EP - 002

You're Leaving Money on the Table

With Mark Drager

Understand the difference between what's easy and what's worth it. Often, the best opportunities require a little more effort.

The How To Sell More Podcast


September 11, 2023

In this episode of How to Sell More, we talk "low hanging fruit" and its impact on businesses and sales.

Mark Drager draws an analogy between apple picking and business strategies. He highlights the pitfalls of becoming overly reliant on easily attainable sales or leads.

Mark also emphasizes the necessity to occasionally exert more effort to achieve results, as opportunities may just be slightly out of immediate reach but still accessible with some additional effort.

He also points out that sometimes, businesses overlook obvious opportunities right in front of them, using an example from a mastermind event.

The episode concludes with three key takeaways: the dangers of fixating only on the easiest opportunities, the need to be proactive and occasionally work harder, and the value of re-engaging with existing customers for potential new sales.

Key Takeaways

  • Beware of becoming too reliant on the "low hanging fruit" in business.
  • There's value in exerting extra effort to reach opportunities that are just beyond the immediately accessible.
  • Sometimes overlooked opportunities lie within existing connections and clientele.

Top 3 Reasons to Listen

Deep Dive into Common Pitfalls: Understand the common mistake of relying too heavily on the low hanging fruit, which can lead to business stagnation.

Actionable Insights: The episode isn't just theory. Mark offers concrete steps on how to adjust your strategy and pursue sales that require more effort.

Holistic Approach to Sales: This episode doesn’t just focus on gaining new customers but emphasizes the importance of nurturing and revisiting existing relationships for sustained business growth.

Links to This Episode

More About our Host, Mark Drager

AKA the Badass Brand Architect, 5th Generation Entrepreneur, Host of The How To Sell More Podcast

When he's not podcasting, Mark's the Co-Founder & CEO of SalesLoop. He's a dedicated husband to his high school sweetheart, Jacqueline, and a proud father of four.

Mark didn't follow the typical route to becoming a sales & marketing expert. A connected figure in the entrepreneur community, Mark provides listeners with a unique mix of wit, insight, and straightforward advice.

Some of Mark's unconventional adventures include commandeering a Boeing 737-800 for a day, facing harsh criticism from a billionaire, and shedding 70 lbs in his late 30s. Though he never attended college, Mark stands as proof of the might of maintaining a student mindset and being ever-ready to seek assistance.

A Transcription of The Talk

On today's episode of the How to Sell More podcast, we're talking low hanging fruit, and where you are most definitely leaving money on the table. I'm your host, Mark Drager. Let's jump in.

So if you're anything like me, you have heard time and time again, you're leaving money on the table, you got to go after the low hanging fruit. I love that idea of the whole low hanging fruit. And let me tell you why. Every September, my wife decides to drag me. And I'm not gonna say she drags the four kids because the four kids love going to the apple orchard.

Down the road from us in the country, there's an apple orchard. And we always go in September. And so if you're not there on the very first day of when they open apple picking season, guess what happens, all of the low hanging fruit gets picked. You go to the aisle, you go to the honey crisp, or I like my apples and all of the honey crisp apples are gone. Or at least the ones within reach.

And so you walk a little further and you walk a little further and you walk a little further and maybe you're lucky enough to get some low hanging fruit. But if you go on the second weekend or the third weekend of apple picking season, no matter how far you walk, no matter how much you go down that aisle there is no low hanging fruit all the easy stuff. It's already been picked.

What does this matter for business? What does this matter for entrepreneurs or sales? Well, I can't tell you how many times I've sat down with an entrepreneur with a business owner with a head of sales and marketing. And they have gotten so addicted to the low hanging fruit they've gotten so used to leads coming through certain channels or then being coming in at certain costs, or them having a certain closed rate or a sales process it gets so used to that low hanging fruit, the referrals I'm talking about talking about word of mouth, I'm talking about repeat business, I'm talking about when Facebook used to work and then suddenly they change the parameters and it stops working, you get so addicted to the low hanging fruit that frankly, you kind of get a little bit lazy, you tend to forget how hard you have to work for that fruit that's just slightly out of reach.

And so me and my wife, we're pretty sporty people, we got four kids that are pretty hardy. So when we go to the apple orchard, I'm not going to walk around the apple orchard, I'm not going to walk all over the place just to get that low hanging fruit. Because guess what, just out of reach, there are beautiful apples sitting there. There's no bugs. They're just sitting there. They're spotless, they are amazing apples, because everyone else was too freaking lazy to go after them.

So what do I do, I get my kids up on my shoulders, I'm boosting my wife, I'm doing whatever we have to do, we're jumping up and down, we're shaking the tree, we are doing whatever we have to do to get those apples that are just out of reach. And in business and sales and marketing and lead gen when you get addicted to the low hanging fruit, you need to work a little bit harder to get the things that are just out of reach. Because they're there.

And so here's the thing, there's two messages in this episode and the story I'm trying to share with you one often you get so used to your lead source you get so used to working leads a certain way having a certain sales process, having certain tools, working the things that when it becomes slightly harder, you want to look elsewhere for the easy wins. And they may be there, we're going to talk about that in a second. But truthfully, you may have to just work a little bit harder to reach up and grab, not the low hanging fruit. But the next level up, you may have to work a little bit harder to get the lead, you may have to spend a little more money, it may take a little bit longer, you may need to change your sales process, you may need to change things up your messaging, your how you close things, the offers that you give, you just have to change things up.

Because guess what? The leads and the clients and the sales are just sitting there waiting for you, but they're just out of reach? And are you going to be like the countless other people who walk down the apple orchard and totally ignore those beautiful apples that are sitting there because they just don't want to work that hard? Or are you going to work a little bit harder.

The other great thing about those apples, if you play with this analogy, we're going to take it all the way if you if you want to work to get that fruit, right to get the returns, if you want to close that sale, if you want the new leads, if you want to do that extra bit of work, guess what? It's less competitive. You don't why it's less competitive, because most people are not willing to do the work. It's competitive because most people on a hot summer's day or September day, they don't want to have their you know 14 year old standing on their shoulders. Right? They don't want to get sweaty. They don't want to do the work.

But let me ask you this. If your family starving, if this is Les Miserables law and you're Jean Valjean, you know when you got to break the rules to steal a loaf of bread if you're starving, if you're hungry, would you work a little bit harder to get that apple? Would you do what you need to do to shake that tree to make it happen? Would you do that or not?

When leads come in a certain way at a certain cost with a certain structure and things just work you get pretty used to the way things are I'm going to say you get complacent. And sometimes when you want to grow when you want to expand when you want to scale when things that used to work stop working. You need to change up your approach. What used work is not working, you need to change it. And often it comes from just working a little bit harder, a little bit harder to work the lead a little bit more attention a little bit more time creating some new tools, maybe you have to work in some new credibility pieces, some new free offers, you have to do something, you have to change up your sales process.

This is the How to Sell More podcast. And I'd love to give you tactics for this. But But here's what I've noticed more than anything else, you can't get lazy, you can't get complacent. And you have to be willing to work a little bit harder for that fruit that's just sitting there.

Okay, getting to the other side of this conversation, because earlier I said, there's two sides to this. Often, there's low hanging fruit right in front of you that we don't even see. So on one side, I'm telling you, hey, sometimes you got to work a little bit harder to reach out and grab that fruit, grab those sales do the work, it's right there. But on the other side, sometimes there's low hanging fruit that's completely blind to us, we don't even realize it's there.

And let me give you a perfect example of this. A few weeks ago, I was at a mastermind event in Jacksonville, Florida. And these were I mean, this was a room 1015 People of some of the smartest, most aggressive, sharpest minds that I've been around in a long time. And so these are people who've built up really strong businesses, but you know what, we all have blind spots sometimes.

And you know, what's interesting to me, people would come up and they would want to talk about marketing, right? They'd say, like, what can we do for a new funnel? What can we do for new marketing? What can we do for new lead acquisition, you know, like, what should I be doing.

And there was one gentleman in particular, who had an amazing business, he had sold this product, I think, was $1,000 product. And he'd sold hundreds of people this product. Now he also had a high ticket item, a much higher ticket service, one on one coaching hand holding much, much higher amount, and he had sold a few dozen of these, which is amazing. It's amazing when you have a business where you can sell these courses at a lower amount. And then you can sell this one on one coaching at a much much like an AI blistering amount is what he was charging for people were shocked at how much he was charging for this.

But he wanted to start a whole marketing campaign, a whole complicated marketing campaign to get more low end courses to get more high end services. And here's the low hanging fruit he was missing. I asked him of the people who bought your low end product, the hundreds of people who bought your low end product, how many of them? Have you gotten on the horn? Like how many of them if you called up or if you emailed if you had a one on one conversation with found out how it worked for them, found out their benefits found out the challenges found out what was going on? 

It's done. Okay, well, if they've already bought from you once, and you spend a little bit of time you work a little bit harder, do you think that you'll be able to convert any of them to your high ticket item, your high ticket product, once you start to explore what they've done and what they did with the information and where they're going? Many of them may not. It's a big leap from what he was charging for the low end product to the high end product, a big leap.

But rather than create this new marketing campaign, that's super complicated. Why not just go after the people who've already bought from you? Why not just call them up? There's only a few 100 of them. How long would that take you? You know, if you call 10 people a week? So that's two people a day for a few 100 people? Well, maybe it would take half a year? Could you do more than that? Could you work quicker? Do you believe that maybe you have a higher likelihood of selling the people who've already bought from you once and these cold audiences that are going to be really complicated and really expensive, when frankly, you don't have a lot of experience in marketing. That's what I'm talking about with a low hanging fruit. That is the little bit of extra work.

Because for this entrepreneur, his low hanging fruit that he's used to, the stuff that just kind of comes naturally comes organically, it comes to his network, it comes without the marketing, without the sales team, it just comes organically. And it's not only warm contacts and warm leads, they're prequalified to a certain degree, they're reaching out to him because they know what he does. They know what he wants. And closing the business is really, really easy.

But for this entrepreneur to move from that to cold lead generation through advertising, through marketing, to be able to go drum up new targets, get them interested, build credibility, build a conversation, have them enter into the funnel and do all of that work. Oh, my goodness, that seems like a lot. Should he do it? Probably, he should probably figure out how to do that for the sake of his business.

But in the meantime, why not just call up the few 100 People who've already bought from you enter into a conversation with them. Because every one of those people that he converts into a new client almost adds six figures to his business. And I think that's worth the time and energy.

And so to wrap up, the three key takeaways from this episode: number one, don't get addicted to the low hanging fruit. Number two, if things are changing, maybe you just need to work a little bit harder to be able to reach out there and pick that Apple get that sale that's just waiting for you because you're going to do the work no one else is willing to do. And number three, often your quote-unquote leaving money on the table is simply because you're not thinking about the extra work you can do to convert those people who've already bought from you into another sale.