Ever heard of WeWork?

WeWork labeled themselves as this technology startup that was going to re-imagine the world of co-working spaces.

And they kept getting lots of funding hand-over-fist from investors. At one point, the company was valued at billions of dollars.

And just before they were about to go public, their financials came out…

When it was all out in the open, their finances were ‘re-imagined’ as well. Turns out they really didn’t have banger profits year-after-year; but huge losses.

But in the Hulu documentary, you saw that big name investors, celebrities and popular media outlets were all praising the WeWork CEO as this visionary messiah.

How did the CEO get all these big names to buy into his ‘vision’?

He sold them on a mission. Something that was greater than himself, and people ate it up. People just heard what they wanted to hear, and ignored all the facts.

The good news is this can be done ethically too. You can actually deliver on your promises, and have your books balanced at the same time😂

But the next time you’re trying to sell someone, come up with a personal mission that you really believe in, and there’s a good chance they’ll buy in too.

To quote the great George Costanza, ‘It’s not a lie… if YOU believe it!’

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  • Post published:May 5, 2021

Lessons from the Spam Box

Somehow a spam offer crept its way into my main inbox.

So let’s see what they did wrong and what they did right:

Wrong Moves:

– Subject line is complete crap. Not compelling at all.

– Relies on a big photo image instead of text.

– Too much text crammed in one box.

– There are 2 unsubscribe lines in this email. One has a text strike over it. Kind of a red flag.

– It’s a one-and-doner.

– Just screams ‘Not Legit’.

Right Moves:

– Borrows the credibility of Shark Tank and Mark Cuban.

– Uses the curiosity/mystery box angle.

– I do like the line, ‘See How Shark Tank’s Newest Product is Turning the Diet World on its Head!’ Would’ve been better used as either the subject line or main headline.

– I do like the ‘Ready to Lose Weight?’ Call to action. Would work well in a funnel too.

Just a friendly reminder, there are gold Nuggets of knowledge hidden everywhere. What works for spammers might work well for your campaigns too.

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  • Post published:May 3, 2021

The great debate between a great product and great marketing

If you have an awesome product, do you really need marketing?

In some camps, that’s kind of all you hear. If you sell an awesome product, the marketing will take care of itself.

And then people in those camps will point to Apple, Tesla or Amazon. And they’ll say, these companies don’t need advertising or PR. Their product is good enough.

But I argue that you need both an awesome product and awesome marketing. And you can’t have one without the other.

If anyone wants proof, they can look no further than Breaking Bad, which is actually an awesome business show…

Not only does it show how Walter White gets into the drug market with no previous experience…

And show how he creates a product with a unique selling proposition.

But he becomes the master of his own marketing.

To the dealers and distributes he does business with, he doesn’t go by Walter White, the boring dad-bod chemistry teacher, cancer patient, with a marriage on life-support.

How many drugs would Walter White sell in his Dockers pants and his white New Balance dad sneakers? He’d be shot to death on sight.

Instead, he creates his own persona to handle the drug dealers.

He slowly reinvents himself as Heisenberg, the strong-willed, fuck-around-and-find-out, brass balls drug kingpin with a mobster hat.

Both guys are the same dude. But they both communicate different messages to different audiences.

To his business partners, he’s tough as nails and always one step ahead.

To his wife and kid, he’s just same old Dad. Flaws, worts and all.

But Walter’s super blue pure meth product wouldn’t be distributed anywhere if it wasn’t for Heisenberg.

And if Heisenberg had an average product, he wouldn’t have anywhere near his street cred.

But because Walter mastered both, he built the leverage he needed to rise to the top.

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  • Post published:April 26, 2021

The rude awakening from my first B2B sales job

Let me tell you all a story about price…

I was working at a cell phone store, miserable, because all of my weekends were completely booked.

But then one of my former coworkers and good friends tried to recruit me over to the company he had just joined.

He just got a new job at a phone and internet reseller, and he told me all about how cool it was.

  • Bigger base salary
  • Car and cell phone allowance
  • Only working with businesses instead of the unwashed masses

I was sold. I interviewed and ended up getting the job.

But there were a few ugly truths I had yet to learn…

Once I got the job, my friend told me how easy the selling for this company would be:

  • We had a way cheaper price than the big competitors, so I could easily sell on price.
  • We could sell to any business that had phone and internet.
  • We had no assigned territories, so we could sell unrestricted.
  • We had 24 hour customer service, 7 days a week.

But let me tell you…

It was ANYTHING BUT EASY!

If anything, it was so much harder than I thought.

And anything my friend said, came with real catches, which we both learned:

  • You couldn’t just sell any businesses with phone and internet. If anything, the big guys offered 2 or 3 year contracts to businesses. You could find someone who wanted to buy from you today, but if they had another year on their contract, you couldn’t do anything.
  • We didn’t really have 24/7 support. We had an answering service for customer service. I also think there was an engineer that worked maybe 2nd and 3rd shifts, but it was not what I envisioned.
  • Because there were no assigned territories, the sales team just called whoever they felt, and would even call the prospects I was working with. You really had to keep your contacts close.
  • Their reviews were horrible because the product was horrible (Made out of crappy equipment).

But the worst were the customers. On top of the normal challenges that come with a sales job, I could only sign on new customers who were really bottom-of-the-barrel.

These were business owners and managers who were just focused on price, and not about value. As a result, they didn’t have attractive work environments. They only had a few employees. They never had any time because they were always putting out fires.

And were pinching every penny, and price was always a major factor.

It was a big lesson in finding out that just because you’re talking to a business owner, doesn’t mean there’s a lot of money in the bank. If anything, they were just barely breaking even.

But it was a big lesson I learned about finding the type of customer you want.

Since that sub-par experience, I have successfully avoided price-shoppers and tire-kickers like the absolute plague. If they ghost me after I send them my contract, I don’t even bother pursuing them.

I’m probably leaving money on the table, but it’s honestly not worth the headache.

It’s almost like dating. You want to scoop up the winners and keep them in your corner, while snuffing out the losers fast.

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  • Post published:April 21, 2021

And then there was one

If you’re like me, and you’ve been glued to Netflix this past year, you’ve probably heard of The Last Blockbuster.

The documentary follows the last store in Bend, Oregen and dishes on the corporate takeover shenanigans and executive money mismanagement that led to its demise.

And they interviewed one of the OG executives, who says, ‘I don’t miss renting physical videos from a store. I don’t think anybody does😂’

But then the crew interjects and tells him, ‘Some people in Bend would disagree with you. That store still gets busy Friday nights’

And then he says, and I’m paraphrasing: ‘Well then they’re offering an experience and relationship, not just DVDs.

Now the movie does show that people fly from all over just to get some nostalgia high and visit that one store.

But what isn’t emphasized is how powerful that store’s relationships are.

The store manager, who’s the main character in the movie, KNEW LITERALLY EVERYONE in town. Not only that, but she was literally the sole spokesperson for the business, doing hundreds of interviews on national news outlets.

Just millions of of dollars worth of media exposure, and now a movie about them.

Sales Trainer Jeffrey Gitomer has said: It’s not who you know, it’s who knows YOU!

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  • Post published:April 20, 2021

Addressing the elephant in the room

If you’re in marketing, the chances are good that you’ve seen a Traffic and Funnels ad cross your path.

In previous posts, I’ve complained about how companies use ads about how you don’t need ads to grow your business.

However, T + F addresses this exact objection in their ad.

AND they nip it in the bud, right away. Because it’s on everyone’s mind as soon as they see the ad.

My guess is they got feedback from their ads, and they used that feedback to update their copy.

This not only goes for ads and products. You could have the best idea, but you still have to implement what your prospects and customers are telling you.

Otherwise you’re just guessing at what your market wants. Thankfully, there’s more easy money in direct feedback than there is in guesswork.

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  • Post published:April 19, 2021

What nobody talks about with a client-based business

There’s an aspect of running a client-based business that no one talks about.

And that is getting paid.

I’ll share a personal story. This past Christmas, I was thinking about what to get my parents

And I came up with the idea of hiring a personal chef to cook a nice dinner for them because of the current dining restrictions.

I was even referred to a local chef in their area.

And so I hopped on the phone with this chef for about a half hour and we bantered, and he told me what he could do.

But then we got to the discussion about price, and I just wanted a ballpark number.

‘Welllll let me check my costs and send you an email.’

Which was fine, but I got the sense he was real gun shy.

2 weeks go by and I asked him again to send me a quote.

Mind you, I wasn’t shopping around for the best price. This guy was referred to me by a trusted person, so I was already sold on this guy and wanted to hire him.

He was like, ‘Yeah sure, no problem.’ But then never emailed me.

After that, I didn’t want to hire him anymore.

Which brings me to my point: Decide if you’re doing a hobby, or decide if you’re running a business. What people say, and what people do are two different things. But if you’re running a business, take actions that actually align with you closer to getting paid.

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  • Post published:April 17, 2021

An email newsletter that DOES slap

A few days ago I showed an email newsletter that does way too much.

But here’s an email newsletter that gets it juuuuust right.

The One Bite Pizza app from Barstool sends an email every week with Dave Portnoy’s pizza reviews.

And it’s simple.

All it shows is a banner, and YouTube thumbnails of Dave’s pizza reviews.

None of this ‘Selling you 20 offers all at the same time’ garbage.

If the newsletter sells you anything, it sells you on using a pizza-related delivery app. That’s it!

It doesn’t take a lot to nail a solid delivery.

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  • Post published:April 14, 2021

How NOT to do an email newsletter

I got a one-and-doner email from my local wine and liquor superstore yesterday.

This is what I call ‘sales vomit’, where a business just has too many things to offer.

But instead of building separate campaigns around those individual offers, they just throw every single offer they have in one giant email newsletter.

And this is in the hopes that subscribers will actually read every paragraph and click on a link that peaks their interest.

In reality, this type of email doesn’t drive significant sales forward, and just leaves the sender scratching their head.

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  • Post published:April 12, 2021

Advice about building a cult-like following straight from the source

Have you seen the series The Vow on HBO?

It’s a documentary series about a real-life cult out of upstate New York, and how it manipulated its members into doing their evil bidding.

Even though they were completely unethical, it provides a solid play-by-play of how a no-name serial entrepreneur created a cult of people to generate tons of money for himself.

Excellent targeting:

The main cult head Keith did not pick just anybody to join his cult. He picked people who were career-focused, driven and wanted to do better in life. Most of these people already had money, and some form of success, including folks in entertainment.

Commitment:

Once people were in, Keith got followers to make small commitments here and there, which grew to outlandish asks. This is how he got followers to lose insane amounts of weight, and even got them to call him ‘Master’.

Sold Them a Ladder:

Among other things, he sold his followers on the idea of ascending up his ‘cult career ladder’. His followers would work 60 hours a week to reach Keith’s lofty goals, and try to earn certain ‘stripes’ and try to get closer to the top of his pyramid.

Even though what Keith did was the extreme dark side of manipulation, you can use this “outline” to drive your business and sales (ethically).

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  • Post published:April 11, 2021