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Kaizen in Action: 8 Types of Micro-Commitments and How You Can Use Them in Your Sales Process to Increase Conversions (Part 2)

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As I used the science of Kaizen to build my business, I also realized how this simple strategy applies to sales and marketing…

Which led me to a MAJOR epiphany as well as the creation of the Ask Method.

Sometimes the biggest successes happen not by thinking bigger, but by thinking smaller.

To take my first business from $0 to $25,000/year in 18 months, I forgot about my big goals, gave up on visualizations, and stopped giving myself pep-talks.

Instead, I started asking myself tiny, minuscule questions, like:


“What’s ONE thing I can do in my business that will make me an extra $500 this month?”

And…

“What’s one thing I can I do that will generate ONE additional sale per day?”


Instead of thinking big, I began to think very, very small…

These small numbers were the sort of thing I could actually get my head around.

And shifting my thinking to $500 in extra monthly revenue and one additional sale per day also allowed me to “seek the small improvements, one day at a time”.

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Once I began seeking those small improvements instead of huge leaps, I started making SIGNIFICANT progress in my business.

There’s a quote by Mark Twain scribbled on the whiteboard in my office that says the following:

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started. And the secret to getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks and starting on the first one.”

This is Kaizen in a nutshell, and Twain understood the “secret” behind it.

In my previous post, I talked about how I used Kaizen to help me make progress when I was first starting my business…

Incuding the “hack” that can get you unstuck no matter where you are in your business:

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Today, I want to dive deeper into this idea.

We talked about how your brain perceives ANY kind of change as a threat, activating your “Fight or Flight” response…

Now let’s see how we can tiptoe around this in a creative way.


How to Influence Your Customers with Kaizen

This marketing epiphany came to me as I was standing in the coffee aisle at the grocery store, deciding which brand of coffee to buy.

“What’s so hard about buying coffee?”, you might ask.

Well, the first coffee I remember drinking was the giant red can, the Buick of coffees, the coffee that my parents drank: Folgers at $3.99/lb.

Since it’s what I grew up with, Folgers started out as my coffee of choice by default.

Eventually, once there was a Starbucks on every corner, I began seeing their ground coffee in the store, and on a whim, I gave it a try at the sale price of $5.99/lb.

Weeks later, it went back up to the regular price of $8.99/lb., but by then I was hooked on Starbucks, whether I liked it or not.

A few years later, as part of a concerted effort to eat healthier, my wife and I switched to certified organic and pesticide free coffee at the hefty price tag of $10.99/lb.

And standing in that aisle at Whole Foods, debating between two different certified-organic, fair-trade, boutique-brand varieties at a price of $12.99/lb. and $13.99/lb. respectively…

Suddenly it hit me:


“HOW did I go from buying the big red can at $3.99/lb to trying to decide between fair-trade organic coffee at $13.99/lb?”


I never would have made that leap directly…it’s TOO BIG of a price jump.

But each incremental decision over the years was a small enough price increase that it seemed like “no big deal”…

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And I was able to accept paying more and more for coffee without setting off any of my internal (amygdala-controlled) warning signals.

This is true, not just for coffee, but for any kind of purchase or buying decision…and you can leverage this concept in your marketing on a practical level in a number of ways.

By now you’ve probably heard me mention “Micro-Commitments”, which is how you influence people to complete your quiz, one question at a time.

However Micro-Commitments can come into play at EVERY stage of the sales process.

And today I want to talk about some other ways you can use the concept of Micro-Commitments in your marketing.


8 Ways to Use “Micro-Commitments” in Your Sales Process

The key to this concept is looking at any point in your sales process where you are asking someone to take too big of a leap…

Basically, any step that is potentially scary, and figure out how to break it down into smaller steps.

I’d like to cover 8 different ways you can “chunk down” or add another smaller step in order to reduce buying friction and avoid “scaring off” your prospects.

In fact, I bet you may be using several of these already…and that’s great!

The more you are aware of WHY and HOW Micro-Commitments work, the more effectively you can use them.

Are you ready to dive in?

OK, here it goes:

8 Ways to Use “Micro-Commitments” in Your Sales Process


❏  1. ASK a Segmentation Question Before Your Opt-in

For many people, entering their name and email address sets off all sorts of warning bells. Even if you just ask for an email address, you’re still likely scaring some people off. It’s just too big of a first step to take. Instead of having the opt-in box appear right away on your landing page, give them a button to click instead, with a pop up to either a quiz, or a one-question segmentation option, and only then ask for their name and email. Button, question, and opt-in: 3 steps instead of just one big one.


❏  2. Use a Tripwire

It’s pretty accepted marketing wisdom that someone who spends a small amount of money with you is likely to spend a larger amount later on. Enter the concept of the Tripwire – a low priced (i.e. $1-10) product that puts your customers in “buying mode” without making them feel like they’re breaking the bank. If you don’t have a Tripwire offer yet, you might want to consider testing one.


❏  3. Introduce a $1 Trial Offer

If you have a higher priced product, then offering a $1 Trial is a great way to turn prospects into buyers. In my Next Level Group Mastermind, I run a 7-day $1 trial offer a few times a year, and it usually brings in several hundred new members, many of whom will continue their membership after the trial period. In my experience, $1 Trial offers are generally very hard to resist for your core audience.


❏  4. Create a “Bridge Product” between your Low End and High End Offer

If the price gap between your front-end and back-end products is too big, you may be setting off those warning bells in your customer’s brain. Just like I couldn’t make the leap from Folgers to Fair Trade Organic coffee, if you have a $97 product on the front end that upsells into a $10K coaching program, it’s probably too big of a leap for most people. Consider adding a mid-priced option in between the two offers instead.


❏  5. Head off any potential objections at the pass

Make sure that before you ask for the sale, you have at least one opportunity to answer any potential objections. Usually a FAQ section on your sales page does the trick, but they should also be woven into your sales copy as well. Using the Ask Method “Do You Hate Me?” email is a great way to hone in on any potential objections and answer them effectively.


❏  6. Use Live Chat

This is something that I discovered during my last launch of the Ask Method Masterclass. We installed a live chat plugin on the sales page and during Open Cart, we had team members available to reach out and chat with potential customers. Getting people to engage in a real-time chat is another form of Micro-Commitment and another great way to overcome objections.


❏  7. Add an “Objection-Busting” Webinar

During a launch or a promotion, I like to add a Q&A webinar (or two) into the mix. Similar to live chat, it accomplishes the goal of getting your prospects to take another step into your world (by registering and then showing up for the webinar) and gives you another opportunity to answer their objections.


❏  8. Get Subscribers to *HIT REPLY* (Again and Again…)

I often like to ask my subscribers to *HIT REPLY* and answer my emails directly. This turns any old email into a survey AND a Micro-Commitment all at once. Just add a question in a P.S. or in the body of an email and ask people to *HIT REPLY*. You’d be surprised at how many responses you’ll get.

Now, these 8 Micro-Commitment strategies are a good starting point, but always remember the #1 goal:


“HOW can I seamlessly move my prospects and customers through the sales process by breaking it down into much smaller steps?”

Or in other words…

“Am I losing people along the way by asking them to take a step that’s too big or threatening?”


So now I’m Curious…

Speaking of “Micro-Commitments” (wink wink)...

1) How are YOU using Micro-Commitments in your business?

2) Which of these are you going to take action on next?

3) Have you already implemented any of these and gotten better results?

Share your results and stories in the comments below…I can’t wait to hear from you!

Peace,

Ryan :-)

My Go-To “Hack” to Getting Unstuck and Getting Stuff DONE

A couple of weeks ago, my top recommendation was a book called “One Small Step Can Change your Life: The Kaizen Way” – by Robert Maurer Ph.D.

And people wanted to hear more about the simple “hack” I mentioned for getting unstuck…

So I filmed a short video about it.

Check it out:

So now I’m curious…

What’s the next tiny, minuscule, “Impossible-to-fail” step YOU’RE going to take in your business (or in life) to move towards your goals?

Let me know in the comments below!

Ryan :-)

Webinar Best Practices: Mistakes I Made and Secrets I Learned

11 Mistakes I Made and 4 Secrets I Learned by Doing 53 Webinars Last Year…

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I do a lot of webinars. Whether it’s JV promotions, internal promotions, teaching webinars, or people promoting my stuff, there’s something about the webinar format that’s extremely powerful.

This article will give you my best practices and tools and lessons that I’ve learned from doing 53 webinars in the last year.

But first, if you’re not already doing webinars, let me tell you, you’re missing out:

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Can you spot the 6 things I’m doing in this graphic to spike webinar attendance?

6 Great Reasons You Should be Doing Webinars

1. Build a relationship with your audience

A live webinar is the perfect medium to interact with your audience. Through chat, answering questions, and sharing your story, it’s a great way to reach a large audience while still keeping a personal feel.

2. Deliver content and value

When you do a webinar, your audience is eagerly waiting for what you have to teach them…and it’s up to you to deliver that value. While that might sound challenging, if you know your stuff and your presentation is solid, you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of things to say. Just the opposite–you’ll be hard pressed to pack everything you want to teach into a 90 minute presentation.

3. Answer objections live

This is a huge advantage to the webinar format over, say, a sales letter or a video, because people are bringing their questions and objections to you in real time. The way you handle those objections proves to the audience that you are the real deal.

4. Get in front of new tribes

When you do a partner webinar, you get a perfect opportunity to introduce yourself to other people’s tribes. Choose the right partners that are a fit for what you do, and these can be very profitable events for you.

5. The next best thing to live sales

While the best way to sell is live in person, a webinar is the next best thing.

6. Hone your message first

Practice makes perfect. Do enough webinars, and you can hone your sales message to perfection before you invest time and money into doing a sales letter or VSL.

 

Webinars give you plenty of rehearsal time to get your messaging just right.

So you want to do a webinar…congratulations! Now it’s time to start thinking about…

What the Heck am I Going to Say?

Most successful webinars follow a similar structure:

1. Introduction and engagement:

Before you get started, be sure to do a “check-in” and have your audience type something in the chat box to get some engagement going.

2. Build credibility:

Introduce yourself and share WHY you are the best person to present this information. Establish your credentials and then segue into…

3. Tell a story:

Let people know WHY this information is so important. Stories are a powerful tool, use them!

4. Provide value and demonstrate expertise with useful but incomplete content:

Basically, cover as much as you can in the time you have, but make it clear that for anyone who wants to go deeper, there’s more to this. Which you’ll cover in…

5. The Pitch (Optional):

Not every webinar has a pitch. Many do. This is your chance to sell your product, and if you’ve hit a home run with your webinar content, this part should be pretty easy.

6. Q&A:

Your chance to answer any objections that may come up, or clarify information from the webinar content itself. We’ll usually run a “Deep Dive Survey” on the thank you page after someone registers, asking them what their biggest challenge or problem with XYZ is. Then we’ll know exactly which questions need to be addressed during the webinar.

 

That’s the basic structure. But beyond the basic structure, I’ve found that it’s the little things that make a big difference. Here’s what I personally do in all of my webinars to boost sales:

1. Clickable Links:

Make every link easy to type and clickable from the webinar chat

2. Links on Slides:

Put the URL on every slide during the close

3. Ask for Clicks:

ASK people to click on that link to let you know it’s working

4. Invisible Close:

Use the Invisible Close, which I learned from Lisa Sasevich.

 

What Is the Invisible Close?

Basically, you say, “Listen, here’s what I want to do. We’ve only had a short time together, and you might be wondering, is this for you or not? Don’t try to decide today if it’s right for you. Instead, take advantage of the opportunity to check it out risk free. Go through all the materials, look it over, and if it’s for you, keep it.

If it’s not for you for any reason at all just send a one-line email to my customer service director and we’ll offer you a full refund.”

That defers the decision and makes it into more of a trial, and increases your conversions from each webinar.

Okay, so you’ve got your presentation ready to go. What about the logistics?

Rules of the Road and Best Practices

With that in mind, with help from members of my Next Level Mastermind Community, here are some tips and best practices for running webinars:

Webinar Checklist

Getting Butts in the Seats

You’ve got a killer presentation, you’ve worked out all the technical kinks, so how do you make sure people show up for the webinar itself?

Well, first of all make sure that the speaker and the webinar topic are a good fit for your audience.

And if the topic is a good fit, then you want to design an email campaign to position the webinar and get people excited. We do this using pre-launch content, usually video or audio, explaining WHY this webinar is so relevant to why your audience found you in the first place and your core offer.

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For example, we did a promotion with Jonathan Mizel, who teaches how to get traffic using rented email lists.

This strategy is ideal for people who want to run a Deep Dive Survey but have no list…

So we set up a trial campaign using Jonathan’s method and ran a Deep Dive, then created video pre-launch content around that concept.

We revealed the exact process on the webinar…and it was a home run. People loved it.

Going the extra mile to customize your email promo back to your core offer means that, instead of just blasting the standard swipes to your list, people see something that’s customized, that we’ve put a lot of effort into, and they know we’ll be delivering immense value at the webinar as well.

So, we send the pre-launch content the week before the webinar, then spend 3-4 days promoting the webinar itself and getting people to sign up.

On the day of the webinar we do 3 reminder blasts, one in the morning, one a few hours before, and one right before the webinar.

jason-henderson-01And we also use a tip from Big Jason Henderson where we send out a text message to their phone shortly before/after the webinar starts (people sign up for this on the webinar registration page).

Often, we’ll also send out an FAQ email during the replay period that covers the main questions and objections that people might have, and overcomes those objections.

The Big Takeaway

The first time I did a webinar for my Survey Funnel Formula course, it didn’t go as well as I planned. It ran overtime, I rambled and got distracted, and I had a hard time keeping people engaged.

So then I did it another 30 times…and now it’s clean, tight, and compelling.

Doing a webinar 10, 20, 30, even 50 times gives you a chance to tweak it and improve your presentation each time based on the feedback you get.

There’s just no shortcut for getting your reps in.

Just like a play, a ballet, or any other performance, a great webinar takes practice to get right. Don’t get discouraged if your first attempts are less-than-impressive…if you keep doing it…you’ll get better.

What’s your #1 tip for doing webinars? Share your wisdom in the comments below…I’d love to hear from you!

Peace out,

Ryan :-)