There’s Nothing Like An Invasion To Stir Up The Local Populace

By Ernest O’Dell – Guerrilla Internet Marketing
and Questar TeleCommunications

During the first Persian Gulf War, General Norman Schwarzkoff was quoted as saying, “Never fight a war you can’t win.” Those words could also be applied, in a business sense, to what you do every day in your career. Whether you are in sales and marketing, real estate, insurance, or retail sales, you have probably encountered the difficult task of penetrating your competitor’s “territory.”

In a sense, business—and sales—is like a war except nobody gets killed. But in business, you have the sense that you’ve read Tzun Tsu, and you wage a different struggle of sorts, most notably against your competitors. Like Schwarzkoff, I don’t advocate choosing a “war” you can’t win with as little effort (time, money and casualties) as possible. However, I do recommend adding up the “costs” to your marketing and sales campaigns.

So the term “war” is a business term. It’s how you eliminate your competitors from your market niche. It’s all wrapped up in the artillery or the “tools” you use to defeat them. One such tool that positions you as the “expert” in your field is the business of public speaking. Another tool is learning the art, the “craft,” and the science of article marketing.

Both public speaking and article writing can both be classified as a science, but it’s NOT rocket science. So, it’s not something that you need to study four to eight years to master. After you learn the science and the psychology behind the two, then you can go on and learn the art form and craft your own style.

As a public speaker, General Schwarzkoff made more money in two years after he retired than in all the years he served in the military. His fee was something like $75,000 for a one hour speech, and he often had 2 or more a day to do. That’s not quite as much as a president makes in 15 minutes, but it’s still a lot more than most people make in a year.

I’m not suggesting you should go out and fight a real war and win it in order to achieve similar results. What I am suggesting however is that to win the “war” of business and sales, there is little that compares strategically better than getting into the business of speaking and article writing.

Public speaking is a positioning tool that quickly catapults you to the status of “expert” or “guru”. Right or wrong, when you stand on your feet you are perceived in that fashion. So it makes perfect sense that you should be able to do the same when it comes to talking about your business, your product or your services.

You’ll note I used the term “business of speaking”, because that’s what it is, a business. Call it a sub-set of your primary business, but still a business nonetheless. Most professional speakers make the mistake of thinking all the money is in the speaking fee. That’s a real BIG mistake.

Former presidents get paid as much as $250,000 (or more) for just 30 minutes. Other business professionals may earn more—or less—depending on their expertise. It’s nice money. But the REAL money is in the customer, the audience you are speaking to and how you can set about getting them as a client or prospect.

This is why I always do better in “sales to close” ratios when speaking to groups, seminars, conventions, work-shops and trade shows. Instead of making a “pitch” you’re giving “expert” opinion and information. The sales pitch can come after the program. The only difference in doing public speaking is that you’re reaching a larger audience than if you were making a presentation “one-on-one.”

If you’ve been reading my articles for very long, you probably think that I sound like a broken record, but I can’t stress the reality enough: the numbers prove it. You can talk to 10 people “one-on-one” all day, and make 2 or 3 board-room presentations, and maybe—just maybe—close 1 or 2 sales. You can talk to a group of 50 to 200 (or more) people in a seminar and end up with 10 to 20 (or more) new customers.

It’s just a mere fact: the proof is in the numbers.

The real payday comes from knowing how to drive people to the back of the room in a stampede like feeding frenzy eager to throw money at you in exchange for your products or services. It’s a good feeling to see people climbing over each other with their credit cards waving in the air begging someone to take their money. It’s a better feeling when the day is over and you realize you’ve just made as much money in a couple hours as most people make in a whole year exchanging hours for dollars, and all you had to do was flap your gums.

But… that’s just a one time shot. How do you turn that kind of feeding frenzy into a residual month-to-month income? Simple: turn your product or service into something that has value, where people will pay you a subscription to keep them on your list. Make it so valuable that they will hunt you down and throw money at you to get the information that is buried in the abyss of your mind!

How much money would you make if you gave away a free report? Nothing. But that’s okay. What if you have some information in that report that leads your prospect to sign up for your product or service? And if that product or service is a “one-time” sale, or if is a monthly residual?

If it’s a one-time sale, then you’re going to have to sell a lot of it to make back your investment. Let’s say you do a seminar and you have some recorded DVDs, CD’s and books of your latest product. Can you sell enough of them to recoup your expenses of renting the convention hall? Or do you have a system set up that will pay you a residual?

These are questions you can ask yourself and then apply it to your business.

If you’ve written a book about network marketing and all of the “life lessons” you’ve learned from it, you can sell it at seminars, or give it away as a bonus with a paid entry fee to your seminar or workshop.

If you’re in real estate and you’ve become an expert in REO’s, foreclosures, BPO’s or wholesaling, then you can write a monthly newsletter to your paid subscribers.

If you’re a telecommunications expert specializing in Unified Communications and Messaging systems, and have been able to communicate those ideas to business—both large and small—then you can write timely newsletters to industry professionals, or promote an adjunct product/service at the end of the article.

The key here is providing value to your customers. Whether they are “one time” customers or long term subscribers is totally up to you. But in either case, you will have to justify your existence with more than just a perceived value. Your knowledge and expertise must be transformed into real value that your customers can use in their daily lives, businesses, or they will dump you faster than a west Texas road-runner. You have to give your customers reason to give you their money.

Over the past thirty years I’ve given public speeches in a variety of forums and formats: from civic clubs to professional organizations. Subject matters have been narrowed down to my areas of expertise, but I was surprised to learn that I could actually earn a living from it.

Whether you are speaking in a “work-shop” at a trade show or a “job fair,” or speaking at seminars and conventions, you can determine a value to your presence and what you have to present to the audience. Pricing it right is the tricky part.

This is why I come back to the analogy of “counting the costs” of putting together a promotional campaign and calculating your expenses with the production of your materials, conference room rentals, breakfast, coffee, lunch, etc., or any other catering costs that might be built in to your day.

They you have to determine how much of that you’re going to “sock away” for taxes, expenses like venue, travel and products: usually about 50%. If you’ve already spent $10,000 on putting together your “dog and pony show” and you only make $5,000 out of the deal, you’re already more than 100% “in the hole.”

How do I figure 100%? Because, if you spend $5,000 to put a seminar together, you need to do better than $5,000 just to break even. And if you break even, then you haven’t made any profit. If you don’t get to expense all that on your taxes, you’re already in trouble… but it can wait until “tax time.” However, you’ve got to eat, pay bills, fly back home, pay the mortgage, between now and then.

If you only make $10,000 (a whopping 100% return doesn’t translate into a 100% profit) you’ve only made—in actuality—a 50% profit. (I’ll leave that to your tax preparer to explain to you.) In the meantime, all you have left after your “over-head” is $5,000 and when you get home, you’ve got to commit at least 50% of that to a tax account, so you don’t run afoul of Uncle Sam. Now, how much does that leave you?
A paltry $2,500 dollars.

Do the math.

Don’t get alarmed: just go back and recalculate what you ca charge for your seminar. You may have to have a larger number in attendance, you may have to charge an admission fee, or you may have to charge more for your “back room” products (tapes, CD’s, books, DVD’s, etc.).

Where you might get away with a “loss leader” —a loss leader is something that you can afford to give away in order to sell something else at a higher price. Whatever that “something else” might be… it might be a subscription, or a set of books, or a residual service that pays you over the long term, a loss leader can be an effective “lead in” for your “back end” product.

If you can work “top down” by talking directly to the CEO’s of companies you want to reach, and have them sponsor their employees into your seminars and workshops, just make sure you have all the legal stuff in order. Dot all your “I’s” and cross all your “T’s” before you launch into this venture.

Do it right and you can make as much in one or two weekends as most people make in a year—or a decade.

You don’t have to sacrifice your family life and kill yourself on the road, but you can work hard for 50 or 60 days out of the year exchanging your time for money. That translates into about 5 days a month. How—and where—you spend those five days is up to you. You can start locally, then work up to regional gigs. After you accumulate some money, you can reinvest it into seminars on the national and international range.

That 5 days can be split up to one or two days in a local or regional workshop, with a three day weekend per month in close proximity. It’s all in the efficient scheduling of your resources and time.

The other three weeks of the month can be spent at home, where you can work on your articles, write reports about your latest seminar, compile any transcripts and videos—or “farm them out” to third party sources—now that you can afford to do so.

That “other three weeks” can be spent working at the computer writing your articles and reports while your old dog is laying on your feet, keeping them warm. He’s happy, you’re happy. Your kids and spouse are happy (or should be) that you’re home and “available for them.” Just don’t kill yourself there, either. (That’s another article.)

Do you remember the movie “Red Dawn” where the school kids were sitting in class and they looked out the windows of their classrooms and saw enemy troops parachuting in on their school grounds? They really didn’t realize that they were under an enemy invasion until it was too late and several people got shot in the ensuing invasion.

Later in the movie you see where the local populace got “stirred up” and did something to fight back, whether it was taking an active part in the resistance, or furnishing the freedom fighters with the necessary gear they needed for survival.

We saw this with the Russian invasion of Afghanistan back in the 70’s when the mujahedin fought against the invading forces of the Russians with everything they could get their hands on.

I use this analogy to illustrate that your penetration into the competitor’s “territory” might not be an easy win. And if you don’t play your cards right, you might not win at all. You might end up losing: a lot of money, a lot of time, and if you don’t play your cards right, your life and sanity.

Count the costs. But know this: while you stir up the “local populace” of your competitor’s territory, you will have been successful in your invasion. Now, what to do with it?

Are you going to make some mistakes along the way? Sure you will! Will you learn from them? You better!

But you will never know if you don’t survey the “landscape” of your turf and “scope out” the competition. In short: do your homework. You know your specialty better than anybody else.

Whether you take your business to the next level by public speaking or writing articles, or both, you’ll know you’ve been successful when they sign on with you for the long term and you can work two months out of the year and get your life back.

Theres Nothing Like An Invasion To Stir Up The Local Populace – GUERRILLA REVIEW.pdf

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