241. 30 Hours with Grant Cardone: Mastering the Business Cycle, Sales Cycle and Becoming Wealthy
82 videos. 101 links. 563+ takeaways from this 30 hr training lesson:
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Below are 30 hours of high-quality, curated content gleaned from Grant Cardone’s Youtube Channel blended with my personal experience as a talent development specialist training over 15,000 professionals and university students, neatly bundled up and in one place.]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- The relationship between entourage, hard work, sacrifice, luck & potential
- How (NOT) to handle growth, success, fame and resistance
- The problem with mainstream sales methodologies
- Reasons why the “middle” class is a lie
- How to become rich
- Get from cash negative to cash positive
- Nobody starts from nothing. Build with what you have & love
- Decide, launch and learn as you go
- Break through obscurity and get noticed
- Welcome criticism because you’re going to get it either way
- Control & dominate. Commit to the right things, no matter how “overwhelmed”
- Stop being selfish and start building your entourage & audience/sales funnel
- Build multiple passive revenue streams on top of one other
- Invest wisely, use debt strategically & maintain your liquidity
- The Grant Cardone sales strategy (reverse-engineered)
- Sales basics
- Understanding the buyer
- The sales process
- Theory of closing & closing strategies
- Incoming calls
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ENTOURAGE, HARD WORK, SACRIFICE, LUCK & POTENTIAL
An entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and operates businesses taking on greater than normal financial risk in order to do so.”
By this definition most ‘entrepreneurs’ aren’t entrepreneurs at all because they are too afraid to take on the risk. So they have a business idea yet hold on to their money out of fear. You cannot be an entrepreneur who also saves for retirement.
Bad products exist because people quit, gave up on their goals and settled for less.
Simon Sinek‘s question “What is your WHY?” is a great leadership philosophy, but it is missing the major point that nobody ever wants to talk about: Money. Everybody’s WHY is money. Nobody cares about the WHY of a person who doesn’t have any money.
Spend 30 seconds each day setting goals, then spend the rest of your day taking action:
- Taking action: Goals ALWAYS take longer to achieve than expected because humans tend to grossly underestimate planning and execution as well as external, uncertain forces they are up against.
- Setting goals: When setting your goals, don’t settle for ‘realistic’ goals because that is what they were taught to do, because ‘failing’ has a bad meaning in society, and because it feels good to reach goals.
And when setting your goals and timeline avoid the error of seeing your ‘goal’ as the end result and forgetting that after that goal comes another goal. Therefore, rather than set a goal of having 500,000€ in investments, set for yourself 5,000,000€ in investments. Even if it takes you 30 years and many failures along the way, you’re far better off financially and psychologically by failing to reach the larger goal than you are the smaller goal.
And don’t worry about what people might think of you. People don’t pay attention to you until you break through obscurity and stand out. Luck will always play a role in your success (and failure), however the majority of people who see your success don’t acknowledge all your hard work, sacrifice and learning but are quick to call you lucky. But the few who understand and have wealth will want to collaborate with you. Breaking through obscurity and attracting their attention is what brings you closer to your goals.
Good things don’t just happen without a lot of hard work and sacrifice. If you want something it’s going to cost you. This is why you must be clear on your dream and vision, and not let anyone get in your way.
When you see an opportunity don’t just sit there and watch it happen. Do something! Spectators pay and watch. Players perform and get paid.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in Lesson 212: Why ‘Being Lucky’ is a Crutch and 5 Strategies to Improve Your Luck that “you have to have a healthy dose of luck to become successful. That’s just the way it is. You can’t prepare for it, but you can be ready for it if does come to you.” – @BryanCranston
Sometimes the clients, roles, projects, and opportunities you get are ONLY because you happen to be in the right place at the right time, and had you not been at that specific place at that specific time, the decision-makers would have simply chosen someone else. The world continues without you.]
- You let fear demotivate you out of taking action – fear of rejection, failure, judgment… – which is how the majority of the world have been raised to act. This is one reason why most people are poor, risk-averse and unhappy with their lives.
- You let fear motivate you into taking action toward whatever it is that is causing fear. You’re afraid of asking for a raise you feel you deserve, so you set the meeting with your boss. Very few people in this world have been raised to act this way. This is one reason why those few successful people would say they are happy and why they have accumulated so much wealth.
Nothing comes for free, and to accomplish anything of value in life you must overcome your fear. Everybody experiences fear, and you have two ways to approach fear:
Entrepreneurs do not take the risk to save the world. They do it to get money, and they save the world in the process. If you have influence, money, courage and you are unselfish, there is no limit to what you can do.
When people want to pay you through assets (money, crypto, property, professional network, exposure…) other than money, don’t tell people ‘No.’ Barter with them! Figure out what you need to do to say “Yes” because anything is better than 0€.
Everything you have today is the result of how good you were at selling yourself. Unhappy with your current station in life? It’s because you’re not good at selling yourself. Get better at sales.
Are you in a situation or in a job you hate? Good. Now condition yourself to endure it anyway, and learn to do it well and even be respected for it. Instead of hating it, accept you are there because of your past decisions in life and start learning your lessons so you can change for the better: get great at what you hate and learn as much as you can as soon as you can so you can then evolve for something better that you won’t hate. Every day you’re required to do things you hate. You have to do things you hate to get where you want to go; success is built on the foundation of enduring things you didn’t like or want to do. You hate interviewing for jobs? You better get really good at it if you want to get a job.
Sales people have control. Buyers don’t. Never be a buyer. Always be a seller. Even when you give your money to someone else, you should be able to take what you get in return and extract greater value than what you paid.
Even if a poor person’s ‘Why’ is to make the world a better place, poor people are unfortunately selfish because their lack of money and resources forces them to concentrate only on their own immediate, short-term expenses: food, shelter, clothing, debt… Rich people have the money, resources and professional connections to literally change the world.
Bad people do certain things, and though they try they can’t hide it; there are always clues and red flags. When choosing business and life partners, pay attention, develop your intuition, and trust it.
Potential is “having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future.” It is “latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.” Potential is always more than you are currently doing, and is something you will never fully reach.
Potential is not about managing your time or money, it is about creating time and money. Why spend an hour each day optimizing your day and controlling your finances if at the end of the day you haven’t earned more money from it? You could have spent that hour earning revenue or value.
Most entrepreneurs seek get attention online by starting an Instagram account or a Youtube channel only to be surprised at how little content they have, or how poorly adapted their content is across platforms. For example, a trainer may be great providing small, face-to-face training, but uploading the recording of those trainings may fail tragically when viewed as a video on Youtube.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: But this must not dissuade you from launching and learning as you go. For inspiration check out Tobias Van Schneider’s blog post One video, article or side project can change your life.]
You must be recognized and respected for what you do, and what you offer must be of equally high quality across platforms.
If your friends aren’t changing, you’re not improving. Potential is what pushes people away from you and attract others towards you. You want to fulfill your potential? Don’t expect to have the same friends in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years… Friends easily come and go, but your wife and kids you better choose very wisely because you will pay very dearly if they leave.
Awareness and curiosity lead to wealth. You need mastery of who you are, the environment you’re in and the players and decision-makers around you: who is sincere, who is a fraud, who is a thief, who has money and opportunities for you and who doesn’t…
Compared to Elon Musk, yes, you are doing nothing. Compared to Henry Ford who “pioneered a system that launched the mass production and sale of affordable automotives to the public” when nobody understood them nor wanted one, yes, you are doing nothing. Rather than become discouraged, allow other people’s success inspire you to reach potential.
Spectators don’t win. To reach your potential you have to spend money and take risks to break through obscurity and get access to people who can offer opportunities.
Successful people are constantly being offered opportunities, or they are creating them. That is one of the upward spiral benefits of being successful. Success attracts opportunities. Success creates success.
Successful people will not close or turn down opportunities because they don’t know how the world will change tomorrow. They may “not be available to take your call or interested at this time,” but they won’t close doors and opportunities that may come back to haunt them in the future.
Successful people will never tell you your goals are ‘too big’ or ‘unattainable.’ They won’t say “You can’t do that,” instead they’ll say “How are you going to do that?” It is the lower level employees and managers who say ‘that is not possible’ and ‘that doesn’t exist.’ Don’t surround yourself with people who say “You can’t do that.” Surround yourself with people who ask “That is a worthy goal. How are you going to do that? How can I help?”
Successful people assume their position and status by not accepting tasks that aren’t equivalent to what they are paid. Intelligent companies don’t pay their director 10K€/month and then have him/her clean the toilets, mop the floors and mow the grass. Intelligent companies pay their employees what they are worth and push them to reach their full potential and perform more.
Thing is, all of your hard work, sacrifice, luck and potential amounts to NOTHING if you do not surround yourself with people who inspire you, support you and propel you forward.
- If you had more money as a 12 years old than did as a 28 years old, WTF happened?!
- If you liked yourself better when you were younger than you do now, WTF happened?!
How can you convince other people to believe in and invest in you when you don’t believe in and invest in yourself?
HOW (NOT) TO HANDLE GROWTH, SUCCESS, FAME AND RESISTANCE
Start by looking hard at what you waste your time and money on, and why. What real value do social nights and weekends for?
- A pack of cigarettes cost 10€
- Entrance fees to most clubs & entertainment venues cost 10€-200€
- Alcoholic drinks cost 30€-200€, and the more you consume the easier it is to spend money
- Food to accompany your alcohol costs 25€-200€.
- A taxi/Uber ride home afterwards costs 20€.
- A hangover ruins most of the following day’s productivity.
- A box of condoms cost +6€
- Chlamydia treatments start at 150€
- COVID-19 treatment costs 14 days of self-quarantine and +200€ in treatment
A weekend out with your friends and a bad scenario can realistically cost you +400€. And what do you have to show for it?
That said, money is not the end goal. Money provides control. You need control of your wealth and your environment. Even in difficult circumstances as long as you have control, you will be okay.
Money gives you choices. Control and choices are what you really want in life. When you don’t have any money you have little control and very few choices. As you start earning money, don’t let the money control you and limit your choices. Rich or poor, if you don’t control money, it will control you.
Easier said than done, but don’t live paycheck to paycheck. From every paycheck before paying any other bills commit to setting aside some money for when you inevitably need it you don’t have to start over again broke. Aim for 6 months of living expenses in a savings account as quickly as possible.
Start your career by finding a line of work that favors growth and wealth. Then use your wealth to make a difference. Go into an industry that is big and where there is ‘a lot of scale and growth potential.’ Then specialize and establish your reputation.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Grant’s advice appears to be different than Peter Thiel’s advice in Lesson 91. Competition is for losers, aim for monopoly, where Peter argues you should avoid competition; it’s better to have a big piece of a small pie. The bigger the pool, the more the competitors. The more the competitors, the harder it is and the longer it takes to stand out from your competitors and the greater the risk of a price war, where competitors race to offer value at the cheapest.
However, in Lesson 115. Building a Generalist or Specialist Business and Lesson 116. How to Win New Clients without Pitching, Dror Benshetrit and Blair Enns respectively argue the skyscraper versus the apartment building approach: by specializing in a particular project (skyscraper) you can quickly stand out from the crowd versus working on a variety of different projects (apartment buildings).]
Treat everyone with respect. Don’t aim to be ‘middle class.’ Don’t compare yourself to others.
You must become a better public speaker, however you will never be able to always express yourself and get your points across perfectly. The camera is always rolling and people are always only hearing what they want to hear. Quite often, you will explain yourself and your ideas terribly. People are going to hate you or be offended, that’s their decision, which has nothing to do with you.
Branding as a form of free advertising is imperative to grow. Develop a distinguishable brand signature that gets attention – a style of speaking or dressing, a catch phrase or motto… – and make sure it is evident on everything you touch.
Online visibility is important to break through obscurity and keep your sales funnel large, but don’t let ‘likes,’ ‘shares,’ and ‘comments’ define who you are. And don’t let insults and complaints hurt your feelings either. You must be stronger than that if you want to survive in business and become wealthy.
We live on a broken planet who aren’t necessarily lazy, they just don’t know how to improve and optimize because they have never been taught. So it is hard for them to find high-quality, highly-productive, above-average performers because they are in such high demand and because there are so few of them. Distinguish yourself as one of those rare professionals, and you’ll have no trouble standing out. Smart companies who have difficulty attracting and hiring these rare people grow your own high-performers internally. And of course, very shortly thereafter headhunters will start circling your business.
When you start reaching some level of success and fame, do not make the mistake of growing slowly. This is your once in a lifetime opportunity to seize the moment while you have everyone’s attention and showcase your potential: not what you have done in the past, but what you can do in the future. Go all in. An opportunity like this will not happen again.
This is because the world is too small to for you to build a reputation based on your past successes and expect to stay on top for long. Somewhere in the next city, state, or country there are:
- Startups about to launch a software that will undermine the way you currently do business.
- Unknown competitors willing to provide similar quality for a cheaper price and steal your clients.
- Even more aggressive, strategic, and better equipped companies who sooner or later will stumble across your market and monopolize it.
One negotiation strategy companies use to demonstrate power is to shield their final decision-makers by placing levels of other negotiators in front of them like a labyrinth that must be navigated or an army that must be conquered. The downside of this strategy is that you can miss out on extraordinary opportunities that require quick responses, and you lose power to a competitor who brings their final decision-makers into negotiations early. Being able to tell the client “I want to do business with you. I don’t have other people in my team to convince. I am the final decision maker” is a very powerful sales and negotiation strategy.
No matter how much work is thrown at you, never allow yourself to be or appear overwhelmed. You become overwhelmed when things that happened or information you received in the past you allow to control your present because you weren’t prepared. You lose when you are overwhelmed.
The problem with success and growth is it is so hard to obtain that once you’ve gotten it you become afraid to lose it, so your confidence in yourself to take risks to continue growing reduces. So you start bragging about your successful 9,000€ deal (past events) and looking for other familiar, easy 9,000€ deals when you should instead be preparing to do 90,000€ deals.
Don’t focus on what you did. Focus on what you can do.
When you were just starting out you had nothing to lose. With a couple of wins and a reputatio, now you’ve a lifestyle, you’ve debt and obligations, you’ve a taste of success and the fear of losing everything you have worked for can be very intimidating. You always need more and more courage.
With fame and success comes the important responsibility of balancing your personal and private lives. What good is gaining a lot of money if you lose everyone you love in the process?
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in Lesson 122. How to start a startup: Balancing your professional & private life that one of the best ways to avoid burnout is to understand that life consists of five fundamental elements:
- Everything else
Now choose only two. If you’re launching a startup, then you must choose only one more and forget the rest. You’re launching a startup and have a family (wife and kids)? Then forget your friends, hobbies and everything else. Once your startup gets moving on its own, then you can replace ‘work’ with another fundamental element, such as friends or hobbies.]
There are no bragging rights for ‘working hard.’ Everybody can always work a little bit harder. You’re either optimally productive or you aren’t.
Balance in life is imperative, but don’t be in search for balance. Create the life you want so you can have balance. Invest time with people not because they are good for business, but because they make life for you better, and vice versa. There should be an exchange of value.
Have your priorities clearly defined right from the start. Time management is yet another activity and responsibility. What if instead of figuring out how you can better manage your time to accomplish more in a day in all areas of your life, why not start by extracting more value from the responsibilities you already have on your table?
Are you a father/mother? Don’t aim to be with your children 24/7. You’ll hate each other. Instead, give them liberty and instead control the time together so it is always a great time under your own terms. Same holds true for bosses, partners…
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in Lesson 229. Becoming a strategic advisor to your clients that your client/romantic partner must have access to you all the time. Work/life balance is good, but it is also a very competitive world. Especially when you are just starting out in your career – your work and clients must take priority. If you’re not there when the client/partner needs/calls you, somebody else will be. Rather than thinking of work/life balance on a daily schedule, try to manage it on a weekly or monthly schedule: working extremely hard, but periodically building in long weekends.]
As you grow and gain more expertise, the notes you take at meetings change. You’ll already know 95% of what other professionals say, so your notes become a list of good reminders.
Lastly, with fame and success comes easy access to the lifestyle of alcohol, drugs their addiction. These can steal your potential, years of your life and leave you with a lifetime of regret and ‘what ifs.’ Don’t abuse drugs and don’t accept that behavior in your entourage.
If you’re not happy, don’t complain. Change. Adapt.
Starting something new and starting over are not the same things. You must always be building, learning lessons and making improvements so each project you launch benefits from your assets created along the way.
There will times when you must abandon projects, quit jobs, leave relationships and cut your losses. But that should always be immediately followed by starting something new the very next day. And before you even consider quitting, start adding more of what you like to the project, job or relationship.
- Before you quit your job you hate, what would happen if you took control and just started aggressively adding on responsibilities you enjoyed doing and excelled at to the point your bosses pushed the responsibilities you hated onto other people?
- Before you ‘fire’ a client who doesn’t pay you what you feel you deserve, what would happen if you found 5 more clients that paid you what you feel you deserve? That other client will either choose to stop working with you, or start paying you more.
- Before you leave your partner because you’ve ‘grown apart,’ don’t let yourselves fall into a boring routine that allows you to take each other for granted.
Don’t quit as long as you can add, change, recreate, redefine and evolve.
Aim to be more successful than 51% of your competitors locally (or in your target niche). And as you strive for this goal ask yourself how you’ll achieve this and why you’ll have actually achieved it. Your ‘how’ should be by setting up superior technical and implementation processes as well as referral programs that are better than 51% of your competitors. Once established, you’re now in a position to strategically partner with other ambitious companies, license your superior processes to further dominate your market, offering them access to your solutions if they pay you 20K€ + 3% of annual sales.
Inversely, if you’re trying to break into an existing market, find that local company that has the superior technical and implementation process and partner with them, even if it requires paying them 20K€ + 3% of annual sales to use it.
THE PROBLEM WITH MAINSTREAM SALES METHODOLOGIES
- All knowledge is not created equal. A lot of it is garbage that will limit your potential. More people are mis-educated in this world than they are uneducated.
- All access to knowledge isn’t created equal. Spending +10,000€ to fly your sales team across the country for a 2-day conference with information and strategies they will not remember and probably won’t apply not only costs you money, your business just lost two days of sales prospecting and subsequent revenue.
If your revenue isn’t increasing, either you’re not doing what you’ve learned, what you’ve learned is no good or the amount of time and money lost learning it exceeds the value it brings.
+80 percent of salespeople have no playbook. If they do have a playbook it is likely subjective and unreliable. Give your salespeople a playbook they probably won’t read it because people don’t read anymore. If they have read your sales playbook they’ve either forgotten most of it or probably don’t do enough deliberate practice and roleplay to improve and perfect their art to provide consistent results.
Every human’s DNA is embedded with the desire for ‘greatness’, but 98% of people never learned what ‘greatness’ means.
|People were never shown what ‘greatness:’|
– Looks like internally
– Feels like emotionally and spiritually
– Is expressed like
– Is received like
|What greatness looks like in different areas:|
– Mother or father
– Leader or manager
People were never shown the path to ‘greatness:’
– With sincerity and being natural
– Not being manipulative or superficial
That said, aggressive half-day ‘pump and dump’ training workshops where professionals unload a ton of ‘knowledge’ on to your employees and then push them out the door lacks the slow, relaxed training and role-playing getaways necessary to boost confidence, lower defenses and open up, internalize the information and convert learning into the knowing necessary to return home and properly train their colleagues.
According to a LinkedIn survey directed at sales people:
- 80% of sales people have no playbook
- 82% of managers have no time for sales training
- 52% of sales people never follow up on leads
- 65% of sales people’s time is spent on non-sales related activities
Key takeaways from the LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2020:
- 44% of salespeople noticed an increased sales cycle from previous years
- 55% of salespeople anticipate a decrease in their sales pipeline
- 51% of salespeople say their clients have had significant budget cuts or were suffering layoffs and high turnover
“A properly trained sales team results in 192% increase in sales, 32% increase in profits, 94% decrease in turnover and 600% increase in customer satisfaction.”
First master the business cycle then the sales cycle which is a part of the business cycle. Sell or be sold: every conversation is a sales pitch and you must instinctively now where in the sales cycle you are. Conversations, like a street fight, are a constant battle for control and advantage. The person with a strong defense and the most versatile offensive strategy wins. In every conversation look for the other party’s defense weaknesses and use that information to position yourself.
- Marketing & Advertising. Many companies keep this process a secret, making decisions internally by relying on ‘professionals’ who may or may not organize small controlled focus groups. While this process maintains confidentiality and protects the company’s marketing strategy secrets until launch day, it’s slow, expensive, time-consuming and keeping your advertising circle small isn’t be the optimal way to design your advertising strategy and achieve reliable results. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more refer to How to Shape Human Behavior 2nd Edition for Advertisers and Lesson 55. Peter Spear on Brand Listening vs. Consumer Research & How To Develop A Brand Strategy.]
As an alternative, considering exploiting social media by sharing your advertising projects online and letting the internet decide immediately through likes, shares and comments. If in doubt, put it online and let your best content rise to the top.
- Create Leads & Prospects. Every time a buyer takes time out of their busy day to sincerely contact you either to complain or verify information such as product delivery date, your sales team should be equipped to turn it into an upsell opportunity.
- Whenever a client calls to complain their product wasn’t delivered on time, the sales person should be trained to respond: “I’m very sorry about this inconvenience. As a way of making it up to you can we offer you a 30% discount on your next purchase of any of our products?”
- Whenever a client calls for any reason, the sales person should be trained to respond: “Hey, since you took the time to call us, we’d like to offer you a 30% discount on your next purchase on any of our products.”
Then, master the sales cycle which is simply to read a customer, qualify them, close the deal and follow-up.
Sales is the foundation all other soft skills are built upon: the ability to capture people’s attention, convince them of your value, and get them to invest in you.
Ironically, look at all the bad yet popular sales psychology techniques they teach you:
- “God bless you,” but God has already blessed you by giving you all the wealth and opportunities you have today. Now go out there, prove God has blessed you, and use your blessings to your fullest advantage. Don’t be ‘blessed’ and spend your entire life doing nothing with it. You can do more with what you have.
- “Work hard,” but wealthy people don’t ‘work hard’, they work smart (which sometimes means working hard for moments at a time) and invest their money wisely.
- “First impressions are the most important,” but making a bad first impression ruins the deal; failing to follow-up is what ruins the deal.
- “Be seen and not heard,” but what is the point of catching people’s attention by being seen and then not selling yourself, boasting of your offer and how you make other people’s lives better? You need to be seen and heard, nonstop. Attention is money.
- “Always start by finding common ground,” but you don’t ‘need’ common ground to close a deal, you need to solve their problems. Compared to solving their problems, common ground is the last thing the buyer cares about.
- “People buy from people they like,” but people buy solutions from people they don’t like all the time just to get a problem solved.
- “Competition is good for business,” but competition only benefits consumers, not entrepreneurs. Intelligent businesses understand competition is for losers; aim for monopoly.
- “Patience is a virtue. Slow and steady wins the race,” but technology in the modern world changes from second to second. You literally go to sleep and wake up in a different world. Yes, patience over the long-term, but quick decisions in an environment you control.
- “Build a relationship with the client first,” but your priority is to produce revenue, not build relationships. Build a relationship with someone by offering them value and solve their problems. Income, revenue, sales are your top priority.
- “Practice makes perfect,” which is true but is missing the most important element: “DELIBERATE practice makes perfect.”
- “I’m a perfectionist. Six Sigma: 1 error per million.” (see Lesson 237. with Tai Lopez) but again technology in the modern world changes from second to second. Yes, patience over the long-term, but quick decisions in an environment you control. ‘Perfectionist’ is an elegant word for ‘slow’ and ‘lazy.’
- “The longer you spend with someone the better off you are,” but for most people the longer you spend with them the less they like you because you’re taking away from their time on other things and people they consider more important than you, a stranger. Learn how to compress time so you can communicate the same messages – verbally and non-verbally – in shorter amounts of time so you can give the client room to breath and think while you simultaneously use the saved time to grow your pipeline.
- “Don’t mix business and family,” but if you can’t raise money from your family who say they believe in you, then how bad is your business idea and/or professional reputation?
- “I love you just the way you are,” but what got you to where you are today will not get you to where you want to go tomorrow. Staying “just the way you are” is lazy and in the long run you will lose.
- “Don’t make promises you can’t keep,” but how do you know what you can’t do, given enough responsibility. Over-commit and figure the rest out later. Schedules, deadlines and budgets are constantly changing, especially with decision-makers. A genuine promise made on Monday to meet a client at their office on Friday can be understandably canceled if the government declares COVID-19 confinement on Wednesday. You don’t know what promises you can’t keep, so always over-commit.
- “Don’t make promises you can’t keep,” but only professionals willing to commit and make promises make it to the final decision-making table. 1 job opening, 100 candidates. Make the promise you will succeed to stand out or stand in line with the other 100 candidates.
- “Don’t pressure a client,” but if you truly believe and are 100% certain in your product’s or service’s ROI and you like the client, then shame on you for not insisting they take this offer before it is lost.
- “Don’t talk to strangers,” (said to children) but it is the strangers who have everything you want: money, promotions, job opportunities and everything else you need to be successful in life. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. This is why the idea of the solopreneur is nonsense.
- “Be careful,” but you don’t win by protecting yourself, pulling back and retreating; you win by attacking and taking risks.
- “I’m not good at sales and negotiation. It’s not who I am. I’m shy/introverted,” but maybe who you are is a part of the problem. Maybe it’s not who you are, but who you let yourself become. Will you not change your mind and who you are as you experience and learn new information? Don’t be who you are; be who you need to be. Learn to be interested in and curious about people.
- “I’m not a marketer, I’m an artist,” but if you cannot afford to buy your own supplies then you’re an employee for someone else and your ‘hobby’ must comes out of your monthly salary rather than create revenue. Let’s at least hope you’re good at negotiating your compensation package or building a turn-key business with robotic income.
- “Buy low, sell high,” but that is not how business works and not how you make money in the long-term. “To build long-term wealth, you’re better off buying a great product at a high price than an average product at a ‘good’ price.” -Warren Buffet
- “You need an education,” but the education system doesn’t teach you how to make money, keep money, nor how to make your money grow. All knowledge is not created equal.
- “Money won’t make me happy,” but you don’t have any money now and you’re not happy.
- “Do something you love and the money will come to you,” but you must first do things you hate to find or afford to do what you love. You have to be willing to do the hard, thankless dirty work before you can do what you love.
- “Settle down. Less risk is safer,” but if you aren’t growing, you are slowing going out of business or losing your job to someone else willing to take risks.
- “I don’t need to be rich,” but that is a selfish mentality because you could have earned more money and used it to help others in your community or a non-profit organisation that actually does good in the world. Rich people can literally change the world. Poor people can’t even cover their own expenses because they are so consumed with their own basic needs to stay alive.
- “Don’t take risks. Diversify your investments,” but to build wealthy quickly you must find one or two intelligent investments and go for broke; go all in. And then start over. The only people who benefit from diverse investments is Wall Street.
- “Save your money,” but you cannot become wealthy by saving; it requires debt and sacrifice. Any money you have ‘saved’ quickly goes to $0 with inflation.
- “Work within the client’s budget,” but a budget really is just some subjective, unverified number the client set in place as an attempt to limit their own impulse to spend, likely because they have already spent so much money on so many other things that didn’t meet their needs.
- “Work within the client’s budget,” but a budget is approaching solutions as an expense rather than as it should be: an investment. A purchase should be focused on the return on investment, not the price. [Refer to Lesson 228 : Anatomy of a top candidate salary negotiation.]
- “Smaller is better,” but you’re either growing or going bankrupt. Which means if your competitors are getting bigger, you’re going out of business whether you recognize it or not.
- “Only offer your customers the best,” but ‘the best’ is subjective and nothing stays the best for long and is quickly replaced by something or someone who is better, stronger, smarter and/or more financially-backed than you. A well-written business book may be useless 5 years after it is published, and a poorly-written book with grammar errors might provide golden insights that still work 20 years later.
- “Listen to customer complaints” and “Handle client objections,” but how do customers know what they want/need? People complain because it is not their ‘ideal,’ but people change their mind all the time; especially as they age and learn.
- “In sales it takes two to do business,” but in reality it only takes the sales person to make the decision to sell, and eventually the buyers will come. Apple did not build the smart phone because people wanted it. Henry Ford did not build the first car because people asked for it. Howard Schultz did not did not create Starbucks coffee because people wanted an expensive coffee shop.
- “Your business must stay up-to-date technologically,” but while you need technology to attract the younger generations and the mass population, the ultimate buyer’s decision is human to human, not technological. Technology is just another tool to get you face-to-face with the buyer.
- “Protect your product/service/content so people can’t steal it from you,” but it shouldn’t matter that people are getting your stuff for free because those people wouldn’t have paid for it anyway. What matters is that your ‘stolen’ or ‘bootlegged’ products become free advertising for your future products and services, which you can monetize. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: Refer to Lesson 30. with Roc Chaliand for more.]
It is human nature to complain and be unhappy. Comments such as “You’re too expensive,” “Your product doesn’t do X or Y,” and “Your product should have been delivered a week ago.” are complaints. If you have a great product, instead of listening to customer complaints, increase your sales pipeline and get more clients. There are +7 billion people on this planet, don’t waste your time apologizing.
If something is popular, assume it is wrong and already too late. At best, take it for directionally good advice (Lesson 89). If what you sell isn’t popular, or goes against popularity, understand people will naturally be reluctant to change and that you will be ignored or attacked.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in my interview with Rory Sutherland that “Bad models, once they’ve become widely accepted, have an extraordinary capacity to survive – through a kind of lazy consensus” and that many people have careers, advancement, and promotions dependent on basically these widely accepted methodologies. Once you’ve invested a lot of effort in learning the lingo, you’re pretty reluctant to abandon it.]
Know the difference between an objection and a complaint. In sales, complaints are features they dislike about a product. “It’s too expensive.” “I don’t like it.” They are the prospects showing reluctance about what they don’t like. Complaining says more about the person complaining than it says about you.
Social media is NOT for direct sales. Do not expect to get paid much through it. These platforms were designed to distract and discover. The ONLY reason to be on social media is to meet people, and to meet them frequently. Quantity before quality.
REASONS WHY THE “MIDDLE” CLASS IS A LIE
Most people underestimate just how much money is required to be ‘free’ in America.
In the court of law in America, $1M is not enough for an innocent person to defend themselves against an ugly divorce or a frivolous lawsuit.
Assuming no problems and health emergencies and no inflation, $1,000,000 in your savings account and no additional income:
- A retired 65 year old with a total monthly living budget (rent, utilities, groceries…) of $4,000 (3,300€)/month will be broke within 25 years, or 90 years old.
- A 27 year old with 2 children that you want to offer a good university education to, you’re already broke.
Truth is being poor, living paycheck-to-paycheck requires an insane amount of creativity and entrepreneurship.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: In a LondonReal interview, Robert Kiyosaki explains that poor people will always be poor because being poor is a mindset, a mentality. The poor person says “I can’t afford that.” The rich person asks “How can I afford that?”]
Average employees exist because people give up. The reason the ‘middle class’ exist is because they lowered their target and how much value they can offer. You are either driven by your own goals, or you’re an employee working for someone else who is.
The poor are poor no matter what happens. The ‘middle class’ are comfortable until the economy worsens, then they realize they have been poor all along. It is the rich who get richer when the economy tanks.
Politicians only ‘care’ about the middle-class during election time.
Everybody complains about the unemployed people who can’t find work, but nobody is talking about the millions of employed people who don’t work hard enough to deserve their job.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: In the news, “Billionaires got 54% richer during pandemic, sparking calls for “wealth tax”” and “Billionaires’ wealth rises to $10.2 trillion amid Covid crisis“]
Life is an unpredictable and continuous transition and so there are three types of people:
- Cannot adapt, will only suffer. For an unfortunate percentage of the population, they were born into a cruel, hard, painful life, and that is how they will die. Regardless of how much potential they have.
- Half awake, eyes half open. For the majority of the population, life will be relatively good… until it isn’t. They were born into privilege because their family did the hard work, or they themselves worked hard and suffered to reach their status. Unfortunately the world’s constant transition of priorities and wealth mean they could lose everything they have tomorrow and finish life with a cruel, hard, bitter existence. Maybe they realize this, maybe they don’t know it yet. This is the majority of the modern ‘middle’ class.
- Awake, eyes wide open. For a small percentage of the population, nothing shocks them. Their eyes are open, looking around at the world for opportunities and threats. They are curious, researching and understand their environment. Ready to go when needed. These great people are always valued in the marketplace.
There are 4 levels of action:
- No Action – doing nothing and letting the world and opportunities pass you by. Not applying for a better job. Not improving your skill-sets. Not calling your friends and making plans.
- Retreat – reducing your spending and activity as a form of self-protection from a perceived threat.
- Normal – the trickiest and most dangerous – giving the appearance of success and productivity, however because you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck or not living up to your potential, the first sign of problems or market inflation you retreat and risk losing everything you’ve obtained.
- Massive – say “Yes” to every opportunity and risk being overwhelmed with responsibilities and commitments, thus having new problems to solve.
You could be more productive being 100% committed on incomplete information than you would if you were partially committed on reliable information. I (Grant Cardone) encourages debt to grow financially, Dave Ramsey advises you to avoid debt at all cost. Both (of us) are successful, and both offer conflicting, contradictory advice.
You have free access to millions of euros of training and knowledge from world-leading experts around you every day. Find the ones who you understand the most and commit 100% to one strategy and listen to it over and over again until it seeps into your unconscious. Decide and commit. Bet the rest of your life and go all in on that strategy.
There is so much money available on this planet it is unbelievable. The US alone prints at approximately $541M each day.
The problem with the majority of the population is they don’t know how to make more money than what they are currently being paid.
This is why the middle class is becoming the poverty line. The median annual income of the ‘middle’ class is in decline, and this trend is irreversible because there are too many people involved. Yes, your currently better off than a 3rd world or a developing country, but for how long?
Yesterday’s definition of “middle class” is no longer accurate today, and the hundreds of millions of Americans who follow the “middle class” financial strategies such as ‘save your money’ are screwed. It is a lie perpetuated at the poor’s expense.
Are you better off earning 100K€/year as an independent or earning 100K€/year as an employee? Neither! 100K€/year is nothing! 100k€/year is poverty after taxes and expenses!
People lie, but the numbers don’t. 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck because few people save and most of their assets and expenses are purchased using (bad) debt. The housing market and college debt are the two major scams in the United States.
The ‘middle class’ is just as worried about money to the point of being a miser because they’re in so much risky debt and in a volatile global market that they’re afraid to give anything away for fear of losing it so they spend as little as possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has bankrupted so many ‘millionaires’.
You’ve spent so much of your life around the wrong people, you need to get into the room with the right people. And usually to do that you have to pay to get in: Conferences, Bootcamps, university, clubs…
And once you’re in your networking skills and sales scripts better be on point because you didn’t invest all that money getting into the company of professionals only to sit alone at the bar watching others make business deals without you.
Don’t go to university to learn. Go to university to build a quality professional network. Which means chose your university wisely.
That being said, don’t model your life after millionaires. Millionaires appear to be big, successful business players in comparison perhaps to where you are currently in life, but they can disappear with one bad investment, one lawsuit, and in the next economic downturn. Model your financial strategies after billionaires.
- Billionaires don’t worry about quarterly improvement or saving money. Yes, a Starbucks coffee costs 5€. And if you saved that 5€ everyday for 30 years, you would have saved 55,000€. Now adjust for inflation and taxes and your savings will actually be closer to 20,000€. How is 20,000€ saved over 30 years a good investment strategy?!
- Billionaires buy personal jets because they understand the ROI of buying time. Yes a personal jet depreciates in value quickly, but the amount of time you save traveling, plus that you can travel with and enjoy your family and friends, use it for establishing a professional network to set up future deals. The amount of money you can make thanks to having a jet is worth more than the price you negotiated.
Just like buying a car versus relying on public transportation. A car is more expensive but you have more freedom and mobility, and the amount of time saved during the commute can be better spent.
Start earning and using money and assets as early in life as you can, and only invest in things you understand, where you have total control and in what is indestructible. As much as you can invest in yourself – education and training, gaining knowledge and experience and building a powerful professional network (talk to strangers).
If you’ve done a training and you don’t immediately see results, either the training is the problem, or you are the problem.
If you’ve done multiple trainings and you don’t see results, you’re the problem.
Don’t start looking at financial investments until you have at least 100,000€ to work with, and don’t invest in ANYTHING where you aren’t 100% sure of it’s financial stability and future reliability. This 100% certainty requires you to research and learn about all investment options available to you.
Financially sound real-estate loans you can qualify for:
- Residential loans, where you put a small percentage down and buy a 4 apartment property where you live in 1 apartment and rent the other 3 out at a price that at least covers the monthly loan payments.
- You and your ability to cover the loan payments are the bank’s priority.
- Banks will take the largest profit, but lenders tend to be very lenient with you and willing to work with you though you may have bad or no credit as long as you meet minimum basic requirements.
- Commercial loans, where you buy a large property with many, many apartments that you don’t live in and rent out at a price that far more than covers the monthly payments. The larger the commercial property, the less attention is on you and priority is now on the income potential of the property. However they will still look at your:
- Net worth equal to the loan amount.
- Credit score, however as long as your net worth is large enough for the lender to recover their losses, a poor credit score will not disqualify you.
- Track record, how many successful deals you have completed in the past and how reliable you are at managing your properties.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more on building your credit score, refer to Lesson 237. 20 Hours with Tai Lopez: Investor, Entrepreneur & Author.]
When money can solve a problem, it isn’t a problem anymore. That is the purpose of money, and debt. Money is to be strategically used, not saved. The best ROI you can get saving your money is nowhere near what you can get strategically investing it.
From a purely financial point of view, you need at least €20 million to be go beyond ‘middle’ class and be considered “rich.”
Millionaire is the modern day ‘middle class’. If you’re a millionaire and you’re driving a $100K+ car, you’re in trouble.
HOW TO BECOME RICH
STEP 0: Get from cash negative to cash positive.
Suffer mode is when you ruthlessly cut every expense – essentially living in poverty – until you have gotten yourself out of debt and can begin building.
If it takes you years of being in suffer mode because of your past financial decisions, then that is the price you must pay and lesson you must learn.
STEP 1: Nobody starts from nothing. Build with what you have & love
Being simple means you can move fast. The more you have, the more you are responsible for, the more decision-makers you must manage and the more decisions you must make, the slower you are and the more opportunities you lose. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in Lesson 138. The Next Revolution Will Be Psychological Not Technological that people tend to believe that complex problems require complex and expensive solutions, when in fact no budget with the right idea can do the job.]
Everything you see, hear and have, use to your advantage. This begins with how you talk to and about yourself internally; your self-talk. You could take the greatest training, access to the best professional network of people willing to help you and be set up for success, but if you let yourself talk bad about yourself, insult yourself and doubt your abilities, and surround yourself with other people to put you down, you’re doomed to fail before you’ve even begun.
If your target is money, you have the wrong target.
Change your target and you change your entire psychology and outlook on life. The goal is NOT to ‘be rich’ or ‘have $1,000,000 in the bank.’ Your goal is to be free and financially independent.
Every ‘verified’ account on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter account are people who aggressively want publicity and financial independence. Most of them also understand this publicity doesn’t come for free and are willing to invest if you can guarantee results. Better yet, don’t promise, first show them by offering them a gift: something of value which is quick and easy you can offer them that provides immediate results and gets them thinking about how you can solve their other problems. You now have a client.
A sample cold calling script for a copywriter contacting a company’s marketing director: “Hi! I’m Joshua SMITH, I’m contacting you because love the work you do and follow your company’s work for a while. You’re strong on Instagram but in my experience your value isn’t being properly showcased on LinkedIn. I’d love to fix that for you for free if you’ve 20 minutes for a virtual meeting I’ve 5 improvements I’d recommend which would increase exposure by as much as 20%.”
As a high-potential, high-performing employee, everything you do is investing in your boss’s future and economic freedom.
- With a 40K€/year annual salary, it will take you 25 years to earn 1,000,000€ (gross), but you and all the other 40K€ annually employees are directly contributing to your boss’ future. Even if you are both lucky and skilled enough to negotiate your salary from 40K€ to 80K€/year, this only means you’ll have reduced your road to 1M€ from 25 full-time years to 13 years, assuming you don’t increase your expenses.
You suffer and you grind because you have no real assets other than your drive, your idea and your potential and you’re starting from zero. But what you have is not zero; nobody starts from nothing. So stop working hard to collect pennies and stop thinking that collecting pennies is you being productive. Stop selling your time/product/service for 50€ and start offering it for 5000€. Then figure out as quickly as possible how to attract people able to pay 5000€, and then create an offer worth paying 5000€ for. As soon as you’ve 1 client paying 5000€, immediately raise your offer to 10,000€ and repeat.
At the very least you need an online presence, a product or service you offer and a way for people to send you money.
All communication and online presence must be built to sell. Not built to use. Your beautifully designed website which is extremely easy to navigate is a waste of time and money if nobody uses it to give you money.
Regardless of your race, age, gender, social and economic situation or whatever other category you chose to focus on, nobody starts from nothing. Look around you for what you already have to build from: your assets, your liabilities and your story. In fact…
From a sales perspective, a panhandler asking for money shouldn’t change his dirty clothes or his location. He must change his ‘ask.’ He could earn far more money confidently asking people for 100€ than he would asking for 25¢.
- Your parents/guardians meant well; they did the best they could with what they had available to them. But the best they had to offer doesn’t mean it’s still the best available to you today. In fact, most of it is useless to you today. You have this in common with billions of other humans on planet Earth.
- Assets include far more than money. Money is the smallest of your assets.
- Recognition is imperative. Your professional network and potential client base are your greatest asset. A deep network is nice, but you really need to scale so everybody knows who you are. Thinking you’re going to have a small, closed network of clients – or 1 full-time job – that you’ll take very good care of is middle class thinking.
– Work for free temporarily if you have no other choice: prove your value, made them dependent upon you and gain some experience and respect because you did the job well. Or refuse to work for free and go back to sitting on your couch at home doing nothing, don’t make any money and have nothing to show for yourself. The time has slipped by either way.
Network connections (deep and wide):
– Professional connections
– Social connections
– Family and supporting partner
– Working hard
– Being nice
– Defending yourself
– Morals and religious beliefs
– Purpose & intention
– Money (cash, stocks, bonds…)
– Property (houses, land…)
– Equipment (phone, car, clothes, appliances…)
– Internet access: billions of people are online. With and with a good offer and persistence you can speak directly to every one of them.
– Free content: 500 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every hour. 98% of it is entertainment or useless to your future, but the remaining 2% will change your life for the better.
– Autodidact: Learn online and off and internalize quality content every day and.
– Persistence – don’t give up despite setbacks
– Tenacity – work hard without slowing down
– Curiosity – everything is an opportunity to learn
– Commitment – set goals and don’t lower your standards
– Emotional maturity – stay calm during rejection
– Dedication – go into the world and test what you have learned so far, improving your abilities as you practice
|1. Anytime someone contacts you|
2. Anytime you contact others, which is free to do
3. Upselling existing clients
4. Getting referrals from clients and employers
5. Recontacting clients who said ‘No’
6. Tracking visitors to your website
7. Selling through your website
8. Tracking followers on social media
9. Following-up on complaints
10. Email campaigns
11. Contacting competitor’s clients
– Car payment
– Rent and utilities
– Living expenses
– Upcoming expenses
– Student loans
– Social life
– Starbucks coffee
Now that you’ve assessed your current assets, opportunities and liabilities, your business model can be further divided into 2 parts:
- What you are doing now to generate revenue, even if it is sub-optimal and downright dumb. Most businesses could realistically increase revenue by 50%-300% simply by researching, identifying and improving their existing offer and business processes: marketing, advertising, seeking referrals and extended relationships such as suppliers, reconnecting with former employees and suppliers, upselling existing clients…
- What you aren’t doing, or are doing but could do better
A word of advice before you start contacting your professional network with business opportunities: Pitching your professional network is different than pitching strangers. With people who know you, you get one shot to pitch and if they are not convinced or are disappointed afterwards, you’ve damaged the relationship – and possibly access to their network as well. Don’t take your hard-earned relationships lightly!
STEP 2: Decide, launch and learn as you go
Transitioning from a full-time employee working for someone else who gives you a paycheck to an obsessed entrepreneur working for yourself and earning your own paycheck is a different world which requires a different mentality; a mentality not taught to you in higher education.
- When faced with multiple creative business ideas and don’t know what to do, start with the quickest & easiest to monetize
- Never talk about (advertise) a product/service before you’re ready to sell it, and wait until you have everything ready to go before you offer it for sale.
- Always sell a product/service before you have it. As soon as everything is lined up to be able to offer it, advertise the hell out of it. Promise first and figure out how to deliver it later. Demand for your product/service should outweigh supply.
Key performance indicators you must prioritize are:
- Quality – how well your products/services exceeds the buyers needs & wants, how dependent upon you you can make the buyer, and how much money they have available to solve their problem(s).
- Volume – your sales funnel – how many buyers you are attracting and who go on to buy. The buyers who find you and buy without much work is great, but they are the easy demographic. To get volume you need to convince the people who don’t yet think they need what you offer, and you’ll likely need to steal them from competitors.
- Margin – how much money you have after each sale after all expenses have been paid. Given that quality, wealthy buyers demand quality and tend to have more money than they know what to do with, your margins can be exponentially higher if you can meet their needs/wants.
For every 1 person who buys your product, there are at least 12 others you haven’t yet found who would also buy.
When a few buyers control your volume and/or your margin, you are in a weak negotiation position. You have no options. You cannot walk away. You need them more than they need you. If the buyer knows they control you, you’re in even bigger trouble.
Ideally, you should have such a large volume that you can turn down opportunities, you should have a large enough margin that turning down opportunities does not create financial problems for you, and by making the buyer dependent upon you and your product/service to succeed, you are now in a strong negotiation position. you have options. You can walk away. They need you more than you need them.
You can always contact them later.
STEP 3: Break through obscurity and get noticed
Nobody can be of value without first getting attention.
When nobody knows you or cares about you, your name is not important; therefore don’t start your sales pitch with your name; start with how your product/service meets the buyer’s needs/wants. What is important is your demonstrated knowledge of the person’s problems and your solutions you offer them to their problems. When you know something others don’t, they respect you, fear you and look up to you.
Understand who your target demographic is, but don’t limit yourself to just that demographic. Also consider proximity. If your ‘target demographic’ is hair salons, go to the hair salon closest to you and pitch them, but before you leave the neighborhood to find another hair salon, test the market by also pitching every business within a 5 minute walk from that hair salon. Make your offer available and highly-visible, then see who buys it. Don’t turn down opportunities because they don’t fit with your preconceived “target demographic.” [JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more on identifying your target demographic refer to Lesson 237: 20 hours with Tai Lopez to learn how to create a turn key business with robotic income.]
Everything you do and say must be promotion, buy-in and leverage. You cannot get noticed without taking massive amounts of risk and action:
- Internally. Your colleagues and superiors cannot promote you if they don’t know who you are and what you’re capable of.
- Externally. Competitors cannot complain, hate or be afraid of you if you don’t threaten their revenue.
- Externally. Strangers cannot like you or hate you or buy from you until they know you exist.
At minimum start with a website you can fully control and put as much information as you can on it because with such easy access to the internet buyers are easily distracted and prefer to passively search about products and their alternatives at their own speed before buying. Being on social media is good for exposure, but you cannot control the user journey and social media sites are designed to distract users with new content. You cannot control users on another company’s website.
In fact, assume your buyer is more knowledgeable than you in your own domain. So don’t expect them to do all of their research online and then go offline to meet you and buy your product; especially when your competitors sell one. Give them the option of buying from you directly on your site without having to meet and speak to you.
Once you have a good, solid, scalable business model that can bring other investors in without breaking or diluting or damaging the existing other investor’s confidence, a very quick way to rapid exposure and growth is to identify potential partners and investors who already have access to influencers and businesses who have direct access to your target market and who are not intimidated or threatened by what you do. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more refer to Lesson: 4. How your quest for identity & connection is subtly manipulated.]
Focus first on traffic, then on your sales technique. 100% of your traffic will not convert, and buyers may visit you many times before they buy. And during that time you’ll change your sales pitch and strategy many times. So focus on traffic so people know you exist.
Amazon doesn’t ‘sell’ you, they maintain a website that is easy to use, has millions of combinations of products and they focus on staying top of mind and keeping their sales funnel full: making sure all roads lead back to Amazon.
People who already have built up a following of your target audience are open to collaborating to create content. Going ‘live’ to answer questions on social media is a great way to ask a question and perhaps get air time on their live session. The comments section of those live sessions are great places to connect and collaborate with others also seeking to break through obscurity.
The risk of breaking through obscurity and increasing your sales volume is that your competitors will eventually notice. They may concede and let you take their client base from them, or more likely they may retaliate and fight back. You win either way:
- The mere exposure increases which you didn’t have to pay for
- To compete with you competitors will have to adapt and offer more, or concede
- The already passive, weak competitors will fall even more behind and their clients will start looking at you
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more refer to Lesson 220. How to Run A Business: Offensive and Defensive Strategies To Manage Competitive Attacks.]
When you’re just starting out say ‘Yes’ to every opportunity that presents itself and that aligns with your long-term goal; even if isn’t what you want to do. You can’t enjoy the big opportunities without first doing the small opportunities. Think of the small opportunities as practice so you can handle yourself when the large opportunities present themselves. Saying ‘Yes’ to opportunities does not mean compromising your message and values. In fact, you are standing up for your values, which makes for interesting content.
Donating to non-profits and good causes is an honorable thing to do – and usually tax deductible, but don’t give donations anonymously; make your donations public so both you and the association benefit from as much exposure as possible. Professional exchanges are always about mutual benefit. As an added value, your clients can see where part of their money goes and potential buyers who align with your values can discover you and do business with you.
STEP 4: Welcome criticism because you’re going to get it either way
Intelligent buyers see through the manipulative ‘this is what I’ve accomplished for clients in the past.’ They take negotiation force by countering ‘I don’t care what you’ve done, what can you do for me today?’
Criticism is always constructive: Either it tells you how you can improve your product and sales pitch until the person buys it, or it shows you who your client is not so you don’t waste your time where you shouldn’t. And remember complaints are subjective. The people who complain today may be buyers tomorrow.
In fact, the more criticism you get, is what you need to do even more of. This way you have ‘haters.’ Haters offer you free advertising and visibility t han happy customers usually do. With haters comes admirers: Those 1 in 10 people who not only buy from you but promote you. Brand ambassadors, if you will. With ‘haters’ comes money.
Half of The United States of America hated Donald Trump, and that is one of the reasons why he became 45th president.
Don’t set out to ‘prove’ people wrong when they insult and complain about you. They are merely judging you based on their reality as they see it in that moment of their life. That is not your problem. When someone judges you and you determine it is a judgment not worth taking seriously, say ‘Thank you’ and move on.
STEP 5: Control & dominate. Commit to the right things, no matter how “overwhelmed” you are.
The wealthiest 1% did not get there by being nice. They were ruthless, calculated killers who, once they became wealthy, changed their branding and backstory into diplomacy, community and giving back.
Control & domination begins with what you focus your attention on. You should be living in the present yet making future-oriented decisions. Letting bad memories and emotions of past failures and fears guide your thought process sabotages your ability to take the risks necessary to become successful and find happiness.
Professional athletes, when they are behind in points in a game, focus only on scoring points while trusting the unconscious strategy they spent countless hours practicing. Your business should be no different.
Control & domination begins with your business strategy and what makes you happy and enjoy living. Competing with others is not how you become happy. Enjoy life because there will always be somebody who is stronger, better, faster, cheaper, more intelligent, more attractive, wealthier, better networked, more aggressive… ready and willing to take away from you to protect themselves. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more refer to Lesson 91. How to Start a Startup: Competition is for Losers; Aim for Monopoly.]
Control & domination begins with the clarity of your communication; notably your introduction. “If your assumptions are incorrect, everything that flows from it are incorrect – your communication included. If you focus on the symptom and don’t know the cause, then you’ll pursue a bunch of tactical activities that will never get you anywhere.” –Jay Abrahams
Control & domination means building a strong relationship with the client and then sending other people to do the work on your behalf. The person you contracted to do the work on your behalf should not have the opportunity to then steal your client from you. Immediately after the work has been completed you send another person behind them to do quality control on your behalf to make sure your client is happy with your work and to up-sell them on future work with you. If the contractor you sent to do the work on your behalf steals your own client way from you, it is your fault because you let them. You were not present and didn’t maintain the relationship with your client.
“Most people, when they are stressed or growing, dig holes – either to hide in or to hunker down. Should you dig a hole? If yes, where? How deep? With which equipment? Should it be somebody else and not you digging the hole?” –Jay Abrahams
- Technicians know how to use tools and work practically to accomplish goals as defined by the strategists. However they focus on earning short-term revenue to keep paying the bills.
- Strategists are long-term oriented thinking about the long-term, end game. They will accept losing money for years knowing their actions will lead them to win big.
When managing large crowds of people, for example, think like a strategist: rather than have a single microphone for individuals in the crowd to walk up to and ask a single question, understand the population make up of the crowd, divide them into equal groups based on their skill-sets and background, and have each group collaborate to submit a set of questions which will provide greater benefit to the whole crowd, rather than to just one person – and by default – one demographic of the crowd at a time.
You determine your value and worth, not the market, not your employer or potential client. As long as you let other people determine your worth, you will never be paid what you’re worth and you’ll never reach your full potential.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more on controlling your job search, refer to Lesson 239. Upgrade your CV, find hidden job offers & 10x response rates as well as Lesson 240. Job interview strategies for mid-level to senior executives.]
Point is, you must have control your life and influence on the decisions made that concern you.
- Independent or own your own business? You need to know everything about how your business works, even if eventually you pay someone to do certain tasks for you. Allowing others to make decisions on your behalf and without your knowledge and a defined protocol is setting yourself up for failure.
- Raising children? Don’t spend hundreds of euros putting a fence around your pool to prevent your kids from drowning. Teach them how to swim and be comfortable around water.
“To build long-term wealth, you’re better off buying a great product at a high price than buying an average product at at ‘good’ price.” -Warren Buffet
Wealth, health, happiness and success each require hard work. But it is far more difficult and painful to be successful in a few things than it is to be successful in all of them. So you’ve amassed plenty of money, but is that considered success if you’ve lost your family and health to obtain it?
You are who you are based on your upbringing and your environment, and you attract what you are. If you’re angry and vengeful, you attract anger and vengeance. Jealous, you attract jealousy. You have to learn to identify, let go of and get above whatever it is that is holding you back.
Don’t sell your past achievements; it doesn’t matter what you’ve done. Don’t sell your skill-sets; they could be useless tomorrow. Enjoy the present and understand it is temporary.
Also focus on the future: “What’s next? What’s new?”
Good and bad, the world is constantly in transition:
- Today’s high school students are transitioning to university
- Today’s university students are transitioning to a full-time career
- Today’s military personnel are transitioning to civilian live
- Today’s singles are transitioning to married life, and vice-versa
- Today’s workers are transitioning into expatriates, and vice-versa
Because life is in such constant, unreliable transition, you have problems you aren’t even yet aware of:
- Paperwork you were supposed to have sent off last month that nobody told you about
- A mistake in your taxes which will result in a ??,???€ fine you’ll find out about in 3 months
- A WordPress plugin update that broke a functionality of your website which is costing you ??,???€/month in lost sales
No matter how hard life appears, billions of other people have already been there and done it before you, and they have survived, like you will.
The problem with most people is they are ill-prepared; they didn’t learn how to control their emotional impulses and take care of themselves properly. They didn’t learn how to study at school, optimize their CV, answer job interview questions, negotiate their compensation package, start a business, declare their taxes, invest their money, eat healthy and stay in good physical shape…
Anticipate, plan ahead and prepare for inevitable worst case scenarios so when the time comes you’re already at an advantage.
Too much responsibility and workload on your plate? Add more. Prove to yourself that you’re stronger than you think, and that you are able to rearrange and commit your time to get fulfill your responsibilities. Your colleagues and superiors must rely on you to agree on and then meet deadlines.
When you’re bored you risk becoming destructive. Drug addicts are committed to drugs. ‘Get rich quick’ entrepreneurs are committed to ‘getting rich’ even at the expense of other people. Commit to the right objective(s) and then go all in.
To effectively manage your time and workload, micromanage your time and track all the right statistics. What gets measured gets managed. Don’t highlight the negatives; communicate all statistics that validate and remind you of your successes.
Do not tolerate flat numbers and breaking even. With inflation and hyper-aggressive competitors around you, you’re either growing or you’re dying.
The sales process is a machine and money is cyclical; continually being passed around from person to person. Master the art of sales and attracting audiences and make it an unconscious part of your everyday life. Whether you are selling stickers for 2€, cars for 15,000€ or businesses for 200 million€.
If you’re uncomfortable with sales, there is something/ someone in your past and/or your present blocking you.
- You were embarrassed when a girl you liked rejected you so you retreated deeply within yourself
- A friend got mugged at gunpoint in a foreign country so you refuse to travel abroad or meet strangers
- Your parents went through an ugly divorce so you avoid commitment and so ‘choose’ to live alone
- Someone you know went bankrupt and so you refuse to make any investment whatsoever
here! Your parents have limited data, so they teach you good stuff and bad stuff. You have to know which is which. The super-rich you see today, they are probably doing all of the ‘bad’ stuff your parents told you not to do.
In sales it doesn’t take two. It just takes one who is committed to the other. And commitment involves turning down many other, possibly better, options.
Be ethical, keep your hands clean and be in control. Only promote and stand behind products you trust and you know benefit other people. How can you expect to convince others to buy a product you don’t like, trust and wouldn’t use yourself? Once you’ve done this, have full confidence to unapologetically sell as aggressively as you want.
STEP 6: Stop being selfish and start building your entourage & audience/sales funnel
The money in your pocket now was given to you by somebody else, and you will give it someone else who can offers you greater value in exchange.
The money in everybody else’s pocket should be yours, and you can prove you’ll give them greater value in exchange.
“If you can sell (pitch, promote and market). You can do anything.” Now is the time to be aggressive and go after what you want, because your success in 10 years depends on the decisions and actions you take today. Everything depends on now.
- Don’t start small. Go big or don’t.
- If you are currently small, stop and go big.
- Get your spouse and family involved in your business and your targets. Include them in as many activities and decisions as you can. Bring them to workshops, training and conferences. When they don’t agree with you, you’re potential and opportunities are limited.
- Set ambitious targets, write them down and then figure out step-by-step how to reach them. Exceed or fail to meet targets. Do not simply ‘meet’ targets like the +66 million US business do annually. Do not lower your targets once you have set them. Do not confuse your list of targets with your ‘to do’ list.
- Micro-manage and be a control-freak to improve decisions. Live and die by the graph. People lie, numbers don’t.
- Increase your activity and revenue streams. Don’t put all your revenue streams in one basket. Even if it is something you hate doing. Your first revenue stream funds your second, and your first and second revenue streams fund your target, long-term, scalable business.
- Now that you have passive, steady income, routinely fire employees and people in your life who hold you back from meeting your targets. You can’t fire mediocre employees when they are your only source of income, but you can when you lower their power over your revenue.
- Reinvest heavily in upskilling to better understand your market, demographic and environment, help you meet your targets and to attract leaders who offer greater opportunities. Ask questions. The more and better questions you ask, the more data you collect to make better decisions.
- Learn and conduct due diligence until the right decisions become instinctive, then trust your gut feeling.
- Treat mentors as introductions to other, bigger players’ and find as many as you can.
- Focus on business automation so you can step away for weeks and focus on the next steps.
- Simplify your choices whenever possible.
- Reinvest heavily to get attention so you don’t stay small. Go for broke.
- Use your network and skillsets to go where the leaders are and build relationships.
- Dominate or collaborate. Don’t compete
- Focus on making other people’s lives better, not making yourself wealthier.
The first thing you must do is get attention. Attention equals freedom. Even bad attention is good because you can control and redirect how your story is presented.
It’s not the other person’s fault if they don’t pay attention to you. It’s your fault your presentation isn’t interesting. Get attention, then ask for more.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in Lesson 116. How to win new clients without pitching that when it comes to winning new business:
- Win without pitching. Your reputation precedes you and strangers contact you with opportunities.
- Derail the pitch. Your professional network and accomplishments push you to the front of the line.
- Gain the inside track. Connections of connections can be contacted to give you an advantage, such as contacting alumni from your alma mater or employees of former companies you’ve worked with.
- Re-evaluate objective/approach. Find out what information you’re missing or angles you’re not exploiting.
- Leave with your integrity and try something different.]
You’re not only in competition with your direct competitors. You’re in competition with noise: television personalities scaring consumers into not spending their money, husbands and wives complaining about not having enough money around the house, the entertainment industry pushing consumers to relax and be lazy rather than invest, Starbucks coffee who pushing people to spend all their money on coffee.
And even getting attention isn’t enough if the buyer doesn’t remember you at the strategic moment they decide to buy. You must stay top of mind so they don’t forget about you.
If you don’t go fast and you don’t get big, you’re dead next to the others who are moving quickly and growing. There is why being a solopreneur – “Working alone and for yourself, running your own business and doing everything on your own, keeping 100% of the profit…” – is stupid.
Don’t take the advice of ‘business gurus’ who build businesses that are dependent upon the ‘guru’ to succeed. Those ‘business gurus” principle source of revenue is selling their business advice in the form of books, conference tickets, monetized YouTube videos, etc. In fact, it is statistically likely they are living paycheck to paycheck.
Don’t take advice from quitters. Bad products exist because people quit, gave up and settled.
Be wary of advice coming from people who don’t practice what they preach; who provide a service for other people but don’t actually do it for themselves. Don’t take a financial investment class from a professor who doesn’t have his/her own successful portfolio. Don’t take for work a real-estate agent with years of helping others buy and sell property but own their own property.
How can people buy from you if they don’t know who you are?
|Selfish, egocentric, self-defeating excuses||Selfless, allocentric challenges to overcome|
|“I am introverted.”|
“I am too busy/tired...”
“I‘m not smart enough.”
“I‘m not comfortable talking about myself.”
“That is not who I am.”
“I‘ll do it one day.”
“I don’t need money.”
“I don’t like sales.”
|“They are people you haven’t pitched correctly to (yet)“|
“Its not the right time for them (yet).“
“They haven’t seen the right product for them (yet)“
These are excuses and they are selfish and self-defeating. Don’t speak like a selfish, egocentric, self-defeating person, and certainly don’t work with and surround yourself with people who do.
Vincent Van Gogh loved art, but never told anybody about it; never sold any of it. That is a damn shame! That is completely selfish. By talking about ‘your’ introversion or ‘your’ lack of confidence, you’re assuming you’re special and that nobody else is like you. You’re saying it’s not easy for you but it is for everybody else. Do it because you can.
You hear statistics that people “prefer” video and audio content. What they don’t tell you is that 21% of Americans and 9% of French are functionally illiterate, and a large percentage of people who can read prefer not to.
The average person reads 1 book a year, and half of those books are romance novels.
Build an audience and be strategic about it. Done right even people who follow you yet never buy from you bring value bring you value. Apply this to online business strategy, your enemies will even bring value to you by following you on Youtube, watching your content, and complaining about you in the comments section.
The problem with exposure and success is that headhunters and recruiters want to steal your best talent from you, so you must also protect your business as you grow. Executive recruiters play chess with the corporate world. A competent, calculated recruiter could steal your best talent, tearing your empire to the ground. It’s your fault your employees leave, not the employee’s.
How can people buy from you if you don’t sell anything?
You have to have a product or service for sale if you want to make money. You might survive off donations and the ‘kindness of your fans,’ but you’ll never get rich from that business model.
And you cannot have just one product/service because you don’t know what people want, so offer a range of products and services that can be put together and taken apart and let the consumers tell you what they want. Grocery stores are experts at this. You run in to buy some some apples, and you leave with 80€ in groceries.
Why should people believe in your product if you don’t believe in it?
Don’t create shit and put it into the world. Create the greatest value you possibly can that solves people’s real problems and makes their lives better, and always be improving on your offer. You don’t want to “push” your products onto other people? It is a shame you feel so poorly about your own products and yourself.
Why must you make money on ‘every’ deal to win in the short-term if you lose in the long-term?
Smart businesses know how to lose money. They understand they are probably losing money right now and don’t know where they are losing it. So control how you lose money. You could spend 1,000€ in LinkedIn advertising and gain 500€ in sales, or you could lose 1,000€ on a single contract with a new client which turns into a long-term relationship where the client gives you 100,000€ over the next 10 years.
Know how to lose money so that it is good for your business.
To find a job, team or investors in under 72 hours:
- Focus on the 5 companies you want to work with and do deep research into those companies. You don’t want to be in an industry, you want to work for the best companies in the industry who reward you the most, be it pay, promotional opportunity, or whatever else your’re after.
- Find out who the real decision-makers are go sell yourself directly to them. Don’t waste your time sending your CV to strangers and applicant tracking systems who discriminate against you and waste your time.
- Don’t play their job interview game and try to convince them that you have ‘skills’, show them you have ‘whatever it takes’ to get the job done.
You sent your CV to 40 companies and 3 called you back for a job interview offering you 50,000€/year. The last generation 20 years ago was happy with 50,000€/year. You need to change the way you think.
How do you know another company who didn’t call you back is paying their employees 80,000€/year?
As a manager or business owner, push your employees to their full potential. If they aren’t living up to their potential let them go. It might be difficult working short staffed but it’s hard to attract and keep people with potential when their colleagues aren’t.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in How to Shape Human Behavior 3rd Edition for Negotiators that brands typically have two types of employees:
- Workers excel at doing their job and getting things done. These employees are important because they get the products and/services made, but without direction and guidance they can only do so much
- Managers are the leader-type employees who excel at positioning and directing the right employee(s) at the right problems at the right time to ensure everything runs smoothly and gets done correctly, on time and on budget
Perhaps the most reliable way of identifying the high-quality employees to invest in and promote is to:
- Continually expand the scope and responsibility of all employees until the employee reaches his or her limit, and is not willing/able to take on more
- Look at how employees utilize their office space. Powerful-looking offices tend to be either very large and intimidating or very clean, orderly, and optimized if the office is small – an office where decisions are made and work gets done
- Observe which employees’ office space is the most heavily-trafficked. Employees usually gravitate towards colleagues they know can and will help them with their problems. Find the employees whom the most employees go to most for help, and promote that employee to manager. Promote them, reward them, and then expand their scope and responsibility until they reach their limit.]
Following the traditional recruiting process, Grant Cardone posted a job announcement which resulted in 800 candidate responses and 6 hires, of which 4 turned out to be mis-hires. An enormous waste of time and resources. So Grant abandoned the ‘traditional job interviews’ and created the 6-part Whatever It Takes: The Ultimate Job Interview series as a creative recruiting solution to attract high-quality people and to avoid discrimination lawsuits as a result of asking the hard questions needed to identify top performing talent.
As a result of this recruiting series we hired 8 people, we hired all eight of them and got millions of views and additional recruits and counting.
Don’t hire employees, especially those who work on a commission, and push them to reach their sales targets. Instead, show them step-by-step how they can achieve financial independence, and then tie that to their performance at your company.
The US is the wealthiest country on Earth. Before COVID-19, 53% of Americans surveyed lived paycheck to paycheck. Since COVID-19, 63% of Americans have been living paycheck to paycheck. +60% of +22M companies either lose money or break even.
21% of Americans and 9% of French are functionally illiterate, and a large percentage of people who can read prefer not to. The average person reads 1 book a year, and half of those books are romance novels.
Monday’s hashtag is #ihatemondays. Wednesday’s hashtag is #humpday. Friday’s hashtag is #tgif (thank God it’s Friday). Sunday’s hashtag is #thelordsday. These are the people working in companies and looking for jobs. These are the people you are hiring, and if you’re looking for a job, these are the people you are competing against. They are either complaining about having to work, happy that they don’t have to work, or refusing to work.
Recruiters are hiring from a broken planet and most hiring strategies are useless. At the end of the day even the most refined recruiting process is essentially “giving the person a shot.”
If you say “there is too much competition out there to find a job,” what you’re really saying is “I’m an idiot.”
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in Lesson 240. Post-COVID-19 job interview strategies & response templates for mid-level to senior executives that every company has their own hiring guide: selection methods to attract, identify and select ‘the best’ talent. If you don’t meet their guidelines, you don’t get the job. Unfortunately most of those selection methods are unethical, illegal, and not very accurate. The problem with the interviewing process is that it is tremendously biased and does not accurately predict long-term performance.]
By making a commitment publically that upon completion of a future accomplishment, you can then use that commitment and the resulting incredible exposure and public relations which will be crucial in making your promise a success. For example, one hour into Grant’s June 14, 2017 interview with Lewis Howes Grant commits to:
- Raising $225 million to put down on the project and attract investors
- $900 million worth of property available to buy (approximately 9000 apartments)
- Finding enough investors willing to go public when the rich usually prefer to be discrete
- Signing a $900 million deal within 36 months
- Giving Lowis Howes a part of the deal
- Signing the deal live on Lowis Howes’ Youtube channel
- Doing an interview afterwards to discuss the process and lessons learned
The amount of goodwill and free publicity involved for all parties in this transaction is so great that it should be easy to find enough investors to get the deal done. The advertising and exposure would almost pay for itself.
Point is, they should need you more than you need them. Recall in Lesson 189. Conducting effective negotiations when you ‘have to’ have the deal that you should never allow yourself to be put into a position where you ‘have to’ have the deal. Keeping a deep sales pipeline of many prospects with multiple streams of income puts you in that position of not ‘having to have’ any one single deal.
The economy is basically a monetary ecosystem of people who either have confidence or don’t.
Develop confidence and risk-taking. Don’t sit at home and wait for the phone to ring. Go out there and walk into a stranger’s office and offer them a job interview.
When you start getting comfortable and complacent, it’s time to leave.
STEP 7. BUILD MULTIPLE PASSIVE REVENUE STREAMS ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER
Which is the safer financial model: 3 revenue streams earning 10K€/month or 1 earning 30K€/month?
Don’t start a business just to pay yourself 160,000€/year. For that amount of money you could get a comfortable job in a corporation with less stress and risk. Start your business and make decisions to pay yourself closer to a 1M€/year as quickly as possible.
You can have a polished CV, brand, storytelling and even presentation, but as Grand Cardone repeatedly explains: “The numbers don’t lie, people do.” If you’ve no seed money, no financial backing, no income, no measurable results, no case studies, no track record, your story is nice but not important because there are billions of others on this planet with equally beautiful stories and nothing to show for it.
Don’t spend your hard earned money on ‘stupid’ expenses such as expensive watches and first class flights. Protect the money you work hard for by putting it into businesses that earn passive revenue, an then buy the ‘stupid’ expenses with your passive income.
Be aware, curious and creative, and starting from your first revenue stream, be it a job – business or side project – immediately begin adding other revenue streams; as many as you can effectively manage. Your first revenue stream should feed your second, which feeds your third, and so on. Only after you have multiple revenue streams are you able to ‘quit’ jobs, businesses and clients which are no longer in your best interest.
The most difficult step to becoming financially independent is by both cutting costs and increasing income until 40% of your gross revenue can be stored and then invested.
|50% Monthly Taxes||Monthly |
|5 years 2 months||4,000€||16,000€||20,000€||40,000€|
|10 years 4 months||2,000€||10,000€||10,000€||20,000€|
|20 years 8 months||1,000€||5,000€||5,000€||10,000€|
To adequately provide for your family of 4 AND save 40% for your future, your combined household income must be +300,000€/year.
How do you find a job/business earning +300,000€/ year? You have to be good at what you do, have multiple streams of revenue, obtain consistent exposure, and you need to be a strong negotiator.
In reality, you should be more worried about personal development than you are in food.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: According to the philosophy of Charles Bukowski, you should go all the way:
“Starving creates time. Work an 8-hour/day job you get $0.55/hour. If you stay home you’re not going to get any money buy you’ll have time to write things down on paper.
I did starve for my art to have a 24 hr day unintruded upon by other people. I gave up food & everything. But dedication without talent is useless. A dedication nut without talent starves and dies in the gutter; thinking they had talent.
Everyone believes they have talent; that they are ‘the one’. How do you know that you’re the one (who has talent)? You don’t know; it’s a shot in the dark. You take it or you become a normal, civilized person from 8 to 5.
If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives, jobs, and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean derision, mockery, isolation.
Isolation is the gift. All the others is a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it.”]
STEP 8. INVEST WISELY, USE DEBT STRATEGICALLY & MAINTAIN YOUR LIQUIDITY
When a bank is willing to loan you money, they want to be your partner. It doesn’t take money to make money, it takes courage to make money.
Only invest and take out loans on things you are competent in and know for a fact will be around over the long-term.
- If you don’t know anything about crypto-currency, either be willing to pay a professional to do it for you or leave it alone.
- Don’t know anything about social media platforms and their stock? Pay a professional to do it for you or leave it alone.
- Favor monthly ROI. The difference between quarterly stock dividend payments and monthly dividend payments amounts to 100s of millions of €.
But before you think you’ve found a financial partner, remember this:
- Banks will lend you money to buy real-estate, but won’t lend you money to invest their own stock.
- Universities will sell you their diploma, but make no guarantees that you’ll be able to use their diploma to find a good job afterwards.
This gives you a good idea to what they believe in: cash flow into the future.
If you’re going to invest in real-estate, don’t invest in 1 or 2 doors (single homes and apartments or duplexes); invest in 32+ doors (residential buildings).
There are so many ways to make money that you have to stay nimble, well networked and skilled up, ready to spot opportunities when they arise. Every decade disaster strikes, financial bubbles explode, economies retract, and recession happens. When this does, those with enough liquidity are in a rare position to buy investments for pennies on the dollar.
Buying a single house address to live in is a terrible investment because:
- Owning anchors you down and limits possibility. What happens if a huge opportunity arises somewhere else and you have to turn it down because you can’t sell or rent your house in time? What happens if the state or country you live in increases your taxes to the point you can no longer pay rent, or as a business be profitable? If you cannot leave. You are no longer in control of your own life.
- Property appreciates very slowly over time compared to other investments. “Adjusted for inflation, over the last 50 years the average house has returned 1% each year.” 3.8% (before inflation) over the last 10 years according to SFGate.
- Property requires constant attention and money. Maintenance, repairs, furnishing, landscaping…
- You must pay even when property sits vacant. If you move out and rent it, you’re not only paying rent, you’re also paying for the house for every month you don’t have someone paying rent.
Rent where you live, and own addresses so you can rent them out.
This is so you are location independent. Being location independent then allows you to become financially independent. If you’re current city or state wants you to pay more taxes, you can move to a city or state where taxes are lower. If your employer changes their compensation and bonus structure and you can’t earn more or receive promotions, you can move to another employer who values its employees, or launch your own business on the side.
- You can’t easily change locations when you are committed to a 25-year mortgage payment.
- You can’t easily change jobs when you are committed to a 25-year mortgage payment.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more on debt, refer to lesson 237: 20 hours with Tai Lopez to learn how to create a turn key business with robotic income.]
The Grant Cardone sales strategy reverse-engineered
- People are investments, not expenses. People do not cost money. Mistakes cost money. Lack of sales, appointments, production cost money. Quality people are investments when you have a sales pipeline, sales and production. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more check out Lesson 228. Anatomy of a top candidate salary negotiation.]
- Define your SMART goal and budget before investing any time/money. Spending time and money on content and advertising without a clearly defined goal will increase your basic metrics like website traffic, likes and maybe signups over the short-term, but long-term the result will be “I spent all my time/money and the ‘campaign’ didn’t work.”
- “Here is some money, I want more X” is not a SMART goal because ‘more’ cannot be defined precisely or objectively.
- “I want 3 new appointments a day”
- “I want 10 new clients per month.”
- “I want 10 existing clients to upgrade per month.”
- Frequency breeds familiarity which leads to patterns, habits and trust – Your target stranger must see you a lot in order to break through the noise and catch their curiosity. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: Refer to Lesson 44. Rory Sutherland and Lesson 237. 20 Hours with Tai Lopez on the benefits of building trust.]
- Always demonstrate value. Sell or be sold – Which also increases trust. An educated, well-informed prospect is more likely to give you money than an ill-informed prospect with a ton of unanswered questions.
- Offer to solve their problem for them – The underlying message should always be “Here’s what you need to do it by yourself if you have the time, or if you have the money you could pay me (an expert) and save you a ton of time.
- “Here is some money, I want more X” is not a SMART goal because ‘more’ cannot be defined precisely or objectively.
- ALL sales estimates are by default subjective; a starting point for negotiation. So use them in your favor. Quote outrageously high and do it confidently. Your confidence in the value you offer is what convinces the buyer, not the price.
- Grow your pipeline: get 3 appointments a day, whether or not they buy. Have 3 consistently? Now aim for 6 appointments per day.
- Increase productivity through practice and training: Anyone client will say “Yes” to anything if the seller is sold on the deal. But getting everyone to say “Yes” takes a lot of training and motivation.
- Always say “Yes*”: Always say yes then negotiate the conditions of the “Yes.” Your pricing strategy and product/service offer should be structured so that every prospect who walks through your door and is willing to sign a contract should be 100% approved, and then negotiate the conditions. You’ll always have delinquent payments and ‘difficult’ clients; you’re working with broken people on a broken planet. But as a business owner if your problem and revenue depends on clients who have difficulty paying, then you don’t have a collection problem, it means your sales pipeline isn’t big enough.
- Comprehensive management involvement: Employees need room and authority to negotiate, but employees need guidance and control and should not have authority to make final “No” decisions. Trusted, vetted, experienced employees (managers) must be aware of and involved in every client decision; no exception, no excuses.
- Immerse your clients & employees. Immersion is the ultimate client & employee satisfaction. As often and as quickly as possible, put your product/service in the prospect’s hands and let them use it, feel it, experience it.
Expect sales and income to fluctuation, what matters is your sales and income should rise over time.
Understanding the buyer
Begin by creating an in-depth profile on each of your optimal users. Facebook, Google and LinkedIn have stalker-level capabilities which allow you to explore their advertising algorithms for free to create an advertising campaign for them. Even if you don’t actually launch a paid advertising campaign, use their free software to understand and quantify your target demographic. Take advantage of them.
- Potential buyers in general:
- Buy to solve a problem – real or perceived
- Overpay for junk and underpay for quality everyday
- Carry their phones with them 24/7 and spend most of their day on it
- Each technological device has it’s own unique ‘device ID’ which allow millions of of applications (free and paid, downloadable and pre-installed), which is what makes it so addictive and useful
- Every technological device has a unique ‘device ID’ that
- Accept almost unconsciously to have cookies downloaded and their data collected
- Believe they know what they want but are curious and willing to try new things out
- Move between:
- Today-buyers – The highly-competitive market of strangers ready to buy from the first person who catches their attention.
- Tomorrow-buyers – Strangers who aren’t yet ready to buy, but their time is approaching. This is the mid- to long-term market you want to target
- Will impulsively give you their contact details if you promise something attractive
- Blindly agree to terms and conditions
- Real decision-makers purposefully make themselves hard to get to. The harder they are to get to, the easier they are to sell once reached.
- Potential buyers in specific:
- Have needs and wants according to their current situation
The sales process
- Understand which of the 4 sales processes best fit your business:
- Classic – client decides they have a need, and they go to the quickest, most accessible location to buy something that meets their need. Example: “I want to have red wine for dinner.” or “It just started raining and I don’t have an umbrella.”
- Information gathering – client decides they have a need, and so set an appointment to ‘learn more’ to help them in their decision-making process. They then become a client or not. Example: “I want to work with a career coach.” or “We need to buy a new car.”
- E-commerce – client decides they have a need, and they go to a site (hopefully your site) and buy it directly from you. Example: “I don’t feel like cooking tonight, let’s have food delivered.” or “I need to buy more ink for my printer.”
- Funnel – client decides they have a need, and they passively search, fall onto your website and give you their contact details so you can periodically send them relevant content to aid in their decision-making. Example: “Nearly every business with an online presence.”
Test to find your sales process works best for you, and commit to it. Focus all your attention on that sales process and build your marketing around it.
When headhunting sales people, create a compensation package with no ceiling that allows them to become millionaires if they’re willing to work hard enough. With sales, paying ‘attractive’ or ‘competitive’ salaries with bonuses is not attractive enough to keep them fully-committed to your company and not leave for a competitor’s ‘more attractive’ offer.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in Lesson 239. 10 Hours with Recruiters: Upgrade Your CV Template, Find Hidden Job Offers & 10x Response Rates that executive recruiters play chess with the corporate world. Recruiters are the people employers want on their team; they are the people job seekers want to attract. A competent, calculated recruiter could steal your best talent, tearing your empire to the ground.]
Prospecting & lead generation
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: In his book This is Marketing, Seth Godin quotes Jay Levinson saying “Don’t change your ads when you’re tired of them. Don’t change them when your employees are tired of them. Don’t even change them when your friends are tired of them. Change them when your accountant is tired of them.””]
- Have disposable time & money before investing in advertising. Until you discover which advertising campaigns work, who your right audience is and what their conversion rates are, you need to test. And to test you’ll need money set aside that you’ll probably lose as you learn what works.
- When you’re operating on a low budget and you need a quick ROI, you must commit time until you have the money to replace your time with. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: Refer to Lesson 122. Managing your professional and private life.]
- Once you’ve a reliable sales process that predictably generates money, invest 100-300% into marketing and advertising to drive strangers to your reliable sales process.
- Differentiate sales and marketing. Sales is knowing how to lead prospects through the sales cycle to the ultimate purchase. Marketing is attracting prospects into your sales process. Do not believe you a marketing campaign can replace sales.
- Drive complete strangers into your sales process: It is better that people not know you, but you want to control the impression they have of you whenever they do see and interact with you.
- Stranger must feel like they know you.
- Stranger must like you.
- Stranger must trust you.
- Stranger must want what you have.
- Drive buyers to a landing page, not simply to your website. As previously explained, you don’t know what buyers want so you want to offer many different types and combinations of products, but you always want to drive traffic to a specific landing page that advertises one particular product/service with maximum 2 options and only one call to action. Buyers may explore your site on their on and that is fine, but traffic should be targeted and intentional. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more, refer to my interview with Benjamin Descazal.]
- Sales process determines marketing. The way you sell determines how communicate in your marketing; not the other way around.
- If you’ve an E-commerce sales process, don’t push your visitors into a sales funnel by asking for their email because you’re goal is sales.
- Diagnose your social media posts (organic) & ads (paid).
- Track ROI – How many direct clicks to your website do you get for each of your content sources compared to what you get in return. You might for every 10€ spent gain 1 email address in return,
- Just because a person is willing to give you their email for a ‘free ebook’ doesn’t mean they will give you their money. Return to your SMART goal.
- Just because a person ‘likes’ or even ‘shares’ your Instagram content doesn’t mean they will follow you or give you their email or give you their money. Return to your SMART goal.
- Use paid advertising to amplify what already works organically – Once you can turn a stranger’s click into revenue, invest heavily in that content until you stop seeing that ROI. Your first advertising campaign should start from your best organic content.
- Hone what worked – As you invest your money learning through trial & error, track your efforts and results to develop an advertising playbook to help you further improve ROI.
- A good advertising campaign is the best investment you can make. 1€ in good advertising could realistically yield 1.20€ a month later. Warren Buffet only averages 20% ROI a year. Compared to every other investment vehicle, advertising is a sound investment.
- Track ROI – How many direct clicks to your website do you get for each of your content sources compared to what you get in return. You might for every 10€ spent gain 1 email address in return,
- Always leave a well scripted message. When you call their office and it goes to the secretary, or goes to voicemail, leaving a message with a promise to call back puts you back into their top of mind so they remember you. Calling and not leaving a message, you just wasted a minute of your time.
When it works, advertising is a profitable mid- to long-term investment. Advertising is only an expense when it isn’t reaching your SMART goals.
- Online advertising strategies to dominate any market:
- Geo-hunting allows strangers to see your advertising based on locations they visit. For example a vitamins supplement store can target cell phones that visit local gyms, sports clubs and even competitors.
- Browsing behavior allows you to target strangers (local and international) who perform specific actions while online. For example the US military could launch a targeted advertising campaign at anyone who watches certain movies glorifying war and superheros.
- Search retargeting allows you to target strangers within a certain location who search for specific type of information. For example an H&R Block’s expatriate tax division could launch a targeted advertising campaign at any US citizen living in Europe who searches for “pay taxes” between 1 January and 15 April.
- List retargeting (your own list or purchased from someone else) allows you to target a pre-defined group of people in a certain location who all have specific traits in common. For example, a university could target alumni having graduated 10+ years before and invite them to make donations to the university.
- Advertising methods you can use once you’ve aligned your SMART goal(s), target audience, sales process and market domination strategy:
- Display ads and banners are those obvious image or text advertisements on the top and side-bar of monetized websites. These are the cheapest and most popular.
- Native ads are content typically posing as blog posts designed to peak your curiosity and bring you to an informative sales page.
- Video ads are shown pre-roll and in-stream
- CTV (Connected TV) allows you to exploit all of a stranger’s technological devices to show them ads on their television based on their travel and browsing behavior as well as search and list retargeting.
- Before you throw your budget into advertising, consider the strategy of investing your time and reputation by making serious recommendations and referrals upon successful completion of your contract by offering a unique ‘referral’ offer:
- Offer with referrals: “If I provide you everything I’ve promised and you are 100% happy, will you commit to within 6 months provide me with serious referrals of 2 companies in your network of similar size and profiles?”
- Offer without referrals: “If not, then here are two other price points we can offer you based on your needs…”
Consider in fact a branding strategy where the buyer pays you 5,000€ for a 1-hour, one-on-one coaching that is recorded as a satisfied customer so they have ‘unlimited access to the coaching you offered’ provided contractually you ‘reserve the right to use parts of the recording for promotional purposes only.’ Now use those ‘parts of the recording for promotional purposes only’ to create a Youtube playlist where clients promote you, seek your advice with the best parts edited into a brief video which mutually-benefits both you and the client use the video for self-promotion.
Theory of closing & closing strategies
- Every purchase involves a proposal and a price. So get these to the prospect as quickly as possible after the meeting, even if they don’t want it. That way they have it and they’re free to change their mind and buy from you later if they want, or recontact you and renegotiate the terms of the sale.
- Yes, the prospect might not call you back, but they wouldn’t have called you back either way.
- Yes, the prospect might take your proposal to a competitor and negotiate a better deal with them, but without your proposal the prospect would have gone to a competitor anyway.
- You don’t blow deals because of thing you said or did. You blow deals because of something you didn’t do or say:
- You didn’t call the prospect
- You didn’t make the prospect feel comfortable and get them laughing
- You didn’t get the prospect exited about the benefits of using your product/service
- You didn’t follow-up when you said you would
- You didn’t identify the prospect’s needs before demonstrating your product/service
- You didn’t qualify the prospect to be sure your product/service was relevant to them
- You didn’t ask the prospect who influences their decision to buy and what information they would need to advise the prospect
- Don’t take longer to close than needed. Create a modular sales script and presentation. You don’t need to give the prospect all the information you have to get them to buy, you just need to give them enough information to convince them to buy.
- Map out your entire sales script and presentation from start to finish
- Break it down into modular 10-15 minute self-sustaining presentations
- At the end of each modular ask the client “Have you seen enough to buy yet?”
- If Yes, then sell. If no, then continue the next module of your sales pitch.
- Every person who has direct contact with the public is by extension on your sales team, and therefore imperatively must have at least minimal training, authority – and incentive – to control a basic sales call, collect the necessary information, promise the caller a prompt response and after the call is over a system must be in place to quickly forward that information to a salesperson who can promptly follow-up with an accurate proposal. Giving an employee a telephone without basic sales training is foolish. At the minimum:
- “Thank you for calling, what can I get you information on?”
- “We have a solution for you! How many X do you have…?” (Gather relevant information)
- “Let me send you a proposal. Where can I send it to?” (forward relevant information to appropriate salesperson for immediate proposal follow-up)
- The correct sales close must be “Let me send you a proposal.” not “Let me get your information so I can have a sales person follow up.” In this situation time is subjective. Even if the person doesn’t have all the information or authority to immediately send a proposal, the person should be trained to capture the relevant data to forward to an ‘authorized’ salesperson who will quickly respond with a proposal.
- Patent responses to questions such as “What does your company do?”
Strategies for internet response
- If you are not advertising and you’re still able to find clients, earn money and pay your bills, then you don’t ‘need’ to advertise or brand; you’re obviously fine without it – for the moment. But you need to advertise and brand if you want you want to:
- Protect your revenue base against competitors
- Be prepared for the next global recession or pandemic
- Secure your financial future
- Aggressively retarget online. Retargeting is repeatedly showing advertisement or content to a person who has already performed a specific behavior, such as watch your video, visit your site, click on your advertisement, give you their email address, follow your social media page, etc.
At the beginning of your campaign the smaller your target audience, the more expensive it is to reach that audience because they see your advertisement one time and immediately forget, so you must pay to repeatedly advertise for them to notice you exist.
Over time as your audience expands and become familiar with you, retargeting doesn’t have to be so aggressive.
- Consistent, passive follow-up. Once the stranger becomes a prospect and enters your sales cycle, don’t continue to aggressively sell them. Instead, consistently but patiently follow-up – through their objections – showing them the benefits you offer to their real problems. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: In Lesson 169. 20 tips to better negotiate your job offer and compensation package, Deepak Malhotra argues you should end every meeting with an 11/10 rating. The other person may not buy or agree with you, but they should respect you as a competent professional.]
Strategies for staying motivated
- Success is your duty, obligation and responsibility :
- Your clients need you to get their needs/wants met.
- Your local community needs you to be successful to bring investors, tourists, commerce and hope.
- Your local church and non-profit organizations need your donations so those less fortunate can have their basic needs met.
- Your local government needs your tax money to pay law enforcement and other employees to keep the community safe, the transportation systems up and running, the garbage collected…
- Your federal government needs your tax money to make foreign investments and keep the military that protects you strong and equipped.
Traits of great salespeople
- Dress to their audience’s expectations. Buyers who don’t feel comfortable, don’t buy. They therefore expect you to dress your part and fit in with the buyer’s environment.
- Trusted, credible & experienced.
- Networked. Even cold sales calls to strangers are networking opportunities. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in Lesson 239. 10 hours with recruiters that A-list, top quality professionals constantly have headhunters and job opportunities available to them. Every employee is 1 second away from quitting, 1 minute away from formally turning in their letter of resignation and 2-3 weeks away from leaving.]
- Can laugh at themselves. Because society at large dislikes ‘sales’ people, being able to take insults and not take yourself too seriously gives you the emotional maturity needed to excel in an industry that is disliked so much.
- Are not erudite. In business being a ‘genius’ is not using complex words and theories most people don’t know; In fact, in business being erudite is a sign of arrogance and stupidity. In business ‘genius’ is using the right words with the person in front of you to get them to do or give you want you want.
- Lead by example. Your executives and leadership must have clear missions and objectives and must never settle.
- Continuous initiative. People burn out, get lazy, demotivated or bored, forget… They need constant reminder of their objectives, proper training to achieve them and financial incentives to reach them.
- Autodidact. Receive daily, ongoing training, from their employer and/or on their own time. Deliberate practice makes perfect, and skilled salespeople are trained to close.
- Don’t learn. Know. Education and learning must lead to certainty – either confirming or dis-confirming and replacing what you ‘know’ to be true through experience.
- Train daily. When selling to people, you can become lazy and out-of-shape in less than 24 hours. So in addition to learning new strategies, theories and about your target audience as well as the environment you’re selling in, spend 20 minutes each day role-playing and deliberately practicing to automate your responses to handling objections and closing sales. Don’t learn. Do until you know.
- Predict, anticipate and overcome objections. Through experience, you’ve reached mastery when you can predict what the person’s objections before you finish your sentence. “The price is X€, now before you say it’s too expensive/cheap, let me tell you what comes with it. Okay?” [JOSHUA’S NOTE: In the world of fortune-tellers and, this is level of mastery is called a ‘shut eye’. Refer to Lesson 127. Linguistic tricks con artists use to manipulate you.]
- Prioritize productivity, not planning. Having a direction to move in allows you to cover ground quickly, but things change and you must constantly adapt so it is production and actually earns money. A business idea is only valuable if it can be monetized, and the quicker the better. If you’re going to be wrong and the idea doesn’t earn money, better to learn that quickly than to waste time planning.
- Business Idea > Landing page > Buy button with price > Advertise it and see
A 1 week vacation is more than enough time to turn an expert sales person into a noob, at least for a few days until s/he gets back in to shape.
- Train others, and let them set control the role plays. Teaching others not as skilled as you is a great way to teach yourself.
- Understand emotional intelligence (EI). You can learn as much if not more by putting yourself in the prospects shoes, in real life likewise in daily role plays.
- Clear & concise. In today’s world you are limited to mere seconds to capture and keep attention before the buyer gets distracted. If you cannot do this, it is your fault you can’t capture attention; not the buyer’s fault they aren’t paying attention to you. Once concise format would be:
- My industry is _______.
- Our clients are _______.
- We sell them _______.
- We market by _______.
- My biggest issue/untapped opportunity is _______.
- Quality questions. The quality of the buyer’s answers depend on the quality of the seller’s questions.
- Create a culture of continued training. Not only do they train themselves, they lead and inspire their colleagues to improve.
- Commit then plan. People change their schedules last minute all the time, and when forced to chose they cancel the less important meetings. You do it yourself. There commit to the prospect’s availability and then figure out how to creatively meet your commitments without burning bridges.
- Focus on income, not expenses. Without income you cannot afford anything and are forced to shrink, downsize and focus on cost-reduction, be it an expense or an investment. You can only reduce costs by so much until you become poor.
- Focus on mutual-value exchange. Never give anything away for ‘free’ without gaining something of equal or greater value. Free trials with no commitment must include an exchange of some value.
- Build certainty, not trust. Being unwaveringly convinced your product will help the prospect goes farther than building trust with them. If you’re not convinced in what you’re selling, it shows in your presentation. If you’re not convinced in what you’re selling, then why are you lying and damaging your reputation associating yourself with something you don’t believe in?
- Strategists. Not technicians. Strategists see the bigger, longer-term end-game picture, see how all the pieces fit together for the future and set SMART goals to control & dominate the future. Technicians know how to use tools and work practically to accomplish SMART goals as defined by the strategists. Technicians are short-term oriented without thinking about the long-term, end game. Technicians focus on earning revenue to keep paying the bills. Strategists will lose money for years knowing their actions will lead them to win big.
- SMART goals & priorities. Your employees are chasing the right targets and they are optimized in how they reach those targets.
- Focus on wins, however small. Lack of success demotivates. Success is subjective. Reserve time daily to focus only on the positive and celebrate wins, however small.
- Save the deal. Offer 3 solutions, with upsells and downsells for each solution – 9 ‘solutions’ total – and unlimited ways to be paid. This way no matter what price the prospect find acceptable, the sales person can either up- or down-sell, and can find a payment solution adapted to the prospect’s reality.
- Follow-up. Potential buyers express interest because they are ‘primed’ to buy at that moment. That moment quickly fades and following-up ensures the person’s needs/wants are met. Employees lose initiative and therefore need follow-up and encouragement.
- Closers. Calls-to-action close the sales process and generate revenue. Don’t expect revenue if you cannot close deals. Learn to close and you won’t have money problems.
- Equipped. Are so well prepared they can send the correct proposal to the client before the phone call has ended, so you can ask them if they have received the email. Similar to getting a person’s phone number and calling them on the spot to ensure it is correct.
- Understand everyone is a final decision-maker influencer. Even the seemingly least important, lowest person in the company can either ‘put in a good word’ and facilitate a meeting or block and prevent you from reaching the final decision-maker.
- Autodidact. Receive daily, ongoing training, from their employer and/or on their own time. Deliberate practice makes perfect, and skilled salespeople are trained to close.
- Quick, honed decision-makers. You must think and decide quickly then figure out how to make it work afterwards. Every day a sale isn’t made, every day spent on deciding whether or not to commit is not only a day wasted, it is revenue wasted that could have been made from your commitment.
- Retrospective. Understand that sometimes your best solutions to objections come to you after you’ve ended the meeting, and so you have a system to incorporate those solutions into future sales calls, and preferably a way to recontact the prospect with your new solution.
- Prioritize referral-generating systems to cold advertising. Word-of-mouth and recommendations are the most desirable form of advertising because they are the cheapest to attract and the easiest to close because the sales person has exploited the relationships and reputations of other people to do their work for them.
- Ask risky, calculated questions. “You’ve shopped around and you’ve met my competitors. Now you’ve just seen my product demonstration. If the price were the same, would you rather do business with me or my competitor? Who would you sign a contract with?”
- Ask ‘Why?’. Until you take interest in the prospect an understand their ‘Why,’ you’re not in a position to competently offer them a solution. You need to gather as much information as you can and qualify them before pitching them.
- “Why do you need this product/service?”
- “Why do you need this now?”
- “Why did you choose to call us for a proposal?”
- “Why do you need the price to be lower?”
- Mitigate objections by focusing on positives. Asking the prospect “What do you like most about our product/service so far?” shows you what they are focusing on and what their pain points are. After having the discussion on your produce/service strengths, handling objections will be much easier.
- Follow-up after demo. Potential buyers express interest because they are ‘primed’ to buy at that moment. That moment quickly fades and following-up ensures the person’s needs/wants are met. Employees lose initiative and therefore need follow-up and encouragement.
- Follow-up after sale. Turning the prospect into a signed client is just the first step in a long relationship that could lead to upsells and referrals. Set up follow-up calls to check in with your client, gauge their satisfaction and solve any problems they’re having with their purchase. Show them they are important and not just a part of the sales process. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more, refer to Lesson 229. Becoming a trusted advisor to your clients.]
Anything worth doing is worth doing everyday.
Do push-ups and sit-ups every day, it will change your body. Eat cookies every day, it will change your body.
- The best way to control objections is to control the story and the perspective. Aikido marketing involves taking the negative aspects about your product/service or industry and turn it into as much of a positive as possible. This is done through branding, storytelling, promising to work commission free if the buyer isn’t happy, and establishing your reputation so that you can make such promises and prospects will believe you. For example:
- When you cannot offer a 100% money back guarantee, you can commit contractually to working commission free to solve their problem if the client is not happy. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more on client contracts, refer to Lesson 111. F*ck You, Pay Me: Client-Services Contract Tips.]
- Periodically fund ‘Welcome’ parties and invite all your current and new clients. The good will, professional connects and referrals generated from this brief event will more cover the cost of hosting the event.
- The second best way to control objections is to not let the person complain in the first place. When they complain “The price is too high.” Agree with them and then move on. Don’t allow the person to dwell on their complaint. Don’t try to justify yourself to the person, thus lowering your value. Agree with them and move on to the close.
- “The price is too high.” >”Yes. I agree with you it is an investment.”
- “The price is too high.” > “If my competitors price is better, why are you here talking to me and instead signing a contract with them?”
- “The price is too high.” > “Would the price still be too high if we broke it down into monthly payments rather than a one-time payment?”
- Most buyers bring their objections & complaints with them when they meet you. And still they chose to meet you. Which means their objections are just questions and apprehensions they need you to manage so they feel comfortable buying. [JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in Lesson 169. 20 tips to negotiate your job offer and compensation package that when a person says ‘No’ it is usually temporary, not definitive. It just means that at this present moment they do not have enough information to say ‘Yes.’] Acknowledge their objection as a part of their reality, and then go back into closing the deal.
- Most buyers have at least one other influencer they refer to before committing to a purchase. Those influencers may not be physically present with the buyer during the sales pitch, but those influencers’ voices are inside the buyer’s mind. When the buyer says “I need to speak to my wife, my operations manager, my CFO… first.” Take this opportunity to learn how those influencers think by asking the prospect: “What questions would your wife ask me if she were here now?”, “Why wouldn’t your CFO be willing to sign this deal as is?”
- Buyers make time for what they consider to be important. Buyers don’t make time for:
- Strangers they don’t know or have never heard of
- ‘Sales’ people
- People who appear to only want to take and not give; people who don’t offer a mutually-beneficial collaboration.
- Every objection boils down to four things:
- Price – They consider your product to be too expensive or not expensive enough, therefore your payment structures should be flexible enough to:
- Be bundled up into expensive, comprehensive packages
- Be broken apart into smaller, cheaper packages
- Be available on an annual, quarterly, monthly weekly basis
- Be available on a barter system or collaboration based on mutual-value
- Time – They don’t want to wait, or they want to wait longer
- Stall – They aren’t the decision-maker, they don’t have time or don’t want to commit now
- Product – They don’t believe your product will meet their need or is worth the price & time
- Price – They consider your product to be too expensive or not expensive enough, therefore your payment structures should be flexible enough to:
The same person who tells you they don’t have time is the same person who takes a 2 hour lunch. You do it yourself, so don’t get angry at the prospect for using that excuse on you.
- Every rejection has a multitude of possible responses:
- Hypotheticals. “What would you do if [unwanted, unplanned scenario]. Would you be ready?”
- What-ifs. “What if your [predicted objection], what do we do then?” or “We guarantee [X] or your money back. What if you signed today. In 90 days you’d either have [X] or you would have your money back and not have lost anything.”
- Fact check: “Is this a real objection or are you just uncertain and unwilling to commit?”
- Responses to avoid:
- Don’t call the prospect and then ask for a telephone number to call or text them.
- Don’t say “I understand [objection], let’s just go ahead and do it anyways.”