Sales Pipeline Radio, Episode 103: Q&A with Paul Roberts

February 19, 2018 Matt Heinz

By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing

If you missed us live on Sales Pipeline Radio (Thursdays at 11:30 am PST) you missed a past-paced conversation full of actionable advice, best practices and more for B2B sales & marketing pros.

We’ve featured some great guests. Our very first guest was Funnelholic author and Topo co-founder Craig Rosenberg.  Other notable guests: Jim KeenanJoanne BlackAaron Ross; Josiane Feigon, Meagen Eisenberg, and Trish Bertuzzi.

We cover a broad range of topics, with a focus on sales development and inside sales priorities.  You can listen to full recordings of past shows at and subscribe on iTunes.

This last time I had a great conversation with Paul Roberts, our announcer— as our scheduled live guest was unable to be on the show.

Among other things (like the Super Bowl) we talked about:

  • The pros, cons and benefits of podcasting
  • Storytelling
  • The importance of audio
  • Conversational selling and its importance in the marketplace
  • Podcast formats from Q&A to curated shows
  • Podcasts as unstructured learning time

Listen in now for our impromptu and insightful conversation!

Paul Roberts:  Welcome everybody, it’s time once again. Grab your board, swim out in the ocean, see if you can catch that Sales Pipeline as it starts to curl and develop. You know, it’s still the beginning of the year. Still lots of stories, other stories than the Super Bowl. Although right now, that seems to be the one everybody’s still scratching their head about here.

Matt Heinz:  I think this might not be a bad opportunity to spend a little time talking about, in the age of digital, and an age of so many different channels, the importance of audio, the importance of conversations like this.

Paul Roberts: Yes.

Matt Heinz:  The importance of, I mean, we’ve certainly seen podcasts become a much much higher, more popular format, in a variety of instances. And I know you’re involved in a lot of different elements of this. You’re heavily involved in the entire Funnel Media Radio Network.

Paul Roberts:  Absolutely.

Matt Heinz:  You’re a part of the OC Talk Radio Group. Would love to kind of hear from you, your perspective on storytelling, on radio and audio as a marketing channel, and why is it still so relevant?

Paul Roberts:  I appreciate the opportunity, because I am so passionate about this. Everybody used to write stuff, but we’ve all moved to a three or four inch screen, right? That’s how we communicate with the world now. We take that darn smart phone to bed with us, for Pete’s sake. I know I do, it’s the first thing I look at, it’s my alarm clock. It’s the news I read in the morning. It’s what I plug into my car. I am tethered to this all day long. So in a world where we’ve all moved to a three or four inch screen, why are we still writing tons of stuff?

Why are we writing white papers and PowerPoints, and big presentations that you can’t read on a three inch screen? I just think the whole world has got to learn, if that’s the preferred method of communication now, that’s how you reach your customer and your clients, and everybody. And your team. Then we’ve got to find a way to turn all our marketing communications into audio or video, because that’s what that little device does best.

Matt Heinz:  Well, and what’s interesting about this is, and I do this myself. I think, I previously had not been listening to a lot of podcasts. And as we started doing Sales Pipeline Radio a couple years ago, I’ve certainly increased that. And what I love about it, is its passive nature. I should not be reading blog posts and emails while I’m in my car.

But I can listen to, I know, ridiculous, right? But I can definitely listen to a podcast. I can listen to a podcast while I’m walking a dog, I can listen to a podcast at the gym. And I think one of my pauses in doing that in the past has been like, I mean, when I read stuff, whether it’s a book or a blog post, or a research paper, I like to be able to sort of take notes, and record action items.

And if I’m in the car, or if I’m on the treadmill, I can’t do that. But what I found is by letting go of that anxiety, of that fear, I’m actually able to consume more interesting information. And sometimes it’s not about sales and marketing. I mean, most the podcasts I listen to quite frankly, aren’t have, don’t have anything to do with business.

I got a couple food podcasts, I got a parenting podcast, I’ve got a college football podcast that I love.

Paul Roberts:  Oh, wow. There’s an eclectic mix.

Matt Heinz:  And there’s something to be said, not only for sort of being able to take your brain off and rethink, but also to just sort of allow yourself to have some unstructured learning time in different formats.

Paul Roberts:  Yes. I was going to say the other thing that, you touched on a couple other key elements there. Not only is it a medium perfectly suited for these smart phones, it’s a medium that’s perfectly suited to our busy lives. You can multi-task and listen to a podcast. You can’t multitask and read. You can’t stop driving and watch a video. And there are certain times of the day, think about this. If you’re trying to reach particularly a very powerful, affluent, influential group of people, it’s hard to break through the clutter, the noise, and their email, and the messages surrounding them here. Your clients.

But there’s one time when they, nobody else can reach them. Sitting in the car. Sitting on the treadmill, or walking on the treadmill. Walking around your block. Nobody else can reach them at that moment except you, if you have a podcast. And if you do, and you give them a quality conversation, they’ll give you 30 minutes, not 30 seconds, to tell your story. Tell me one other time that you get to reach people unobstructed, and for that length of time.

Matt Heinz:  And that is a really really important point. And I think it’s important with reinforcing for all marketers, but especially B2B marketers that have become so enamored with having everything be direct response related. Having everything drive to some kind of action.

What we have learned, not only with this podcast, but with other marketing, so for instance, there are companies that can put your message proactively in front of the right people at the right companies, as they’re browsing the web.

Paul Roberts:  Right.

Matt Heinz:  So they, based on knowing the IP address, and knowing the sort of profile of the individuals, they can put your message into remnant banner ad space across the web. Now the problem is, most marketers look at that and think, “Great. I’m going to put offers in those banner ads, and I’m going to measure them based on how many people click on them.”

When’s the last time you clicked on a banner ad, Paul?

Paul Roberts:  Never.

Matt Heinz:  Well, I used to do it way back in. I mean, I remember when banner ads first came out.

Paul Roberts:  First came out, sure.

Matt Heinz:  Like I used to pay attention.

Paul Roberts:  Yeah.

Matt Heinz:  But I can’t remember the last time I did now. But the goal of the banner ad is not to get you to click. I fundamentally believe you get good value added messages in front of people, it starts to build some trust, build some credibility, build familiarity. The next message you get in front of someone, that may be a phone call, it may be a trade show booth, it may be an email, people are more likely to engage with you then. You are no longer cold, you are no longer unknown.

Paul Roberts:  You’re not a stranger.

Matt Heinz:  And I have, I mean, we have data from clients that shows that this is night and day difference.

Paul Roberts:  Well, I’m gonna give you an even scarier one. Now, this is just my thesis, I don’t have any supporting data on this. But I’m beginning to question the power of advertising in general, to produce a direct response. I’m old enough to remember we’d put coupons in things, and we’d try and see how many people sent them in, or sent in the whatever, the little information card to learn more. I can’t remember the last time that I heard a radio ad, saw a TV ad, saw a billboard ad, saw a bus ad, got a piece of email, and I immediately called them. Instead what I do, is I go Google them, or I go to their website.

So, I’m beginning to think the whole purpose of advertising is changing. It’s to drive you to the website, which is where you learn more, you sniff around, you see whether you want to call somebody. You look at their video, you read their blog, you listen to the podcast. You get a sense of who they are, and then you raise your hand. Because people hate this idea of, “Oh boy, I heard that on the radio, I saw that on TV. I’m gonna call.” No I’m not, they’re immediately gonna bombard me with stuff, and try and sell me. Let me check it out first, and see if I’m interested.

Matt Heinz:  Yeah, no. I completely agree with that, and I think one of the benefits we have certainly seen with doing Sales Pipeline Radio is, I mean, there, look it’s time and effort, and resources to put this together.

We’re booking guests on a regular basis, as regular listeners have seen. And there’s, and you Paul are not, you are not free. So yeah, I mean, there’s a whole set of resources that put this together. And so it’s easy for me as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, as a marketing guy to say, “Okay, well where’s my pipeline from Sales Pipeline Radio?” Right?

Paul Roberts:  Yes, exactly.

Matt Heinz:  And we’re coming up on, we’ve been doing this for two years, and this is actually year three of having invested in it. Right?

Paul Roberts:  Wow. Right.

Matt Heinz:  So we started in late 2016. We did all of 2017, we’re in 2018. So if I look at that, and say, “Boy, all that time and effort. What’s that produced for me?”

Honestly Paul, I can’t point to specific deals that’s come out of Sales Pipeline Radio.

But I think about what is it worth to me to have, for people to associate our brand with new ideas around sales and marketing.

Paul Roberts:  Right.

Matt Heinz:  For someone to tell me that at a major well-known analyst firm, that their analysts listen to every episode.

Paul Roberts:  Yeah. Every episode.

Matt Heinz:  What’s that worth to you?

Paul Roberts:  And to think about the chance to show not only what you know, but who you know. If I’m trying to sniff you out, and I’m trying to. Somebody says Matt Heinz, the guy you call to. And I don’t care how strong the reference is, what am I going to do? I’m going to Google you. And somehow out of some mysterious process, I’m going to decide if you really are somebody I should call. And I’m going to decide if you’re a thought leader, I’m going to see a sense of who you are and what you know, and who you know. “Wow, this guy’s connected. He knows everybody here. I really like the way he thinks. I really like the stuff he’s saying.”

Then, and only then, will you call them. This old-fashioned idea that everything is about pushing people to immediately pick up the phone or maybe send you an email, and immediately want to meet you, get a quote, get some information. I think that’s gone. There’s an intermediary now.

Now, if that’s true, then that’s scary, because I don’t know how all of you guys measure the return on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. etc.

Matt Heinz:  Yeah. Yeah. Right. Well, I mean, the world has never been that clean. Right? I mean, even it’s in, and digital, just because we have trackability on digital channels, doesn’t necessarily mean that we have transactional lines that move from, “Okay, this happened,” and then …

A revenue event happened after it. I mean, like it’s the same reason why with a lot of our clients we’re making it very clear, “Listen, let’s not pretend that the white paper download generated the seven figures.”

Like, there’s many steps along the way.

The buying process is never that simple, or clean, or transactional. Like 99% of the time, it is not. How do you value the fact that some of your sales guys actually take the time to get to know and remember their prospect’s family’s names?

The fact that you remember the next time you talk to someone, you say like, “How is your mom? I remember you had to reschedule because there was, she was in the hospital. How is she doing?” Right?

Paul Roberts:  Yes. Right.

Matt Heinz:  Okay, so you can train that.

Paul Roberts:  Yeah, that’s the AP testing. I’m going to ask you about your dad instead of your mom, and see if I get a better result next time. Here, yeah.

Matt Heinz:  Like, how ridiculous? So yeah. So in, look I am a math marketer. I am a B2B math marketer. I like my spreadsheets. I want to see what’s working. We are big fans of marketing performance management. We’ve had a number of people on this show talking about attribution and performance management, but it’s never that simple. And so I think to be able to accept that as a marketer, is an important first step. But then to be able to prioritize channels and messages, and approaches to your audience, that differentiate you. That set you apart from others, that help you understand, or help your prospects understand that yes, of course you’re trying to sell someone something, but you also have a level of creativity and generosity, that can help them be better.

I think that helps tip the scales in your favor. Those, that’s one of the things that can really make selling an unfair fight for your organization.

Paul Roberts:  Yeah, I agree.

Matt Heinz:  You know what’s nice about this conversation? You and I, Paul, we don’t have to try to cut off a guest. Like, you can literally like, you stop talking, I stop talking. We can take our commercial break at the actual right time.

Matt Heinz:  We’re going to pay some bills here, come back on Sales Pipeline Radio, talk a lot of more about storytelling, and the importance of audio. This is Sales Pipeline Radio.

Paul Roberts:  All right, we’re back having a little impromptu jam session here on the power of podcasting, and conversational selling, story selling here, with Matt Heinz.

Matt Heinz:  This is fun. I mean, this is something that we probably should have scheduled a long time ago. ‘Cause I know this is a topic that you’re passionate about.

And I guess 102 episodes in, I think I can admit I was skeptical. Jim Obermeyer, who connected us into the Funnel Media Network, who very well may be listening to this impromptu session right now.

I mean, he worked on me for a while. And he said, “Listen, I really think you get it.” And we, Heinz Marketing, we have produced a ton of content over time.

Matt Heinz:  We’ve got a lot of blog posts. We do white papers and webinars. We had just have never done a podcast.

Paul Roberts:  Right.

Matt Heinz:  And I think in my mind, I’d been like, “Oh, I got all these things to do, is this really going to be the right thing for me?” And I am a complete convert. And I think for a variety of reasons. I think I’ve shared with you that I was at a conference and the CMO at one of the companies we were trying to sell to, I didn’t know her, I introduced myself over a lunch. Like, it was just one of those conference lunch, you just randomly sit next to someone.

She was like, “Why does your name sound so familiar?” She pulled out her phone, and in, I kid you not, in between a Wall Street Journal podcast, and a Masters of Scale, which is by Reid Hoffman, and the co-founder of LinkedIn. In between those two in her podcast record was Sales Pipeline Radio.

Paul Roberts:  Well, of course. Where else would you expect to find it, but to, as part of that pantheon of top tier podcasts, here? It’s amazing to me. I’m kidding with you, but the power of this medium to reach people, and start a conversation with just about anybody that you want, and to show what you know and who you know, is an untapped resource that most businesses and most sales professionals haven’t learned yet.

I just think we’re at the frontier of what’s possible here.

Matt Heinz:  Well, and I think if you really sit down, and you think about, okay, who are the people in your network that have interesting things to say? Or, who are people that are good conversationalists? I mean, I think about if you listen to any level of talk radio anywhere, the topic is only one part of what makes the show interesting, right?

The quality of the dialogue, the entertainment value of the dialogue.

The humor, there’s a, and everyone’s listening for different things. But I mean, there’s an awful lot of people that listen to sports radio, and all they do is talk about how dumb the hosts are, and how ill-informed they are about sports talk. But they keep listening.

So, I mean, so there’s a variety of reasons people could do it. I mean, there’s a variety of different formats people have, and I’ve got a friend of mine who actually does, he does his own podcast, and it’s not like our show, it tends to be more sort of Q & A interview driven.

Paul Roberts:  Right.

Matt Heinz:  His is a real show. And there’s a podcast I listen to called Milk Street Radio, and it’s produced by Christopher Kimball, who used to have Cooks Illustrated, and his business now is called Milk Street, and he has a magazine. And it’s a curated set of content. It is a true magazine. It is an audio podcast magazine. But the nice thing about this format is we get to choose who we invite on. And one of the things …

Jim Obermeyer mentioned to me early on, he said, “Listen, you know all kinds of interesting people, but what if we find the CMOs that you want to sell to?”

Like, invite them on. Right? And you could call them directly, or just call their P.R. department.

Paul Roberts:  Imagine.

Matt Heinz:  And say, “Hey, I’ve got something called Sales Pipeline Radio, would you like your client to be on the radio?”

Paul Roberts:  Yeah. And imagine this. It does a couple things. One, “Can I take you to lunch and tell you about my service?”


“Can I send you my newsletter?”

“Hell no.”

“How about being on a radio show?”

“Oh, you got a radio show? What’s the catch?”

“No catch. Come on, we put it to our audience, we give you a copy, you send it to your audience.”

They then not only think better of you, it’s true social media. It’s what the internet promised, social selling promise. Give first, and ask later. You’re giving them something of value that they can use to fill up their own social media channels. To put stuff on their website, to bring people back, and keep them there longer. They’re hungry for content, you’re giving them the content.

Matt Heinz:  That’s right.

Paul Roberts:  And if you do it right, they not only give you the content that you want, and the connection that you crave, but they help promote it to their audience.

They bring you the guest, the audience, as well as the content. It’s an amazing vehicle.

Matt Heinz:  Wow. And I think it was Jim’s idea initially, to call this Sales Pipeline Radio, as opposed to The Sales Podcast, or something.

When I tell people Sales Pipeline Radio, I say, “Listen, we call it radio because it sounds like radio. We call it radio because it’s live.”

Paul Roberts:  It’s live.

Matt Heinz:  I don’t know how people are actually listening live.

Paul Roberts:  It’s live, it’s regular, it’s on a channel with a, it’s like live podcasting. That’s the way I think of it. I don’t know why more and more people don’t, because live does something else that I can’t really explain. The live audience is small compared to the podcast.

I mean, it’s never going to, it’s hard to get people to stop and listen live to anything. But it does bring an extra audience in, and it brings an urgency for people to participate. We don’t usually have guests who cancel, or run into a problem at the last minute, because there’s an urgency. “Oh my god, we’re a plane to Hawaii, we’re leaving at 3 o’clock with or without you here.” Or, “We’re leaving at noon with or without you here.” So it does create, it’s the same reason that Facebook has put, has gone all in on live streaming.

I can watch your cat video anytime, but this one’s live right now. Look what your cat’s doing this moment.

Matt Heinz:  Yeah.

Paul Roberts:  There’s something about that, that adds another urgency to the message.

Matt Heinz:  I agree. And honestly there’s, without naming names, there’s more than one guest, more than two guests that we’ve had on Sales Pipeline Radio, where I have tried many times to just set up a call just to talk to them. Either to talk about, just to get to know what they’re working on for the year, or get to introduce myself. And haven’t been able to schedule something, or it keeps getting rescheduled. Get them booked for a radio show.

Paul Roberts:  A whole different thing. Yeah.

Matt Heinz:  You get 25 minutes. You can just, like I said, yeah. You get more time.

Paul Roberts:  So imagine if you could go to your clients, all your people are coming and saying, “How do I improve my sales pipeline?” How would you like to meet and start a conversation with anybody you want to meet? How would you like to spend 25 minutes with you? When it’s over, they don’t want to end. They’re having a ball. And they want to tell everybody in the world that they just talked to you. And they’ll push it, “Can I put an ad on your website?”


“How about if I interview you, and give you that?”

“Oh, I’ll put that out on my website forever. It has my ad in it, it has my picture. I don’t care, I’m going to tell the whole world about it.”

Matt Heinz:  Bingo. We had the CEO, and again, and what’s nice is, I mean, you do that once, and then you do 100 episodes, and it just compounds.

We had, and this is just one example, just because I’m thinking about it, is a company, their CEO was on the show. And we do a teaser on social, we do a couple teaser things up on, for the upcoming episode. They wanted all of those live, way earlier than we usually put them live.

Because the P.R. team was going to go make this huge deal. They had an entire marketing campaign before and after that episode.

Paul Roberts:  Yeah. To be on your podcast.

Matt Heinz:  Promoting their CEO on Sales Pipeline Radio.

Paul Roberts:  Yeah. To have a conversation with you. What does that do in their eye? They now look at you differently, they respond to you differently. And take your message, and become whatever you call it, the brand advocate here.

Matt Heinz:  And it’s not just them. I mean, what, and part of the reason I bring that up is because I now have a whole ‘nother company making a whole lot of noise about Sales Pipeline Radio.

And so, in the optics of that, I mean, you think about the impression this makes. Like, I’ve been out, and people are like, “Oh my gosh, you’re speaking everywhere these days.” Well the reality is, and if you’re listening to this, I guess I’m about to give away the dirty little secret. I’m traveling 50% less than I have, versus two years ago. So I’m actually not on the road as much as people probably think I am. Because if you, there, 25 minutes with someone once a week, when they’re promoting it, and last week’s group’s promoting it, and the week after’s group’s promoting it.

Paul Roberts:  Yes.

Matt Heinz:  All of a sudden, your brand associated with something of value in your industry in front of your prospects. How do you?

Paul Roberts:  How do you measure that? How do you value that?

Matt Heinz:  I mean, if you did that with your email, I don’t know what else to describe.

Paul Roberts:  Yeah, exactly. And I’ll give you one more, and then I know we got to go here. I was in traditional radio, as you can probably tell from the voice here, many years ago. For many years I was a DJ, and worked in traditional radio. And when a show was over, it was over, we’re onto the next one. Now the strange thing about this podcasting medium, whether it’s live or later, is that it lives on.

This podcast, it has the Netflix effect. People will discover this podcast two years from now, because they saw it on somebody’s website, or somebody passed it onto them, or they just stumbled across it on the internet in some search for some content. And all of a sudden, they’ll go back and binge on the last 20 episodes, here.

Matt Heinz:  That’s right. That’s right. And I think to that point, too. I mean, we do have live listeners, and I know that there are people that reference that on a weekly basis.

But this is not a breaking news show.

I mean, these are topics that hopefully are topical and timely, but just like with the college football podcast, during the season, they do two episodes a week. And if I wait a week to listen, they’re previewing games that have already happened, so that doesn’t help, but I don’t have just log in at 9 o’clock, to listen to them.

Paul Roberts:  Exactly.

Matt Heinz:  I can listen to it on the way home from work that day, or the morning after. So, anyway, I know that we have to run, and you got to get on the next show. This has been fun, this has gone, this has been, I think honestly one of my favorite episodes of the year.

Paul Roberts:  Well, it’s certainly gone fast for both of us, here.

It’s a passionate topic, it’s something I don’t think most businesses really have wrapped their head around. And I think you’re a pioneer in the field, and I think as such, people respond to you. You’re getting incredible numbers.

Matt Heinz:  Yeah.

Paul Roberts:  Incredible numbers. Of people listening.

Matt Heinz:  It really has been. And so major thanks to you, major thanks to Susan, major thanks to Jim Obermeyer, who really have been the back. You guys have all been so supportive, and so helpful, in getting this up and rolling. And so, yeah, anyone listening that wants to talk further about the impact radio and podcasts you can have for you, you can call me, but you can call Paul, too. Because clearly he’s got some opinions on this, and we’ll have him talk to you as well.

Matt Heinz:  We are out of time. If you do like this conversation, and you have other people in your organization you want to convince to be doing more stuff with audio and podcasting, check us out. This will be on demand at Sales Pipeline Radio dotcom. And if you are checking us out, I promise you most the time, it’s not just us chatting. We have some of the best and brightest minds of B2B sales and marketing that are joining our show on a regular basis. On behalf of my producer Paul, this is Matt Heinz. Thanks for joining us to our very special episode of Sales Pipeline Radio.

Paul Roberts:  You’ve been listening to Sales Pipeline Radio. Brought to you on the Funnel Radio channel for at work listeners like you.

The post Sales Pipeline Radio, Episode 103: Q&A with Paul Roberts appeared first on Heinz Marketing.

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