DREAM 50 Strategy

by Darren Hardy

Last week we discussed how a BEST BUYER client can be worth 100 times the average client—and cost you a lot less headaches and wallet aches.

Ultimately, you want to reduce the universe of available prospects down to your DREAM 50.

What’s a “DREAM” client?
Here’s your filter system: Of all the potential client target groups, which is EASY, FAST,and PROFITABLE?

EASY—They are easy to reach, costing you little advertising, marketing, and sales effort.

FAST—When presented with your solution, the value is quickly recognized and they are fast to make a decision and purchase.

PROFITABLE—Once converted, their lifetime value is richly profitable because of their transaction size, upsell purchases, frequency of repeat purchases, and referrals.

With this new narrowed focus, here is a 5-Step Action Plan for targeting your DREAM 50 clients.

1. List Your 50
Use the filter above.

2. Lay in Their Bed
What are they laying awake at night thinking about? What problems, worries, fears, or challenges are they facing? What are their goals? What are they looking for? What do they need? (Not what YOU think they need, but what THEY think they need.)

Remember, this sales adage is wrong: Find a need and fill it.
No. If a client doesn’t perceive they have a need, they don’t.

That’s why you have to lay in their bed and find out what need THEY perceive to have. Then you can help fill it.

3. Customize Your Solution
Write out exactly what your customized solution is to their unique pains, problems, hopes, and desires—those things that matter most to them (not just you) so when you finally do get in front of them, or on the phone or in the elevator, you can immediately tickle their fancy.

4. Find a Bridge
I don’t make cold calls. And you shouldn’t either. Cold calls are for rookies.

Rather than just being just some Joe or Jane Shmoe contacting your DREAM 50 cold and out of the blue, find a relationship bridge between you and your DREAM 50 client. Get referred in from a credible and trusted source.

For instance, I am contacted a dozen times a week asking me to endorse someone’s book. If I don’t know the person or their work personally, I cannot even respond. Last week Harvey Mackay called me asking me to review someone’s book and, if I found suitable, to give it an endorsement. I did and I did. And it was the only one. The rest might have been worthy, but the rest were not referred into me by an already trusted source. Make sense?

Brainstorm WHO knows the person or company you want to do business with. If you don’t know anyone right now (be sure to check your LinkedIn connections) then find out who their vendors are (CPA, attorney, other clients, etc.). Find someone to get you personally introduced.

5. Deliver Your “WOW” Solution
Don’t just settle for one bridge or one path to your Dream 50. Review the Shock and Awe Strategy here. Get aggressive, and don’t be afraid to lose one-out-of-five.

Imagine if you only captured 10 of those 50 DREAM clients. What would that do to your business and your life? Hey, even only 5! That is why this is an enormously valuable strategy. Go through the exercise today. Get your team involved. This could be game-changing for everyone involved. You can download the DREAM 50 Strategy document here

Taken from strategies taught in Darren’s HIGH-PERFORMANCE FORUM.
More information can be found here. Apply here.


How Smart Can Our Devices Get?

by Daniel Burrus

From phones to cars to bridges, embedded technologies are increasingly making the things we use smarter every day. For example, some of the newest cars use cameras mounted in the rear to see if something is in the way when you are backing up. The car will apply the brake even if you don’t or you are slow to react. Likewise, the cement in new bridges has embedded chips that can let engineers know when the cement is cracking, stressed, and in need of repair before the bridge collapses.

But it’s not just cars and bridges that are getting smarter. Kraft Foods worked with Intel to develop a smart vending machine that can market specific products by demographic group. Basically, the vending machine uses a camera that’s mounted on the front of the machine to identify characteristics of the person using the machine in real time. The first application has been to determine the user’s age and gender, and then based on this information, the vending machine offers free samples that will appeal to the exact demographic of the user.

In other words, you may be at the vending machine purchasing a candy bar or some potato chips. Because the vending machine knows your age and gender, it will give you a specific marketing message along with a code you can use from your smart phone to claim a free sample of the product. The sample will then be mailed to your home. In this scenario, it’s the vending machine using a combination of facial recognition, facial demographic data, artificial intelligence, and access to the cloud to qualify the user and select the most relevant item to market.


Here’s another example: A number of years ago I was working with Accenture. They were experimenting with an innovative marketing device that I haven’t seen used publicly yet, but I’m sure we will soon.

Their device was a mirror that could be placed in large public places where people gather, such as a shopping mall or airport. People look in the mirror and see a reflection of themselves. They then answer some questions, such as “Do you smoke? If yes, how much?” “Do you drink? If yes, how many?” “Do you exercise? If yes, how often?” After answering several questions, your image morphs into what you would look like in 10, 15 and 20 years, based on your answers.

Finally, the machine suggests that you change some of your answers to see what impact your new lifestyle would have on how you look in the future. For example, it would ask “What if you quit smoking?”and then it displays the impact that one lifestyle choice would make on your future appearance. Or, what if you increased your exercise? Or, what if you improved your diet? Suddenly, wrinkles are gone and fat disappears based on the alternate scenarios.

The goal is to show people the impact of their behavior on their future, because most of us spend little time thinking about that. Now we can. While this technology was experimental years ago, you can see how it can easily turn into a tool for helping people make healthier lifestyle choices as well as a powerful marketing tool. Now you have an intelligent machine giving you lifestyle suggestions based on the impact your habits will have on your future. And of course, it would market appropriate products to you, such as weight loss aids or stop smoking products, based on your challenges and what you want to change in your future.

These are just a few examples of how everything we use is getting smarter. The message is clear: Today’s smart devices are just the tip of the iceberg. Current smart devices will only get smarter, and technology that is currently “dumb” will develop intelligence quickly. This intelligence will change not only how companies market to consumers, but also how we live, work, and play in this age of technology-driven transformation.

Your Ethics Training Initiatives Will Be Uneffective If:

by Frank Bucaro

1. It is a “one shot” effort or at best sporadic. For this leaves the impression that this type of training is not that important.

2. You rely too heavily on online training as your main training instrument rather than as a supplemental resource.

3. You don’t separate compliance from ethics. If you don’t you give the perception that they are one in the same, and they are not.

4.Face-to-face ethics training, that is customized with techniques, insights and solid ethical theories, is not the main and constant focus of your training initiatives.

5. Everyone from the CEO down to the new hire participates in the training.

A Few Words From the Memorial Service of Steven Covey

by Don Yaeger

Saturday, my wife and I were in Salt Lake City with thousands of others to attend the memorial service for Stephen Covey.  Covey was one of the most influential business authors of our generation, having penned the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in 1989 and then watched as the book sold more than 20 million copies.  He authored several other amazing books that combined to sell another 20 million copies.

Several months ago his children asked if I would author their father’s biography, one of the great honors in my career.  In the last few months I’ve gotten to know the Covey family and have reveled in the stories they’ve shared about how this amazing thinker came to shape the world.

At the memorial, which was public but also served as Stephen’s family funeral, each of his nine children stepped up and shared their greatest memories of growing up with a father that US Presidents and dozens of foreign leaders have asked for counsel.  As we listened to each child, the word that hung over every story was “Authentic.” What made Stephen Covey so great as a leader – and as a father – was that “As good as he was in public, he was even better in private,” as his oldest son Stephen M.R. Covey said.

The youngest Covey child, Josh was the last of the family to speak at the service.  He told a story of being a young boy, four years old, who so wanted to be like his father that he wanted to dress just as he did, right down to wearing the same belt buckle.  Then Josh told the story of being the final child to speak to his father the previous Sunday night, just hours before his father would pass, when the family gathered in his hospital room.  Josh said he wanted desperately to have the right words to say in that moment.”  I told my father that as a boy I wanted to be like him so I dressed like him,” Josh said as tears welled in his eyes.  “Now as a man, I want to be like him so I want to live like him.  As a boy, it was on the outside.  As a man, I want to be like him on the inside.”

What a tribute.

Tips from a Great One

A few of my favorite quotes from Stephen Covey

“Live life in crescendo!”

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”

“Live out your imagination, not your history.”

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

“There are three constants in life…change, choice, and principles.”

“We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals.”

“We are free to choose our actions…but we are not free to choose the consequences of those actions.”

“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.”

“Wisdom is the child of integrity–being integrated around principles. And integrity is the child of humility and courage.”

“Live, love, laugh, and leave a legacy.”

Who’s Packing Your Parachute?

by Darren Hardy

A couple years ago I interviewed Charlie Plumb, who was a U.S. Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. I learned a very valuable leadership lesson that I’d like to pass on to you here.

Charlie flew 74 consecutive successful combat missions. However on his 75th mission his F4 Phantom fighter plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. The plane exploded with some 12,000 pounds of jet fuel, flipping the plane topsy-turvy, end-over-end, down toward a rice paddy below.

Charlie was forced to eject. The only thing between him and imminent death was his parachute that he prayed would open…

Then finally he felt the opening shock of the parachute. During the 90 seconds of descent he was being shot at. “The audacity of this enemy,” Charlie said, “they just knocked down my multimillion-dollar airplane and now they’re trying to kill the pilot!”

Charlie made it down to the ground alive, but was then captured and spent 2,103 brutal days as a prisoner of war in a communist Vietnamese prison camp.

Many years after being repatriated, Charlie, his wife and another couple were sitting in a little restaurant in Kansas City together before going to a theater show that night.

Two tables over was this guy who kept looking at him. Charlie would look back but didn’t recognize him, but he kept catching this guy staring at him. Finally the guy stood up and walked over to Charlie’s table and pointed at him with a sort of a stern look on his face and he said, “You’re Captain Plumb.” Charlie looked up at him and said, “Yes, I am Captain Plumb.” The guy said, “You’re that guy. You flew jet fighters in Vietnam. You’re a fighter pilot, part of that ‘Top Gun’ outfit. You launched from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, you parachuted into enemy territory and you spent six years as a prisoner of war.”

Somewhat dumbfounded Charlie looked up at the guy and asked, “How in the world did you know all that?” The man chuckled, smiled and said, “Because I packed your parachute.”

Charlie was speechless. The man grabbed Charlie’s hand and pumped his arm and said, “I guess it worked” and walked off.

Charlie laid awake that night thinking about all the times he had walked through the long narrow room, below sea level on the aircraft carrier, with the tables where the men packed the parachutes. How many times he must have walked past this man without even saying “hi,” “good morning” or “good job” or “I appreciate what you do.”

“How many times did I pass the man whose job would eventually save my life… because I was a jet jockey, a Top Gun racing around the sky at twice the speed of sound. Because I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.”

Think about this for yourself. How many times in life do you pass the people who help you out the most? The people who come out of the far corners of your life just when you need them the most and pack your parachutes for you? The people who go the extra mile, the people who don’t look for the kudos or the accolades or the achievement medal or even the bonus check—the folks who are just out there packing parachutes?

So here’s what I want to challenge you to do. Look around your organization for the people who might not be the ‘Top Guns’ of your organization, the loud and brazen leaders, but the ones who support the system that enables the Top Guns to fly. And if something goes wrong it will be because they did their job that no one gets hurt or a customer doesn’t go neglected.

This week find 5 parachute packers in your organization and tell them how much you appreciate them and how important are the things they do for the organization. Because, in the end, it might just be them who save your life or your business, or at least save the day.

After you have acknowledged your 5 people, I would love to hear about your experience. Please share them with the rest of us.

Was That Great Idea Yours…or Your Phone’s?

by Daniel Burrus

Thanks to faster processing chips and the ability to tap into super computers in the cloud, today’s smart phones are getting smarter fast! But it’s not only because of faster chips, it’s also because of the algorithms that are being developed and applied in the background, which are essentially analyzing everything you do. To show how smart the phone can be, the University of Birmingham did an experiment whereby they used the data collected from individuals’ smart phones and those of the individuals’ friends to predict a person’s future whereabouts.

For example, suppose you and a friend get together every Thursday after work. It’s in your calendar every week. Also suppose that on Monday of this week your friend does some general searches for a different restaurant in your area. The phone puts two and two together and predicts that on Thursday you and your friend will be meeting you at the new restaurant.

Sound farfetched? It’s not. The University research found that, on average, they were able to predict within a 20 meter radius where any given person in the study would be 24 hours later. In other words, they pinpointed a person’s future location…and their accuracy was within 20 meters. Since one meter is about three feet, 20 meters is not far off.

Currently, Android’s new phone system has a predictive analysis system in place called Google Now, which aims at predicting what you’ll need and then getting it before you even know you need it, all based on your interests and habits.  And it will get more accurate over time.

How is this possible? Well, we’re using our smart phones to surf and to do our Google searches. All those searches are increasingly tied to our GPS, which is our location. And the amount of time we’re using social media on our phones is increasing as well, which means even more data collection. So our smart phone knows where we are, what we’re doing, and what our interests are at all times.

When you combine all of those things, it’s easy to see that more companies will be doing predictive analysis of what individuals are going to buy, what they’re going to do, and where they’re going to be. And, of course, this will increasingly raise concerns about privacy.

But it also brings up another interesting question: Who is really deciding our actions?

Predictive analysis suggests that a smart device is using past information and current on-line behavior to determine what a future action will be. That’s fine. But maybe you weren’t going to do what the phone suggested. Maybe the phone simply made such a good prediction (suggestion) that you decided to actually do what the phone predicted you would do. In other words, maybe the phone is not predicting, but rather, determining what you’ll do through the power of intelligent suggestion.

We’ll see this area develop and this concern play out over the coming months and years. For now, take the time to think about why you do things and the actions you take. If you don’t, someone else may do the thinking for you.

How Political Cookies Will Shape the Upcoming Election

by Daniel Burrus

Way back in the late 1980s, I was giving a keynote speech to the Direct Marketing Association, and one of stories I shared sparked both a laugh and an insight; junk mail is good mail that went to the wrong person. I went on to say that if I’m interested in sailboats and you send me something about snowmobiles, you’ve just sent me junk mail. But if you send me something about sailboats, you’ve just sent me something valuable because your message is in my interest zone. It’s no longer junk mail, it’s relevant mail.  I finished the story by giving them a prediction;  As the world becomes increasingly digital, marketers will be able to customize and eventually personalize every communication.

Fast Forward to the present, and it’s clear that the best marketers have already moved beyond customization to true personalization, For example, if you are conducting a number of searches about a sailboat that fits a certain make, model, size and price range, and then you go to a different unrelated website, it’s very likely you will see an ad for a sailboat that fits what you were looking for, almost as if they knew exactly what you were interested in.  And it is highly likely you would even click on it to find out more.  In addition, you might get a snail mail brochure a few days later advertising sailboats that fit your exact interests.

These intelligent personalized ads that match a person’s search patterns occur because of cookies. But cookies aren’t just for consumer products. They’re also for politics, and they will increasingly influence which political ads you see online, as they will grow more relevant over time.

Remember, cookies are the little bits of code that identify your browser online. Companies are accessing your browsing habits, which are stored in those cookies.  The best cookies come from the highest traffic websites, the ones you register to use. When you register to use those sites, the sites know who you are, where you are, and increasingly what you’re interested in. Your registration converts you from being an anonymous web surfer to a specific person with specific interests.

Now it’s possible for political campaign managers to access the cookies who know who you are, and combine that information with publically available information such as your political party registration. Then, they can look at your voting history, the types of charitable donations you make, your address, your age, etc. They can even take a look at your hobbies based on what you’ve been doing online and where you’ve been going from search to search.

Using all of this information, they can direct much more targeted campaign ads that know how to push your hot buttons.

When will this sort of targeting start happening? Right now. All the political candidates this year will be using this technology more and more as the Election Day draws closer to influence your vote. Will we still see all of those annoying campaign ads on television as we have in the past?  Yes, but in addition, the next time you see a political ad online and feel that it really resonates with you, realize that it does so for a reason. It was created specifically for you.