066: Increase Sales by Stacking Value

Your offer probably sucks.... That's the simple truth unless you have ever done serious training on sales and marketing.

But since you don't have the time to study sales and marketing right now, let me give you a hack.

If you want to increase sales... Stack value onto your offer.

For example, at Lead Cookie our core service is "Done-for-you Linkedin Prospecting."

And for a long time that is what I sold... until I learned to stack value onto it.

Here is what I eventually added to that offer:

  • Free access to a video training course on "How to convert Linkedin Leads to phone calls"

  • Monthly Success and Sales Coaching Calls

  • Dedicated Customer Success Manager

  • CRM to keep all of your leads organized

  • Monthly Metrics Reports

The ironic thing is that the only new thing I had to create to add this value was the video course. Other than that, everything was already included in my offer, I simply wasn't showing the value to my prospects. 

Yet, upon adding this to our offer, sales close rates increased. 

We began being perceived as the "high end" offer that we were seeking to become.

And it all began by simply stacking value onto our existing offer. 

Beyond your original offer, what else can you add to stack value? 

065: The art of storytelling

One of the first businesses I ever created was a video production company.

We shot videos and created animations, and we were pretty good at it.
But there is one thing that we lacked....

Story.

We were amazing technicians, editors and animators.
Yet our team had never studied our learned the art of storytelling.

At the time, I didn't understand this.

While we could technically create whatever we wanted, I noticed that other companies always had something different about their videos.

Their stories often made more impact, while being less technically complex.
Their stories evoked emotion, while being incredibly simple.

It wasn't until years later when I started to study the art of storytelling that I began to see this distinction,.

You see, storytelling is an art. 
It is not this concrete absolute like the technical side of production. 

It is this soft fluid thing, yet it is the essence of what makes your content connect with the audience.

A good story resonates and creates impact.
A bad story, or lack of any story structure leaves your content lacking,

Learn to tell stories, and all of your marketing will improve as a result. 

064: Create a new opportunity

There are two ways you can sell something. As an "improvement" or as a "new opportunity".

The problem so many people have with their sales is that they simply offer an "improvement."

We do it better...
We are cheaper...
We are faster...

All of this is simply an improvement offer.
And that does not motivate someone to move.

The pain isn't there that causes them to "improve"
And to buy an "improvement offer" means they must admit that what they are doing is not working. 

Instead, what you must do is figure out how to create "a new opportunity".

How can you package together an offer that is unique? 
How can you create something that is new?

This past weekend I met a guy who did this perfectly.

He has an offshore development team, but he packages it differently.

Unlimited front end development and UX design for a flat monthly fee...

Now that is a unique offer. 
That is different than the standard shop that just quotes projects.

It's simple, it's unique, and it's a different approach.

How can you create a new opportunity for your prospects?

063: Is 40 hours per week enough?

"I work 60-70 hours every week..." These kind of statements from entrepreneurs are things we often wear like a badge of pride. 

We show off and pretend that working more is the solution.

And the truth is, in some cases, you need to put in more hours to make it work or get through a key milestone.

But I am seeing more and more case studies of the balanced entrepreneur who hits it big.

BaseCamp is a great example of a company that believes you can build within a standard work week.
When I interviewed Aaron Ross, he talked about how 30 hours per week is where he finds himself most productive.

And when you look at either case study, you can't argue with success.

But the one thing you must acknowledge is that if they are only going to work 40 hours per week, then they must make the most of every minute at work.

No slacking on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram...
Instead, to build something meaningful in that time, you must learn to be a productivity machine with serious strategic objectives.

Aaron Ross talks in his books about how 30 weeks is perfect for him, because if he goes to 40 hours or beyond, then he just fills that extra time with meaningless work.

You can build in fewer hours.
You just need to be more intentional.

Thanks to Nathan Barry for the inspiration behind this post https://nathanbarry.com/40-hours/ 

062: Invest in your team

Over the past week, I had the opportunity to spend a good amount of time with Russ Perry and his team at Design Pickle, and one thing stuck out to me above all else...

Invest in your team.

So many companies treat their employees like second class citizens.
They overwork them. 
And they just treat them like hired guns.

But Design Pickle is different.

They invest in their teams. 
Both in the USA and abroad.

They purchase training programs for their team members.
They actually have "Continuing Education" requirements for their team members.
They give them health benefits (even their team in the Philippines). 
They hold internal training days for the US and Philippines teams.

And their biggest promise to new employees... "We will train you" 

This is a massively different mindset than most CEO's take with their teams. But it is one that clearly makes a difference to their culture, and their success.

Invest in your team. 
They will honor you for it. 
And they will produce better outcomes for you as a result. 

061: Experts seek mindsets, not tactics

When I was young in my entrepreneurial journey, I was always looking for tactics.
I believed I was one revelation away from having it all figured out.

I looked for the next marketing tactic.
Or I was seeking to figure out someones secrets.

Yet as I started working with other accomplished entrepreneurs, I began to realize something.

Those who have successful business and personal lives don't have some "magical secret".
They don't have any "tactics" that I don't.

What they have are different mindsets. 

They have an entirely different outlook on life or business.

And these mindsets are not things that you can just change overnight. 
You can't just read a blog post and suddenly have a new mindset figured out.

Instead, they are things that must be uncovered and worked on over months and years.
And there is no end to the pursuit of getting into the right mindsets.

Experts seek mindsets.
Not tactics. 

060: Expanding for yourself

2019 is going to be a big year for me. Mark my words on that. 

And one of the reasons is that I have gotten far more clear about why I push for bigger and better things in life.

It's not for other people. 
It's not for some altruistic cause.
It's not for the money.

It's for me.

In 2019, I am going to triple my income. 

But I am not going down this path because I want the money.
I am going down this path to prove to myself that I can do it.

It's about expanding for expansions sake. 
It's about setting up a challenge for yourself, and then actually hitting it.

When you set a goal for yourself and achieve it. It lights you on fire. 

And for the last ten years, I set income goals for myself... and I failed.

But through the training and preparation I have done over the last year, I am ready.

Mark my words, in 2019, I will take home over $250,000 of personal income.

And I will do that because I become a strong enough entrepreneur to generate MILLIONS of dollars of value in the marketplace.

And I'm not doing it for the money. 
I'm doing it for me. 
For my own expansion.

The money is simply a reflection of the value I am able to create, and how strong of an entrepreneur that I am. 

059: The hard part

It's easy to have an idea. It's hard to turn that idea into a business... 

Early in my entrepreneurial career, I had endless ideas. Some of my most ridiculous include:

  • A sock subscription service

  • An affiliate tattoo site (not quite sure how that one was going to work)

But I also had decent ideas:

  • A virtual physical therapy company

  • A bulky mail company for high value customers

Yet they all failed... 

At the time, I thought it was the "idea" that was the problem.
But the truth is the problem was me. 

"Idea's are easy... marketing, scaling, and monetizing your ideas is hard." - Russ Perry

Ultimately, I was a weak marketer and entrepreneur at the time. I did not know how to market and sell well enough, so I failed at bringing my ideas to market.

Those last two ideas I mentioned both have massive potential. I know because other people ended up doing them, and seeing great success. 

But I failed, simply due to my inability to produce at that stage in my career.

"When you master marketing, scaling and monetizing your best idea... you can produce when you want, how you want and where you want." - Russ Perry

Today I realize that the idea only matters a small bit.
What really matters is you, your entrepreneurial skill sets, and your commitment to making an idea work. 

058: Rich vs Poor People

"I can't afford that." - This is the poor persons mentality when they encounter something outside of their current spending ability.

On the other hand, a rich person would say...

"How can I afford that?"

This simple change of statement makes a world of difference.

Instead of saying "I can't afford to buy a house in my dream neighborhood." you reframe it and say "How could I afford a house in my dream neighborhood?"

One is a statement that closes the door of possibility.

The other is a question that forces your mind to think about alternative solutions.

So how could you afford a house in your dream neighborhood?

Could you launch a second business? 
Could you add a new service line to your existing business?
Could you ramp up your sales and marketing? 
Could you find new resources to help you afford that home?

There are endless ways you could afford it, but it all starts with reframing the question.

Instead of closing your mind off to the possibility.
Just reframe it with a different question. 

Credit to Robert Kiyosaki for the concept behind this post. 


057: Don't chase money. Chase the process.

It's easy as entrepreneurs to get focused on the money.
And to some healthy extent we need to be.

But as an individual, just chasing the money can get mentally unhealthy.

It's like running a marathon and just thinking about the finish line, instead of the act of running.

You see, money isn't what you are trying to achieve.

Instead, you are trying to build a process to deliver value, which then yields money.

It's a subtle shift in thinking, but a powerful one.

When you spend all day thinking about "I need to make $10k this month" then you are focused on the wrong thing.

Instead, when you wake up and focus on doing the work that you must, day in and day out, then things change. 

You do the work.
You create value.
And as a result "$10k hits your bank account" 

You can't just will money into existence by chasing it.
Instead, you must focus on the process and do the work.
When you stay focused on the work in front of you, the money will come in time. 

056: I'm a fuck up

8 months ago, I had racked up $22,000 of credit card debt, I had to lay off 6 people and I couldn't pay myself for over 2 months. 

4 years ago, I was doing consulting and I lost all of my retainer clients in the same month (because I was smoking too much weed), and I almost got my wife and I evicted from our apartment. 

8 years ago, my business partner asked me to step down as CEO because he thought I was doing a poor job (which I was). 

All of these experiences hurt. 
They are scarring.
But they ultimately make you who you are.

Every time I had one of these huge crashes in my entrepreneurial career, I learned from it.

Now it is not to say that you want to keep having these crashes...
But the truth is that in some level, these pits are inevitable.

But when they happen, make sure you learn from them.
Amidst all of the chaos, reflect on "How and why did this happen?"

Learn from it, otherwise you will find yourself repeating it over and over and over again.

055: Have faith in your business

Whenever you are starting something new, you don't know for sure that it is going to work.

You think it is going to work.
Your research signals to you that it could work.
But your not totally sure. 

At the moment, I am launching a new business.

I've had about 40 people tell me it's a stupid idea, but I've come across 4 people who say "This is exactly what I've been looking for."

That's scary.
It would be amazing if all 40 people loved it and bought from me. 
But that's not quite how it works when you are launching something new.

There are a few early adopters who are ecstatic about your new thing. 
And the rest either are not your target buyer, or will wait 6-24 months to adopt your solution.

So in this moment, there is a lot of fear. 
There is a lot of doubt.
And you can't change that.

All you can do is keep your sights focused on what matters, and have faith in your business. 

054: Focus on process, not results

When you have a goal in mind, it's easy to spend all your time just focusing on the goal. 

And practices like "Daily affirmations" or "visualization" tend to encourage you to just "focus on the outcome that you desire".

But you see, there is a problem with that approach...
And I know because I tried it for years... 

The problem is that you cannot "will an outcome into existence".

You can't just keep visualizing, or repeating something to yourself and make it true. 
In fact, the more you just focus on the outcome, the worse off you become over time.

So what is the alternative?

Focus on the process. 

Instead of spending time visualizing your desired outcome, spend time working on the process of achieving it every day.

Build daily habits into your life that work toward that outcome, and hit those habits EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

Eventually, the habits become part of your daily routine and you don't even think about them any more.

You wake up.
You do the work.
And eventually you look around and say "Wow, look how far I've come. I'm going to hit that goal."

It doesn't come through visualization or affirmations.
It comes from a daily focus on the process and doing the work. 

053: Set your intentions

More often than I would like to admit, I will start a project without clear intentions.

Ironically, I don't intend to start with loose intentions.

But it often happens...

Yet, if you take the time to ask a few simple questions at the start of any project, it can completely change your experience with the project. 

What it is for? 
Why are you doing this project? 
What is the goal and outcome that you are actually wanting to accomplish? 
What are the success criteria for this project? 
Why is it important that you do this project? 
What are the costs of not doing this project or failing at it?

At first you may look at this as a waste of time to stop and answer these questions.

But I would challenge you to consider how much time is wasted when you embark on a project that does not have clear intentions or outcomes.

Set your intentions.
It makes all the difference. 

052: The Balance Sheet of You

Imagine for a moment that you have a balance sheet. 
Not of your money. But of you.

On the left side are your assets.
Your mindsets, your skill sets, your resources, your unique talents and strengths. 

On the right side are your liabilities.
Your destructive habits, your lack of skills, your areas of weakness. 

And the output of this balance sheet is not the value of your bank accounts.
The output is the value of you! 

And the output of this value is directly tied to your ability to create more value, wealth and money in the world. 

The better your balance sheet looks, the more value and wealth you can create.

It's an interesting concept to wrap your head around, but powerful none the less.

And the most powerful thing about it...

Your liabilities significantly impact your ability to produce value and money. 
Your destructive habits.
Your lack of skills.
Your areas of weakness.

Each of these are liabilities that hurt your personal value.
And when your personal value drops, your ability to produce value and money drops.

Just like you work on your business balance sheet.
Work on your personal balance sheet as well. 

051: Learn your numbers

Early in my business career, I told myself a story that "I'm not good with the financial and numbers aspect of the business."

So I just ignored this area. 
I let my ops guy handle it, and I just looked the other way.
This is a huge mistake... 

You see, unless your an accountant, most entrepreneurs won't naturally be "good with numbers".

But that doesn't mean you can ignore them.

Understanding your finances, your accounting, and your taxes is a crucial skill to growing your business.

It's not optional.
It's essential.

While you can hire a bookkeeper and CPA to handle the paperwork part, you can't hire them to make tough financial decisions for you. 

You can't hire them to build out a financial model of your business as it grows.

While you could try to hire someone to do these things for you, it's not a viable long term solution to growth.

Because if you really want to grow your business, you need to level up your financial skills. 

You need to build new financial systems that let you see your numbers.
You need to learn to read those numbers so you can make hard decisions. 
And as you build or launch new businesses, you need to be able to create your own financial models.

Don't ignore the numbers. 
It will hold you back. 
Learn your numbers. Inside that is a key to your growth. 

050: You suck at sales and marketing

You suck at sales and marketing... You may even be offering marketing services and want to deny that statement.

But here is a test to know how good you are at sales and marketing.

Look at your bank accounts. 

Are you happy with what you see? 

If your numbers are amazing beyond your wildest expectations, then maybe you are actually pretty good. 

But if like most of us, you look at your bank accounts and desire to have more... 

Then I would invite you to consider that the reason you don't have enough money in your accounts is that you need to level up your game at sales and marketing. 

Many people assume they can just read a book or study sales and marketing for a while, and then they earned a nice blue ribbon. 

But these are skills that you can study and go deeper into for your entire life. 

The deeper you go.
The better you get.
The more value you create.
And the more money that enters your bank accounts.

If your not happy with what your bank account has to say, then level up your sales and marketing. 

049: Working hard doesn't work

16 hour days... that was my my norm of working life for years.
I worked my tail off, and assumed that in working hard I would make more money and achieve success.

But ultimately, I was being held back... 

I was held back by my lack of the proper skill sets and mindsets for growth.

You see, if you just work hard, you can only go so far. 
Because the output of your work is multiplied by your skills.

Think about it this way.

Skills X Work = Results

So if you just keep working hard, then you are going to hit a ceiling unless you level up your skill sets. 

BUT if you choose to level up your skill sets, then the game changes. 

Because there is no ceiling to how far you can grow your skill sets. 

You can always keep expanding skill sets.
While you can only work so many hours in a day.

So instead of working harder to producer results...
Choose to work harder to acquire skill sets.

There is no ceiling to the growth you can achieve with this approach. 

--- This post is inspired by content from Garrett J. White of Wake Up Warrior 

048: Don't count on luck

One of the most toxic mindsets that holds people back from achieving the results they want in life is a belief in luck.

It's easy to look at a celebrity, entrepreneur, athlete and say "Oh, they are so lucky"

You reverse engineer their story and say that they had a "Lucky break"

But the truth is that is bullshit. 

Anyone who has made it in this world works their ass off to create that opportunity for themselves. 

When I was younger, I had the opportunity to work with the band Paramore. This whole band was basically a bunch of teenagers when they first hit it big. 

A lot of people could call that luck, but while working with them I saw something different.

These band members worked their tails off. 
Even though they were young, they operated like mature business men and women. 

They had a vision, and they hustled to turn that vision into a reality.

There was no luck in their success. 
There was simply hard work to create incredible music and a following of fans.

Don't count on luck.
Create your own success. 

047: Don't do it alone

After I left the first company I started, I decided that I was sick of having to deal with a team. 

It was a lot of stress to make payroll every month.
I was responsible for a lot of other people. 
And it was ultimately a lot more work, or so it felt at the time.

So for several years, I went the solo consultant route. 

I worked alone, and I loved it.

I was dead set on never hiring anyone again because I didn't want to have to have that burden or weight on me.

But over time I realized something...
No one has ever built anything great alone.

Even when you look at great authors, or artists. 
They don't operate alone.

They have a team of people around them who support them in the areas that they are weak. 

And so eventually, I got over this hump and slowly I started adding members to my team again.

And what I realized is that your team is there to help you go further, not to old you back.

Don't go it alone. 
Because you can go much further and faster with others.