The Manufacturing Executive Podcast Ian Altman

The Manufacturing Executive: Episode 9

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Episode show notes

Back in May, I wrote an article entitled Summer Reading 12 lessons from 12 books for 12 weeks. The author of one of those 12 books, Ian Altman, is my guest on this episode of The Manufacturing Executive!

A bestselling author and B2B growth expert, Ian started, sold, and grew his prior companies from zero to over $1 billion in value. He has since spent years researching how executives make decisions. Ian’s modern approach has helped many businesses turn marginal growth into explosive growth and thrive where their competitors struggled merely to survive.

Ian and I talk about:

  • Why you should flip your sales message
  • The three questions you need to ask to make an informed decision
  • How to weed out wrong-fit clients
  • How to pivot away from in-person meetings during COVID-19

Resources we talked about:

To ensure that you never miss an episode of The Manufacturing Show, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

Transcript of Episode

Joe Sullivan:
Welcome to another episode of the Manufacturing Executive Podcast. I’m Joe Sullivan, your host, and a co-founder of the industrial marketing agency Gorilla 76. So back in May, I wrote an article titled “Summer Reading: 12 Lessons From 12 Books For 12 Weeks”, and in this article I pulled standout quotes from 12 of my all time favorite business books. And today, I’m pretty darn excited because my guest is the author of one of those 12 books. So let me take a moment to introduce bestselling author and B2B growth expert Ian Altman. Ian started, sold and grew his prior companies from zero to over $1 billion in value. He has since spent years researching how executives make decisions. His moderate approach has been instrumental in helping many businesses turn marginal growth into explosive growth, and to help them thrive where their competitors struggle to merely survive. Ian is a co-author of the bestseller, Same Side Selling, now in its second edition. You can read hundreds of his articles on Forbes and Inc. And Ian is a founder of the Same Side Selling Academy, rated one of the top five sales development programs globally. Ian, welcome to the show.

Ian:
Joe, thanks for having me on. And I’m flattered that, see, originally you said, Hey, I wrote this thing about the top 12 books on business, and I was expecting you to say, and none of those people were available. So I have Ian here instead.

Joe Sullivan:
No, you made the list, and you are, yeah. I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled across Same Side Selling, I want to say I heard maybe you as a guest on a podcast or something years, maybe five years ago or so. But the book was intriguing, I picked it up and immediately, it became one of my favorites for a number of reasons, which I want to get into today.

Joe Sullivan:
But yeah, and it’s, among a few things I’d love to talk to you about. But first, could you give our listeners a little bit of background on you, just build on the intro, tell us how you wound up where you are today?

Ian:
Well, the big thing, I mean, you talked about my work. I started my first company in 1993. We became a Fast 50 company by 1998, some of the 50 fastest growing companies in the Washington DC region. We were also the only company on the list who was not a government defense contractor. Which was funny, because once we hit the list, we’d get all these inbound prospecting calls from people talking about what we needed for government contracting. We’re not a government contractor. No, no, you’re number 21 on the list. Yeah, we’re not in that space.

Ian:
And we built a software company then, starting in 98, in addition to the core consulting business that we had. In 2005, I got approached by some investment bankers out in New York, we sold the company for cash and stock, and I served as managing director of the parent company. We grew the value of the business from $100 million to actually about $2 billion in a little over three years. And I was flying 200,000 miles a year, I wasn’t spending time with my wife or my kids, and I just thought after a while, why am I still doing this?

Ian:
I didn’t have a good answer, so I stopped. And people said, what are you going to do now? And my first thought was, I’ll just do the same sort of thing. I’ll just build a new company like that again. And one of my friends said, you know, a bunch of us were talking, and any time our businesses were struggling to grow, you seem more excited about helping us fix something in our business than you were about your own business. Why don’t you do that? And I said, do what? They said, well, help businesses grow. And I said, well, there’s a business for that? And they said, well, you didn’t necessarily need that, but most of us, yeah. We go to experts in that type of space.

Ian:
And so I started speaking in, what was this, probably 2008, 2009, something like that. Started speaking at events, and I’ve been doing it ever since. So speaking, coaching and guiding people on how they grow their businesses with integrity. It’s frustrating for me to see the frustration that people have with sales and marketing, because it doesn’t have to be that miserable experience.

Joe Sullivan:
Sure, absolutely. So what came first? The organization, Same Side Selling and your training program, or the book?

Ian:
So the book, we released the first version, I think it was in 2014 or 2015. And so definitely the speaking and everything came first. In fact, the first book I wrote was called Upside Down Selling, that is a really short book that people can read that gives them the gist of, it’s in essence, how do you take non sales people and teach them some of the core principles of Same Side Selling before Same Side Selling existed. And then I met Jack Quarrels, who spent two decades in purchasing and procurement, and Jack actually attended a workshop I was delivering on sales. It was the Upside Down Selling workshop.

Ian:
And I thought, wow, this is cool. Jack’s coming to kind of see what’s going on, and see if he can learn something. And the reality is, that Jack had found that some of the vendors who, they were willingly paying much higher fees to, than other vendors, the common thread was they would say, Oh yeah, I through this program with this guy Ian Altman, and Jack wanted to understand what they were being taught.

Ian:
And when he came to the program, he said, well, this is all integrity based. In fact, this makes perfect sense. This isn’t dishonest, this is totally honest. And then we got to know each other, and said, there are no books written from the perspective of the buyer and the seller. We should do this. And fortunately it’s resonated with quite a few people, enough to the point that we released a second edition about a year ago, and it’s been a very successful road. I just think that the title resonates with people. It’s like, Oh, that makes sense. You can understand conceptually, ah, I’m getting onto the same side, not on opposing sides.

Joe Sullivan:
Yeah. And I think that’s what’s so unique about it, having the perspective from procurement, or the buyer’s side, and then the sales side. I see it all the time, in my world and the world of my customers, where it’s like it’s this battle in the sale of buyer versus seller, and there’s this race to the bottom on price and everything. Yeah, it’s one versus the other, and the whole concept of your book, which I think you chose the perfect name for it, is let’s work together to figure out if there’s a fit. Let’s come to a common solution that makes sense for everybody. So I just thought it was so unique in that sense.

Ian:
Thank you. Yeah, it’s fascinating that almost every book that I’ve ever seen on sales either uses a battle metaphor, or a game metaphor.

Joe Sullivan:
Yeah.

Ian:
And if we take the second one first, in a game, there’s a winner and a loser. In a battle, the loser actually dies. And then we wonder why there’s this adversarial tension, instead of, we use the model or the metaphor of a puzzle that says, look, if you’re putting a puzzle together, you each have to be able to see each other’s pieces, or you’ll never be able to put the puzzle together. And if you’re not trying to put the same puzzle together, then there’s just not a good fit.

Ian:
And so it changes the dynamic, where it’s less about “how do I convince this person that they need to buy from me, they just don’t know it yet”. Instead, it changes it to “look, for the right organizations, we’re a great fit. We’re not a great fit for everybody, so I don’t yet know if I can help you, but if you’re facing these sorts of problems, I’m happy to learn more to see if I can help.” Makes it so that you’re instantly on the same side.

Joe Sullivan:
Yeah, I love that. You know, one of the biggest issues that I see with sales in the manufacturing sector, where the listeners of this show live, and our customers at Gorilla is, everybody defaults to talking about themselves. It’s ‘we do this’ and ‘we sell that’ and ‘our people are the best’ and ‘our competitors are phonies’, and you know, it’s all about us, right? And what I love about what you call the Same Side pitch is that you kind of flip the positioning statement, or the sales message, on its head, and you lead with the customer’s issue. I was wondering if you could talk about that a little bit.

Ian:
Sure. Well for starters, that example that you give of people always talking about themselves, and here’s what we do, and here’s the way we approach the world, and everyone else’s evil, is when companies suffer from what I like to call “Axis Displacement Disorder”. And that’s where the person doing the selling believes that somehow the axis of the earth has shifted, and now the world revolves around them.

Ian:
And it doesn’t. In fact, if anything, the world revolves around our client. So one of the things in researching how executives make and approve decisions, one of the things that we did is we run people through an exercise, and I’ve done this exercise with over 10,000 executives around the world. From companies ranging from, relatively small startups, under $1 million in revenue, to multi billion dollar multinationals, virtually everywhere on the planet, except for the continent of Africa, and we haven’t gone anywhere on the Antarctic. So outside of that, I got you covered.

Ian:
And we asked people, well let’s say someone in your team comes to you and wants to spend money on this thing. Call it a Gazurtenblat, it doesn’t matter what it’s called. And they say, we’re going to spend $20,000. It takes 45 days for the vendor to implement it, requires no resources whatsoever on our part, and they give us a 10 year guarantee. The challenge I give people is, what are the five questions you would have to have answered to be comfortable making an informed decision, to either approve or deny that request? And I let people work in teams to come up with their list of five, and then they narrow it down to their top three. And they ask the same three questions everywhere, no matter the size of the company, no matter where they are geographically.

Ian:
And the three questions come down to this. The first one is, what problem does this solve? So think about it, you’re going to spend money. Well, in essence, what problem does this solve? Which, is immediately followed by the second question, why do we need it? Which is, what happens if we don’t solve that issue? Meaning, what’s the problem, and then what’s the consequence of not solving that problem? And then the third question is, what’s the likely result or outcome if we make this investment?

Ian:
And by the way, the distant fourth in all this is ‘what are the alternatives’. And the reason why it’s a distant fourth is that if you answer those first three questions well, the fourth one becomes implied. So the vendor who you’re in total sync with about what problem they’re trying to solve for you, and why you need their help, who happens to also be the same vendor who delivers the best, most likely outcome for you, that’s your vendor. That’s the one you pick.

Joe Sullivan:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ian:
So if we know that that’s how people make decisions, what problem does it solve, why do we need it, what’s the likely outcome or result. Then, what the heck are we doing by leading with “here’s what we do as a company, and here’s how our widget works”? It does not align with how people make decisions. So instead, what do we lead with? Well, our clients come to us when they’re facing these types of problems that have these types of consequences. For the right organizations, we deliver this specific type of outcome. And now I need to disarm the notion that I’m just there to sell something, so I say, but the way we approach that isn’t the right fit for everybody. I don’t yet know whether or not we can help you, but if those are issues you’re facing, I’m happy to learn more to see whether or not we might be able to help.

Ian:
And that structure is what we call the Same Side Pitch, it’s in chapter four of the book. If you search, if you Google Same Side Pitch, you can probably find excerpts of this for free, if you don’t want to get the book. It doesn’t matter, if people have the book, they know where to find it in the book. So the idea is that the Same Side Pitch follows this construct of entice, disarm and discover. So first we entice by sharing problems that we’ve solved with dramatic or extraordinary results. We then disarm the notion that we’re just there to sell something, and then we trigger a discovery phase to learn more about their situation, to see whether or not we might be able to help.

Joe Sullivan:
So yeah, it’s a great model, a great infrastructure for doing it. And I can see, I love the puzzle piece analogy, because if you can just blatantly say, these are the types of companies that we’re good at helping, these are the problems that those types of companies typically experience, this is how we can help solve those problems. But, not everybody’s the right fit for us. All of a sudden, you start to weed out companies that aren’t the right fit. I imagine it makes you more efficient in your sales process, because now you’re spending time with companies that actually could be the right customers, right?

Ian:
Sure. Well, the idea is this, what people used to be taught – and by the way, we’re going to use G76 as an example. So in a second, I’m going to ask you, well, what are the problems that your clients would face? So you have a second to think about it.

Joe Sullivan:
All right.

Ian:
But what I want you to think about is this. If you’re leading with what people have often been taught in the past is, you ask an open ended question like ‘what keeps you up at night?’. And you might ask somebody what keeps you up at night, and they say, Oh, my dog licks himself. All right. Well, what do you have for that? Do you have a solution? No. So then you’re fishing going, Oh, well, what else?

Ian:
Well, I got concerns about X, Y, and Z. Yeah, we don’t do that either. Now you’re fishing for an opportunity, as opposed to, if you think about it, my guess is, some of your best clients were facing a problem that they weren’t even aware of until you helped them realize that it was an issue.

Joe Sullivan:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ian:
And so if you say to them, what’s your biggest problem, they might not even realize it. One of the questions that we’ll ask people is, well, zero to 10, how well do your salespeople perform? And no one ever gives a 10, it’s usually like a five.

Joe Sullivan:
Okay.

Ian:
So, how much of that do you attribute to a hiring problem, and how much would you attribute to a skills problem? They go, it’s probably like 80% skills. Okay. So what are you doing to invest in those skills? And it’s like, the head explodes and goes, Oh. Right? But if you asked them, Hey, what’s your biggest challenge? They would never say it’s the selling skill side. But oftentimes, it is. So going back to the Same Side Pitch, if you’re okay with it,

Joe Sullivan:
Yeah.

Ian:
We’ll use your business’s example.

Joe Sullivan:
Fire away. Like a twofer.

Ian:
So what’s the biggest challenge that you solve for your clients?

Joe Sullivan:
I would say the biggest challenge is that they’re not getting in front of enough of the right people from the right companies.

Ian:
And why is that a problem?

Joe Sullivan:
Because if they’re not doing that, then they’re relying on their existing customer base or referrals, and are often stuck serving customers who are not profitable, and they wind up kind of on this hamster wheel.

Ian:
Yeah. Okay. So your Same Side Pitch might be, well, manufacturers come to us when their message of the amazing products and services they have, aren’t getting in front of the right clients. And that means that either their inferior competitors are winning that business, or at a minimum, the company is forced to just keep trying to harvest the existing clients, who you can eventually run out of additional things you can sell your existing clients.

Ian:
For the right organizations, they tell us that we deliver marketing solutions that attract those clients, fill the top of their funnel, and give them a disproportionate share of mind from those ideal customers. But the way we approach that, it’s not the right fit for every company.

Ian:
So I don’t yet know if I can up your manufacturing company. But if that’s something you’re facing, I’m happy to learn more to see if we might be able to help. And so that’s what it sounds like, is first understanding what are those problems that we solve? And then, what the consequence is. Now, I just kind of winged it, so it may not be perfect, but it might not suck.

Joe Sullivan:
Well you know what, I’m glad we’re recording this, because now I can just transcribe it and copy and paste right into our website, right?

Joe Sullivan:
No, that’s right on the money. I mean, it’s exactly the convers- I can understand the power of having that conversation. And especially when you’re in a niche, and you have a very specific type of customer, and you know that customer really well, you’ve seen all these patterns over time, right? While you can’t make assumptions about what your prospects need, you’ve seen these problems before, and you’re able to speak to them.

Ian:
Absolutely. In my business it comes down to, it’s the earning attention side. It’s people feeling that they’re commoditized. So, wow. We’ve got somebody that’s head and shoulders above the competition, but our clients see us as a commodity just like everybody else. Or, there’s this whole shift of how do we shift the conversation from price to value? Because everyone wants to beat us up. Those are the types of things that I hear, time and time again.

Ian:
So that’s when people say, what do you do? Well, my clients are usually facing one of these problems. Boom, boom, boom. And if that doesn’t resonate, it’s probably not the right fit today. It doesn’t mean that it’ll never be, but they’re probably not the right client today.

Joe Sullivan:
There’s a line from your book that I’ve quoted, I’ve had a picture of your book up there, I’ve had the quote highlighted in a number of times I’ve been in front of our own clients, and hopefully it’s sold you some books along the way without you realizing it. But the line that I really love, because it just speaks so well to a lot of things that we preach at Gorilla and try to teach our clients, is this. It says, you said the goal of being an educator is not to convince, but to include a prospect in your perspective or knowledge base, so that you build a common mutual understanding.

Ian:
Yep.

Joe Sullivan:
And I just love that quote so much, because everybody in my world, in this manufacturing world, they just default, like I said earlier, to talking about themselves.

Joe Sullivan:
And that’s all you see in their marketing. It’s brochure marketing, it’s websites filled with product pages, which you need that stuff. I’m not saying you don’t need it. But what we emphasize so much is that you have to take these elements of a consultative sale, and you’ve got to bring them down into your marketing process as well, because the first touch point that a lot of your future customers will have with you is the content you publish and the things you say. And so I was just kind of curious to hear your take on that particular quote, and this idea of being an educator.

Ian:
Well, I always say that the best quotes in the book, Jack probably wrote. But the idea behind this is that when your client or prospect doesn’t decide to do business with you, they’ve decided not to spend money with you, one of two things has happened. Either they don’t believe that the problem that you’re talking about solving for them is that big of a deal, at least not compared to other things on their plate. Or, they don’t believe in the result or outcome that you’re allegedly going to deliver, or both.

Ian:
And so when companies talk about ‘here are our features’ and ‘here are our capabilities’ and all this whizzbang stuff, what’s the client wondering? What problem does it solve? Why do I need it? What’s the likely outcome or result? So the idea is that if you believe in the issue, the impact of the results, and the client doesn’t, it doesn’t count. Similarly, if they believe in it, but you don’t, it doesn’t count. So it’s got to be a mutual understanding. If you both are on the same page about what problem you’re trying to solve, if you’re both on the same page about what happens if they don’t solve it, and you both have consistent expectations about what the results should be, then there’s a level of trust. If you think about it, if you’re buying from somebody, and you haven’t had a meaningful conversation about what the results need to look like, what’s going through the customer’s mind? The client is thinking, yeah, but do they really understand what we’re trying to accomplish?

Ian:
But if you ask the questions up front about what does success looks like, and how are we going to measure it, then it’s just the client saying, yeah, I think they’re actually going to follow through, or not. But at least everyone’s on the same page about what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

Ian:
You know, one of the things that I often share, especially with people in the manufacturing side is, so let’s say you had two different vendors. One vendor is asking you about who needs to be involved in actually making a purchase. The other vendor says, what could put the results at risk, and what are we going to measure together to make sure that we get the right results for you? Well, which vendor would you rather deal with? The person who’s focused on the sale, or the vendor who’s focused on the results? All right?

Ian:
Obviously, the results side.

Joe Sullivan:
Right.

Ian:
And then I’ll say, well, so would you be willing to pay more for the vendors focused on results? And people almost universally say oh yeah, I’d pay more for that. Okay. How much more? And the most common answer is somewhere between 10 and 20% more.

Ian:
And then I asked the following question, which is, so how much less would you have to pay for it to be a good deal, but you don’t get the results that you need? The answer is, it doesn’t matter. If I don’t get the results I need, it was a waste of time and resources, let alone the money. So when companies can learn how to pivot, to focus on results instead of focusing on just getting the sale, that’s when everything changes. That’s when clients routinely pay more for your services than for other peoples. And there’s a whole thing that we don’t have time to discuss today, that talks about differentiation and how do you stand out over the competition.

Joe Sullivan:
Sure. Yeah, I love that.

Joe Sullivan:
Well, Ian, we are recording this in August of 2020. The world is still upside down in a lot of ways, and it looks like it may be for a while. One of the biggest struggles that I’m seeing among B2B manufacturers is they’re not sure what to do with this big gap that’s being left by the absence of trade shows. And not only trade shows, but just being able to get on a plane and fly across the country to see a customer, or a prospect. So many of these companies are reliant on that in person interaction. And so I’m curious, from your perspective, what you’re seeing with the companies you consult, and what you think these organizations can be doing in the meantime to fill that void.

Ian:
It’s interesting. In the Same Side Selling Academy, we do a monthly coaches corner column. One of the most prevalent topics of late has been, so what do we do when we can’t have in person meetings, when we can’t rely on networking? When we used to get 80% of our leads through these trade shows that now don’t exist, what do we do? And so, what we need to do is immediately pivot to think like our customers. Now, the smart companies already were thinking like their customers, but there’s still time to catch up. Which is, okay, what are the questions that our clients would ask? My friend Marcus Sheridan, in his book “They Ask, You Answer”, Marcus talks like you’re in the marketing world. You undoubtedly know Marcus, as well.

Joe Sullivan:
Love, love They Ask, You Answer. Love it, yeah.

Ian:
And so the whole idea is that, how do you create content that is meaningful for your client or prospect? And it comes down to Marcus talks about his big five of content marketing, five key topics that move the needle. And one of them is talking about price. One of them is talking about best of and comparisons, rankings, and reviews, I think it is.

Joe Sullivan:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ian:
And so the idea is to make it so that you’re speaking to the problems you solve, not your features and capabilities. So if, for example, you did a case study that talked about how you solve this problem for another organization, it used to be when people did case studies, they would write a little bit about what the client was doing. Then they would write three or 400 pages about themselves and how smart they are as a manufacturer. And then in the end, it would say “contact us for more information”.

Joe Sullivan:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ian:
And instead, what I suggest is, you condense things and you say, so here’s a manufacturing company that, whether it’s a manufacturer, whether it’s a, whatever their incline is. Here’s this organization, they were having this problem, and here’s why that problem was so important. Notice, what am I starting with? What problem were they trying to solve, and why did they need to do it?

Ian:
Then, I give you an entire sentence. Not a compound sentence, but a sentence that says they came to us for help. And then, you talk about the result and outcome they ended up with, which barely mentions your product or service. So it says, when they came to us and they use the [inaudible 00:25:05] A2020, today they’re able to do this now. They’ve captured more market share. They’ve shortened their time to market, they’ve reduced errors, they’ve improved efficiency, their dogs and cats now peacefully get along together, whatever it is. And that’s all great.

Ian:
So somebody reads that, and they say, wow, that’s really great. It could be a video, it could be text, doesn’t matter. After they’ve consumed that content, they’re only going to look at that if they’re having that same problem. So now we’re already narrowing down our filter to the right people.

Ian:
And then what happens is, they say, wow. Yeah, I didn’t think about the consequences of that. Yeah, I bet you we had the same consequence, and wow, I’d sure like to have that same outcome. Only, the vendor didn’t describe the exact solution. So if you’re that customer, what do you do? You either pick up the phone or you email the company and say, how did you solve that?

Ian:
And then it’s about training the rep who answers that call to not say, “Oh, here’s how we solved it”, but instead say, “what was it about that case that piqued your interest?” And immediately talk about what’s important to them as a customer, not talking about your stuff.

Joe Sullivan:
Perfect, love it. So case studies, but focused on the problem and the outcome.

Ian:
So basically, it’s just taking all of your marketing mindset and shifting it to a focus on what problems do we solve, what’s the information that people are wondering about, and guess what? If there’s a certain problem, you might say, here are three ways to solve this problem. And guess what? You might start by saying, look, oftentimes people come to us to solve this problem, and that’s something that we do. But in the event that you can’t afford to do it the way that we do it, here are two or three alternatives that could work for you.

Ian:
Because the person who’s going to go through all the headaches to do it the hard way, they’re going to do that anyhow.

Joe Sullivan:
Sure, sure.

Ian:
But other people are going to look and say, well, those three ways look like a lot of work, we’re not doing that. Let’s just call these guys.

Joe Sullivan:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ian:
And then you’re narrowing your field, so if you just put out a whole bunch of marketing hype that says here’s how cool we are, no one’s going to care.

Joe Sullivan:
Right.

Ian:
If instead you say, okay, how do we attract the right interest by speaking to the problems that these people are facing day in and day out, then you’re onto something. In the Same Side Selling Academy, I created a course called Growth In Crisis that we give people, people can access for free. They just go to the website, samesidesellingacademy.com, and you can click and get that course for free.

Ian:
One of the first things I talk about is that in this type of crisis environment, your goal, first and foremost is to be helpful. And so I thought it’d be kind of cynical if I then charged for the course. So we just made it available for free, but it’s the whole idea of, how can you help other people and talk about the problems that they’re facing and how to solve them? And the right people will come back and do business with you, that’s okay.

Joe Sullivan:
Yeah. Makes sense. And so with in person events, trade shows out the door, so creating content that’s actually helpful. How do you get it out there, from your perspective? Are you an inbound guy, an outbound guy, do you like both?

Ian:
It’s a little bit of both. So if you already have a good list, then you’re sharing information, and you’re constantly seeking feedback. Hey, here’s this piece of content we shared. What else would you like to hear? I use LinkedIn Live, and so at the end of every LinkedIn Live, I’ll post something that says, what other topics would you like to hear about?

Joe Sullivan:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ian:
Because the idea is, I’m just trying to serve that audience. And what are the questions that you have? You know, Hey, play stump the guesser. Ask a question that you don’t think we can answer. Oh, here’s a really hard one. Because if you’re the person they’re coming to you for a lot of answers, then you’re probably also the person going to come – now, if you basically solicit questions for things that have nothing to do with your business, that’s going to be harder, but it can be related to it.

Ian:
I think Marcus talks about, I think it’s Columbia Sports or one of those Columbia Outerwear, I think has a whole app that they produced on knots, on how to tie knots. Bill said, well, they don’t sell rope. Yeah, you’re missing the point. Their audience is people who are on boats, and camping and this and that, who would like an app on, how do I tie this type of knot or that type of knot? So they’re serving their audience, so it’s relevant.

Ian:
But if they were posting something about doing sous-vide cooking, their audience wouldn’t care, because on a boat, they’re probably not firing up the sous-vide.

Joe Sullivan:
Of course, yeah. It’s all about understanding the customer, and being a resource to them.

Ian:
Sure.

Joe Sullivan:
Love it. Well Ian, this has been a fantastic conversation. It’s been an honor having the opportunity to talk to the coauthor of one of my absolute favorite business books.

Joe Sullivan:
Can you tell us the best place for listeners to find you online, where you’d send them and where they could pick up a copy of Same Side Selling?

Ian:
Absolutely. So you can pick up the Same Side Selling just about anywhere books are sold. Amazon tends to be the one of the most popular places now, but you can also get it in the bookstores as well. If you go to Ianaltman.com, you’ll get me, or Same Side Selling Academy, gets everything on the Academy side, and people can always reach out with any questions. Because sometimes people will read the book or hear something, and they’ll post a question, and it’s amazing because I’ll usually get questions that say, well, I’m sure Ian doesn’t actually read these. And then I get the email, and I respond and say, why do you think I don’t read these? Oh, you read them. I’m like, well you sent it to me. If you send it to info, maybe I’ll read it, maybe I won’t. If you send it to me, I’m probably going to read it.

Joe Sullivan:
Yeah. That’s great. Perfect. Well, Ian, thanks a ton for taking the time out of your week to do this. I really appreciate it.

Ian:
You betcha, thanks for all the great questions.

Joe Sullivan:
Awesome. And as for the rest of you I hope to catch you on the next episode of the Manufacturing Executive.

Narrator:
You’ve been listening to the Manufacturing Executive podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you’d like to learn more about industrial marketing and sales strategy, you’ll find an ever expanding collection of articles, videos, guides, and tools specifically for B2B manufacturers at gorillaseventysix.com/learn. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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