Matthew: G’day mate, how are you doing? I’m just changing my sound settings. I can’t hear you. One second. There we go.
Andrew: Hey, can you hear me okay?
Matthew: I can, mate. How are we doing?
Andrew: Good. I dig the backdrop.
Matthew: Yeah. So I’m actually recording my Rapid Growth video series at the moment. So I’m actually still in the studios. So I figured I’d put their logo behind me so they get a little bit of a plug out of it.
Andrew: Looks good.
Matthew: How have you been anyway, man? It’s great to finally meet you.
Andrew: Same here. I’ve been checking out a bunch of your stuff. I want to make sure that I’ve got this right. The company that you started was in 2003 you started Choice Mobiles.
Matthew: Choice Mobiles. Yeah.
Andrew: You’re the founder of it?
Andrew: What was the website for it? I found like Choice.com/au but that’s not you.
Matthew: Choice Mobiles when I sold it, I sold it to a person who just didn’t want us to exist anymore. So, they integrated all of our stuff into theirs.
Andrew: I see.
Matthew: So, we were a brokership in a market where we were more trouble than we were worth and that was the focus of what we were trying to do. So, we set ourselves up for a buyout.
Andrew: And you got it to $4 million in sales?
Matthew: $4.2 million in year three.
Andrew: In year three that was annual sales?
Andrew: And you were helping people find phones for themselves?
Matthew: Yeah. What happened in Australia very similar to the US, they have so many competitors, they sort of just fight just on price. For business clients, the service had kind of gone out the window. When something went wrong, they were calling call centers overseas. When we launched, our tagline was “Service that Counts.” The focus for that was that if you were a business client, it didn’t matter which product or service you went with, if you bought off us, we would handle [inaudible 00:02:02]…
Andrew: Handle–I just lost your audio as you said that. There we go. I lost your audio and your video there. It just came back. As I understand you–by the way, are you in Texas today?
Matthew: I’m in Austin. Yeah.
Andrew: In Austin. Okay. You know in the US we’ve got Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc. What you were doing was taking the equivalent of those phone companies and saying, “Forget about which of these companies I get you. If you have issues, you’re not going to have to go to an overseas tech support person. Our guys will make sure that you’re treated well. Is that it?”
Matthew: That’s exactly right. That’s exactly what we did.
Andrew: That was the business. That’s the business that you sold. What did you sell the business for?
Matthew: It was four multiple.
Andrew: Four times what–so we’re talking about 16.8?
Andrew: And what percentage of the business did you own yourself?
Andrew: 50% of the business. Who was your cofounder in that?
Matthew: A guy called Steve Salisbury. He’s an English guy out of the UK.
Andrew: Okay. And the reason that you want to do what you’re doing now which is helping people with Rapid Growth, your speaking, your teaching is because you got to a point in your life where you hit a personal low and you said, “This is not for me as great as it is.” Am I right?
Matthew: The purpose for me, I really enjoy rapid growth. That’s kind of my drug, if you like. I enjoy looking at a company that’s not getting any growth or has stagnated in helping them obtain it.
Matthew: That’s kind of my focus for everything that I do. With organizations, I find that I grew up in a really tough area. I find a lot of small businesses, they’re really great at their functional skill. However, they struggle with everything else. So, the focus for me is really helping them understand that you’ve got to get outside your functional skill. You need a unified message, something that separates you from everything else. You need a qualified niche.
Andrew: That’s what you teach, how to find that qualified niche and also how to sell to them.
Matthew: Correct. I do focus on sales. What I find is my background is sales. It’s easy for me to do that. What I find is people make sales much harder than they need to. They kind of talk about sales from a point of I’ve got to hardcore sell. I hate when people feel like they have to hardcore sell. What it means is the message isn’t right.
Andrew: All right. We’ll get into that deeper in the conversion. What we’re saying is you’re a guy who used to sell door to door, you created this company from scratch, you and your cofounder, sold it for $16.8 million and then you decided that you wanted to teach people and that’s what you’re doing today and what you’re teaching is how to sell without hard selling. Do I have that right?
Matthew: Yeah. I’ve built more businesses than just one. The focus for me, that’s what I focus on doing–teaching people how to do what I’ve done.
Andrew: But the other businesses you built you didn’t start, like Victoria, Australian Cable and Telephony, you didn’t start it.
Matthew: No. That’s correct. So, that company was my first job. I was a dyslexic kid. I didn’t know how to sell back then. I taught myself how to sell on YouTube.
Andrew: Let me ask you this. How about if we keep everything we just said up until now in the interview, let people see how I talk to guests before we start and we’ll talk in this interview about–I’d like us to focus on Choice Mobiles, how you came up with the idea, how you built it up, I’d like to hear some of the door to door sales that you did and why you sold it. Then I want to get into what you’re doing today, MatthewPollard.guru, how you’re teaching this, your philosophy on sales, etc. Are you cool with all that?
Matthew: Yeah. I’m cool with that. I don’t really look to talk about the model and the way I sold my business and stuff generally because it makes me inaccessible to a lot of the audience.
Andrew: No it doesn’t. First of all, it’s not like you sold it for $16 billion. We’re talking about a few million dollars, which is impressive and it’s the kind of thing that gives you a lot of credibility with an audience.
Andrew: Go for it.
Matthew: If you feel like it fits. I’m just at the studio now and they’re just finishing up. I’m just going to press mute and just get them to finish up. Are you alright if we start back in about 60 seconds?
Andrew: What do you mean? You want to take a pause?
Matthew: Yeah, I’m just making sure that we–or are you okay with the background noise we’re got at the moment?
Andrew: Let me see. I’m going to put it all the way up. Don’t say anything. You’re going to kill my eardrums. I do see what sounds like a fan in the background.
Matthew: Yeah. So, that’s what I was saying. I’ll turn it off. Give me one moment.
Andrew: Why don’t you do that and I’ll do an intro while you turn off that fan?
Andrew: All right. Cool. So, we’re going to keep everything that we said in the interview so you guys can see a little bit of what I say before the interview starts. This is for Joe, the editor. This is a little bit loud for you guys. I’m going to move back. It’s the clapboard that allows Joe to align the audio and video. This is me moving my hand up in front of the camera so Joe in the camera can adjust from my complexion of pretty dark.
And while we wait for him to come on, I’m going to tell you guys my name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy.com. This is the place where I do hard hitting interviews with entrepreneurs. One of the reasons I can ask tough questions, one of the reasons I can push is because I think unlike other interviewers today, I do not take affiliate commissions. So, I have no incentives to be nice to the guest in a way that will allow him to beef up his commission to me. I have no incentive to puff up or to sell to you guys before I don’t get a dime of it.
What I do have an incentive to do, Matthew, as I’ll tell the audience, I have an incentive to understand what my guests have done to build a successful business because my payoff is if people listen to these interviews and they build successful companies because of it. That’s my payoff. That’s the goal here.
This interview is sponsored by two companies–by the way, full disclosure, that’s another payoff for me. I get paid as the audience grows because sponsors pay me more per interview. So, I’ve got two guys who pay me. The first company is called Toptal. They’re the company you go to when you need to hire developers. The second company is called HostGator. When you need to host your website properly, go to HostGator.com/Mixergy.
I’ll tell you more about those later, but before I start, I’ll say this. If you ever have any problems with any of my sponsors, I have no problem jettisoning them. I have no problem losing them. So, here’s my email address–Andrew@Mixergy.com. Now, just because one person complains doesn’t mean I get rid of my sponsor. I jump on it as much as I can to solve your issue, but I do want to know if you guys are happy with the sponsors or not. I’m not just here to sell the sponsor stuff. I’m here to give you, the person who’s listening to me, a useful educational show that will change your life. If I’m not changing your life for the better, call me out on it.
Today’s guest is Matthew Pollard. You basically heard what he’s up to. Matthew, why don’t we go all the way back? Why don’t we go back and understand you and where you got this idea. Where did you get the idea for the mobile company?
Matthew: Well, I really fell into it more than anything. When I was in high school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. I went looking for a job. I had the reading speed of a sixth grader in late high school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I just took a job at a real estate agency really to hide away more than anything else. Then that company went bankrupt just before Christmas.
Matthew: In Australia, we go on holidays for four weeks at Christmas. There’s no decision making to be had. So, getting a job was ridiculously hard. The only job I could find was telecommunications. It was commission only sales. For me, you’re talking about somebody that was introverted. I struggled to talk to my own friends. I had no other options. I just went and taught myself how to sell.
Andrew: What is telecommunications sales for you. Is it selling cell coverage, long distance landlines? What were you selling?
Matthew: It’s both. For me, to cut a long story short, literally after five days training, I got thrown on a street and I got told to sell long distance cell phones, 1-300 and 1-800 numbers and mobile phones. For me, again, it was going and selling something that everybody has but there are thousands of people selling the same message.
Andrew: Literally if I were sitting here in my office and I was in Australia at the time you were doing this, you might knock on my door and say, “Andrew, who is doing your long distance service? Would you like to save a little bit of money by switching over to me?” Is it you knocking on doors of companies like mine trying to make sales, literally knocking on the door?
Matthew: Not literally knocking on the door. I’d walk into your business.
Andrew: You’d walk into the business. You wouldn’t call me up. You would just say, “Hey, Andrew. ” What excuse would you have to just walk into somebody’s office?
Matthew: We would say we’re trialing out a new savers package in the area. We just need to see if you’re the person to speak to. My job is really to come out and see if it’s something you qualify for. That would really be the focus of what we would do. We would walk in, sometimes it was lunch time and it was a lunch store and we were still interrupting them from their own customers.
Andrew: You said you had to teach yourself how to sell because you weren’t that outgoing. How did you teach yourself how to sell? And then I’ll ask you what your sales techniques were. But how did you teach yourself?
Matthew: Yeah. So, I remember I was 93 doors before my first sale. I kind of walked out of that door, I was so excited that I made a sale. But it was right about $70 and I had this solemn realization quickly after, “I’ve got to do this again tomorrow.” I think you talk to a lot of entrepreneurs. You find they have the same thing if their back is against the wall, they find a way to adapt. For me, I didn’t have a way to adapt. I started with 20 people. The next day, I went into the office, there were less than five left.
Andrew: That’s the way these commission-based sales organizations work. They just churn through people.
Matthew: My boss used to say, “Throw mud at the wall and see what sticks.” It sounds like a great term when you’re in management. When you’re the mud getting thrown at the wall, it sounds less good.
Andrew: Be more specific. You said you had to teach yourself. How did you teach yourself? Or was it trial and error until you learned it?
Matthew: I was incredibly introverted and incredibly dyslexia. So, picking up a book by Brian Tracy or Zig Ziglar, not exactly one of those things that was going to be something I was comfortable with. And it would have taken me a year to read the book, let alone to learn. So, I actually taught myself how to sell using YouTube.
Andrew: Using what?
Andrew: Using YouTube. Do you remember one guy who was especially good that I can go and find right now?
Matthew: Brian Tracy–phenomenal.
Andrew: You’d watch Brian Tracy videos. Is there one especially good one?
Matthew: No. I can’t remember exactly. Back then, it was a long time ago. I remember really liking Brian Tracy. Zig Ziglar, I felt like I had to be an extrovert for that. That wasn’t me. Brian Tracy has a lot of really good scripts and a lot of really good stories. What I found was also he talked about sales as a process. He talked about the fact that the best sales people have a system and a process and the plan presentation. Then I remember going through all the different steps to a sale and working out which ones of those fit me.
Andrew: I see. I can see how that would be mind-blowing. There’s a sense that if you’re an introverted person–tell me if I’m wrong–I remember being an introverted person that didn’t know how to connect with people. There was the sense that everyone was just winging it. There was a sense that they were good because they just naturally were good and they were winging it.
The idea that they’re not winging it, that they have a sales process is very reassuring because then it’s a process you can learn, you can improve on, you can master, you can close more sales if you work harder at that process. Does that seem right to you?
Matthew: That’s exactly right. We just had a sales guy for Colliers International, a major real estate agency firm. He’s a hardcore sales person. He’s one of those A-type personalities that you don’t want to get off the phone with him. You’d have to tell him 17 times.
Yet, the focus that he had, I learning the strategies and the system and learning how to tell story and just having a system, all of a sudden he felt comfortable instead of having to get juiced up on coffee to try and hammer through on the phone, which is something I wouldn’t be comfortable with. He could just get out and just tell stories and follow a very simple process that led to the same outcome.
Andrew: All right. So then what was your process back then, the process that allowed you to become a really good sales person?
Matthew: So, for me, I think the first step really was learning how to develop rapport. I had no idea what I was doing when developing rapport. I looked for things. I started researching that you can do things like notice things in their store or if they had a difficult last customer, you’d emphasize with them about the fact that that person was a lot of hard work for them.
Andrew: Okay. The first step was to look for something in the store you could just talk about or to notice the last customer and maybe refer back to them, but you’re looking for something social to talk to them about before you get into their goal.
Matthew: Exactly. People like people they associate with, they feel comfortable with. A lot of times people just go, “Wait a second, back away.” So, focus really is for that. The second thing, because I was cold calling, you had to have a specific line, a reason for being there. The thing I really liked with that is, “A savers package in this area for a specific period, what to make sure you qualify for it.” People love the word quality. If you say you want to see if they qualify, some people would be like, “I’m not even interested, but do want to see if I qualify.”
Andrew: I see. All right. This thing that’s temporarily in the area. It’s special. We might be taking it away from everybody, but we’re definitely not going to keep it going in the area. You may not even qualify for it. That’s a really interesting way to present a sale. “I don’t know if I can really sell this to you and I want to see if you can qualify.
Andrew: How about give me a couple of other techniques that you learned back then when you were selling for someone else before we get into your business?
Matthew: Sure. I think the line then where things change is we then have okay, we’ve moved from a cold call, if you like, to an appointment. At this stage, we’re now having a conversation. I think at this stage, a lot of people what they do is they say, “Great, this person is listening. I’m going to push all these facts on them.” That’s not what you want to do.
What you want to do is you want to ask them huge amounts of questions. You want to give yourself huge amounts of ammunition. You want to make sure that these people go, “Wow, this guy is impressive.” You can’t get there without asking questions. You need to know all about them.
As I said before we got on the interview, you reviewed and checked out a lot of stuff about me. You’re being prepared. You want to make sure you ask great questions. And then you want to make sure the thing is leading somewhere. I think a lot of people, they start talking facts and that doesn’t go anywhere. So, you’ve got to ask questions and then translate them into tangible stories of benefits for the client.
Andrew: What does that mean? What’s a question that you can then translate into a tangible story?
Matthew: Okay. So, the first thing you can ask–this is great for business coaches–what is the problem you’re having in your business right now? Great. Now, are you seeing it as a problem or are other people telling you about it? That’s going to allocate how much money they’re willing to spend on fixing the problem.
But the third one is that if they’re seeing problems within their business, you can then tell them a story of a person just like them of a person in their industry that experienced a problem like that and had a wonderful outcome with you and got a result they would desire.
Andrew: I see. How do you know all these stories? Did you at the time study stories of the clients before you got there so you’re ready to fire them off?
Matthew: [Inaudible 00:17:51] think they need to have lots of stories.
Matthew: A lot of people think they need to have lots of stories. Very seldom do you need a lot of stories. More often than not, you need to have a few stories. You just tailor them to those specific people. If you think of the world of telecommunications, people, their number one objection is that they’re worried something will go wrong in the process. So, you talk about somebody that had that specific problem and overcame that specific problem or got the result they wanted because they trusted you.
Matthew: Other people, “I’m not sure I’m going to save money with you or I’m not sure I can trust you.” Well, again, you talk about someone and you talk about how they did save money.
Andrew: Okay. I see. It can be the same person, same story. But you’re just telling a different part of the story. Got it. This is one of the things that you learn to do is you started making sales. How far did you take this thing before you started your own business?
Matthew: I was the number one sales person at the largest sales and marketing company in the southern hemisphere within about eight weeks of starting there.
Andrew: So, you were basically a guy who just started from nothing, was desperate because the company you worked for before went bankrupt. Do you remember how much money you were making from this? I’m not just asking you, I’m asking the audience also–am I too obsessed with dollars and cents where I’m saying in these interviews we’re trying to change the world, trying to influence people? What about you? What do you think?
Matthew: I think dollars and cents gives people credibility, as you put it. However, I think that a lot of people don’t make great money not because they are doing the wrong thing. They don’t make great money because they’re selling the wrong product or they don’t have a specific couple of competencies they need to have.
I think what you’re looking for is do these people have the total package because they’re the ones that make the money. I think for me–to give you an understanding, I was a guy that was earning $12 at McDonalds. I went from that to earning–I’ve got to get my numbers right–but I was close to $3,000 a week.
Andrew: What’s the one great thing that you bought with it?
Matthew: It bought a lot of great parties, I’ll tell you that.
Andrew: It did? What were your parties like that you would pay for?
Matthew: Frequently, what I would do is I would go out–Melbourne is very expensive to go out–I would go out and I would just enjoy shouting my friends and buying drinks. For me, I think one of the things, number one goal for people that haven’t been successful is they’re like, “I want to make $1 million.” Until you make $1 million, you have no idea what to do with that sort of money. A lot of people say, “I’d do this, this, this and this.” That’s a load of crap. You don’t have what to do with that sort of money until you have it.
So, for me, I had no idea what to do with $1,000 a week. I was earning $200 a week. I figured it out very quickly. And then I started to be an idiot. I spent large amounts of money on clothes and cars and apartments. None of that made any sense.
Andrew: I feel like clothes do. I looked you up a lot in a lot of articles. There were times when I said, “Do I really trust this guy or not?” Frankly, some of the pages that you used to create are still live and they look a little bit off because the links to work on them. But then I saw the way you looked in a suit and somewhere despite myself I said, “Maybe the guy has to something here.”
Now, I can’t say the same for cars unless you could drive your car to the Mixergy studio over here, I don’t think that’s going to have as much impact. But I’m curious. Just for fun, what’s the fun car that you got for yourself and then I’m going to go to an important message.
Matthew: So, I was earning $3,000 a week. This is going to kill you being an American. It killed me when I first got here. In Australia, I remember going into Mercedes Benz and saying, “I have $125,000. What car can I buy?” The response that I got was, “BMW, they’re just around the corner.” I couldn’t get a car on the lot that was worth that. However, I went to BMW and they happened to have a two-year old car that I could buy. It was a Z4. It was $120,000 off the lot.
Andrew: That’s a two-seater.
Matthew: Here I think it’s a kid’s car that you get for $34,000.
Andrew: All right. Still a fun car. We’re talking about the two-seater?
Andrew: Beautiful car, goes with your suit really well. I can see if you’re a young guy, going somewhere in the world, you might as well treat yourself a little bit and maybe show the rest of the people in your life that you’re going somewhere so they feel more confident working with you, I’m guessing.
Let me talk about this company that I think anyone who’s listening to us need to know about. Here’s the thing. I talk about them, but I’m not sure it’s going to be a good fit to everyone in the audience. It’s a company that will help any big, any successful, any starting out even company–wait, I’m not doing this right. I’m trying to use your sales technique and it’s not coming out right.
Here’s the company. The company is Toptal. What they do is they place developers with companies. So, if you’re an entrepreneur and you need a developer, maybe you can find the perfect person for you. If you’re a business that needs several developers, maybe they can find the right team for you. I say maybe because I’m not sure if the person who’s listening to us actually qualifies. You really have to have a product. You have to have a team or a real business for Toptal to want to do business with you.
The reason that it’s so important for you to get to work with Toptal is because Toptal is a network of incredible developers. We’re talking about people who have been screened, who have been tested who have really had to go through so many different obstacles just to make it into the Toptal developer team. When you hire them, you get the best of the best.
So, how do you know if you can hire them, how do you know if you qualify to work with them. What you do is you go to Toptal.com/Mixergy, register right there, they’ll set you up with a phone call. They’ll set you up with a phone call with someone from Toptal who will listen to what you’re working on, what your business is and then will be able to tell you whether you can, whether you do qualify to work with Toptal developers.
If you do and you use that URL, Toptal.com/Mixergy, they’re going to give you 80 free developer hours when you pay for 80. We’ll even guarantee it for you so you have nothing to lose. We’re talking about you don’t pay if you’re not happy. Look for the details on Toptal.com/Mixergy.
All right. I see how you’re doing pretty well here. You then eventually move on and start your business. What gets you to go and start your own company instead of staying in this lap of luxury, $3,000 a week, buying drinks, good suits, good car. Why do you move?
Matthew: So, here was the interesting thing–every time I got promoted I got a pay cut, not a pay rise. In sales, especially commission only sales, the higher you go, the more commission you get off the team you work with, the less money you make yourself, which is great when you have a big dream.
Every time what happened is I got promoted and the next thing I knew I was in charge of this big dream. I got them to sell. I got moved to South Australia and I made it sell more than Melbourne and Sydney put together. All of a sudden, I was doing ridiculously well again. I’d make great money. Then I’d be promoted and I’d move to another place I earned less money again while I had to build it up. Eventually I said, “I don’t benefit from any of the growth after I leave.”
The second thing was I remember when I was in South Australia and I said, “If I move back to Victoria, you need to look after me this time. I’m tired of taking pay cuts to actually be happy.” Sorry. So, I’m tired of taking pay cuts to go and get promoted to help the organization. What they said to me was they said, “Okay, we’ll look after you when you come back.” When I got back, they offered me a $42,000 salary with a target that was ridiculous.
Matthew: I then complained about it and the response was, “Matt, you’re 19. Where are you going to get a job that pays this high anywhere else?” He was right. I wasn’t going to get a job that was going to pay that much anywhere else.
I remember I went home and I spoke to my father and my father’s response was that, “You’re still young. You’ve got a chance to go out and do something on your own. If you think you can, go and do it. Storm the torpedoes. Do it anyway.” So, that’s what I did. I focused at really pushing forward to grow my own business. I started it on the top of a Subway restaurant. Within three years it was the number one business to business brokership in the country.
Andrew: You got yourself an office that early? Why’d you get an office?
Matthew: So, for me, I was hiring sales people, hiring telemarketers. It was all commission only people. I needed an office to house them. Very similar. Today, if you ask me why I would have an office–a lot of what I do is online and a lot of what I do is coaching and consulting. There’s no requirement to have an office.
A lot of what I do is very similar to you. I’m on the other side of Skype and there’s no requirement for that. However, on the flip side, if you’ve got to talk about bringing commission only sales people, they need to see you’re not going anywhere. You’re going to have their money when they want it.
Andrew: That makes sense. How did you get the relationships with all those phone carriers that you were selling service for?
Matthew: My business partner predominately had those. What happened is he had all the contracts but none of the sales guys. He was just running a business him by himself. So, I convinced him, 19-year old guy, “Why don’t we do this together? We’ll be a partnership and I’ll run the sales teams and do all of that. You run the business.” It turns out I run a lot of the business as well. We worked great as a team. He was very involved in sales as well. We had a good dynamic.
Andrew: How do you have all those relationships?
Matthew: He worked for a company, a door to door telecommunications company. The owner wanted to trial out the higher level business to business contacts to try to sell to business. Steve was his test pilot for that. And then all of a sudden, he moved in to–Steve went, “Well, I’m making really great money but I’m getting no support and I’m giving away all the money.” So, he decided to go into business for himself. But he’d already had the contact through that.
But it’s actually not that difficult. If you want to sell Verizon, pick up the phone. That’s what shocked me. Most people will say, “How do you get a contract like this?” You pick up the phone and you call and you ask for it.
Andrew: I can’t imagine that it’s that hard to get to resell their service, probably easier than get them to take care of the service they sold you. As a customer of Verizon, it’s not as easy to get a hold of them.
All right. I see now the idea. I see the business. I’m wondering when you had to hire people and basically fire them up to get them to go out and sell, what did you say? In my mind, I’m picturing some kind of “Wolf of Wall Street” speech where you’re getting them all psyched up and they’re going out and knocking door to door to make sales. Was it something like that?
Matthew: No. It wasn’t anything like that at all.
Andrew: What was your sales pitch?
Matthew: Okay. Firstly, what I found is if you tell people to hardcore sell, it’s exhausting. Constantly focusing and hammering the phones, it’s just too much. One of the things I focus on is I focus on introverted sales, right. I focus on how do you tell stories? How do you engage people differently?
So, when you’re doing the cold calling, when somebody gives you the objection, instead of telling you why they’re right and why they should listen to you, you focus on instead telling them exactly a story of somebody just like them. That makes a hell of a difference. What we would do is I would focus on stories. I would tell them any client that didn’t close yesterday and we had a daily meeting, we would come in and we would role play and I would tell them how I would have handled it differently.
For the new guys, I would do something as simple as when they were at a sale that they weren’t closing, I’d tell them to pick up the phone and I’d tell them to call me. While they’re in the sale they knew wasn’t going to close, I would then close it in about five or ten minutes over the phone and say, “Put me back on to the sales person. I’ll tell them what they need to do.” Then they’d fill out the paperwork.
Andrew: What did you do? That’s really impressive. I can see if I was a sales person where I was going to lose a sale, this guy comes in and turns it around, I’d be in awe. What did you do to be able to close the sale so reliably?
Matthew: So, I think firstly I’m about to lose the sale, they didn’t think there was a sale to be had. I think that’s a real difference. I’m always looking for options. But secondly, what I did is I started asking questions. I’m like you booked this appointment. Obviously you booked the appointment for a specific reason. What outcome are you trying to obtain. What’s going wrong with your telecommunications provider right now?
What are some of the things–you go after the major pain points and then you would then have a conversation about the things that potentially frustrate them about the telecommunications industry. You would then tell stories about the fact that you understand their frustration and here are some examples of things that you personally experience or other people.
Andrew: Go ahead.
Matthew: And then it’s just following through with the process of, “Here’s what I think we can do that will fix the situation you’re in.”
Andrew: The reason I interrupted is these must be some great stories. Do you remember one of these stories that you can tell us now? You must have told them a thousand times.
Matthew: What’s interesting is I haven’t really talked about telecommunications for a long time. A lot of times, one of the biggest objections we would have is somebody that was with Telstra, which is our equivalent of AT&T, the primary service, they’d tried Optus before, which is the secondary carrier. When they first started, their coverage was horrible. They’re like, “I’m not trying you guys again. I signed up for a contract with you. You promised I was going to save money. My phone kept dropping out. There were all these problems.”
So, what I would do is I would talk about a story of a client that I worked with and I would talk about the fact that the reason why John, which is our fictitious customer for today because I can’t remember what the guy’s name was anymore. I would talk about the fact that John was a very successful business owner. He understood the value in saving money because a dollar saved is the same as $4 worth of revenue if your markup is 25%.
We would talk about the fact that the reason he would move to Optus is because he wanted to save money on his telecommunications. He saw the value in saving money. He wanted to work less. He wanted to add additional money to his bottom line. He wanted to buy the kids’ laptops for school and he didn’t have the money to do that. He figured he’d save $300 on the telecommunications bill. Now we’ve got laptops for the children.
However, here’s the problem. All of a sudden he had the phones and they didn’t work. His business started to decline because of this situation. Eventually he went to the telecommunications Ombudsman. He got out of his contract–long ordeal. Completely understand why he would never want to try Optus again. Here’s what surprised me. He understood that the reason why he tried Optus in the past was because he wanted to save money and he valued the ability that savings is the same as money in the bank.
But something went wrong. All of a sudden, he couldn’t benefit from that. He decided that after a long conversation with me, he said, “You know what, Matt? If you’re saying the coverage is better now and I’m not going to have that problem and get all the benefits I wanted in the past with none of the downside that I had in the past. So, you know what? I’m willing to give it a go again.”
He was so glad he did. The coverage has been fantastic. He’s now saving the money. All of that ordeal, while it was a problem back then, things had happened and things have changed. He’s now so glad that he did that.
So, what I always say to clients–and this is what I convert back to the client–what I always say to clients when they tell me the coverage is bad is that for John, John went through the exact same thing that you did. Now we’re talking about the moral of the story, right? However, he was willing to take the risk one more time.
One of the major things that he found that was accessible is now we have a service guarantee. So, for any reason, if you have an issue, we can utilize that service guarantee. You don’t have to fight anymore to get out of the contract. I’m telling you, the reason why we’re in this area trialing out a new savers package is because our service works now.
Andrew: I see what you’re talking about. I’ve seen that kind of thing work. Frankly, in my mind I’m filing away the fact that you were a little bit nervous about revealing your revenues here, and then the next time I talk to someone who’s a little bit shaky about doing it, I am going to say, “Well, I interviewed this guy Matt Pollard. Before the interview started, he was a little nervous about saying the revenue. I said, ‘Go for it. People will respect you more.’ As a result…” the next part is I have to remember somebody who complements this.
They’ll shoot me an email after this interview and I’ll be able to bring it up to the next person who’s hesitant. But I’m constantly filing these stories away in my head. What I find is I often can’t remember them specifically. Did you ever just come up with stories like on the fly that represent a kind of customer you’ve worked with instead of talking about a specific person that you could remember and point to in your phone book?
Matthew: So, that doesn’t really work as well because it feels disingenuous. It doesn’t feel congruent. I think people can tell that you’re stretching. I don’t think that works. Here’s the thing. You interview a lot of people in a lot of different industries. So, you’re trying to figure out a story on the spot. I had five objections, four or five objections that I would get all the time. So, I knew five stories. I didn’t have to think of 100,000 stories. I had to remember five.
Andrew: I see. That’s what you’re drilling into your sales people–remember these five stories. Remember these five big objections or however many that actually happened to be. This is the way that you handle these big objections.
Let me ask you this–before we started, I asked you for a website and I forgot to follow up. What is the website of the business or what was it?
Matthew: It was ChoiceMobiles.com. Sorry–ChoiceMobiles.com.au, which I should tell you.
Matthew: I forget sometimes I’m now an American. I’ve got to remember the .au.
Andrew: So, in Australia, do you have to type the .au in there?
Matthew: Yeah. Every place–America is the .com because we all know that we’re the center of the universe here in the United States. Outside the United States, you have to put .com.au or .fr if you’re in France.
Andrew: But when you’re actually in the country, when you’re in Australia, do you actually have to type in the .au?
Andrew: You do.
Matthew: Yeah, especially because the .com is taken.
Matthew: A lot of people will have .coms and just because we’re in Australia doesn’t mean we don’t want to go to a .com website. For instance, in Australia, I’m sure you’ve got a lot of listeners that Australian. They’re listening to your podcast. They want to be able to find you, not the .com equivalent.
Andrew: And they’re going to type .com. Right. So, this is one of the few times that Internet Archive is down and people always think I only use Internet Archive to take a look at what websites used to look like. I have tons of others.
Matthew: I can tell you my website used to suck. The reason for that is I was 100%. This is one of the things I teach a lot of people. I was 100% outbound focused. I had telemarketers, call centers, direct sales people. That was 100% my focus. Since I moved to the U.S., I made the decision that I wanted to move 100% inbound.
Now I focus on putting information out in the world and bringing the information back. But I think a lot of people, especially a lot of people in the direct sales world, they see the website as storefront, enough to give them credibility but not too much. It’s just enough to prove that you’re not going to run away.
Andrew: What do you mean by too much?
Matthew: They don’t want to put any additional effort in. They put in enough work to make it seem legitimate so that if you hand me a check for $50,000 or $5,000, you know I’m going to be here tomorrow. Especially a lot of businesses that don’t have bricks and mortar, they need to say, “Here, I’ve got a website. Here’s where you find me.” They need to show substance.
Matthew: I think a lot of people–a lot of coaches, a lot of professional services, they have a website just to prove that they’re a substantial business. But I think where a lot of people are wrong these days is that they still focus on outbound sales. I think outbound sales is great for short term acquisition growth to get those success stories. But long-term, outbound sales is really dead. These days it’s really about driving inbound traffic through different social media profiles, through website content, through podcasts.
Andrew: Outbound meaning what you used to have at the time, which was people making phone calls on your behalf and literally knocking on doors.
Matthew: Exactly right.
Andrew: Or just showing up and saying, “Hi, there are no doors to knock on.” So, talk to me a little bit more about how you built up this business. At first it was you going door to door, you selling in addition to people who you hired on commission, right?
Matthew: Yeah. I had 50 people selling. Some of them were admin. A lot of them were telemarketers and a lot of them were direct sales people.
Andrew: They were just cold calling into people.
Matthew: Exactly right. They would call up and they would say, “Hi, is that John?” Because we bought data lists that had people’s names. “John, I’m just calling you about a new savers package we have in your area. I just need to ask you a couple of questions.” Later down the track, once we became a brokership, it was, “Hi, just calling you because we’re a telecommunications brokership. Just double-checking that you’re comfortable with the customer service that you’re getting from your telecommunications provider.” It was simple back then because people hated that, so they were happy to yell about it.
Andrew: You mean they hated their phone provider.
Matthew: They hated the service they were getting. If anything had happened, they wanted to vent.
Andrew: What else did you do that made it so special? We’re still talking about 2003. Telemarketing by then was not brand new. People were at that point were tired of having to get up in the middle of the day to go answer the phone. This was before the period where we hated any calls coming in. Today I don’t want anyone calling me. But back then, they still didn’t want telemarketers coming in. What did you do to separate yourself and get people to actually get people to take your calls?
Matthew: So, this is where I talk about the power of differentiation, message and niche marketing. So, the message that service still matters or that still counts was vital for us because we talked about service and the ability that allowed us to help people.
But secondly, we knew our market space. We focused on people that lived on a trade site. Plumbers, electricians, builders–people that worked on Saturdays, that way they didn’t have to go into a retail store to check their phone plans. But when something went wrong, that’s their mobile number they’re displaying in the classifieds. So, if the phone goes down, they’ve got real problems.
What we would do is we would talk to them about the fact that they’re probably paying a huge amount more than they should because the market has now changed. Most people were just waiting for people to come into the store or they’d focus on big corporate organizations. We were focusing on tradespeople. We didn’t have a huge amount of competition. Later down the track we did. People started to copy us.
But in the short-term, we didn’t. Later down the track though, we would come out and do a complete bill analysis and we would work out the best provider for them. We were a brokership. We would come out and work out exactly what benefitted you and we would sign you up for that product. Most people were trying to sell one specific product or service and we would use that to our advantage.
Andrew: I see. You’re going over their bill with them. Right. That makes sense. Okay. There’s one thing that you told our producer, Brian Benson, was really critical, not just to you, but it’s the lesson you took away from all this for starting a business, for anyone starting a business. I want to come back and talk to you about it.
But first, I want to do two things. I want to talk about my second sponsor, which was really important, and then I’ve been getting a lot of boxes from people. I’m really bad at going through mail, mostly because that’s the one thing I have to do on my own here in the office. I thought, “Let’s just open it up in the interview and we’ll see how it goes.” Lately people have really been enjoying it and I like opening it up with the guest as opposed to just doing it on my own, partially because I feel guilty–Matt, do you every feel this way, guilty when someone sends you something?
Matthew: When somebody sends me a present?
Matthew: No. I haven’t had that.
Andrew: I feel guilty and then I also feel overwhelmed by, “What am I going to do with this now that I’ve got it?” Unless it’s whiskey, in which case I know how to drink it. So, we’ll open up the box here with everyone watching.
But here’s who’s sponsoring the interview. It’s a company called HostGator. If you’re hosting your website–in fact, let me ask you before I talk about what HostGator does, let me ask you a question that way you did with your sales calls. If you had to start over right now, Matt, you had nothing but a hosting package, what would you do? What business would you start? You have nothing but a website?
Matthew: I think with me, I would start the same business that I do now, just because I love doing what I do.
Andrew: You mean teaching?
Matthew: I love teaching people Rapid Growth. Yeah.
Andrew: Okay. Say you didn’t yet know Rapid Growth at the time, but you loved teaching. You have a website. How do you go about starting to teach before you sell a company for whatever, $16 million?
Matthew: Sure. So, I think everybody has something they’re innately good at. I think what happens quite frequently is we try to tag ourselves, “I’m a coach. I’m a teacher.” Well, most people, the major problem they have is they try and put themselves in this category, now they’re competing with everyone else. They can only compete on something like price. That does not work.
The focus really is to focus on what your core competencies are. You’ve had a different upbringing. You’ve had different education. You’ve had different customers and different experiences. You’re not born at–well, I’m 32–you’re not born at 32 with no experiences and no history. You’ve got to look at what makes you uniquely different.
Andrew: Got it.
Matthew: What makes you passionate and then write about that. I think the reason why–Rapid Growth didn’t exist before. People did obtain Rapid Growth, but it wasn’t framed as Rapid Growth the way I define it.
Andrew: I see. This was your passion and also your strength and you decided to teach it. If someone’s listening to this and saying, “I get it. I see Matt saying find a strength. It doesn’t have to be the ultimate strength, just fine one and start teaching it.” Where would the revenue come from? What would you suggest to them if they were starting from scratch?
Matthew: So, first step is, for me, I look at what are my goals? I think a lot of people, when you’re working out what you want to do, you have to work out exactly when you’re doing. In NLP, we talk about–neurolinguistic programming–we look at you’re presented with two million bits of–
Andrew: We just lost your audio. There we go. It came back.
Matthew: Sorry. Our brain takes on two million bits of information every second. Our brain can process 126. So, if we don’t know where we’re heading and we have all these goals all over the place, we can’t get to where we’re going. So, we have to make a decision about what we’re going to do and what our goals are.
Secondly what we need to do is say, “Look at all him competencies we have,” and then say, “Okay. What is the higher level benefit of what I can provide to the world?” So, for me, I’ve got a sales background. But I also am a branding expert. I’m an expert in niche marketing. I’m an NLP master. I’m a business coach.
What I looked at is these are all functional skills. Nobody cares about that but me. Sure, I spend a lot of time learning it, but no one cares. But the higher level benefit of that is I can look at a company from a holistic approach, work out what their unified message is, their niche marketing strategy and teach their sales system. So, for me, I’m uniquely qualified to help people obtain rapid growth.
Andrew: Would you sell it as–here’s what I would do if I were starting out. First of all, like you said, pick out something your especially good at and the very first thing I would sell is coaching, 100% coaching because first of all, coaching, I saw on your site, do you still offer coaching?
Matthew: Yeah. I’m interested in what site you’re looking at. But Better Business Coach Podcast is a podcast that I offer and I still offer coaching.
Andrew: I have like a ton of sites on you. I can read them off. I’ll do this commercial and then I can read them off for you later. Here’s what I would do. I would teach one thing I was especially good at by blogging about it and then I would offer coaching.
The reason that I like coaching is because you don’t have to create a lot of material, you don’t have to start shooting videos, you don’t have to setup all this stuff. You just say, “I’m going to coach.” And people value that one on one relationship because they’re used to seeing a lot of video courses all over the internet, but one on one is a lot harder to get. What happens if you’re brand new and you’re not really good yet at teaching something one on one?
First of all, by doing it, you’re going to get better, but second, here’s what I found–a lot of people, including me, know what they need to do, like what you’re going to tell them to do is not going to be mind-blowingly different, but having somebody watch over them as they do it increases value. So, if you just go pull a book off the shelf and say, “This is the format that I’m teaching right now,” and walk the person through it while you’re on the call with them, have them do the work while you’re on the call with them, that’s a big win for them.
All right. That’s one of many ideas. You can obviously start lots of different businesses. The website that you create to promote the business, my recommendation is that you host it on HostGator because if you go to HostGator, you can have one-click install of powerful software like WordPress or if you want to do more than just install it yourself and manage it yourself.
They also have WordPress hosting, which means you’re going to get virus protection. You’re going to get backups. You’re going to make sure that the plugins you install will not screw up your site, that everything is updated properly so you don’t have to upgrade the way you do with your computer even.
If you want to do other software, they have cloud hosting options, tons of different options. Here’s my recommendation. Go check out HostGator.com/Mixergy. They will give you 30% discount when you sign up at HostGator.com/Mixergy. Create something and then come back and show it to me. In fact, you could just email it to me.
I’m asking for a lot of emails here, Matthew. This is going to really cloud my inbox, but that’s okay. I’ve got someone who helps me. One of the things that we do is Andrea and I will go through email together. We did it earlier today, Andrea, my assistant, for an hour. I can’t answer email on own, but with Andrea there, for some reason I clear my inbox very fast.
Anyway, send it to me. If you create a site on HostGator, send it to me, Andrew@Mixergy.com. If you already have a site and you just want to move it over to a better hosting company, you can still do that by going to HostGator.com/Mixergy.
Why did you sell the business? It seems like it’s going well. It seems like it’s growing. Telecommunications is never going away. Mobile companies are never going away. People’s frustration with mobile is never going away. Why did you give it up?
Matthew: Before we get to that, Andrew, you talked about the fact that you would coach in the last session. You talked about the fact that one of the things you would do is just get out a book and run through that. I think that was one of the key points you made at the end, which was don’t just get in and say, “What would you like me to talk to you about today?”
That’s where coaches go wrong. I think that’s a real struggle point, just going in and saying, “I’m unprepared. What would you like to discuss?” Having a system or a process, even if it’s someone else’s system and process is better than going in cold. I just wanted to cover that.
To go back to why I got out–if somebody had to mention another call rate to me, I would have gone insane. I was just so over talking about telecommunications. On the flip side, what I realized was money was not the thing that motivated me. Actually changing people’s lives and really focusing in one something that was a little bit more personal.
I love working with organizations obtaining Rapid Growth. That company didn’t feel like my own anymore. There was 50 staff. There were people working for me in different states that I’d never met. It just wasn’t as exciting anymore. It wasn’t something I was passionate about.
Andrew: What’s this thing that you were looking out the window of a 50-story building–that’s where your office was–that 54th floor apartment and–is this true? You’re smiling as you’re saying this, but you told Brian, our producer that you were suicidal. Were you literally suicidal?
Matthew: I use the word near-suicidal. I don’t think I would have ever even contemplated jumping. However, I was really unhappy. I won an award in Australia called the Young Achiever in 2007. I thought, “This was me.” I did a lot of what I did to prove that I was significant. For instance, I was very young. A lot of people said I was never going to make anything with my life because of my disabilities. As soon as I had my first taste of success, it was all about showing the world that I was successful.
Andrew: Why did you have this insecurity?
Matthew: Because my whole life I had horrible acne. I had braces right through school. I was made fun of a lot. I was kind of introverted. I was uncomfortable.
Andrew: When you say you were made fun of, what’s the one joke that still lingers with you?
Matthew: So, I used to have really bad acne, like really bad. Occasionally I used to play basketball and a ball would hit me and I remember I had acne and they would break.
Matthew: Right? It was horrible. So, for me, it was about proving to the world that I was worth being here. What I realized is for me, in my head, when I won this award, all of a sudden, it was okay, right? I was now going to be able to say, “I’m a person of significance.” When I won that award, I realized that I had dedicated the last three years exhaustively to something that wasn’t important to me but was important to proving my worth to others.
Andrew: I see.
Matthew: I was lost. At that point, I realized what I was doing was not congruent with who I wanted. Selling something to make money, it helped because it saved the money, it didn’t change their lives. It just saved them a little bit on their telecommunications bill. I just wasn’t significant in my mind.
Andrew: I get it.
Matthew: I needed to find something better. I needed to find something different.
Andrew: How did you find your buyer?
Matthew: We’d had offers already because we were annoying. The fact was we were doing something that no one else was doing. We had people from other telecommunications companies come in under the concept of, “We want a job.” We’d hire them and then they’d try and take back what they did. But we’d change what we do all the time so they couldn’t keep up. There were a couple of organizations that were ecstatic to hear that we didn’t want to do it anymore.
Andrew: Do you remember when the sale came in? Do you remember when the money hit your bank account?
Andrew: What was that like?
Matthew: “Oh shit. What the hell am I going to do next?”
Andrew: Really? You remember actually looking at your bank account and seeing the money in there and you said, “Oh shit?”
Matthew: So, I was overjoyed for a little bit. It’s funny. It’s kind of a sales methodology, right? You’re only as good as your last day. I think one of the things that–it’s interesting with entrepreneurship. We agonize over the things we do wrong. When we do something right, we’re like, “We worked hard for that. We earned that. What am I doing tomorrow?” I really didn’t celebrate my success that I wish I should have.
Andrew: How would you have celebrated it if you did it right?
Matthew: Well, I would like to say that if I hadn’t done it right, I know it sounds stupid, I wish I jumped up and down on the spot and screamed and not cared who heard.
Andrew: I know what you’re talking about. I’ve felt that way too. But at some point you just get so exhausted from having made it to the finish line that you have no more energy to celebrate.
Matthew: I think everyone has the energy to celebrate. I think we choose not to.
Andrew: I will be celebrating this interview. I think I’m doing a good job in this interview. What do you think of it?
Matthew: I think you’re doing well, mate. I’m still dying to see what’s in the box, just quietly between you and I. I’m sure everyone is.
Andrew: I forgot all about it. Thanks for reminding me. This is why people should not send me boxes. This one came from Gina, Gina Downey. The reason I know it’s from Gina is because Gina actually flew–she heard that I was speaking at this event in San Francisco. She flew here to come to see the event. I saw her in person. I took her and a bunch of other people out for drinks who came to the event.
Let’s see what’s in here. I saw it was something big and I said, “This is too much. I can’t.” This is… There’s a lot in here, dude. What does this mean?
Matthew: I have no idea.
Andrew: Right? What is that, Gina? Oh, Mixergy IC. I dig it. Look at the big photo of me. Do you see that?
Matthew: I can.
Andrew: Let’s see what else… Hang on a second. A mousepad–oh, there’s the card. Ah, “Too much to carry on the plane to see you. Hope to see you on Wednesday. Do you get the IC?” No. I don’t think I do. What’s the reference to IC? We’ll find out. Here. This is her card. And then this–let’s just open this up. And then I want to ask you about this thing I teased before I talked about my sponsor.
Matthew: Also, on that note, you talked about feeling bad or feeling guilty that people gave you a gift.
Andrew: I do. You don’t feel guilty about it?
Matthew: I think, again, revel in your success. This person has obviously seen huge value in what you do. They feel like they have a personal relationship with you. They’re demonstrating and displaying that. I think you should feel excited and ecstatic that people see you in that way.
Andrew: I do, but then I also always want to earn everything I have. So, when someone gives me something, I feel like, “How do I go back and earn it, make sure I’ve given back whatever this is, whatever the value of it is?”
Matthew: Do you not feel that what you’re doing right now is earning that back every day?
Andrew: It is, but she would have gotten this even without sending me–this is a flask that was in there from the IC Mixergy whiskey. I do like how she turned the whiskey into the Mixergy logo. So then I feel like, “What else do I need to do.” That’s my hang up and that’s one of the reasons why I need an accountability buddy because I open up gifts, otherwise I can’t do it. I don’t know.
Matthew: I think it’s interesting. I always like to hear about the psychology of people and the things that kind of get in their way. Relationship with money is a big thing for a lot of people. People like to give back to the people they get value off. That gift is not about you, it’s about the person that gave it to you. They felt that you instilled value and they wanted to reciprocate.
Andrew: You know what? Intellectually I get all that, but also, there’s a part of me that goes, “Yeah, he’s just saying that to make me feel good,” you know? There’s a part that’s not penetrating because there’s a wall in my mind that’s stopping it.
Matthew: Well, if you haven’t said thank you–I can’t remember if you said thank you or if you were just excited.
Andrew: That is a good point, actually, I got too much into my own psychology instead of saying Gina. Thank you so much for sending this over to Gina Downey. I’ll send her a note.
Matthew: I don’t think I’ve ever said on an interview before to tell somebody, “Make sure you say thank you.” I think that will be a first for everybody.
Andrew: We’re basically almost saying, “Gina, can you please help reassure me. Make me feel better.” No, I really am appreciative and I’m glad that she sent it over and I’m glad I got to meet her in person. There’s something about getting to meet someone in person that’s really memorable. We spent a lot of time talking about work, about her goals with work and also some personal stuff, which I always like when I get into with people. Gina, I enjoyed getting together with you and I appreciate this gift.
You’re talking about psychology, though, which is reminding me that you said the thing that helped you get here, the thing that helped you build that company is mindset. I had a mental note to come back and ask you what did it mean when you said mindset was so important that it got you what it did?
Matthew: So, I had a disability. I talk about this frequently. A lot of people see me now and they’re like, “Well, you’re obviously confident and you’re articulate. That’s not the case. Before, I struggled talking to my own friends. I had horrible acne. I can show you a photo of my sister’s wedding where I have a whole red face. As a brother, that’s the one thing you want to do. You want to make sure you’re there for your sister and I looked ridiculous.
Andrew: Do it. I would like to see that. If you send me that photo–I’m going to email you right now. Are you going to feel okay about sending it to me?
Matthew: I do keynote speeches where I show this photo.
Andrew: So, I can show it to my audience?
Matthew: You can. I think it’s important for people to understand that these things happen. A lot of times, there are adversities in life and a lot of times we let that be a wall to why we can’t succeed. I find the adversities we experience in life actually stem the success of our future. I think that’s really an important point. I used these weaknesses. I now consume three books on Audible. I listen to 30 blog posts using Lisgo.
I consume huge amounts of content, I just don’t read it. I learned to sell on YouTube, which actually put me ahead of the curve, not behind it. A lot of people are willing to say this is a barrier for me. “Yeah. It’s easy for you. But it’s not for me because…” For me it was like, “How do I get around this problem?”
Andrew: I see. You’re saying that your dyslexia, just to use an example of a setback, actually helped you because it forced you to find new ways to learn and I could understand how learning on YouTube, which for many people would have seemed like the poor man’s way of learning, like second or third or seventh-rate learning compared to reading the book.
I could see how when you discovered it, you understood better, that actually watching Brian Tracy sell or talk gives you an understanding of how the material that would otherwise be flat in a book comes to life in a real sales presentation.
Matthew: Yeah. I think that was one thing. I think the one thing dyslexia really gave me–I need to clarify. I actually have what’s called Irlens syndrome. It’s misdiagnosed as dyslexia all the time. A lot of people don’t know what it is. That’s why I say it’s dyslexia.
The thing for me is having a disability means that the way the world works doesn’t work for you. So, you’re forced to find a way to live in a world that’s not built for you. As a result, you start to find shortcuts. For instance, even though I was introverted, I would force myself to have interclass discussions about a book because I hadn’t read it and I needed people to talk about it in more detail so I could then write the paper that we had to do.
Andrew: I see. All right. I get all that. I get all the benefit of that. I’m glad that I asked about it. I also said at the beginning of the interview that we would be talking about what we’re teaching right now. I’m realizing that we’re 58 minutes and 19 seconds into this interview and I still haven’t asked you about it. Every time you brought it up, I said, “We’ll talk about it later. We’ll talk about it later.” So, I’ve got to talk about it.
Matthew: This is the time.
Andrew: This is the time. This is the moment. This is later.
Matthew: Pay no attention to everything before it. This is the time.
Andrew: Zoom in to this moment. But in all seriousness, now that I’ve gotten to know you, I really do want to know what you have to teach. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to wait on that. Tell me a little bit more about what this means, what you’re selling right now, what you’re teaching people, this mission that it’s better than money for you is?
Matthew: So, the first thing I should probably say is when you say I’m selling, a lot of the stuff I talk about I give away for free. My podcast, Better Business Coach Podcast, gives away the strategies on how to be a better business coach and a blog post on my website called “Why Businesses Only Have Price to Compete” is exactly.
So, if you want more detail, just go to that, check out that. It’s MatthewPollard.com. Just go to my blog and you’ll see it. But the focus for me is what I realized is I started in sales and what I’ve learned is if you start with sales, you’ve already lost. You’re now hard selling a bad message. What I focus on is helping people understand a unified message crafting their unified message.
If you’re a life coach, be a congruency catalyst. If you want to teach people about food, call yourself a food activist. If you’re a videographer, maybe you’re a narrative strategist. But come up with a name that forces people to say, “Oh, you don’t fit into this box, so now explain to me what you do.”
The next thing is don’t invent who you are. Look at the competencies you have. It’s got to be congruent with you. If it’s not, then you’re being disingenuous when you’re speaking. You’re not going to sell yourself, you’ll feel uncomfortable. The next thing is then work out a niche of customers that are going to be willing to buy your product and package and price and only speak to that group.
Now, most people say niche should come first to find the market then define the message. But that means you’re bending yourself to the market. What you need to do is you need to craft the message and then find the market that will buy. We live in global economy these days. You’ll find customers that will rally to your cause. You just might need to look a little bit harder.
Andrew: So, find the message first and then find the audience that it resonates with?
Andrew: That is different from what everyone else is saying. Everyone else is saying the exact opposite.
Matthew: Here’s why it doesn’t work. If I was a product, if I create the product, then I go it’s this market, here’s the message. Let’s look at yourself. You’ve got a lifetime of experience. You’ve got a specific group of people that you’re destined to help.
If you bend your message to the market, then you’re going to pick a market–you’re not going to be genuine about the fact that you can help them because everyone else can help them too. But if you have a unique set of competencies that allows you to help a certain demographic, then that should be where your message sites.
Andrew: So, let’s talk about how you did that. What was the message you discovered and then how did you figure out who the right market was for it?
Matthew: So, what I did is I went, “What am I really good at?” I’m great at creating organizational growth. I’m great at sales. I’m great at branding. I’m great at creating business structure and making sure that companies have a solid foundation for growth. All of that was there are a lot of functional words and I went, “Who cares?” What I realized is that growth is really what I’m focused on. Then what I realized is there are growth consultants out there. What if you stick the word “rapid” in front of it. That’s when I came up with the conceptuality of Rapid Growth.
Then what I realized is there were groups of people out there–like corporate selling products, first thing it didn’t excite me, but secondly, there are a lot of people, branding is really complicated when you’re talking about large corporate product-based companies. I’ve spoken at the Electrolux Conference. So, it’s not something I don’t do. It’s not something I prefer to do.
On the separate, you’ve got all these consultants, professional service people that they have a lifetime of experience they want to share. They left their job, not because potentially they weren’t earning great money, but because they felt like they were destined for something more. These people don’t want to bend who they are, they want to help people.
But then because they’re not making money, they have to bend to the mold. We call ourselves a coach and then we’re like, “Sure, I can help with that and that and that. It’s not what I’m great at, but it’s not what I need to do to make money.” What I do is I get people very, very structured on, “Here’s who I am. Here is the market that I help.” And then we focus on, for short term success, strategic networking to go and get clients speaking to go and get clients.
But long term, because you’re passionate about it, because it’s you, you open up this reservoir if wealth of knowledge and then you blog about it, you create podcasts about it, you use social media to share that message. These days, people are actively looking for a message that speaks to them. The trick is to use the technology and psychology to create a megaphone and point it in the right direction so they come to you.
Andrew: Where do you get your customers? What’s been the best source of new customers for you?
Matthew: Sure. Obviously up until now it was 100% telemarketers and direct sales.
Andrew: For this business?
Matthew: No. In the past business.
Andrew: For MatthewPollard.com?
Matthew: In this specific business, my podcast draws a huge amount of opt-ins and so does my blog. I just migrated from .guru to .com. However, I launched my website in February of last year and my podcast in February of last year and I was inducted into the International Sales Blogger Hall of Fame nine months later. I had 184 followers on Twitter in May last year. In November, I was listed by Evan Carmichael as the 43rd most retweeted business coach on Twitter.
All of this is just to say that the message is what made that happen. Otherwise I’m just like everyone else. So, I haven’t written a huge number of posts. I don’t have anywhere near the number of podcasts you have. I have 25. But the audience is very, very into my content because it speaks directly to them.
What I have is I follow a process that people opt in to my website because social media drives people to my website. People opt in. They then receive 13 emails that then give them value that say, “Book in a phone call with me.” They book in a phone call with me and then I help them for 30 minutes. I keep my promise. I don’t sell to them.
By the end of that 30 minutes, I transition. I say, “I can do one of two things. I can direct you to some great free content I’ve created to help you go the next step of the journey, or I can tell you what working with me would look like. Do you have a preference?” If they say, “Just tell me about the free content,” then I completely uphold that. I give them the content. I send them an email. They’re on their way. If they’re asking what working with me would be like, then I tell them about that too. Some people ask to see both.
Now what I’m finding is I’m so inundated with clients that I am now building leverage products. That’s why we’re at Golden Arm Media at the moment and we’re recording a video. The difference is what I’m doing now, instead of having just me on camera, I’m bringing on real case studies, people I’ve worked with to talk about their unique experiences.
Andrew: I see. It’s all been one on one work with them.
Andrew: What did you charge that made all these phone calls? I actually looked on your site to see what’s the most visited page on your site, LeadPages’ page where you’re collecting email addresses, which as you were saying, your lead magnet is number one. Number two is your calendar, where people can book a conversation with you. That’s a lot of time spent talking to people. What were you charging when you finally got some of them to convert?
Matthew: For me, I don’t really divulge my prices because I charge different for corporate and I charge different for small business. The reason for that is I’m really passionate about working with small business. So, I charge high enough to make sure that people really, really are motivated to work with me. They’re going to do what I tell them to do. So, it’s painful enough to make it do that, but I make sure it’s still accessible to them.
The second thing is part of the training I always do is I tell people never to talk about price until they divulge the true value of what they’re going to get out of it. So, I’m being consistent about the things that I talk about, but secondly, my closure rate is pretty good, you’ll see that I’ve added a lot of people coming to my website, but statistically, the phone calls I make, I close a large majority of them. When I say that, most people close less than five percent, I would suggest. I close probably at least 30% on the call.
Andrew: That is high. I like the way that you make the transition. When you’re a coach, first of all, you get to actually learn people’s problems and you get to help them, which brings a lot of goodwill and shows how good you are. But it’s really hard when you’re a coach to make the transition to now I want to charge you something now that I helped you out. “At this point, we have one or two things we can do. I can point you to some free resources that can help you or we can talk about how you can work with me.” At that point, I think everyone is going to want to know how they can work with you.
Matthew: I think it’s fair, though. You tell somebody they’re going to have a free call. They expect it to be a sales fest. They’re so excited when it’s not. I have this rule. A lot of coaches will say, “Don’t give too much value on that free call because they won’t want to work with you after that.” For me, I’m like give them value on the call, but just let them know that there’s a complete repository of all this additional information that you have to offer. Of course they’re going to want to work with you.
Andrew: What about this? I’m looking at your site. I always do a Google search for site: and then the domain, just to see what pages are in there that are interested. There’s one here that I don’t know if you linked to, but you might have. There it is. You did. Testimonials: My Reviews–I see more people than I can count listed here. You worked with every one of them one on one?
Matthew: So, yeah. There are a couple in there of people that used to work for me that wrote me a few testimonials. That would have been when I was first starting, I wanted to say, “I was a complete nobody.” So, I got five or six testimonials just to bulk it out.
Andrew: But the rest of them, we’re talking about 30-50 of them. Like Andrew Finch worked with you? Christopher Tao worked with you?
Matthew: Christopher Tao was actually my MBA teacher and I actually then trained him on how to train better.
Andrew: What about Andrew Finch, General Counsel and Company Secretary for Qantas?
Matthew: Yeah. He is actually a person that I studied my MBA with and somebody that I did some work with after that. He was one of the five, somebody that wrote a testimonial when I was starting.
Andrew: Johan Borge, CEO of Tech Map?
Matthew: Yeah. Johan is a person I’ve worked with. I’ve spoken at his conference. He’s actually a member of the Small Business Festival that we’re launching in America. We’ve actually launched a brand new festival, the 1st through 7th of May here in Austin that’s all designed around supporting small business and he’s involved in that too. But I started off by speaking at his convention and I’ve worked with him directly as well.
Andrew: All right. I’ve got a sense of what you’ve built here. How do you feel about this interview?
Matthew: Yeah. I feel fine about it.
Andrew: I like the energy of this interview. I like letting people see what happens before the interview starts. Like my last line of defense is my personal vetting of the guest before we start. There’s a little bit of pushing. There’s a little bit of prodding. There’s a little bit of asking last minute questions before we get started.
I like that the audience got to see it. Because I knew the audience got to see my process before, I was more charged up in this interview. I know if you can count the number of words per minute that came out of my mouth in this interview, it was way higher than other interviews because of that.
Matthew: You are speaking to an Australian and we tend to speak quickly as well. So, I’m hoping there was some level of energy. I must say I’ve been in a studio for nine hours, so this is absolute exhaustion that you’re probably seeing now.
Andrew: No, I see rapid fire energy from you too. Are you sweating? Do you feel like you need another t-shirt underneath that shirt or something.
Matthew: I feel fine. I think one thing–this is where I go back to the congruent message, if you do what you love, there’s always more energy to draw on. If you do something you don’t, the end of the day is the end of the day.
Andrew: And I freaking love this. Imagine little Andrew as a kid being told that at some point in the future–I used to read all these business books, I used to dream of starting a business, all this stuff. Imagine if on top of that you say, “Andrew, you get to do that and anyone you want to learn from, you can get on a call with. And you’ve got a good team of people who want to prep you with a lot of research so you’re not asking dopey questions but you’re getting stuff that really matters.” You get to know the person. I would be over the moon. The only thing I would want even more is like $1 billion in the bank, but we’ve got to work on that.
Matthew: So, the question you have to ask is firstly, what would you do with $1 billion in the bank? I’m sure you have the answer. But the main thing is that if you can get to do what you love every single day and you earn enough money doing it–
Andrew: That’s all fine. Imagine if you had a picture that you loved and you just wanted to look at it every day, no one would say, “What would you do with that picture?” They’d understand. They looked at it and you’re going to be really proud that you have it. I’m happy just looking at my bank account every day. That gives me a certain satisfaction. Now, imagine if you increased that to $1 billion, I’d be looking at that all day. Forget looking at my kid’s photos on Cluster.com. I’d be looking at this.
Matthew: What if I said to you for that $1 billion you have to do something you hate for 20 hours a day?
Andrew: Of course not. And I wouldn’t even kill puppies to get to that. So, obviously there are some limits to what I would do.
Matthew: Well, the thing is though, this is one of the things I talk about. I talk about the survival goal a lot. I say a lot of people when you ask them when they have no money and they’re just starting out, whether they’re willing to work the long hours, they’ll do anything to get to achieve earning money and of course they have a $1 million goal. As soon as you hit your survival goal, for some people, statistically $75,000–no happiness increases after $75,000, apparently.
For me, I prefer a little bit more than that. However, when you get to $75,000, let’s say that’s your number, after that, everything else is an opportunity cost. You can choose whether you spend more time with your family, spend some time building a leveraged product so you can then make more money building some other form of something or going on a wonderful holiday and spending time with your friends seeing the world.
Everything is a tradeoff once you hit that goal. A lot of people, because they set this $1 million goal or $1 billion goal, they say one point focused and they’re doing something they don’t love anymore on the way to that goal. I just suggest stop at a certain point, reevaluate and then step forward again.
Andrew: Reevaluate I get into. I think that we can have both, a lot of hard work, a lot of financial success and time with our family.
Matthew: Well, let’s be honest with people, though.
Andrew: You were going to say let’s be honest, our family is not that interesting. They’re mostly boring people. We wouldn’t watch them on Periscope if we didn’t know them.
Matthew: That’s fine. We watch a lot of people we don’t care about as much on Periscope. I’ll give you that.
Andrew: I’m kidding. I love my family. Yes.
Matthew: Your podcast, though, a lot of effort starting, right?
Andrew: A lot of effort starting, yeah.
Matthew: Hard work. I think that’s one of the things that we need to do. I worked 80 hours a week in my first business to get it off the ground. I think a lot of people, they think–this is why I don’t like to talk about money a lot of the time, because people assume, “You’re making great money. Life is easy for you.” I worked really hard for that. A lot of people say, “Yeah, but you were lucky. No. I worked hard. I created my own luck. I think a lot of people create this excuse about luck. I think the focus needs to be you work hard enough, you create your own luck and then if it’s your business, then you own that luck forever and the bank account shows it.
Andrew: I like the way that we just ended that. I can agree with that and I get fired up by that. All right. There are a few websites that I want to give people. First of all, I should say, a moment ago I called it Cluster.com. It’s actually Cluster.co. It’s a really good site for sharing photos.
The second thing is it’s a site–well, here. There is this group of people called The Better Bunch who said, “Andrew, you need to create a good mobile app. And I said, “Yeah, I guess so. People have been asking me for it. Where do I get started? What do I do?” They said, “Let us create the mockup of the mobile app. And these guys were so freaking fantastic to work with them. I just love the app design as they thought it through. I loved collaborating with them. I loved what they did. They created it. They have a mockup.
Anyone out there who wants to see what a Mixergy app would look like–and it would start off by being for members and then afterwards we’d add everyone else–but if you want to see what it looks like and add some feedback, go to Mixergy.com/BetterBunch. You get to see the work that they did for me, give me feedback and if you like it, you’re welcome to go and work with them.
I also want to thank Gina. Gina, thank you so much for sending over the box. That is Gina’s nice card and the box is over there and the flask is right here, which I will have to clean and start using immediately.
I should tell them also about your website. It’s MatthewPollard.com. I like that you’ve now got the .com. What did it cost you to get the .com?
Matthew: It actually cost me $800.
Andrew: That’s it?
Matthew: Here’s the thing. I held off. I bought .guru because I saw a website and it had a 12-year old kid on it. I went, “I can’t buy a website off a 12-year old kid. I’d feel horrible.” Then I had a friend of mine say, “Matt, you do realize this guy might be 45 now. When was the last time the website was updated?” I sent an email to Andrew, who turned out to be his father, the guy is 18.
I said, “How would he love a PlayStation?” And he said, “I’ve spent a lot of money. I’ve been paying hosting since he was born.” I said, “I’ll tell you what, if he’s going to be a coach or consultant, he needs his .com. Don’t take it off him because I wouldn’t steal it from him.” But if he’s going to have a job and not need it, if he’s got a profession that’s not, then you’re actually just stealing $800 from him and you’re going to be paying hosting fees forever. So, ask him the question and make it his decision.”
He was a great guy. He definitely did that. He went and spoke to his son. I actually offered $500 at the start. And then I said, “Because it’s Christmas, I want to buy it for myself as a Christmas present. I’ll give you $800.” That sealed the deal. But I’ve heard the amount of money Pat Flynn paid for his, oh my god. I’m not sure I would have done that.
Andrew: I wonder what he paid for it.
Matthew: $800, unbelievable. I think it’s one of the best investments you can have. Again, I don’t have the numbers, so I’m going to lie to you. But I remember it was a number similar to like $40,000. He tried to buy it for nearly two years and the guy wouldn’t budge.
Andrew: I bought AndrewWarner.com for like $8.
Matthew: Really? We all hate people like you.
Andrew: Wait, I take it back. AndrewWarner.com I had to pay a little bit more for. I had my girlfriend at the time contact them and say she was interested in buying the domain because I didn’t want them to see that an Andrew Warner wanted to buy AndrewWarner.com. It was like $1,000, but it was a long time ago.
Matthew: Good investment, though, I’m assuming.
Andrew: Yeah. I don’t use it that much, but it is good to have it and I do use it enough. All right. Now people can go check out MatthewPollard.com. And of course, my two sponsors for this interview are the company that you can go to when you need to hire new developers. It is Toptal.com/Mixergy and the company you go to when you want to host your own .com, whatever it is or .guru or whatever, go to HostGator.com. They will set you up with a website. They’ll manage it for you. They’ll give you a discount if you use this special URL–HostGator.com/Mixergy.
Wow, this was fantastic. I loved the energy in this interview.
Matthew: Well, I’m glad you had fun. I had a lot of fun well, mate. It was great to get to meet you.
Andrew: I can see it. I like your attitude with it. I always like when I ask a couple of tough questions before we start, not tough, but it’s a tough way to meet someone, to have them just jump on Skype with you and say, “What did you sell your company for? Come one, tell me.” It’s a little bit of a tough question. I respect people who say no. But I like that we were able to–what I don’t respect are people who just fold under that pressure of one question. As soon as I saw you reacted well, I liked it, I fed off the energy and I’m glad I got to do this interview. I’m looking forward to everyone getting to listen to this interview.
Thank you all for being a part of Mixergy. Thank you all for being here. Bye, everyone.