Episode 38 - Ian Genius

Want some genius sales and pricing advice? Listen to this episode. We're making conversations about pricing count!

Ian Genius, Ingenious Sales Coach

Making Conversations about Pricing Count!

Ian Genius sales coach

“What I do is I try to show people how to create the perfect win-win! One of the big frustrations with small businesses is the amount of time they spend in meetings that don’t convert to new business….” – Ian Genius, Making Conversations Count, July 2021.

Pricing a solution can be really tricky to quantify and often leaves the seller worrying no one is ever going to buy something at such a cost.

Thankfully, you’re about to get a total change in perspective, once you’ve listened to this episode of the “Making Conversations Count” podcast!

You’ve just got to hear Ian Genius and his approach to how you price your service.

At times while you’re listening it may feel uncomfortable but that’s okay because he’s helping you already…

Oh, and that’s not to mention his very interesting conversation with an old lady involving a tough sales negotiation…

As an added bonus, you can download Ian’s free guide to impacting your sales here.

Listen to other episodes on your favourite platform…

Full Episode Transcript


Making Conversations Count – Episode Thirty-Eight 

July 8th 2021

Wendy Harris & Ian Genius

00:00:00: Introductions
00:02:13: The horrible side of sales
00:04:42: The selling model is broken
00:08:10: Creating the perfect win/win
00:10:30: Perfect sales cannot exist
00:13:15: The client’s criteria
00:15:22: Honesty comes first
00:20:50: Make sales by helping rather than selling
00:23:06: Ian’s pivotal conversation
00:30:17: Have a better understanding of the problem
00:31:15: Final conversation

Wendy Harris: Get ready for half an hour of energetic conversation, as we are joined by Ian Genius, who’s going to be making conversations about pricing count.  There’s only one Ian Genius, but I’m going to let him introduce himself.

What’s new, Wendy Woo?  Do you remember guests Nat Schooler right back at the beginning of the podcast launch and more recently, Kim-Adele Platts?  Two great guests that have got together and they have collaborated on MasterMindSet.  I was invited recently to do a live show for them about emotional communication.  I think intelligence might have been mentioned somewhere along the line as well.  The replay is online and it was great to catch up with two guests and have them ask me questions.

What’s new, Wendy Woo?  Well, it’s the British Podcast Awards and I’ll be heading down, I’ve got my ticket, I’m going to be having a little picnic and hopefully, I will be meeting up with lots and lots of people in the podcast world.  So, what are you up to this weekend?  Let me know, drop me an email; I always love to hear from you.  We need some new shoutouts.  Come on, where are all the lovely reviews?!  I’m sure you’ve got something to say about today’s episode.

Ian Genius: Well, I’ll give you the theatrics of the one opening line, if anyone hasn’t worked it out.  So, I’m Ian Genius with an Ingenious way for you to help more clients, and that’s what it’s all about.  So typically, I help the 90% of small business owners who love providing their fantastic service, they love helping their clients, but they hate selling; they don’t like asking the awkward questions.  But if they don’t ask the awkward questions, they don’t get the information they need.

There’s something about persuading and convincing that just doesn’t sit well with them; it sounds devious, there’s something devious about it, because it is devious.

Wendy Harris: Voodoo and black magic, isn’t it, sales?

Ian Genius: Well, a lot of sales is horrible, because have you been persuaded to attend an event that you’ve regretted?  Have you been convinced to buy something that you wish you hadn’t have bought?

Wendy Harris: And sometimes, not by anybody, because you can be online and be persuaded and it’s only in your head that’s persuading you.  So, we talk to ourselves badly sometimes, don’t we?

Ian Genius: I just think persuasion and convincing is the wrong way to go about it, because if your service is an honourable service, if you’re genuinely helping your clients, and that might end up with you saving them time, saving them money, making them money, but it might also be getting rid of anxiety, it might be giving them confidence, it’s loads of things but it’s a very honourable service; so, why would you want to cloud it up with something that was a bit devious, like persuading and convincing?

Again, a lot of people, they hate sales because — I mean, some heart-centred businesses don’t even want to tell you how much their service is, let alone close the sale, let alone ask for the business, because that may be they don’t like the fear of rejection of the person possibly saying, “No” to them; or, they don’t like putting the other person under duress, they don’t like either half.

Wendy Harris: Yeah, we tend to put ourselves in the other people’s shoes and how we would expect to be treated, don’t we?  That’s where sometimes it doesn’t align; how you have to go about things doesn’t align with what you’re told is expected of you to close a sale?  I hate closing sales.  I’ve always, always said for me, it’s about opening a conversation, and I think that’s where our relationship started, was because that was our aligned connection; that if you make a bad impression, it really doesn’t matter how hard you try to close a sale.

Ian Genius: Well for me, closing a sale is the bit that most people think is the necessary; it’s the bit that needs to be done.  The thing is, no one likes being sold to, so why would you want to get good at the one thing you know doesn’t work.  And if you hate selling, how likely is it that you’re going to get good at the thing that you hate doing; it’s unlikely, isn’t it?  You don’t normally get good at the things you hate doing; you get good at things you like doing.

So, the whole selling model really is broken, because if you do close with a horrible close, “Which one do you want; the blue one or the green one?”  And you haven’t even said whether you want the blue one or the green one; I’m assuming that you want one of the two, and you buy under duress, regret with buyer’s remorse, cancel abruptly and tell everyone to avoid me like the plague.  The best salesperson of any business is the person who says, “Wendy is fantastic!”  So, why would you want to get the person to tell everyone to avoid you like the plague when they’re your best salesperson?  Lunacy!

Wendy Harris: Yeah.  You always make me chuckle in the way that you conjure up how we feel about this whole process, because it is absolutely true that I don’t want to make a wrong move and have somebody, say, start whispering behind your back, because that’s like wildfire then, isn’t it?  Any good work that you’ve done is just undermined from one bad mistake.  So, you’ve mentioned heart-centred leaders don’t like to say how much things are; it’s much the same if you can’t just be a heart-centred leader, it doesn’t matter about the price then, does it, because you can have the best heart in the world in business?

Ian Genius: Well, I work on the simple premise that there’s a statement that says, “People buy on emotions and justify with logic”.  Now, if you get your clients emotionally involved in the service you provide, if your service solves a problem that they have, they can be emotionally linked to it, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get the business, because they’ve got to still justify their purchase with logic; and justifying the purchase logically, but without getting them emotionally tied to it either, that doesn’t work.  But if you can get someone to buy emotionally and justify with logic, you’ve covered the full spectrum; there’s nothing left.

I did a survey; if you say to people, “Do you like helping your clients?” everyone says, “Yes”, because that’s why they’ve set the business up, because that’s what they love doing.  They love helping their clients and they love providing their fantastic service.  If you say, “Do you love selling?” 90% say, “No, actually I hate it”.  If they were really honest, they’d say, “I hate it”.  But even those that like sales prefer helping their clients to selling to their clients, because everyone prefers helping to selling.

You’ve got, “I have to sell my service so that I can help you with my service”, but it’s wrong.  “I’ve got to help you make the best choice and use me and use all my beneficial services and pick the best service that I have, not my silver service, not my bronze, but my gold one, so that I can help you with the services”.  It’s not selling, then helping; you’ve got to help your clients to make the best choice to use you and then help them with the service you do.  It’s help, help.  It’s an extension of help.

Wendy Harris: Yes, it’s putting it into a win/win.  I think I was talking about this the other day that you don’t want to be selling to people, you want people to be buying from you.

Ian Genius: So, what I try to do is try to show people how to create the perfect win/win.  So, one of the big frustrations with small businesses is the amount of time they spend in meetings that don’t convert into new business, because the potential client decides to try to solve the problem themselves, sticks with an existing supplier, or actually totally ignores the problem only to later regret doing nothing.  In that case, they weren’t able to use, let’s say, your services, so they don’t win because they don’t get the best solution; and you don’t win either, because you don’t get their business.

So, then there’s the version where they use you.  That’s a win, right; that’s a win if they use you and it’s a win for them, because they’re getting a better supplier of that service, someone who is more passionate, someone who delivers dramatically better results; that’s a win.  But one of the biggest frustrations is that clients don’t see the value of the service, they only see the cost.  So, clients always see the cost of the service and seldomly see the value.

So, even when businesses get clients on board, they do so by discounting, by undercharging, charging less than they believe the service is truly worth; or settling; settling for their client taking their silver package rather than the gold.  Now, if that’s the case, if they don’t take all of the beneficial services, let’s say you had five beneficial services and your client took two, that’s good; but they still haven’t got the best win, because they’re still left with three problems that you didn’t solve.  If they take your silver package, that’s a win; but the best win would have been the gold, because that’s the one that helped them the most, and that would have been the best win for you because you would have got the most money for it.  It’s about creating the best win/wins.

When people say, “My sales are good”, I’m like, “Whoop-de-doo.  Would you love them to be better?”

Wendy Harris: The answer should always be, “Yes”, shouldn’t it?

Ian Genius: The only way it can’t be better is that someone is perfect, someone’s sales are perfect.

Wendy Harris: I’d love to hear from any perfect salesperson out there listening now, please!

Ian Genius: I will show you how perfect sales cannot exist.

Wendy Harris: It’s going to be tumbleweed waiting for that person to get in touch!

Ian Genius: This is what perfect sales would have to be.  Let’s say you saw ten people with a problem that you could solve, and you wanted to solve.  So, you got rid of the people you didn’t like, or weren’t open-minded; ten people you could help and wanted to help; all ten would have to say, “Yes”.  Then, you do five beneficial services.  I’m not talking about selling shoes to a man with no legs; I’m talking about five beneficial services.  Each one would help the client.  They’d have to take all of the beneficial services; that would be perfect.

Then, as far as the salesperson would be concerned, the business, they’d have to charge an infinite amount of money; because, if they charged £100 and said, “My sales are perfect”, “Why aren’t you charging £150, because that’s better, isn’t it?”  “Well, I’m charging £150”, “Why don’t you charge £300?” because that number never stops.

You look at it; people in the world that have got expensive cars, they charge more and more money, because there’s no such thing as perfect sales, it doesn’t exist, you can always charge more for it.  Normally, when people say, “My conversion’s nine out of ten”, there’s only three ways that can be true: (1) they’ve already used me, but I must have Alzheimer’s, because I don’t remember it; (2) it’s full-on lying; or (3) they’re not charging enough money.

If you’re charging nine out of ten and we know it’s cobblers, we know nine out of tens and — I had one person who said they did nine-and-a-half out of ten.  That’s 19 out of 20; it’s just insanity.

Wendy Harris: I was just wondering where the half would come in!

Ian Genius: Yeah, I don’t know.  A small person as well, “We got nine fully-sized people and a small person”.

Wendy Harris: It’s Christmas; was it panto season?  But, yeah, it beggars belief, doesn’t it?  If I have somebody come to me and say, “Well, what am I going to get for all that money that I’m going to spend with you?”  To me, they’re looking for a response that’s seated in fear.  I predominantly work with individuals and teams.  So, when it’s a team situation, if the team aren’t invested, you could spend that money and they won’t do the action, because they’re not bought in themselves.

You could have sold to the manager or the director and they go, “Yes, this is something that we need, that’s a win/win”, but if people don’t take the action and put it into place, which is why I suppose my passion tends to be helping individuals, because they’re there for a reason; they’re invested.

Ian Genius: The criteria of a client that I want is the same criteria that you want and it’s the same criteria that everyone in the known universe wants.  So for me, their sales are not perfect, because if they’re perfect, I can’t improve perfection; there’s nowhere to go, but there can’t be.  Their sales are not perfect, and they’ve got frustrations. 

Then, how ambitious are they; how much desire have they got to improve?  Because, if their sales aren’t perfect, but they’ve got no desire to do better than that, I can try a bit to get some desire out of the person, but I can’t find all their desire.  Then they need to be open-minded; and the last thing is brave.  So, I need honesty, ambition, open-mindedness and brave, because if I’ve got a fantastic solution and they’re so closed-minded, the only solutions they like are the ones they’re already using, that have taken them to where they’ve got to, but no further, I’ve got to show them something new.  But if they’re not open to seeing new solutions, I’m flogging a dead horse.

Wendy Harris: Yeah.  It’s the horse to water and putting salt in it, isn’t it?

Ian Genius: You said with teams, that’s a problem with a team.  You get the main chaps, got ambition to sort it out; this is business.  But if the sales team, or the whoever team, doesn’t have the same ambition, they’re not in it, it doesn’t matter in life what you’re trying to do without ambition.  It could be losing weight, learning a language, running a long distance.  If you’ve got no ambition to do it, you’re going to fail very shortly; you’re going to give in at the first obstacle.

You’ve got to have all those three: you’ve got to admit you have a problem; have a massive desire to sort it out; open-minded to new solutions; and then be brave enough to ask for help.  You’ve got to be brave at some point and just say, “I can’t do it by myself.  I need some help”.

Wendy Harris: It’s a good point.  And conversation, I’m guessing, has got to be the key to you being able to relay what it is you do, how you can help and to draw out from them what those barriers can be, to their next success?

Ian Genius: Yeah.  I mean the thing is, if you take the first point, it’s honesty; the first one is honesty.  So first of all, I’ve got to find a crack; I’ve got to get them to say, “My sales are not perfect”.  Because, once we’ve got a crack, there must be something.  If you say to someone, “Would you love to do better?” and they say, “Yes”, and you say, “Well, what’s stopping you doing even better?” they say, “Nothing”.  “So, you’d love to do better; nothing’s stopping you doing better; so, why aren’t you doing better then?”  There has to be a problem, otherwise you do it, and I want them to — we’re all problem-solvers. 

Every business is a problem-solver; they solve the problems in that realm.  So, if I want to help this person, the first thing I need to know is, “Are they going to be honest to say they’re not perfect; and, are they willing to admit they’ve got any problems?”  Because, if they have no problems, I can’t solve “no problems”; it’s impossible.  I can’t find a solution if there isn’t a problem, so they’ve got to admit it.  I can find problems; it’s not that I don’t know how to find it, but it helps if they’re willing to admit it.  Take an alcoholic.  You can’t help an alcoholic until he admits he’s an alcoholic, he’s got a problem, and then he’s brave enough to say, “I need help”.  You can’t help him until he admits it and wants help.  Again, all these things are truisms in life.

So, the first thing in conversations that I’m trying to establish, if this person is willing to be honest with me and tell me they’ve got genuine problems, because it sounds bad.  No one wants to admit to a problem, but it’s the only way to improve, because it goes problem; solution to the problem; and you make progress.  If there are no problems, there are no solutions; you stay the same.  “Do you want to improve, or do you want to stay the same?”  “Well, I want to improve”.  “To improve, you need loads of solutions and to get loads of solutions, you need loads of problems, so change your mindset and let’s go looking for them.  Tell me everything you don’t do as well”.

Again, if someone says, “I do six out of ten”; brilliant, but you’re already getting them.  I’m interested in the four you’re not getting, “What’s stopping you get those four?”  And then it comes down to, “I’m not that confident”, self-belief problems.  They’re setting the rules about, “Six is very good.  Six is the industry standard”.  Well, you’ve set yourself a self-belief problem that those four are unattainable.  Before you’ve even attempted to get those four, you’ve told yourself they’re impossible.

Then I say, “Do you know anyone that’s doing better than doing six out of ten?” and he goes, “He’s doing eight”.  “Well, it’s not impossible then, is it?  If he’s doing it, he’s found a way round that problem”.  “Oh, yeah, it’s a problem”.  And then you go, “Good, that’s a little problem and that’s a little problem”.  So, the first thing I’m looking for in every conversation is, is this person, with a bit of help, willing to be honest and tell me what they’re really doing and give me loads of problems so I can give them solutions so they can make loads of progress?

Wendy Harris: Ultimately, making that progress leads to better confidence, better bottom line, just general persona of wellbeing?

Ian Genius: If you do it right, everything works.  So, if they became more confident and they got rid of any limiting beliefs, and they got rid of any little lies that they told themselves that have now become the truth because they’ve told the lies to themselves so many times, they actually genuinely believe they’re true; and then you get more skills.

If the aim of the exercise is to create the perfect win/win, where the client gets the very best outcome, they get the best help to solve the problem they get, and you get the best part of the win/win as well, because you get the most business and you’re charging a fair amount, you’re both winning.  Again, with sales, typically is, “I’m going to sell this thing to this person; I’m going to sell this service to this person”.  It’s one-directional.  You’re not looking out for their benefit; you’re looking out for your benefit.

But when you come from a, “I’m creating a perfect win/win; I want to help the client the most I can help”, which actually normally results in you helping yourself the best, but it’s a completely different perspective; and that’s when your engagement and your trust and your retention goes up, and that’s when people start saying, “You’ve got to use Wendy; she’s amazing, she’s fantastic”, because the best salesperson is the person that says it.  They’re not getting paid for saying it.

Wendy Harris: No, and it’s very kind of you to say, Ian, but that £50 is in the post!  No, you’re absolutely right and I value every single recommendation that I receive, because whilst I do ask, “Can we use a case study; can you tell me how it’s made you feel afterwards?”  When people actually just rock up and do that publicly in a place that you have little control over, that’s fantastic.  They are your cheerleaders, aren’t they?

Ian Genius: I’m not claiming to be a great artist, I’m not claiming to be a great anything at all, right, but when they’ve talked to some of the great artists, music artists, they’ve said, “How have you wrote these fantastic tunes?”  And they go, “I don’t know, I just did”.  Sometimes, when you take yourself out of the environment and you think, “What is it that I’m doing that’s working so well; why is it working?” it’s sometimes difficult to work out quite what it is, because you’re just doing it and you’re trying to work out what it was.

I realised it wasn’t about the selling, it’s about helping the client to make the best choice, which then indirectly helped me do that, and everything that rippled off it.  That’s when I realised what I was doing differently to most people in the industry.

Wendy Harris: It’s very similar to what we hear and we read on the different social platforms, certainly like LinkedIn and things, is that we should be putting the customer first and what it is that the customer’s going to get, so that you’re answering those questions, “What is in it for them?”  Before they have to ask, “Where are the trapdoors; what are the pitfalls?”  Because that’s how we’ve been conditioned, to look for the negatives, haven’t we?

I’ve just, throughout my own career, always been doing something that is helping somebody, and it’s always helping them, and in the end, they feel good and that’s the key thing.  If they feel good at the end of it, whether it’s that I’ve served them a meal, made them a meal, made their bed, rung them up and said, “Let me get that to you”, and been presumptuous about some of the clients that I’ve worked with and gone, “You’re going to need this, so I’ve done this before you’ve asked me”; ultimately, it’s about them feeling good at the end of that process, whatever it is that you’re doing for them, isn’t it?

Ian Genius: Yeah.  And like I say, if you know a load of misconceptions that people are already making about it, but they maybe don’t vocalise it, but you know what they are because you’ve had them with other people.  So, you can proactively tell people that this isn’t going to happen, and this will happen before they’ve asked for it, because they don’t need to ask you if you already know what they’re thinking and stuff like that.

Wendy Harris: Overthinking can be a bit of a bugbear, can’t it, when it comes to making decisions, like we were saying just before we started recording.  It’s interesting that my view is that people make a decision within five minutes, and I think that’s because we listen to our instincts.  And, like you said earlier, we talk ourselves out of that instinct to try and prove to ourselves logically the reasons why and what for.  But ultimately, we come back to the first instinctual response that we had.

The whole point of getting you here is for you to tell us about that one conversation that created a turning point for you and what happened next, so Ian, Mr Genius, what was that conversation?

Ian Genius: So, it was a conversation I had back in 1998.  It wasn’t until last year that I realised how powerful it was.  I’d done a degree in maths, and, by the way, I do like to remind people of that about every 30 seconds!

Wendy Harris: It’s good to have an “ology”!

Ian Genius: Yeah, it’s all right, isn’t it?  So, I hadn’t got a job, I hadn’t got a clue, I hadn’t got any money and it was all going a bit Pete Tong, and I started working at Vodafone Retail in Nottingham town centre.  I wanted the best sales figures, but how can you do that when everyone has three years’ experience, five years’ experience, seven years’ experience.  It’s October and I want the best sales figures in two months’ time against someone with seven years; I mean, that’s just mental, right?

Wendy Harris: Set yourself up.

Ian Genius: Yeah.  So I thought, “What if I could have the best sales figures in the shop amongst my mates?  What if I could have the best sales figures in the town?”  Because there were three in Nottingham, “what about in the Midlands; what about…?”  Who knows?  My background is problem-solving, so I thought rather than, what happens if you don’t try to get good at selling, but what you try to do is sell more phones.  So, it’s not the method, it’s what you’re trying to do.

But what happened is, pay as you talk just came out and I’m trying to then, not realising it, I’m trying to create the perfect win/win.  So, everyone who comes in, I’m effectively treating them like my mother, because this woman wants a phone, but I want to make sure, no matter what she says, I’m making sure that she pays the least amount of money; she gets the best package for her phone, irrelevant of what she said.

So, this was a typical conversation, but this woman said, “I want a pay as you talk phone for emergencies” and I said, “That’s fine.  I’ll sort you out with that”, because that meant her defence went down.  Now, if that was the best package for her, that’s fine; but if it wasn’t, I don’t want her to pay more than less, because it’s moral to sort out how much she’s really paying.  I said, “Is it okay if I ask you a couple of quick questions to get a better understanding of what you’re going to use it for”, because just because she said “emergencies” doesn’t mean it’s true, and what if her idea of an emergency isn’t an emergency?  What if she’s forgot about things?  It’s going to cost her a load of money, and she’s my mum in my eyes, I’m thinking. 

So, I’m going to try my best to help her make the best choice, that’s what it is; I’m helping her to make the best choice.  So I said, “Would you make an hour of phone calls a month?”  She said, “No, monkey boy, I’ve just told you it’s for emergencies”.  I’m paraphrasing; she wasn’t quite as rude as that, but that’s what I was hearing.  So then I said to her, “Would you consider making two minutes of phone calls a day?” and she said, “Well, probably not as many as two minutes of phone calls a day”.

So, I asked her, “Would you use an hour?” and she said, “No”, bang, a real solid no.  I said, “Would you consider two minutes a day?” she said, “Maybe not”.  It wasn’t quite as powerful the second time round.  I said, “The last question then, would you consider making six minutes of calls every three days?”  She said, “Easily six minutes of calls every three days.  I go to Pilates class twice a week and on the way back from Pilates, I phone my husband up, I have a general catch-up, I say, ‘What’s for tea; what ingredients do we need from Tesco’s?'”

I said, “Six minutes every three days is two minutes a day.  Two times three is six”.  She said, “Oh, yeah”.  I said, “Two minutes a day on average, times 30 days of the month, two 30s is 60: that’s an hour”.  She went, “I never thought of it like that”.  I said, “Well, would you consider making an hour of phone calls a month?”  She said, “Probably nearer two”.  When I asked her originally, she wasn’t going to do anything.

Wendy Harris: She wouldn’t make any!

Ian Genius: I didn’t tell her she was wrong; I tried to show her what she was actually doing.  I was showing her she was wrong, and I was showing her what she was actually doing.  She said, “I never thought of it like that”.  I said, “Well, are you trying to save money?”  Then the conversation carried on.  Buying a pay as you talk phone, it was going to cost her another £100 more than the contract, but she could see I was helping her to make the best choice, because I was helping her not spend another £100.

So, sometimes the husband walked in, and he’d say, “Have you bought that pay as you talk phone, love?”  She said, “We’re not buying a pay as you talk phone, we’re buying a contract phone, because Ian showed me what we’re actually really doing with it and what it really will cost, and he showed me how to save money”.  So, her trust and engagement had gone up through the roof; he believes his wife, but he maybe wouldn’t have believed me; but the ripple effect went bigger, because then people came in and they said, “My friend came to see you the other day and she told me you actually showed her how to save money, so I’d like to speak to you”.

I had a corner of people in the building with a card with my name on it and they said, “No, I need to speak to Ian”, because of this trust retention thing, because she didn’t want her friends — her friend had said, “I’m going to buy a pay as you talk phone” and she said, “No, you’re not, you’re going to see Ian at Vodafone”, because they’d already come to me eight out of ten.  I wasn’t trying to sell her the phone; I was trying to make it easier for her to make the best choice, and the best choice wasn’t what she was going for.  But as soon as she realised, I was helping her and not selling to her, I wasn’t at the other side of the table selling, I was next to her helping her.

It wasn’t until years later that that story came back to me, and I realised that it wasn’t about selling.  You want sales, but not by selling, but by helping your clients to make the best choice to use you; and that’s the differential.  Like you said, we like buying, but we don’t like being sold to.  So, don’t get better at selling, make it easier for them to buy from you, and that’s where I show people tips and techniques and everything else.

But that was the conversation, back in 1998, whatever, 23 years ago, that changed everything.  I didn’t realise it at the time, but it had a massive ripple effect and I still use that story to this day, now, but it’s just, she was trying to solve the wrong problem.

Wendy Harris: A lot of that comes down to actually asking lots of questions as well, isn’t it?  You asked her a few key questions that you could expect her to say something different to validate her “emergencies only”; but in actual fact, she’s undone herself, hasn’t she?  So, you’ve been able to help and go, “Well, no, hang on a minute then, it wouldn’t be right”, and I can see myself doing something very similar and going, “Well, it really wouldn’t be right of me to send you out of here with a pay as you go on emergencies only, if you’re going to be ringing up about what you want for tea twice a week.  You’re going to end up having charges and then you’re going to come back and you’re going to say to me, ‘Wendy, this pay as you go phone is costing me a lot of money.  Why didn’t you check?'”

Ian Genius: Yeah.  And if you have checked, because at the end of the day, the choice is hers.  No matter what I say, she can still say, “No, I want a pay as you talk”; that’s her choice.  But I’ve done my best to help you make the best choice and then after that, I say, “Look, there are your offerings.  One is going to cost you this much based on what we’ve worked out, one’s going to cost — you choose.  I know which one makes more sense but ultimately, you choose.  I’m going to make it easy for you to choose and then you make the choice, based on the best information and not the wrong information, because you didn’t realise”, because the thing is, who knows what they do in a month?  I don’t.

If you said to me, “Where were you last… ?” I don’t know.  Who wouldn’t want the person having a better understanding of the problem they have?  No one ever says, “No.  I don’t want you to understand my problem, please.  I want you to help, but I don’t want to really understand it.  No, I don’t want you to understand it”.  Okay, well I’ve never had it in 23 years.  No one’s ever said, “No, I don’t want you to understand my real problem”.  Then, once they’ve agreed to that, I can then try to help them out.

Wendy Harris: And it continues with the vein of what you do today and how you help people today, how that one conversation has really shaped your career, hasn’t it?  It’s still having that ripple effect, because I’m sure the listeners today are going to sit back and go, “How can I question differently; how can I question the Ingenious way?”  And if they need help with that, Ian, I would say that they need to get in touch with you.  Where are they going to find you?

Ian Genius: I’d say the easiest place to find me is on LinkedIn.  It’s Ian Genius.  You won’t struggle, as long as you can type it in correctly.  There is only one Ian Genius.  It’s this handsome looking fellow you’ve got right in front of you right now with a haircut from the future.

Wendy Harris: The listeners can’t see, but you know!  And he doesn’t look anything like a monkey; I must correct that.  Now then, I bet you Ian’s got you thinking about your pricing.  Do carry on the conversation with him afterwards, reach out, I am sure he will love to hear from you.  He’s going to be popping some details on our website, which is makingconversationscount.com, which is his letter to listeners, just for you.

We’ve also had a review from my book!  Goodness, it’s great when you hear from people like Linda in Chester.  There is a section in the book that helps you to prepare yourself for calling.  You know, it’s like making sure you’ve got water on the desk, and you’ve got plenty of notepaper and pens to make some notes, so that you don’t hear all that tap, tap, tap on the keyboard.  So, she says, “The Prepare For The Course tips at the end of the chapter; you said they would work, and they really did”.  Well, I’m glad they worked for you, Linda; keep on calling.

You can grab a copy on Amazon, links are all in the show notes.  And of course, if ever you fancy a chinwag, the Calendly link is there for you too.  I’ll look out for your emails and reviews to shout out for next week.



We don’t want the conversation to stop there!

All of our listeners are important to us, so we would love it if you can connect with Wendy on LinkedIn and send her a message with your favourite episode!


paula senior YMCA

Episode 1 – Paula Senior

In our first episode, we speak to Paula Senior from the YMCA. Paula is a fund-raising officer and is currently preparing for the annual Sleepout to raise much needed funds for the night shelter, how covid has stretched them to the limits and how they have risen above the challenges faced by the homeless.

Nat schooler

Episode 2 – Nat Schooler

Can one conversation really influence where you are driven? Nat Schooler

Influence marketeer Nat Schooler joins Wendy as they chat about how important it is to produce strategic content online. Nat spends his time podcasting, writing, and driving across foreign continents for fun. However, their conversation quickly turns to the importance of building relationships with the people you want to work with. Nat places trust as the highest asset everyone should nurture.

Azam Mamujee M Cubed Tax specialist

Episode 3 – Azam Mamujee

In this episode, Wendy is joined by Managing Partner, Azam Mamujee a tax specialist with a voice of velvet.

Azam agrees that conversations count however he explains how numbers can tell a much more powerful story. He has a catchphrase “Give Azam the facts, I’ll save you the Tax”.

Jenny Procter Marketing for introverts bondfield

Episode 4 – Jenny Procter

Jenny Procter – Bondfield Marketing

Making Conversations about Marketing for Introverts Count

Let us introduce you to Jenny Procter, a marketing consultant and self-proclaimed introvert.

Jenny writes PR and communications for B2B clients and has her own podcast show, and she discusses issues around running her own business as an entrepreneur.

Andrew Deighton team coaching

Episode 5 – Andrew Deighton

Andrew Deighton – Team Coaching. Making Conversations about Teams Count. We are joined by Andrew Deighton today, who helps build and develop high-performing teams through strategy and processes in today’s remote working world.

Wendy has worked with Andrew in a second business through mentoring and knows firsthand how his advice relates to many aspects of running a business.

Nicky Pattinson sales expert public speaker

Episode 6 – Nicky Pattinson

Nicky Pattinson – Leading Sales Authority & Public Speaker. Making Conversations about Personality Count. Nicky Pattinson speaks the Truth in all she does! A northern lass who traded on the markets at the beginning of her career, similarly to your host. Now, Nicky has a best-selling book “Email: Don’t Get Deleted” and her own YouTube channel NICKYPTV.

Buckso Dhillon Wooley

Episode 7 – Buckso Dhillon-Wooley

Buckso Dhillon-Wooley – Actress, Speaker & Business Coach. Making Conversations about Self-Belief Count. A true diamond, Buckso is very much aligned with herself and the many facets of her own personality.
As an actor, speaker and coach her mission in life is to help people connect with their higher self.
Being aligned with yourself on a spiritual, physical and emotional level allows you to shine brighter in everything you touch.
Buckso Dillon-Whooley is a well known Actress, who has starred in Disney’s recent remake of Aladdin and is a long-standing actor on Coronation Street with appearances on many UK TV shows.

James Daniel Copywriter

Episode 8 – James Daniel

James Daniel – Copywriter
Making Conversations about Copywriting Count
Joining us in this episode is copywriter James Daniel.
He describes himself as ‘That old guy who writes copy – you know, the beardy one with glasses.’
We should point out there could be other old guys with beards and glasses out there!
It’s easy to like James’ style of writing because he’s a conversationalist who realizes that people don’t speak geek or tech.

Henny Maltby Digital marketing agency

Episode 9 – Henny Maltby

Henny Maltby – Digital Marketing Agency, Pink Elephant Media. Making Conversations about Digital Marketing Count. When the Pandemic hit in early 2020, Henny Maltby turned to her husband as they both realised their business was going to change forever. Offering online marketing to large corporate businesses who cut budgets left a hole to fill. By opening the conversation up with local businesses, it was obvious what the next chapter would be for them at Pink Elephant Media…

Kim Walsh Phillips

Episode 10 – Kim Walsh Phillips

Kim Walsh Phillips owns Powerful Professionals, a business that helps empower entrepreneurs to turn clicks into cash and identifying the superpowers in others so they can fly high. Kim is an expert in social selling strategy.

Amelia Thorpe Wellbeing coach

Episode 11 – Amelia Thorpe

Amelia Thorpe – Mental Health Wellbeing Coach. Making Conversations about Mental Wealth Count. Meet Amelia Thorpe, founder of Wellbeing 360, who talks to Wendy about how important it is to give equal priority to our mental and physical health. Listening to Amelia’s story will bring a beacon of hope that we can all take charge of our own conversations which will give us back the control that slips sometimes when times are tough. Amelia is a wellbeing counsellor.

John Attridge capacity business

Episode 12 – John Attridge

John Attridge – Guiding Businesses to Reach their Full Potential by Tapping into Spare Capacity

Making Conversations about Capacity Count. John Attridge, owner of BBX turns spare capacity into value for many businesses. When you listen to John you just know there is a bigger story to this guy as his accent gives it away!
John has successfully built a business network and community to help people fill spare capacity and exchange services. It is a brilliant concept and if you’ve not come across it before yet in touch with me and I’ll tell you more. Using the BBX community helped my own business through the lockdown and has provided such a lot of support and new relationships.

Clara Wilcox return to work coaching for parents

Episode 13 – Clara Wilcox

Clara Wilcox runs The Balance Collective, Specialising in Return to Work Coaching for Parents. Making Conversations about Returning to Work Count! This is a conversation that every Mum will resonate with, juggling home and work is not simply a balancing act but a superpower!

Clara recognized through her own personal journey that the right support for Mum’s returning to work was only available from the employer’s point of view. This causes a biased approach and is not always helpful in an emotive decision-making process.

dr ivan misner bni networking

Episode 14 – Dr Ivan Misner

In this episode, Ivan and Wendy explore how conversation is the foundation of all growth and learning. How times have changed, looking back and also predicting our future generations experiences, yet communication will still be the underpin even it how that looks has changed.

Janine Coombes marketing coach

Episode 15 – Janine Coombes

Google has recognised this lady as the #1 marketing coach and her video series mixes humour with key messages, it is the lovely Janine Coombes. Janine is a marketing coach for personal brands.
In this episode, Janine and Wendy share how using the right language influences the conversations we have and how it affects our results.

Lizzie Butler presentations coach

Episode 16 – Lizzie Butler

Making conversations about presentations count! Delighted to introduce Lizzie Butler, owner of LB Communications, who met Wendy at a local online networking event and immediately hit it off. Lizzie helps you to grow your business through personal development training and how to achieve brilliant communication.

Jem hills inspirational speaker

Episode 17 – Jem Hills

Making conversations about Bullying count. Jem Hills is an inspirational speaker, trainer & performance coach.
Talking to Wendy in this episode is ex-marine Jem Hills who you might find it hard to believe was affected by bullying and a lack of confidence. As a release Jem discovered Northern dancing and practiced as a bedroom activity that later led to an accidental release of freestyle dancing at a competition. The dancing-built resilience and the foundations for the training to complete the Mud Run and onto his Elite Special Forces career.

Peter howard graphic design

Episode 18 – Peter Howard

Peter Howard runs a design studio that is ranked in the top 100 in the country and was responsible for the WAG brand. Having known Peter and his team for many years, Wendy has heard lots of his stories but knew there would be one she had not heard before.

Taz Thornton & Asha Clearwater business coaches

Episode 19 – Taz Thornton & Asha Clearwater

Making conversations about partnerships count. In a Making Conversations Count first, we are joined by two dynamic guests in this episode. Both Taz & Asha provide business coach services in different areas. Joining Wendy chatting about all the elements that make up a great debate. You are not going to want to miss the observations with Taz Thornton and Asha Clearwater around questioning, opinions, debate and discernment that makes for wonderful colourful conversations.

Vicki Carroll O'Neill

Episode 20 – Vicki Carroll (formerly O’Neill)

Vicki works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and executive leaders who are stuck in their business and need someone as a partner to coach them to their next level of success. Vicki offers growth marketing consultant advice, strategy plans & also organises in-house marketing teams.

heidi medina business coach

Episode 21 – Heidi Medina

This episode contains one of our most important conversations, so we’re definitely going to make it count!
Wendy Harris brings Heidi Medina into the conversation today, who opens up the conversation about abuse she has encountered.
She’s a Linkedin expert and business coach who is the exact opposite of the classic ‘my way or the highway’.
Whether you meet Heidi online or in person she is the same.

Niraj Kapur online sales coach

Episode 22 – Niraj Kapur

In this episode, Wendy is joined by Online Sales Coach Niraj Kapur from “Everybody works in Sales” a business that helps companies with their sales processes.

Steve Judge paralympian motivational speaking

Episode 23 – Steve Judge

A life-changing accident that almost claimed a life but actually birthed a mindset shift.  Making conversations about speaking count!

Imagine losing your limbs in an accident.

That’s a real human test.

Most people would fall into one of two camps.

Feel the loss, and struggle to overcome it, before essentially accepting your ‘job lot’ and just becoming a bit angry.

Many would. And they’d be forgiven.

Then there are others, who would not let it defeat them, or define them.

Steve Judge is definitely in the latter of the two camps.

Nikolas Venios the ideas agency

Episode 24 – Nik Venios

We reflect on how this business man helped his poorly mother solve a household challenge which led to a career of making conversations about ideas and innovation count. We will all eventually lose our parents. Sadly, it’s a part of life. Not many of us have to suffer that loss at the tender age of just six. We couldn’t think of a nicer guy to help us with our goal of making conversations about ideas count. Truly, if anyone can hold a conversation about ideas, it’s Nik Venios of the Ideas Agency. Did you know that NASA has a genius test? During this episode, you’ll find out all about this, and the fascinating stats surrounding it.

Jonny cooper hates marketing

Episode 25 – Jonny Cooper

Most business owners hate marketing. That’s probably because they don’t understand it. Someone who does get marketing is Jonny Cooper, and even he can’t stand it! In fact, he despises it so much, he built a business around it. Welcome to Jonny Hates Marketing! This week we’re making conversations about messaging count. Messaging is so important to get correct. Your entire marketing voice depends on it. That’s why you need to listen very carefully to Jonny Cooper.

Wendy Harris telephone trainer how to sell over the phone

Episode 26 – Wendy Harris

Wendy Harris is an expert telemarketer, who has years worth of experience in cold-calling and doing it right. Now a podcast host, Wendy shares her story and how she became an advocate for making conversations count!

Will Polston Make it happen

Episode 27 – Will Polston

Making conversations about wealth….and Clubhouse….count! Paying it forward. Acting from a position of generosity and giving within the law of reciprocity. We’re talking to Will Polston.

Ray Blakney Live Lingua

Episode 28 – Ray Blakney

Making conversations about language count… Ray Blakney is the CEO And founder of online language school Live Lingua. Can you speak another language other than your native tongue? Wendy admitted to the “Making Conversations Count” team that she doesn’t, and we can’t help but feel she’s definitely not alone.

Many Ward write my book cuddle monster

Episode 29 – Mandy Ward

Mandy Ward is a book mentor, helping people to write their own books under the company ‘Write my book’. Mandy is also an author herself, including the popular children’s book ‘The Cuddle Monster’.

Sarah Townsend copywriter survival skills for freelancers

Episode 30 – Sarah Townsend

Sarah Townsend is a freelance copywriter and best-selling author of the book ‘survival skills for freelancers’. In this episode, we discuss the importance of conversations in the freelance world, and how things can lead to many opportunities…

Hear what people are saying about the show

I love this podcast. The guests you have on all bring something new to the conversation and definitely thought-provoking.

Sometimes this means I change something I do, or something I would say, and other times it’s a real opportunity for reflection.

Thanks for sharing your guests with us Wendy, the podcasts are brilliant.

Paula Senior

I always enjoy listening to Wendy’s Making Conversations Count podcast and admire her talent for drawing out people’s stories and getting to the heart of things for finding out what makes them tick.

We all have pivotal moments and Wendy manages to find the right parts, showcasing the reasons why someone is who they are.

It’s those details that we connect to and come to more understanding of why people do what they do.

Heidi Medina

Love this podcast series. It’s a great idea to have a theme of ‘pivotal conversations’ and the variety of guests from massively different backgrounds keeps it fresh and interesting.

Wendy is a natural host and makes people feel at ease to share their stories.

Andrew Deighton

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