Creating Curiosity on Other People’s Platforms with Nikki Rausch
Creating Curiosity on Other People’s Platforms with Nikki Rausch

Creating Curiosity on Other People’s Platforms with Nikki Rausch

You’ve heard me talk about the importance of showing up on other people’s platforms. Being a podcast guest, speaking at summits, getting on stages…this is how you grow your own audience.

But equally important is making sure that these people who you’re getting in front of know who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and how you can help them. Talking about this might feel uncomfortable to some, not knowing how to talk about what you do in a way that feels natural and part of the conversation or speech.

Nikki Rausch to the rescue! As the Sales Maven, Nikki excels at teaching business owners how to have sales conversations. And in today’s episode, she’s sharing how to do that with some finesse while appearing on other people’s platforms.

You will want to tune into this episode!

Mentioned in This Episode Podcast

About Nikki Rausch

CEO of Sales Maven, Nikki Rausch has the unique ability to transform the misunderstood process of “selling.”

With 25+ years of selling experience, entrepreneurs and small business owners now hire Nikki to show them how to sell successfully and authentically.

Nikki has written three books, all available on Amazon. And she has a podcast called Sales Maven which you can find on your favorite podcast platform.


Abby Herman 0:08
Hey there, and welcome to episode 223 of The Content Experiment podcast, a podcast for service driven business owners who know that content is important. But there’s so much more to marketing and business growth. Here we talk about showing up for your audience in a way that they want to hear and in a way that’s sustainable for you. This might mean publishing a weekly podcast or a blog, but it also means paying attention to your email list, leveraging other people’s audiences, building relationships, and getting over the limiting mindsets that often hit when we’re reaching for the next level in our business.

Abby Herman 0:43
I’m Abby Herman, content strategist and podcast manager for business owners who want to make their marketing feel easier and more streamlined, so they can get back to serving their clients and to making those sales. I will show you how or I’ll do it for you while you do business in a way that works for you. I can help by supporting you through building a content and marketing strategy, taking care of the podcast management for you or giving you the tools and resources to take this on yourself. I am so excited to share this week’s episode with you. I’m bringing back a guest from very early in the podcast Nikki Rausch from Episode 22. It was over three years ago.

Abby Herman 1:25
If you don’t know Nikki, you need to she’s the sales Maven. And I asked her to come back and talk about having conversations around your offers while you’re in front of other people’s audiences. So when you’re a guest on someone’s podcast, or speaking on a summit or even on it standing up on a stage, this is so important to do, and something that I don’t think people do enough. There’s also some finesse to doing it something Nikki calls creating curiosity. And as you listen, I want you to think about how curious you are about what she does and how her expertise could help you. I will bet that you see a lot of you in some of the stories that Nikki shares.

Abby Herman 2:09
Before we get into the interview. Let me tell you a little bit more about Nikki, CEO of sales Maven, Nikki Rausch has the unique ability to transform the misunderstood process of quote unquote selling with 25 plus years of selling experience. entrepreneurs and small business owners now hire Nikki to show them how to sell successfully and authentically. Nikki has written three books all available on Amazon. I’ve read two of them. They’re amazing. And she has a podcast called the sales Maven, which you can find on your favorite podcast platform. Listen in for truly some business changing gems. Hi, Nikki, thank you so much for joining me and for joining me again. I’m excited to have you back on the podcast.

Nikki Rausch 3:00
Well, I am beyond thrilled to be asked to back on the podcast so Thank you.

Abby Herman 3:04

Nikki Rausch 3:05
congratulations on what an amazing journey your podcast has been on and I feel really honored to get to come back.

Abby Herman 3:13
Oh, thank you. Thank you listeners. For those of you who are new here are new ish here at Nikki was on episode 22 to two and today’s episode 223. I can’t believe it. So that was back in January of 2020. Which the podcast was only a few a few months old then. So I’m excited. It’s over 200 episodes later, yay.

Unknown Speaker 3:36
That’s a huge accomplishment. I mean, it really I know. Just I’m not as far as you are in my own podcast journey. And you know, we’ve recorded 100 And maybe 50 episodes. So I feel like bowing down to like, so much work. And it’s such a fun thing to do. So congrats. Really.

Abby Herman 3:56
Yes, thank you. Before we get into today’s topic, can you share with listeners about what you do and who you do it for?

Nikki Rausch 4:06
Yeah, so thank you. So my company is sales Maven. I’m the CFO of the company. And really we specialize in teaching people how to have successful sales conversations. I have a five step approach to a sales conversation. It’s my signature framework. It’s called the selling staircase. And the whole idea behind everything I do is teaching people that sales isn’t something that you do to somebody is something that you do with and when you understand how to have with conversations, the selling process gets easier for us, the seller and more importantly, it gets much more pleasant for the buyer, and therefore you build really lasting rapport and relationships that way. So I’m all about increasing lifetime value of clients, increasing lifetime value of your offers, and doing that in a way that feels genuine and is about building relationships.

Abby Herman 5:01
I love that the relationship piece is so incredibly important. So thank you for that. Can you let listeners know how you work with clients? And, and I also usually ask, and I don’t recall if I asked this back in episode 22, I don’t think I did. But how does the way that you work with clients help you to live the lifestyle that you want to live?

Nikki Rausch 5:27
Oh, I love this. So I work with clients, I always say kind of in three main ways. I have a group coaching program. It’s called the sales Maven society. And that’s the program where people get access to my training courses, they get access to me multiple times a month, where they can come and ask questions, get personalized coaching, in a group setting, and then there’s a private group where they can tag me and get feedback and get questions answered. So it’s kind of like carrying me around in your back pocket. So that’s the salesman society. That’s the group program. I do private coaching one on one. And those are typically for my business owners that are that are busy that just want answers fast. And they’ve got a question or a challenge that they’re facing, and they need some sales advice and coaching. So that’s my private one on one coaching. And then I do I teach one masterclass a quarter on a different sales topic. So it’s a real deep dive into a particular sales topic. And so there are four different topics that I teach throughout the year, and, and I only bring them back once a year. So that’s my, that’s my kind of my other main way. And really, I have set my business up, you know, to answer your second question about the lifestyle is, I really, at this point, only promote and only offer up to clients, the things that really feed my soul the things that I love to do I love to work with clients one on one, I absolutely love to answer questions. So my group coaching program for me, it’s it’s such a like Soul feeder, and then the master classes. At this point, it’s kind of a, maybe a labor of love, because the topic of the different master classes are ones that I know will make a big, big impact in people’s lives. And I, they come with a workbook, I print the workbooks, I ship them out to people, so they have something physical to hold in their hands to write in and to refer back to. And so again, that just feeds my soul that, you know, people come back, you know, five years later, after taking a masterclass and say, I still use my workbook, it sits on my desk, and I pull it out once a week. And I flipped through it, and I pull out some information, and I’m able to use that in my business. And that so for me, it’s just about feeding my soul.

Abby Herman 7:50
Holy cow, that’s amazing. I think that the physical workbook piece is such a like value, add, I mean, I’m sitting here taking notes with a pencil and paper, because, you know, I see Valley, I like having, you know, lots of things digital, but there’s something about writing things down hand writing things down that I think is a kind of a lost art. At this point.

Nikki Rausch 8:15
I’m going to show this to you, I know your listeners won’t be able to see that. But this is my workbook for the year for the for master classes. So this is the workbook that people get when they sign up, I have a master pass that I sell once a year, so they get the full workbook printed, mailed to them. And so it’s just this, like, you know, it’s just packed full of scripts, and suggestions and language and ways to you know, utilize your content and all of the good stuff that I think is really important to sales. So yeah, I love those. I love that people pull them out all the time, and will like pull them out on a strategy session with me and be like, oh, so here’s my workbook on such and such like, ah, that makes me so happy.

Abby Herman 8:55
And it’s so colorful, and it’s huge. Like, there it looks like there’s just so much packed into there. So I keep it too.

Unknown Speaker 9:03
That’s like four workbooks in one. But yeah, they are like the one that the masterclass that I’ve been that I always start the year with, I think it’s like 70 pages, just the word form alone. But it’s good content, right? Like, it’s stuff that people can use over and over and over again. And I find that by, you know, by giving them something that they can physically hold and touch and write in. Yeah, that it’s that like, it’s that concrete. I’ve got the confidence now I can write the email or I can say the thing, you know, all the stuff that goes to help the like, boost your confidence when selling.

Abby Herman 9:39
Yeah, well and I’ve read your book, the selling staircase and the it’s so nice to be able to like literally pull some of the suggestions and some of the language out of there in order to kind of reframe and write the email and get in the right mindset when you get on those sales calls.

Unknown Speaker 9:57
Yeah, so yeah, thank you for reading the book. I appreciate it.

Abby Herman 9:59
Yeah, so I want to talk about saying that things today, okay. So you and I, as podcast hosts, we know the value of being a guest on other people’s podcasts getting in front of other audiences, the thing that I see, you know, through working with clients, and just, you know, as a host, and having a lot of guests, you know, over the last 223 episodes is, you know, as a host, I want people to come on the podcast, and I want to, I want them to be able to share their expertise. I want my clients to get on people’s podcasts, and I want them to share their expertise, I want them to talk about what they do. And I also think that there’s so much value in talking about who you do it for how you know, how you work with clients, client exhibits, you know, things that really get listeners to say, Ooh, I need to know this person, I need to follow this person, I need to, hopefully, you know, buy from this person. And I think that people feel like, well, I know, because I’ve had people tell me this before, I can’t pitch something on a podcast, I can’t talk about what I do. And I don’t think it’s about pitching. It’s about inserting some of the language into the conversation that you’re having with the podcast host in order to drive people to want to buy from you or to become interested, at least in buying from you. So I know that that’s a lot. But I wanted to kind of I want to listen to you. And I’ve talked about this already. But I wanted to kind of set listeners up for, you know, the kind of conversation that I want to have is that what is appropriate, when you’re a guest on someone’s podcast, when you are on a summit? When you’re speaking on the stage? What is appropriate as far as talking about what you do? And hopefully, maybe driving some sales your way?

Unknown Speaker 12:00
Yeah. So I’m going to drive this back to the So I mentioned that I have this five step process to a sales conversation. And step two, in the selling staircase is what’s known as creating curiosity. And it’s the most missed step. And I think it it will lend really nicely to this conversation that we’re going to have. Because this to me is that thing that people often go like, but I don’t know how to, I don’t know how to create curiosity. Or maybe they’re saying, but I don’t know how to sell on somebody else’s podcast. And it’s because they’re not thinking about it from this way of that it’s not, it’s not necessarily selling, like you’re not really pitching. And you need to be able to create curiosity, because the curiosity is what gets people to go, oh, I want a little bit more of that, or like, what does that mean? So one of the things about creating curiosity, and I can go as deep as you want here around this, but you’ve got to plant seeds. And we don’t know which seeds are gonna like pop, just like if you’re out planning your garden, and you’re throwing seeds out there in the soil, you don’t know that every single seeds gonna come up. But we still plant gardens every single year, we still put seeds in the ground, every single year with the idea that some of them are gonna pop in, they’re gonna like come through the soil and bloom into something hopefully, you know, either beautiful to look at, or sustaining from a food standpoint. So same in your business. So we want to plant seeds all the time. And you can do that. The simplest answer, although I’ve been talking a while now, but the simplest answer is to do it in the way that you tell stories. And you can tell stories on a podcast, you can tell stories on a stage, you can tell stories when you go and present in front of another, you know, persons group. And so I can answer this in a couple of different ways. But the one that I will say, here’s the most tangible way that I can, like, pare it down, is a lot of times you’ll get questions, right? Like you’re gonna get a question from a podcast host or you’re gonna get a quick question from an audience member. Don’t just give the answer. Plant a seed before you give the answer.

Nikki Rausch 14:14
So for instance, if you throw a question at me, which by the way, if you go back and listen to the podcast, I’ve already planted some seeds. Naveen already knows this. Yep. You heard like, you’ve heard them, right. So I don’t just say I do a masterclass. I started planting a seed because I talked about people using the workbook and I held the workbook app so that Abby could see it. I talked about you know, five years later people that’s me planting a seed, so that if somebody’s listening, going, like, oh, well, I’d like to have something that I invested in five years later and still being like, that’s so useful. versus something where you go you pay some money, you go and you go like, okay, so I got the information. I never opened the work. Yeah, and or I know ever refer back to it? Right? So you’re planting seeds when you’re telling stories. And so when somebody asks you a question, I think kind of in polite society, we think, well, somebody asked me a question. So I should just answer it and as fast as possible, well, no, you need to plant a little seed, you need to create a little curiosity, you need to make people go like, what does that mean? And when you can tell a little story in your answer. So for instance, if somebody said, Well, what about this Nikki? And I would say, you know, that’s something I just worked with a client on in a strategy session, here’s what we came up with. That just planted the seed, you can work with Nikki in a strategy session. Right? So that’s what I’m talking about around planting seeds.

Abby Herman 15:43
Yeah. And then you tacked on to that the, the result? So the result? What happened as a result of working with someone, you’re still directly answering the question. But planting the seed at the beginning? Yes. Can you think of a time when it would not be appropriate to talk to to speak in that way to share a story or to share how you’ve worked with someone, is there a time when that wouldn’t be appropriate?

Nikki Rausch 16:12
I think so I’m going to say two instances maybe come to mind. One is, if time, like you’re on a very limited time, you have a very limited amount of time. And you want to make sure that you get your talking points and you want to deliver on what the the, the expectation is from the group or from the speaking opportunity or from the podcast host. So if there’s a timing issue, then that might be might not be appropriate to insert the the story. And then the other time where I would say it might not be appropriate is if the person who is hosting you offers that exact same thing in their business, because I think it’s really important that you don’t want to step on somebody else’s business when they’re having you in front of their audience. Now, I think you can you can, you can tread carefully and still do this. But if you feel like, gosh, we have the exact same offer, then you probably want to tread really lightly, because you don’t want that person to be like, well, wow, Nikki’s, just, you know, showing up and trying to sell my audience, you know, the exact same thing like if you know, if you had a course on? You know, I haven’t actually I don’t actually know this, if you have this, obviously, you could tell me but so I have a course called emails that convert, it’s probably one of my most popular courses. And it’s just a one off training. But it’s it’s one of my best courses. But if I knew you had a course on that, I wish I don’t like saying I might I might have just talked. So I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t plant the seed around that course, I would pick a different course, to plant a seed around because I don’t want to do anything that makes you feel pinched in any way. Yeah. So that’s my answer is you don’t want to leave people feeling pinched by you or like, Oh, I feel I have a bad taste in my mouth now because, you know, Nikki’s talking about stuff that that I do that I saw, and I’m the host or

Abby Herman 18:11
Yeah, no, that totally makes sense. And, yeah, and the time issue also, I mean, I think that that makes sense. Also, I would say, Jen, Reed, correct me if you think I’m wrong, but I feel like when you’re a guest on a podcast, there’s not necessarily a time crunch, unless it’s like, we want you to record a 62nd or a 92nd clip that we’re going to include as a compilation of a bunch of other responses to I think, aside from you know, with that being the exception, I don’t think that there’s a time constraint. I think that it’s okay to talk about what you do who you do it for how you work with someone with someone give examples. tell the stories. What do you think?

Nikki Rausch 18:50
Yeah, I think so too. I think I mean, everyone, so I’ve been I do a lot of podcasts guesting? So I will say that every once awhile, I run into somebody and they’re like, we go five minutes, and then I take a break. And then we go five more minutes. And then in so then, you know, I actually had one where she was like, sending me messages, like 30 seconds, and then we go to a break, you know, so it was very specific her format. So you just want to be really respectful, I think of the format. But yeah, go ahead and take some liberties. Stories are what bring your points to life, honestly. You know, they say that story is the language of the brain. Our brains are wired for story, we love story. And so if you can bring story in and give specific examples about your work, it helps the listener make sense of it because our brains love to associate. So when you can give a specific story, they might not necessarily go well that’s exactly me. But when you tell a story, people like to find themselves in the story. They look to go, how does that relate to me and to my business or to me in my life in some way. So please be liberal with the stories. Because yeah, you

Abby Herman 20:00
Yes. And I think too, that if you listen carefully enough, you could probably find some sort of connection. In anything you can find some sort of point of connection between your story, your business and someone else’s. Even if the businesses are completely different. Like there’s there’s probably some element that have you threaded in there too. So,

Nikki Rausch 20:23
yeah, yeah. Yeah. So look for look for those opportunities, because it will matter to the audience. The one thing I will say is people often show up to work with me, after hearing me on somebody else’s podcast. And they’ll, they’ll reference back a story that I told they won’t necessarily remember all five steps of the song staircase. But they’ll remember a story that I told and that will be the story. That was the thing that prompted them to go I want more Nikki in my life, or I need some support in this way. So look for your places to tell stories.

Abby Herman 20:59
Yes. What about as the host of a podcast? So whether you’re doing a solo episode, or you have a guest on your episode, how do you recommend the host weaving story in or some of those conversations, that curiosity into what they’re sharing about without it feeling? Incredibly self serving or salesy, especially? I think, especially with the the solo episodes, I mean, I’m gonna let you talk and then I’ll, I’ll share some of my my thoughts, too.

Nikki Rausch 21:34
Okay. I still think it goes back to looking for your opportunities to insert some type of a story or when you’re, I think, as a podcast host. And gosh, you know, Abby, you have more experience hosting than I do, because you’re so far ahead of me as far as episodes go. And I didn’t start bringing guests on for a while on to my show. And at first, I think I was trying to just kind of follow because I have a very specific format that I go through when I bring a guest on really specific questions, because anyway, it’s back to my NLP background. And so the format is really specific. So for at first, I was finding that I wasn’t really commenting as much, or I wouldn’t bring in kind of my take on something that they would say, but the thing about your own show is that your audience is there because they love you. So they want to hear those little like those little inserts from you. Now, if you’re taking over and your guests never gets to talk, which again, I’ve been a guest on many podcasts out there. There’s a few where I feel like, do I need to be here for this? Because the host is just talking the whole time. You know, I’ve had a couple of those episodes, not very many. But I think remember your audience is there primarily for you. They want to hear what you have to say. And they want to hear your, your observations, your take your, you know, again, you can insert a little story of like, yes, this just happened with a client recently. They love that stuff from you. That’s like giving them a peek behind the curtain in a way.

Abby Herman 23:07
You are. Yeah, yeah. No, I agree. I think it’s so if I tried to insert stories about myself, like my own experiences, and I tried to insert stories about clients here, here and there, where I feel like it’s appropriate, but yeah, how, what it looks like to work with me or how I’ve worked with someone, I think is really important. What about in an instance, where you are maybe a paid speaker, and you’re on a stage, whether it’s in person or virtual? What does that look like? I mean, obviously, most of the time, when you’re a paid speaker, you’re asked not to pitch. But is it still appropriate to insert some of those stories and how you work with clients? And how do you talk about your services in an instance like that?

Nikki Rausch 24:02
So my answer is kind of going to be the same, but there’s a little more I’m going to add to it. So you’re still going to insert some story. So if you’re teaching a particular topic, or you’re speaking on a particular topic, and let’s say you’ve got three bullet points, try to bring in two or three stories, or at least one story for each bullet point, if possible, or at least one story for at least two of the three bullet points that bring it to life and also plant that seed. And the reason this is super important is because in those instances, yes, the information that you’re delivering is valuable. When people don’t know how to get more, like if they don’t know what else is possible for them. They’re not necessarily going to go track you down. And like, I mean, maybe a couple people will but there’ll be a lot of people who are just moving on to the next thing. So they’ll be left feeling unsatisfied, if they don’t know what to do next with you. So you want to plant those seeds. needs so that they can go, Oh, I didn’t even think about the I would want to do a strategy session or I want to be in a program where I can, you know, have a sales coach in my back pocket or whatever it is. So you still plant those seeds. And then one of the things that I do when I speak oftentimes is I always give some type of a free gift, okay. And your audience will hear that at the end of this at the end of this episode. However, when you’re speaking in a group, one of the things that I’ll do is a lot of times somebody will post a question, or they’ll ask a question that makes me go, You know what, I wasn’t actually planning to do this, but I have a resource for that. I’m just going to type it into the chat, or I’m going to like, give it from the front of the stage. And I’m going to say, here’s how you can get this resource from me. And this is my gift to you today. And I’m only offering it because, you know, so and so just ask the question about it. And here’s how you get it. So I just take that, like 30 seconds to drop in this little like here go grab this extra something from me.

Abby Herman 26:04
Did or not? Do they have to enter an email address in order to get it,

Nikki Rausch 26:09
they have to give up their email address? Yeah, so it’s, I’ve never had anybody say to me, like you can’t offer them something that they give up their email address for, maybe I have had maybe one or two people say it, but it’s pretty rare. So I would honor that, if that was the the agreement. Again, you don’t want to leave people feeling unsatisfied with their interaction with you. So when you can give them a little something, like give them a little something extra. And they go like, Oh, here’s something she wasn’t even planning to give like, Oh, I’m gonna go grab that. Now. Because they went and grabbed it. Now they’re on my email list. Now we’re connected. And now I have the opportunity to invite them to whatever the next possible step is. So I would say that’s another little technique that I use, when I’m speaking groups.

Abby Herman 26:55
Well, and that’s a huge reminder to listeners to have something, have some sort of ebook or challenge or master like many class, many cores, some thing you have to send to people that relates to what you typically talk about, and the direction that you want to take the conversation. Because I know at the end, mention it. Mention it in, you know, in the course of the conversation that you have mentioned it at the end of the interview, whatever, you know, and I know that not all podcast, guests, or podcast hosts give the opportunity at the end to talk about where to find you. And any freebies, I know that that’s not that not everybody does that. And sometimes I forget to and then I try to remember to insert it in my outro at the end. But it’s so important to talk about it so that you can, you know, so that you can offer a little something extra and hopefully, grow your email list. So yeah, yeah. And so many people forget to do that. And you can insert it right there with your story, right?

Nikki Rausch 28:04
Yeah, you can. So I, again, I do this when I speak. So sometimes I’ll like, I have a talk that I do. That’s that’s, that’s about all of a sudden, it just left my brain but it’s essentially mastering the sales conversation. And it’s, it’s a pre recorded training, and people can go and grab it. But you won’t just find it on my website, because it’s something that we track we know who comes and where they come from. And so if somebody asked me a question, and I go, you know, I do a little bit of a deeper dive on this, and I actually have a training on it. It’s a short training, it’s super fast. And you can get it if you just go right now to your sales forward slash free training, and you can get it from me, like I just say, right, they’re not gonna find it anywhere else. And then I just go on with the conversation, I go on with the presentation. Now at the end, I still do insert, like, a free ebook. So I so now people have gotten to opportunities of ways that they can go and grab something from me that is truly of value, right? Like, this isn’t just, you know, I’m not just giving like garbage away, like this really does impact people when they go through a training or they read the book, or whatever it is. So don’t be afraid to do those things. And because it’s so satisfying to the person who’s like, Yeah, this is great, but what else is possible for me, and if you leave them, if you leave that meeting, and they don’t know, do not expect people to come and track you down and beg you to tell them how they can get more from you because they won’t. It’s your job to earn their business. It’s your job to be prepared on your podcasts in your speaking gigs everywhere you go, just to be planting those little seeds and see what pops.

Abby Herman 29:52
And I think that that segues really nicely into my next question because So you’re asking your the audience to go go to a website to put in their email address, you’re not it, which then puts the like your it’s your next step you as the speaker as the podcast guest as the whatever, it’s your next step, right? Because they’ve requested something from you, you now have their email address. So let’s talk about whether you collect email addresses or not. Which I always think it’s a good idea to do that. How do you follow up with someone who has been in the audience either in you know, in the seats of whatever talk you just gave, in the membership that you have presented in on the guest? Or I’m sorry, listener on the podcast? How do you follow up with them from from there,

Unknown Speaker 30:47
so I do a few things. So one, there’s that that opportunity for them to opt in. So then once they’ve opted in, there’s there is an email sequence that goes, that’s, you know, kind of doing my best to welcome them into the community and put an offer in front of them. When you don’t have the opportunity to do that. And you’re, let’s say, you’re spamming to give the example like if you’re speaking on a stage, I’m going to plant seeds, even if I’m a paid speaker, I’m gonna plant seeds throughout my presentation of ways. Now, when I come off the stage, the one thing I don’t do is I don’t run out of the room, I linger. And I give people the opportunity to come over if they want to engage with me, which often they will. Now once they come over, now, it’s your opportunity to issue invitations. For people who are like, gosh, that was so great. I really loved that. And then maybe they’re like, you know that one thing that you said, Nikki, about creating curiosity, I don’t know how to do that in my business, then I hear that as a buying signal, by the way. So then I issue an invitation for them to take the next step. So I say, is that something you’d like to chat more about? And we could talk about ways to work together and help you figure out how to create curiosity? And they go, yeah, and I go, gosh, you know, I carry my calendar right here on my phone, should we schedule a time to chat, and then I schedule it right then in that room with them? When I send them a calendar invite, and they accept. And now we have a time scheduled to have a real conversation. And that is how you earn business at those types of events. Because you take it to the next level. You don’t say, Here’s my card, check out my website. Here’s my card, you know, call me if you want No, no, no, you take the average, like you do all the work. And you make it so easy for them in that moment, to schedule a time with you and get on their calendar and they get on my calendar. And now they can walk away going, Okay, now I can go about my you know, the conference, and I can enjoy the rest of it. Knowing that I’m going to talk to Nikki next Thursday about how to create curiosity, my business. So it’s super satisfying to them, because they don’t have to think about it again of like, I don’t want to forget to follow up with Nikki when I get back, or I hope she’ll follow up with me. And I don’t do that, right. Like I’m not collecting business cards, and then coming home and sending a bunch of emails out and bunch of LinkedIn invitations. Now, it’s like if you’re interested, let’s let’s connect. Let’s get a time scheduled. Let’s talk. Let’s have a real conversation.

Abby Herman 33:20
I remember you saying that. I don’t remember if it was in 2018 or 2019, that you spoke at the biz chicks event?

Nikki Rausch 33:29
I spoke both years.

Abby Herman 33:30
Oh, okay. Well, so one of those years. I remember because I went to both those were the two that I went to. Yeah, I remember you saying that. And I and I have to admit, the first so I wasn’t a speaker. But I did use that like, Okay, I have my calendar right here. Let’s set up a time I you know, somebody was talking to me, and it was expressed interest. And so we said we set up a time, the very first time I did that, like I was sweating bullets. I was so nervous. I was like, they’re gonna say no, they don’t want to talk to me, even though they seem interested. But it was so easy to do. And I didn’t have to remember, I’d like nobody had to remember because it was on our calendars. So you know, two weeks later, whenever the appointment was scheduled for our calendars, were there. We talked on Zoom. And, and I’ve used that, you know, multiple times since because if it’s not on my Google Google Calendar, it’s not going to happen.

Nikki Rausch 34:25
Oh, no, I always say I live and breathe my calendar. And if it doesn’t exist on my calendar, it’s like, it’s like it’s invisible in the world to me, I just don’t see it. So I want to make it so easy to be. I want to make it really easy for people who are who truly are interested in potentially talking about ways to work with me. I want to make it easy for them. And I know that it doesn’t make it easy for them to have to do any additional effort outside of that interaction with me. Yeah. And so by having that appointment scheduled, it’s like Done and done. Now you can move Move on, you can think about something else, because they’re going to anyway, they’re going to think about something else anyway. So let’s capture them in the moment where their their interest level is at the highest. Now, will you get some people that will cancel? Maybe. But at least you made an effort versus, you know, sending out getting home and trying to send out 1000 emails of like, hey, we met at the conference. Do you remember me? Like that, to me is like I was called that the shotgun approach to sales. And I’m not a fan of the shotgun approach to sales, because I think most people are like, Oh, that feels salesy and icky. But man, if you’re on somebody’s calendar, there’s nothing icky about it. It’s like you’re doing what you said you would do. You’re showing up for the appointment. And so are they.

Abby Herman 35:42
Yeah, yeah. And a while back, you mentioned buying signals. But isn’t that at the title of one of your other books? That is the title of my second book? Yeah. I’ve read that one, too. It’s a good one. Oh, it could include links to both that and selling staircase. So I want to talk just really quickly before we wrap up about selling staircase, because you mentioned that curiosity is the second step. Can you run? Do you mind running through the steps really quickly? And how we can use those in our conversations?

Unknown Speaker 36:14
Yes. So the five steps of the selling staircase? The first one is introduction. So the objective there is to make a powerful first impression. That impression happens from your website, how you show up on social media, frankly, how you show up as a guest on a podcast when somebody’s listening. So are you setting yourself up to make a powerful first impression? Are you prepared? Are you comfortable? Are you willing to share some story? Because that shows a real level of confidence? I think, when you’re not just like, yes, no. Okay, like, you know, go into some detail, give some people some, like, I would say like, put some meat on that bone, like, let people really like go, Okay, I got something from it. So introduction, step one, step two, create curiosity. Once you’re able to creating curiosity comes by planting seeds by it’s really the way that you answer questions that allows people to go ooh, tell me more about that. Or what does that mean or like, so you always want to be creating curiosity in the mind of a potential buyer. And you don’t know who your potential buyers are. Even those of you who are out there right now going like, Oh, I’ve been doing this for years, and I’m so good at it, I believe you, and you’re not a psychic, at least very few of you are. So don’t make assumptions. You never know when you’re talking to somebody if they could be a potential buyer for you or not. So you got to plant some curious, like, you got to create some curiosity, plant some seeds. And then from there, they’ll start to issue what’s known as buying signals. So because you mentioned at IBM just gonna bring it up, buying signals happen in the curiosity step. And when you get a buying signal, then you invite people to the next step, which is discovery. Discovery in the sales process is where the objective is to understand, like, learn a little bit more about the person that you’re in conversation with? What’s like, do they have a challenge? Do they have a problem? And do I have a solution that would match you know, or would help solve the problem or meet the need, or, you know, whatever it is that they’re wanting. So discovery is step three. Once you’ve done a well done discovery, that means by asking really smart questions, that helps the person that you’re asking the questions, to start to self identify, ooh, I’m talking to somebody who has something that I want, then you can move them to step four in the process, which is proposal. That sounds very formal, it could be depending on the type of business you’re in. But for people like you know, me and the type of business that I’m in, I rarely do formal proposals. The proposal step is where I asked permission, if they’re interested in talking about ways to work with me, once they say yes, then I lay out and make a recommendation for them.

Nikki Rausch 38:51
And so this is that place where, frankly, your job is to recommend what’s going to solve their problem or meet their need, not what you think they’re willing to pay you. That’s the difference. So you recommend what they need, you stand in your place of credibility. And then step five goes really closely with step four. Once you’ve laid out your proposal, then you issue close language, close language is the second most messed up, most people get to step four, and then they like, hang out. And the way you’ll know that you’re hanging out and not issuing closed language is because you’ll have a lot of people who ghost you and don’t ever respond and you think they’re gonna buy but then they didn’t buy and you’re not sure why. It’s probably because you’re not closing in a way that makes it really easy for them to make a decision. So an example of close language is, let’s say, I lay out a way for us to work together and then I say to you, so Abby, based on that, is that something you’d like to move forward with? And then I wait, I don’t say anything else. I let you respond. That’s closed language. And once you’ve walked through those five steps, if you don’t ever get to step five, it’s very hard to are in business. But the way that you get to step five is by going from step one to two to three to four to five, you don’t get to skip steps in the sales conversation as the seller. The only exception to this rule is if somebody shows up in a conversation with you, and they’re all ready at step three, I always say like, you don’t need to say, like, slow your roll, we gotta go back to step one, but start with them where they’re at. And then you start moving your way up the staircase.

Nikki Rausch 40:30
And the reason I teach it as a staircase is because most of us understand, you go from one step to the next to the next. Most of us don’t stand at the bottom of staircase and hop up five steps. That’s unrealistic, most people won’t do it, you know, you’re gonna bang your shins. And this is why this is why sales conversations often feel icky and gross. It’s because people are skipping steps in the sales conversation. So your job is to just walk them through one step at a time. And then you get to this place where by the time you issue that close language, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that you’re going to earn their business, because you’ve you’ve you’ve walked through the process successfully. And now you made it really easy for them to make a decision to hire you.

Abby Herman 41:15
And is it fair to say that if you that you can accomplish step steps one and two, by being visible by appearing in other people’s podcasts by, you know, creating that curiosity, as a guest, as a speaker, all of that. So when somebody does approach you on step three, you know that you have already done step steps one and two successfully?

Unknown Speaker 41:42
Yes, absolutely. That’s such a great question. When somebody is approaching you, chances are you are on step three, because how else would they approach you? How would they know to approach you? Right? Yeah, so you, you, yeah, but if you’re just meeting people for the first time, and they don’t know who you are, like, you know, as far as they’re concerned, you’re just another face in the crowd. That’s when you start at step one, and you’ve got to, you know, make a powerful first impression, then you’ve got to create some curiosity. And then yeah, most of your clients are showing up on step three with you.

Abby Herman 42:14
Nice, yes. Oh, this is such such good information. I love it. I’m so glad that we did this. And you have a free ebook about that fifth step in the selling staircase, correct?

Nikki Rausch 42:29

Abby Herman 42:30
Can you share a little bit about that?

Nikki Rausch 42:31
Yeah, so I have an ebook. It’s called closing the sale. And it’s about boosting your confidence. And really, it kind of starts on step three, and kind of gives you some language for step three, step four, and step five. So if you would love to have that, and that would be my gift to your audience. You can get it by going to your sales, forward slash, Abby. So this is specifically for your listeners. And I would love to gift that book to you. Like I said, there’s some great language in there. If you’re not sure, if you’re actually issuing close language, just skim that book, and you’ll find that it’s a very quick read. And you’ll you’ll know, like, am I actually closing? Or do I think I’m closing but I’m actually never getting it out of my mouth. That’s usually where if usually, when people say like, you know, I’ve got all these quotes out there, I’ve got all these people who seem really interested. But I’m not, I’m just not closing the business that I want. It’s usually because you actually aren’t issuing close language. It’s such an important stuff.

Abby Herman 43:31
I love it. Thank you. I’ll make sure that I include a link in the show notes. And then can you share with listeners where you’d like to hang out online? Where can they find you?

Unknown Speaker 43:38
So I tend to hang out on Instagram and LinkedIn, those are the two places so you can find me on Instagram under sales Maven, or your sales Maven, either of those will send you to me, and then also on LinkedIn. Just Nikki Roush. That’s me.

Abby Herman 43:54
Awesome. Thank you so much, Nikki, this has been such great information.

Nikki Rausch 43:58
Thanks for having me.

Abby Herman 44:00
My biggest takeaways from this conversation is around the idea of planting seeds to start to create curiosity with anyone you’re talking to about your business. I think you can do this on podcasts on speaking opportunities. Pretty much anytime anybody asks you about your business, and it works. And I love what Nikki said about when it might be inappropriate to plant those seeds. Like when you offer the exact same thing as the host of the event or podcast. I truly believe that there’s no such thing as competition because how you work is going to be different from how someone else works. But you still want to be careful not to step on anyone’s toes. I have read her books, the selling staircase and buying signals and highly recommend them both. I’ll include links in the show notes.

Abby Herman 44:52
If you found value in what you learned here today. Be sure to share it on social media. Take a screenshot of the episode on your phone and Jared over on Instagram stories you can tag me at the content experiment and tag Nikki at your underscore sales underscore Maven, or head over to LinkedIn and connect with us there. Be sure to tell us how you found us that you found us on the podcast. When you send the connection invite the more you share this podcast with others, the more we can get it into the earbuds of more business owners just like you who need to hear the message that they are not alone. Until next time, take care.

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