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Jone Korpi

Jone Korpi is an entrepreneur, brand strategist and salesperson who helps creatives get more clients. He’s also 19 years old.

Winning over new clients
Winning over new clients

Winning over new clients

Ep
101
Oct
05
With
Jone Korpi
Or Listen On:

Step by step tactics

Jone Korpi is an entrepreneur, brand strategist and salesperson who helps creatives get more clients. He’s also 19 years old.

Before you ask yourself, “What does a 19 year old know about business or sales?” We’d like to ask you to save your judgement until after you listen to the episode.

Jone walks Chris through his thinking and sales tactics for identifying and contacting prospective clients on LinkedIn. And he does it step by step. You could literally write it down and try it out yourself. But talking the talk and walking the walk are two different things.

All we can say is that you will certainly learn something new. And that it might be from a 19 year old.

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Episode Transcript

Jone:
One of the killer lines I have is, "Would it be a stupid idea to hop on a call and see if I could help you with this?" Because nobody says, "Yes, that's a completely idiotic idea." If they're not very, very rude. So that's one of the ways I'm able to often get people on a call with me. (Music).

Greg:
Hi, I'm Greg Gunn, and welcome to The Futur podcast. Today's guest is an entrepreneur, brand, strategist and salesperson who helps creatives get more clients. He's also 19 years old. Now before you ask yourself the very reasonable question, what does a 19 year old know about business or sales? I'd like to ask you to save your judgment until after you listen to the episode.
The conversation starts with a healthy amount of skepticism. But after listening to it myself, I have to say, the guy knows his stuff. He walks Chris through his thinking and sales tactics for identifying and contacting prospective clients all on LinkedIn. And he does it step by step. You could literally write it down and try it out yourself. But talking the talk and walking the walk are two very different things. All I can say is that you might learn something new about business, and it might be from a 19 year old. Please enjoy our conversation with Jone Korpi.

Chris:
I'm excited to talk to you because Melinda was speaking about you in ways that I'm like, "Okay, I got to get you on the show."

Jone:
Right.

Chris:
So for those people who don't know you, can you introduce yourself, please?

Jone:
Yes, of course. So I'm an entrepreneur and a brand strategist. Nothing out of the ordinary but what is a bit out of the ordinary is my age. So I'm 19 years old. I've been in the creative industry for about six and a half years, the first about four which were only as a hobby, started by my father. And then I got a job at a marketing agency at 16. I started my first business at 17. And right now I'm running three separate businesses. So one marketing agency with 13 different people. I'm partner and head of strategy there. And then I have my own consulting business slash holder. And then I have an online training platform with a couple of my good friends. So essentially, that's the short version of the story.

Chris:
Okay. That's a lot for people to process, that is quite remarkable.

Jone:
Thank you.

Chris:
And when I was looking at your site, I was like, "Wait a minute." I've heard these kinds of stories before so pardon this skepticism here and I want to-

Jone:
No problem.

Chris:
... speak for our audience, when people say, "Yeah, I started when I was 13." What does that really mean? Does that mean that's the first time you opened up Photoshop? I mean, what are we considering as starting?

Jone:
Yes, that's a fairly good question. And so the way it started for me was at 13. And my dad actually has been in the industry since '99. Well, since then, he's a few years back, he quit in marketing and started his own guitar building business. So that's what he's doing right now. But anyways, so I started at 13. And I started at school, basically. So I opened up Photoshop and started playing around, and I got really into it. So I started watching tons of YouTube videos and tutorials and online courses on Udemy and whatever. So I started just learning the tools essentially. And I was working while I was learning the platforms like Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere all of those things. I was working as an audio engineer at the church, my local church. So that was a side gig.
But essentially, I started learning and just practicing and creating things that I just got in my head. And I was in youth politics back then. So I got a few brochures that I designed for these organizations that I was a part of. And I also created events collateral and all of those things. So it wasn't anything remarkable. But I count it as a start because I did do some actual quote unquote client work, which got presented to people and that had a impact on a few people.

Chris:
Let's talk about that, the quote unquote client work. I think a lot of people would say the first time you get paid to do something is the beginning of a profession. That's what it means to be a professional, what you get paid to be. So take me to what age and what was it and give me some of that story, please.

Jone:
I think that was at 16 if I'm not mistaken. So the way that happened, I was at a marketing agency, working there. A friend of mine from the youth politics organizations hired me as a creative trainee or something like that. And so I started with designing PowerPoints for... Well, my first gig, I think was a PowerPoint for a digital health business that's actually based in the US. And so I designed the PowerPoints according to the client's specifications, and it actually did get compliments from the US heads of the company, so I did fairly well, but that was my first paid gig as a designer.

Chris:
How did you get a job at 16 years old, with a client overseas? That sounds pretty incredible.

Jone:
Yeah, it was. And it's mainly thanks to connection. So a lot of the things that I have achieved in recent years, weeks and months, and in any given time really, have been through just building connections and building relationships. And that's really what I'm all about, it's building relationships, helping people and then hoping that someday they'll return the favor or talk about you to someone they know that might be of help to you. So I talk about the reciprocity principle, which is it's recognized in a lot of psychological studies. And it's unique in the sense that it applies to every single culture in the world. So every single culture has the reciprocity principle as a fairly big, as part in it. So basically, if someone gives something to you, if somebody invites you to their birthday party, you invite them to yours. A very basic principle. But it applies to a lot of things. And especially in business, it's very valuable.
So I got it through connections. A friend of mine had started a marketing agency, a small marketing agency, based in Helsinki. So that's the capital of Finland. And we had a school project that I was working on, we had an idea for an app. And I was designing layouts, the branding, and all of that for the app. And we created a pitch deck and we pitched the idea in a competition, and we won the competition. We got 500 euros from that competition between me and my three teammates. And there my friend, he's called, Juho, noticed that I can do stuff and so he decided to hire me.

Chris:
Okay. So I'm on your site, and the thing that it says, at the very top, and I think this is related to your online training, I believe or your consultation business, which is you help creatives get clients.

Jone:
Yes.

Chris:
Now you're 19 years old, you're 19 years old. I've been working longer than you've been alive. So this is fascinating to me-

Jone:
A lot of people have.

Chris:
... that a 19 year old, young man, like yourself is going to be able to say, "Hey, Chris, here's what you need to do to get clients." Because the first thought I have is, "What do you know about clients and what kind of clients do you have?" But let's get into that. How do you help creatives get clients?

Jone:
My sales process on principles of social selling. So I've developed a sales process that's fairly efficient. So I use about 30 minutes a day on LinkedIn prospecting and searching for new clients, and then booking them to phone calls essentially. The process is fairly simple, I will say that. But refining it and getting all the psychological details correct, that's the more difficult part. But essentially, how I get clients, I go on LinkedIn, I search for CMOs in, right now in IT industries in approximately 200 kilometers around me, I have a car and so I can go pretty much anywhere. And I send them a message essentially saying that, "Hey, I noticed we have a lot of mutual connections, and that we're both interested in marketing, would it be a stupid idea to exchange pleasantries and talk shop, essentially?"
And then I try to qualify the lead in the message inbox, and then if they do seem like a good fit for me, I ask them on a call. And then on that call, I go through a method called the CLASP method. We can get into that later a bit more, but through that, I run my sales call. And then often close the client on the first call, at the latest on the second call.

Chris:
Okay. So let me tell you how I receive these messages on the other side-

Jone:
Please.

Chris:
... of these things. Okay. So people do reach out and they do send me messages just like the one that you've said, where they say, "It seems like we have similar connections. Why don't we connect?" And whenever I see those, I just delete them. And I'll tell you why, is because the person is just saying, "I really don't know anything about you. It's just LinkedIn's algorithm says we know each other." And after a while, because I've learned this, is most of them are just prospecting. And I personally just get turned off. People who will say, Chris, seen this thing, read that thing, watched your video, love it. I'll accept their connection invite. So I'm curious, how many of those you send out, and maybe because you're talking to marketers, marketers understand marketing and sales, so they're much more open and receptive to it.

Jone:
Right. And a lot of marketers aren't Chris though, and don't have a following of thousands of people. So you do have that disadvantage.

Chris:
Yes, I do. Okay. Keep going. So you find that they're pretty open to this and they're willing to engage further and get on a call with you?

Jone:
Yes, I do. Actually, well, I haven't tracked the exact percentage series, but I do find that I sent about 50 invitations per day. So that's-

Chris:
Got it.

Jone:
... I've built that into a daily routine, in which I respond to messages, create a post, at least one post on LinkedIn, and then send out the connection requests. So out of those 50, I've found that about 50% accept the request within 24 hours. So within the timeframe that I check how many people have accepted. And I found them to be fairly receptive. And what's weird is that a lot of people accept the request, but they don't actually respond to the message. So I have to reach out with another message saying, "Thanks for accepting my request." And then they'll notice my message in their inbox. But I have found it fairly efficient for me. But I'm not saying that it's the sole truth, the only truth because we do have the between the US and the Finnish market, there are cultural differences, there are differences in the amount of people on LinkedIn, and all of that. So I'm not saying-

Chris:
I see.

Jone:
... it's the truth.

Chris:
Right, right. It works for you. And it's been very effective.

Jone:
Right, exactly, exactly.

Chris:
So yes. Okay. So now you're into the stage because I'm very curious, because people ask me a lot about how to do social prospecting, especially on LinkedIn.

Jone:
I bet.

Chris:
I'm like, "I don't know." A few times I've done it worked, but I'm not looking for clients that way. So this is fascinating for me.

Jone:
Cool.

Chris:
Okay. So now you're exchanging some correspondence, whether it's on the first or the second or the third, now you're engaged. And what is it that you're saying to that person? Because I imagine if they're the CMO, and they're in a position to hire you, they're busy and their time is very valuable.

Jone:
Yes.

Chris:
So what are you saying to get that meeting? Because I'm very careful with my time.

Jone:
Yes, I know. And a lot of people are, and I do want to respect their time. So how I approach it is in a very human-like way. So I don't want to be a salesperson, I want to be a person. So my number one priority during the first five messages or so is just to get the person laughing on their end, the emoji with crying out loud, laughing emoji.

Chris:
Yeah.

Jone:
So I'm trying to get them in a good mood, I'm trying to get some problem that they're having. I often ask, "Is there anything that you have on your desk right now that you don't have the time to deal with? Or don't have the ability to deal with?" The latter question is more risky, for obvious reasons. So I more often ask the first question than the latter. But essentially, I try to find a problem that they have, that I might be able to solve. So I'm opening myself up to give them help and I'm trying to give them some free advice, some thoughts about how I would handle the problem. So it's all about building relationships and starting to build the trust on their end.

Chris:
Okay. So if you say, and it's a good, open ended question. It allows them to tell you, "Hey, here's a problem. I'm not saying it's insurmountable, but I don't want to deal with this right now." So what are they typically saying to you that then is an opening?

Jone:
Well, often they say something fairly vague. So they say something like that, like, "We could always have more clients." "Our conversion on our website could be a bit better." So they're saying very vague problems that I can't offer like, "Here's a two by four and here's a nail, you bang them on the wall, and that's that." I can't do that. I have to be more creative during the messaging. So if they have a low conversion rate on a website, if they have a high bounce rate on a website, I can go on their website and check it out. If there is a blog, that they create content on actively, and they don't have any lead generation methods, for example, that's a pointer for me to point out that, "Hey, I've created a content strategy for a client of mine. And after I created that content strategy, we actually were able to generate leads in a very efficient manner. And in fact, after the first blog post, we got a 27.11% conversion rate from a rear to a lead on a mail list." So that's a very high conversion. It's 18 times what's usually very good. So one and a half percent, that's considered fairly good. So that's 18 times the fairly good conversion rate.

Chris:
I see.

Jone:
So I'm going through an anecdote to a similar problem that they may have not thought about as a way to solve the problem they're having. And then I ask, one of the killer lines I have is, "Would it be a stupid idea to hop on a call and see if I could help you with this?" Because nobody says, "Yes, that's a completely idiotic idea." If they're not very, very rude. So that's one of the ways I'm able to often get people on a call with me.

Chris:
Yeah, you're asking a no question. That's a Chris Voss negotiation tactic. Because we're very reluctant to say yes. So if we ask the question in the opposite form, they're more likely to say no, because no gives the client power.

Jone:
Exactly.

Chris:
The power to say no. So okay. And I've heard you say that twice now, in, "Would it be stupid for us not to connect or have a conversation about X, Y, Z?"

Jone:
Exactly.

Chris:
Okay. So for my audience, what's happening here is, is you're looking for a problem, you're asking open ended questions. And some problems don't present themselves to be very clear. But you're like a bloodhound, once you hear the problem, you're able to find a relevant case study that actually has some form of proof that you're able to increase something and obviously, the one that you highlight here, has phenomenal through the roof, astronomical results.

Jone:
Right, exactly.

Chris:
So they must be very interested at this point. And so then you follow up, "Why don't we get on a phone call?" I'm following so far.

Jone:
Exactly.

Chris:
Okay. So now-

Jone:
I'd just like to point out before you continue on, I'd just like to point out that it's very important to present the case study through your story. So you start with the client, what kind of business they're in, what kinds problems they were having, how you were able to be the of cavalry and save the day. So always go through a story, if you can.

Chris:
And you send them a PDF deck, is that something like that?

Jone:
Nope, nope. I don't like PDFs because they're... Well, I just prefer not to. So I usually send a, I write out a message and I'm like just-

Chris:
Oh, it's a message. Okay.

Jone:
Right, right. So I engage in the conversation. And what I most prefer is that I get the client on the call before they even ask for any case study and present the case study during the phone call itself. Because during the phone call I'm able to be very enthusiastic, I'm able to show my passion for the topic on the phone call through my tone of voice and offer that and that gets the client excited. And so the chances of them getting interested essentially increase by a lot.

Chris:
I like that. Okay. All right. So let's move on to the next phase. They agree to the call. And at this point, I have to imagine that for people who don't understand this, it's a numbers game, there's a funnel. And it has-

Jone:
Right, of course.

Chris:
... to be you have to put in the work, the 50 reaching out, connecting with people, and then that drops to 25. And then messaging back and forth. And so only so many will agree to get on the call. So you have to do this, otherwise, you'll have nothing in the pipe.

Jone:
Exactly, exactly. But I do want to point out that, at best through my method, I've been able to get five to seven sales calls in one day on my calendar. So I found this very-

Chris:
That's very high.

Jone:
... very successive. Right exactly.

Chris:
Wow. Okay. And so now you're on the call. This is a video call, are you using Zoom or something like that?

Jone:
Well, I actually prefer just the traditional call. I think it's-

Chris:
Oh, really?

Jone:
I think it's partially to do with the Finnish market and the way the culture is here and the way that technology has advanced. But a lot of people are 50 plus years old.

Chris:
I see.

Jone:
Especially in IT services. And they prefer just to get on a traditional call. They don't want to deal-

Chris:
I see.

Jone:
... with any technology that's not completely necessary. So they often prefer just a normal call. And that's what I often prefer as well, because I might be in the car traveling somewhere. I might be somewhere where a video call is not ideal. So just to be efficient, it's fairly often just a traditional call.

Chris:
Just like on your smartphone.

Jone:
Right, exactly.

Chris:
Okay. I get it.

Jone:
Or a Nokia 3310 for that.

Chris:
Okay. All right. So you're on the call, what are you doing now? Tell me the framework.

Jone:
All right. So the framework is something called CLASP. So the CLASP method is a, I don't think it's popular. I haven't found a lot of documents about it online, or a lot of blog posts. But I found it to be the most efficient way to do a sales call. So essentially, C-L-A-S-P. So C stands for currently. So that's asking the client, "How are you right now?" Of course, before you get in into the CLASP, you want to exchange pleasantries, you want to ask how the weather is, how the children are, how the dog is. Go through all of this, and always, my first goal during a sales call, is to get the client laughing within the first minute or half a minute off the call.
So I always want to get them laughing because when they laugh, their guards, they collapse immediately. So that's a way for me to start building the trust. And that's something that's very important. And I always promise within the messaging phase, if the client is hesitant to get on a call with me, I can promise them that if we don't get into any meaningful conversation, you'll at least get a few tips and tricks and a couple of laughs. So that's what I can promise you.
So when they're laughing, I've heard about how their dog is, how their trading goes, all of that. I start building the personal relationship, then I want to get into the business side of things. So the first letter C, stands for currently. So I want to ask a client, what's going on right now at work? What's on your desk, what's on your mind? And how are things and just get a very general idea of the current situation at client's work. So that's the first phase. And during this phase, you want to hear a lot of high level things that the client is doing. For example, a lot of clients tell me that they've recently had a strategy change. They've changed the strategy, they've got a new partner on board. They've hired someone. What's the general, just the current situation at the firm.
After you've got a good understanding of the client's current situation, you want to move on to the next phase, which is L for like. So you never want to get into the problem straight after C, even though it's very tempting. You want to first ask, what's going well for you, right now? What do you like right now? And here, a client might say that, "Hey, we had this amazing website redesign just recently, it was launched a few weeks back. And we've gotten a lot of positive comments on the design of the website. It's beautiful. And we love it. So that went really well." And this is a pointer for you not to offer a new website. So that's a complete waste of time.
So here, you want to rule out the things that the client likes, the client enjoys. And you also want to compliment them further. If they've done a website redesign you can say to the client that, "I checked it out. It looked amazing. I really like the design details on the website. And you've done really good work on that." So you want to give them a compliment, and therefore, get the guards even more down and make them feel that they've done something very good even in the eyes of a professional, the website design, if you're a website designer.

Chris:
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Welcome back to our conversation with Jone Korpi. So we're only on the first two letters, C and L. I'm following. Yeah.

Jone:
So the next letter is A. And A stands for alter. So this is the most important phase of the sales call. This is about 10 or 15 minutes into the sales call. And this is where you ask the client, what's not going so well for you. What would you like to change? What would you like to alter? So here, you want to hear the client's problem. So if we continue with the website example, the client might say something like, "Well, we did this amazing redesign, but we've only gotten three leads out of the website in the few weeks that it's been out." And here you can sympathize with the problem first, say something like, "Oh, my God, I'm so sorry to hear that. That's a problem that a lot of my clients have had as well." And just sympathize with the problem. Then you have two options, you can either ask what else, or you can get into the problem that they first mentioned.
If you are sure that the first problem is a spot for you to make your move on something that you can immediately offer, you can do that. But it's often more clever to ask for more problems, because there may be something that's underlying that they're not telling immediately. Something that's even more pressing than the problem that they mentioned, or something that's even more tragic, and is a straight result of the problem they're having right now.

Chris:
Okay.

Jone:
And here is where the sale happens. So if you're not able to sell here, the sale is essentially lost, especially if you're trying to close on the first call. So when you've identified the correct problem, you want to go through an anecdote again. So here just tell story again, about a previous client that had a similar problem. So for example, we had a client that had the exact same problem, they've just done a website redesign, and it looked amazing, but they haven't gotten any leads out of that. So they called me and what we did is a content strategy, which allowed us to generate meaningful content for the audience. And through that content, we were able to generate leads and get up to 27.11 conversion rate on the blog pages, for each blog we put out for example.
And then client gets interested. And then you tell more about how you did the thing that you did. So here's where you get the client very interested. And essentially, here's where you make the sale. So you look for the problem, try to get more meaningful answers, more deep answers, and then tell about how you solved a similar problem for a similar client in the past, and the results you got and the process you went through and all of that.
And after you have done that, you might want to move on to the S phase. So this is a very short phase. S stands for signer. So here, you just ask if the person you're on a call with is a decision maker in the business. So here you might ask, "Can you act on this decision that we're about to make, or do you have to go through someone else?" If the client says that they don't have the authority to make a decision right away, you want to get off that call as quickly and as politely as possible. So you don't want to waste your time with people who are gatekeepers, you want to go straight past them, and to the actual decision maker. You can use the person you presented the solution to as a bridge to get to the actual decision maker, but if they can't make the decision on the first call, and you figure that out in the S phase, you've got to get off that call as fast as possible because you're wasting your time and the client's time.

Chris:
Right. So how do you get off the call in a way that doesn't seem so abrupt?

Jone:
There are a lot of options and you have to reflect on the conversation you've had and the social capital that you've built with the client during the call. But a good option is to say that, "Hey, this sounds very good. And I think we're a great match. But as you may very well understand, if we can't make a decision here, I'd love for you to connect me with your boss and so that we can have a similar discussion with him or her and try to see if we can get the ball rolling from there." But you have to be fairly careful. And you also might want to include the person you first had the call with, the conversations you'll have with the decision makers in the organization after, so that the person doesn't feel left out. Because if they feel left out, they will do more damage than they will do good.

Chris:
Right, right. Okay. So they are the decision maker and they're giving you confirmation that yes, I can make the decision.

Jone:
Cool.

Chris:
Where do you go?

Jone:
Then you move on to the P phase. So the P, it doesn't stand for price. Well, let's play a game, guess what it stands for. Let's see if you get it.

Chris:
The pitch? I don't know.

Jone:
Nope. It stands for picture.

Chris:
Picture?

Jone:
So here's the phase where you'll pour salt into their wounds and try to make them suffer as much as possible, essentially. So here's where you say things like, how does this problem affect your day-to-day business? Oh, my God, I think we're losing like four clients a day. And that turns to 40K in monthly sales. So oh, my God, we are losing like 480,000 a year. Oh, my God, this is awful. And when you want to ask something like, how does that make you feel? So you want to just ask questions that don't describe the problem. Because the problem with a lot of sales calls is that there are essentially three parties. So there's you, the salesperson, there's the client, so that's the person you're talking to. And then there's the problem. So it's like a chair, you're just both describing it, so the chair is white, the problem is this, this, this and that. You're describing the problem. And it's a external factor. So that's not the position you want to be in.
Instead, you want to make the clients own the problem. So this is what's called problem ownership, essentially. Through questions like, how does this make you feel? You're making the problem instead of it being just an external thing that the client has to deal with, you're making it a personal issue that's hurting them. The more it hurts, the faster they'll make a decision and the higher the chance that you'll get a positive decision on the first call. And this is a tactic that has been really life changing for me. Because you really want to pour salt into their wounds and get them hurting and get them owning the problem. Because that's really how you nail the sale.

Chris:
Makes sense to me. Because you're making it very personal and therefore the desire to solve it becomes more urgent.

Jone:
Exactly, exactly.

Chris:
Because if there's distance, then it's like I'll deal with this some other time.

Jone:
Right. Right. Or you'll get someone else to deal with it and that puts you back to square one essentially. So after this, a client often says, "All right, fine, what does it cost?" And then you tell the cost. So it's 10,000 for the strategy, and then you'll be able to use that strategy in about six weeks. So there you go, problem is solved and you shake on the deal, in the ideal circumstance, of course.

Chris:
Right. Excellent. That was super helpful. So I have so many questions for you now.

Jone:
Ask away.

Chris:
Now the thing that you're describing, because I know that on your site, it's very specific, who you're targeting. You're helping creatives get clients. And so creatives may not have the marketing prowess or the technical chops that you have so that they can definitively say I do something that gets X results. So in the case of a designer, they don't think in those terms, they think, "I've made this look better, it feels more like the brand." So what are ways that you're able to help them?

Jone:
Well, in this situation, I think you have to get some number that you can present. Because when you get a number, then you'll be able to get the client's first interest. When you've got that initial interest, then you can move on further in the sales process. So if you're a logo designer, and you've done a rebranding, for example, one place you can go to is website analytics. So you can check the website analytics before the rebranding. So how high is the bounce rate? How many sessions? How long is the session length? And all of that, and then you can look at sales statistics, so how good is the pull person. So that's the percentage of the meetings that make it into actual clients and relationships and all of these things.
So you want to get some number before you do the rebrand, and then the same number after you've done the rebrand, like three months after the rebranding has been launched. So here you have a comparison between two numbers. And then you can rule out the things that have not changed or changed in a negative manner, and point out the things that have changed to a desired state. So then you can point out that after this rebranding, we actually got a better pull persons out of the sales meetings, because the clients understood better the purpose of the brand and what it stands for, essentially. So you want to try to find a number because that's what piques the initial interest of a decision maker in the business. And after you've done that, then you can move on to the more deep and meaningful insights about branding and the benefits of it.

Chris:
Makes sense. So I'm curious, when you're doing your sales call, what kind of objections are raised? Or do you just, because you've done it and you're using your CLASP system, that they don't even ask you anymore?

Jone:
Well, a lot of people ask, and a lot of people don't make the decision right away. And this is where you get to a phase that's really, I think, the most interesting phase about a sales call.

Chris:
Oh.

Jone:
So this is what I like to call, pun intended, the but phase. So this is where the client starts asking a lot of buts. So I'd make the decision right away, but I've got a budget, I've got these decision makers that have to be included.

Chris:
Yes.

Jone:
So this is where you get into argument handling. And this is one of the more crucial skills a salesperson has to master to advance from a decent salesperson to an excellent one. So argument handling is really one of those arts that are more difficult to master, but has a very significant ROI once you master them. So let's say you're at the end of the P phase, the client owns the problem right now. And they're hurting, and they're ready to look for a solution. And so you ask for the sale. So do we have a deal? And the client says, "We would but," a classic argument would be, "I have to check in with my business partner and see if," excuse me, "see if they agree with this. And only then can we move forward." So if that specific argument comes up, you want to ask the client, "If your business partner signs off on this, do we have a deal?" If the client says yes, you've identified the correct problem and then you can move on to how you solve it.
So then you want to get into the meeting where the business partners meet. So you don't want them to ever discuss your project in private. And you don't want to send a proposal via email. Never, ever, ever. So if this is the situation, you could say something like, "All right, that's perfect. I understand. How about, I join the meeting, so if your business partner has any questions, I can address them right away, because we both know that I'm the expert on this," or something like that. And there, you've correctly identified the problem, and then you're moving on to solving it.
But if the client says, "Yeah, we would have but," then you've identified a smoke screen. So that's a problem that the client is presenting but it's not the real problem. So you have to dig deeper. Then you ask, what else? "Well, we have a budget, we've recently made some big investments, and it's not really a good time." And then you can try and solve that problem. So we could make the payment within six months, a monthly contract or whatever, try to ease the finances a bit. And then ask again, do we have a deal? If the client says yes, then you've correctly identified the problem, solve it, and you have a deal. And if they say no, then again, you go through what else and identify the problem, find a solution, find the next problem, go through this for as long as it takes for them not to be able to find any more problems. You've exhausted all of their options and they have no option but to sign off on the deal with you on the first call.

Chris:
Right. What if their objection is about you specifically? Have you gotten those like, "Yeah, but you're a 19 year old kid. How can I trust you with this?"

Jone:
I don't get objections like that.

Chris:
Okay.

Jone:
Because I'm able to be a professional essentially. I'm able to build a trusting relationship between me and the client during the first 10 minutes of the call. And there I've essentially made them forget that I'm 19. And if that problem comes up, I think you have to work on the way you speak, on your tone of voice, on your choice of words, on your case studies. If they're not convinced, it's not their problem, it's your problem. And I do want to point out that often, when a deal is lost, it's not the client's problem, but the salesperson's problem and you want to really reflect on what you could have done differently so that the client would have signed off on the deal on the first call or at the latest, on the second call.

Chris:
Yeah. I like the way that you said that. And I have to say, you are very fortunate because when I saw your picture online, you have a more mature looking face. And you have a more mature sounding voice.

Jone:
Yes.

Chris:
Because if you have a high pitched voice that's going to be a dead giveaway.

Jone:
Exactly. And I'm 193 centimeters tall. So that's a bit above, I think, like 6’2” or three. So I'm fairly tall.

Chris:
Okay, you're a tall guy.

Jone:
So that's an advantage also.

Chris:
So you don't get those pushback, that's really interesting.

Jone:
No.

Chris:
What about pushback, them pushing back on the price? "Yes, but I think that's too much."

Jone:
Yeah.

Chris:
"10K is too much for us."

Jone:
Right. That I do hear. Well, there are two ways of handling that.

Chris:
Okay.

Jone:
I don't do discount. I don't give discounts on projects that I've done before, because I have the confidence in my ability to deliver, so I know the client will benefit. So essentially, for a client to sign off on a deal, they have to trust three different things. They have to trust their ability to deliver the essential documents, for example. Give the time to do the project. And they also have to trust in their ability to pay for the service. So they have to trust themselves. They have to also trust in you and your ability to deliver, your ability to stay on schedule, and they have to trust the outcome of the project. So they have to trust that the project will have an ROI, preferably a positive ROI, and that they'll get the results you've promised.
If the client starts to push back on the price, there is the problem. So you want to figure out where exactly the problem is. Often it might be their... If they're worried about the cost, it's not so much the cost that they're really worried about, it's more so the result that they're expecting. So this is a situation where they don't trust the result. And therefore you have to persuade them further that you can deliver, and that the project you're working on will have a positive ROI. So if they are pushing back on the price, always make sure that you don't give discounts and you emphasize the positive results of the projects.
What I will do sometimes is I'll give a payment schedule. So if it's 10K, I'll do 10 months, 1000 per month. And that's a more flexible option for some clients, and some clients just say point blank, "That is too much. We don't have a deal." And that's fine. Not all clients are-

Chris:
Oh, okay.

Jone:
... meant to be.

Chris:
Oh, that's good. All right. I like your response to that. That was nice. Okay.

Jone:
Thank you.

Chris:
I think this has been super helpful. I mean, you've taken me from a skeptical person to like, "Yeah, I think you know what you're talking about. I agree, with the principle." So I've got a couple of questions for you and maybe some personal-

Jone:
Awesome.

Chris:
... things here. Okay?

Jone:
Cool. I'd be happy to answer.

Chris:
So how did you learn how to do this?

Jone:
Mainly through trial and error. So mainly my sales process, well, I started on LinkedIn. I started building what I call a DSP. So that's a digital selling platform. So I started building that on LinkedIn, I started posting daily, reaching out to people, having conversations. And I made some mistakes, I made some people angry. And I just developed it because I didn't have a... The future for salespeople doesn't exist, I don't think. So I didn't have a good resource to learn about. So I just figured it out on my own. Recently, I've hired a sales coach for myself, which has been really helpful. We have weekly calls for a few months to start with. And that's been really helpful. I've read some books, and listened to podcasts, watched videos, and all of the usual self-help things. But really, I've just been on my own figuring it out.

Chris:
Excellent. Okay. So here's the next question I have for you. Now this could get personal here, so if you don't want to answer it it's totally fine-

Jone:
I'm open to it.

Chris:
... I'll have to just blurt it out. Okay. How much money are you making doing this for yourself, and then how much money are you making training other people to do this?

Jone:
Right. A perfect question. During my best week, I sold 20K worth of marketing and branding services in that one week. So the way I was able to get to that number was that I planted a lot of seeds and then just collected them during that one week. So I drove all across Finland closing the deals, getting the signature on the papers and closed them off. So that's the best week. Usually I do between eight to 20K a month. But I'm suspecting for that to increase significantly in the coming months, because I'm a part of a 13 person marketing agency, so I have a lot more capacity and a lot more services that I can sell so that obviously increases the amount of stuff I'll be selling. And actually, I haven't gotten the first coaching client yet. So this is actually a thing that I'm just starting on.

Chris:
I see.

Jone:
I'm doing a blog series with Melinda, I'm hoping to launch it next week. So we're in the start of July right now. And I'm hoping to get the blog post written next week, and get the ball rolling from there. So I'm in the very start phase of the coaching business.

Chris:
Very good. Okay. So I'm curious, how did you and Melinda even meet?

Jone:
You know Cam [inaudible 00:49:48] from Highlight?

Chris:
Highlight? Yes, yes. Yes. Yes.

Jone:
Yes. Right, right. So Cam asked me on an Instagram Live with him. And during that we got into a really good conversation about, I think branding and messaging and those kinds of things. And so during the Live, we talked about Melinda, I think. And after the Live, I just sent an Instagram DM to Melinda saying that I was just on an Instagram Live with Cam and asked if she wanted to do one with me. So we did one, that's still available on my Instagram TV if you want to check it out. And during that we got into really, really good conversation about branding, about sales, about our stories. And we built a really good relationship. So then we exchanged a few emails, got on another call and planned this whole sales thing for creative sounds. And now we're planning to launch it. Hopefully next week.

Chris:
Very interesting how our worlds connect and overlap here.

Jone:
Yeah, right. Right.

Chris:
It's like only one degree of separation.

Jone:
Exactly.

Chris:
Right. I got another personal question for you. Recently, you were very generous to come into our pro group and give a talk on sales. And this is something that a lot of people, creative people especially think, "I need to do sales, I got to do this thing." I'm like, "Okay. You'll see, it's hard. It takes a certain personality, you have to be very persistent." And you came in and you did your thing. And I heard from reports from there, I was like, "Just a little pushback." Can you talk a little bit about that? How did you feel and how did you respond to all that?

Jone:
Yes. So I'm actually very happy that I got pushback because I'm just doing this like one and a half years. I've developed my sales process and I've developed a sales development process, essentially, which I call the four Ps. So that pro group call was essentially the premiere of me selling to everyone, about the four Ps and about my theories about selling. So I got pushback and essentially, it had to do with qualification. That was one problem. So a lot of people asked that if you sent a message to 50 people a day and tried to get as many of them on a call as possible, how are you able to qualify the leads so that you are on a call with people who actually are in your target market, are good clients and have the ability and the resources to make a decision? So that was one thing that I got a lot of pushback on.
And another was, how does this shotgun prospecting strategy work if you have a very specific service, like brand strategy, for example, which a lot of businesses don't recognize that they need. So those were some of the pushback I got which was very valuable, I think.

Chris:
So what did that tell you about selling to creatives and how do you solve this problem?

Jone:
I think all of the people who pushed back hadn't done any sales... They don't have a sales process, is what I'm trying to say. They don't have a systematic way of selling. And selling is a bit new to them. That's what I understood. So a lot of people, when I ask them, have you tried this? They said no.

Chris:
Of course.

Jone:
So this is obviously the traction with new things and with hard things that take time and patience and resistance, but well, to the qualification problem, my response to that was essentially, that you have to well, firstly you have to create your customer profiles so that in your search, you can rule out the people that aren't in your target marketing. So this is where, for example, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a very useful tool. And you can rule out for, for example, I've noticed that for me, people who have been for 10 years in the same position, they aren't good decision makers for me because they aren't hungry for change. For me, the best people are CMOs in IT businesses who have been in their jobs for preferably about a year, five years at the most, because they're eager to change and they have to prove themselves within the organization, that they create meaningful change and move things forward.

Chris:
Yep.

Jone:
So you want to figure out your target market and search for only the right people. Then within your messaging, you want to go through some questions that indicate to you that they might have a problem that you are able to solve. So this is where asking an open ended question in the message inbox, for example, is there anything I can help you with right now? What kinds of problems do you have on your desk right now? Those kinds of questions are very good. So if you get on a call with someone who isn't interested, or can't make a decision, or isn't in an interesting line of work for you, it's a qualification problem. So you have to look at your searches, and you have to look at your messages and ways you can improve there.
And then regarding the shotgun strategy, my response to that was that... Well, the website example, if you have a website that doesn't generate leads, the solution in the client's head, if they aren't experienced in marketing, for example, might be to do some Facebook ads, for example, get people on the website, and then they'll have a lot of leads. But this is often false logic. Often the problem is within the website, within the funnels on the website, and with lead generation and things like that. So if you're selling only brand strategy, you might be able to point out problems that clients may be having, to which a new brand strategy or a rebrand might be a good solution.
Another way is to get a freelance network around you, one person who does Facebook ads, one person who does analytics, and then you can learn to sell for them and take like a 20% commission if you want to do that. So that's essentially getting paid to just do the setting, so that's one option as well.

Chris:
All right, that was good. Hoo. Before I close out here, let me ask you, is there a question that I should have asked you on this call or on this podcast?

Jone:
I think we got through most of the topics. Argument handling was something that I really wanted to talk about, so I'm glad we got to that. And searching and qualification are also things that I wanted to discuss. So we got through both. So I don't think there's anything pressing right now.

Chris:
Okay. I know that there's a lot more to each one of these steps-

Jone:
Yes.

Chris:
... as a high level overview, the structure, the framework. Your credibility to me has been established, and I believe-

Jone:
Awesome.

Chris:
... what you're doing, and I believe-

Jone:
Thank you.

Chris:
... you can help a lot of people. So that was-

Jone:
I believe so too.

Chris:
... really nice. I mean, the problem, like I said, there's a lot of judgment and people are making these knee-jerk decisions about, "So he's a 19 year old kid. What does he know?"

Jone:
Right.

Chris:
And you've spent time working on this and you do seem very credible to me. So I appreciate you doing that.

Jone:
Thank you so much.

Chris:
And for the people who are listening to this and you find value in this, start to map out in your own life, are you doing something that can be measured? This is very important that you have quantifiable, qualitative and quantitative data that supports what you do. And a lot of people in the creative space especially very reluctant to talk about that because it means that we have to be accountable.

Jone:
I agree.

Chris:
That the things that we make and the things that we charge money for actually have to have some measurable result.

Jone:
Exactly.

Chris:
And it could just be customer satisfaction. Find the before, find the after and map it out. Now if you want to find out more about what Jone is doing, you can reach out to him and what's the best way to reach out to you?

Jone:
So you can find me everywhere by searching for my name. So Instagram, J-O-N-E K-O-R-P-I. That's how you can reach me on Instagram and my website J-O-N-E K-O-R-P-I.com. There I will be publishing a lot more blogs in English about sales. And I'll also be launching the thingy with Melinda soon. So at marksandmaker.com, you'll find my writings as well. And we'll be creating a sales playbook for creatives that will be available for 20 bucks I think, right now. And then you'll also be able to hire me as your sales coach if you want to develop your sales process later.

Chris:
I'm looking forward to this sales playbook. When is that going to launch?

Jone:
I hope next week.

Chris:
Oh, okay, so very close.

Jone:
Yes.

Chris:
Super. Well, it was fantastic talking to you.

Jone:
You too. My name is Jone Korpi, and you're listening to The Futur. (Music).

Greg:
Thanks so much for joining us in this episode. If you're new to The Future and you want to know more about our education mission, visit thefutur.com. You'll find more podcast episodes, hundreds of YouTube videos, and a growing collection of online courses and products covering design and business. Oh, and we spell The Futur with no E. The Futur podcast is hosted by Chris Do and produced by me, Greg Gunn. This episode was mixed and edited by Anthony Barro, with intro music by Adam Sanborne. If you enjoyed this episode, then do us a favor and rate and review us on iTunes. It's a tremendous help in getting our message out there, and let's us know what you like. Thanks again for listening and we will see you next time.

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