He published a cult classic business book, “$100M Offers.” He built multiple deca-million revenue businesses. Now, along with building his $100 million holding company, he shares sales and business lessons for free because he wants to help more people not be broke.
Here are 5 of the best sales and business lessons I’ve learned from Alex.
1. Give, give, give, ask
If you have an audience, their level of trust in you goes up the longer you wait to ask for a sale; then, it dwindles when you do.
Of course you have to sell to your audience at some point, but the more strategic you are about the process, the more money you can make in the long term.
Alex says that if you want to get rich, you should be long-term greedy instead of short-term greedy.
Here’s what both look like.
Short-term greedy: You build an audience and sell them as many low-quality products as possible as fast as possible. You’ll make some sales, sure. But you’ll also turn off a huge portion of your audience in the process. You keep making quick offers to make quick money, and your audience gets burned out.
Long-term greedy: You build an audience and focus on providing value. You provide free content that is better than your competition’s paid product. You entertain, inspire, and educate your audience. By the time you have a product for sale, they think, “If I got so much value from the free content, I can only imagine what the paid product can deliver.” Then, you can sell a high-quality product at premium prices and make a ton of cash in one fell swoop.
Alex uses Gary Vaynerchuk as an example. Gary is a popular social media expert and agency owner who also creates content for people to show them how to run businesses and create content.
Gary’s primary source of income isn’t his B2C audience, so he mostly gives away content.
You can squeeze your audience for tiny amounts of cash and burn them out. Or you can wait and make a huge ask that will make you rich forever.
2. The offer is king
Alex’s book, “$100M Offers” is all about creating offers people can’t refuse.
The “offer” is everything they will get in exchange for giving you money.
If you want to create a killer offer, you have to understand the different components of providing value:
Dream outcome: What’s the life-changing outcome your customer is trying to achieve in their life or business? Six-pack abs, an extra million a year in revenue, traffic to their website, or a healthy and happy relationship are all examples.
Perceived likelihood of achievement: In the customer’s eyes, based both on their perception of themselves and whether or not you can help them, how likely do they think the dream outcome is?
Time delay: How long will it take to achieve the dream outcome?
Effort and sacrifice: People default to wanting to achieve the outcome in the easiest and fastest way possible.
The “value equation” goes like this:
Dream outcome x perceived likelihood of achievement/time delay x effort and sacrifice = value.
The most valuable products get you the dream outcome, guaranteed, as fast as possible with little to no effort.
Let’s say the dream outcome for your potential customer is losing weight and getting a six-pack.
Your prospect could buy a book, do all the workouts, diet, and train for months or years. The time delay is long, the perceived likelihood of achievement is low, and it takes a ton of effort and sacrifice (which is why someone might only pay $10 for a book on fitness).
Or, a person could hire a personal trainer who will tell them exactly what workouts to do, create a customized meal plan, and check in constantly to make sure they’re on track. People pay more for customized training because the likelihood goes up and the time delay and sacrifice go down.
Last, another option would be liposuction. The effort is zero, the time delay is non-existent, and the likelihood of achievement is 100%—which is why it costs upwards of $20,000.
So the question becomes—when looking at the available options—how can you make your offer more valuable and stack the deck in your favor so you can charge higher prices?
Creating your grand slam offer
Make a list of every single problem your potential customer has.
Next, create a list of solutions to those problems, and don’t limit yourself to whether or not you can do them. Just brainstorm everything you can think of.
For example, if you are helping people lose weight and they hate shopping for healthy food, you could go to the store and shop for them.
You probably wouldn’t do this, but the point of the exercise is to think about every way you can solve their problems.
Then, after that, you look for the most valuable things you can do with the least amount of effort.
Take the best ones and add them to your offer. Some examples are below.
Done for you services: Alex ran a gym turnaround business where he would fly to your gym, create all the advertisements, personally sell the people who walked in the door, and sell your gym to full capacity. He’d only keep the initial month of sales and you’d keep all the rest. He would only get paid if you did. Pretty hard to say no to, right?
Done with you services: Can you provide a way to do the work with the customer to help them achieve the goal? Instead of just selling someone a program on how to do something, you can give them coaching time, walk them through the process step by step, and personally deliver some parts of the process.
Resources: Can you create a resource that can make it easier to achieve the dream outcome? I coach writers to write and get paid. I provide blog post templates, checklists, and links to the best publications to submit their work, which saves them time and energy.
Structuring the offer is so important that he wrote an entire book I couldn’t fully cover here, but the takeaway is clear.
What you sell, how you deliver what you sell, and the way the offer is structured matter more than the process of selling it. Get the offer right, and sales will be ten times easier.
We’ve covered some foundational principles. Now, let’s get into some sales tactics.
People usually don’t say yes right away. You have to work with them to see the value in your product, help them believe it’s possible to achieve the outcome, and show them that you’re the right person to help them.
The two most common objections in sales are money and time.
I’ve personally used these objection-handling responses and have seen them work.
Objection: I need time to think.
Reply: It doesn’t take time to make a decision; it takes information. I’m your source of information and you have me here right now. What are your concerns? Let’s talk about it so I can help you decide either way.
Why this works: Both parties understand that the real issue is the doubt, indecision, and fear that goes into buying. So, this brings the conversation back to whatever the real issue is so we can work it out.
Objection: I’m busy or don’t have time to commit to this.
Reply: Do you think you’ll be any less busy anytime soon? If not, you can’t achieve the outcome unless everything in your life lines up perfectly, which probably won’t happen. We make time for what’s important. If you can find a way to fit this into your life right now, imagine what your results will be like if time does free up. Let’s work together to find the time.
Why this works: It’s common sense and logical. If the person really wants the outcome, they’ll come to the understanding that they have to make it a priority. If they believe you can help them do that, they’ll buy.
Objection: I can’t afford it.
Reply: Totally get it. If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. But if the investment would just make things tight for you, here’s what I’d say. Often, not having money is the best reason to buy. If the investment stings a little, you’ll be more motivated to do the work, so you won’t have to be in a position like this forever.
Why this works: First, it only works if people do have the money. Sometimes they just don’t. But the underlying issue is always doubt, fear, and uncertainty. If you can flip the conversation in their mind and turn that financial sting into motivation, you can close the deal.
These are a few ways you can help people make decisions, which leads to the next point…
4. Be a coach, not a salesperson
If you want to get good at sales, you have to genuinely be there to help people make a decision (instead of just trying to get them to buy).
Alex says that the sales process is coaching.
You’re coaching them to make the right decision, and sometimes the right decision isn’t to buy.
Sometimes you will run into people who aren’t good candidates for what you do.
Sometimes people are too broke to work with you, which is why Alex says, “Solve rich people’s problems, they’ll pay more.”
If you accept anyone who walks in the door with a credit card, you might be running the wrong business.
I listened to a podcast once where he talked about the difference between scammy “make-money-online” gurus and universities.
Make money online gurus:
Will take anyone’s money
Don’t filter out bad prospects who will fail using their products
Make promises of riches
Ivy league university:
Rejects most applicants
Makes zero-income promises
Focuses on creating a stellar reputation where the results of the students speak for themselves
In the e-learning space, Alex promotes not taking money from just anyone or making promises to the moon.
Instead, he suggests working with the most qualified people who can actually succeed, charge a premium, and post their results instead of promising anything.
Most people won’t take this route because it’s harder. It takes more time. It means turning down opportunities for easy money.
You can use this attitude to sell anything.
Don’t take the easy way out and try to sell everything to everyone. When you’re trying to sell someone something, ask the right questions with the sole purpose of finding out if they’re a good fit.
If they are, you can push hard for the sale because you know it’s your duty to help them because you can help them. If not, you can part ways.
Alex talks a lot about doing what others won’t: being patient, taking the time to build amazing products, and—most importantly—actually giving a damn about the people you’re trying to help.
That’s the true secret to sales success.
5. Put up more shots
Alex put out fliers to get people to come to his gym. After putting up 500 of them, he was perplexed to find that nobody showed up. He went to a friend who had told him to post the fliers in the first place.
“This flier thing doesn’t work,” Alex said.
“How many fliers did you put up?” said the friend.
“Dude, we put up 5,000 fliers just for a test run before we send the real amount.”
When it comes to sales, most people don’t do nearly enough to be profitable. Most business owners should take the amount of time they spend on their sales efforts and 10 or 100x it.
Alex has also talked about this foolproof strategy for getting clients if you’re a freelancer or run an online service business. It’s simple. Send 100 DMs or emails per day.
If you do that long enough, you will have clients. Most freelancers won’t send 100 DMs in their entire careers, which is why they’re broke.
Alex says he learned the nuances of sales by personally doing 4,000 sales calls.
Most people who try to succeed in business don’t do enough reps. Not even close.