February 10

Episode 71: Are You a Secret? 3 Ways To Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace with Donna Lang


In this weeks episode, Mike and Donna Lang discuss ways to help your company stand out in today’s marketplace. Donna shares with us how she helps her clients by using customized sales and marketing strategies.

Donna Lang’s Biography

My mission is to educate and inspire business owners and attorneys to play a bigger game in their business and maximize profits and business performance by utilizing Customized Sales and Marketing Strategies to grow 6 and 7 Figure Businesses. I’ve consulted with 1000’s of business owners including, solo- practitioners, entrepreneurs, attorneys, corporate professionals, and leaders of professional associations. As an accomplished Business Leader, acclaimed Business Strategist & gifted Trainer, I offer enormous expertise, insight, and energy to my Clients to Match their Budget, Vision, and Objectives.

In This Episode, You’ll Learn…

  • What are those things that we are spending time on that maybe we shouldn’t?
  • Advice to create a revenue-generating plan that matches you.
  • Working the numbers because then you can take the right actions at the right time to support your clients.


  • “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo
  • “I’ve observed in over a decade that many small business owners feel like they’re a secret is they’re so busy doing the shiny object, not essential activities, and that gets them off track.” – Donna
  • “Very often folks become tactical before they become strategic.” – Donna
  • “Once you have a foundation that supports the best parts of you. Oh man. It’s Showtime. That’s really when the fun begins.” – Donna
  • “My mission in life is to remind people how powerful they are and when we’re racing through life, we sometimes forget, and I am very passionate about helping people shine.” – Donna

Links & Resources Mentioned…

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Read The Transcript

Episode #71

Mike O'Neill: Welcome back to the Get Unstuck & On Target Podcast. I'm Mike O'Neill with Bench Builders and we help business leaders like you solve the tough people problems that are slowing your company's growth. Joining me today from Atlanta is Donna Lang. Donna is the founder of Smart Tools Coaching. She helps her clients grow their business with customized sales and marketing strategy. Donna has literally consulted with thousands of business owners, including solo practitioners, entrepreneurs, attorneys, corporate professionals, and leaders of professional associations. Welcome Donna. 

Donna Lang: Great to be here. Thank you for that warm introduction. I'm so excited about sharing information about the three ways people can stand out in a crowded marketplace. 

Mike O'Neill: Well, that is exactly the topic that we're going to, to pick up on. And that is, as I have been learning about marketing as a business owner, it's a bit overwhelming, all the things you have to do. And as I kind of begin looking at it personally, it is a crowded marketplace. Therefore that strikes me and I hope our listening audience as a perfect thing to kind of help us better understand if you want to stand out in a crowded marketplace. You've prefaced that by saying, or asking this question. Are you a secret? I love that. Are you a secret? And that's our topic? Are you a secret? Three ways to stand out in a crowded marketplace?

Donna Lang: Well, I, I would love to take it from here. You know, the question and thank you for that. Are you a secret? Well, there's something underneath that question. The reason why I've observed in over a decade that many small business owners feel like they're secret is they're so busy doing the shiny object, not essential activities, and that gets them off the track. And so a lot of folks are hearing oh the three ways to stand out and they may be thinking some things that are not going to come up in this conversation. Instead, I'm going to give our listeners an opportunity to act like a drone with us and look down on their business and ask some very important questions. And at the end of this time that we have together, you're going to have at least one or two strategies and action items that you can take immediately that will help you stand out in a crowded marketplace and be consistent about it and no longer feel like you're a secret. 

Mike O'Neill: One of the things you write, Donna is when you follow a marketing action plan that matches you, then all the shiny objects take a backseat.

Donna Lang: Yes. For sure. Yes. Yeah. I was going to, I echo that I was going to share that today. You know, what's really, really interesting is you and I are both transformational leaders, coaches, consultants. We fall into that area. Wouldn't you agree? 

Mike O'Neill: I would, yes. 

Donna Lang: You know, it's sort of, the onus is on us to move the needle in the right direction. And very often folks become tactical before they become strategic. And so the plan very simply is the solution. It's foundational, you know, would a woman, a single gal buy a wedding dress before she meets the man of her dreams? Probably not. Although I've heard people do that with someone buy furniture before they've decided what home they're going to buy without knowing the measurements. Well, what do you say to that, Mike? 

Mike O'Neill: Typically not that's right. 

Donna Lang: Exactly. And so what I've observed, maybe you have as well, people get so excited about their passion and they're there, they're buying, you know, all kinds of tools and I've got to get this. I've got to be all over Instagram. Youtube you know, LinkedIn and on and on. I need to have a video strategy, but it's really not a strategy. It's a tactic. So once you do have a plan that matches you perfectly, then all the distractions and the shiny objects melt away. So let's kind of take a look at that foundation. Once you have a foundation that supports the best parts of you. Oh man. It's Showtime. That's really when the fun begins. And so when I work with clients, I ask lots of questions. I'm almost like a lawyer in that I go through a lot of discovery. You know, there are four assessments, there's an eight page intake form, then there's followup and I need to know you from the inside out. And the outside in. And a number of excellent programs go straight into strategy and they go next into applying those strategies with tactics and tools and so forth. Nothing wrong with that. However, I'm not built that way. I need to really know you. I'm hard centered, so I need to know what makes your heart sing. I knew to know what your life is like. Are you really humming at 10 o'clock in the morning or at seven o'clock in the morning? I need to know all the elements. I need to know what makes your heart sing. And once I have all the data points and there are a lot of questions, then we can create a revenue generating activity plan with metrics that match you from the inside out and boy is that so fulfilling.

Mike O'Neill: We can hear in your voice, we can see in your eyes how you kind of light up when you begin talking about the approach you take. And that is you start with the heart, but you back up everything that you are talking about with metrics, and that kind of would be more of a head type thing. So you've got a very balanced approach, but it starts with the, with the heart. You said that we're going to maybe step back and look at how to stand out in a crowded marketplace, but the perspective your going to take us down is that maybe like a drone? Did I hear that correctly? Walk us through that. 

Donna Lang: So when you kind of remove all the moving parts and kind of put them on hold and like a drone, you're looking down on your business, then you have an opportunity to look at your business through the lens of what really, really is fulfilling to you. And you also can look at your business through the lens of logistics. You know, what actions and tasks match you. For example, a lot of folks don't particularly care for business development and marketing. They want to take that off their plate and put it on my plate. I love business development and marketing strategies. Please put it on my plate. You'll see that when you're looking down on your business, what, where are you going to shine and where do you feel like you are stuck in quicksand? And it's really important to know what to take on and what to delegate. 

Mike O'Neill: Yeah, that reminds me of the book that I'm reading now that many have already read and Who Not, How. By which if I understand the premise of the book, business owners in particular, tend to focus on the, how. They try to become experts in everything. And as a result, they miss the point that they don't pursue the things that they're naturally gifted in. And as a result, they're not taking advantage of the who's, you being a who, and that is you not only are good at what is it we're describing. This is your passion. So when someone comes to you and ask, you're doing them a favor, and obviously they're doing you a favor because you get a chance to do that, which makes your heart sing. 

Donna Lang: Yeah, it's vital. And that's where the energy is. That's where the conviction is. That's when you're talking to someone and I'll give you a choice A choice B you're talking to a prospect or a potential referral source A says, yeah, I've been doing this for 10 years and I help lawyers and small business owners succeed. B I've been helping lawyers and small business owners succeed for over a decade. The most important thing about that is I get to see them transform. They're happier. They're more confident they make more money with less effort. I love what I do. 

Mike O'Neill: Yeah, I love B and obviously it shows, so let's go back. You've encouraged us to begin thinking of our business from the perspective of a drone, looking down and as, as a drone gets higher and higher, that perspective gets clearer and clearer. So you've, you first are challenging us, the listener and your clients to get that perspective. What are those things that they are spending their time on? That they just shouldn't. Please keep going with this. 

Donna Lang: Yeah. You know, thank you for that, Mike. There are three chunks and then I'll unwrap each. The first one is to really create a plan that matches you because as we both agreed a plan or a man without a plan is a no man's land. But when there's a plan that matches you and all the distractions melt away, then you get to focus in on the right revenue generating activities and the metrics that match you. So then numbers not. Oh, I hate numbers, you know, that goes away because now, you know, numbers are actually your friends. Because when you know what those numbers are, when you know your conversion rates, when you know how many touches you need to make to convert those into meaningful relationships and eventual sales opportunities. Then you can do more of those. It's called the Pareto principle when you've identified your conversion rates. And then, you know, what percentage of your efforts, oh, this is so exciting deliver 80% of your results. Then take 2% of that 20% and do more of that. Number one is to create a revenue generating activity plan that matches you with the metrics, because once you have that in place that is foundational and with that, you can make the right choices and we can say it together. You can stand out now in a crowded marketplace. That's number one. 

Mike O'Neill: Got it. So I have written down as you're speaking, you create a revenue generating plan that matches you that has the appropriate metrics baked into it. That's not what you said, but that's how I paraphrase. Is that close? 

Donna Lang: I kinda like baked into it part yes.

Mike O'Neill: Okay. Good. Number 2? 

Donna Lang: Yeah. Number two is a kissing cousin. And it's called blocked planning. Once you have a blocked planning strategy with well-defined processes and tools, then you know, the world is your oyster. Because rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse, and repeat. Can I give you an example? Well, this is a simple one and it is so powerful. We're always trying to reach each other. Do you ever find yourself playing phone tag, Mike? And you're like, I can't seem to get him to call me back. 

Mike O'Neill: Yes. 

Donna Lang: Frustrating isn't it? 

Mike O'Neill: Very much so. 

Donna Lang: Yeah, for all of us. And so I created the Tam minute two-step process, leveraging outlook and leveraging a strategy that is a process you can do over and over again. I do my research and planning and target marketing and all of that on the weekend, because during the week I'm doing other things like serving clients and using my revenue generating activity plan to get things done. But on the weekend I do preparation. So I make my list of let's say the 10 people that I want to get through to. Then I schedule emails through outlook that get delivered let's say about 12 noon on Monday, because that's my day to make my 10 minute outreach phone calls. This is the best part. So those emails say, you know what in response to my voicemail, that I left, please click on the link so we can have that 10 minute phone call about whatever the objective is. And four to five times when I do the phone call, let them know an email is coming at 12 noon, cause I've already scheduled them out. All they have to do is look for the email. They're on the lookout for it in the ocean of emails that they get and they stand out. 

Mike O'Neill: So let me make sure I got this correct. The assumption is that you're reaching out to them. You won't get them, but you will get their voicemail. Of course, if you get them you don't leave the message. You just have that same conversation. I trust. 

Donna Lang: Well, if I get them, then I go into my outlook and I erase the, email that scheduled to go in at 12 noon. Cause I called him in the morning. Does that make sense? 

Mike O'Neill: Yeah, it makes perfect sense. So you've, you've, prescheduled this email to go out at noon. You've already placed the call. So when it goes out, they've already assuming they listened to the voicemail. They've heard your voice. They kind of go, okay, she's going to be sending an email. They get the email, they start connecting that with your voice. They know what you're calling about. They know what you're writing about and you're asking for in this case 10 minutes. Is that what you're asking for? 

Donna Lang: I'm asking, I'm asking for a 10 minute phone call and these are the folks that fall into the category of, I want to get through to them. They haven't called me back or someone like you. I also have my list of gem G E M messages. This is another way to stand out. I adore you and I want to keep in touch with you, but we haven't spoken in a while. So I have my list of folks that I want to talk to every couple of months, if we haven't connected and I'll, I'll send the gem message. Lots of times, I won't get people on the phone. I've just been used to that. And say hey thinking about you Mike, you know, be on the lookout for that email. I want to catch up with you. Let's catch up on a 10 minute call. And that message should arrive about noon. If I call at nine or 10 o'clock in the morning and I don't get you, you're going to be on the lookout for that email. And my calendar fills up beautifully and I ended up standing out authentically with purpose. 

Mike O'Neill: Let's pick up what you just said. You stand out authentically with purpose. That wasn't just thrown in. Let's talk about each of those. How is this technique more authentic? 

Donna Lang: Yeah. Yeah, because otherwise you're going ding, ding, ding. And it's authentic because I've taken on what's my objective. What's the purpose? How can I help? What is the outcome I'm looking for? These are people that I can either help as referral sources or maybe initiate a conversation about my next mastermind program, because we talked about it a year ago and lost track. And it's time to talk about it now. Another example is I went to an event, ran into a lawyer. And he said, Hey, you know, when's your next mastermind? And I said, be on the lookout for an email that's going to set up a time for us to chat. All of these are the follow-up items with purpose that are meaningful. I'm contributing to someone I'm helping them maybe as a coach, I'm introducing them to another referral source. They all have a purpose. 

Mike O'Neill: How do you keep up with this activity? Do you use a CRM? 

Donna Lang: Oh, yes. As part of type management, what I've done is I've instituted a blocked planning method that over time. And I did this about five years ago and every year I kind of repurpose it a little bit, Mike, because well, these last few years completely have flipped the switch. So I look at what I want to achieve personally and professionally. Can I walk you through that quickly? Because it might crystallize how all these pieces come together? 

Mike O'Neill: Please do. 

Donna Lang: Okay. So if you were to ask yourself and there you a drone looking down on your entire life. Well, you know, how do you fill up your cup? And a lot of my clients, including myself, pray, they have their gratitude journal that they exercise in the morning. They replant what I call fresh seeds in the morning. So let's say from six until eight, you give yourself two hours to do that. Them from eight until 12 is when you do your revenue generating activities. You basically slice your day in half revenue generating activities, the calls, the networking, LinkedIn, you know, all the things that have been defined in your revenue generating activity plan that are designed to move your business to the next level. Right. Do those in the morning from nine until 12. And then cluster like activities together on Monday between 8 and 10 I do my 10 minute calls. Between 10 and 12 I have other block activities, which are my sales calls specifically. Makes sense. 

Mike O'Neill: It does make sense. Now this is matching your energy level. Are you typically more energetic in the mornings? Okay. If that is the opposite for someone listening or watching this, what do you suggest that they just reversed that and do that in the afternoon? 

Donna Lang: Oh yeah. Yeah. That is such a big component. Yeah. It's got to match who you are and your rhythm. I'm really energetic. Pretty much nonstop. Until maybe about eight o'clock and I start to slow down. So, but everyone is different. And so when I craft this with clients, I have to know what's going on on the inside. And when you really think about it, if you're more geared to the administrative, or you're more geared to client support in the first half of the day then we just kind of flipped the switch. For me, 8 to 12 revenue generating activities. Let's bring in all of the process steps, et cetera that'll really help me move the needle in my business and meet the numbers that I've defined in my revenue generating activity report. Right. Which I look at every week, I look at every month and every 90 days and tweak it. And then I take a two hour break. I might want to go for a walk. It might be where I have to fit in a new client because my other clients slots have been taken. And in the afternoon from two to six, that's when I'm doing my 30 minute getting to know you zoom calls. That's when I'm meeting people one-on-one I do that on Thursdays. I've identified the life that I lead. And then created a clustering of like activities together. So instead of doing 10 minute call over here, the next thing it's a 30 minute Zoom. The next time I'm on somebody's podcasts. If at all possible, I cluster like activities together. My onboarding new clients are together. My standard client calls or together, my 90 minute kickoff sessions are together. So my brain can manage a lot of diverse activities. Without losing my sanity. Really, really, really helps to laser focus. What does that do when you're laser focused? I mean, wouldn't you agree? You get more done and you can use your energy to stand out authentically. 

Mike O'Neill: So can I make sure I understood what you just said correctly? And that is, you mentioned for you, your energy level is, is probably best in the mornings and you've referred to that as revenue generating, and then you take a two hour break in the afternoon. Can I put that in layman's terms? Is business develop and actually delivering the services you do is business development the morning or afternoon for you?

Donna Lang: Business developing this in the morning. And thank you for that. That's I thank you for. A shrink wrapping that. Business development for me, but not for all my clients. They're all different. It's in the morning. And then we identify what that means to them based on the plan I've defined with them. And then in the afternoon, delivering the work for sure.

Mike O'Neill: I'm not going to do a good job of summarizing that point, but let me make sure I did hear this correctly. You're using yourself as an illustration of how you would work with a client. And working with a client you do a very thorough intake. You get to know them very very well. And as a result, you're able to give them almost a laser like plan. You can together build this plan, but you operationalize this plan. And that is a plan that matches you. That also is put on a calendar. And that calendar is not just calendar slots. You're saying if you have a higher energy level in the morning, which of these activities do you need the most energy. And I suspect you put them in there, but then what you're encouraging us as listeners is that when you've got a feel for that, it's best to group those activities so that you're not bouncing from activity A to activity Z. But you know, in the mind that certain days of the week, you mentioned Thursdays, certain days a week, typically if you can you set aside for certain activities. Does that give you more of a sense of quote control? Because you you're slotting things based on who you are, your energy level, and that gives you, does it give you a sense of rhythm? 

Donna Lang: Well, I mean, you nailed it exactly because when you're not distracted. I'll tell you what, you know, one of the questions I ask is where are you leaking your energy? And a lot of us without kinda consolidating or clustering, like activities together, it's hard to keep up isn't it? When you're like, ah, what am I doing next? 

Mike O'Neill: Gotcha. 

Donna Lang: For example, it almost becomes a routine that you can amend of course, but, but it's a pretty good routine that you can stick with. Like, there's a certain level of certainty. I, for example, I have a conversation with someone on Monday morning and well, you know, I think I made more than 10 minutes and I'll know right away that on Thursdays, I'm going to be at my club and I can instantly say, well, you know how it's 10 o'clock on Thursday, which like to be my guest at the Buckhead club. Like it really saves time. I'm organized, I'm focused. And it gives me time to be relatable. I'm not distracted about what am I doing? Where can I put them? What it's very focused and it's very energizing as well. 

Mike O'Neill: Yeah, I'm kind of contrast in my mind, focus and relationship. Sometimes when people I'll use me. For example, when I think of focused it's, I'm focused on a task. Whereas relationships is, is, is very much different. And what I'm hearing you say is that if you really want to have quality relationships with others, to include clients, it needs to be put on a calendar. It needs to be something, you know, it's coming. And, you know, on a Monday, without even thinking that if a conversation arises that an invitation to somebody to meet at the Buckhead club Thursday morning is appropriate. You automatically can just go to that without even scrambling for your calendar. 

Donna Lang: Exactly. And I have a little cheat sheet that has, you know, a, just a manual re writer-downer of what, you know, what my week looks like and where the holes are in my 30 minute getting to know you phone calls in my, opportunities. The Buckhead club. Like I know how that whole week looks and also how the whole month looks. And so I instantly don't have to play phone tag and go back and forth. When I'm in a conversation, I know what to do like immediately. And so it really allows you to be buttoned up on point. So your focus is on the other person, not on trying to find all the data to meet the other person. It really is foundational in supporting your success. And the three things that I think are really key that put this whole thing together is consistency in growing the right list at the right time. And making room and I'm going to underscore this for nurturing your prospects, your clients, and your referral sources. That's where a lot of folks fall short because they just can't find the time and what a missed opportunity to not have the time to support and nurture the most important people in your orbit. 

Mike O'Neill: Since we promised three ways of standout, I may have not got this right. One your advice to us create a revenue generating plan that matches you. Take that plan and put it into your schedule and use blocked planning as a way to carry out that plan that allows the right amount of time for the right things tied back to your energy levels. Did you already mentioned the third step and I just didn't reference it or do you have a, yet another third step. 

Donna Lang: Yeah, you're a fantastic, thank you for putting this together. The third one I kind of slipped into for the end. Which is when you have number one revenue generating activities that match you clearly defined. And number two, a time management system with blog planning and tools that support your time management system like Calendly and a CRM and understanding how to leverage outlook, for example. Then the third part is working the numbers. Because then you can take the right actions at the right time to support your clients, your revenue generating activities, your referral sources, and most importantly, nurturing the people in your orbit. That would be number three. 

Mike O'Neill: All right. Thank you. I think what I want to come back to that in a moment, but before we get too far into this, I do want to ask. In keeping with the theme of this podcast, Donna, think about a situation, whereas perhaps you or a client got stuck. Would you share an example of what it took to get unstuck? 

Donna Lang: Yeah, you know, I, I think there is a common theme for I've been through it, you know, I, and thank goodness I've been through it. So I've been able to be effective in solving the problem. When you're an entrepreneur. And this is kind of a general answer. And I'd like you to comment to see if you see this as well, Mike. But a lot of folks are so excited about the difference they want to make in the world. And they've got so many ideas. They'll try this and they'll buy Infusionsoft. And then they'll go ahead and start a video campaign. And then they're going to go ahead and, you know, join a group to accomplish something. Not sure what it is, but there are people should be there. You know, there's this enthusiastic drive that's so tactical it's action oriented. If you look behind me where you see head, hand and heart. What I is kind of lacking is we're very formulaic, but we're not necessarily strategic. So I kind of pull back and I look at where they are, what they need, what's their vision. Let's take a look at numbers and then I reverse engineer that into a strategy that they can take intentional on purpose actions on. Strategy number one, after I get who they are and where they're going. Taking actions on that strategy that are consistent and measurable. Number two. And it's the heart, it's the passionate, your conviction. It's your grit that keeps you moving forward. So it's not answering your question. I don't think, but it's what I say in general that is lacking out there. And usually something is a little bit off and they are stuck. They're not experiencing flow or momentum because they're kind of splintered. 

Mike O'Neill: Well, I thought that example fits perfectly. And that is you can be stuck chasing all these shiny objects. And I, I too am prone to that. I learn of something. I get excited about it. I pour my energy into it. I might even enjoy doing it, but then I lose track of, is it really accomplishing what it's supposed to do. And your encouragement from the outset is step back in this case, take a real broad perspective of what you are doing, how your time is being spent. Is it using your natural abilities and how do you just not let the calendar happen? And you look up on a Friday afternoon and say, where did the week go? And you take control. And that is you do to the best of your ability through block planning, you can work a plan. I revenue generating plan that is very much metric driven. This is not throwing that out the window. It's just offering perspective. 

Donna Lang: Exactly. That's that's perfect. Yes. And I'm really passionate about it because I guess people teach. What they need to learn. And when I started my business, I was all over the place. I'm an ideation machine. I'm always inventing and creating. And so when I learned that, that what I thought was a gift was not always beneficial. I started to put my ideas in little folders and get to them later. So I could really learn how to focus on what's really important. Growing a sustainable business. And from there I've developed these processes and strategies that have really helped a lot of clients because you know the drill, you can't see the picture when you're in the frame. And the beauty of what we do is we can. 

Mike O'Neill: Donna, so far, we've talked about how you intake your clients. We've talked about how you try to manage your time and how you try to advise your clients to manage their time. The name of your business is Smart Tools. We really haven't discussed sales and marketing per se, in this conversation thus far. Can we take just a moment? And that is if you are offering this perspective and these tools that are less shiny objects, but are hand selected tools specifically best suited for you and what you're trying to accomplish. From a sales and marketing, you're advising your clients let's get rid of the shiny objects. What do you find oftentimes gets kind of thrown out the window. Things that just get jettisoned. 

Donna Lang: So, let me understand your question. Are you looking for me to talk about how I go from here, which is foundational to entering the world of sales and marketing activities? Did I get that right? 

Mike O'Neill: In, in large part? Yes. Now that we have a plan and we have an idea of how you would walk a client through. As you kind of roll up the sleeves to get to work. What do you find are the things that your clients say, you know, I thought that was what I should be doing, but I probably shouldn't be. Do you see themes of things that get put aside because they're not really aligned to who they are and it's not working.

Donna Lang: Oh, it's remarkable. Yeah. Yeah. That's a great question. Once they identify where their energy is more consistent. And it completely changes the game. They've got a plan that got a certain amount of certainty. Not all of us were built to need certainty. I like uncertainty by the way, but that, that helps me out because I'm very kind of spontaneous, you know, I'm like I'm comfortable in front of groups and speaking and all that stuff. So I don't, I don't need to be all buttoned up before we're doing something like this, so I don't need that kind of certainty, but, but I think the beauty of certainty to the degree that it gives you a foundation frees up time. It gives you more focus to concentrate on what you really need to concentrate on. And then, then we can talk about sales and marketing strategies. How many touches, who are you touching? What are your top of mind marketing strategies? How are you going to get that research? How are you going to plan ahead? You know, I, I was a really good example is what is your strategy when you go to a networking event? Most people don't, don't have a strategy. When I go to a networking event, I asked my clients, you know, we're gone to this networking event how about if I'm your wing man or woman, you know, let's come up with a strategy. What are the trigger words I've listened for that represent you? So when so-and-so says something about their challenge, I can say, you know, Mike develops teams or leaders. Yeah, I need to introduce you to him like that. There's always for me an objective, a strategy, and I help my clients look at that, through the lens of how they approach their business. There are three R's that I live by that really helped me manage time and fulfillment in my business. One is, is that choice a good R O T is that networking event a good return on your time. Did you do research are they mostly doctors when you work with mostly lawyers. And some people say, well, I'll meet somebody who might be an extra neighbor next to a lawyer. Well, that's kind of what I call the spray and pray model I'm looking for targeted marketing. So R O T return on time. Is that choice a good return on your time. Now we're talking next about the heart. Is that choice, a good R O E a good return on your experience. Do you look forward to it? It's like I can't get enough of that sugar crisp. Right? There's that feeling? I can't wait to see Mike again at that event. It's a good return on my time. I always learned something when I talk to Mike, he's just a lovely human being. You know what I'm saying? That's the R O E part. 

Mike O'Neill: Yes. 

Donna Lang: And then the final one, which many people start with is number one. I make it number three. Is, is there a good return on your investment? Is that investment get a really, give me a good return when I go to that event to learn about whatever, right. You know, is it gonna be a good return on my time? Is it going to be a great return on my experience? Am I going to be able to walk away with the knowledge sharing that I'm looking for regarding this particular topic? R O T R O E. And R O I. How does that, can I kind of unpack that and then correlate that to how that matches a sales and marketing strategy. Every choice we make needs to be measured, and this is one way to measure it. And then you can look back and go, I'm fully remoted. I've got my metrics. I'm looking through the lens of ROI, R O T R O E. Whatever order is relevant. But the best part is when you have the numbers, how many touches, what is your conversion rate? Then you've got the peritoneal principle, which is that 80 20. And you can say 20% of my efforts delivered 80% of my results. That's when you can continue to fine tune and amplify the right kind of sales and marketing strategies that match you.

Mike O'Neill: Donna I can see why people would seek you out. You have a unique blend of how you look at the world, operate in the world and how you help your clients and do the exact same thing. As you kind of reflect on our conversation, we've covered a lot of different types of things. What do you want to be take aways?

Donna Lang: My mission in life is to remind people how powerful they are and when we're racing through life, we sometimes forget, and I am very passionate about helping people shine. Some of the assessments I offer, which is part of that upfront, fully loaded let me get to know you strategy, help clients really own their strengths and their values. And once you have that, well, you know, once you have those. I call it that your inner game define your, your really unstoppable. And so I really want to remind people that they are unstoppable to align themselves with a coach like myself, an absolute wonderful mentor. And leader like Mike, like find someone who you can align with, who can help you amplify the best parts of you. So you can meet and exceed your mission with heart. 

Mike O'Neill: Donna I've had a chance to meet a wide variety of sales and marketing quote experts. None until today has explained their approach the way you have. And that is put in the emphasis on the client, understanding the client, but you also are helping the client better understand themselves. And if they understand themselves, then, they're in position to begin thinking, how can I be most helpful to others, how to go about, and I can see why people would turn to you for a more holistic approach to sales and marketing. Donna, thank you so much for your time and your passion.

Donna Lang: I loved it. I loved every moment of it. Thank you so much. I've really enjoyed spending time with you. Thanks Mike. 

Mike O'Neill: If folks want to connect with you online, what's the best way for them to do so? 

Donna Lang: Well, they can find me on LinkedIn, Donna Lang, with Smart Tools Coaching. You can go to my website, smarttoolscoaching.com love to have a conversation. You have an opportunity to go ahead and schedule that you can click on the link on my website that invites you to do so. You know, and I just really want to say that I'm really passionate, especially today to remind people that we all have value. And once you identify that and you own it. Like I said, before you become unstoppable. And when you have those days where you get stuck on occasion, you can get right back on track. Because self knowledge is the gift that keeps on giving. And that is my final quote for today with you. 

Mike O'Neill: That's beautifully said, Donna. Thank you. 

Donna Lang: My pleasure. Thank you. 

Mike O'Neill: Also want to thank our listeners for joining us today. Every Thursday, we upload the latest episode to all the major platforms. So if you haven't already please subscribe. I've got a question for our listeners. Are people problems keeping you up at night? If yes, let's talk, head to. bench-builders.com to schedule a quick call. We'll explore ways to help you solve those nagging people problems. So you can again, focus on growing your business. So I, to thank you for joining us, and I hope you have picked up on some tips from Donna that will help you Get Unstuck & On Target. Until next time.

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