How to Build a Body of Work
Written by Dave Lorenzo on November 7, 2016 / Podcasts / Relationships
Your body of work helps reinforce your expertise. If you want to be perceived as an expert, you must have a substantial body of work behind you to support you.
This podcast is a clinic on developing a body of work to help position you as an expert.
Here is the transcript of this episode of the 60 Second Sales Show:
Welcome to another edition of the Sixty Second Sales Show. I’m your Host, Dave Lorenzo. Today we’ve got a great topic for you. It is in response to a question, and our topic today, and the title of today’s show is How To Create a Body of Work. Now I know that sounds a little, well, it should sound intriguing to you, and we’re going to get into why it should be intriguing to you as someone who sells things to people. Either you’re a business owner or a sales professional and you need to create a body of work. We’ll talk about that in just a moment. I want to welcome back in our fantastic Producer, Nancy Pop. Hi, Nancy. How are you today?
Hey, Dave. I’m good.
Nancy, in case you don’t know, folks, she is a big supporter of women’s rights and right now she is producing the show, Supporting Women’s Education in Afghanistan, and wearing a fine burka. Nancy, why don’t you explain to the folks out there why you choose to dress in traditional Afghani wear? Actually just, you could just tell them why I’m actually saying this. This is kind of a joke. Nancy, fill people in on what the joke is.
It’s so funny. Last week when we were recording our podcast, when we finished, David goes, “Oh, your sound. It sounds so good today. What are you doing differently? I had a blanket wrapped around me and my computer, so that none of the sound escaped, and you made a joke where you’re like, “Oh, the burka must look really beautiful on you.”
Nancy is in support of women’s rights in Afghanistan. She’s going to wear, she’s going to continue to wear this burka for the rest of the month while record the podcast, so Nancy, I’m glad that you’re such an activist, and we all support the rights of women in traditionally oppressed Muslim countries, so thank you for doing that.
All right, so today we have a great question that is the subject of our show, so Nancy, why don’t you go ahead and read the question. Tell us who it’s from and what it’s about.
Yes, so today’s question is from Pete Markum. He’s from Bellevue, Washington, and he asks, “Dave, I sell generators to businesses and home owners. I compete with Costco, Home Depot, and every hardware, and commercial supply store. How do I break through the noise and get people to pay me 20% more for something they can just about, they can get just about anywhere?”
All right. Great question, Pete. Thank you, so today’s topic is How To Create a Body of Work, and this goes right to Pete’s question, so here’s what you need to do, Pete. You have to become the most renowned expert on generators in the world. You have to be the guy people go to when they’re trying to buy a generator. Now I live in South Florida, and living in South Florida, I know a thing or two about generators and generator sales, so I’m so glad you asked this question.
I can really help you with this, but if you’re out there right now and you sell medical supplies, or you’re out there right now and you’re a pharmaceutical rep, or you’re a realtor, or a CPA, or a lawyer, or you sell anything, this is going to help you. Our focus with the Sixty Second Sales System is developing lifetime value and the way to do that is to get people to seek you out first. I’m going to say that again. I hate cold calling. This is a no cold call system. I think cold calling is a waste of time. It’s annoying. People can’t stand you and I think anybody that advocates cold calling is doing you a disservice.
It is so much better for you to go out there and introduce yourself to the world as an expert, and have people beat down your door to come and get what you have to offer, which is the information. The valuable information. What you’re going to hear time and time again from these sales gurus is, “You got to kick down every door. You got to go out there and pound on doors. Pound on a hundred doors. You got one inquiry, they’re going to say yes, and that makes it all worthwhile.” No. That doesn’t make it all worthwhile. That makes you tired. That makes you frustrated. That makes you annoyed and that’s a terrible way to go through life. Don’t spend your time cold calling. Don’t listen to those people who tell you that, “Cold calling is just a fact of life.”
There’s an expression that Zig Ziglar used to use all the time. He used to say, “It’s not cold calling. It’s warm approaching.” That’s just crap. I mean, I love Zig and I love his stuff, and you should go out and buy as much Zig Ziglar stuff as you can get your hands on, but cold calling is over. There is so many ways that people have now to get information. There are so many ways you can put yourself out there as an expert, that to be sought out, that you should never ever cold call again. You become an expert first and foremost by creating a body of work. What do I mean by that?
All right, so we’re going to take Pete and his question, so Pete, here’s what you’re going to do. You sell generators, and as you said, “Generators are available at Costco, in Sam’s Club, in Home Depot. You can get a generator anywhere,” and there’s places online you can buy generators. Pete, I don’t know, maybe you own an online generator company, or I’m just assuming since you said you sold to corporate, and you sold to home owners, that you’re out there going out and trying to sell generators one at a time. That’s fine.
Here’s what I want you to do. First thing I want you to do is I want you to go and I want you to set up a blog. Just go to wordpress.com, or wordpress.org, whatever the site is. Google WordPress. Set up a WordPress blog and I want you to start writing articles about selecting generators. Write articles about generators all day long. Well, every day write one article. The goal for you is to become the expert on generators and the way to do that is by publishing great information. By talking about generators all day long. By educating people on how to buy a generator. By educating people on energy efficiency regarding generators. By educating people on safe use of generators during a storm. By educating people. Educating is the main word. You go out and you start producing great content on generator selection, on educating people about generators, and people will begin to seek you out. Now writing is not enough. You have to do other things, so I’m going to break it down for you into a specific thought leadership system.
You’re going to start with the written word. The reason that I have you start with writing articles and posting them on a blog is because the way you write is the way you think. I want you to organize your thoughts and here’s how you do that. I want you to create eight main themes. Eight main themes, so theme number one may be generators and safety. Theme number two may be generators and energy efficiency. Theme number three, how to select a generator. Theme number four is use of generators during business, use of generators for business purposes. You get the idea. Now I have eight themes in my business. I’ve done this for years, and the eight themes that I’m using in sales are, I’ll give them to you so that you can see.
I’ll be completely transparent. Number one, create expert status. In order to draw people to you, that’s what we’re talking about today, you got to create expert status. Number two, lead with education. “We offer great education content.” Number three, offer value first, so if you are a salesperson, I want you to offer value first. These are all themes that I use in my writing. Number four, think lifetime relationship value. Think about lifetime relationships. Number five, stay in touch. Number six, options close deals. Number seven, mindset matters, and number eight, your attitude about money is important to your sales.
Those are the eight themes that I have, and what I do in my writing is I create a content calendar, and I write five different topics down about each of these eight themes, so that will give me forty articles. Five topics, eight themes, five topics per theme, forty articles. That’s two months of articles that I can post on my blog, but that’s not, I don’t stop there when it comes to writing to create thought leadership. By the way, thought leadership is another name for expert status.
We’re creating expert status, so Pete, if you do this, you will become the premier expert in generators, the world over. Okay. You’ve got eight themes. You’ve got five topics per theme. You write an article for each topic. You schedule them to go out each day on your blog. That’s not all you do with them. You take each article and you send it out one week at a time in a weekly email newsletter. Weekly email newsletter, and that newsletter goes to everyone in your database. Now you’re thinking, “Dave, what’s a database? We’ve never talked about a database.” You know at least 250 people. Pete, I’m sure you know more than that, because you’ve been in business for a while. You know at least 250 people. All those people go on a list. They get an email from you every day, every week, and that email educates them on generators and the use of generators, so you, in their mind, are the expert on generators, because they’re getting content from you each week on generators.
The next you thing you do is once a month, you send out a print newsletter. You take four of your articles, you put them all together, and you go to a printer, local print shop. You have those newsletters printed up. You put an offer in there, what generator you’re running on special now, and you send it out to your top 100 clients. Your top 200 clients. However many you can afford to send them to. This print newsletter reinforces what they’ve read online. Sometimes it’s a different audience. In fact, most of the time, different audience. Print, email, newsletter. The next thing I want you to do is I want you to create some sort of a video tutorial on how to buy a generator. How to use a generator.
Your eight themes, I want you to do five different topics on video. Videos are short, less than a couple minutes long, and you’re covering videos on generators. How to start them, how to change the oil, how to put in spark plugs, all that stuff. All this content is going on your website, so Pete, even if you’re an independent sales professional, you’re creating your own blog, you work for another company, or you rep fifty different generator lines. I want you to be the generator expert, so what you’re doing is you’re putting all this information out there, and then everyone who knows you now, knows you as the generator expert.
Then I want you to do events, and I want you to do an event where you invite everybody in town who’s a construction foreperson. I want you to invite everyone in town who’s a trades person. I want you to invite everyone in town who owns a small business to come to an event you do once a quarter, and at this event, you’re going to either offer a breakfast, or a lunch, or maybe you offer a couple of drinks, and you do a BBQ, or you have some light food, and you educate people on what’s going on in the community, the safe use of power. Maybe you have a guest speaker come from the local utility company and then you have four or five different generator models there, and you tell people why it’s important that every home should have a generator, and how business people can use the new model of generator more efficiently than the old model.
What you’re doing is you’re doing an event with a guest speaker that will draw them in, and by the way, local politicians are great guest speakers. I’ve done events with people where I speak on teaching people to sell and then you sell generators. You talk about generators for five minutes after I speak, people do that all the time. You can coordinate with other people who have a topic that is interesting to draw people in. You do this once or twice a year. I have some clients who do it once a quarter, and people will come, and you’ll be known as the Generator Guy. This makes you an expert. Your content makes you an expert. People will flock to you. All right.
I want you to use as many forms of media as you can. I love video. I love the written word. You know I love podcasts, because I’m doing a podcast now. You could do the Safe Energy Podcast, and you could talk about generators for two or three minutes, and then just interview other people for business purposes, that would draw people in, and your content would be, your content would be great, and people would say, “You know what? His content is great and he talks about these generators once a month. I need to buy one of them, because I need to keep my family, I need to keep power on when the storms come.”
The final point I’m going to make along these lines is you need to act like an expert. You need to act like an expert, so when you’re out there talking about your product or your service, I want you to tell people what to do, and not hedge. When somebody comes to you and they’re talking about buying a generator, what do you tell them? “Listen, you don’t need a 6,000 watt generator. You need a 10,000 watt generator.” “I would never buy this model, because it’s cheap. It’s made in China. It’s crap. I would buy this model, because it’s made here, in the United States.” “I would buy this model because it has a Honda engine, and Honda engines are the most reliable.”
Act like an expert. Tell people. You also have to be interesting. Keep generators interesting and entertaining. Find a way to spice them up a little bit. Make people interested in what you have to say. Talk about your clients who buy generators. Do you have a controversial client? “I sold a generator last week to an adult bookstore. Can you imagine? People need to go out and buy adult books when they don’t have power? Well, it makes sense, because what else are they going to do? They’re going to read adult books. They’re going to watch adult films. I got to keep the power on in the store.” That’s interesting. Be interesting. Make what you do interesting. Be a little controversial. You have to be controversial in order to keep things going, so look online, read some articles written by other people who are trying to sell generators, and attack them. Take them apart.
I just did this at the beginning of my podcast today for this business. I told you, “Cold calling sucks,” because I really believe cold calling sucks, and there are thousands of people out there trying to get you to cold call right now as a salesperson. I’m being controversial. You should do that, too, in your business. Then finally, don’t back off. When people challenge you, don’t back off. Make sure you can defend your position. Make sure it’s a logical defense, but don’t back off of it. That’s what experts do. Act like an expert. If we can do this with Pete for generators, you can do this in any business, and I’m not saying that to put Pete down, but as he said in his question, “Generators are a commodity.” You can get a generator anywhere, but Pete is going to be the Generator Expert. People are going to buy generators from him, because he knows what he’s talking about, and when he recommends a generator to you, he’s got your best interests at heart. That’s what people are going to believe about Pete, because he’s the Generator Expert.
Here’s your action item for this week. I want you to think about your business in a different way. I want you to think about yourself as an expert and I want you to present your business as an expert recommendation. Instead of going out there and selling what you’re selling because you were thrust into this role, create the expertise by establishing a body of work, and use that body of work to bolster your expert status. Then your expert status will not only attract people to you, but it also differentiates you from everyone else who does what you do. If you sell medical devices, if you sell pharmaceutical products, if you sell homes as a realtor, or a real estate agent, if you’re a CPA, if you’re a lawyer, you have to pick an area, seize upon it, create that expert status, build up your body of work, and people will be drawn to you magnetically.
My friends, this is so much better than cold calling. It works out so much better for you, because people come to you, and they’re predisposed to buying what you have to offer, because you’re no longer selling. You’re making an expert recommendation. I want to let you know about a couple of things and we discussed this topic actually today, and the first thing that I want to let you know about, starting yesterday, I started a, you’re listening to this now on Monday. In the beginning, on a Monday in the beginning of November, as of November 1, I started doing a Facebook Live show everyday on my Facebook page at 8:30 a.m. I talked a little bit about this topic. I covered it in just a little bit of detail.
I didn’t go into it nearly as much detail as here, and I talked about some different things on the Facebook show today, so head over to Facebook.com/thedavelorenzo. Facebook.com/thedavelorenzo. Make sure you click on that Like button, so that my daily show appears in your newsfeed. We’re doing the show from all different kinds of places. I’m on the road actually tomorrow, so when you listen to this, you’re going to go back, and you’re going to look, and you’re going to see me like in a car somewhere, or on the side of the road. I have to go see a client, so I’ll be on the road tomorrow, and you can watch where I do the show from.
All kinds of crazy things can happen. You can also ask me questions on the Facebook Live show, it’s interactive, so if you have a question, just pop it in there, and I’ll answer it while I’m on Facebook Live. That’s one of the new things I’m doing. Also on Twitter, I’m putting out some great information every day and I interact with people all the time on Twitter. You can find me at twitter.com/thedavelorenzo. If you’re sensing a theme there, you’re super smart, because just about all my social media is thedavelorenzo. Finally on Instagram, I do one minute videos all the time. The one minute videos cover a topic that’s interesting. I also post funny pictures of things I see all over the place. Cool stuff, interesting stuff, sometimes a little political stuff.
My Instagram handle is, of course, thedavelorenzo. All those social media outlets are available to you. We’re constantly exploring and experimenting with new stuff all the time. Everything we do, the central hub for information, is my website, and of course, my website is davelorenzo.com. That’s my name. Davelorenzo.com. Go there. Under Content is this podcast, of course, as well as articles over, as of today, over 140 articles, and the website just went live a couple of months ago, so we’ve got 140 articles up there. We’ve got videos. All kinds of videos. We got all kinds of stuff. Dancing bears, juggling clowns, barking dogs, you name it. We got it on the website. Good stuff. Great pictures of me. You can print them out and pin them up on your wall, if you want. Anyhow, thank you very much for listening, folks, and Pete, thank you so much for your question. It was a great question today. Nancy Pop, thank you for being the Best Producer in the World, and thank you for all you do for the Muslim community of women out there.
We will speak with all of you next week, right here on the Sixty Second Sales Show. Until then, bye bye.