There’s one simple trick that builds rapport over the phone faster than any other: using the name of the person you’re talking to frequently through the conversation. It can feel odd to do this, but don’t worry, the other person won’t (consciously) notice. Subconsciously, though, they will absolutely notice — and they’ll feel a level of connection and trust that will lead to being more receptive of everything you can offer.
We’re joined today by Nick Cownie. Nick is an award-winning entrepreneur who specializes in rapid mindset change. He says that there’s one simple trick that builds rapport over the phone faster than any other: using the name of the person you’re talking to frequently through the conversation. Nick shares mindset techniques for overcoming the fear of rejection and turning cold calls into cash. Nick and I met in the Secret Society mastermind group, and I was so impressed with him that I invited him to share his advice for marketing success.
In this Episode
- [01:58] – One thing that stymies a lot of marketers and salespeople is the cold-calling process, thanks to its potential for rejection. Nick offers his tips for turning cold calls into cash.
- [05:41] – Nick explains that he doesn’t leave anything to chance.
- [07:50] – Is there a book about NLP that Nick recommends listeners pick up and read ? He answers, then shares some of the reasons why he wrote his book, 7 Minute Mindset.
- [10:43] – Nick talks about his impressive conversion rate of 95%.
- [12:00] – Nick recommends another book, Maximum Influence, then moves onto his advice and insight for an initial cold call.
- [15:30] – The first call Nick makes is the “activate call,” the second is the “insights call,” and the third is the “solutions call.” He clarifies what each of these calls should achieve.
- [18:01] – Nick suggests ways to be persuasive with gatekeepers even if you aren’t currently writing a book. Stephan then offers a suggestion of his own.
- [20:56] – We learn more about what Nick does and says once he gets past the gatekeeper and is talking to the person he actually wanted to talk to.
- [25:20] – Stephan explains that he has to buy his traditionally published book from the publisher, so he doesn’t send lots of copies of it to people.
- [25:58] – Nick talks more about his “opening paragraph” and the initial three questions he asks when he talks to new people.
- [30:43] – Stephan relates what Nick has been saying to techniques he has learned for LinkedIn.
- [32:05] – We hear how Nick came up with his third question. He then reveals how successful the technique has been for him.
- [35:33] – Stephan jumps in to share something critical: if you just show up unprepared, the other person is always going to have the upper hand. So, everywhere you go, you should have a powerful intention.
- [38:13] – Nick relates this concept of intention back to what he has been talking about. He then explains the next steps of his process.
- [43:13] – How does a ‘thank-you’ pack move people toward the goal of signing them as a client? Nick answers, then digs more into the pack itself, including an explanation of why he’s vague about what goes in it.
- [47:53] – Nick suggests using an Excel spreadsheet to track what you’ve sent to people. He then discusses following up.
- [49:24] – Nick shares more information about how he follows up, and why he makes the follow-up calls himself.
- [52:08] – Stephan explains what ringless voicemail is.
- [53:22] – We move on to learning about the insights call, with Nick explaining the two things he tries to find out and accomplish in this call.
- [56:41] – Nick goes into more depth about this call and trying to learn what people have done already (and why).
- [59:22] – We move onto the solutions call, which Nick says is similar to the insights call but involves digging much deeper. He also offers a way to get people to assume that you have the solution to their problems.
- [66:11] – Nick lists the three big things you need to explain to someone if you’re selling some kind of coaching, and gives insight into how to approach these things to potential clients.
- [71:32] – How could someone contact Nick, and is he available to take on new clients? In his answer, he offers a free script to listeners! To get yours, go to this link: leapmembers.com/lp/stephan
Hello and welcome to Marketing Speak. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer. I am so excited about today’s guest, Nick Cownie, author of the 7 Minute Mindset. He’s a very in demand speaker, coach, and mentor to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. He’s an award winning entrepreneur known for his unconventional approach to rapid mindset change, his elite sales psychology, as well as extreme personal improvement. I got to meet him through a mastermind, Secret Society, that we’re both in, run by Neil Strauss. Both of us are really into personal development and growth. Of course, we would meet at a personal growth mindset shifting event mastermind. Nick, it’s great to have you on the show.
Stephan, it is absolutely fantastic to be here.
I want to focus on things that will make a huge impact to our listeners in terms of their marketing. One thing that stymies a lot of marketers and salespeople is the outbound cold calling process, the telemarketing, and appointment setting stuff that just seems so painful that people do anything to avoid it. Nobody likes rejection and what a way to ensure rejection is to become a telemarketer. What are your secrets to success for people so that they become amazing at turning cold calls into cash?
The idea of picking up the phone and cold calling people has a really bad reputation in general, in most industries. It’s looked down on as the thing that people do who can’t generate leads any other way or they’re being the telephone version of spammy. Ringing people up who don’t really want to hear from them. I actually completely agree with that. The caveat being I agree with the way that most people do it. When I decided that I was going to test an approach to cold call outbound telemarketing, I wanted it to be very different than anything that I’ve seen anyone do before. My whole ethos around everything to do with marketing and business is provide extreme value. When I came to create a process that would allow me to do outbound cold calling, I realized that the cold call is actually only a very small part and should be an extremely short call with no intention and no indication that there’s actually a sale taking place. The whole point of it is to simply get your foot in the door and cause the person on the other end of the line to have positive emotions about you so that they feel good in talking to you and it becomes their idea to want to get onto another call with you. I’ve got a three step process. The second call is designed to actually qualify whether or not I want to spend any time with that person. That takes about roughly 10 to 15 minutes. The first call is approximately five minutes, depending on if they want to be a little bit chatty. The third call in the process takes 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you were to do all of that in one go, you could do it in roughly 60 to 90 minutes. Sometimes, I’ll do a cold call. It’ll end up actually just rolling through all three processes, one after the other, without needing to stagger the course. But most of the time, probably 80% to 90% of the time, the first contact that I have with a business that’s never heard from me before, that call will last around about five minutes. If you like, we can get into anyway you want to take it. The exact wording of what I say, step by step in each of those calls or we can deep dive on the first call which is probably where the leverage is going to be for most people.
Let’s deep dive on the first call. I want to set the stage here by explaining to our listeners that you are a true expert, a world recognized expert on neuro-linguistic programming, NLP. You understand deeply how to influence people at the subconscious level or unconscious level, bypassing their critical faculty that’s the gatekeeper, the guard who is in charge of the unconscious saying, “Nope, not letting that in.” You let these messages just permeate through that critical faculty into their unconscious mind and get them to feel good about you and have all sorts of anchors to get all sorts of amazing stuff, which we can talk about but I want to set that stage that this is ninja stuff that you’re doing. You’re very deliberate in the words that you use, the tone of voice that you use and all that, correct?
Yes. Everything at every point is extremely well considered. We don’t leave anything to chance. We have contingencies for the responses that people are providing. A lot of people have read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, the classic. I actually never read the entire book. I found that at the end of the chapters, there was a bullet point chapter summary that covered all the main points of the chapters so I read of those and saved myself a few hours. One of the things that has stuck with me ever since I read that book, I think I was maybe 15 year old when I read it, was one line where Carnegie said, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Not that it stuck in my mind because it rhymed or because it’s catchy, but the idea being if you attempt to influence someone against their own pre existing ideas or beliefs, they might agree with you on the surface level, maybe even to get rid of you in the context of the cold call, but ultimately, because whatever the action is that you wanted to them to take, the idea for taking that action didn’t come from or they weren’t internally motivated, there’s no reason for them to follow through. In my process, I’ve engineered into the script that we use points where it becomes the other person’s idea and I’m directly implanting that idea that it is their idea, since it’s very kind of ninja tactic. At the end of the call, five minutes later, where I’m presenting the opportunity for them to get a valuable next call with me, they jump at it. 95% of the time, which is just fantastic. Do you want to break down the script in a little bit of detail and go through exactly what it is that I’m saying to these people?
Yes. Before we do, you mentioned the Dale Carnegie book. Is there a book that is the books for our listeners to pick up and read about NLP?
About NLP, firmly enough, there isn’t. There are a lot of really good books out there. They all typically say the same thing so you can safely pick up any book that you find, probably not on Amazon, firmly enough because anyone can still publish there. But you go into a brick and mortar bookstore. If there are books on NLP in there, they’re going to be the big guns and they are typically quite good but they’re relatively generic. At the risk of patting myself on the back, if you want a book that’s not generic and is focused on rapid mindset change and how to really use NLP in an effective pragmatic way, that would be my book, 7 Minute Mindset.
What a great title. I love the promise of that book and the title.
The whole point of that book was to turn the industry on its head. I spent 12 months as a director on the Australian Board of NLP over here in Australia. Over that period of time, I realized that now I have a great life of the NLP industry and everyone’s doing it exactly the same. I’ve always been a bit of a disruptor and I’ve got an unconventional way of thinking about things that comes from my training as a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner. I spent a good decade of my life as a pediatric specialist in acupuncture. The major diagnostic approach in Chinese medicine is called pattern identification. When I stopped practicing as an acupuncturist, what I found very quickly was that the pattern identification skill were cross contextual and allowed me to recognize patterns rapidly in all the other areas of my life. Naturally, being entrepreneurial, I turned that focus to marketing and sales and influence where my major interest lies in terms of business. That’s one of the reasons that what I do works so well. It’s because I have the ability to recognize the underlying patterns that creates success in any areas, then reproduce that and transfer it to other people. That’s what I did in the book 7 Minute Mindset. I eliminated all of the fluff from the traditional NLP techniques. I’ve got every one of them down to approximately seven minutes or less. I know you have some background in NLP, you know some of these techniques can take 20, 30, 40 minutes. I’ve got them all down to seven minutes and they work just as effectively as it takes 40 minutes. So not only do you get the result, but you save a lot of time. And then I applied that to my cold call approach and the results are phenomenal. It’s really, really interesting when you take this approach to an unconventional way of looking at things outside the box.
You say that your close rate or your conversion rate is insanely high, so this works incredibly well. What was the percentage rate converting from that first call to the second call to the triage call?
It’s above 95%. It fluctuates but it’s never gone, for years and years and years, it was 100%. I was extremely proud of that and then I started targeting very, very large companies where sometimes you don’t get to the right person right away or you might never get to them. I factor all of that into my conversion rate so now it’s 95%.
That’s still amazing. It’s just crazy. That’s to die for. That’s incredible. Your book, amazing, 7 Minute Mindset. Other books on NLP, just go to your local bookstore but also I really enjoyed the book Provocative Hypnosis so I’ll throw that in there as an NLP specific book. Also, Robert Cialdini, he has books not specifically on NLP but on persuasion and one is called Influence and the other is called Pre-Suasion. Those are excellent books as well. Just the concept of neuro marketing is something that all of our listeners should be checking out. There’s a great episode on that topic. Roger Dooley was my guest so definitely check out that episode as well. I’ll put a link in the show notes to that and to these books that we mentioned. With that, please proceed with step one, the initial call.
Awesome. Actually, if I could add one more book, the book that has probably been most impactful for me in terms of understanding influence and a persuasion.
A book called Maximum Influence. I’m looking at it on my book case right now, 12 Universal Laws of Power Persuasion. The author is Kurt W. Mortensen. I think I’ve recommended that book to more people than I could possibly count. It’s absolutely fantastic.
I love it. Alright, let’s do the initial call.
Let’s get into this. Obviously, put yourself in the mindset of someone who is about to make a cold call. Most of the time, the reason that cold calls get such a bad rep is because we feel like we’re taking something from the other person. We’re going to call them up and the reason that we’re calling them is because we want to sell them something. Try to sell to someone on the first call when they have no idea who you are and it’s completely cold, it’s just a phenomenal task and I think absolutely ridiculous. My approach is to give and I give a lot in this first five minutes. I think that giving is significantly underrated in business. The reason that I came across this concept is as we know as internet marketers, moving the free line concept from Eben Pagan and everyone has their own version of this but essentially, some kind of free gated opt in to capture people’s name and email address and begin the process of moving them through a funnel, everyone knows that you have to give some high quality free, you don’t have to but it is very common, some high quality free content upfront. These days, it’s very typical to see people saying things like, “Our free content is better than other people’s paid content. “
That’s true for mine.
Absolutely. I have actually been listening to your podcast recently. Both of your podcasts are fantastic.
In internet marketing, we’ve grasped the concept that giving something for free that is of high value is the best way to start that relationship but then people pick up the telephone and try and hard sell from the first phone call. Didn’t really make any sense to me so taking a step back to that pattern recognition, I recognize the pattern. Here’s what we’re doing in terms of internet marketing. We set up a sales funnel. We provide a lot of free value upfront. Then digital marketer speak, we might have a tripwire offer and then we’re going to have that person move into a core offer and then profit maximizer. But why can’t we do the same thing on the telephone? Even if there’s no sale made for a couple of phone calls, the emotional bank account and the relationship that we’re building with that person is going to make it essentially inevitable that they’re going to buy something from us because we’re following the way that human relationships naturally develop. On the first call, my focus is all about figuring out who this person is, what their big problems are, and what I’m asking myself is can I actually help this person? I’m actively looking for what is it that I can help this person with. If there’s nothing I can help them with, I’m happy to end the call before the point where I would offer them the next step in the process, which would be to move into the second call. For simplicity’s sake, I’ve given each of these three calls a name. The first call is the activate call, the second call is the insights call, and the third call is the solutions call. The activate call is designed to activate the potential customer. Insight gives me the insights on qualifying them as to whether or not I’d like to work with them. Step one, I’m saying, “Can I help this person?” At step two, I’m saying, “Do I like this person and do I want to help them?” If the answer is yes, then at step three, we’re looking at how can we help this person. That typically involves them joining some kind of program or buying product.
That last call is what again? What is it called?
Solutions call. So we have activate call, insights call, and then the solutions call.
Exactly. Here’s what happens. First of all, you get yourself in the mindset of someone who is delivering value instead of taking because there’s no mention of a sale in this call and there’s nothing for them to buy. In fact, you’re actually going to give them a couple of really valuable things. We ring up depending on if you talked to the gatekeeper or not, you need a way to handle that. All the trainings out there on how to handle gatekeepers are really straightforward and very helpful. I’m not really going to bother going into that because a lot of the time, I find that if I just explain to the gatekeeper exactly the first thing that I would say if it were the decision maker on the phone, I get through every time. The big reason why I’m calling these people, for me, I’ve written a book and I’m generally working on a second book or an article. Remember we were talking before we started recording, I’m about to launch my podcast so soon I’ll be able to use that. The idea that I want to interview people for a podcast potentially, I’ll take that idea, so let’s talk about that upcoming book and I’ll say, “Hi, it’s Nick here. I’m calling from Success Dynamics Institute. I’m an author. I’m working on my second book right now. I’d like to talk whatever the boss’ name is, about interviewing him for an upcoming book.” Every single time, if it’s a gatekeeper, that’s enough. They’ll go, “Oh, yeah, that’s really interesting.” Because what am I saying? I’m here to give value, essentially.
Yeah. Exposure. You’ve got your ear to the ground so they could ask questions like what’s happening in this industry or where do you see the trends and so forth. Lots of value opportunity there.
I want to make sure that if you’re listening right now, you’re not thinking already, “I can’t do this. I’m not writing a book.” You can write a blog post. You could offer to interview someone for a podcast. You could want to interview someone for a section of a product that you’re building or something along those lines. Maybe you’re writing on white paper. All you need is a reason why. I’ve had people who’ve used this process and they have no intention of writing a book but they say they’re going to write a book. I don’t do that. We don’t lie to people. If you’re not writing a book, there’s no problem going out there and write an article on the 10 best ways on something, something in this specific industry. You can get insights from 10 people. They won’t all become customers but you’re also repurposing the content that you’re getting in the call for content in your business. It’s a smart move.
Yeah. Let me jump in here with one additional tip for our listeners.
Go for it.
That is it’s not just for your own blog. They probably have never heard of you and your company if it’s instead a household name and it’s easy to get these opportunities like saying, “I write for The Huffington Post. I write for Lifehack. I write for YourTango.” One of these popular sites that it’s easy to get a gig writing for them because they want free content if tt’s good content and there is a contributor signup page right there, easy to find on the website. lifehack.org/contribute for example is where you go to sign up to be a lifetime contributor and that’s a very high authority site if you look at a tool like majestic.com, how authoritative and trusted that site is in the eyes of Google. Two thumbs up for that. That’s an amazing one. The Huffington Post, you’re not going to get much SEO dues out of that but it’s a great brand to be able to throw on and say I’m writing an article for The Huffington Post about the 10 most critical whatever. The reason why it’s not great for SEO is because those pages are automatically not indexed in Google. There is a direct to publish platform that Huffington Post have unveiled last year and set that they didn’t trust the content that was being directly published, and so all that stuff by default, no index, doesn’t show up in Google. Even in the internal search on The Huffington Post website. I would just use that not for SEO, but for being able to use the Huffington Post name in this kind of a conversation.
That’s fantastic. That’s where something like this could be really helpful, Maybe not everything is going to land you an interview, get you a client, get some SEO magic happening. But if it does, just one of those things, that’s exceptional. Now, we’re past the gatekeeper and we’re talking to the person that we want to be talking to. What I’ll do is I’ll say something in the lines of, I’ll use your name, so, “Hi, Stephan, my name is Nick Cownie. How are you going?”
I’m doing great.
Obviously, I use the name a lot. That’s a psychological principle. The sweetest sound anyone can ever hear is the sound of their own name. It builds rapport over the phone faster than any other magic tactic that you can get from NLP and influence book. Any of those kinds of things. Just use that person’s name a lot. Most people don’t do it because it feels funny to start or end every first or second sentence with someone’s name. A, they don’t notice consciously and B, they do notice subconsciously and it makes them feel good because the two biggest drives for a human on a psychological level is the drive to belong and the drive to be significant. You’re ticking one of those by showing that they are significant enough that you remember their name. After we’ve exchanged pleasantries, “Stephan, the reason I’m calling is I’m currently researching my second book. It’s called Shift to Sales: The Unconventional Guide to Elite Sales Psychology. Essentially, I’m looking to put some real world statistics and case studies and interviews in from real business owners. If you’re happy to roll through a quick 60 second, 3 question survey now, I’ll send you an awesome thank you pack and a free copy of the book when it’s finished. Are you up for that, Stephan? It’s just three quick questions.”
Like I said, 95% of the time, that’s the response that I get from people. Let’s break that first paragraph down. What have I said? I said I’m currently researching—this is what works so well for me. You need to modify this slightly for yourself—currently researching my second book.” That means I published a book already and I’m not some flob or person who has no idea what they’re doing. I tell them the name of the book and it’s fantastic, it’s motivating, well thought out title, Shift to Sales: The Unconventional Guide to Elite Sales Psychology, and then I tell them that I want to put in the statistics case studies and interviews. That’s the tie in as to why I’m talking to them, real business owners. I tell them that it’s going to take 60 seconds and it’s 3 questions. The payoff for their 60 seconds, which by the way, it takes about 60 seconds 50% of the time, because my input is about 60 seconds’ worth but people get excited when we start asking the questions and they want to tell you more, more, and more. That’s why the whole call takes about five minutes. Most of the time, it’s the other person talking. 60 seconds, 3 questions survey and in reward for giving me 60 seconds of their time, I’ll send them an awesome thank you pack so that invokes curiosity because I don’t tell them what’s going to be in that thank you pack and strategically I don’t tell them that because I want the flexibility to change it.
I want to test and measure.
I was intrigued. What’s in that thing?
But I do tell them they’ll get a free copy of the book when it’s finished.
Also, I’ve said free copy of the book. I haven’t said I will mail you a physical copy of the printed book. I’m very specific, like I mentioned earlier, with the words that I use. A free copy of the book could mean I’m going to send them an ebook.
Because if you’re calling 100 or 1,000 people, maybe you don’t want to…
Yeah, that’s expensive.
Especially if not every single one of these people becomes a paying customer at the end.
It’s good for the relationship building but the way I like to do it is I do send the physical book to the people who either I want to build the relationship with if they don’t become a client straight away, like over the next week or two, or they do become a client and then I’ll send them a book, I’ll sign it, and I’ll put an inscription in there for them. For everyone else, I’ll typically send them the e-copy.
I have a 1,000 paged book and it’s a very expensive book. It’s traditionally published by O’Reilly. I actually have to buy the books from O’Reilly at my 50% author discount, which is still expensive, it’s $25 so I don’t send a lot of books out in the mail.
Absolutely. I remember the last time we were together in LA, you gave me a copy.
Did you get charged overage for the luggage by the airline?
It was crazy. That’s the first paragraph. That’s what I’m setting up. Almost no one says no to that. I can pretty much say no one will say no. As long as I don’t have a legitimate reason like actually I just don’t have the time, I’ve got something super important happening right now, everyone says yes because it’s 60 seconds. What are the three questions, this actually depends on what the ultimate sale is going to be at the end of the third call. In the example that we’re using here, that’s going to be a consulting program for them to have me come in and work with their sales team. Another example of a different hook and the reason, I’m just going to change the example slightly because this is the one that I’ve got on the script here that I’m looking at. Another book that I was working on a while back, I haven’t finished this one yet, I have a coaching program that I ran for four or five years called LEAP, which is Lifestyle Entrepreneur Accelerator Program. I don’t run that as a coaching program anymore but it’s still available as a membership program, a membership site now. Based on the content in that program, I was writing a book called The Million Dollar LEAP: How to Build a Seven Figure Business in Your Spare Time. For a long time, that was the book that I was telling people about, which then forms the three questions that I’m going to ask people. What I need to know from that person is what kind of business they’re in, how they market their business now so I can start to find the holes, so I can find the opportunities where I can add value, but also where I can poke the pain points. And what their big problems are from their perspective. The three questions I ask are tell me how long have you been in business and what type of business are you in? And then I’ll talk for a minute or two. That typically gets the shortest response so how would you answer that question. Tell me, Stephan, question number one, how long have you been in business? What type of business are you in?
I have been in business 22 years. I’m in the SEO consulting and coaching business.
Okay. What I’ve been listening for is 22 years, you’re solid and you’re probably not going anywhere, and you know what you’re doing, and you’ll be doing well. The industry, I’m asking myself, can I help this person? And in that instance, the answer would be yes so I’m going to continue rolling on.
Awesome, that’s really cool. The second question, tell me a little bit about how you market your business right now. This is fantastic because, I won’t get you to answer that one because your answer would be fantastic.
It might be.
I’m pretty sure I’m not going to spot any holes there. I ask them how do you market your business right now. And then they’ll tell me the way that they generally flail about like a fish out of water, trying to put out fires. Most people have no idea what they’re doing with marketing, which is great. The third question is actually my favourite and I usually tell people that this is my favourite. Since it’s a bit of a strange question, it’s my favourite so bear with me here. I know I called you but what I want to do is flip this around for a moment and pretend you called me for advice. If I could snap my fingers and fix one problem in your business, what do you need fixed right now? The reason that this is so powerful is it tells me their immediate need and when I say pretend you called me for advice, in order to answer the question, they need to take that on as their assumed reality for the next couple of minutes. Now, all of a sudden, it’s gone from a cold call to I am talking to someone valuable who can help me, who I’m asking for advice, and telling them specifically what I need fixed right now. I’ve insinuated that I can snap my fingers and fix one problem in their business right now, which makes me not only seem valuable but I can deliver the result when they tell me what the problem is. There’s so much wrapped up in that one question. Of the three, this is the most powerful question.If I could snap my fingers and fix one problem in your business, what do you need fixed right now? The reason that this is so powerful is it tells me their immediate need. Click To Tweet
Yeah, right past the critical faculty into the unconscious.
Absolutely. You got to get around that critical faculty.
I must give Nick my money.
I need to find a way to shorten the script to, “Hi Stephan, I don’t know if you’ve already began to realize how much you’re interested in just giving me all of your money. Here are my bank details.” That’s the next step. Those are three questions. Those are clear so far?
Yup, very clear. It reminds me of a process I learned from Kent Littlejohn for LinkedIn where he sends these open ended questions one at a time to his LinkedIn contacts and he teaches people how to do the same. One of the first questions he asks is what’s your core business. You can get away with that with people that you know pretty well because you’re not going to do this yourself, send out 5,000 LinkedIn messages. You’re going to delegate that to your VA or your virtual assistant. When they’re typing what’s your core business, it’s like, “Hey, we just had lunch. What are you talking about?” When you say what’s your core business, that presumes that there is something deeper here that is not surface level like, okay, I know you’re in the railroad business but in actuality, your core business is the transportation business. Most of those railroaders back in the day didn’t realize they were in the transportation business. They got surprised by the trucking industry and many of them went out of business but what’s your core business, a powerful question.
Yeah, that’s fantastic. I really like that. I’ve just written it down so I’m going to find a way to work that in. It’s really good. It’s the power of these kind of conversations, my friend, is that everyone’s improving all the time.
On the topic of that third question, one of the ways that I came up with that, obviously, there’s the NLP and influence component to it, I came up with this idea about a decade ago. I started asking questions like this because going back to when I was an acupuncturist, I had a successful clinic in one part of Sydney, in Australia. At the time, my girlfriend, my ex girlfriend now, was also an acupuncturist and we decided to open a clinic together near Manly, which is a beautiful beach suburb, very affluent. But that was two to three hour drive from where my previous clinic was so to make that move, I was leaving behind all of my existing clients and my referral network, which was super valuable. When I got to the new clinic, I spent the first three months organizing on the phone coffee meetings with around about 300 practitioners who were non competing but complimentary, physiotherapist, massage therapist, chiropractors, naturopaths, etc. When I went to that meeting, the intention was for them to refer me clients. This is just like we’re talking about here. You can’t into that meeting over coffee and say, “Hi, I’m Nick, nice to meet you. What do I need to do in order for you to refer me clients?” They’ve never met me before. That’s what I really wanted to say but it’s not going to work. What I did is I made it all about them just like this script here. The reason I’m telling this story is to illustrate that it’s the underlying principles that work, not the word for word in the script. Now, we’re talking just as a quick side bar, about doing this face to face over a coffee meeting. I’d be saying to them, “How long have you been in practice? What are your specialties? What would make a perfect client for you as a physiotherapist?” And then this is the important part because I know that they don’t turn up prepared to this meeting. They’re just going to meet with an acupuncturist to have a coffee. But I come prepared. I ask these strategic questions and in the absence of them having prepared their own questions, what do they do? They ask my questions back to me. What I’m really doing is teaching them what I want them to ask me. The third question was always how can I know when someone walks through my door and my clinic that I need to refer them to you? What are three things I should look for? If I was talking to a chiropractor, they’d say things like they have scoliosis, or their spine has got a bit of a curve to it, their hips are uneven, or they’re complaining of headaches coming from their cervical spine, their upper neck, in non jargon-y talk. And then, there would be silence for 10 seconds. The next question that I hear from them is how do I know when I should refer someone to you? Which is really what I engineered the whole situation to eventuate in. I had a prepared answer. I’d tell them. I’d also just happen to have some information there that they could use to give to their clients when they found that they have these problems. Within 3 months, of the 300 practitioners that I met with, 20 of them began referring clients to me constantly, which meant that after three months of zero clients, I went from zero to full practice, whereas most people just had a steady slow ramp up. The same kind of concept is what we’re talking about here.
I got to jump in here and say something. I think it’s so critical for our listeners that if you show up in a meeting, on a phone call, it doesn’t matter where, a conference, a family reunion, and you’re just coming and showing up, the other person is always going to have the upper hand and you’re not going to get a powerful outcome. If on the other hand you show up with a powerful intention, it is so much more likely that you’re going to get some amazing outcome from that. Everywhere you go, you should have a powerful intention. You’re not going to go to a family reunion ever again without a powerful intention. You don’t just show up and like I go every year and it’s really nice to reconnect with my family. No. What’s my intention? Oh there’s somebody in my family who’s getting older and we have this weird relationship where they never said I love you to me and I’ve never said it to them, I really should say something like I love you, or you’re important to me, or something because who knows when I’m not going to ever see them again. It might be at the next reunion, they’re gone. That’s my intention. I’m going to show up for that family reunion with that intention of making a powerful connection with this person and letting them know I love them. Or go into this conference and making a difference in 10 people’s lives or in their business. Or having x number of hot leads from it or whatever. If you just show up and like, “Oh, this is going to be a good conference.” It usually is. That’s so unconscious. This will show up powerfully in every aspect of your life if you just have intentionality. It also means that you have no down time because there is no such thing as downtime when you’re intentional in everything that you do. You don’t just sit in front of Netflix. You schedule that in. You have an intention for when you’re letting your brain take a break binge watching House of Cards or whatever, right?
Absolutely. In our house, it’s been The Good Wife. My wife just churns for seven seasons of The Good Wife on Netflix, very, very intentionally.
And then there’s The Good Fight, which is I guess the follow on The Good Wife.
I’m trying not to let her know that one exists so we can take a…
Ah okay. Maybe we should edit this out of the episode.
That’s awesome. That’s exactly why this works so well because I’m showing up to the coffee meeting or I’m showing up to the phone call with an intention. And importantly, that intention isn’t to sell something. Because there’s no sale at the end of this first call, there’s no weakness coming from me. There’s no weakness coming from me at any of these calls but for most people who try to do cold call outreach telemarketing, they feel weird because they’re trying to take and my approach is to give. That’s the intention I’m showing up with. How can I give to this person in five minutes and improve their day? That makes these calls actually a lot of fun as well because you get to talk to a bunch of people and they’re just saying thank you, thank you, thank you, this is so interesting, all throughout the call. We’ve asked the three questions just to track where we are. We’ve asked the three questions. Now, we know what they do, how long they’ve been doing it, how they market their business, and usually how poorly they’re marketing their business or at least where the holes are, and they’ve taken on the reality that they called you for advice, you can snap your fingers and fix their big problems so they tell what they need right now. Most of the time, they tell you more than one thing because people aren’t very focused, which is one of the reasons why their marketing isn’t working. They’re trying to do too many things at once. When I say what do you need right now, most people say money and then they laugh. More money or more leads. Let’s dig into that a little bit. Because money and even leads are, that’s not the course, those are results. They are a function of whatever comes before that in the process. Leads is a function of lead generation, which is a function of the strategy behind your lead generation and there’s a whole bunch of things that they can be working on there and money is right at the end of the spectrum. That means that they’ve actually generated a sale. There are so many problems to fix before that point. It’s a treasure finding question, very cool. This is what we do after they’ve given us those answers. I say, “Thanks, Stephan. That’s awesome. Let me just grab your email address real quick so we can get this thank you pack out to you once the book is done.” And then you give me your email address, assuming I don’t already have it. If I already have it what I’ll say is, “I’ve got your email address here. I just want to double check it so we can send you the thank you pack.” It’s super easy. No one’s ever said no and you get every single email address. If you like you can say, “Do you mind if I add you to my newsletter if you want to opt in over the phone?” Sometimes, I’ll do that. Sometimes, I won’t. I’m more interested in progressing them to the next step. This is the part where we pivot and move them to the insights call. Here’s how I do it. I’ll say, “Look, something that I like to do on these calls is you’ve given me your time today and I really appreciate that so I’d like to give some time back. How I do that is I set aside a couple of hours to do 10 minute calls with the people like you who are kind enough to help me out today and answer my questions. I’m doing that next week. If you like, I’m happy to spend 10, maybe 15 minutes with you on the phone to talk about,” whatever the big problem is that they said they want fixed when I snap my fingers, “to talk about how you can potentially fix your lead generation and we’ll bounce some ideas around and see if or how I can help you figure it out. Does it sound like something you want to do, Stephan?”
Absolutely. What I’m saying is I’m an expert in this and I’ll give you 10 to 15 minutes of my time for free. Everyone says yes, 95% of the time now. Still a good grudge, that 5%. Everyone says yes. We would book a time and then I’ll go, “Okay Stephan, I’ll call you on this day at this time. That’s awesome. Talk to you then.” That’s my very direct way of saying we’re not going to waffle at the end of the call. Then they’re going to say, “I appreciate your time too. Thanks for calling. See you then.” Click.
Five minutes, we’ve gone from I have no idea who you are to now I know, this is from the client’s perspective, “This person who I don’t know has called me. Oh, they’re not trying to sell me anything. Okay, they’re an author. They’re working on a book. Oh, I feel special. They want to interview me or get my insights. Oh wow, they’re going to give me a copy of the book. It’s only going to take 60 seconds of my time. Now, we’re getting to know each other. He has his interesting questions. Actually yeah, what do I need fixed right now? Great. Here are a couple of big problems. Oh, now we’ve identified that I have these problems. Now, you’re going to give me another 10, 15 minutes of your time to help me fix those problems that I hadn’t really articulated very well. Of course, I want to do that. That’s fantastic.” That’s the process emotionally that the person is moving through on the other end of the line.
Where does the thank you pack fit into this in terms of moving them towards the end game of signing them as a client? Do they receive that the same day that you speak to them? Does that have something in it that further indoctrinates them or enrols them in using you as a trusted consultant or adviser?
They usually don’t get it until the book’s ready.
So the thank you pack is something that they don’t get until the book is finished and they get the ebook at the same time?
Exactly, because it needs to be finished to be able to send it out. The thank you pack is typically a copy of the book and whatever else I want to include at the time. Let’s say I’m running a seminar and this is actually perfect example. We’ve got 95% conversion from the activate call to the insights call which is the 15 minute call that follows, usually done about a week later. On that call, we’ve got about a 50% conversion into the solutions session. That depends on how strict I’m feeling at the time. In the solutions session, we might have a 25% to 30% overall of people who end up on that call. I’m talking of everyone that we’ve called from the activate call. In terms of the people who get to the solutions session, that’s about an 80% conversion rate to a paying client. Everyone who hasn’t become a client or hasn’t moved through every step in the process, what I want is another shot. I want it in a different medium than over the phone because that didn’t work. In the thank you pack, especially when the book’s been done, maybe I’m going to organize a webinar or a seminar so I might send them a postcard with the details of the webinar, or two tickets to the seminar, or something along those lines. There’s typically the book, some kind of ticket to a next step conversion tool, even though it’s not worded like that, and maybe something else. There’ll usually be a little handwritten note in there that touches on, I might ask how you’re going solving insert whatever big problem they told me they had. Just one or two lines. Great to talk to you three months ago, how are you going with your lead generation? These tickets might help. The thank you pack is essentially just another form of lead generation for the people who haven’t converted and for the people who have, then it’ll be slightly different. It’ll just be a little personal touch, personal note. Again, maybe some tickets to a seminar or maybe it could be something as simple as down the road from where I live right now, there’s an amazing organic liquorice factory and they sell the most delicious chocolate covered liquorice in the world. We’ll buy a box of that for $5 and stick it in with a book. That’s why I’m vague about what goes in the thank you pack. It’s whatever I feel like sending at the time.
I love it. That’s great. The more surprising and out of the ordinary it is, the more you stick out in their minds, the more remarkable you are. We would send these FedEx tubes to prospects and then who receives a FedEx tube, it’s pretty unusual, right?
You get a favourites pack but not a tube. In the tube is pair of wool hunting socks with a letter from us saying, “I thought you’d enjoy these wool hunting socks. These are from Cabela’s, a client of ours, and we got them to number one in Google for wool hunting socks as well as hunting socks, as well as a few other things. We tied it in. We rooted it. It wasn’t completely arbitrary and bizarre. The social proof of it, like Cabela’s is a client, oh wow that’s a big brand and oh, you’re getting results for that client, getting them ranked for these different keywords that sound competitive, that’s pretty cool. It was a great way to warm up an existing lead and help move them to the next step and be more remarkable and top of mind for them.
Yeah, that’s fantastic. It’s so powerful. It’s so easy to do. One of the other things is we’ll keep track on what it is that we’ve sent this people. An excel spreadsheet is enough to track this if you’re not using a CRM. Let’s say we’ve sent someone two tickets to the workshop, assuming there’s a workshop, and a box of liquorice for $5 as well as the book when it’s done. When it comes time to have someone call all of those leads to see if they’re actually going to attend the workshop, instead of just ringing up going, “Hi, we’re calling from XYZ company. We’ve sent you tickets to the workshop. Do you want to come?” Let’s assume I’m making the call. I wouldn’t be making these calls but just for the interest of time, “Hi Stephan, it’s Nick here, we had a chat a little while ago and I asked you a few questions. Actually, some of your responses ended up in the book. Did you get the thank you pack that we sent?” Then you go, “Yes, it was great.” “Awesome, how did you like the liquorice?” I’m just going to talk about the random thing that we put in.
It’s just bringing back that association that we’ve had previously.
Let me ask you this though. If you have hundreds of people to call and you don’t have an army of minions to make those phone calls, do you use something like ringless voicemail to leave voicemails for everybody that avoids you having to chat with every person one on one?
I never have. I would. I haven’t run live events for the past couple of years. We’ve been focusing mostly online. We’ve been doing a lot of webinars and moving people through the process that way. But when I was running seminars, at one point, we had a sales team of eight who were doing these outbound calls for us to get people to show up to the seminar, and the results were never as good as when I picked up the phone and did the phone calls myself. If there were 100 people to call, I’d just block out two days and make those phone calls because what I found is that the show up rate at the event was so much higher. I’m a big fan of testing assumptions. The assumption is it doesn’t show high value or high status if you’re the guy at the front of the seminar but you’re also the one calling to confirm people are coming to the event. I found by testing that assumption that I did it out of necessity because I either didn’t have staff at the time or when we do have staff, it wasn’t getting the results that we wanted, so I said, “I’m just going to test this out and see if it works better with me.” The response that we had from people was, “I can’t believe it’s really you calling.” The fact that I was taking my time out to say, “I’m going to be running this seminar. You’ve shown interest. I just wanted to see…” Again, I’d make it a conversation. “I wanted to see is there anything that you need help with before you get there? Do you know where you’re going to park?” Everything that we’ve put in an email to send out to people about the logistics, you don’t need to bring your laptop, just make sure you bring a good pen. Just basic stuff. We’ll have pens at the back of the room if you forget yours. Just answer all these tiny little questions that they don’t even know to ask that makes it seem very well thought out because it is. That thing of I can’t believe it’s you calling personally…
It’s high touch.
It’s high touch and the show up rate at the event because of that was phenomenal. I’m taking a couple of notes. You show up to the seminar and on that call, I’ve already asked is there anything you need beforehand and you’re saying, “No, no. It’s fine. We’re just working on The Art Of SEO part two.” When you get to the seminar, I’ll have a quick look through the notes that I’ve taken and go, “How’s part two coming along?” That’s just in the first few minutes before we jump up on stage or something. I don’t take the approach of hide somewhere where the audience can’t see you and come out on stage to be fan fair and all that kind of stuff. That’s great and it has its place but at my events, we go personal.
That’s awesome. For listeners who are wondering what I was talking about earlier about ringless voicemail, it’s a technology where you can bypass ringing the person’s phone and it goes straight to voicemail. I’m sure you’ve picked up your phone like, “When did that call come in? How did I end up with a voice mail?” Well, they paid to be able to bypass ringing your phone and leaving a voicemail directly. There are services that do that. It’s worth testing because if you have a salesperson who is okay and then you could instead leave a voicemail and you’re the guy or the gal running the event, it’s a totally different feeling to it. Stratics Networks is one service and another is Slybroadcast. I’ll put links in the show notes of those two providers. It’s a really cool thing to try out to test to see if it works for you if you can’t scale and call everybody yourself.
We don’t have a whole lot of time left here so I wanted to give a little bit of a sample for our listeners of what the insights call is like and the solutions call, just kind of an overview. Could we do that for the last few minutes?
When we get to the insights call, the intention for what I want out of the call changes. Ultimately, what I’m trying to find out here is two things. Can I help this person and do I like this person? We already know realistically we’re going to be able to help them from the first call so I’m more qualifying here on some hard data. What’s their income? Are they likely to make an investment decision when we get to the solutions call? What are the specific problems that I need to help them fix? Ultimately in the back of my mind, I have two children. Right now, today, I’ve got a seven year old daughter and a three and a half year old son. What I’m asking myself is would I have this person over for lunch or dinner? Would I let them be around my kids? Because I might be working with this person for the next 12 months, maybe more if they come on board as a client. If I wouldn’t trust them around my children or my wife, then I’m going to shut this down pretty quickly because the likelihood that they’re going to meet my wife or children at some point in person is relatively high. That for me allows me to screen out very rapidly the people that I don’t want to be working with and then going through other conversion category type questions like how much money are you making right now. I know that you also know Taki Moore. I learned this process and modified it from Taki. He calls it Triage. Again, Taki’s triage process is fantastic. The thing that I took away from that, looking at the underlying principles that makes it work is one concept which is stretch the gap. You don’t have to use Taki’s specific wording or his step by step process. If you just get this one concept out of that, which is stretch the gap, this insights call is going to work. What do we mean by stretch the gap? That means find out where they are now. Let’s say they’re making $10,000 a month, where do they want to be? They want to be at $20,000 a month. What’s the gap? The gap is the additional $10,000 a month that they’re not making because they don’t know what you know. Once I know what that gap is, I’m going to poke that pain relatively significantly. With the NLP skills, I can elicit those emotions, get people, instead of just talking about it intellectually, we get them into the emotional state of feeling the pain of not having that additional $10,000 a month that they want.
Oh, I love that. Double the pain. Now, triple it. And then you touch them on their shoulder and then every time you touch them on their shoulder, they go into that pain state. Oh God, where’s my check book? I got to make some money and make this go away.
That’s, I don’t want to say, evil. It’s all done with the integrity and with the intention to help these people even though it is a lot of fun. That’s what we’re doing. We’re stretching the gap. We spend probably the first 5 or 10 minutes asking these kinds of questions. We want to know what have they tried already, what’s worked, what hasn’t. I like to ask why, which not a lot of people do. What have you tried already? They go, “Well, we tried Facebook Ads.” Okay, great. A lot of people would drill down on the Facebook ads. What did you do? What were you targeting, blah, blah, blah? I’ll just go, “Why? Why Facebook?” What this does is it makes them have to think about the answer instead of just giving whatever answer that they give to everyone else. Why? “Really, we just thought we should. Everyone else is doing it.” Okay, what you’re telling me is you’re making $10,000 a month. You want to be making $20,000 a month but you’re doing whatever you think everyone else is doing. How is that working out for you?
Not so great, actually.
Now, double that.
I will actually do that. Here’s how I’d get them to double it. You’re telling me you’re making $10,000. You want to make $20,000. There’s a $10,000 gap. You’re doing what everyone else is doing without really thinking about it because you think you should. How is that working out? They’re like, “Yeah, not so well.” If you keep doing this for the next five years, do you think it’s going to get you to past $10,000 a month or is it more realistically going to go up from there? $20,000 a month, $30,000 a month.
Are you going to go out of business? What’s the ultimate impact if you don’t get this fixed? That’s how we poke the pains. You’re out of the money when you say no, double it.
Yeah, that’s what Tony Robbins does. He’s like project that in the future 5 years, that limiting belief and what that’s going to do to your friendships, your family, your health, your business, and it’s like oh, people are wailing and stuff and then now take it into 10 years into the future if you don’t fix this limiting belief.
Let’s now jump to the solutions call. I love that insights call, triage call process and stretching the gap, really getting them to feel the pain. It’s very powerful. Let’s move onto the solutions call and just in a minute or two recap or describe, encapsulate the process of taking somebody in 45 minutes from okay, this sounds interesting to where do I wire the money.
You can think of the insights call as the light version of the solutions call. We do the insights call in 10 to 15 minutes. In the solutions call, I will ask many of the same questions but I’ll dig much deeper and therefore produce a lot more pain. But also, build a very compelling future if they were to know what I know. One of the ways that we do this is we get very deep on what’s the reality like right now, very, very specific on whether they want to be in 12 months time or insert amount of time you usually work with people, so for me, that’ll be 12 months in that LEAP program I was talking about earlier. Once we know exactly where they are, where they want to be, the next thing that we’re going to do is drill down on actually providing a solution to one of their problems because by now, we’ve identified 10 or 15 major areas that need to be fixed and even if it’s only 3 or 4, that still gives us the scope to actually fix one. Because remember, right at the start, I said that my focus throughout this whole process is how can I deliver value. The reason we have such a high conversion rate is we actually go against the advice of everyone else who’s teaching sales at this point that I can see and help people fix one of their problems on the call. One of the things that I do is I help them fix the way they answer the question what do you do because most people, this is an easy win for me, and most people screw this up significantly. What do you do? They say, “Well, I’m an accountant.” Okay fantastic. What we want to do is we want them to say, “I help this specific person with this specific problem, achieve this specific result through this specific process.” We’d be saying something like instead of an accountant when someone says, “So, what do you do?” You say, “I help small business owners to ethically slash their tax and protect their assets.” At which point, the next logical question for the person you’re talking to is, “That’s awesome. How do you do that?” You need an answer to that. We have a three step system. First we A, then we b, then we C. From there, it’s very easy, I’ll explain it, it’s very easy to actually move that person into a 15 minute insights call. You can book it on your iPhone right there on the spot. Actually, if you like, we can spend 15 minutes and bounce around some ideas and see how I can help you. It’s totally free. I’ve got 10 minutes next week on Tuesday. How’s [9:00]? Just from changing the way you answer the question what do you do, now, we’ve taken that into a two minute lead generation, live one on one, face to face. That’s one of the things that we do. The next thing is we’ll talk a little bit about their offer and we’ll tweak it if there’s something that can be tweaked there. I looked at a few of these different areas and end up focusing on one specific thing. The next thing we do after that is we’ll talk a little bit about their offer and usually, we’ll talk about their offer, and if appropriate, the sales funnel. Because we’ve solved the problem of answering the question so what do you do and we’ve given them a compelling answer that invokes curiosity in the person who asked the question and causes them to ask, “How do you do that?” So you can move them into a lead generation conversation. We’ve already solved that problem. What we want to do for people is just solve one problem but bring up as many other problems as we can. I don’t know who said this but when you can articulate someone’s problem better than they can, they automatically and unconsciously assume you have the solution to their problem. By bringing up all of the problems that they’re struggling with in their business and then actively solving one for them, we demonstrate our expertise that we can actually help them which has the flowing effect for them to logically also assume that we can solve all of their other problems. From that point on, when we’re talking about their offer and their funnel, we go back to digging without providing some how to. I might be explaining what to fix at that point in the offer or the funnel. So like, “Oh, it sounds like you need to fix your lead magnet. Maybe you need to fix the headline.” We talk about what to fix but now how. What that does is it shows that we do know what they need to do at that point, but even more, we’re creating the need for us to help them. I’ll often say to people at the end of the call, because it’s true, this is called pacing someone’s current reality. In their mind, they might be thinking I can do this without you. I’ll actually surface that before it becomes an objection and say I’m sure you’re smart enough to fix all these problems without me. I know we’ve identified A, B, and C and you struck me as a smart person, you’ve got experience. I’m sure you’d be able to handle this on your own. The question isn’t whether or not you can handle it on your own, it’s whether you want to waste the next two weeks or two years struggling through the trial and error of trying to figure this out for yourself or if you’d rather shortcut that process and just get someone who knows how to do it, telling you exactly what to do step by step, which makes only sense. And then usually, that’s a little trial close and they agree. After that, we go into the actual closing of the sale and I do this relatively softly. What I’ll do is I’ll feedback, I’ll explain to the person, what I want to do is I’ve got pages of notes here. I just want to make sure that I’m really understanding where you’re at and what you need and whether or not I’m going to be the right person to help you with that will become clear in a moment. Here’s what I can see your problems are. A, B, C, whatever they are and here’s what you need to do about it. Again, not how but here’s what you need to do about it. We’ll outline that so that at least, on the concept of delivering value, at least if they don’t choose to go ahead with me, they’ve got a plan that they can go and implement. By attempting to implement that themselves, they’ll often come back realizing that they really do need the help, some people need that extra little step, assuming that isn’t the case and they just accept that I’m the right person to help them. We feedback the problems. We outline what the solution needs to be and the next thing that I’ll do is explain how I can help them solve that problem. There’s languaging around how this all works. I’m just going through the bullet points steps here. The three big things that you need to explain to someone especially if you’re selling any kind of coaching and consulting, there are three questions that will be going through people’s minds. The first is what am I supposed to do? How does this all fit together? The second thing is what process should I use? And the third thing is what happens if I have a question? I’ll explain it to people like this. Right now, if I were you, I’d want the answer to three questions. We’re going to go through them and give you the answer right now. The first question is what should I actually be focusing on? My answer to that is we’re going to help you get the right strategy. They all start with this. We’ve got strategy, system, and support. We’re going to help you get the right strategy and then however you do that. For me, I can meet with them one on one and we’ll do a planning session. Once they become a paying client, I actually put a planning place for them to get whatever the result is. Once we’ve got the planning place, the next thing you need is a proven system so here’s how the system works and then outline the logistics and deliverables of whatever it is that you are providing to that person. In a coaching program, it would be we meet x times a month and you get access to these and this seminar, etc. Pretty straight forward. The other thing is I keep back tracking all the time to make sure that they’re following the process. Before I explain the support, I’d say now that we have the strategy, and you know exactly what you need to do, we have the system so you know how you’re going to implement it, the third question is what happens when I have questions, here’s how we provide support. I keep back tracking to make sure that they’re following me at every step and they’re not getting lost because it’s a big stumbling block for a lot of people when doing this kind of sales over the phone, is they allow the prospect to get lost and they don’t stop and check in and make sure they’re actually following along. However it is that you provide support, email, phone, you get my mobile number, Facebook Group, or whatever it is, there are a million ways to do it, that’s what we do. Once they’re happy with that, we talk about how the payment works and I do this in a very low-key way. I’d say something like, “To get you started, there’s really just two questions that you need to answer. The first one is is there something that I need and we’ve already answered yes so the next question is how do I get started and here’s how you do that.” That’s as old as the earth assumptive close. I just assumed they’re going to say yes and leave on them to say no. Most of the time, they just roll with it and go, “Sure.” Here’s what we can do. We’ve got an upfront option or a cash flow option if you want to spread it out. You can pay via these methods, outline however you take payment, and this is important. I’ll say, “Let’s go ahead and get you into the system now.” That’s a line that I learned from Taki Moore. I really like it. It’s one of the few things that I learned from Taki’s languaging that I still use. I really, really, like that. Let’s get you into the system is a much nicer way than saying let’s process the payment on your credit card. Once we’ve done that…
Yeah, it’s really powerful. What I find is really important at that point and I don’t know anyone else who does this, maybe other people have figured this out as well, but in my approach, I immediately future pace after we’ve taken the payment and get them focused on implementing and taking the next step. I’ll explain what to expect and what happens next. Congratulations, welcome to the program. You’ve made a great decision. Here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to receive this email or this welcome pack or whatever that happens to be. That takes their attention away from the fact that they’ve just paid money which is going to potentially inspire some buyer’s remorse and people asking for a refund. We want to refocus them towards actually getting into action so that they can get the results that they’ve come to you for. Here’s what happens next. The next thing is we give them some homework. Here’s the first thing that I want you to work on to prepare for the strategy session or the planning meeting. Lastly, this is something I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who does, is I ask people how you’re going to celebrate. To match this psychologically as we go, this takes it from I’ve just paid this money to join this program to I’ve made an awesome decision worth celebrating. Because I wouldn’t be asking them to celebrate if it wasn’t worth celebrating. At which point people say, “Oh, we’ll go out for dinner or we’ll open a bottle of wine or whatever it is.” I write that down and I tell them I’m going to check in to make sure that they celebrated when we get onto the planning core, the strategy session. That’s the nutshell version of the 45 to 60 minute solutions call.
Wow. That’s powerful. I love the reframing so it’s not going to kick in the buyer’s remorse, it’s all about celebrating and changing that frame for them. Amazing! I know we’re out of time. If somebody wanted to work with you and up level their sales process, their funnels, their consulting practice or whatever they’re doing, how would they contact you and are you even available? You might be too busy to take on clients. Who knows?
We are pretty busy. I’m not taking on private coaching clients anymore so people can still access our programs as self paced membership and we do provide some support but I don’t do one on one coaching and consulting anymore. We focus on consulting on large businesses and corporate now. Something that I’m happy to make available is the script for the activate call that we went through earlier today. If people want more information after that, they’ve implemented it and see that it works, then they’re welcome to get in touch with me and find out how to access the entire program because we actually have a five hour sales training program called Samurai Sales where I break down over five hours in details, step by step, the psychology behind why all of this works and how I think about it and exactly what to say at every step through the scripts and the fill in the blanks templates to allow you to customize it to your business. I’m happy to give that first script away for free. If anyone wants that, where you can get it is you go to leapmembers.com/lp/Stephan. That script will be available 100% free on there. Just pop your details in and you’ll be able to download it, customize it to your business, and call people knowing that you’re going to be delivering value and they’re going to be extremely happy to hear from you.
Perfect. Thank you so much, Nick. This was really enlightening and inspiring. I want to overhaul my sales process after hearing all this so I’m sure our listeners are probably feeling pretty inspired as well. You’ve really got his dialled in. It’s quite impressive. I know I was really impressed when I first heard your process last year as you were describing it, or maybe it was earlier this year. Thank you so much for being so generous with your knowledge and expertise. I hope you get some amazing new business out of it. Listeners, now it’s your turn to take massive action on this. Go to marketingspeak.com. Check out there the episode page with the show notes, the links to all the different resources that we talked about in this episode, and the transcript. Take some action. Take some powerful actions based on the checklist of things that I will pull from this episode, some actions that you can apply to your business right away so download that checklist and take advantage of that free valuable resource that Nick just offered of the script for the first part of the process. It’s pretty awesome. Alright guys, Stephan Spencer, signing off. We’ll catch you on the next episode of Marketing Speak.
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
☑ Use cold calls to get my foot in my potential client’s door. The first call (the activate call) should only be about 5 minutes long where the aim is not to sell but to inspire positive feelings to the person I am talking to.
☑ On the “activate call”, I should focus on figuring out who this person is and what their problems are and whether I can actually help them.
☑ Create a 3-question, 60-second survey and use it during my activate call to allow the client to give me more detailed information about their business and the problems that they are having.
☑ Offer a thank-you pack (this could be an ebook or whatever I want) to the client for taking the 60-second survey. This arouses curiosity and continues the conversation.
☑ Remember to repeatedly mention the name of the person I am talking to because it is a psychological principle that hearing one’s name helps build rapport.
☑ Evaluate whether my potential client is qualified for a 15- minute, 2nd call, also known as the “insights call” by determining how interested they were on the first call and if I see myself spending time with them in the future.
☑ Make the sale on the third call or the solutions call. This should take 45 minutes to an hour. There are times when all 3 sessions of the call can be rolled into one 60 to 90 minute call.
☑ Improve my authority in the industry that I am in so that when I make the first call, I can leave a lasting impression, giving them the idea that I am an expert in my field. I can be an author or a contributor on publishing sites like The Huffington Post.
☑ Show up with a powerful intention everywhere I go to get the maximum outcome out of my experiences.
☑ Learn how to use NLP in an effective and pragmatic way by reading Nick’s book 7 Minute Mindset.
About Nick Cownie
Nick is founder and director at Success Dynamics Institute. He’s a certified NLP trainer, published author, international speaker, and certified digital marketing specialist. Nick is often brought in as the behind-the-scenes “secret weapon” to provide elite training and consulting. His personal client list reads like the “who’s who” of the international business, sports, and entertainment communities.