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How This Networking Master Turns the Tables to Skyrocket His Lead Generation Response Rate

Liana Ling
March 27, 2023
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You're listening to Breaking Marketing, where we uncover the cutting edge strategies disrupting the marketing industry. Join host Leanna Ling, CEO of Ad Skills, as she takes you behind the scenes to access insider knowledge from industry leaders and innovators pushing and breaking the boundaries of marketing. Are you ready to discover the secrets.

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Of the marketing elite?

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Let's begin. Breaking marketing. Marketing.

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Yeah. Let's go.

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Welcome back. My name is Leanna Ling and I am so excited to be here with Zach Hammer. Zach, thank you for coming by today.

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Always a pleasure, Leanna, always a pleasure.

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I asked Zach to come here today to share about a way that he has been breaking the rules. Breaking marketing in what I think is quite a surprising way. Why don't we just jump right in? Zach, me, I just like to get right to the meet. Tell us, just to give us some context, can you tell us about why you use the strategy, first of all, and then dive into it?

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Yeah. I've always found that people tend to have a natural path for how they create content, right? That could be that they're more of a writer, that they're more of a talker, and maybe they are the kind of person that's perfectly happy showing up on video. Right. Some people are very audio focused, only some people are good with video. Leveraging that, you can create all sorts of different types of content. Where I started down this path was I have figured out that for me, video, audio, it doesn't really matter. I tend to flow well if I could talk, and I flow really well if I'm talking to somebody else. That started me down the path of podcasting. I'm in this world, I don't necessarily have a massive audience on my end, right? Podcasting, for sake of warming up an audience and using that audience to drive business, that wasn't something that was going to pay off well.

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If I was going to stay motivated to do podcasting, create a show, create a concept that can both nurture my audience that already exists, help grow it slowly over time, but really pay off immediately, that's what I developed and discovered here. Okay, so I discovered that I needed to figure out a way to do podcasting in a way that made sense for me, for my audience, but still allowed me to get an immediate pay off. That's really what I discovered is a concept that I like to call podcasting as prospecting, where what you end up having happen is that your guests on the podcast actually can be great fits for you and your business, right. You can use it to find clients, JV opportunities, partnerships. There's lots of great ways to leverage it where most people are very focused on let's create a podcast that's going to be content for my audience and that's where they stop.

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I look at podcasting as a way to build relationships with the people that I will either be partnering with or actually bringing on as clients. Does that make sense?

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Yes, it does. I thought this was a genius idea because I've actually used this after you've told me about it and I never thought of podcasts in this way. Can you just walk us through literally the process of what happened just so we can get our heads around how we can do this? Because I think we're so used to podcasting being a platform. Just as a thought leader, right, I have ideas, I want to get it out there to as many people as possible and that's what I'm using podcasting for us, this is really shifting the paradigm here, but the purpose of podcast and the role it has in our business, right?

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There's a couple of points that go into it. First and foremost, I think you should be playing the podcast game with a long term goal in mind of understanding that, yes, at some point it would be awesome if your podcast has enough of an audience, enough of a platform to be able to leverage it for the content distribution side of it. You should foundationally make sure that your podcast does, if possible, make sense to the people that you want to attract and build an audience around. That is a good thing, but you don't want to stop there. You don't want to just create the content for those people. What you also want to do is you want to understand that there's a path to get there's a path that takes a while, that you got to be at that game for a long time in order to actually have a podcast build up enough of an audience and start making that impact.

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You want to leverage the time that you're building the podcast in order to be finding opportunities that help you right now. So there's a couple of shifts here. First and foremost, understand you want to leverage your podcast to be creating content that you could use to nurture the list and the audience that you already have. You want to be able to use it to put out to your current audience, to your current people and have that be effective in helping win them over to your way of thinking, right? Like that's a valuable thing. The other thing that you want to do is you want to figure out how you can make your podcast concept something that gives you the opportunity to bring on ideal clients and ideal prospects and potential partners in the path of creating that content. Because podcasts are this very amazing and interesting thing where if I call somebody up and say, hey, I would love to have an hour long conversation just getting to know you.

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Would you be up for that? Would you be up for just talking for an hour just so I can get to know you? Any busy professional, when you hear that idea that sounds like, yeah, no thanks.

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Really? That's why I came to you when you gave me this idea, because I said, I have a lot of people who reach out to me. Can I pick your brain? Can we meet? Let's go for a coffee. I said, I feel like I don't have time. You said, let's leverage this in a podcast.

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Right, exactly. Because that's the difference that this makes. Right. Instead, I can go out and I could talk to people and say, hey, I'd love to have you on my podcast and amplify whatever you're up to. Right. I want to shine a light on what you're up to. You want to come on my podcast where you could talk about it and we can explore that idea and I could put it out to my audience and create some great content together. Do you want to do that? When you do that, people are a lot more likely to say, yeah, that sounds good, let's do that. Right? The underlying thing that people miss is that you still get that benefit of that hour long conversation building rapport with somebody that you would normally not get to have. If you are targeting the right people that you're doing your outreach in order to get those guests onto your podcasts, then what you're doing is you're setting yourself up for the perfect opportunity to be having high rapport conversations with your ideal clients, prospects and potential partners.

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It's really easy to transition from, hey, we're creating great content to amplify your message into a very subtle but easy path into saying, let's have a sales conversation. It's all done in a way that everybody feels great about it. You feel great about it. You don't feel slimy, you don't feel sneaky. They feel great about it because you're actually leading with value in a way that is actually real and valuable and not just like lead with value, where people try and lead with value, but it ends up just being a waste of everybody's time. It's a really cool mix where you get to do well by doing good. Right. You're actually helping people, but it still helps you to grow your business. It all boils down to, again, as long as you are selecting the right people, first and foremost, that would be a good fit for your goals to bring on as guests to the podcast.

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The next thing is just having a clear strategy for how you set up some basic psychology to set you up for success. That's where, to me, the two questions come in. We figured out these two questions that really help you turn a podcast episode recording into a sales opportunity or a partnership opportunity. Again, this is depending on what you're looking for.

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This part here that you're about to share, I think this is the part that really breaks the rules or goes against what everybody else is doing. Because just to share with everybody. Part of my little journey. Zach said do this, so I said, great. I started doing this. I was recording episodes, but then I wasn't getting the results that I wanted because I said, we did the episode and I wasn't able to turn it into a sales call. That's when I said, oh, I'm missing this part of it. Which made all the difference.

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Yeah, absolutely. So really, let's establish something here, right? So ultimately, what is sales? Sales is this idea that we have somebody who has a problem or a need and we are connecting them to the solution. In order for them to get the solution, they exchange funds in order to do it right. That's what sales is. It's saying, you have a problem, I have a solution. You want that solution, you give me money in order to get it right. What we often find is that in most cases, people have their guards up in a sales conversation because they know what's happening. They know, yeah, I don't want to talk to you about the problems that I have because I know you're just going to sell me on something. That's the whole process of trying to figure out, how do you get past that? How do you get people into a state where they're actually able to freely flow with what their problems are so you can help them solve this?

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What's cool about the podcast is that you could start by at least finding out what their motivation is, right? So I've got a problem. I need to be connected to a solution. In order for something to be a solution, I need to know where somebody's heading. The first question, you bring somebody in. For me, I do this in a way where I have two different calls before I actually do a podcast. I have what I call my introductory call, my brainstorming call, where what we're doing is we're figuring out what that podcast episode is going to be about and then I do the actual recording at a different time. Part of that for me is that I'm setting up opportunities for affiliate agreements and stuff in between the episodes so that come the time of the episode, we can actually have some plan of action for how that episode is going to not only benefit them, but could benefit me in the process.

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That may or may not be necessary for you, depending on what you're up to. This does work if you do it even as one call, I personally do it as two. And there are some advantages to that. The idea is that you're setting up the episode. One of the best ways to not only ensure great content, but to maximize your chance of building rapport with somebody as well as figuring out what matters to them, is the first question. The first question is, what would make this a great episode for you? I tend to put some qualifying information on that. I say things like, what are you building right now? What are you working on? What are you driving toward? What are you looking to promote? Why did you want to come on this podcast? What made this feel like something that would be worthwhile to you?

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What are you working on that I can help shine a light on so that we can actually drive business for you, that we can promote the thing that you're working on? Because when you find that out, that lets their motivation, that lets the thing that matters to them, that lets the thing where you could say, this is what you want, then later we're going to be able to connect that to say, here's how my solution can help you get there. We're going to do it in a cool way. By doing that, you set the whole episode up to make it that it's all about building rapport around the thing that matters most to them. They're going to see you as somebody bringing value. They're going to see you as somebody who's helping to fight for their dreams. That does a massive amount for the psychology of bringing them to your side.

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That does a massive amount for giving you the information you need in order to clearly show how what you're up to might help them, right? And this isn't a trick, right? If you figure out in the process of what they're building and what they're up to, that what you doesn't really help them and you don't believe that it can, then don't sell them anything. You don't need to sell it's. Not everything turns into a sales conversation, but it maximizes your opportunity that you can find that information for when it is a good fit. During the episode itself, you're just listening, right? You're not listening the whole time. You're doing a normal podcast episode and interviewing, asking good questions and all that, but you're paying attention for the things that they're up to, the strategies that they're trying, whatever, right? The information that gives you the idea of what you're up to might be able to fit that need.

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That's where most people focus on, right? They focus on how do you create a good episode, what are the intros, what are the outros, what do you do to get a good result? All of that. Everybody is very focused in general in the podcasting world about like, how do you create a good episode, how do you make it engaging, how do you do all that, you should still do all of that. All of those people that talk about how to create a good episode, you should do that. Your podcast should foundationally be entertaining content for your audience, all of that. What you're doing when you're using this strategy is you're also listening for the things that happen in the most important parts of the podcast, which are the things that the listeners don't get to hear, the conversations that are happening before and the conversations that are happening after, right?

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Because that's where you have the opportunity to really connect with that person and turn a podcast episode into a sales conversation. We're listening for that information, the motivating information that you can then have in those real conversations before and after. One thing I didn't mention is I always try and set people up to understand that there's going to be a conversation after, right? And so I do that either. At the beginning of the episode, if you're doing one call, then the way that you do this is you'd start before you actually record. You say, hey, just let you know, here's how this is going to work. In a second, we're going to turn on the recording and we're going to record the episode and then I'm going to stop the recording. Go ahead and stay on the call, right? So I'll wrap up. I'll do all that.

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You stay on the call. Because in general, I found that we often have a couple of questions, a couple of things to debrief on. I want you to understand, when I turn off the recording, you're going to stick around. You often want to do that. Otherwise there's this question that comes up. They understand that you're ending and if they, if you haven't made it clear that like, they may hop off, right, they may leave because they're like, OK, we're done. I click end and leave, right? You want the opportunity to have that conversation with them at the end. That's where the second question comes in. Now, the second question is even more powerful than the first, but if you don't do the first, you don't get the opportunity for the second. So what do you think? Should we dive into the second question?

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Okay, let's not leave everybody hanging. I was going to say let's do the next episode, but let's jump in.

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All right, sounds good. We've gone through the episode, we've learned about their motivation, we know what they're working on. Now we get to the end of the episode, we do all the standard things. We thank them for showing up. I often find that it's a great time to there isn't an exact question here, there's a concept. How you go into it is a matter of listening to the motivation and making this connect to what they actually said. You might bring up something that's like, hey, I thought it was really cool that you do this. I love that idea. I love that strategy. Or, I love that you're working on this. I love what it's about. Whatever you do, the things that connect back to what they've already said and you relate to them, then what you do is you flow into the powerful question that turns us into what can become a sales conversation, which is something that's working for me or something that's working for my clients.

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This, have you ever considered trying something like that? Or have you ever tried something like this? Or have you ever done this idea? Or have you considered this strategy? And then you listen, right. Again, I don't say all those things. I say one of those things. But that's the idea. Have you tried because what that does is that gives you the opportunity to hear and when you say, have you considered it's? Whatever you're offering, right? Have you considered doing a webinar? Have you considered running ads to this offer? Have you tried running ads to this offer? You're listening for what their experience is and then flowing the conversation from there, right? You listen to, yes, we have. And these were the problems. You flow from that and you say, oh, yeah, that could definitely happen. Here's some of the things that help to fix that.

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This is something that we do. Would you be interested in hopping on a call to hear how we might be able to help you with that? Right. Like, it tends to take longer from that, but that's how you flow into the sales conversation. Or the other thing is, no, we haven't ever tried that, but that sounds interesting. Awesome. Well, this is actually something that we do. Would you like to hop on a call where we could talk about how that works and see if it might be a fit for you? What's cool is those conversations flow so naturally, right? Because what you're simply doing is you're saying, here's the thing that you're trying to work at. Here's how I think I could help you. Do you want me to? If they say yes, then great, you have a sales conversation. If they say no, I don't think that's a good fit right now.

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Okay, cool. We just created a great podcast episode. You still got value, no harm, no foul. The reality is that most of the time, people are very ready to do that next part of the conversation. You could turn literally every podcast guest opportunity into a potential client, into a potential partner, into somebody that you could do business with that can make an impact right now rather than waiting for that audience to be built in order to be able to capitalize on what you build.

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Yeah. What's interesting is it's been my experience that on episodes where I've built enough rapport with them. At the end of it, before I get a chance to say anything, they'll ask me, oh, by the way, what is it that you do? How do you help people? I don't even have to build into that, and I don't have to pull the conversation back like I normally would in a sales call, because we just spent that much time basically doing a discovery session. So I already know everything about them.

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Right, yeah, exactly. You get that effect of it's a tactic, it's a trick that people often try and leverage in the marketing world of the law of reciprocity, right. Where it's the whole reason around free gifts and things like that, where it's like you give this thing and it sets somebody up to feel like they want to reciprocate. It's been used enough that it often doesn't have that effect. I found at this point where it's like they just consider, this is old hat, this is norm, that I get a free ebook. Right. People understand that it's a marketing tactic, so it loses.

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Well, it's not seen as a gift anymore. We can go into this in another episode. I feel like it's because it's not seen as a gift anymore.

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Exactly. Whereas this kind of episode does feel like a gift. It does feel like you actually gave them something of value. That took time, that took effort, that they appreciate seeing you amplify their message and doing so in a good way that they feel good about, they feel proud of, et cetera. You do naturally have that law of reciprocity where they naturally want to see what they could do for you. Right. If it's literally like a low key, hey, I got this idea, it might be able to be helpful to you want to hear about it? They more than often say yes again, as long as it's a good fit. That's the basic idea there. The reality is, like, this concept, whether it's applied to podcasting, I've done this in order to find opportunities to do webinars together with people. Whereas it's all about leading with this thing of let me amplify your message, or let me help you reach your goals for free in a valuable way that makes sense for you, that naturally creates these opportunities where you can then leverage it to either create clients, create traffic opportunities, create all sorts of things.

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Yeah, for podcasting specifically, people understand podcasting and what it is. They inherently get the value of it. You can actually leverage it as a way that you could proactively go out and prospect and talk to the people that you want to be talking to, having those conversations in a way that feels cool. They enjoy it, you enjoy it, and it still results in business. It's magic.

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Wow. It definitely is magical. Like I said, I can attest it. It actually works. It felt magical once I put all of the elements together in terms of how you described it here. Thank you so much, Zach, for showing us how you're breaking the podcasting rules to thrive in a disruptive world. I have one last question for you. Are you ready?

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I'm ready.

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What do you think will be a disruptive marketing strategy or tactic this year? Like something that's going to break the marketing world for the better?

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Yeah. To me, right now, the thing that's looming at this point, I don't think it's new. Everybody's talking about it, but I still don't think most people really understand the impact that AI is having in the marketing world. I think there's a lot of misguided thoughts about it. I think people do not understand how powerful it is for good, for the good of the marketer, that with of knowledge, training and expertise and using those tools, that it actually drastically amplifies your power as a marketer. There's a massive amount of ability that can be tapped into, but it's like this bell that's been wrong that can't be unrung. I don't think it is going to be possible anymore to be a powerful, successful marketer without somewhere in your wheelhouse leveraging AI to either increase the quantity, the quality of your output, whether it's you or whether it's someone on your team.

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I think it has to be part of the marketing mix at this point in order to be able to keep up with what's going on. I don't think that it's going to be the only people that it's going to get rid of are the people who aren't like we all know that we need to, changing and adapting and leveraging the tools that make us the most successful as possible. I think it's ultimately going to better for the sake of the marketing world, that when you double down and you master your marketing skill set, where you learn good copywriting, you learn good targeting, you learn good persuasion, that you're then able to leverage AI in order to increase the quality of your output, the quantity of your output. You still have to have that expertise to help refine it. I think we're still on the cusp of this and not enough of the marketing world has quite gone through the learning curve necessary to learn AI.

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Yet when it when they do, I think it's going to be powerful for every aspect of what we're up to. I think it enables great marketers and yes, I think it's going to be powerful.

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Yeah. Now, Zack, if anybody wants to get in touch with you, what's the best way for them to do that?

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Yeah, so, I mean, you can feel free. My website at this point is real estate growth. Hackers I focus on helping the real estate industry, real estate SaaS companies, real estate agents, brokers team leaders with good cutting edge marketing that really helps you to generate and convert leads in the real estate world. Or reach real estate agents, real estate folks with great messaging. So feel free. You could find all the links to connect with me on and I'm happy to connect with people and answer emails and all that stuff. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

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Right. Thanks again, Zach. Now to you. Listening or watching? What do you think? Do you agree, Zach? Let us know in the comments or on social media. Join me next time for another exciting episode. I'm leaning. And thanks for listening to Breaking Marketing.

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