The biggest underlying success factor of a business is repeat clients.
Yet time and time again, we have to keep looking for new clients. This sorry situation is often because we are seduced by information, not results. We know results are important, but we still go in the “opposite” direction.
How do we solve this ongoing nightmare?
Let's find out.
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Note: (This is an unedited transcript)
In the year 2000 I moved from India to New Zealand, just by myself and Renuka was to follow later.
One of the first things I did when I moved here was to buy a $10 chair. That incredibly stupid decision to buy a cheap plastic chair was to cost me over $3,000 in wages and medical bills over the next few months. Why would anyone buy a cheap chair when it came to buying furniture?
Well, I didn't think much about it. I thought we're gonna buy better furniture when we move into our house anyway. Might as well just buy something that will do the job right now and then just give it away. But that decision was obviously a mistake because when I got back from home I found a heading almost a lot of times to spend and I would rush home and get on chat.
I'd spend an hour chatting with Renuka then some other friends would jump on and before Before I knew it, I was been 3, 4 hours hunched over their chair, that cheap plastic chair, typing away. What I didn't realize was that my posture on that plastic chair was terrible. At first, I felt some pain in my forearms and then a week or so it went to my shoulders.
But I assumed it was just an inconvenience and that it would go away.
However, by the time Renuka showed up a month later, it was a full blown crisis. My arms would be tingling during the day. I couldn't sleep at night. My fingers were always cold and hurting. Yes, I had a real problem and someone suggested that I go and see a physiotherapist. That physiotherapist worked with me and improved my situation quite a bit. even suggested that I use an interesting Swedish method.
And this involved taking your fingers and your feet, the extremities of your body, and then dunking them into very hot water, and then freezing cold water, then back to hot water and cold water, and that would bring some sort of relief. But I was still feeling enormous pain and anxiety. I was in so much pain that I was afraid to open doors, just the front door or the garage door or do anything that involved my fingers.
And then one day the physiotherapist said that he could do no more. But I still hadn't had a resolution. I still hadn't had a result. At which point he suggested that I visit the acupuncturist next door, I had no option and I'd already spent an enormous amount of money. So I went ahead and made the appointment with the acupuncturist. I'm not sure what she did, but after a single session I came out completely pain-free.
I was so exhilarated because for the first time in several months I felt absolutely normal again. I had the experience of getting a result. And this is what the podcast is all about. It's about results, versus just anything else that you're promising. Results matter more than anything else.
Why am I telling you this?
You already know what results are. You already know that a result should exist. And yet that's not what we do whenever we are promising a product or a service. We don't focus as much as we should on the result. And bear with me because even though this is an obvious kind of situation where you know what the result is supposed to be, there is something deeper about results. There is something that I think will change by the time you finish this podcast. Yes, you'll get a result.
Let's start with the first one, which is what is that result and why is it important?
When you're obsessed with something like photography, you often have invitations to meetups. This is when a group of people show up, have fun coffee, and then do some kind of activity that involves photographs. It was a rainy day, it was windy, and it's winter here in New Zealand.
But still a large number of photographers showed up for this event. And then they were given an assignment, they had to go out in the street and take photographs of things that looked like letters. In the moment I had the assignment, I'd zoned out. I couldn't see the point of just taking pictures.
I sat down with the person who was conducting the event and asked him, “What result did you hope to achieve? What happens when they come back with the pictures?” And he was confused. They're just out there to take some pictures and we'll give them some prizes, he said to me, “But what was the result?” He couldn't answer that question, and he's not alone.
Whenever you go for lots of these events, sometimes there are two days and three days. There are photographers that walk around with their cameras and they're told to go and take some pictures. And when they come back, they look at the pictures, they come in and the pictures. There is no predefined result.
And when you don't have a predefined result, it is much harder to sell something, whether it be a service or a product, because you don't know where you're going and the climb doesn't know when they've reached when they've arrived.
It's like getting into a car and just driving aimlessly and hoping that something will happen that you'll reach somewhere. So the first thing we have to consider is what is our result. And let me give you an example here. We recently finished the cartooning course and yes a new cartooning course has begun this year.
But what is the result of the cartooning course?
Well, it seems hard to define what could be the result, because when you're learning to draw cartoons, you're learning to draw shapes, there's color, there's contrast, there's character, expressions. How do you define a result when you have all of these elements? You have some sort of syllabus, some sort of journey, but how do you define a result? You define a result by one point. You pick that point.
At point could be either something that most of the clients require or want or something that you've defined as very crucial. In the case of cartooning, we read through a lot of the feedback that came in, a lot of the requests that came in, and one of the things that almost everybody wants to do is to create their own character. They want to draw the character just when they are doodling, but they also want to put on their blog in their books, in their presentations, or just to show it off to somebody else.
But they want to create their character and that becomes the result. That becomes the benchmark. We know that we've arrived once everybody has their character and can use their character and then use the expressions for their character and then create color that defines their character. And that's how we know that we've arrived. So when I'm speaking to the clients when we're doing like a meeting greet, that's exactly what I tell them.
I tell them, here's how the course is going to be built.
We're going to go through six months of God tuning and you're going to have a lot of fun. But you're going to get to your result. You're going to get to your character by December. It's August now by December. You will have a character and you will be able to use a character on a consistent basis. And immediately everybody knows that they're in a safe space.
They know that they set out on a journey and they're going to reach that journey. And that is not necessarily how most things are created. Most things are created in terms of information. especially if you're in a field where you're giving information, people pack books with 200 pages of stories and absolute nonsense because they have to fill a book, but what is the result?
Why would you go to a book of 200 pages?
If 25 pages could solve the problem? Why would you go through a book of 25 pages when just instruction on a postcard would solve the problem? And this is why we have to focus on what is the result. And when you're writing a book for instance, the end of a chapter can have a result. So if you look at the brain audit and you pick any chapter, the problem solution, target profile, any chapter randomly.
When you finish that chapter, you are able to achieve whatever was in the chapter. It's not just information. There is the concept. There are examples. There is a how to structure in place so that when you finish that chapter, any random chapter, you get to a result.
So if you took a chapter like testimonials, you'd figure out the concept of reverse testimonials, then you'd get the six questions, you'd ask your client those questions and you'd get like 800 to a thousand-word testimonial that you don't have right now. As you've figured, this information doesn't apply just to products, like info products.
It applies to pretty much anything, whether it's a physical product or a service, say your web designer or a copywriter. There are results that you can't promise, you can't say that because this website has been built, you'll get increased traffic by 200% or if you're writing some copy, you can't guarantee sales.
But except for the weirdest clients, many of them are looking for a specific part of your service.
So if you break up your service into several parts, like how the brain audit is broken up into different chapters or the cartooning course is broken up into separate sections, then you will find that clients want one kind of result. Maybe they want something turned around in a week's time or maybe they want something else.
I don't know but you will find that clients seem to want a specific result. And if you tell them in advance, This is the result. You are creating that benchmark for them. When you create a benchmark, then they go, oh wait, we have reached that point. You know that you reach that point, they know that you've reached that point and now both people are happy.
It's like going to the cafe and ordering a coffee and then getting the coffee and now both parties know that we have a result. Because we have a hot cup of coffee right in front of us. That's the benchmark. Instead, what we have is all this fluff, which takes us to the second part, which is how to get rid of all of that fluff that confuses the client and confuses you when you're trying to get to the result.
2) How to get rid of all of that fluff that confuses the client and confuses you when you're trying to get to the result.
Just a few minutes ago we talked about the Cartooning course.
And in that Cartooning course there are shapes, contrast, color, expressions, character, and you noticed that we dropped everything but one thing which is the character. This is how you have to go about creating any kind of service, any product, just about anything. Everything that we sell has many components, but clients are generally looking for one result. And what we have to do is we have to get rid of everything else.
When I say get rid of everything else, it doesn't mean that you are throwing it out completely. What it means is that you're putting the spotlight on one thing, that becomes benchmark. And at the point of being repetitive, it is very crucial that you have that one thing. And then you can talk about the other things, but as bullet points. So you see them as the main actor and then the supporting cast.
But people generally are not interested in the supporting cast.
They're fine to have them there. They're important. And the mistake that most of us make and continue making is that we talk about everything and people are not interested in everything they're only interested in that one thing, that one result. Which means that when you're writing your next chapter, you ask yourself, “What will happen at the end of this chapter?”
When you're creating your next workshop, you can break it up into segments. You can say, “What happens at the end of the first segment? The first day, the first three hours?” Then what happens at the end of the next three hours? Then what happens at the next day? Then what happens in the third day? And then what happens on the entire workshop?
But all of those are segments and you're defining that like a journey. We're going from A to B. When we reach B, we will know that we are a B. When we go from B to D, then we know we have reached D. For something that's very big like a course or a book, you might have to define one kind of big result. And then all of these mini results as you go along the way, almost like milestones.
But if you're just writing an article, you need to know what is the result of that article.
If you're having a meet and greet, and there's just an event, what is that event about? Is it just to give me more information? Because I can get this information. At this photo event, they talked about stuff that 100,000 videos had already covered on YouTube. It was fine. People came there. They had something to eat.
They had something to drink. It was a great evening. But why not define that as a result? That you will get to meet all of these photographers and create a network. What was the result? No, there was no result. And I know I've said the word “result” 700 times already on this podcast, but this is the reason why we have clients coming back over and over again. Whenever we do a workshop, whenever we do a new course, whenever we put out a new product, we state the result.
We say the difference between a psychotactic scores in every other course is that we don't give you more information. We guarantee a skill and that skill is the result. And this brings us to the end of the second part. We looked at the first part where we had defining the result, the second part where there are many points and you need to have like a main result and a supporting cast especially if you've got a big event like a workshop or something big. If it's smaller it's much easier to define.
This takes us to the third part which is how quickly can you get the result across.
Let's say somebody comes to you and they want to learn how to meditate. Now meditation shouldn't be something that you need to hurry through. But people want to get to that state where they're not thinking about all of the chaos in the head and they want to get to their meditation stage. So how quickly can you promise that result? How much have you polished your system so that they can get to that result rapidly?
For the cartoon course we say that we're going to start in August and then you're going to have the character by December and that sounds like a very long time but it's not because a lot of the people that start out say that they can't even draw a straight line. For them to have a character in three months, which is just 12 weeks from now, that is mind-boggling. That constitutes a very quick result.
Whether it's yoga or meditation or writing or drawing or just about anything that you're selling, whether it be a service or a product, there is going to be a very quick result. What clients perceive as rather quick, and then everything else is just study, it's just very long and I don't wanna wait that long.
Yes, we've grown up in a world where we order something and we get that delivery within a few hours or within a few days, but not everything needs to match that pace. If you're delivering a bed, then that result has to be very quick.
But if you're writing a book or delivering a website, then people will have an understanding of what is quick and what is slow and what is just not acceptable and you can be very quick. Focusing on how you can reduce the amount of time becomes utterly crucial. It is a competitive advantage that nobody can match. Which of course brings us to the end of this podcast.
So what are the three things that we covered?
The first thing is results versus information or results versus all this blah blah blah that people talk about. You want to be very clear about the result.
The second thing is that there is a result among all of the other syllabus or chapters or whatever you have that they're going to be all of these elements and you can't promise all of them. You have to promise one of them. The one that clients want the most or the one that you think is the most expensive. That's the hero. The rest is supporting cast. Don't go around promising everything, promise one thing and by when you will deliver.
And the third thing is to deliver so quickly that it's a competitive advantage, that your clients won't go to anybody else because you deliver faster on their one point than anybody else.
So what's the one thing you can do today?
Before you start on whatever it is you're doing next, whether it is a consultation with a client, whether you're having an event, whether you're writing a book or a chapter or an article, Just about anything ask yourself what happens to the end. When they get to the end, what change have you made? And when you have that, you have a very clear direction that is really good for you. And you communicate that to the client and you watch their eyes light up, because most people just give their information.
They tell them about all the things that they're going to do when they build their website. They tell them all the stuff that they're going to do when they write a book and people don't want that. They just want to know, do you have my cover of coffee? If so, great.