really simple and really straightforward sort of models of how customers decide to either work with you if you’re a consultant or buy your product. And I think you know, that the main thing is just to think about how people approach buying what you’re selling, which funnily enough, actually a lot of companies don’t do even large companies don’t really sit down and think about that they think, you know, one morning someone wakes up, sees an email and that’s it, they gonna go buy, you know, a million dollar product, it just doesn’t work like that.
David Ralph [4:54]
Now, I base everything on offline. I always think about everything and older I’ve kind of developed a coaching side to the business, which wasn’t there in the early days, but it is there now. And I always think about a shop because I think a shop is perfect for a sales funnel strategy. You’re walking down the high street, you’re walking down the mall, you look at a very attractive window and you think, Oh, that’s interesting are popping there. And you mosey around for a while. It’s it’s that kind of logic that has to be brought into the online world as well, isn’t it? We’ve got to look appealing, but we’ve got to be appealing in a way that makes total sense to our ideal customer. We’ve got to have that shop window relevant for the right person, and not necessarily every single person that walks past.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [5:43]
It. You’re absolutely right. And I think you know, a shop is a is a great model. I mean, people talk about you know, a simple funnel is, you know, sort of a four step process is a really common way people model it so they talk about generating awareness, interest, desire, action and if you think about a sharp, you know, you’re not even going to look in the window if you don’t really know anything about the shop, you don’t think it’s relevant you just walk past because there’s so many other things on the high street to look at. But, you know, either someone might tell you about the shop or you know, if there’s a large chain, you might see adverts or promotions, you know, you don’t become aware. So as you walk past you look in the window, you see something in the window that’s relevant to you then interested you take a you know, a bit more of a look and maybe wander into the shop, find out a bit more and then you decide you want to buy it and then of course, you know, the shop needs to make sure you actually buy from them. And don’t walk out and buy on Amazon. So that’s the action stage. So that’s a really simple model. It works really well with your example the shop, but it actually works really well with almost every situation.
David Ralph [6:48]
So as we’ve nailed this episode already in seven minutes, we’re just gonna offer a beer and now it’s only was late in the morning but wearing this week we grew up in Essex. That’s what we do. So Why are there so many difficulties? Where my Why is so many difficulties where we we’ve explained it perfectly in seven minutes?
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [7:10]
Well, I think the answer is is is, sales funnels are really what I as an engineer will call a model, it’s not real life. And so that there’s, you know, two potential problems. One is people actually look at and go, I so much more complicated than that I’m gonna really complicate it make it really difficult. And actually know my head’s now exploding, I can’t really create this funnel that is a good model, because I think, you know, this customer did this and this customer, this and in other customer takes a different approach. And it’s absolutely true that people you know, massively over complicate or on the other end, they actually find it you know, really hard even to think about those stages and they just go know, someone who passed up to the window and bought something and that’s it and then they try and oversimplify it. So it’s finding a model that fits because The truth is, with all these things, particularly in marketing, you’re creating something that’s kind of your perfect situation or perfect process. And the reality is is no customer actually follows that perfect process. Exactly. They all do something slightly different. So it’s very hard to relate that to any individual customer, or potential customer. I think that’s why people struggle with sales funnels.
David Ralph [8:22]
Should I tell you my sales funnel, Mike Sure, I tell you mine and I will blow your business out of the water and everyone will go Why would we go to Napier when? When David has got this? Basically what I do I podcast, that’s the awareness. And then people come across to my website. And more often than not, people will email me and I say, Would you like a chat? And thats it really you know, it’s not more complicated than that. And I just say, look, I can help you with this. I’ve got the answers. I’ve got the solutions. Some people buy, some people don’t but I keep it as simple as that. Now about three years ago, I paid for a guy to create a sales funnel because I didn’t under band. And I had v things going off the click funnel and things going off here and going off there. And it was triggering this triggering that, and I hated it because I didn’t understand actually what was happening. It was like, operating in front of me. So I systematically dismantled it, to sort of find out why this PDF was going here and why these follow up emails were going there. And I thought to myself, ultimately, somebody just wants to have their mind put at rest, but you’re fair. And so that’s why I got rid of everything. And I always say to people, look, I’m happy to have a chat with you.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [9:35]
And I think that’s, that’s a great example of of a situation where someone to come in as a consultant, they felt they they had to demonstrate that, you know, they had the knowledge and expertise to help you and they clearly massively overcomplicated the process. And I think it’s a great example of where, where, you know, you have a situation where, frankly, the sales funnel was was not really thought through I mean, your sales funnel is, is pretty straightforward, and particularly The moment because, you know, even though the number of people podcasting is growing, you know, incredibly fast. It’s still a relatively niche industry. There’s not a huge number of consultants, certainly with any credibility offering podcast training like you do, for example.
David Ralph [10:14]
Now let’s take it to Napier. Because Napier obviously does on a much older scale than this. Now, how do you actually create the panel into your business? Because I was looking at your website this morning. And I was actually thinking, Okay, this is an awareness strategy that you’ve got, but where was the actual funnel built into your website itself? I couldn’t really see it.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [10:39]
So the answer is is and I think this this relates very much to what you said, People don’t buy PR agencies have a website. It’s completely the wrong thing to imagine that you can automate the selling of our services, which you know, can be a significant amount of money just through website, but the sales funnel doesn’t exist purely online for us. And I think it’s very much the same for you, you talk about having a chat with people. You know, the reality is, is when we’re working with a, you know, a large business trying to convince them to, you know, come and work with us. It’s not just one chat, it can be several meetings over a period of time. I mean, quite often, you know, we start talking to someone we’d like to work with, and we think we can really help. And it could be a year or two before they actually start doing any business with us. So I think the answer is, again, it comes down to understanding how people buy and what they want. And the reality is is is where we work in marketing. They’re buying advice and expertise. And again, very much like you I mean, I think, you know, you say we’re different. I think we were very similar. And people are buying expertise. If they’re buying expertise, they want to talk to the people who are going to give them that expertise. It’s as simple as that.
David Ralph [11:52]
Right. So so what we I think most people out there, understand the awareness and you’ve got to get people to know about you now I’m actually at the moment having a 100% social media detox. I’ve never really been onto social media a lot. But I’ve been very aware due to sort of personal issues I’ve gone through, but my happiness levels wasn’t at the right level. And I realised a lot of that was comparing my business remember people’s businesses and seeing people show highlights and all that kind of stuff. So, so with my awareness, it’s very much I podcast, and it comes through to me with your awareness. How do you do that? How is your marketing strategy getting people through other than appearing on people’s podcasts? Of course.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [12:38]
Well, this is this is a new thing, the podcast, so I’m really hoping it’s going to work. I mean, like everybody in marketing, you know, the real truth is, is that you need to experiment to find out what works. And so we try lots of different things. And the primary way we actually get to work with people is we go meet them, talk to them. Sometimes the Welcome if we can’t reach them, because obviously we’re working with clients around the world, and then try and keep that conversation going, quite often until they feel there’s a need to come and work with us. So quite often, they might be working with a competitor. And to be honest, you know, if that competitor keeps doing a good job, they’re not going to switch. So we kind of needs to be the first choice if the competitor makes a mistake, but it is about going out and meeting people. And we do do some other things. We’ve got quite a lot of content, you know, being a marketing company, I can talk about content marketing. And actually, that drives a lot of our, our new opportunity. So, you know, to take another example, a lot of people in America who are quite hard for us to reach because they’re geographically a long way away. They’ll go and Google things like, you know, how do I do PR in Europe? And so we’ve created the answers for that and it’s literally answering their questions. If we can answer the question, you know, really early on at that stage. It’s quite likely there. Going to come to us and ask us all the questions. And if we keep giving them good answers, then they’re going to keep talking to us and eventually become clients. So I think the answer is the answer is that there’s lots of different things we do. And you know, the world is changing all the time. So actually, what we’re doing is continually experimenting. You know, one interesting thing I can tell you is that Google AdWords absolutely don’t work for us. It doesn’t matter how much we spend on Google AdWords, we get zero inquiries and get a lot of clicks to the website. I get no business from it. And I don’t know why. And we run AdWords campaigns for other clients and they work fabulously well. But for some reason, our business it doesn’t work. And I think it’s because of this real need to establish a personal connection fairly early on. And AdWords is a little too impersonal. I don’t know. I mean, I’d be interested to hear your views.
David Ralph [14:50]
Well, I am very much against the majority of marketing really, because it doesn’t as I say, it doesn’t solve the question. People have got a question. Now, one of the things that I use a lot I don’t know if you’ve heard of this Mike is a web site, a site called answer the public.com. and answer the public comm is a free resource to a point you can do about pipe searches. But you put in, say PR marketing, and it will bring all the questions that people are asking online, okay. And so you can really tap in to longtail keywords very accurate, which can then lead people through. Now, I always say to people that I’m working with, let’s focus in on the problems. Let’s focus in on the solutions. And let’s do it when somebody is looking for us. Now I find with Google AdWords, you know, I’m a podcast, trainer. That’s part of my being. I’m a business coach as well. Now, I used to say about page two or podcast cost, sorry, and two on page one for podcast. Cool. So if you google podcast course, I’d be pretty much at the top of Google Now there’s so many ads appearing, I’ve dropped to the second page. But because of that, the page seems less relevant somehow. It’s almost because we don’t click on the ads. Any ads that come along, you’ve literally jumped down to about three or four down below, even if you google something. And your answer is number one, you rarely ever click on number one on Google is always like three or four. So I think with Google AdWords, I think we’re just becoming blinkered, we’re just seeing it as you know, perhaps not the right answer. And based on questions, questions, questions, is the way to actually solve that problem. People are searching you. Does that make sense?
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [16:40]
I think it’s absolutely true. And I actually go back to your comment about arms to the public. were slightly different because we tend to work with large companies and they, they actually probably wouldn’t appear on that particular website, but they all have questions. I mean, everyone has questions about how to do the job better. And I think solving people’s problems is the Way to win business. And if I look at how we do that, that might be by some of the information we put on the website for someone. And we talked about the sales funnels at the awareness stage and the interest stage, really early on what we call top of the funnel. You know, it’s solving people’s problems through information, but when we talk about the bottom of the funnel, so when people are actually deciding to buy, you know, I can tell you that pretty much I can predict whether we win a pitch or not. And these pitches though, you know, big presentation, several of us going we spent, you know, days and days trying to work through it. If we can tell the potential clients something they don’t know, that helps them with their business. That is the biggest indicator of whether or not we’re going to win the business. Yeah. And it’s all about, you know, establishing credibility. Now. I get that’s different when you’re selling, you know, a pure product rather than selling a service. But, you know, I suspect a lot of your listeners are actually selling a service. They’re working to help people and it’s really all about showing you can help people before their customers is the way to get these, you know, the people you meet to become customers.
David Ralph [18:08]
Now, this is only like marketplaces. You know, I talked to so many people, one of my strap lines is Jesus didn’t have a Facebook account. And everyone’s so online, they forget that ultimately, it’s about talking to people. And if we take it back to the shop analogy, you go into a shop and if somebody comes over to you straight away and goes, can I help you? When you go no more, I’m away. That’s annoying. You don’t want but but if a part of that conversation, it’s right. It’s perfect. And I think that is where a lot of the sales funnels fail as well by jump on you. As soon as you’re on the website. They don’t allow you breathing space to actually make a decision. You’ve got to be strategic where your actual doorway to your panel occurs. And I know you know, I haven’t got mine, right. I still play around with it. I’m moving on. different pages I take things off. But there’s a key to when you actually enter into somebody’s thought process, isn’t it?
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [19:08]
Definitely. And I think it’s really interesting. I mean, what you do to try and help people as you do the podcast, and a lot of people who are looking to build a business, whether they using podcasting or not going to listen to Join Up Dots, they’re going to get a lot of information that’s going to help them from both you and your guests. We have something that that’s, you know, much, much simpler, much smaller in scale, but we do I mean, literally, a monthly email newsletter that talks about what’s happening to journalists and publications in particular industries, is very focused, it’s very niche. If you’re not working the industry, it’s the most boring thing in the world. But if you’re doing marketing in that industry, it’s absolutely vital. And you know, I’ve even had some of our competitors come to me say thank you for the newsletter is great. It really helps us like, we shouldn’t really be sending it but it’s great. You find it helpful, it’s probably a good indication. So I think, I think it’s providing that information so people can get a flavour of what it’s like working with you is so important to, you know, encouraging people to then start thinking about actually becoming a customer or client.
David Ralph [20:15]
Now, isn’t that interesting that you said that because you know, the fact that you shouldn’t be getting that newsletter because you’re a competitor. Because ultimately, I think, when we are too insular, and we hold back our business, and we don’t prove our worth, even to our competition, ultimately, we hold ourselves back. I’ve got a guy at the moment in America, but I’m helping him and he’s a business where he brings in about a million a year and he wants to take it to 5 million. And I said to him, the only way you’re going to do that is actually become the king of your industry. And that is stepping out of side and becoming more and arranging conferences, but you have actually the founder and becoming the centre pointed to it. But he can’t see that he still thinks that he’s got to hold close to his chest or his secrets. And I say to him, you know, a chef only sells books because he shows you he can cook. So why are we holding back those secrets? And why are we not actually sharing them with our competitors? Because it shows the world but actually, we’re bigger than them. We haven’t got any issues we can grow because we are willing to give our secrets away.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [21:29]
I think you’re absolutely right. And, you know, having having been a both a very geeky and also a bit of a hippie when it came to, you know, online back in the 80s and 90s. And, you know, I really believe in the comment that was made about, you know, in the early days, the Internet Information wants to be free. And I think what people have misunderstood is that comment was not about the price, but it was about information wants to be shared, and today with, you know, what’s happening in the world. There. Very few real secrets in business. You know, I can give an example I was working in technical support for a semiconductor company. And we sold into pretty much every single Formula One team. And I put one of our chips, because it was really good for developing engine management systems if you didn’t care how much they cost, and you just wanted the best performance you could possibly get. And so anyway, Ford entered, or Cosworth into the the, the Formula One market and they started building engines for Formula One. And a guy from Cosworth phoned me up and he said, Do I have to tell you what I’m calling about? And I said, No, I know exactly which product I’ll send you all the information. It’s all okay. It’s a bit strange. And I’ve worked for the one supposed to be super secret, and we got this new company who’s on the block who actually knows what everyone else is using. And then two years later, BMW came into Formula One, and I got almost exactly the same So, you know, it’s really interesting that people imagine what they’ve got is some secret sauce. It’s actually not really about secrets. It’s about people who are prepared to put the work in and actually do. But the secret says, whether it’s something you do or a product or you know anything else, it’s about really, you know, executing what you’re supposed to do, rather than just having this magical knowledge that no one else knows. Because, trust me a lot more people know what you think is secret than, than you’d ever imagined.
David Ralph [23:28]
Yeah, I agree with that. 100%. And if you take the sales funnel, we’re going to get back into the sales funnel. One of the things I say to people is, generally, people are lazy. That’s the first thing you’ve got to realise that people want to transformation. They want to go from A to B as easily as possible. Now, but in many ways is your secret sauce. Actual ingredient. That is actually what people want. They don’t want all the technical stuff and they’re bored Barber, all they want to do is go How can I go from here? So here in three weeks instead of trying to do it off of YouTube videos in three years, right, that’s the key to it, isn’t it? So on my business I at the throne, I always say, I can’t even remember what it is. Now I’ve gone totally blank, but some of the longer we get you success without the stress, because I totally believe a lot of what we do is easy if we know what we’re aiming for. We know where those people are, and we give them what they want. Simple as that. Would you agree?
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [24:30]
I think you should be interviewing you about sales funnels, you clearly have an awful lot. And I’m going to be honest, I think one of the reasons people have stopped talking so much about sales funnels, and they start referring to it as a customer journey is, to me the funnel is a it’s really the wrong way to think of things because it kind of envisages that you’ve got this, this person, this potential customer who kind of fall through all these levels and they’re doing the falling and all you’ve got to do is provide the right things at the right time. will magically happen. And I think again, that’s one of the mistakes people make with sales funnels, the reality is, is that actually the customers have steps they need to take before they’re going to spend money with you. And you need to help them along the way. And I love the idea of a journey rather than a folder, but basically the same thing. But to me, it’s all about helping and guiding the customer on the journey, rather than being a bit more passive sitting back and just waiting for them to fall through the funnel.
David Ralph [25:26]
Now, can you have too few steps? Okay. And can you I know you can have too many steps, but can you have too few?
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [25:34]
Absolutely. You know, so, the one thing to say is, although the structure of the funnel is very similar, and most people will have, I would say somewhere between, you know, three and six or seven normally you can absolutely have too few. So, you know, it tends to be around things that are purchases That, that people have to really think about to buy some, maybe it’s a lot of money, maybe it’s a big commitment. And if you look in our industry, that there are things we’re helping clients sell, that have incredible, incredible downsides if they make the wrong decision. So we work with one client who’s actually the biggest manufacturer of baggage handling systems in the world. So they make baggage handling systems for airports. If you’re building an airport terminal, you need some way of moving the baggage around and making sure the right bag gets the right plane. It’s a really fundamentally simple problem but incredibly difficult to do at scale because you’ve got to make sure that you can move stuff across a large airport really quickly. And you’ve also got to make sure that all security checks are done and this is a huge issue with baggage handling is is ensuring routing works for security. And anything that’s a potential risk is scanned and then brought a man is it’s so complicated. And these guys Talk about you know how long it takes customers to get through sales funnel. And one time they come to us at all, you know, the Middle East is great business for us at the moment, there’s lots of airports being built. And also, our sales cycle is only seven years. I think about that you think seven years of trying to sell a product. And they said, you know, in Europe, it can be 20 and they’ve sold systems have taken 20 years to sell. If you think about that, you tried to have a well, we’re just gonna make people aware, then we’re going to give them a bit of information and then they’ll buy quite clearly, that’s not going to be a good way to plan your marketing over seven years. I mean, that that that would be quite ridiculous. And you have to think about, you know, several stages as you move people along from the process of, you know, initially finding out who are the right vendors all the way through to actually picking you. But, you know, equally you have someone like, you know, an Amazon vendor, that they’re going to be selling things quite often on the basis. an Amazon search. And there, if you want to have a sales funnel that’s got 20 steps, it’s going to fail because you simply can’t put 20 steps into this customers decision making process because they’re going to search, they’re going to click on something they’re going to look at it with, okay? They’re going to buy it. And there, you should have a really short sales funnel. So you’ve got to understand what’s right for your business and what’s right for your customers.
David Ralph [28:22]
Well, what you’re saying bear, and I totally understand is, is the person has already decided they’re already looking. That’s why Amazon works so brilliantly. And that’s why we will use it because you’ve already got I want a tablet and you get on there and you spend about five minutes you book it and it comes next day. Now, the big thing on there once again, is that transformation why we love Amazon is not the product as such, it’s I can click a button that I o’clock at night and I get it next morning, you know, it’s amazing. Now, if you take that into a business, say let’s think of something a very localised business, let’s say a florist, for example. Once again, that works in Exactly the same way as Amazon. But somebody comes along they want a bunch of flowers by look by see a price, they click it, and they expect it on the day shouldn’t be too many steps should there?
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [29:12]
There shouldn’t be too many steps. I mean, I think florists actually have an incredibly difficult business because now there’s, there’s so many alternatives, you can go to your local florist, you can go to India floor, who, you know, potentially going to place an order with a local florist or maybe another local florist they have much as control or you get all these companies that are now basically sending flowers by post that have one central warehouse. So, you know, to me that the interesting thing about the florist business, for example is they’ve got to work out how they make sure people come to them rather than choosing alternative suppliers. And that can be difficult but a lot of it is around you know, customer service advice and making sure that they just give really good value. You know, I have to be honest, I buy flowers, you know, far too infrequently for my wife I should buy a lot more often. But what it does mean is I need to go to the florist because I have no clue what
David Ralph [30:06]
even though you’ve just said that my you won’t do it. Well, yeah, you’re not gonna come up this colon thing, actually, I’m just going to send you a bunch of flowers.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [30:15]
Now I’m going to come off the call and pray my wife doesn’t listen to this show.
David Ralph [30:20]
you think, Mike about the the next door neighbour customer? Because I spend a lot of time saying to people, yeah, it’s great to have a global business, but you target the people closest to you because you understand them the most. So you think about what your next door neighbour needs and what you need. And then you build a business based on that you understand your locality more globally. What do you think about that?
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [30:48]
Well, I think you’re thinking about, you know, closeness to someone on the basis of where they live that geography, and I’m not sure I necessarily think that’s the only way to be close. Someone so if you look at Napier, we basically work with people selling stuff to engineers. And it pretty much doesn’t matter where they’re selling stuff or where they’re based, and we have, you know, clients from all around the world. But the reason we are very, very close to our customers is, you know, all we do is help people sell stuff to engineers. And so we’re really good at it, because that’s what we do we focus on it. And so I think, you know, what you say about a local customer? I think it’s it’s building customers that have some sort of close relationship to that matters. But the one thing I’d absolutely agree with is going global, because global makes sense. You because global sounds good, does not make sense. I mean, you know, that there’s no point just wanting a global business because you want a global business. In fact, you know, if we look at what we do is at Napier. You know, a lot of what we do is focused in Europe. We’re very focused on our business in the Europe, we actually create, you know, campaigns that get used elsewhere in the world, but it’s not deliberate. It’s not we’re going to grow and become global and have offices around the world. In fact, you know, what I want to do is be even better at targeting Europe because I think if I’m even better at targeting Europe, actually, more and more of the things we do, can be used globally. But but just having global as an ambition seems seems crazy to me as it seems pointless. You know, honestly, very few businesses are so big that, you know, their local town or city doesn’t have enough money to support them. You know, I think people should, should not think about these these almost ego goals, they should think logically about who can they help and, you know, why are they uniquely positioned to help us and usually that comes down to, you know, specialisation and nation.
David Ralph [32:50]
Well, you’ve niche down and when you said that you only sell to engineers i thought was interesting, but how deep Can you go down because this is one of the things that I know people will About when I speak to them that by going deep by lose out on potential customers, and I always say to him, Look, believe me, there’s enough customers, and it will just mean that the right customers come to you. So how deep into the engineer process? Can you go?
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [33:15]
The simple answer to the question is to the question of whether you’re going to lose customers because you nice The answer is, yeah, that’s exactly the reason why you do it. You know, in fact, I mean that I turned down a potential client yesterday. That was, you know, selling really technical products in a market that was very similar to markets we work in, but just wasn’t our thing. And I know it’s the right thing to do. I hate turning down work, even now. But But I’ve now got to the point where I’ve realised that actually, if I can turn down the clients that are not perfect for us, I can pick more clients that are really really good fits and to me, the more clients you’ve got the fit really well. The better job you’re going to do, the more you’re going to enjoy it because you’re actually doing a better job, you know, adding more value, and ultimately, the better your business is going to be. So the answer is you can niche down to two crazy, crazy levels of, you know, specific areas of work. And to me, I mean, the big thing you’ve got to try and avoid, it goes back to this question about globalisation. and wanting a global business, actually, it’s not about size, it’s ultimately it’s about how much money you’re making on whether you feel you’re doing a good job. And you can potentially make more money as a one person businesses you could as a 20 person company is entirely possible. So, trying to get you know, this ego fed by building something that’s big. It’s not the right thing to do. And from a marketing point of view, it’s definitely not the right thing to do
David Ralph [34:50]
is I turned down I don’t know if I should admit this on the podcast, but I’m going to admit it, but I turned down a lot of business, just because I don’t think I like The person I’m speaking to, and I know a lot of the work that I do, I will be meeting these people every week for a period of time. And if I’m talking to them, and there’s just something that doesn’t connect with me personally, but I think to myself, I’m really like this person, this is a good person, I feel something bolam then I won’t work with him.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [35:21]
I think that’s absolutely the right thing to do. We, towards the end of last year, we actually stopped working with a client because, frankly, the way they were treating the people working on the account was unacceptable, they were just not being nice. And, you know, I kind of worried about it, because I thought, you know, should we lose this business? You know, obviously, the person who’s who’s then going to lose that account is going to be sure to work, what are we going to do? And in the end, I thought, actually, I don’t want people in in a company I work for turning up and being treated like this. Simple as that. And we had to, we had to make the decision and we We decided to tell the client we weren’t gonna work with them going forward. And it all ended very nicely. I mean, there was no, there was no real problems. And the great thing now is we’ve got in my mind, and even better, even more exciting clients, that that is going to give us potentially a lot more business. And we’re able to surface that because we’ve got someone who’s absolutely fabulous running accounts, who’s now got the time to do it. So these things do work out and it is stressful at the time and you can go through tough periods when you do it. But I think, you know, it does come down to deciding you know, what you want to do and who you want to work with. And if you want to work with people who you feel you’ve got a connection with, and you feel you know, you’re working together. I think that’s great. I mean, I’d absolutely support that every time.
David Ralph [36:46]
Do you remember the early days Mike, when you would bend over for $50? Basically Hey, man, you know, cuz I I look back on it. I had some dreadful clients. I really did. And I was hardly charging anything because I kind didn’t really believe in myself, you know, it was all very early days and stuff. But I he wanted so much value out of me it was it was a killer.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [37:09]
We still made that same mistake. But you know, our early days. I mean, I actually. So I moved into the business, I was actually a client of the agency at the two people who founded the agency were retiring. And so what I did was, I actually bought into the agency. So I bought the agency.
I bought it in April 2001. I don’t know if you remember, but may 2001 was the month of the.com. crash. Yeah. And the only thing you needed to do in May 2001 was make sure you hadn’t bought an agency that specialised in technology. Because that was that was the worst move in the world. And I remember at one point, you know, we everyone has these problems and you know, nobody has a smooth ride in business. But I remember at one point I was sat there The new phone system that we bought, and, you know, added to the debt that I had basically, in buying the company didn’t work. And I sat there and the phones went ringing. And someone said, this is a disaster. The phones aren’t working. It’s I said, Look on the bright side, the phones aren’t working, at least it’s another couple of days before people are going to cancel their contracts because they’ve lost all their marketing budget, you know, you’ve got to kind of have this sense of humour. And I’m sure if you talk to anyone, they’ll tell me I had no sense of humour at the time, but But yeah, it’s always tough. And when you’ve been through that, you will tend to do work and accept being underpaid for it. And it’s wrong. And I think, honestly, sometimes when you do work and get underpaid, you actually don’t do your best work because you know, deep down inside that, that it’s not fair. It’s not the right thing to do. So I’m a total totally agree with you. We all make these mistakes. I mean, if I was, if I was to look back, and you know give myself some advice in terms of running a peer, it was some of the people who tell you stuff, I’m going to be right. And people who told me about, you know, don’t take bad business don’t have employees that are not really on board with the company, you know, all of this sort of stuff. It’s all true. But I think it’s very hard to learn that by being told it’s, it’s very easy to learn it by making the mistakes and then doing it right and going. There’s a world of difference between, you know, doing it wrong and doing it right. And I’m absolutely going to do it right next time. And I’ve, I’ve learned an awful lot. I mean, I figure, you know, one of my skills is making a lot of mistakes, because it means I learned very, very quickly.
David Ralph [39:39]
I was on a podcast yesterday, and somebody said to me, you know, what is your super talent? I said, I think we’ve got to now I said, persistence and laziness. And I said, What do you mean by that? And I said, because I now I’m very aware, but I’m only going to do stuff on my business, but I think will work. Well. In the old days. I used to do 100 things and it was yeah It was it was hustle and grind. You know, I was always big on hustling grind. And I would power through 20 hour days, seven weeks on a truck, you know, and all that kind of stuff. But now I think that laziness in a strategic way of separating yourself from the business, leaving it behind and allowing the thoughts to come to you in a clear way. I think that is a real super talent, do you?
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [40:26]
I wish I had that super talent. That’s great. I mean, you know, one of the things I do is I actually spend some time doing doing things that frankly, interest me. And, you know, with marketing, there’s always something new and I love looking at what’s new and what you know, seeing what works and, you know, it’s not necessarily hard work for me. But it is spending the time to do it. So I deliberately pick things that I think that’d be interesting to look at that let’s build a project around it. Let’s see if it works. If it works, that’s great because we can go to our clients and say this is a Amazing, this is gonna work, you know, probably four times out of five, the new idea that the latest shiny thing doesn’t work. But it’s still fun. I mean, let’s have fun trying things and seeing how they work. And we do a lot of that when we test the marketing for our business, so we’ll test things on our business before we actually go and talk to clients about it.
David Ralph [41:20]
I like pub lunches, Mike. I love the fact that me and my wife go down the pub at 12 o’clock. And I say to her, everybody else is at work area, you know, and it’s just us and the silver brigade is always full of old people getting that discount lunches, but um, yeah, I love that pub lunch. And I think it’s a big win. It’s a breathing space from business, but you go off and you do something and you have a conversation.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [41:48]
I’m very jealous. I mean, it’s interesting I show to try and take a lunch break, you know, even if it’s it’s 20 minutes, half an hour. I’m clearly not putting enough effort into my lunch break. So because I very much Ready to go down the pub I need to, you know, that’s an area that clearly I’m making mistake. I’ve learned that it’s a mistake I need to now improve. Thank you, you’ve, you’ve helped me use my superpower.
David Ralph [42:08]
I had a guy on the show just before we bring the show to an end. And as he was talking, I was in the grind stage and I was, you know, making the most of every hour. And I kind of knew that I wasn’t making the most of every hour, but I was bad every hour, ploughing through and creating beings and doing stuff. And he’s he was an Australian guy. I can’t remember what his name was. But he said that he would go into his office at say nine o’clock in the morning. And if things had dropped out, if a client conversation wasn’t on anymore, if there was a meeting that wasn’t scheduled, he would never fill it up with anything else. He would just go home. And he would say, you know, that was my work and if my work is not there, I’m not doing it and he stopped flying aeroplanes and and playing on the beach with these kids. And I thought to myself Is that the right way of doing it or not? You know, and I thought about it for a long time thinking, should you feel stuff in just because you’ve got the space? Or should you allow the space to win physically yourself, so that you you go for a walk in the countryside, you sit on a bench, you get some sunshine is back better. And I come to the conclusion, Mike, by the way, is it’s better to actually be away from the business. And I’ll tell you a quick story. There was a guy called Simon he created video blocks, where you could buy a little blocks of video to make your own marketing stuff good. And he was in an office and he was running it all the time, and decided that he was going to get an RV and just drive across America. And his business went up exponentially. Because as he was just driving, looking at concrete and photographing trees and stuff, he would get these ideas and he was absolutely adamant that it wouldn’t have occurred. If he was in the office, he had to get away from it.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [44:04]
I think that’s a interesting idea, David, I think focusing on number of hours in the office is the wrong thing to do. Whether you’re focusing on spending a lot because you feel that’s the right thing to do to work really hard and spend a lot of time or you’re focusing on trying to cut them down because you feel you you want to get you know, more time, I think what you’ve got to do is think about, you know, what you want to do with your life, ultimately, it sounds very deep. But, you know, for me, I’ve got things I do outside of work that I try and make sure I do. So, you know, in the summer, I love playing cricket, you know, playing cricket with with my youngest son. He’s now way better than I am. And so I struggled to get in the same team as him most of the time, by just not sure I don’t even struggle. I don’t get close. But we’re still playing on the same team in on Sunday. So you know, I’m going to play Sunday’s cricket and I really enjoy it. Great thing to do. You know, I I’ve got another hobby. That’s speedskating. And that’s cool because again, you know, like cricket, there’s a time we have to do it. You can’t just pick up at an ice rink and put like cricket suits on, it really is not a good look. And so, you know, again, it’s something you have to do, you have to make time for and to me, it’s not so much about, you know, looking at how much time you spend at work and, you know, aiming for, whether it’s 40 hours or 30 hours or 60 hours, or whatever your magic number is hundred and 20. If you’re one of the super hard workers, it’s much more about thinking, Well, what do I want to do, let’s make sure I make time for the things other than work. Because it’s so easy to just sit and work and work and the people who have grind. But to me, it’s not necessarily grind. It’s just, I have so many things that I could do. I could feel the week twice over like I could work 24 hours a day, I’d still never do them. And some of the things that fun I mean, some of things I’ve really liked, but it doesn’t mean I should spend all my time at work. I need to have a balance. I think getting a balance. is really key. I think with business owners, the balance tends to be skewed towards work. I mean, that’s inevitable. But trying to get some other stuff done is is really important. Yeah,
David Ralph [46:10]
I agree before I bring you to the end of the show my my big thing at the moment is a company called treasure travels, treasure travels.co.uk. I’m getting to give them a big boost. And you you basically type in a town, and you get like a treasure hunt in that town. And I tell you where to start. And it’s kind of like a walk with a purpose. And me and my wife, we download them know about 10 quid and we go off with our mates. And sometimes it becomes a bit of a pub crawl. And other times it just becomes a nice walk in the sunshine. But you’re seeing parts of the local neighbourhood that you never even knew was there and local towns, you had no idea of the history, but treasure trails kind of lay out. And it’s like a murder mystery and you tick things off and you work out who did a certain crime. And it takes about two or three hours, but we love doing that.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [46:57]
That’s awesome. I’ve not seen treasure trove. But I will definitely be logging on that sounds like such fun and, and, and a really good reason to, you know, get out of the office and go have some fun. I might not do it, you know, in the next couple of days because the weather is pretty awful here in the UK. But yeah, yeah, that sounds amazing.
David Ralph [47:16]
Yeah, good team building and, or just maybe a family and stuff and you get out there and you walk around. And you find that your kids have motivation for the first ball clues and then you’re dragging them around a bit after back. So, so leave the kids behind and just just make it an adult thing. Now, you have alluded to this already, what you would say to your younger self, who first bought the company, but I want to go a little bit deeper. So this is the part of the show that we call the Sermon on the mic when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young MC, what age would you speak to and what advice would you give him where we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the music and when it fades is your time. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [48:24]
So I think I’d go back to myself when I was about 14. We talked about cricket and I’m sure the American listeners are looking at cricket but but it’s a really big sport in the UK. I when I was 14 things weren’t going particularly well for me in terms of you know, friendships at school and things like that my younger brother had clearly demonstrated that not only was he a better cricketer than me, he was always going to be a better character than me. And I was having a really tough time. And I’m not a big believer in people who say, you know, everything’s for a purpose and then the tough times actually a good I was just having a bad time and I go back. And I’d say to myself, look, you are having a really bad time. But you are really close to having, you know, some of the best years that, that you’re ever going to have the most fun, you’ve got to work through the tough times, you’ve got to live with them. But you’ve also got to remember that they don’t last forever. And to me if I could go back and say that and give myself you know, a little bit more reason to be optimistic and to understand that, you know, you have good times you have bad times. And you kind of have to work through those bad times. But just because things are difficult today, it doesn’t mean that tomorrow is going to be bad. And if I could go back, that’s absolutely what I’d say. And hopefully, you know, I might even be able to crack a smile at 14 even though I’m not that good at cricket.
David Ralph [49:46]
You’re not supposed to be good at cricket. Nobody really watches cricket. Anyway, my my dad’s a big cricket fan, and he’s just miserable all the time. It’s always doom and gloom.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [49:56]
Well, I mean, the great thing about cricket, it’s one of the best sports because, you know, I mean, you obviously know, but some of the listeners don’t know, almost every Cricket Ground has either a bar or a pub next to it. And if you’re bad at cricket, you spend less time on the field actually playing the game, which means you spend more time in the pub. So you know, it’s one of those games where you can go, you can be terrible, and you could still have an amazing time. Because you’re sat there drinking beer, watching the guys who are really good. And so, you know, I think it’s about trying to enjoy stuff and and then to me, I mean, going back and talk to my younger self, I think it’s about looking at what what I enjoy and making sure I do as much of that as possible. And, you know, it was probably the first time I was really down about things when I was 14, I think like most other 14 year old boys, to be honest. But uh, but I remember that time really, really well still. And I remember feeling at the time that things are never going to get better. And the reality is, is Yeah, there’s going to be tough times but things are going to get better. And to me, I think, you know, perhaps I’m not always the most optimistic person a bit more optimism would be a good thing.
David Ralph [51:04]
Why great stuff, we brought it to the end, it’s been a show that has blended both the personal and the technical, which I think is good. And we haven’t played a single motivational sound clip is all been motivation from you, Mike. So what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [51:23]
And probably the best way is our website, which is Napier b2b dot com. So that’s na, p i r, b, the number two and then b.com. But we’re also launching a podcast. We’ve called our podcast marketing b2b tech, because that’s exactly what we do. And I’m working very slowly in terms of building that. Please don’t judge us on the quality of the first few episodes. And once I’ve done it as often as you David, I might be half as good, but I’m a long, long way from there. So yeah, if people want to subscribe to the podcast, that’d be great as well.
David Ralph [51:59]
Right? We have all the links on the show notes. Mike, thank you so much for spending time with us today joining those dots. And please come back again, when you got more dots to join up, because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is always the best way to build our futures. Mike, thank you so much.
Sales Funnel Expert Mike Maynard [52:17]
Thank you, David. It’s been great.
David Ralph [52:20]
Mr. Mike Maynard from Napierb2b.com. So as he was saying, you know, the sales funnel is important, but it’s not as important as not knowing your customer, not giving your customer the ability to talk to you and connect with you. Very few sales Walker, straight off the bat. People don’t really come to a website and just go, it’s a credit card, especially as it gets more and more expensive. Whatever you’re servicing, you’ve got to think about the nurturing process and you’ve got to allow people to have their mind protect rest, so don’t get focused on having emails whizzing around. thing, you know, just a technical stuff. Just think about it of the end game. How can I really express to the customer what I’m offering, and make them feel that it’s good? And generally, I think it’s by talking to them. Until next time, I will see you again. Look after yourselves. See?
Pete Matthew [53:21]
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David Ralph [54:52]
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