Collin Mitchell welcomes Devin Miller to the show in this episode of the Sales Hustle Podcast. Let’s hear from Devin as he shares his experiences as a founder of several 7 to 8 figure startups and how he enjoys it. Devin and Collin also talk about how not to lose personal touch while using technology to make things more efficient.
Devin Miller is the Founder and CEO of Miller IP Law. He is an expert attorney specializing in working with small businesses and high-potential startups.
Miller IP Law helps startups and small businesses secure 100s of patents and trademarks to protect their inventions and brands. They also help strategize small businesses and startups to protect and grow their businesses.
To find out more about Devin Miller, connect with him on the links below.
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Episode 108 - Devin Miller
Welcome to the sales hustle. The only no BS podcast, where we bring you the real raw uncut experiences from sales change makers across various industries. The only place where you can get what you're looking for too. Uh, your sales game today's episode is brought to you by sales cast sales cast helps sales professionals transform the relationship building process and win their dream clients.
[00:00:30] I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. All right. Welcome to another episode sales hustlers today. I've got with me Devin Miller. Um, he's a patent attorney for startups and small businesses. Uh, who's also founded several seven and eight figure startups. And so we're going to talk a little bit about how not to lose the personal touch while still using technology to make things more efficient and, uh, we'll see where it goes.
[00:00:54] So Devin, thanks so much for coming on the show today. Absolutely. I'm excited to be here and appreciate you having me on. Yeah. So before we jump into the tactical stuff, um, and just give us sort of the short version, you know, kind of, uh, of your story, um, and the, kind of how it all started. And maybe tell us a little bit about this, these seven and eight figure, you know, startups that you've been a part of.
[00:01:16] Sure. And that's that that's sounds like a short question so about right. I'll try and keep it a bit shorter. So, um, I ended up or quick background, so I ended up getting four degrees, which my wife always says, it's three degrees, too many. So let you go generic and Mandarin Chinese, um, MBA or masters of business administration, and then a law degree.
[00:01:34] So I kind of, um, every time I did a degree, I just figured I might as well do two at the same time to, to get more bang for my buck. So, uh, with that, you know, I, I started, uh, I D I. I have two passions. One is I love startups, small businesses, the others, I love law and doing intellectual property. Um, and so that's kind of where both of my passions I've always loved airline.
[00:01:53] And then I've, uh, put those together to make a fun career. Um, but seven, eight figure businesses. So I've done a couple. One was when I was started with a business competition when I was an MBA school. Started with some other business partners. It was for wearables before wearables are cool. This was before Fitbit or before apple watch, or any of those started out as hydration monitoring.
[00:02:12] Now it's evolved into non-invasive glucose monitor so that one's, uh, I think that one actually is now a nine figure business. I used to, I used to say eight figure business. Um, and then another, a couple of them. Been the, I do a product development company to help start out small businesses, develop products, do my own law firm do a SAS company as well as I religious products.
[00:02:33] So I like to split it, split it across a lot of different industries. Yeah, either. You just, uh, love to, to burn at both ends or you get bored easy. What is it? Probably a little bit of both. So I always liked to joke that, uh, when everybody asks me what my hobby is, is startups. And so that this 10 day, if my I have free time, if I'm sitting there or have, you know, just let my mind wander, it ends up, uh, didn't really wandering towards startups and business ideas and that, and then I start to start a business around it.
[00:03:01] Yeah. So, I mean, there's a lot of people that are idea people like yourself, you know, it seems like you have a lot of ideas, but a lot of people lack, you know, execution and driving revenue. So what are some of the things that you've done to, to drive revenue for these businesses and, and maybe, you know, share some of the things that are working for you today or have worked in the past.
[00:03:21] Yeah. And one of them is probably one that you hit on kind of as the intro. And then a little bit of what we're wanting to talk about. And automation is one where I I'm a big proponent of it now. There is a absolutely bad, bad, or well-deserved black eye as far as automation in the sense that most time when I think of automation or most others people think, well, I call up customer service and I got hit one for this hit two for this, hit three for this.
[00:03:43] And then I go through this and I do that about five times, and then it gets to somebody the other end. And they say, well, I can't help you. Let me transfer you to it. And then you get disconnected and then it starts all over. Well, that's, you know, that's most people's exposure to automation or they get a, uh, inbox full of junk mail all the time.
[00:03:59] They're getting spam. And so those are both terrible experiences. Well-deserved black eye, but I think one of the things that I focused on, a lot of our businesses, how to automate things so that you can increase the human touch as opposed to remove it. And that's a lot of times where I think it goes astray is when you go.
[00:04:15] When you remove the human touch, all of that all is left is with automation and everybody hates that. But if you can use automation is a way to increase the ability to have human touches, certain points that makes sense and offload the rest. Then you're able to get that balance where you're not spending so much time that you can never afford it and you can it's taken there.
[00:04:33] So time-consuming, and the other hand, you're not making it so that nobody likes it. Yeah. Yeah. So tell me a little bit more about this human touch, right. So how do you incorporate human touch into your, you know, technologies that you're using to automate some of these process to drive revenue? Yeah, I mean, so a lot of times I look at it and say, okay, are there places that were repeatedly sending out the same emails because it's the same clients that need the same information every time.
[00:05:00] And that sense, I think you should do automated emails or you should figure out a way to. Largely reduce it. So we'll have, you know, we use a CRM and has. Triggers that, Hey, once they do, you know, as an example when they schedule and I'll just use it in law firms, for example, cause usually when they schedule a strategy meeting and they come in, they'll, they'll go out, fill out a short form, grab a day and time that sets it up for human touch.
[00:05:22] But in the meantime, we also have, after they scheduled, they'll get an email that says, here are the things that we're going to go over. Here's some useful information to prepare for the meeting. So it's as efficient as possible. That's all automated. Then we get it on. We have human touch and we say, we talk, you sit down and we have a zoom or an in-person that, you know, because we already did a lot of that prep work ahead of time.
[00:05:41] That was automated. But now we get a much more tailored focused meeting where it's not a 45 minute mini call. It's a 15 minute call. And so we can do a, we we're, we're not either saying, Hey man, every time I do a meeting, it's gotta be fit 45 minutes to an hour. I don't have enough time in the day to do all those meetings.
[00:05:56] So you can cut down your time, but you did it because of automation. So you can still have that human touch. And then another one is, you know, now how do you do follow up? You know, and follow up is the bane of existence for a lot of people because, oh, I hate follow up and do I do a phone call or do I do a text message or do I do an email?
[00:06:12] And email's easier. So all let's do an email, even though most people that want to read their emails anymore. And so he looked at it and, you know, opting in and say, do you want a text? Do you want an email? Do you want to call? And if they want to call, then we'll give them a call. Or if they want a text or an email, then we'll do it automated.
[00:06:26] So we try and kind of flavor in. Where it makes sense to say, are we doing things repetitive, such that we don't need human touch? And where are the places that people want to talk to a human or interact with a human, and let's make sure we free up our time so we can do those. Yeah, no, I liked that. I liked, I really liked the idea of, you know, letting them opt in on the channels that they want to.
[00:06:47] Right. Because every person's different. Like me, I prefer a text. It's just simple. It's easy. If I'm on my computer, if I'm on my phone, I can read it. I can respond if I'm doing something else that works for me. Some people think that's disruptive. I don't want you texting me. Right. That's from my friends, my family.
[00:07:03] Right. And others prefer email for me. You know, I don't need more junk in my email. I have too much. Right. And so, and then it also comes down to like, Who are you? What do you do? That's going to depend on what email I'm going to give you as well. Right. And so I like the idea of figuring out, Hey, what channel do you prefer?
[00:07:19] So, yeah, we're going to hit you there. And, uh, and then, you know, we're going to hit certain triggers and things like that to, to drive the communication. Um, but we're also going to show up as well, you know, when needed and have that be more efficient by using these tools. Uh, how about on social media, LinkedIn?
[00:07:36] I think that's a, you know, Big topic, tons of people using automation on LinkedIn, tons of people against it. Some people for it, LinkedIn obviously knows it's a problem. You used to be able to invite a hundred people a day. Now you can only invite a hundred people a week, which is a huge change to try to cut down on some of this automation.
[00:07:54] Yeah, I mean, fair, transparent. So we use some automation on LinkedIn, but where I think that the problem is is become on LinkedIn is not some of the automation, right? It's that people are just using it as a computer, a pure sales pitch. In other words, just say, Hey, I've got this great thing buy from me or, Hey, I've got this great thing.
[00:08:12] Or, you know, you get even the worst ones where like I checked out your profile, it looks like we've got a common connection. Or we, it looks like we got something in common. We should connect. And, you know, as soon as you accept that, then the next, very next email or the message you're going to get is, well, I have in this industry.
[00:08:27] And it seems like when I looked at your website that you could use some help here and it's terrible because it doesn't offer any value as a pure hard sales pitch. What we've done is a lot of times we try and offer just the opposite. So we'll do outreach, but first of all is targeted as to people we think will actually want, need our service.
[00:08:43] And then a lot of times it's more of, Hey, I'd like to offer you. You know, as an example. So I do a podcast as well, and we'll say, Hey, I'd like to just have you come on, come on to our podcast. We got an audience we'd love to share. And we usually work with a lot of startups and entrepreneurs in that say, we'd love to share or share your journey about an entrepreneur journey about how you got to where you're at.
[00:09:02] Let us give you some more exposure. Let us help you tell your story. That's it. That's all we do. And then they say, well, that sounds great. You know, now they're offering value, not asking them to buy anything, not asking them to do anything. I'm just saying, let me give you some value. And then if you, if you need help on some of the things as you get those, we'll get to know each other.
[00:09:18] I'm happy to help if you don't, I'm just offering your value. And I think that that's where LinkedIn can be used. Well, and that, that wouldn't be such a turnoff and wouldn't be a detriment, but because so many people have just made it as it's a hard sales pitch, cold call, I'm just going to pitch it as hard as I can.
[00:09:33] And, and, and. Play the numbers game that has become that issue. No, you're speaking my love language now. Um, you, you just, you just, you obviously know the secret sauce, right? And so, I mean, the, the, the most important thing to drive revenue for, for any business is, is, is building the right relationships.
[00:09:54] Right. And so if you can, if you can use tools to help you build more of those relationships. And I love the fact that you mentioned the podcast, right? So you're, you're being specific about the types of people that you are having on your podcast, and you're leading with value by inviting them on, on your platform to tell their story.
[00:10:16] People love talking about themselves. Of course. Right. And you're not asking for anything and there's some people that are doing this wrong and ruining it too. Cause I've, I've been on a lot of podcasts and there's, I've been on podcasts where it's 15 minutes, rapid fire questions. And then they try to sell me something right after it's like, what are you doing?
[00:10:34] Um, and, and, and actually that's what gave me this idea about, uh, about a year and a half ago, I was like, that's actually a really good idea. It was just really poor execution. You know, you see that, it's not, it's like, if you just it's a good, it has like a nugget of a good idea to you and then they just do it horribly.
[00:10:51] And it's like, even that I'm like, well, if it doesn't add any value of all it is is you can tell us a rapid fire, just get as quickly through a podcast. You know, we do a pre-interview all it's beneficial on both ends. We do a pre-interview. Then we'll chat for a few minutes, get to know the person and talk about any questions they have about the podcast, what they are, what their journey is and establishes that a relationship, which is good because you have a better rapport makes for better podcasts.
[00:11:14] And it also, they get to know and are more familiar with you such that now they're not just, you know, it's not just a cold, rapid fire. And then we'll interweave in there and say, okay, now if you'd like to talk about intellectual property, we have a bonus question at the end of our podcast. I'm happy to talk about it.
[00:11:27] No pressure. I don't care if you do it. If you have questions, it's always fun for me to chat about it. If not, then we'll do the normal podcast. And then I'll also do say, if you ever need to talk with me, here's the link to get ahold of me and that's it. And then they know what I do. We've established a relationship and they go on, but so many people just want to cut right to let's pitch it.
[00:11:44] Let's sell it and let's do it. Do it as. Do it by the numbers game, which is, again, it removes that human. And so, and, and there's nothing wrong with this, right? I mean, if you're being strategic about the types of people that you ask on your show that, you know, are somewhat similar to the types of people that, you know, you work with, that's a really smart move and, and, and ultimately people remember how you make them feel.
[00:12:09] Right. If they come on your show and it's a great experience and you ask them for nothing pretty good chance, at some point, they're going to want to know more about what you do and how you might be able to help them. Right. And there's a lot of things. Interesting, interesting example. So a few minutes before we jumped on this podcast, I had somebody that was on the show and they were probably on.
[00:12:34] Six seven months ago, something like that. So a while ago, and they call and said, Hey, I was talking with a friend of the gym and he is having this legal issue. And I was trying to think of anybody in there, my network, and, you know, I was driving along and I thought, oh, well maybe, you know, Devin would be able to help her or IP law.
[00:12:47] And it was just one of those where planted a seed, made the connection. They knew what I did. I didn't push him. I wasn't going to hard sell them. Because I think that that turns everybody off because they, then they leave there with the impression I hate them. I'm never going to use them. And if you just say, Hey, I'm going to add value when you need me, I'm happy to help if you don't need me.
[00:13:02] No problem. And that it, but it was just interesting. This, that very thing happened a few minutes before this pasta. I love that. I love that I'm a big component of, of using a podcast to build relationships with the right people. And you know, it going back to just delivering a good experience, which you clearly did in that example, where he re you know, from a podcast episode that you did six, seven months ago when somebody needed what you do, you were the first person.
[00:13:31] That he thought of. And I think everybody in sales, you know, a lot of people think I gotta be a thought-leader I gotta be a founder. I gotta be C level to start a podcast. And I disagree if you're trying to build relationships in whatever role that you're in a podcast makes a lot of sense. It's a lot easier to get access to people when you're leading with value, asking them on your show and you can do it.
[00:13:52] You know, it doesn't have to be super fancy if you don't have the budget for that, there's ways to, you know, do it yourself and kind of hack it together. And still kind of have the similar, you know, same effect, you know, as long as you're making it simple and easy for them to say yes, you know, you're not, you know, asking for a lot, you know, you're, you're, you're really listening to what they're saying and asking good questions and being curious, that all is part of the recipe of like delivering a good experience.
[00:14:20] No. And I completely agree with you on that. You always think, you know, some people they're not, they don't, you know, we use podcasts and example. Cause I, I tend to love that and enjoy it. But some people, oh, I don't want to be on video. I don't want to do recording. I don't like the way I sound being another great example of somebody else.
[00:14:33] I follow that they do a podcast, but they also, they have a book club and it's it's for business, but they do a book club where they get together once a month, where they talk about a book that everybody has been reading. You get to talk with other people. Provides value it's again, it's that value add that?
[00:14:46] Oh, all we're doing is a book club. These are cool business books. You can hear what other people think, what they learned about it. Nothing necessarily to do with their business. Although it gets people together that are going to be people that you can help sell with. So I think it's that. Add the value first, give it to them and provide that human touch, make, establish a relationship and then everything falls.
[00:15:04] Yeah, absolutely. I love that you gave another example, you know, book club, networking, meeting, you know, maybe a little community in some sort of, you know, uh, slack or discord, whatever, just somewhere where you can add value with people that are the type of people that you want to build relationships with to drive revenue for whatever you do.
[00:15:24] And the key is to give and let them ask. Yeah, and I think that's even why that's what drove clubhouse for a long time. And you heard that for a long time. And then I think it's still around, like I'm on an Android, so I never got a job. So I really got, again, they have, they have Android now they have Android now, but you're not missing out.
[00:15:45] But I think that whether or not it was, you know, whether or not it was as a staying power or not, people love to get together, just chat, have that connection and not always be sold to so directly. And I think it was reestablished in that human touch, whether it will stay around, whether somebody else will do something different.
[00:15:59] I think that that's what people want. Yes. Then there's people that are already ruining clubhouse anyway, too. I went into it. Everybody yeah, I had a short I'm, a recovering, you know, clubhouse moderator. So I w I had a short stint of doing a daily. Clubhouse. Uh, but we did it for two short. We did everything wrong.
[00:16:20] Like, you know, it was like, we only have like 30 minutes. I can't sit on here for eight hours a day. Like many people that are, you know, making the mega bucks on clubhouse. I just don't have that kind of time. We, we shut it down, but I went on there not too long ago. And somebody was, you know, giving sort of adding some value, adding a little bit of value and then saying, Hey, you know, go here, follow me there, do this.
[00:16:41] And here's what I'm going to teach you. And then at the very end, he said, and by the way, this is a recording. And I was like, I felt like, I felt like I got scammed on clubhouse. It didn't feel too good. Yeah. Well, it's funny and add this little. Yeah. But yeah, that is good. I love all these topics. And, uh, it's been, it's been a lot of fun talking about this.
[00:17:04] I mean, so, so, you know, just kind of to recap, like if you can use technology and automation do it, but do it right. Right. You know, I think that, you know, people are still sending these spammy messages with big sales pitches that are all about me and nothing about you asking for something without giving anything.
[00:17:23] I don't understand why people are still doing it. There's clearly people that are rewarding that behavior. And if you're one of those people you need to stop. Right. I'm sure that they, I think what happens is, as they say, I'm just going to play the odds. I'll play the numbers. I'll do an exorbitant number.
[00:17:39] I'll get a very small amount of people and you know, and they, they play the odds or you get even more, so you get marketing or sales people, other people that say we offer this as a service. And then all you forget about, as you say, we're just going to play the odds. We're not going to worry about customer experience.
[00:17:54] We're not going to worry about their, how they fail, what they think. We're just going to see if we can get that small portion of people that will do it. And rather than do that. Do a good customer experience. Think about, do you like getting these messages yourself? Would you respond? If not, what should you do different so that you would respond and then start from there and then say, now how do I build a customer experience?
[00:18:13] So a lot of mate, the things where I don't care, if that's, you know, that's a good ER, if that needs to be human touch or, Hey, I really want to talk with someone. It's like, uh, you know, going back and going off on a slight tangent. When people come in and I have a legal problem, they want to talk to an attorney about their legal problem.
[00:18:27] They don't want to have a, Hey, here's a chat bot that gives you an article that links you to this. It tells you about that. And you, and you talk with someone that's a robot. They say, no, I want you, I I've got a problem. I need a solution. I need someone that knows what they're talking about. I want to talk with them.
[00:18:41] You can replace that with automation. And yet you also don't have to, every time you talk with them or interact with them, spend 20 minutes, because then you'll never make any money because you'll be taken too long. So I think that there's that great balance again. And I, I love that you brought that up because it highly depends on what it is that you do.
[00:18:58] And then there's different types of buyers, right. And buyers are going to come in at different points. You know, maybe they're really stressed out about fixing a particular problem and they want to talk to a human being. Right. And, and, and we even see this in SAS because you know, maybe a buyer has done a lot of research.
[00:19:15] They've looked at three of your competitors, they've consumed a bunch of your content. They've watched a bunch of stuff on YouTube about what your product can do, and that's how they found you as a potential option to solve their problem. But then you make them start. Three steps back from where they really are in the buying journey where they're asked, you know, whether they're answering stupid questions with, you know, an SDR that, you know, doesn't know anything about.
[00:19:42] Yep. No. And I, like I said, when we do, I keep using the same example, we do a strategy meeting. It's just simply just. Tell us what you want to talk about. You want to talk about patents, trademarks, give us a one or two sentences. That's it. That way we at least have a setting. And then we just get on and talk and say, you know, tell us a little about what you have going on.
[00:19:57] How can we help what's going on? Let's let's strategize and get or solve your problem, but if you make it, so you ha you have to take five steps back and you gonna say. I just want to get to my solution. Tell me, I just need, I don't want to do all this other stuff. And nobody likes doing that. I see this a lot with pricing discussions as well, right.
[00:20:14] People want to be really guarded with their price until they, you know, qualify you properly. So they convince you until if I just tell you how great it is, you all forget about it. Now nobody's going to forget about the price just because you're telling me how great you're at. They still have a budget.
[00:20:29] They still have to afford that. So that's what I do the opposite. I tell people the price before they ever get in the door. They know when they're coming in, it's all over our website. We have transparent prices, they know what it's going to cost. And then we don't have to worry about that because they're either pre qualified.
[00:20:42] They know what we're going to charge. They know if it fits within their budget, if it does, then we have a good conversation. If it doesn't, then we don't have to waste that time. Yeah, absolutely. And it really comes down to, you know, the reason for that is, is you want quality conversations, not quantity people, you know, you, you, you, you got to realize as you know, business owner, entrepreneur, or somebody in sales, like you don't have time to sit on a bunch of.
[00:21:07] Calls with people that aren't, you know, don't have the budget or maybe aren't qualified to, to, to work with you. And so if you're a little bit more transparent and provide more information upfront, the people that actually make it through to book a call, have a really good understanding of, of, of what that relationship might look like.
[00:21:25] Therefore they're more qualified. Yep. No, I completely agree. I mean, you can, I think people think, oh, if I get 20, I have to get 20 calls in order to get a client and they played it on herself. I just kinda heard him do 20 calls. And yet maybe if you scale back to do five calls, but they're all qualified and you get two or three.
[00:21:43] You just got more calls even, or more clients, even though you've done less work because, and it also is kind of the people that wouldn't have ever been in client now, you're not wasting their time trying to give them the 15 minute sales pitch. I'll tell you the price at the end of the conversation, just hold on.
[00:21:56] And then they get to the end and say, well, that was a waste of 15 to 20 minutes. I'm never going to go with them again. I that's way too expensive. And so I think, yeah, and I know there's, there's some, you know, enterprise. SAS products, that pricing is too complex of an answer there. So there's definitely some exceptions, but there's probably, there's less exceptions than I think a lot of people would like to think everybody wants to be the exception.
[00:22:24] This is when he talked with you. It's like when you talk in my field with the attorneys, Every, although you say, well, that's a great idea. That's a great software. That's a great plan. You know, I'm sure it works in every other area of the law, but my area of the law is special and it's like, everybody thinks they're special.
[00:22:37] Everybody thinks they're exception rather than trying to be the exception. Why don't you try and be the rule because the rule gets a lot more sales than it has a lot more convertible, uh, Devin. Thanks so much for coming on. Really appreciate it. Any final thoughts for the sales hustlers listening today, any where that you'd like them to follow you or learn more about what you do?
[00:22:58] Sure. I mean, final thought we've already covered it. Don't remove the human aspect of your business, keep it, or if anything, bring it more to the forefront and you can do that through automation. If they want to find out a little bit more about what I do, or if they want to connect up with the legal side of, with Miller IP law, then your small business startup, patents, trademarks, or anything related to business, they just go to strategy meeting.com.
[00:23:21] That links right to my calendar. They can grab a Dame time. As I mentioned, where they can schedule some time we'll chat about what they have on their mind and whether we can help them, what that might look like, and they can go from there. So strategy meeting.com, easiest way. I'm on LinkedIn all over. I love LinkedIn.
[00:23:35] I don't like all the spammy stuff on LinkedIn, but I think there's still a lot of cool stuff and cool content. So you can just look me up on, uh, Devin Miller, Miller, IP law. In the show notes, but now I have to ask how the heck did you get strategy meeting.com? What an awesome domain. You know, it was, it was originally, I wanted to do strategy session and it was like just like a $10,000 domain.
[00:24:00] And so I'm like, what are other ways that you can do strategies? What are another way for session? Well, I'm meeting and I went and looked in strategy, meeting.com. It was available. It was like 11 bucks. Now, if I'm sure if I were to go do, I'm like. Now I know that was a few years ago. So given that and probably not, but I'm like, it was just, it just happened to be one where it didn't have the one that I wanted.
[00:24:18] So I went as close as I could. And now I actually like strategy meeting better. Yeah. Somebody forgot to mark up the price on that one, I guess. They marked it up on strategy session, but I got away with strategy. All right, Devin. Thanks so much. We're going to drop that link and the link to your LinkedIn there in the show notes for any sales hustlers that want to take you up on that strategy session, a strategy meeting strategy meeting, uh, or want to follow you on LinkedIn.
[00:24:45] If you enjoy today's episode, please, please write us a review. Share the show with your friends and as always we're listening for you. Feedback. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of sales hustle. Are you a sales professional looking to take your sales career to the next level? If the answer is yes, then I want you to go over to sales cast.com, check us out.
[00:25:08] And if you feel that you are ready, set up a time to talk with me and my co-founder Chris, I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. And if you enjoyed this episode, feel free to leave us a review. And share the podcast with your friends.