Momentum Podcast: 241
Out Develop Your Competition
by Alex Charfen
Last week, I had massive, overwhelming anxiety. Here's why, I was sick. I was actually sick from before the 1st of July, until about Saturday or Sunday, so over seven days.
There is a ton of information out there to teach you how to sell. The challenge is that there’s not a lot of information and companies out there that teach you what type of product you should sell, products that will sell, how to develop products that will dominate your category and shut down the competition.
That is the type of product I like to sell and what I am obsessed with developing. I don’t want you to do well, or just do okay. I want you to create a product that changes people's lives.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure we pay attention to their rules but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world's strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few, who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.
Out develop your competition. In today's market there is a ton of information about how to market a product. In fact, if you want to learn how to do any part of marketing or sales, man, are there products available. Just think right now, how many products do you know about; How to run ads on Facebook, how to lead generate, how to create funnels, how to build funnels, the software to put funnels on... Click funnels is out there. There is a ton about how to sell, and the organizations that are out there showing people how to sell their products are doing their job. Click funnels is changing peoples lives because, especially people like me who might have had trouble selling products, you get the right funnel in the right way online and suddenly everything changes. Like Russell says, "You're only one funnel away".
Those companies are all doing what they're supposed to do, but here's the challenge. There's a ton of companies showing people how to sell product but there's very few that are showing people how to develop products that they should sell. How to develop products, not only that they should sell, that will sell. How to develop products that you can sell once and will sell over time. How to develop products where, eventually the majority of your business comes from referrals. How to develop products that dominate your category, shut down the competition and make it so that no one else can get in. That is the type of product I like to sell. That's the type of product I'm obsessed with developing. And that's the type of product I show my clients how to sell.
See, I don't want you to just do well. I don't want you to just do okay. I want you to create a product that goes out in the market and changes peoples lives and has an effect almost every time. You can never get 100% but how close can you get? And how low can you drive your return rate? To the point where it's negligible, it doesn't even exist. And how high can you drive your product engagement rate? Where people don't just buy it, they use it, especially for information products and coaches and people who have masterminds and events. You want people that actually have an outcome.
Well, this is the podcast about exactly how to do that. I want to tell you this is something I have personal experience in because developing and putting a product into the market is not easy. I spent most of my career helping other companies put products they developed into the market. As a consultant, I helped some of the largest brands in the world with huge product releases. I was involved in the Logitech cordless desktop release. I was involved in the first digital camera release in the history of the country from Fuji. I was involved in when flash memory went into stores for the first time. I realize that there are people listening, and I realize that there might be some of you listening who are thinking I don't know half of what he's talking about, what it even is, but I've helped a lot of people put products into the market.
And, when it came time for me to put my own product into the market, I had to use the systems and strategies that we use with those brands that I consulted about that I've talked about forever about creating a system, where you can out develop your competition faster than anybody else. Where you can have the best product in the market over and over and over again and here is how you do that; you set up a relentless feedback loop from your clients, you get input from your clients. One of the best places for you to look for information about how to have the best product in the market is your customers service department. These days every time and entrepreneur tells me they're gonna out-source customer service so they don't have to deal with it, a little piece of me dies because it's such a big source of information about your client and your product.
And one of my clients, Natalie Hodson made the decision last year to pull her customer service in-house within a month or two she was calling me and telling me or Voxering me just how- what a game changer it was to have customer service in house, to understand what was going on with her clients. So the way that you do this, is you are sure, you set up feedback loops anywhere you can. Let me tell you this by sharing with you my personal story about launching the first product that was my product not one that I helped build, not one that I helped source, not one that I put deals together through, but it was a product I created, this Certified Distress Property Expert.
Late 2007, early 2008 Cadey and I started this company, as we were in bankruptcy, so I couldn't miss, and what I did was I wrote- during the real estate collapse- I had been a real estate investor, and I wrote a product called the Certified Distress Property Expert, to help real estate agents work with homeowners and foreclosure. I wasn't a real estate agent, I had done a lot of deals-Kate was a real estate agent. And short sales, what we were showing them how to do, was to take a home owner in foreclosure and put them through a short sale, help them with their short sale, get them out of their home. They barely existed. So I had a product for a solution that barely existed for a problem that had just started and people really weren't talking about it.
And in 2008, I went out and I was able to sell 1500 real estate agents over the course of the year. We made about a half million dollars. We had been bankrupt. And our bankruptcy hadn't even been discharged half way through the year. And what we did during that year was I went out and I taught 14 in person classes. And Cadey, would sit in the back of the room and every person that asked a question she wrote it down. And every person that had an objection about something in the book or saw a misspelling, or saw a mistake on one of our slides, we wrote them all down. And after every event we changed the content and we made it better. And then we did it again. And every time we had an event we would change the content and make it better, and then at the end of the first year the business started growing, we were getting incredible client effects and during that first year at the very beginning we had a few returns, but by the end of the first year our return rate was less than 5%.
In that first year we helped a ton of people, in the second year things exploded. We went from just barely selling 1500 agents to selling 5000 in the first quarter of our second year. And we continued that relentless pursuit of feedback from our clients, every client that went through the class-we had to expand it to online as well, we started delivering it online, we had a survey for every one of those clients. I was obsessed with everything that came into my customer service department. We wrote down the questions that they had. We surveyed our classes in person. We made sure we had feedback and when we saw the same thing come in enough times, we went and updated the content again.
And so, here's what happens in an information product; the second you put it out into the market you are vulnerable. It's all over, some body can knock you off in a heartbeat, in fact, when Cadey and I started this Certified Distress Property Expert or the CDPE, we were one of 60 or 70 short sale classes. Within a few years, with the foreclosure crisis exploding there were hundreds of short sale classes on the market. And when we put our content out there, after we had updated it for a year, you know what happened? It was the best product in the market. It started getting talked about and every one knocked us off. Everyone.
We had one company, they didn't even bother to change our table of contents structure, they just made enough changes to the words, so that it would be legally not copy written anymore. They made enough changes to our forms, so they had exactly our class and then they had somebody else teach it. By the time they were done copying all of our stuff, we had already updated again and we were ahead of them. And what we did, in that company, we were by far the #1 product in the market.
Throughout the course of 2008 to about 2014 we had almost 50,000 people buy the CDPE. It was 49,700, of the 49,700 who bought it 45,600 actually finished the course. Our engagement, our adoption was over 95%. And our return rate-by the time we were done, all of the business, was less than 3%, because our product worked 100% of the time. If you apply the principles in our course it actually worked, it made your life easier, it helped you close home owners who were in foreclosure, it helped you answer questions that you didn't have.
I was talking to Justin on my team about this earlier in the week, we are in the process now of this out developing our competition in our current products. We are getting that feedback from our clients right now, we're figuring out where we have gaps right now, we're figuring out where the issues could be right now. Because, here's were we got with CDPE; by the end of the first year, if somebody called in and said it didn't work, my customer service team would ask questions like, "did you watch the videos?". Because if you did, it worked. And if you followed the process, it worked. And the more we got feedback from our clients and updated our systems, the more we got results. And it got to the point, where that relentless pursuit of out developing our competition, put us in a place where we were partnered with Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citi Bank. All of them, when I first started the CDPE and said, when the market was saying it was a 6 month foreclosure crisis and I was telling the market it was 10 years, all of them said I was crazy and within a year they were our partners.
We also partnered with every major brokerage in The United States, except for Keller Williams, maybe because Keller Williams is one of those companies who actually knocked off our product, near 100%, and put it out on their own-and get this, more Keller Williams agents took our product than the from the product from their own company because by the time they had gotten their logos on it and put it out, we had out developed them.
And we partnered with Re/Max, we partnered with Century 21, Milan Panel, Prudential, all kinds of organizations. We did tens of millions of dollars with them because we out developed our competition. We out developed the knock offs, we out developed the copy cats, we out developed- even the people who are in the market innovating got to the point where they couldn't innovate as fast as we could.
People ask me all the time; why is it that the companies in our programs get such explosive growth? What causes that? Well they all use a forward planning system, with a clear communication system, where you know what is going on with the product and within your company and you can make intelligent decisions about what to do next. And when you have that, you can always out develop your competition.
So if you're not, if you feel like you're not out developing the competition, if you feel like you're not keeping up; figure out how you can get the feedback from your clients. Put systems in place to get feedback from your clients. Be relentless about understanding what's going on with the product. If some body is a return, it's an opportunity to figure out why they're sending it back and where you missed. And if you put that focus in, here is what'll happen; you will market and sell like you always have but you will find this entirely new source of business called referrals that will change the game for you.
I work with Alex and Layla Hermoisey, who today are having their third conference with over 500 gym owners here in Austin. Alex just sent me a video of it, it looked incredible. And, they've been growing like crazy but they have not stopped developing every single day and at this point, anyone that wants to catch up to them has to replace their customer service engine, their support engine, their on-boarding engine, their marketing engine, all of these groups of people that they have within their company that are out killing for gym owners and literally saving people's gyms, saving their jobs, sorry not their jobs, saving their cars, their houses, their marriages, and it's absolutely changing their lives and it's because they are using the cadence and out developing the competition faster than anyone could even consider keeping up with them.
You can do the same. And if you're ready to install a communications system in your business, if you're ready to give your team clarity that makes them feel safe, if you're ready to get to the next level as an organization and you know you have more opportunities than you're taking advantage of today, go to billionairecode.com. Answer a few questions with us and we will show you where you are on the billionaire code, what you should be focused on now, and you'll have an opportunity to sign up for a call with a member of my team and we can share the solutions we have for you because there is no one else out there that will show you how to create the communication system and the structure to give your team clarity, but more importantly, so that you can start predicting where you're going to be calling your shots and having your team follow you there. This is a game changer for anyone who is running a business and if you know you have more opportunity than you are taking advantage of, you owe to yourself to go to billionairecode.com.