I have a really interesting conversation lined up for you today. Alex Epstein is one of my favorite people to have conversations with. This guy is super, super bright, he's a philosopher, which I love about him, and he's the author of one of the books that I think may have the very best book title ever, 'The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels'. It's a reflection of the really interesting approach he takes looking at things.
We dive into that, but we spent most of our time looking at how we could apply the 8 Profit Activators to the business of being Alex Epstein. We came up with some really great evil schemes for him use including thinking about his own scorecards and super signatures.
I think you’ll really enjoy this take on things.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 042
Dean: Alex Epstein?
Alex: That's right. Perfect pronunciation.
Dean: The Alex Epstein?
Alex: ... one of them.
Dean: It's all very exciting. Well, I'm pretty excited to have some evil schemes with you. So the way this podcast works is we are live and going right now and we've got a whole hour to focus a hundred percent on hatching some evil schemes for you.
So, you're familiar with the eight profit activators; you're familiar with how all of that kind fits and I'd love to help you figure the best way to maximize what you're doing.
Alex: That is awesome!
Dean: Why don't we start with studying a context? Most of the time when I'm doing these podcasts, it's with people I don't know and I don't know the back story as well as I know yours, but maybe it would be good to lay it out so everyone can understand where we're coming from.
Alex: Sure. So the back story of Center for Industrial Progress, my business?
Dean: Uh huh.
Alex: Yes. Absolutely.
My background is a philosopher and the thing I like to do most is try to think clearly and logically about really big and important issues. During my career, I'd think about things like stem cell research, foreign policy, anything you can imagine. Then about 10 years ago, I became obsessed with the field of energy.
Energy is the industry that powers every other industry. If we think well about energy, it has amazingly positive consequences and if we think badly, it has amazingly negatively consequences. I concluded pretty early one that we were thinking very badly about energy for two basic reasons. One is that there was a strong bias, so when we tended to look at fossil fuels and nuclear, we tended to only look at negatives; and hen we looked at solar and wind, we tended to only looked at positives. So that's a biased kind of reasoning. The other thing, and even more fundamental, is that when we were evaluating sources of energy the standard by which we were evaluating them was more of than not, being green. Having as little impact on the planet as possible. In my philosophy, that's not how I evaluate things. I evaluate things by how much they advance human flourishing.
So, I concluded that if you really look at fossils and nuclear from the perspective of human flourishing, they are amazingly, amazingly good even though, like anything, there are downsides. So I really wanted to champion this message and I decided that the best means would be to have a company that offered a positive alternative based on human flourishing to being green. That became the Center for Industrial Progress, which is then expanding in the not too distant future to the Human Flourishing Project.
The issue we have become most known for is the fossil fuel issue. I have a booked called, "The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels". In the terms of business, it's a combination of reaching what I call ambitious citizens who really care about the right thing. We have books, obviously; we have some courses about how to have constructive conversations to persuade people. But our biggest audience and the most controversial audience is industry. I concluded very early on that if my message was to succeed, the people in the actual fossil fuel industry had to be on board and use their resources and people and ingenuity to champion the human flourishing message. So one way I think of it is, I want them to be proud, persuasive champions instead of guilty, unpersuasive apologizers. That's a lot of what we are doing. We are teaching them to be proud, persuasive champions, which means they can neutralize their attackers. They can turn non-supporters into supporters and they can turn supporters into champions.
That's basically what the business does at a high level.
Dean: That's so great and that is a really nice, concise explanation for it. The punch line for that is you have one of my favorite book titles ever, which is "The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels". That is just such a winner that says all the right things and builds some momentum in a lot of ways. When you look at talking about industry wanting to be proud champions, you are providing them an opportunity as a third party, somebody who is now saying things that they haven't thought of to say themselves. That's even more powerful that somebody else is saying it. I think there are a lot of wins in that.
Tell me about the business of this now. So, if you look at what you actually do for ... how does the Center for Industrial Progress make money? What's the business model for you?
Alex: There are a couple of ways of dividing it up, so I'll try one and tell me if you want another one.
You can divide it up by product. So in terms of product, I can say we have books, online training courses, speeches, workshops on how to communicate better, and consulting which includes a number of things.
From another perspective, if you think of it up by department of function. We help with overall communication strategy. We help with what is called external messaging, which is winning over public stakeholders; internal messaging, which is winning over, motivating, and empowering employees; and then executive communication, which is what the executives can say and do to influence things. That's four ways of thinking about it.
Another perspective, and perhaps the most fundamental, is ultimately what they are trying to do. So like the intersection between what they want and what we want to do is that they want their projects expedited. Because their life blood is getting projects approved and moving forward on time. They want improved policy outcomes. So they want to avoid things like fracking bans and restrictions on CO2 emissions. That's another very big issue. And then they want motivated employees.
I think those are the three real fundamental values that our proved communication provides.
Dean: Okay. And the, so the results that you're able to create for people so you can help with the messaging to garner, rather than opposition, support for their initiatives. Right? Their projects. Helping with stemming the policies and their employees. That's all the internal things that are making people feel good about ... That they are on the right team.
It's interesting because when we were talking on your podcast last week, one of the things you said that you said, and I hadn't thought about it like that, was the dilemma that employees of energy companies are often faced with, that the public opinion of what they're doing is not always looked on favorably.
Can you say a little bit about that?
Alex: Yeah. When I speak to employees about either how my book has affected them or what else they want, the thing that invariably comes up is that they want help talking to various peers ... Friends, family, ministers, whomever ... About what they do and I think that's a reflection of the fact that they live in a culture where, in my view, everyone gets at least 200 hours of indoctrination in the moral case against fossil fuels and nobody gets an education about the moral case for fossil fuels. So there's not even really a debate about the morality of fossil fuels, it's just different degrees of immorality and, if that's your career, that perception can affect you and make you guilty or at least make you not proud. So that's one level of it.
But what I've realized recently is another level is the reinforcement of amplification of that by peers. In particular, one sales guy once told me when he was observing our business, he said, "You know, a CEO can make a billion dollars ... If his kids come home from college and disapprove of him, no amount of money can overcome that." And I get a lot of stories about that and I tell people that I have lived in San Francisco, I have lived in a lot of places and there are ways of communicating with people where you can really win them over and they find that compelling.
Dean: I hadn't thought about that. Not only is your dad in the one percent but he's in the most unfavorable one percent of the one percent. That's got to be weighing on somebody. So, I see all the needs for that.
So, let's talk about logistically the business of what it is, the product that you're selling if we break it down into speaking engagements, consulting, consulting engagements, and products that you have. Do you have off-the-shelf kind of training programs or do you do, as a consulting engagement, a specific training for a corporation.
Alex: We have, I mean in a sense the book is a form of training, we have one course called, "How To Talk to Anybody About Energy." It sells for between $27 and $75 and it doesn't sell well enough. It's not like it's selling in the tens of thousands or something, where it is a significant revenue driver. A speech for a mid to high level speaker like I am is a $20,000 transaction. So that's very hard in our current business to make up with that kind of product. The closest we've come and one of my big goals is to head in the direction of scalable products, it just has to be a different kind of product, I think.
We've been paid by a couple of companies to develop custom product, but we get the rights to sell those to the market. There is one in particular where we had a big contract with a big company and once that project is done, we are going to make it available and, in part, because it is a course designed for a big company which has many of the specifics that big companies want, like multiple choice tests and all these things. That's a one day course that has instructions for a facilitator and that's our big attempt.
Right now there is not something off the shelf that is significant, but in two or three months there should be.
Dean: That's going to give you some leverage and some freedom there.
What level of capacity would you say you're at with your speaking engagements, if we take one skew of what you offer? Is that your highest ticket item? Is that your largest check, the speaking engagement, or do you do consulting engagements?
Alex: Consulting can be higher. So the minimum on a ... just the way I bill is basically that I use the speaking engagement as a baseline and I'll just do up to a day of work for that amount or for half that amount if I'm doing it from home. One thing we do and this is one of the consulting products, and I think one of the best, is called the Stakeholder Strategy Session where I ask 10 key strategic questions, which I call the 10 M's, about a business or about a communications issue so we can get to the bottom of it and then I write a report on it, giving them strategic advice. Then that feeds into, if they're interested in it, something I call Master Messaging, which is creating the fundamental set of messages that they need to use. Which is a combination of the broader moral case for fossil fuels in their particular markets and audiences.
So all of those are higher ticket than a speech, although they are not huge ticket items. And then a custom course development is also a higher ticket item than a speech. So you're talking about the $30,000-$50,000 range.
Dean: Okay. And what would you ... Like I talked about capacity ... What would be your available inventory for those? Is that something that there is a ... That you have lots of capacity for or are you pretty much doing as much of that as you can or want to?
Alex: Last year, I'd say was at capacity for speaking. This year, it's been more of an even ratio between speaking and consulting. Speaking, I really like. It involves travel, which people complain about but ... The thing about speaking is, it's just a way to reach a lot of high level people at once. It's fun to do and relatively it's much easier and less time intensive than doing custom consulting projects. So I enjoy those. But my bandwidth for those is lower than my ability to go to speaking engagements, speak for an hour ... Interface with people maybe for a couple of hours. You know I can do a lot of work on the same day and accomplish a lot. I think right now I would like to do more speaking than I am this year. So let's say whatever we're at now, I could do 20 more speeches a year than I'm doing now.
Dean: Okay. And so that's a nice opportunity there, right? So, that could be ... If we take it as potentially a $400,000 opportunity in 20 additional speeches, if you got to that level. Not even counting what those could turn into.
Let's reverse engineer, if we had an opportunity to book you for those 20 additional speeches right now, how much would you cheerfully pay right now to have them all booked on your calendar? When would you want them? Would you like two a month? Do you to book them all in a particular .... Do you like to go on tour and do 10 speeches in one month and then take a couple of months off? What's your ideal? How do you work around that.
Alex: Spaced out. I would cheerfully pay 20%, so $4,000 at least on a consistent basis. If they could get me a speech, I'm happy to pay $4,000 to get that speech.
Dean: Perfect. So there we go. We've got our kind of vending machine cover and the price set. So we're booking a speech and the price is $4,000 that you would cheerfully pay for a booked speaking engagement.
This is what I look at with the before unit being like a vending machine. The only purpose for your before unit is to book those speeches for less than that $4,000. That's your happy number there.
What's your best most predictable thing that you have right now that would book those 20 additional speeches? How does that work right now? Do you have anything proactively or predictably that you can do to manifest them?
Alex: We have an interesting business that's been exposed in part by our interaction with speakers bureaus because these are people that you actually do pay these kinds of amounts to. I've that we're unusual because something like 85 or 90 percent of our speaking engagements come from people coming to us, either just out of the blue or people that we have relationships with or, and this goes to the thing that I think we control most directly, we have handout forms at every speech and one of the options is, check if you're interested in a speech. That will often bear fruit on some timetable. Sometimes it'll be one, sometimes it'll be two, sometimes it'll be three. Depending on the conference. That's the thing that's most predictable right now.
There are other things that I can speculate on in terms of when I'm in the media more, it motivates people. The other thing is, I have a newsletter that there are a lot of high level people on. That keeps me in top of mind for people in ways that I can see direct evidence of.
I think those are the two things that I control versus ... Currently if you go to our website and sign up for our list, there is nothing that is going to sent you to a speech. Although that is something we are working on. By the end of next week, that should be changed. That's what I have in that department.
Dean: Okay, And then, the newsletter ... Is that an email newsletter that goes out ... How frequently?
Alex: Every week.
Dean: Every week. Okay, perfect. So that is a really great opportunity there. The idea is that, if we look at your before unit here and we're going to break that down to the first four profit activators, which are select a symbol target market, compel people to raise their hands, compel your prospects to raise their hand ... Profit activator three is to educate and motivate your prospects, and then profit activator four is to make an offer. So we've got to think about how are we moving people through that progression.
Now, how many people would you say are on your newsletter that have not yet booked a speech with you or not yet paid you any money to do either a course or a talk or consulting.
Alex: Well let's say there are 10,000 people on the list, 9,500 haven't paid anything. There's a mixture of people in industry in the public on the list.
Dean: And that's interesting, those are valuable distinctions to make. We haven't talked yet about your after unit, about all the people who have paid you money for consulting or speaking or courses or bulk book buys or whatever those things are. People who have paid you money, which would be in your after unit. We are just focused on the 9,500 that are moving through that progression there.
So let's look through this idea here and kind of work backwards. If we've got those 9,500 people that you're mailing to every week, how many of those would be industry. You said that some are the public or some are ....
Dean: Okay. And so, that's great. Can you distinguish between those?
Alex: You mean like levels?
Dean: How did they end up getting on this list here? Not so much by levels but whether it's by interest or entry point or how they raised their hand initially.
Alex: Usually by being at a speech of mine and filling out a card that said they want more information.
Dean: I gotcha. Okay. That's the number one way that people have joined into this. Okay.
Dean: Now when you send out this newsletter here, what's the focus of it and what's it look like packaging-wise and stuff?
Are you on-line right now? Can you maybe send me one while we're ...?
Alex: Sure. It'll take me a second but I'll do it as I talk.
Dean: Yeah, just forward me one.
It's interesting that we had a guy on the podcast a couple of months ago and we got to talking about the idea of sending offers and we ended up sending an email to his list while we were actually on the podcast. It was pretty fascinating. That's compelling podcasting right there.
Alex: Yeah. That's fast action there.
I just sent it to you.
The one I'm sending you is titled, "The Free Stakeholders Strategy Tool". I encourage everyone to try. This would fall into one of the two categories I think I newsletter usually covers. One is communication strategy for industry, so talking about those different buckets I mentioned. Like how to motivate employees and how to deal with external people.
And then the other one is in on way or another, showcasing or sharing my own advocacy. So if I in it, like I challenged Bill Nye to a debate recently.
Dean: I saw that.
Alex: Or people don't know that I'm going to be debating the CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation at one of the biggest tech conferences in six weeks from now. So like those kinds of things ... It's a combination of like here's what I'm doing, here's what you should do.
Dean: I love it.
Okay. So here I've got your ... So this is the way it went out to people?
Alex: This is exactly the way it went out to people.
Dean: The Free Stakeholders Strategy Tool that I encourage everyone to try. Okay. And it's got the ... To get the tool immediately ... So it's all a very text based, kind of conversational newsletter. Is this typical of exactly what they look like? Then my visit to Midland ... Last week I got the opportunity to speak-
Alex: This is very typical of what it looks like and at the end there's this Hearts & Minds, which are testimonials on how what we've done has changed peoples thinking.
And then ... Be more persuasive as part of this broader effort to take what he teaches in person and make it available to everyone online. Alex has created a free, super fast guide.
So is this all ... Where does it ... Is this written in your voice or is written about you? Cause I notice at the bottom ...
Alex: The things at the top are written as me and then we get to the Hearts & Minds that's written as someone from the company. The demarcation used to be clearer but I can see that it's now.
Dean: Right. No, I just wondered about that, be more persuasive as part of his broader effort to take what he teaches in person ... Make it available to everyone online. Alex has created a free, super fast guide to becoming twice as influential. You can get the guide here. Learn how to double your positive influence in two minutes or less.
Okay. That's written as you're the third person there as well.
So those kind of sections are there in every issue? A little bit of a main kind of thing, then here's what's going on, Hearts & Minds, and then this be more persuasive, is that ... Do you replace different things in there or is that always in?
Alex: There's something like that. I'm not sure if it's the same text every time. I suspect that it is.
Dean: Okay. So, I think that one thing that would make a difference for you here is to have, what I call super signature at the bottom of every one of these emails and what a super signature is a ... Essentially saying to people, "Whenever you're ready, here are three ways I can help you." Or four ways I can help you or however many there are. Whatever it is. What would be ... And thinking about them as triggers into the next step, right?
Right now you've got these 9,500 people. 3,500 of them who are potentially industry people who could hire you for a speech or invite you to do some consulting or have a high level strategy session with you. But they don't know that is available and so I'm not sure whether we had this conversation on your podcast, but we can have it on this one. But the way I look at it is being a good host.
Like if we look at it as saying you've invited these people into your living room here, which is your weekly newsletter and every week you're sending it out and you have a choice. You can either send it to people and just kind of leave it at that or say if you're hungry or thirsty there's lots of stuff in the fridge, go ahead and help yourself. Or if there's anything I can help you with, feel free to reach out. But pushing the expectation of initiative onto them. Where you're positioned as the responder, right? That you're expecting that people are going to reach out to you.
Whereas if I take it even from a hospitality standpoint, if I bring you into my living room and instead of saying, "If you want something, there's lots of stuff in the fridge." Which would be very difficult for you to take advantage of. If I said to you ... I went in the kitchen, I came out with a plate of freshly baked cookies and I'm standing right in front of you and I said, "Alex, would you like a cookie?"
It would be very difficult for you not to take the cookies because you don't want to make me feel bad. You don't want to reject me. Clearly, I've gone out of my way here, so we're expected and people are often reluctant to take the initiative because of that possible rejection. And so we are more reluctant to stand back and take a passive approach and say if there's anything I can help you with please feel free to reach out, right? But nobody likes to do that. Nobody likes to take the initiative because if's been discouraged out of us. Because we've been taught when we grow up that you don't want to impose on anybody, right? We don't want to take advantage of anybody or you don't want to be rejected, certainly.
So if I said or if I sat you in the living room and I said, "Hey, if there's anything you want, just let me know." You would never in a million years say, "You know, would you bake me some cookies?" Yet that's what we're expecting our prospects to do. We're expecting our prospects to take the initiative and request something so that we can jump into action. Because in the business standpoint we'd be more than happy to bake somebody some cookies. And so that's kind of the thing that when we start taking that sort of ... And whether and it doesn't matter whether it's b to b or b to c it's always human to human. Our brains are the same. It's psychologically wired into us that we don't want people to go out of their way.
So if we look at it and you've got an incredible asset here of 3,500 potentially more people who could right now hire you to come out and do a speech. Right? Would you guess that there are at least 20 or more opportunities that somebody within that 3,500 is going to hire somebody to come and speak at something over the next 12 months?
Alex: Yeah, absolutely. And I want to add one piece of context that I think may be helpful. One thing is of those 3,500 many are not in a position directly to pay for a speaking engagement although they could motivate it at their company. But if most of our speaking engagements occur in situations where there are pre-scheduled events with preauthorized budgets that are going to happen and somebody is going to get paid no matter what and I think it's a testament that because my content is very very good sometimes people create custom events and budget the money. But I always think of it as if I had perfect knowledge of all the speeches and budgets my life would be super super easy.
Alex: Because I could go to those people and get in touch with them and be like, "Hey are you looking for ethically" ... Get you this amazing result with this speech. Those opportunities are hidden in different ways. Although in some ways they're predictable, like everybody has board meetings and certain companies do high level speeches and it's really interesting.
Dean: Yeah, and you imagine that somebody, if you just look at the mechanics of how that happens. Somewhere there's a board meeting about the event this year and one of the things on the agenda is well we're going to need speakers. And somebody is going to be tasked with round up some speaker options for us. Get some quotes and whatever. That's how that's going to start. Like we're considering having this speaker. Do people, when they're booking you, is there a preliminary step to it where there's an inquiry of how much do you charge for speeches? And then they go and present that information and then they come back and say, "Okay."
Or are they saying, "Get me Alex Epstein."
Alex: It depends. In the latter situation, so if you take a high level company. Let's say a company with a market cap of ten billion or more and they come to us and say there's a board meeting. I don't even remember an example where they've said anything, but yes at the rate, to the rate because they're just ... They're used to paying these kinds of levels and often the other people at the events are higher level. Like Lou Holtz, the coach of Notre Dame. I think he coaches for Notre Dame. He's in that various events. I'm sure he's 50 or more.
So there's situations where it's obvious and then there's certain situations where it's more borderline. Like there's one that's been in negotiations for six months and a guy is trying to convince his board and it's high on their budget, but possibly worthwhile. And then I'd say four out of five that come to us because we get a lot of queries, just have no idea what the market is. So they'll send me things saying, "Oh. We can pay for your expenses." And to them that's generous and I understand that.
Dean: Come on. We're going to end and you get a nice dinner.
Dean: We'll give you a nice dinner.
Alex: And you get to hang out with us.
Dean: We're happy to pay for your room and your flight.
Dean: Oh that's so funny.
Alex: That's common but it actually led me to realize that both as a motivator and to help people like I just created something and it's almost done. Which is basically like a lunch and learn in a box for people who don't have the budget and want to try out. And it's actually, you can do four of them and it's actually one of my debates. It's like four individual debates. And then there are questions for the audience and a couple of things which if they do this will be almost an unforgettable experience, which they can have for free. So, I just tell anyone, "Try this out."
Because I know anyone who tries it and has a budget is going to want me in there.
Dean: Right. And so, there's an example. Okay, so if we look at if imagine that everyone of your emails ended with whenever you're ready here are ... Let's say at least three ways. Let's brainstorm three ways that you could help somebody right now. Right? So, if you look at it that what would be a trigger that would get somebody to raise their hand? So, if you're saying ... If they don't even know or think that they are about bringing you out to speak. If we were overt about it and said, "Have me come and speak at your event."
That would be one way, right? You're saying, "Would you like me to come speak at your event?" Somebody might say, "Oh! That might be interesting. That would be great."
So let's just word smith it, but if we get that out having an overt ask. Or an overt offer in every weekly email that goes out, then that could be a ... That would certainly be a good thing. And if you can use intelligent links so that when somebody clicks on that link about having you come and speak that they're flagged as somebody who was interested in finding out what that would entail. They clicked on a link for it.
All we're trying to do is we're moving the people from this profit activator three into your during unit and the gateway to that is profit activator four which is the offers. How are we going to engage with people who could potentially be interested in the different services that you offer? Right?
So, it could be as simple as ... I always laugh because there's an old saying about sometimes the best way to sell a horse is to have a sign that says, "Horse for sale." And-
Dean: Right? It's the simplest thing. It's that if you're saying if the simplest thing of that is invite me to speak at your event or hire me to speak at your event, that is the equivalent of "horse for sale", right? And if that on there, if we think about the number of impressions. If you're sending out ten thousand a week of those, that it's ... There's half a million impressions of that out there. And now if somebody ... If it's just there, that could be a great impact.
Alex: Yeah and just when you said, it's just so direct to what they might be thinking about. And if they're thinking about that, it matches. Exactly even versus saying speaking. Like the word speaking with a link.
Alex: So, it's a little less direct. Because it raises the question, assuming it's worded effectively, oh is there an upcoming event? And it might be more specific like board meeting or town hall or the different subcategories. "Oh! We do have a town hall."
Dean: And those are the things where, now if you think about what would be another and I think that you're right about the words that you choose like, "Invite me to speak at your event" is different than "Hire me to speak at your event."
Right? Because invite me would maybe get you more of those inquiries from people who are saying, "Oh yeah, we'd be happy to pay for your flight and hotel" or "I'll pay your expenses" or whatever. Where hire me to speak is qualifying to people who are expecting to pay you money to come and speak. So, could be a little different thing. How you word smith it that way.
So, that I think is one, but what else if you could kind of imagine what other things would be going on that you could. That other people might be thinking about entering into a relationship with you for? Tell me about the consulting stuff. What would be a good lead in to consulting?
Alex: The types of consulting we've done historically would fall in the buckets of stakeholder strategy, master messaging, and then employee empowerment. Those would be and employee empowerment would be a custom training course. So, it would be ... And I can really quickly just run off what each of them would be.
The stakeholder strategy would be ... I don't know the words, basically I can help create a strategy, well a stakeholder strategy that neutralizers attackers. Turns non-supporters to supporters. Turns supporters to champions. I don't know exactly how to position that.
And then there's master messaging which would be essentially the same kind of pitch, but improve your messaging. What the stakeholder strategy is doing is right now they have hope based stakeholder strategies versus results oriented ones and so they don't have metrics and they're not using things that are actually proven to work. And so they just end up wasting literally millions of dollars on no real purpose. And not knowing the means and so with our strategies ... 99% of existing strategies would not exist if they were run through our framework because they would be disqualified.
Dean: Wow. That's interesting. Is that something that you would, that you could have a scorecard for? Or some way somebody could do a self assessment on this?
Dean: To identify the need of?
Alex: Yeah. Definitely. Because even in the email I sent you there's a link which right now is a Word document which gives the framework that we use. That is the core-
Dean: Is that to get the tool immediately? Is that the one-
Alex: Yeah. So, that has the ten questions. But, you could have a scorecard which really exposed to people, for instance one of them could be metrics. So you could take these ten and maybe filter down to eight. And one would be metrics and the one to three category would be, "We have no metrics at all" basically. And the other one, "We have precise metrics that we hold ourselves and our contractors accountable for."
Dean: Yeah. That. So I look at that as a really great conversation starter. I've switched our profit activator score.com website is one of the primary ways we engage in conversation with people. Like we've got my scorecard all set up online so that people can go through and fill it out. Actually, when I saw your scorecard it gives me a real insight into what your mindset is. Where you see your opportunities.
Alex: Yeah. And when I fill it out it just feels like, "Oh wow. I need a lot of help/there is a lot of opportunity to improve." You know, marking down that five or even the three. That's a real moment and I can see how that ... I've seen it with other scorecards. But, that one in particular because it's my business it's just so motivating to get this objective assessment of where I am and then I think, "Oh I need a lot of help." Or "Oh I would love some help with this." Versus if I'm just given somebody's tool I don't really have the objectivity that I really need this tool.
Dean: And that's the ... See, because it is interesting that the thing that we're talking about right now is the biggest opportunity for you. And you even self-assessed that. Even in the conversation it's amplifying. I'm seeing why we say that. Like on our scorecard your ... That was the lowest one along with the orchestrating referrals. That the educate and motive you even self assess is the thing that created the ... That created the biggest opportunity for you. So, I think that tool. When you look at it, that could be an incredible catalyst for you.
Alex: Oh, yeah.
Dean: Because you get to start a conversation with somebody and what was the name of the follow up one that you offer? You said you have the book and then you have-
Alex: How to Talk to Anyone About Energy.
Dean: How to Talk to Anyone About Energy as a follow-up thing that when you look at what your, what that tool creates. Those ten things that we got it down to. That we combined it to get to eight and created that sort of mindset there. It really could be a really valuable thing to point out where the opportunity is. Where your next step could be.
Alex: I think a lot of score cards and Dan Sullivan is obviously a big enthusiast. He even requires some people at certain levels to do them and I made one in the past, which I want to redo. It was basically an industry champion scorecard. It was for high level people. And the idea was are you a proud persuasive champion? But it had the mindset. It was really a ... Some of the scorecards are really more performance and some of them were mindset.
This was really a mindset and it amounted to if you filled this out in either the four or six range, which is aspiring to do the right thing, but not succeeding. Or the nine to 12, which is you're really being transformational. If somebody is in those ranges I know I have identified them as a good customer and they have identified them as a good customer. And they feel so understood because I've targeted exactly what they want.
Dean: I agree. Yeah and that I think that if you're presenting every time you send out an email an opportunity to click on a link that says, "Hire me to speak at your event." And expand on it with ... If it's types of events that there are that they can click that link to get more information about that and take your whatever you call it scorecard. And that is ... I look at that like I look at my profit activator scorecard. I look at it as, find out how the profit activators are either slowing or growing your business right now. And it's that promise of an awareness. So, that might be a ... Well, I can assure you when you send that out that you will get people to respond.
I send out, I'm doing about three emails a week now to our list, or maybe more. But every time, at least the three times we send out, the emails all have the super signature of, "Whenever you're ready here are the four ways I can help you." And I have the profit activator scorecard. I have the way for people to be a guest on "More Cheese, Less Whiskers." I've got an email mastery that I can help people with their email strategies. Or work with me one on one and that ...
So by presenting those things to people. They always have an option. They always have a way to start a conversation and every single week. Every time an email goes out people respond for every one of those things.
Alex: Do you do the super signature on your regular emails?
Dean: Not on my personal email to you. On every email that I send to a group of people. Every broadcast.
Alex: But what about ... So, sometimes let's say I'm emailing a CEO that I know.
Alex: Would I use it there?
Dean: You could. Absolutely. Yeah, you could because it would be like a modified corporate signature. They're used to that. Everybody has a signature kind of thing. So you could definitely do that.
Alex: Got it.
Dean: In every email like that, for sure. What would be another. I'd like to get three. So, "Hire me to speak at your events". Fill out your scorecard and what would be another thing that you could invite people to do, which would be another cookie sort of thing?
Alex: Well, something that isn't either of those two categories, but is the most desired thing is how to have constructive conversations or how to persuade people one on one. That bucket. That's where people light up and they don't even believe that it's possible to have conversations the way that I do it. Because I have it to a formula now that I think works in every field and I don't think exists anywhere else in the world. There's just a way of setting up a conversation and the five steps to it. And it's really the common denominator, what happens in every really good conversation. And there's specific sentences to use. Pretty crazy how well it works.
Dean: Wow. So that might be a ... Do you ever do group calls or webinars or teleconferences or online events or anything like that?
Alex: I haven't. At least not much. I do this kind of thing, the How to Talk to Anyone About Energy content. I'll do that in a workshop. I'm doing one of those next week. I'm going to a company and they're senior communications people are having all sorts of difficulty talking to stakeholders and they want help with how to do that.
Dean: Do you have any anything. Yeah I was just going to say, Do you have anything that once a month you could do something like that? If it was a ... You could invite somebody to come on this webinar and just call. That would be a great way to sort of, have an educational event that gathers people that are interested in that specific thing.
Alex: You know, like the same issue?
Dean: It could be, perhaps. If that's the one. If you're saying How to Talk to Anyone About Energy. If that's a winning title, that might be a great sort of, renewable thing that you could each month maybe have a workshop like that. Like an online webinar.
Alex: Yeah. It might take questions.
Dean: Yeah. Exactly. Like a Q and A. Like to be able to have that kind of potential one on one interaction with you. So, a perfect example tomorrow I'm doing a free call workshop on creating book titles. Going to brainstorm all the best ideas for how to title your book for our 90 minute book list. So, we'll invite people to come on this online workshop on how to create winning book titles that make people say, "I want that."
And we'll have a couple of hundred people come up, call like that, and at the end it's whenever you're ready if you've got your book title we've got a whole team of people standing by ready to help you create that book and get it out into the world.
Like I know the catalyst to wanting to write a book is when they already can see the title and the vision of what that book will be. So, I think that if you think through what would be the catalyst to you potentially doing some business with some of these people is to give something that's going to start a process. Start a conversation. So that you know when people click on this link that you're tagging them, that you know that they clicked on that link and you can engage in a dialogue with them, right? You're gaining insight in them. That whatever you send that out, that this person clicked on the "Hire me to speak at your event." Link and that's a very segmented list and now you've got the opportunity to engage in a one on one dialogue with those people. To send a nine word email or to send a short email that's engaging in a dialogue with them.
Alex: Yeah. Makes sense.
Dean: So, I would look at those three catalysts as a ... That little square footage on the bottom of every single email that you send will be a amazing profit setter for you.
Alex: Yeah. If that's the case, that's a really simple way of doing it.
Dean: Well, it is very simple. Right now, there's no ... When you look at it, it's like putting out the plate of cookies and putting out the punch and putting out the fruit cake. Laying it out on the table for people that somebody is going to come up and take it. If you imagine that your weekly email is your gathering of all of these people. They'll walk through and if you're not offering them. If you've got the cookies and you've got the punch and you've got the fruit cake, but you're keeping it in the closet and happy to give it to anybody who asks for it odds of them having that thought of initiating that conversation and saying, "Hey, you got any fruit cake?"
That's not going to come up, but if you put it out and make it available for people and they see it. Then they're much more likely to take it. And they'll be appreciative that you anticipated that they might be hungry or thirsty.
Dean: So, I'd love to word smith those with you. I'll let you think that through, but essentially it would be the ... Whenever you're ready, here's three ways I can help you. And maybe start with the scorecard and then you offer, "Join us for How to Talk to Anyone About Energy workshop Thursday March 29th," or whatever. And then, "Hire me to speak at your next function." Whatever it is.
And the scorecard could be the way to ... That's kind of let's people get a snapshot of you of where their opportunity is. Because they're going to have the insight. If you do that scorecard right, it's enlightening just filling it out. Because in a lot of ways they don't ... If they're in column two, one or two, they don't maybe know that column four exists. They don't know what transforming even looks like.
Alex: Yeah, I can see multiple scorecards and they'd be fun to write. Like employee would be one because they are interesting because often people don't even have the concept that employees could be truly and outwardly proud. They're sharing it with their friends and family and they feel confident in conversation. People will say occasionally, people will get defensive and say, "Oh yeah, my employees are proud."
But it's like, well whenever anybody says anything negative they become really meek. But they don't really have a ... They're so immersed in the negative status quo that they just don't know the possibility of what could be.
Dean: Yeah. I agree. And so imagine if they self-assess and say, we're really ... When you see their scorecard you see that they're struggling or they're failing at this particular mindset and, but they're aspiring to really move the needle on that one. I think that's the brilliance of the self-assessing scorecard. That the real thing is setting their aspiration. They're a four and they want to be a 12. They've indicated a need. A basis for a conversation. It's the gaps. Their aspiration that sparks the conversation.
Alex: Yeah, that's a big missing piece where I can see ... Because I've been thinking lately about giving people different tiers of solutions. Different categories like external, internal, executive, and strategy which I think will be really useful. But, this is dramatically expanding their knowledge about where they are and what's possible, which will then make them much more motivated to use the entry level tool and also to want more.
Dean: Yes. It's amazing how that can happen. And I would say, the thing about your working backwards from the asset that you have, which is the ten thousand people that you've already built the list for. That's an asset right now. And rather than, we didn't really focus any amount of time on how to find new people. We've already got it queued up. Those 20 speeches that you're looking for are in that group right now. They're there. It's just we need to bring it out.
Alex: Well, there's also, you've alluded to this. There's also the after of people who have hired me in the past. They don't, one thing I realized when we were talking is, they don't know the range of things that I offer. So, I think often they think of it as, oh we had Alex speak like that's it. But, they don't know, maybe, that I have a new speech on messaging in 2017. The five things every company needs. The five trends every company needs to know about. They don't know about. So there's a whole interesting thing, there. So, in both cases seems like they simply don't know that I have this plate of cookies.
Dean: Exactly. And when you're doing it and presenting it as information neutrally, charge neutrally, not trying to convince them to do anything, it's so much more powerful that way. It's like when you've got the solution for somebody and you know that they will benefit from this, your moral responsibility is really to let them know that you've got that. It's not up to you to shrink back from it. Or to try to convince them that they should do anything. Part of that educating and motivating is that they are learning over time about you. That they're bonding with you and that whenever they're ready. That's why the power of those words, "Whenever you're ready, here's what to do next."
Alex: Are those the neutral ... I'm trying to think. Are those, like whenever you're ready, is that?
Dean: Yeah. I think those ... That's a neutralizer, right? I'm not. If you're looking at somebody and it's really about taking a one to one approach to this. It's a very conversational approach, as if you're speaking only to one person. And so, when you have that context a lot of people don't even know what is available to them. And that you can help them.
They've had an experience with you. They've been reading your newsletters every week. They've read your book, they've loved that, but it hasn't dawned on them that you might take a personal interest in helping them with their needs until you present that to them. And when I say charged neutral, I mean not coming at them from trying to convince you to do anything. I'm inviting. I'm just asking, letting you know what's available and it's completely okay if you're not ready yet. Or you don't do it. It's not going to hurt my feelings.
Alex: I've that what you're-
Dean: The approach, you
Dean: You're taking a leadership role in that way too, right? That's why I say taking a leadership role in all next steps. That's what transforming is, right? So, let's take our relationship as an example. We know each other. We've been introduced through Dan Sullivan and Joe Polish. We've had dinner together. We've had a conversation. You've taken part in my breakthrough blueprint online program. I've done your podcast. I've got a great understanding of where your opportunities are. I've got your scorecard here. So, looking at those it's like if I'm saying to you, like I said to you on your podcast, "Alex why do you you come on my 'More Cheese, Less Whiskers' podcast and we can hatch some evil schemes for you."
That's an invitation. That became a reality a week later. Here we are on the thing. Now if I'm taking that same approach here, for me to say to you, "Listen I know you've got all this opportunity, but you may not know the ways that I can help you maximize that." Right? So, if I were to say to you, "Listen. Look at this. I have similar to the breakthrough blueprint on the online program. I have a email mastery program, which is specifically with the things that we were talking about today, right? How to maximize the results from the email list that you've already got. How to use email to engage with those people and I'm doing an email mastery case study program right now."
Before I release email mastery as a full program, I'm working with a handful of people to work with you kind of one on one to create some case studies that we can include as examples of how to use principles that I talk about in the book. And I'm starting on Thursday the next case study group. That's something that might be interesting to you. Or if you wanted to spend three days going deep on all of the profit activators. Really laying out a blueprint for your business, we'd get an opportunity to spend a lot of one on one time because it's in a small group of ten to 12 people. That is something that I do through my breakthrough blueprint online and I've got one coming up next week here in Orlando on the 27th, 28th, 29th.
Laying that out to you as a next step would be ... It's just presenting you with that information. If you didn't know it, now you know that there's at least two ways that could be some help. Or if you wanted to work one on one on implementing or strategizing like this over a period of say 90 days, we could work together over the phone. On a consulting basis where you can buy either a half day or a full day consulting card and we can split it up one hour at a time over the next couple months or do it all at once. However you want it. And just presenting those things to you as an option.
Alex: Yeah. It's effective and it's interesting with the breakthrough ... So, the email things, I'll just tell you how I reacted when I heard them. With the email thing I think, oh next Thursday. I want to know if that ... We just talked about email, so, "Oh that. I could do that. That would be cool. That would be useful."
And then breakthrough blueprint I think, yeah I want to do that at some point, but for the next x number of weeks, there's I have x number of projects and I don't want to-
Dean: You're right. Exactly.
Alex: And then I think, but once I get that done it'll be good. And it'll be good if I'm reminded periodically because it won't be top of mind unless I write it down.
Dean: That's exactly right.
Alex: Yeah, so I'm like one of the 85% who aren't initially ready to buy, at a certain point I'd be having this conversation, I guess, "Okay. It'd be stupid not to go to this thing." Whatever it is five thousand dollars, whatever it is, oh we can. Now it's the right time, but I have this ever reinforced awareness, continually reinforced awareness over time and at any given time, okay I might want one of the cookies. Or I might now, but I know that they're always available to me.
And I like the tone. I think one of the breakthroughs for me, this call, is this ... I think people often don't make explicit their offers. They don't make because they don't want to be pushy.
Alex: Because their-
Dean: Or pushy.
Alex: Or rejected. Yeah, so the way that they do it, the way they try to do it is by burying their offers versus just having them in a very open, comfortable way of whenever you're ready, here are three things I could help you with. That I'm helping people with.
Alex: But just making it very clear, hire me for a speech, not like oh I do speaking sometimes. Because really this service is ... I really believe I've screwed over every company that I haven't convinced to have me speak.
Alex: Because I know what it can do for people
Dean: That's why I said it becomes a moral issue. It becomes a moral issue.
Alex: No, and I do feel bad about it.
Dean: Absolutely. I feel exactly the same way. I feel bad that you're losing $400,000 by not getting those 20 extra speeches, you know?
Alex: Yeah and then especially if I've had time to interact with someone and I haven't made that clear to them. Or all these strategies that aren't accomplishing anything and people are investing their time and effort and they don't know what exists. They don't know how to think about it and I understand why they don't know. But if I know and I'm in a business then I need to give them a chance to be. Like a chance to learn about it and do it.
Dean: That's it. And it's I'm going to be here. That's the tone that you're setting, right? Whenever you're ready. I get it that you're busy. I get it that you've got all kinds of things on your plate right now. And I'm here as that lighthouse, that I'm here. That I'm constantly going to be on that horizon for you and it might strobe around and the light is going to ... Oh! There it is.
Alex: Yeah. Makes a lot of sense.
Dean: So, what's your takeaway that you think will ... That has landed for you on some of the actions that you will take here.
Alex: Two straightforward things and I'll listen to the call later and take notes, but the two things are one the straightforward offers at the end of the email. So, getting that word smithed and implemented by next week's newsletter and then, maybe this week. And then for the different problems that I help people solve, creating scorecards for those. So that the problem is very clear. Very visceral and that once anyone, basically if anyone fills one of those out and I have real evidence and logic that I know how to solve it, then the only logical question is do you want this problem solved or not?
Dean: Well, that's exactly it. And that's the point of when you're creating that scorecard. That you're creating it from ... With the end in mind. That you're doing it strategically that it's going to reveal the opportunities. And it's going to be a catalyst to a conversation which can lead to the next step. That's really, that's the thing. A lot of people put together scorecards just out of interest of having a scorecard, but don't really think strategically about it as a tool to start a conversation.
Alex: So, is that just a matter of ... Partially a matter of on your nine to 12 specifying the types of actions that people take and the success that they have or that the person is not taking-
Dean: Well, it's going to be ... So, I look at what I have. The great thing that worked for the profit activator scorecard are there are eight profit activators and so, I look at them and can see where people are frustrated or failing with those. What are those mindsets? And what it would look like.
I can show them on the aspirational end, transformational end, what it would look like to be completely transforming in those. And all of those things are things that I can help somebody get to a 12 on. If they don't have an ideal who their target audience is I can help somebody get to a 12 on that. If they don't know how to generate leads. How to get those people to raise their hand. I can help people get to a 12 on that. And it just helps me see where they lie.
Now, I look for specific things where profit activator five, for instance, is the ability to get the result. The dream come true result. And my ideal is somebody who is strong on getting the result, that they're an eight, nine, ten or more on delivering the result, which means if you just bring me people I can actually get the result. But they're not marketers. They just struggle with getting in front of the right people and presenting their offer in a way that gets people to say, "Yes."
Alex: Yeah. No I know.
Dean: So, I think you build what you're looking for. It's almost like your ability to assess people as well.
Alex: Yeah, that makes total sense.
Dean: Cool. Well I really enjoyed it. I think you've got a lot of really great opportunity here.
Alex: Yeah, so I'll hatch the two. Well, I guess they're hatched, but I'll nurture the two schemes-
Dean: And that's it.
Alex: -in the next couple weeks and generate some scorecards and generate those three things and we'll track it.
Alex: And we will see.
Dean: Awesome. Cool. Well, thank you for being the part. I will get you the audio and we're stacked up here on when it'll go live, but I'll get you the audio ahead of time.
Alex: All right. And I want to know about that email thing if it's real.
Dean: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. It starts on Thursday. I'll send you the ... I'll send you the invitation.
Alex: Sounds great.
Dean: Okay, man. Have a great day.
Alex: All right. You too.
Dean: Thanks. Bye.
Dean: And there we have it. Now, there's ... I have a little confession to make here. I'm recording this altro a couple of days after I had this conversation after I had the conversation with Alex. Normally I record them right when I get off the phone with people, so it's fresh on my mind. But, this time I had to jump right into something else after we got off the recording and so it's been a few days.
But, I have some interesting news to report about that because this idea that the super signature that we came up with for Alex has been fruitful for him. I was talking with somebody on his team yesterday on our email mastery call and he shared that they had sent out their first version of the super signature and had inquiries from people about both hiring him to speak and doing workshops. So, it just goes to show you that thinking ahead, anticipating what your clients are going to want and need to take the next step and then just offering it to them. Rather than expecting them to take the initiative and ask you to do it.
So, now imagine sending out, he sends out that weekly email. Imagine the impact of every week for 50 weeks sending out the regular educational and motivational email that he's sending and in addition adding that super signature. Presenting whenever you're ready, here are the three ways I can help you. Imagine the impact of that over 50 times. I can tell you from my own experience you notice that every time I send you an email it contains a super signature of whenever you're ready here are four ways I can help you hatch some evil schemes for your business. So, that's always a good idea.
So we had a great conversation about that in email mastery. That's one of the things that if you have a list of people that you are communicating with. If you've got say a thousand or more people that you've generated as leads in your before unit, that you're communicating with. That is a big opportunity for you. And so I'd love to work with you on that if you'd like to, be part of our email mastery case study program.
And what that means is I've got a whole training program around email mastery, which is really about communicating with your prospects. Whether you've got prospects that are pooled that you've generated leads for a long time and you've got a regular list of prospects that you're communicating with. Whether your generating new leads and talking about how to engage in new leads right away, so that you can move forward on advancing the relationship and how to generate new email subscribers.
We cover all of it in the email mastery program and then we get a chance to work together to word smith some emails. If that’s something that you would like to be part of, first of all you can download the email mastery book at emailmastery.com or you can send an email to email@example.com and just put email mastery in the subject line and we'll get you all the details about the case study program. We'd love to have you be part of that.
That's it for this week. Have a great week and I will talk to you next time.