Give More, Get More with John Morris

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Benji interviews John Morris, Executive Director of Brand at Club Colors.

John and his team take a unique approach when it comes to gifting. Learn how giving things away pays fantastic dividends in the long run and how Club Colors executes their Logo Challenge.

...this is B two B growth A show designed to help B two B marketing and sales teams be highly effective. I'm your host Benji Block and a member of the sweet fish team and I'm really ready for today's episode today. I'm joined by john Morris, john is the executive director of brand at club colors, john welcome in to be, to be growth Benji, How are you sir? Thanks for having me on. I'm doing great. I'm excited to be talking to you today. It's gonna be a fun time together as we dive in. John let me ask you this question just right off the top before we even get to the topic of, of discussion really, but like what's the best thing about your job and what you get to do day in and day out. Um, and I got to tell you there's a couple things, number one, the culture of club colors is absolutely dynamic. It's a riot. Um, one of our core values is winning is fun. And so it's a culture that's predicated on the fact that we're going to battle. We're gonna get in the trenches and we're gonna have an absolute blast doing it, but it's all about winning for the client. We say things like make the client the hero. So it's really a client first thing. So we have real pride of brand. When I say pride of brand, I don't mean just club colors. I mean the brands that we represent and work with, that we have an opportunity to help them to make their brand pop and shine and bring out their culture. That's something that's extremely important to us and something that we really thrive on. So I get a real kick out of our culture. I get a real kick out of the people that we interact with, not only internally but externally as well. Yeah, I was gonna say for me, I totally resonate with that because it's these kind of conversations, right? Just to get to connect with people that are thinking big, they're making making moves, it's fun. And I love learning from each and every one of these these chats. So I'm excited to talk to you and to glean some insights today personally and I know our audience is gonna grab so much from this conversation as well. So I reached out to you after seeing and I don't even know if I told you this, but a post that you made on linkedin a video and they're just felt like there's some similar passion and vision and so I thought it'd be fun to have you here on an episode. So what I want to do, john is I want to throw a phrase at you that I heard you say and I just want you to unpack it a bit for me. Okay, sure. All right, so here's the phrase give more, get more, give more, get more what comes to mind when I say that Yeah, this is this is really something that for me comes from the belief that being a steward is one of the most important things that you could do in life and in your career. And I really believe that I believe in energy, right? And if you give everything of yourself and you put everything out there and um you really come at things with a positive mindset, I have a saying that mindset behavior technique equals sales success, mindset behavior technique, equal sales success. Well, guess what? Everything for me starts with a mindset and that mindset, if it's centered properly, where you're putting your time and effort and energy into others, then ultimately what's going to happen is that's going to come back to you over and over and over again. So that's kind of later on in my career, on the way that my life has played out. That's been the purpose that I've tried to operate with, that if you give more to your, your team and your clients, you're going to get better results. Yeah. And I love that phrase. And when it's taken to heart, I mean, it's gonna have a lot of effects on your decision making process, right? So in sales and in marketing there's just kind of like a domino effect that is going to happen if you take on that mentality. If we're saying give more, john, what exactly are we advocating for? Like, walk that out? Practically. Well, just think about it from this way, like active listening, right? We know about how important Active listening is. Well, if you're genuine with Active listening in order to be able to give something to somebody to be able to create solutions for somebody, you really have to put the time and energy into understanding what it is that they want. Well, there's no way to truly do...

...that. If what you're thinking about while they're talking is what you're going to say next. Right? Right. So the idea of active listening is a great principle in life. It's that you're genuinely taking a real interest of curiosity into the desired outcome that your potential client has or your current client has and you're taking the time to dig deep into that. I don't want to be too cliche, but we always talk about like peeling the onion. Well, you know, guess what cliches are cliches for a reason. They probably work and they work for a long time. The reality is that if you take the time to really dig deep into what the desired outcome is for a prospective client, what you're going to end up doing is learning more and more about what makes them tick, what's their driver, how you can impact them as a person. I call it the want behind the want behind the one, Right? So whenever we approach a client, we're always thinking about what, what, what they want. So we can fit in where our solution is and then ultimately convert that into a sale and a partnership. The reality is that if you really want to get deep with somebody and you really want to impact that human being, you should be looking for the wand behind the wand, behind the wand, What's the want behind the wand? It's not just your product or service, it's the impact that it has on their organization to resolve or impact or positively impact the organization, but even deeper than that, How does that impact that person that's making that decision? Could that be the thing that gets them promoted? Could that be the thing that frees up their time so they can take little bobby, your little little Betty to to practice more often? Could it be the thing that drives quality of life for them? So if you can get to that, then you have a stronger likelihood of really getting a personal connection, You also have a stronger likelihood of getting them to take action and that's Yeah, because you understand motive, right? And that's obviously that's going to be huge in sales and marketing. I love that. And I also think you convicted so much of sales and marketing team members just now when you said to actively listen, you know, the thing is to bend you like what's the driver that somebody has in their decision making? One of the biggest challenges that we have in sales is when clients always make it about price. Well if you don't dig deep enough to understand what the emotional element of their decision making is the want behind that want and you stay at that price point. You end up in a negotiation, nobody wants that hand to hand combat negotiating sales style anymore. That's not how people buy, that's you selling to them. So the end goal is for us to get the client to get to a point where they go, I should buy from you because you care about me. You believe I matter, you understand my greater purpose and sparked too often we get caught up on just trying to make a sale based on I have this product, I have this service. This works for you don't you want it? And I'm gonna convince you if you're spending your time trying to convince a client, you might be in the wrong game and you need to backtrack and start figuring out what's going to get them influenced to buy. What do you see in the current landscape or in the way that maybe it's been in the past that's really frustrating to you, john. Because even just coming out of what you just said? I think there is some old mentality that still is kind of lingering as we see so much of sales and marketing shift. Right? What do you see that's still frustrated to you? What's frustrating to me is and this happens to me, especially as I've gone from Director of sales to executive director of brand. Now, I'm now I'm more of a buyer, whereas before I was more of an influencer and trying to drive revenue from my organization. Now I'm, I'm hearing more from people that are trying to sell me to help me to drive our brand. And what I find far too often is I'll get like the a I bought five paragraph email in my DM that doesn't talk about it in any way, shape or form that give more, get more philosophy. Like take a minute to understand my profile, what drives me,...

...what's my brand about? Um, what's my organization doing? So for instance, I'll get people often that will tell me I've got this great way to solve your lead generation problem. Here's the problem. I don't have a lead generation problem. Yeah. We're actually on a major growth track right now and probably one thing that is really important for us is getting the right people on the bus to keep up with the growth. So it's interesting how people would just come at you with, I have this, this great solution for you without taking the time to get to know you and understand what is my want behind my want, what's our driver and whether or not it's even a compelling argument for them to be talking to me at this point and if they would take the time to kind of dig in and get to know people first, then there's a stronger likelihood that I might not be the right answer for you, but I might know somebody who is well, if you come at me that way, I'm not going to get you to the point where I'm gonna introduce you to somebody who would be a good prospect for you, right? So that's the frustration I have is people far too often want to sell their product instead of establishing and engaging in an intelligent, humanistic communication where there's real connection and a bond that's created and then becoming influencers for each other instead of like treating me like I'm a decision maker, Maybe I'm not the right person, but if you come at me wrong, I'm not going to get you to the right person. If you come at me right, then I might become somebody that fuels that opportunity for you and drives you to that right person. That right decision maker. That's ultra frustrating. It is frustrating. I resonate so, so much with that assumed problems that we just blanket over whole groups of people like, oh, they must all struggle with lead generation, like exactly what you're saying, where we sales teams can just assume they know that everyone has these core issues or they asked hyper general questions right? And like everyone's going to answer that question the same and they're just trying to find that little way in. I love that. Dm wouldn't you love to drive your revenue, wouldn't you love to maximize your profit. And then when you say, well of course I would or you say, no man, I don't want to do that, then they're like, so you mean to tell me you want to drive your profitability? I think that's lazy sales. I think it really is, and I think that people that are really, really effective in sales have intentional activity, They're really intentional in their activity and they're not just going through the motions of activity. I think you can really weed out the top performers from the average or they're not so great performers on how they approach the activity. Are you working your call account? Are you working your your touch points or you actually really trying to become a solution for somebody? You can't become a solution for somebody until you understand what their challenges are and you're not going to get to the challenges until you build trust and you ain't going to build trust with coming at me with an Ai five paragraph D. M. Yeah, so no more lazy sales. I love that. We're gonna become a solution for somebody. So that obviously leads to the next question, which would be okay, we're setting aside old habits or lazy routine, whatever it is and we're moving into a new way? What do you see as being the new way? What do you see as working for you when we start to think about being more relational and maybe content even driven right in our in our approach? Well, I think far too often folks are going right in with their presentation of what their products and services are, instead of putting out, you know, content creation and media creation that essentially discusses who their brand is. What is their, why, what drives them as a human being, what's their purpose? How were they able to take somebody that had a challenge and get them to the promised land and talk about it in third person? You know, that's the other thing, that is a challenge. I think far too many people in sales want to speak in first person like this is what I can do for you. Well, I gotta tell you whenever...

I've said to a client, this is what I can do for you. I feel them back up. There's a natural thing that happens when somebody is being approached and you say this is what I can do for you, or this is how I can help you before they've asked for help. There's a natural resistance that happens. So we actually create an objection for ourselves before we need that objection. Everything that we say in sales either overcomes an objection or creates an objection. Why in the world would you create objections for yourself by essentially assuming that you can help somebody and causing them to have that resistance um that builds up, so I always think that content is great in speaking in third person, this is what I do for my most successful clients, this is the impact that I have on some of my most successful clients lay out the start point where you started with somebody, what trials and tribulations happen, how you overcame that and how that created a solution for somebody, talk about that through your content creation and then have a call to action that causes somebody to say, okay, well I'll give you a shot to prove that, you know, with our clients, we've got this logo challenge. I think we talked about that where we essentially say, hey look, you don't need, you don't need to believe the words I'm saying to you right now and you're not gonna believe them because I haven't earned the right yet. Let me earn the right by proving it to you with a sample of what our capability is at no cost to you. So you can touch it, feel it, where it see it. And then at that point, once you feel comfortable with that, then we'll start to build on what the wants are and the needs are. So we actually have this process of creating content, um, that talks about or why it talks about a greater purpose, talks about who we are and makes people feel our culture and then in them feeling our culture, they're intrigued and then by taking the logo challenge, they get a free logoed item with their company brand on it, a quarter zip or a blanket or whatever it is, they decide to order once they get that they go, wow, this is really cool. They gave me something now I'm at a neutral point, I'm willing to actually engage and allow you to earn my trust. So by getting that in their hands, it makes the conversation the next conversation a lot easier because they already know what the quality of the work is. Hey everyone Emily brady with sweet fish here. If you've been listening to B two B growth for a while, you know, we are big proponents of putting out original organic content on linkedin. But one thing that has always been a struggle for a team like ours is easily tracking the reach of that linkedin content. That is why we are really excited about Shield analytics. Since our team started using Shield, we've been able to easily track the reaching performance of Arlington content without having to manually log it ourselves. It automatically creates reports and generates dashboards that are incredibly useful to determining things like what content has been performing the best, what days of the week we're getting the most engagement and our average views proposed shield has been a game changer for our entire team's productivity and performance on linkedin. I highly suggest checking out this tool if you're publishing content on linkedin for yourself or your company, you can get a 10 day free trial at shield app dot Ai or you can get a 25% discount with our promo code B two B growth again, that Shield app dot Ai and the promo code is b the number to be growth. All one word for a 25% discount. Alright, let's get back to the show. Yeah, there's so much I want to dive into there because I think the logo challenge is a intriguing part of a content strategy. So let's back up a couple of steps and then we'll get there. Talk to me about those first active steps, like what you've actively tried to do to share culture, what's working for you right now in that sort of phase. Yeah, so I think it's whether it's a company brand or it's an individual. I think every single salesperson should be building their own personal brand within the pillars of the company brand, meaning the overall organization. The brand has a vision for the organization, it's not your job as a salesperson to create the vision for the company, it's your job...

...to carry out the vision, but you should be creating your own personal brand within that brand and you should be creating content that has a cadence. So what I like to what I like to do with my content creation is to be vulnerable and authentic first. So I'll talk about things that are near and dear to my heart, family, things that I do outside of work, like coaching young athletes, I'll talk about trials and tribulations that I've had in life, whether it be, you know, overcoming challenges mental health or you know, just perspective, right? Things that inspire. So you kind of start with that to get people to go, this is a real person, not just trying to make a sale all the time. Then the next phase, the next step is to create some sort of content that really expresses the culture of the organization that hey, this is a great company with great people that has a ton of energy, a ton of passion and there's proof of concept that they do it on their own. I think that's a big thing is companies want to know that if you are trying to sell us a product or service, do you have proof of concept, do you do it yourself and you do it well. So we create content that shows you know that we are, who we say we are and what we believe and then it's real, it's authentic and that it's a very vibrant culture. And then from there there is a call to action and then we promote the organization. Right? So it's the cadence is raw, authentic, humanistic, then talk about the overall organization, the culture then promote your solution. Then in that promotion of the solution, there is a call to action, which in this case is dropping the logo challenge in the comments, somebody takes that now we know that they're engaged and then there's a follow up to that where we can actually start to dig deep into who they are all very insightful, go through a little bit more on the logo challenge for me because we want to be able to apply that across industry, you know what I mean? Like I want to be able to give a takeaway here to our audience and they go, I'm gonna leave and I wanna, I wanna take what john said and think about ways I can use it in a different space. Right? So what's kind of the key elements there and what have you found to be really successful for you guys? So Benji, 20 years ago, 25 years ago when I was coming up in sales, all the sales trainers always taught me was never tell the client what the solution is. Never give them the solution, right? You gotta so odd. Right? So odd. Right? So this new generation of salespeople, which by the way, are 100 times better than the absolute stone cold killer sales people 25 years ago, they are all about influence and guidance and again, giving more. So this is consistent with that new style of selling where people don't want to be closed, they want to buy. Right? So it's guiding them to buy. So think about it this way for us because we do branded apparel and hard, good products that our logo, we can put this logo challenge in there with somebody clicks on a link and go pick the product, put their their jpeg or vector file their logo in there, we'll decorate it, drop ship it directly to them within five days. They open up the box, they have this wow factor and go, oh my gosh, this is so cool. They really did send me something free and its logo, this is great. Now they want to engage. Well obviously that's the industry we're in. So let's say that you're an advisor, let's say that you sell insurance, let's say that you sell wealth management or let's say that you sell some sort of other type of service, give them some answers to the test, give them some solutions, give them guidance. So maybe your type of version of logo challenge could be a little one pager deck that gives the five or six absolute biggest challenges that you should look out for within our industry that perhaps other companies might tell you and we're going to tell you the truth. This is what it really is. We're going to give you the answers to the test, right? So maybe give them some real insight and some real data that they can actually use on their own that...

...may not might not get you to an immediate close what makes you memorable. You capture their attention and you're gonna stay front of mind with that client because you gave them facts, you gave them data that's usable from there. You've got something now because if they go with another company and they don't get the result they were looking for or they get caught up in that negotiating type of sale, they're gonna come to you now and you're gonna have a much better opportunity because that trust factor has been built in, yep, give the answers to the test. It's so true. And a lot of times it also exposes like man this is there's so much effort that we're going to have to put in, right? Like you see what the answers are and you're like, oh this is a lot of work, they already have the answers, why don't we hire them to do it? And Benji, that's the absolute trick, right? So the reality is any company that hires somebody to provide them with some sort of value and benefit more likely it's because they can't do it on their own. You know, it's time money knowledge. Right? So there's three things that you're looking for TMK Time money knowledge, that's what people are looking for. Can you save them time or make better use of their time, can you create a better return on investment than they have currently or save them money because you have a better mousetrap or can you provide them with something that gives them more data, more knowledge, more expertise that they have a better likelihood of success, right? So maybe the local challenges somebody would use, or some version of that would be incorporating those three things. How are you gonna save them time? How are you going to make better use of their money and how are you going to provide them more knowledge? I think the knowledge part for a lot of companies is the best thing. If you can teach them five or six things that they need to look out for when talking to somebody in your industry, misnomers, give him the back office information. Um, ultimately, let's remember, if they could do it on their own, they would have done it by now. They're typically not looking for a solution because they want to do it themselves, they're looking for somebody else to do it, but they want to know whether or not you're the right person to do it for them. And truthfully if all they need is knowledge and you can give that away. I mean, that is still not lost because the back and forth is still worth it. The, the connection that's made there, who knows what it turns into down the road and you're giving away information for free. It's still like even it makes you an expert in the space, right? Like you having to work through it and give it away for free. Like, there really is no downside there, but I understand why there would be a perceived downside. I don't think somebody can be considered an expert either until they can absolutely and teach it to somebody that at a level, right? Where you're not using insider baseball language, you got to leave a few things where they still gotta, there's still gotta be compelled to want to do business with you. But if you can really give your prospective client the answers to the test and teach them something so that there are more educated buyer or remember sometimes the person you're talking to is not the ultimate decision maker. So one of the best things you can possibly do is teach the person you're talking to, how to sell the person that is the decision maker. So sometimes you have to do it because they got to walk into somebody else's office and make the sale to go with you. Yeah, john tell me some of the results you've seen from this approach and just give us maybe an example. What's been amazing is people don't necessarily like the cold call. I think cold calling is extremely important, but I think what has happened is the results have been, if somebody takes the time to go through the steps of answering the questions and engage on that level and receives the package and receives that free item, they now feel compelled to at least have the conversation. So what ends up happening is the initial presentations that we have with clients, they're far more engaged in some cases they're wearing or utilizing the item in the zoom call that we have with them or in the live presentation they have it on, so they're now engaged and...

...they're already kind of part of the team. So what's happened is it's driven our closing percentage up significantly. And it also weeds out a lot of folks because in sales, I think what's extremely important is not only qualifying clients but disqualifying clients. So by gathering that information, we can recognize whether or not it's a client that would simply be transactional, which is not a huge factor for us. We're not looking for transactional clients were looking for partnerships. So it allows us to weed out the clients that maybe you're only going to make one or two branded item orders per year. There's tons of solutions out there for them. We may not be that person. We're looking for companies that want brand management, want advisement and want the whole suite of services that we have to offer. So it eliminates and weeds out the prospects that are not strong candidates for us that we don't go down a dead end. And it highlights those clients that would be fantastic. Target audiences for us. So we can spend a lot of time and energy nurturing that relationship building trust and ultimately creating partnerships. Fantastic. What a good conversation there's so much here, give more, get more, it's easy to remember. It's something that I'm walking away with, but I'm walking away with several other things. So here's, here's my quick white board summary because I'm always writing down notes on my whiteboard when I'm having these conversations, mindset, behavior technique equals sales success. That was a big one early in our conversation. No more lazy sales, right? We're going to become a solution for somebody. I think that that is a fantastic approach and then give away the answers to the test. That's how you give more. Right? You, you don't try to hold something and wait right? Like if you can help somebody, you just help them and let that lead where it may. But that's a fantastic stuff johN anything you would add here as we begin to wrap up. No Benji, it's been fantastic. You're a great host and I've been waiting for this and thrilled to do it really appreciate it. Just hope that folks will check out club colors and give us an opportunity to showcase what we're capable of doing. Yeah, johN, if people want to connect with you further, how can they reach out. Yeah. So obviously I'm very active on linkedin. So you can look up john Morris on linkedin, I got two clovers by my name by the way, not just because I'm irish, but to weed out those bots. So there's a clover in front of my name and a clover behind it. I know if you send me a message and the clovers in front of john then you're a bot unless you're really, really detailed. You can go to our website at www dot club colors dot com and by the way, I will send you that logo challenge, get yourself a free item. I'll show you the quality of the club colors provides. You can also check out my podcast in the club on our club colors Youtube channel. I am the host. Not nearly as good as you though, Benji. Well, I appreciate that compliment and it's been such a fun back and forth here and man for everybody listening. Hey, let's be intentional givers as we leave this this episode, we're always we want to be the people that are always looking to help people and not as worried about what we're going to get. And it's funny how there's kind of this paradox right in the world that we live in where truly when we come from a place of giving, that's when we find abundance. So, thanks for listening to another episode. You can find me as well on linkedin. Just search Benji blocks. I'd love to connect with you and we'll talk again. Mhm At sweet fish, we're on a mission to create the most helpful content on the internet for every job function and industry on the planet for the B two B marketing industry. This show is how we're executing on that mission. If you know a marketing leader that would be an awesome guest for this podcast, shoot me a text message. Don't call me because I don't answer unknown Numbers. But text me at 407-49033-8. Just shoot me their name, maybe a link to their linkedin profile. And I'd love to check them out to see if we can get them on the show. Thanks a lot.

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