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Shola Abidoye is the Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer of CONVERTport (formerly Digital Author Labs).
She’s grown 3 businesses by 10,000% in 5 years and many of the firms clients are market leading business owners who are also NY Times, USA Today and Amazon.com best selling experts. Trained as an economist at Swarthmore College, Oxford University and Swedens Royal Institute of Technology, she began her career in financial services and consulting working with Fortune 500 companies (at Citigroup and the Corporate Executive Board (NYSE:EXBD) ).
Her first venture in the digital space was acquired by a B2B online lead generation company in 2015. A proud Native Washingtonian of American and Nigerian descent,, she lives between D.C., Europe and the sunny Mexican Riviera where she supports a local nonprofit. Her mission is to support our countrys intergenerational transfer of wealth and knowledge as more baby boomer owned private businesses come on the market.
What is the difference between Sales and marketing and why is it important to understand it?
When we decided to become an entrepreneur, no one gave us a map to become an entrepreneur. We didn’t get a guidebook that told us what to do.
Through experience, we understand how to do it no-one tells us that here are 7 steps to generate revenue.
Being a professional entrepreneur- being able to deliver consistent, high performing results.
As an entrepreneur, you have to generate revenue.
Marketing is lead generation- getting x number of people to your sales page
Sales is lead conversion – how to get x number of people to convert and buy.
Lead generation is not lead conversion.
Get the lead, nurture the relationship should be the goal.
Shola came from a professional family background. She was never apprehensive about any male dominated industry. Little things that you do as a child shape what you become in your adulthood.
As an entrepreneur, you
- Need to be able to take rejection.
- Give yourself permission to have what you want
- Be able to take rejection ad not take it personally.
- Having a thick skin is a mindset shift.
How do you differentiate yourself?
Whenever you are trying to do something you have to check if your product or service does the following-
- does it promise more for less
- is it unconventional
Nobody can write a blog post and tell which lead generation will work. Do any of these following tests and this will help you find the right way to approach your business and clients- Marketing DNA Wealth dynamics Strength Finders After you do the test, think- What are the things that you can get great results with. Play to your strengths.
Winning is about being better than your competitors versus winning is about the game that you play against people you now you can beat.
Focus on a lead generation strategy that plays on your strengths.
For example: If you are a great conversationalist, you naturally draw people in, so do something that works with your strengths. If you are numbers person, you can do media buying. Find out what you are good at and lay out your strengths, you will do more of it because you are good at it. Establish a USP- Unique selling Proposition. Figure out your strengths and then you can build your business around what you do very naturally.
Can entrepreneurs use their strengths and leverage the channels that they are not good at?
Shola talk about the book Ready, Fire, Aim – if you can think of business as human being 0-1 is infancy, 1-10M is adolescence, 10-100M is adulthood. The priorities that you have in infancy, you wont have the same priorities when you are in adulthood. Your main priority in the first five year is sales. Pick a channel that comes naturally, generate revenue and then hire you the rest. Unless you have a business that operates without you, you don’t have a business. If you feel anxious about not building up your following and are trying to do it all, you wont be able to build a business.
Lead generation techniques?
- If you are doing less than 1M a year, become a professional at becoming good at generating revenue.
- Become good at one paid and one free strategy.
- Shola started using Linkedin a long time ago. She also uses online paid media. You can go out and buy awareness and visibility.
- If you go out and do a blog post, you don’t know if you can generate the same amount of leads.
- CRSP- Controllable Repeatable Scalable Predictable Lead and Customer Acquisition
- Paid media component- get really good at buying traffic.
- Understanding Customer Data- send time delivering the message to people that are ready to buy.
- Sales Automation- Follow up- Do you follow up at least 7 times? You leave a lot of money on the table if you are not following up.
- Get really good at these 2 channels.
Get a Free Marketing Consultation for your Small Business.
Lead conversion- Understand that sales is a conversation. Most of us don’t view sales as a conversation.We need to think of it as a matchmaking conversation.
We are socialized not to like sales. It is a conversation with someone else.
You have the power to say yes or no.
Shola recommends every entrepreneur to fire a customer at least once. You do that, you will feel empowered. You don’t have to accept everyone’s money. Who you want to do business with and who you want to serve should be your choice.
Present hard core evidence why your product or service is better than the rest.
Every time someone wants to buy there are three things that can happen –
- Status quo- They don’t buy
- Buy from competitor- They buy from the competitor
- Or Buy from us – They buy from us
For every piece of content you put out, ask yourself, why they should say no to the status quo. Why your product is better than competitors and why they have to choose you because it is the only logical reason. Sales conversation has an end goal and that’s the end goal.
Understand why the prospects should choose you.
If someone awakes you in the middle of the night, do you have a well scripted answer.
Make a date with yourself, ask my customers on why they chose me. 3 core reason why they should choose our product to solve their products.
Most entrepreneurs do not ask themselves how can I get someone to say yes. You should ask yourself the question, why. Why some one should choose you is the most important question.
We have a homework for you my dear listeners.
Take a few minutes today and write down the answer to this question- What is your USP?
Actionable step: When you want to do something, make it happen with these tools-
Execution automation- we get inspired from podcasts, go to calendar and set a date with yourself to execute the great advice that you heard.
Take Action. You will get results when you take action.
Wisdom is when you follow your own advice.
As an entrepreneur, you job is to get the vision, the strategy. Eventually you can hire out the execution f the strategies.
If you could offer a first time entrepreneur one piece of advice what would it be?
Think about buying up a business versus starting up.
If you have the possibility to buy a business versus build one. Do it.
90% of new business fail in the first 5 years. So most people that will be the entrerenur siwll fail. Think about everything that you need for the business to survive. It is easier to build you vision on something that exists already that start from scratch.
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