Welcome to episode #180 of Explode Your Expert Biz Show, brought to you by http://gtex.org.uk/,
I am your host, Simone Vincenzi, The Experts Strategist, and this is the podcast for experts who want to become the ultimate authority in their niche while making an impact in the world.
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Today I have the pleasure to Interview John Habbott.
John is a thought leader, mentor, writer, entrepreneur, world-traveler and adventurer, John Abbott. John wants to show others how through the act of giving we can positively impact the world.
John is on a mission to awaken people to their power and to create a positive change on our planet.
He discusses the Giving Model and shares how this technique is not only good for business, but a great way to reach out and help others too.
In this episode, we talk about
- Why many speakers struggle to sell
- How to use the Giving Model to fill up coaching and consulting programs
- How to sell from the stage just GIVING
Connect with John Abbott
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– Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another episode of Explode Your Expert Biz Show. I’m here today with the one and only John Abbott live from the Freedom X Festival. How are you doing, John?
– [John] I’m awesome. It’s really great to be chatting to you.
– I’m really excited about this interview because I’m all about selling from the stage, you’re all about not selling from the stage. So, before we go into diving into this topic, why don’t you tell us a bit about you and how did you end up doing non-selling from the stage, which is a really interesting concept.
– Yeah, great. For many years, since 2006, I became an events coordinator and ran events in Australia for a guy named Roger Hamilton. We were running events, up to like 2,000 people, across the country and he would show up and he would present from stage and he was really, really good, in fact he’s extraordinary. He’s a really great person who actually doesn’t sell from stage. He sells off the stage, so he invites people to congregate, and then he has a conversation with them, and he does a really good job. But, even then, when you’re doing a really great job at inviting people in, when you’re in an environment of an event, you just can’t connect with all of them. So, what I saw was a lot of people joining programmes and buying things because of the frenzy and excitement. A lot of them really misled in the way of they don’t know what they don’t know about the next good step for them to take. So they just buy stuff and then they go to the programmes and they really aren’t suited for them and I saw a lot of that happening and you know that part was one of them that changed me and then the other part that changed me was we’d run events and then we’d get to the end of the event and the sales weren’t great and looking at that going jeez, we didn’t do well at this event at all and we had no follow up strategy. No way of actually then saving the event or saving it financially. So, and the events industry kinda was getting to me. I did it for like five or six years and it takes a lot of energy as you know to fill an event, put people on seats, the registrations, all of the information, all of the question and feedback forms and all of the sales that you try and do in the room and managing the crew. It’s huge. We’d take three months every time to run an event to like set it all up and it was full time work flat out. And I was thinking to myself what could we do differently? How can we do this in another way that really serves the people that we’re talking to? So that’s where I kinda got to and I left Australia, I went to live in Bali eight years ago and in that move I decided I’m not gonna do this anymore. I don’t wanna do events anymore. I’ve gotta find a different way and those were the big things or the big questions that I had and I came up with a model which was all about what if we didn’t sell to people? What if we just gave the programmes away?
– Okay, there was a long pause there because I was like, okay, I see what you mean about the industry and I see what you mean about the fact that selling from the stage or selling off the stage for me still selling from the stage is just a different type of close that you’re using. So you’re saying what if I don’t sell from the stage then you give it away for free, so how do you monetize it? That’s the question.
– Yep. Yeah, so what I found was when you got the end of an event and people came to the event, if you pitched to them or you didn’t pitch to them whichever way you decide to do it ’cause some people don’t like to pitch. We were always looking for what could we do to turn the event into a success after the event. So, what we did was develop a process of follow up and we now run them in events as well as follow up. But we generally run it as follow up. So a lot of my clients do pitch from stage. They pitch like their entry level programme, $1,500 type programme, retreat, plus whatever else and we go after all the people that don’t buy. So that’s where it really does set really well but a lot of our clients don’t even wanna pitch from stage so we actually use the entire strategy without them pitching from stage. So we use it on all the people who come to the event and it’s a really simple process. It’s essentially getting people to put applications in and we get pretty close to about 100% of the people put applications in who come into this environment. As long as we catch them live and we catch them early. If we catch them later, we get about 20 to 30, 40% sometimes depending on the experience of that speaker and the rapport that he has and all that type of thing. But essentially what we do is we give his programme away. So, let’s say you’re a speaker and you’re selling a three day retreat, $1,500, or a five day retreat, five grand or seven grand, whatever it is. What we do is rather than go hey, this is a programme. It’s $7,000 and today get it it’s $5,000 the whole pitch thing and you don’t know who’s coming in ’cause like if you get 150 people running the back of the room there’s no chance. You’re just gonna get this people to sign up and you don’t know who’s gonna show up. So rather than doing that, what if we got into a conversation and let’s give away at least one of these programmes to encourage people to put applications in. So that’s the strategy, that’s the thought behind it, and it works. But it doesn’t mean we give it away to everyone. So we utilise the idea of number one, can we make a huge difference in people’s lives who actually wouldn’t have been able to make it by being able to get applications in, look at those applications, and find the people that we’d love to help and it could people doing great charity work and they just need help with their business to take it to the next level and they’ve got an extraordinary charity whatever it is. We can work with that. Now we can actually be purposeful in the way that we promote our programmes and support people all along the way ’cause we’re making profit anyway and doesn’t make any difference if we have one or two other people that we can support if we’ve got 500 other people in our programmes or whatever it might be. So, the thought behind it is purpose first. How can we be purposeful first, give to people that are really deserving in the work that they’re doing and we can actually support them with our programmes. By doing that we get huge applications from everybody else ’cause again if you in your event and you’ve done a great presentation and everybody in the audience is your target audience you go “Hey guys I’m doing this programme. Who would like it for free?” You get all the hands. Every time. Every hand goes up. So, that’s a process. We get all the hands. We get applications coming in from everybody in the event and now we can read about where they’re at, what value they see in the programme ’cause we ask them. By doing this programme what impact is this gonna have in your life and on the future of yourself and your business et cetera?
– I love this model. I absolutely love this model. I see it working. It’s fantastic. I’m a big fan myself of the application closer and I agree with you that by now buy here leaves a high percentage of the room not buying and also is very difficult to do. When you need to get someone from meeting you the first time to give you their money and their credit card is a very difficult skill to learn, to master, to have a high number people buying from the back of it. And also some people say no, I don’t wanna do it. So that’s why I’m a big, big fan of the application close and it works incredibly well. What I love about that as well is taking it to a next level and saying this is not only an application but some people will get it for free if they can’t pay. So now I have a few questions I want to go deeper into how does it work, how do you select the right people, because even with an application close you can get the wrong people in. It’s more likely you can select the right ones based on information they give you on the application. So, how do you make sure, there are a few things I want to explore. My first one is how do you make sure you get the right people in from the application? So what are the points that you are looking for and how do you divide the people that you will pitch the paid one to the people that you will say here is the free one?
– That’s a great question. That comes onto I guess the whatever your criteria is, to select anybody in your business. I almost go to like who would you give your money to? And how would you select them and what criteria would you use to give your money if you’re an investor? Like that’s kind of where I start the conversation and I take a whole bunch of things away from that. So, and I sit with my clients and I go through, they do all sorts of things from healers to business coaching to female entrepreneurship to whatever it might be. So like they’re doing all sorts of different kinds of retreats and programmes and coaching and all that. So everybody’s different. Everybody has the different criteria for their perfect target audience. And essentially a big part of that is we wanna make sure that we are serving people who are in the right mindset to come along. So there’s two parts of the process. Number one, application in. Read the applications, select the first person. Number three is have three people, have a conversation with those three people that you get down to your short list and then through the conversation you find them because you can have a conversation with them, you can see if they’re the kind of human being you want or they’re open enough to be able to be worked with, are they coachable? All those types of things that people are looking for. Yes, the criteria is really important and then once you’ve chosen that, then you’ve got all of the other people who you can short list and usually about, to be honest, about 95% of the applications that come in are pretty close. People who are putting them in, again it’s about your message your target audience and then the way that you ask the questions. You’re gonna get the right people. So, those three processes and getting on phones is the last part of it. So we have then a panel of essentially salespeople, sales agents, these guys are coaches as well and they have the criteria that they’re looking for and they then go through the short list of the rest of the people and the second part of this is where you make profit is then we run different funding mechanisms for your second prize people. So the people who are awarded potentially a scholarship as part of the application process or the first person they say wins the whole thing for free and then we may have let’s say it’s a $7,000 retreat. We may have 1,000 or $1,500 or even up to $2,000 that we may put towards the next person’s application because of the criteria, because of the situation they’re in and those people then make those judgments on those calls and they’re given that authority to do that.
– This is really fascinating. So then the question becomes if I am in the audience and I’m interested in this application, I’m playing the devil’s advocate because I want to look at how do you deal with these different situations because I’m sure that they will come up. I’m putting the application in and I say well, I put the application because I wanted it for free even if they have the money to pay for it. How then do you deal with this situation and how then do you get people then to pay the full price because yeah, you can always look at the margin and always say, okay, the amount of money that I really want is 5,000 so I’ll sell it for 7,000 so then I can get the minimal amount that I need to make a profit margins that I want and as well to create a great experience for them and not go on a loss ’cause that’s the thing. When you’re selling retreats or events, you have a lot of costs as an organiser. We are organising a retreat in Thailand in January about 21 people is a lot of money that we are putting out on the flights and organisation and the staff and organising the activities. It’s about a four to five month long process to organise it. So I wanna make sure that I get paid well for it. So how then using this method do you have people paying the full price? What’s the process in that?
– Yeah, I guess it’s like anything. Does anyone pay full price in an event? Generally not ’cause in general people will take an event price, go on my website at XYZ, but because you had the event today I’m gonna give you a special price. So it’s no different in that way. The thinking is no different but you’re able to sell more because you get people on phones and you’re talking to them and we sell somewhere between 40 to 110% of what our speakers can sell on the event, we sell again on top of that. So if you consider that you could potentially even double the sales that you could do from stage, then you’ve got a little bit more to work with especially once you break even. A lot of the speakers that we actually work with already do pitch. So they do their pitch from stage, they get five, 10, maybe 20% conversion rates for the good guys and then you’ve got 80% to go talk to and if we can match them, somewhere between 40 to 100% of what they did, that’s absolute pure profit for them ’cause they’re already profitable pitching from stage and they have no follow up mechanism. So, the system can work if you’re a pitcher and you’re a good pitcher and you enjoy pitching. It works really great with people who are really bad at pitching. A lot of the clients that we work with are fabulous at delivering the content from stage. Totally inspiring but when they shift into the sale, everybody feels it because their energy changes and they get, and these guys are professional. They’ve been doing it for 10s of years and they still stumble over it and they do like a four, five, six, seven percent conversion rate consistently all the time and they don’t enjoy the pitch but they do it because that’s the only thing they know. So, those guys we get over 100% conversion rate over the rest of people ’cause they’ve done such a great job.
– Yeah, I’ve seen it multiple times. Applications work incredibly well in particular because they take off the pressure from the speaker of okay, I need to sell, I need to remember it, and as you said, some of them they don’t enjoy the selling. The sales as a speaker works if you enjoy selling because then if you love selling naturally, then you can play with that and the audience see that you are playful, that you are having a good time when you’re selling and they respond to the sales in that way. That’s why I love selling and I’m playing with the audience, I’m doing cartwheels on stage sometime. I’m doing pushups and I have basketballs that I’m using during my pitch because it’s creativity for me. It’s an expression for me. Then you go to someone’s, a speaker that doesn’t love it and then they turn into this, “Um, um, yeah by the way, mmmm. I might have something that maybe you could join if you think that you may be got a bit of value from this present…” And it’s like oh my God, what’s that? So, I completely got it. Now I want to ask you ’cause I’m using a lot of times the application closer myself depending from the scenarios and there is always a percentage of the people that will book the conversation application but then they will not book the phone call. They will not show up on the phone call. And so it is a matter of okay, what kind of sequences, what kind of follow up because I agree with you. The money is in the follow up. If you close 20, 30% from the stage, you’re like you’re the top end. 20, 30% of a cold audience then you still have 70% of people that are potential buyers. So, the money’s always in the follow up. So how do you make sure you maximise using this process the amount of people from the moment they fill out the application, make sure that they turn up on that phone call?
– That’s perfect. So we run, let’s use one of the versions of rolling it out and one of my clients, Tyler Tolman loves the competition version of this. So he actually runs it like a competition. So he goes, put your application in, someone’s gonna win this, it’s gonna be really cool. Tell us why by coming to this programme your health is gonna change, how that’s gonna shift and change your experience of life. He’s on stage and he’s speaking like this and for those of, so we’re gonna get one person who’s gonna come along to my programme and then for everybody else who comes through if you put an inspiring application you may get shortlisted and you may be able to actually tap into one of our second and third prizes and he kinda details what that might be. So, it’s gonna gamifying the whole application process rather than just being hey put in an application and we’ll do a consult with you. Everyone knows this, like a consult, yeah. It’s a sales call and we see it coming. But when you gamify it and you make it a bit more fun and you’re gonna give one away, people get excited. Let me tell you. The conversations that our team have it’s like, “Hey, congratulations to be shortlisted for one of the second or maybe third prize with Tyler Tolman.” And people are like, “Really? It’s me? I’ve never won anything.” It’s like people get so excited and people love winning things and they love good deals. So like if you can pull them together, make it a bit more fun, get into a conversation, make sure you’re also guiding them best. So we don’t actually sell the only programme that we give away. The job of the person on the call is to actually guide the people even better so that we get the right people in the right seats in the right programmes. So, now what you, you’ve got so many advantages of getting on the phone as you know. So, number one you put people in the right place. People are super happy. They feel held, they feel heard, they feel like they can trust you now ’cause you’ve taken the time out. You can’t do that from stage. And you do it in a one on one conversation. So they’re more likely to buy. Number two, they’re gonna get a great deal so they’re more likely to buy. Number three, they’re a bit excited. It was like the process was going through. They put in an inspiring application and they don’t get shortlisted if they didn’t and we speak to that. We read the application and we use that in the conversation. Like any good coach, in the application they’re gonna tell us what’s going on for them. It’s a health issue they’re telling you what their health issue and they’re telling you why they wanna move through this and how they can be better with their family ’cause right now they’re just sick or whatever it might be. So you can speak to these applications far more powerfully and then the fourth, the last one is unanswered questions. When people are sitting in the audience and you pitch them, they have questions but because there’s like frenzy and they can’t speak to somebody, and they feel shy or some people just never make decisions right there and then they go home and they have an unanswered question. So you get to answer those questions in the call that again if you hadn’t had a follow up process you wouldn’t be able to have those conversations. So it is so multifaceted, I feel like it’s a way of you can still pitch if you like but actually you can take the whole pitch out. A great client of mine, JoAnn Fiedler, she came to me and she ran a seven day author challenge. She’s a bookwriter and a coach in authoring and she came to me just before she launched this and said, “John, I don’t know how to write the sales page after this seven day challenge to sell my six week author awakening adventure.” And she was like stressed and you could see she was upset, she was upset about what she was doing. I said to her, “Well, what if you didn’t sell it and you just gave it away?” And you should’ve seen her face change. She was like… The heads twitching and everything else and then I explained to her the process. What if rather than trying to sell those people into the programme and give them this offer and start buying now and it’s time sensitive and all that stuff. What if you just said, hey because you’ve just finished this adventure you’ve done a freaking awesome job. You guys showed up, you played full out. I wanna give at least one of my programmes away. She gave seven away by the way. She gave five away to people in Africa who would never have been able to done her programme and she gave two away to people in Australia as well. But she was able to give that and she got 100% of the people in her audience put the application in. 100%. We had an average of about 380 people showing up across the seven days. We had 380 applications. So it changes everything. Changes the energy and it helps people get into a place where they feel they don’t feel like they’re trying to pressure people into anything and of course you’re a great salesperson so you know how to obviously turn that into more fun and pleasure as well. But a lot of people don’t.
– I love it. I absolutely love it. I’ll be sharing when I test it. I’m gonna test that whole gamification thing next time I use the application ’cause I never use that. We get a lot of applications in. A high percent, it’s 80, 90, 100% of the room. But, with the gamification I can see many more people then coming on the call and making this whole process as exciting as it would be when I’m on stage and I’m selling it because I can see the dynamics all like that. Such a great interview. Guys, if you’re right now you’re listening and you’re saying well I’m not good at selling from the stage. It’s not that you’re not good at selling from the stage. It’s that you have not yet found your way of selling from the stage and my main message here is that there are many ways. You have the application way, you have the relationship close, you have the get it now close. You can play and gamify now even your application, making sure that the process is more exciting like John is saying. So you have all these different ways and it’s up to you now to test it and to see which one then is the best for you and for what your natural selling style is because that’s why I believe. Everyone has a natural selling style because sales is communication. It’s persuasion. When I want something, if you want something, and you really want it, you will have a way to talk to your friends and family about why you should have that thing and you convince yourself of having that thing in the first place. So you’re selling first to yourself. So you are a natural salesperson. You were born a salesperson and one question, one more question that I have is and then we are going to move in the last part with this interview is do people know when they are on the stage how much is the prize of the different tiers in prizes or is the prize being left out completely from the whole equation of the pitch?
– Yeah, that’s a great question. We usually would use a slide that has the first prize, second prize on the slide. So like $5,000, somebody’s gonna win that whole $5,000. Second prize is $5,000 and a $1,000 scholarship to whatever else. Some of our clients don’t talk about the second prize at all. They just say we’ve got second prizes and other scholarship funding ability that we do and then it’s in the conversation with the person. So then they can actually adjust the prize based on who they’re talking to and they’ve got criteria of course ’cause you gotta know what your bottom line is that you can go down to and they’ve got criteria on who they can give that to. But, yeah, in general you wanna show enough for people to go okay, I understand what that is and then in the follow up communication you wanna get really clear. So, once I put the application in, then it is these are the prizes that are available and then I put it up on a website and they can have a look at that. But in general most people are gonna put an application in to win as they do.
– Yeah. Okay, that’s perfect. So the recommendation is show the real price because then people can associate it to the value and then when they are on the call, whether you give them the price the full scholarship or whether you give them one of the other prizes, then they have already a measure of contrast and they can see where the deal is and why there is this price. I think that will be a very important part of the puzzle. I have one more question before we are up John. I like to do a part in the podcast called lifting the veil and lifting the veil is where I’m gonna ask you one tool or one thing that you are using in your business or in your life that everyone must have or everyone should have and it doesn’t have to be connected to what we talked about so far. Can be a book that you read, meditation that you use, can be an app that you have, a gadget that you have in your house, whatever. What is that thing for you?
– Well beside my downhill mountain bike, there’s an extraordinary process that I learned from one of my clients Tyler Tolman and it’s a crea. It’s a mantra and it’s a way to start the day. It’s called the suba crea and maybe we can follow up on the email or write it down because just to spell it actually is quite weird but it’s actually a crea that is beautiful in centering you and opening up yourself to attracting great wealth in your life.
– Can you explain what is a crea for people that are listening right now, they don’t know what is a crea.
– It’s kind of like a meditation but it’s more a body movement. There’s chanting and there’s meditation all happening at the same time. That’s the best way that I can explain it.
– And how does this crea work and give an example on how does that work and we can put some links as well the relevant links here in the show notes.
– So it’s all about energy work. So this is about it’s your energy, what you attract in your life, the vibration that you start your day with, and the things that you focus on in your life and the things that you start to focus on in the morning. So that’s the basis of it. And it’s using technology that is ancient technology. It’s using sound, it’s using words that are… What would we call it? It’s connected with the ancient gods. It’s connected with spirit. It’s connected with energy. So, it opens up things, it opens up chakras, it gets you aligned, it gets you connected in, and it helps you just have a far more far more beautiful experience of life each day if you start with something like this. And what I would do is actually say take a challenge and try and do 90 days of it.
– So we’re gonna put some link here in the show notes so then you can test it out for all of you spiritual freaks that are listening right now. I’m sure you will love it. They’re like yeah, I wanna test this out now. If you are live, you are listening and you’re like, what is that stuff? Give it a go anyway. You’ve got nothing to lose. And if you are saying no, I’m not interested in this just forget it. We never talked about that. Just whatever resonates with you guys. So thank you very much John for being here. What if people want to reach out to you, want to work with you, do you have a giveaway or something for people to connect with you? Over to you.
– Well, I’m very happy to pass on the blueprint of the giving model to anybody who wants to reach out to me. Come pop onto my website JohnAbbott.me, ME. And just send me a message and I’ll send you the blueprint.
– Brilliant. So, JohnAbbott.me and you will see the link in the show notes or if you are listening on this episode on our website, you can scroll down and there is going to be the link as well in the blog post that we are writing about this episode. Now, it’s time for me and John to go and enjoy the sun because it’s been raining like crazy here in Spain where we are this morning. In fact we are here tucked in my tent recording this episode and guys, I have a big tent. So everybody imagine like this small tent and how we are scooping and spooning to record this pod… No that’s not the image I want you to have. It’s a large tent we are sitting on the bed because I’m posh and I don’t camp anymore. From the moment I got married, my wife gave me an upgrade and before I used to camp and now I’m like, I don’t camp. I glamp now. So we’re going to enjoy the rest of the festival. Make sure you connect with John and remember that it’s about you and selling from the stage and finding your natural selling style and definitely the giving method is one of the best methods that there are out there of selling from the stage. Guys, if I say it, it works because I’ve experienced anything and everything from selling from the stage. I’m a selling from the stage freak and it’s my thing. It’s the thing I do. It’s the thing I love. So, this method I can see ticks all the boxes and definitely works. So make sure you connect with John. John again, thank you very much for being on this episode.
– Yeah, thank you so much.
– And guys thank you for listening. If you haven’t subscribed yet to Explode Your Expert Biz Show subscribe right now in this very moment. Click that sexy juicy button subscribe that you see and leave us a five star review, of course five star. I know you will love to give six stars but five stars are enough. There is not a six star unfortunately. Otherwise I would’ve given John a six star for this interview and let us know what did you enjoy the most about this interview. What was your biggest learning? And up until next episode, I’m looking forward to seeing you next and always remember that together we grow exponentially. Bye for now.