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Dane Maxwell AMA-- SaaS, Membership Sites, The Foundation

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D. Maxwell

Bronze Contributor
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Sep 2, 2013
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D. Maxwell

Bronze Contributor
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Sep 2, 2013
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483
Dane, is this something you can share with me? I made my first IE call yesterday and need some guidance.

How do I become a better listener?

Wow. What a beautiful question. This is probably the most powerful skill on the planet. Listening.

With listening, you can SELL to anyone.
With listening, you can find the path of least resistance to getting what you want.
With listening, you can get all the nookie in the world from your girlfriend or wife :)

Ok... ok... third one is true. I admit it.

But if you listen with a pure heart, everyone feels it, and the world opens up to you.

Sarah, to become a better listener here are a few guidelines. Idea extraction is about 4 qualities/states of being.

1. Being present.
2. Asking questions.
3. Listening intently.
4. Understanding.

Let's talk about becoming a better listener.

First, you have to get out of your own way. What is your agenda for listening? Is it to get something, or to give... to help the person figure out an issue on their own?

Second, get out of your own way again. Are you worried about anything while you are listening? Like if you're talking to a CEO of a huge company, do you feel intimidated and unimportant?

Third, get out of your own way, yet again. Are you thinking about the next question you're going to ask before the person finishes talking?

During idea extraction training in The Foundation students are always looking for the questions... 'what are the questions? give me them!' they think...

But Idea Extraction is not about asking the question... it's about how you respond to their first answer.

I've critique roughly 5 idea extraction calls in the last year painstakingly, and the students who fail ALWAYS miss what the person is saying, they miss the gold and just ask another random question.

One call I critiqued... the customer on the phone said "Well, I can't really get to that task because my email inbox is overflowing"

Student asked "Great, can you tell me now about the greatest problem in your business?"

I wanted to jump out of my seat. "DIG INTO HIS EMAIL! ASK HIM TO LIST OUT HIS MOST PAINFUL EMAILS. That is where you will find your idea. In the deep specifics of a problem.

And you can't get to the deep specifics if you screw up those three rules above.
 

D. Maxwell

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Sep 2, 2013
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Dane,

1.) I realize you have designed the foundation for people with no software experience but have you considered spinning off an in-depth software course; working with developers (getting sites built) etc., possibly as a precursor to the foundation? A course like this would be valuable as a stand alone course.

Wouldn't it make more sense to take this course first, before a person gets into the foundation, if the are a total software newb?

I realize this may conflict somewhat with your current advertising material of "no software experience needed" but I believe that this has come up as a concern from past students...mainly in the form of course over load.


2.) At what point in the Foundation do you see the highest number of students dropping out?


3.) You mentioned that you want the Foundation to be able to run without you someday, and for your name not to be attached to the Foundation (loosely worded/quoted)...if this is your "calling" why would you want step out of the Foundation in the future...or do you?


4.) What was lacking in last years Foundation that you have significantly improved on in this years Foundation?

Thanks.

1) Maybe in the future for people who just want to learn software. But it's not having the skill in software that makes you successful, that's actually just secondary. The money making skill is not learning the skill of software.

2. Idea extraction is the highest dropout, 30% the first month usually. And then, those that stick are total ballers.

3. My calling changes as I move through life. I will always have my heart in the Foundation, but I may move into something else in the future. I'm staying open to anything. Maybe I'm not really sure what I want here. Presently, it's the foundation, and that's what I can say for sure... as for the future... I'll just rest in not knowing for sure :)

4. TONS OF STUFF. We have designed a completely new course outline based on the biggest struggles of past students. We interviewed over 50 past students about their experience going through the 6 months and have re-vamped the entire course to support them during the most difficult times.

We are also launching a brand new software platform to deliver the content in an action based, community based, interactive learning environment. If that sounds a tad messy that's because I'm not really sure how to explain it. Basically, it's a totally bad a$$ membership website that's gorgeous like an apple product, and simple like a flip camera.
 

D. Maxwell

Bronze Contributor
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Sep 2, 2013
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Dane- Thanks again for answering all questions!

I am also interested in this idea of using webinars to get sales. Do you have a sample of a successful webinar you, or one of your students have used in the past that you would share?

This is difficult to teach in a single forum post, but I'll do my best. And I'll give you an actual webinar script that CRUSHED it.

200 registrants
130 attended
30 sales
$8,000 upfront and $1,600 recurring
From 1, 1 in a half hour webinar.

They are money machines.

Here is the entire script. You're welcome :)

---> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1feL6gNvKiZFGoT77yDW32HeOpbS8gJpuEl1dloPrc18/edit

Mindset:

When I'm on my A game, I use Cialdini's 7 triggers of influence in a webinar.

Webinars are not for presentations, they are for discussions. Don't talk at your customers, engage the CRAP out of them. Ask them where they are from. Ask them what their current situation is like. For me, I'd ask, "how many agents you have guys recruiting in 90 days before, what's the highest number?"

Then I'd read out the names and answers. Social proof.

Tactics:

Run your webinar with an "End Result Customer Wants In Specific Period Of Time While Addressing Objections."

Mine? How To Recruit 10 Agents In 90 Days

If I added "without cold calling or rejection" I'm guessing the webinar would have pulled even better. But I didn't put objections in this headline. It was 3 years ago, don't remember why.

Email sequence:

This webinar I sent out emails one week, three days, two days, one day, and day of. Yes. 4 Emails. In a week.

If that feels aggressive, I kind of agree as I write this, but send at least 2. Ideally 3.

The Handout

People forget webinars, to increase your attendance do a fill in the blank sheet and tell them to print it off and put it by their computer. It rocks.

Handout example: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PE1mQ9UVmF-8ES5DymkrtrOaQFcMTKH0KFc5gG_BLeQ/edit?usp=sharing
 
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chrisbiz4444

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I had something similar happen to me with a local developer. Bad experiences like this make you want to learn the skill and develop everything yourself. Unfortunately it seems like the learning curve is very big and time consuming. So I feel your pain buddy.
 

wise_one

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Nov 16, 2012
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Dane, how do you deal with "haters"? Ignore? Engage?

Is there a methodology on how to do it and not feel pissed off and worn out afterwards?
 
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D. Maxwell

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What will be the price for a new Foundation?

We just finalized pricing for the Foundation this year. It's at a price that anyone who's serious can reach now.

We will have all the details coming out to those who have applied and accepted so you can see/decide if it feels like the right decision for you.
 

D. Maxwell

Bronze Contributor
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Sep 2, 2013
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483
I had something similar happen to me with a local developer. Bad experiences like this make you want to learn the skill and develop everything yourself. Unfortunately it seems like the learning curve is very big and time consuming. So I feel your pain buddy.

I feel sad hearing you jump to this conclusion. You may have an issue with control that is worth examining. Or you may not and just enjoy building it yourself. My guess is it's the first.

What's wrong with wanting control? Nothing at all.

The downside is feeling like you have to do everything yourself, which I could relate too in the past, and it sucks :-(

When I got burned, I got better at hiring - I didn't decide to build it all myself.
 

Vigilante

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When you kick out people. Do you do refund a payment?

If you are worried about getting kicked out (for any reason) this probably is not the right program for you.

A better question might be :

"If I am the best student you ever have and you down the road want to use my story and my name to promote the foundation…"

That's the attitude of winners.

Expect more of yourself.

I would not personally engage in anything that I didn't expect to win.

"Coffee is for closers."
 
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D. Maxwell

Bronze Contributor
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Sep 2, 2013
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Dane, how do you deal with "haters"? Ignore? Engage?

Is there a methodology on how to do it and not feel pissed off and worn out afterwards?

Sometimes ignore, most of the time, if I can, engage.

"Haters" as you say are helpful for 2 reasons.

1. They strengthen your message.
2. They strengthen your heart.

Now... with that said... this AMA?

It was hard.

Here was my flow of feelings.

Hard question > Ouch feeling > Panic, like how can I answer this > Reading the question again > Feeling panic again > Thinking it over > Writing out my thoughts > feeling uncertain > editing my answer > feeling my heart relax > loving the person who asked the question > edit again from the loving space > hitting submit

I didn't follow this flow purposefully. It is just my natural state. That process was unconscious.

Writing a response from love is amazing. It disarms people. Just look at how many people have said they love this AMA. That it is a top AMA. What did I do to generate that feeling? Answer honestly, not defensively, and lovingly to people.

I sometimes feel depleted having to explain that my intentions are good all the time. Having to answer all of the hard questions here was rough initially. But I feel relieved knowing I can stand in my truth. I just thought... why can't people believe I'm good? Why do I have to go into all of this... this program works just trust me and do it.

But I couldn't. So I sucked it up, dug deep into my heart, and answered honestly.

The ideal for me is to keep an open heart to "haters". To feel the hurt they cause if they question me, and not protect myself from them.

To blow them off would be to shut down my heart to them. And to shut down my heart in one place makes it hard for me to keep it open elsewhere.

This may seem a bit unusual.

Sometimes I take it personal like it's an attack on me or my integrity. But when I'm grounded I see it is not. Only when I'm less conscious in the moment do I make this assumption.

There is one attitude you could take that says... "oh screw haters... you're going to have them... they're just jealous... or they're just hating on you to hate..." but that closes down my heart and shuts me off to them.

I desire to be in relationship to whatever I'm feeling. [THIS IS A KEY BELIEF I HOLD]

Why?

Because "haters" as we think of them... are not really haters from the loving perspective. That is their behavior but really... they could be scared, pessimistic, not optimistic, been burned in the past, really hurt by something else... and or they are projecting their fear/hurt all over others.

Yes. It's one thing to be a hater for something that is worth hating.

But in the space I operate "haters" are common.

For good reason. Lots of scammy scummy people.

And if dealing with them is the price I have to pay for being in this arena.... I'm game :)
 

Esquire

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Thanks for the AMA, Dane. Very enjoyable and insightful.

I estimate that I about a month away from launching a niche dating site (assuming my programmer completes the last set of code modifications on time). My dating site remedies several (heretofore unmet) pain points in the niche ... some of which, cannot be easily replicated by my competitors without a major re-design. I am optimistic and excited.

One of the questions I am wrestling with is "how long" to afford new members a "free trial" membership (before compelling a sale) in the early stages of the launch. Sure, I could look at what some of the more established sites are doing, but these sites already have a substantial number of users to dangle as a carrot, whereas I have the unique challenge of building the herd. So by solving their (unmet) pain points, I enter the marketplace with an advantage. But terms of numbers of active users online, at the outset, my established competitors clearly have the advantage.

My initial plan is to test different "free trial" periods with different groups, assess the conversion rate, then modify accordingly. I am also tempted to offer a discount to the initial paid adapters (not sure on this one yet).

Once I have solid numbers on the site, I doubt I will have much difficulty setting the free time period ... but the initial stages of the launch is a little tricky. I need members ... but I also need cash flow.

I am open to suggestions and would love to know your thoughts on this topic.

Any general advice?
 

D. Maxwell

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Sep 2, 2013
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Thanks for the AMA, Dane. Very enjoyable and insightful.

I estimate that I about a month away from launching a niche dating site (assuming my programmer completes the last set of code modifications on time). My dating site remedies several (heretofore unmet) pain points in the niche ... some of which, cannot be easily replicated by my competitors without a major re-design. I am optimistic and excited.

One of the questions I am wrestling with is "how long" to afford new members a "free trial" membership (before compelling a sale) in the early stages of the launch. Sure, I could look at what some of the more established sites are doing, but these sites already have a substantial number of users to dangle as a carrot, whereas I have the unique challenge of building the herd. So by solving their (unmet) pain points, I enter the marketplace with an advantage. But terms of numbers of active users online, at the outset, my established competitors clearly have the advantage.

My initial plan is to test different "free trial" periods with different groups, assess the conversion rate, then modify accordingly. I am also tempted to offer a discount to the initial paid adapters (not sure on this one yet).

Once I have solid numbers on the site, I doubt I will have much difficulty setting the free time period ... but the initial stages of the launch is a little tricky. I need members ... but I also need cash flow.

I am open to suggestions and would love to know your thoughts on this topic.

Any general advice?

What is your U.S.P. for your customers? What are the un-met needs you are solving?

Your decision sounds solid enough. The worry about giving away too much I understand as well. Curious to hear your reply.
 
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Esquire

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I have several USPs addressing (numerous) unmet needs in my niche.

Am I guarded about openly discussing them? Absolutely. They will not be USPs forever. At some point in time I imagine my competitors will adapt and adopt at least some of my USPs. So until my site launches, in prudent caution, my lips are sealed.

I know, I know ... some people think everyone should freely talk about everything and anything here. Well ... I'm not one of them. I'm a little guarded. The simple fact is, in most instances, I just don't know who I am talking to. So when discussing topics on the board, I tend to stick to generalities, and avoid specifics.

But that's just me ...

Maybe one day ... when my law practice is closed ... my membership sites are up ... and I'm balling in the Fastlane ... I'll feel differently about sharing the details. But I'm not there yet ...

I will be ...
 

tafy

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Kudos for the balls to build a dating site with some big competitors, getting the first bunch of users will be hard. Maybe start with users in 1 city first?

Dane.. Love this AMA, I am still thinking for ideas but I love reading about people successes and your great and honest advice
 

RogueInnovation

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Sometimes ignore, most of the time, if I can, engage.

"Haters" as you say are helpful for 2 reasons.

1. They strengthen your message.
2. They strengthen your heart.

Now... with that said... this AMA?

It was hard.

Here was my flow of feelings.

Hard question > Ouch feeling > Panic, like how can I answer this > Reading the question again > Feeling panic again > Thinking it over > Writing out my thoughts > feeling uncertain > editing my answer > feeling my heart relax > loving the person who asked the question > edit again from the loving space > hitting submit

I sometimes feel depleted having to explain that my intentions are good all the time. I just thought... why can't people believe I'm good? Why do I have to go into all of this... this program works just trust me and do it.

But I couldn't. So I sucked it up, dug deep into my heart, and answered honestly.

Yeah you did really well with that. And it is really hard to do. Much respect.

You being open about this helped me see something, and I get some parts of biz better as a result (thats happened about 3 times in this AMA).
Guys that can stand up to that heat and be open, are great to be around, true teachers, and make it click for people that "this guy gets it".

Its true that people are sceptical to an extreme in biz, almost paranoid it seems, my best guess at why (other than the obvious) is that they expect people to be elusive and want them to stay and have a good chat, not run off and go do weird stuff. Also, you aren't sure if someone has substance or what that substance is worth, so you need a chance to feel them out.
And even after all that, people are as sceptical as they are with all business dealings, purchases and such.

Its painful cause its overwhelming and you feel you can't speak your truth, and it makes you question that truth. Also, people don't talk about it, they mostly just say "hey I'm good at it, sucks to be you". Thats life eh...

Shitty experiences like that have transformed you into giving a shit, rather than pretending to be boss.
Its vulnerable, and vulnerability when connected to sharing honest attempts to help, can really achieve it at times, even when it doesn't mean to.


I think you did a great job. And to do a great job, you have to be a good biz guy. And you are. Kudos to all your achievements. Its rare to see biz guys you can respect, but you are capable of reaching that zone, it does you great credit.
 
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AnneC

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Dane,

I really enjoyed your podcast with Pat Flynn this week. I felt like I was meant to hear that message at this point in my life, while I am in the process of reinventing my identity.

As a former engineer/MBA (valedictorian, 99 percentile SAT, got into MIT, all that fun stuff), I have been fighting the perfectionism problem for a long time, but I wasn't aware I had that problem until very recently. It's amazing how many limiting beliefs we store in our system that go unnoticed by the conscious mind, but that are painfully ingrained in the subconscious.

I used to be one of those people that would always try to get the scientific facts straight... you know the type: the annoying guys that burst your bubble by replying back with Snopes links or cite scientific studies why magnetic therapy is bunk. My mindset has completely shifted. I feel that there are things out there that science has not yet explained.

I loved that quote you included from Jeff Bezos. And as you said in the podcast, we should be focusing on the results. If something produces results for you, then keep doing it... no matter how weird or wonky it sounds to the outside world. I just got Rolfed today. My husband produces brainwave entrainment albums. I have personally tried or witnessed acupuncture, laser allergy treatment, homeopathy, past-life regression, energy healers, eye deeksha and more. Some of it works for me, some of it doesn't, and that's okay; I am on the quest to become my best self, and I do so with an open mind.

For the past 5 years, I have been able to make a living without a job, thanks to real estate... but also to Tony Robbins, NLP, Harv Eker, and he-who-shall-not-be-named-on-this-forum. But it's only been enough income to pay the bills, because that was all I was possible (until I read MJ's book). In the past few months, I realized that it was all I unconsciously wanted. I couldn't figure out why, but am beginning to uncover some of my serious limiting beliefs underlying it all.

I'm going to through The Work, that you mentioned in the podcast. Are there any other resources you would recommend for discovering and battling limiting beliefs, as quickly and efficiently as possible?

With sincere gratitude,
Anne
 

throttleforward

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Anyone else get rejected today? It's too bad - using his publically availiable interview techniques I've already uncovered/presold 3 concepts in 2 industries; I'm pretty confident his program could have taken a lot of credit when I succeed in a few months. Oh well.

Guess I'll have to keep my $4,000 and interact with you guys here :)
 

Paul Thomas

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What are your recommendations in seeing a hole in the job's industry your currently in without... losing your job?
 
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100k

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Are RTB like services like adwords, facebook ads, sitescout etc. considered Saas?
 

eronline

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Oh man, story of my life.... thanks for the "get better at hiring" tip

I feel sad hearing you jump to this conclusion. You may have an issue with control that is worth examining. Or you may not and just enjoy building it yourself. My guess is it's the first.

What's wrong with wanting control? Nothing at all.

The downside is feeling like you have to do everything yourself, which I could relate too in the past, and it sucks :-(

When I got burned, I got better at hiring - I didn't decide to build it all myself.
 

D. Maxwell

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Sep 2, 2013
52
483
Anyone else get rejected today? It's too bad - using his publically availiable interview techniques I've already uncovered/presold 3 concepts in 2 industries; I'm pretty confident his program could have taken a lot of credit when I succeed in a few months. Oh well.

Guess I'll have to keep my $4,000 and interact with you guys here :)

You are welcome to re-apply of course. We are strict with who we let in. If your application didn't reflect the true nature of your heart, we probably clicked on the decline button.

Nice work on your results that's incredible. You'll have to keep me posted on how you keep doing.
 
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