How I helped Ben land a $12,000 deal

Like any hardcore Game of Thrones fan, I’m currently re-watching GOT from the very beginning. Why? Because it’s that damn good.

Real reason: I’m obsessed.

But why am I telling you this?

Even if you’re not a GOT fan–or a TV fan for that matter–there is something fascinating to be learned about what gets people addicted to watching hours and hours of fiction.

As I’m re-watching these episodes, one of the things that stands out to me is all the deep psychology that goes on between these characters. Flickers in their facial expressions that reveal important information. Actions taken–or not taken–that reveal whose side the person is really on.

I could not think of a better metaphor for what really matters in LIFE: Learning how people tick.

Especially when it comes to sales.

There are thousands of books on sales. Hell, I even wrote one myself.

But it’s easy to read a book and think: “Great! So that’s how sales works.”

And it is another thing to actually apply it.

Which is why I want to share how I helped my friend, Ben, land a $12,000 deal with a 10 minute phone call. I want to show you how you can figure out how someone works, and then use that information to HELP them with your service or product. (Not manipulate them).

It was a typical morning when I got a text from Ben, a dance teacher, that said: “Can I get your advice on closing a deal?”

He was having trouble with pricing himself, guiding the conversation, and making the proposal.

His potential client? An affluent guy who wanted to learn how to dance better, and was willing to pay Ben a lot for it.

So Ben and I get on the phone, and Ben describes his potential client to me. He’s married, he’s got a daughter, what he does for a living…

…And I asked Ben: “Why did he say he wanted to learn how to dance?”

Apparently, the guy had a story about how he’d love to  learn to dance better so he could do it with his daughter.

I thought, that’s nice. But my antennae went up. That’s not a strong enough motive to pay 12K for dance lessons.

So I asked Ben more questions, to really get to the heart of what this guy actually wanted, and eventually, a crucial piece of information was revealed: the guy’s marriage was struggling. He really wanted to learn how to dance and spend more time with his daughter to impress his wife. 

I LOVE this moment. When the tables have turned and suddenly an entire world that was closed off to you is revealed.

But why does that piece of information change everything?

Think about it. When your marriage is hurting, you’ve got a few options.

  • Go to therapy
  • Keep fighting
  • Get a divorce
  • start learning what would actually help improve your relationship. If one of those things is dance lessons, it’s a hell of a lot less expensive than getting a divorce and spending a lot of time in therapy. It’s also a lot more fun.
And for a guy like Ben’s potential client, paying what Ben was charging wasn’t a big deal.

So Ben went back to his client, spoke to his TRUE needs, and landed the deal.

That’s how it works, folks. Deep ass psychology.

Now, I want to clear a few things up.

Is it always so easy to solve in a 10 min phone call? No. It could take weeks depending on your sales cycle and who you’re in negotiations with.

Is it always so easy to sniff out that critical information? No. You’ve got to plunge beneath the surface of words and get down into the sometimes uncomfortable meat of what’s really going on.

And is this stuff manipulative or sleazy? NO. The best thing in the world you can do–for yourself, for your clients, and for the people in your life–is to take the time to understand them on a level that is unparalleled. A level that no one else is willing to go, except for you.

Because it isn’t just about landing the deal, or getting the sale.

It’s about giving your heart to someone. Your soul in your service. Your best in your product.

So a lot of  up-front work must be done. Because what motivates people to buy from you would shock you. Reasons that you would have never thought of unless you did enough digging around to find out. Once you put your detective hat on, you discover how this all works.

But now, I want to help you:

Are you currently working through a sale or deal that you can’t quite wrap your head around? Leave a comment about your situation. I can help you ask the right questions to better understand who you’re dealing with, and either close the sale, or know it’s time to walk away.

Talk soon,

Fel

14 Responses to “How I helped Ben land a $12,000 deal

  • I saw you in a ZTL interview with Ramit a few years ago and knew I wanted to do what you’re doing.

    I’m building my website and working on building my email list so I can offer coaching services.

    I’m looking for the best way to build my list and then close the deal once they do sign up.

  • Hi Raza — what kind of coaching services are you looking to offer? Have you started working with clients yet?

  • Hey Felicia,

    I want to help people get focused. I want to take people from “information” to “inspiration” and eventually “transformation”.

    I feel there’s a big gap between knowing what to do, and actually doing it. I want to help people stay focused and on track, by giving them an outsider’s perspective on what they could do to improve their results. And I want to make them accountable so that they actually do it.

    I’m starting to offer free assessments, and will offer a 6-12 week program where I help people take whatever goal they’re currently working on (fitness, career/entrepreneurship, or relationship) and help them define the #1 thing that they need to do to get them to the next level.

    I keep watching your interview with Ramit over again for insight on how you did it.

    I love what you’ve been able to do with your business and thought I’d reach out.

    • Hi Raza,

      It sounds like you’re really passionate and excited about this. I think that’s great because it’s so important that coaches are deeply committed to their clients’ success.

      Have you thought about if there’s a particular market you’d want to offer this to? Sales professionals? Managers? Teachers? I wonder if there’s a group you feel more excited about than others.

      • Awesome question.

        I’m focusing on helping entrepreneurs and creative professionals that feel stuck and need an outsiders perspective to get to the next level

  • Guys me too! I am currently a ZTL member. I am in the immersion strategy phase currently. I have been reading all of your articles Felicia trying to understand your market. I like reading about your take on common soft skills like listening. I want to do communication coaching for people to boost skills interacting in difficult situations.

    • Ben, it’s great to connect with you and that you’re from ZTL. Similar to my comment above to Raza, is there a group of people you feel more drawn to helping than others?

      • I was first interested in working with business professionals, and executives but I am start to think that maybe I am not right for that market, because of my young age and my lack of executive business experience. The other group I am interested in helping is people who want to learn how to deal with difficult people at work or at home.

        • I understand. One way to think about this is: how can you get that experience? Maybe there are college kids who’d love communication help for their interview processes, or help with landing their first internship. You can start by thinking about what challenges you’ve overcome and if there are other people like you who you can help and direct your effort towards.

          Another way to think about this is: if you do want to work with executives eventually, find a way to gain experience in doing that whether it’s at your job or a training, and really putting in the time and effort to learn how to get people great results. Depending on how soon you want to do this, these are a few short-term and long-term options to consider (and maybe combine with other options as well).

          • I want to start getting revenue really quickly. I think a better niche for me may be relationship coaching/mediation for women who are around 30-35 years old. There seems to be a market for women who want to understand men.

  • What makes you want to start getting revenue really quickly? Forgive me if that sounds silly to ask, but am honestly curious how you’re thinking about it

    • I want to practice creating this first business, and hopefully recover the investment that I made from ZTL quickly. So if I decide to create a new business later on I will have some experience, and will understand the process better. I think it is also important for me to prove to myself that I can be successful doing this work, and prove to my family that I can be successful as a web entrepreneur. Also I am not working right now, and would like to just work on my online business full time instead of having to get a new job.

  • I don’t know you very well, but I sense you would be selling yourself short of you jumped in too quickly with an idea that didn’t align with where your skill set is. I know how tough it can be when you feel you’ve got a lot of time and passion to put towards something, but going into it just for the money in the beginning is a bad long-term play. It doesn’t seem obvious up front, but a year from now, you might be like oh, fuck.

    I’m sure that’s not what you want to hear, but it seems like with your dedication, you can create something great if you make the right moves from the beginning.

    • Your right, when I am honest with myself neither of those business choices are that exciting for me. All my life has been spent doing things I don’t care about to satisfy everyone else, and in the end I always get mediocre results. This is my opportunity to create something wonderful, and meaningful for me. So anyway how did you get your first clients?

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