We’ve all been the customer outside the money-back guarantee window asking for a refund. But refunds don’t have to be commonplace. Fortunately, there are tools and techniques that you can use to minimize returns. For example, reaching out to new customers can dramatically reduce the number of people who end up asking for refunds.
Dustin Mathews is here to explain this and much more about the best techniques for selling. Whether you conduct sales in person, from presentations on stage or virtually through webinars, Dustin’s advice will offer incredible value.
In this Episode
- [01:24] – What’s the secret sauce for creating a presentation that sells products and services, and has people running to the back of the room with their credit cards to buy what you’re selling?
- [03:38] – Dustin talks about what makes an offer irresistible instead of just mildly compelling. He explains that he has a nine-point system, and mentions what the first of these points is.
- [07:00] – Dustin discusses the hot-button close. He offers some examples of hot buttons that various audience members might have.
- [10:37] – We hear more about Dustin’s perspective on customer appreciation events and strategies. He then explains that he likes to position events as bonuses. He also likes to include a physical component in bonuses.
- [13:21] – Stephan points out that having a physical component reduces the return rate. Dustin then expands on that concept. He and Stephan then discuss people wanting refunds past the money-back guarantee time.
- [16:22] – We hear why Stephan plans to start taking Dustin’s advice to minimize people asking for refunds.
- [18:15] – Dustin piggybacks off of what Stephan has been saying, pointing out that you don’t personally need to reach out to customers yourself. Instead, you can outsource this task.
- [19:40] – Is it better to use limiters based on time or quantity? Dustin prefers to use both whenever possible.
- [24:30] – Stephan relates what he learned about pickup to the ideas that Dustin has been offering. Dustin then talks about a study involving copy machines that reveals the importance of giving a reason.
- [28:30] – What is “the benefit of the benefit,” and what does it really mean? Dustin answers, then talks about how he incorporates this into his presentations.
- [32:59] – Dustin walks us through the typical structure of one of his presentations.
- [35:08] – Dustin begins explaining the five components of a presentation that he mentioned a moment earlier. These are: 1. the intro, 2. the story, 3. the offer, 4. the body, and 5. the close.
- [37:28] – What are some best practices for doing a really effective close? Dustin reveals that a successful close depends on doing things right throughout your presentation.
- [40:29] – Stephan points out that Dustin’s advice is basically a yes ladder. Dustin then relates this back to the dating world, in which you don’t immediately get married.
- [41:49] – The more time you have with a prospect, the better, Dustin explains.
- [43:54] – What do you do if you’re giving a presentation where you aren’t allowed to sell from stage, and no pitching is allowed?
- [47:04] – Dustin offers two more ways to get around a no-pitching or no-sales rule in a presentation.
- [49:51] – Everybody has a mobile phone, Dustin points out, so getting them to text may be easier. He then explains his techniques
- [52:28] – Stephan provides a couple tools for listeners, explaining that he uses Leadpages and the Leaddigits tool.
- [54:11] – How do you get people to storm the stage (or, in Dustin’s case, the back of the room)?
Dustin, it’s great to have you on the show!
Hey, thanks for having me. I’m really excited and pumped to be here today!
Awesome, so really excited about your new book No B.S. Presentations. Let’s talk a bit about how to create a presentation that just crushes it and sells everything that you got (products, services), has people running to the back of the room with their credit cards in their hand. What’s the secret sauce?
Well, the real secret sauce is research. What I mean by that is know who you are going to be speaking to. I think a lot of people – they get opportunities and they’re thinking about, “Oh, I’m going to put the slides together. I’m going to put this presentation together,” and they don’t necessarily consider who’s actually going to be in attendance and do a little bit of the leg working. As a copywriter, that’s how I got my kind of start in this world. As a copywriter, we were always taught, “You need to go out and research and get articles and read magazines and get a sense of who we are writing to.” In that same sense, the real secret is figuring out who we’re going to be speaking to, what their biggest challenge, what their pains are, and then simply presenting the solution via your presentation.
Yup, okay. What goes into the presentation that makes it compelling and gets you the desired action out of the attendee?
Yeah, this is a good question. What most people do when they sit down – at least, when I got started writing presentations, I think back to school. You start with slide numero uno, and that’s usually your headline or your title slide. Then you work through, and you add more slides and then you finish at the end. No matter what your project is, at the end of it – this may take place in a day if you really just go into the cave and knock it out, or even if you did this over a couple of weeks, towards the end you are going to lose the energy of the project. What I like to say is start backwards. Every great presentation, in my belief, has some sort of offer. I get it, Stephan, that some people come and listen in. They may be in corporate, so they can’t make people run to the back of the room, or they may be in an association environment, or you are on a webinar and you can’t be so forward or salesy. But nonetheless, every presentation should have some call to action, whether it’s to opt in to your list, it’s to go to your Facebook page and join the movement or join the following, sign up for an appointment to carry on the sales conversation. The real trick to this is thinking about, “What’s the offer I want to make? What do I want the audience to do as a result of me presenting or speaking?” and then come up with an irresistible offer.
What makes an offer irresistible versus just mildly compelling?
This is another good question, and most people I find, they just don’t really think about that. One, they’re not thinking like they should make an offer, but the next thing is: how do you make it irresistible? I created this thing called Irresistible Offer Architecture. Basically, it’s a fancy name for nine steps – nine key things that I found for making an irresistible offer. I’m not sure that we have time to go through all nine, but i’ll give you some of the biggest points when it comes to creating that irresistible offer. Number one is this – the first thing is when you make an offer, you really should overcome objections in your offer. Does that make sense, Stephan?
Of course. By the way, it’s Stephan. It totally makes sense, and in fact when I get testimonials from clients, I ask them to kind of reiterate what their objections were before they signed with me and address that in the testimonial video. It makes it so powerful because then the viewer doesn’t even have time to articulate what their objections are. They are already hearing those and seeing those play out in the video – in the testimonial, and they’re like, “Oh yeah, I did actually have that concern. Yeah, that was totally blown away by this testimonial. Okay.”
Yeah, absolutely. I also think of it this way, too. I think of infomercials. Usually when someone sees an infomercial on TV, very rarely are they starting at the beginning and watching it all the way through to the very end. I think about that when I present – is that when I’m presenting, whether it’s on a webinar or even Facebook Live or even in a room, I just pretend that people aren’t going to hear the whole message. They’re going to be distracted by their cell phone. The guy or girl next to him is gonna cough. They’re gonna get bored with what I’m saying in that exact moment. I want to challenge people to think like this: if all they saw was your offer, would it get them to buy? Would they be excited to say, “Hey Stephan, I missed your whole presentation, but I’m interested in your program” or at least will they say, “Can you tell me a little bit more?” When you think like that, then things start to change. Naming, naming, naming becomes important. I gotta ask you this, Stephan. Have you ever been to an event where you saw a speaker on stage or even a webinar, and they’re presenting a product. They say, “Listen, I’ve got 430 hours of content for you.” Have you heard that before?
Well, you know I used to do that myself.
Me too! Here’s why this happens. When you ever create a book or a course or a program, you feel like telling the world, “Listen, I put so much love. I put so much effort into creating this course for you. Let me tell you about it.” But the challenge is they don’t care. They just want the benefit of the benefit. That’s why people end up making that mistake. Rather than call it a 432-page workbook, instead, what would be more beneficial to you if that’s your offer, is the Rapid Results Action Guide because they don’t care how many pages are inside of it. They just want to get the results. I’m real conscious of work words. I prefer not to say “workshop” or even “workbook.” I like to say “action guide.” Thinking about the words and how it’s structured is so very important. I just want to add in one thing here, and it is the hot button close. I know, Stephan, for me, I’m a visual guy. Would you say you’re more auditory or visual, or do you like experiences? Which one do you sort of lean to?
Visual for sure, Yup.
Visual. I’m visual as well. Oftentimes what I would do is I would sell people on, “Hey, look at this checklist and all these mind maps. I’ve got a video for you to make you successful.” However, if I only said and highlighted the visual things that are part of my program, I would leave out – I would exclude. If I think about my engineers or I think about people that love to come to events that love to learn or experience things – if I didn’t have those things, I would essentially not be hitting their hot buttons. I would be excluding a portion of the audience because I didn’t include those things. You want to consider what are the hot buttons of every type of personality in the audience when you put your offer together.
What would be some examples of hot buttons that different audience members might have?
Well, number one, you should always have some sort of video or visual component. A video is simple. You should also have a checklist. No matter – if you are an info marketer, maybe you even have an invention, or a diet plan, there always should be something that makes it concise because people love shortcuts – they love hacks. You want to consider that. Now, for my engineers that are in the audience, you want to make sure that you lay out step by step. They do actually appreciate the 432-page manual because they’re readers and they like to digest that information. You want to make sure you have that. Then the other thing I like to consider doing is bonusing in a live event, some sort of experience, and I know some people listening in may say, “Well, Dustin, I don’t want to do live events.” That’s completely fine, I get it. But could you find someone else doing an event? Could you do a customer appreciation thing at your office? Could you hold your own event? Those are sort of the different hot buttons that you can play to when you put together your offer because people like different things. One that just popped into my mind is this. If you are willing to do it, at the end of day people just want you. They want to be able to pick up the phone and call you and get an answer to their problem, even though it’s in the program, even though your product may fix it. That’s really what people want. The challenge is, if you do that, especially if you sell a lot of stuff, you may be on the phone a lot. You got to balance that, but just keep that in mind – is people really want you. You’ve got to figure out how do you package that up and give it to them.
Right, I love bonuses. I think it’s important to tie in the bonuses to the motivators that are going to resonate the most with the audience, so just like you give hot buttons that resonate with their learning styles and so forth, you bonus in stuff that will get a desired action from that person, that gets you whatever you’re hoping for, as the person on stage, and then gets them the desired result faster. I love live events. I think a workshop or whatever you want to call it – but something that is kind of accelerating the speed of them getting the result, rather than just a customer appreciation event – that’s if you really don’t want to do any teaching.
You hate public speaking or whatever. Bonuses are so critical. I see them in every launch. Let’s kind of deconstruct a bit the different types of bonuses, the limiters that you might have, and the incentives – the way to structure it.
Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that I like to do. Stephan, you’re spot on about events, but I also want to communicate to my friends out there that – they may not be info marketers or coaches listening in. You may be retail. If you think about some malls, you think about some department stores – every time throughout the year, especially at the high-earn months, they will have some sort of customer appreciation or some sort of “wine and dine, come into the store and hang out.” That may be your scenario to do it. I do love live events and experiences. It’s very powerful. Now, since we are speaking about it, I like to position events as bonuses because let me ask you this: if you’ve ever sold an event before, Stephan, what is the first thing that someone will ask when you offer some sort of event? What are some of the things that you ask? What’s the first thing that you ask?
When is it?
When is it? Then usually some people will say, “What’s the price?” We get past price, then, two, they’ll say, ”When is it?” As soon as I tell you the date of that event, this almost always happens.
They couldn’t make it.
“Oh! my sister is getting married.” “Oh! The cousins are in town.” There are some objection. If you think about this – I shared with you, you want to overcome objections, not put objections in. When you position an event as a bonus, if you are able to do so – I get that some people are only selling events, but we can talk about that. But when you position it as a bonus, then if you’re on a webinar or if you’re at the back table, or if you’re even sitting down one-to-one, you can say, “Listen, this is completely optional, although we highly recommend it. It’s a bonus, and so you don’t have to come to this date. We do it three times a year. Or if you don’t do that,” you can say, “Listen, I’ll send you the recordings, or we’ll make it available via livestream.” I like to put the event as a bonus, because you can overcome objections easier. The other thing that I like to do as a bonus is a physical component, if you can engineer it. Stephan, the biggest thing is that if you are selling information, talk to my friends that are selling information or coaching or how to. If you can put it on a computer – like one of the tricks that we used to do back in the day – and fellow co-author Dan Kennedy talks about – is really back in the day when they were selling “Get rich on the internet,” they would give you the old desktop computer. So the trendy thing to do nowadays is when you buy, as a bonus, you get an iPad or an Apple watch or something. You want to be thinking about: what’s something physical in nature that I can put in as a bonus that people will want? One last example would be the Sports Illustrated football phone or the sweatshirt. People don’t necessarily even want the magazine; they buy because they get this bonus thing. These are some of the things that are important when considering bonuses.
I love having a physical component, if you’re selling primarily digital. Good, if it’s online training or whatever because that reduces the return rate, because it’s a trip to the post office to mail the physical component back to you.
Yeah, absolutely. I’m a big believer, and I almost forget that sometimes that it’s just baked into my DNA. Most of our audience, I would say – most of the buying audience is going to be 40+. Now, of course we got younger folks in there; I’m below that. We’ve got millennials coming onto the scene now, but if you look at a bulk majority of the buyers or the players with money, they are that. I’m making the point that those type of folks, even folks in their 30s and even 20s, we grew up with text books. We grew up with print material. We are used to and accustomed to that sort of thing, and so we value it. When you sell digital-only products – you see a lot of people. They sell digital-only products, and they don’t send anything in the mail. Even though there’s massive value in that digital product, sometimes people don’t equate it. Now, they look around their office, and they say “That $2,000 program I bought – where is it? I don’t really see it. Oh, I’ve never logged into it. Let’s send it back.” You are spot on about creating something physical and getting it in the mail to them.
How do you overcome somebody’s – not objection because they’ve already bought the product, but their excuse that “I’ve never logged into it, therefore I want a refund even though it’s past the money-back guarantee time frame.”
This is a beautiful question. It goes back to the offer, so it’s my belief that in any offer you do, you should structure a quick start phone call, a coaching call, a strategy session – whatever you want to call, however you want to position it into your offer. The reason why is that there is value to that, and I believe that you should call every single customer because here is the reality: when you sell somebody, let’s just say, a $500 or a $2,000 thing, some of those folks have a lot more capacity to spend with you, and they really actually don’t even want the $500 or $2,000 thing. They want to get you on the phone. They want you to fly to their marketplace and coach them or work with them or do deals with them. If you never pick up the phone and you never ask them, then yes, you can have some elaborate funnel that will eventually get them. But if you want to shortcut that, you’ll pick up the phone, you’ll call them. Now, the other reason why I like it too, is because it delivers value. You build a relationship. We still buy people; we still buy face-to-face – some sort of relationship and engagement. When you pick up the phone – you really cement the sale in my opinion when you just get on the phone, and even if you don’t offer him another thing, just saying, “Hey, did you get the program? What can I help you with?” That reduces that urge or that need – substantial – I’m not going to say it’s gonna go away, but that reduces that, “Oh, I never even logged in.” When you get on the phone with them and walk them through the program, you get better consumption.
That’s gold right there. I don’t do that, but I’m going to. I’m gonna start because I figured, “My time is valuable. I can’t really scale across everybody that’s buying my online courses,” but then I do get some people saying, “I never logged in. Can I get a refund?” It’s just really frustrating because there is so much ROI in that course. Let’s say, it’s the DIY SEO Audit Course. They could go through and audit their website, find all the SEO issues – why they are not ranking in Google – and fix that themselves, but then they don’t even bother logging in, and so this is really a key difference maker, I think. Now, one other thing, I think, is a really important point to highlight from what we were just discussing, is that this is a great way to give the prospect or the new client a taste of what it’s like to work with you because they want you. They want your brilliance and your involvement in their business, and this is just a step in that direction. Maybe it’s an online course. Maybe it’s some sort of workbook or eBook or something like that. I’ve actually just signed a big client, who bought my audit course to test the waters of what it was like to work with me. Even though he didn’t get time with me, he got a sense for my brilliance and so forth. I think figuring out ways to move people, who are normally going to consider hiring you for consulting or for coaching or whatever – give them something where they can start spending a bit of money with you and test you out without a lot of time invested on your hand. What do you think about that?
Yeah, I’m completely in alignment. I wanted to piggyback off of your comment to the last question about you hadn’t done it – your online course reachout – because you get so many buyers. That’s the beautiful thing is if you’re the main person or the personality or the guru trainer, you don’t actually physically have to reach out to them yourself. If you’re small, you ought to, because you’re going to get some feedback – stuff that you would never pick up. If you don’t pick up, speak to them on the phone. You get some stuff through email and customer support, if you’ve got it, but it’s nothing like picking up the phone. However, if you are big – you’re selling a lot of stuff, you should consider having maybe a call center or outsourcing it, so you physically don’t have to pick up the phone, but there ought to be some human interaction along the way after they buy, just to solidify – just to build that relationship because as you know, we’re not in business just to make these one-off sales. Really we’re in business to get customers, so that they’ll buy multiple programs or come to our events or maybe consult us one day or heck, even joint venture with us and be partners at some point. Really, that’s what it’s about. Again, you don’t have to do it yourself but figure out a way to get it in there.
Yeah, that’s great. Let’s talk about limiters. There are time limiters, quantity limiters, in order to get the bonuses or the special pricing or what have you. Which one’s better: to limit it based on time or in quantity or do you do both? What’s the best practice here?
I like to do both if I can do it. Now, sometimes that’s not always possible. This is a big question because a lot of people say, “I’ve got a thousand of these things in the warehouse, so how can I ethically, how can I honestly say for the first 17?” I’m sure you felt like a speaker or somebody communicating, “Hey, it’s for the first five people,” but you know it’s not real – like you can just feel the energy. Have you experienced that?
Yeah, question their integrity. Yeah.
Yeah, exactly. Which hurts you in the sales process. I give a couple of examples. When I was selling my business credit program, I basically had found somebody that was an expert in business credit. I interviewed thema and we made an info course. They were providing a service, and so we put it together into an info course. I was the guy going on the road and selling it and selling it on webinars. The way that I used limiters was one of my bonus items was two 30-minute phone calls with me. We could talk about marketing. I was there really to sell business credit. I really wanted to talk about marketing because that’s my passion, marketing and speaking, but at the time, business credit was what I said, “Buy this program, and you get two 30-minute calls. We can talk about anything.” I remember tracking this for a time frame, and we had 500 units sold of this home study program. In it came two 30-minute calls. What do you think the redemption was? How many people of the 500, do you think took me up on that?
10%. That would be 50. It actually was 1%. I actually had five. It’s crazy, so I’m going to give us two scenarios. Because you say no, and some people may say yes. I’ll explain what that means in a second. I have five people take me up on it. Only one person actually cashed in two calls. I kind of equate this to the Get Out of Jail Free card on Monopoly. It’s nice to have, but you don’t really want to let it out of your back pocket. Some people buy because they are like, “Oh, yeah. One day, I want to be able to call Dustin, or if get in a jam, I want to be able to do it.” Remember people like to have access to you. My partner Dave says, “Oh man. This is bad. If only five people are calling you, that means you can’t figure out a way to provide more value to them. You need to up-sell them, figure out what their real need is, figure out if they need more hand-holding.” Now, for me, I’m a marketer. I like to go into my cave every now and again, and I don’t want anyone bothering me. For me this was a good thing because I provided the value, and I would always honor this. It’s not like I was hiding from it. They could call my secretary or email the secretary and get scheduled with it. It drove the sale. I set up the story to tell you that the limiter. Here’s how I did it. Naturally, if I was in a room of 100 people, I could say from stage, “Listen, for the first 10 people to go back now and sign up, you will get two 30-minute phone calls. Now, the reason why I’m saying 10 is, guys, I’m running my business. I’ve got other things to do, and so if I gave all of you this bonus, in the next 30 days, I would be on the phone. I just couldn’t run the business, and so I want to help and I want to support you, but I just can’t give it to everyone here, so go back now and sign up.” Then people will say, “Dustin, okay. That’s good. You limited it. You got people excited, but what if 11, 12, or 13 people go back?” Are you wondering that?
Yeah. How do you be in integrity with that, like you just give it to them and kind of piss off the people.
No, you got to be in integrity.
You got to be in integrity. I’m glad we are talking about it because this is a big question a lot of people don’t want to be that guy or that gal. What I would always say is, “Listen, friends. I would be in the back,” or when people are trying to listen, “We’ve got more than 10 orders, so here’s what we are going to do. The first 10 people that signed up are going to get the two 30-minute phone calls. They’re going to be given priority. Meaning, when they call in the office, they’re going to get the first available dates. They’re gonna be able to schedule. After those people are taken care of, then 11, 12, and 13, with whatever time I have remaining that month, or if I have to push you out 30 days or 60 days or 90 days, you will still get the bonus, but you have to wait.” What that did was for the first 10 people, it made them feel great, like, “Okay, cool. I’m taken care of,” and then for the second group of people, it made them feel good because they still were able to get the bonus, but they understood that they didn’t run back or they were still skeptical a little bit. They still felt good, but understood the situation. That’s a classic way of having a limiter, being in integrity, because I gave them a reason why I can only do this for 10 people because I can’t spend my whole life on the phone. They understood that, and then I was able to relieve pressure for the folks that took advantage after the fact. In that particular case I said it was the first 10 people to take action, and then what I would say is, “Listen, this offer is only good till the end of this event.” I actually was able to use both.
That’s great. It reminds me of – I learned a little bit about pick up in a mastermind I was in, taught by Neil Strauss, that you root the opener. This was before I ended up happily married, and I’m certainly not needing pickup, but the thing is these ideas apply to business, to negotiating, to selling from stage. This idea of rooting the opener is exactly what you are talking about. You give a reason why. You don’t just arbitrarily say it’s for 10 people, and that’s it. You say, “Look, I only have enough time in my schedule to accommodate 10 people and can’t give it to everyone, and I think you can understand why. There’s only one of me.” It’s like rooting an opener is like an opener – it’s kind of like a pick up line, but if you’re just saying, “What color sweater is better? Red or green or whatever?” They’re like, “What?” You have to explain why you are asking that question, why you are going up to that beautiful person and asking this random question.An opener is kind of like a pick up line. You have to explain why you are asking that question, why you are going up to that beautiful person and asking this random question. Click To Tweet
You know what this reminds me of? This reminds of – there was a study done, and I may butcher this, but we’ll have some fun with it anyway. There was a study done on – involving the Xerox copy machine, and it was in a workplace scenario. Imagine this. You have a person in a workplace environment, a pretty large company. There’s a line to use the copy machine because there’s only one, and there should be two or three. But there’s only one, so there’s a line. Someone’s at the back of the line. They just cut everyone. We all have seen that in the amusement park or waiting in a restaurant line. Some of us say something, and some of us don’t. Naturally, everyone is pissed off if you just cut the line. They did that experiment, and they confirmed. Then they went and did another experiment. They said, “Listen, cut the line again, but give them a reason why.” The reason is gonna be a bad one. It’s going to be, “I need to make a copy because I need to make a copy.” When they did this test, the person cut the line, but they said, “Listen, I need to make a copy because I need to make a copy.” Obviously people were still not thrilled with this, but when they surveyed them and tested them, they found it more palatable. They found it more acceptable because there was this reason. At least someone attempted to explain it. I often find, like you said, in business – not just in marketing and sales, but in business – if you give people a reason why, oftentimes it’s beneficial, and you look at Simon Sinek – he’s the leader of the movement Expressing Your Why in a different kind of setting or format, but I find it very beneficial. If you let people in on the why and let them know, it’s very influential, just like you mentioned with the opener.
Yup, it’s funny that you brought up that example of the Xerox copy machine with people in line because I just went through that example just a few weeks ago with the world’s greatest hypnotist and NLP expert, Mike Mandel. He was walking us through that exact study, and you just have to give a reason, “This is why.” It could be anything. “I need an upgrade for my room,” as you are checking into the hotel, “because it’s friday.” What? Just have to give a reason. I love it. By the way, that episode for listeners is episode 97 of my other podcast, Get Yourself Optimized, and that is a must-listen episode. You will be able to influence people, persuade them, and hack your own mind, and get right through to your unconscious to help you cut out all sorts of bad habits, all sorts of cool stuff. Episode 97 of Get Yourself Optimized. Let’s talk about the benefit of the benefit because you mentioned that earlier. I know that’s a catchy phrase, but what the heck does it really mean? Can you differentiate a benefit and a benefit of a benefit?
Yeah, absolutely. That’s a good one. A lot of folks when they present – it’s really funny. A lot of people – they think they are saying the benefit, but they’re saying the feature. Oftentimes we will use this, and my partner in particular, Dave – it’s funny. It’s a broken record, but it’s very instructive, and so this will help you no matter what niche you’re in. When you look at your offer, you look at the sales messaging, what you wanna be thinking about is: what’s the benefit? Usually, you may say, “Well, it’s going to make life easy.” Okay, great. What’s the benefit of an easy life? Well, you’re going to be able to spend more time with your friends and family. Great, what’s the benefit of that? Ultimately it’s freedom. When you say, “What’s the benefit?” – if you just look at whatever you have right now or whatever you are about to create, if you just keep asking yourself or have someone else, better yet, ask you, “What’s the benefit of that?” Even if they don’t understand it. Just have them ask you that, and it’s gonna make you – you may get pissed off, but it’s going to be like, “Well, it’s gonna do this.” Then they are going to ask you that again, and it’s just going to further refine it. As an example, you could say, “The benefit of this pen is that it’s red, so that you can find it in the middle of the night, or you can find it easier on your desk.” Well great. That’s great. You sort of get that there’s a time implication. If I find it easier, I’m gonna save more time. Well, rather than make your prospect guess at that, simply come out and say that. “The benefit of it being red – you can find it easier – is you’re gonna save more time, you’re gonna do more deals,” because that’s what that person wants to do. “You’re gonna be able to spend more time with friends and family or doing the things that you love, and so you’re going to have freedom at the end of the day.” That’s like a benefit of a benefit of a benefit of a benefit. Most people don’t think to that level, but you need to consider communicating to that level to really get your prospect into action.
Yeah, I love that. Do you incorporate that into the slide presentation itself, or you just talking through these points?
Absolutely. What I do – this comes up – you’re gonna love this. When we write a presentation, we just did this and we’re just about to do it again coming up here. I get folks that don’t study NLP and aren’t masters like you are, and aren’t focused on it. They’re masters of their craft, like they’re a health expert or a business expert, not a persuasion – influencer. What they do is they’ll say, “I’m going to give them four CDs” or “We’re gonna do a five-week webinar series,” and I sit back and just bite my tongue a little bit. I say, “Okay, great. What’s the benefit of that?” I use this when it comes to actually naming. I sorted of hinted at that earlier, using benefit language, and so as an example, if we were looking at the very end of your presentation and you were being very forward in selling something – so if you can imagine your favorite seminar or your infomercial. Well, they are saying, “You’re gonna get this. You’re gonna get this. You’re gonna get this.” What I tell people to do is put the benefit there. Instead of a 5-week webinar series, say, “It’s the Cash Now Internet Marketing program.” Instantly that’s better than a five-week webinar series. I’ll use that at the end of the presentation, but also throughout the presentation as we’re explaining the system and the process – we use this as well.
Yup, it’s kinda like the Rapid Results Action Guide versus the Hard Slog workbook.
That’s right. We’ll take you 52 hours and 17 weeks to accomplish your goal workbook. It’s kind of like the burger on TV. It goes back to what you mentioned earlier, like leading with the opener. Leading with the thing that if they made the perfect burger for you, it would look like this. However, oftentimes when you go to a Burger King or McDonald’s, if you go there, it doesn’t look like that.
Not at all.
It’s possible that it could like what I saw on TV, but it’s this. I’m not advocating lying or deceiving people. I want you to get that, but you want to lead with that best-foot-forward. You want to lead with the benefit. You want to get them excited about your program out of the gate.
Walk us through a typical structure of a presentation. Let’s say, it’s a webinar presentation. Is it teach then sell, then teach then sell, then teach then sell, or is it teach teach teach and then last 20 minutes of an hour-long presentation is sell sell sell? Then Q&A at the end where it’s really focused on addressing the questions and objections to the thing you’re selling, versus the topic – “Ask me anything about the topic?” sort of thing. What’s the structure?
Yeah, absolutely. Number one is we’re always selling throughout. I don’t necessarily mean what most people think like, “Oh my goodness. I remember that car salesman down at the dealership, and he was hammering me, right even before I could open my mouth.” That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about letting people know that there is an opportunity, letting them know early on in the presentation, delivering massive value, and then reminding them, “Hey, listen if you want to go further, if you want to take this, if you need resources to make life easier as you do this, do that.” In the confine of a webinar – generally, generally, generally, the most webinars, at least in my world and my clients’ world, is usually about an hour to two hours. There are people that do three-hour webinars, and that’s a little bit of a different format. But generally, most people’s attention span on a freestyle type of webinar is going to be about an hour’s time. Generally, what I want to do is I want to build a case, and I’m going to give us the five steps here in a second, but I want to talk about the semantics really quick. I will make the case. I will provide value, and I will make a call-to-action before the 60-minute mark. The reason why is if you are doing a free webinar, most people are going to bail right around 60 minutes. That’s what the statistics show. If you use GoToWebinar, you’ll see a lot of people will fall off your program, then I will keep selling the product and delivering what’s inside of it for another about 5-10 minutes. Then finally I end the webinar with Q&A. Now, I used to just do like 3 or 4 questions of Q&A, but what I found is if I will stay on and take questions and even bring up frequently asked questions, because some people will be intimidated to send in their question – I will compile some questions, and I will go for as long as I’m selling. If I’ve got a lot of people on, this can take another hour. Sometimes, I’ve gone an hour-and-a-half after the original hour, doing Q&A and gauging, and basically I’m selling through that and telling people to go buy throughout. That’s sort of the big structure. Now, I’ve got the five steps. Do we have time to go through them?
Oh, of course. Let’s do it.
Perfect, let’s do it. In any presentation, no matter if it’s webinar, no matter if you’re speaking on a stage or you’re doing a Facebook Live, every presentation actually has these five components. You just may not know it, or you may not call it that. Number one is your intro. This will sound basic, but I will go more in-depth. Number one, in any presentation, you’ve got to have an introduction. When you first walk out on stage, what are we doing there? Then second is you got to tell a story, multiple stories, or the story of something. It could be the company. It could be the process, for my friends that are in corporate. If you’re a nonprofit and you are raising money, you would tell the story of the foundation, the founders, the things that you’re doing. Then the next thing would be your offer. Now, I want to be real clear here. We are not like selling something right there, like, “Hey, go buy my product” or “Hey, donate to my charity.” What we’re saying is, “Listen, there’s a challenge that exists in the marketplace – there’s a pain that you have, you might now know about it, so let me share some stats with you.” Then the reason why you are there is to provide the solution. It’s my opinion. You should show up with a process or a solution that you’ve developed to make their life easier. Then step four in your presentation is the body, and most people call that “the teaching, the content, the nuggets.” That’s really where you’re going to build massive value, not to say that you’re not building value on the other part of the presentation, but most people know, “Okay, I’m going to teach here.” Then finally, step number five, is the close. Those are really the five core components of any presentation that you will incorporate at some level. Everyone is doing this, whether they know it or not.
I love it, okay. A lot of people hate the close. They hate to hear the close. They hate getting pitched to.
Also, a lot of people hate giving the close, or going for the close is uncomfortable, and then they get squeaky voice or they slow down in their pitch portion because they are worried what the person thinks and they’re like too salesy now. What are some best practices for doing a really smooth and effective close? There’s probably a whole bunch of different close techniques that you can pull from just regular sales, like the presumptive close and things like that, but I’d love to get your take on the perfect formula for close techniques.
Yeah, absolutely. It’s counterintuitive. What do I mean “It’s counterintuitive”? A lot of them say, the close, the close, the close. What do I do? Does it need to be in a certain way? Actually, if you want to make closing easier for you, it comes before you even get to the close. Two big things that I wanna share to make life easier, is early in your presentation, like most people – I’ve never polled the audience, but most people know, unless it’s like their first ever seminar, that something is gonna be sold. Actually, they know, and the reason why is when you get that invitation to a steak house in your mailbox – if you get them, at least back in the day, a financial planner would send you a direct mail piece and you’re getting a free dinner. Well, everyone knows in life, there are no free dinners. There are free lunches. They all know something is gonna be sold. You ought not let the elephant just sit there, and the reason why is because they know and you know, and so if you don’t address it, then yeah, you get nervous at the end of the close, unless you have the confidence of the world’s most confident man or woman. What I tell people to do is this – is earlier in your presentation, let them know that you’re there to sell them something. It can sound something like this, “How many of you think I’m here to sell you something? Raise your hand. Seriously.” You play with it. Just bring it up, and they’ll put their hands up. You say – you could do a joke and say, “Well, I promise not to disappoint,” and I’ve never had an audience that didn’t laugh at that, or you can say, “Listen, yes, you’re absolutely right. I’m going to sell you on a better vision. I’m going to sell you on a better life. I’m going to sell you on losing weight, because I know it would be beneficial for you,” so you could be bold and just say it like that. Then that pressure dissipates, and so it’s kind of like in therapy work, which I know you know – but in therapy work, if you avoid something, you don’t talk it out, or you don’t address the issue, or in hypnosis, if you don’t go back to that moment, it stays stored in your body and it works against you. So you want to bring it out. Now, the other thing – that’s pretty easy. Just let them know there’s an opportunity earlier in your presentation. The other thing is before you can get them to give you money, if that is the ultimate goal in that moment – well, before that happens, something else has to happen. They have to like you. They have to believe what you’re selling is possible. There’s all these agreements that need to take place before you get the money, if we are going to be so blunt, and so the thing that you want to think about is how do I get them to say yes? I’m sure we’ve all heard that old adage, “It takes 6 or 7 yeses to make the sale.”
It’s the same thing in a presentation. I think you need more. You want to be asking yes questions, which some people call these trial closes. When you show something and present it, “How many of you knew about this?” They’ll say no. “How many of you now appreciate that I’ve shared this with you?” They say yes. Then you say, “How many of you would like to get the same results of the person I just shared with you?” You build up all these yeses, because if you don’t ask a single question and if you don’t engage throughout, you’re right. You’ve got a big, big mountain to climb, and so you want to be doing these things, early in your presentation to make it easy for when you do ask for the sale.
Yup, I love that. It’s like a yes ladder. You get them to make bigger and bigger yeses, as you go through the presentation. “Who wants to get better at XYZ topic? Who wants to get high rankings in Google?” Get people to raise their hands. Close to the end of your presentation, before your pitch, you’re asking bigger questions like, “Who is willing to invest in their success in Google? Like really invest time, money, internal resources. Who’s willing to do that?” and you get them to make bigger commitments like that towards the end.
Yeah, you got me going now, because I’m thinking about in the dating world – that sort of world. It’s a classic example. It’s like life. In the dating world, you don’t get married – like everyone knows that. You get a yes, “I’ll go on a date with you.” You get a yes, “Can I get your phone number?” People just naturally get that it builds up to something, so in that same way, you want to do that, but obviously you only got 90 minutes or 2 hours with them, so you got to do it kind of quicker. You got to get a bunch of yeses through the yes ladder, and so just be thinking of that.
Yeah. As far as the length of the webinar, if it is a webinar, 90 minutes or 2 hours is much better than 60 minutes, would you say?
Absolutely, basically the more time you have with the prospect, the odds are – unless you are just deplorable and an unsavory character, the more face time you have with people, they get to like you. They get to know you. There’s a trust factor that’s built up. The more time you spend, the better off you are. The challenge on the webinar is if you do these things at night time or even during the day, we’re all busy people, even our prospects. They’re busy. It’s hard to keep them there for 3 hours, but generally on a webinar, you want to make your offer in 60 minutes and then you want to keep it going afterwards. You don’t want to wait till you’re done to make the offer, like at 2 hours. You want to do it in the first 60 minutes. The only caveat to this is if you do charge people to come on to your webinar, you can get away with keeping them because there’s more skin in the game. You can keep them a little bit longer and still make an offer to them. That would be the caveat to that.
Great distinctions, and I love that you’re saying, “Start your pitch within the 60 minutes, because some people will leave early, some people will just get fatigued listening to a webinar for 2 hours or whatever,” so if you wait till the end – I’ve done that mistake before and gotten zero sales from webinars, where I’ve done that.
It’s depressing isn’t it, to see the numbers start to go down, and you’re like, “Where are you going? Wait.”
That’s right. “How could you?” then you send them a text message like, “Hey, come back here.” You can do that from stage too, when you’re in a live presentation. Somebody has to go to the bathroom, and it’s like, “Excuse me, I’m about to give you the best nugget from the presentation and you’re walking out. You might want to come back.” They sheepishly turn around, and then they still go out.
Speaking of in a stage kind of in-person environment, what if you’re told that you can’t sell from stage – that this is an educational, informational session only, no pitching allowed? What do you do?
Alright, there’s a lot to do. I want to first start off with this concept of choreography because I know we’ve invested a ton of time on the presentation itself. I got started as a marketer. Before I started speaking, I was behind the scenes. I was studying Kennedy and Abraham, and I was implementing what they said. I was afraid to actually do this, get in the spotlight, be on a podcast. I was always a behind-the-scenes kind of guy. I’m grateful for that because I now have an appreciation: influence isn’t just the message you say. There’s a bunch of stuff that can take place before, and a bunch of stuff that can take place after your presentation, or if you’re doing it still one-to-one, when you speak and deliver your pitch. I learned that in marketing, and so what I want people to think is if you can’t sell, okay, we got to go hard core on the marketing, on the influence points ahead of time. What I will do is oftentimes – even if you can sell, you’re gonna want to pay attention. What I will do is I will ask the promoter or the organizer, “Hey, listen. You know, I’m coming in to speak. Number one, can you put my face in the marketing, so that when you’re marketing, I’m there – if I’m not there for some reason. Maybe I’m in a breakout, or I’ve paid to be there or something.” That’s number one. Number two is like, “Hey, can I deliver some value to your audience before they get there, and actually maybe help you sell some more tickets?” Naturally they’ll say yes, because they always feel this anxiety of filling an event. I give them videos, or I’ll give them articles to get a touch point, to get influence. That way when they see me – like I said before, it takes six or seven yeses to make a sale. Well, now they’ve already seen me. They read an article, they may have agreed with me on. They got a video from me because the promoters sent it or I’m on their web page, and I recorded a video. Now they hear me do my presentation. I think about: What can I do to influence ahead of time? Then I want to share this one real quick, and then we’ll get into the more of the meat. This is actually meat too. I call it “the hotel hijack.” The hotel hijack is this. You’re ready for it?
The hotel hijack is this: if you’re going to speak at an event or maybe you’re a sponsor, or maybe you’re introvert and you actually don’t like to go up to people and talk to them – what you can do now inside of Facebook is wherever the event is taking place – heck, you may not even be at this event. That’s kind of another one. Wherever an event is taking place, find the address. Within Facebook, you can target within a mile – so you can pick the hotel and run Facebook ads to everyone in that hotel. Yes, there may be some guests that are going to Disney or not there for your conference, but I don’t care because you can target that hotel. People that are on Facebook will see your ads, so from an influence standpoint, I do this now when I go to a place and I’m speaking, or I have a sponsorship. I do it because I hope to catch some of the attendees that are on there, and it’s next to nothing because you are targeting such a finite location and such a finite time period, meaning I’m not gonna target for a whole month. I’m just going to target for the days of the event or the day before I speak or something like that, and so that’s an influence point. Maybe you can’t sell, but I’m sure you could be collecting leads with that ad. I’m sure you could say, “Hey, why don’t you join me for dinner?” and drive people that way. I call that the hotel hijack. Isn’t that cool?
That is so clever. I love it. That’s awesome.
That’s a real cool one. I know we are short on time, but I want to deliver the goods. When you’re speaking, what do you do? Number one, you should ask the promoter, “Can I at least generate some leads?” – well, you ought not say that. You should say, “Can I at least offer my slides because I talk pretty quickly and always everyone asks me for my slides?” So rather than email sending in the office, I do this thing where they text. I just make them text me, and then I just email them. I won’t spam them. I just text them, so you get permission. Give away your slides if you can, or give away something of value – maybe it’s a copy of your book. Generate the lead, if you can’t sell. Two, if you can’t be as forward as selling, but maybe the promoter will say, “Hey, listen, if you want to do a little lunch or take some people and have them do some appointments with you during the conference, during the breaks,” then what I would say is make an offer and say, “Listen, if you want to sit down, if you like what I shared – I do this. I help people. If you want to have a conversation with me, just come up and give me your business card, or just come up, fill out a sheet of paper. I’m only going to be here for another couple of hours. I’m willing to take a few of you to dinner or have a conversation.” If the promoter blesses that, then do that. Those would be the scenarios that I would say that are above board, that most people can use. There are some other sneaky ones, but those are the big ones that you can use when you can’t sell.
Give me a sneaky one.
This one is sneaky, but it’s only sneaky if you don’t get the promoter’s blessing. What you could consider doing is that at the end of your presentation say, “Hey listen, tonight or tomorrow, I’m going to be doing another session. I wanted so much to share with you everything I could and get everything in. I feel bad about it, and so I’m going to be doing a 60-minute session right next door or across the hallway. If you want to come to that, write this date down, text this thing, so I could put you on the list, or come get a ticket at the back of the room that will get you in. I’ve only got 50 seats or so, so come with me there.” Now, you take them out of the promoter’s environment into an environment you control because you take them into a different room or you take them to lunch, and then there you can sell. Again if you don’t get the promoter’s approval on this, you could get yourself into trouble. I’ve known some guys to do that, and it wasn’t good. They’re thinking only in the short term, and they never get invited back. They kind of get banned. If you get the promoter’s approval, you’re good. If you do that and you don’t, just know it’s a very short term sort of thinking.
Yeah. This idea of having them text instead of going to a website or instead of emailing, it’s a crucial distinction. It’s very very valuable, and it gets a higher opt in rate from the audience because they are, for some reason, more willing to text instead of go to a website or send an email from their phone curiously.
You are really pulling it out of me, Stephan – the goods. Here’s what I’m gonna share. I’ve got another one, too, so you’re absolutely right. Everybody has a mobile phone. The only time this screws you – I don’t usually use that word. But the only time this really messes you up is if you’re in a room where they can’t text. I always come with back up sheets of paper, old school. If they can’t get on, I’ve got paper, like little blank forms that they can fill and hand in to me. That’s not preferred because email providers and Infusionsoft, they want to opt it in. I say, “Take out your mobile phones,” and I just tell them what to do, just like we know from influence. If you just tell people what to do and you deliver value, they will oftentimes just do it. I like the cellphone. Here’s what I’m testing right now, not on this call, but we are doing this here at Speaking Empire. Not only am I gonna do – when I go to this next gig, I’m speaking at GKIC coming up here in October. When I go to speak there, not only am I going to do the SMS text messaging thing, I’m going to give them massive value. I’m going to give them three or four gifts, just for opting in: my slides, a checklist, an audio. I’m going to make an irresistible offer even though it’s free. Number two thing that I’m gonna do that we’ve been doing on Facebook and webinars, is I’m going to tell them to go to Facebook. I’m going to tell them to go to my page, and I’m going to tell them to text a certain word to Facebook – or go to my Messenger on my page, and just type in this word “Dan Kennedy” or “GKIC” or whatever word I’m going to settle in on. When you do, what’s going to happen is it’s going to opt them in into Facebook Messenger. I’m sure you’ve seen the bots. If you haven’t,…
Chat and all that. Yeah.
Yeah, it’s a Many Chat feature. I’m going to be building not only my mobile phone list, my email list, because when they text me, I ask them for their email, but also now, when they go to Messenger, I’m going to make another offer, free offer and say, “Listen, if you want to know more about Amplify or an event, if you want to know more about this, take out your phone, and go to your Facebook because you’re going to forget. Put this in right now. Let’s go right now, and type this word in. It’s going to give you this.” Now, I’m going to be building my list inside of Facebook as a way to just make sure I have insurance. If their email doesn’t work, if they give me a bogus thing – I’ve got them in Facebook.
Yeah, and the open rate is so much higher inside of Facebook Messenger versus email.
It is ridiculous. We did achieve a 100%. It wasn’t a big number, to be quite frank, of people that were on the list, but when we sent out a message, 100% deliverability open rate on Many Chat, which is phenomenal. Heck, even if I got 80%, I’m thrilled.
Yeah. I know we are getting close to time here. Let me just provide our listeners with a couple of tools so that they can achieve this – what we’re describing. I use LeadPages and the LeadDigits capability inside of Leadpages for doing the text messaging. There’s also TPNI Engage, which used to be instantcustomer.com that does the text messaging capability. I think there are other services. Which one do you use?
Awesome, here’s another hack. If you’re giving away free books – I give away copies of my 1000-page book, The Art of SEO, and many of my presentations. I just had 50 books that I gave away at Internet Retailer. I gave 25 books away at Affiliate Summit earlier this week. I asked them to show me the text message on their phone that they texted in order to get a book. It was so good, because everybody then opts in. A bunch of them will opt in, when I give them all the free stuff like the digital things, the PowerPoint, and white papers, and all that, but everybody puts in the keyword into the text message, if they are going to have a chance at a book. Then, also I show the phone as well as say, “Now, you are going to take out your phone, and you’re going to text…” so I’m walking through it auditorily and also visually. I’m pulling out my phone and showing it to them while I’m doing it.
Perfect that’s spot on.
One last super quick thing. How do you get people to storm the stage?
Well, usually, I don’t want them to storm the stage. If I’m going to sell something, I want them to storm the back of the room. That goes back to getting a whole bunch of yeses throughout, putting together an irresistible offer, and the one thing I haven’t shared up to this point is throughout your presentation, if you do want a stampede-like effect, just like you mentioned – if you want them to text in, you take out your phone. You have to show them what to do. Oftentimes what I’ll do in my presentation is I’ll have a flash drive, and I will sell the flash drive. I’ll say, “There’s valuable information. You’re going to want this. I could sell this for $500.” I build the case for it, then I say, “Who here wants it?” and I just shut up. I hold it out. I maybe shake my hand, and someone will run for it. Usually when one moves, two run, and so then what will happen is later in my presentation, I say, “How many of you would like me to give out more?” Then I will have 10 more flash drives. I wouldn’t have disclosed it. But I have 10 more in my pocket. I hold them out, as if I’m holding out food to give to an animal or bird or duck. Everyone runs. Now they are getting a demonstration. It is acceptable. People are running. People really want what this guy has to hear, so now when I say, “Hey listen, go back and buy my product or service,” it’s not like they feel awkward because no one wants to look stupid. No one wants to be the one guy or gal, so you need to make it a safe place to do it. So that’s how you get a stage rush, or to the back of the room.
I’ve seen you guys do it, and it’s amazing. Okay, so we’re out of time. Thank you so much, Dustin. Everyone needs to go out and go online and buy a copy of his awesome new book No B.S. Presentations. Also check out Speaking Empire. It’s a really great organization. They have some great trainings on how to sell from stage and how to be an amazing speaker. Thank you, Dustin. Thank you, listeners. We’ll catch you on the next episode of Marketing Speak.
- Dustin Mathews
- @dustinmathews on Twitter
- Dustin Mathews on LinkedIn
- Speaking Empire
- No B.S. Guide to Powerful Presentations
- Dan Kennedy on Marketing Speak
- Neil Strauss
- Simon Sinek
- Mike Mandel on Get Yourself Optimized
- The presumptive close
- Yes ladder
- TPNI Engage
- Fix Your Funnel
- Internet Retailer
- Affiliate Summit
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
☑ Do a thorough research about my audience before creating my presentation. I should know who I am speaking to if I want to get a positive response.
☑ Be clear on my product or service’s benefits. Write them in bullet form and be very specific so that I can remember them easily during my presentations.
☑ Structure the words I’m using in the most appealing way. For example, instead of using “workbook”, “action guide” sounds better.
☑ Always include some sort of visual component in my presentation. Visuals like video can elicit a stronger, more convincing buying response in audiences.
☑ Include a giveaway that is quick and concise like a checklist because people love shortcuts.
☑ Send tangible items as a bonus to my attendees. These can be anything from a book I wrote to a USB that contains my short course.
☑ To avoid returns/refunds, add more value and personalization by doing a quick start call or strategy session with my new buyers.
☑ Have genuine human interaction when making a sale. Be in the business of building customer relationships not one off sales.
☑ Create limited offers to give my attendees a sense of scarcity and help me determine which one of them are hot leads.
☑ Include these 5 components in my presentation: the intro, story, offer or solution, body or teaching content, and the close.
About Dustin Mathews
Dustin is the co-founder of Speaking Empire – the disruptive company in the leadership and education space, who’s chief mission is advancing the human race by empowering leaders to communicate powerfully, unlock their fullest potential and ultimately step into their Greatness.
Dustin is the author of many bestselling books and has shared the stage with athletes, business celebrities, and titans of business. His latest book the NO B.S. Guide To Powerful Presentations: How To Sell ANYTHING With Webinars & Online Media, Speeches & Seminars (Entrepreneur Press) is set for release on June 13th.