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[Feature Friday] StoryBrand Guide Schell Gower on How Sales and Marketing Should Work Seamlessly Together - The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 23

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StoryBrand Guide Schell Gower believes that marketing and sales should work together seamlessly if you want to run your business effectively.

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She understands that sales can be challenging, but offers great advice on this episode of the podcast about how to shift your mindset so you can start implementing sales without feeling sleazy. 

Schell Gower is a competitive person who’s found ways to build the life she wants. She’s a StoryBrand Guide, a triathlete, and basketball coach who has worked in marketing in the foodservice industry, as a pharmaceutical sales rep, and in her daily life as a mom, wife, and member of the community. 

 

 

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Schell uses her marketing skills and ability to write in more than just the business space. She brings in the StoryBrand principles and her copywriting ability to every aspect of her life. Plus, she’s constantly reading and learning so that she can continue to grow. Schell believes, as Ann Handley, that everyone is a writer, you just have to learn to do it well. 

Her brain automatically jumps to ideas for her clients and she loves working with companies who are really passionate about what they do. She primarily works in the finance, health and wellness, and tech spaces. 

Schell’s advice to anyone running a company now is that it’s not too late to pivot your message and succeed. People might see through the traditional sales tactics, but that doesn’t mean you can’ shift your mindset and start to see sales as it really is: a way to solve people’s problems.

“If you stop thinking of your self as a salesperson and think of yourself as the solution to the problem they have, then, when you’re asking the right questions, you’re uncovering a need that you can offer a solution.”

The point is, salespeople create a need in the company. They then need to work with marketers to get the word out. Those two aspects of the business should work together to solve problems in a genuinely helpful way so that the company can thrive. Right now, that’s exactly what customers are looking for: genuineness that helps them solve their problems. 

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Topics: Marketing, Podcasts, Story

Schell Gower : 

As a pharmaceutical sales rep, I literally have 20 seconds with this physician. So why are you giving me a seven page book? Because I can't. Now granted, there's a lot of information there, I can pick and choose what I want. But still, it's it's a lot of information. And if I leave it with a physician, it's just gonna be stuck on a desk, they're not going to look at it again. And so to me, I feel like marketing and sales, is a natural connection. And when it works right and works well, then you have almost a double threat. Like it's, it is, it is what keeps that motor running because you have marketing who says, "Okay, based on our research, based on you know, what we're seeing going on in in our customer base, this is the messaging that's resonating. Hey, sales. What do you think does this sound right? Yes, okay, sales. Now you're in the field. What are you seeing? What are you hearing? What makes sense?"

Steve Brown : 

Hi, everybody. Welcome to the ROI Online Podcast where we believe you, the courageous entrepreneurs of our day are the invisible heroes of our economy. You not only improve our world with your ideas, your grit and your passion, but you make our world better. I'm Steve Brown. And this is the place where we have great conversations with winners just like you while we laugh and learn together. Welcome back, everybody to the ROI Online Podcast. And today I'm excited to introduce you to Schell Gower. Schell is a StoryBrand Guide. I've gotten to know her through that network. She's excellent. She's someone you need to know. Schell. Shovel, shovel, that's easy for me to say. Welcome to the ROI Online Podcast.

Schell Gower : 

Awesome. Thank you so much, man. Enjoy. You can call me Schell, Cheryl's, shovel.

Steve Brown : 

Shevel.

Schell Gower : 

You might need to start drinking more though if you're going to call me shovel.

Steve Brown : 

This shelter in place thing.

Schell Gower : 

Yeah, I just call it COVID brain. That's what we all have right now. It's a little COVID brain. So, you know, it's like if I don't even know what day it is. Is it Tuesday? Wednesday? Today I thought it was Thursday and then realized, oh wait, no, it's Wednesday so I get it. I totally

Steve Brown : 

And so let me guess you're you're wearing the same clothes several days in a row? I am. I am. Actually it's a clean t-shirt but—

Schell Gower : 

At least it's clean. Yeah. Jeans, yeah, jeans, half the time flip flops. You know, I still like to dress, I like to dress because it gives me a better mind state. You know, whenever I'm wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt I'm like, I really am having a hard time focusing writing this content right now. Maybe I should go work out or play in the yard. So yeah, I try to I try to at least put on something that looks a little bit more, feel, makes me feel a little bit more professional. I think that's my old grandfather's, uh, you know, you you, he was he owned his own business. He was like you dress how you want people to perceive you and it's all about your mind and yes grandfather. So it's,

Steve Brown : 

Well, we're, we're recording a video version of this and you you're on point, you'll your grandfather would be proud. So we appreciate it. So tell us a little bit of backstory you—we'll get to where you are now but let's kind of learn about you and your journey to this point right here on the ROI Online Podcast.

Schell Gower : 

Yeah. Awesome. Ah, wow. So I know I don't look it, but I've been in—it's been about it's been a fun journey. It's been challenging. It's been different. I've done marketing and sales over the course of my professional career. So, started out in marketing, actually for food service with Aramark. And that was a challenge in and of itself. Because who in college wants to eat the food at college?

Steve Brown : 

Oh my gosh, that was like the ultimate marketing challenge. Why'd they pick you. "Hey, convince these kids to come eat this conveyor belt food."

Schell Gower : 

Yes, please. And, you know, it was one of those things. I use this analogy all the time in business, which is, you know, kid, you know, kids, like, I was like, a year out of college. So like kids, you know, a year younger than me. Who were still in college would come up to me all the time and be like, "Ah, man, the food. It sucks. It's so horrible." And I'm like, I'm sorry. I can't do anything about that. And they're like, "What do you mean it sucks. Like, you should be able to fix it." I'm like, "No see, here's the deal. I can't change the way the food sucks. But if you tell me it's too hot, it's too cold. It's too salty. Now you've given me something that I can fix, but just saying it sucks. I mean, sorry, you should fix your taste buds. Like, I don't know what to tell you." You know. So, it was it was fun. It was a challenge, you know, trying to get people to buy food. And then I hated statistics in college. I took it twice, because my professor was monotone and I took it at 2:30 in the afternoon the first time and I and I fell asleep. So I was like, I'm gonna have to drop you and take you in like, I am a morning person. So 7:30 in the morning, I can I can power through. 2:30 in the afternoon, it's time for a siesta. So yeah, so I just, I didn't I did it because I had to because that was part of what you did in college. But that was the job that I learned to love statistics and how powerful, it was, it can be to, you know, determining price points and all that kind of stuff. So that was one of my first jobs and then ended up doing a hodgepodge of some other things and got into doing more. I ended up becoming a pharmaceutical sales rep for about seven years. So that was a lot of fun.

Steve Brown : 

That's not easy to become a pharmaceutical sales rep. Right?

Schell Gower : 

So I—here's a funny, here's a funny story about, not a funny story, but it's one that I use a lot with kids, kids? With people graduating from college. I, so 911 happened and I, at the time, I was still working in food service marketing, and I was on the plane. I was gone from my house from Monday to Thursday. So I had 22 accounts in four states. I was all over the place.

Steve Brown : 

This is every week?

Schell Gower : 

Yeah, every week, every week. So I was in New Orleans on 911 and had to drive back, got a ticket, because they were like, I don't care what's going on in the world, you were speeding, and, you know, five miles an hour in a construction zone. This is Louisiana. So let me just say, construction zone that had been there for four years. So yeah, you know, but anyway, so I quit my job because I was like, I don't want to do this anymore. I want to be home, right? First problem: never quit your job before you have one. Dumb mistake, especially after things like 911 because then you're like, and now there's no jobs available.

Steve Brown : 

Let me write that down.

Schell Gower : 

Yeah, so note to self, case you're wondering. So ended up working for a small promotional products company, just trying to you know, it was a job and it worked well, it was still marketing. It was still helping companies with branding and you know, some of that kind of thing. And several my friends were in pharmaceutical sales, they were like you should do it. You have the great, you know you have the personality for it. You're, you know you're personal, personable, you've got it, you know, you smile, you know. You'd love it, you love it. It took me two and a half years to get into pharmaceutical sales, and probably 20 rejection letters, and most of it was, "Hey, you're great like love your personality. You just don't have the right sales experience to do this." It's like, are you kidding me? So I worked in this pharm—in this promotion products company and created a sales portfolio because I was like, if I've got to get into pharmaceutical sales, this is, I mean, I got to work my way into it. So I kind of think of that as a badge of pride. You know, like a badge of honor like—

Steve Brown : 

Yeah.

Schell Gower : 

That is something I wanted to do. And so I had to do what I needed to do to get there. And then did that for seven years and loved it. I, because I'm a, my dad would joke that I would make a good long haul trucker. I love to drive. So, driving around the state was fun, I enjoyed it. It was great, and talking to doctors about stuff, you know, different drugs and stuff. But I did that for about seven years until my son, my firstborn, was about two and then decided to stay home with him for a while and just kind of see if we could do that whole, if I could, mentally I could stay home for a while. I waited til he was a year and a half because I thought, you know, the first year and a half of life they just pooped, sleep, and eat and I can still do other things while they're, you know, old enough. Yeah, I mean, if that's the rotation, why, why not? So stayed home with him and had my second and, my daughter, and just was a stay at home mom for several years. And then when she started to go back to school, and and in that time, I actually became, I started doing triathlons when she was about a year old. See, my life is an adventure.

Steve Brown : 

You just go, "Hey I think I want to do a triathlon." I was gonna tell you before you go too far, I tried to become a pharmaceutical rep.

Schell Gower : 

Oh you did?

Steve Brown : 

Yes.

Schell Gower : 

Yeah.

Steve Brown : 

They wouldn't hire me because I couldn't say the word efficacy.

Schell Gower : 

Efficacy. Oh, that is a hard one.

Steve Brown : 

That's like a word you have to say. So—

Schell Gower : 

Yeah

Steve Brown : 

It's so hard to get a job. I decided no one would hire me. So I just start my own company. So

Schell Gower : 

Hey, why not?

Steve Brown : 

Alright, back to the triathlon. Try-bath-a-lon.

Schell Gower : 

Yeah, so I started doing triathlons. Because I was like, "I need to exercise. You know, I've had two kids body ain't what it used to be." And, but I get bored. I can't just like go to the gym every day or I can't just run every day. And so, I got on a rhythm of swim one day bike run my, you know, run one day kind of did that. So was was doing triathlons when my daughter was headed into, you know, school age where she was going to go five days a week. I was training for a half distance triathlon. And it worked out really well. I was training most of the day while she was in school, I'd come home, eat lunch, take a nap, and then pick her up, pick both kids up from school. And what I realized was, you know, that's, for me, the triathlon season is, you know, April through about October, you know, is when you do kind of most of the races. And I was like, when I'm done with training, the schedule of, you know, two to three hours a day of training, what am I going to do with my life? Because you can only clean the house so much and both kids were in school. And so, started, was connected, because my husband's an entrepreneur as well. He's a software developer and con mon trainer and so he, he was connected with the startup community downtown. So met up, met a couple of startups and decided, one of them asked me to come on board and help them with marketing. And that's where I started, kind of, building this marketing, solopreneur marketing business, which the whole reason I did it was to have the flexibility to be able to help businesses, help companies, you know, small businesses, startups, with their marketing and messaging, but also have that freedom and flexibility to still do things like this last year, I coached my son's basketball team, and so was able to take time and do that. So that's where this whole journey has led me to. So super competitive person that finds ways to build the life that you want.

Steve Brown : 

And coach a team and train for triathlon.

Schell Gower : 

Mm hmm. I don't like to be idle.

Steve Brown : 

You know, I was thinking the other day, you mentioned coaching your basketball. Did you play basketball in school?

Schell Gower : 

I did. I played. So here's another fun fact, I played basketball starting in elementary school. I played all the way in high school, I tore my ACL, the first time, in ninth grade and then played then got it fixed, came back played again and was looking to, I wasn't going to get a scholarship to play basketball, but I was looking to walk on and tore my ACL a second time.

Steve Brown : 

That became, you're gonna limp on.

Schell Gower : 

And so then I was like, "Well, obviously I shouldn't be playing basketball anymore." And then in college, I'm an, a big athlete. So I love all things sports, and tore it a third time in college. So, got it fixed, got my last, so my third ACL repair was right, probably about a year before my son was was born. And, so now my husband's like, "You're the worst patient ever. Please don't tear it again because I can't do it." Because I'm just I'm the kind of like, I'm just focused about, like, give me what I need and then go away. I love you. It's nothing personal. I'm just dealing with this right now. So, but yeah, so I, I, I love basketball. I love sports. It's, I can be really geeky. We got to catch up on Michael Jordan this weekend because we've watched the first two episodes, which brought back all kinds of fun memories from growing up. So now I got to catch up to the next four that are already out and I have missed them, so.

Steve Brown : 

You played basketball but have you ever coached basketball?

Schell Gower : 

I have. I coached basketball in high school, actually. I coached AAU team, was assistant coach with another coach and then in college, coached a rec-league girls basketball team and did that for several years. Then didn't coach for a few years. And then last year, my son's basketball team needed an assistant coach. And I actually was just, it was a co-ed team because their elementary age. They didn't have a girls league and boys league. So we had a couple girls on the team. And I kept looking at them and like, because I'm a natural competitor, I was like, "God, she would be so good if I could just work with her just a little though." You know how to use your body and, because I'm five, seven, but back in the 90s, 80s and 90s when I grew up, five, seven was tall, and you were a post player. So that's all I know. Like I stopped growing in eighth grade and all my friends got, you know, taller. And here I am a shorty post player. And so I was just, so I helped out last year and then this year the coach was like, "Look, I can't do it. Do you want to do it?" So I became the full on coach this year and had a great season. We were in the top four in the district and—

Steve Brown : 

Wow.

Schell Gower : 

Taught, taught these, had a good team. A lot of these kids are AAU kids. So it was fun to coach them. And, you know, kept me very busy this year. That's for sure.

Steve Brown : 

So our connection is StoryBrand. I have a series of conversations on this podcast with StoryBrand guides. How are you using the StoryBrand framework in your coaching?

Schell Gower : 

It's really funny. I've never thought of it that way. But absolutely, you have to think about each player and what is it that they want. And, you know, some of those issues are, it's not it's not just what they want. Sometimes it's what they want. Sometimes, like, I have one kid on my team, you know, he wanted to play basketball. So we'll just StoryBrand this out real quick.

Steve Brown : 

Okay.

Schell Gower : 

But the problem was, is, he had, but the problem is,

Steve Brown : 

Yeah.

Schell Gower : 

You know, he had some ADHD issues and some stuff going on in his life that was really hard for him to handle. And so, emotional trauma, you know, his uncle and his aunt were trying to, you know, mentor him. And so, you know, for a normal kid, you just be like, "Well, that we would, you know, like, you do this and you're done." And so I'm a little bit more soft and compassionate. And so I was like, "Okay, here's our, here's what we're going to do, these are the steps you're going to do, we're going to do this, this and this. And I'm going to give you chances, and we're going to work through this. And at the end of the day, you can stay on the team." And so it was good, it worked. You know, it was really hard at the very beginning. And a lot of, you have to give a lot of grace and allowance but just like in marketing, you know, you, you create something you think that's the best, this is the plan. This is the word that's gonna use this is the, this is how we're going to execute it. And then you start getting analysis back and you go, "Okay, now we've got to shift, now we've got to change how we do stuff." So it was the same thing with these kids. I mean, each one of them had their own sets of challenges. And you kind of come up with a plan of how you're going to execute and what we're going to do. And then you play a game and you sit there and you go, "Okay, this was good for this team. But that's not going to work next week." Because, again, I'm the, I'm a researcher. So I research all the time. I research, the stack of books that I have right now to read for business. I don't read for pleasure. I actually my pleasure books are business books.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah.

Schell Gower : 

I have very few books that I read that are fiction. And so I would stick around, I would look at the schedule, like who do we play next week? Okay, so here's my plan. Like every week, this is my plan. We're going to we're going to get there an hour before. I'm going to watch the game before and see what notes I need to take for this team. And then we're going to play the game and then I'm going to see who do we play next week. And maybe, I mean, it ended up being I would stay for two hours and watch two games so I could scout the team behind them because, right? Because if I want to know what my competitors are going to do, then I can make a plan. So I would, I would research that team and I would create a plan so that we could execute the next game. So yeah, I do a lot of that I do a lot of, so that's how, I mean StoryBrand's just part of, it becomes a part of you that you don't even realize you're doing it when you start looking at things unless you start a conversation, "the problem is," and then we all just kind of chuckle.

Steve Brown : 

Right.

Schell Gower : 

Because it's so natural to us to say "the problem is," but it's just like, yeah, we're StoryBranding right now.

Steve Brown : 

So that's awesome. I love that. The folks that you work with, you kind of have to coach them as well, because if they haven't, they didn't come to you because of StoryBrand. You, you're trying to bring them along a little bit. Let's talk about the kind of folks that you work with and coach.

Schell Gower : 

Yeah. So I primarily focus on small businesses. It's, I like to work as much as possible with the decision maker just because it's just easier to come up with a plan. And they know their business more. So a lot of the people that I work with they are, they do marketing and. So it's a business you know, it's, they do marketing and sales, they do marketing and bizdev, they do marketing and whatever, right? Like most of these smaller businesses, marketing is a hat that they wear, but it's not the only hat. So I end up working with a lot of those people because you you understand exactly what it is that they need. And we can, we I do really, I love brainstorming. I can't help, I record every single meeting I do because we might be sitting down to meet about social media campaign or website redesign. So let's say it's website redesign, we'll start talking about website redesign and, and content and what's gonna go on there. And hey, asking questions like probing questions that we're talking about to kind of get more material. And all of a sudden, I'll be like, ooh, you know that video that you have, what we can do is we can put it here, then let's splice it up into six, paces, six spots. We'll repurpose that on social media. And then we'll take those and we'll actually put that into an email drip campaign. Now, we originally got together to talk about your website, right? But now I can't help that my brain just automatically jumps to hey, here's this idea. And here's this idea and here's this idea. So I love working with those types of companies who are really passionate about what they do because it makes it so easy for me to just bounce ideas. So you know, there's a lot of companies out there that that hey, they got this guy, this is what we're supposed to do, and that's fine and, and, but where, you know, my excitement where I get energy where I feel like I'm coaching again, you know, coaching the kids on the basketball court is when I'm feeding off of that energy from a business owner who was like, "Yes. And then we can do this." And so now we're like, it's just lighting up just brainstorming and coming up with all these ideas. So I've worked with companies I've got, like the companies I've got right now I prefer or I guess most of my niche is in I have a lot of financial advisors. And so I know reading a lot about the economy right now. It's great. So, so much fun. But it is interesting, I find that fascinating. Like I said, knowledge to me is my, I love it. So whether it's the brain, finance, whatever. As a health person and a fitness person, I love working with anything about health and wellness. I mean, that's just it's so easy for me. Because I've studied it you know, when I was doing triathlons and doing when I did my half distance triathlon. Lots of research on, you know, macros and micros and you know, all of those like things that are just you're going like, "What am I? What am I eating for lunch today? Okay, we'll have to make sure that my fats may, you know, like fats and protein and then do I need simple carbs or complex carb?" You know, all that stuff. So yeah, it just and then those are kind of my main two. And then because my husband's a software developer, and I've been around tech talk for 20 years, and worked with actually helped put on a tech conference every year. So tech is fun for me as well because it's just I get it, I get all the different developer languages, all the different kinds of nuances when it comes to tech. So it's a lot of fun as well. So those are kind of my three primary groups that I work with. And then you get the odd balls every once in a while which are fun as well.

Steve Brown : 

It's funny that you talk about, marketing is a hat that you also have to wear. It's usually like the hat that someone looks like, "Who else has been wearing this?" They're, they're, like really hesitant to put it on. Yuck. Right? But you're taking them and getting them excited about that. Yeah. Well, let's talk about why marketing needs to support sales.

Schell Gower : 

Yeah.

Steve Brown : 

It can't, they can't be alone. They can't be by themselves. They need to work together.

Schell Gower : 

Yeah. You know, I, I graduated in college with a degree I actually probably could have I'm like with two classes away from a double. I mean, it's all business right? BA. but I took marketing and sales because I love both aspects of it. And I've always believed they go hand in hand. They're not, when one, when marketing is doing their thing and not talking to sales, sales is at a disadvantage. Like when I was a pharmaceutical sales rep, I think of this all the time, they'd give you this booklet. So they's give you this booklet, right? And they're like, "Okay, now, we're not going to look at these first four pages. We're just going to turn to this page right in this one paragraph right here." And I thought to myself, how silly is that? That a marketing team has spent, you know, and they've done the research. I'm not knocking, I mean, this is what we do for a living, right? They've done the research, they know that this works. But when there's a disconnect between who's in the field and realizing, okay, as a pharmaceutical sales rep, I literally have 20 seconds with this physician. So why are you giving me a seven page book? Because I can't, now granted, there's a lot of information there. I can pick and choose what I want. But still, it's it's a lot of information. It's, and if I leave it with a physician, it's just going to be stuck on a desk, they're not going to look at it again. And so to me, I feel like marketing and sales, is a natural connection. And when it works, right and works well, then you have all Almost a double threat. Like it's, it is, it is what keeps that motor running because you have marketing who says, "Okay, based on our research, based on you know what we're seeing going on in in our customer base, this is the messaging that's resonating. Hey, sales. What do you think? Does this sound right? Yes. Okay, sales. Now you're in the field, what are you seeing? What are you hearing? What makes sense?" And they say, "Oh, well, you know, most of them really don't care about this. What they're asking me questions is like, Oh, I need this I need Okay, great." Well, let's form some—now we'll give you the right material that you need to close the deal and the right messaging. And then we'll still keep feeding the pipeline with a different, you know, maybe an altered message that kind of gets people in the door so that you can translate or transfer that into a closed deal. But when they work together, that's when you get, it makes it so seamless to just close the deal at the end. When you're focused purely on sales. Do you become that, like, almost that sleazy salesperson that no one wants to be at all, nobody wants to be that sleazy salesperson. But your marketing has done all this hard work, right? Like it's done all the work. And now you're you're sitting there going, "Okay, now I got to get my salespeople on board to come up with something." A good example of this I'll tell you is working with a local store and one of the local, like, ups stores. So their whole sales, their whole floor is salespeople, right? Like they're customer service, but really they're salespeople. So I walked in with one of the companies the other day and and I was like one of the local stores and they had brought me in to kind of talk about marketing messaging and how that relates to them as as floor people as customer service salespeople. And I said here's the deal. It's a mindset is, easy for me to say.

Steve Brown : 

It's easy for you to say.

Schell Gower : 

A mindset shift. Which is, they don't want to see themselves as salespeople. Right? But they are. Okay, so instead of thinking, and this is how StoryBrand comes into play, which is, you know, we're doing the store is doing all the hard work of promoting the business, the offerings things that they're doing, doing the email drip campaigns, all the things, right? All the Facebook's all the socials, you know, trying to get people in the door. Once those people come in the door, it's up to the team to get that, you know, they're trying to like make every sale $45 Okay, so for some of those people, they're, they're, like, shy, you know, they're not salespeople, they've never wanted to be a salesperson in their life. So asking them to get to a certain threshold, they're like, "Oh crap. How am I supposed to do this?" And I said, here's where the difference is. If you stop thinking of yourself as a salesperson, and think of yourself as the solution to the problem that they have, then when you're asking the right questions, you're uncovering a need that you can offer a solution. So now you're not a salesperson. Now you're just giving them a solution to a problem that they have. Now, does it happen to increase your ticket sales? Absolutely. Are you selling? Technically, yes. But, it's shifting that, how they think about it to be: I'm not a salesperson. I'm a person that is trying to ask the right questions so that I can give them the right answers. Hey, what are you shipping today? Okay, well, you know, this is a really, it's Mother's Day, like you want to make sure it gets there on Saturday. Is it is it important, you know, is this is this important? I'm trying to say, "Oh, well, let's make sure Oh, it's going in this neighborhood? Well, you know, we've had a lot of problems in this in this area. So I would highly recommend..." So now you're, you're uncovering problems and you're offering solutions and you're giving it them the choice to say yes or no. And so that's how I feel like like StoryBrand, and also just marketing the sales works together. Because otherwise you're just, one hands doing one thing and one hands doing the other. And sometimes they collide, but not often.

Steve Brown : 

I want to pause here just for a moment and talk to you about a program that we have just released called the ROI Quickstart Academy for authors. Every day, I talk to business owners just like you who struggle with quickly getting their fundamentals in place. We want to create a great foundation and we want to grow our business, but the things that are in our way, are lack of knowledge about the specifics, we should put in place. What kind of technology? What kind of messaging? And what kind of campaigns? And that problem exists for authors as well. And we just gel so good with authors because, well, I'm an author, and I understand everything that you struggle with. You have a great idea, you have a great book, but what do you want to do? You want to get your book in front of more people, you want to make it easy for them to find you, learn how they can schedule a time to talk with you, hire you for a conference, or maybe sign up for the services that your book promotes. So what is the Quickstart Academy for authors? Imagine working with a small group of like minded authors and the experts from the ROI Quickstart Team. It's a great way to get your messaging clear, to be confident with the technology in your marketing automation, and how to run a strategic campaign to get you more of what you want from the investment of your book. To learn more about the Quickstart Academy for authors, you can visit ROIOnline.com. Or click in the link in the show notes below. And now, back to this episode. It's frustrating to watch that. It's, people don't want to be sales and that's like the hat nobody wants to wear.

Schell Gower : 

Right.

Steve Brown : 

Right.

Schell Gower : 

Marketing is a hat that we'll wear sometimes and want to know who wore it last. Sale is like, you know, like, are you sure? That might be kind of dirty?

Steve Brown : 

Right?

Schell Gower : 

I don't want to wear that.

Steve Brown : 

That won't fit. No. Never.

Schell Gower : 

No, it won't fit. I'm not a salesperson.

Steve Brown : 

But salespeople they need, if they're working to make a quota, then they don't care about if it's a good fit for the other person, they just want to make the quota. But if you flip that and go, you're just helping them solve a problem. That's a different thing. To work to help someone, right?

Schell Gower : 

Yeah, there's a there's a book because I'm all full books. Marketing Rebellion, one of my one of my favorite books I've read recently, and it's not sales-oriented, but it is talking about how customer behavior right now is so human-based, that that we're, which is so silly right to say it's so human based. But, as salespeople, like people are, the traditional sales tactics aren't working anymore, because people see through it, like they just see through it. So you can't, you can't just be the like robo-call, well, obviously, because everyone thinks you're a telemarketer now, but you can't, you know, you can't just dial for dollars. Like that doesn't work anymore. You have to create a need, and then you as salespeople, we have to say, "I understand your need. Let's dig a little bit deeper and make sure that I get it. And then if I have a solution for you, great. And if I don't, then I'll tell you." You know? And that genuineness is what customers are looking for right now. They're looking for real, genuine, he wants to help me and when you can uncover that, and you can speak to that need, then it makes the sales so much easier. Then you're not a sleazy sales guy. Right? You're just solving problems for people.

Steve Brown : 

You're telling that bodyguard in there, there's the old part of the brain, I call the body guard, it doesn't process information, but no decision is signed off on until, till that part of the brain, the body guard, says, "Okay, you're safe." So asking those questions, the body guard says to you, "Okay, you're safe here this this person is wanting to help you so I don't need to get you out of here because you're in danger."

Schell Gower : 

Yeah, yeah.

Steve Brown : 

Copywriting. You copyright for your basketball team, your triathlons, everything, no?

Schell Gower : 

Yeah, pretty much. You know, some—I was talking to somebody yesterday and I don't really, you don't realize how much copywriting you do until you are like, what I mean, I copyright for my PTA for the neighborhood pool for, you know, you know, all the things, right? I do all that. But yeah, I mean, you find yourself rewriting content all the time. I rewrite even If it's not for business use, I'm just in my head going like, "I wouldn't have said it that way I would have said it this way." You know, different tweaking it. But yeah, I write copyright. I do copywriting for websites obviously. Just finished two different email drip campaigns for clients. Working on, you know, making sure we get it in their voice, but also following this sales protocol. Try, one's trying to launch a new online course. So working on that sales plan, that sales kind of funnel and email drip sequence. And then, I don't do as many blog posts as I as I used to do, which is fine. But yeah, I mean, just copywriting is, everybody's a writer. I mean, even even those of us even those who don't consider themselves a writer, you are a writer. One of my favorite, again book people, and marketer, she's a fantastic marketer Ann Handley. She has a book called Everybody Writes, and I love it because it really is saying, "look, we all are doing it, let's all do it well." And so just constantly working on, whether it's a Facebook post, social media, you know, any kind of social media post, blog post, email, drip sequence, whatever it is, you know, having good copy, making it sound relatable and personal. Because I grew up, you know, old school business, so I have to even catch myself sometimes writing you know, business BS. You know.

Steve Brown : 

Only during this time, right?

Schell Gower : 

Yes, exactly. But, you know, just writing, writing slipping into those old habits of those comp—that complicated language that we grew up that I, you know, grew up writing and then now it's like, no, like, snap out of it. Nobody knows what that means. And if they do they, you're gonna fall asleep while they read it. So let's, let's create something a little bit more engaging and happy. So yeah, it's, I mean, that's the part of, I loved English and literature growing up. I just did. And my mom, of course, probably has to do with the fact that my mom was an English teacher, so it doesn't hurt. But yeah, I love, I love books. I love reading. I love writing. And it's just a lot of fun. It's a lot of fun.

Steve Brown : 

So during this time where we've been sheltering in place, or your, your clients are having to deal with approaching business a little bit differently, what are some of the things that you've been helping them with?

Schell Gower : 

One of the businesses I met it's Richardson Bike Mart out of Texas. So they're a client of mine and, been doing more of just us coaching. So one of the things I offer too, is, for companies that maybe have their own marketing person and they just want a second set of eyes. Like, there's, they want to make sure that either they're keeping that StoryBrand messaging going, or they just want to make sure, because they're so close to it, they just want a second set of eyes to make sure that things are going okay. So we've been working on a lot of different messaging standpoints for them, but they actually had to do a complete pivot of their business. So think of it this way: your local bike shop. You know, you go in, you look for you look at a bike, you buy tubes, and tires and nutrition items, and just they have all this stuff, right? So there, so where they were located, they were deemed as necessity, but with limits. So, they were deemed a necessity only for getting bike serviced. So they couldn't have any retail presence at all. So nobody could go into the store and buy a bike. Because they weren't close, they were not able to do that. And we had talked about over, you know, when we started the year, we said, "Hey, this year, we really want to explode the online market." Because that's an area of growth for them. And so we were looking at how are we going to do that? How are we going to push some more online sales? Well, then this happened. So it's like, okay, now if we want to have a business is the only way we can have a business. So we started working with, okay, how are we going to do this? How are we going to promote it? Some ideas bouncing around. And were able to help them, I was able to work with them on, how can we create the right messaging to get people excited about, hey, you can go online, we'll help you pick out the right bike for you. We'll make sure that, we'll assemble it and then if you live within a 10 mile radius, we'll drop it off and make sure that it fits.

Steve Brown : 

Awesome.

Schell Gower : 

So now you've removed the barrier of, hey, everybody wants to I mean, I don't know about you where you live, but I, there's more people walking my neighborhood than I've ever seen. At every trail, that used to be like, you could go whenever you wanted to. Now it's like okay, well if we're gonna go ride our bikes right now we need to go to like the Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot and start there. Because there's no way we're gonna make it to the bridge and park at the you know, at the regular, that's not going to happen. So. So everybody's out doing exercising and now they were able to, you know, completely pivot their business, create the messaging that says, "look, we make this easy." That's the hard part is when you think of online sales. And really, when you look at bikes, and you're going to invest, you know, several hundred, if not thousands of dollars into a bike, you want to make sure it's the right fit. You want to make sure that it's the right type that you want. Like, are you a triathlete, and you need to tribike or do you, are you a mountain biker? Or do you want a Fat Tire? Like there's so many different options. Or do you just want to fiddle around with your kids on their bike? You know, so many different options. And so, we were to able to help them pivot that business and get their messaging dialed in. Social media, emails, all of that, so that they could really keep that, but I mean, they exploded. Like, couldn't couldn't do it fast enough and have made, have been able to survive in this time. And you know, now we're looking at, okay, now you've got all these new people with new bikes. Now what's the next step? You know, it's we got to start building nurturing campaigns to this is how you care for it, this is what you do because some of these people had a bike in their garage for the last 20-years now they just bought a brand new, you know, a couple hundred, thousand dollar bike.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah.

Schell Gower : 

Let's keep track like, let's keep it going, you know?

Steve Brown : 

Take care of it like I do my swim? Or what do I do here. Yes.

Schell Gower : 

Yeah. So it's been fun.

Steve Brown : 

I like that, I find that folks, what they may not have considered as far as technology or an additional level of connecting with an audience that you haven't really began to grow. Like now all of a sudden, "yeah, let's really consider that." They can do a sprint for a little bit.

Schell Gower : 

Yeah.

Steve Brown : 

Come out of this and they have an additional level or channel of connecting with folks, maybe they would have neglected for a longer period of time.

Schell Gower : 

Absolutely. And I think now, and this is a part of it is because of all the things that I read, and part of it as being in technology a lot because of my husband, and connected just to that industry is our mind. We are shifting, you know, business is not I mean, I think the new Ann Handley said it several weeks back and now I'm starting to see a pop up everywhere, which is there's a new normal, and I think this new normal is going to even shift again into another new normal. Online is where is where you need to be because we as consumers, and I think you mentioned it in your book, but we as consumers are getting used to when somebody does something really well we expect that right? We expect Amazon to click and ship and not have to think about it. So as businesses, even small businesses can come up with a way to, to transition their business, and maybe we are going to be able to open up and full go fully. But I mean, for example, in Arkansas, you know, in most of these states, it's at 33% is like the max capacity for some of these places. And so if you don't have an online presence, if you don't have a way for people to engage with you and to work, and this is going to be this way for a while, and so it's not too late. I think a lot of people may think it is too late to shift or is too late to kind of like, what do we do? But, I think what this has offered all of us is an opportunity to say one it's not too late you can shift now, totally shift now. You can totally change your messaging now. You can totally create something now. If you have done that and business does go back to normal, always know in the back of your mind you need to have a plan B for when and if this doesn't shift. Now what are we going to do? Because I think a lot of businesses were caught off guard. And I mean, I don't know, I don't know about you, but I had a lot of people that just was like, "I don't know what to do. So I'm just gonna watch Netflix and chill." Like, just staring into, and that's okay. Like, there's a time for that there is a time to just be overwhelmed by everything and then go like, "okay, but now's the time to say, okay, I've done that. Now I got to figure out something else. Now I got to make a shift. And what are we going to do? And how are we going to plan and how are we going to execute? And if things go do go back to normal, great, and if we needed but if we don't, if they don't, this is what we're going to do to succeed and this is how we're going to do it." So yeah, it's a I mean, legitimate crazy time. But it's so fun. So many opportunities out there for people. So many.

Steve Brown : 

I wrote a blog, titled, why can't you just do a zoom call? I can imagine all the conversations. Salespeople come back in the office and they're used to driving their car around and doing their calls and, and getting on a plane and going out to dinner with the clients and stuff. And so they're going to go in and go to the CFO or the whatever and say, "Okay, I'm going to do this trip. So I need my budget, and I need to get airfare and, and we need to get all this."

Schell Gower : 

Yeah.

Steve Brown : 

And the CFO is just going to go, "Why can't you just do a zoom call?" I just see that salespeople are having to pivot now. And yes, well, there's times that you do maybe want to travel but there's a lot more that you can do, respectful of other people's time. They don't need to pick up the airport or you know, "Honey, I got to go out to dinner with Steve, the sales guy tonight." Whatever. It's like, let me do the zoom call, then, honey you and I can go out to dinner, right?

Schell Gower : 

Yeah. Well, think about it this way too. Here's an idea, because I can't help it. What if you took some of that sales travel budget and you worked with your marketing team on some type of like sales kit that you shipped to your client, because you can't take them out to dinner, but you give them something of extreme value that they're gonna love. And then we have a zoom call. Right? So now you've given you've worked to sales and marketing together. I'm still I do all of my calls on zoom. Like I have a few clients locally, but every, I got aaccounts, I got Dallas. I've got somebody in Sacramento, I've got somebody in Florida, I've got people all over the place, right? So why not use that sales budget, instead of spinning, what $1,000 if you go airfare hotel one night or an Uber and dinner? Take that same money and invest it in some kind of really valuable sales that gives that same warm fuzzy. Obviously, there's times when you're gonna want a handshake and you're, well, fist bump. There's going to be some of that, that's not going to go away. I mean, we like the human connection, obviously. But in some of those instances, why not create something where sales and marketing can team up and deliver a really nice package to a prospect, and really make it feel warm and fuzzy and really give as best as you can? And, hey, who knows in June, we may be back to lockdown. And so now this like I said, now's the time. Like, let's shift our thinking, let's figure out what it is that we're gonna do. Because, yeah, maybe we can do some different things, we can kind of go back a little bit to normal now, but what happens if it goes back? We gotta have a plan. Now's the time to make it.

Steve Brown : 

Love it. So if someone's listening here, and they're like, this chick has her stuff together. We need her coaching our team. How do they connect with you?

Schell Gower : 

Well, you can check me out on LinkedIn, and, Schell Gower. And also clearmark.io. Because my husband's a tech guy, so the bio. Those are two great places to catch me. I'm also on Twitter occasionally. But if you follow me on Twitter, it's either going to be arguing over who is greater, LeBron James or Michael Jordan. We all know the answer to that: MJ. Or, you know, just I, I do a lot I do on Twitter, I do a lot of marketing, just looking at, hey, this person really knows what they're talking about. This is great article, or whatever like that. So those are the great places to catch me. And I'm going to start this week, I've got my pile of books I've been reading. So I need to start doing some composites and throwing them out there because lots of good information out there that can help you with your business and just help you personally, which is this time that we're living in, man, take avantage of not having to do all of the, for me as a mom, all of the school stuff. So I'm enjoying that part. I mean, I do, I do miss it a little bit. But it is nice to not have to go sweat at field day. So there's that.

Steve Brown : 

Schell, I'm so grateful that you came on to the podcast and it took a little while to get you to come out of your shell. But this has been great. I value and I appreciate you. Thanks for being on the ROI Online Podcast.

Schell Gower : 

Thank you so much for having me. It was a blast.

Steve Brown : 

All right, that's a wrap. Thanks for listening to another fun episode of the ROI Online Podcast. For more, be sure to check out the show notes of this episode. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn where we can chat and I can help direct you to the resources you're searching for. To learn more about how you can grow your business better be sure to pick up your copy of my book, The Golden Toilet at, surprise, thegoldentoilet.com. I'm Steve Brown, and we'll see you next week on another fun episode of the ROI Online Podcast.