It’s been awhile since I sent you a live broadcast. Things have been insanely busy here (which they always are—but that’s just how I like it!).
It’s midnight here and tomorrow morning I’m getting on a plane for Fiji. I should probably go pack at some point!
After a couple days there, it’s on to Costa Rica, where I’ll be based for almost 2 months at our first resort, doing back to back events.
Before I hit the road, I wanted to get this quick email out to you. Today I had a client in our film studio shooting some videos, and they asked me this question:
“If you were to lose everything you have today, and you could only keep three skills you’ve developed in building your online business, what would be those three skills be, and why?”
Here’s my answer (and these are things you need to focus on getting good at):
Skill #1: The Ability to Sell
The most important skill you need is the ability to sell. This skill is number one. If you can’t sell, you’re going to have a hard time making any money online.
You may not like to hear that. I know I certainly didn’t when I first started out (most of us naturally don’t like to sell).
But until something is sold, no money is exchanged. Until money is exchanged, no one gets paid.
When you think about it, we’re all in sales.
We are selling (and being sold to) all the time. Sales is just influence.
Parents sell their kids on eating their vegetables. Employees try to sell their boss on giving them a raise.
You might sell your spouse on going on holidays (or they sell you).
All day long, you and I are non-stop selling. The only difference is you’re not always getting paid for it.
Once you accept that sales is something you’re already engaged in, and there’s nothing morally wrong with it (provided you’re persuading someone to do something you truly believe is good for them), then working on your sales skills needs to be a priority.
How I learned how to sell:
When I was 19 years old, I read a book by Robert Kiyosaki where he said;
“Forget about Education. If I have kids, and I want to show them how to do well in Business, I’m going to tell them, ‘Go and learn how to Sell, and go and take a Commission-only job, and learn that way, where if you don’t get results, you go hungry.’”
At that time, I had been in college working on my finance degree for about two years. I started thinking to myself, “I’m doing the education part, but I’ve never actually had a job where I was selling, and where I was doing it on pure commission.”
I decided to follow Robert’s advice, so I went and got a job as a telemarketer, where I was getting paid on pure commission from my sales.
That’s right—I was one of those annoying, pesky people who call you up mid-way through your dinner and try and sell you on getting a new phone plan.
For the first two weeks in ‘training,’ the role paid about $600 / week, and that was to study and learn the scripts at the offices.
After that, I was assigned this little cubicle. I would wear a headset, and not even have to dial—it’s all automatic dial, so new people just kept coming onto my phone line …
The phone would be playing music, and then suddenly there’d be a person on the other end saying, “hello?”
My job was to talk them into coming back to the phone company they had left. Needless to say, many of them were not fans of the company. Some times they’d swear at me, tell me to never call again, etc. So I learned a thing or two about handling rejection and never taking it personally.
I did that for several months, and it was a really good experience. I learned a lot about selling, and it gave me the confidence that I could actually sell.
When I started my first online business in 2009, the skills I learned from selling one-on-one over the phone really helped me get those first few sales.
Skill #2: The Ability to Write Persuasive Sales Copy
The second skill you will need to develop is the is the ability to write sales copy. Copywriting is the ability to communicate in writing and persuade someone to take action.
Good copy raises the awareness of your product to your target market. It shows how your product stands out from all the other competition. It quickly grabs him and paints him a vivid picture of how your product makes his life better.
Also, when you’re writing copy, you should try to be conversational, like you’re meeting someone at the bar for the first time. Just pretend you have 30 seconds to talk your new friend into buying your product. Write it down just like you’d say it.
How to Use Your Copy
If you can write one or two good emails or blog posts every week, you will then have a ton of content to share with your email list, your blog subscribers, and your Facebook followers.
If you can write good copy, you’ll have emails to send out to your list, you can write out a sales webinar, or you could write out a script for a video sales letter. Knowing how to communicate in writing and influence someone is VERY important.
Again, a lot of what we do in marketing is communicating by writing. If it’s by video or by webinar, it usually starts with writing it out first. If it’s by a sales video, again, it all starts off in the written format.
So learning how to write sales copy is one of the best skills that you can ever have. Every course you buy on writing sales copy, if it’s by someone who is a good copywriter, is always a good investment. I would recommend books by Dan Kennedy, Claude Hopkins, or Bob Bly for good copywriting advice.
Skill #3: Hire and Surround Yourself with the Right People
The third most important skill you should have is the ability to recognize talent—and bring that talent onboard with what you want to do.
It is important that you learn to recognize when someone’s good at what they do, whether they’ll be good for the team, if it’s someone you need, and then getting that person on board.
Right now in my company, we have a lot of key roles that are critical to our success… over 250 of them in fact.
We also have about 10 divisional managers, who each are responsible for the performance of a key part of the business.
For example, our current phone sales team has many phone sales reps stationed around the world, and they produce a significant amount of our sales.
But it got to the point that I needed someone to manage that whole thing—I had been managing it for years by myself, but now I was getting spread too thin.
I needed to find someone who could manage 40+ very high-performing type-A personalities.
I ended up finding someone who’d built and run massive call centers of 100+ people over the last decade. They were 10 times better at that role than I’d ever be myself.
Here’s another example …
We were creating so many videos that we really needed to hire some new people to work behind the cameras. But many of the applicants were just not good at what they did.
They didn’t have the attention to detail, and I just knew they wouldn’t be right for the role. Eventually, we found the right people (4 of them). They are all self-starters, they do good work, and you can see that in the professional videos.
Hiring a few key people to create an effective team can have a dramatic effect on your organization’s growth.
Learn to recognize the talent in others who can improve certain things in your business, ideally better than you can do them. And once you build the right team, it will help you scale to doing millions of dollars per year, tens of millions, even over a hundred million dollars per year.
If you want to blow this up really big, there’s absolutely no way you’re ever going to do it on your own.
When I was on my own—before hiring my team—I could do maybe a million dollars a year in revenue, but that was STILL pretty hard. But at some point, I realized I needed to hire other people. Now my team is generating tens of millions of dollars each year.
If you want to build your business to 7 figures a year and beyond, you will need to leverage other people’s talent. You can’t do it on your own. You’ll need to build a team.
Hope all that helps.
By the way, if you like these kind of ‘question and answer’ sessions, I do a new one every day in a short video. Get them for free daily at www.AskMattLloyd.com.