About Ben Albert: Ben Albert is the owner of Balbert Marketing LLC. He found in marketing that he has a unique opportunity to empower business people to reach the RIGHT community, the RIGHT clients, and the RIGHT partners, who share the same beliefs and values as the clients. He is also the curator of The “Real Business Connections Network,” where he hosts five podcasts: “Rochester Business Connections,” “Learn Speak Teach,” “Ben’s Bites,” “Five Minute Fridays,” and “Real Hits.” Ben chats with everyone from executives, entrepreneurs, convicts, behavior scientists, sales trainers, wellness experts, and more. It’s his role to extract the best nibbles of wisdom from these experts so we can compress decades of wisdom into minutes for the listener. Check out the latest episode of our Conversational Selling podcast to learn more about Ben.
In this episode, Nancy and Ben discuss the following:
- The Real Business Connections Network podcasting umbrella
- Benefits of Podcasting: Building genuine connections and Reputation gain
- Importance of human-to-human connections
- Authenticity as a core value of LinkedIn’s algorithm
- Crucial importance of sharing successes, asking for testimonials, and leaving feedback in the business world
- Video Marketing as the fastest trust builder
- Importance of mindset and inner work in sales
- We want to reach the audience where they are rather than where we are.
- It’s better to be different than just a little bit better.
- If someone helps you, leave them an endorsement, a testimonial, and a review.
- The inner work makes you a way better sales representative than any specific tactic ever could.
“Great minds think alike. You understand that in sales, in general, the best way to get a sale is from a referral. Like that’s kind of simple, common sense. And I don’t even like to call them referrals. I like nominations or recommendations. And at the end of the day, when you’re, um, creating content and sharing influence with brilliant people, it leads to reputation gain. It leads to thought leadership, which leads to people talking about you and being impressed with you because you’re adding value to their lives. What do you think that leads to? That leads to recommendations, nominations, and referrals. It’s simple.” – BEN.
“AI and tech are taking over the world in one way. But at the core, humans purchase solutions from other humans. We’re fulfilling products and services for humans, by humans, to help humans. All the tech is just facilitating that process. Really, marketing, adding value, and then making the sales process so simple for you or your team will never go away. The better you are at building those human-to-human connections, and that can be in person, but it can be through social selling. It can be through content marketing or podcasting. The better you are at building those human-to-human connections, the better art you are going to be in business. And the AI can’t replace you because there’s only one you.” – BEN.
“There’s so much going on in video at the core. People say, “I don’t have all the lights and the setup.” But if you have a phone that can take videos, you can share them. And I think the biggest reason it’s hot is that it’s such a trust builder. It shows your face, expressions, style, and personality. So, when someone gets on a call with you when someone does meet you, there’s already a rapport built because they’ve watched you, know you, and listened to you. So I think the reason video is so popular is one, it’s entertaining, but two, in a sales and marketing context, it’s the best way to build easy trust because you’re unveiling the person behind the profile, behind the phone. You’re showing an extra part of yourself.” – BEN.
Connect with Ben Albert:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/realbenalbert/
- Balbert Marketing LLC:https://balbertmarketing.com/
- Real Business Connections: https://realbusinessconnections.com/
Try Our Proven, 3-Step System, Guaranteeing Accountability and Transparency that Drives RESULTS by clicking on this link: https://oneofakindsales.com/call-center-in-a-box/
Connect with Nancy Calabrese:
- Phone: 908-879-2911
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ncalabrese/
- Email: email@example.com
Voiceover: You’re listening to The Conversational Selling Podcast with Nancy Calabrese.
Nancy Calabrese: Hi everyone, it’s Nancy Calabrese and it’s time again for Conversational Selling, the podcast where sales leaders and business experts share what’s going on in sales and marketing today and it always starts with the human conversation. Today we’re speaking with Ben Albert, the owner of Balbert Marketing, a company that helps businesses save time and make money with proven marketing systems. They offer boutique marketing services that empower industry leaders to grow their brands online, including website design, landing pages, Google services, SEO, and more. Ben is also the curator of the Real Business Connections Network, where he hosts six podcasts, Rochester Business Connections, Learn, Speak, Teach, Ben’s Bites, Five Minute Fridays, Real Hits, and AB Squared C. Now, I believe marketing is one of the keys to any company’s success, so I’m excited when it comes to this topic, Ben. Welcome to the show.
Ben Albert: Nancy, I’m excited to be here with you. It, you have a great podcast. It’s an honor to spend time with you. [1:28]
Nancy Calabrese: Thank you. I know we were scheduled to do it several months ago and I don’t know what happened. We’re finally here. So, the first thing that jumps out to me is six podcasts. We got to go into that. How the heck do you juggle all of them?
Ben Albert: Yeah, I mean, you’re a sales expert. You understand that people have different personalities. They have different learning styles. They like to be taught and presented to the whole shabam in different ways. When I say six podcasts, it’s not like there’s a fishing podcast and then a business podcast and then a music podcast, they’re not all over the place. It’s all centered around the real business connections network. That’s the umbrella. And it’s all about the yin and the yang of business and personal growth. What are the tips, tricks, and tactics, but what is the person you need to be? They show up with the mindset to implement those tips. So, there’s long form, there’s short form, there’s just me giving simple monologues with simple, you know, tips and tricks. Um, then there’s conversation style. There’s a panel style. I want to reach my audience based on their learning style, but everything we do is around business and life, and those are just different segments so we can reach the audience where they are rather than where we are. [2:52]
Nancy Calabrese: All right. That’s really cool. I mean, how did you get involved in the business? What’s your journey?
Ben Albert: Yeah, I mean, I’ll give you the short version because it’s, as you can imagine, it’s one of those, how long do we have questions? But, I was a sales exec for a corporate marketing firm, COVID head, and I got let go. As you can imagine, it was a traumatic time for me and most of us. Um, and I leaned into the things that I knew. I was a Rochester, New York native born and raised. I was a huge podcast advocate. I started a music podcast in 2016. And I was an insatiable, curious learner. Now at the core, um, I, I wanted to go off on my own. I was let go. I didn’t know what to do next. So, I’m like, I’m going to start Balbert marketing. Um, and I’m going to lean into those things that I’m good at. I was able to ultimately with Rochester business connections, my first ever business podcast talk to Rochester, New York business leaders. These Rochester leaders were mentors, they became friends and peers, and let’s be transparent, they were prospects. They were business owners, and I was starting a marketing firm. So, I had a great way to network, introduce my services, make connections, and learn during a pandemic and I just happened to use podcasting to do just that. [4:21]
Nancy Calabrese: Well, you know, it’s funny you bring that up because I started my podcast right as the pandemic hit, thinking that I had a pivot some way. And I have gained so much information. I’ve interviewed some amazing people, including you, and greatly improved my center of influence. Have you found that to be true?
Ben Albert: Yeah. I mean, great minds think alike. You understand in sales in general, the best way to get a sale is from a referral. Like that’s kind of simple, common sense. And I don’t even like to call them referrals. I like nominations or recommendations. And at the end of the day, when you’re, um, creating content and sharing influence with brilliant people, it leads to reputation gain. It leads to thought leadership which leads to people talking about you, being impressed with you, because you’re adding value to their lives, and what do you think that leads to? That leads to recommendations, it leads to nominations, it leads to referrals. It’s simple. [5:28]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow, I think that’s awesome. So, you know, look, marketing, social selling, content marketing is all over the place. Why are these important channels to get your word out there?
Ben Albert: Yeah, I mean, let’s go to the core and we don’t have to dive deep into AI or tech. I’m not the utmost expert on either of those, but AI and tech are taking over the world in one way. But at the core humans purchase solutions from other humans. We’re fulfilling products and services for humans, by humans to help humans. All the tech is just facilitating that process. So, conversational selling, building a relationship, social selling and putting valuable content out there, adding value well before you ask for a sale. Really marketing, adding value, and then making the sales process so simple for you or your team is never going to go away. The better you are at building those human-to-human connections, and that can be in person, but it can be through social selling. It can be through content marketing, podcasting. The better you are at building those human-to-human connections, the better art you are going to be in business. And the AI can’t replace you because there’s only one you. [6:55]
Nancy Calabrese: Oh, I agree with that. I mean, I often say nobody’s going to replace the human connection ever, ever. Even the millennials, people accuse them of just looking at their phone and texting. No, no, no. But they still have conversations, right? They still have get-togethers. OK, I’m going to ask you a question, because I was on with my marketing rep earlier. And one of the groups that I networked with each week would publish like a newsletter. And it’s an opportunity for us to share each other’s articles on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. She said that could be a problem. And I was really surprised to have heard that. I don’t know if you’ve heard that, that LinkedIn doesn’t favor that. But by doing that, my awareness you know, visibility increased. What are your thoughts on that? [7:58]
Ben Albert: Yeah, I would need to know a little bit more. I’d like to kind of see the case example in front of me. I can tell you with total certainty, that LinkedIn’s algorithm is smart, and it doesn’t love inauthenticity. So, give you a drastic example, you post, and then you have a bunch of programmed robots that like and comment, and they never read what you said, they didn’t read the article. It’s inauthentic and it looks authentic, that’s a no-no. And if you’re in a group supporting each other, if there are 5,000 people in that group, so you post and then all the same people react at the same time, that could trigger the algorithm saying that, ah, there’s something shady going on here. All that said, if it’s a small group of peers that are authentically going on and supporting one another. That’s not really against the terms in regards. You’re just being cheerleaders for what each other does. One thing that I would be mindful of though, is if you’re in sales and they’re in underwater basket weaving or something completely unrelated to sales, it might confuse your audience if you’re spending a lot of time interacting on posts that have nothing to do with what you do. So, it is important. [9:21]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, that’s real.
Ben Albert: It is important to be aligned with similar industries and similarly valued people.
Nancy Calabrese: Huh. So, what is it about your unique idea that’s different and sets you apart from other marketing agencies?
Ben Albert: Yeah. I mean, here’s the thing. I’m not an anomaly. I’m not the most unique. I’m not the next, you know, I’m not the next Jeff Bezos, maybe we’ll see. You know, we all have our unique fingerprint and it’s better to be even slightly different than the same. We don’t want to be caught in the sea of sameness. I’m a podcaster. I give away hundreds of thousands and 10,000s of hours of free value. I’m giving, I’m making connections and introductions every single day. I’m posting content every single day. So even if my services are very similar or even the same thing as my competitor down the road, my audience can hear my story. My audience can hear my journey, my values, my value of education and growth, my values of family. And so again, I don’t think I’m some anomaly, Nancy. I’m just an ordinary guy figuring it out, but by sharing my journey and by adding value that differentiates me, even if the slightest bit, and at the end of the day, you know, it’s better to be different than just a little bit better. [10:51]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, no, I think different is the way to go. I’m often reminded if your competition is doing it, you stop and do something different. You want to stand out of the crowd, right?
Ben Albert: Absolutely, 100%.
Nancy Calabrese: So how do you leverage a network for increased influence? What are your recommendations?
Ben Albert: I mean, first and foremost, I think for whatever reason, this is a little existential, but society tells us to dim our light. You know, humility is good, modesty is good, but people are afraid to share their success. They’re afraid to share case studies. They’re afraid to ask for reviews. If you’ve helped someone, if you’ve impacted someone, ask them for that, you know, 30-second commitment to leave you a video testimonial, to leave you a review. And if you start sharing those successes, you immediately are building rapport with the people who haven’t worked with you yet, but they can see what it’s like and do the same for others. If someone helps you leave them an endorsement, leave them a testimonial, leave them a review. I think at the end of the day, business is a giver’s game. And if you can show how much you give and give more than you receive, you’re going to build a network of people who want to support you. And honestly, it just makes business more fun when you get to do that with people. [12:28]
Nancy Calabrese: It makes you feel good when you can help someone else out.
Ben Albert: Yeah, it feels great. Absolutely.
Nancy Calabrese: OK, talk about video marketing. It’s hot. Why is it so hot?
Ben Albert: Yeah. I don’t know all the psychology behind it, but I mean, it’s a, they say a picture speaks a thousand words as video speaks 500,000. There’s so much going on in video at the core. Like people are, they’re like, I don’t have all the lights and the setup. But if you have a phone and it can take videos, you have an opportunity to share videos. And I think the biggest reason why it’s hot is it’s such a trust builder. It shows your face, your expressions, it shows your style, your personality. So, when someone does get on a call with you when someone does meet you, there’s already a rapport built because they’ve watched you, they know you, they’ve listened to you. Um, so I think the reason why video is so popular is one, it’s entertaining, but two. In a sales and marketing context, it’s the best way to build easy trust because you’re unveiling the person behind the profile, behind the phone. You’re showing an extra part of yourself. [13:46]
Nancy Calabrese: Right. Well, it’s funny and it doesn’t even have to be perfect, right? It doesn’t have to be perfect. I mean, I have a story. I was a dog watching a friend’s dog, little a Yorkie, and I was in the middle of a Zoom meeting and the Yorkie jumped up on me, onto the desk. And we had a great discussion. People don’t care.
Ben Albert: No, of course not. Not at all.
Nancy Calabrese: That’s so fun. So, tell me a fun fact about you.
Ben Albert: Oh man, I kind of touched on it. I am a music advocate. It started a music podcast in 2016. I was, I was a huge local music, art, and creative advocate, and you would see me at a music or art poetry event three or four days a week. So, the first entrepreneurial endeavor I ever had was just me on the side starting a podcast and a blog. Cause I wanted to get into places for free, Nancy. And since I became part of the press, I was able to go and interview interesting people like Beyonce’s drummer and go to music festivals and fun events. I never imagined that it would be a big slice of what I got to do as a career long-term, but all of this started from just a random passion project based around music. [15:04]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow, you didn’t interview Paul McCartney by any chance, did you?
Ben Albert: Oh no, he is in a higher class than me, unfortunately. Maybe one day.
Nancy Calabrese: Oh, not so. He’s a regular guy. One day I’m going to meet him, you know. That’s my goal in life. Tell me something true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Ben Albert: I’m confident you will. Something true that almost nobody agrees with me on. Oh my God. That’s such a powerful question. I’d like to think most people agree with me on most things. Let me think about this. It doesn’t have to be sales or marketing related. Oh my God. There are so many things. [15:48]
Nancy Calabrese: No, it could be anything.
Ben Albert: This is kind of going to be counterproductive, but, um, cause I’m all about strategy. I’m all about tactics. I’m all about frameworks. I’m all about playbooks. I think that having a good playbook is less important than having a good mindset and having the potential for curiosity and growth. You can have all the strategies and tactics in the world, but if you’re not taking care of your body, you’re not taking care of your mind, you’re not talking, taking care of your health and your family, you’re going to show up and you’re going to say that closing question. You’re going to go through that presentation. You’re going to say a script and you’re going to be completely misaligned. You might have commission breath. You might look like you don’t believe it. [16:39]
Nancy Calabrese: Commission breath? That’s the first I’ve heard. Ha ha ha.
Ben Albert: Commission breath is when someone gives a vibe that they’re just there for the sale and there might not be a conviction. There might not be alignment with the product. They’re just breathing out sales neediness. And it’s because they haven’t done the inner work or aligned with the right product to truly show up and serve. And so many people practice their next closing line or their presentation or at the end of the day, if you don’t have the mindset and you don’t do the inner work, you’re just going to expose yourself as someone who needs help themselves and how can you help someone if you need help yourself? I’m not trying to put shame or put anybody under the bus, but I think the inner work makes you a way better sales representative than any specific tactic ever could. [17:39]
Nancy Calabrese: You know, what comes to mind is, as you stated with the strategy and a framework, you must start with that, but then you must own it, right? And you must internalize it. And the more you do that, the more genuine you sound, right? And that boosts your confidence, right? And gives you the mindset to continue to have ongoing conversations. You know, sales are about communication. That’s it.
Ben Albert: 100%.
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah and making it about them. Oh my gosh, we are up with time then. By the way, and I said this folk earlier, he has a great voice, doesn’t he? Ben, how can my audience find you?
Ben Albert: Well, first and foremost, this conversation would not have been possible without Nancy. So, if you’re listening to this and you haven’t subscribed to her show, you haven’t hit five stars, if you haven’t left a review or sent her a direct message, any, or all of the above do that. This wouldn’t be possible without her. And then you can find real business connections exactly as it sounds, real business connections anywhere you find this podcast and that’s a good way to go deeper with me as well. [19:01]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow. Hey, folks, take advantage. Get to know this gentleman here. He’s fabulous. And, you know, who knows, he might invite you to be on one of his podcasts that would help increase your visibility. So, Ben, a huge thank you for your time today. I hope this is perhaps the beginning of, you know, a long-term relationship and then you’ll come back and join us sometime.
Ben Albert: Hey, I’m all about it, Nancy. And it’s about the relationship for me. The conversation doesn’t end here. [19:37]
Nancy Calabrese: Yep, you got it. Make it a great sales and marketing day, everyone. See you next time. [19:44]