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EXECUTION From Fired to Cold Calling

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by AlexLegault, May 24, 2018.

  1. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I figured it was time to give a little update for you guys that have been following me from my last thread (link below)

    RANT - This Is How Fast Your Boss Can Drop You

    So long story short, I met with a business owner of a digital marketing/web design start up. We met for an interview and it was awesome. He hired me and I basically do web design/traffic generation consulting.

    To do that though I need to get meetings by cold calling/emailing small business owners and to tell them about how their website could be improved in order to make more sales.

    It's been an awesome learning experience so far, but also really tough.

    I cold call roughly 30 people a day (start 5 days ago) and got 4 meetings so far.

    This is the script I've been using and it's been decent. I basically got it from someone else and adjusted it a little bit.

    "Hello, can I speak to ____ please?

    Hi ____, my name is Alex I’m calling from Clickwave.

    The reason I’m calling is because I want to set an appointment with you.

    I was just on your website and I noticed few things we can help you improve if you’re looking to get more clients or make more sales.

    Do you have time to jump on a quick call next week?"

    That's pretty much it.

    This gig is commission only so I'll have to start closing people if I want to pay the bills. I have some money left over but if I start running too low I'll have to get a part time job.

    Anyone else have experience with cold calling?
     
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  2. Solrac
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    Solrac Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    By far the best book I've read on making cold calls is Cold Calling Techniques by Stephan Schiffman.

    If you're getting appointments it might be a good idea to A/B test some scripts just to see if you can get a slightly better conversion rate. In fact you should always be trying new things, but give it a good sample size (at least 100 dials or maybe a week in your case).

    I'd recommend bringing up pain points if you're a small shop. One thing is saying "Hi I'm XYZ with Salesforce." Another thing is saying "I can help you make more sales" whilst having little to no credibility (yet). Assuming here, but nonetheless a good thing to think about. I know you kinda bring this up, but I would try and get a bit more granular on every call, personalize it more if you can.

    Also, specify the date & time that you would want to have the appointment. You're helping them not have to think about giving you an answer. "Well I mean I'm pretty busy all of next week..." vs "I am pretty busy next week but I do in fact have an opening at the 2PM slot on Wednesday next week that you suggested." Obviously the latter might not be a real conversation, it's pretty robotic, but hopefully you get my point.

    See if you can record some of these calls & listen to them to find what you could have done better. Matter of fact, do this for every call, even the ones that work.

    And if I were you & I wanted a sales job, I'd lean more towards the salary + commission side of things. But whatever works for you. I know plenty of commission only salespeople that make a killing.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  3. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Congratulations Alex on finding a new gig right away. Even if it's pure commission only, it's not micromanaged by a meanie. And it's in a field that's interesting and useful to you. This sounds so much happier for you.

    I last did cold calls for a company many, many years ago. I've thought it might be important for me to get back to that now, so I just got a book on it... Schiffman's! The very one recommended by Solrac while I went to go look up the guy's name! I totally agree with the praise for this book and for everything in Solrac's post!

    I'm also going through some of Ari Galper's free sample stuff, which I like a lot. He suggests adding in your introduction line, "We haven't talked before." That puts people at ease that they haven't forgotten about someone they already met. He is the master of using "That's not a problem" as the answer to just about any potential problem. I think Schiffman's material alone is gold, and if you combine it with Galper's you're at platinum.

    Usually I prefer to learn by reading, but for the call stuff, audio examples are so valuable.

    Where do you get the list that you're calling? Do you actually have something to say about the web site for each of them, before you call them?

    What are you doing with the cold emails?

    What's your plan to handle the appointments, once you get them?

    Can you reveal the commission structure you get?
     
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  4. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I've test a few different one's but this was definitely the best one so far. None of the others worked at all.

    I like the idea of making it more personal though. I often feel like as soon as they hear me say "My name is Alex from ___" they're probably thinking "oh great, what are you trying to sell me?"
     
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  5. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    He must be decent if you're both recommending it, lol.

    I get the list from a CRM (I believe that's the name of the program they use to put their leads in?) and some from researching businesses online.

    And no I don't, I just tell them I can show them how to improve it if they want to get more clients.

    The cold emails are usually just to touch base before I call. I send them one email explaining how we can help, and then I call them the next day as well.

    For appointments I don't know the game plan yet but my "boss" said he will show me how to close people when we meet them for my first few meetings.

    And sure. Depending on the size of the business (usually small one's) I get anywhere from 200$ to 1000$ per close.

    It's a monthly fee (which is much cheaper then paying for an agency) so he recurringly gets anywhere between 200$ - 1000$ afterwards, but I get a small piece the following month, and the one after that and so on.

    So for example if I close a 300$ deal, I get 300$ the first month, and the next month I get roughly 65$ just for getting a client in the first place and it goes on and on.

    So basically he sold me on the fact that if I got a bunch of clients, I'd eventually make a lot of "passive" income from the clients we retain.

    That being said, I still have to get results because if I was eventually making so much passive money, I wouldn't have to do much anymore and obviously he doesn't want that.
     
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  6. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    There are always a few prospects who already know they would really love to buy what you can do, just as soon as they can find a seller that might be able to do the job, with a specific offer that might work. It may only be one percent or whatever, but there will be a few people who say, "Oh good, I was thinking last night that we need to find someone to help us update our web site and social media, how soon can we meet."

    There will be a few more prospects who might not have got up that morning thinking about SEO click-throughs at breakfast. But they were thinking about, maybe there could be some good way to get some more clients. Then you call and oh yeah, maybe some web sales thing could work, let's let the guy do his pitch.

    There will also be a few people who took a look at their bank statement yesterday and said, yay me, business is good and I'd like to reinvest some of this to make it even better. They had no particular focus in mind, but you suggest marketing and sure, they'll talk about that. If someone else had called them with a chance to invest in more productive computers, or better staff training, they'd have met with those people instead.

    The flow of business includes that people in business spend money to do better at their business. They know that some of the opportunities to solve those problems, might be from someone who looked them up and had a call or note to introduce themselves.

    Schiffman's approach is polite and quick. If they're not interested, you're off the line in a minute and on to the next person.

    Yep, CRM = Customer Relationship Management.

    That sounds good. I'm very good at these meetings, my problem has been that I've sucked at prospecting. In the last couple of weeks I finally realized the issue was that when she was alive, my partner did the prospecting by being her naturally charming self, so I had some emotional clutter in my head about replacing her. I realized she'd want me to succeed at this on my own, so I got inspired and, as I mentioned, looked up the guides to calling.

    It will be interesting to find out what your boss does with the meetings. If you need some suggestions for this area, it's one I'm strong in and can recommend some really great materials.

    Nice. It doesn't take too many sales a week, to not have any tears left about whether you'll get your three hours on the schedule. I like the residual bonus too so it's in your best interest to find long term satisfied clients, not just someone who pays once then leaves.

    I'm confused, I thought this was an online marketing agency you're working for?
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  7. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I'd love some suggestions, haha.

    It is technically, but he does the work himself and outsources the rest to people in India or the Philippines. That way clients don't have to pay for the receptionists' time, a coffee machine, a big building and all this other stuff (he co-owns an office).
     
  8. Late Bloomer
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    Here's enough to get a start, and find out whether you really love this stuff (as I do) or would just as soon leave it to someone else.

    High Probability Selling (home page) - paradigm shift to discovering compatibility that actually exists, rather than manipulating or hammering on people until they give up and buy against their own best interests

    Dr. Tony Alessandra- Official Website | Alessandra.com - if you haven't studied anything about personality theory, this is a nice start to some basics about how to adapt your business communication style to the way other people prefer to interact and learn

    Value-Based Fees - Alan Weiss, Ph.D. - pricing a project based on return on investment rather than hours or effort expended

    https://www.amazon.com/Start-Negotiating-Tools-that-Pros/dp/0609608002 - negotiating based on your willingness to walk away rather than make a bad deal
     
  9. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Great, thanks for the resources.

    off topic: that first website looks terrible. I should almost be asking him if he needs help with his web design.. lol
     
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  10. Late Bloomer
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    Yeah, I like all of these guys for their sales advice books, not for their web design chops :hilarious:
     
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  11. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I wonder how it affects their sales, if at all :p
     
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  12. Dunkafelics
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    Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount is also an excellent resource if you are planning to stick it out in sales and doing cold calling.

    He covers off a lot of the mental game to selling and also discusses the importance of preparation and time management in setting up your daily. Highly recommended.

    On the flip side, don't forget about your social media channels. I was recently doing sales for a marketing company and almost all of my contracts came through Upwork, Facebook, online searches, etc. It is a bit of a grind, but if the company that you are working for can produce results and has an excellent portfolio of work that you can show, you will be on the fast track.

    All the best Alex!
     
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  13. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    That's funny, I just saw that guy's book last night at the bookstore! I'll have to go and pick it up :p

    And you're saying your leads are from social media and online platforms essentially? Do you find that easier than finding people through Google or other mediums?
     
  14. Late Bloomer
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    If you asked I bet most of them would say, "That's not a problem, what's important to you in graphic design for business?" ;)
     
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  15. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Too much ;) lol.

    UPDATE*

    Just talked to my mentor today. Said he wanted me to get my hands dirty soon with the actual management of our clients' advertising accounts so that I can start doing the actual work as well as get a real understanding of the work itself (running marketing campaigns).

    The best part? I'm getting paid to learn.

    Gotta love it man.

    As usual, I'll keep you guys in the loop!
     
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  16. Paul Weese
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    Paul Weese Life is about living Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Stoked to see bounce back so well! I've cold called on a regular basis selling solar products. I would search the largest/well-awarded companies and call directly to their sales manager or CEO. I often get the decision maker. Initially it was hard, and after a week or so, I was challenging myself to X number of calls a day.

    Your numbers are good for closing appointments. And being asked to do more work, thats a great day.
     
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  17. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks!

    Your sales cycle must take a lot longer if you're selling solar panels, right?

    And I want to work up to 50 eventually when I get even quicker and better at finding the right leads :)
     
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  18. LynetteP
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    Thanks for the recommendations- I have Value-Based Fees, and will look into the others.

    I'm also reading Pitch Anything because next week I get to pitch a few of my sales ideas (new division, new technology needed, new products, IP) to a VP of business development at a company I used to work for (I'm still a tiny owner). I thought I was dealing with my old colleagues, but turns out this newer VP guy is now in charge of actually allocating resources. UGH. I haven't even narrowed down which ideas to talk about.

    Any recommendations for pitching? I had bought the Pitch Anything book a few weeks ago because I finally realized that very few people see the ramifications of what I'm saying when I have big ideas. And it's usually too much to communicate it all anyway. I think the VP will get it, but I am predicting he won't like my delivery- I'm more of a substance over form person, and I suspect the new guy is the opposite. The book is helpful and fascinating (I'm about halfway through), but I still don't feel prepared. I'd appreciate any ideas!
     
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  19. Kraelog
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    I've got a few years experience in Sales & Cold Calling so here's my 2 cents.​

    As a general rule, do not ask for something before you show value. Here you immediately ask for his time before showing anything he might be interested in, so he's put in a guarded position to defend his time.

    Alternatively:

    Hello, can I speak to ____, please?
    Hi ____, my name is Alex I’m calling from Clickwave.
    We are a website optimization company and we've helped companies such as (insert references, preferably from known competitors) in optimizing their sites to improve visitors count and sales.
    Have you already considered optimizing your website?

    A) No =>
    oh, why not? =>
    reason XYZ =>
    If we could show ABC, would you be interested? =>
    No => Bye
    Yes => Do you have some time next week? =>
    Yes? Excellent, lets book the appointment​

    B) Yes =>
    Wow that's great, what exactly are you looking to improve? =>
    I see, for XYZ we can definitely help you, do you have time next week?=>
    Yes? Excellent, lets book the appointment​
     
  20. Late Bloomer
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    That sounds exciting! And also a little intimidating!

    What's your take on him? I've read most of Alan Weiss's books. I like most of what he says. He occasionally gets extremely critical and condescending, of people who came from a different social/economic background than he does, so the rituals of wealth are uncomfortable for them. He can also sure go off about people who don't immediately think like he does. But like a thundershower, the rant soon passes and he's on to more awesome business ideas.

    This is a little far off for your interest right now, but it's interesting to see his plan for passing the torch to a new generation of licensed advisors who are familiar with his methodology. If he pulls this off, this will provide an alternative model to what Dan Kennedy did for selling a freelance business as a viable exit strategy... a feat some in the copywriting thread here insist is absolutely impossible for anyone to do, ever. I haven't visited his site since he announced this transition a while back, so I don't know if he's completed it yet.

    That's an entertaining and helpful book, but man is it stuffed full of self-promotion about how awesome the author is.
    In your situation, I recommend you set aside Pitch Anything for now.

    I recommend you watch the presentations (free on Youtube) by Sally Hogshead about fascination and the seven communication styles, which can be combined with major and minor styles for 49 themes. I think she will help you feel good about substance over form as a strength that you can succeed with. There's no need to try to turn yourself into a kind of showy flamboyant spectacular just for business, if that wouldn't be in integrity for you. She sells a personal profile service, but many people have free discount codes available. Or you could just figure it out on your own.

    If you present great substance that the VP-BizDev can see is profitable, he will enjoy using his own strengths to put it into a more colorful format. You could even acknowledge this up front, if you felt comfortable doing so. "I'm not half the showman you are with your talent for putting business ideas into an exciting, appealing format. So I'm going to stick with the plain facts and the numbers, and I hope you'll those are significant enough for the company to deserve the extra polish that you are so great at adding."

    I also think it would be helpful for you to watch the presentations on YouTube by Guy Kawasaki about The Art of the Start and ten slides. If you have the time, get his book too.

    Guy's slides are for a single purpose: get people onboard with the company to create one thing. In your case, you want to get the VP onboard with your teases of your menu as Great Ideas Woman, hopefully leading to his enthusiasm for a specific proposal about something you could work on first. So the format might be a little different than what Guy uses.

    For your presentation next week, I would put your many ideas into a few major categories. I'd start with something like, "As with any VP of business development, I believe your major concerns could include entering new markets... increasing sales in existing markets... helping establish a great leadership role for the company through new products. I'll have three great ideas for you in each of these categories. My purpose for today's meeting is to see which two or three of these ideas would be most powerful for us to discuss further about how I can specifically help you grow sales, market share, and profitability for this company. I'll start today's presentation with the three new markets that you can enter..."

    If it goes well, your presentation would immediately lead into an Alan Weiss style conversation about goals, metrics, potential implementation formats, criteria, budgets and schedules, etc. I would jot down a checklist of key themes here on a page or two of your notebook.

    When you get home, you can use what you learned to write an Alan style proposal with small, medium, and large versions - small priced at the top of the budget range he indicated - with a couple of extra that can be added to any version.
     
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  21. Late Bloomer
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    That makes sense, but in Schiffman's book, he pushes very hard that the appointment setting call should not try to gather info or present anything at all, other than that a meeting should happen. In saying that, he contradicts what you say and what I've seen from many other cold call advisers. I'm still trying to figure out what's the most respectful and effective way to think about the psychology here.
     
  22. W0rkb3nch
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    Send people a screenshot of problems you’ve found on their site(s) and link to case studies showing how you’ve helped people fix them.

    In the subject line or on your call tell them, ‘there’s something wrong with your website’ and you can fix it.

    Now you have something very specific to speak about on the meeting.
     
  23. LynetteP
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    God bless you! I struggle with words sometimes, lol. I think in pictures, not words, so the concrete examples you gave are very much appreciated!

    I'm not sure the VP is a showman per se, but I suspect he impresses a lot of people with his current and past work titles, and I'm frankly not impressed by anything like that. He puts his pants on one leg at a time too, I'm sure! Not that he's not a very smart guy, just that I'm afraid he may have an ego running rampant, and I don't get along with people like that very well, lol. I guess I feel like he may perceive me as a Honda instead of a Bimmer, because I do not think linearly and have trouble explaining my big ideas to most people. If it's the case that I'm dealing with an ego, I think Pitch Anything would turn out to be helpful- what do you think?

    I wasn't planning to put on a show, but I do like to tailor the message for the audience, and I'm sure he will want to put his stamp on it. I will be sure to check out Sally Hogshead- sounds very helpful! "Great Ideas Woman" lol- that's me! I will check out the Guy slides, too.

    I'm not sure what to ask for on some of these ideas, except perhaps as a percentage of sales- I don't think anyone would be able to estimate the revenues. For one of my ideas, I believe I can pre-sell stuff to other companies without creating inventory- I just need costs and a supplier for certain pieces from my old company (I can get components from them, even with a reasonable mark up, cheaper than I can source it myself). So that should be a no-brainer- if he doesn't want to co-brand with another company (my original idea), then I will still try to license my copyrighted designs, and sell the components to other companies by being a middleman. I think that will be my first thing, because in that case I'm just a bulk buyer. Gets the yes started.

    I haven't finished Weiss yet. I'm only about halfway through, but so far all seemed logical and it surprised me that he claims be ground-breaking. Why would anyone charge $100 for $10k value, right? On the other hand, I gave about $500,000 to a commercial real estate agent's client last fall by speaking one sentence to the agent, and I didn't get a penny, lol. And she got all the commissions!

    I'm intrigued with your comment about him being condescending and critical- where was that? If it was in the first half I missed it, and I'd love to know if I just missed the boat!

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful response!
     
  24. Late Bloomer
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    He does talk about storytelling with pictures. You could skip ahead to the Big Airport Meeting towards the end of the book, if you'd rather have tips than the suspenseful storyline.

    It might help you to look for examples of Hollywood pitches with pictures. There are anecdotes of how the original storyline and screenplay for Star Wars were a mess, but Lucas hired some great painters to make really cool paintings that showed what his movie could look like... and that helped him sell the movie. There are also anecdotes from the writers of the Zorro movie, about how they had a big poster board with their scene headings they could point to as they explained the story.

    Whatever of your products sell, will eventually show up as catalog entries, or TV ads, or sales pages, or whatever. Why not print out a big color photo with a few bullet points, that you can hold up, pass around the table, or put up on an easel while you talk?

    Yeah, if no way to estimate the return, how can you estimate the investment? These sound to me like 1 to 5 percent royalty deals, off the top of my head, with some kind of advance IF you're in a strong enough negotiating position. Which you might not be, if you want someone else to do all the manufacturing, distribution, and promotion.

    I think you can find some success stories and help with that here!

    Because so many people are used to pricing based on their time, materials, effort, or "industry standard rules" about their INPUT... than on the beneficial OUTPUT for the buyers.

    It might not be in that book at all. It's more something that pops out in his podcasts and essays, some of which he straight up says are rants.

    I'm enjoying our conversation!
     
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  25. LynetteP
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    LynetteP Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    These are good ideas- I like the movie pitch idea especially- I actually have a client that I need to help pitch a tv show for anyway.

    I do have some pictures and even a prototype that I brought to the last meeting at the company, but that VP couldn't be there! So I will bring them again... maybe a few more samples would be good.

    Yes most of these would be royalty deals, but 1 or 2% seems too low. They do have competitors, and normal rate (if there is one) is said to be between 3 and 7, average 5%, for many things.

    The puzzling deals are the "let me start a new line of products and new division for you" and "let me disrupt the entire industry with this other project." LOL. I think I have to play those by ear, but I suppose a percentage would work. It would just be more like the 1-2% because of the volume. They

    And from what I understand, most license deals don't get an advance- unheard of, really. Would be nice if that's wrong!

    The "industry standard" thing always surprises me- I'm very used to hearing "but we've always done it this way!" But I guess it was shocking to me that value-based fees would be an innovative thing in the **business consulting** industry. Just seems so ironic!

    I'm going to ask my old colleague if he will be there, just to make sure. I can't imagine he wouldn't be, but he would be helpful.

    Thanks again for your perspective- very helpful!
     
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