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SMART IDEA #22: The art of selling with an Epiphany Bridge

Weekly inspiration for the staffing industry

ISSUE #22  |  March 9, 2024

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SMART IDEA #22: The art of selling with an Epiphany Bridge

David Searns | Co-CEO

I'm in the middle of reading Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson.

I picked up this book because I wanted to learn more about building sales funnels, and Russell, who is the CEO at ClickFunnels, is an absolute guru on this subject.

Now the book itself isn't quite what I expected.

(Confession, Russell has multiple books, and I bought the wrong one!)

While I'm not learning all the hacks for building high-converting sales funnels (I'll get that next when I pick up Dotcom Secrets), I am getting a master course in the art of selling.

And I want to share one specific concept with you:

The Epiphany Bridge

This concept is so simple…and so fundamental to sales that I am amazed no one has ever told me about it before.

Now, the idea behind the epiphany bridge is one we all know:

People buy emotionally…and justify their purchases rationally.

If this was not the case, no one would ever buy a Ferrari, a diamond, or just about any luxury good.

An epiphany bridge is when you tell a story that gives others an "a-ha!" moment. It's when you help them emotionally connect the dots.

But an epiphany bridge is not a sales pitch for what you sell. It's an analogy that illustrates the value you deliver, and more importantly, the reason a prospect would want to choose you over a competitor.

My Epiphany Bridge

For me, it happened in 1993. I was two years out of graduate school. My wife and I had launched a tech startup. And we were failing miserably.

To generate some revenue, we were pounding the phones. 75 cold calls a day was our quota.

I rarely made quota.

In fact, I got to the point where I kept saying to myself "I hate sales."

(I was young and dumb, so give me a break!)

Then it happened.

My Dad, who was a member of TEC (now Vistage), gave me a set of cassette tapes (remember those!) from a speaker named Jim Cecil.

And Jim taught a concept he called "Nurture Marketing."

On the tape, Jim shared this story…

Imagine you are an explorer…


You're trekking through the deepest, darkest jungles of South America. As you slowly creep through the brush, it happens…


You get hit with a spear. Right in the chest.


At that precise moment in time, what do you do?


Do you compile an RFP, send it to 8 to 10 spear removal surgeons, and ask each to submit a proposal?


Of course not, you call whatever doctor you know, and trust, to get that spear out.

Now Jim's point was simple. In business, our clients get hit with spears every day. We call them problems. And when those problems arise, who will they call?

Will it be you? Will you be the trusted spear removal surgeon for your ideal clients?

That was it. My a-ha moment. And the genesis of Haley Marketing.

On the recording, Jim went on to explain several critical principles behind nurture marketing:

  • A sales relationship is a lot like a bank account. You need to make deposits before you ask for withdrawals.
  • It takes six to nine touches to build awareness, yet 50% of salespeople give up after one try and 90% have given up within four attempts.
  • It takes 9 to 12 touches to become top-of-mind, so you need a sustained process for nurturing relationships. And your touches must add value!
  • You should make your touches intriguing to stand out in a crowded market. Jim was a big fan of "fat envelopes" – physical mailers where you could feel something inside.
  • For the majority of your touches, share your expertise—give away your best ideas, but do not pitch your services.
  • Focus your content on the spears you are an expert at removing.

In the book, Expert Secrets, Russell Brunson calls these kinds of foundational stories epiphany bridges – they lead your prospect to where you want them to go.

For me, the epiphany that shaped my career (and changed my life) was Jim Cecil's story of the spear removal surgeon.

How about you?

What's your epiphany?

Why did you get into staffing? Why do you love this industry?

Your story will help you build bridges with employers, job seekers, and the people you lead.

If it isn't too much trouble, I would love to hear what popped into your mind.


What do you think of this issue of SMART IDEAS Weekly? Love it? Hate it? Either way, we’d love to hear. Just click reply and tell us your thoughts.

Have a topic (or challenge) you want us to address? Tell us that too! We’d be happy to provide specific tips for you in future issues of our SMART IDEAS Weekly.

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Haley Marketing | PO Box 410 | Williamsville, NY 14231-0410 | 716-631-8981

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