Monthly Archives: August 2010

My #4 Money Making Secret – The Paid Consultation

Let’s keep Glenn’s Money Making Secret count going:

  1. Research
  2. Contrarian Advice
  3. Let the Market Change You as a Person

What’s #4? “The Paid Consultation as Your First Business Contact”

This one’s a tough one to embrace because it goes entirely against the norm and makes a lot of potential customers mad.

But it accomplishes three things:

  • First and foremost it protects your time (and/or your sales people’s time) from ambivalent or unqualified prospects.
  • Second, it dramatically increases closing ratios, because you’re only speaking with people proven willing to give you money to start with.  (I’m talking about 500% to 1,000% increase in my personal experience)
  • Third, it protects the customer from purchasing things they’re not really ready to purchase, and/or things they’re not qualified to purchase.
  • Fourth, it protects your business from unhappy customers (particularly important for service businesses)

Take my coaching salesletter for example.   (Click here to open in a new window so you can read along with the commentary)

With some frequency I get people who request FREE time to discuss their situation and see if it’s a good fit.   They usually say they’ve read my letter, but object to paying before speaking with me (or Ryan).   The vast majority of coaches, they say, would consider it very BAD business to require payment before the first consultation.  In fact, they don’t know ANY other coach who would insist upon this.

While I respect their decision, I stick to my guns.

You see, the vast majority of coaches HAVE TO spend their time developing business with free consultations whenever they can get them because they don’t really know how to market themselves.

But when you DO have the deal flow in volume, I’ve simply found it ineffective to offer time for free to a customer in ANY circumstance (other than the research phase of a business).   If  you read the coaching salesletter,  you’ll see I’ve actually set it up to try and dissuade all but the most well fit people from the program.

Because I’ve found if people don’t really already know that this is the right system for them, and we’re the right coaches, it’s an uphill battle to get them to actually embrace the work and take our direction.

There are literally dozens of turns and events within my system where the student needs to go against typical practices and engage in what their friends, family, and colleagues would perceive as a crazy way to do business.

And there’s no guarantee of success, even then.

So everyone winds up unhappy.

I worked really hard to develop the deal-flow to allow me to take this contrarian position because I believe it’s the only one which works for everyone concerned.  Otherwise you wind up with a kind of “revolving door” practice with a lot of ambivalent and unhappy people who just pay for a few months at a high rate and then drop out.

Long story short, I thoroughly understand when a customer wishes to find another coach or work with another system given our philosophies and business practices.

Because if they’re not confident enough in what we’ve presented to commit to a refundable first month, then the odds are they’re not quite ready to work with us anyway, and we’d get a bad result for them.

There’s nothing at all wrong with people for choosing not to proceed under these circumstances.   I respect that as a perfectly reasonable position and  wish them the best.

(NOTE: I’m also not trying to maximize profitability in the coaching program, I’m trying to surround myself with people who embrace my systems successfully. They’re much more valuable to me both business wise and personally than the extra income from not-so-well-fit additional students.  This makes the “Paid Consult as Your First Contact” even more important)

I used a similar process when building Rocket Clicks.   All sorts of people wanted to get some free time to see if it was right for them.  And were incredibly annoyed at having to pay for the (refundable) consult.

But I diligently I did the work to build an effective salesletter and follow up system to drive people to a paid consultation.  And while most PPC salespeople would report a closing ratio of 10% or so, we had our pick of the litter (about 80% of those we wanted to take on as a client after the consultation could be sold)


How can YOU free your time, increase your closing ratio, and grow your business with the Paid Consultation as the First Business Contact?

Love to hear your examples below,

Dr. G 🙂

Hyperresponsive Marketing Secrets |   Coaching

My #3 Money Making Secret – Let the Market Change You

(NOTE: The real title of this post should be “How a scuzzy little rodent made Glenn a better person”)

My #1 money making secret is Research.

#2 money making secret  is contrarian advice

Know what #3 is?

Let the market change you as a person

Here’s why this is so important.

Everyone TALKS a good game when it comes to equating marketing with empathy for your prospects and customers.  But truly empathizing with another human being means:

  • making yourself vulnerable…
  • being open minded and willing to change cherished thoughts and long held opinions…
  • letting yourself FEEL the other person’s pain, joy, heartbreak, and despair…
  • truly, deeply, and wholeheartedly absorbing their stories and desires into your soul…

It means changing as a person.  (Really)

It means that in at least some small but significant way you’ve yielded your ego to the other person, let your values disintegrate, and then put yourself together again better and stronger.  (A psychological term for this is “regression in the service of the ego”)

In fact, I only really know that I’m ready to go INTO a new market when I feel that I’ve been changed as a person.

I’ll give you a few examples to drive the point home, and I’ll show you how this translates into money making marketing insight.


I have to admit I originally got into the guinea pig market as a purely mercenary marketing experiment (my first successful internet project).  I didn’t have any long standing love for the furry little creatures.

In fact, I basically thought of them like my mother did… “scuzzy little rodents with hair”  (I brought one home from summer camp when I was nine without telling her… that’s when I first heard them characterized in this charming way)

But I knew I could never ethically and honestly market guinea pig care books if I held onto those feelings and beliefs.

So I got myself a guinea pig (actually Sharon bought it for me for Valentine’s day in 2004) and started cuddling and playing with it every day.

But that didn’t really do it for me.

Still seemed a little scuzzy.  Still seemed like a rodent, even though it  occasionally made me laugh.

But then I started INTERVIEWING guinea pig owners (as in, you know, actually talking to people… like we OLD people used to do way back in the dinosaur era before computers), asking them WHY they wanted a guinea pig in the first place?

A surprising number of them said something like this “Because I got my little 7 year old Suzie a hamster last year and it died after just a few months.  She was devastated, and it rocked the whole household.  I heard Guinea Pigs live longer and I want our family to have a better experience.  I want my little one to learn how to nurture and care for another living creature, and to  successfully reap the rewards!”

This hit me in the heart.

I’ve got a little nephew who means the world to me.  At that time he was only three.  I remember how upset he was when his pet fish died.

Suddenly a guinea pig was no longer a “scuzzy little rodent with hair”, and I wasn’t an uncaring adult with no use for them.   Now the little monsters were a vehicle of love, and a means to help create children who would responsibly pass love on.

What could be more important?

This immediately crystallized the USP for me: “Guinea Pig Secrets Which Can DOUBLE Your Guinea Pigs Life”

Then I just had to seek proof to support it.

Turns out there are about a half dozen little known guinea pig care FACTS which can double the average lifespan of a piggie. (AS A SIDE NOTE: You’ll be amazed just how ignorant the average market is, and how much blatantly wrong conventional wisdom gets passed around without scientific backing.  You can almost always find facts to support a better outcome in any market!)

What you feed your guinea pig, the litter you use, how you insulate them from stress, etc. CAN actually double their life expectancy.

The real killer, it turns out, was that most veterinarians didn’t realize that guinea pigs had a different type of bacteria in their gut than cats and dogs.  As a result, giving a guinea pig the same antibiotics as you’d give a cat or a dog can easily kill him.  So veterinarians were frequently killing these little pets by accident, can you imagine?

Let me TEMPLATE this process so YOU can repeat it in YOUR MARKET:

1) Dig deep into the market with surveys, research, and other online intelligence (like I teach in the Hyper Responsive Club)

2) TALK to people.  Go out and meet them.  LIVE the same problems your market is living

3) Know yourself.  Let yourself feel how the market is changing you.

4) When you get “hit in the heart”… when a deep feeling of change comes over you, know that you’re onto something which is probably the core of what your USP needs to be

5) Formulate your USP

6) Find proof to support it. (Intriguingly, there’s almost always proof available.  The thing is, hardly anyone really digs this deeply in most markets, so there’s LOTS of gold available for the taking)

I hope this is getting you to start thinking.

Have you let YOUR market change you?

How, specifically?

You should be able to articulate it in as much detail as I did above.  If you can’t, it means you need to spend more time IN your market, talking to them, smelling them, living their pain.

Food for thought.

For SERIOUS thought,

Dr. G 🙂

PS – The weight loss (emotional eating) market definitely changed Sharon.  She realized that these people were out of control and hysterical because nothing they could do THEMSELVES seemed to work for them.  They really needed someone to do at least part of the work FOR them.  That was a real problem, because overeating is usually something people really need to make a conscious decision to change.

But then she realized that HYPNOSIS could give people the head start they were looking for… that’s what would truly relieve their feelings of panic about their eating and bond them to her in a stronger way than ever before.

So she did nothing less than spend the whole summer getting certified as a hypnotist.  (My wife does NOT mess around once she makes up her mind)

Here’s a very fascinating little MP3 we recorded for the weight loss market about hypnosis for weight loss.   She’s already using it effectively with her clients.   (SIDE NOTE: If you happen to be interested, take her up on it in the next few weeks before she gets too busy… she’s offering lower rates to jump start that part of her practice.  Contact info at the end of the audio)

My Best Stuff |   Beginners A to Z |  SEO Blueprint You Can Trust
(Note: price of the SEO blueprint will be $30 less when you get to the checkout page for the next week or so.  Special discount for my list)

My #2 Money Making Secret

I think by now everyone knows that my #1 money making secret is research.  Nothings more powerful than asking a market what it wants and then just giving it to them, especially when you break that market up into groups of like-minded people with similar desires.

That’s #1.

Want to know what my #2 secret is?

Digging deep for something I passionately believe is right in a market DESPITE what everyone else is doing and saying, then being the voice of contrarian reason… standing up and shouting it from the roof tops.

It’s a habit I developed as a psychologist working with clinical patients.  You see, when you’re in the room with a patient, it’s just you and them.  And most psychological problems originate when people’s inner sense of what’s right was beaten out of them in one way, shape, or form.

So your patient would count on you to have the courage to point it out.  To take a stand against the crowd.  To be the only one truly on their side until they have the strength to believe in their own convictions.

What I discovered when working with suicidal people was that you had to get them to feel that at least one person in the world thoroughly understood what they were going through.  Because that’s frequently all it took to give people the  hope and courage to go on.   As a side effect, it also happens to bond people to you for life.   (Seriously, I haven’t formally practiced clinical psychology in 10 years but I still get people calling in every year, some driving 350 miles to come for a catch up session)

We all live on hope and courage, don’t we?

Now, of course, this isn’t a lesson on treating suicidal patients it’s a marketing blog (and if you happen to treat, coach, or love someone who is suicidal, please get direct, professional supervision and assistance)

But as I developed my marketing career I discovered this actually has EVERYTHING to do with marketing.

Here’s why.

We live in an insane world.  People are cruel to one another wherever you look.  Not purposefully cruel, but because (in the absence of a seriously self reflective and educated orientation) human nature is greedy, lustful, self centered, lazy, and aggressive, things just drift in that direction.

People’s natural inclination is to exploit one another, and nowhere is this more true than in business.

In every market businesses will take whatever they can from their consumers.  And “marketing incest” coupled with a general lack of research usually ensures companies will copy from one another, leaving the consumer feeling like “this is normal”.

But it’s not.

In every market you’ll take the time to thoroughly research you’ll find there are always at least a few excruciatingly painful, unmet needs…

A consumer looking for a champion…

For someone to stand up against the crowd and say “the emperor has no clothes”, “this is wrong and I’m not going to take it anymore”, “why is no one talking about this”, etc.

Being the voice of contrarian reason looks like this in some of my markets:

  • MARKETING:  “You can’t market based on FAQs alone.  Frequently Asked Questions are also Frequently Answered Questions… they only represent “price of entry” benefits (what every vendor needs to even be considered in the running)… you’ve got to sell “point of difference” benefits to get people to open up their wallets, answering the problems and questions the competition isn’t!   Why isn’t anyone talking about this?
  • GUINEA PIGS:   The standard pet food and bedding materials recommended for your guinea pigs are cutting his little life in half!  Why am I the only one saying anything?
  • RABBITS:   You absolutely CAN litter train your rabbit and get it to live 8 years+.  Rabbits are better pets than cats, and it’s about time someone said so!
  • RADON:   You CAN  still get lung cancer from Radon UNDER your state’s reporting threshold.   It’s an outrage!  (Note: radon is an invisible, odorless, but radioactive and carcinogenic gas found in many locations)
  • EMOTIONAL EATING:  Stop dieting and start losing weight.  Learn to enjoy eating the same delicious foods you love now without stress and without guilt.
  • SUDOKU: You can solve EVERY sudoku puzzle, not just some, but every last one!

See what I mean?

Now, how do you get to this in your market?

Intriguingly, you first have to find the courage in yourself.  What is it that YOU personally believe despite everything that everyone seems to say all around you?

Get out a journal and write until you figure that out.

Because it’s amazing how your eyes open up to your market once you’ve had the personal experience.

Personally I believe everyone struggles with anxiety and depression to one degree or another.  While there certainly does exist a more severe set of  diagnostic categories (for which medication, psychotherapy, etc. can help), the truth is  we all like to categorize it as “mental illness” to protect ourselves from the truth.

And the truth is that in the world we live in, how could anyone really open their eyes and not feel at least a little anxious and depressed?

It’s normal and healthy to recognize this.

And in my estimation if you want to be a strong marketer, it’s essential.

Because staying out of touch with reality takes a lot of mental energy, and prevents you from seeing other people’s true pain, their true motivations, and their true needs.

And that’s what marketing is all about.

So… what do you think?

All my best,

Dr. G 🙂

All My Best Practices |   Coaching

There are NO AdWords Geniuses

This might seem like a strange thing for the owner of a PPC agency to say, but there really are NO AdWords geniuses!

I frequently hear people talking about so and so as an “AdWords Genius.”

But when someone says that, I immediately know that they don’t thoroughly  understand AdWords.   Because saying someone is an “AdWords Genius” is very much akin to pointing out a good French speaker and saying “Look at him, he’s a French Genius!”

There aren’t any French Geniuses.  “Genius” implies an innate ability unattainable by the average person.

In French, there’s  a basic level of fluency which becomes progressively more natural and embedded in a speaker’s brain the more time they spend in France interacting with native speakers in the culture.

Pretty much ANYONE could attain this level of fluency if they decided to spend enough time in France.  (Or Montreal!)

It might APPEAR to an outsider, struggling in their first few hundred hours of studying the language that this other person was a French Genius, but the truth is, it’s just a reflection of the time and energy they spent in France.

Moreover, an argument could be made that the person who chose to spend just a few hundred hours studying French to achieve basic fluency has a more balanced life, and will achieve more in their business dealings in France than the one who dedicated all their time and energy to appearing like a French Genius.

You wouldn’t spend a lifetime studying French if your goal was only to be  comfortable enough in the culture to do business profitably with the locals. There’s definitely a point of diminishing returns… there might be 80,000+ words in the French Dictionary (I’m guessing), but the masses rarely use more than 5,000 or so.

It’s the difference between efficiency and effectiveness!

Similarly, there are NO AdWords Geniuses.

Rather, there’s a basic level of fluency which most people reach by spending a few  months immersed in the machine.  From there, there’s only an incremental ease with which they work in AdWords depending upon how much time and energy they put into practicing.

There certainly ARE hundreds of nuances to AdWords, but many of them can’t be leveraged by anyone who properly considers AdWords only PART of their business and doesn’t intend to be a full time PPC manager.  There are only about a dozen AdWords things you really need to master to achieve a basic fluency. (Campaign Settings, Keyword Groupings, Match Types, Spit Testing, Basic Content Network Logic, Placement Targeting, Conversion Tracking, etc)

Anyone can do it. (Well, any detail oriented person… a lot of purely creative, right-brain types have trouble, in my experience)

The REAL leverage point in AdWords isn’t in AdWords at all.

To maximize your AdWords profits you really need to understand what’s on the customer’s mind BEFORE AND AFTER the click.

Knowing what’s on their mind BEFORE they click helps you get the customer at the most efficient rate (high CTR, OPT IN, and SALES RATES), but more importantly shows you how to TAKE THE PROSPECT OUT OF THE COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT.

(AdWords is brutal… you want the customer to feel that you’ve almost psychically read their mind so they stop their search and start studying what you’ve got to offer in the context of a “go to relationship” with you, and hopefully you alone!)

Knowing what’s on their mind AFTER the click is critical so you can maximize the value of every customer.

And THIS is perhaps the most important part.  Because Adwords is such a competitive auction environment, no matter how good you get at efficiency, it’s effectiveness, or maximum visitor value, which wins the game in the long run.

In other words, if you’re running Adwords at only a small profit and plan to just let it ride, you’re probably planning a losing game.  To truly dominate your market in Adwords, you’ve got to engineer your whole business such that you’re the one who can afford to pay the MOST for clicks.

Yes, you read that right.

Sure you want to buy them efficiently, but you want to be making so much from every visitor that no matter what happens in the auction you can afford to outbid the next guy.

And here’s the thing…

YOU control what happens after you’ve got the opt in or the customer, NOT GOOGLE!

So why get sucked into spending all your time inside a machine someone else controls?   Get it running profitably and then turn it over to an agency to achieve maximum efficiency and volume (e.g. Rocket Clicks), then spend the majority of your resources maximizing the VALUE of each visitor by researching what they want, building back end products and services, segmenting and servicing your list, doing joint ventures, etc.

That’s where your leverage point really is, and that’s how you build a solid and secure business.

Ask yourself this question… no matter what the price of the highest end product you’re currently selling in your business, how can you add a zero?  What would you need to find out from your market?  What would you have to deliver to  be worth 10x what people are currently paying?

And if that’s TOO outrageous for you, how about, what would it take to achieve  DOUBLE OR TRIPLE the price?

Because that’ll change the whole economics of your business, and you’ll find yourself thinking quite differently about the Google PPC auction.  (You’ll probably also find other advertising vehicles open to you which you previously thought were not cost effective)

Worth thinking about, right?

Your humble (OK, not so humble) AdWords servant,

Dr. G 🙂