Episode 25 - Jonny CooperMarketing and 'messaging'. Do you hate it? Not as much as Jonny hates marketing! In this episode, we're making conversations about messaging count!
Jonny Cooper, Jonny Hates Marketing
Making Conversations about Messaging Count!
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.
Jonny comes from a consumer background and brings a new twist for host Wendy. This was a conversation that really counted for her!
Jonny is easy to listen to, easy to get along with and easy to learn from too.
Jonny explains how important it is that when trying to get new customers for yourself, you need to be crystal clear in your conversations with yourself first. If you don’t, you’ll lose a great referral.
Have a listen to Jonny’s messages about messaging and then let Wendy know what your key takeaway is, via her social channels!
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Full Episode Transcript
Making Conversations Count – Episode Twenty-Five
April 8th 2021
Wendy Harris & Jonny Cooper, Jonny Hates Marketing
00:01:02: You really don’t like marketing, do you?
00:02:25: Where ideas come from
00:03:26: People buy products more than ideas
00:04:50: Conversation openers
00:06:27: Denting people
00:09:17: F-word, yes, Fear
00:12:57: Listening with instinct
00:15:03: Jonny’s pivotal conversation
00:21:17: B2B or B2C or Human to Human?
00:25:01: Final thoughts
Wendy Harris: Do you ever wonder why you spend so much time working on your marketing, yet it doesn’t seem to give you anything in return? It’s a tough subject to crack and I also feel your pain. I doubt you’ll hate marketing as much as our next guest, who’s actually made a career out of it. We’re going to take you on a journey you’ll feel familiar with over the next half hour or so, as we’re making conversations about messaging count.
First, what’s new with you, Wendy? Look out for our guest host next week and a role reversal as I share with you my own pivotal conversation and my why for starting the show, but now it’s my pleasure to give you Jonny Cooper from Jonny Hates Marketing. Where does that name come from, Jonny, I have to ask?
Jonny Cooper: Yeah, it emerged as a really cool brand through no fault of mine. I was on a podcast with a Canadian host about two and a half years ago and this business that I run now was branding as Success Party; I thought that was a great idea. Nobody else agrees, but I thought it was. I managed to get the successparty.com and I was really proud and all that, anyway so I’m on this podcast and we’re talking about who I serve and we’re talking about rubbish marketing ideas and particularly rubbish marketers who really push stuff down your throat.
I was talking to the host about a pitch that I’d managed to get myself on, one of these pitch calls, this discovery call, where the guy just pitches at you for 45 minutes and I was saying how rubbish it is, because I hate all that. Anyway, the host said to me, “I don’t think you really like marketing, do you?” I said, “Well, not that type really”. Then he said, “Spoiler alert: Jonny hates marketing”. I just went, “Say that again, that sounded really good that did”.
Within six weeks I’d rebranded the whole thing, so my Facebook group’s called Jonny Hates Marketing; I’ve got Jonnyhatesmarketing.com obviously, because nobody else had thought of that; and I’ve written a book called Jonny Hates Marketing: 99 ways to Attract Your Ideal Clients Without Paid Advertising. So yeah, it just fits me like a glove basically; I wear it like a jacket, to use another metaphor.
Wendy Harris: It’s interesting where some of these ideas come from, isn’t it?
Jonny Cooper: Just fell out the sky that one.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, my own Making Conversations Count came from becoming of a Queen Of, on Twitter, for Making Conversation. I was like, “That’s really lovely to be given this award”, but I just extended it a bit, making them count. We’ve got to make them count; there’s no point just making conversation out of nothing and having no reward or benefit to it, so we made it count.
Jonny Cooper: Of course a count is a kind of royal status, isn’t it, just like a queen, certainly a countess.
Wendy Harris: I hadn’t thought of that, Jonny.
Jonny Cooper: Making conversations countess! I’m full of this stuff, aren’t I? You’re welcome to that one by the way, you can have the countess and making conversations; it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but never mind.
Wendy Harris: No, it doesn’t and it’s just taking me back to the boxset that I haven’t quite finished yet, which is Bridgerton where there’s all duchesses and viscounts and things, so perhaps best not to go down that smutty route.
Jonny, conversation is key and it’s critical, every business depends on having really good conversations.
Jonny Cooper: It really does, doesn’t it?
Wendy Harris: Where does it figure in your life and the importance of what you do?
Jonny Cooper: My tribe are coaches and therapists and what I encourage them to do is certainly when they work with me, they get forced to move away from one-on-one sessions, typically £50 to £100 an hour kind of thing for some kind of healing session or consultancy session or something like that, a therapy session; move away from that into selling longer-term engagements about productising services, creating a programme rather than just selling your time by the hour.
People buy products more than they buy just ideas, so it makes your sales cycle easier selling programmes. It makes it easier on another level because you don’t have to sell as many, if you’re selling an expensive programme.
What I teach people from the get-go, even if they’re just starting out as a coach or therapist is, “Build a programme, just sell a few expensive things to a few people”, it’s so much easier than trying to sell your time by the hour, because you’ll never make a fortune doing that. The turnover of clients with hourly sessions is ridiculously high, you’ve still got to find people to talk to even if you’re just charging them £50 and off they go.
So, conversations are at the heart of this, and I guess my most powerful byline that I use when I’m helping people is, “Spot someone who looks like your next ideal client on social media, by a comment or a post that they’ve made or something like that, and just invite them into a conversation. Talk about how you can help”. Just say, “Hey, look, I feel your pain”, or, “I love your work”, or something like that, and then say, “Look, I might be able to share some insights”, just jump on a quick call sometime soon and see what pops out. It’s that kind of gentle way into a conversation because you never know.
Wendy Harris: That’s one of my lines, yeah, “You never know a conversation will lead”.
Jonny Cooper: Exactly, yeah. One of the things that really stymies experts online, so we’ll say coaches, therapists, trainers, consultants, public speakers, those kind of people, authors, is that they’ll go too far to try and prejudge a particular lead. They’ll be their own marketing and sales department and decide that this person isn’t worth talking to. Do you know, I’ve built a business and built a career as the antithesis of that; I’ll talk to anyone who looks like they need my help because you never know, do you?
Affordability is another kind of paradox in all that. Generally people will find the money to pay for something if they really want it, it’s not even about trying to preselect wealthy people, it’s just talking to people then making offers isn’t it; so I’m 100% with that, Wendy. I mean starting conversations is the key skill which most coaches and therapists seem to be lacking at the outset.
Wendy Harris: Jonny, I don’t know about you, but I always remember my dad saying to me, “Wendy, what goes around comes around, so what you give will come back to you tenfold”. If you can lead by giving you never know whether that person’s going to want what you need or not, but you never know how many people they know that might need what you’ve got and I’ve seen this with people that have approached me; and if they’ve approached me badly, then they’ve kind of made that dent. They’ve dented my brain to say, “I wouldn’t go to them”, whereas if I had a really good approach and they were open, that dent it wouldn’t rust, if you like.
Jonny Cooper: I like the concept of denting your brain, that’s pretty cool.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, it kind of keeps them in your mind that their approach was great, so when you recognise somebody that might need their services, you would just polish off that contact and say, “I know somebody that I spoke to; haven’t used them but they made a really good impression on me, see what you think, if it’s good for you”. There’s that power as well, which is what LinkedIn is, isn’t it, the second- and third-degree connections; you just never quite know how far your reach is going to go just by offering.
Jonny Cooper: I must say I get a bit impatient about that approach of putting stuff out there and then expecting your audience to be advocates. In my experience, I think it’s more productive to give them a particular task that you’re looking for them to achieve for you. On a call, for example, if it’s clear that they’re not going to be a client, we’ll usually be saying to them something like, “Okay, but based on what we’ve talked about today, who springs to mind as one person right now, who’d benefit from what we talked about today?”
Give them a very prescriptive ask to actually come up with a name and you’ll see their eyes going up top right, I think it is, while they’re thinking of a name and they’ll give you a name and then just a matter of saying, “Would you mind introducing us on messenger?”, that kind of thing and get the job done there and then. Because I agree with you, but I think it’s just a little bit spray and pray isn’t it, just expecting people to go out there and sell your stuff on your behalf; so I call it intelligent referrals, where you just literally say, “Who springs to mind right now as one person who would benefit?”
Wendy Harris: I was thinking that later on if it’s a bad approach, you would immediately dismiss them if they came up in conversation as the person to go to, you’d go, “Oh no, don’t”, rather than, “Oh yes, that was a good thing”. I agree, not many people ask for that past that person.
Jonny Cooper: Exactly, yeah.
Wendy Harris: Who else do you know that you can help, which can really dig out some great nuggets of business and relationships. It’s that bravery of asking the question and how do you phrase that question isn’t it, I suppose?
Jonny Cooper: Yeah, it’s strange that “B” word and the connected “F” word, “Fear”.
Wendy Harris: Yes.
Jonny Cooper: It’s strange isn’t it how we seem to have expanded the real definition of fear, since the world wars and since we stopped having to run away from angry tigers and things like that? That’s what fear was designed for, isn’t it; literally, as a self-preservation emotion. People now claim fear when it’s actually just anxiety perhaps, anxious about what might happen. My number one tactic there for overcoming fear is to simply detach from the outcome; to not imagine what might happen, good or bad.
For example, when you’re on a sales call, and you’re with somebody who’s really got a good potential to actually buy your product, just forget about doing that. Just detach yourself from the outcome and say, “Look, what I’m doing here is I’m having a conversation with someone”. If they buy, it’s a positive; if they don’t buy, it’s neutral. I’m no worse off than I was when I started. You can’t lose a sale if you didn’t have it in the first.
Wendy Harris: Have it in the first place, yeah.
Jonny Cooper: Once you get into that mindset of true outcome detachment and really understand what that means, you don’t have a client shaped hole in your business that only that person can fill. Sure, you need some clients at some point, but it doesn’t matter whether it’s that one, or the next one or the one after.
With that kind of relaxed approach to it you find that you actually make more sales, because you’re then in a mindset where you can just give. You can provide service and value and you can coherently explain why they should be part of your world, part of your programme, without putting pressure on yourself to actually make a sale. When you do that, you will find times without number people just ask you at the end, “Great, I’m in. How do I do it? Where do I sign?”
Wendy Harris: I’ve always been a big fan of, there’s only three outcomes, there’s, “Yes”, “No”, “Not yet”, if you can sort of get to that because timing can be really key, to certain businesses.
Jonny Cooper: Well, I’m going to challenge you on that, what we do in JHM and all the programmes that we teach, we want a, “Hell, yes”, or a, “Hell, no”. A hell no can mean, “I ain’t ready yet”, but what we don’t want to be doing is chasing people around the houses. When people say to you, “Yeah, do you know what, I’ve just got to get my new website built and then I’m just finishing this course off and then the kids are going back to school, give me a call in February”, that kind of thing. All that is, is, “Hell, no”, but I’m too polite to say that.
Wendy Harris: It’s usually, I don’t know who you are yet, really, so how am I going to make a decision until I feel comfortable about everything.
Jonny Cooper: Yeah, there are a lot of nuances and I appreciate them. It seems to me people are mostly saying, “You haven’t convinced me that this offer is a worthwhile use of the money that you’re asking for it”. That’s it in a nutshell, isn’t it, but it’s a, “Hell, no”. What we do when we’ve set up the perfect sales call, as a coach or therapist, you’ll start off by saying, “If it appears that we’re a fit for working together, I’m going to tell you about my programme; and all I ask at the end of it is you give me a, ‘Hell, yeah’, or a, ;Hell, no’, is that okay?”
Then they’re predisposed then, they’re warned that that’s the outcome that we’re all expecting from the conversation. I don’t think there’s that middle ground; it always just falls into the “Hell no”, pit. If you allow it to take six weeks before it falls into the “Hell no” pit, that’s six weeks you’ve wasted chasing somebody around the houses that was never going to buy from you in the first place; so I’m a little bit more binary.
Wendy Harris: I think that’s perhaps where it can differ industry to industry and who you’re dealing with. I think it can differ as well in terms of other factors like budgets and timescales.
Jonny Cooper: There are some edge cases, Wendy, yeah.
Wendy Harris: It comes back to that instinct though, doesn’t it? If you’re a good listener you know even if you’re being told, “Yes, but not yet”. You know really, it’s a, “No”.
Jonny Cooper: I agree but I think if you’re working with organisations, with corporates, where there may be multiple decision makers, there may be a decision tree where one person has to sign it off and then hand it to the next person. Yeah, you’re not going to get a “Yes” on the day, but I think for those of us who are solopreneurs working with other solopreneurs, there’s a meaningful conversation to be had where you can get to the bottom of whether they’re a fit for your programme or not, in a conversation, and the decision can be made.
The other thing is this; I think if you’re a coach or therapist, you only want to work with decisive people. They’re going to tell you a lot by their behaviour on that first call, where you’re explaining the programme to them; you’ll get a lot about how they’re going to behave when you start working with them.
If someone’s dithering about and going, “I don’t know, yeah, give me a ring in a months’ time”, they’re probably not going to be very rewarding clients, because as coaches and therapists and consultants, we want people who can get on with their work and get it done. We’re going to be laying out a roadmap in front of them to change their life in some way or their business and we want them to actually do the work. We don’t want people who are just going to take a bit of information and then go away and have a think about it.
So, I think in the sales process that I’ve described to you, working with the audience that we work with, I think it’s really important that they’re able to just take a breath and go, “Hell, yeah, I need to do this”, I mean that kind of thing.
Wendy Harris: Yeah and that’s by proving the value and service that you can provide, isn’t it, in that conversation?
Jonny Cooper: Yeah, I’m sure.
Wendy Harris: It’s that opening conversation, yeah. In terms of everybody that comes on the show, Jonny, I ask them to think about a personal pivotal conversation that’s created a turning point for them, hoping really just to sort of give some inspiration to anybody who’s thinking about starting out or has just recently started out, or has had to change everything that they’re doing, because I think everybody’s story can really resonate. Come on, Jonny, what’s your pivotal moment?
Jonny Cooper: I can remember it vividly, actually. This is one of a number of answers I could give to that question; I was in my late 20s and I was a professional musician, and I was broke, I was living in South London. By the way you know the difference between a professional musician and a 14-inch pizza?
Wendy Harris: You’re going to have to educate me.
Jonny Cooper: A 14-inch pizza can feed a family of four, you see. I didn’t have a family of four at the time, I couldn’t even feed myself, but I had this clapped-out old car, and it broke down in Streatham High Street in South London and I actually abandoned it, pulled the number plates off and just walked away. I called my mate with his transit van and we got all my gear out the back, the keyboards and all that kind of thing. I left the car, I just abandoned it; it was those days when they didn’t do chassis plate checks and things.
About three days later, I had a police aware sticker on it, and it disappeared, but this is my pivotal conversation. I went back home and there was a copy of the Evening Standard, the London Evening Standard and I opened it up looking for jobs, so I went to the small ads in the back. There was this tiny little ad, it was one of these inch-by-inch little blocks and it said, “Closers wanted, £1,000 a week”. So, I ignored the closers wanted because I had no idea what that meant and just focused on the £1,000 a week and thought, “That’d be nice”, because I was earning about £1,000 a year at that point. I phoned them up and it was Moben Kitchens.
Wendy Harris: Okay, I remember Moben Kitchens.
Jonny Cooper: A home improvement company, based in Crawley, so I went up on the train into the office and I was wearing this bright yellow, canary yellow jumper that my girlfriend had knitted, had a keyboard round it, black and white piano keyboard and I had my favourite, because I thought I looked smart, bright red skin-tight chinos that I used to wear on stage, then white patent leather shoes. Can you imagine the scene?
Wendy Harris: You looked like a professional musician.
Jonny Cooper: Probably looked like a D-head, can we swear on this podcast?
Wendy Harris: We’ll bleep you.
Jonny Cooper: Yeah, looked like a D-head. I went into this office and this chubby guy, typical sales manager, chain-smoking at his desk because they could do it in those days. He said, “Jonny, is it?” I went, “Yeah”, right, he started telling me about kitchens and all that sort of thing. I said, “It sounds all right, reckon I could do that”, it was commission only anyway, so I don’t think he was taking much of a risk when he said, “Go on then, you’re in”.
Wendy Harris: There’s the phone book?
Jonny Cooper: Yeah, exactly. Within 6 weeks, I was making sales; within 6 months, I was selling more than anybody in the whole office and there were 18 salespeople in there; within 12 months, I was the number one salesperson in Moben, and I was being helicoptered, not literally but metaphorically, into underperforming branches all around the country to train their salespeople in the kinds of things that I did. It was all about having conversation, all about having conversations, finding out what people wanted.
The pivotal moment there was definitely that conversation because it got me into a different world, a world of commerce rather than faffing around pretending to be a musician. What I remember about that conversation is not on that day, but six months later when I was really performing in the branch and I was top of the branch and he took me on one side and he said, “You know what, Jonny”, he said, “that day you walked in, looking like a right [bleep]”, he said, “I thought to myself you’re either going to be best salesman we’ve ever had, or you’re going to be a complete [bleep]”.
I said, “Well, there you go, thanks for taking the risk”. He says, “No risk”, he says, “because we weren’t paying you anything, you were taking up a desk, just warming a seat for a bit”, but that was a pivotal moment without a doubt. The learning, the hotbed of personal development that you had to undergo, all that stuff like getting a thick skin, never giving up, resilience being able to just ask.
We’d go out in the freezing cold around Coulsdon in Surrey, near Croydon. You can see the streets with opposing rows of semi-detached houses on and we have to walk up the door and knock on the door and say, “Hey, have you thought about changing your kitchen?” We’d get sworn at, I got punched once, the guy threw a punch, and I ran off, it didn’t quite connect, and you’d get offers as well from bored housewives. This is becoming a real X-rated show, isn’t it?
Wendy Harris: From the start I knew.
Jonny Cooper: Pure smut, but overall, it was just this incredible university of sales and marketing and commerce and personal branding and a personal development, just being the person that people will want to buy a kitchen from.
Wendy Harris: You were doing all this learning on the job with no direction from anybody.
Jonny Cooper: I had a sales manager who was actually quite experienced, and I’ve got a great fondness for him till the day he died, lovely old boy. He just took me under his wing, saw the potential. He got a bit upset when I was selling more than he was. That’s why I like Stars Wars, because he was like the Jedi master and I was the young knight, the young Skywalker. That was a pretty cool experience, and I was in and out of Moben over a ten-year period before I started the business on my own.
Wendy Harris: I imagine that bedrock of experience has really stood you in good stead. My whole background is B2B corporately, but I started market stalls, waitressing, bar work, I loved it, it’s people; real coal-face stuff and that’s what sets you up for being able to have a conversation and remember that even if you were talking to a trillionaire CEO or somebody just ordering their dinner —
Jonny Cooper: There’s going to be one of those soon, by the way, it’s probably going to be Jeff Bezos.
Wendy Harris: Yes, he will be. I think that being able to deal with real people on any level and have that conversation is a real testament to a character, to be able to then take that journey further in telling a sales story.
Jonny Cooper: Only later, from that kind of role, did I start studying some of the great marketers and salespeople around the world, reading stuff, going on courses and programmes that they provided. I’ve learned one thing about that kind of mentorship idea that I think anybody should only engage a coach or mentor or a trainer who’s already living the life that they want to live and there’s so many fakers out there, charlatans, even conscious frauds; but most people are just inadequate, I guess. They haven’t really learned it themselves before they start teaching it.
So, I’ve got that as a kind of byline; I’ll only take anybody on as my coach or mentor or inspirer if they’re doing something that I want to do, if they’re leading from the front and really showing that they’ve lived the life that I want to lead.
Wendy Harris: Likewise, when people come to you, for you to guide and mentor them, they want to know that you’re doing the same. When people come to me, I do what I tell them, I still do that.
Jonny Cooper: Yeah, it’s great, isn’t it, because you learn all the time and we’re able then to show people the latest best practice as well.
Wendy Harris: It’s what’s happening, it’s real life. A lot of stuff is learned from 30-odd years ago, it’s coming back in fashion, a bit like my suits.
Jonny Cooper: I also try and avoid people who are too far ahead of me, in terms of who I’m going to learn from. Somebody’s who’s been building an online internet marketing business since the dawn of the internet, 20 years, 25 years, they’ve probably forgotten what they were doing when they started out and it’s all changed anyway, hasn’t it?
Wendy Harris: That’s really interesting stuff there, Jonny, that you’d gone back to the beginning really of everything that you’ve done.
Jonny Cooper: Just an evolution from there then, isn’t it? I don’t use the B2C and B2B prescriptive; I don’t think they’re so useful. To me it’s just H2H, human to human, and if someone is employed in a position in a business such that they can make a decision in your favour or otherwise, then they go through the same range of human emotions when they’re evaluating whether to buy your product or not.
They’re thinking to themselves, “What’s the best that could happen if I bought this from Wendy on behalf of my business; and what’s the worst that could happen? What’s the risk and what’s the worst that could happen if I don’t buy it or if I don’t? Where will the company be if we don’t do this?” That’s just the same conversation, internal conversation that you want to get going in a B2C environment, you’re just talking to a solopreneur, you want them thinking about all the great things that can happen when they’re working with you, all the bad things that could happen if they work with you, which hopefully will be limited in number; more importantly all the bad things that could happen if they don’t.
One of my colleagues in the States, I did a keynote at one of his events last year, I say last year, it’s 2019 now, the year before last, in Scottsdale in Arizona. He’s a fantastic guy, he runs huge events for coaches and therapists, and he asked me to get up and talk to his tribe, but he came up with this phrase which I think is fantastic. He was talking about competition and he asked the audience what they regard as their biggest competition.
People were saying other practitioners and Tony Robbins and all that kind of stuff, but he said, “No, you’re wrong”. He said, “Your biggest competition is always a pillow and a mattress”, and he just let that hang for a bit. A pillow and a mattress because getting somebody to do anything rather than do nothing and just stay in bed all day is your biggest challenge. If you can get people really to feel the pain of doing nothing, what’s the cost of inaction, then you’re halfway there. All you’ve then go to do was decide to do something to show them that doing your thing is the best answer.
So, if they haven’t decided to do anything at all, if they can’t be bothered, if they’re not motivated, they’re not going to buy your thing or anybody else. I quite like that; your biggest competition is a pillow and a mattress.
Wendy Harris: So, true, so true. Lots and lots of people to think about there, Jonny. You’ve got me musing, I’m going to have to go away and have a little think as well.
Jonny Cooper: I’m mused as well, I like musing.
Wendy Harris: I like a good muse. Thank you so much for sharing, Jonny. If anybody wants to pick up the conversation with you, where do they find you?
Jonny Cooper: Really simple all they need to do is find the Jonny Hates Marketing Facebook Group, we’ll welcome them in there with open arms. Facebook’s very generous with its search results, there’s no other Dave hates marketing or Sharon hates marketing or anything like that.
Wendy Harris: No offence to any Daves and Sharons out there.
Jonny Cooper: I’m sure there’s lots of Daves who do hate marketing, lots of Sharons. Just join the group, that’s the hub of all things; the community. We’ve over 5,100 coaches and therapists in there at the moment and they’re all facing the same challenges and sharing the same hopes and dreams as you guys listening are, yeah, jump in there and we’ll help you.
Wendy Harris: That’s great, we’ll make sure that we pop that in the show notes for you as well, we’ll encourage everybody to subscribe if this is your first time listening. Take a look at the previous guests, we’ve had some great ones and subscribe to make sure that you don’t miss our future guests. We’ve got some real crackers lined up for you. Jonny, once again, thank you so much.
Jonny Cooper: Wendy, it’s been such a pleasure, thank you for giving me the time, appreciate it.
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