Endorsements Are The Key To Lightening Fast Growth
Hey everyone, good morning. I am podcasting from beautiful, sunny Fort Lauderdale. My dad comes down here a couple times a year. We like to spend some time with him so we are at the brand new, Margaritaville Hotel. My family is half down at the workout room and half actually laying here in bed in this room, probably listening to me cut this podcast. Last couple podcasts we talked about, how do you read your customer’s mind? What product should you come up with next? For a lot of people, including myself sometimes, that can be a struggle, it’s kind of daunting. We had an episode that talked about exactly what tools are available to help you literally read your customer’s mind to know what product to come out with next, what industry you should go into, what industry you should probably get out of, stay away from.
Then, we did another one just before this one titled, “Trust Trumps Everything”. I think I did a pretty good job of proving that today’s currency is credibility. If you can be guilty by association, you certainly can be successful by association. I threw out a case study or two proving that. This podcast I wanted to get away from the internet a little bit. I wanted to get away from anything digital. I wanted to go back to the roots of business. This podcast is titled, “Lightning Fast Growth”. Before Al invented the internet in 1995, there was a lot of time and energy put into, what is the fastest way to grow a product? What is the fastest way to grow a business?
For most people listening to this podcast, the fastest way to grow what you’re currently doing would not be to get on national TV, would definitely not be on radio, although radio still works. It wouldn’t be any type of large advertisement. I would say, for 98% of people listening to this, the fastest way to very large growth would come from some form of an endorsement. Some form of large endorsement. Some large organization. Some large body or person. It could even be a large magazine or newspaper giving their blessing to your product or service.
Jeff Walker wrote a whole book called “Launch” a couple years ago centered around this topic. For those of you who know who Dr. Oz is, he’s a health nutritionist type doctor. If Dr. Oz personally tests a product for a few months and then endorses it to his, I think, 2.8 million people on his email list. Many companies have been made just because of one Dr. Oz endorsement, so kinda gives you a flavor for what this episode is about. The best way to explain the power of an endorsement, in my opinion, is with a very real case study. This case study changed our business in 1997. In 1995 and 1996, we had a small of video stores. Back for those who are too young to see the VHS tapes in your home, back in the late 80’s, 90’s, if you wanted to watch a movie you would go to a video store. You would not rent a DVD, you would rent a VHS tape. You would put it in this big machine and watch a movie.
Especially in the Midwest in the wintertime, going to the video store, renting three to four and five movies and getting some popcorn was a thing. We did very, very well in the video business for almost a decade. Well, no matter who you were and no matter what type of video store you had, if you in the Midwest and there was what’s called summer months where it was nice and warm, many people would prefer to barbecue. Their kids were home from school, they’d hang out, they didn’t rent as many movies. Matter of fact, our video stores would drop somewhere in the tune of 22, 25, some even dropped 28%, depending on the location.
Not “How Can I?” But “Who Can Help Me?”
In March of 1997, I said to myself, “What can I do to make sure that this 25% drop in revenue for three months does not ever happen again?” I remember literally beating myself up because I had taken out notebooks, I had brainstormed, I had talked to people. Finally I was on the verge of giving up, just sucking it up saying, “Alright. We’re not going to make a dollar. We’re going to lose money for three months again, all stores.” I remember a Time Magazine article that said, “Don’t ever say the words, how can I. You need to replace them with who can help me.” It was like being struck by lightning.
I got in my car and I drove around for six to eight hours. Joliet, Illinois where most of our stores were located, just looking at the signs of business owners in town. Because Carrie and I had known a lot of business owners at that point. I’m just like, “Okay, who can help me, who can help me?” I kept driving by. “Who can help me?” I stopped for lunch, “Who can help me?” About 4:30 in the afternoon, I pulled back into our video stores. I was pretty disappointed, honestly. I couldn’t think of anything. I couldn’t think of anybody that could help me. I pull in, I look to the left, and at the end of the strip mall was Louie’s Pizza.
I had never met Louie. I had been in town 17 years, never met him, and something struck me. I’m like, “You know what? Wait a minute, I’ve got an idea.” I ran into the back. I printed a series of coupons for buy two movies, get the third free. I made 5,000 of them. I went to Surf Speedy down the road, I made 5,000 copies. Then I remember walking into Louie’s Pizza, I’ll never forget it. I’ve got this box of coupons. I drop it on his counter with a thud and I said, “Hey, Louie. My name is Ken. I own the video store at the other end of the strip mall and I need you to put these 5,000 coupons on your next 5,000 pizza boxes that go up. He looked at me, I remember. He looked at me like I had a hole in my head.
He turns to his manager and he says, “Do you know this kid?” The manager’s like, “Yeah, I rent movies from him all the time.” I said again, “Louie, all I’m looking for you to do is help us out, put these coupons on top of your pizza boxes.” He turns to his manager and he says, “Hey, would you walk this fine young man out of our establishment? I’m busy.” I said, “No, no, wait, wait, wait. All you have to do is print me 10,000 coupons for your pizzas and I’ll put them in all of my stores in Joliet. I’ll have them out in the next four days.” He goes, “Whoa, wait a minute. That’s a different story.” He turned to his manager, he says, “Get this kid 10,000 coupons.”
Couple weeks go by. We start tracking the numbers and business is definitely picking up. When it was all said and done, 60 days later, not only did we not drop 25%, we grew. Louie’s pizza grew 6% and held for a long time. We grew 17% and held. Here’s what happened. Even though Louie’s pizza was at the other end of the strip mall, I had never tried his pizza. Louie had never been in my video store. But we had a literal identical footprint. We had an identical demographic, psycho-graphic audience profile. When Louie put the coupons on his pizza box, that was Louie himself endorsing our video store to all of his audience. When I put Louie’s coupons in my video boxes, it was Ken and Carrie Courtright endorsing Louie’s Pizza to all of our patrons and both businesses exploded.
The question is, how can you take advantage of this? How does the average person walk into a store and get an endorsement? There’s actually a pretty incredible way to do this. I think if you focused on this, with severe focus, you could do this probably five to 10 times a year. You don’t need a Louie’s Pizza. Matter of fact, you could do this with complete strangers. This is what I love about it. Could you imagine… Matter of fact, I’m going to back that up. I want everybody to pretend, or go back in your mind, the last three, four, five conferences you attended. The last three, four, five Chamber of Commerce meetings, golf outings, charities. Anywhere, weddings, that you went with a large group of people. Correct me if I’m wrong, especially if it was a conference or a networking event.
The odds are very strong that when you were packing up your wallet, your purse, your briefcase. You went into your office, whether it’s a home office or work office, and you grabbed an extra 10-50 business cards. You might have even said to yourself, “You know what? I’m not leaving here without an extra three to five contacts. I’m staying late, getting there early. I’m going to work this crowd. I’m going to network like I’m supposed to. Well, here’s what I’m here to tell you. One of the most devastating things you can do to your business is go hunting for a contact of someone that you could eventually sell your services to. It’s quite lethal actually.
Because Brian Tracy says the definition of selling is a transference of feelings. When you walk into a conference or you walk into a meet up and you are on attack mode, you are hunting to exchange business cards, you have to know everybody in that room can feel that. When somebody is selling someone something and they’re not ready to be sold, as Brian Tracy proved many years ago. The moment someone starts selling, the other person starts piling up brick and mortar, brick and mortar, brick and mortar. They build a defensive wall. You can’t see it, it’s just a figure of speech. But the reality is, the person getting sold realizes, “Whoa, someone’s trying to get into my wallet. I’m going to protect my asset, which is my time and my money, and I’m going to shut this down.”
If you’re hunting for that single contact, I’m not saying you can’t eventually make a contact and do a deal, I’m not saying that. Matter of fact, what is it? A blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile but what I’m telling you is this, there’s a better way. You can go trolling, hunting, prowling in a way when no one even knows you’re doing it. It’s very subtle. Matter of fact, it’s not even subtle, it’s a win-win. You can build a friend, it’s just awesome. Let me walk you through what we’ve been recommending for 17, 18 years. It goes like this.
If you ever find yourself in a room full… Let’s just say it’s a conference with 300 people. There’s called the rule of 2% and I don’t ever want you to forget this. Two percent. I want everybody to think back, of the big, thick, two and a half, three inch thick Yellow Pages. Understand that in those old Yellow Pages or in the current Yelp or Deck’s or whatever you go for a business listing. There are, in the average town of 150,000 people or more. There are 17,000 categories in the Yellow Pages, yet the average home owner only uses 250 of those services in their lifetime.
The question is, what about the other 16,750 or whatever? Well, the reality is, nobody needs them, nobody has an interest in them, and nobody wants to hear about them. It’s called the rule of 2%. When you walk into a room of 300 people, the statistical chance that anybody wants to hear your message, buy your product or have the money to buy your product is 2%. Which means 49 out of 50 people you walk up to, in that conference, in that event, in that forum, they don’t want anything to do with your stuff. They’ll have a drink with you, they’ll party with you, they’ll talk with you, they’ll break bread with you, but they don’t want to talk about your product.
I think everybody listening to this podcast has been on the other end of this where somebody’s walked up to you, instantly tried to tell you about themselves, their product, their company. They’re so excited and you’re just going, “Oh man, I came here to get away from my kids and have a drink. The last thing I want to do is sit here and tell somebody how great their stuff is. Back to the point, the point is this. If you know going in that the statistical chance of the people you’re talking with wanting what you have, interested in what you have, having the money for what you have, is close to zero. Here’s a great idea, don’t go for it, don’t go for it.
Watch this. Would we all agree that it’s 2016 and, at the time of this recording, there are things like Facebook, Twitter, websites with blogs that have followers and readers. People subscribe to our assess feeds, they bookmark favorite websites. If I say, “How many people on this call have ever had the sniffles or a fever and they went to Web MD to see what that website had to say?” Everybody has their trusted go to websites in newspapers and magazines. The follow something. Everybody follows something. Watch this. Moving forward. I want to make it an objective that if you want lightning fast growth, I want you to take a leap of faith with me and do something when you’re in front of a large audience from now on. When you’re in front of a conference or a meet up or whatever, anything where’s there more than a couple people.
Find Reciprocal Audiences And Leverage Them
When you start talking to someone, you’re communicating, you’re sitting next to them at dinner, I don’t want you to ever start asking questions about them or their business. Here’s what I want you to ask. I want you to ask questions like, “I got a real interesting question for you. What would be your Avatar, your perfect customer?” They’re going to pause and probably give you the who farted look. Like, “Huh? Why would you ask me that?” But then, all of a sudden they’re going to go, “Oh, that’s interesting. This person is genuinely interested in my business. You know what? Yeah. That’s funny you say that. We just ran this profile. Our average customer is a 43-year-old female with two kids.” Then they’re going to turn around, I promise you, and say, “You know, I’m curious. What’s yours?
Then you start going back and forth. Then they’re gonna go, “You know, I’m curious. Why did you ask me?” Then you say, “You know what? I learned from this crazy guy named Ken that when I’m in a group or a setting like this, that the worst thing I can do is try to exchange business cards and make a contact. What I’m really interested to do is I’m keenly interested in what your following is in social media and who reads your company’s blog.” They’re gonna go, “Well, why?” Then you say, “Well, what I’m trying to find out is, does your following, the people that follow you personally say… Let’s say they’re in real estate… The people that follow your personal real estate blog, the people that follow you personally on Twitter and Facebook or your company’s Twitter and Facebook blog. I’m curious if that’s somewhat of a match to the readers on my social sphere and my blog and my following. Then the odds are really, really good, probably 50% actually or better, that there’s going to be a pretty significant match in followings.”
Then what you do is you say, “You know what? It seems like actually there’s a decent match here. Could we explore? Maybe you could write a page in my next newsletter or I could write a piece in your next newsletter. Maybe we could put a banner ad of my product on your website and you could put a banner of your product on my website. Or if we live in the same town, since our followings match, should we do a trade show together, share a booth, or…” I’m telling you, when you start exploring. Let’s say one’s a doctor, one’s a dentist and they live within 20 miles of each other. They could easily do a radio commercial together. They could start a small association.
When you can pool your energy and start endorsing other people’s stuff down your following. Even if you only have 15 people following you on Facebook, that’s 15 people that would truly, genuinely listen to your endorsement. Here’s the magic of this. Here’s why this works literally every time. The odds of the person sitting next to you having the interest in your product, or the money, or the timing in their life, is close to zero. The odds of having someone following them, that have an interest in your product. If there’s more than even 10 people following them, the odds of someone following them that needs your stuff, wants your stuff, has the money for stuff, it’s, quite frankly, closer to 100%.
Because most people have more than 100 people following them. At the law of 2%, you only need 50 people following someone to have a guaranteed home run of one person truly interested in what you have. This is absolutely explosive. Grant Cardone wrote a book called “TenX”… “TenX Rule”. I just spent some time with him. Actually, a couple times in the last few months. His business is so on fire because Grant’s only mindset is, “ho is the next person or the next company out there I can share endorsements with?” He doesn’t want any one-to-one contact. One-to-one contact, quite frankly, it’s a losing proposition. It does force you to go backwards a little bit because you might get one sale, and 15 years later it might lead to a referral. But since the whole thing was started on a one-to-one relationship, that’s the feelings of the energy of how it moved. That’s the feelings in the energy of how the referrals are going to move, moving forward so you set in stone a path of slow growth.
I’m going to urge everybody on this podcast, when you get out of the car, when you stop moving. When you get into a position with an iPad or a tablet or a piece of paper, I would like you to write down the name of your product, the industry you’re in. Then I want you to profile your Avatar. Your Avatar is what is the profile of your perfect client? What is the profile of your perfect customer? I want you to write down the name of your product, the industry you’re in, your business, then your Avatar. Then I want you to think, in your own community, what other people have a very similar Avatar? Who has a similar product or service that has an almost identical matching audience?
If you’re a doctor or dentist, another doctor or dentist has a similar audience. Watch this. If you’re a carpet cleaner, wouldn’t a duct cleaning company have an exact same match? Couldn’t those two do some co-op advertising, pool their money, and do a radio commercial for each company? Work it in some form of a rotation or do a trade show together? The list goes on and on. You could take a furniture repair person. Well, they do stuff for people’s homes. Who else does stuff for people’s homes? A roofer. This is endless. This is absolutely endless. If you brainstorm and you say, “You know what? I’m going to take out a piece of paper. I’m not going to stop until I list 50 different people and 50 different organizations or company that I am sure have an exact matching demographic.”
You do that and then you reach out and say, “Okay. Where do these people hang out? How can I bump into these people?” Or just call them direct and say, “Hey, you know what? Can I take you to coffee? I’ve got an idea. I’m fairly sure this is going to work for the both of us.” You have to say it just like that so they don’t think you’re trying to sell them something. It’s got to be a win-win. I think you’re going to find this quite magical. Just to wrap it up, it you want lightning fast growth, you can take your time and do the onesies and do radio and do this and do that. You’ll get one deal once in awhile.
I’m talking from 23, 24 years experience. I’ve done radio. I’ve done highway billboards. I’ve done TV. I’ve done it all. No matter what you do, the deals come in one at a time, rather slow. But I’ve also done speeches from stage. That’s when another organization reads my bio and endorses me in front of hundreds of people. Then over the next two to three weeks we cannot stop the phone from ringing in bound because I was endorsed to a large body of an audience and the deals just flood in all at the same time. I’ve been endorsed down people’s lists and the deals come in all at the same time.
The fastest, most explosive, lightning fast growth we have ever experienced in our 23 and a half years is from some form of a blessing. Somebody’s endorsing my stuff to someone else. Someone’s endorsing Carrie’s stuff to someone else. Someone’s endorsing Billy, my brother, Mike Ingstrom, our head of sales, to someone else. That’s explosive. I want everybody to get out a piece of paper, write down your demographics, who follows you, who else follows the same demographics. I’m just telling you guys, this one’s hot. This is Ken from Fort Lauderdale, signing out. Take care.