Roundtable Chronicles for January 31, 2012

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Last week in Orlando Florida my highest level coaching groups had our once-every-4-months Serial Entrepreneur Fest. Highlights:

–>10MIL IN LESS THAN 2 YEARS: Mr. S has grown his company from $1 million to $10 million in 21 months. Just had his first million dollar month this fall. He’s got bugs in his teeth and every kind of growing pain you can think of. Fortunately he takes the mercenary approach to problems, and the guy never looks back.

Challenges:

*The opportunity he’s exploiting is huge but will evaporate in 5 years. He’ll either be in the driver’s seat then, or in a different business. Either he builds the platform that everyone standardizes on, or somebody else does.

*He’s doing business in dozens of countries and each has its own regulations. He’s got all sorts of fun with lawyers, foreign bank accounts, taxes etc. Good problems to have.

*Everyone wants what he’s building. If he plays his cards right, he’ll grow this thing to $100 million and sell to a much larger company.

–>SAFE ENTRY ON A SHOESTRING: Mr. T and his wife sell natural products and their #1 channel is good ol’ fashioned snail mail catalog. They’re about to jump into the Cosmetics market.

Not an easy decision. Because you either have ALL the colors people want, ALL the ingredients of a beautiful face, or none. There’s no doing this halfway. Major investment in containers, labels and product launch, just to get the first sale.

The group brainstormed a new way of getting critical data from a small group of test users without biting off the whole investment. Now they can do this in stages.

–>TAIL WAGS DOG: Mr. B is a specialized lender who gets referrals from major players in his business. 1/3 of his business comes from guys ‘throwing him a bone.’ He grew his biz 31% last year and his marketing is solid.

His next move is to maneuver himself in the tollgate position where he’s the one giving out the referrals and them waiting for him to throw the bone. A total reversal of what’s normal. He’s doing it by exploiting every ounce of authority he’s got. He’s got the perfect demeanor for it and I think he’s gonna pull this off.

"So many options for growing my business, but what should I do NOW?" Tell me your most pressing business problems and I'll show you your BEST next step.

–>RE-INVENTING LEAD GEN: Mr. E has been buying leads the old fashioned way. He’s very good at it but I showed him a completely new way to do it, which gets him not leads but qualified buyers, at lower cost per acquisition than he’d ever get from a lead.

–>CHANGING THE WORLD: Mr. N has two businesses and both are doing great. He’s now turned his attention to a burning passion, which is reforming a very specific segment of the education market. This could conceivably be worth millions but that’s not why he’s doing it. The money is not his focus.

Rather, it’s a CAUSE because he knows he can transform the world. (At least for a few hundred thousand kids.) The group gave him input on how to keep some huge company from patenting his ideas and taking them off the market.

–>EVIL LAWYERS: Speaking of patents, Mr. J has been embattled for years with a bogus patent lawsuit perpetrated by bloodthirsty attorneys exploiting the legal system. We explored his situation and concluded: There’s no way to call the dogs off.

In his session, based on advice from an attorney in the group from Italy, we discussed how to move his assets to the European Union and take advantage of the differences in patent law. Hey, sometimes you gotta fight fire with fire.

–>THE POWER AND THE GLORY: I can tell you this guy’s name. Roundtable Member Benji Rabhan of Morris Media Works, age 26, made the Empact100 List, a roster of top young entrepreneurs in the US. In November he attended a special reception at the White House, honored by President Obama for his achievements.

I’m extremely proud of my Roundtable members. If you’d like to apply for the Roundtable waiting list, visit www.perrymarshall.com/roundtable/

Perry Marshall

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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

4 Comments on “Roundtable Chronicles for January 31, 2012”

  1. This piece should be picked over and studied by everyone providing expertise, consulting, skilled services, coaching, seminars,or how to products.

    It meets every one of my criteria for establishing yourself as a Lizard Brain Authority Figure.

    3 Part Litmus Test for achieving LBAF status:

    Your prospect says to himself something like:

    1. “I might as well give it a shot because people that have already achieved more than I want to achieve are going to him to achieve even more than that.” (Key: Proof in the form of stories and contextual details rather than typical testimonials.)

    2. “How would this guy know all of this stuff, if he doesn’t really know all of this stuff?” (Key: Proof in the form of conversationally demonstrated competence rather than credentials. Note the frustrating and complete inability to swipe this post as a sales letter. It’s literally unswipable because it’s based on unreplicatable real life experience.)

    3.”You know, if I could just meet and sit down with this guy, I really feel like he could help me out.” (Proof in the form of demonstrated humanity and personality in your copy rather than hiding behind hype.)

    You can’t do lead gen or cold customer acquisition with this type of sales letter, because you need specific copy elements to give context.

    But once your prospects know you (know your character in context) this is a perfect example of relieving their decision paralysis by hitting that Lizard Brain and directly satisfying their emotional logic.

    Why does it work? Because it can’t be argued with.

    Of course it can be ignored, sluffed off, or even debated by people who aren’t really going to buy anything from you. But it can’t be argued with by the emotional logic your true prospects are using to try and make their decisions.

    I’ll bet you this post receives less than 10 comments, as opposed to the 70+ the 2012 predictions post got – half of which were from people who wanted to debate. (Note: debators don’t buy stuff.)

    But if speaks to that one right person on Perry’s list, it will generate more revenue than most anything else we see here.

    Next step: take one of the stories on this list, write an ironic/intriguing subjectline/headline/title around it, and showcase the full unfolding of the human story in it. That type of post will likely generate 10-20 responses and several new people checking out renaissance club. Because hey, “I might as well give it a shot because people that have already achieved more than I want to are looking to him to…”

    -Nick

  2. Perry,

    You and I are talking the same language. I see continual emails in client accounts saying ‘hey give this a shot’ ‘hey, look at this new thing over here.’ ‘Can we help you with your campaigns?’ I put a firm kibosh on all of that & told clients to let me decide before we do anything to ‘fix’ 400%-1,000% monthly ROIs (my averages).

    Adwords is tricky enough: messing up 18months of testing, tracking & refining to try new(usually horrible) ‘features’ is non-smart. Especially since I think a lot of the in house Adwords experts may use English as a 2nd language.

    Thanks.

  3. Perry, wondering what you (fellow adwords expert) thinks of the new “benefits” Google is bringing out. Constant emails about mobile this, call us for a strategy session on that, conversion blah, upgrade this right now. My client’s campaigns are well refined now & they don’t want Google monkeying with them. Bottom line: The 3+ “upgrade” emails/mo. are overwhelming my clients with nonsense.

    1. You NEVER let Google touch the campaigns you have painstakingly built by hand with your blood, sweat and tears.

      EVER.

      If I only had a dollar for every person who lost $20,000 because they committed this sin….

      You can let them build a side campaign for you and put it on pause if you want, and cautiously turn it on, and watch it like a hawk. But 90% of the time they do a disastrous job. I’m dead serious.

      Moral of the story:

      Never put a German Shepherd in charge of the ham sandwiches.

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