261: Boosting your Network through AI - with Chad Burmeister
Chad is a Believer, Husband, Father of two teenagers, and lifelong rebel and rule-breaker. He empowers sales professionals to become the best version of themselves by focusing on their mindset, skillset, and toolkit. Before launching ScaleX.ai and Salesclass.ai, Chad believed that sales were fundamentally “a numbers” game. Although he still believes frequency matters, he is now convinced that Revenue = Frequency X Competency. Chad is passionate about creating systems that empower people from all walks of life and these days you’ll find him hosting the AI for Sales Webinar and Podcast on The Sales Experts Channel and C-Suite Radio.
Let's talk about sales a little bit, specifically AI for sales. What is it and how does it help or hurt that relationship when it comes to conducting business?
Yeah, it's an accelerator. So AI for sales stands for artificial intelligence. I, in fact, wrote the book called AI For Sales, How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Sales. I put that out at the end of 2019 and there have already been more than 5000 copies sold. So it's a hot topic, as you know, as people use their Alexa device to order food and groceries. Then all kinds of AI are coming out. I think a lot of people don't realize they're using AI in a lot of cases, but it's becoming more and more prevalent. So it can help or hurt your relationships, I'll give you an example: If you use an AI bot, let's say to connect with people on LinkedIn and social media if you program that bot to be extremely cheesy, non-heartfelt, and all you care about is yourself and let's say you move from five or six requests a day to connect with people up to 50 a day. Well, now you're at 10x the amount of insincerity. Whereas if you're someone like Nick Kabuto, who I've partnered with, on the marketing side, he sends out a message that starts with a clapping emoji and it says, "Hey, I've looked at your profile, you look like a really interesting person. I'd love to truly and sincerely get to know you." And that's it. Then when he gets a reply, he'll go in on his LinkedIn, and he'll do a video and go, "Hey, I'm Nick, I'm sitting at the fire pit," or, "I'm up in the mountains skiing," or whatever it is he's doing, he'll reply back. So it can accelerate trust and social capital, or it can completely rip it apart. You just have to be careful and learn from other people who use the technology in an effective and efficient way.
What are some ways that you use AI to connect more deeply with others?
Well, revenue equals frequency times competency is what a mentor of mine taught me 20 years ago, Skip Miller, who's been training sales and sales leaders for so long. So the frequency part is easy: Do More. More emails, more voicemails, more calls, etc. The competency part takes a while. So for me early in my sales career 25 years ago, I didn't have the competency yet. I'd never been through any sales training and so AI can accelerate the pace at which you connect with people through all the different channels. It's important that as you go, that you're investing an equal amount of time in understanding what it is you're saying and how you're connecting with people. So I think what happens is that AI puts more stress on the human to human relationship, then has typically been there from a sales capacity perspective. So interesting times that we're entering in today's day and age.
So the automated connections on LinkedIn, at least the ones that I can tell, I find really annoying. But what you're saying really is you have to have a strong message that's extremely personal, or at least looks like it.
Big time. It's at the end of the day, whether I physically type a message one to one, or I do one too many, it's still a string of zeros and ones, right? It's an email, it's a LinkedIn connection request, it's a LinkedIn follow up. If you have a high EQ (emotional intelligence), I think EQ starts to beat IQ in today's day and age. Hmm. So would you rather have someone with high EQ write the message or someone fresh out of college that's never really had experience communicating on a b2b type of platform? We're finding it's better to leverage someone who has the EQ piece of the equation to help you write the email message, the social connection. And where it's going is there are tools like codebreaker technologies, which is they have a thing called bank code. They can log into your LinkedIn account, click a button, and in under three seconds, tell you what your DNA makeup is and what your communication and buying style is. Are you very action-oriented, are you knowledge, are you blueprint? There's a different letter stand for each different word in the end what we're talking about. So imagine a world where you send an email to a list of people and depending on that list, it'll change the message based on who the buyer is, and their buyer personality type. It'd be very hard for humans to actually get their arms around the different variations of people where AI can actually start to do those human to human connections in a much better way at scale.
What's the vision for your life heading into the future?
Yeah, um, you know, the first I feel like I'm on hole nine on the golf course. So the good news is, I've got another nine to go. , and the great news is the first nine were amazing! So now it's, what do you do next and how do you impact the greatest number of people? My grandparents were big in the church, and they did a lot of one on one meetings with people and they would give, give, give, all the way up to the end, and I so respected and appreciated that. I've been given the gift of running a business and motivating and leading very large teams. So what came to me over the course of the last just couple of months, we're gonna write a book called God-Centered Selling, and then God-Centered Company, and God-Centered Leadership. It's not a book on how to sell, and it's not a book on necessarily how to be a good follower of God. It's how do you put those two things together, and make ethical, good person decisions when it comes to all aspects. So we want to put the book together first, and then hold executive retreats at a mountain house. We want to start bringing ethics and spirituality into companies where traditionally, I feel like until the year 2020, that was kind of a faux pas. Nowadays that's what we're working on, how to be good people and influence others in a positive way.
Can you share with our listeners, one of your favorite networking experiences that you've had?
Yeah, you know, when we talk about leveraging social outreach and social automation, that's how we got connected. I have a virtual assistant that reaches out to about, I actually had to peel it back because I was reaching out to 50 people a day at first. About 50% of everyone I reached out to said, "Yeah, your podcast looked good," or, "You look like a good guest." So, you know, typically, I invite people to be on my show called AI For Sales and I was getting six to eight people a week who wanted to be on the show. So we're recorded all the way through January now. So, Nick, my marketer said, "You know, you're good at talking to people, why don't you just reach out to podcast hosts and, and have a conversation?" So I literally just started this effort, maybe six weeks ago, and I've already been on at least two dozen different podcasts. So talk about a way to network!
So let's talk about nurturing your network. It's definitely important to maintain connections and doing that from an AI perspective versus the manual process, how do you stay in front of and best nurture your community?
Yeah, that's, that's always been important to me and it's been one of my strengths. So I'll have connections from five companies ago, and I'll still stay in touch with them. Before this pandemic hit, I was on the road quite a bit, at least one week a month, if not, sometimes two. One of the practices that I'll use is if I'm on a bus, or a train going from place to place or an airplane, airplanes a little harder make a phone call, but you get my drift. In the Avis rent a car, for example, I'll scroll through the phone, and I'll go A down, and then sometimes I'll go Z up. This is the manual approach and I'll just click, click, click, and I'll go, "I haven't talked to Stephen a long time," and I'll just call him to leave a message. I think a lot of people don't necessarily proactively reach out to their network unless they need something. I don't like to be that guy, I like to keep tabs on what people are doing and stay in touch. From an automation perspective, our company has been primarily focused on top of funnel demand gen for almost three years. We're just starting to get some customers who say, "Hey, you know what, you've automated email and phone and social, but how can you help us automate more of our client success function, especially for our high velocity, or high volume, low yielding customers?" Right, so if you think 80-20 rule, 80%, your customers make up 20% of your revenue, and vice versa. So how do you handle the bottom 80? Well, imagine if you could set it up and have an automated voicemail drop 90 days before renewal, you could you can automate that. Where it gets really interesting is you can actually do videos in an automated fashion. So imagine a video art video or loom are the two big ones, and you record 90% of it the same across customers. So let's say it's a renewal of this one product, and all they bought is that one product, yet your company offers six products. So you could send out an email in an automated fashion and then you could drop in their name at the beginning or even a company name. You can almost merge video segments into this video clip. We've seen b2c companies do it, and we're starting to dabble in bringing that over into the b2b world.
What advice would you offer the business professionals looking to grow their network?
LinkedIn is huge, but I would say it depends. There's a woman named Katie, who spoke at the event I mentioned in Winter Park two weeks ago, she talked about Instagram, and she helps mothers and women who have kids and work at home to allow them to work fewer hours, and then make between six and seven figures. So she showed us how to do a proper Instagram post, where she literally walked around the living room, she recorded herself in a selfie-and Instagram was able to chunk it down into a 15-second bite. Then she typed over the top of it the speech to text. She did all this in under 10 minutes, and I was like, wow, just the way you do the message, the network. That's available on LinkedIn, they have a new thing called stories, or Instagram has their approach. Obviously, Facebook has a different set of followers, but use social tools and understand who you are as a person. Don't be afraid to be authentic and vulnerable, you have to dig deep inside to figure out where your weak points are, and then don't be afraid to expose them because guess what? Everybody in the world is not perfect. So be vulnerable, be authentic, and use the platforms to get your message out.
If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of or differently with regards to your professional career?
I would have hired a coach earlier because it took me until about a year and a half ago to realize that a coach was essential. It was when I was driving around a racetrack in a Ferrari in Southern California and there was a coach, or a professional driver in the front seat, who was speaking in my ear telling me when to speed up when to shift. I was like wait a second! If you know how to drive a car, think of the types of people that could help you with your finances, or how to grow, or how to do marketing or, anything you can even think of you can bring someone in that's an expert in that field. So now I have nine coaches a year and a half after I did that Ferrari racetrack drive.
Do you have any final word or advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
Well, I would say to give an offer. So what I would say to you, if you're listening to this podcast, and someone said they need to reach out to more people, I really feel compelled to help entrepreneurs and solopreneurs make it through these hard times. Traditionally, we work with $7,000 to $10,000 a month customers, and with our social tool, it's $500 a month. So it's much more attainable for me and you and anyone. The offer would be a three-month trial program. It's $2000, $500 setup, $500 a month, and if I don't get you 100 replies from people that you want to be interacting with, then you get all your money back because I've just seen it work. So if you want to get on podcasts, perfect, we have a way we can help you get your word out and get on podcasts. If you want to get new customers and they are a certain target market, you build a report and LinkedIn, you build a message, you click the Go button, set it and forget it and you get a lot of inbound leads. That’s really me giving back to the community and that would be my offer to anybody.
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