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Joe Apfelbaum: Building a Long-Term Relationship with Your B2B Customers | Episode 015

Joe Apfelbaum shares strategies and tactics in developing a relationship with your customers using LinkedIn

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Joe Apfelbaum Show Notes Page

Show Description

Developing a relationship with B2B customers is different compared to B2C. According to Joe Apfelbaum, it’s going to take a significant amount of planning. A good relationship with a B2B customer always involves a lot of digital trust, and it requires marketers to be transformational rather than transactional. If you want to improve your digital marketing efforts then take a listen to this episode as Joe Apfelbaum shares strategies and tactics in helping you develop a long-term relationship with your B2B customers.

Joe Apfelbaum is the CEO and founder of Ajax Union, a B2B digital marketing agency in Brooklyn, NY.

Joe is a business strategist, LinkedIn expert and Certified Google Trainer. He enjoys speaking and writing about digital marketing, professional networking, and personal development in his seminars, webinars, and articles. Joe is the author of High Energy Secrets, How To Lose 95 Pounds and Keep it Off.  Joe is the host of the popular podcast The Breakthrough Maze where he coaches entrepreneurs on how to go from frustration to ‘Mojovation’; he has also been featured on hundreds of popular podcasts.

Joe is the producer of GrowTime.tv and has published over 1000 ‘Mojovational’ videos online. Joe is an active member of the Executives Association of New York City and a professional member of the National Speakers Association, a group of the top professional speakers in the USA. Joe speaks to groups of top CEO’s at EO, YPO, Vistage, and the YJP CEO Forum. Joe is a contributing member of the YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council), a community of the world’s most passionate, driven entrepreneurs. Joe is on a mission to help 1000 hungry entrepreneurs go from Frustration to ‘Mojovation’ via his online courses, books and speaking engagements. Joe is proud of all his accomplishments, but most of all he is proud of his 5 amazing kids.

Timestamps/Outline

00:36 – Joe’s background in B2B Digital Marketing

03:52 – Nurturing and developing a relationship with your potential customers

04:36 – The dating/marriage metaphor

05:53 – Marketing is about testing in the right place

07:42 – Joe’s passion in B2B digital marketing and rapping

08:10 – Providing value to the customer and helping them along their journey

10:50 – Establishing digital trust during these times

13:06 – The Evyrgreen B2B Digital Marketing Strategy Overview

18:13 – Being transformational rather than transactional

20:05 – How to stand out and be a disruptor

24:18 – The 5 elements to your budget

27:12 – Rethinking your value ladder

32:26 – Get in touch with Joe Apfelbaum

Memorable Quotes

“If you want to build a large union, a large partnership between you and a customer, it’s going to take a significant amount of planning.”

“The longer it is that you need to do something, the more you need to plan it out in advance.”

“Marketing is about testing, and the testing will only take effect if you’re testing in the right place.”

“Just because you know something doesn’t mean you’re doing it.”

“The easiest person to sell is a customer.”

Links and Resources

Joe’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/joeapfelbaum

Joe’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joeapfelbaum/

Joe’s website: http://www.joeapfelbaum.com/

Joe’s course: http://learnbusinessnetworking.com/

https://learn.evyrgreen.com/

Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay. B2B DM gang. I’m not telling you, there’s something that is part of your arsenal. It is part of everybody’s arsenal. However, you may not be using it to its full potential. And so that’s why we have Joe Apfelbaum on the show today, Joe. Thanks for joining us.

Joe Apfelbaum (00:18):

Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be on this

Jim Rembach (00:21):

Podcasts. Now I’ve had the opportunity to review some of your work, some of your thought leadership, you and I I’ve also had the opportunity to get exposed to some of your rapping and you just rip it off. Like it’s just secondhand nature and like a breath coming out of your mouth. I’m sure you’ll probably load and are unload a few of those honest, but I want to make sure that we’re really getting an understanding or at least listeners are of your background, your experience and how you fit into B to B digital marketing.

Joe Apfelbaum (00:49):

Yeah. You see, for us, we serviced over 1100 clients since we started our marketing agency 12 years ago. And at one point we started seeing a difference between different types of clients. There are clients that have a small, uh, lifetime value of a client and a small sales cycle, like an eCommerce B to C company. And most businesses are really like that. But then the place that needs the most strategy, the pay, the place that needs the most access the most, uh, thinking first and then cutting, measuring twice. And then cutting is those B2B companies that have a particularly long sales cycle and a very high lifetime value. So if that’s your type of business, we decided several years ago that we’re going to double down and focus on those types of companies. And the reason is because we’re super strategic. And when you’re super strategic for the companies that are just kind of fly by night and their customers close in two seconds, they don’t care so much about that.

Joe Apfelbaum (01:50):

They don’t value that so much cause they don’t always need that much strategy. They just need more eyeballs. But for companies that have a long sales cycle, typically they need to have a very high lifetime value for it to be worth it for them to invest three years, you know, maybe 10 K 50 K a hundred K or even several million dollars and the value of your customers. So you’re willing to wait patiently a year or two years or three years or sometimes more to close those deals. And in that case, you need to learn how indoctrinate your customer, how to nurture them, how to educate them, how to stay top of mind with them and how to turn them into a qualified lead when the timing is right and then getting in the door at the right time. And so, because we value strategy so much, we decided to go into a niche that is not that popular, but it’s very meaningful to us as marketers because of our expertise. And we want to feel fulfilled in the work that we do. We decided to zero in and focus on that. And also our customers ourselves are those types of customers because we want to increase the prices of our own marketing services as an agency. So if we’re going to market ourselves a certain way successfully, then we’re going to implement the same level of success to our clients because we have our own funnel and our own lead gen strategies and our own network. And then we go and implement that with our customers because

Jim Rembach (03:14):

Practice what we preach. Okay. So now as you were talking though, there’s a couple of things that kind of stood out to me because I think there’s a conflict, uh, that often arises when you start talking about, uh, essentially what you were referring to is that marathon focus in mindset saying, okay, this, this is not a situation where we’re going to do a click. Uh, we’re going to get a lead and it’s going to be a demo. And it’s all going to happen in a matter of hours. That’s not what we’re talking about here. Uh, and so there’s a conflict. People are saying, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, I don’t. First of all, I don’t even understand what it is that we’re having to go through. Um, I don’t understand all this planning and need for the planning. All I want is make, give me some sales man.

Joe Apfelbaum (03:59):

All I want to do is get married. Why do I have to date? Why can’t I just get married for the next 17, 20 years? Why? Because most marriages end in divorce. That’s why. And if you want to marry the right person, you need to first figure out who you are with the right strategy. Then you need to position yourself with the right assets, getting yourself to develop yourself personally, to find out who you really are. And often at 21, you have no idea who you are often when you’re a brand new company, a startup, you have no idea who you are and then you need to go prospecting, downloading all the right tools and capturing the right people. And then having meaningful educational conversations with each other, to get to know each other and learn about each other. And then if it’s the right fit, you continue and you continue to nurture and you continue to grow.

Joe Apfelbaum (04:46):

And hopefully you turn into the right beautiful community, the right family that you’re going to create. And the same thing goes in business. If you want to build a large union, a large partnership between you and a customer, that’s worth a lot of money. It’s going to take a significant amount of more planning. The longer it is that you need to do something. The more you need to plan it out in advance. When you have to go to the moon, if you’re an inch off on earth, you know where you’re going to be, you’re going to be in your anus. You’re going to be in Mars. You’re going to be somewhere else. So the key is to plan twice. Use your mind. You smarts right now, because if you use these plans, that may sound complicated to the layman. But if you’re an experienced marketer, you understand that marketing is about testing.

Joe Apfelbaum (05:31):

And the testing only will take effect. If you’re testing in the right place, if you’re testing for COVID on a telephone or something, it’s not going to help. You got to get in someone’s nose in order to test for it properly, right? In the right place. If you tested on their cheek, it’s not going to help you. You got to get in the right place to figure out if it works. So the same thing with marketing, you got to first set up a strategy. You got to understand, okay, who is my target market? What messaging do I need to create to them? What are their, what are their gains? What is their persona? And how’s that going to help me to get those types of clients? What are the buyer centers and the B2B marketing world. There’s a decision maker or the influencer. There’s the user.

Joe Apfelbaum (06:08):

There’s the buyer procurement. There’s a lot of different areas and different messaging that you need for those different areas. And then you need to create some type of funnel, some type of system, some type of process. Because these days people do their own research. It used to be that you just throw a sales team out and they go and they do it and they do the whole marketing. But now you need sales enablement. Now you need sales amplification. Now you need to change the way the game works. And that means you need to be more strategic. You need to invest more in creating assets and a funnel and a journey that you take the client through. If it takes a client a year to do business with you or six months, take them through a journey. And throughout the journey, you buy them flowers throughout the journey. You buy them drinks throughout the journey. You send them a Pearl necklace. So what if it’s freshwater pearls from Amazon who cares? The key is to add value every step of the way. And if you can add value, that’s going to be the way that you’re going to be more likely to close those types of calls.

Jim Rembach (07:05):

No, Joe, I have to ask you, what’s your passion.

Joe Apfelbaum (07:10):

Yo, I got passion to make some cash in, but first I gotta see what’s going on on the horizon. I know I’m going to call you cause I use the best it’s called Verizon. You know, call me on my phone. Cause I got this big trombone that I’m about to sing to you. Cause my name is Joe. When I’m the BTB pro, I love it. I love to grow it. I love to show it and I love to flow it.

Jim Rembach (07:33):

Oh man, I’ll tell you, uh, I mean you, you know, you are so dead on, in so many ways and that is a message. Uh, it’s several different key points. If we were to sit here and say, okay, Joe, we are going to repurpose everything that you just went through in the last, you know, a couple of minutes, um, really that it’s, it’s textbook as far as what we used to do versus now what we need to do. And that your message right there is what I convey to my clients all the time. Cause I talk about business development, marketing. This is, this is marketing for biz dev. This isn’t, you know, a scenario where you’re just going to be creating all this content. That’s going to be flowing up here and sitting up here and you just keep just generating and throwing that at some point, you know, and quickly you have to start working on making people go down that particular path that you’re talking about and that nurture path

Joe Apfelbaum (08:28):

Journey is so important. And let me tell you something about the journey when you’re correct with the journey, when you correctly identified the problems of your customers, the thoughts, the questions they have in their head that maybe they’re not even conscious of. And then you’re the one that provide value to them along their journey. When they’re ready to buy there’s no one else they’re going to go to, they’re going to go to you. Now. They have options. They have competitors, but who would you rather do business with the who held your hand along your entire journey to make the largest purchase of your professional career or some random person that’s going to save you 10%. I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking to save money. When I’m making a large investment. When I’m buying a house, I’m not looking to save money. I’m looking to buy the right a house in the right area.

Joe Apfelbaum (09:15):

That’s going to appreciate in the right way. That’s going to give me the right cashflow. I’m not looking to save money. I’m looking to invest money. I’m looking to make money. Would you rather spend less and have something that actually depreciates in price or would you rather spend a little more and get something that is guaranteed to stay where it is? And there’s only upside potential. So think about it. When you’re making a strategic business decision, you’re going to use your noodles. You’re going to use your research and that’s why you have to be authentic. You have to be real and you have to add real value. And I know that whoever’s listening to this. You are an expert. You already are an expert. The thing is maybe you haven’t taken the time to articulate your expertise in a way that your customer can appreciate it. Take it in, in a non salesy approach, more than an advisor approach. And, but secretly what you’re doing is building a tremendous amount of trust, Goodwill value. And ultimately that turns into your ideal client.

Jim Rembach (10:14):

Yeah. Well, so what you said right there as part of what I have been chatting with with several people, and we’re talking about building digital trust, digital trustees days, it is not, you know, the face to face trust that I was trying to do at a conference that now we can’t do. And I would dare to say, we’re not gonna go back to that old method.

Joe Apfelbaum (10:35):

But LinkedIn is like the new conference of 2020, right? LinkedIn is where people are going these days and personal brands. You know, there was a stat that 80 people spend on average, about eight hours on social media, with all their devices and their computers and their tablets and all the notifications that are popping up and the way they’re addicted to the feed, into the notifications, into the messages. People are spending eight hours a day on social media. And most of the content that they’re consuming is not from brands. It’s not that fluffy stuff that you mentioned before that doesn’t work anymore. That branding stuff that is still important for Coca Cola, but it’s not important for you. If you’re looking to make money. If you’re looking to do business development, if you’re looking for direct marketing, that fluffy stuff is not going to work. Cause people’s attentions are on other people.

Joe Apfelbaum (11:18):

You’re consuming content from other human beings. And that’s why we created a LinkedIn course. And that’s why we ourselves are gung ho on LinkedIn, because LinkedIn is the only professional social network that provides you with a content platform that already has a built in targeted audience. So if you’re targeting people in companies that are in charge of customer service that have customer experience of improving the process, I mean, those people are sitting on LinkedIn consuming content and hopefully your content, but are you posting every day? Probably not. And it’s because you don’t have a strategy because you don’t have a content calendar and asset library because you don’t have all this stuff organized consistently and you’re not leading them into a funnel. So that’s what we have dedicated our life to be doing specifically for B to B companies. And we’re so excited with the results that we’re getting. So we’ve closed millions of dollars in new business from our clients by building out these funnels and by setting up their LinkedIn correctly. And it’s so powerful because we’re not just doing it for our clients. We’re also doing it for ourselves.

Jim Rembach (12:29):

Well, and I, and I would say, you know, I mean, there’s a few key things in there that, uh, you, you were talking about, uh, that I wanted like to dig a little bit deeper into one being is, you know, the course and you seek it over your shoulder. And for those that are just listening to this, um, it’s, it’s a very structured path. Talk about a journey. You know, it’s a journey process that you talk about. And of course just like you’re wrapping, um, it has, you know, things that are very cadence driven and it has a whole lot of connection to it and has a whole lot of symbolism. So if you could just kind of walk through that little bit.

Joe Apfelbaum (13:00):

Yeah. My name is Joe and I’m the LinkedIn pro everybody out there. They just want to grow, but they’re not posting. They’re just coasting. Don’t be like them and get you LinkedIn toast. And I’m going to walk you through the three steps right now, but I’m not going to wrap it so you can pay attention. Okay. Step number one on our course is we teach you how to create a strategy. Most people never learned how to properly create a strategy. And if they did learn that in college, it’s very complicated and it takes a really long time. So in three videos and with three frameworks, we teach you how to create a business plan, a marketing plan, and a LinkedIn plan. Then we teach you how to create a persona, your target client and your ideal referral partner. And then we teach you how to create the messaging that speaks to those people that makes them want to buy from you and helps you get to your goal.

Joe Apfelbaum (13:46):

And now all you have your strategy. It’s written down in our frameworks and you’re done then in the second step, which we call buildOn, we teach you how to create your assets. So we help you identify your stories. The questions people typically ask you. We have a whole brainstorm content map tool where we extract everything out of your head. We get everything onto paper. Then we teach you how to optimize your profile. There are three major sections to your profile that you can optimize your identity, your summary, and your history. And then once your profile is optimized. Now you have 10 times more profile views, which is extremely powerful for your business because LinkedIn has caller ID. When somebody goes to your profile, you actually get notified who are those decision makers, influencers, buyers that are on your profile. You can see who they are, what companies they work for, and you can connect with them and message them.

Joe Apfelbaum (14:31):

It’s very, very powerful. So it’s important to learn how to attract those people to your profile. And then we have our dashboards because if you don’t have a content calendar, if you don’t have an asset library, if you have an export at all your connections and strategize, recognize, strategize, and prioritize them. And if you don’t have an activity tracker where you measure things, you’re not going to be able to be successful on LinkedIn. So that’s why we give the dashboards, the profile and the asset creation. Now, once you have your building and you have your strategy, then we move on to taking action. Now, there are a million different things you can do on LinkedIn, but we only want our clients and our students to only do three things. Every single day. We want you to be posting. We want you to be engaging and we want you to be messaging posting.

Joe Apfelbaum (15:13):

And so you get that visibility. You need to get people to know you trust you. And like you so know you as visibility and that’s by posting a post only lasts 24 hours on LinkedIn. After that, it kind of dies down. If it doesn’t have engagement, there are also articles. There are also videos. There are also images and knowing how to do it the right way is crucial. So we teach you the six most popular posts to do and how to do them in order for them to get the second thing, which is engagement. Most people are not liking they’re lurking. If you’re on marker. That’s cool. If you’re just watching, that’s cool, but that’s not going to get you results. It’s not going to build you trust. What you said is digital trust, online trust. And so if you want to build trust, you have to learn how to mention, how to endorse, how to comment, how to like, how to share.

Joe Apfelbaum (15:56):

And if you do these things correctly in the right way, you’ll be able to build that trust with your target market. And then finally they say, if you build it, they will come, right? I’m sure you’ve heard that in the past. If you build it, they will come. Not in B2B. If you build it, they will not come. Instead. What you need to do is you need to message people. But if you’re, if you’re messaging people, salesy stuff, they’re going to ignore you and you’re going to kill the deal and you’re never going to make it. So what you need to do is you need to nurture them with our greeting feeding and meeting system. We have a system that teaches you how to get in the door with people that you haven’t spoken to ever, or people that you’ve connected to a few years ago and never even message.

Joe Apfelbaum (16:30):

We help you be able to get in the door and build rapport. Yo, you gotta get in the door. If you want to build rapport, if you want more, go to learn business networking.com. That’s the website for the course, learn business, networking.com and you could easily find all this information and we’re giving 90% off the course right now. So it’s usually $9,000 and we’re giving it all for nine 97. So check out the course, we have over 400 students that have taken the course. This year 300 of them have left me testimonials on LinkedIn. So in terms of social proof, I don’t know how many recommendations do you have a gym, but if you take a look at my course, you’re going to up my LinkedIn profile by going to Joe linkedin.com. And we teach all our students create a URL to make it really easy for people to find your LinkedIn profile. It’s $11 for a URL. So Joe linkedin.com will take you directly to my LinkedIn. And you can read all the testimonials from people, very, very powerful stuff, because that is social proof. So if you want to grow your business, you want to grow your life. LinkedIn is a great way to do it. It’s only one tactic, but it’s a powerful one because you already have your target market and your client built into it.

Jim Rembach (17:37):

So obviously Joe, we know what your passion is and we know what your focus is, but there’s a, probably a lot of things that are out there that you’re probably saying, you know what? Don’t don’t even waste your time on a whole lot of those things. I mean, don’t waste your time on this particularly, is there something that stands out from a B2B long sales cycle perspective? That’s like, you know what? Don’t even bother doing that.

Joe Apfelbaum (17:54):

Yeah. So if you’re going to be doing, for example, search engine optimization, that’s a long term strategy. You’re not necessarily going to get results right away, but it’s important to do. Now. Some people, they, what they want to do is like affiliate marketing, or they want to do just banner ads or they wanna, they want to try certain types of advertising to try to get people that want to buy right now when they invest a lot of money on, let’s say for example, Facebook ads and Instagram ads and things like that. That’s not something that’s going to get you the results that you’re looking for longterm. If you’re investing a lot of money on that, the best way for you to get ideal clients, especially if you’re not looking for a whole lot of clients, especially if you’re looking for 10, 15, 20, 30 new accounts, the best way is using the networking approach, building relationships, the key differences, all those other things that I mentioned earlier are very transactional.

Joe Apfelbaum (18:49):

You can’t be transactional if you’re going to close a big longterm deal, because the fact that it’s longterm means that it’s not transactional means that it’s relationship based marketing. And he’s you said before a business development is a cultivation of business. It’s the development of business. It’s not the creation of business, it’s the cultivation of business. So instead of being transactional, be transformational, that’s what I want you to realize that if you can be that personality in you, if your business can become that personality for these people, you will be unstoppable. You’re going to be able to generate more leads than you ever imagined, and you’re going to be the King in your industry.

Jim Rembach (19:29):

So I started thinking about, um, you know, your, you talked about a lot of different things while they were in scope, you know, talking about leveraging LinkedIn and the networking piece. I get that. And I think everybody listening, you know, we, we kind of get that and you’ve got us pointed in a particular direction. Um, but if I was to say, okay, I need to boil this down. I need to take a step before I take my leap, right? Where should I take my step to be a disruptor or to be someone who stands out?

Joe Apfelbaum (19:58):

It depends on if you’re a sole entrepreneur or it depends if you represent an organization, because if you’re a solo entrepreneur, you’re going to do one thing. And if you represent an organization that’s maybe a larger organization, maybe you’re doing over $10 million in annual sales, you’re going to do a whole nother thing. So I’m going to, I’m going to break down both. Cause depending on who’s listening, you might be working for a company representing a company, or it might be your company. And you’re doing that. So for the companies that are $10 million plots or 5 million, I want to get the 10 million plus, or maybe you’re 50 or a hundred million or more for those companies. What you need to do is you need to build an education marketing system. You need to build a marketing funnel to really be the disruptor in your industry. If you look at a lot of your clients, they’re all get a demo now by now, no one’s ready to buy, you know, no one’s ready to buy.

Joe Apfelbaum (20:44):

So why are you telling people to get on a demo and they’re not ready to buy. Instead, what you want to do is you want to capture their information and take them through a marketing system systems and processes to help develop and nurture those leads. That’s my advice for those types of companies to really be the disruptor. And on the flip side, if you’re just a solo and you’re just rocking, rolling, you got to build your own personal brand. And LinkedIn’s a great place to do it. You can do it on Instagram and Facebook, but those, those are about the F word. Those are about the friends, the family, the food, the freedom to fund all that stuff, right? LinkedIn is about inspiration. It’s about business development. It’s about connection. So my recommendation is work on your own personal brand because that’s the low hanging fruit, 80% of referrals of introductions turn into a conversation.

Joe Apfelbaum (21:32):

But only 11% of salespeople are actually asking for referrals. Girls are building their own personal brand. So they’re, they’re in the position to get referrals. If I look at your LinkedIn, chances are it doesn’t indicate who’s an ideal client for you. It doesn’t indicate how people can get in touch with you. I mean, there’s a lot of things that are obvious that are missing just because you know something, it doesn’t mean you’re doing it. And in our course, we make it so simple. It’s like a no brainer. And all of a sudden we had a guy who bought our course at the beginning of the year. He said, his name is Barry. He said, Joe, I said, what’s up Barry? He said, I lost a hundred percent of my clients. What do I do? I said, you’re a solo entrepreneur. You got to learn how to build your brand.

Joe Apfelbaum (22:14):

Who’s your target? The market. He told me, I said it, doesn’t say it on your profile. You’re not doing anything. You’re not even any connections. You have like 300 connections that you can have 30,000 connections. Why are you not any connections every day? Yay. He’s like, brilliant. I’ll buy your course. So you purchased the course. He called me last week and I have, this was a video testimonial. He quietly said, Joe, the good news. There’s good news. I said, what’s the good news. He’s like, there’s also bad news. I said, okay, give me the good news for us. The good news is I’m a hundred percent booked. And he said, the bad news is, people are still contacting me. And I can’t service them. I don’t know what to do. I said, okay, well you need coaching. Let’s talk about that. Let’s let’s build your business.

Joe Apfelbaum (22:49):

Let’s get more employees. Let’s change what you’re doing to take you to the next level. And I said, how did you do it? He said, I just did the strategy component of your marketing program. I started writing, writing who my target market is starting to connecting to them. And they started reaching out to me. I didn’t even have to cold call anymore. I’m done cold calling. Now it’s clear. I articulate my value. I solved their problems. I didn’t even get to the posting, engaging in messaging yet. And I’m already fully booked. This is incredible. I love this. And we turned that into a video and we’re sharing that with thousands of people that are interested in joining our webinars. And listen, if you’re not doing a webinar about your products and services with education, you know, not just telling stories and trying to sell, but really adding value. You’re missing out. I’ve trained thousands of people in my webinars and hundreds of them had turned into paying clients and even more value too. So I want you to consider that well, uh, but we do have a lot of things that may already be in place for

Jim Rembach (23:46):

Some of us. We’re already spending money in certain areas. We’re already doing actions and activities and processes and practices, whether or not they’re documented and whether or not they’re good as a different story. Cause we all have our own natural process, even if we don’t have those things to follow. Um, but if I was to say, Hey, you know, you have the same budget that you had yesterday. No. And so therefore let’s do some reallocations. Stop doing this and start doing some of this.

Joe Apfelbaum (24:11):

I’ll tell you what that is. Okay. So if I saw your budget, you showed me, okay, Joe, I have a hundred thousand or $200,000 bucks. Okay. Let’s just throw a number out there. I’m going to say there are five elements to your budget. And a lot of people don’t think like this, but I like breaking it down into five elements. Element. Number one is your strategy. How much of your budget are you investing in your strategy? Most people are not even considering strategy as something that they want to invest budget into. But Stephen Covey said sharpen, the saw and his seven habits of highly effective people. If you want to cut a tree down, it can take you six hours to cut the tree down with adults saw, or it can take you an hour. If you spend 15 minutes sharpening the saw that’s what strategy is.

Joe Apfelbaum (24:51):

Tony Robins said, the right strategy will save you a decade and he’s built a multibillion dollar business. So you have to understand what strategy is and you’ve got to put it into your budget. The second thing is you got to build out the assets. A lot of people skip this part and are not properly building out lead magnets, email automations, landing pages, banner ads. They’re not properly building it out based on a strategy and they’re not investing in it properly with the right brand, with the right messaging, adding the right value, doing the right research. The third thing is you need to invest in the right technology as part of your marketing budget. There are certain technologies that you need to invest in like lead identification technology, telling you the names of the companies that are coming to your website, like, um, mouse tracking technologies, like call tracking technology.

Joe Apfelbaum (25:37):

We have a lot of charts and dashboards and tools that we provide to all of our clients that make life easy because we create transparency in terms of the journey of the customer. And it adds so much value and it also monetizes the customer so much more. So a small budget that you’ll put into technology is very, very useful. Then you want to allocate some money to advertising. Some people want to do everything organically. So the fourth component is actually investing in advertising because sometimes advertising really push things to the next level. Whereas you try to do a Facebook, you know, organically. It’s just not working. Sometimes you add a little advertising to it. You build the right audience, the right retargeting audience, all of a sudden, boom, it’s the fuel that the fire needs in order to really turn into an Inferno. And finally, the last thing is execution. I mean, a lot of people are just focused on tactics and execution, but if you’re missing those four components before execution, then your budget is completely misaligned. You need to have a balanced budget just like you need to have a balanced life.

Jim Rembach (26:35):

Well, when I start thinking about that though, I also start looking at, okay, I do have the situation that that one guy was talking about now I’m booked now. So now I go through the Rex rest of the process. So now I have budget I didn’t have before. It’s all good. It’s all new. And I want to scale. Um, and you even start looking at that from a company perspective right now we hit 20 million. Well, now we want to hit 50 million. I mean, there’s all kinds of different goals that get set. And so if I start talking about now I have unlimited budget, unlimited resources. What would you tell that organization?

Joe Apfelbaum (27:08):

I would tell you rethink your value ladder. I’ll say that again. Rethink your value ladder. Cause you might think you need to get, I was speaking to a, um, a company who does wholesale wine or a wine distribution company. And I said, how many customers do you have? They said a thousand. I said, how many do you want 5,000 new customers next week? I was like, can your warehouse even handle that? He’s like, no, but we’ll figure it out. Get us the customers. I’m like, are you nuts? Why do you need 5,000 customers? Why don’t you get a thousand more customers that spend five times more and they’re alive and the capacity you can hold. He’s like, Holy crap. That’s that’s we didn’t think of that. I want you to rethink your value ladder. What are your offerings? Take a step back and figure out what else can you offer?

Joe Apfelbaum (27:53):

That’s either a lower price or that’s a much higher price. And a lot of people don’t think of this. They just think of getting more customers, getting the right type of customer is really going to be the key. And once you start getting the right type of customers, you can go deeper. And instead of just going wider and wider and wider and growing 20, 30, 50, a hundred million by expanding yourself and putting yourself at risk, you can go deeper with people. I have some guy who only had the potential to have a $1 million business. So then we went in there and helped them be able to develop a new offering, a new backend. Now he has a $10 million business with the same client base.

Jim Rembach (28:29):

Well, and I think that I was just having this conversation with somebody yesterday about the whole value ladder concept. And it was just totally foreign to them because one of the things that they had as an issue was a product that was actually in the middle of the value ladder. And I’m like, well, how are you even going to get people up to there? Well, we wrote a book, uh, um, great. All that is, is content for repurposing purposes, right? So how do you, how do you get somebody from buying? And their book was $35. I mean, it was a more of a, a text expert book, which made it middle ladder anyway. Right. But the whole ladder concept was, was foreign. Um, and I saw,

Joe Apfelbaum (29:07):

Well, I just said the tip of the iceberg. They don’t know that the

Jim Rembach (29:09):

He’s much bigger on there. Well that, well, okay. That’s even get a totally different type of discussion, but I think it’s important to kind of explain to people that first step in a value ladder, because if I’m talking about a very long term, long range sales cycle, I have to nurture, I want them to become a customer as soon as possible in order to start down the value ladder. I don’t want to wait 24 months for them to take the first step. So what does that first step look like in the value ladder?

Joe Apfelbaum (29:37):

So for us, I’ll give you an example in our business Ajax union, we’re a B to B digital marketing. We specialize in working with companies that are 10 to a hundred million dollars in annual sales in the Eastern part of the United States. Usually there’s a marketing director, a sales team. And we step in and build out an email automation, lead magnets, all that type of stuff, right? So we’ll go into your, your place and we’ll do all that. But that, that can cost a hundred K that can cost, you know, 200 K a customer. And it can take six months to eight months to a year to close a deal like that. Right? So for us, what we want to do is we want to get them in the door right away. So we offer something called a LinkedIn authority blueprint. So I get in the door and I’m like, do you have a strategy for LinkedIn?

Joe Apfelbaum (30:14):

And they’re like, no, we don’t have an actual written strategy, Joe. We know what we’re doing, but we don’t have a strategy. And I say, I think that you think, you know what you’re doing and you probably know what you’re doing in many parts of your business. When it comes to LinkedIn, you don’t have a written strategy. You don’t have a content calendar and asset library or connections dashboard. You don’t have an optimized profile. Why don’t you let us just quickly do that for you in two weeks, we’ll get it all done. They’ll cost you a couple bucks. And they’re like, really? You can do all that for us. And just two weeks, I said, yeah, we have a process that we put together. Let me walk you through it. Go to Ajax, union.com/blueprint. And then they go there and they watch a short video and they’re like, Holy crap.

Joe Apfelbaum (30:48):

I want this. They get in the door. Now they’re in our world. Now they spend a couple of dollars that we added so much value. We added a hundred times worth of value from what they spend. Now, we’re going to work them up the value ladder. Now we’re going to do a workshop with them. Now we’re going to get into doing some processes for them. We’ll create a style guide. And before you know it, they’re spending a really nice retainer with us. Does it work with all the customers? No, but a percentage of the customers will climb the value ladder cause it’s available there.

Jim Rembach (31:17):

Well, and so software companies need to look at creating those types of products as well. Uh, that will give people the opportunity to see what the value would be of what that first future purchase could be.

Joe Apfelbaum (31:33):

Correct. Correct. Do you want to be able to get in the door with some type of assessment, with some type of something? Now, once they’re a customer, they can become a bigger customer. Listen, the easiest person to sell is a customer because they’re already bought

Jim Rembach (31:49):

Definitely Joe man. It was fun. High energy. I enjoyed my time. How do folks get in touch with you?

Joe Apfelbaum (31:54):

Well, the easiest way to get in touch with me is to go to Joe linkedin.com and connect with me on LinkedIn. Let me know that you saw me on Jim’s podcast. I have over a thousand people waiting to connect with me on LinkedIn, but I left room for 8,000 people to connect with me. So I’m very selective with who I allow into my network, but I’d love for you to join me in my network to connect with me. Let me know what you think about this. And let’s have a meaningful conversation on LinkedIn. I have how you can get in touch with me, how you can set up a meeting. You can even, I even have my email address to my assistant. So connect with me on LinkedIn. Let’s have a conversation and let’s have fun.

Speaker 3 (32:31):

Joe Apfelbaum. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and the book

Jim Rembach (32:34):

B2B, DM gang wishes you the very best boom.

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