How To Fix Your Marketing Strategy With Marcus Sheridan

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They Ask You Answer: How To Fix Your Marketing Strategy With Marcus Sheridan From Marcus Sheridan International [AMP 130]

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When you were younger, who did you go to when you had a tough question? Your single source of truth – your dad. These days, when people have questions, they ask a search engine. They go to Alexa!

There are big questions that companies are afraid to answer. As marketers, are you listening to questions your customers are asking? Are you answering the right questions? Today, my guest is Marcus Sheridan, author of They Ask You Answer.

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AMP130: They Ask You Answer: How To Fix Your Marketing Strategy With Marcus Sheridan From Marcus Sheridan International
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Some of the highlights of the show include:

  • Premise of Book: Business philosophy of how buyers think, questions they ask, and how they want to learn and buy
  • Elements of Success: Seen as a teacher and trusted voice in your space
  • Many of us think and speak like marketers; be honest when creating content
  • Big 5 subjects that determine what people buy and companies don’t want to address; cost-based, negative/problems, comparison, best of, and reviews
  • Let customers learn from you, not someone else; consumer ignorance is no longer a viable sales and marketing strategy
  • Stop the mindset of digital marketing as an expense and sales team as revenue
  • Get leadership to understand concepts/results of sales and marketing initiative
  • Marketer Psychology: Prophet to the world, but no one listens to you in hometown
  • Why are you producing content? For marketing or sales? The falsehood of too much
  • Emails should include education; refuse to be average

If you liked today’s show, please subscribe on iTunes to The Actionable Content Marketing Podcast! The podcast is also available on SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google Play.

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Transcript:

Eric: Okay marketers, I want you to think back to when you were little. Who did you go to when you had a really tough question? Well, if you’re like me, when I was little, I would run directly to my single source of truth. That’s right, I run right to my dad because dad knew everything. I’d hit him with the really hard questions like, “Hey dad, what’s a cloud made out of?” He’d fumble through an answer like, “I think it’s some dust, and some water, and some other stuff son.” I remember just believing him like it was gospel.

Well, just earlier this week, my own 7-year-old son, he had that very same question. But instead of running directly to me for that answer, he ran directly past me, and right to Alexa and asked her what a cloud was made out of. I was so completely offended, but that’s right. In this day and age, when people have questions, they ask a search engine.

Now marketers, we figured out if we have the answers to those questions and the right content strategy, well, we can end up at the top of the search results and can be seen by millions and millions of eyeballs every day. But here is the trick, are you answering the right questions? That is the topic of today’s podcast and my guest is Marcus Sheridan. He is the author of They Ask, You Answer. He’s the president at Marcus Sheridan International and a partner of the newly formed IMPACT. He is a phenomenal keynote speaker and a fantastic guest.

Today, we break down what is the content strategy. Are you listening to the questions your customers and prospects are really asking because here’s the deal, sometimes we don’t want to answer the questions that they really want the answers to. Tough questions like, “What would your product cost? What things can go wrong during an implementation or use of your product or service? What’s your biggest competitor and how does your product or services compare to what they provide? And also, what are your customers saying about your service or product?” These are the big five questions that a lot of companies are afraid to answer online. If they don’t find it from you, they’ll find it somewhere else.

We’ll break it all down. It’s a fantastic episode. My name is Eric Piela. I am the host of the Actionable Marketing Podcast and the Brand & Buzz manager here at CoSchedule. I can’t wait to introduce you to Marcus. Let’s get the show on the road. Buckle up, it is time to get AMPed.

Alright. Welcome everybody to another episode of the Actionable Marketing Podcast. I’m your host, Eric Piela and I am joined today by just, I don’t know, one of my favorite guys. Every time we have a chance to connect, he’s just a fun one to connect with, just a good soul, good spirit. Marcus Sheridan, welcome to the show.

Marcus: Eric, pleasure to be here. We’re going to have a good conversation. I got that good feeling this morning.

Eric: We got some good vibes. I like it. It’s probably because you just came back from Florida and you’re feeling all good, right?

Marcus: That could be true. Either way, happy to catch up and chat.

Eric: Yeah, this is great. Well, Marcus, you and I, we connected about five years. Has it been five years?

Marcus: Yeah, it’s been a long time man. Many years.

Eric: Yeah. We had you come up to Fargo. We did a big marketing conference here back when I was in an agency before at CoSchedule. You crushed it. As always, you give a killer keynote and you have had a successful career. You just have a way I think with connecting with people not only in person, but with the words. You’ve got a video series you’re doing right now. I think you threw it through Facebook and LinkedIn. Just fantastic content you’re pushing out today.

People, if you’re listening and this is your first in experience interacting with Marcus Sheridan, I implore you to go and check out Marcus’ content. It’s phenomenal. That’s one of the reasons I have you on the show today. You put out a book, They Ask, You Answer a year or two ago. There’s still some great things that you’ve got that I think you still talk about today. Before I get ahead of myself, I love to kind of get rambling here, but I would love just to take a quick pause and have you introduce yourself Marcus. Tell us about sort of how you got into the marketing business. How you got into the influencer game, and the keynote speaking circuit, and an author. If you could, share that with our audience.

Marcus: Many people know me as the pool guy because I started a swimming pool company in 2001, essentially out of college with a couple of buddies and very bootstrap. Things were going okay up until about 2008 when we almost lost the business because of course, the market collapsed, and we were in huge trouble. I thought we were going to file bankruptcy. During that time, I started to learn about the internet where I was like, “We got to save the business. We can’t really spend any money to do it.” That’s when I discovered inbound, and content, and all this stuff.

What I heard in what I would consider pretty simple pool guy mind was, “You know Marcus, if you just obsessed with your customers questions and you’re willing to address them, then you just might save your business.” We embraced a philosophy at the time that I called They Ask, You Answer. We’re going to be the best teachers in the world when it comes to, in our case, fiberglass swimming pools.

We started that process in 2009 and to make the long story short, it really exploded Eric in today’s most trafficked swimming pool website in the world. We get about three quarters to a million visitors a month. It not only saved the company, but we’re manufacturing fiberglass pools today as well.

When I started experiencing thee success about a year into it I said, “I think everybody should know about this stuff,” and so I just started writing about it and called the blog The Sales Lion which is kind of a funny name, but that was the name of it, and that ended up becoming a business. A lot of people started to say to me, “Hey, can you teach us how to do that thing you do with your pool company? Can  you share that story about your pool company in my event?” It just led to what is a full time career of speaker today.

I’m a silent partner at my simple company and The Sales Lion merged with another agency called IMPACT. Today, I’ve got about 60 employees there. I’m one of the owners and we do all things digital sales and marketing. The book, like you said, came out in 2017. Interestingly enough, literally yesterday, I put the finishing touches and sent out the manuscript to the revised version of They Ask, You Answer because lots of things happen within two years. I want to make sure that marketers and business owners are staying in front of the curve. It’s exciting times, Eric. That’s the quick update man.

Eric: Wow. You heard it here first folks.

Marcus: Yeah, I literally haven’t shared it anywhere. I didn’t put it on social media. I’m such a great promoter.

Eric: That’s awesome. Good for you. What a cool story. I really do love your story. You’ve found something that worked. I love the pool guy. Finding something that worked which kind of snowballed into this like, “Hey, if it can work for this pool guy, why couldn’t it work for us?” The story that you tell, and the way you’ve done it, and there’s a reason for your success, and I think there’s a reason for your keynote success, and a reason for this book is seeing such success, and that’s what I really want to dive into today.

I think this is awesome. I love the timing. If there are certain things in your revisions that you maybe originally wrote upon, then that maybe have shifted a little bit in the last years, we would love to hear some of those things as well. I’ve got to ask you then, for those of you who haven’t read your book, what is the premise of They Ask, You Answer?

Marcus: I think if I’d written the book in 2010, it would have been up a book about blogging. What it became, when I realized They Ask, You Answer was over the course of time, it’s a business philosophy. It’s an obsession with the way buyers think, and the questions they ask, and how they wanted to learn, and how they wanted to buy. Therefore, the willingness of the business to address those very things.

If you’re obsessed with They Ask, You Answer as an organization you say, “Okay, first and foremost, if we’ve ever received the question, we feel like it’s our moral obligation to address it on the frontend, in other words, the digital side of the conversation. We’re not going to wait until they ask it in the sales appointment. We’re going to address it on the frontend of it.” That’s the first part. But it’s also the willingness to say things like, “You know what? There’s been a dramatic shift towards video,” and just because we haven’t necessarily done much video in the past, it doesn’t really matter because this is what the marketplace wants. Even though I necessarily as the CEO don’t love video, that doesn’t matter because the only thing that matters again is the marketplace. We need to see ourselves as a media company and we need to embrace video. That’s an example of They Ask, You Answer.

I released the book Eric without a bunch of promotion, without a bunch of fanfare, and what’s so cool about it is it’s selling more today, two years later, than it was selling at the beginning. The snowball is growing which is one of the reasons for the revision. Fundamentally, I think there’s a few different elements that make the book successful. It goes back to what you said, the question is why. I want to apply this to marketers. This is a big deal.

I think as a whole, we make a big mistake within the marketing space because fundamentally, too many of us think and speak like marketers. The biggest benefit that I had when I got into digital is that I was a business owner that was focused on sales. I came from that angle and that’s the only thing that I really cared about. Let me give you an example. If you go to most CEOs and you say, “Is content marketing…” let’s just use that as an example. “Is content marketing going to be relevant to your business in 20 years?” Many would say, “I don’t know. I doubt it.” But if you went to a CEO and you said, “Is becoming the most trusted voice in your space and being seen as a teacher, is that going to be incredibly significant to your business in 10, 20, or 30 years?” 100% are going to say, “Yes, absolutely.” But the question was the same Eric. That’s what content marketing is.

The problem is, if you go online right now and you look at the definition of content marketing, the definition was written by content marketers and because of that, it sounds like marketing speak and doesn’t resonate with sales teams, it doesn’t resonate with CEOs. That’s why the biggest issue in the digital space right now between sales, and marketing, and leadership is that there are silos, there’s a buy-in problem, and this is why so many CMOs and marketers are leaving their positions sooner rather than later. The turnover is prolific because they’re so frustrated because they can’t get the buy-in from their team, but it fundamentally starts with how marketers talk about it.

Eric: Yeah, that’s great. I actually noticed that. I remember it was a Twitter stream you had about the use of Omni channel. The words that marketers love to create in our jargon, and that’s just not the way that our customers talk, or speak, or search potentially. We try to do the job of understanding keyword search terms and that kind of thing, but it’s interesting. I love that angle. I think it’s really understanding what’s important. You pulled out a really keyword there I think about asking your CEO about building trust. You have a big part in the book that’s about being honest in your marketing content. Could you kind of elaborate a bit more on that?

Marcus: Let me give you an example. When I started the process of They Ask, You Answer, and brainstormed all the questions I was getting all the time, and really start to produce that content, I went back and looked at the data after the first six months and I was like, “Oh my gracious, there’s clear patterns here.” Those patterns have remained true to this day. They’re actually more important today than they’ve ever been especially as Google comes out and talks about the way that we’re evolving as searchers and as buyers.

There’s basically five subjects that run the internet or at least that determine what people buy and how they buy it. Literally, five subjects that people are constantly researching before they engage a company–B2B, B2C, it doesn’t matter. It’s all the same play in terms of how people research. The five subjects that people want to know, that they’re searching all the time yet businesses don’t want to talk about, hearing live the transparency part, this is what we call the Big Five in the book.

The Big Five are anything that has to do with cost based questions. Anything that has to do with a negative or problems based questions that people have. Anything that has to do with comparison based questions. Anything that has to do with reviews and finally, best-based questions. You say, “I’m a little bit confused Marcus, what do you mean by that?” Let’s just use pools as a really simple example for a second. Whether you’re B2B or B2C, don’t listen to this and say, “Okay, well, I’m a service-based business. I don’t see the application.” It’s all the same thing. I know it’s the exact same from my agency. In this case, for a swimming pool, it might be, “How much does a fiberglass pool cost? What are the problems with a fiberglass pool? How is a fiberglass pool compared to a concrete swimming pool? Review of the best fiberglass pool manufacturers in the US. What is the best in-ground swimming pool for my backyard?” Those are just five really fast examples of questions that people are asking.

What’s crazy about this Big Five—and you see this over and over again because I’ve replicated this now literally hundreds of times, Eric—is buyers are obsessed with them, businesses don’t like to talk about them, they would prefer to be the ostrich. What happens is we have all these third party sites that run the education in many industries. Like bloggers or like Yahoo! Answers, or an Angie’s List, or some other place like this is where they’re actually answering buyer-based questions instead of the businesses, or the manufacturers, or the companies themselves. That’s what’s fascinating to me because they don’t want to talk about the questions that buyers really care about. When we do our research online as consumers and buyers, we generally learn about it from not the individuals we’re going to be buying from, but from third party sites.

Eric: I get that and I can see that. To recap the Big Five, what will it cost, what can go wrong, who’s your biggest competition, who does it compare with based on what your competitors provide, and then what do your customers say about your service and products. I can definitely see like, we don’t want to expose those things. I’m being transparent as I always do on this podcast. We have different tiers of our pricing as a product and we certainly are transparent with many of those tiers in terms of what the cost is, but then there’s some like, “Well, I don’t know. For an enterprise, do we want to put that price out there?” I think you go through those dilemmas but these are the things that people are searching for, these are the things that your customers want to understand and know. If they don’t find it from you, they’re going to search somewhere else.

Marcus: That’s the big point, Eric.

Eric: Yeah.

Marcus: You have the choice. They can either learn it from you or they can learn it from somebody else, but know this, they are eventually going to find out. They might as well find out from you. If we’re really thinking the big picture here, that’s why we always say that consumer ignorance is no longer a viable sales and marketing strategy. Although it used to be, it clearly is not today. The moment we say, “Okay, our buyers aren’t dumb, they’re going to figure it out. It allows us to educate them at a level that we’ve never done up to this point.”

Hey, everybody. I hope you’re enjoying the conversation with Marcus Sheridan. While we take a quick pause, I would love to ask a favor of you. I’m always looking for interesting new topics and interesting new guests to have on the Actionable Marketing Podcast. I would love your feedback. I’d love to understand what my listeners would like to hear about and who they like to hear from. Please send me an email at podcast@coschedule.com and let me know, I’ll make sure I give back to you and appreciate your suggestions. Alright, let’s get back to our conversation with Marcus.

Eric: I remember from the book, I want to say it was like that one blog post that you created and I think maybe it was talking about your competition, or it was talking about what could go wrong, but it ended up being a primary revenue generator for you.

Marcus: Let me just give you a couple of numbers. If you were research anything about how much a fiberglass swimming pool cost, you’re going to find us. That one single article has generated well over $6 million in revenue at this point. The one about fiberglass pool problems I think is up to about $1.5 million in revenue. The one that does comparisons between concrete and fiberglass, and vinyl liner pools which you know, that’s the other types of pools in the industry, that’s done well over $1 million in revenue.

We can track everything back to it because you can say, “Okay, when the lead came into the system, what brought them in the system? What was the piece of content that gets the credit for the sale?” That’s how we view it. That’s why we see the digital side of our business as a revenue driver, not as an expense.

That’s another laughable thing. If you talk to most CFOs still and they’re going to say that your digital marketing is an expense, and your sales team is revenue, that is the dumbest mindset in the history of the world, and it still exists in 2019, Eric. We got to stop that. Again, a lot of it has to do with the lack of education. I mean, let’s be honest, you ran a conference for years. One of the biggest issue is buy-in. The reason why that issue exists is not because your CEOs are hard-headed, or sales managers are just jerks, it’s because of ignorance.

Ignorance is a direct result of a lack of education. A lack of education is a direct result from the fact that if you go to an event like a Content Marketing World, or like at Inbound, or like at  IMPACT Live, my event this year, whatever it is, who do you find–90% plus marketers, who do you not find–sales managers. Who also do you generally not find–leadership team. It is way more important that your sales manager and your leadership team is at that digital marketing conference that you’re attending this year than you are. You’re already slurping it up. You’re eating the dog food all day long. Here’s what happens, we go to these events, we get fired up like, “This is great. I’m going to apply this to my business.” We go back, we present it to the team, and they rain on the parade.

Eric: I think this is a big case. We’ve had this conversation before, but having leadership and the sales leadership understand the same concepts; understanding the same result.

Marcus: Yes. Let’s talk about video just for a second here because I got a whole section on video in the revised version of the book. Video, when you ask most people to describe its value, they call it a marketing tool. That is the wrong mindset. What is video? Video is a trust tool that directly benefits the sales team that also happens to help the marketing department. That’s the priorities.

Start with trust. It is a direct tool that the sales team can integrate into the sales process right now and it also benefits marketing. Usually, it’s the other way around. Usually, videos’ about marketing and maybe it’ll help sales. When you come from a strategic standpoint of, “This is about sales.” It’s crazy how much more effective it is. Another thing here that’s interesting, I’ve talked probably 250 workshops now all over the world, two different organizations, big and small, some really big brands, some small Mom and Pops.

When I go out to a company, I always have the same deal with them. I said, “Look, I don’t care if you’re marketing department is in the room. They probably read my book. They have watched the videos. They’re totally into this, but your sales team has to be there, and if they’re not there, I’m not going to show up.” Because why? Because unless this is viewed as a sales and marketing initiative—this whole thing that you and I call digital, or inbound, or whatever it is that we’re calling it—unless it’s viewed that way, we’re not going to get anything done. Unless sales is actively participating in the content production process, it’s not going to resonate. They’re not going to own it for themselves. We don’t appreciate that which we don’t help create.

When marketing is creating all of that “content”, sales has in other subject matter experts have nothing to do with it, generally, you never see a great culture of digital within the organization. You see this all the time. Sales manager has clearly catch the vision has to see, “How do we integrate content to the sales process, and let’s therefore, help dictate what the editorial calendar looks like,” so that if something is produced—the next buy-in guide, or the next video, or whatever that thing is—the sales team isn’t saying, “Why did we do that?” I mean, case in point.

The dumbest video that everybody wants to create first for their organization is the About Us. No salesperson has ever said, “Oh my goodness, this About Us video is going to close so many stinking deals.” They don’t say that 99 out of 100 times. I’m sure there’s one exception of the great About Us video out there. We do About Us videos because they sound really nice and they make us feel really good about ourselves. They don’t sell stuff. You spend a bunch of money on this one video that doesn’t sell stuff. It doesn’t make any sense. We need to make a shift in terms of these priorities.

Eric: I’m reading between the lines and making some assumptions, but bringing the sales and marketing teams together, departments together, working as one, or you better have a very close, open in communication between the marketing department and sales department. Based on these comments, I mean, there should be a really close understanding the goals of each particular piece of content. Like you said, “Marketing may fall under their umbrella,” but I think to your previous point about developing trust as a sales enablement tool, there’s a lot more at risk.

I love those concepts. I think, everyone listening is probably going, “Yeah,” they’re going, “Yeah, I get this. How do I get my sales people or my executive team to listen and to understand?” Do you have any piece of the book like you got to have guts to try this. Do you have any tips on how to start this process or how to…

Marcus: Yeah, let me just give you some. Some of these are going to sound self-serving, but it’s just reality. For example, one thing is, I wrote the book for business leaders, for CEOs, for sales managers, not for marketers. You’ve got to somehow help them get education from somewhere else. Maybe it’s a book, maybe it’s a video, maybe it’s attending a conference, but the thing is you can’t do it. Now, that sounds offensive to some, but here’s the problem, I tell my kids something and they’re like, “Dad, that’s a dumb idea.” Somebody else tells them something like, “Oh, this makes a lot of sense.” That’s because you can be a prophet to the world but nobody will listen to you in your hometown.

You could be the best marketer in the world, but you’re preaching from the hilltops in your organization where everybody is like, “That’s just Eric. That’s what Eric does.” They bring in somebody like Marcus and it’s like, “Oh.” All of a sudden you’re like, “I don’t understand. I’ve been saying this for 10 years.” It’s just psychology. It’s messed up, but that’s the reality for so many marketers.

You also, in conjunction with that, you want to do some type of catalyst style event in-house where you have a true deep conversation where sales, marketing, and leadership are there together, and any other subject matter experts really and say, “What is the what, the how, and the why of this stuff they call digital of content, of video, and how can we make it fly within the organization?” Unless you eliminate all those concerns on the frontend, you’re going to have too many obstacles that appear after the fact.

Let me give you an example, if you don’t have everybody understanding why it’s so important to talk about the cost and price of your services on your website on the frontend, which by the way, I don’t have time to go into that right now. It’s the biggest no-brainer in the history of earth. If you reading the book, you’ll see all about that, or I’ve got videos online about this. You don’t have to put your exact price list, but you’ve got to talk about what are the factors that drive the cost of the product or service up and down. Why are some companies expensive why are some companies cheap. That is the key.

If we don’t talk about things, we allow for ignorance and that unintentionally commoditizes the very thing we were trying to decommoditize by not talking about it. But not talking about it is what actually commoditizes because it breeds ignorance in the marketplace. When we want to get this buy-in, then we have to get everybody in a room where they stop looking at all the notifications on their phone, and you have a conversation about, “This is how the buyer has changed. This is how our sales process is evolving, and this is what we need to do to stay ahead of the marketplace.” I’ve seen this over and over again and it’s amazing.

To your point, some of the most progressive companies in terms of sales and marketing, they’re shifting over to a model where they call a revenue team, it’s not sales and marketing any longer. I think there’s so much to that because that’s when you start to say, “Okay, we have a culture here.” Where it’s not saying, “That’s your job or that’s your job,” I mean, that’s the silliest thing ever. It’s our job to produce revenue for the organization, that’s what we need to do. Therefore, if I need to be on a video, or if I need to help produce this piece of content, or if the marketer needs to go on a sales call so as to get a better sense of what the customer’s asking and what they’re thinking, well then that’s what they need to do.

Eric: Right. I think this is all fantastic. I think one of the things that kind of comes out is like, a lot of the listeners are probably already content creators. I think that there’s been such a shift even the last two or three years and it’s almost began to like, “You need to create content,” to, “There’s content inundation out there.” I think maybe what the focus is on what…

Marcus: Wait, hold on. I got to talk about that for a second.

Eric: Okay, let’s do it.

Marcus: There’s a bad mindset on this whole too much content thing. Primarily, why are you producing content? Is it for marketing or is it for sales? Because if it’s for marketing, it’s easy to say, “Wow! Our industry is really saturated. it’s hard to get to stand out.” But if you’re producing content that is directly meant to help your sales team tomorrow on a sales call to close more deals, to address major concerns, or you’re producing content tomorrow that is meant to help your customer service department so that you lower your churn rates, or that you increase your T scores, whatever that thing is, that is an immediate benefit to the business that everybody needs and everybody could use.

Therefore, you’re focusing on the wrong thing. If you’re thinking, “Yeah, but there’s too much content in our industry.” That’s a falsehood because if you look at what’s happening with your sales team right now, 80% of the questions they get on a sales call are the exact same questions every single time. That’s a fact for organizations all over the globe. It could be 70%, it could be 90%, but roughly, 80% in average is repeated questions over and over again. Assuming it’s the same product or service for a salesperson.

If you look at that it’s like, “Why are they getting the exact same questions over and over again, Eric?” It’s because the prospect doesn’t know the answer beforehand. Why did they not know answer beforehand? Because they haven’t learned it. Why have they not learned it? Because the content is not out there or the content was not provided to them within the sales process as soon as they came into the system, or to the funnel, or whatever you want to call it.

This is the mindset I believe that we need to have. This is really important because it doesn’t take a lot of time for a producing content to work for your business. It can start working tonight. Assuming you are producing the very specific sales-related content that helps the sales team address the major concerns, issues, worries, etc., of the prospect and then you teach said sales team how to integrate that in the sales process, you start winning tomorrow.

Eric: Yeah. I love the passion behind that. I think you’re right. It’s creating the right content that’s out there. Our marketing team has taken discovery calls. We do take discovery calls so that we can hear the same questions that are answered over and over again. It is our beacon of like, “Hey, we need to address this so that the sales call…”

Marcus: Exactly.

Eric: I totally am onboard with that. You have a great stat; it’s about your river pool days. It said, “When you talk about the customers and your prospects that didn’t read content about it, your close rate would fall below 5%. But the ones that read 30 pages or more, your close rate was above 80%.” I think it’s about what are you providing them. They want to educate themselves and that goes back to your point of, how are we creating content as marketers that’s going to help them through that decision process on your site.

Marcus: Yeah. The process in the book—what I named as the Simon Selling—it’s basically the process of just not putting it up to chance that your prospects are educated and that they really understand because that breeds ignorance. Instead that you understand clearly, “Here’s the sales content that we have. Here’s the areas where we integrate it into the sales process. Here are the concerns that it overcomes.” And everybody’s very aware of it and so they’re constantly doing this. In other words, “We’ve got this thing with my sale…”

I’ve got two very different companies; a big swimming pool company and a marketing agency. I tell them, “Do not send out an email that doesn’t include education for the prospect. Just don’t do it.” Because we refuse to be average when it comes to the way that we’re educating prospects. We constantly want to give them our education. I don’t care how much content the world is producing. I don’t think anybody should base any decision on how much content the world is producing. It’s like, what are you going to do about it? It is what it is. It’s no different than if the tax rate is 60%, the tax rate is 90%, and 30%. It’s like, “Okay, go out there and crush it.” It doesn’t matter what the tax rate is doing, just do your thing. It’s the same thing here with marketers. Let’s stop basing our decisions on what the marketplace or the competition has or has not done.

It’s also the same reason why I hate with a passion of 1000 suns the phrase, if it’s not new, and if it’s not adding to the conversation, well then you shouldn’t say it or produce it. I mean think about that for second, Eric. What has anybody said that was new? Seth Godin, everything he says is a case study from another company. He’s not saying anything new. He just says it in a way that resonates.

They Ask, You Answer ain’t got nothing new in it. These principles are thousands of years old. There’s nothing new here. It’s just a different package. It’s a different way of describing it. It allows people to have that light bulb moment that says, “Ah, okay, that makes sense now. I get it.” That’s really the goal to me. What was content stuff anyway? It’s not that we get all these vanity metrics; it’s can one or more people are prospects say, “Now, I get it. Now, I understand.”  To me, that’s a win.

Eric: This is great. I wish this podcast was an hour long, Marcus. I think there’s so many great things in here to unpack. If you’re listening right now, and you don’t want to go and run and get this book, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Marcus, I want our listeners to know where they can continue to get more thought leadership from yourself whether it be through the book, whether it be through some of your services at IMPACT.  Hell, maybe they’re looking for a new pool. I want to buy a pool now. Where can they go to continue to educate themselves in these topics? Where would you recommend they run on the worldwide web for this?

Marcus: Actually, one of the best place to interact with me is LinkedIn. I post a couple of videos a week on LinkedIn that are educational stuff. Really, I make it mainly for that platform. You can also email me. If you’re listening to this right now, if you have a question, or just a concern, or whatever, I don’t care what it is, just email me. My email is marcus@marcussheridan.com. The book’s out there. The new version is going to be coming out here probably in August, that’s when it’s going to be coming out. It will be available before then as well.

The audio version that’s out really sucks because it’s not my voice. I don’t mean any harm, but the guy just stinks up the joint. That was another reason why I’m so thrilled about this one coming out, it’s because I’m going to be the audio voice and it’s going to be so much better. It’s going to be a fun audio book to listen to. Again, that’s going to be coming out in a few months, but I otherwise, just email me directly with any questions. Eric, it’s really nice to be on your show. We’ve got similar personalities and so it’s fun to be able to talk about these things with people that you just jive with.

Eric: Yeah, I get it. I can’t imagine you not on the audio version of your book. You talk with such great fervor and passion. I’m looking forward to listening to that once that drops in August. Marcus, it’s been an absolute pleasure. You’re a great person, great soul, great thoughts around marketing and sales in general. I want to just thank you for coming on the show. I will keep an eye open for you at a marketing conference in the new future I’m sure.

Marcus: I appreciate it brother. Have a great one.

Eric: Alright. Take care.

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