David “Ledge” Ledgerwood is the co-founder and managing partner at Add1Zero.
His team’s superpowers are about adding one more zero to the revenue of companies. To 10x revenue from 500k to $5 million.
Throughout his career, Ledge has closed over $35M, with an average deal size in excess of $150,000. He has deep-rooted expertise in selling software and services and has helped several companies grow into the mid-7 figures.
Ledge was the host of roughly 200 episodes of Gun.io’s The Frontier Podcast that featured interviews with professionals across the software engineering leadership spectrum, so he is well versed in the podcasting realm.
In 2007, Ledge walked out of his job and moved from New Jersey to Nashville to start a company. He got to a $500K run-rate before the Great Recession chewed him up and spit him out, but he never lost the startup bug. He then moved into EdTech and built his business development chops, hopped to a COO role, consulted, mentored, and coached. In 2015, he joined Gun.io.
What you will learn
- The power of algorithms and their pervasive control of our lives and business
- How revenue cures everything.
- The importance of “niching” down to succeed in business
- The framework to grow your B2B company from 500k to $5 million
- Why you need to package your services
- How to scale your business with systems
- Tips on how to standardize your product and service offerings
- What a sales machine looks like
- Whether a documented knowledge base is your key sales tool
- Why documenting on video is an important part of knowledge capture and sharing
- Some tools to improve your business
- A podcast superpower that you have never heard of
Jeff Bullas: Hi, everyone and welcome to the Jeff Bullas show. Today, I have with me Ledge. Hi, Ledge.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Nice to be here to be here, Jeff.
Jeff Bullas: He's sometimes known as David.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Sometimes.
Jeff Bullas: His last name's Ledgerwood. In Australia we have a game called cricket and we do sledging, which is basically giving the team a hard time on the other side. But we're talking about ledge, not sledging, and ...
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's actually pretty similar.
Jeff Bullas: Now, Ledge has got an interesting history. He originally was a coder and got into sales and worked for companies, mostly trying to help them close deals. He realized that their systems were so crap that he decided that he could do it better. He decided to start his own company called Add1Zero. Add1Zero is all about making more money for their clients in B2B services and sales, and welcome to the show Ledge.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It is so cool to be here with you. It's coffee time for you, it's happy hour for me. It's a worldwide B2B relationship building right now.
Jeff Bullas: Exactly. We're doing the old Zoom here, which is fabulous. Almost an expert in Zoom now. I know how to turn it on. I know how to put the gallery view on, and we'd been working in the mics for the last 12 months, getting them right. We had a mic just like yours. I changed that recently. It's always a challenge isn't it for a podcast to get the sound just right, without having it in a ...
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's very hard. The software changes everything and I've had trouble with the lighting. I finally figured that out. Although I feel like I'm getting a sunburn with the ... I've got these two LED panels that are burning my eyes out all day, but it looks nice on video. You have to be vain enough to invest in that nice, shiny look.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, that's right. Well, I haven't had any makeup put in my shiny forehead this morning, but the makeup artists had a day off! :)
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I understand. You got before the makeup artists came in.
Jeff Bullas: That's right. Welcome to the show Ledge. I look forward to finding out more about what you do. You were a coder?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Yes.
Jeff Bullas: What got you into coding before we get into the real interesting stuff about making more money for people?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I still want to be a coder. The funny thing is I love it. I'm trying to get my kids to be coders. I am absolutely fascinated by algorithms, and I just think it's amazing that you can type stuff in and make computers do things. Now, I am completely outmoded now, the stuff I wish that I grew up coding in the cloud era, gosh, there's so much neat stuff, but I'm still fascinated by it and I loved it. I think of it as, it's almost like poetry, that you can just make beautiful, elegant code. I bring that with me to this day.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Even a sales pitch is an algorithm. I don't know. I think of it that way. I'm trying to solve a problem at any given chance that I get. I would have loved to say a technologist. However, I also had other multidimensional skills that I realized that the coder types, maybe didn't have, and that if someone was going to migrate to the business side, it was probably going to be me, so I did that, went to the operator seats, the COO type of stuff, finance and I liked that too. That was fun. But ultimately somebody had to go out, and try to pitch some stuff and sell some things.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I just started doing that and it worked and I made people money and people like it when you make the money. Then I said, "Wow, if I can make them money, I should probably make myself money," and here we are.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. I started working not as a coder, but as a teacher and I discovered ... I did part-time sales at night and found out I could sell, so I ended up going to sales as well and was in sales for a long, long time.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: What was the first sales job because that is so clutch, yeah?
Jeff Bullas: Ah, okay. You're going to love this. My first job was just selling subliminal suggestion tapes to stop people smoking and overeating.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Wow. Did it work?
Jeff Bullas: Well, I sold quite a lot. I believe ...
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: You were giving overt messaging to sell-
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, subliminal suggestions ...
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: ... subconscious messaging?
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. This was in the early, late '70s, early '80s. Subliminal suggestion tapes, where you would just listen to it and it helped you stop smoking and also not eat too much. They were like $50 a pop. I got a nice cut of that and I was making more money at night, two or three nights a week than it was for my entire 48 hours in the classroom, and I went, "Okay, this is something worth doing." I totally get that pivot into sales. But yeah, that was my first sales career.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: That's fantastic.
Jeff Bullas: Did it work? I hope so. I didn't have anyone knocking on my door asking for their money back, so that was good, but I believed in it. So it was cool, but I really admire coders though. I really do.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I do too.
Jeff Bullas: Because I am seriously crap at it. I tried to use basic, I think back in the 1980s when that was a coding thing and I seriously just can't get my head around it. I think in a totally different way. I need something more concrete rather than abstract. I really admire coders; because they write in a ... As you said they create algorithms that make machines dance and sing and make sense of data. You know what, I think it's fantastic.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: What's sales, right? What's a pitch? What's marketing, except essentially psychological algorithms, so I'm happy to have been steeped in that strange world where there are processes and it's open-ended, and it's abstract and it's just the same as all the other business. It's neat to have been crossed in that.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, that's very cool. We are always in a battle of the algorithms when Facebook and Google turn on their algorithms, change them every day. The whole SEO game is just one ongoing battle of the algorithms, trying to get ranked. We rank for a lot of terms. I think we published an article the other day and we're on page two within 24 hours. That's the stuff I do love it, but I get my team to do that back end stuff, but original algorithm battle was, I just use blunt force trauma using just published a lot of content back in 2009, 2010.
Jeff Bullas: Guess what? Because I created a lot of good quality content every day, we started building up our domain authority. But again, the SEO is an algorithm battle.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's changed 10 times since then. I tell you what if you were on the forefront of that in the early days of chunking out that content, you would never give up that authority that you developed early. That's like buying Tesla the day it went public, so that's tremendous. None of us who didn't do that will ever get that back without buying it. It's an asset. It's like buying real estate and any business that was built on that is really just going to reap that benefit for a long time. You can't replicate that now. It's a totally different world.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. Certainly when I leapt into the whole content marketing game and building the blog up from scratch without any code, as I used WordPress, which was template driven, I struggled with just using the features of WordPress, but I did it.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I still do, and it's supposed to be easy now.
Jeff Bullas: I don't use WordPress very often. Now my whole editor and team does, and I hadn't used the back end for a while. I leapt in about four or five months ago again and I went, "Oh my god, this has changed." I said, "This is not easy anymore," because it was unfamiliar.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's like I want to change that one little thing, and I still have to go ask my partner who is more of a developer and designer than me, it's like, "How do I get to that work? Where is it?" I know what I want, but I can't get there.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. Especially if you're growing a business, you certainly usually have to be the master of everything initially until you get to a point, where you can start basically delegating.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: That's the huge lesson and one that we still try to balance, especially when you bootstrap a business, because in a sense you do have to do everything, because if you pay somebody else to do it, then you're not going to be able to pay yourself, until you just pay attention to that margin. We started our business with $4,000 just like anybody else. You just go like, "When can I spend money and when can I not," and constantly running that again, and that opportunity cost that you need to value of your own time only becomes relevant when there's cash that you can spend on yourself or somebody else.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: At the beginning of that you're, nobody, you got to do all the things. Who am I going to call? I have no money. What am I going to trade you? Equity in my nothing? It doesn't work that way. I tell every founder we get in contact with who's, "Oh, we need help with sales." Like, "Look, if we're going to do business with you, you are already doing 300, 400, $500,000 a year of revenue. You did that. You built that. That's tremendous. You're already better than 98% of the businesses that ever existed. Just stop and celebrate that. Okay.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Now, let's talk about spending your money, but celebrate that first." I've blown up so many projects and businesses to get to anything to even remotely resemble success. I want people to appreciate it when they have that, when they have been a founder that actually made money.
Jeff Bullas: I remember, I was in my first serious sales career after I sold subliminal suggestion tapes, was when the PC revolution took off and we were selling PCs. That was the Wild West of the PC revolution, was Steve and Bill duking it out.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Yeah, that thing's never going to take off.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. The maximum market for computers in the world is I think it was in that statement from IBM was, "There'll be 300 computers sold globally."
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: What was the thing about the RAM? I always thought that was the best quote. No one will ever need more than 320K of RAM, and now it's like, my laptop has 16 gigs of RAM, so thank God for Moore's law. We have all done a really good business on the back of that.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. Well, you know what, almost every week I get blown away by how easier the interface, the human interface to tech is getting in terms of, just almost everything. The user range of systems, whether it's your phone, whether it's your laptop, whether it's a software and it's becoming more and more intuitive, and it's really almost like magic really in terms of what you can do.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Yeah, and there's voice interfaces and all these things. I could almost reliably text with my voice now without sounding like an idiot. That's amazing.
Jeff Bullas: The other thing that I'd love to is, like the ability to do this in high definition video, high quality audio, record it, then we can upload it, download it, use Google docs in the cloud to actually do the transcripts, then we can use Trello to manage the team. There's a lot of moving parts, but the reality is, I don't take this for granted. I don't take flying for granted. In fact, I don't take it much for granted at all now because no one can fly.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: No, it can't go. Now we take this more.
Jeff Bullas: That's right.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: You and I are literally on the other side of the planet. You are actually of the opposite side of the world, and we are having a real-time discussion in high-def video. I hope we can all just celebrate that for a few minutes, because five years ago, this would have sucked. It wouldn't have worked at all.
Jeff Bullas: Exactly.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's tremendous. If you're going to have a total wipe out pandemic, this is a good time in history to have it technology wise.
Jeff Bullas: Well, I launched the podcast in March last year.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: We launched our remote selling business that people kind of, "What, you can't do that," in the end of 2019. In retrospect that looks like a pretty good decision, but I can remember calls in November, 2019 where people said, "You could never sell what we do on zoom. It requires that handshake. It requires that in-person." Well, to the extent of which everything has sucked, at least that has gone in our direction. It's also still very difficult and I don't wish for more pandemic, but if I'm going to take my tiny little positive, it was that.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. It's fascinating. I went to a meeting last week just to a guy that's involved in a startup company called Catapult and caught up with Mike and his business development manager. I went into the meeting and had to park. I parked the car, walked in, and had the meeting. We didn't record it in audio or video and it felt really weird. It's sort of like, "I'm not recording this. How do we actually distill the meetings," because none of us were taking notes?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Has anybody turned on an AI bot to record this? It did not auto log in. Now we're going to have to have stuff embedded in our heads if we ever get together again as humans.
Jeff Bullas: Well, the other interesting thing I find too is I generally read a Kindle, eBooks and so on and I will be swapping up and down, highlighting, sharing it, sending an email to myself with some notes. Sometimes, I catch myself reading a real book because I'm reading a book on the beach, a novel, a holiday read over Christmas because we have summer here in Australia and you know what, I almost start like swipe down on the printed page and going, "Jeff, you're losing it."
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: We've all become that, you ever see the video of the baby that says the iPad is broken and it's a baby with a magazine trying to swipe the cover of a magazine and it doesn't work. That's so true. I'll tell you this other thing like this, I am a minimalist. I don't want stuff. I love technology. I would live in a box if I could. I want as little as possible, but maybe it's this lack of connection or whatever's happened to us now with the whole pandemic thing, but I've started buying some books again, like physical books, maybe just to shake up my brain or, I don't know.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's just like, and I'm the last person that ... I'm so done with screen time, like 12 hours a day of the zoom stuff, my eyes are burning in and out of my head and I can't read at night, because it hurts too much unless I use a regular book, like some physical object that has no light emitting from the front of it.
Jeff Bullas: Yep. I totally get that. Well, my business started at the dawn of the social media revolution 2008, 2009, and I'd really leapt in and enjoyed it. It was the Wild West of social media, no rules, the algorithms were rude and raw and tough. I broke one of our Twitter's algorithmic tests one day by following too many people, so that shut me down. Not because I was being angry or abusive online, I was just following too many people.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: You were in and out?
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, so they banned me for six hours and I was devastated.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: See, now you have to try to do a democratic insurrection to get banned. The bar has really been raised, especially in America.
Jeff Bullas: Well, I'm thinking of starting an insurrection here. I'm not quite sure which one to start, but ...
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Always, yeah, right. There's always some insurrection. Some are less destructive than others, right?
Jeff Bullas: I'm maybe thinking of starting what I call the simplicity insurrection. I've certainly been leaning more into simplicity. How much more stuff do you need? How much ...
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I want less stuff.
Jeff Bullas: Yep.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I want less things. It is a happy day for me when I'm bringing six bags of stuff to donate to somebody else.
Jeff Bullas: Well, how much more do we need? It's almost a disease of consumerism. I think a lot of people are stepping back going, "Do I really need this?"
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: To me, I don't want to clean anything. Every surface that has a thing on it, that means something I need to dust. I'm pretty pragmatic about this. I want it to be empty. I'd be really happy with an empty space as small as possible.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. Well, it's interesting in terms of you, I heard one of the quotes about owning stuff is, you don't own the stuff, the stuff owns you.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Stuff owns you.
Jeff Bullas: It's true because you buy a boat. What you have to do, you've got to clean it. You've got to insure it. You've got to look after it. You got to worry about it. You've got to think what's going to get scratched, it's going to sink. You know what? Now, [inaudible 00:17:55] in Australia, like all around the world, you just can join a boat subscription service. You pay so much a month. You show up, they look after the rest and you walk away at the end of the day and they clean it. Guess what? The only thing you have to pay for it is the fuel.
Jeff Bullas: Haven't done that yet luckily. Was about to sign that deal before the pandemic hit, but now everyone's buying boats because it's like this haven away from the infected sites, right?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: We're all going to be floating ... It's like Waterworld. It's like we're already floating somewhere. The proliferation of subscription now, we actually have a client that's really big into subscription. We're actually seeing now that there was this initial boom, everybody signed up for everything. Now they're starting to pair back because they're like, "Well, I don't have cable anymore, but I have 67 different things that charge me $20 a month for some video to appear on some device somewhere. It's getting a little out of control."
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: You're going to see this interesting thing happen, where bundling starts to re-coagulate it and then it's ultimately like, "Oh, I do have a cable provider again." This cord cutting thing is really interesting because we're all on a cord at all times. Maybe we'll start doing screen cutting. I don't know, but I think that what's old is new in some respects.
Jeff Bullas: Well, I think there's a lot of people getting back to basics. I think the pandemic made people realize what's important. It comes down, "Well, actually relationships are important and people are important and everyone's doing zoom calls, and many FaceTime calls as well with people and loved ones all around the world, and across the suburbs and across the interstate. But yeah, I think we're in interesting times and the reference to subscription, in other words, you don't have to buy a salesperson, put him in a seat and pay him a wage. You actually just ... and you're essentially almost ... This is a good segue I think, to get into what you guys do.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: You should totally subscribe to me, everybody ever. Everybody should subscribe to me.
Jeff Bullas: The reality is, I think what we've got now is you almost provide a subscription service for sales because in other words, you don't have to buy one, you just rent a salesperson, outsource it. What got you into B2B outsourced sales, this is essentially what Add1Zero does? Tell us how you got into it?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Having sat in the seat and we're super niche-y, and so I guess there's the side story of, it's not for everybody. The neat thing about starting a business when you finally get it, and it took me 13 goes at this and blew a lot of money, but niche down to the point that it's uncomfortable. The reason I say that is, we work with B2B companies where the founder has grown the business into the mid six digits annually of sales, wants to get out of the sales seat and wants to grow to the seven digits, so the space between $500,000 a year and $5 million a year of B2B services.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: We don't often work with SaaS companies. All the things I talk about are targeted just to that niche. Honestly, it's only because I did it three times, I was at three different companies, where I had to execute and figure out how to do that exact thing and I built a niche-y playbook. Then I said, "Well, obviously companies need this, so let's just run those plays," and that's it. We're like, I don't know, offensive coordinators of this thing, this really specific thing that it turns out a whole bunch of people need and nobody else is doing.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: That's how we got into it. It's like I did this, I saw the problems with it. I wanted to do it over and over and over again and teach people how to scale it. Honestly, like as a founder, it just freaking sucks when you can't pay your payroll, you have to worry about cash. Well, why do you need to worry about cash? I ended up in my own journey with this just overarching idea that no founder wakes up in the middle of the night, staring at the ceiling and cold sweats and thinks about anything except that I need more sales.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: That's it? Revenue is king. Revenue cures everything. You can have a wildly inefficient disaster of a business that maybe isn't even profitable. But if you have sales, everything is going your direction. Hopefully, you run a profitable operation unless you burn venture capital for a living, and that's not the place that we live. But the reality is that more sales is the thing. You could do whatever you want with your business after that. If you have sales, you have everything. You have the keys to the kingdom.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I just said, "Listen, our vision is that, any founder we work with, again in our little niche will never have to worry about cash flow again." When you have more sales, you have optionality. You can pay yourself, you could pay other people. You can donate all the money. I don't care what you do, but revenue is the top line. They call it the top line for reasons, and that's really it. Can we just build the best, most amazing system for making money with high integrity? We're not like the crazy people that are just going to sell and do dumb things for high integrity revenue.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Let's just do that. Let's do that for services companies in this particular evolution of life. What got you from zero to 500? Not us. What gets you from five million to 50 million? Also not us. There's one little 10X, little area, 500,000 to five million. That's us. That's why it's Add1Zero. It's just a fun way to say 10X.
Jeff Bullas: I love it.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: That's all we do.
Jeff Bullas: In these businesses and helping grow sales, and you obviously observed that they had some real issues and problems. Let's dive into that a little bit. What are some of the top problems that they had in terms of their sales procedures, processes, frameworks?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Well, like think you're a founder, and you've gotten over the go-to-market hurdle. You've gotten over the product market fit her, or you're probably in pretty good shape if you got to this level. You have demonstrated that you could deliver some clients. You've got testimonials. You've got a reasonably good operating persona. You're probably a practitioner in most cases. You have shown that you have a thing that works. You don't know how to scale the thing. Let's think about that, right?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: The problem isn't that people have done things wrong. It's that they've done things right up to a point. You will plateau in that mid six figure range if you're our type of business. They all do. Why? The founder's busy. The founder needs to be CEO. The founder needs to do all the things. They need to run operations. They need to take care of every client. They need to sell. They need to do finance. These are people still doing their own billing at half a million dollars of revenue. What's the one thing that almost all of them don't want to do?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: They don't want to be in the sales seat anymore. Let's go scale the revenue function. Cool. We need somebody to scale the revenue function. I hate doing this. What do I do? Like the popular blogosphere and like all the business books they're going to teach you one of two things, "Oh, I should hire an SDR." What's an SDR? In the USA, I don't know if you use those terms, but in the USA it's somebody you'd call a young and hungry junior type of resource, who is affordable, who would just get on the phone and call, who's going to send emails or haunt on LinkedIn.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I want a hunter. Well, what have you done? You've just hired somebody with no experience, who you don't have a playbook for at all. You're not going to train them. You're not going to take care of them, because you want to go off and run your company, so you just gave sales to somebody who has no experience. They're going to fail. Doesn't work. The other one is, let's hire a VP of sales. Cool. Again, services companies different than SaaS companies. Read other things about SaaS companies, because I don't do that.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: The metrics are different. But at this point, a services company does not make enough money to hire a VP of sales at about that 500,000 mark, because you're only making gross margin somewhere between 25 and 50%. You can't afford the below the line cost of that VP of sales, who's going to demand from you a quarter million, $300,000, fully loaded. People go, "Oh, but, oh, I'm hiring a VP of sales with a Rolodex or a great network. They're going to immediately pay for themselves. They don't, it's a myth.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's totally false. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, washed my car with it. You can't do it. It's not a thing. Don't try, okay? Also, because those people don't know how to build a program, and you haven't provided them with a program. They need infrastructure. They need sales ops. They need all the stuff, so they can actually execute on their network. Otherwise, they're just going to sit there. They can't do it. That would be me. I know, I'm that guy. I need an 80% of the rest of the world of operations support and sales ops, rev ops systems, all the things.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: That's what we provide. I get to sit in front of the nice pretty LED lights and sell some stuff, so I know because I'm that and it's false. Don't do it. Don't hire that person. You can have a fractional usage version of what that is. This is a better answer. We will build you a program that comes between 500,000 and five million of a B2B services business. You will have a full program. It will all be documented. Every tooling system, everything will work, and along the way, we'll be paying for it because we're actually there closing your revenue.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: At that top of the funnel, you know we're at the top of that range, I don't know what's going to happen. We actually haven't hit that with clients yet. We're two, three, four million, so there's a reasonable chance that you should just tell us to help you hire your VP of sales and team and take a hike. That's okay. Because what is going to scale you in that next 10X for five to 50 million, GOD bless if you get there, it might not be us. We just know what we do, and that's that one little zone we work in, that one is to 10 X, add one zero.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: People always joke like, "Why don't you add two?" The reason is that, I don't know what to do. I left my other places at five million. I don't know. Maybe we can do that. Maybe it scales. Maybe we'll figure it out and we're smart. But if we got you to five million from 500,000, wouldn't that be the jam? That's what you want, right?
Jeff Bullas: Yep.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Again, niche, niche, niche, that's it. We're just passionate about one tiny thing.
Jeff Bullas: I've been reading recently about being the number niche in the niche you create. In other words you say, "This is a niche I want to be number one in," and you actually can even write what that niche is. That sounds like you've done exactly that, which is very, very cool.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's fun. Yeah. It wouldn't even set out to do that. I didn't even know. I wish that I was so smart. This just made sense. If I've learned anything, this is for the entrepreneurs that are getting started, right? The thing you take for granted as the common sense leap, is probably the thing that you should build a service company around and sell, because it's so natural to you. It just makes sense. It turns out like, why aren't other people doing it? If you ever have the sense like, why doesn't everybody know this? That's the one, build that.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I'm amazed. I don't know. We don't even deserve the success that we get. I'm just fascinated that why doesn't this exist, because it's just like, I don't know, it's just the thing, it makes sense to me, so do that. If you have that thing, we'll buy it from you too, because that's what you should do. The thing that you're passionate about and that makes sense to you, but it doesn't make sense to anybody else, that's the one.
Jeff Bullas: Okay. Let's leap a little bit into how you would onboard a client. What's the process for you to engage a client? I'm very curious about that.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: There is so much to learn. The biggest fear is, how can anybody sell a thing that I have poured my founder, blood, sweat and tears into? I know my product inside out and you don't know my thing, or you don't know my service. One of the first things that we will always do is, like sort of a packaging kind of workshop. It turns out we have the data for this, that at least at the beginning ... I'm not saying it can't get more complicated, but a services business really, really benefits from three named packages that stump it up in price, that have very standard offerings wrapped into them, and that offer a little bit more features.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's your standard pricing table. Services businesses have been lulled into this idea that, particularly zero to 500, I should customize every statement of work. I do a custom thing for every client, because that's how much I care. That won't get you to up to that certain level. Now you can't scale. You know why you can't scale, because every statement of work you do is different. What standardizes those things into packages? It turns out when you package and when you name stuff, we have the actual data for this; the average contract value goes up about 30%.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: We can create money by standardizing. We make those packages, figure out which things are add-ons, figure out which things are add-ons that really you don't even want to do, because those we can charge like 10 times as much for, and because we'll put a little syntax on top of it. Like for example, we have a client that does marketing videos and stuff at scale. The worst thing for their process and honestly for their clients is people who want extra revisions. "Oh, we always want extra revisions." It's like, "You don't want to do that?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Charge $1,000 dollars per revision after two." We do an extra tax on top for the behaviors that we don't want to do. It's the same thing as charging like $10 a pack for cigarettes. You don't want people to smoke, make it not worth their time or buy just tapes. You can also buy just tapes. That's what we do first, that packaging. Then we do, we want 20 calls either recorded or shadowed, where I got to hear what you're doing. We make sure all sales calls are recorded. We take all those. We write down every objection and every question.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: We categorize them. We run them through a process algorithm if you will, mostly human. There's no AI here. We go, what are the most important things that people want to know? What's the answer to those questions. We create a knowledge base. The knowledge base then can drive your marketing, your pre-call sequencing. How do I educate people when they get into calls? We turn that into an evolving process of continual learning. Now we have sales informed marketing. We're not just marketing to everybody.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: We're marketing to the right people. They get down the funnel and you drive up the close rate. Now we start to build that flywheel of revenue. There's a very distinct process that we go through every single time. We don't need to know all your features. Another thing that's for our niche, there's only two kinds of value props in a service business. You either ... Maybe this is for every B2B business. I'm not sure but software too, but it's either I make people money, I make you more revenue or I reduce your costs, which is effectively I make you more profit, but it's around about way to get there.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: If I make you more money, that thing is every single time 10 times easier, to sell than something that cuts your costs to make you more profit, because I'm two hops from money that's in your pocket. Anytime I can think about how to position, and we have a marketing team to do this, but let's position your thing in a way that it makes somebody else more money. If it does, cool. We can really take care of that. If it doesn't, it's going to be a harder sell. We're going to need more leads. Everybody talks about how, we can do better, faster, more, save you time, save you money, save you effort, save you, save you, save you, save you.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Honestly, I'm telling you people want more money. They want more sales. If we could position what you do as a way to get somebody more money, we're going to sell a lot more of it. Those are the three main things and we run those processes on repeat. We just get better and better and better about shortening that life cycle of the sale. Try to get it down to a one call close. Make sure everything we do is fast and it comes out in the wash.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. This raises another question in terms of a lot of selling now is done via email, not just a sales call and that requires technology as well. You mentioned before we hit the record button here, we're talking about that you're using systems and you're using some technology. Tell us about what technologies you use to I suppose, automate and also control the processes and scale?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Yeah, we have found that the best tool in the CRM sales automation space at our level is HubSpot. It's expensive. People blanch at paying it. It's not the cheapest thing. We don't love telling you to spend a bunch of money on a tool, but it really is the best one and they deserve to get paid just like anybody else. We have a relationship there that we would implement that. There's a standard tool chain that seems to be the most effective for the companies we work with, Slack, G Suite, HubSpot. We want to implement some kind of e-signature solution.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Typically that's going to be HelloSign or PandaDoc. We also want to have documentation, knowledge management. We tend to keep all our documentation in Atlassian Confluence. It's a really good knowledge management tool. Those are the collection of things that need to run your backend operations. You're going to find that your stuff is going to pass all through that. That stack has been super effective. There's always going to be other stuff that you need to do, project management systems, maybe a sauna, things of that nature, but it's all operations stuff.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Ultimately the sales stuff, it's easy. Scheduling my calendar using HubSpot and I'll show up on zoom and record it. I'll upload the recording. Our team will get after it. They'll pull out all the objections, all the questions, all the things I promise, what's next. Our plan is like, "Hey, let's keep salespeople like me on these calls as much as possible, and make sure all the other things are happening." The biggest problem I see companies do is, they don't support sales ops, so the people who are doing ... I belong on these calls.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I should be talking to customers, making relationships, making deals. Everything else should be done by administratively awesome people who are actually organized, who actually follow their tasks, who make documents, who are excellent at producing and getting stuff out and writing the emails and doing the automated scripting. That's just not me. That's why we say 80% of this stuff is operations. It just hides behind the curtain while we get to do this thing. Highest leverage on time is people like me, closers being on calls, which means do everything else for them so that they can be on calls as much as possible.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: If we can get 20 really excellent video calls out of a rep every week, we're going to crush it on that amount of money that we can make, because somebody else is doing all the opposite administrative work with the tooling, to make everybody's time more effective. The reality is that, the tooling lives on the off side. The rest of it is somebody like me, who just has to shave their head or look pretty and get on zoom, and do the thing and talk to people.
Jeff Bullas: Yep. Really you're one of the most important things you're saying here is, you need to create a machine?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's absolutely machine. We call it a revenue machine. That's totally right. Yeah.
Jeff Bullas: Yep. That begs the next question that I've had a lot of conversations over the last 12 months, and especially the last few months about remote work and remote businesses, and have come up with amazing examples of those such as GitLab, Buffer. some of these companies have been designed from day one to actually have no offices. This is where systems become even more important, don't they?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Learning how to operate in that environment, we did this from day one. I feel really bad for customers or companies that had companies that had to figure this out, and we can no longer be in the same room and take for granted all those things. My business partner, we have worked together in some form or fashion since 2002. We have only been in the same room five times. This is just what we do. This is the way we do it. We have always thought about maximum documentation, maximum automation, APIs, ZAPs, 14 different SaaS things and they all work together and do stuff.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Man, if you had to figure that out on the go right now, it must've been a complete beat down on productivity. I will not pretend to be an expert in that or we just do it. I don't know that I could advise anybody. I'd probably walk into a company and be like, "Oh dear God, that's what you do. This is terrible. Don't do that anymore." But you do have to train and be steeped in this stuff. I still meet people all the time, they can't use Google docs and just like, "Geez, yeah, you can do that other solution, but here, here and here are the things you're going to run into."
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's 2021 and we're emailing attachments. Are you kidding me? Don't do that anymore. Take the time to learn and train. Shut your company down for a week, and I'll give you 25 videos to watch. For God's sake, you have got to get around this because you're never going to be in the same space as your customer and your workers ever again.
Jeff Bullas: It's really quite an interesting area because we're dealing with untraining people.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Yeah.
Jeff Bullas: You've got to untrain them so you can train them. Look, I even sit in that gap. I remember my team despaired of me when we started using Trello, which is a collaborative tool that is ...
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: [inaudible 00:40:30] board, yeah.
Jeff Bullas: Atlassian bought them in I think 2016 and I can safely say a year later that it changed the business and changed my life, and also improved the delivery of the services for our customers. Then Google docs, I despaired of that a little bit. My team is very patient with me. I'm a little older than my team. I could be known as a dinosaur occasionally, but I fake it till you make it sort of thing again. Well, I've been using ...
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: You've got a great voice though. You rock it out.
Jeff Bullas: Just an area that is of personal interest to me and the team as well, and this is what GitLab does, GitLab I think is, they've got about 8,500 pages of documented open source processes. In other words, this is us. This is our process.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: This is what we do.
Jeff Bullas: This is what we do and it's available to everyone, so that means that team when they join they go, " How do you do it?" Going, "There it is."
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: That exact thing you said is literally if I could like ... I did Knowledge management implementations when it wasn't a thing, and so being again from the technology operating side, this is knowledge management. Do not answer a question in chat, email ever without sending a link to the answer. If you can do that, you have now created that GitLab experience. We do not answer questions unless it's in a document. If the document doesn't exist, we create the document in the proper place. We're like librarians. That's all we do.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: If I see anyone, client, team, otherwise answer a question in detail in Slack, I go, "Nope. Put that in Confluence." That's our tool. It can be any tool you want. You just need one that has nice hyperlinks and patrol, there's Notion, there's confluence like Guru. There's different ones, but that's the thing. You may only answer a question with a link. If you ask a question having not searched for that link, we're going to start to ding on you there too. That's it. But that's literally all it takes and I've trained salespeople to do this, operators, technologists. Everybody's resistant to this.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Then it comes from this idea that, I should ask somebody in an email and then I should wait for them to send me the answer and then the 16 different bullet points, "Oh, here's the new process everybody," and it's a big reply all. You just flushed your business down the toilet. Don't do that. If your processes are getting lost at the bottom of a bunch of different inboxes, that's stupid. Just stop. That doesn't scale. You're losing money. You're losing leverage.You're losing knowledge. When that person quits, you will not have that knowledge anymore, because nobody's even going to remember to search their inbox.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: This is the same discipline that applies to before you ask something, Google it. We're going to just build our internal knowledge base around that or public. In fact, our Add1Zero stuff, every single thing we develop for a client, we take off, we depersonalize, anonymize that deliverable, but then we publish it on our knowledge base and it's all public. You could have anything we ever thought of, and it's all on our expert community online. We want to help people do stuff themselves. Most people don't want to do it themselves, so they're going to pay us to do it for them.
Jeff Bullas: Well, you guys are experts, you can do it quickly so that's what they're hiring you for. What you've just described and I hadn't heard of it, but it's head's arisen in the middle of what's happened in the last 12 months, is asynchronous versus synchronous communication. In other words, we're so used to synchronous communication; where we had to turn up in the same room, go to a board meeting, get on a zoom call. Basically what you've just described is asynchronous communication, which is you can view at any time; you can see the process with a link.
Jeff Bullas: It's fascinating to see that discussion. I've heard it mentioned several times now in conversations we've had with other guests, and it's just like you've just described. It's incredibly much more efficient. It can scale.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It is. Yeah. I highly recommend people ... We had a client that taught us this a little bit more on that. We're adamant about written documentation, so we've been shown more and more people in different time zones with video. They'll use Loom, Vidyard, or we use CloudApp, great tool. I actually like it better than the other ones and nobody knows about that one. Check out CloudApp, fantastic tools. Every time I need to tell everybody something, I make a video. I do a screen share. I do a walkthrough and I say, "Here's the thing we need," and I'd post the video in Slack and it's good to go.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Watch it at your leisure. I don't need to think about this anymore. We could do the same thing with the sauna tasks or with the Trello board. Let's make a Trello card, kick off that process with the video, and it's incredible. This would be great for you if you have people in the US or around the clock, and you don't have to do real-time anymore. I will say that there's always going to be a delay, so if you can't figure out ... If emergent issues are a thing for your business, then yeah, you should all at least work on the same time zone.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: There's that, but if it's important but not urgent, make a video, post it, delegate. You can do that, and it's incredible. It's so valuable.
Jeff Bullas: I think it's freed up a lot of CEOs who want to get their message out to their teams going, "Okay, I've recorded this, go and watch it in your own time."
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: You don't lose that personal connection or at least it's a little bit better. I mean, let's face it, it's not the same as smack them back and let's all have a beer together. I miss some of that. There's no doubt, look, there's personal stuff missing, but can you get 80% of the way there? Absolutely. I got to experience Jeff on video and I could hear your voice. I can see your intonations. I've taught myself to talk with my hands in the frame and to lean in and have this active listening presentation thing. I watch myself on video a lot.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: By the end of one of these things, I'm just like, I'm sweating, my back hurts, because I'm like in presentation mode, but I had to re-teach myself how to ... I would have been the one who was walking around the room and presenting to the boardroom. Now, I exist in this tiny little box, but it's okay. It's just active listening by video is not looking at myself in the video. It's looking at the camera.
Jeff Bullas: Exactly.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Which means I can't actually see you, so now I line yours up as close as I can to the camera lens, so it looks like I'm looking at you, but I'm not. The whole thing is just weird now, but there's a lot of skill to it. Like practice, you it's the way that people used to tell you to pitch in the mirror. Well, now pitch into the damn webcam and then watch your video.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, it's really one of the things I'd love doing. I used to talk about running workshops for clients, for example, some lucky running workshops or discovery session to try and discover what are the real requirements, so how does it run at a high level? I still love it today is a whiteboard session is stand up, let's map it out. Let's see it visually in front of us. For me, that is still very important. Just like we all are, we're learning to do a more virtual medium now and I love the fact you're going, "Oh, well, my hands ... Oh, no one's going to see my hands here but they can see them there."
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Which ones are you using? How have you replaced the whiteboard because I was also a whiteboard aficionado so...?
Jeff Bullas: Well, I haven't and I feel frustrated, so maybe I need to work on a whiteboard session where I just don't know because ...
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I've heard good things about Miro. Miro is supposed to be good. I happen to have started to use Lucidspark and I really like it.
Jeff Bullas: Lucidspark, okay. Yup.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's an unlimited zoom in and out, sort of like Z-axis, kind of like Prezi, where you can drag and drop sticky notes and you can draw arrows and all kinds of stuff. It's like an unlimited canvas flowchart type of vibe.
Jeff Bullas: Okay.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's the closest one I found to actually being enjoyable, but I sure do miss holding a pen. I've tried it on my touchscreen laptop with a pen.
Jeff Bullas: Is that Miro?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Miro is good, same type of deal and then Lucidspark is another one.
Jeff Bullas: Lucidspark's your preferred is it at this stage?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Because I'm already a Lucidchart customer, so I kept it all in my same ecosystem. Wise of them to release that product, because I probably would have gone somewhere else, but ultimately you have death by SaaS subscription. You look at your credit card, you're like, "For God's sake, I've paid 10 bucks a month to everybody in the world."
Jeff Bullas: Well, sometimes. This is really interesting about the subscription thing, right? You've subscribed to all these products and some of them you don't end up using, or they become redundant a year later. Then you go ...This is where documentation may be quite important," is that, what am I subscribed to?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Oh my God. Audit your SaaS bill for God's sake.
Jeff Bullas: I know. But it can get convoluted. Maybe there's a tool to be done is called a ... I'm sure there's one out there already, which is a SaaS bill control system to stop your spending. I remember my credit card that I used for the business actually expired recently, about a year ago.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: That's the worst when you got to change them all.
Jeff Bullas: No, it was really good because it happened rolling and I carved about $3,000 a month out of my expenses that I didn't need.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Yeah. I could tell people like, "Have a billing administrator of some sort that goes through ..." It's not only auditing the tools, so should I or should I not use this thing? It's who have I allocated a seat to on this thing?
Jeff Bullas: That's right.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Because even our Confluence bill and we love Confluence. We use it to death, but I'm like, "What the hell are we doing with $300 a month?" I start going through and I'm like, "These 10 people aren't even here anymore. They're not our clients anymore. Take this out." But you got to do it. Dialpad, same thing, $20 seat. Love the tool, fantastic tool. But man, you got to be careful with how you're allocating your resources and you're not an enterprise, which would have that centralized deployment. Yeah, Google Suite's another one. Oh my gosh. Man, you can eat up your stuff on there like nobody's business.
Jeff Bullas: That's right. Yes. One of the things that I'm curious about and maybe others too is, and I think you might've mentioned the tool already is documenting your processes on the fly. In other words, trying to do it in retrospect is difficult, and this is a project we're diving into more this year is documenting as we go, and then recording it and making it available to everyone. What's the tools you use for that or tool you use for documenting?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Yeah. Documentation, we use Confluence. It's an Atlassian tool similar to Trello. In fact, if you already have your Atlassian account centralized, you may really like Confluence. It's a really nice tool set to develop that gives you a tree of your documents, in all kinds of ways to cross reference and different macros to pull them together. It's a lot more ... In fact, I see a lot. We walk into so many companies that are documenting their whole world in a Google docs. The problem with that is, they aren't related to each other, so you have no sense of taxonomy. They don't fall into a nice tree.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: There's no standard to it, and then everybody's going, "Where's that thing where we documented X, Y, or Z? You got to search for, "That's not shared with me." There's a real good reason for an intranet solution that behaves more in that fashion. For us, Confluence is great. If you're an Atlassian customer, I'm not getting paid for this, sign up for Confluence. I think it's a really great tool.
Jeff Bullas: Thanks for that. I think we might have a little solution to what I'm trying to do. We weren't actually going to do it in Google docs.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Yeah, don't do that.
Jeff Bullas: Well, I totally agree with you. It's like Google docs that goes so ... But I've put stuff on Google docs, create folders and I'm going, "Where did I put that document?"
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: The search is great. You can generally find it again.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, I know.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: But unless you pay for the more advanced Google docs with the folder, the shared drives, and again, it's going to double or triple the costs for procedures. It's going to be a huge pain in the ass, because everybody has their different folder structures, and it's better to have a centralized documentation system. I'm honestly shocked that Google doesn't have this. You can probably approximate it with Google Suite, but even that's pretty janky. I love Confluence. Notion is another one you can look at. I personally don't care for that one as much as Confluence.
Jeff Bullas: Cool. Yeah. It's certainly one of the reasons I started this podcast was to meet with some of the smartest minds in all niches all around the world. I have conversations every week with the smartest tools in the shed, just as you. I'm not calling you a tool by the way.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: You would be accurate and not the first person.
Jeff Bullas: But for me, it's like I told it before when we were having a chat before we hit record and I get to have entrepreneurial lessons 101, 102, 103, on all different topics and I love it. I've told you too, I sit down and I did actually do the transcript editing myself, which sounds a bit stupid, but I'm doing it for a reason. I'm doing it because I want to learn.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: You will definitely have better retention. I know I would do the same thing. I used to type all my college class notes. Yeah.
Jeff Bullas: There's this method in the madness. Will I do it forever? No. But at the moment ...
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Do you use one of those AI things to start you off and then edit it or do you literally type every word?
Jeff Bullas: No, no. What happens is I use rev.com to do my transcripts, which is the more premium version and it's damn good. It seriously comes back really, really accurate. I then dip that. I then copy and paste that into Google docs, which then pulls up all the wrong grammar and spelling as well. It just goes through it and goes ... In fact, most of it is already done, so ...
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: But you do read it all again ...
Jeff Bullas: I do.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: ... which is very cool.
Jeff Bullas: It might be a dumb thing to do, but for me, I think it's a clever thing to do because the retention's great. I get to really distill the noise and data into all the important points that matter that goes into our podcast notes and it's what's good for me at the moment. But documenting certainly is a very important thing and building the machine, and you build the sales machine-
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: We do.
Jeff Bullas: ... for people, which is fabulous. There's one thing I was going to ask about that sales machine. You're trying to get people on video calls now instead of booking meetings, of course. We're finding that, we're all starting to get much more used to a sales call via video or a zoom now. How do you handle if you're not doing a lot of sales calls, but you're selling via email, but sometimes we sell via email. Sometimes we sell via ... Most of the time, a bigger deal, I'm on a zoom call and it's a bit random. It's a bit loose, but I've got the things I want to cover. But again, that zoom call is very much about building a relationship as well.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: That's right.
Jeff Bullas: How do you deal with, I suppose, funnels, sales funnels in your space where sometimes a deal is done via an email?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: You kind of answered the question there because like our clients, and again, this is just our choice, our niching down. We have high ticket clients. It's vastly unlikely that someone is going to sign a 15, 20,000, $50,000 contract just because of emailing back and forth. It has happened. We have this escape patch in the funnel like, "Look, if you don't want to do a call, answer these questions for you, we'll send you a quote." But that happens sometimes. But the primary answer is that, virtually nobody will do these high ticket sales without getting on a call and checking in, just the validity of what you're doing.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: If you're a services business selling $1,000 a year thing, it would be stupid for you to pay us and try to execute the system that we're putting together. You need to figure out how to do self-serve and collect some credit cards if you're in that situation.
Jeff Bullas: I did love that you mentioned you made before about packaging up your services and giving them a name. I think that's an excellent idea. What are some of a couple of really great examples and success stories that you've had with B2B business services businesses, in terms of helping them really grow? I'd love to hear a couple of those stories.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Sure. Yeah, very proud of ... The weird thing is, we do what we call true white label. A lot of our clients don't want anybody to know that they outsource their sales. I'll tell you the story. I can't throw the name out there. The original client that took a chance on us is one of ... It's probably the premier agency in the world for explainer videos, animated explainer videos. We started with them gosh, a year and a half ago and just so proud of those guys. They've grown their business tremendously and they did achieve the add one zero.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: We just broke a major milestone from exactly what we hoped would happen, so yeah, if you're in the market for explainer videos, you can look me up on LinkedIn and I'll tell you who it is. But we don't like to out the clients because they do pay for white label services. Another one I think is fantastic is a content business that we work closely with. Actually, this is not necessarily a white label thing. That's Content Allies. I personally run the sales for that one. We have developed a system, where we do revenue focused B2B forecasts.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Essentially like what you and I are doing right now, but we'll create and run and do everything for those. The podcast, it's about whale hunting for businesses. If you're a B2B company executive, you have the chops to talk; you want to do sales calls with other executives that you can sell to. What's the best call you've ever made in your life ? You and I have just been talking for like an hour right now. We're friendly. Imagine if I was your prospect, at the end of this, do you think I would trust you? Do you think you could probably pitch me some stuff and I wouldn't even be offended? Absolutely.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: It's totally the greatest thing ever. People think podcast is all about content. We think podcast is about sales. The best call you've ever had with the people that you wouldn't even take the call with you if you asked and you pitched them something, offer to interview them. Watch what happens. Now, oh, podcasting is a lot of work. Cool. It's not when we do all of it. You better be doing those sales calls. We'll show you how and we'll book them for you. We'll do all the work. I am proud of the innovation of that.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: The fun things are the ones where people tell you, "That's freaking smart and I never thought of that before." That's a fun one, and we have gone not 10X yet on that one, but it's grown, really crazy fast. Check out Content Allies. You'd actually get to talk to me if you booked a call.
Jeff Bullas: Well, I think a lot of businesses haven't worked out that a podcast can be an incredibly a powerful sales tool, as well as a relationship builder. Guess what happens out of relationships, opportunities?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Money.
Jeff Bullas: Money and opportunities.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Yeah, referrals, partners, direct sales. I did this, I interviewed CTOs. We did over half a million dollars in sales to guests. The pipeline, no muss, no fuss, puts you in touch with the person right after the call, single call close. Come on, you can't beat that. If you're not executing on podcast strategy or if you don't understand it or you think it's just content marketing and long tail, at least check out the stuff that we have out there, because I will change your mind. If you think you can DIY, awesome, go ahead and do it.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: You can't do it cheaply. You should value your time more than that, but it's a fantastic strategy. I'm so passionate about it because it works so well.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. The podcast for me has been ... Also podcasts have a level of credibility and social proof that goes way beyond an article.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Are you familiar with Influence: Robert Cialdini who wrote this big time book, Influence, The Persuasion and all that stuff.
Jeff Bullas: Yep. Yep.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: There's six points in there that are the six major influential, persuasion types of things. I was able to go through all of them and go watch this. Thais strategy that we're talking about, checks off authority and liking and social proof and whatever all the six are. That's why this works because podcasting in general, those relationships check off all those things. Who's the most important person in the room, the best person you remember at a networking event? Someone who asked you questions all night.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I get to stroke my own ego and talk about myself. Fantastic. Guess what? If you're a podcast host, I love you because you just asked me a bunch of questions about me.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, that's right.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: That's it, where does sales come from? You know what else, I'm going to tell you the truth on a podcast. You asked me about the future. You asked me about my business. Do you think that's going to go a lot better than if you're on a stupid sales call and go, "Tell me your pain points, Jeff. What keeps you up at night?" It's a bunch of crap, but on podcasts, you'll get the truth.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. Well, I actually asked you how many children you had. We had that conversation before we went on air.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Where are you from? How many kids? It's literally the best sales call you ever did and it doesn't even feel like it.
Jeff Bullas: Exactly. That's always a good sales call. Yeah, exactly. No, the podcasting thing for me is just, you know what, it really doesn't even feel like ... Well, it's not work. I did it for relationship building and also a bunch of other things. It's nearly one year in, but I'm still learning the craft. Obviously,
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Yeah it's like Madonna. You remember in the '90s?
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. That's right, just working it out. Thanks for sharing those, a couple of different examples of clients. Maybe just to wrap things up, I'm mindful of your time and you've got to go and got to do a marathon or something or ...
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I got to cook dinner for kids. You're on coffee and I'm dinner time so ...
Jeff Bullas: Okay. What's a couple of important things that you'd like to share with our audience before we wrap this up, Ledge?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: If you are a B2B founder and you're in that, "I grew my sales into the six figure kind of range. I don't know what to do. I'm not sure. I want to scale my business." It's just like, if you want to hang out with peers, we have this thing called the expert community. It's on our site Add1Zero.co, A-D-D numeral one, Z-E-R-O. Check that out. You can join there. Scroll down to the bottom. Look at the free stuff. We'll give you access to our free knowledge base, anything you could ever want. You don't have to pay us. Just come hang out.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: Every other Tuesday we have a B2B founders support group on zoom. It's just like super fun. We transcribe everything. It's like live podcasts, hang out, get advice, whatever you want. Please come join that. I'm on LinkedIn David Ledgerwood. You can find me, chat me up. I check all my messages there. I would just like to help founders, so always happy to do a call, give some advice, share some stories and yeah, that's all. It's just fun. You can also check out our podcast, that I co-host podcast leadersofb2b.com. Those are a lot of fun to learn from also.
Jeff Bullas: Cool. How can people contact Ledge?
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: LinkedIn is great. You could easily find me there. I do check all those things. My direct email [email protected] That's the way to get it.
Jeff Bullas: Great. I'm sure a few people are going to hit you up and thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. I've learned a lot and have fun tonight feeding the kids. I hope they like what you cook and I don't cook very well, but I'm more, becoming an assembler of food.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: I did buy freezer pizza for tonight.
Jeff Bullas: Oh, right. Okay. There's-
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: We knew that this was going to be a late one, yeah.
Jeff Bullas: There's the truth. Okay. Anyway, I don't want to hold you up from eating athletes' food called pizza, so have a great evening. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Ledge, it's been an absolute pleasure.
David "Ledge" Ledgerwood: So fun. It was really great to be here, Jeff. Thank you very much.
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