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  • Writer's pictureFrancisco Mahfuz

E30. How to Achieve Rapid Growth through Storytelling with Matthew Pollard

Below is an AI-generated transcript and therefore it may contain errors.

Francisco Mahfuz 0:00

Hi everyone, Francisco here. Just before we get started, I wanted to share something I'm really excited about. I recently launched the story powers bootcamp, a course that teaches you everything you need to know about how to find craft and tell stories that work. But it's not just an online course, because you get personalised feedback from me for all the practical activities in three hours of life coaching, to work through any challenges, or focus on specific projects. So it's like if you bought a cookbook, but the chef came along with it. So go to story and click on Course, all the information you need will be there. So please check it out. And if you love the show, and would like to support us, you can go to buy me a forward slash story powers. I drink about five coffees a day, so any support would be much appreciated. All right on with the show. Welcome to the story powers podcast, the show about the power of stories, the people who tell them and why you should be doing it too. My guest today is Matthew Pollard. Matthew has been called the real deal by Forbes. But he's better known as the Rapid Growth Guy. By the age 30. He'd been responsible for five multimillion dollar business success stories. He's the best selling author of the introverts edge, which is Amazon's eighth most sold Book of the Week, and book authority second best introvert book of all time, and he was chosen as one of the top 50 keynote speakers for 2019. By top sales World Magazine. Matthew might also be the only Australian that actually knows what the year by Marty is, which is pretty impressive in its own right. Alright, we've got lots to cover. So let's get to it. Ladies and gentlemen, Matthew Pollard. Matthew, welcome to the show,

Matthew Pollard 1:49

man. I'm ecstatic to be here. Thank you for having me on your book, which

Francisco Mahfuz 1:53

is fantastic, by the way, took me back to my to my early sales days. Because, you know, he described how you weren't really trained at all. And I started thinking that, you know, the sales training I got when I get into financial sales, what's actually pretty strong, you know, looking at the list of things in your book about what salespeople need to do. You talked about stablishing trust and agenda, asking probing questions speaking to the right person that's closing, assuming the sale. And all of that worked pretty well, but not super well. And then as I started going through your list, I realised that my trading might have lacked a couple of points from yours that are that are pretty important. Which, which is very much the whole storytelling part of it. So the very first thing I wanted to ask you was, how did you learn storytelling? And how did you realise that that's something you needed to be doing? Because I'm not sure. I 100% gap that from how you described your learning to sell from the book?

Matthew Pollard 2:58

Yeah, sure. So I mean, when I first started to learn to sell, I mean, for those that are listening, that haven't read my backstory, I mean, I was super introverted, had no idea what I wanted to do with my life literally lost my job three weeks after, it's three weeks before Christmas. And I had no other jobs that I could get the Commission on the cell sales jobs. So falling into a commission on the sales role, and doing five days product training, and not a single second of sales training. You know, I got thrown on this road, and it was 93 doors before my first sale, which was horrible for anyone that was trying to sell for an introvert it was catastrophic. But for me, I went back and I made the decision that I was going to learn how to sell but I had, it had to be a system like anything else. And I just back then I had rings bit of a sixth grader. So you know, I had this thing called url and syndrome, which basically means I put on a pair of glasses. And miraculously, I can learn to read not like everyone else, but start the process of reading. But that meant books like Brian Tracy and Zig Ziglar books, they're out of the question for me, it would have taken me a year to read them. So I fell on YouTube at the time, and YouTube was really becoming well known. Because I mean, Australia had dial up until, you know, I was graduating high school. So you know, we just started having internet connection fast enough to really tap into the power of YouTube. This was well before you know, videos like this podcast, that sort of thing. And I started to understand the value of a sale system, that what I found was that people would talk about storytelling, but when they talked about it, a lot of times, they would say the importance of explaining and telling stories. So I was on my blog, try outright storytelling out. And so I would go in and I would follow their instructions around, you know, explain that you've worked with someone in the past and that they wanted the same thing that they wanted and how they got them to an outcome. So, you know, in my book, I give an example of one person I was trying to sell telecommunications too, and they were like, No, I don't want to go with your company because if I go with your company last time, I had really bad coverage and it's just not worth it. And you know we had this news you're guaranteed because they increase The the service and the coverage across the country. And I said, Well, originally when you first started, you know, I'm sure what why did you? Why did you decide to do what was gonna save me money but it's pointless if I can't make phone calls? Well, of course I agree. However, I actually had a client very similar to yours as similar to you that had the same reason for joining. And then it was all bad coverage, but because we have this new service guarantee, they decided to give it a shot. And because of that, you know, they then got such a positive outcome. And so while you know, originally you tried to save money, and it didn't work, now you can have your cake and eat it too. That's the basic storytelling structure that a lot of people tell. Right. So when you look at Storytelling Across the globe, the way people talk about it, it's so matter of fact, it's so business focused, that I'm an introvert, and introvert by far, I mean, we're very empathetic people, right? We're great listeners, we're very empathetic, we feel a lot. And that's why we get stuck in our head so much. And as an introvert, I mean, I'm like, these people are real, they're real people, right? They've got emotional stress, and especially a lot of times when you're speaking to a business owner, right, they're worried about whether or not they can feed their family next week. But when you're talking to a career professional, this person is excited about getting promoted, they're worried about losing their job, they're worried that a project is going to cost them weekends, and they promised their husband or wife that this is the last time that I'm ever going to give up my weekends. I'm not going to miss that kids football game, there are other things going on. So what I noticed is that when you tell a story in business, because there's no emotional depth people, yes, they listen, yes, it works. Yes, it adds credibility. But people don't connect to it, I started to research what people connected with in real in real storytelling. And I mean, people have been telling stories since the dawn of time. But that's why when we tell a story, and I'm not talking about stories, like we do in business, I'm talking about the story of like, how you met your husband or your wife, right, these stories, you know, the first time you tell them, they're a little bit bulky, they're a little bit, let's just say they're not as good as they could be. And then over time, if you're talking about it, you know, you notice Oh, you know, somebody really liked when I said this, I'm gonna embellished a little bit more. And then all they really didn't enjoy this. So I might not say that next time. Soon, it becomes a bit of a theatrical masterpiece, right? Like I say this, my wife says that we hold each other's hand at some point, we look at each other. And we say, so that's how we met. It's that whole emotional rollercoaster. And I was like, Well, how do we put that into a business forum. And then what I realised is that if I made the person in the story, the hero, I talked about their emotional, your reasons for why they wanted to save money, or their stress associated with the problem that they had. And then talked about the outcome uncovered a very similar kind of structure, which we can go into in a minute. All of a sudden, people would connect with them exactly the same way as you would a story about how you met your husband or wife. And I went, why is this working? And I started to research the science. And, you know, there's a study out of Princeton that talks about that when we deliver a story, what actually happens is it activates our reticular activating system, which causes our brains to synchronise. And like, wow, this is impressive. For an introvert like me who can't foster natural rapport. You know, I'm like, Wow, this gives me a shortcut to fostering that rapport, that introverts are great at building into a deeper connection, which I can then do afterwards. But the story, you know, gives me that shortcut to making people go, Wow, I like this person, I'm comfortable with him. And it's all neuroscience, then I started to research that it's short circuits, the logical brain, you speak to the emotional brain, and I'm like, wow, okay. So that means that when I tell a story in an emotional, emotional way, then all of a sudden, the logical brain doesn't know how to process that, by the way, the logical part of the brain is going to work for me, that won't work. For me, I don't have time for this hang up, the emotional part of the brain short circuits that just go storytime and it listens. And it changes everything, which means that when they listen, they listening, not for the details, but for the moral at the end. And if the moral of the story is, this person wanted what you wanted, they were similar to you, not just with a business problem, but in a personal way as well, and they got to an amazing outcome, then they're going to see you as the only logical choice. And then of course, there's that, you know, that wonderful chestnut of the fact that people remember up to 22 times more information when it's embedded into story. So as I started to research all the science behind it, what I realised is that a lot of people tell stories, because it's what they're told to do as part of a greater sales process. However, the stories that they tell to be efficient with people's time or not to convolute the sales process, they truncate them, and the problem is that they're actually butchering them where instead if they tell a story and then illan guided way, like they would the story of how they met their husband or their wife and remove a lot of the other clients, you know the jargon will you turn the firehose of information on the customer There's oh my god, I can't 30 years of experience in 10 seconds can't take that on, all of a sudden, everything shifts, and you can make much more well, you can shorten close, shorten sales cycles, you can drastically increase closure rates. It's the story that is the centre or what I call the heart of the overall sales process.

Francisco Mahfuz 10:19

I don't know if it's more surprising that you say you taught yourself selling and storytelling, you taught yourself this stuff, or that you actually managed to get real live value out of YouTube. I'm not too sure which one they're the most impressive, or also that you either have or have met, you know, partners, or husbands and wife that will actually tell stories together as a group, like every time I start with a story, my wife just goes, Oh, no, that one again.

Matthew Pollard 10:49

You know, I have stories that I use in business, and especially with COVID, you know, working from home, you know, my wife will say, Oh, gosh, I heard the windy story coming out of your office again, you know, that's the thing, you know, stories, they're predominantly for the teller, the receiver of the story, right for them. And this is an important thing, especially for introverts when they're learning to sell, you know, we're always stuck in our heads trying to work out what to say. So going in with a plan and having prepared stories, you know, not to be someone that you're not, but to be the best version of yourself. And to tell the best story that that gets you the best outcome is hugely empowering, because you don't have to worry about what to say, you can gravitate to that story, and you know that it works. So for me, I mean, there's been times where I've literally flown from Thailand back to the United States, thinking I was still in my 20s, not my 30s. And getting back and not giving myself a day before I've got to be on, you know, sales calls and things like that, because maybe it was a short notice presentation or something like that. And I've landed back. And it's so amazing that like, I can start the sales process, and I get to a story and I can literally switch my brain off. I mean, I literally do it in my sleep, tell the story. And like I can switch my brain back on three or four minutes later and finish the story and say, does that make sense? And I know the customers? Well, yeah, I mean, I need exactly what Wendy has, or Yes, I mean, the exact same, I've got the exact same problem as Alex. And all of a sudden, I've got that connection with a customer that what I found is that you'd have to do so much more hustling to get to otherwise. And that would mean that you needed to learn those horrible Bulldog techniques and hard closings that you know introverts especially don't feel comfortable with. So what I realised and that's the reason why my books been endorsed by Harvard, by Princeton by Neil Patel, by Marshall Goldsmith is you know, my whole process is that, especially as an introvert, you want to find a process that doesn't have any of those Bulldog, hard closing techniques. It's just a natural step by step process that leads to a sale. And the easiest way to get to that is by telling the story,

Francisco Mahfuz 12:51

we're going to get this back to story very shortly. But I want to ask something about the system you described in the book, because I, I immediately felt something when I was reading it, but then I couldn't quite put my finger on and explain which was, you said something like that, if you have a system, you don't ever need to take rejection. Personally, you just find what's not working in the system, you know, have I done all the steps and if you haven't, tweak it, and then go back at it. And I know, that made complete sense to me, made me start wondering if I am introverted, which I don't think I am. But but he also then later I thought, Well, isn't this a very nice way to describe that age old approach of it's a numbers game, and I don't think it is, but I couldn't quite put my finger in why your system of you know, just tweak the variables and and go at it again, is different than the it's a numbers game approach that every salesperson gets taught.

Matthew Pollard 13:49

So okay, so there, there are three questions in there. So let's tackle them one at a time. So firstly, whether you think you're an introvert or not serving the world's got way too confusing. So everybody has says things like, Oh, I'm now an ambivert. I used to be introverted, but now I'm more extroverted or Oh, I was extroverted but COVID kind of made me feel more introverted. You either are or you're not. And the simple thing is, that is where you get your energy from. Let's declutter everything. If you get your energy from being by yourself, or with one or two close friends, family members, then you're an introvert. If you get your energy from hanging out with other people, then you're an extrovert. It really is that simple. Now, sure, there are introverts that actually enjoy networking in sales now or for always, but that's because they've learned a system for achieving like, I mean, I love networking. Now. I love selling, but I'm like a kid at Disneyland. You know, I'll go and enjoy all the rides. But when I get home, I'm gonna hit the pillow and I'm out cold. So I'm exhausted. You know, I'll speak from stage and, you know, Jim Cathcart, a good friend of mine he spoke at a conference Small Business Festival, which is the third third largest conference in America for small business according to Inc and I think I undid it many years ago. And he came and was the closing speaker. Now he and I were involved in that event for three days straight. At the end, I was exhausted, I wanted to go home and put on a hoodie and just watch Netflix and do nothing else. He wanted to go and experience the live music capital of the world because he was charged up, I've never had to ask a seven year old before in my life, if I could please go home at midnight, because I was so tired, right? So if you're an introvert, it just means that you use your energy where your battery runs low when you're out with people, and you need to go and charge out but it doesn't mean a system or a process doesn't work for you. Now let's talk let's focus on the numbers game kind of concept. So the numbers game focus is just keep going to more doors. Now. That is I mean, the there's that quote, you know, the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting better results, right, or different results. So for me, what I find is that when you a lot of people go into the world of sales, then what happens is one of two things, the fight or flight mechanism, right? So I'm either going to hustle through gosh, we love this hustle through idea in the world of entrepreneurship today in today's world, right? We just got to grind it out, or grinding it out with a better with a better strategy makes it a lot easier, you have to grind a lot less. So if you're a lot of people, of course, just take it take you up on the flight and they quit right? They quit their businesses, they quit sales jobs, right? That's also not a choice. There's a middle ground, the middle ground is that yes, eventually sales is going to be a numbers game. However, if you go in with the numbers game mentality, and you just grind it out. Some days, you'll close, you know, a sale in 93 doors like my first day, sometimes it'll be 107. Sometimes it'll be 83. Right? So my focus is the opposite. It's okay, forget about the numbers game for a second. Let's learn a system. Let's go out and practice it. But by the way, the number of people that reached out to me and said, Look, Matt, your book transformed my life. And I'm all great. So you're using the system? Oh, well, you know, I haven't you know, fully prepared it yet. I'm like, Okay, well, he at least telling stories the way I tell them. I'm not quite yet what how exactly has it changed your life, which knowing as an introvert that I can sell, you know, is enough, you know, is really exciting for me, and I'm like, Okay, you're still doing the numbers game mentality that you now know, you can sell, but you're not changing anything, you're just using that as a great belief system to push yourself to grind it out. So it means actually stopping, figuring out what your sales process is going to be learning it, and then going out into the field, checking it, making sure that it works, and then changing one element at a time to make sure that you know, it doesn't blow up in your face. I mean, if you change multiple things, it's like a science experiment, you wonder what's going wrong. So once you have a solid structure, and you spent time learning it, so you actually say those words, without sounding scripted, when you're out with people, by the way, you know, most of your favourite characters in a movie, you know, I need to tell you this, they're actually reading from scripts too. So if you think they sound natural, you can too. So once you've learned the process, written out what you want to say, practice that so you sound organic, then you can go in and use it and perfect one thing at a time. Now, yes, it is still a numbers game. However, those numbers will continually get less and less. And which means you'll sell more and more often, you know, a lot of people talk about creating their own luck. Well, you know, I've always got the same, you know, everything always works out for me? Well, it does, because I put real effort around trying to get to the outcome that I want. So for those people that think, oh, I'll just grind it out every day, let's can be pretty tough for those people that want to think first, I would just create a system, understand it and then go out and perfected, then yes, it will be a numbers game. But you know, today it'll be 63 doors tomorrow be 48. The next day, it'll be 19. The day after that. It'll be eight or the week after that vas. And then you know, eventually within the space of six weeks, I got it down from 93 doors to on average, I'd make a sale up every three doors. Now, here's the thing, it was still a numbers game for me. If I didn't go to nine doors, I wouldn't make three sales. But it wasn't going to 93 times three to make three sales. It was go to nine doors to make three sales. So yes, it's a numbers game. However, if you got going with that mentality that it's a system, two things happen. One is you then improve on those numbers. So that numbers come down dramatically. But the second one is it's an external process. So Henry Ford, you know, people might know me. He built a few motor cars in East I've heard

Francisco Mahfuz 19:35

I've heard of him. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So when I think he used to make cars that people used to like, yeah,

Matthew Pollard 19:41

exactly. Yeah, back back in the day, right back back in the day when when the when those cars was still popular. But, you know, back then, you know, he wasn't the first person to introduce the production line, but he was the first person to introduce the production line to the world of manufacturing of motor vehicles. Now, the thing that I want people to realise is that when he first started, he didn't get many cars off that line. But he broke that metaphor, that production line into I think it was 35 distinct elements. And he improved on each element every day to make sure that now I mean, they pump out millions of cars still. Yeah. And the reason for why they're able to do that is because of their system, which is should be you should see your sale system the exact same way. But when something went wrong, I can you imagine every Ford go, oh, my gosh, I was never meant to manufacture cars. There's no way he was going to do that. And you want sales to be the same way. It's an external process. So when somebody when something goes wrong, you said, Okay, was it? Was it something wrong in the process? How do I fix that when it happens once Yeah, oh, maybe it was a fluke, when it happens twice. Yeah. Okay, now we're starting to become significant. You know, it's a statistical statistically significant out element if it happens again and again, okay, now we need to really look at fixing this. But again, if you're a salesperson or business owner selling, and you've failed to close a deal, or you get rejected, how can you not take that personally, if it's just us saying whatever comes out of your mouth? If you're following a system, it's external, you just focus on how do I perfect it. Now, this isn't new stuff. I mean, Brian Tracy, has been saying that the top 10% of all sales performance, have a plan presentation, you know, for a long, long time, the bottom 80% Just say whatever comes out of their mouth with stories, people go oh, yeah, I tell great stories. Sure you do. You just say whatever comes out of your mouth, whatever seems relevant. I say the same three stories every time you don't need hundreds, three is all I need. And three is what most business owners need. So what I would suggest to you is that you need to have a plan presentation, by the way, the top 10% of all sales performance. They're not all extroverted. I know we all think that they are, but I'll tell you that you know, Jeb blunt in most people know him as a famous sales leader. Now he's introverted. Oh, by the way, Zig Ziglar. That guy that did a few sales speeches back in the day, you know, he's actually pretty introverted, too. I interviewed his son Tom Ziegler on my podcast, the introverts edge, and he talks about how his dad was very introverted. So a lot of times we project extraversion on these people that are successful. Perhaps you may even want to project extraversion on me, because I'm happy to talk in a very open way about this topic. Firstly, find one topic matter expert that doesn't love sharing the value of what they do. And introverts great when they're in their topic, matter expertise. There's nothing that I'm sharing today that I haven't rehearsed that I haven't structured that I haven't scripted beforehand. You know, I've just done 150 interviews like this. And because of that, I'm well rehearsed, and, and well practised. So the thing that I would suggest to everyone is that you need to focus on that external system, because as soon as you do, if I get off this interview, and I get told, gosh, you bombed out, nobody liked what you said, and I don't want to share this with my audience be like, Well, what specifically did you like? And then I can tailor so that I don't have that happen? Again, if he says, oh, some of the things that I really liked, was this, this and this, and like what exactly really rang true for you? Okay, well, maybe I'll focus more on that next time. If it's some you can improve. If it's off the cuff every time, then you're always going to be just that same level of bad, or just that same level of okay, and neither of those are good enough for me, and they shouldn't be for you either.

Francisco Mahfuz 23:22

I guess the the misconception about introverts that I think many people make, and I've made this plenty of times is I don't think most people think of it as an energy question, as you described it, I think most people tend to think that the person who doesn't talk much, who is very quiet was shy, that's an introverted person, if you speak the way you and I are speaking just now, or surely you cannot be introverted. I think that's the that's the misconception. But you said something I want to jump on straightaway. So you talked about the three stories. And I've heard you describe this before, it's three core stories. How do you choose them? What are the stories have to you know, what's the criteria for for finding, and knowing that the three, these stories are your three stories?

Matthew Pollard 24:07

So so this actually requires a little bit more pre work? And the reason why I suggest that is, you know, a lot of people come to me for sales advice. And a lot of times their problem is in sales. I mean, sure, they don't know how to sell or they need help selling. But they haven't done the marketing work beforehand, to really identify who their client is. So when you're like, Well, who what are the stories I said, Well, what are the three major problems that your your perfect client has? And they're like, well, they all have their client, you know, they're all different, like, no, they're not. And do you do know who your ideal client is? Who's your ideal client? And they're like, Oh, you mean like a customer segment? So yeah, well, okay, let's start with your customer segment. Who are we have several of them. Yeah, who's your primary? Oh, we haven't really found that out. Well, how do you know what the major problems are then? Right. So you need to understand who your ideal client is. Secondly, you need to stop thinking them Have them as an avatar they your ideal client should you at least should know one name so that you can literally see them and go okay, in my mind's eye, these are the problems that they have. Like for me whenever I speak to somebody, I am speaking to one of my one of the three people, but they're all very similar avatars. You know, they're the introverted service provider business owners that want to make a great six figure income doing what they love writing, they're tired of that constant hamster wheel struggling to find interesting people setting themselves apart and making that sale. But their biggest problem is that not that they can't sell short. That's an issue that we have to address. But the biggest issue is that they struggle to get out of that commodity box as well. You know, price is a big issue, and they're tired of talking about it, and having their customers feel that they are just that worth the same as everyone else. And they're not understanding their value. I'll give you an example. I worked with a client Wendy, which is the story that I the film was when the story Yes, the famous Wendy story right now, by the way, in my new book, The introverts edge to networking, I use the story of Whitney. Now the reason I do that is in books, you can't tell the same story in every single book, right? So I then picked a different story and went with that I have hundreds 1000s of them. But the truth is, I've told the windy story 1000s of times. So because of that it's the one that I've reversed the most. So when I when people ask me about Whitney, I'm agashe Yaga. Remember that story? Now I've got a practice that one, because I haven't I've only told that story a few 100 times on a few 1000 times. It's different. Right? So the story of Wendy, the reason I tell it is it will help you understand that you can do a lot of heavy lifting before you get to the sales approach. And also, it'll show you how to select your stories the right way. So when when he first came to me, her biggest issue was that, you know, she was charging 50 to $80 an hour for private consultation, she was a mandarin teacher, right? So she taught people how to how to communicate and write in Chinese. But when people came to her, I mean, she was charging 50 to $80 an hour for no problem for like a decade. And then all of a sudden, there were more people moving into California, that was that were willing to charge 30 to $40 an hour to start their own Mandarin education businesses, then she's dealing with the fact that there are people on Craigslist from China willing to charge $12 an hour which a lot of people have been confronted with this global economy, especially in this world of COVID right now. And then she has these people in that have created technologies in Silicon Valley, you know, I'll teach you manner and you teach me English, we won't charge anyone anything. So she's competing with free. So she comes to me, she's like, how do I compete this crowded market? Can you give me sales training? And I'm like, Wendy, there is no fighting in this crowded market. Sure, I can teach you some sales techniques that will increase your closure rate, that eventually they're going to discover these technologies, they'll be talking to their friend like, Well, I'm just learning for free, or they'll discover their walk into someone is offering it for 30 to $40 an hour. So let's get you out of that battle altogether. First, let's sidestep it. So I started to look at all the clients you worked with. And what I discovered is they were originally two people that she helped with more than just Mandarin education. These were executives being relocated to China. And she helped them understand what really three things Firstly, the way that the Chinese develop rapport and how different it is, for instance, if if I was trying to sell you something, you know, it was a really bad salesperson in the Western world. And I get to the end of a 45 minute meeting and say, so do you want to move forward? Yeah, right. But you might respond with yes, no, we're everyone's favourite. Let me think about it. A week from now, if I reach back out to you, and you still say you want to think about it, I know my chances of getting that sale are going down and down. Well, in China, they're going to want to talk about it five or six times, they're probably going to you before they even discuss business, by the way, they probably didn't want to see drunk over karaoke once or twice. Right. The reason for that, though, is that they're talking 5200 year deals, not 12 or 24 month contracts. So it's about the character of the person that they're doing business with, because things change over that period. So she helped them understand that she helped him understand the difference between E commerce in China in the Western world, and the importance of respect, like learning the languages and enough you have to reduce your accent, how to handle a business card and why it matters so much. And when he stopped you doing so much more for these people than just language tuition? What are you doing? Sure, they're just a few things, you know, I'm just trying to help. I'm like, yes, you're stuck in your functional skill. Is it fair to assume as a result of the assistance that you're giving these people? They're going to be more successful when they get to China? Oh, yeah. I mean, that's the point, right? I said, Okay, so why don't we call you the China's success coach, then forget about Mandarin education, that can be an upsell. Let's focus on what I called China's success intensive, which worked out to be a five week programme that worked with the executive, the spouse and any children being relocated to China. Now, she loved the idea of this, but she's like, Well, who do I sell it? So I said, Well, who do you think your ideal client is? She's like, well, obviously, it's the executive. I'm like, Yeah, I mean, I was terrified moving from Australia, United States. But I mean, imagine going to a place where people don't even speak the same language. It's not your ideal client, though. So obviously, the company would pay and like yes, I mean, you know, they have 20 You're sorry, they have millions of dollars sometimes writing on the executive being successful, it's still not your ideal client. Frustrated is that well, who then is your ideal clients, the immigration attorney, she's like what I said, think about it, these people make five to $7,000, for doing all the bureaucracy, all the paperwork to organise a visa after the cost of getting a client, which isn't cheap, the wrench the pain for all the people to handle that bureaucracy. They'd be lucky to make $3,000 Is it just offering $3,000? For a successful introduction? The like, the immigration attorneys loved it. They were like $3,000 for a simple introduction, what do I have to say? And she said, Well, it's easy. You just got to say, congratulations, you've now got your visa. I just want to double check, you're as ready as possible to be relocated across to China. And people respond with Yeah, no, I think we're good. We're gonna play sorted. We got a visa now. Thank you. We're learning the language kids are getting pretty good at it too. I think we're set you know, over a confident executive. And they just respond with there's a lot more to it than that. I think you need to speak to the China's success coach, when you when they get on the phone with easiest sell in the world. I mean, these people were terrified to go, they organisation was motivated to pay and their attorney recommended them. She charged $30,000. For this after $3,000. Commission, she made 27,000 for the easiest sell in the world, instead of struggling every day to make 50 to $80 an hour. Now, here's the key. What she did, or what we did together is to say so what are the things you do outside the scope of your functional skill? For Wendy, it was ecommerce, it was respect. And it was helping them understand the difference between report in China and report in the Western world. And then I said, What's the high level benefit of that for her? That was China's success for me. I mean, I'm a branding expert. I'm a social media strategist. I'm a Sales systemization expert. I'm a master in business coach, whatever, there's too many things. Nobody cares, really do they? No one cares how hard it was me to learn how long it took me to learn. However, when I say I'm the rapid growth guide, that allows me to get hurt in the crowded marketplace. So that's element one, then you have to say, Well, what unmet need in the marketplace can I serve for Wendy, it was executives being relocated to China. For me, I work with introverted service provider businesses, that message and that strong niche allows me to get people from all over the world to see me as the only logical choice. And that makes sales so much easier. But then when you get to the process of picking your stories, you just say, well, what are the three major problems within my niche marketplace? Now I understand that a lot of people are scared of niching. Because, you know, they're like, Oh, well, if I niche, this, they might only be two or three customers in my city. We live in this global marketplace now where there's two to three clients in your city. That means there's 1000s of like millions of clients all over the world, right? So these days speaking, everyone, firstly, speaking to no one, but these days, you can use technology, psychology and strategy to get your ideal clients to chase you by knowing your message by knowing your niche and by having those strong stories. So what I suggest is work out what your niche market is, who has that client avatar, give that person a name, and then say what are the three major problems that they have, that my product or service helps them to overcome or to achieve. And then once you do that, then working out their story, writing those stories becomes easy, because you know who you're writing it to what emotions they going through, whether they're, you know, worried about going broke, whether they're worried about losing their job, all of that becomes so much simpler, then you can use a very simple storytelling matrix of you know, what I you know, a way of explaining a story in the right way, in a way that they're like, oh, my gosh, this person knows me better than I know myself, I how do I know work with this person. But until you do that, you've got a story that's hit or miss. And you think you need hundreds of stories, when in truth, you really don't need many at all.

Francisco Mahfuz 33:45

I guess my question with that is, I'm very familiar with the windy story, because I've read the book. And I've heard you in a few podcasts. And that one, I think is the most popular of the other ones. And so Margaret and I had a look through through some of the material put out on unified messaging and things of that nature. So my major question here is this. Most of the stuff you're talking about, requires the the person going through this process, through, look through the clients you serve, look through the products, you the problems you solve, look for the clients you've had in the past. So you find the stories. Now, how does someone do that? If they're just starting? Because they won't have that experience to draw on?

Matthew Pollard 34:25

Absolutely. So firstly, if you're just starting usually one or two things that take place, so you're either working for another for an organisation, or you're finally going into business for yourself. So if you're working for an organisation, remember that you don't need to have your own stories. The whole point of working for an organisation is to say, we worked with this person. So go and interview the best salesperson going interview. I mean, funnily enough, I would, I went with billion dollar tech companies and the marketing company, the marketing team go we only think in segments where do you get all these real stories from like the sales department is over there. How do you not know that is like the person that implemented the services over there, there are companies. And I can't mention the names due to confidentiality agreements, but literally billion dollar tech companies that I have to interrogate, I put seven people in the room from the, you know, the development group, to the marketing people to their sales people to the people that actually did the rollout. And I'll interrogate them for 45 minutes just to get the information that I need to be able to then tell a 45 second story, right. So be willing to ask questions, and you know, find out one customer that was really hard to get from the salesperson, then go and speak to the person that actually delivered the service to find out the outcome. And then when you you can then create this story, and then say to somebody, when you meet them, you know, I perfectly understand the last thing I want to do is waste any of your time. However, when they give you an objection, we actually had to come up with a customer very similar to you. And when we first met them, we your organisation, right? So when I first worked with them, when we first worked with them, the customer won't tell the difference. And the truth is, they're not buying you, right, of course, they're going to buy because of the relationship they foster with you, however, they're buying the company that you work for, you represent them to extend the eye for way, nobody's gonna care. Now, when you go and start your own business, a lot of the times that didn't just come out of nothing, right, you're probably a copywriter working for a big organisation. And now you're a copywriter, working for yourself. Now remember that the customers that you serve your customers, right? You You just serve them on behalf of a bigger organisation. Now, so if you said, when I first met John, he had a problem, or when I first started to work with John, this is the strongest they had, how is that? Not true? You used to work with them, didn't you? You just work with them while you're representing this company. But how does that listen, anything that you did for them. Now, if there was a whole team involved, in that you still did your little part, and that little part had an outcome. So again, you can still build out the story. A lot of people overcomplicate it and in truth, if you really, really starting fresh, and I mean, if you started a business, and you've never even worked with somebody else doing that, right, then you mean go and deliver it for three people for free, that are in your ideal customer avatar, or go and do it for low cost just to get your first case studies, your first success stories, right truth is, I mean, if you become great at sales, you probably don't need to discount, you can probably sell it just as well, without stories that you'll just have to you know, go through a little bit more of a numbers game to get your first few clients, those people that will trust you that feel connected, use your personal story for why you actually started the business instead. And then once you get your first couple of clients, then make sure you oversupply over deliver on your promises. So you've got these walking testimonials that tell everybody which will get you more clients. But also you can then curate your best stories to share with everybody that you speak to.

Francisco Mahfuz 37:52

So one of the one point I want to kind of focus a bit more on just because this is the thing that's so important. And this is something a lot of people do this wrong. If you see the way a lot of people describe themselves or their businesses, the focus is always on what we do, and not what you get out of it, or what the customer gets out of it. And I think that when you I think what you call this is the high level benefit, right? Do you can you just talk a bit more about why people need to switch between, you know, I'm an expert at this, or this is the product that deliver the service or deliver to this outcome, this high level benefit outcome?

Matthew Pollard 38:29

Absolutely. So I think the thing that you need to realise is, in all cases, in business, it's not about you. I mean, the number one rule of business, the number one rule of networking, number one rule of sales, I would always recommend, it's not about you, it's about the people that you serve. So if you say I'm an expert in ABCD, you're expecting the customer. And that is relevant to me because and they need to work it out. Now they shouldn't be able to see it as caught, according to you, right? Because you've got 30 years of experience, so you know exactly how you help these people. But the truth is that you're asking them to look at what you do and go this is how it can help. Right but it's not about you. It's about how you can serve them. Now everybody has unique experience, unique upbringing, unique elements of themselves that perfectly qualified and to help a demographic of people. So if you say this demographic of people, ie I provide rapid growth or help serve introverted service provider, business owners obtain rapid growth in a business that they doing what they love, right, all of a sudden, it's all about them. Now, I could also say I have a huge amount of sales experience teaching introverts How to Sell successfully. I understand marketing, you know, one might say because I built five multimillion dollar businesses from the ground up, I'm kind of a marketing expert. I'm also a master neuro linguistic programming. So all of these things perfectly qualify me to do rapid growth anyway, so instead of giving them my resume, I could just say, I help introverted service providers obtain rapid growth, it becomes so so much simpler. So What I would suggest is the same thing applies to when you're telling stories. But when you're telling stories to people, so often people will share in their story, how they were able to do this for the customer, how they were able, then the hero of the story, no one wants to hear that it just sounds like you're bragging on yourself. So what I suggest that you do instead is take a step back and say, How do I make the person in the story, the hero, you know, we were talking about the big technology company that I worked with a while back, and I had to interrogate them for 45 minutes. And they told this story, you know, I mean, eventually, we got this story about how we move this group of people into, you know, this, this company into the cloud. And I said, What was the name of the person? You keep referring to them as the CTO? Well, okay, the guy's name was David. Well, I can't understand why I care about the CTO, how do I feel connected with CTO, but when it comes to the physical person, David, I can feel his pain, I can feel him worried about everything. I said, also, you didn't really tell me about why that person moved into the cloud. He said to me that you've been chasing them for years. But why all of a sudden, did they decided to move to the cloud? Well, they didn't know. See, a lot of times, we only think about how amazing we are the things that we were able to achieve and the things that we were able to do. And because we think about ourselves, we don't really think about our clients, which means our stories are only one dimensional. So I'm gonna find out why they moved to the cloud. So they went out and they asked them questions. Here's the fun thing. They discovered that that client had been they've been chasing them for years was a government organisation. And their server had crashed just before Christmas, they couldn't run payroll. Now, can you imagine being the CTO of an organisation? Can you imagine being David not being being responsible for why nobody got paid over Christmas biggest spending season of the year, worse than that he had to get his entire team to work through Christmas, so that they could run payroll, they could get everything fixed, so they could run payroll before New Year's Eve. So he ruined Christmas specifically for his entire team. So based on that, he was the guy that ruined Christmas, and he was determined never to let that happen. Again, isn't that a lot more exciting as an element of a story? Again, it's about them. Now, here's the interesting thing he didn't he was worried about getting fired, of course, right through Christmas. But it turns out that he actually got promoted afterwards, because of how well he handled it, and how well he navigated everything to the cloud. So it would never happen again. Right. So those elements of the story, gosh, that adds so much more value, you know, when I talked about which we need to make sure that we fit into this interview the elements of what a good story is, I did a session with a group of people in a personal training, you know, a gym franchise with personal trainers, and they told me this story about how this person was about to cancel the gym memberships. So they set them up a personal training regiment, and then they you know, got to an amazing outcome. And I said, Okay, why did they join the gym in the first place? Turns out, the girl was trying to get pregnant. She couldn't get pregnant. Because she was you know, she had the doctor said that the her weight was an issue. So she had to lose weight. So she joined the gym to do that to lose weight. But then she wasn't losing weight. So she was cancelling a gym membership. And that's how she felt. I mean, poor golf probably felt like she was letting her husband down, letting her family down. You know, when she got to the end, I was like, Okay, well, you gave her personal training regimen. And then she fought she stayed. She's like, Yeah, she stayed like, did she get pregnant? Just like yeah, I said, how were parents about that? Were they excited about the fact they got to be grandparents, all these things missing from the story? Why? Because it was a story about how I save somebody from cancelling how I gave them a personal development training plan. And how I was able to save that person from cancelling as opposed to this young lady who was trying to get pregnant, but she had too much weight. And as a result of the personal training regimen, we were able to allow you she was able to get pregnant, how amazing she felt about being able to be that conduit that got her to the outcome that was so positive for her and her family. And you should just see the eyes of the family because, you know, they now bring their kid to the nursery at the gym, because you know, whatever the story is, but you see what I mean, you can make the story all about someone else be all about someone else.

Francisco Mahfuz 44:25

There's a couple of things there. You said that the great and it's something I hammer on whenever I'm teaching people how to use stories better, which first of all is, is details like you need specific details. And for some reason people think that if you make it specific, then it becomes less relatable when it's the opposite. The more specific it is, the more universal it becomes. But also I think on the on the story just told about the woman who wants to get pregnant is if that part is not there is just someone going to the gym to maybe look a bit better. Yes, I relate to that. It's upsetting if you Can't look a bit better when you want to. But the pain is nowhere near as big as you know, I want to have a child and I can't. And that's something I come across a lot with. So I'm going to tell you a story and said, okay, so you wanted to run a marathon, and you didn't think you might finish. And the problem with that was, I will just be a bit annoying if I didn't finish, but I don't care. Give me something more. Otherwise, it's just, you know, there's no, we're not emotionally involved with it. Alright. So, you know, we talked about the the unified messaging, but that high level benefit, we talked earlier about the sale system that uses stories? Are those the two main ingredients for rapid growth? Or is there anything else completely missing from that picture still?

Matthew Pollard 45:47

No. So the main things that you need, I mean, I talk about rapid growth being three steps. If you have a unified message that excites and inspires people to want to know more, you have a niche that you've identified, that would be you're willing and excited to buy clients, then sales is really the third step. Now, the thing that I find is most people will gravitate to sales, because that's their, their most emerging problem right now. But the problem is, that means they still have to do a lot of heavy lifting. So the sales process has to be so so much better, you know, at the National freelance conference, because people think the marketing takes so long. So I did this at the National freelance conference, nearly 200 people in the room, I pulled out a five step template that I use to help people craft a unified message and discover their niche niche of willing to buy clients. And at the end of that session, I said, you know, put your hand up, if you now have identified your niche, and you've got a message that you know, will excite them to want to know more, like 97% of the room put their hands up, I said, Keep your hands up, though, if this is the most time you've ever spent on marketing, because it sounds great 97% of the room 45 minutes, the session was 85% of the room kept their hands up. So the key is that this stuff absolutely works, if you do it, and then you can jump straight into sales. But now you know your niche, you know, you you know what the problems they are, so you can then build out your stories the right way. Now, one of the things that I would suggest, I mean, you don't need to hire me to get your out unified message and discover your niche. There's a five step template that I've created, that I use that that national freelance conference that you can download at Matthew, forward slash growth, if you just go there, you'll be able to download the template, I'd suggest that you spend about two hours on it, but you do about an hour with you and an hour with a buddy, so buddy up with someone that's not from your industry. So if you're in technology, going buddy up with someone in medicine, or even better government meet up with a personal trainer that's not in such a highly complex sales, so you don't fall into each other's jargon. Right? The goal for me is that if you spend 45 minutes on this exercise to an hour on each person and have somebody else to get you out of your your jargon junk, if you like, then you really will be able to get that message, right discover the niche, then, you know, you'll be able to, you know, focus on your sales system and drastically improve your performance. And again, the link is Matthew, forward slash growth to access that free template.

Francisco Mahfuz 48:01

I'll put that on the on the show notes. And I'm very mindful of your time now. And I just wanted to mention how one other thing I like about your book that I liked it this at the very last third of the book was how he made me feel like a complete, complete idiot. Because, you know, I'd like to think I'm a good writer, and I'm pretentious about my writing. And then I started Why does he have a cough? What what is this co author nonsense, and and you know, as a speaker, surely he can write. And then I think only the very last third of the book, you reveal that why you have a co author because how long it takes you to write normally. And then you have the co author have do a whole lot chapter two, which which is very good as well. And I really liked that I had in the back of my mind. It's like, but I still don't know like this call for to see. There is a good storyteller. He's the co author a good storyteller. So yeah, I really like that. And I recommended the book to quite a lot of people that are not introverts. I just think that the the system this is the sales system pillars the stories is an approach that I hadn't come across. I've read plenty of sales books, and I've read plenty of storytelling books, but that yours I think is the only one that I found that matches that. Now now I have to let you go. But can you just tell us quickly where can people find more about you?

Matthew Pollard 49:14

Absolutely. So and we did touch on the storytelling process today but I there's a tonne of free videos where I explain it in much more detail that you can find on YouTube. You can find me on LinkedIn, obviously Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, whatever your preferred medium is, of course, you can also I would suggest check out the introverts edge comm there you'll be able to download the first chapter. My publisher hates me when I say this, but you don't need to buy my book. Just go to the introverts edge calm you'll be able to download the first chapter. And when you do that, you'll find that it covers you know, firstly get you over your hurdles around the sales process. And then it'll also map out the seven step process. If you do nothing more than what you currently say. You'll be able to fit it into those seven steps you realise something's out of order, something's don't fit, stop. saying those things to customers, there is a reason why it doesn't fit. And then you realise that there's some gaps. And if you fill in those gaps, you'll easily be able to double your sales in the next 60 days now for those people because I know that there's probably going to be a bunch of people here that prefer to read in Spanish rather than English, and my book has now been translated into Spanish as well, as a matter of fact, it's currently a bestseller on Audible as well in the Spanish language, so feel free if you go to the introverts,, you'll be able to click on translations, and you'll be able to see the the Spanish version there. And when you click on that, you'll be able to download the first chapter of that book it for free as well.

Francisco Mahfuz 50:38

Amazing. Matthew, thank you very much for your time today. This has been fantastic.

Matthew Pollard 50:42

My absolute pleasure, mate. Thanks for having me on.

Francisco Mahfuz 50:44

Alright, everybody. Thanks for tuning in. Take care of yourselves. And until next time. I hope you enjoy the show. And if you did, I'd love for you to subscribe and leave us a review or a rating on the Apple podcasts app. It's very easy. You open the app and find the show and scroll down a little and when you see the stars. I'd really appreciate it and it does help other people find us. And if you'd like to get in touch or find out more about what I do, reach out to me on LinkedIn or visit my website story

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