Serve and Succeed: Elevate Your Sales Through Relationships with Adam Bude #073

Show Notes:

Adam Bude is an international published author, sales expert, and course creator, who helps growth mindset and purpose driven business owners to scale their business by increasing their sales, profits and systems creating more time to work on their business instead of in it, so they have a saleable asset of real value.

Adam combines nearly 30 years of commission-based selling, sales management, sales training and business ownership across multiple industries, sectors, and markets.

Through his Connect, Communicate and Convert strategy, Adam is changing the way business and sales is done, moving away from the Industrial age of “Transactional selling”, to the new age of “relationship selling”.

Topics explored:

  • The struggle to convert enough sales from their sales pitches or presentations
  • The dangers of prioritising new client acquisition over client retention and referral business and how crucial that is during challenging economic times
  • The shift from transactional selling to relationship selling: emphasise the importance of authentic connection and effective communication with customers or clients
  • The significance of understanding the buyer’s journey and nurturing leads, rather than solely focusing on closing sales
  • Spend time working on your mindset and changing perspectives from self-serving selling to serving the client
  • By adopting a relationship-focused approach, businesses can improve their conversion rates and tap into the potential of existing clients and referrals
  • Adopt a human-centric approach to business and reject the idea of relying solely on AI or transactional marketing methods


Al McBride 0:02
welcome to the dealing with Goliath podcast. The mission of dealing with Goliath is to sharpen the psychological edge in negotiation, ethical influencing, and high impact conversations for business leaders want to be more effective under pressure, uncover hidden value, and build greater connection, all while increasing profitability. With expert guests across the business spectrum, we deliver Gems of Wisdom delving into their methods, their thinking, and approach to business life and to problem solving.

This is the short form espresso shot of insight podcast interview to boost business performance, using our five questions in 15 minutes or so, format. My guest today is Adam, you’d get a ride out and I did just did excellent. Adam is an international published author, sales expert and course creator who helps growth mindset and purpose driven business owners to scale their business by increasing their sales profits and systems creating more time to work on their business instead of in it.

So they have a saleable asset of real value. Adam combines nearly 30 years of commission based selling sales management, sales, training, and business ownership across multiple industries, sectors and markets. Through his connect, communicate and convert strategy, Adam is changing the way business and sales has done moving away from the Industrial Age transactional selling to the new age of relationship selling. Adam, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for coming on.

Adam Bude 1:37
Thank you, Allah, I’m excited to be here. Appreciate the invite.

Al McBride 1:41
Great. So look, it sounds like we have quite a lot in common. There’s a lot of overlap. But let’s just clarify it a little bit further for our audience. Who is your ideal client? And what do you find is their biggest challenge they face?

Adam Bude 1:55
Yeah, the it’s a good question. Small to medium businesses is my forte, turning over at least 500,000 up to that 20 million. Mark and, and having a sort of small to medium sales force, but it’s still owner occupied driven. So what we find is, a lot of times, they may not have that sales manager in place. And it’s the business owner that’s doing the trading, calling the shots and whatnot.

So getting in there and helping them helping them really change their sales culture. And most importantly, upskilling, in a authentic and ethical way is something that most business owners don’t do. What I’ve found their biggest challenges to date is, is really converting enough sales from their sales pictures or their presentations. I had somebody today, which I did a sales training session with.

And the first thing she asked me was, I want you to help me with my closing. But what you didn’t realize the closing starts well before the presentation starts actually closing all the way through. So it’s not just that What do you say when the Secretary says no, kind of answer? So the focus is what I’ve also found most small businesses are doing as they’re focusing more on new client acquisition, as opposed to focusing more on client retention and referral business. And that’s a that’s a big thing, particularly heading into a recession. It’s not about more new clients, it’s about how do we work with more of what we already have?

Al McBride 3:35
And it’s such a great point. And you’re started into answering my second question, but there we’ll dive into it further, you know, what are some of the common mistakes people make when they’re trying to solve that problem? And, and I look at the number one, as you said that they’re neglecting. So is that a fair word? They start to neglect their current client base always wanting the new thing? And is that something that you help them address?

Adam Bude 4:03
Yeah, you basically, the average, the average client retention in a business should be three years, depending on on the business itself. There’s going to be certain businesses, which is a one stop shop, like bang, and you’re done. And that’s, that’s it, that’s just a one off transaction. But if you’re in a service based environment, if you’re in a relationship based environment, the focus should be on new acquisition, how do we work with them for a long period of time?

How do we turn them into our raving marketing machine so that we’re not actually wasting money on lead generation? So the biggest mistakes that I see sort of transitioning into that power is that marketing companies have done a fantastic job convincing the business owners that you need more leads to get more sales. I’m gonna call bullshit on that because that is not true. You don’t need more leads to get more sales.

What you do need is to get better at your connection and your communication With the leads that you’ve got to increase more sales, from the leads that you have, and from the database that you have, because there is so much tapped potential that business owners are not focusing on, because all they are focusing on is getting more sales and new customers.

Al McBride 5:18
And I presume that that plays very much into your your Connect communication convert strategy, could you just give us a quick overview of how those pieces fit together? Or is it because you’ve been touching on this already, and I just I am quite fascinated, because as you say, it’s something I see as well, they’re always a little bit of shiny object syndrome almost, or you’re always chasing, as you said, that new thing, whereas there’s this wealth of reservoir of resources of potential connections, and potential opportunities with the same clients you’re already have a working relationship with. So can you just give us even an overview on some of your approach on that?

Adam Bude 5:59
Yeah, they connect, communicate, convert. It’s very, it’s straightforward in my mind, because one of the biggest problems that we see today our is that consumers are disengaged, people have been sold to, for many, many, many years, they’ve been taken advantage of, they’ve been lied to. And they’re just treated as walking ATMs. People look at them and think, How much money can I get from this person? Instead of how can I actually be of service to this human. And the connection part is, if we want to appeal on everybody got 15 minutes.

So this quickly, if we, if we peel it back a little bit, and we know the old know me, like me, trust me. Well, that is very left brain, okay, that’s a transactional world, where we’re trying to force an outcome for someone to trust. Whereas, if somebody resonates with you, then you don’t need to spend any time working on no me like me, trust me. It’s an instant resin resignation. So there’s a deeper level of connection straightaway. So what we need to do is we need to learn how to connect with our audience, in our marketing, and how we put ourselves out there on our socials forming a connection with another human being, not to sell them, but to nurture them.

And as they’re coming into our, into our spheres, that nurturing process can take time. But what that nurturing process is doing is it’s giving the consumers the ability to open up instead of them always having their arms closed, because they’re scared they’re being sold to. So when we learn on how to create that connection first, then it gives us the opportunity to learn how to communicate with these people properly. And too often, I’ll see I wrote in my book here will give him two ears and one mouth for a reason.

To often do I see people talking other people down into submission to five, instead of listening to what it is that they want to buy, and servicing that. So when we get better at our communication with another human being, what we’ll find is that we will naturally increase our conversion rates significantly, because people will say to you, so well, what’s the next step, instead of waiting for you to say, so this is what we’re going to do. Sign here press hard three copies, the way it was done in the past,

Al McBride 8:42
I love that I love that approach out of I have to say, because it sounds like you’re initially you might be doing outbound, but it’s actually inbound marketing, as you said, because when they’re ready, having laid the groundwork, I said through some of that marketing, but what you’re actually about how you actually might serve your clients, then they step forward to you. So almost a coaching principle, you know, I used to coach coaches, and that was one of the key thing people wanted to hunt after the client, metaphorically speaking to me when I have all this value to give you, you know, and that was the opposite.

You had to have to calm them down, and they had to step over to you, which was hugely important, because, you know, it’s about the client autonomy, something I keep saying to my clients, you know, they have to nurture their autonomy, then it’s from them. Is there any intrinsic intrinsic decision? Absolutely fabulous stuff. So that’s, that’s a very, thank you for a very I know, it was brief overview there. So there’s this huge, huge amount more moving parts to that but what might be one valuable three action that our audience could take to start maybe down that path?

Adam Bude 9:58
Really good question, I suppose are I’ve got on my website, a free Pocket Guide, which anybody can download. And that’s basically about how to get more sales and make more customers. And it’s just a very simple ebook that they can that they can grab. I think the the biggest thing is, is actually spending time working on your mindset and changing the way that you think about business.

And I say that because it wasn’t until I had my first 100,000 us commission month that I realized that everything that I was doing in business was wrong. So change changing the way that we operate, I will be I’d be downloading a lot of free content. There’s heaps of it out there on how we can actually serve instead of taking.

Al McBride 10:54
So it’s having that perspective of how can I serve the client rather than how do I get this sale over the life? Yes, absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. This is something again, that I do with my own clients. So I’m very much looking forward to reading your book. So with that, I said that people changing their perspective from serving because let’s be honest, one of the difficulties with that is that they think they’re probably not going to get the sale over the line. Is that the fear? Is that why we don’t do that are more vulnerable? Is that is that the problem? Moving into that mindset? Yeah,

Adam Bude 11:34
I think I think there’s got to be my computer of the sun coming. I think there’s two things there. One, people are afraid of rejection. And they don’t understand that people are not rejecting them personally, but they’re actually rejecting what it is that they’re flogging to them. They don’t want it. When when we understand the difference between and what I call it with my workshops, hours, I teach people, how do we move away from the Industrial Age of business. And that’s the age that we’re living in now, that is 100% transactional. And then we move into what I call the relationship age of business, which is 100%, obviously, relationship building and referral business.

What people don’t get in that transactional business model, and this is why I call BS on the marketing companies direct marketing, you generate three leads from any outbound marketing, and you will get three sales. So 100 leads for three sales, you will get a 3% return. And that has been my statistic, year upon year upon year, industry, upon industry, upon industry face to face over the phone on stage, it doesn’t matter if you’re operating in a transactional direct response world, you have a 3% That, to me says that’s a lot of wasted time, a lot of wasted money, a lot of wasted resources, a lot of wasted energy. And if we’re talking about the human psychology, that’s a lot of rejection that a human being has to put up with. And unfortunately, they do not have the stamina to stick it out for too long if they’re constantly being bombarded by a brick wall.

Al McBride 13:30
Absolutely. Absolutely. And what how do you have numbers as to how what sort of LEAP you can help people make when they start to step into the serving, not just selling?

Adam Bude 13:45
Yeah, so when you move into the relationship age, if we look at referral business, which comes from collaboration, so today, you and I are collaborating on a call for the greater good of your community. Right. So if a lead was to come through a form of collaboration via as a referral, if you had 10 leads that are referrals come through to you, you would have to have if you were really bad, at least five conversations with those 10 leads, because they’re seeking you out.

Yeah. It’s very different to spending all of your time trying to cold call or warm call someone who’s responded to an ad, right? You’re getting at least a 50%. If you’re not getting at least a 50% response rate, then you know that you’ve got problems with your processes and your communication.

Al McBride 14:42
Excellent, excellent. People you originally say, approximately 50% return on your time, shall we say, if you want to go back into some of that sort of thinking, but you can immediately see the magnitude difference that it makes. But it’s also as you say that people are there Coming to you, you’re not reaching out to them. And the difference that makes just in the setup in the structure to radically different proposal? No, absolutely.

Adam Bude 15:13
And the reason that that’s so different ours because in the transactional selling model of the world that we live in, and we do business in 60% of the people that respond to an ad, are not looking for what you’ve got to sell them.

Al McBride 15:32
They’re asked, What are they looking for? Are they just curious what it is you’re doing?

Adam Bude 15:37
Is they’re on their phone? They’re scrolling? Oh, that looks interesting.

Al McBride 15:41
Right? So they’re just browsing. Right? Not? Not not searching for a solution. Gotcha. Yeah. And as you said, a lot of this, a lot of these connections coming in warm weather is the basis of all I’ve worked with this person. They’re trustworthy, they’re likable, you know, when the SH one t hit the fan, they reacted in the best possible way.

You know, when I had that terrible day, and I actually was quite a little rude to them, they were excellent, they were human, we dealt with each other so well, all the ups and downs of the business relationship over time, they can actually vouch for you. So ya know, it can make a huge difference. That’s what we all want. Think it’s all the more so with all this coming AI talk, Chatuge PTS, and standard processes being more and more outsourced to robots, right. That is the human connection that I’m fairly convinced is what will make the bigger and bigger difference?

Adam Bude 16:38
I do too. I am not a fan of check GPT. And I absolutely disagree with AI as marketing. If we’re looking at that connect, communicate component of our human beings. We’re mammals, we’re social beings, that we crave connection. If we don’t know any more what we’re talking to, then the trust levels have just been blown out of the water.

Al McBride 17:07
So absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. That’s why these sort of conversations are so important. People actually talking to me, well, it’s how refreshing that’ll be in just a few years time. Now. So what might be the one question I should have asked you that will be of great value to our audience.

Adam Bude 17:28
Why to? Why don’t more business owners focus on the buyers journey instead of the sellers journey?

Al McBride 17:43
I love it. Okay, tell me more. Why don’t so if we?

Adam Bude 17:48
Well, they don’t, because they’re focused on getting the sale. That’s all they’re focused on. So they’re focused on themselves. Their actions are self serving. And because their actions are self serving, their response rate is so low. If we’re focusing more on the buyers journey, when we understand what that journey is, I shared with you that 60% are not looking for what you’ve got to sell.

Why is it that most salespeople will spend most of their time trying to convince that 60% to buy? Right? 20% of the people that leaves 40% that are in the buyers journey 20% of that of the last 100. So when we look at that 60% are not interested? 20%? No, they want something but they don’t know what it is. They actually need us to help educate them on what’s the right thing for them.

Great example, in that category there. I thought we recently purchased a new car. We thought we knew exactly the model that we wanted and the brand that we wanted. And we drove away with a completely different brand and a completely different model. Because it act the one that we wanted, actually didn’t serve our needs. Absolutely. So. So I’m understanding the buyers journey. So we’re bringing people through our funnel system, and we’re educating and we’re nurturing, and we’re informing them of stuff. So we moved from from that 20% to the 17%. And that 17% of the people that respond to an ad, know what they want.

They’ve done all their research, they’re just looking for a couple of little validations to make sure they’re making the right buying decision. Again, that comes from listening more talking less. And then the last 3% that have already done their research and they’re only buying you not because of you they’re buying you because of price. And now if they want if they’ve already got it all that jumping onto Google, whoever’s got the cheapest deal today gets the business. They’re not people you want to be fishing for that. other people that I say is, is reward for showing up.

So the more you show up, the universe will just keep you, supporting you along the way. So when we understand that that’s the buyers journey, as a seller, we can’t be looking at every single lead as a close, because it just doesn’t work that way anymore. And that human connection that you’re talking about that I agree with wholeheartedly, that comes in that process of that nurturing, to really build that connection, because people are only buying us how because they believe we can deliver the solution, that thereafter.

Al McBride 20:42
Excellent, excellent. And just to quickly loop back to your little story about the car. So by way of example, you had an idea of what you wanted in your head. You came and you spoke to someone obviously knowledgeable about the car, the car salespeople don’t have the best reputation. And yes, I take it you were very happy with the outcome.

Adam Bude 21:09
Yeah, well, I was not so much from him, because he allowed me to buy he didn’t educate me. So he wasn’t, he wasn’t pushy. But after we drove the first car, we realized that’s not what we want. So then he did, he did a couple of questions. And he said, What about this? Right? And that’s,

Al McBride 21:34
that ticked the boxes that you actually need to take. Okay, very good. So it wasn’t full, full experience that you would recommend, but it was halfway.

Adam Bude 21:43
Halfway there. I still don’t recommend car salesmen or insurance salespeople or real estate agents.

Al McBride 21:50
Excellent stuff. Excellent stuff. So where can people reach out to you? Where can people find you on the interwebs?

Adam Bude 21:58
Yeah, thank you the little QR code that you can see there that will go directly into my diary, I’m, I’m based on the Gold Coast, Australia. So we have a bit of a time difference from from where you’re positioned. But yeah, that’ll take you straight there. If you can’t find a time that’s suitable for you, it’s got all my contact details on the website, you can send me an email, you can connect with me on LinkedIn. And we can we can take it from there.

Al McBride 22:23
Absolutely. And reach out to Adam. He has a 30 minute complimentary sales strategy session where you can have an in depth in depth discussion with him, but also have a look at V authentic sales training where there’s an awful lot of resources, and many other interviews with Adam there which you can get more little gems to whet your appetite before having a chat with them. So Adam, thank you so much for being on the show.

Adam Bude 22:52
Thank you for having me out. Cheers. Appreciate your time.

Transcribed by


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