Explorations in Business - Part 7 of ?

Sales ads, letters, and calls, oh my.


Today is an extension of my quest to find my messaging.

A common sales strategy is the before-after-bridge. This is easy to see in diet and exercise sales. "Here's the person when they were fat. Here's the person skinny. Here's how they did it. Buy this product."

In the last article when I was working out the negative and positive revelation I did almost the same thing. It could be changed a little bit. "Here's the day I had to quit a job because I couldn't handle the pain of talking on a phone. Here's the day I gave four speeches at a Harry Potter festival. Rewiring my brain to change how I perceive pain was a key. Here's how to do it. Schedule a consultation now."

Something that sounds similar is Lisa Manyan's challenge-solution-invitation. The words do change what I think of though. "When you're in pain you have a serious problem to solve, but it's hard to solve a problem because you can't think clearly. Manage your pain by rewiring your brain through meditation, then you can think about how to approach and solve your underlying health issues. Join me and schedule your consultation today."

Julie Boswell proposes this formula: who it's for-what they're problem is-why other methods won't work-how I found what does work-how to get it. I like that approach. I might adapt it to focus on me and see if that's less pretentious, ironically. Here was my problem-what didn't work for me-how I found what did work. I'm just going to throw something out here and see how it goes and move on, I'll probably circle back around to this approach. "Fellow chronic pain sufferers-tired of saying what you can't do because of your pain-drugs and doctors don't work because they don't rewire your brain-tear filled days in front of a monk led me to a better solution-click on this calendar and schedule your first consultation today, sessions are 200 dollars per hour, but the first session is only 20 dollars." Maybe something like that.

Another simple formula is problem-promise-proof. "Your pain stops you from living your life. I can show you how to manage your pain without drugs by rewiring your brain. I went from not being able to do this, to being able to do this."

The billionaire Peter Thiel says that to have a successful company you just need one successful sales funnel that sells one product. That minimal system is all I'm working on right now, although I'll let other ideas mull around in the background of my mind.

What am I really trying to do for people here? I'm trying to empower them. To increase their capability to pursue meaning. Oooh, that aligns nicely with some of my foundational beliefs and focus in life. To provide a means to meaning.

I'm really just trying to remove an obstacle for people, the annoying way that intense chronic pain pulls your attention away so insistently that you can't function in life. This reminds me of an approach mentioned in "Systemantics".

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Briefly, Catalytic Managership is based on the premise that trying to make something happen is too ambitious and usually fails, resulting in a great deal of wasted effort and lowered morale. It is, however, sometimes possible to remove obstacles in the way of something happening. A great deal may then occur with little effort on the part of the manager, who nevertheless gets a large part of the credit. The situation is similar to that of a lumberjack who picks out the key log from a logjam, or the chemist who adds the final pinch of reagent to an unstable mixture.

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I think that also goes with a great sentiment that I encountered in a sales book by Pierce Brooks; help people whether they buy or not. I want to do that, that makes me feel better.

Dan Sullivan has some good guiding questions.

Who do you want to be a hero to? I want to be a hero to people who were active, who did a lot of stuff, who really lived, but who are now hindered by chronic pain that they have tried to manage, but things have failed so far, and they are disenfranchised with the options offered by the medical industry. Wow, I didn't expect that to come out that long or that easily.

What keeps them awake at 3am, good and bad? The bad thing that keeps them awake at 3am is pain and ache. The good thing that keeps them awake at 3am is the potential for some kind of cure that could restore their health and their function.

What do you want to be an enemy to? That's a harder one to answer. It seems like it might be something abstract, like being limited from achieving the creative, experiential, and attitudinal values that you're meant to achieve. Maybe my enemy is hindered thought processes. Maybe... I'm not sure. I hate having limited experience. I'm not sure that really works though. I might have to come back to define my enemy.

There will need to be a couple of steps that I have to sell. I will need people to click on ads. Then, I'll need to sell people on signing up for the initial interview. In that I'll need to sell people on buying additional sessions. There might be a need for another step in there, something like a recorded webinar or video. At each step you're trying to sell the next step. That's important to keep in mind.

Mike Dillard recommends offering three products: a lower cost front end product, a higher cost product, and a recurring revenue product. I'm not doing that right off the bat obviously. But it's something to keep in mind for later. Here's his sales letter formula: identify target audience-identify urgent pain/desire-offer unique solution in story of my same problem and how I found the solution-remove risk and address questions and objections-call to action-bonus for acting now-second call to action-third party credibility. That seems pretty darn solid to me.

Dan Kennedy talks about the three ways that you can target people: geographically, demographically, or by association. Specific health and disease groups seem like the reasonable way to do it, because with geographics or demographics I'm probably just taking a shotgun approach.

Ries and Trout have great info about positioning. Relating the new to the old can be powerful. What am I really competing against? I don't think it's actually meditation instructors, I think it's probably drugs. "Stop relying on painkillers, learn to rely on yourself again." Something like that maybe. "Meditation to rewire your brain - less of a hassle than painkillers." Ideas to think about.

They talk about how pride of origin is important. I need to fall in love with my own story, which I think I can do.

Strong positions are built on major achievements. So far I have my own achievements. Last weekend I rode a horse for the first time since the Africa ordeal. Joining the high IQ society after recovering from brain damage and memory issues. Riding motorcycles, alligator wrestling, giving speeches, etc. When I actually help some people then I'll need to collect their achievements in their testimonials.

Who should not use my brand? That's a good question. People who aren't committed are wasting their money and my time. People who don't really have a chronic pain issue, just a minor temporary thing. People who like painkillers and doctors, we just won't align with our approaches. People who weren't active before.

Can you be the first in something? I feel like this is probably no. Nothing comes to mind. Maybe if I work with a specific organization and I'm the first person to use meditation to help a certain group rewire their brains to manage pain? Maybe. The medial industry has targeted most of these groups with their recent mindfulness push over the last few years, so I'm assuming that everything from cancer patients to veterans have already been done. Maybe if I do something extreme like going into the field to help.

Mark Joyner offers some good insights. By requiring a small amount of money down you both reduce the perceived risk for the customer, and have them make a commitment.

I will actually have limited slots available for consultation times, so there's real scarcity.

He has a three step formula for business success: 1) create the irresistible offer, 2) present it to a thirsty crowd, 3) sell them a second glass.

The irresistible offer is something that seems to be hard to define, other than that it's an offer that's compelling and hard to turn down. Maybe something like, "Change your perception of pain, reclaim your life." "Change your perception of pain, change your life." I'm not sure that qualifies or not.

Jay Kubassek asks a good question: Why do I really want to go into business? I want to go into business to provide the fuel for everything else that I want to do in life: write fiction and philosophy, ride a motorcycle across the country, etc. I think that aligns well with this business, where I'm helping people to reclaim the ability to function in life to do these types of things.

Neil Rackham talks about the steps to a sale: recognition of need, evaluation of options, resolution of concerns, implementation. "Pain takes over your life and stops you from living. You can try to ignore it but it won't work, you can take drugs but that causes more problems than it solves, or you can rewire your brain through meditation. What if it doesn't work? What if it does? Is it worth the chance? What's the downside? 'I don't want to put any time or money into it.' Then you cannot possibly solve the problem. Schedule your session here."

Frank Kern covers a ton of info in this little book called "Convert". The customer needs to have a good experience before the sale. That goes right with my idea of helping them in some way whether they buy or not. The ideal position is as a celebrity/authority. I guess arranging some kind of event, probably a speaking event, could help with both of those.

How do you want to be introduced to an audience? I've always struggled with this one. I've written articles on the struggles of making an author bio. What if instead of an audience I just thought of a one person introduction that was focused around the business? "Jeff had this crazy adventure in Africa where he almost died. Then he had a bone in his brainstem that caused all sorts of issues. He couldn't focus because of pain, and then he found out how to rewire his brain through meditation so he could function again. Now he's back to doing adventures." I don't think that's very good, I'll probably have to work on that.

What's my magic power? I help people rewire their brains to perceive pain differently so that they can reclaim their lives.

What's my superhero identity? Jeff Martin is the meaning of life guy. I like that, although it seems abstract. Jeff Martin is the rewire your brain guy. I'm not sure that works. Jeff Martin is the change your perception of pain guy. Maybe.

What do you stand for? I stand for the real pursuit of true value in the face of all obstacles, including chronic pain.

What do you stand against? I hate the idea of being dependent on drugs that also distort your mind. Not that they worked for me anyway.

Let's see how these things go together the way Kern recommends.

Jeff Martin is known as the most sought after coach for changing people's perception of pain in the alternative health marketplace. He is famous for joining a high IQ society after recovering from brain damage, encouraging people to overcome their chronic pain in their pursuit of true value and meaning in life, and doing all of it without resorting to painkillers.

I don't really like it.

What do you want them to think about you before they meet you? I want them to think of me as serious and exploratory. A searcher for answers and meaning through books and adventures.

Kern includes a lot of other interesting insights. You want to be magnetic to the clients that you want, and repulsive to the people that you don't want. Your income is proportional to your goodwill in the industry. There are two ways to increase profits: optimize your conversion process, or increase your price. There are two reasons that people don't buy: they don't want it, or they don't trust you. To buy from you they have to know you, like you, trust you, and want your stuff. A one-on-one conversation is the best way to close. Educating establishes authority. Motivating and inspiring helps to retain your position and create loyalty.

Daniel Coyle has a book about establishing a culture that probably doesn't really apply to my marketing, but probably does to the delivery of my product. I'm trying to transform people. Here are some key takeaways. I care about you. We have high standards here. I believe you can reach those standards. Life is bigger than your problem. Whatever you were before, it's different now because you're here. Overcommunicate expectations. Are we about appearing strong, or learning together? Listeners make people feel safe and supported, take a helping and cooperative stance, occasionally ask questions that challenge assumptions, and occasionally offer suggestions of alternative paths. It might be good to have a briefing and debriefing method for sessions. Tell and retell the story. Select people based on emotional capabilities.

If I'm collecting people's info then I might end up making warm calls. Grant Cardone has a method for that. Let's take a stab at it and see how it might go.

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This is Jeff with MeditateWithJeff.com.
The reason I'm calling is that you entered your information on my website last night expressing an interest in having a consultation to learn how to use meditation to change your perception of pain.
To be sure I'm not wasting your time let me ask you:
(Do you qualify?)
(What are your main issues?)
(Why have you not done this already?)
(If I could deliver even half of what I have promised would it be worth it to you?)
Other than yourself, who would be involved with this decision?
Would you make time to meet me later?
Do you have a pencil handy? Write this down.
Would there be any reason you wouldn't be able to show up?

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There can be more to that as far as skill goes, but it's a good place to start. The qualification and issue questions would obviously be specific.

There are a number of other people whose information I might circle back to at some point, like Frank Bettger, Jordan Belfort, Jason Hornung, Sam Ovens, Eugene Schwartz, and Brendon Burchard. For instance, Belfort's technique called looping where he tries to close and if it doesn't work he dives into a story to build credibility is perfect. I could start with my stories and expand to client stories as an infinite growing list of social proof. Expanding the perception of subjective experience across time and space while being consistent is how we arrive at objective truth. So, 100 clients telling their story in a simple before-after-bridge format would be immensely powerful.

Alright, that's a lot of stuff to process. I have to figure out what to go with and turn this into a sales website. I'll let it settle for the night.

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You can find more of what I'm doing at http://www.JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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