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To Scale Successfully Train Your Team to Communicate

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Importance of Effective Communication with Your Team

[0:00] If you want to get the best out of your team, you have got to be feeding information to them in the right way.
If all you are doing is putting out information in the way that suits you, there's going to be a problem.

[0:09] Music.

Introduction to Full Funnel Freedom podcast

[0:15] Welcome to the Full Funnel Freedom podcast. If you are listening to this, you are likely leading a team responsible for generating revenue.
The purpose of Full Funnel Freedom is to support people like yourself and keep your funnels consistently, reliably full. Welcome to the Full Funnel Freedom podcast.
I'm your host, Hamish Knox.
Today, my guest is Steve Buston from Get Your Voice Heard.
Now let's hear from one of our affiliate partners.

[0:49] Free offer for listeners of the Full Funnel Freedom podcast, go to to get your white paper, Eight Fundamentals of Building a Scalable Sales Model. If you're listening to Full Funnel of Freedom, you are wanting your funnel to be consistently, reliably full and sustainably scalable. So go get your white paper, Eight Fundamentals of Building a Scalable Sales Model at Now, back to the show.
So my guest today describes himself as a communications nerd.
He went from writing a family newspaper from the age of eight to working as a broadcast journalist for BBC News.
He then started his own business in 2002, running a boutique PR agency for 11 years before pivoting that business into the coaching and training business he runs today.
He's the author of a couple of books, the holder of a couple of awards, and in his spare time, he is the face of an online international dating scam.
Please welcome from Get Your Voice Heard, Steve Buston. Steve, welcome to Full Funnel Freedom.
Hey, Amy, it's lovely to be here.

[1:58] So Steve, I've given the audience the 30,000 foot view of who you are and the journey you got to today, including a very interesting tidbit that you shared with me when we first connected.
Take us down a level. Tell us a bit more about the journey of Steve from where you started at the age of eight all the way to where you got to today.

Steve's journey from childhood to present career as a communications coach

[2:16] Sure. Well, actually, I mean, I think where I'm at today is absolutely part of where I came from age eight.
I am absolutely, communications is my bag. It always has been.
I've always been interested in how we communicate person to person, organization to organization. And I've always wanted to be heard, I suppose.
I'm a typical middle child. You know, I was always like, me, me, me, me, listen to me.

[2:40] So yeah, I mean, I'm now, I'll start at the present actually.
Now I work primarily as a public speaking coach and event MC.
I do some keynote speaking, and I also do a lot of speech coaching, so.
I work with organizations, primarily in financial services and also in pharmaceutical and healthcare.

[3:00] To help them with their pitches, their presentations. I work a certain amount with startups pitching for investment, that sort of thing. But yeah, I mean, I think that the road to this did start, as I say, with my family newspaper, when I was eight, I used to bash it out on a typewriter, and then insist that my siblings and my parents read it. And I think I I did about... Over the years, I did about eight or nine issues. It was hardly a regular thing, but every now and again, I'd produce another issue. But I was just interested in how we told stories, and I still am, really. So when I started my career, I went into BBC News and worked across radio and television news for many years, really working primarily behind the camera, little bit on camera or microphone, but primarily behind. And it was just, again, And I learned about storytelling and how we communicate important events, how we communicate important happenings, how we analyze those stories to bring them to life for an audience that otherwise may not be that interested or may not know really much about this.
And that's something that has stayed with me.
I exited the BBC for various reasons. Basically, somebody headhunted me and offered to double my salary.
I was like, yeah, I'll do that.
So I moved into PR and originally worked for a .com back in 2000. As .com had a tendency to do in the 2000s, we burnt our way through three and a half million pounds of venture capital funding and promptly went bust. I have to say it was great fun doing it, but I'm glad it wasn't my money.

[4:28] And we did do the whole .com bubble thing. I mean, we did have some warehouse offices and staff days at health spas and the whole lot. It was great fun. But it was also really interesting watching a business go out of business. And I learned a lot that I then took into my own business when I started that. I could see the mistakes. And I think along with some of the staff had seen it coming some months prior. I think we'd realized the business model wasn't wasn't what it should be.
We could see the income wasn't there. And there was an inertia within the business to recognize that, which I think is what ultimately led to his downfall. So I then went, I suppose, I went freelance. Originally, I started getting gigs while I looked for quote, a proper job.

[5:09] And then it was actually a recruitment agent said to me, we're struggling to place you, they said, you come up to a relatively senior level in journalism, and you should have crossed into this comms role. But you haven't come up agency side, you haven't come up in house, we're not quite sure where you sit, and we're struggling to sell you to clients. That was probably the most useful thing they could say. Because it meant I thought, okay, I'm not actually necessarily going to get a another role, an employment role. So that's when I thought, okay, I can make a go of this. I'm enjoying the self determination and self employment.
So I started to build a business a little bit. We were only ever small, we're only ever three people maximum, as a PR agency working a lot within the aesthetics and healthcare sector. I then had a while my biggest client suddenly stopped paying while I was still paying the staff. I ended up 36,000 pounds out of pocket, of course, I was still paying staff and things. And so I had to let the staff go. We ended up in legal action and all this stuff. It was not a pleasant time. But I again, I learned a lot of lessons. And actually coming back to just being me was fine. And I but all the way through the PR business, people had asked me to run training and coaching. I was a very early adopter with social media. And.

[6:23] People saying, you can come in and coaches on social media initiate it was literally what is social media? How do we use it? What can you do for a business? And then people started saying, would you come speak at a conference? I was like, yeah, I did that. People saw me speak at the conference. I watch it.
You train people how to speak like that. I was like, yeah, I can do that. So gradually, I did more and more training and coaching. Until it was my business coach said, why on earth you still doing PR? He said, it's not making you happy it's not making you money. I thought, you're right, it's not. She said, you know, if given half a chance, if you're given the choice tomorrow, what would you go and do? A day of coaching, or a day of PR activity? And straightaway, I was like, oh, coaching every time. And she went, fine, do that. And she was absolutely right. So I fired my last PR client. And I, which was hard, I missed the retainers that came with PR work and things. What I do now is very different. And the the sales mechanism has been very different. And it took me a while to really understand that. And I did it struggle struggle for a while. But now, yeah, as I say, I, I do a, mixture of coaching and training. So I'm, I always say I'm either on stage or screen myself, or I'm teaching other people how to do it. That's probably the best way to sum up what I do. But as I say, it's always that the common thread has always been communication, how we tell stories and how we use those whether we are selling, whether we are pitching, whether we are just trying to entertain, I think it's all part of the same thing.

The common thread of communication in Steve's career

[7:46] Absolutely. And what that recruiter said to you was the politest version of you're unemployable that I've ever heard. So thank you for sharing that with our audience. So Steve, for the sales leaders who are listening today, we tend to communicate from our own worldview, right?
I like to get information this way, ergo, I'm going to communicate it that way.
When we're looking at supporting our audience of sales leaders, what are some of the couple of things that you could share initially around communication with your team? So you're rolling out a new initiative, it could be a new comp plan, could be we're putting a CRM in, we're going into a new vertical market or a new geography. What are some of those things and you can coach them in mistakes if you like. I'm curious from your experience, what have you seen leaders do well and maybe not so well when it comes out to communicating with their team at first?
I think the biggest mistake I've seen so many team leaders make is assuming, as you say, that the way they like to communicate is the way that everybody wants to be communicated with, and that one size fits all. And it really doesn't. You know, you have a lot of different personalities in your team, or you should have, you should have lots of different types of.

[8:55] Personalities and people with different work styles and ethics and things like within your team. I think, you know, diversity of that sort of thing is important. And the trouble is, they will all have different ways that they prefer to communicate now, and that they prefer to be communicated with. And to an extent, I think team leaders fail to adapt to that. Now, there's an awful tendency to go blind the leader, therefore, they need to work to my style. But if you've got somebody who's really not a listener, let's say, then just giving them verbal instructions just isn't going to work for them. It does need to be written down. Now, it's whether you write it down or whether you get them to write it down. And that's, you know, that's one of the ways you can get around it. That can help. But yeah, likewise, if you've got somebody, I mean, I'm a doing learner, I have to do things to learn. Sitting and watching videos, instructional videos, I'm just within two or three minutes, the eyes are rolling back in my head, and I'm sort of starting to look at my attention wanders, you know, I have the attention span of a gnat sometimes.

Learning Styles and Effective Training Techniques

[9:57] But if I'm not great at reading books, instructional books, but let me do something.
And if I've got a new piece of kit, a new, you know, actually, it's funny, I'm playing around with a new camera kit at the moment.
And I'm mixture of watching videos and doing it because I have it in my hand.
And I practice that pause the video and play with it and all that stuff. That's how I learn.
And when I have been part of teams.

[10:23] You know, I've had to let people know, this is what I need to do, you need to give me something to try, I need to try it to learn. So I think, yeah, a lot of team leaders just don't really look and understand how their team members learn, and not just learn, but actually absorb information best.
So it may well be that, for instance, you need to put out information to your team in two or three different ways. So maybe you do shoot a video, if your team are working remotely, now, I think I think shooting a video is a great way to do it.
And then you get it transcribed.
And for those who prefer to read their information, yeah, you get the transcription out, something like this.
If you know that you've got somebody who is a real kinesthetic learner and needs to do and practice and things, maybe you do need to sit down and actually practice with them.
So a lot of leaders, I'm sure, listen to that, but I haven't got time to do all that.
And so actually, if you want to manage your team effectively, that's sort of incumbent on you to find the time and to do it.
Because if you want to get the best out of your team, you have got to be feeding information to them in the right way.
All you are doing is putting information in the way that suits you, there's going to be a problem.
And likewise, when you're communicating with your team, you know.

[11:27] One of the key mistakes I've seen so many people make is not really training people properly.

[11:33] On platforms. And I'll give you an example. I think even think something relatively simple like Slack. Now, I'm a big fan of Slack. But it's actually a really fully featured piece of software. There's a lot going on in that you can use and particularly in terms of the way you can use it for training and train team brainstorms, all this stuff. Most people use it like they do a text message machine. For most people, that's all it is is text messages back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. And it's largely because they've never actually been trained how to use it. Those go we use Slack, get yourself on the Slack, join up. And then they wonder why their team aren't actually making use of all the functionality. Don't assume when somebody comes that you know, they've you Slack before? And it's I mean, it sounds so simple. Making sure your team have been trained in the various communication tools that you are putting at their disposal. And we haven't even started on CRM. You know, I have sat down with people and they've shown me their CRM. And I'm like, what? You know, I know my own CRM, I probably don't use half the features that are there. So again, I think there's a there's it is incumbent on leaders to make sure their team have the training they need to actually be able to use the tools they're given because otherwise they're going to fall over. Or they're only going to just skin the surface and not actually keep deep information. They're not going to make deep connections.

The Importance of Proper Training for Effective Tool Usage

[12:50] They're not going to be able to really mine the data they're collecting in useful ways for future sales.

[12:59] Very fair. And that's what my experience is, is the leader got a demo. They saw a shiny feature and went, oh, it can do this. And then by the way, when they roll it out, they've forgotten about that. It's just like you said, just go use it, right? And then we get into the text messages and text is a wonderful and horrific way of communicating because the recipient gets to infer what the tonality was. So that can cause things to go sideways very quickly, especially on internal communications. So when we look at training, what are some of the best practices that you have coached leaders on for training their teams effectively? Because as you already said, everybody learns differently. We make time for things that are important to us.
So what are those key things that you would recommend to a leader who's hearing this and going, I get it, and I still don't? Yeah. Delegate it to the right person.
That might be you. That might be the leader. And if you absolutely do understand the platform things, then you probably are the best person to train it. But if you've got somebody in the team who actually understands it better, or even better, it has the same sort of style of learning and things as this person you were trying to train, delegate it to them. But just do some.

[14:10] Checking afterwards, make sure they have talked about those features that maybe they're not using properly. Make sure that the person you asked to do the training understands it properly and does of the features, there's an awful tendency to get the most recent entrant into the team to train the next person to come in. And actually, what you're doing is getting juniors to train junior and experience training experience. So, you know, you do need to have somebody senior and training, I'm going to let's face it, training can be boring. You know, training somebody up on some platform that you've been using for years can be a bit dull.
But it is worth it because you know, this is an investment. You've employed this person, you're paying, you're taking all the expenses that incurs, not just their salary, but everything else.

[14:53] This is an investment in your decision to employ this person. And ultimately, the whole team is

Investing Time and Effort in Training for Long-Term Success

[14:58] only going to be as good as that person is and the training you give them. So the other thing I have seen some trainers doing quite successful, some leaders, I should say, is actually filmed their own internal training videos, depends on the size of the team. If you've got a big enough team that it's worth doing, then you can actually train them on the way that we do it. You know, so I might say this is the get your voice heard approach to this. This is how we use this tool. And certainly, I have a number of VAs and people that I subcontract work to and I have to train them on my tone of voice, the way I do it, the way I work, the way my clients expect me to work, all those sorts of things. And I think it takes again, it takes time. It's not going to happen instantly.
But it's worth the investment. It is an investment of time, energy, and effort that should pay dividends. And if it's not paying dividends, you've got to start taking a long, hard look at your training and how you're doing it and work out where the whole process is falling over.

[15:58] Absolutely. Absolutely. Now, one of the things that I've heard is a bit of a cliche is like, every child is a great artist until they actually get into school and then they get told that their drawing sucked. And then that's where the art. So as a leader, giving feedback notes, however, we want to call it to their team members. How do you coach leaders to give that in a way that holds their person safe while still saying, yeah, that video that you put together kind of sucks. You've got it. It's got to be an open and honest two-way process.

Giving Honest Feedback in an Open and Safe Manner

[16:33] I don't believe in the, I don't know how profane I can be on this podcast, but yeah, the sandwich that everybody refers to, we say something good, something bad, something good.
The shit sandwich. There you go. The shit sandwich. Great.
Okay. We can say it. Yeah. I don't think it works, quite frankly, because we all know it's coming.
And you won't hear the good stuff. All you'll hear is the bad stuff.
A hundred percent. So I will often, if I am giving feedback to somebody or I'm training somebody to give feedback, I will suggest they have two sessions. One session focuses on what was good.
And that's all it focuses on.

[17:10] The stuff that's going really well, then you might have a second session, which might be late to the same day, or it might be a couple days later. And this is where you focus on the stuff that needs to improve the stuff and where there is, you know, there are new ways of trying things, all those sorts of stuff. Because the problem is, so often people don't hear the good feedback. Yes, like if I'm if I've been speaking on stage, and I come off stage and people go, you were brilliant, that was really good. I thought, yeah, brilliant. Thank you very much.
But it goes in one ear and out the other. Whereas, of course, if I come off stage, and somebody goes, Oh, I didn't like the way you did that. Or I thought you really lost the audience.
That's what will stick. Because we've trained ourselves not to hear the good stuff. It's like, I think, you know, if a lot of people are on if they're on sales calls and things, they'll be they'll hear the they'll hear the, the complaints, and they'll hear the objections and things far more than they'll hear the positivity that they might be getting from from a prospect.

[18:00] So I think, you know, I think understanding that we need to ensure our team hear the good stuff.

Creating a feedback loop that encourages open communication

[18:07] And I mean, actually get them to repeat it back to you, get them to write it down, send it, talk to them, then send them an email just to reiterate, these are the things that are going really well. And then as another says, okay, and it's not now here's the bad stuff, here's the stuff that I think we've got opportunity to work on. Yes.
Here's the stuff where I want to help you get even better. It's that language. And again, the language is really important. It's not about, okay, here are the problems, here are the negatives. It's like, here's the stuff I think we can work, make you even better on.
And make sure that during those sessions, the person you're a member of your team, the person you're training has chance to feedback to you as well.

[18:47] Is there anything you want to be back to me? What do you think is working really well?
What do you what what works for you in the training? We gave you? What did you like? What which bits work best for you? If we had to redo that training? What would you change?

[18:59] Asking open questions that gives them the opportunity to say, she said, those videos, I didn't really understand them, or they were far too long, or they were a bit dull.

[19:11] Whereas when I sat down with you, and we went through it. Great. I loved it. I really, really got it. Give people a chance and give them an open opportunity. It's not just a line on the bottom of a feedback form that says, do you have any suggestions for us? Because people will just go, it was fine. Can I stop filling in this form now? I want to go home. So you've got to make sure that there are opportunities, equal opportunities for feedback both ways.
Absolutely. We have to give our team members that grace in that space and the protection that when when they do give us something that we might feel is, maybe it's even not offside, right?
Maybe they're actually really giving us a personal jab.
We still have to keep them, hold them safe. Because if we don't, they're gonna just completely clam up and never share anything with us again.

Providing feedback in everyday language and being human in communication

[19:59] So I appreciate you reinforcing that. Not only do we have to give them that grace and space, we also have to reinforce audio, video, in-person and text afterwards.
Here's what's going well, here's what's going well, here's what's going well to rewire.
That's really, really critical for the audience to hear because oftentimes we think, oh, I said it to him, check the box, move on.
And to your point, it didn't resonate. Fair? Yeah, absolutely.
And I think the language is important.
Again, it's one of the things I spend a lot of time working with people on.
It's about using conversational language.

[20:34] And it's not sort of, I've heard people say, this is the stuff we thought went well, but if this was brilliant, We love this.
I've never seen you, I've never seen that done. We really appreciate that.
We want to adapt that to the team.
You know, and actually go through and give people encouragement in your language.
Give people excitement in the language.
Use the same language you would use if you were chatting to them at a bar or a pub or a cafe.

[20:59] Not just office language.
And I, you know, we're human beings, we're not office bots.
So don't talk to me in office speak, particularly when you're talking about something as intrinsic to me as my performance, talking everyday language and give me that encouragement.
And in the same way, when you come to give, you know, quote, negative feedback, You just talk to me about, okay.

[21:22] This didn't go so well. This is what we would love to see you do. This is what we do. You need more help on this? What do you think the problem was here? It's that sort of everyday human.

[21:31] Interactive language. Not, okay, we think there are some issues with your KPIs, and you didn't meet your targets this month. That's obviously, that's not human. You know, nanopub, you would never hope you've never said, Oh, I haven't met my KPIs this month, whatever. It's just, you know, talk the language of humanity, please.
Amen. I love that. I love that. Yeah. The leaders that we work with here regularly, it doesn't matter what we say, it matters what they hear. So we might say something that we think is sunshine and unicorns, and our team member heard a flaming bag of dog poop coming at them. So we got to make sure that we're watching how we are communicating. And to your point, be human. Just talk like you're out every day. Steve, one of the things that I coach my leader, the leaders that I work with on is the lead dog sets the pace, right? So if If we want our team members to be using Slack or to be communicating in a certain way with our buyers or even with our peers in other departments, we need to demonstrate what that looks like.
However, I also work with a lot of nerds.
And when you say to a nerd, we're gonna put you on camera, they get an expression on their face that looks like they've just been shocked by an electric eel.
So I'm sure you've had a couple of clients in your career who when you said, hey, we're gonna put you on camera where we're going to record your voice, they got a little anxious.
So how, for the audience who's listening to this going, I'm never going to put myself on camera.

[22:55] What would you encourage them to do to get themselves over the point where they can actually be leading their team and demonstrating how they want their team to communicate?

[23:06] Start them easy and start them early. Okay. Don't suddenly throw it at them.
And don't suddenly, you know, suddenly, okay, this is now your client, you're gonna be on camera, you're gonna be doing all this stuff. And if people are, you know, start them off.
If you if you having team meetings on camera, encourage a camera on culture, and that, yes, so many organizations that don't do that, and they'll allow people to get cameras off.
No, this meeting is cameras on. And we just want to be able to see you.
And it's just getting used to people seeing themselves on camera.
And being used to hearing their own voice.
And then you build them up. So in a team meeting, you might ask them, can you just introduce yourself?
Tell us a little bit about the background. What was your previous role?
Just get them to talk about things that they're comfortable about.
One of the things I will often do is I will, if I'm coaching somebody, I will start by asking them to just talk for 60 seconds about something that they are passionate about.
And it can be absolutely anything as long as it has nothing to do with work.

[24:05] Love it, you know, because then they're on home territory. And most people can talk for 60 seconds about their favorite football team or their favorite band or their favorite charitable cause or political campaign or whatever that happens to be. And I will get them to talk about that. Apart from anything else, the rest of the team gets to know a bit about them and things like that. But it means they're on home territory before I want to then move them into something where they may be presenting something they're less comfortable with less confident with.
And it is then building them up, giving them the chance to practice.
So I think one of the big issues in particular, when people being sent out to pitch, whether that's online or in person is the lack of rehearsal.
You know, I do a lot of work having worked with a lot of agencies, I do I go in and now I help agencies in terms of their pitching.
So you know, how are you sending out your business development or your sales team to pitch to clients?
And so many of them, you know, they'll work up to the deadline, they'll virtually be in taxi on the way to the pitch still fixing the slides. I was like, no, you set a deadline.

The Importance of Training Junior Team Members

[25:06] The night before, you know, if not, ideally the day before depending on how long you've got.
That is when the slides are fixed. And that's the same deadline as if that was when you were walking into the office, you're going to pitch to, and then you spend the rest of time rehearsing.
And that's where you've got some more junior members who you can come bring through, you can give them a chance to practice, you start off giving them a slightly more minor role, and then you bring them through and you give them a chance to develop to the point where you as the leader, not only hope you will be able to but should step away. Because there is always going to be this problem. If you are always there, the most senior person is always there, then the more junior members never get a chance to actually step up and take a more senior and more leading role.

[25:48] And I've seen some people, you know, I know some agencies where the CEO goes out and pitches and it's like, no, that is not your role. And then Oh, but I know the agency better than anybody, which case you haven't trained your staff properly. You need to train them so they know it really well. And also, they may have a fresher take on it, dare I say. So yeah, I think it is incumbent to, when you've got people starting with you, start them fast, get them on camera quite quickly, but start them easy. Start them on home territory, let them gain some confidence, let them practice in a safe space, and then build them up until they are ready to go in front of clients or whoever it is you want to put them in front of. But you're right, it is a problem that a lot of team members will just throw somebody in there and then wonder why they're not very good at it. Yeah, 100%. And that CEO, that agency, one of the things that I've said regularly, especially to entrepreneurs is you are not scalable. So if you desire to have a business that is actually a business instead of a job, to your point, Steve, we have to train our people to to basically be us without being us, so we can actually scale our business.

The Challenges of Scaling a Business and Consistency

[26:56] Steve.

[26:57] I'm a communications nerd as well. I could nerd out with you all day long. I have a few questions for you before we wrap up today. The first one being, you could go back and coach younger Steve.
You can go back as far as you like, and you can say, hey, younger Steve, you're going to be in this amazing place. You're going to have had this amazing career. You're going to be an author of a couple of books. You're going to have a couple of awards. You're going to be the face of an online international dating scam. What would you coach younger Steve to say or do differently to arrive at the same place with maybe a little less scar tissue and fewer bumps and bruises.
On the dating scam thing, I would say be a bit more aware of your social media settings, right from the word go. I'm happy to tell that story if you want me to.

[27:37] I think I would say be present and be consistent. I think that's where I have struggled over the years. I think consistency, I would spend a few weeks where I'd be really hot on posting on LinkedIn and prospecting, keeping my CRM up to date. And then, you know, I'd get a bit busy with some client work, because actually, my prospecting and LinkedIn activity would pay dividends.
And then it would slip. And then I'd suddenly find myself, you know, going feast of famine again.

[28:07] So I think consistency, to me, that's the thing I would go back to younger Steve and say, be consistent, do it little and often, don't make it too onerous, because that's the other problem, you suddenly go, Oh, my God, I've got all this stuff to do. And I haven't been doing any of it, it suddenly becomes this massive job, whereas if it's a little bit every day, it's much more manageable and things. And it's, you know, it's, I think the only thing I would say is learn to enjoy the sales process. I didn't. I don't know, sometimes I still don't, I'm honest. But I think, you know, there are times when it's a joy to go out and to be able to, you know, to reach out to somebody and say, hey, this is who I am. This is what I do. Do you need any help? And for them to respond, maybe not instantly, but to come back even a few months later, go, Oh, remember, we And we had that conversation.
Yeah, actually, I need your help. One of the things I have realized is, particularly in my work as a public speaking coach, I'm, not an instant purchase.
Very rare for me to meet somebody at a networking event or to reach out to somebody online to make a new contact in whatever format, and for them to go, Oh, my God, you're exactly what I need.

[29:09] You know, most people are like, Oh, that's interesting. Oh, I don't know anybody else who does that. Oh, right. Okay, fine. And they sort of store it away. And then, a few months down the line, then it suddenly is like, Oh, hang on. I've got the Oh, right. I've got this pitch. Oh, my God. I'm coaching something on the father of the bride speech for the daughter's wedding. Wow. Because he's like, I just I saw you speak at an event years ago, but suddenly I need you. Now I need your help. Great. Of course, I can help. So yeah, it's a long term process. It's not an instant win. Love that. That really resonates with me. No one wakes up in the morning saying, I need to transform my company into a sales-focused organization. So 100% resonates with me on that, Steve. Another question for you. What have you read, listened to, watched, whether in the past or recently that you would like the audience to check out to support their own long-term growth and development? You're welcome to plug your books right now, if you like.

Recommendations: Do Lectures and Author's Books

[29:59] Well, let's start on other people's stuff first of all. I'll tell you what I have discovered recently is the Do Lectures, D-O, and Makers and Mavericks, which is a... They're both live events, but then the Do Lectures are also now online. And it's run by a company called Heer Denim, who make denim jeans over in Cardigan on the west coast of Wales. And it used to be the center of denim jeans making in the UK. But then they used to make for some of the big, big department stores who then all took their manufacturing over to the Far East. So the factories were closed.
This sort of bespoke company came in and bought up the factories and re-employed the people.

[30:41] And basically, trying a very different way of working. Anyway, they now also do this conference, once a year called the Do Lectures. And you can see all the speakers on stage. And they also do Makers and Mavericks, which I went to in May, which was a terrific day. And a lot of that stuff now, it turns up online as well. And it was just 300 people who were all starting something, trying something, doing something new. Because I've got a whole new project, which I'm working on at the moment, which takes me in a very different direction.
So it was just it was just great to be surrounded by.
People who are enthusiastic, curious, scared, you know, trying stuff, wanting to put new stuff out into the world. That was a really, really interesting thing. So to me, going out and just meeting people and being part of that, but say the do lectures are all online. If you Google it, all the speakers and things are online. And it's great, great content. It's a bit more edgy than say, TED talks or anything like that. It's, it's, there's a lot of people who are built very successful businesses, a lot of sort of challenger brands, a lot of people who really disrupted markets and things like that. So they're probably a bit more business focused than the TED talk.
Anyway, so that's those. In terms of my stuff, yeah, I mean, if you are looking for help with.

[31:56] Public speaking, presenting, pitching, I have a book called The Authority Guide to Presenting and Public Speaking, which is available on Amazon, in all the Amazon outlets around the world. It's also on Audible, read by yours truly.
Very cool. And there's also The Authority Guide to PR for Small Business, which is aimed at people who are looking to promote themselves to the media. And then if you wanted to, I mean, I run critique club, which is a six month online coaching program for those who are looking to improve their public speaking. And we meet half a day a month, small group of six people, and you actually get a chance to practice and get critique and get feedback and try again and hone and repeat and hone and repeat and things. So yeah, that's a that's a that's a fun group.
Actually, we're about to start the fifth cohort of that, hopefully in October. So I've got a got a couple of places left on that.
Very cool. Well, we will put links to all of those things in the show notes. I said I had three questions for you. I actually have four because I've heard the story about the international dating scam. I'm sure the audience would love to hear, even if it's a summary version. So let's hear about the international dating scam and then I'll ask you the closing question.

The Story of the International Dating Scam

[32:59] Sure. Okay. Very long story, very short. On Valentine's Day, 2018, my cell phone rang.

[33:05] And this woman's voice said, you don't know me, but I thought I knew you.
And I'm like, what? And it turned out that she had been on a dating site and have been chatting to a guy for a couple of months, who looked an awful lot like me.
And turns out scammers have taken about 25 photos of my Facebook profile, and use them on dating sites to set up profiles to try to scam rich, elderly women out of money.
The ultimate irony being is I'm married to a man. So these women really are not my type.
And that's the worst bit about the whole thing is he sends out my picture and says he's 68.
I was in my 40s when most of these photos were taken.
So yeah, we ended up, this woman, Constance, who contacted me, she had done a reverse Google image search.

[33:46] On using some of the images.
So I found my website and my Facebook profile, and then she reached out to me.
So she knew that I was not the scammer, but she carried on talking to him and eventually challenged him, but we went public.
So we did a lot of media here in the UK. If you Google my name, Steve Buston, and the words dating scam or romance fraud, it's all still out there.
We wanted to raise awareness of romance fraud and the enormous amount of money every year that is lost to it. And also then, I used it partly to promote my business, if I'm honest. I was introduced on national TV as a public speaking coach. By the time I got back to the green room after that interview, there was already an email in my inbox from somebody saying, oh, I have been looking for a public speaking coach. Can we chat? It's amazing. It's always good. So yeah, those photos are still out there. Every now and again, I get an email from a woman saying, thank you for going public because I've now realised that actually the guy I've been chatting to is a fake. So I I think, well, job done.
Oh, job well done by you and a unique way of generating new business for your organization.
Not one of it necessarily recommend.
No, no, fair enough. There's a lot of emotional baggage that comes along with that. So, Steve, last question. You've given us lots of great ideas and insights today already on how to communicate more effectively, how to get our team to communicate more effectively.

[35:03] Last question is a closing bit of wisdom, a final thought, or something else to plug the floor is yours. Please go ahead.

Talk to Me Like a Human: Effective Communication Tips

[35:11] Oh, crikey, where to start with that? I would, I think my top tip, and I've sort of touched on this already, is talk to me like a human.
You know, if you're trying to sell to me, talk to me like I'm a human being, because I am a human being.
Don't talk to me like I'm a business person. Don't talk to me like I'm a potential customer.
Talk to me as a human being.
Now, that doesn't mean being flippant, necessarily. It doesn't mean taking advantage, doesn't mean assuming a familiarity that can feel very jarring. But don't start trying to talk jargon gobbledygook to me, particularly if you are trying to sell me on a B2B level. You know, I think B2C is a slightly different beast. But if you're trying to sell me a B2B service, I'm still a human being. And if you can make me laugh, you're going to get in form of connection with me far, far faster. You know, and that's a tricky one. Humor is a very personal thing. We all have a, personal sense of humor. But if you can make me laugh, make me smile, connect with me in some way, then I'm going to be much more open to a conversation. So yeah, I think that's always my advice to anybody. Talk like a human and expect to be talked to like a human. And if you're not, point it out or get the The Hen out.
Love it Steve. This has been an amazing conversation. I look forward to Continuing to chat with you offline. Thank you very much for being a guest on full funnel freedom today. It's been a pleasure. Thank you.

The Power of Effective Communication in Sales

[36:34] What an incredible episode with Steve I really loved his passion for communication ultimately when we are, Interacting whether it's with buyers or team members or spouses partners friends we're selling and sales is communication.
So Steve's insights around how we need to adapt our communication to our audience and ensure that we use multiple mediums for communicating that message so we resonate with every person on our audience.
I really did appreciate his story about unintentionally being the face of an international dating scam and sounds like it worked out well for him.
And because he came forward, women who might have been trapped in that scam are now able to escape it before it even starts.
Thanks for listening. Let me know what your big takeaways were in the comments and until we connect on the next episode, go create Full Funnel Freedom.
Thanks for listening to today's episode of the Full Funnel Freedom podcast.
You can continue to support us by leaving us a review and a rating, sharing this episode with a couple of sales leaders in your network who you care about.
I'd love to connect with you. I'm easy to find Hamish Knox on LinkedIn.
Also, if you'd like a free 15 minute call with me, go to forward slash how to Sandler.

[38:02] Until we connect on the next episode, Go create full funnel freedom.

[38:06] Music.