Pro-Level Business Development for Professional Services
with Conrad Zolman, Director of BD Fifth Avenue Brands
The process is important when it comes to potential client outreach. Conrad Zolman, Business Development Director of Fifth Avenue Brands, shares his process for ideal clients and how he gets down to the emotion of a sale. His outreach process is unique to each client and proves the value his company can provide, these tips are invaluable and translate well to many professional service companies.
Notes from the Show
How are you reaching out to your ideal clients and is it working? Conrad Zolman is the Business Development Director for Fifth Avenue Brands. In this interview, Conrad shares his process on identifying ideal client profiles, how he reaches them, and what happens next.
What is an ICP?
An ICP is an Ideal Client Profile and is essentially your perfect potential client. Conrad identifies these as targets for outreach. Because Fifth Avenue Brands works to provide consistent press coverage for their clients, Conrad looks for recent media coverage on these companies and how he can initiate or expand that coverage.
First Contact: The initial message to an ICP would involve connecting on LinkedIn or an engaging email, identifying their pain point (in this case minimal or lack of press coverage) and how they can help.
Following up: While it is valid to check up on emails and verify if they’ve gotten your messages, follow-up emails are a great tool to provide third party content, valuable information, and engage conversation. Conrad uses follow-up emails to educate his clients with studies and information that supports his goal to help the ICP.
Managing Potential Client Flow:
How you divide your time between finding new ICPs and circling back to connect with old ICPs is really important. Older ICP leads are not dead interactions, there are a variety of reasons a company might not be ready to work with you or commit to a sale. Fine-tuning how to reach out to these past leads on a consistent basis is equally important to generating new leads and initiating content.
The Goal is Conversation
An email exchange is great but an actual conversation is going to get to the root of the need and build rapport. Conrad gets down to the emotion of the sale and how that impacts what a company truly needs.
Conrad Zolman outreach process translates directly into the professional service space. If you’d like to follow up with him, you can connect with him on Linked In or via email.
Cold outreach & the importance of process.
Finding ideal prospects & building rapport.
Challenges of sustaining lead flow.
When a change of mindset is needed.
What management can do to help make the process successful.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Charles E. Gaudet II - CEO & Founder | Business Coach for 7 & 8 Figure Companies - Predictable Profits | LinkedIn
Transcribed by AI Susan Tatum 0:37
Hi, I'm Susan Tatum Welcome back to stop the noise. And today my guest is Conrad Zolman, who's the Director of Business Development at Fifth Avenue brands. Welcome, Conrad.
Conrad Zolman 0:48
Thanks. I'm excited to be here, Susan.
Susan Tatum 0:51
I'm really excited about this conversation, because when you and I talked previously, I was just so impressed with what we talked about with the processes that you've put in place. You've been there for a few months, right?
Conrad Zolman 1:04
Yeah. that's correct
Susan Tatum 1:05
You've got business, you've got like a true sales and business development background.
Conrad Zolman 1:09
Yeah, yeah. I've been in business development full time, probably the last year and a half, two years. And then I would do it on the side for three years before that. So yeah, my background is definitely in that realm.
Susan Tatum 1:22
And you, you've worked, Is it all been in professional services, or have you worked in other areas.
Conrad Zolman 1:27
I bounced around, I think, for me, I wanted to find something I was passionate about. And so for me, I wanted to find out if I was good and passionate about SAAS, or if I was passionate about services. So I bounced around back and forth for the two over the last five years. And I found that professional services is where it's at, for me, I love it, I think the value you deliver there is apparent, the problems you solve are so tangible. Where it's hard, for me at least to conceptualize in SAAS, the actual value of platforms driving is hard, where for professional services, whether it's marketing, or PR, you can measure it and say, This is what we did. And it's directly attributed to our efforts, which I really like.
Susan Tatum 2:08
I think that's an interesting point, Conrad, because you know, a lot of people say that services are harder to sell, because it's kind of air. But in your case, so you're mostly it's PR that you guys do, right?
Conrad Zolman 2:21
Yeah, that's correct.
Susan Tatum 2:22
So you really, you can really quantify what you what your efforts have resulted in.
Conrad Zolman 2:26
Yeah, yeah, we can quantify and say, Hey, we've been able to do X amount of features per month for our clients. Our futures are mainly in top tier networks, etc. And I think you're right in the sense that there is difficulty in selling these types of services, because it's just air in the sense that you don't know we can provide this value until you start using our services. Right? That's probably the biggest problem I've seen when selling this is like, well, you can say that, and I'm like, You're right, I can say that. But we also have a case deck to prove it, we also have client reviews that can back it up. And and the individual, they won't know until they've experienced it. And I think that's probably the biggest gap I've seen in selling is, as you mentioned, like, they can't do a free trial, like you can't win the SAAS platform, right? Like you can't give them 14 days of free services. But you can provide really good feedback in the sense of, so I have these case decks, I have these clients that your if you want, you can call them up. We have these people who are willing to backup our data points like, and then I have features I could send you that we've done for clients that are in similar backgrounds, right? Like, we have an arsenal at our disposal where we could back up what we say. Yeah.
Susan Tatum 3:37
Yeah. So you were brought on to, or right now you're focusing strictly on cold outreach?
Conrad Zolman 3:44
Susan Tatum 3:45
So what let's talk about process, because I know you are a very process oriented person.
Conrad Zolman 3:50
Yes, I try to be
Susan Tatum 3:53
so Okay, so share the secrets with us. What are what what is your process look like?
Conrad Zolman 3:57
Yeah, um, I'll give as many as I'm allowed to share.
Susan Tatum 4:03
I want no more than that. Yeah.
Conrad Zolman 4:04
And the real, I want to give credit where credit credit's due, I think the the foundation of our process is from Charles Gaudet. And I would definitely recommend individuals looking into him his LinkedIn profile and his services. He's amazing when it comes to professional service companies and building an outbound process there. So everything we have in place is foundational because of him.
Susan Tatum 4:22
I will put a link to him in the show notes for anybody that's listening.
Conrad Zolman 4:30
Perfect. Yeah. So our foundational process is this cross channel approach, where we want to email people have a social influence with LinkedIn, and then we're trying to implement calls and we're actually changing our process right now. So this is we're pivoting our process the foundation's the same but we're trying to capture and different differently so called outbound. Our process is centered around a really specific ICP, researching individuals and saying okay, Do they have press coverage? Or do they not? Base off of that? Let's send them emails. From there. Let's connect with them on LinkedIn. And when I say connect on LinkedIn, I think there's a process there. And it's all situational. And so I don't want it to be like someone saying, hey, like I send connection requests, but LinkedIn has 100 connection requests limit. How do I get strategic about that? And I have thoughts on that as well. So when I say connect on LinkedIn, I say, first thing is, is this prospect active on LinkedIn? Right? Are they actively contributing in content? Are they commenting on stuff? Can I comment on their comments? Can I comment on their LinkedIn posts, and then from there, I'm sending up follow up emails, and then really nailing down the personalization process for that. And there's so much I can talk about process. And it's hard for me to remember what I'm really like what we really love. So I opened on it. So any questions about the specificity of it as well?
Susan Tatum 5:50
Okay, so for clarity, ICP, we're talking about ideal client profile. And how do you go about finding these people? You've got a list that says this is this is who we're looking for not specific companies or whatever. But what they're, what the criteria is to make them an ideal client for you.
Conrad Zolman 6:08
Yeah, so as far as like tools we use, it's the traditional Sales Navigator, so for us, we put in those parameters in Sales Navigator, and then we cross reference them between accounts we've already contacted and ones we haven't. And then from there, we say, Okay, what's their revenue, right part of ICP has gone through that checklist per account, saying, Okay, what's revenue? What's their industry? What's their, I mean, I go to Google News, and I look up exact phrase, and I go to their company, and the Google News section. And I say, when was the last time this company was featured, and I copy and paste their company name. And it'll pull up all of their features that they've been in throughout the year.
Susan Tatum 6:50
And so the press coverage that they've gotten?
Conrad Zolman 6:52
Yeah, so pull it all up. And then from there, I can say, hey, and this is, this has been what I've been using for the last few months, and it's working. And so we want to keep it but we also want to innovate and see what we can do differently. But like, my main message is, Hey, I saw you are featured in Yahoo Finance in May of last year, which is a great feature. But what are you doing to get consistently featured in the news, right? Fifth Avenue brands, we have a guarantee, we have a guarantee, or we strive for getting you featured in top news publications twice a month, is this something you're open to talking to? And so for me, it's all about that personalization aspect where you call them out on the success they are getting, or call them out on the lack of success if they aren't getting it. And then you say, okay, the pain point here is not that you're not getting coverage, it's that you're not getting consistent coverage, or it's you're not getting coverage. So it's all situational based on that. But yeah, that's kind of how I go about it.
Susan Tatum 7:44
And it's short and sweet. I mean, the way that you just said that it was like you could read it on your phone, and it's not a big deal.
Conrad Zolman 7:49
Yeah, short, short and sweet. That's, that's the best way. I tend I do proofread. Because if I'm writing, I tend to write a book. And then I say, Wait, they don't need all this context. All they need to know is, Hey, I saw this feature. And if you want to call out something specifically in that feature that you really did, like, then do it. But if you really just saw that feature, and the title, just say that, you know, you know, you know, you don't have to get caught in the weeds of saying I know exactly everything about your industry. Because that's that's not what you're trying to position yourself as an email, and the email, you're trying to start a conversation. And I'd say that the same on LinkedIn and other places, you want to start a conversation around a potential gap that you you solve so
Susan Tatum 8:32
so and then what are your when you do outreach like that? What kind of response rate do you get to the first message that you send?
Conrad Zolman 8:40
Yeah, great question. So for our first message, it's generally around one to 2%. And then for our whole email sequence, it's about 15%. So once we've sent our four or five emails, we get a response rate about 15%.
Susan Tatum 8:57
And did you did you tell me that you put content and some other things of value in that in that sequence? You're not just constantly hitting them for a phone call?
Conrad Zolman 9:06
Yeah, I'm not constantly saying hey, did you see this email, although that's valid, right. That's part of our strategy. It's just not the first email I would send so that follow up email There's reports done by business management consulting groups. Forster is one of them. Bain and Company, you can get a bunch of reports there on sales cycle and sales, sales processes. And so for us when we look at that, we're looking at content distribution and saying, how much content does someone need to consume before they engage in the buying process? And Forrester released a report saying it's 27 pieces of content. And so for us, we want to educate our audience and say, Hey, did you know that it takes 27 pieces of content on average before someone engages in your buying process? That's a lot of content, right? What are you? What are you doing to help produce that? Are you are you getting featured in the news? Are you producing on LinkedIn? Right? And so our main question, though, is are you producing in the news, right? Are you getting featured in the news? Because we don't want them to get confused and say, Wait, are you a LinkedIn content creation firm? What are you? We specify that question to one area and say, What are your plans to get featured and get organic alternative media in the news, and then that's a way to engage in the conversation and say, pull them out of the weeds of saying, Well, this is someone that's just trying to sell me something and we just shared. Instead, we're sharing valuable content and saying, Hey, what are you doing to produce 27 pieces of resources? We can help you with that. Can we produce all 27? No, but we can help get you featured, then you can remaster that for sales enablement assets, and then repurpose those across different social channels, so that you're producing up to 27 pieces of content a day or per month so.
Susan Tatum 10:52
you know, one thing you could try it because I know you're in it into experimenting with things like different subject lines and different messages and whatever. But are you familiar with a woman named Bryn Tillman, she is a real, true LinkedIn guru. And she's got a sales background. I think she's with AT&T or somebody like that for a long time. But now she focuses on social selling. And one of the things that they tried was, instead of sending content in the message, if you say, I ran across or you came to mind when I ran across this Forrester report that I think you would find value in? Is it okay, if, if you're interested, let me know. And I'll send you a link if you ask them for permission or give them an opportunity to say yes or no, she has found a huge increase in the positive response to that kind of thing with LinkedIn messaging. And I wonder if it would work equally well with email?
Conrad Zolman 11:52
Yeah. That's a great idea. As far as testing it, though, I think I've been trying to find ways where we can give something of value instead of just sharing it without their permission. And I think that's actually a really valid point. And I love the fact that when I heard that, I always thought it was content that we had to produce. So it's interesting if you can remaster other content that other people are producing and just share it with them, because maybe they don't know where it is. Maybe they can't find it. Maybe it's not on their radar. I think that's that's an excellent idea. And that's probably worth testing as a follow up email to individuals and saying, Hey, don't have this is of interest came across this is, do you want the link for it, happy to share it.
Susan Tatum 12:29
Third party content is really important. Because it it adds credibility. Especially if you're talking about somebody like Forrester, or you know, a name that other people are going to recognize. And it keeps it from being me, me, me, me me all the time. So we always recommend using third party content, not too much of it, you know, so there used to be a thing where people said, You should show you should use three pieces of somebody else's content for every one piece of your own. And I think if you're trying to build a thought leadership position that you don't want to do that. So if you've got somebody with good ideas that they can talk about, by all means, you know, showcase them. But anyway, so um, what then is your What's the biggest challenge that you're facing with trying to get this cold calling going? Or cold emailing?
Conrad Zolman 13:12
Yeah, I love that question. Because if you would have asked me a month ago, it would have been something different than it is today. So I think it is based on the situation and the hiccups you're finding in your process. For us right now, it's definitely got to be identifying individuals on new individuals for ICP to contact. So our ideal customer profile, right? We've, we've been running this ideal customer profile for a year and a half, we have 7000 8000 leads on this list. Not everyone's a customer, obviously, not everyone even wants to use us or like is in the buying decision making mode, right? And so for us, it's how do we find new people to add to that list? Weekly? And then on the flip side of that, saying, Okay, should we just be focused on new? Or should we also incorporate outreach for these older leads that haven't been touched in six months? And what kind of messaging can we use for them, that's different than the messaging we're currently using. Because, at least in my mind, I don't think anyone remembers what you've emailed them six months ago. So you can definitely send them the same content. And they'll be like, oh, cool, this, this triggers something in them. But for me, if they hadn't responded in previous outreach, my messaging might even be softer, in this approach and just educational, and that's something we want to test. So I'd say that's the hardest thing right now is identifying what we want to do with leads that we have reached out with, and then maintaining and sustaining our lead flow or lead flow, it's really just identifying people or contacts, I don't think it's really leads.
Susan Tatum 14:47
our target prospects.
Conrad Zolman 14:48
Yeah, it's our target prospects, right? So that's, that's probably the hardest thing we're in right now.
Susan Tatum 14:53
Well, you mean, you can always mean you did, you went into a new market, new vertical, which is like a year and a half ago, or something. You expanded beyond your original niche. And I think once you feel like you've established yourself in that area, you can expand to something else, is one way to do it.
Conrad Zolman 15:12
Yeah, that's a great point. And we've started testing the waters with a few. So just so to mention the new one, we were in the financial services firm, and targeting those areas for a long time. And then we branched out to fintech. And now we're trying to test the waters with marketing, tech, legal tech, and HR tech. So that's those are the areas we're slowly trying to get into. And we're doing some tests there now, seeing if, if, if our coverage, and our connections with our reporters works well with that, with the industries and the topics they want to talk about, is there enough crossover to where we don't have to change our execution as much. from a sales perspective, I would love to go niche and different verticals as fast as possible. But we also got to be mindful of our our phenomenal onboarding team and our Client Services team and respect what they can do, and making sure that they can deliver the value that we promised on sales, right? I think I've been in situations where I've been a rep, and I sell something, and I get a call from an onboarding specialist. And they say, We don't sell that. And now I have to be the one to break it to them as the onboarding specialist that we don't sell that, and that can ruin that relationship. And when you get that call, as a sales rep, you're always like, Ah, whatever. But for me, I took that personally, because I wanted to have a good relationship to where not only did I get new business, but that new business would stay. And I think those are other problems that we were trying to focus on is how do we retain business and obtain new business, for long term.
Susan Tatum 16:43
yeah. Well, you know, we talked about this briefly, before we turn the recording on. I think that when you're in a system where you have to focus on there being an existing opportunity, then that does make it tough on you, because we know from research that at any point in time, there's only going to be 15% of your market that's in the market. And so you mentioned now, all this people that didn't respond to you, that you identified as, as potentially ideal prospects, that there's gold in there. Right, they just weren't ready to talk about your services at that point. So if there's, there's other things that you can send them just just keep it up somehow. But if you're on LinkedIn, and they haven't responded, then you really don't have an open line of communication for that but an email I mean, you could keep circling back. But if you can keep your number such that it's truly one to one and they know that you are reaching out to them for specific reason, and it doesn't sound like something that's a canned marketing pitch, then I think that those 7000 that you've got there, I wouldn't give up on them.
Conrad Zolman 17:52
Yeah. And that's, that's, that's what we're trying to do right now is figure out a process because for our process for getting new, new target prospects is good. Right? Other than having a decrease in quantity. It's fine.
Susan Tatum 18:05
Conrad Zolman 18:06
So now now we got to figure out like you said, there's people there who would be great to be top of mind for right, I think I listen to a lot of sales podcasts, right. And so one of the one of the things that's recently been repeating myself and in the year is being proactive in your outreach process, so that you're first to market. We live in a, in a world where it's really, really, really hard to be first to market. Like, super hard. And I think the best way to do that is, like you said, recycled through those leads that we have, and not in an annoying way, but in a value driven way, where it's like, once a quarter, drop a line. And like you said, don't make it canned and marketing specific, but take the time to personalize it and say, Hey, we talked about using our services, you talked about using our services for this specific reason. But timing was off is now a better time to pick up the conversation and see where it goes. And if it works, great if it doesn't change the messaging and change the tone, so
Susan Tatum 19:01
Well, you know, I think the the value really is can come in before a prospect realizes that they need your services before they start actively looking and your your, if I understand your messaging correctly, you're doing a fair job of that, because you're going and you're taking the time to go and look up what's been said about them in the press, and doing a granted a quick, but somewhat accurate assessment of where they are in the market, what kind of press they're getting. And so you you are kind of creating an opportunity there a little bit. It's not like you're saying, Hey, are you looking for a PR agency? You know, you're giving them a reason to think about it. And I think that helps a lot to get in before that. Because once they start talking to a bunch of agencies, if you can hit them, before they do that, then you have that opportunity to help them decide really what it is they're looking for. You know, help them write the RFP....
Conrad Zolman 20:04
Exactly, yeah, right. And that's, that's the goal, right. And so, a lot of the time I even I realized this a few weeks ago is that when I was getting on these sales calls, I was, for me, I realized a lot of the pressure I put on myself as a sales rep is imaginary. Because I think like it's like, oh, my managers, my boss, they need me to sell now. And it's like, if you talk with them one on one, they're like, yeah, it would be great if you slow down. But we're also like, this is a career and you've got quota next month, the month after that the month after that, like it's never ending, you know. So it's about building a book of business, to where you're not stressed every single month about hitting quota. So like, yeah, you might have some off months, but that's fine. Everyone has off months. It's about building a long term book of business. And so like, to your point, for me at my approach and emails has changed to let's have a conversation. Let me know if you're willing to chat about this. And then when we get on the phone call, it's what's your timeline? Why is that your timeline? What are you looking for? Why are you looking for that? And is there a way if we provided this now? Would that make sense to start this now? With the answer's no, then we follow up in three months. And then in that follow up, it's we we have to live and die by our CRM and our notes, right? Like, I take a note on that prospect. And I say, here's why they wanted to wait three months, and three months, I say, Hey, here's why you wanted to wait till now to start doesn't make sense to start now. Right? And they could say, yeah, it does, or, you know, this got pushed back because of XYZ. And then I take note of that, and say, Hey, you got pushed back because of this. Why? Right? Because you mentioned this was your goal, right? And so it just it just feeds into itself to where I'm building that book of business. And then each situation is personalized based on that individual and the individual problems that companies experiencing with with with their PR coverage. So I don't know if that makes sense. It's very, very ambiguous.
Susan Tatum 21:54
But if you haven't, the thing that I hope that I caught onto was having a conversation with them as soon as you can, because it's just different from an email, right? I mean, even We can't do it as much face to face live in person now. It's still we've got zoom, and whatever else you use to kind of recreate that same thing of being able to see each other, which I think is important.
Conrad Zolman 22:18
Yeah, I think I mean, all the data shows that if you can get someone on the phone, the opportunity to have them be part of your business is greater. And I have a problem with that. Because First off, it's like, I don't want to treat prospects, like they're just some number I want to hit. At the same time. That connection that you get on a zoom call on a phone call is way better. So like, you look beyond the data, and you look on the qualitative differences, as you mentioned, that qualitative difference is huge. They feel connected with you, you feel connected with them, you have the opportunity to to know them who they are, why it's things are important. And you just you can't get that over email. It can be facts over email, but you can't get that connection over email so.
Susan Tatum 23:04
So what did you do, Conrad when you joined Fifth Avenue, to familiarize yourself with the target market?
Conrad Zolman 23:11
Yeah, that's a great question. I, I've always worked in the finance industry, off and on. So like, I was fairly familiar with it. So what I had to do was, I just looked through some old playbooks that I had based off of other audiences that are selling that were segmented within the finance market. And I just familiarized myself with what their goals were, why, and what they cared about. And I think once I did that, and then I also had to understand, okay, this is who they are, this is who they care about. What do we offer them? Right? Like, why would they want to talk with me? Why would they want to have a conversation with me? So I had to understand the specific value we were giving them, or proposed, we could give them as a PR firm. So that was my two. That's my two processes. When I go anywhere, really? I go, Okay, who are they serving? Who am I talking to? On a day to day basis? Is it CEOs? Is it executives? Is it directors? What do they care about? Why do they care about that? And then I follow this, my brother James, he, I worked with him for a long time. He instilled with me the Socratic process, where he asked why five times to get to reason. And so like, that's what I try to instill in my thought process when I'm talking to individuals. I, I'm not great at it. Because you really, it feels awkward asking why five times in a row. But like, because of this, because of this, it's the same reason I'm like, Okay, well, I get that, but what will that improve? Right? Yeah, how will that benefit you? What are we really trying to get out here? And And usually, when you take the time to do that your conversations, improve your understanding of your market improves your understanding of your selling points improve, because you get at the root reason why your company was started the reason at the value you're driving, and the reason for people to talk to you, which is powerful.
Susan Tatum 25:04
You're getting to the emotion of it, which is yeah, you know, we I mean, science is showing us now that we all buy on emotion and justify with logic, right? So
Conrad Zolman 25:15
emotion sells, that's a hybrid. This is background on me, I did door to door sales for summer in Seattle, Washington. And it was brutal, like door to door sales is not fun, unless you're really good at it, which, out of a team of 20 There's about two or three that are, and then the rest are mediocre. And then there's the rest that just started like awful. But they're just there to hang out with friends. That that experience taught me that all sales is emotional. Because if I tried to show them facts and figures about pest control in the area, they would just say now, I got Home Depot. That kills the bugs. I'm good. Like Home Depot cost 20 bucks, you cost 600 bucks a year. No brainer. Takes care of the bugs, no problem. But if I took the time to like, Hey, why did you choose this area? Like what brought you to Seattle? And I just took the time to get to know them or they had something like, this is all sales tacticy stuff. But if I took the time to figure out who they were, why they cared about what they cared about, and then I just brought in I sell pest control. They're like, Oh, yeah, let's do it. Like that's, that was the only reason they bought for me, right? Like is if they if I had the opportunity to like the biggest thing was get them off their porch, get them away from their doorframe, the zone of resistance, get them walking around their house talking about their lives, whatever. It's sometimes you got to be careful so you don't ask those personal questions or someone's like Hey, are you a scammer? Like you're trying to hack me like, yep, you can't ask too personal questions, but you get them out of their house, you get them moving, we get them talking, you have repport, nine times out of 10. They buy it works. worked every time.
Susan Tatum 26:50
So I one more question for you before we wrap up, from your perspective, because a lot of our listeners are the owners of firms, agencies or consulting firms or whatever. So you you come into a firm as a business development person, what is the what is management? Or the executives have to be able to? How can they how can they help you do your job better?
Conrad Zolman 27:18
Yeah, that's a great question, mainly because we're trying to bring on one or two more reps right now. And they're in the onboarding process. And I'm a different kind of manager in the sense that I, before I hire someone for a role, I do that role for a week or two weeks to figure out what I like and what I don't like. And when you do that, you figure out what can be automated and what can't be, and what you can afford to be automated, and what you should really invest in to be manual, meaning, what tools can I bring on board to help automate certain processes that are just grueling, and we have the technology now, they don't need to be manual? They don't? And then you get you take a step back and say, Okay, but what are the things I really do need manual I need, I need phone calls to be manual. I need people to be able to pick up the phone and make phone calls. I don't want that to be automated. I don't want automated voice messages. I want sincere one on one phone calls. I want sincere manual, personalized emails. Everything else,
Susan Tatum 28:18
and Linkedin messages.
Conrad Zolman 28:19
Yeah, Linkedin messages. Yeah, I can't forget about that. I'm sorry, I haven't harped on that enough. I think. I think LinkedIn is underutilized. I think people tend to shy away from it. Because it's, it can be daunting to figure out the best strategy for it. But I think when you take the time to figure out what works for you, and your firm, then it's a no brainer. And then, from there, you say, what tools can they use to help automate this process? And is it really solving a problem? So just to backtrack, and say, What did I learn in my two weeks at filling that BDR role for my firm, I learned that it takes a lot of time to find leads. And you can automate that. Or you can outsource it to someone else, to where they don't have to deal with that. And the reason for that is creating a lot of leads, takes a lot of time. And it's not fun, right? You need something that's keeping that energy high, you're getting constant rejection, you're doing something that's pretty menial, you're just sending a bunch of personalized emails, it's not sexy work. It's important work. But it's not. It's not super fun. I'm going to be honest, and laying that that gauntlet out for all the employees and saying, Look, I know this isn't fun. But this is the vision of what you're doing. You're laying the foundation for all of our conversations. So that when someone says yes, let's have a conversation, they know what we do, why we do it, and how we do it. Right? So that when they get on the call, we can spend our time talking to them and figuring out what they do, why they do it, and why they want us because I don't want to spend 30 minutes on my phone call talking about me. Right? That's how we that's why we're that's why we're creative in our outreach. That's why we're created on our content and why we produce it, the way we do is because we want them to know, we get them in the news. So that when they come on the call, we can say, Hey, I know you want to get in the news. But why? Right? You know what we do, but I need to understand what you do. And I need to connect with you on an emotional level, or you're not going to buy if that's not done. And that business development process, we can't sell well, our close rates are visible, we can't sell well. So it's setting up that vision and then making their jobs as easy as possible. With helping them understand that when they take the time to personalize it streamlines the selling process, and it's pretty fun. So it can be fun.
Susan Tatum 30:26
Well, it's it's the whole you know, you're helping them articulate what their vision is where they want to be versus where they are now. And you're contributing to building that bridge that gets them from where they are to where they want. Yeah.
Conrad Zolman 30:37
Yeah. And so when you frame it that way, you can you can say I understand that on a day to day. It's gonna be hard. But that's why we pay people well, and that's why you get paid well for setting appointments. And that's why most of these positions, they're 18 months, 12 months and then you're promoted, you know, like, it's a, having a clear career track for that is important, but also understanding that this is the best way to understand the sales model. For any professional service company, is you got to get down on that base level. And if you can, if you own that role, and you take the time to understand why it's important, you'll understand business models for professional services at any company you go to, you'll have a foundation to where you could say, Hey, I was a BDR, at a PR firm for 18 months, and you go to a marketing firm, they're like, great, like, you know how to sell you know how to message, you know, how to connect with individuals. That's phenomenal for us. Right. So.
Susan Tatum 31:32
All right. Well, this has been very, very helpful. I thank you so much for sharing so much for being so so open with us. And for anybody that wants to follow up directly with you, Conrad. What's the best way to do that?
Conrad Zolman 31:43
Yeah, my LinkedIn. It's Conrad Zolman is probably the best way. And then there's my email. I don't know if you want to include it. But it's just Conrad@FifthAvenuebrands.com. So yeah, that would that weighs just fine. And then if we get real close and chummy, chummy, you can have my phone number.
Susan Tatum 32:02
Look at the other stuff in the show notes and you can hold back on the phone number.
Conrad Zolman 32:05
Susan Tatum 32:08
All right. Well, thank you, Conrad and have a have a great rest of the day.
Conrad Zolman 32:11
Thanks, Susan. Appreciate your time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai