It’s become pretty popular, almost trendy, for people to choose a word at the beginning of the year and make the word the focus or underpinning of their most important objectives. My friends Chris Brogan and Ryan Holiday have done this and written about it for years. I’ve been practicing informally for a few years, […]
Walking Billboards and QR Codes: Revolutionize Your Sales Strategy written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing
The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch
In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Amanda Holmes, CEO of Chet Holmes International, and a maestro in the realm of sales strategy. We dived into the fascinating world of unconventional marketing tactics and the transformative power of the Dream 100 strategy.
In this eye-opening discussion, Amanda Holmes, a trailblazer in sales strategy, reveals the unconventional yet highly effective methods she employed to revolutionize the sales game. As the CEO of Chet Holmes International, Amanda inherited a multimillion-dollar enterprise and doubled its sales by 1176% in the first year.
Holmes emphasizes the significance of the Dream 100 strategy, a potent approach that originated from her father’s work with billionaire Charlie Munger. By targeting a select group of high-value prospects, Amanda explains how this strategy, rooted in old-school principles, became the fastest and least expensive way to double sales for numerous companies.
Amanda’s unorthodox approach at trade shows involves walking around with a four-foot billboard strapped to her back. Discover how this attention-grabbing tactic, combined with strategically placed QR codes, became a powerful offline-to-online conversion tool. Uncover the secrets behind Amanda’s ability to create a buzz, capture attention, and convert leads seamlessly across different mediums.
In this episode:
[03:02] As a family member, what was it like being thrust into an ongoing organization?
[06:13] In turning things around, what was the hardest thing for you to change?
[08:14] What’s been the most enjoyable part for you?
[09:43] Has your background in music brought a level of creativity to the organization that did not exist before?
[13:19] Who’s your typical client?
[14:43] Describe the concept of the ‘Dream 100’?
[19:30] Would you say in some ways older processes are working better than ever?
[21:28] Where can people connect with you and obtain a copy of your book?
More About Amanda Holmes:
- Connect with Amanda on Instagram
- Visit Chet Holmes International
- Get a copy of The Ultimate Sales Machine?
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Connect with John Jantsch on LinkedIn
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Speaker 1 (00:57): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Amanda Holmes. She is the CEO of Chet Holmes International, which is worked with over 250,000 businesses worldwide. At age 24. She inherited her father’s multimillion dollar enterprise, which specializes in helping companies double their sales. A lot of their work’s based on the bestselling book, the Ultimate Sales Machine, of which they have a new edition coming out. Amanda’s name will be all over the new edition as well. And she has merged her father’s proven process with her own forward-thinking Ideas to connect the old school sales process with hybrid, online and offline, instant gratification and short attention span that we see in consumers today. So Amanda, welcome back to the show.
Speaker 2 (01:47): Thank you so much, John. It means so much to me that you interviewed my father and then you interviewed me so many years ago, and here we are again. It means a lot. Not a lot of people interviewed my father either.
Speaker 1 (02:00): I was going to say, I might be one of the few podcasters who has interviewed you both.
Speaker 2 (02:06): Yes, I have never heard it from anybody else, and I’ve done hundreds of interviews, so you are the only one.
Speaker 1 (02:12): That’s funny. That was about 29, 20 0 9, 20 10, something like that maybe. And podcasting was in its infancy at the time, but somehow I’ve stuck with it.
(02:24): So we also have another shared connection. My daughter has actually worked for me for about 12 years. She is our chief operating officer, so I really kind of have to go there. You didn’t work in the business as a family member, you really brought, came into the business. I would have to think in some ways that was a pretty tall order. In fact, I think you were studying music in college and not necessarily preparing for a career as a CEO. Right. I guess I was going to ask you what’s like working with family, but that’s not really, it wasn’t really your experience. So what was it like really? And I know you’ve told this story many times, what was it like basically being thrust into an ongoing organization, but as a family member?
Speaker 2 (03:11): Yes. Well, it was hard because me and my father were very close. I was actually born on his birthday. We shared the same birthday February 13th, and it was as if just the stars aligned. And so losing him was like losing air. It was like I didn’t know where up was or down was. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. So getting all of that while at the same time, I can remember just days after his funeral. And the only reason why I remember that, because all that time is such a blur, but I just remember all of these flowers around my room from his funeral, and I was sitting there and they had just sent me the PL of all the companies, and it was the first time I’d ever seen it, and it just felt like this p and l was never ending. I kept scrolling and scrolling and I just broke down.
(04:01): I was like, how is this possible that, so my father battled with cancer for a year and a half before he passed, and he spent 352 nights in the hospital, and never once did he spend it alone. So it was me, my mom, and my brother. We rotated spending all nighters with him. So I spent easily a hundred all-nighters with my father in the hospital. Never once did he say, Hey, Amanda, let me explain to you what my businesses are. Let me explain to you who runs them. Let me tell you about where I’d like this to go. We never had that dialogue, and there was time, and I speak on that because I think it’s critical that more parents take responsibility for the fact that there are other people that if you leave this world without a plan, you’re hindering them. So I do talk on that every once in a while.
(04:57): So it was utterly shocking and it really is. I look back and I think it’s a miracle that we’re here today based on the fact that I knew nothing. I was trying to get over the loss of my father while couple hundred staff, this crazy enterprise, but here we are. I stepped in and it took me two years to step in because it just looked like, this is crazy talk. I don’t know why I ever would. But then over time I fell in love with our clients. I recognized that there was something that was really beautiful about what my father had built, and it could be carried on. It just needed that heart in the center of it to make it all work. And yeah, I increased our leads by 1176% the first year I stepped in and doubled our coaching clients multiple years in a row, and this year we’re up over 300%, and that’s without the book releasing just yet. So it’s a lot of wonderful things. My father had a great system and a great framework for how to grow organizations, and I had to learn it from his books and his training programs instead of him explaining it to me. But nonetheless, I think I am probably one of his greatest success stories just because of that. Right.
Speaker 1 (06:13): What was hard for you? I mean, you obviously made some changes. What was hard for you to change? I mean, not necessarily resistance, but just really hard for you to even wrap your head around changing.
Speaker 2 (06:27): So we had never processed an order online. My father was very strict around every sale should come from a salesperson having a conversation either over the phone or in person. So I could remember the first time that I put some pricing online and I took a moment and it was like, I’m so sorry, dad. I know you said this, but times have changed and I have to do it. I have to put some of our stuff online. So that was a big turning point in learning how to do digital marketing was critical in selling things online. And then also a huge change was for me, the people that I surround myself with, a lot of them were very different than who my father surrounded himself with. So I find that the culture that he thrived in is different than the culture that I thrive in and making that distinction, because at first it was anybody that my father respected, ultimately they would say, well, your father said I was the best in the planet on this.
(07:30): And I’d go, okay. And I’d put them up on this pedestal of who was the best, right? Because my father said he was the best, even though I started realizing that everyone said that my father said they were the best. So then I started reading through his emails to try and figure out what he really thought of them. That was the way that I would find out. And then the next level was okay, just because my father said he was the best, now I have to discern, is this somebody that I can work with? And there were quite a few of them that did not work with me very well. And that’s okay. It’s just a little bit of a different modus operandi, but still the strategies are the same. So it was interesting to see that culture shift.
Speaker 1 (08:10): So shifting gears a little bit to maybe a more positive, less of a challenge, what’s been the most fun for you?
Speaker 2 (08:17): The marketing and sales part. Oh my gosh. Oh, you’ll appreciate this, John. So I just, I’m in this whole book tour thing going on right now. I just went to all these different trade shows. I spoke at HubSpot’s inbound. That’s where I saw that you’re in HubSpot Network. Congratulations on that. That’s awesome. So I went there with a four foot billboard strapped to my back. I was looking for a way for people that my father teaches, the first thing you need in a trade show is to get noticed. And I was googling like, oh, maybe we’ll do a backpack and we’ll design a backpack or something. And then I found, I typed in human billboard and this huge thing, it’s a backpack that straps and it lights up. It glows a billboard sign. So I’ve been walking through all these trade shows with this four foot billboard on my back. I call her Bessie now because I’m very fond of her. And on the last day of trafficking conversion, actually they shut me down because I was creating such a buzz and generating so many sales that the sponsors, the booths were getting jealous. But that’s been a blast, and just being really creative about ways to get attention and then converting that attention into sales and leads and sales, that’s a ton of fun for me.
Speaker 1 (09:39): Would you say that your, and I know this is going to sound sort of stereotypical, but would you say that your music background, your arts background, has brought a level of creativity that maybe didn’t exist?
Speaker 2 (09:51): Absolutely. So the new addition of the book, the foreword, instead of saying, dear Reader, I instead said, dear dad. And that was something that Julia Neeson, my book coach at the time, had suggested I do. And when I wrote it, everyone that read that majority of grown men that read it would cry reading it, and they thought out of every page, every sentence, I made sure that it was some way to double sales. But that letter to my dad, everyone said, lead with that because that’s going to touch more people than just doubling sales techniques. And I put that into a video, actually, and that’s been what I’ve been using to promote the book. So to me, that video is a music video. I wrote the lyrics, even though I’m not singing them, they’re written. But everything that I had as a songwriter, I put into that video. To me, that’s the single that came out with this new edition of the book, which is kind of funny to think about, but man, it is hitting people in a completely different way that I never expected, and it was the most nerve wracking thing on the planet to put that thing out. I really thought that. I didn’t think that people would like it, but everybody kept saying, I love it. I love it. You should put that out. And it’s been such a loving response. So yeah, that songwriter in me, I think helped
Speaker 1 (11:16): Describe who CHI, Chad Holmes International works with. Who’s your typical client?
Speaker 2 (11:22): Yes. Okay. I’ll answer that by asking you a question, and you probably know the answer to this. What percentage of businesses do you think make it to a million in annual sales?
Speaker 1 (11:32): I don’t know the exact answer other than it’s relatively small. The numbers, yeah, you have to guess. I’m going to say 9%.
Speaker 2 (11:40): Okay, that’s close. It’s close. 5% of companies make it to a million of that 0.08%, make it to 5 million of that 1.5%, make it to 10 million so it gets a little bit better. Then 0.004%, make it to a hundred million and beyond. So what we teach is how to get from a million to five, from 5 million to 10, from 10 million to a hundred million and beyond, because it’s actually not about our product or service, which majority of entrepreneurs think, yes, if I just tweak this a little bit more, then I’ll get more. Right? If that was true, wouldn’t be the number one grossing hamburger joint in the world. Right? It’s a terrible burger skills it takes to grow the business and skills can be developed. So we assist entrepreneurs to grow from that one to five, from five to 10, from 10 to a hundred million and beyond.
Speaker 1 (12:34): One of the core concepts, I have actually not seen what you’ve done in the second edition yet, but certainly in the first edition, and I know it’s a core concept of your coaching, is this concept of the Dream 100. I wonder if you could describe that. I know that’s a big E for you.
Speaker 2 (12:49): Yes. It’s the fastest, least expensive way to double sales. This one strategy has doubled the sales of more companies than any other. My father invented it working for billionaire, Charlie Munger, co-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. So he doubled the sales of nine different companies for Charlie all within 12 to 15 months, and several of them multiple years consecutively. So he realized that he had a system for doubling sales, and it went something like this. So he was given a list of 2200 potential prospects, and they said, okay, go cold. Call these 2200. But when he did some research, he realized that only 167 of them purchased 95% of the space. So instead of going after 2200, he led an intensive Dream 100 to just those 167. Now, it being in their face, in their place, in their space, what can we do to provide the most value for them?
(13:41): For him, back then it was direct mail, cold calling and faxing. So twice a month, he was doing direct mail. Four times a month he was cold calling and following up with a fax in an email every once in a while. And he did that for months. For the first four months, he got nothing and talked around the office, what is this? Why is this expert in sales? And he hasn’t generated a thing. But in the sixth month, he closed the largest contract that the industry had ever seen, and then subsequently after that doubled and doubled and doubled. Now. So by definition, there’s always a smaller number of better buyers than there are all buyers. That means that marketing and selling to them is cheaper than marketing and selling to all buyers. And I’ve even, as I look at this, and what you’ll see in the new edition is so many people get, they see the Dream 100 and they go, oh my gosh, how do I do direct mail?
(14:31): How can I make this work with direct mail? And how do I get a hundred people on my list? You’re missing the point if you’re super focused on just those two things, because we have so many marketing mediums in our use today, I show how I used a dream. One, I focused on one potential dream client, and I followed up with them every single day using social media. Every time they post something on social, I’d comment with something of value. Every time they posted another thing, I’d add another piece of value and another comment, and another, for every single day, for three months, I commented on every single thing that this person said, and three months in, they came back to me and said, Hey, I’d like to buy 650 books of the Ultimate Sales Machine. I’m still reaping the benefits of that three months of pigheaded discipline and determination.
(15:19): Today, they bought another thousand books. Actually, it was the CEO of ClickFunnels. So Dave Woodward I did this with. So the point is, it’s about picking who’s one person that could completely change your world, and then can you multiply that even by, you could have four, you could have 10. I’m calling it the Target 12. It doesn’t have to be a hundred, right? The whole point is just to get laser focused and follow up with pigheaded discipline and determination, whichever medium that may be. If you want to use direct mail, that’s great because it will land doing direct mail. But if you want to do it on Instagram dms, that’s where I did it to get that client right. It could be on LinkedIn, it could be on voice drops, on cell phones, or
Speaker 1 (16:03): All of them. Or all of them. Or all of them, right?
Speaker 2 (16:06): Yeah. If you only have a hundred, right? And if you’re doing Facebook ads to them, if you are sending them text messages, if you’re arriving at their door, they’re like, you are everywhere. It’s like, yeah, I’m only everywhere to the select 10, select a hundred. So they’re just amazed, right?
Speaker 1 (16:21): Yeah. And I think what’s so important about that lesson is you can now afford to spend money and time and energy that is going to just swamp what anybody else is doing to that same person, because they’re spraying it 10,000 people at a time.
Speaker 2 (16:39): Absolutely. We had a client, so I’ve created these bootcamps, and a client went through the bootcamp. They went after four people that had already said no to their services. It was a hard, no, I’m definitely not interested. And then he led with an education to those four. After he gave the presentation of an education, he closed $8.4 million worth of sales in just six weeks. Six weeks, and the average sales rep would sell 8 million in an entire year. He did it in six weeks. He targeted his dream. He only needed four, dream four to generate 8.4 million.
Speaker 1 (17:17): So one of the challenges, you kind of alluded to this, we’re so focused on digital right now, you have yourselves firmly in what you’re calling old school processes, but they really, in some ways, some of the old school processes are working better than ever. They
Speaker 2 (17:36): Absolutely, I mean, take what I just did at trade shows, it’s shocking how many people at trade shows have no idea how to have a face-to-face conversation. I’d walk up to a booth and 90% of them had no idea how to start asking questions. I’d ask, what do you do? And they have no idea. They look starstruck. Like What? You’re talking to me in real life? I don’t know what to do. It’s so bizarre how we’ve lost the frameworks and the basic foundational principles. Everyone thought, oh, a billboard. Yeah, that’s brilliant. But then I also had a QR code there so that I could collect people that were taking pictures. Anyways, the first few days they were taking pictures of me. They thought it was hysterical, but then they didn’t realize that now I’m converting them because they’re clicking on that I’m getting their email, and then they’re buying.
(18:25): So it’s blending of the two. My funnel online got me the sales, but me walking around with a four foot billboard on my back in a trade show got the attention and the press, and now I’ve taken video that I got from influencers in the space that were recording me. They thought it was hilarious. And I’m using that in my ads and I’m repurposing it. So there’s so many different ways that I think in person too. I was just at a mastermind with Grant Cardone two weeks ago, and there were 80 people in the room, all of which would’ve loved to talk to Grant Cardone. He walked out of the room and nobody followed him. And I’m looking around the room going, are you kidding me? That’s a billionaire. I’d love to talk to Grant Cardone. Why not? So I run out there and I start to have a dialogue with him. It’s as if we only can communicate through a text or in a social media aspect. He was right there live and breathing, and I handed him the book and I said, you should watch Dear Dad. It’ll make you cry. I’ll send you a book. And he’s like, I will definitely cry from that. I’m sure I will. I love that. Thank you,
Speaker 1 (19:26): Amanda. Thanks for dropping by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Tell people where they can find all the work that you’re doing and certainly get a copy of the new book or the revised, updated, fully updated book.
Speaker 2 (19:37): Yes. Ultimate sales machine.com is where everybody can pick up the book. It’ll give you a bunch of extra bonuses that you wouldn’t get on Amazon. And then if you want to online, I’m a lot of different places, but I spend more of my time on Instagram. My name Amanda Holmes was taken, so I’d use my salsa name Manita Holmes, so you can find me on Instagram at Amanita
Speaker 1 (19:59): Homes. Alright, awesome. Well, great having you back on the show again, and hopefully we’ll run into you again. One of these days out there on the road.
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