Episode 58: How to Get More High-quality Leads That Convert with Terri Levine

August 13, 2020

In this interview, top business coach, Terri Levine shares her centered 4-step proven system for getting more leads and clients that can help any business, but especially during this pandemic. If you’ve lost business, or your business has cratered, listen to this podcast to start moving forward again! Terri has helped over 6,000 business owners make 6, 7 and even 8 figures using this hustle-free system and you can too!

She also shares how she is crowdfunding her book to get a publishing deal without an agent!

Watch the video version of this podcast below:

Video version of this podcast

Resources mentioned

Books: Conversion Equation Pre-orders

This is the same system Terri has used to take her client, Jacquelyn to $168,000 from zero in 8 weeks, and George, a new client,  got 4 new clients in a week curing covid a couple of weeks ago.

3 Key Points

The formula is “Interrupt, Engage, Educate, and Offer” but most people do not interrupt or they don’t interrupt the right audience online or offline and so people never pay attention to their message, let alone buy. You have to hook them.

Tell them something of value to them.

Getting transactional clients is exhausting; you want to build life-long relationships so people buy from you over and over again.


[00:50] Ellen: Hi everybody and welcome to a special episode of the Books Business Abundance Podcast. Today my guest is Terry Levine, and we’re going to do something a little different than usual that we’ll tell you about in a minute. But first I want to introduce her. She’s the author of over 30 books on sales, marketing, business, and coaching, and mentor to some of the most successful business owners. She’s been featured in the wall street journal Forbes, Fortune, Readbook, Shapes, Self, the Huffington Post, and advisor to General Electric. And she’s seen regularly on ABC, NBC CNBC, MSNBC, and host of her own TV and own radio shows.

So, Terry, welcome to the call.

Terri: Thank you. I’m really happy to be here with you, Ellen.

Ellen: Well, I’m excited because we have something really special for everybody today. Don’t we?

Terri: We sure do.

Ellen: So, before we get into what we’re doing and why we decided to do this podcast, why don’t you share a little bit about your story and how you became one of the most successful coaches in the business?

[01:59] Terri: Thanks for asking.  So about, well, I’ll back up 1996, my mom died of emphysema, and my mom was like my absolute best friend on the planet. And seven days later, my girlfriend Marnie died at age forty of breast cancer. And I didn’t get to see Marnie before she died because I was with my mom; Marnie was  on hospice. I spoke to Marnie by phone and the words that she said made a profound difference in my life. She said, “Terri, life is not about work. Do what you love, spend your life doing what you love.” And that had dramatic impact on me. Seven days later, I actually knew that I was going to stop being president of a national healthcare company, and I was going to do what was in my heart. And I’ve been doing this now for all these years, and I feel at home doing it. And I know I’m doing the right thing.

Ellen: Well, that is so profound because how many of us get caught up in work? I know I have.

[03:06] Terri: Well, I know I did right. And what it means, and what I do want to share is I had kept to-do less my whole life. I carried a Daytimer; t was like my Bible. And on the way home for Marnie’s funeral, I stopped at the roadside on the New Jersey turnpike and I took my Daytimer, and I threw it into a trash bin there.

Ellen: Oh my God.

Terri: I realized that I didn’t want to be known for accomplishing a bunch of, to-do’s that I wanted to make a difference in the world-a profound difference.

[03:40] Ellen: Okay. So, let me tell you a little bit about what we’re doing. There is a book that Terry is working on and why don’t you tell us the name of the book?

[03:53] Terri: The name of the book is Conversion Equation.

Ellen: Okay. And I want to ask you, why did you decide to write this book?

[04:02] Terri: So, I had made a decision. Actually, to take a hiatus from books;  I’m not writing a book right now. And a major publisher came to me and asked me to write a book. And I said, “I’m not really feeling inspired.” And I wasn’t led to do it. And then, COVID hit. And within three and a half months, we had 600 qualified prospects coming to my company, Heartrepreneur, and saying, we need help either.” Can you help me go online?” Or, “I’m a restaurant,” or, “I’m a physician,” or, “I’m a dentist” or, a chiropractor, yoga studio, a coach, a consultant,” you name it “a speaker”.

“What do I do?” And since I’ve been online for twenty-six years and already helped thousands of people, I said, “I can’t physically help 600 businesses. So, how can I help 600 businesses?” And then, I realized I really needed to write Conversion Equation because I do really have the formula and how you get a lot of qualified prospects.

[05:04] Ellen: Wow. Yeah. I, I know exactly what you’re saying because I’ve had some people too, I’m pretty panicked because their businesses are just gone overnight.

Terri: Yep.

Ellen Yeah. So, what makes this different is that you decided to do something that really surprised me. Why don’t you tell people what you decided to do?

[05:27] Terri: Some of the time it surprises me too, that I’m doing okay.

Ellen: Well, people have to understand, I’ve know you a long time.  So that’s why it was surprising. Yeah.

[05:36] Terri: I’ve had traditional publishers; large publishers, and I’ve gotten big advances. And then I went with some small press and oh many, many years ago I did one self-published book through my company. But I’ve primarily worked with publishers now for the last twenty-something years. So, I was going the route of a traditional publisher; we were in the middle of contract negotiations and this crowdfunding platform came to me and said, “We’d like to put your book on our platform, crowdfund the book. And then, we pitched it to other publishers and we think we can get you a better deal.” And I scratched my head and said, I’ve never heard of this.” And then I went and I looked at who, some of the authors were on this platform, and I talked to them, and they all loved it. And I said, “You know what? This sounds fun and different and exciting. I’m going to give it a go.” So, that’s what we’re doing. I’m crowdfunding a book. I’ve never done it before.

[06:33] Ellen: Interesting. Yeah, we didn’t talk about that. So, I didn’t know that there were authors that you were aware of, but that’s a really good thing to do, is always do your homework and check things out if you’re going to do something new.

[06:46] Terri: Yeah. I didn’t want to be the Guinea pig.

[06:49] Ellen: Yeah, right. Right. So, what I wanted to ask you is how does this book help people?

[06:59] Terri: So many, many years ago when I started my first business, like forty-three years ago, I knew nothing about business, sales or marketing. And so, I went and I learned everything I could. Over the years, I’ve spent over a million dollars, not a manifestation of my Ph.D. or any of that. I’m just talking about consultants, mentors, strategist, courses, programs. And what I actually found out is that none of them had a proven formula. It worked for somebody in one business. And then, they’re like, here you go do this in your business. And primarily I found it didn’t work. So, I’ve had eight, as you know, completely different businesses, all different industries, all multimillion-dollar businesses.

I’ve helped over 6,000 people do 100,000 businesses. I’ve helped people go from zero to a hundred thousand. People go to a million, 3-million, 7-million. And I have a couple of eight-figure people. And I said, “I know a formula.” I call it Conversion Equation. It’s a proven formula. It’s worked for me with over 444 different industries. No one is sharing a formula that works. And so, the formula is called, “Interrupt, Engage, Educate, and Offer.” And I said, “I have to teach this. I have to teach by example. So, people can go apply this to their business.”

[08:16] Ellen: So why don’t you tell us how that works? How does it work? What can you share with us? Share some, some good juicy information now.

[08:25] Terri: I know that you’re going to get juicy information out of me. So, I’ll give you a nugget. That’s the first mistake that I find. And it’s again, the formula is “Interrupt, Engage, Educate, and Offer” is that most people do not interrupt or they don’t interrupt the right audience online or offline. So, if you have routine messages, if people are bombarded with messages, there are Instagram ads,  there’s Google mail ads; I mean, it’s everywhere. So, we , our brains are in downtime. We’re ignoring the ads. They’re not relevant. You need to have a message that brings the right audience and only the right audience’s brain into uptime. And uptime means, “What is that?” It might be of interest to me. So, you, first of all, have to understand a little bit about how the brain works. I’m a clinical psychologist. And so, the formula has that built-in.

[09:18] Secondly, you have to know how you interrupt. Most people don’t interrupt correctly, especially on social media. So, giving you a little clinical psychology here, but once you interrupt correctly, and most people don’t, if you don’t keep the human brain in uptime, it’s like, “Oh, that message is important.” And unconsciously, the brain goes back to sleep called “downtime”. So, the second part of the formula has to happen instantaneously and that’s called engaged. So, you engage people with something relevant and interesting to them, facts. Their brain is going, “Is this important?” And so, you kept to keep them with what we call engaged in uptime. And then, now that you’ve gone ahead and you’ve gotten the brain engaged, you keep the brain engaged a little longer with the next part of the formula, which is called educate. “Give me something interesting. Teach me something, tell me something that is a value to me.” And then. finally, the last part of the formula is offer. And I don’t mean go pitch somebody something, right? I mean, making no or low-risk offer to something that’s really relevant to that headline you interrupted me with. Does that make sense?

[10:29] Ellen: It does. Yeah, it does. But tell me again what was the first thing?

[10:33] Terri: The first thing to interrupt. Yeah. You’re scrolling Facebook or Instagram or wherever you are and your brain is just like, do do, do do, do do. If something comes along, that’s really relevant to you, right? So, let’s say you want to lose twenty pounds and you’re just scrolling, and all of a sudden, you see “How I dropped 20 pounds without dieting and exercise,” you go, “Oh,” Right? It stops you. It interrupts you. And again, if you don’t quickly know how to engage, which is part of the formula you’ve interrupted, nothing is going to happen.

Ellen: Right. So, it’s like, how do you hook them?

Terri: Exactly. And engage is the hook. The word hook is in there. Yes.

[11:11] Ellen: Yeah, that’s kind of the way I think about things because of my background. Yeah. You got to hook them, got to hook them in. I love that. You know? cause that’s exactly what you do with a fish.

[11:22] Terri: It is. You are fishing.

Ellen: You gotta reel them in. Gotta reel them in (laughing).

Terri: And you only want to reel in the right people. So that’s good that you said that because interrupt doesn’t mean interrupt everybody. Somebody doesn’t want to lose twenty pounds, they should not be paying any attention. So, you’re only in this erupting, your very specific niche. And I actually teach you how to know, which is the right niche, teach you in the conversion equation. And I teach you how to speak to them, and they teach you how to do it all in what I call Heartrepreneur-style: authentically transparently and with integrity, no scripts, no templates, learning how to communicate from the heart. I love.

[12:01] Ellen: Yeah. And I love that you created that word “Heartrepreneur”. Yeah.

Terri: Yeah.

Ellen: So, the next part that you talked about was engage. So, once you’ve got them hooked, tell us a little bit about how you engage them.

Terri: So, what the human brain does, again, it’s all unconscious. As the human brain, when it stops and gets interrupted, instantly says, “Is there a fact here that I should pay attention to?” So, if you give them a bunch of garbage, I just was scrolling Instagram this morning, and something said, “Storyboard templates.” So, I got interrupted. Cause I’m a little interested in storyboard. There was nothing after that, they had engaged me. It was “learn more,” well, that didn’t engage me. If there’s a fact like “Learn these storyboards and double your income” or “Double your revenue, learn these storyboards and get a bigger audience.” The brain is looking and saying, “Is there relevance?” And so, we have to learn how to use this in engagement once you’ve kind of gotten the fish on the hook that keeps their brain is searching and saying, “This is interesting” because our brains will not remain.

[13:09] Ellen: So, would you say,  it almost sounded like the benefit.

[13:11] Terri: More like a subhead. Yeah. So, if you think of interrupt as this headline that’s built-in on a formula, and then engage as the subhead that supports the formula. So, if I said, “If you’re a struggling coach or consultant who wants more qualified leads,” Pay attention, I interrupt just the right people. Now, if I don’t engage them with the facts. So, a fact could be, “My client (Joanna)  went from zero to $686,000 in four months. You can too.” Now I’m engaging you. There has to be something here. And it has to tie to what you interrupted me with, the problem that I have and the solution,

[13:53] Ellen: What they want, what they want, and then the education comes next?

[13:57] Terri: Yeah. So, now I might tell you a little story about Joanna. “Joanna came to me. She was totally out of business. She used to do in-person consulting that what’s overdue to COVID. I started her doing an online webinar for an all-day webinar. Here’s what she earned at the end of this amount of time. And here’s the screenshot.” Now I just taught you something and educated you and I might teach you even as something more, she used something called the conversion equation, interrupt, engage, educate, offer. So now your brain is going, “Oh, this is interesting. This is interesting.” Then, I can make my no or low-risk offer.

[14:33] Ellen: Oh nice. So, what kind of offers do you?

[14:35] Terri: I actually like something that’s very simple, name and an email, nothing else. Don’t ask me for my phone number and my home address, or to give you a credit card; give me something of high value. It could be a checklist. It could be a template. It could be an audio series, a video series. It could be a book. It could be an ebook. Just make sure, this is really important, that it’s relevant to what you interrupted me with. Sometimes, I see people make an offer and it has nothing to do with the original interrupt, not interested any right.

Ellen: Right, right.

Terri: So it’s got to tie together. So, if I were using this example, I might say “Read Joanna’s entire case study here, along with the templates that we use to grow her business, all yours free right now. Just give me your name and email, download it instantly”. And by the way, sometimes I just let them download.

15:25 Ellen: Everything you’re saying. It’s so funny. I was just talking to somebody yesterday and sometimes, people just aren’t clear about what it is they’re either trying to do or what it is, like you said, what they’re offering or how things kind of work together. Is there something you can tell people like if they’re having trouble like connecting the dots?

[15:47] Terri: Yeah. I always say go back to what you interrupted them with, and then make something that’s relevant to that. So, if you did say, “lose twenty pounds,” give them how to do that. If you did say, “I can help you make money,” or “Get leads,” teach them how to do the thing you interrupted them with. You don’t have to give away everything. You don’t give away all your secret sauce. However, don’t be stingy. Give them something of really high value because sometimes, I’ll download things and it’s like that had nothing to do with anything, it’s not valuable and then, you lose the people. Instead, just don’t be afraid; I give away my best stuff all the time. And I just believe the world is built on that kind of a relationship where we just open our hearts and we transparently give out our best content.

[16:36] Ellen: Well, speaking of giving your best stuff away, I want to let people know that at the end of this call, we are going to give some more great stuff away, aren’t we? So, damn. You said something I wanted to talk about, and then I forgot what my train of thought was on it, shoot. Say that again. What did you just say?

[16:53] Terri: Oh, when you give something away, it needs to tie with what you interrupted them with. Right? So, if you said, I’m going to help… you interrupted me with “lose twenty pounds”

Ellen: Oh, I know what it was,  I know what it was. People are afraid of giving away too much. People are afraid of giving away too much, right? And it’s really interesting because you can test this out. Like with my audience, I can talk about how to write titles for hours and a lot of people still can’t do it. So, no matter how much I give away, it doesn’t matter if they need help, they need help. Right? And part of that is because we kind of think in patterns and so, we get in a groove, and then we can’t see any other way, right?

And so, we get stuck in our own groove. So, sometimes it’s really important to get help somewhere else to get that clarity or to help you get out of the way you’re thinking about something, because it’s not always the right way. But the other thing is, so don’t be afraid;  test it on people. If you have a small group and you give away a lot and see what happens; how many people still say they need your help? Right?

[18:00] Terri: I’ll speak to that because that’s such a good point. We do something in my company where we do this whole profit acceleration session and then we literally give a blueprint. It’s like, here’s what you need to implement month one, two, three, four. And I’ve had people say to me, “Why would you give somebody that they can go do it themselves?” And I’m like, and “If they can, that’s awesome” and if they want or need help, then we’re here to help them. I really believe this. And it’s part of the basis of Heartrepreneur. It’s just being open and not being so closed off thinking, “Oh, I have to keep everything to myself,” I think of it this way. If you came to my house, Ellen, and I would say, “Do you want something to drink?” It wouldn’t be like, “Oh, I made this great lemonade for myself.” You know, it’s never come back to bite me ever in the forty-three years. I’ve been in business ever, ever.

[18:48] Ellen: Yeah. Well, that’s one of the things that makes you such a great coach. I mean, is that you exude that and people get that about you, and people are attracted to that, at least smart people are. So just to go back to that point, so don’t be afraid to, you know, give your best stuff away, test it out and see what happens. But it’s really true. It’s like, there’s nothing I hate more than when I’ve given somebody, my email, and my name and I get a PDF and it’s just stuff I really could have found by Googling. And you go, “Oh God, now I’m on their list.” And then try to get off their list. I mean, I just find it sometimes so difficult. Like people don’t want to let you off, or they set it up in such a way where it’s like, you have to tell us the email that you put in. and then you’re going back and you got to look through everything trying to figure out, “Well, what email did I use?” and all this. And it’s like, you know, so you sit there and you go, “Well, do I really want this” Because I don’t want to get on another list.

[19:44] Terri: Exactly. And that’s why I said there’s a lot of time,  I have like three or four giveaways right now. I don’t even ask people for their name and email. I’m not going to put you on a list. I’m not going to email you. I just let you go in, and then you can download it yourself. And I don’t have to send you an email. And this way you don’t have to worry that we’re going to solicit you because truly, I just want to give it away and be helpful to people. If they want to connect with me or my company…

[20:07] Ellen:  Are those like in your group or where do they find them?

[20:10]Terri: Nope, they’re all over, at the end of my social media I say, “You don’t have to put in your name or email. You just going to go to this link and you’re going to get this.”

[20:20] Ellen: Okay. Well, I think it’s time that we start wrapping this up. So, I want to ask you if you have any final tips, but first I just want to say that we do have some extra training that we’re going to tell you about in a minute, right after our final tips here. So…

[20:38] Terri: I can’t wait till we tell them, but anyway.  Conversion Equation, it’s worked with over 6,000 clients, 444 different industries. If you are willing to literally just learn a formula, give up sales script, give up thinking, you have to be some like, you know, social media poster. You have to use Facebook ads or click funnels or anything. And just be willing to say, “What is an authentic way to do business?” The formula in Conversion Equation, lets you do business in a way that’s no longer transactional.

So, when you learn how to properly, you didn’t, you do have to learn how to do it, right: Interrupt, engage, educate, and offer. In my experience, it’s truly no-nonsense. It works. It’s proven. You not only get more clients, customers, patients, your revenue goes up and if you’re sitting here right now and you know your business, isn’t quite where it should be, it’s the fastest way to reveal the business that you desire and deserve. So, the tip is don’t just think,”Oh, I heard Terry say interrupt, engage, educate, offer. I got it.” You don’t, you’re going to really want to understand the formula. And in the book, I use all kinds of true client stories, so that you can find somebody in a business like yours and go, “Ooh, that’s a person’s case study that’s similar” and you can follow it.

[22:02] Ellen: I just want to have you say something about transactional. Okay? Cause I’m not sure everybody understands that. And then, I have a story to tell about that. So, go on, tell us.

[22:12] Terri: So, the way most of the world operates today is doing transactions. Here’s the money. They’re going to buy from me. Cha-ching cha-ching. Now I’ve got to hunt and I got to find somebody else to buy from me cha-ching cha-ching. Heartrepreneur is founded on long-term sustainable relationships. What we don’t want is somebody in, somebody out, somebody in, somebody out. So, you want to be whatever your business or industry you want to be in a relationship lifetime with what I call a client, family member, anyone who purchases for me, whether they spend a penny, and I really mean that, or they spend a hundred thousand dollars, they’re one of my client, family members. I embraced them. I nurture them. I take them under my wing. So, I want you to think about how do you do business? Is it “Oh good. I got someone. I got another hundred or thousand” or is it, “Oh, I’m entering a long-term relationship with someone new and I’m going to take amazing care of them?” That’s how you stop doing business transactionally.

[23:14] Ellen: Right. And I want to say that I recently had a client come to me, and they had a book that they wanted me to help them market. And when I started asking them about their business and who their clients were, what came out was that the book they wanted me to market, it was really focused on transactional clients. And when I said to them, well, who are your long-term clients? Who are the ones that are going to stay with you? It was a different market, or it was like a subset, and I said, “That’s the book you need to be writing.” Right? So, people really need to understand what Terry is saying is like, you do not want transactional clients. It’s exhausting.

Terri: It is exhausting. And that’s why your business doesn’t consistently do $20,000 a month or more. Anyone who does this, this transactionally they complain about. Well, I got a lot of people. I don’t have anybody got a lot of customers. That’s because you’re doing transactions, and you don’t retain those people. They don’t keep coming back to purchase. And they certainly don’t serve to be referrals. And all my businesses and all the ones I set up for client, family members are by referral businesses.

[24:27] Ellen: Yeah. Most of my business is referral. Look at how many times we’ve come back together. I mean, we’ve done things together and not done thing, and then come back because we have a relationship.

[24:38] Terri: Exactly. And that’s, what’s important. If you think about it, I said, client, family member, my life, the number one priority is my family. And my second priority are my client, family members. So, these relationships that we have, I want them to exist throughout the rest of my life experience.

[24:54] Ellen: Yeah, me too. Me too. It’s great. And it’s great when my clients become my colleagues and my friends too.

Terri: I couldn’t agree more.

Ellen:  So now for the drum roll, I’m going to tell you how you can get some extra training. It’s part of an extra special bonus that we are giving you for purchasing Terri’s book while she’s doing this Publishizer, crowdfunding thing. And the way that it works is that she needs to sell 500 books and she came to me just a few days ago and said, “I need to sell all these books by the end of the month.” And we’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming, a lot of putting together some really fabulous stuff for everybody. And one of the things that I’m doing is I’m blogging the process that we are using to help Terri get this traditional publishing deal in a nontraditional way and showing you how you can use the same process to sell books and to go for this type of deal if you want to, for yourself

Personally, I’ve never seen anybody sell this amount of books in this short of time. Like a lot of times people say, “Oh, I just did a book launch. And I sold all these books.”  I had a client who sold 4,000 books, but she’d been setting it up for months, right? Not in twenty-six days.

Terri: RIGHT!

Ellen: So, this is definitely a challenge, but I’m going to share everything that we do during this time. I’ve already started keeping the blog and we are setting it up so that people who buy the book will get access to it. And these are techniques that I’ve spent thousands of dollars to learn, and that I’m now customizing in a specific way, just for this crowdfunding prelaunch. So, to get access to it, what you have to do is purchase the book. It’s just $20. And then, you need to send that receipt to us at support@ booksopendoors.com, support@ booksopendoors.com. Okay? And this is information that I’m going to sell for a lot more money after this promotion is over. So, get in now and you will get it free with the purchase of your book. Okay?

So, that again is Publishizer it’s publishizer.com/conversion- equation. So, that’s it. So, go get the book, and then send us your receipt again, support@ booksopendoors.com, and then you’re going to get access to the blog. And you’re also going to get access to the extra training that we are going to continue doing after this wraps up. So, I hope everybody will go get the book, support Terri, support me by helping her sell these 500 books.  And anything anybody can do to help us,  we really appreciate it,  so that’s it for now until next time.


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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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