Small Business, Startups & Lifestyle Business Sales

As you probably know by now, I really enjoyed doing the How to Close Inbound Leads interview last week with my sons because I've tweeted about it and written about it all last week. Today's question is a bit of a twist. Were you listening to the right person being interviewed?

When we were setting the interview up, Matt said, "I don't know if I'm the right person to be doing this, but I'll do my best." He was thinking that Mark, with his international reputation on inbound, or me, an old guy that's made a lot of mistakes might be more relevant. Who would care what a 34 year old bookkeeper might have to say? Here are a few reasons (in no particular order) that I think Matt brought the most value to the interview.

  • 80% of businesses have fewer than 4 or no employees
  • Matt is a bookkeeper and by his own admission, is anally analytical, risk averse, and financially conservative. (A funny story: a few years ago, Matt called to tell me that he had won $2,000 at a hold 'em tournament. I asked what he did with the money and he said that he bought breakfast for his friends and funded his IRA. Seriously?)
  • He's 34 and owns a condo on the ski shuttle route in Utah. So, that he can ski Alta every day when he's there.
  • He also owns a house that's bigger than both of mine combined on a river in Montana so that he can fly fish every day when he's there.
  • He's got a truck, a car, a raft, a trailer for the raft, and all of the other toys and equipment that you would expect and avid outdoorsman to have for TWO expensive sports.
  • His employees and clients are the same kind of people. They like the outdoors and work so that they can spend more time outdoors.
I could go on, but let me ask, "Does this sound like you?" Does it sound like who you want to be? I've noticed that most of Matt's friends like to fish, ski, bike, hike, be outdoors in clean air and are like him, or they're jealous and want to be like him. Do you have fewer than 4 employees? Do you work to live or live to work?

Here's  a few of Matt's thoughts from the interview.
  • We're small enough that we know our clients well. We do the marketing and the sales and we deliver. So, we know pretty quickly who will be a good client and who won't.
  • Your marketing and sales process has to be personalized. It's not one size fits all.
  • Ask them a really tough question that everyone else is afraid to ask. It could be controversial or slightly borderline insulting but it makes you stand out to your prospect and it’s not the same old thing that everyone else is pitching them. It makes them pay attention to you and believe in you.
So, yes, Mark and Bob are good at what they do, but if you are a DIY kind of business owner, Matt was where you are and is probably where you want to go. You can listen to the entire interview at How to Close Inbound Leads.

One last thing...

I know that Matt is much more than a bookkeeper to his clients because I've gotten to talk to some of them and it's clear that they talk about fishing, skiing, marketing, sales, beer, good food and a bunch of other stuff in addition to bookkeeping. You can contact Matt here.

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