401 | Getting More Referrals With Phillip Stutts

Getting more referrals for your business is always a good thing. Getting referrals signals that your client base is getting value from your work. Today’s guest is Phillip Stutts who shares with us the keys to getting more referrals.

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Target Audience: Phillip Stutts is the CEO of Go Big Media. He is also the author of “Fire Them Now: The 7 Lies Digital Marketers Sell…” Amazon bestseller, and one of the masterminds behind the curtain of political marketing. With more than 20 years of political and marketing experience, Stutts has worked with multiple Fortune 200 companies…


Phillip Stutts: The Transcript

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Leaders in the trenches and your host today is Gene Hammett.

Gene Hammett: Hi, my name is Gene Hammett. I’m the host of leaders in the trenches. My question for you today is do you want to grow your business? Do you want to improve your marketing? Do you want to really have customers that are more engaged and sending you more referrals? Well, then today’s the episode to talk about growing your business through better marketing. I wanted to create this content for you because a lot of people are confused about what does it take to really grow the business. And this conversation, I went to an expert, Phillip Stutts is the author of fire them now, and that book is a different take on this. And actually, he’s, he’s actually casting stones at the digital marketing agencies that are in longterm contracts and also those that are not really able to get performance for the marketing they’re doing.

Gene Hammett: They’re making a lot of money, but they’re not getting results. So Philip and I talked about where this model comes from and it really is a different industry, completely different than what you’re probably used to. But how that applies to your business. He took walks through the three most important ours. One of them is referrals. So if you want to find out exactly how to get more referrals than you want to listen in to today’s episode. Listen in now to Phillip Stutts.

Gene Hammett: Hey Phillip, how are you?

Phillip Stutts: Hey, good man. Going to be on the show. Thanks for having me.

Gene Hammett: Well, I am excited to have you too because you’re talking about something with a little interesting spin as it relates to growing business and I’m excited to have this conversation with you so I’ve already let our audience know a little bit about you, but I’d love for them to hear it from your own voice about who you are and who you serve.

Phillip Stutts: Yeah, so I mean I feel like I serve all the people that are in my life. That’s my mission I guess. But you know I’ve come from the world of political marketing and I’ve done it for over 20 years and then I decided, I had a friend of mine that came to me, big time entrepreneur. I came to me and said, you think what you do in policy and political marketing could translate into business and this is a few years ago and stuff. I said, oh, that’s an interesting concept. And so we went out and marketed as a business very successfully at half the price that other marketers had come in with him on and realized I had a niche in the marketplace. And so we started the beginning of the work of business marketing by using political strategy. And that’s why I read the book because I saw that that was a real niche in the marketplace.

Phillip Stutts: And we’ve grown, we’ve had multiple fortune 200 clients and we got startups and we’ve got small business owners and we’re working with them now. And really Gene, the main part of this is that we just have an outlier approach, which is we first must understand the customer or the client and everybody that works with us must undergo a very intensive research project on their customers or their clients. And we have a partnership with the largest data collection company in America and we’re the only marketing firm to do it. It costs me a lot of money but said this is a unique way of building marketing and it’s because every business owner I came in touch with came back to me and said, we spent a ton of marketing dollars. We had no result with the marketing company to make money. And we did. That’s not a good concept.

Phillip Stutts: I don’t like that. And so in the Jay Abraham model of preeminence, we decided how do we create a model where the business owner wins first, the marketing agency becoming successful only if the business does. And that’s really the premise behind the marketing agency we created for businesses.

Gene Hammett: Well you’re really focused on results, right? You’re really focused on, you know, getting them what the business owner wants.

Phillip Stutts: True. And you think about was recently talking to some money and they said, well like where did this come from? What? It was crazy as it sounds, it comes from politics. I learned in politics that really it’s the three R’s that make a candidate successful. Its relationships, its reputation, and its referral. The candidate has to build a reputation and usually, they have a status in the community. And they have a certain standing where they have a reputation.

Phillip Stutts: We use that as a marketer to build relationships with voters. That’s both, you know, from the politician going door to door, the politician going to town hall meetings and meeting voters one on one. But it’s also creating a marketing campaign that resonates, that draws the emotion and makes that voter wanting to action for that politician. And ultimately the referral part of it is if that voter is by then that candidate, they’ll tell their friends and family and then that spreads like wildfire in the candidate wins. And I went, oh my God, why aren’t we doing this more and more? I’ve built my company on those three R’s and we went from, I put in $100,000 less than four years ago and the end of my and my marketing company and we built it to over 22 million. I’ve never run a marketing dollar in my entire life in my business.

Phillip Stutts: It’s literally based on those three R’s. And when we started doing this for businesses by saying, well, first of all, let’s figure out how to build the relationship. And then your product or service must build a reputation as a great product or service. And then you build the referral systems in place. We’ve had unbelievable growth. And by the way, we use marking dollars to reinforce the relationship, not build the relationship. Nobody like got, where’d my phone go? I was going to pull up my phone. But I guess everybody right now has their phone in front of their face. And so every marketer is saying, hey, you’ve got to spend marketing dollars on digital and you, no one builds relationships on digital. It’s just not how it’s done. 99% of the time, 99% of the marketers will tell you that’s how it’s done. But they want to make money.

Phillip Stutts: It’s actually done by building relationships and using your digital marketing to reinforce those relationships. And so I get this, cause we are always done this in politics. And so when we incorporated that strategy into businesses, we’ve had great growth. Most importantly is this, every business should have a strategy in there more getting not tactics. Your tactics must serve them, they should not be the lead. And I can’t tell you how many business owners come to me and say, I just need some SEO, some Facebook. And I’m like, those are all tactics. Like you’re gonna lose your bone, waste your money. And most of them, 99% of them doing the short term. Ultimately they all do in the wall.

Gene Hammett: Well let’s dive into that a little bit. Fill up, because I like what you’re saying that you know, relationships in such a critical part. We all want more referrals. I’d asked a friend of mine the other day, I said, you know, what’s the highest level of weight that you put to something? He goes, a referral from a friend who’s used your service

Phillip Stutts: Sure.

Gene Hammett: Got the highest weight. And I said, well, what’s below that? And he said, well, have I seen you before in person? Do I have some kind of like, you know, been in the room with you? And it’s like speaking, he’s like, yeah, or meetings or whatever it may be. And then third was actually writing for these big media publications. And I share this with you because maybe the people are interested. Now, you know, writing for any cause. It’s something I do, but now I said, well, what about the book? Like I’ve got a book. I didn’t hit national bestseller and you’ve got a book. Did it hit national bestsellers?

Phillip Stutts: Yes.

Gene Hammett: Okay, congratulations. But he’s like, I know that can be gained, right? And I’m like, oh. So it’s about referrals.

Phillip Stutts: Well, it’s about, first of all, you write for Inc, right? So that’s your reputation. You have a reputation, you have a podcast. Now you’re building the relationship because you may not know all the people that listen to your podcasts. I listen to your podcasts. I feel like I know you and I have a relationship with you. So you have two Rs in place. The question is, how do you take that and build a referral system to grow your business? Listen, if you want to grow your business, 10x, I don’t have to get rich. Get rich quick pill. I do have a system and that is the three R’s. You can literally listen. I’ve grown my business 22000% in less than four years from the three R’s. I know it works and by the way, I have no debt in my company, I have no outside investors.

ADVERTISEMENT: Before we jump into the content, let me just remind you that today’s podcast is brought to you by Audible. If you like to listen to podcasts, you probably liked to listen to audible books and I want to give you a free 30-day trial and all you have to do is use this URL, which is audibletrial.com/leadersinthetrenches. That’s the name of the podcast. Just go there. You can buy any book you want. I’d love for you to buy The Trap of Success. That’s my book that came out earlier this past year and if you want to get the 30-day trial, just go to audibletrial.com/leadersinthetrenches and back to the show.

Gene Hammett: Let’s talk about the strategy. You talked about how companies are, you know, we’ve got tactics and I’ve certainly got tactics and I know I’ve got some level of strategy within my own business, but when you talk about strategy, what are the core elements of that?

Phillip Stutts: So let me go back to this research report we were talking about it. If you work with us, you have to undergo this research report and that’s just, listen, I’ve, we have enough clients now that I can say no to people that don’t want to do that. But one reason I’m doing it is not to make money. It is because I must understand the client base first in order to devise a strategy that will win for that client and eliminate risk for them. That’s the whole point. Eliminate risk. Most of these marketing agencies are not eliminating risk for business centers.

Phillip Stutts: So an example, we just did one for $20 million company. They had spent one point $6 million in marketing over the last two years and had no business growth. In fact, they have lost market share and they couldn’t figure out why they built their entire marketing. They thought of strategy. Really it was tactics on a premise. Discounts. So they all their marketing was marking is all discounts, discounts, discounts, discounts. Now they built the company and they got lucky. I also am called ignorant marketing. They got lucky on discounts, but the economy change, the world change. By the way, this company is in Atlanta. And so they couldn’t understand why we went in and did this audience insights reporting and we found out we took all their customers. They had 25,000 customers in a mash it up against this. All every interaction they have online. I care more about what customers and clients do more than they say because they’ll lie when they say what they do is they are all on this.

Phillip Stutts: And what we’re able to find out if is what they care about, what motivates them, the platforms they’re online, all of this. So in this particular case, what happened was they had marketed to discounts, but their customer base had made more money in the last few years. Discounts were cheap. They didn’t want to market that. They weren’t going to buy anything that said, discount. What we found out was that most people in their client base gave money to charities, was involved in their community, do all that. So this was a family business and they had never marketed that they were a family business. What they found is the customer wanted a higher standard, a green product, a safe product. They had never done that. They hadn’t said just to discounts. They had a green safe product. So now the highest standard is we have a safe green product for you to buy.

Phillip Stutts: So now we’ve got a family story, we have a higher standard. And then ultimately we also found out that they’re customized bundled, all there’s people services and a bunch of other services and this company has multiple offerings and they weren’t bundling those services. By the way, the customer says, Hey Bundle, I saved money and I look smart. Higher Standard, not discount. So now we’re bundling services. We’re telling the family story and we’re talking about the high standard of their products. And they have grown their business in the last three months because they understood their customers’ needs change. They didn’t understand it before they did the research. Now they understand that the strategy now is these three things. That’s what we ran in. It’s winning. Here’s my question back to you and if you’re a business owner out there is my question to you and the five years, how many marketing strategic campaigns do you want to run?

Phillip Stutts: Because Chick-Fil-A has the eat more chicken campaign. You’re probably saying that it’s the cow. It’s like trying to save its life and telling you to eat more chicken. They’ve been running in that for 25 years. One, one strategic marketing campaign, the AFLAC duck one strategic marketing campaign, 19 years there. Going on for that. How many do you need to run before you do it correctly? And that’s what we try to instill in business owners.

Gene Hammett: I mean I totally get this. And when you look at the strategy, understanding the customer and shifting the story and certainly the discounts like I get some, there are some things in my inbox, probably everybody’s got them where I get a coupon every day and I’m like.

Phillip Stutts: All right,

Gene Hammett: I used to think I need to go to the store to buy the jacket I want for my next speak to. I’m like, well I’ll just get another coupon tomorrow.

Phillip Stutts: Right.

Gene Hammett: Let’s get another, you know if I wanted to go there, but I really want to go there. Like we have the best selection. But they framed me because of those discounts.

Phillip Stutts: Sure.

Gene Hammett: I wouldn’t shop there without having that if I was going to go cause right.

Phillip Stutts: So we recently, this is a fun story. We recently did one for an Instagram influencer and it’s an African American woman and she’s got hundreds of thousands of dollars. And her question to us was, where do I need to go next in my platform? And she came to us and she said, I think I’m going to really establish more on Facebook than anywhere else we did. The audience insights report for her. The number one platform for her demographic was Pinterest, number two, Instagram. So she had built everything on Instagram and what even the number one index platform that her customer base is on.

Phillip Stutts: Number three was linkedin. Number four, what’s our, sorry. Number three was a snapshot. Number four was linkedin. Number five, what’s Facebook? She was about to go invest all this money into building a platform on Facebook when that was the number five index group of her customer base. It just changes the whole dynamic. What if you’re a business owner and you’re throwing money on Facebook? That’s not where your customers are. You’re not meeting them where they are. So it’s about matching where the eyeballs are with great content that resonates. And by the way, in political marketing, this is the only way we know. He’s like make emotional content and then find out what that content is, how it says the messaging behind it to drive transactions. So that’s the strategy, right?

Gene Hammett: Fill up. When you talk about emotional content, I’ve got a speech that I don’t give it as much anymore, but I still would if someone wanted it. But it’s called be the choice, not a choice. And the big idea behind that is you want your message to resonate or in other words have an emotional connection.

Phillip Stutts: Sure.

Gene Hammett: And a lot of businesses sell something they think is dry or, or doesn’t have, but I’ve always found a way to connect. How do you help businesses and understand why they should send out emotional messages and you know, how do you do it?

Phillip Stutts: Well, I mean you’ve got to figure out what the customer cares about that with that product. And then the way I say it is if you have a boring product, you have a lot of fun and your content, you make it fun or funny. I didn’t think about a razor blade company now, I’m sorry, I’m drawing a blank. The Dollar Shave Club guy who gives a damn about the razors until hill and he created the thing where he’s walking in the warehouse, things are all falling apart and he’s talking about dollar shave club.

Phillip Stutts: Like that is a great example of content that was created. That is fun. Funny. And by the way, that guy just sold the company for $1 billion. Right? So when I’m saying is we know this and politics inherently because we have to do this for politicians either. That’s why we love running negative ads, you know, and we’re, you know, what we do with businesses, we figure out how to do comparative advertising. That doesn’t offend. It doesn’t make any, you know, it doesn’t scare any customer base. The only people you offend is your competition. It’s funny, it’s fun and an annihilates your competition in brands number say lesser and lesser brand. And so that’s one of the ways that we do that.

Gene Hammett: I see some good examples within the mattress world.

Phillip Stutts: Yup.

Gene Hammett: Right? Fun kind of things. Breaking eggs and all of the stuff that you got to go. And I really like that example. What you’re talking about because it’s a huge opportunity with the shave club.

Phillip Stutts: I got a great example of just happened. Can I tell it? All right, so burger king just did this, an inroad of that and oh my medium blog, but they did a 1 cent a whopper deal for like eight days in December. Okay. Now you’re thinking, okay, 8 cents makes a connection with the customer. Ooh, she frees burger basically. Right, but in order to do it, you had to download their APP. By the way, now burger king has made a connection and they’re collecting the data. I love it for me as a marketer. Brilliant. Right? So that’s two. Then in order to get the burger, you had to go to the APP and go to the Mcdonald’s across the street and order the Burger from the Mcdonald’s comparative advertising.

Phillip Stutts: Now you’re putting your finger and Burton Mcdonald’s a space. You’re going negative on them and no one’s offended except the McDonald’s executives. So when you order the whopper from the Mcdonald’s. He Walked Cross Street, pick up your free, your 1 cent burner. Awesome. Love that idea. Here’s what happened, over a million dollars in free advertising USA Today. I think Inc wrote about it. Yahoo wrote it about it. Like everybody wrote about us and they said Burger King, savages, Mcdonald’s. Like what would you do if you had national articles written about what you did to savage or competition? We see this in politics every day. Burger king executes it brilliantly. Best thing I’ve seen it with solid in 2018.

Gene Hammett: There’s a funny idea because I could see how it works. You’ll fill up a lot of the clients I know that listened to my show. They’re generating leads not necessary doing activating sales. So how does this model work with a total in the generation of business?

Phillip Stutts: Well, we do a lot of B2B and so what we do is we go in and figure out again who their client base is and then we figured out, we train the sales teams now and the language they need to talk in what values these particular clients take into effect. And again, I’ll tell you another one we did recently with a B2B. They were selling products to bags. And we went in and did research on all the banks that they were coming into and we found Geo Phipps, these banks and found out all the data on these people. And then we went in and found out that again, these, most of the people that worked at these banks had families, most of them contributed to charities. I went back to the company and I said, do you donate a percentage of your profits to charity?

Phillip Stutts: And they said, yeah. And I said, have you ever told that story? And I said, no. And I said, all right, we’re going to retrain your sales team. We’re going to lead with the fact that a percentage of the profits are going to go to charity now. And since that time they have increased their sale percentage because people go, oh, I want to invest in that. Think about, here’s my thing, Gene. If you’re selling a product or a service, right, you’re a sales guy. There are a million people going to have the same thing as the customer’s going to buy because they need that product or service. Not because you have a great story to tell, but that is now you have an option. There are six people competing with you. What is now the difference that makes the difference? That’s what I’m trying to figure out.

Phillip Stutts: It’s not the core product or service because you’re going to have, if you SEO, if you Google or whatever it is, you’re going to come up in a menu, but what makes that person say, I choose you over the six or seven other people and that’s what I’m trying to figure out and build a strategy are now.

Gene Hammett: Well, I know we haven’t been talking about the book, but we have any mentioned it, so it fires them now. Right, and the subtitles. Great. How’d you come up with a subtitle?

Phillip Stutts: The seven lies digital market or sell and the truth about political strategies that help businesses win. That’s the longest one that you know. I was in China with Peter Diamandis about a year and a half ago with a fortune 500 CEO who literally was the hundredth person to tell me that they had fired a digital marketing agency and gave me the exact same reasons why everybody else fires digital marketing agencies.

Phillip Stutts: You know, they took their money and they didn’t have any results of uh, and I, and you know, and he got locked into some longterm contract. I don’t have any long term contracts, every contract that has some money. And I said, good God man, just fire them now. And I’m like, Ooh, that’s the title of the book. And then I’m like, okay, I have to explain what fire them now is, but I come from the world of politics. So also need to be positive and talk about how we grow businesses through political mindset and strategies. So it just kind of like, I came up with the seven that a hundred CEOs that basically told me, and then I said, and all of those lies as a political market or that wouldn’t fly my, doesn’t this. I would be fired if I did any of those seven things. And so that’s sort of how the genesis of it

Gene Hammett: Give us a take of one of two of those lies that digital marketer Seller.

Phillip Stutts: So the first one is a longterm contract and over 20 years of marketing businesses in politics, I’ve never had a contract that can go month to month. The reason being is it’s a state of preeminence. I either perform for that business or they can get rid of me at any point in time. How fast do I move? How fast do I innovate? How? What is my mindset? Is it to serve them first or is it for me to make a quick buck? I will be really successful if I grow a business, I’ll build a longterm relationship. That client will have me for life. That is my mindset. How am I innovating and constantly helping them grow. Every marketing, eight 99% of marketing agencies, the lot in business owners into 6-12-18 month contracts.

Phillip Stutts: And it’s just BS. Like I just didn’t like that. And I went, man, that would never find politics and politics. That’s every client I’ve ever signed is a month, a month. Every politician I’ve ever seen, it’s month to month. They can fire me at any point if they don’t like what I’m doing. And it’s just a mindset I’ve known for over 20 years now. And you know, that’s just like for me, that was the one that just more than anything else stood out. Like people have to understand this one because it’s about the business winning in the business, eliminating risk and their marketing to succeed. And that’s ultimately what I’m trying to get across.

Gene Hammett: Well, I love the concept because it’s counterintuitive political. We’re not in a political cycle right now. At least if it’s a little bit died down, I know I’m not ready for it to start back up again.

Gene Hammett: But I love the fact that you’re taking something from another industry, another space, and bringing it into it and getting great results, able to share these stories and they aligned with a lot of the stuff I’ve seen in the success of fast-growing companies. So, you know, I interview a lot of these companies around fast growth and you may think they all have the marketing figured out and the answer is they don’t know.

Phillip Stutts: No. They’ve got the rules to change every five minutes and then it’s not in their bandwidth to know that the rules are changing every five minutes.

Gene Hammett: Well I really appreciate you being here to share this talk a little bit. It’s about fire them now and, and the concepts behind that. And you mentioned an audit, like how does that work?

Phillip Stutts: So what basically we decided to do was like how can we serve business owners that are confused or that want to improve their marketing or to find out what they’re doing right and what they are not doing right or what they can improve upon.

Phillip Stutts: And so we created this free five-minute digital marketing audit. You go to www.PhillipStutts.com/audit that takes five minutes. You fill out your publicly available digital footprint. My team will spend two or three business days poring over everything. We’ll produce a three to four-page report on the things that you’re doing, right? The things you can improve. If you have a marketing agency you want us to check on, we’ll say if they should be fired or they’re doing a really good job and my team will do a 30-minute consultation call on that report and we’ll do it all for free. And by the way, I’ve done 97% of those calls so you’ll probably get me on the call if you do it.

Gene Hammett: That’s fantastic. I wouldn’t have expected that because…

Phillip Stutts: I’ve done over 500 in the line. I’m not kidding. Not Kidding.

Gene Hammett: Well I love this concept. I can’t say that enough because it’s different and a lot of my clients are digital marketers and I’ll get them to listen in to this show so that they can, they can learn from these new concepts in my way.

Phillip Stutts: I went negative on him, Gene.

Gene Hammett: I get it. I get it. I have to be aware cause I have a lot of clients that are in this digital marketing space now. I’m really proud of the work that they do. So if you’re listening in here, you know some of this stuff will work for you. Some of it. We have strategies that we work with that that are really fantastic and working cause they’re, they’re making the Inc 5,000 right. They’re growing at 200-300% a year, so it’s pretty cool. Well Phillip, thanks for being here. Leaders in the trenches and our audience wanted to get in touch with you. You already mentioned the URL. I’ll give you a chance to mention again.

Phillip Stutts: Yeah, it’s a PhillipStutts.com you can probably find the correct spelling in the show notes, a gene, so yep. Just go to Phillips, does.com you can email me directly in there on all my social handles and learn a bit little bit more about what we did.

Gene Hammett: It’s got lots of T’s. I’ll give you that hint. Stutts all right, well thanks for being here.

Phillip Stutts: I appreciate it. Have a great one.

Gene Hammett: All right. Hi. I Love that interview because it taught me a lot of stuff and I know I’m doing a lot of things right.

Gene Hammett: We do a lot of marketing here to get the audience to come back to the content. The episodes may see them on Facebook. You may see them on Linkedin, maybe it’s Instagram. We are doing it on youtube and things have really been exploding. So Phillip is onto something. You see our ads out there, you see our messages. Make sure you engage. I’d love to know who you are. If you like what we’re talking about, just hit a like or a heart or whatever it may be that would really help us out. And if you have a question, make sure you posted on any of those channels. I’m looking for your engagement. I’m looking for a way I could better serve you. So if you’re looking for a way to grow your business, you’re at the right place. This is leaders in the trenches. My name is Gene Hammett. I help hypergrowth companies understand growth, and I helped them get into that hyper growth through strategies. They’re different than anything else you’ve ever seen. All right. If you have any questions, make sure you reach out. As always, lead with courage. I’ll see you next time.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

In this episode we’ll cover:

  • Business through Better Marketing
  • Real Niche in the marketplace
  • Marketing Company Make Money
  • Business Owner Wins First
  • The Three R’s
  • Builds Relationship on Digital
  • How to Build a Referral Systems
  • Level of Strategy, Tactics, and Core Elements of a Business Owners
  • Marketing Strategic Campaigns



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If you want more from us check out more interviews:

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