Imagine you got on stage and you had an eager audience ready to buy
Of course there are a few obstacles. The first obstacle is that you have just an hour to convince the audience to buy. The second is you're not the only one selling products? The third obstacle is that a good chunk of the audience doesn't know you that well.
The issues are similar when you're selling a product or service. You have very little time to convince a prospect. You're battling it out with others selling similar products and services.
In this episode Sean talks about
Part 1: The Art Of Preparation And The Importance Of Pre-Sell
Part 2: The Importance Of The Document Before The Event
Part 3: The Whole Factor of Urgency
Right click here and ‘save as' to download this episode to your computer.
This is the Three Month Vacation. I'm Sean D'Souza.
I was speaking at a conference in Chicago to about 200 to 300 people. I had just finished my speech and I met this guy in the corridor. He was rushing. I asked him, “Why are you in such a hurry?” He says, “I have to go upstairs and get my credit card.” I said, “Why do you have to get your credit card from upstairs? Why don't you have it in your pocket?”
This is the story of how we sold $20,000 worth of product at a conference. This is digital product. This is not physical product. This was The Brain Audit and the membership to 5000bc. I was asked this question by Alison Beere from Cape Town, South Africa, and you want to know the answer. You probably think that the answer lay in the speech. There might have been some triggers in the speech. There might have been some information that caused them to act. Sure, there would have been some urgency, but what was it that caused all these people to buy? What caused them to trust me after speaking to them for just over an hour? Why did we manage to sell more than all the other speakers on that day?
These are the questions that we need to answer, and not because you want to go out there and sell 20,000. Of course you want to do it, but you have to understand that sales is not a one-time hit. That's what it looks like. If I put this on a sales page, that's exactly what it looks like. It looks like a one-time hit. It looks like I went there, made the speech, and they bought everything.
As we're about to find out in this podcast, it is a matter of preparation. Whether you're selling a very small item off your website, a course, or in our case, this $20,000 day that we had, it all involves preparation. What are the steps that you have to get all of these ducks lined up in a row? How do you make things work for you? Let's find out
But wait, wait, wait. Let's not go into how we did that just yet. Because we have to go back in time to 2003 when I was in Sydney, and I bombed in a big way. I sold very little, just enough to cover the cost of the airfare. What was the difference between the two events? Why was that guy so eager to get his credit card? Okay, enough teasing. Let's go into the main section of today's podcast and let's cover the three points. What are the three points that we're going to cover?
The first is the preparation. The second is the document before the event. The third is the very tight deadline. Let's start off with the first one, which is the preparation.
Part 1: Preparation
If you had been a subscriber of Psychotactics you would have run into a statement that almost sounds like hype. That is that we sell out our courses maybe within half an hour, sometimes 20 minutes. Now these aren't just $20 courses. These are courses that go up to $2,000, $3,000, and yet they fill up in 20 to 30 minutes. We do with this without any joint ventures, without any affiliates, without any publicity, without any advertising. It's done with a very small group of people, and yet time after time, all the way since 2006, the courses have been consistently filling up. Not that it doesn't make me nervous every time I launch a course. I still think somehow this time it will be jinxed, but it just keeps going.
What's really happening? The first thing is the prep work. It's what I call presell. When I went to this event in Chicago it was completely different from the event in Sydney. When I went to Sydney, I had great slides, I had a great presentation, and I give that presentation. I did exactly the same thing in Chicago. What a big difference. The difference was the preparation. Before we went to the event in Chicago we had done some prep work, some ground work. Before the event, Ken McCarthy, who was hosting the event, he had done some interviews. What did I do in those interviews?
The first thing I made sure was that I was empowering people. When we did the interviews, instead of answering a question, I gave away almost the complete system. When you give away a system, what you do is you empower people. You don't cover a lot of points. You cover just a few points. I cover three points as you know. There are steps. You do this and you do that and you do the third thing, and you get to an end point.
When we did those interviews, people were listening at the other end. Now frankly, I don't know what the other interviews were all about. Ken was interviewing a lot of folk, but I made sure that when someone finished my interview they had a task so simple that they could apply it. You see this in the free headline report that we give away, or you see this in the books that we write. You see this empowerment factor, and it's very critical. Because there are several other speakers and they're all going to make their pitch. You somehow have to stand out from it.
How do you stand out? You start right at the beginning. You start before the event. A lot of people don't realize this. They don't realize that people buy long before they pay. I'll say that again. People buy long before they pay. What we were doing is getting them into the buying process. We were giving them information that was empowering that they could take right after the call and use it. Immediately, instead of just being another interview, instead of just being another speaker, now we were getting them to buy into our system, into our method, into whatever we were offering them. We hadn't got on stage yet and people already buying into us.
Then you'd think that was enough. That if you just gave away that information, which is a system, a small system but a system nonetheless, that would be enough. But we gave away further goodies. We gave away information that we could easily sell. Of course people go through it. Not everyone goes through it but enough people go through it. Now we're working on a second level where people are buying through us.
What is really happening here is when people encounter you for the first time, you're a stranger. When you go back to 2009, there were already a whole bunch of experts in the marketing field. Now when you look around you, it has increased exponentially, whatever your field is. When you get that opportunity you have to take that opportunity with both hands. You have to create something that's empowering, create something that's a system, create something that your audience can immediately use. Then on top of that you give away further goodies. Again, the goodies are empowering. They're short, they're powerful, they get the point across and they now create this connection with this audience that didn't know you at all, and you haven't even stepped on stage.
Now this podcast is about what we did on stage, but it applies to pretty much anything. We're going to have some cartoon stock, which means that you can use these cartoons anywhere. How do I go about that? I have to empower you. How do I empower you with cartons? Because I'm not teaching you to draw cartoons. I'm actually selling you the cartoon. I empower you by giving away a cartoon. When I give away a cartoon, now you've got something. You don't know me but now you've got something, and something that is extremely good. Now the connection has been made.
You're not going to buy all of those cartoons, not 100, or 200, or whatever you offer in the end. You get just one, but that one is so good that it empowers you. It's isolated, it's small, it gets your attention. That's the first point: that you have to do the prep work well in advance; four, six, eight weeks in advance. Some people do it a year in advance. You might not have the time. You might have very little patience, but you've got to start off with the prep work because people buy long before they pay.
This takes us to the second part, which is the document before the event.
Part 2: The Document Before The Event
What is the document before the event? When you go to any event, what you get is a badge. Then you get some kind of bag with lots of goodies in it. Then you take that to your hotel room, and you might look through some of it, but most of it gets tossed in the corner because you're more focused on the event. You're more focused on what you have to learn.
What if you get something that is not connected to the bag, not connected to that registration process? Now that's what we did at that Chicago event. We were speaking on the second day of the event. On day one we got the organizers to announce that everyone who was coming to my presentation would need to read about six or eight pages of stuff. This was just photocopied and given to everyone. Now when you go to an event you obviously want to get the best out of it. You're not considering that bag and the badges and all the goodies. You're now focused on those six to eight pages. Again, those six to eight pages were directly linked to what I was going to speak about.
Now this may sound really odd. If you're going to give away the information that you're already going to present, won't they get bored? Won't your whole presentation fall flat? As it turns out, the answer is no. First, let's backtrack a little bit. Those six to eight pages, they had information on pricing and how to increase your prices without losing customers. In those six to eight pages, what you're trying to create is a report. You want to go back to episode number 46 and see how you create a great report. That report was something that hit you between the eyes. It was still about the presentation I was about to make, but it was now getting the customer completely absorbed.
Now they had been through two or three levels. First it was the interview, then the goodies. Then we give them this third thing, which was wow, I never thought of it this way. Now they are primed to listen to you. They read those six to eight pages and some of them are reading it just before they enter the auditorium, but they're reading it. All of them are reading it. That sets you up nicely for when you get up on stage. The people, the customers, they're buying before they pay. You are setting up all these little bits of information that are empowering them, so that even if they buy nothing from you, they will buy in the future. Can you take that risk? No, you shouldn't take that risk.
That takes us to the third part, which is the whole factor of urgency.
Part 3: The Whole Factor of Urgency
That's part three: the tight deadline. I had finished my speech and I had stepped out in the corridor. That's when I ran into the guy, the guy who was running upstairs to get his credit card. Why had he kept his credit card upstairs? You know the answer. He knew that he would get swayed by some of the speakers. He knew that he would buy something that he didn't need. Yet, when we gave that presentation, he found it so useful that he decided he was going to buy, so he was running up to his hotel room to get his credit card. He said, “Hang on, I have to get the credit card and I can't speak to you right now.”
What did I do before that that caused him to get his credit card? I was on the podium and my wife Renuka was at the end of the room. We didn't have anybody else. It was just the two of us. You have to have someone else at the back of the room. Even one person handling 300 orders, not a problem. I said to the audience, “Here's the thing. This is a great offer. It's not a discount. You're getting this great bonus.” We gave them some really good bonuses.
“When Renuka leaves the room, it's over. You don't get any of the bonuses. You don't get anything that we've offered in the room.” Some people think it's a bluff. Who's going to turn down money? Yet, when we leave the room, that's it. That guy was running up to his room to get his credit card so he could stop Renuka before she left the room. Now it does take some time to go through 200 or 300 orders, so she was in that room for at least 20 minutes, but we had prepared everything. There were sheets with details. Back then they had to write out their credit card details on a sheet of paper and sign it and give it in. All of that ground work, all of that prep work was in place. The sheets were on their seats before they sat down. Again, they were going through another step. Eventually what they had to do was just fill in the form, step up to Renuka, give her the sheet, and it was done. Then we left the room.
Then someone came up to me and said, “Are you Sean D'Souza?” I said yes. He had been to another presentation, and he said, “I want to buy what you just sold.” I said, “You don't even know what I was selling.” He said, “Yes yes, I know, but my friend told me just buy whatever he's selling.” You know how the deal was. The deal was that once we left the room, the offer didn't exist. You would think it's a bluff, and it's never a bluff. You should always have this. It's a tight deadline. When this happens, it doesn't exist anymore. The offer doesn't exist anymore. That creates an urgency that you will not find otherwise. You see this urgency on Christmas day for instance. People will not buy on the 28th of December. They have to buy everything before Christmas day. There is an urgency.
You have to use the same concept of urgency. Once people leave the room, who knows what happens. Some people run into other people, they change their minds. Yes, there is pressure. You might not like this pressure. As a person selling something you're always a little unsure of this pressure, but this is how we buy everything. We don't fix the roof because we want to fix the roof. We fix the roof because there is pressure. It's leaking. We don't buy a new phone because we need it desperately. We do it because there is external pressure, maybe social pressure. You may not admit to it, but the pressure exists. This is what Apple does as well. They create that momentum towards that event, and this is what you've got to do as well.
It's not easy. It's not easy to be a speaker there, to do all these steps and then finally to go through this sales process. Because what I used to do and what I did in Sydney was I didn't really think through the last bit, which was the sales process. You have to be extremely calm and very enthusiastic when you're selling your products or services. You get very nervous. You speed through it. You miss points. I had everything on slides so I didn't miss anything. That is the way you go through the whole process.
To summarize what we've just covered, we did three steps. The first was we did all the prep work. I did the interviews. We gave the goodies. We had the sheets on the seats. We had everything in place. That was the first hit, because we know that people buy long before they pay. The second thing was that you need to have one little trigger before the event. We had this six to eight page document that people were reading, and they were reading just before they got into the event as well. Finally, there was a tight deadline. That deadline is sacred. You can't say I'm going to change my mind. Hey, we'll take your credit card. No. That's what we do for all our courses as well, for all our products as well.
I said this in another podcast. Who's going to know if three or four extra people sign up for a course? Who's going to ask you? Those three or four extra people would be another $12,000 in the bank, but we say no. There is a tight deadline. You meet the deadline, you get in the course. It's first come, first serve. At the event, it wasn't first come, first serve, but it was pretty close. It was 20 minutes. She leaves the room, you're toast.
This brings us to the end of the podcast and the one thing that you can do today. I think the one thing that you can do today is plan. What are the steps before the event? What are you going to give away before the event? What are the things and the goodies, and what are the little bits that you have to prepare? When people get on stage, when speakers get on stage, there are so many things that they have to do before the event and they never do. They just stand up and speak and they think everything is going to be all right. It's never all right. You have to do all the little bits in advance. That's what makes for a great event.
I would say sit down and draw a line from left to right. Then put in all the little bits that you have to do. Because when you get on stage, that is like the middle of whole sequence. Then finally, you have to still sell, which is the end of your sequence. You have to be very careful about that as well. Prepare, prepare, prepare.
Now, there is a book on this at Psychotactics. I wrote a book shortly after I came back because people wanted to know not just about this event and how we sold $20,000 worth of stuff, but also what goes into the slides. How do you control the slides? Because the slides also create this enigma factor. It creates this factor where people say wow, this is so well designed. It's so well structured. You've got to have the structure for the slides.
You also have to have great visual appeal. You have to have control of how the slides look, how the presentation rolls out, and finally how you control the audience. All of this is in the Black Belt Presentation Series. If you're really interested in how to create a great presentation, then that becomes very critical. These elements that we talked about, these help to create that $20,000 moment, but all of the stuff in the book, that helps you understand all the other elements that you have to do. It's a lot of work. No one said that this was easy. This podcast is not about easy and outsourcing and all that stuff. It's about doing the hard work and getting the rewards.
That's what takes you to a three month vacation. When people say, “I can't get to a three month vacation,” it's because they don't have the time, the money, and the resources. You have to put in the time and the resources, and yes, some money before you can get to that three month vacation. You have to start somewhere and put in the work. That's how you get the results.
Now for some presell. We are having the headline course and the headline trainer course, and for the first time ever the headline trainer course. I don't know when you'll get to this podcast, but if you get to it on time, then get to psychotactics.com and look for headline course or headline trainer course. The courses fill up very quickly. You want to move quickly. I mean really, really quickly.
We're also going to have the first 50 words course at the end of the year. That's in November somewhere, so you can prepare yourself for that. This is about writing the first 50 words of, say, a podcast or an article. This is where we slog the most, struggle the most. The entire course is about the first 50 words. We probably have The Brain Audit trainer program around that time as well. That's more expensive. It's about $10,000. It's more detailed. It goes over six months. We'll go into more detail in the future, but for now it's just the headline course, the headline trainer course. I'll also be bringing out those cartoons that I talked about in this podcast. Expect to see some of that soon.
A lot of stuff happening, a lot of stuff happening. If you want to ask me more questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, also at Twitter @Sean D'Souza, and yes, on Facebook at Sean D'Souza. Yes, we give away goodies, as you know. If you want to be on the goodies list, you go to psychotactics.com/magic. That's www.psychotactics.com/magic. You will get those goodies from time to time.
That's it from Psychotactics and the Three Month Vacation. Still listening? I'm giving you this advice, but recently what we're in Denver and there were about 400 or 500 people in the audience. How many subscribers did we get? 20. Why did we get 20? We got 20 because we didn't follow the advice that I've just given you. We didn't do as much prep work. We didn't have the sheet before the event. Of course there was no tight deadline. We goofed up, too. You can do it too if you don't take your own advice or don't listen to this advice. Then failure is always around the corner. That's a little snippet from the archives at psychotactics.com. Bye for now.
You can also listen to or read this episode: Why Identity Helps You Surge Ahead In Work (And Life): Episode 46