Smart Gets Paid Podcast Transcript
You're listening to the Smart Gets Paid podcast with me, Leah Neaderthal. I help women land higher paying clients in their B2B consulting and coaching businesses, but I've never been a salesperson. My background is in corporate marketing. And when I started my first consulting business, I learned pretty quickly that it's about a thousand times harder to sell your own stuff than it is to sell someone else's. So I taught myself how to do it, and I created a sales approach that feels comfortable, makes you feel confident, and it works consistently. And now I teach women how to land higher-paying clients in their B2B consulting and coaching businesses. So whether your client contracts are $2,000 or $200,000, if you want to work with more of the clients you love, do more of the work you love and get paid more than you ever imagined. Then you're in the right place. Let's do it together. Welcome to Smart Gets Paid.
Hey, there, Leah here. And we're back for another one of what I'm calling the episode after the episode because the listening-in episodes are so packed with little topics that honestly could be hours of learning and conversation. And there's so much in there that I didn't want to just let it go without at least exploring one more topic that you can apply to your business. So here we are, but before we get into it, I just want to check in with you, how are you doing? How are things going in your world? So much of our world is sort of opening up. People are going back into the office. And as I'm hearing more and reading more about companies opening up and companies either requesting or requiring people to come back to the office, it just seems so appropriate that the episode this week is about the corporate hangover and our sort of lingering feelings that we carry with us from our time in corporate.
And so when I look at what's going on about going back to the office and people being required or strongly encouraged to come back to the office. I have to tell you that it makes me so glad that I don't work for somebody else. My business, like a lot of the women I work with, maybe the case for you too, was already remote. So it made the transition back at the beginning of quarantine not that difficult. I was already set up for this. You probably were too, even if maybe the delivery of your services took place in person, you know, maybe you went into your client's office a little bit, or you had some in-person meetings or you delivered in-person workshops. For the most part, a lot of the women consultants, coaches and service providers, at least the running of the business part was pretty well set up for remote and all of shit at the beginning of the pandemic, I was at least grateful for that.
And I'm really grateful now because we don't have to think about going back in anywhere as an employee. And as I was editing the previous episode, I was also thinking a lot back to my time in corporate. So I went to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and when I graduated I moved to Chicago and started working at an ad agency called DDB. And it's a huge company. And the Chicago office was a huge office in that huge company. One of hundreds of offices around the world and we're talking massive company. And I was there for three years. I worked in business development so we would pitch companies to try to get new clients for our massive agency. And then I went to an agency called Leo Burnett also based in Chicago and I was also there for another three years. And then I ended up after three years going to a mid-sized tech company in the West Loop because I really wanted to work on the client-side.
But especially thinking back to the agencies, I mean, listen, there's a lot of benefits to working at an agency early in your career. But my God, when I think about what it was like to work at those companies, especially as the most junior person on my team. It was kind of crazy. I mean, it was definitely very much the paying your dues part of my career, especially with the rhythm of business development. So BizDev is basically like cycles are rushing all the time because you work on these pitches and it's just this huge crescendo of activity. And you basically like put together massive campaigns, sometimes three or four or five campaigns and a pitch, and it's all spec work, but it's really intense. And if you've ever worked at an agency on the account side, strategic side or the media side, and you've been pulled into new business pitches, you know what this is like. So what you've experienced on the pitches that you've worked on, that was like my entire life.
And it was nuts. Even like some of the crazy shit that I had to do as a little peon, right? Like I remember one time we were pitching a pharmaceutical company, a new pharma brand. And I think the pitch was on like a Thursday morning, the team went out on Wednesday afternoon, but there was something wrong with, maybe the leave-behind wasn't ready. I don't even know if people still do this now, but we had these spiral-bound, leave-behinds. Maybe I'm dating myself from like the early 2000s, but these spiral-bound leave-behinds with the deck and our media recommendations and all this stuff, right. And they're huge. And that was going to take longer. And so the pitch team flew out on a Wednesday afternoon and I had to stay behind to make sure that the spiral-bound leave-behind was correct.
And then fly out on Thursday morning to hand-deliver it to the office. All right. I had to fly into Newark and hand-deliver it. Honestly, I gotta tell you, I forget the specific steps of how this happened, but somehow the leave-behinds were bound on the wrong side. And by the time they, oh, this is what it is. Oh my gosh. This is like all coming back to me now. So the leave-behinds were sent from the printer to my apartment in Chicago and I got them at what, like 11 at night or something, I don't know, but it was really late. And they were bound on the wrong side. I think they were supposed to be bound on the long side and they were bound on the short side instead. And it caused a huge shit storm. And my flight was at like five in the morning or something ridiculous time.
And so I was the most junior person on this team. I was probably one of the more junior people in the entire company, at this point. I was entrusted with these leave-behinds, these decks that I had to hand-deliver to the pitch and they were wrong. And so I'm pretty sure I didn't sleep that night, but I went to the airport as scheduled, as soon as I landed on the ground in Newark, I found a Kinko's. I had to take the leave-behinds to Kinko's like, whatever Kinkos I could find, there was no Uber at that time folks, I had a cab or whatever, take me to Kinko's. I had the binding cut off and rebound on the right side. So now this thing is like slightly, you know, not the right size, but whatever this bounding was so important apparently to the pitch.
And you know, these things are huge and there were a lot of them. So it took a bit of time. While I'm sitting there, I have a migraine because I do get migraines. And of course, I had been stressed out, I hadn't slept. I was trying to figure this problem out. I probably hadn't eaten breakfast. Anyway, finally, the leave-behinds were ready, I took another cab. So I'm rushing to get to this office right. Rushing to get to the pitch in time to deliver this before the end of the meeting. And I think, I remember it was like, I don't know, 10 minutes before it was supposed to end. And I am rushing. I remember running to the conference room and I'm getting closer. I'm seeing if I can make it. And I see the door open and a member of my pitch team opens the door, holds out his hand, if you can picture.
It's like, almost in slow motion. I place these leave-behind decks in his hand that this multimillion-dollar pitch hinged on, apparently these leave-behinds. He grabbed them, pull them into the conference room, shut the conference room door. And I think I like collapsed into a chair outside of the conference room. It was one of the most stressful days of my career up to that point. So even as I'm telling it now, it makes me kind of anxious just for a moment. Going back into that time where I was so freaked out, I felt like it all road on me. I knew that even though this was just like a spiral-bound book, the people in the room thought it was really, really important and it all hinged on me and it doesn't make me want to go back into agency life at all.
You know, I sorta joke at this point that I'm mostly un-hireable because I've been running my own business in some form or fashion since 2010, but beyond being un-hireable, I just don't want to go back to that world because those are the memories that I have. And the woman who you heard in the last episode, she feels the same way, but enough of my corporate agency career, which one day, if we are ever in a place over drinks, I will tell you many more stories about that. And I would love to hear your stories as well, I'm sure you have some crazy stories from your time in corporate. But let's talk about this episode, the previous episode about the corporate hangover because there was one other part of it that I really wanted to explore. I think it's worth calling out and it's this clip right here.
So imagine if you went to the doctor and you said, I have this pain in my knee and it won't go away, and let me tell you all about it. Here's where it hurts and all that stuff. And the doctor says, okay, great. Well, we could either do this test or this other test or this surgery or this program, which one do you want? And we're like, you’re the doctor, you tell me what to do. You know? So it's really up to us to recommend the right approach.
So I want to just explore this idea of making a recommendation. A lot of us want to be so agreeable and make it so easy for our clients and not offend anybody and not be too pushy. So I see a lot of however you want to do it. Or, you know, a lot of here are the options, just pick from a menu, which services you want. A lot of it leaving it up to the client to decide how they want to move forward. And what I said in this clip was true. I mean, clients often don't know how to solve their own problem and they don't know the next step. I mean, they might know from a rational perspective, the clients are crazy busy. Jill Conrad is a sales leader. She wrote a book called Snap Selling where she talks about this term, crazy busy. Clients are crazy busy and making them do anything that feels like work.
They just won't do it. And even choosing a time to meet, looking at your calendar feels like work, trying to sort of figure out a next step can feel like work. So any small amount of work, clients won't do it. And they're looking to you to be the expert in the room. So instead of just sort of offering a bunch of options or really sort of putting it in the hands of your clients to decide how to move forward, I really want to encourage you to make the recommendation. Actually, this does actually relate to my early time in corporate. My parents, actually, I remember like when I had my very first job, like 22 right out of college, I remember my mom specifically said, anybody can deliver information, you need to become invaluable by having a point of view and making a recommendation.
So even at like 22, I mean, when I was the lowest person on the totem pole, I got into the habit of at least having a point of view and making a recommendation. And especially in the sales process that serves you well. Making a recommendation won't offend anybody, it won't piss people off, it won't cause them to not want to move forward. In fact, it'll do the opposite. It makes it easier to say yes, it makes it easier for them to move forward. It makes it easier for them to take the next step. So remember that you're the expert and clients are looking to you to lead them. So don't be afraid to make the recommendation. And if anything, remember what my mom said. Anyone can deliver information, but you need to make yourself invaluable by having a point of view and making the recommendation.
Thanks, mom. All right. You guys, thanks for hanging out with me again for this episode after the episode. Have a great day, and I'll see you in the next episode where you're going to see the power of being among people who are in this work and doing this work with you and are here to support you. Oh, before I leave you, I just want to mention the next class of my program Signed is starting on August 23rd. This is my program where you learn how to master the sales process, sign more of the clients you want and get paid dramatically more for every client engagement. Even if you've never sold before, or if you hate the sales part. And I'm doing something new this time, you're going to spend 10 weeks with me learning the fundamentals of selling and then get a year of support to help you actually sell to and sign the clients you're talking to. So you're never alone in this process and you always know the right next step. So if you're ready to finally learn how to sell, if you're ready to feel more confident in this part of your business. And if you're ready to get paid a whole lot more for your work, check out Signed, starting on August 23rd, learn more and see some recent results at smartgetspaid.com/signed.
Hey, thanks for hanging out with me. If you liked this episode, take a second and click the subscribe button wherever you're listening to your podcasts and you'll be notified as soon as I release a new episode. And if you're listening on Apple podcasts I’d so appreciate it if you took two seconds and left a rating or review. This tells Apple podcasts, hey, there's good stuff in here and they'll recommend it to other listeners who might benefit from these lessons for their business. So please take a second and add a rating or review, thanks! So that's it for now. I'll see you next time on the Smart Gets Paid podcast. Learn more about Smart Gets Paid programs and coaching at smartgetspaid.com.
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EP 20: Friends don’t let friends undercharge for their work