Here’s an interview I did with Daryl Urbanski about what I learned as twenty year CEO of a marketing consulting company for Fortune 100 firms… and how you can use it to grow your brand. Enjoy!
Author Archives: quedge9
Hidden Money in Your Business
What do you think of the possibility that MOST, if not all businesses have a significant source of hidden capital just sitting on the table waiting to be scooped up? Listen to this short interview with David Oliver to see what it is!
The Power of Singing Testimonials
About fifteen years ago when my ex-wife was consulting for Novartis, she got one of the doctors she interviewed to do a singing testimonial for a particular drug she was researching. That video made the rounds at Novartis and got her more exposure in the company than perhaps anything else.
Well, I’ve kind of ignored the power of the singing fan testimonial for a long time…
Until Stephanie Padovani insisted on submitting one… below! (What could a singing testimonial do for your business? They’re not that hard to get – just ask your list to upload them to YouTube!)
Do You Qualify For A Step-By-Step, Personally Customized Blueprint (And Ongoing Direct Advice) From These 3 Proven Rainmakers…to Double our Profits, Enjoy More Free Time, and/or Launch a New Business FAST?
The Strangest Way to Get People to Click Your Emails
The strangest way to get people to click your emails is to do what I just did (assuming you got here from my email with the same subject line)…just hyperlink the subject line which got them to OPEN the email in the first place… duh! I mean, it only stands to reason that if they were interested enough to open for a particular benefit+curiosity subject line, then that same unique combination should drive them all the way through. This follows the principle of “message continuity” and works especially well when the hyperlink is at the top of the message.
You can and should also apply the principle of message continuity to all your advertising. Look at your ads on Facebook, Bing, Google, etc. Is the mindset YOU put people in to generate the click from the teaser ad carried forward on the landing page? Are you delivering on the exact promise you made in the teaser ad?
It’s easy to drift away from the mindset you developed at the beginning of a funnel as you move to each successive piece because people tend to consider these pieces as separate entities and work on them in stages… but really, the system is a cohesive whole. The same guy who invites the girl to the dance has gotta show up at the dance and act like he promised to act in order to get a second date. Then, on that date, he’s got to deepen the same promise…
Women NEVER forget and neither do your prospects. Food for thought right?
Now, would you like to discover the Strangest Way to Immediately Improve Your Bottom Line? (Does the Pope wear a funny hat!?) Just be sure to read ever word of this reprinted email below!
I woke up this morning to perhaps the 400th email of my career from a client who refuses to give up a bad business idea… simply because they’ve invested so much into it.
If I’ve learned anything in all my years doing this it’s this…
YOUR LEAST PAINFUL LOSSES ARE YOUR FIRST LOSSES!
I run into so many people who keep throwing good money after bad because they just don’t
want to see the writing on the wall.
Granted, persistence IS a virtue. And the name of the game IS staying in the game until
you win the game…
But the thing of it is, for this to work you have to have picked a good game to start with…
And you have to have at least a 50/50 chance of actually getting INTO the game at all.
It’s a very painful position to be in, having to give people the bad news that they’re chasing a
Honestly, I’d rather NOT be the merchant of truth.
I HATE being the guy who can see the pins coming at someone’s bubble dream at a million miles an hour when so many other people are telling them it’s a good idea…
When it represents their biggest hopes…
Sometimes they even feel it’s their ONLY option 🙁
But what should I do, lie to them?…
Tell them “sure, go ahead, pour every ounce of sweat, money, and love you’ve got left in your soul into what for all intents and purposes looks to me like a money-sucking-black-hole?”
It was a lot easier to be a plain old psychologist, back in the day. In most cases, even though I had to find ways to give people bad news, I didn’t have to do it urgently. I could find a way to do it with love…
Now sometimes I only get one shot with someone willing to pay my ridiculous fees… and I’ve got to be sure they walk away with the RIGHT advice!
Ah well, I guess I made my bed, so now I’ve got to lay in it right? (Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr)
Anyway, speaking of money-sucking-black-holes, do you know where MOST entrepreneurs have one sitting right under their nose that’s REALLY easy to turn around?
Credit card processing!
Most card processing underwriters are incredibly bloated fat-cats sitting around and overcharging you to move money around the internet for you…
And because processing goes on forever with very few business owners ever taking the time to investigate and switch, that extra 1/2 to 1% off the top can REALLY add up.
For example, if you’re paying 2.75% when you COULD be paying 2.25% in a $100,000/year business, the five year value of that half percent is $2,500 in your bank account instead of theirs. In a $1M/year business we’re talking about $25,000. And sometimes people are running at 3% or more… I’m sure you can see how this can ad up to $50,000 or even more as you grow! That’s a full time employee you might be paying for instead of just letting the money
slip out the door for no reason to the fat cats in your merchant processing deal.
Plus, most business owners never consider a strategy for protecting their accounts from the sudden spikes in processing volume associated with a strong promotion… or difficulties with chargebacks if their customer service gets out of hand.
If you’re processing $1,000/mo. or more, please just CLICK HERE AND FILL OUT THE FORM for a FREE rate analysis and strategic consultation. Let us know your monthly volume, whether you’ve got a system in place for chargebacks, and (only if you know it) what discount rate you are currently paying.
Of course, feel free to fill us in on any other details of your situation that you think are relevant.
Go ahead HIT REPLY NOW…
We’ll have an expert get back to you as soon as possible!
PS – If you have CLIENTS and/or PEERS who sell successfully online we can arrange to pay you a hefty commission FOREVER on your referrals too… let us know the details and we’ll tell you how to work that out. You can reply to the confirmation email you’ll get after you fill out the form.
Struggling with Sales? You Might Have an Intimacy Problem
Struggling to Make Sales? You May Have a Problem With Intimacy!
(Guest Post by Stephanie Padovani)
I reached out to Glenn Livingston on a whim, fully expecting a rejection.
I’d set myself a challenge to have 100 conversations with inspiring entrepreneurs, and he certainly fit the bill. Even asking him felt like a stretch, but he’d been so kind and accessible inside the Alpha Wolf mastermind that I thought, “Why not?”
I expected him to retreat behind “appropriate boundaries.” I’m not a podcaster with a big audience. I don’t have a list of his prospects. It was just me and my crazy experiment.
He said yes.
As a result, I got to meet the man behind the persona and the credentials. He showed up as himself, with a vulnerability that was both unexpected and intimate.
It’s not a small thing to meet someone in a conversation by showing up as who you are. It was an act of bravery for me to ask, and an act of courage for him to let himself be seen.
What does this have to do with your business?
Intimacy is how you make sales.
It’s how you make an impact. It’s how you transform lives.
Let me quote our own very good Dr. Glenn Livingston:
“Many sales problems result from a fear of intimacy…You need a piece of their soul to be burned on your soul if you’re to write in such a way that convinces them that you really understand them. You need to take the risk of that level of intimacy.”
This isn’t quite what we learned in Sales 101. It usually looks more like this:
We buy an expensive course on Selling Expensive Stuff People Will Buy. We study. We spend hours in forums and groups. We scour the internet gathering market research, analyze the numbers. When we can’t put off working on our Next Big Thing anymore because our excuses are getting threadbare, we huddle over a computer in isolation until we’ve perfected our creation.
Then we launch our baby into the world and…nobody cares.
You can’t create something that connects with your audience unless you connect with them. That means you need to talk to them. Yes, TALK, as in having a real conversation with a living person. That’s something you can’t do digitally. It requires actually being real.
We’re afraid to touch one another, but that’s exactly what we need to do if we want to make an impact. The way in is intimacy.
Blech! Intimacy. Save it for couple’s counseling, sister.
Let me follow the example set by the marketing gods and talk about the benefit.
Here’s what’s in it for you when you get close enough to touch your prospects people you want to help:
- Trust. You earn trust by being vulnerable and accessible first. People need to trust before they’ll buy.
- Priceless market research. Ask questions and really listen to the emotion behind the answers. You’ll have the exact language and motivation you need to get them to buy. You can’t get that from reading a forum post.
- Sales. Use what you learn to craft the message and offer that are irresistible to your audience.
- Visibility. When you speak your audience’s language in a way that connects, the word spreads. You get noticed.
There is a price to pay for this kind of power. You can’t see into someone else’s soul like this unless you’re willing to let them see into yours. You must “burn a piece of their soul onto yours” and to really know them.
Glenn took the risk of following his soul by writing Never Binge Again without blind reliance on the numbers. He speaks to his audience as a person who understands their struggle with the animal inside of them. He climbed down off his digital pedestal to let people see that he’s experienced that struggle, too.
The result is that without exhaustive research and a meticulous business plan, he’s reaching people. Doors are opening and people are buying.
I’m not suggesting that you throw out the education and research skills you’ve learned in your quest for internet marketing greatness. I am suggesting that it’s time you got your hands dirty by connecting with real people.
Peel back the layers. Shed your clothes. Get intimate.
This is the way to sell more, help more people, and become known. It’s scary to step out from behind your computer and let yourself been seen.
Take down your walls. Glenn did this with me and it restored my faith in what’s possible in internet marketing. He did this with his new business, and its growth is exploding.
What could it do for you?
Stephanie Benedetto Padovani is a writer, marketer and business coach at The Awakened Business and Book More Brides. She believes that what you’re called to do is too important to be stalled by challenges. You’re here to overcome them, and she’s here to make that inevitable…and have fun in the process.
The Silliest Entrepreneur I Know
Mrs. Stephanie Padovani has got to be the silliest entrepreneur I know. She showed up in the Alpha Wolf Den in September last year giggling her way to profitable advice on all our webinars, and has ever since been impressing me with her expertise, fortitude, and emotional sensitivity.
Since y’all hadn’t heard from me for a little while I thought it might be fun to do a biographical interview with Stephanie all about her Entrepreneurial Journey… all the way from her lowly beginnings as a struggling disc jockey… to her humble position now as the premier marketing advisor for businesses in the wedding industry at BookMoreBrides.com
How to Obliterate Anxiety
Ashley James is a second generation entrepreneur I definitely respect. And she’s got a pretty cool technique for eliminating anxiety and fear of the future. You know it’s a cool technique if she got a long time psychologist like me to use it. I sincerely hope you enjoy it! I thought this was just about perfect for New Year’s.
Why Brilliant Marketers Go Broke
I know a lot of BRILLIANT marketers. People whom I’d
happily pay for advice…even though they are constantly
and utterly broke!
Guys with bad credit, wives and girlfriends who can’t
stand them, and constant anxiety about how to pay
How can this be?
It’s pretty simple really. Smart people who love to study
marketing can get really good at seeing (and even fixing)
the holes in other people’s funnels without investing the
time, money, and pain necessary to do it for themselves.
This does NOT mean that they don’t know what they’re doing…
It does NOT mean their marketing advice is bad…
In fact, it’s often quite the contrary. Because they have
fallen prey to the pleasure trap of studying marketing and
commenting on other people’s funnels, they’ve actually become
very good at that particular game.
And you know that pleasure trap, don’t you? It’s the one
where it’s a lot of fun (and makes you feel really smart) to get
together with your buddies and tear their funnels apart… without
having to take the constructive criticism yourself, or embrace the
time and labor necessary to make the corrections, or take the risks
associated with committing to climb a particular business mountain.
Marketingitus is a VERY seductive disease…
Which can keep you stuck as a marketing mouthpiece helping
others indefinitely if you let it.
Thankfully when people actually realize what’s happening and
begin taking the pain (and the risks) it’s not infrequent that things
come together for them…
The key is committing to the RIGHT funnel in the RIGHT market
in the RIGHT business.
If you’d like some help with that, come join us at:
The Rule of 8 for Pre-Sales Content
How much time should you put into creating pre-sales content…
About 8 times more than it takes to consume it… if you want it to do it’s job.
Putting together a blog post people can read in five minutes with the hope
it will pre-sell a product at the end? You’ll need to spend at least 40 minutes writing
and editing it.
Doing a one hour video presentation as part of a paid product you
want people to like so much they’ll be eager to pay for more? That video
should take you about 8 hours to do correctly.
Information marketing is the process of gathering, condensing, and
presenting the most critical data people require to solve their most
significant problems… and then presenting it in an entertaining, palatable,
intriguingly different manner…
Someone’s gotta take the time to digest everything and MAKE it
entertaining, palatable, and intriguingly different…
You can’t just regurgitate what you heard elsewhere.
See writing content isn’t really “writing”…
What you’re really doing is FEEDING your list…
And as most of us here in the United States know just a few days
after Thanksgiving… a good meal takes time, energy, and loving
care to prepare!
Now, there’s one place the Rule of 8 doesn’t necessarily apply…
And that’s to a sales letter or sales video.
If you want your content to do the ENTIRE job of getting your
prospect… not just PRE-SELLING them on a purchase and/or
satisfying them after a purchase has been made…
The Rule of 8 turns into something more like the rule of 300.
For example, if you’re writing a sales letter which will take
20 minutes to read in full, you’ll probably need 100 hours
(6,000 minutes) to get it right. Can you do thirty hours and
test it just to see if you’ve got traction?
Yes, sure you can. Not a bad idea. But in the end when I look at
my successful letters, the only ones which earned more than a
million dollars followed (at minimum) the rule of 300.
In a previous blog post I talked about it taking me 300+ hours
to put together the system which sold the $2,000 coaching certification.
Several copywriters challenged me…
And I responded by asking them to SHOW me even one million
dollar letter they’d written in less than 300 hours…
You know what? NOBODY rose to the challenge.
Yes, selling is hard work, but you know what’s MORE work?
NOT SELLING! You’ll spend infinitely more (and more painful)
time suffering with a sales system which doesn’t sell (or sells
poorly) than you will if you just bite the bullet and embrace the rule.
You’ll spend infinitely more time suffering with unhappy customers
if you try to cheat this rule of nature when you’re delivering your products…
See, SOMEBODY has to do the work of retrieving, organizing, condensing,
and making problem-solving content palatable, intriguing, and entertaining…
Either you or your customer.
Great marketers make the right choice.
If your content, salesletters, or email system isn’t selling the way you’d like
to you can now work with me (and Terry Dean and Yoav Ezer) directly twice
a week for an extremely affordable rate. Click here to find out more!
The Profits Behind Your Worst Business Fears
In personal development circles it’s not uncommon to hear
the phrase “Everything you want is BEHIND your worst fears”…
We’re supposed to FACE AND EMBRACE these fears. For example
if you’re frightened of a relationship but desperately want
one, you can analyze things all you want but at some point
you’re going to have to take the leap…and it IS going to
Let’s stay with this analogy because it’s going to be
important for understanding how to move forward and
profit in your business.
If you were cheated on, for example, it’s likely your
worst fear for a new relationship is that it will happen
Perhaps you were totally blindsided and devastated
when you found out…
You had NO idea what was happening so you went into
shock and your world turned upside down.
Now here’s the thing…
What tends to happen in these situations is the
brain latches on to the catastrophe and STARTS
FORECASTING CATASTROPHE FROM ALL CORNERS. In other
words, because you didn’t see the trauma coming,
it’s like your mind says “disaster can come from
anywhere so watch out!”…
And you develop a “discrimination neurosis”… the
inability to discriminate positive, neutral, and
dangerous stimuli in your environment…
In layman’s terms you start to FREAK OUT about everything.
And instead of going back and isolating the VERY SPECIFIC
signs and cues you missed in your last relationship which
could have predicted (and even prevented) the problem if you
were alert to them, the brain latches on to PRESENT DAY
PROBLEMS AND PREDICTS DISASTER at every turn…
But really, in the words of my favorite child psychologist (ever)
“The Nightmare we fear most is the one we’ve already been through”
– D.W. Winnicott
What you’re actually doing in this situation is reliving
the trauma, over and over with NEW events in your present…
when the solution requires facing what happened in the past
The mind gravitates towards avoidance though, because facing
the past is painful.
But the best way to protect yourself from reliving the nightmare
you’ve already been through is NOT to avoid all new relationships
while you blindly prognosticate disaster, but to review the signs
you missed (there are always signs), articulate the REASONS YOU WANTED
TO MISS THESE SIGNS, and summarize what you would do if and when
you saw them again.
For example, maybe it was as simple as you being too busy to
ask what was wrong. Not prioritizing direct conflict resolution…
Or maybe fixing what was wrong would have required you to
change in a way you didn’t want to…
Or perhaps you were wedded to a fantasy of what the perfect
relationship was, and you didn’t want the facts to disturb
the fantasy you were enjoying…
It’s ALWAYS something…
And you can ALWAYS find the facts in hindsight.
Now, what does this have to do with business and profits?
Well, I’ve NEVER met an entrepreneur who hasn’t been traumatized
at least once by a business nightmare. Near bankruptcies. Law
suits. Tax problems. Partners gone bad. Products you invested
everything in which failed to sell. Employees gone rogue. Regulatory
But the most successful entrepreneurs don’t just blindly charge
forward after these events…to calm their business anxiety they
do a postmortem to determine exactly what they missed… otherwise
their worst fears will paralyze them…
And they would keep reliving the nightmare they’d already been through.
For example, when we lost $2,000,000 by investing in a focus group
facility just before 9/11 just outside of NYC and wound up $700,000
in debt, what gave me sanity was two retrospective insights..
1) We’d abandoned our core competencies. Up until that point we sold
intellectual capital, advising large companies on their advertising
based upon research skills we’d both trained for almost a decade to
learn. My undergraduate psychology degree was very research intensive,
and my doctoral degree came from a scientist-practitioner program, also
extremely heavy on empirical research. In short, I had NINE formal
years of schooling in how to do this before impulsively deciding I
wasn’t going to run large research projects and give people advice
based upon them anymore… I was going to build the largest and most
advanced focus group facility and rent it out. (Smack self in head
with spatula here)
2) We failed to apply our core competencies to the riskiest business project
in which we had engaged. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking, but
we didn’t do any research before investing. We just got involved with our
own grandiosity and took the plunge since we’d never really failed before
in ANY business endeavor.
So the nightmare I experienced was caused by two very specific mistakes,
abandoning my core competency AND failing to apply that competency to the
most important business decision I’d made…
And with that insight, I was no longer terrified of every business
step. My ability to take risks going forward was restored because I
could always ask myself (1) is this project within my core competency and;
(2) Have I applied my core competencies to the project itself.
I’ll give you another example.
My friend David SUDDENLY found himself doing several hundred
thousand dollars a month in his information marketing business
(which was in a weird niche that had NOTHING to do with teaching
others to make money by the way!)…
But after just a few months he got a call from his merchant
account provider telling him that they were shutting off his ability
to process the payments…
And that he was being blacklisted so he’d have trouble finding ANYONE
else to process for him.
And just like that, all the work he’d done for years to break through
the sales barrier and get oil gushing out the end of his pipeline was
A few months in the sun and then it was famine time again.
Of course, David went into terror mode for about six months. But as
he emerged he interviewed a LOT of other people who’d gone through this
situation and figured out his mistakes…and a LOT MORE merchant account
It turns out he just wasn’t considering ALL the players involved in his
business… he was taking his merchant account providers for granted.
And by cultivating relationships with several providers and learning to
understand and respect THEIR needs in the business transaction, he WAS
indeed able to restore his processing ability.
See, most business owners take their merchant account for granted…
Both in terms of the rate they pay (virtually everyone we’ve done
a free rate analysis for has found they’re overpaying by 10 to 20%,
which can REALLY add up over the years to money stupidly given to
bankers instead of accumulating in YOUR business) … but more importantly
in terms of their willingness to process payments for you in the first place.
See, the bulk of merchant underwriter’s business isn’t done on the
guy who does $300,000/mo in an info marketing business. It’s done
on tens of thousands of $5,000/mo to $30,000/mo guys. They like to
SPREAD OUT THE RISK with chargeback and fraud percentages they
can statistically predict based on these large volumes of very similar
So once you break out of the $30,000 range (really past $40,000)…
You become a VERY RISKY ANIMAL.
EVERY business which breaks through this range becomes such
an animal to them…
And we ALL are working towards such a break, which in marketing
can happen very, VERY fast when you plug the last leak in your
sales funnel and/or when you find the right back end product…
So in theory we should ALL be protecting ourselves for this NOW
so we don’t have to live through David’s nightmare. So we can
develop a relationship with a few merchant account providers and
be SURE we’ve got the ability to ACTUALLY COLLECT the money
we’ve been working for so many years to earn!
But because 98% of businesses aren’t past the “typical merchant
animal” range yet, most business owners have the perception
that there’s no reason to bother…
Which is very, very sad…
Especially since the five year value of saving even 15% on your
merchant processing fees even at just $5,000/mo. of processing
volume is in the thousands of dollars in YOUR pocket vs. some
fat cat banker… and there’s NO cost to get a free comparative
rate analysis now.