Tag Archives: sales

Meet The Queen of Sales Conversions…

When it comes to the success I’ve achieved in my business…

I attribute a LOT to mastering the skill of presenting my offers to an audience (both in person and virtually).

From back when I offered high level consulting…

To presenting The Ask Method to thousands of people all over the world.

But what a lot of people DON’T know, is there is one person who has helped me with my presenting and speaking in major way.

Her name is Lisa Sasevich.

In fact, she’s been one of my most important mentors for presenting my offers for over a decade.

And recently, I had a chance to talk with Lisa about her latest speaking and conversion strategies…

You can check out our talk here:

Click Here To Check Out Lisa’s Free Training

Enjoy!

Ryan :-)

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 :-)

How to Choose Your Business Model

7 Profitable Business Models…and How to Decide Which One is Right for You

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Over the past 10 years, I’ve tried my hand at several different business models. Most of them have been successful, but there have been some struggles and failures along the way. And from these successes and failures, I’ve learned some valuable lessons that I’d like to share with you. I hope these lessons help you focus your thinking on what the best business models are for you.

The great thing about all of these business models is that you can choose virtually any market, and use the Ask Method with ANY of these business models successfully. More about how to do that in just a moment.

All of these models WORK. They’re all proven models, with many many examples of success stories for each and every one. The key here is to choose the models that fit with you and your business: your strengths, your personality, and your team.

If you’re adding a new division to your current business, wondering if the model you’re in right now is the best one for you, or looking to escape your day job and come up with a plan, then reading this will help you weigh the pros and cons of each model.

Because not every every business model is one that you should pursue. Just because you could launch a continuity program or an agency…doesn’t mean that you should.

Before you try a new business model, consider your personality type, what your strengths are, and what you naturally enjoy. If you’ve taken the KOLBE assessment or the StrengthsFinder test, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what these are. Use them to guide your decision-making process.

So without further ado, let’s get into the different business models right now.

Business Model #1: Creating Information Products

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Why Choose this Model?

The profit margins: Creating and selling information products, online courses, ebooks, and other education/information products have very high profit margins.

You create something once, and if it’s a digital product then you have no need to stock inventory, and you can deliver it automatically to any volume of people at once.

While a physical product that you sell for $100 but costs you $15 leaves $85 in your pocket, an online information product that you sell for the same price will leave $100 in your pocket.

Creating a digital information product is a low-cost way to get something started, and very easy to scale up from there.

3 Lessons Learned:

1. Not everyone enjoys the creative process. If you choose this model, you should really enjoy what goes into creating a product.

2. When you’re thinking about your market, be sure that you choose evergreen topics as much as possible, so that you don’t have to update your product as frequently. For example, the orchid market vs. something like Google Adwords, where the rules are constantly changing.

3. Be sure that the support for your product is either a separate product, or priced accordingly in the program, otherwise you’ll enter the “black hole of customer service” with endless time-consuming emails.

Business Model #2: Promoting Affiliate Offers

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Why Choose this Model?

Promoting products as an affiliate means that you don’t have to actually create the products that you promote…all you have to do is focus on selling.

Sounds easy, right?

The crucial thing with this business model is choosing the right markets to find the right products that are proven to sell.

Being an affiliate allows you to leverage the credibility and the authority of the product owners by association (if you choose right).

For example, we partner with JV affiliates to promote our flagship product, the Ask Method Masterclass.

3 Lessons Learned:

1. While it’s convenient not to have to worry about creating products, it’s actually VERY difficult to build a business without at least one core product. Ideally, a combination of your own products as well as affiliates’ will give you the best of both worlds.

2. As an affiliate, you don’t control the payment timing, which means that you can often find yourself in the money chasing business.

Look for things like a 7 day fast pay of 75% with 25% paid after refund period, which is a good indication that you can expect reliable payments. But you still need to trust whoever’s paying you. I know this from experience after being burned a few times, which is why we ALWAYS pay on time.

3. When choosing affiliate offers, you always want to make them relevant to WHY people follow you in the first place. 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 Survey, and then showed the case study during the promotion.

This ended up being one of our most successful promotions to date, and a lot of it had to do with the fact that the offer was a great fit, and directly relevant to what I teach.

Business Model #3: Selling Software

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Why Choose this Model?

Software is great because it’s got a huge potential for recurring revenue. Once people start using a certain software they tend to stay with it, because it’s a lot of work to switch everything over, which gives you a high stick rate.

3 Lessons Learned:

1. My first software business was a WordPress plugin for Survey Funnels. With WordPress, you have multiple versions, plugin conflicts, and you have to constantly update to keep up with changes to WordPress.

2. While it’s relatively easy to build something like a WordPress plugin, if you want steady revenue coming from your software you should fully control the environment and development so that you can adapt and make changes as needed.

3. There are always going to be customer service issues with software. If you’re working with someone else, then those customer service issues are outside your control.

 

As I develop a new software to implement the Ask Method, I understand more and more how important it is to have full control over the process and the environment.

Business Model #4: Launching a Continuity Program

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Why Choose this Model?

A continuity program gives you predictable, recurring revenue. It’s a very reliable form of income, and allows you to plan and manage your business expenses based on that. Unlike a launch, which gives you a fast influx of cash, with continuity programs you can anticipate growth and decline, and plan accordingly.

3 Lessons Learned:

1. Continuity programs aren’t right for every market. For “enthusiast” markets, like gardening, or my own Next Level Group Mastermind for business owners, it’s a great fit, assuming that you have…

2. Never ending content creation. With a membership program, you should constantly be adding resources and content, so that your members are always getting something new, and additional value, for the same price.

3. People are naturally less willing to sign up for open-ended continuity. While that might work for some markets, for others you may be better off with a fixed-term program, such as a 6 or 12 month membership…or positioning the open-ended continuity as a “VIP” option.

Business Model #5: Hosting Paid Live Events

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Why Choose this Model?

There’s nothing like a live event. The atmosphere, the vibe, whatever you want to call it is totally different from anything online. A live event lets you deliver transformation, and it also gives you the perfect opportunity to upsell people into a longer commitment to working with you, whether it’s coaching or a higher-level mastermind.

Live events are also GREAT for capturing testimonials, because people are there, you already have the video crew, and the energy from the event means that people will say great things about you.

3 Lessons Learned:

1. Putting on live events is not as easy as it looks. It’s actually pretty time consuming, especially if you want to deliver a premium experience. Plan for the fact that planning live events is a lot of work

2. When you put a lot of thought into the experience that people are getting at the event, it shows. The first few events I did, we just went with the hotel menu, nothing special. And we got NO compliments on the food. But when we sat down with the executive chef and hand-picked every menu element ourselves, everyone commented.

The gifts that you give at the event will mean a lot to people, so choose wisely. The goal at a live event is to make people feel special and to deliver lots of value not just with the content of the event, but with the overall experience.

3. While it can be tempting to want to change venues and cities and keep things exciting, you want to stick to the same location as much as possible. This way, you already know the staff, you have more leverage to get what you want, and you have a relationship with the managers and vendors, rather than starting from scratch every time.

Business Model #6: Private Consulting (With or Without Revenue Share)

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Why Choose this Model?

When you do coaching or consulting, people are paying a premium for your time and expertise. Working with someone one-on-one is the best way to get them results. And happy clients mean more referrals and testimonials.

Not only is consulting a great way to build your reputation before launching something else, it’s also the perfect opportunity for rev share/royalty deals.

When I started as a consultant, walking people through how to build Survey Funnels, every deal I made included a revenue share, so that they knew that I had skin in the game, and wanted to make their funnel a home run.

And if you know the Ask Method, you can do the same thing.

3 Lessons Learned:

1. Protect your time. When I take on a new client, it’s with a monthly retainer and an agreement setting the boundaries of our relationship.

2. Here are the rules for working with me: all discussions are by phone (not email), and 48 hours before our call you should be sending me a one-page document with what we’re talking about so that I can review, be prepared, and make the most of that time. Not only does this make me a more effective coach, it also helps the client nail down their priorities and get more done.

3. When setting up royalty agreements, define the boundaries clearly: for specific funnel(s) only. Also be sure to use an automatic payment system like Stripe or Clickbank to get paid.

Business Model #7: Done for You Agency Services

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Why Choose this Model?

This is what people want! Come on, who doesn’t want a done for you service? It’s super easy to sell, and there’s a ton of demand right now for DFY (done for you) agency services.

3 Lessons Learned:

1. Get deposits in advance to build a pipeline of people who have already committed to work with you.

2. Know how long it will take you to complete each project. Put a team in place that you can rely on, led by someone who can manage all aspects of the project.

3. Agency services, depending on what they are, tend to have a higher cost than information publishing or consulting. While that means you can charge a higher premium, it also means doing a careful cost-benefit analysis to see if this is the best model for you.

 

When I made the decision to stop offering agency services, despite a huge demand, I shifted my focus to becoming a world class education business instead, teaching people to execute the Ask Method through the Ask Method Masterclass.

Now it’s your turn to sound off: what business model(s) do you use? Which ones work best for you, which ones didn’t work, and why?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

All my best,

Ryan :-)