What are the main characteristics of Epic Inspections, and what services do they offer?
Epic Inspections installs and replaces new appliances for their clients as well as offering risk and compliance services to real estate firms in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Although they do some B2C sales as well, their focus is primarily on B2B.
What distinguishes Manny Sidhu from other salespeople in his field?
Manny Sidhu stands out in the sales industry because he has worked hard to learn about sales, and he has taken the initiative to use the knowledge that is available to him. Additionally, he has developed a sizable following on LinkedIn, which has given him the opportunity to market to a large audience of people with a variety of issues and spending levels.
How have outbound techniques changed Manny Sidhu's business as an entrepreneur?
Manny Sidhu used to make cold calls but didn't get any results. After he learned outbound techniques, though, he got much better results. He has also taught his team how to use these methods, and now a couple of them sell for him. Helping people and figuring out if they need help before trying to convince them is the key to his success.
Ricky Pearl: So today on a Couple Of Pointers Podcast, we're lucky enough to have Manny Sidhu on the show from Epic Inspections. Welcome to the show.
Manny Sidhu: Thanks for having me, Ricky.
Ricky Pearl: Right, I'm so excited to talk to you because you are the exact kind of seller that inspires me. You know, not a seller coaching sellers, but a seller actually selling a product into the market.
Tell me about Epic Inspections
Ricky Pearl: Tell me about Epic Inspections.
Manny Sidhu: Absolutely. We are not only about selling products, we're also about selling services.
Well, I'll keep it short.
Ricky Pearl: yeah. Let us know what's epic.
Manny Sidhu: Absolutely. So Epic Inspections was created to provide risk and compliance services to real estate agencies in Melbourne, Victoria, in Australia. And we've morphed onto also doing new appliance installs and replacements for all these customers.
So we primarily do B2B sales, but there is that element of some B2C as well. But the ratio is currently sitting at about 90% to 10.
Ricky Pearl: I've seen your contents up on LinkedIn and I've actually seen it grow and change over the course of the last year.
What's happened within the last year that turned you from an ordinary seller to someone who's quite ferociously closing deals?
Ricky Pearl: What's happened within the [00:01:00] last year that turned you from an ordinary seller to someone who's quite ferociously closing deals?
Manny Sidhu: Now that's a great question and I'm all for giving back to the community cause the community has given me so much, not only my local community here where I am, but also the LinkedIn community. So there's these three people I wanna call out today and one's you know, everyone knows about him, Josh Braun, the legendary Josh Braun, and maybe even more legendary Chris Voss.
And the third thing that's made a massive impact on me and maybe the fastest impact on me was this podcast call 30 Minutes to President's Club. It's found by Nick Cegelski and Armand Farrokh. When I first started doing sales, I was by nature I'm too blunt, right? I'm just in your face.
I'll tell you exactly what it is. I wouldn't hold back any words at all. I didn't mince any words. I wouldn't mirror anyone. I wouldn't label anyone's questions, and I just went right in. That's just my nature. But then I started to learn that I wasn't closing any deals or mostly no deals, and it wasn't good for my business.
So I, I had to take some action and I started to look for some sales tactics, some sales training. All this content's for free. It just blew my mind. And then I invested in some of Josh Braun's products. I [00:02:00] have listened to Chris Voss' book.
Ricky Pearl: I never spend the difference.
Manny Sidhu: That's what, like your life depending on it, that, that sort of thing.
Yes. I've listened to that book like I think 10 times during my evening runs and the podcast that I refer to by Nick and Armand just is so good, man, ever. I recommend everyone just tune in and it doesn't even matter if you do sales or not. It's just gonna change your life.
Something that separates you from everyone else
Ricky Pearl: And let me just call out one other person that's made a significant difference, and that's you, because I will make a recommendation. Listen to Josh Braun listen to Chris Voss listen to you know, 30 minutes to President's Club. And so many people just don't. With all this free content out there, it's actually you that has put in the efforts and developed the attributes of being a student of the sales profession.
And I think that is something that separates you from everyone else. Cuz Josh Braun is common. Everyone has Josh. They don't have what you have. So that's what I want to dive into.
Manny Sidhu: Thank you. I love the way you put it. You know, there's that, you know, cliche, very old cliche, you can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink, right? So it's all up to you whether you want to, you know, [00:03:00] take up and actually use all that information that's out there. Like you said, most people have it, but won't use it.
But in my case, I maybe a brief rewind about myself. I've been just, I was mediocre for too long. The system that's in place in our lives just makes people pounds them into mediocrity. The system is designed to keep people mediocre. And I was like that. I was just very mediocre. And then I started to realize that it's not, I gotta change and the only way that the only person that's gonna make me change is me.
And then I started to learn all these things, you know, started putting out content on LinkedIn. I was very nervous about putting content on LinkedIn. I was like, I don't know if people are gonna, you know, even wanna listen to any of my stuff, but I'm like, I've got nothing to lose. You know, the worst that can happen is people will ignore me, which they do already.
So let's do it anyway. And here we are and I've probably, you know, nothing to brag about or anything I'll probably gained like, I don't know, like right 2000 followers in 12 months, which is not bad for a guy like me.
Ricky Pearl: Firstly, I think those numbers are incredible. I want to dive into LinkedIn, but every time someone says 2000 to three, what we gotta remember is each of those 2000 is an individual. They're a person. [00:04:00] They might hold the budgets, they've got problems they need solved, and 2000 is a massive amounts of problems and a massive amount of people to be able to sell to.
So those numbers are not to be laughed at. Two thousand's' big. What else has it done for you?
Has it converted to business?
Ricky Pearl: So you've got 2000 followers. Followers in their own right's pretty useless. Has it converted to business?
Manny Sidhu: It's a great question. My idea is to give back to people, right? So now it's not contributed to the business, to a large degree. Cause my target audience for my businesses is real estate and real estate directors and these people are not gonna buy you know, you're gonna have to build up significant credibility only off of LinkedIn so that these people can even look at your content.
It's a service that I deliver on the site or my people deliver, you know, on a day-to-day basis is what probably does a lot of that. I would say that my content has had some impact in the sense that people, when I go and meet these people, these real estate agencies are directors and all these people that make decisions they're like, you post meaningful content on LinkedIn. And I'm like it doesn't directly contribute to improving my business or growing my business, but my [00:05:00] idea is the purpose of my life is to give back to people or without which I would've failed. And it is just more, means more than business.
Ricky Pearl: That's amazing. So that, other than giving back, which is obviously noble and generous, you've found it's increased your credibility when you go to meetings.
Manny Sidhu: It definitely has. It definitely makes an impact. And people do acknowledge it.
Ricky Pearl: That's personal branding right there. Like when they, when you come there they have an element of respect. They know you a little bit. You've had an asynchronous one-way relationship with these individuals. And I think that goes a long way.
Manny Sidhu: And while these, yeah, and while these people may not have may not comment on those posts, or may not, you know, what we call, like, those posts or likes don't matter anyway. When I go in and talk with these people maybe whatever content I put on does have an impact.
So you may be right. So maybe I'm downplaying a little bit, but yeah.
Does the posting on LinkedIn have another effect of holding you accountable to learning?
Ricky Pearl: Does the posting on LinkedIn have another effect of holding you accountable to learning? Because you can't just post the same rubbish, right? You've gotta like learn something new. Mature it to be able to add value back to the platform.
Manny Sidhu: Absolutely. And I wanna call out a particular product that I use and I'm sure a lot of people [00:06:00] do too. It's called Taplio and it lets you tell it what sort of content you wanna post about, find that content for you, and then you can edit it and make it at your own.
So I've been using that and, you know, once again it holds me accountable. And I've been posting my revenue numbers for my businesses and some people reach out to me and they go, why are you posting these private numbers? You know, one is that this delivers credibility.
Second is that they're not that private, right? And a lot of a lot of bigger companies, they put out these numbers every day, right? So I wanna, I already think of my company as already worth a billion dollars, at least in my head. It's already there. And I wanna prove to people that I'm much larger than I actually am.
Delivers credibility. People know who I am. And I think it goes from there.
What were some of the things that you took out of Josh Braun or Chris Voss that you think made the biggest impact to what you were doing?
Ricky Pearl: Amazing. Now on say, Chris Braun sorry, Josh Braun or Chris Voss, what were some of the things that you took out of them that you think made the biggest impact to what you were doing?
Manny Sidhu: I think the biggest one was just slowing myself down. When someone would ask me a question, I would blur out the answer right away. Right. And I would give them exactly what they needed. Right. I wouldn't elicit more info out of them. So this is what Chris Voss calls [00:07:00] labeling and mirroring. And I'm sure other people have called it other things too, but I will try and get more information out of them before I started to learn from these people. And I think this mirroring, this dynamic silence that Chris Voss called and this has been really impactful. And another thing I wanna call out is from the podcast, from the President's Club Podcast for the fact that how Armand starts his cold calls.
Like he doesn't say, my name's this, and I'm from this. He says that at the end. So you wanna sound different from all other sales people. So one way is to do that, and then, and you tell them who you are towards the end, like, or towards the middle. Don't say that upfront. I'll learn all of these things over time, but I think these four or five things have been absolutely magical.
What In terms of activities are you doing differently?
Ricky Pearl: Wow. So this picking up outbound techniques has materially changed your business as an entrepreneur, as a founder. What In terms of activities are you doing differently? So if you were cold calling before and not getting results and you're cold calling now and are getting results, or has the actual work that you've been doing for outbound changed?
Manny Sidhu: Now I think that what you said before with [00:08:00] the former is what applies to me. So I was doing cold calling and wasn't getting those results. But after I had learned these techniques, now I do the same thing, but I get much more results. And I think also I gotta add that I've been able to empower my own team to use these techniques and now a couple of people do sales too for me.
And I think I've contributed positively towards their work and their lives too.
Ricky Pearl: Amazing. And I'd love to see that cuz a lot of what you had as an owner there was the fearlessness you were calling anyway. You were doing the hard work. In fact, it was harder because you were getting rejected more. So these skills have actually made cold calling easier. And more effective.
Manny Sidhu: Precisely right.
Ricky Pearl: And I really it's inspirational to see, because so many of the people we talk to are cold calling to set up meetings for account executives. That's primarily what Pointer does. You know, we're setting up meetings for our clients. But at its core, what we originally wanted to do was help companies, help founders sell better and transition out of founder led sales. But founders that are still in the trenches making cold calls [00:09:00] are actively building their own businesses. Like it's really motivating to see how someone with a phone, a skill and passion can change their lives.
Manny Sidhu: Completely. And I picked on that one word did you say, which is about help. I think helping is key. When I started Epic Inspections in November 2020, my idea was to, whenever I picked a phone and made a cold call, I was gonna do a sale. And if I didn't make a sale, I'd feel projected.
I'd feel disappointed. And over time, and it's taken a while for someone like me, cuz that's just my nature, probably have something to do with me being a Scorpio. But I've completely changed my way of thinking, right? Whenever I make a call, it's only to see if I can actually help the person or not.
I used to think that these people that I call, either they don't realize what they're doing or they've been forced to do something, right. Neither of that is actually true. You know, people are getting from A to B without me. If that wasn't the case, they'd be ringing me not the other way around.
Ricky Pearl: Yeah.
Manny Sidhu: Whenever I make a call, it's about helping.
The intention is to help that person and to determine if there's actually a need to help that person. Cause like I said, if they're getting into A to B, , they don't really need me, so I can only tell them and I don't try to convince people at all anymore. [00:10:00] I'm just like, you know, let's see if there's a problem, let's unpack a few things.
And if there is the potential for me to solve a problem that they may not be aware they have, I try my best.
Ricky Pearl: I love that. One of the, one of my favorite saying is, if you ask people for money, they'll give you advice. And if you ask people for advice, they'll give you money and,
Manny Sidhu: Love that.
Always just about help and advice
Ricky Pearl: I've often just answer people saying, Hey, could I get some advice on this? You know, I wanna understand if a problem like this exists within your industry, and they're happy to talk about that, they're happy to lend me an expert opinion, but when I show them the product, if it solves a problem that they want solving, they're not going to not buy it because I, sorry, Ricky, you only asked for advice.
I need this product desperately. But because you only asked for advice and not a deal, I'm not gonna take. No one's gonna be like that. Once they see the product, they're like, wow. Actually no, I product, this is amazing. I didn't know this existed. This is so interesting. I have this problem. So they're always quite forthcoming.
So for me it's always just about help and advice. If there's a need, there's a need. If there's no need, there's no need and I don't have to manufacture it.
Manny Sidhu: Absolutely. And I'd just like to add that there's plenty of fish in the pond as well. So we gotta have that abundance mindset and we, so even [00:11:00] if say you made a it's been a poor week for you, right? It doesn't mean that the ponds dried up. We gotta approach sales with an abundance mindset.
And again, I th I think I learned this from someone on LinkedIn where you go that you don't care whether you make a sale or not, just keep going. Right? Eventually you will. And it's all a matter of trying find the right person. And after a while you see that this starts to snowball people start to tell other people about you, and then you don't even need to make a sale.
So I'll tell you the past, I think six or seven clients that we've had come on. I haven't even made a sale. They just come onboard cause other people told 'em about us. And that, and they're like these people, one, they know what they're doing and second is that there's no sales tactics. You know, whether you like other people like their services or products.
And then they just come and then they tell other people and it just goes from there.
Ricky Pearl: Yeah, that end goal is still always inbound, right? Like I'm an outbound expert. Obviously I would prefer my phone to be ringing off the hook. Hey Ricky, we heard you work with company A and we heard you work with company B and they both loved how it was to working with you and you did great work for them.
Can we work with you too? I'd much rather my phone ring like that all the day, or, [00:12:00] but I said I like outbound because that volume isn't high enough yet. We're a new company. And it's coming, you know, the majority of our clients are coming from inbounds and referrals. You still need that outbound to drive the inbound.
You know, you start with outbound, end with inbound.
Are you only calling Victoria or have you called other states? Other parts of the country?
Ricky Pearl: Are you only calling Victoria or have you called other states? Other parts of the country?
Manny Sidhu: I've called parts of New South Wales too, and that was when I was trying to probably bite off way more than I could chew. I was calling parts of Sydney and trying to sell my services and my products over there. But then I realized there's, like I said, the abundance mindset wasn't there before. But then I found out that there's so many prospects in Victoria alone. So I should probably stick with Victoria for now. And then once I've established these repeatable patterns and processes in Victoria, I should then go on to New South Wales. Cause that's a slightly bigger market and I wanna make sure that I've showed up all my resources locally and then go elsewhere.
Ricky Pearl: Makes so much sense.
Are you also using email outbound or are you primarily phone driven?
Ricky Pearl: Are you also using email outbound or are you primarily phone driven?
Manny Sidhu: Now primarily phone driven cause of the industry that I operating. I'll give you my stats. So in my, and I think we'll probably come to video prospecting as well, but you know, general email the [00:13:00] response rate is just absolutely abysmal in real estate. I think it's probably gotta do with the industry and it's just absolutely abysmal.
Cause real estate agencies they're not gonna entertain most emails and they're too busy too. And most people are on the road all the time, on the phone all the time. They're doing open homes and whatever. And they don't have the time. The phone actually works a little bit better cause you're putting at least a voice to the name.
And people are generally what I found is a little bit more forthcoming with talking to you over the phone than via email. Cause email is just like anyone else would send them an email. And it doesn't matter how optimized your email is, especially in real estate. That a phone call is probably the best way forward.
Ricky Pearl: Interesting. We've got some real estate clients. In general, I think you're right. The whole property and construction industry is phone driven. We've had some good results on email though.
Have you incorporated texts, SMS yet?
Ricky Pearl: But we still, the majority of our meetings come from the phone. Have you incorporated texts, SMS yet?
Manny Sidhu: Yeah, no, I tried to do that and I put out a post on LinkedIn. It's probably one of my most well-to-do posts in terms of engagement when I ask people and how they do text prospecting. So I had a go at it, but, and then cause of the fact that I haven't asked for [00:14:00] permission to send any of those messages to anyone.
I didn't do it, but, so I've kept it to primarily phone and email.
Quick tip on how we use SMS
Ricky Pearl: So let me give you a quick tip on how we use SMS and we are getting amazing results with it. Simply use the SMS as a replacement for a voicemail. That is it. Nothing else. Instead of leaving a voicemail, which no one fucking listens to, all you have to do, send a text. Hey, Peter, chartering you. Assume you're just not as answering random calls, Manny here from Epic Inspection.
I'll try give you a ring tomorrow. You know, or give me a buzz when you're free. It's instead of a voicemail, that's all. But what you'll get a lot of the time is someone then just replying to the text message, ah, Manny. Yeah, cool. Happy to chat. Gimme a call tomorrow. Two or something along those lines.
Or they just ring you back. Now that they know that you weren't just some call center and they were interested in talking to you. But we're getting, or they pick up the next. But now they've known that, like who it is. So we've had increase in pick ra, pick up rates, increase in meeting books, and increase in responses.
Even if it was not interested, it's still a response from just replacing [00:15:00] voicemail with text.
Manny Sidhu: That's an awesome tip. Thank you. I'll be sure to use this today.
Ricky Pearl: And it's nice cause we don't do it all. Like we still leave a voicemail, but then maybe the third call or text, you know, so we play around a bit, but it's had a massive impact.
How many calls are you making a week?
Ricky Pearl: How many calls are you making a week?
Manny Sidhu: It varies widely depending on how many, how much time I have. And how I track them is via our phone system, which is RingCentral, which is pretty good in terms of analytics. So that's the sort of calls I make.
How as a business owner do you keep space for prospecting?
Ricky Pearl: Now, how as a business owner do you keep space for prospecting? Because I'm sure you could fill up your day with busy work and never pick up the phone. Like how have you found a system that allows you to still sit down and dial on a daily, weekly, or have a often you do it.
Manny Sidhu: Yeah, So I think over the past couple of years, I think I made almost 8,000 phone calls. That's a great question. And you know, especially when you are a little bit smaller still when a founder has to do, you know, sales, management, marketing, you know, ops and all that kind of stuff. It is definitely hard to find time, but I think what works best is to slice up your day [00:16:00] and say from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM you are only doing cold calling and you're doing nothing else.
So you shut down your email, you shut down Slack or WhatsApp or whatever else you use and I think that works best. Or you block out like an hour or two or whatever, however much you needed. And I think that works best for me. You cut out your distractions cause there's so many distractions in a newer business and that's what works best for me.
Ricky Pearl: Yeah, mate, that time blocking still the thing that I've seen work best for all of my SDRs. You have to just put that time in your diary and be disciplined and religious. You stick to it.
Manny Sidhu: Absolutely. It's a great point, and our phone goes off the hook all the time. That's our inbound 1-300 number. It goes off the hook all the time, and if I'm making cold calls, I just make sure that I go D and D on that and away I go and I make these cold calls.
Ricky Pearl: It's amazing to see.
So what's next? What's next for Epic? Your new business?
Ricky Pearl: So what's next? What's next for Epic? Your new business? Doing the what's your new business called? The Wing, doing the appliances?
Manny Sidhu: Yeah. As part of what we do for risk and compliance, we find that we replace and install new appliances for, you know, some customers of ours. So I've started, so I'm like, maybe I should do this a little bit more now. And I've called the new business [00:17:00] Madari, M A D A R I and if anyone's curious what that means, this word is a now defunct profession of it's an older, very old and times profession where you, they used to be traveling street performers who would, you know, wow their audiences with tricks and things. So obviously that kind of thing doesn't exist anymore. But I think of ourselves as these modern day magicians. And the idea is that we deliver a level of customer service which people haven't in other places. So a lot of people are like, when we've, you know, everything's great till you make the sale.
And then after that just drops off. So we are the opposite, right? So we gotta make sure that people, once they've hit the purchase button, that's when they looked after. Cause that's when they know they've given you money and they haven't received a product that they're gonna be antsy or edgy all about it.
And then we make sure that people are updated and if anyone's got a query, everything, it's answered fast. The coms are quick. And I, you know, I've been reading up a few reviews and things where people are like, of other companies where people are like, when this cus when this company was new, everything was fantastic, but as it grew, it just dropped off.
So I'm gonna make sure that when we grow to that JB High [00:18:00] five sort of level, you're gonna make sure that the customer service gets even better, not worse.
Ricky Pearl: Amazing. It's a good point. Customer success is the be all and end all. We want reoccurring revenue and top of the funnel is imperative, but it's only useful if you can retain your customer's long term. Otherwise, it's really just a churn operation. It's never gonna go anywhere.
Manny Sidhu: Completely.
What advice would you give them?
Ricky Pearl: Maybe to end off, if you were talking right now to a business owner they've got five or six staff members, whether they're doing their service or doing admin, and this founder is looking to grow, currently doesn't feel confident on the phone, hates cold calling.
What advice would you give them?
Manny Sidhu: I think I would tell them to book a one hour call with me for free and go through a few things and I wanna give back to the community as much as possible. But apart from that, I would say that going with the intent that you're not gonna make yourself right. Just assume that they don't need you.
Right? And appreciate rejection. I love being rejected. I love learning. Cause people are gonna reject you for some reason, and you try and learn that reason you learn about [00:19:00] yourself even more. It's not about only the sale, but you learn about yourself, which is huge. Invest in yourself a little bit.
You know, I've bought these tongue-tied flashcards from Josh Braun. Amazing, right? I've got those six or seven in front of them. When I make call and when I get a rejection, I turn the card and I don't know what I should reply with. And then voila! Right? And you start to learn this, your brain start to say it automatically and it just goes from there.
So once again, just going with the intent that you're not gonna make a sale, we only to try to see if you can actually solve a problem that they may not be aware they have. And just go with an abundant mindset.
Ricky Pearl: That's some beautiful advice and for anyone who doesn't know Josh Braun, he is all over LinkedIn. He is all over a lot of the platforms. He releases all of his content for free. You can get it all. If you want it in a nicely formatted, curated format, you can buy as courses.
It's like $200. You know, something that you'll get a return on your investment very quickly. And a few of these other nice things like the tongue tied flashcards, which has like an objection and the way to handle that objection on the back. Beautiful training aid. It's really fantastic. And one thing you always stresses is to [00:20:00] detach yourself from the outcome. It's not your job to get someone to say. It's your job to introduce the product to them in a calm way that doesn't get their resistance up. It's for them to decide if they want it or not. That's not in your hand. So you put in the work, you know, and the goodness will come. Manny I'm impressed.
I'm motivated as a founder myself of a small business. Think what if I could prospect as hard as Manny. What if I could push as hard as many? I'm lucky enough to have a team as well doing it, but I'm still inspired by founders and owners like you who are physically building their future one call at a time, one customer at a time, and delivering value to the community at the same time. So thank you for being on the show and I've really enjoyed chatting to you and getting to learn a bit from you.
Manny Sidhu: It's been fantastic, Ricky.
Ricky Pearl: We'll speak.
Manny Sidhu: Thank you.