Jennifer R Glass is the CEO of Business Growth Strategies International, the only company to offer business growth coaching along with smart payment processing solutions, marketing plus web hosting, and design solutions designed to increase a company’s bottom line.
Jennifer is a business growth expert who works with small to medium-sized businesses to help them find the money they are leaving on the table. She is also the author of multiple works including her “It’s the Bottom Line that Matters” series.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- How businesses can add more leads and opportunities without spending money on marketing that doesn’t work
- How to use LinkedIn to drive business
- Success equates to happiness
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for high velocity radio.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:13] Lee Kantor here, another episode of High Velocity Radio, and this is going to be a good one. Today on the show, we have Jennifer Glass with Business Growth Strategies International. Welcome, Jennifer.
Jennifer Glass: [00:00:24] Thank you so much for having me. We thank you.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:27] Well, I’m excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us a little bit about your practice. How are you serving folks?
Jennifer Glass: [00:00:32] I am all about serving people. I am a profit acceleration specialist in terms of what I do. And I work with my clients, helping them increase their leads, increase their opportunities, increase their revenues, and ultimately have more in their business that they can hire people, give back to their communities and make our communities and our nation stronger, which is really why I do what I do. It’s all about helping people continue to grow and do more for our community.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:04] Now, how prevalent is of a problem is lack of leads.
Jennifer Glass: [00:01:10] It is one of the biggest problems that small business owners have. If you talk to 100 small business owners, 99 are probably going to say they need more leads. They are relying on word of mouth solutions. They’re relying on listening to some of those gurus out there that say buy Facebook ads, buy Google ads. Now, don’t get me wrong, Facebook and Google ads and those kinds of things have their place in an individual marketing plan, as does word of mouth and referrals. But the problem is, is that if you don’t really know what you’re doing, it’s the fastest way to lose a fortune. And a lot of business owners are missing some of the basics in marketing fundamentals. And that’s one of the areas that I really work with my clients on in terms of helping them figure out what they can do to really generate more value without having to spend money on marketing. That really does not work for what they’re trying to do right now.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:12] Well, let’s dig in a little bit on that. Let’s start at what a lead is. How do you define a lead? Because, like you said, a lot of those platforms might define a lead as somebody who saw their ad or an impression or a click. Like where do you kind of draw the lines around what a lead is for one of your clients.
Jennifer Glass: [00:02:34] And that’s a great question, Lee, because so many people, like you said, have different definitions of what a lead is. A lot of people think anybody is my lead because I can talk to anybody in terms of doing business. There’s the universe as a whole in terms of, well, everybody who’s on Facebook, everybody who’s on Google is seeing my ad. That’s great. And they may be a prospective client at some point, but a lead is really somebody who is going to be moving through that buyer’s journey and is going to be somebody that may want to be doing business with you. So when you are trying to generate leads, you don’t just want to be doing branding. As some of my mentors have said, when you are a small business, we don’t do branding, branding as a happy byproduct of what we do, but it is not the core function of what we’re doing. And so when we need to get people in the door, those are the leads, the people that are realistically qualified and ready to do business with us, whether it’s today, tomorrow, three months, six months, a year down the road, that is what a lead is. A prospect is somebody that we simply speak with at a networking event maybe, or somebody that sees information about us. But it’s part of the buyer’s journey that gets people from completely uneducated about what we offer, uneducated about the problem, even that they may or may not have, and how that moves the process forward to them ultimately becoming a lead. And how do they become somebody that’s now equipped to be doing business with us?
Lee Kantor: [00:04:12] So how do you move a person through that journey from uneducated to educated, to interested, to raising their hand for creating some action that interacting with your clients.
Jennifer Glass: [00:04:28] And that’s really another great question because it’s all part of in my world anyway, we use something called a conversion equation. And the problem is that there was a UC San Diego study back a couple of years ago that said that we as a human species are bombarded with 34 gigabit of data on a daily basis. If you think about that for a second, a lot of people have smartphones that are 64 gig in terms of the storage that’s on their phone. If we’re being bombarded by 34 gigabit of data on a daily basis, that is more than half of the storage on your phone. Think about it from this morning. You woke up, maybe the school bus across the street was going off your alarm clock, kids going to school, whatever it was that woke you, that was the first piece of information that your brain absorbed. And throughout the day we have so much bombardment coming at us. So what we have done as a human species to evolve and keep our brains from losing it is we built the wall and that wall is there to prevent all of these messages from hitting us. And so we need to do is we need to enter the conversation taking place in the prospect or the lead tide in terms of there’s a problem they have and they don’t want or a result they want and don’t have.
Jennifer Glass: [00:05:46] So when we use our conversion equation, which is interrupts, engage, educate and offer the headline, subheadline what you do and ultimately the offer and I can get into more of that later. It’s really how are you going to make that messaging stand out that you can go from 20 to more than 100 touch points to get somebody to hear you? And when I was talking earlier about branding, if you think about the airlines, the sneaker companies, the restaurants, the fast food businesses, all of these are constantly needing to be doing branding because they need you to recognize their name because you may not be ready to buy right now and you need to think about them down the road. However, when you have somebody that uses that conversion equation that we talk about, it brings the touch points down to 5 to 12 touchpoints on average, which is really where about 80% of the business takes place. And so when you can bring people from, well, I’ve got something going on, I’m not really sure what it is. So typically speaking, they go online to their favorite search engine. They type in what is it that they’re dealing with? Maybe it’s their accounting system is getting too slow or they have a toothache, whatever it may be that’s going on. If somebody is a now buyer and there’s only one, two, 3% of buyers are now buyers, they’re going to be the ones that are say, I want to use you and I want to be in a position to really get what it is that you are offering me so that I can move forward.
Jennifer Glass: [00:07:13] Everybody else, we have to set up different campaigns and there’s something called the Drip campaign that sends out messages on a predetermined and automated basis that is really helping us reach that 5 to 12 touchpoint mark to really help move people along the process. What kind of information are they looking for? What is it going to help them figure out why they should buy and answer those objections to the Why shouldn’t I buy from you? And then as they move through the process, they will then eventually become those 1 to 3% and now buyers where they will want to buy from you. But it’s part of our job as business owners and marketers. And by the way, everybody is a marketer. They’re not just a business owner. You’re a dentist, you’re not a dentist, you’re a marketer of dental services. And so the more that you think about it in that regard, you see how you need to be moving people along the path and helping people get into your business, whether it’s online or physical, and how are you going to bring them there in that process?
Lee Kantor: [00:08:18] Now, do you work primarily with online clients or kind of brick and mortar in real life clients?
Jennifer Glass: [00:08:26] I have a mix of clients in those industries. So I work with service businesses like doctors, attorneys, accountants, electricians, plumbers, etc. I work with retail businesses. I do a lot with E commerce and nonprofit businesses in terms of the clients that I primarily work with.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:47] And when you’re working with an online client versus a, you know, a brick and mortar client, is the strategy foundationally similar but the execution is slightly different, or is it similar across the board?
Jennifer Glass: [00:09:03] It’s really similar in the sense that business is business fundamentals are still fundamentals. When you look at what somebody is doing, whether they’re an online business or they’re a brick and mortar business, they still need people coming into their business, whether it’s I’m creating a strategic relationship or a joint venture partnership. And that’s one of the strategies that I quickly work on with my clients, showing them how you really can make a big difference in bringing somebody into your business, whether it’s online or in the real world, where somebody is going to be coming there as an online business, you can still be having joint ventures and strategic partnerships, driving links instead of people to your business. So I may partner with a couple of affiliate partners to drive traffic to my online site. I may partner with certain organizations that are going to be sharing a link about my organization. Think about the £800 gorilla that started as a bookstore and turned into basically you go there for everything that you possibly can want when you’re looking at that business. There’s a lot of affiliates that are driving traffic there in terms of what they’re looking at. Sometimes somebody is going to think about going there. Other times it may be an affiliate link that is driving me to go to that online business in a retail environment.
Jennifer Glass: [00:10:27] I’m going to have people saying, Here’s the place that you want to go for this particular solution. I have an instance where just last night my lamp decided to fall down. I don’t know what happened, but the glass shade that was on the light broke. So I went on my favorite search engine and I typed in glass lampshade for a floor lamp and there’s a whole bunch of different links that popped up where I can possibly get that replacement for what I’m looking for, for that light. Same idea. I can go to a physical business. I ask somebody that I was on the phone with when it actually happened, where can I possibly go? And then I was also looking online to see where else might I be able to see. And so I’m in that buyer’s journey in that regard, like we talked about before. What am I doing? I’m looking for a problem. It’s a solution I want and don’t have right now. And so that’s all part of the process. Online retail really doesn’t matter. The fundamentals are still fundamentals. It’s just which strategies you want to start working with and then you change the order in terms of the implementation of online versus retail. But it’s still going to pretty much be the same idea in terms of driving business to that particular merchant.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:48] Now let’s talk about that lampshade, the lampshade brakes. And your first move was to go online to type in that there could be a lampshade business down the street from where you live that you may not have you might have seen a thousand times, but it didn’t click in your head to be the solution for this kind of urgent problem that needed to be triaged. What could that lampshade company that’s down the road from you in in real life have done to have you not go online to have thought of them?
Jennifer Glass: [00:12:24] So again, everything comes that top of mind awareness that we need to be thinking about. So if a company is local, being more community focused to a lot of people is going to help with name recognition and with the idea that you are part of the community. For me, in addition to everything else that I do, I also am the Vice President of my local Chamber of Commerce. So my name, my business name is out there all of the time. If you look at all of the companies that sponsor the Little Leagues and different organizations, there’s a reason they’re putting their name out there because it’s keeping people aware of what they’re doing. Very often I see posts on an online community board. As an example, I’m looking for a personal injury attorney. Oh, there happens to be a very large personal injury attorney office, a firm here in my town. And they do advertise. You do see. As for them on television, you do hear ads for them on the radio. And a lot of people simply forget about it because they’re not paying much attention. But they also are right on the main street in town. The thing that they need to do to connect more with the people is really where are they going to be at that moment when somebody comes in? But it’s also not just necessarily am I connecting with you individually at that moment, it’s when you have that problem.
Jennifer Glass: [00:13:59] Am I showing up online? Also, one of the very first things that we’ve been conditioned over the last 20 or so years is to go online when we have a problem and there are certain search things that you can be taking advantage of, such as geo targeting. You put in a. Personal injury firm near me or glass lampshade business near me. There’s a lot of things you can be doing on that that are going to allow you to still come up and then have people come directly to your business and shop in your store. And the best way to do that is you drive people, even if they’re looking online, you have some inventory that may not be available online, only available in the store. And that makes people want to come into your store where you’re saving whatever may be going on online, what you have there. Alternatively, you may really want people going online because you can have even more inventory when you have dropshipping services and you want to drive people to the website because you have even greater margins without having to worry about holding inventory and things along those lines. There’s a lot of options that are there, again, depending retail versus online, where whatever the business is.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:16] So now let’s shift gears a little and talk about LinkedIn. How do you what are some do’s and don’ts for LinkedIn when it comes to using LinkedIn as a channel to drive business?
Jennifer Glass: [00:15:29] Oh, and this is a really big one. And when you think about LinkedIn and there’s a couple of things you want to be thinking about, the biggest one is, remember, it’s relationships. Nobody is going. As one of my other mentors said, nobody is going to go over to a woman in a coffee shop very first time they meet and say, Marry me. So look at you like you’re growing two heads. Maybe even slap you across the face, say you’re nuts and walk away. It’s the same thing in business if you’re trying to sell someone right away on LinkedIn or Facebook, even without having a relationship first, you’re going to lose that entire value. So never, ever try and come out of the gate and try selling. What you want to do is always offer value first. See where people are going to see. You really are the expert in this particular area and this is why I should be working with you. You want to be having your profile, talk directly to your avatar or the representation of your ideal prospect? That’s what Avatar means when you look at having your profile. A lot of people design it as a resume, and unless you’re really in a job market, your LinkedIn profile is not meant to be doing that. And even if you are in the job market, it’s not meant to be doing that. If you’re in the job market, you want your LinkedIn profile to be talking to the kinds of benefits that you provided at a particular position and how you are going to be in a position to really offer that to a new provider or a new company employer.
Jennifer Glass: [00:17:13] If you are selling B to B or B to C, even a lot of people need to have what it is that you do as it relates to your avatar. So if you are helping your avatar with. Getting the right pricing for a particular widget. You need to talk all about how do you work with that avatar and securing the right pricing on those individual widgets. If that’s your avatar, if your avatar is somebody in need or if your business is a dental practice, your LinkedIn profile should be all about how do I alleviate the pain in your mouth and make all of those processes better? So there’s a lot of different things you can be doing, but you really want to target your profile to areas where you are going to be making a difference and making that process come true. And it really comes down to the systems that you have in place to really make sure also that all of these different pieces like we spoke about on the marketing side and on the LinkedIn side, how are you really controlling what you’re doing and having the right processes, the right systems is really going to allow you to ultimately have that success that you are looking for.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:27] Now, you talk a lot about systems and processes. A lot of small to midsize businesses, though, tend to be more scattershot, though. Somebody will say, Hey, try this. And they’re like, Oh, what’s that? Okay, I’ll try this. And they do that for 30 days, 60 days. Then they get frustrated. It’s not working and they jump to something else, and then they’re doing direct mail and then they’re doing whatever the flavor of the day is. They’re doing TikTok videos, whatever it is that’s hot or they read about is now that’s their, you know, marketing plan. How do you help folks kind of lean into this concept of systems and processes rather than just throw things against a wall and hope?
Jennifer Glass: [00:19:08] And it’s so funny that you say it that way because it’s the S.O.S., the shiny object syndrome, or, ooh, look, squirrel kind of idea with the idea that we have less of an attention span than a goldfish. Our the human species has an average attention span of 8 seconds, and that’s what it takes to really connect with people. If you are trying to figure out, all right, what am I doing? So like you said this month, the flavor of the month may be tick tock videos next month might be insta reels and all of these other things that are out there that we’re looking at. How do you start figuring out what you need to do? So the first thing that you really need to remember is you can’t measure when you’ve got so much going on. If you are throwing things against the wall to see what’s going to stick, that’s going to be the result that you’re having also. So when you have the right system and you need to be looking at what that system really is, there’s a couple of examples that I use. Robert Kiyosaki talks about a cashflow quadrant in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. And when you look at the left side of that quadrant and it’s the employed person or the self-employed person, the only thing they have is they have a job, they have a job or they own a job.
Jennifer Glass: [00:20:24] But on the right side of that quadrant is the business owner and the investor. And the reason the right side is where it’s all at is because their systems, if you think about those fast food restaurants that we all know, there’s so many of them, but we never see the owner in those fast food burger places. And the reason why is because there’s systems. We know that when people have a system in place, they are going to be following a particular recipe, if you will, of how to do A to Z with what they are doing. You don’t mess with that success when you have that nailed down, but what you really need to be doing is you need to develop those systems and you need to have processes in place that allow you to step out of your business. Also, to many people like you are saying, they’re running around trying to manage the entire business, trying to do everything. And very often they cannot even leave their business to go see a client. Because what happens is somebody comes into the business when they’re not there, then they’re losing that.
Jennifer Glass: [00:21:27] And so systems are going to allow them to have what happens when we need certain things to happen. So it means having the right kind of onboarding process, you know, exactly the kind of person that’s coming in, the training that’s going to happen, the policies that have to be in place, all of that is there to make sure how you’re hiring people. Then it’s how do you build that individual widget that you are selling or provide the service that you’re offering, whatever it is that’s fair. We need to be looking at those systems to make sure what you’re doing is going to be ultimately working for you. And when I work with my clients, the system that we develop ultimately is providing the joint ventures and strategic partnerships, sending business to them. The Upsells Cross sells and down sells, always having more transactions coming to the business owner. It’s having the people coming in because of the drip campaigns set. Your funnel is always going to be full of people coming into your business and things along those lines that people see the leads, opportunities and revenues constantly coming in the door.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:41] So now if somebody is listening and says, You know what, I am interested in Jennifer and her team, what is that first conversation you have with people like what are some of the questions you’re asking them? Or What is some of the homework they should have done before even reaching out and having the conversation with you?
Jennifer Glass: [00:23:00] The first things that I try and understand about the business is what is their most burning problem in the business? Very often it’s centered around a couple of key areas. It’s centered around leads, it’s centered around revenue generation, which again goes back to leads. It’s centered around people, especially in the world that we are living in today with the great resignation and supply chain shortages causing even more conflict in terms of where we are. So there are certain things that we need to cover from that perspective. And then we also look at numbers. One of the things that any business owner absolutely, absolutely needs to understand is their numbers. You need to understand how much your customer acquisition is. You need to understand what the lifetime value of a customer is. If you don’t know those two numbers, how do you know when you’re spending money to get a lead whether or not it’s going to be profitable? You need to understand what your profit margin is, your gross and your net profit. And there’s a very big difference between those two numbers and a difference also between how the markup is different than the profit margin, because a lot of people say, well, it cost me $50, I want to make 20%. So they sell it for 60. But that’s not the same number if you want to be making 20%.
Jennifer Glass: [00:24:25] So you need to be looking at what is it that you’re looking at with those numbers. And there’s a lot of other factors that are going into that conversation in terms of saying, well, do I really understand what it is that I am doing and where I am in my market? And the other question is also, is there a clear reason why somebody should work with you as opposed to everybody else that’s offering the same thing? At the end of the day, most business owners compete on price. It’s that £800 behemoth based out of Bentonville that right now is pretty much the leader in the lowest cost. But you can’t be that £800 gorilla and expect your margins to be where you want it to be. And so when you’re looking at what is it that you’re trying to do, you need to really understand how those factors are all playing in and set. You understand this is the reason people are coming to me. It’s not just the price, it’s the value that I’m offering. And I’m constantly innovating and putting my own product or service out of business and creating new products that the market is going to want to work with. And so it’s really important to get away from the price competition and focus on the value.
Lee Kantor: [00:25:51] Now, are your clients $100 Million Companies, $10 Million Companies, million dollar companies, $100,000 companies. Like who’s your ideal partner to work with?
Jennifer Glass: [00:26:02] So I work with a lot of startup businesses and established businesses. I would say that I primarily am working with businesses that are under the $1 million in revenue mark. However, I can work with higher businesses, but I tend to draw the line when you have about 10 million and up in revenue or about 20 to 25 people in the firm, simply because at that point you pretty much have a series of experts internally that may be in a position to help. However, that does not mean that I cannot come in and do trainings for those larger entities where that can still make a difference. And there’s also my different speaking opportunities that I do go out and I’m constantly speaking along with my keynote of the success Equate to Happiness, which is really all about finding at what point success and happiness overlap based on, of course, the generational period where you are in your life. But moving back though, to the size of a firm is really dependent on the business and the kinds of solutions that they’re looking for with what they’re doing.
Lee Kantor: [00:27:17] Now, can you share a story, maybe the most rewarding success story you have where you took a firm that was struggling or frustrated and you were able to take them to a new level?
Jennifer Glass: [00:27:27] Oh, absolutely. I mean, there’s so many of those businesses, but I’ll share with you one that you utilize primarily my joint venture strategy. And this is a really interesting one because if you look at the bridal market and the event chain that’s involved in that and a florist is involved in that being the florist at the wedding, but also possibly the florist that’s going to be providing the roses when the guy wants to propose to his girlfriend to become his fiancee. So the joint venture that we created was between this flower shop and the jeweler that be a couple of stores down. And what we did was we tie the two of them so closely in that when people came into either one of them and the florist knew that the guy was coming in because he was going to the jeweler to get the ring or vice versa, the two of them were immediately referring to each other. So that way it would be a package, right? The jeweler was actually buying the flowers and the florist was saying, look, if you’ve got the ring, the guy couple stores down is going to give you a great deal on the diamond ring and everything so that you can propose. During that process. We also then looked at the entire event chain. So we looked at the officiant, the wedding hall, the caterer, the photographer, the deejay, the wedding planner, the printer, the the cake, the dress, all of those different pieces. And then we also created a trusted vendor list. And what that did was for any of the bridezillas that are listening, or if you were Bridezilla, you know how hard it was when you were trying to figure out all of those different pieces, trying to do all of them, figure out who the right person is, and do they play nicely with the others.
Jennifer Glass: [00:29:23] But when you have that trusted vendor list, it all of a sudden started making a huge difference because now everybody on that list was getting the referrals up and down in terms of where they were. And so everybody is getting more more business, more value. You can have the referrals going both ways. You can also have financial arrangements going both ways. So if one person specifically referred someone else in that event chain, you can have them get that. But the other thing also that we threw in was the guide to avoid all of the issues that can happen on the wedding day, things like what do you do if you’ve got a stain on your dress? What do you do if you tear or pop a button? What do you do if and there’s a little guide that we came up with that shortly before the wedding, we give it to the bride and she’s got it there along with her whole party. In the event anything happens, they know how to handle it. And so all of those different ideas, we were able to take that and now everybody in that event chain was getting significantly more business and having dramatically more revenues as a result from that.
Lee Kantor: [00:30:43] When you do that or those exclusive relationships. So there’s only one florist, one jeweler, one, you know, officiant.
Jennifer Glass: [00:30:52] Typically speaking, it is one if we’re doing the vendor list. However, the vendor list is not. A requirement in that regard. It just allowed us to really make the process that much easier because if I know I got this one, this one and this one, that’s great. But if it’s not in a written format, I can have three officiant, I can have three caterers, three DJs, ten photographers, and it’s really not going to make a difference. But again, understanding that people get booked pretty quickly and things along those lines. But if you’re having that trusted vendor list, if I’ve got 20 officiant as an example or 20 caterers, those caterers may not work nicely with an individual facility because there may be certain issues with that facility. And the caterer is an example. If you have a dietary restricted caterer, as an example, a kosher caterer, but they can’t go in or non kosher caterer going to a kosher venue, you would have that problem. So that’s why on that paper, we don’t have multiple people in that regard, but we do. If you’re not looking at having that paper, you can certainly have multiple providers. So that way you can be recommending different people. And then again, it would be based on who’s above and below you that you can be either getting referrals from or giving referrals to. And how that would look in terms of the overall process and the kinds of revenue increases that you can be making in that. Event chain. And if you think about it, you didn’t have to spend marketing dollars to even do either one of those solutions. So you didn’t need the Facebook ads and the Google ads to be driving that business with what you’re trying to do.
Lee Kantor: [00:32:43] Good stuff. Well, Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing your story. Today, if somebody wants to learn more. Have a more substantive conversation with you or somebody on your team. What’s the website?
Jennifer Glass: [00:32:53] It’s going to be BGC coaching. Again, that’s beers in business G as and growth as in strategies I as International Coaching Bcom BGC Coaching AECOM.
Lee Kantor: [00:33:08] Well, thank you again for sharing your story. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Jennifer Glass: [00:33:13] Thank you so much, Lee, for having me.
Lee Kantor: [00:33:15] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you all next time on High Velocity Radio.