Marketing and sales are the only things that generate revenue yet surprisingly, a lot of entrepreneurs focus less on these areas of their business. Alex shows why selling is the marketing oxygen by relating the story of a young man who asked a hermit to be his disciple.
He discusses how copywriters have utilized stories as the keys to unlock the doors to get to the sale. He explains why the acquisition of a new client is always the highest cost of any marketing activity and how, over time, the ongoing sale becomes less expensive and more profitable.
Alex also tackles the three necessities of creating a movement and the five-part formula he uses in eliminating objections in sales.
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Why Selling Is Marketing Oxygen
In this episode, you’ll learn three key insights, which I believe are critical to making you a highly skilled ethical influencer. You’ll discover the three-part sales formula on how to get a sale and to do it quickly and easily. You’ll learn how to make the toughest sale easier by redefining its purpose. Finally, you’ll learn why storytelling is the best antidote to the objection virus.
Objections are things that stand in the way between you and that yes of moving forward. This episode could have a significant impact on how you can quickly and easily win the hearts of others.
Somewhere in Asia, a hermit was meditating by a river when a young man interrupted him and said, “Master, I wish to become your committed disciple.” “Why?” replied the hermit and the young man thought for a moment and then replied, “Because I want to find enlightenment.” The master then jumped up, grabbed the young man by the scruff of his neck, dragged him into the river and plunged his head underwater.
As the young man’s head was held underwater, he was desperately kicking and struggling to free himself and he was in a panic to save his life. Eventually, the hermit pulled him out of the water.
The young man coughed up water, gasp to get his breath and when he eventually, quieted down, the master spoke gently to him and said, “Tell me, young man, what did you want most of all when you were under the water?” “Air,” said the young man. “Very well,” replied the master, “Go home and come back to me when you want enlightenment as much as you wanted air.”
That story is relevant to sales because most people don’t want to sell as much as they want to breathe, but yet sales are marketing oxygen. Without it, you suffocate your business. When you think about it, all businesses do three things.
I teach this on the stage at an event called Guerrilla Business Intensive. The business does the production. You’re producing things and creating things. A business does operations, which is managing things.
My bean counting friends will say, “Operations, what about finance?” I clump finance into operations and then the business does marketing. Production, operations and marketing. It will serve you if you can identify what the percentages are of the total expenses you have each month in each of these three disciplines: production, operations and marketing.
Over the years, and I’ve been in business for 30 years, I’ve noticed that my students who are mostly entrepreneurs spend about 30% of all their expenses on production and creating things. That’s okay, but 30%, one-third almost on production. They spend 50% on operations. All those things take to run the business. 50% and only 20% is dedicated to marketing, which is the vehicle of selling and generating more revenue to make all of those expenses possible to pay for.
What I would recommend is for you to look at your production, operations and marketing and see if you can change those percentages to the following: 25% on production, 25% on operations and 50% on marketing. Marketing and sales, those are the only things that generate revenue. The other things cost you money.
You may be saying to yourself, “That’s impossible.” It’s not. It is possible. I do it and you can do it. Any business can do it no matter what industry you’re in.
I will tell you that there was a sales formula I’ve utilized over the years that works like magic because it’s so simple. There are many other sales formula or formulae that are more elegant and that are more detailed, but this three-part formula is a great place to start.
I always start with it when I’m thinking about what my sales proposition is going to be and here it is. Number one, why this? Number two, why me? Number three, why now? That’s it: why this, why me and why now.
“Why this?” is the relevancy of what it is you’re selling. Why this offer? Number two, “Why me?” It’s the credibility you offer of why you’ve earned the right to sell it.
Number three, which is where most people fall apart is “Why now?” That’s urgency. Why buy it now and not next year?
Why this: relevancy. Why me: credibility. Why now: urgency. That’s it. It’s super easy.
The toughest sale is the front-end sale. The toughest sale is the first sale. The second sale, the third and onward, those are a lot easier. Your front-end or FE is the first sale and your second and beyond the sale is the BE, back-end, FEBE.
This is something that my good friend, T. Harv Eker teaches and I’ve taught here over the years as well, the FEBE process. The front-end is where all the headaches are and all the costs are. You may even lose money on the first sale, but if you have a good back-end process, then that’s where all the money is.
[bctt tweet=”The toughest sale is the first sale.” via=”no”]
That’s true in a launch where you have a lot of partners who are supporting you. That’s true when you’re trying to win over a new heart and coming to your business as a student or a customer, a client or whatever. They’ve got to get to know, like and trust you. It takes time. You want to begin with the end in mind.
Stephen Covey said that in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but it was originally quoted by a former prime minister of England, Ben Disraeli, “Begin with the end in mind,” and the end is your back-end. It’s not intelligent to have a front-end because you’re going to go out of business, which is why most people go out of business because they don’t develop a back-end.
It doesn’t even have to be your products or services. It can be someone else’s where you get an affiliate commission. The sales plan in creating a process where the sale becomes easier and you want that sale as much as you want oxygen, like the young man in the wanting enlightenment story I just told you.
The Sales Plan
The sales plan is pretty simple. Rather than come up with strategies of how to sell it, rather than come up with the benefits and the advantages of what you have to offer for the features of what you have to offer, I don’t start there, I start with the objections. I start with the obstacles, the roadblocks. Why will people say no? Why will prospects give you resistance?
An objection to me is like a locked door. There’s a door that’s getting in the way between you, your offer and the final yes. I look at a sales strategy as a key that unlocks that door. I believe there are seven plus or minus two objections to every sale.
Seven plus or minus two means it’s five to nine objections. What if you approached each promotion that you have for every product or service that you have, that you approached it by looking at the potential objections and getting into the minds and hearts of your prospects.
You could anticipate objections and you could look forward to them. You could look at them as a form of engagement that they were serious and interested in your product. I would look at it as each objection being a door with a lock. Identifying what key is going to open up that lock and I will tell you based on my experience that there are different keys to different locks.
There’s not one key that fits all locks, which means you’re going to have to come up with five to nine keys to open up those locked doors to get your prospect to the Promised Land, which is the sale. The faster you do this, the easier you do this, the more money you will ultimately make.
The key represents a story. Stories can eviscerate objections because if you give an argument, then that’s what it is.
If you give a benefit and an advantage, it’s another form of an argument. People are either going to disagree with you or they will agree with you. If you tell stories like some of the greatest copywriters of all time have utilized, I’m thinking of Gary Halbert, Gary Bencivenga, Eugene Schwartz. I can think of lots of copywriters who have utilized stories as the keys to unlock the doors to get to the sale.
That’s why a story is so important because people don’t judge stories as an argument. They judge a story as a form of entertainment and they accept it. You flank their subconscious mind and somehow the story has to eliminate the objection. It was a story about someone who’s in their position, the prospect, and that person is overcoming that objection. It’s a process of insinuation versus a process of objection elimination.
Are you following me on this? I’ll tell you a story that’s true and this is the way we do it. Imagine you’re selling something that is very high-end and imagine you’re at an event, and I do this routinely. Imagine you have five people on a panel and you have a group, maybe they’re at breakfast and you are selling a $25,000 mastermind. Let’s say it’s called for the sake of argument Genius Network run by Joe Polish. You have someone who is the emcee who is running it and that would be me.
You have five to seven panelists who are on the panel and the emcee’s responsibility is to have identified the top objections. For a mastermind of this kind, the objections I’ve identified are the ones that I had. I was one of the first twenty people, my friend Joe Polish approached to join the Genius Network. Genius Network is a $25,000 and a $100,000 mastermind called GeniusX. That’s been around for a while.
One of my objections was, “I already know the people in the network.” You give that objection to one of the panelists. The panelists are talking about why the Genius Network has been such an advantage in their life and why they keep coming back. They talk about that objection and they’d been assigned that objection.
The panelists tell the story to eviscerate, not just to handle, but to completely demolish the objection. The participants listening, who are the prospects, don’t know that’s what’s happening. You’re not putting one over on them.
It’s more acceptable because a story is more fun to listen to than, “This is why you need to join. I had this objection and I overcame it.” We don’t do it that way. It’s a lot more elegant in telling a story.
Another objection is, “I don’t have time to attend the mastermind meetings.” You give that to another panelist. Another objection would be, “I don’t know if I’m going to get a return on investment on my $25,000.” You give that to yet another panelists. Another objection is my business isn’t relevant to this mastermind group. If you’ve guessed it, you give that to another panelist.
This is one way to handle objections that’s worked extremely well. It almost generated $1 million in less than an hour in one setting that I was leading. Stories are these seeds that get planted. They produce these keys.
[bctt tweet=”The highest cost of any marketing activity is the cost of acquisition of a new client.” via=”no”]
You’re like a locksmith. You’re making your own keys to open up the lock doors, which are the objections. I hope my analogies are working for you.
Let me give you a five-part formula that I start with and I was reminded of it when I was watching my good friend Perry Belcher at a mastermind I belonged to, which is the War Room. This was a War Room Intensive in Las Vegas, Nevada.
He reminded me of these five different steps that I write down as an outline before I begin a sales letter, whether it’s a video or an online sales letter or even a sales presentation and that is this. For your prospects to believe you, for your prospects to understand you, if you want them to know you, like you and trust you, and tell you it’s the right time to buy now, you have to do five things.
Number one, you have to support their dreams. You’ve got to know what their dreams are and support them. Number two, you have to allay their fears. Allay means to quell, reduce or even eliminate their fears.
How do you do it? Through stories. Number three, confirming their suspicions. If they’re suspicious of something, confirm them so you align with them. Number four, justify their failures. My favorite three-word sentence for that is, “It’s not your fault” followed by, “But it is your responsibility too.” Number five, identify enemies. You’ve got to be able to polarize so that you have a decisive audience.
Number one, support their dreams. Two, allay their fears. Three, confirm suspicions. Four, justify failures. Five, identify enemies.
Three Necessities Of Creating A Movement
What I do is I line those up on a piece of paper and I put them vertically. I write sentences next to each because that ends up becoming the beginning of my sales script. A tip of the hat goes to Perry Belcher for reminding me of that and now I do it all the time. You don’t want to get lazy in doing that. If you do it properly, I’m going to give you another nugget that is very helpful because these are the three necessities of creating a movement.
They also create cults. They create spiritual movements as well and religion. There is a dark side to it as well, but they work the same way for the positive benefit of acquiring and keeping new clients.
Number one, you need to offer them a new vocabulary. How do you do that? I’d like to have a glossary of terms with all of my training courses. If people are speaking my language, I’m automatically separating them from other trainers and teachers.
Number two, build a community. How do you do that? Before Google, it was difficult. Before Facebook, it was difficult, but these days, it’s simple.
You have a Facebook group and we have Facebook groups for people who pay us over $5,000 because we are welcoming them and support them. That Facebook group becomes an online support desk many times. You want to build a community speaking your language.
Number three, you need a new role model. The role model is the teacher or the leader. If you think of twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, they have a new vocabulary. They have a new community. Those are the meetings that they attend and then the new role model is their sponsor.
Those three elements: new vocabulary, new community and new role model are key to keeping your new clients. You may call them patients, students, members or customers, but whatever you call them, you want to keep them for life. You want the sale to stick.
A quick review of the insights you and I have discovered in this episode is that selling is easy if you treat it like the oxygen of your marketing. Focus on promotion, not just production or operations. Focus on marketing.
Next, the front-end sale is the hardest. The back-end sale is a lot easier and you have no cost of acquisition. The highest cost of any marketing activity is the cost of acquisition of a new client.
After you have that client, the ongoing sale, it becomes not only less expensive but more profitable, which is what you want. Finally, objections are eliminated through the power of storytelling. That’s the premise of this show, seeding through storytelling is the new selling.
Seeding means planting seeds so that they can bloom and they create these keys that unlock the doors that are preventing you from making the sale. These insights can only work for you if you work them.
I want you to go to AllSellingAside.com/iTunes. If you’ve already given me a review, thank you. It helps a lot for me to be going to the top of the list for iTunes where more people can see it and learn how to sell.
If you haven’t done that yet, then I want you to type in your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment that you’ve experienced during this episode. You can do this right now in the review section and when you do it, iTunes is going to ask you to rate the episode and I hope I’ve earned five stars from you.
If this episode wasn’t a five-star episode, find another one and rate me five-stars on that because that’s all I want from you. Go ahead, declare your one big takeaway in the iTunes review section by visiting AllSellingAside.com/iTunes.
It will take three minutes out of your day, but what you declare could provide you with a lifetime of learning. If you’ve already done that, write your big takeaway on an index card and keep it so that week after week, you have a stack of cards that are your biggest takeaways and a-has and then review them from time to time.
I have one final gift for you in honor of this episode and that’s a complimentary copy of my book titled Alexisms: Useful Lessons From a Recovering Serial Entrepreneur. That’s me. This is the eBook version and you can instantly download it at AlexismsBook.com.
That does it for this episode. I hope our paths cross again. Remember, this is the show dedicated to making an ethical influence within your reach so that you can achieve and even exceed your sales potential.
Do whatever it takes to join me because our topic is going to be the Six Keys to Identify Your Avatar. Your avatar is your target audience. Nothing is more important than doing that and most people don’t know how to do it. I encourage you to invite a friend or bring a study buddy because it’s so much fun learning with someone else. I can’t wait to connect with you then. All good wishes.