THREE GREEN INVESTMENT IDEAS FOR 2019

Hey Guys—In the past, I’ve blogged about wealth building. Today we are going to pivot and talk about investing… big disclaimer here—I am not an investment expert. I simply look at historical trends and draw conclusions about good investments for the future. 

Today I’m going to zero in on some alternative investments to the S&P 500 or bank CDs. There are some creative ways of investing in activities such as agriculture that should provide a decent return on investment over the coming years—including land, timber and food production. I’m excited to share what I’ve learned about these options and why I think they’re good investment choices.

Land

The first thing I’d recommend investing in is real property, meaning land. If you’re familiar with Will Rogers, you might remember that he also invested in land, because it’s a limited resource.

"...out here I had been putting what little money I had in Ocean Frontage, for the sole reason that there was only so much of it and no more, and that they wasn’t making any more..." April 13, 1930

-        Will Rogers

This is true more than ever.  However, I don’t advocate buying speculative real estate such beach front housing or the picturesque view of a mountain in the distance.  Instead, I encourage investments in agricultural lands that can be planted to crops and produce income.

There are several reasons for that. One is the idea that speculative real estate can quickly decrease in value with natural events such as wildfires or flooding.

But the main fact is that good farmland is becoming scarcer due to erosion. As with any scarce commodity is always becomes more valuable the less of it there is.

Farmland is becoming rarer because rain water is literally washing the lose tilled soils away… to the tune of 2.5 tons per acer per year. This means that as the world population continues to grow, we’re going to see less and less high-quality farmland that can be put into crop production, and the value of high-quality farmland will keep increasing. Over the past 14 years, farmland value has risen 134 percent, which is an increase in value of 9.59 percent each year. Not a bad rate of appreciation at all.

The cap rate is another interesting piece of information to look at. The national average crop land value is $3,140 per acre, and national average crop rent is $138. That’s an average cap rate of 4.3 percent.

Compare that to the average five-year CD, which currently runs at 1-3 percent.

You could also compare it to a real estate investment such as a trailer park, where you could easily get a cap rate of 9 percent—but that also comes with added management headaches and much lower appreciation. In contrast, if you have a long-term relationship with a farmer who plans to continue farming a piece of property over the next ten or fifteen years, you have a lot less volatility. This type of investment grows slowly, but also steadily, so it’s a great long-term strategy.

Here’s something else to consider. If you’re interested in investing in agricultural land but you don’t have enough capital of your own (such as half a million to $1 million to buy a farm) you can still be involved in real estate investments in the agricultural sector.

You can find investment opportunities by searching for a real estate investment trusts. These are simply ETFs that are put together by larger conglomerates that bring smaller investors together so they can invest in agricultural lands.

Timber

Have you been to a lumber yard recently? If so, you might have noticed that lumber prices keep going up. Timber prices have outperformed the S&P 500 for the last 100 years. Wow, looks like money dose grow on trees after all.

In fact timber has increased in value at a rate of 3% higher than inflation for the last 90 years. At the same time, the UN reports that the demand for lumber is going to double and possibly triple by 2050.

If you have the ability to invest in a tree today and you don’t need your money for the next 20-30 years, investing in timber is a smart move. You could even consider planting entire fields to trees.

As with farmland investments, if you’d like to invest in timber but you don’t have enough money to buy your own trees, there are companies that you can invest in. You could try investing in companies such as Plum Creek Timber or Potlatch both publicly traded companies. Or search Investopedia to find more options.

You’re not limited to the stock market, though. You could also partner with a landowner and plant your own trees or partner with a company that’s already planting timber, such as World Tree.

The great thing about timber is that there's an increasing demand and a shrinking supply. Timber is a renewable resource, too, so as it's harvested, it can be replanted or grow back again from the roots.

Food Production

Investing in food production is a practical move because there is a constant demand. This outweighs the fact that commodities are costly to produced, that returns are low and margins are slim.

On a small scale, you can invest by partnering with farmers in your area by providing seed money for buying greenhouses, crop seeds or farming equipment. In a situation like this, you may get a much higher return than if you were to invest that money in the stock market.

Since we are taking a green stance here on this blog let’s take a stand against the soil wasting cropping practices of our day. Instead we will focus on drawing down carbon through intensive rotational grazing with cattle. Many people don’t want to be in the commodity market with cattle because cattle have only increased in price about one point, or around 8% a year every year for the last 27 years. If this straight commodity pricing dose not excite you to much. Look into direct-marketing the meat or transition your herd to grass only for a grass-finished product.

With a little creativity, you could turn an investment in cattle into a profitable enterprise. You could also increase your profitability even more by investing in other symbiotic enterprises such as sheep which have a higher individual ROI than cattle. When you run Sheep and cattle together you have what is now called a flerd. Flerds have many advantages among which are increased income from the same piece of land, less predator pressure and better pasture management.

Silvopasture: Accessing the Best of All Worlds

Piece by piece, agricultural investments makes sense—but where it gets really exciting is when you can bring all of these things ideas together.

Here’s a scenario to consider:

If you have the ability to invest in a farm and hire a farmer to take care of it, you could plant trees and graze animals in the ally between them. Or replace the grazing animals with other high return crops.

In this type of enterprise the cattle could make you a small return or even be run as a break-even enterprise that will pay for the land use that will give you a 4 percent return every year. The final payout would come when the timber is harvested, 30-40 years later. You could also get a large payout if you ever decide to sell the farmland itself.

Integrated agricultural investments make sense, both in the short term as steady earners and in the long term with timber and farmland sales. As you’re looking to diversify your portfolio, consider an integrated agricultural approach. It’s practical, and with a little creativity on your part, it could be fulfilling, as well.  Who knows? Maybe the agricultural sector is just what you’ve been looking for.

Interested in learning more or have specific questions…

You can reach me at adamcmcclary@gmail.com   

Adam McClary

Four ways a closer will talk a client out of a sale.

Hey Guys. I am here to speak with you today about some key mistakes to avoid in your daily sales conversations. I hope that you will find these reminders helpful and be able to shift the way in which you are communicating to a more effective and helpful frame. Enjoy.

#1. Relieving the prospects’ pain too soon.

As humans we hate it when others are in pain around us. You can observe this most readily in little children. They can see a parent or sibling crying and they will quite often say, what’s wrong? Let me help, it’s ok.

This is a natural human tendency to relieve the pain of others, none of us likes to stay in pain or be in pain with someone else. However, as a Closer that is where we must be and where we must stay until we have a clear understanding of the full picture.

Just saying it’s okay we can help doesn't work here. First, more than likely, the prospect doesn't really know how bad the problem is yet. Second, he or she is in an emotional state here. We need to keep him or her in this exploration state for a little longer.

If we say “Work with us and all your problems will be solved.” He may be reminded he is on a sales call, and he will go to a logical state of mind and say “You know you're right, life is not that bad. I am good, thanks for the encouragement. Have a great day.”

#2. Hearing a problem but not exploring it.

The strongest motivation that anyone has to take action in response to is pain. The prospect you are on the phone with has a problem, otherwise they wouldn't be on the phone wasting their time talking to you.

If we hear the prospect say that they have a problem, we must remain silent and ask them to describe it, clarify it, explain it. Only after we are sure we can help them, will we transition to where they want to be.

If someone says that they are making $20k a month, we must resist the urge to say to say wow, that’s better than most. If this is a problem for him we need to explore why. How much of this is take home, What is his tax bracket, What are his expenses, Is this consistent month to month or was this his best month ever? How long can he keep living like this? Only after we have explored the pain can we truly understand what he is going through and how it is affecting him.

#3. Sell features not solutions.

As humans, it is way too easy for us to stay stuck in the logical brain. We can help you with this product that does xyz. But, as humans we make decisions emotionally not logically. Just ask all the couples you know why they got married… You get my point. So the same goes for us as Closers. We must find out why someone is looking for our help. What they need our product to do. Why it is so important. What life will look like after we help them.

The great thing is that if we gather all these details, as product experts, we would know right away if we could fix the problem or not. If we can, sign them up. But if we can’t, then we have the opportunity to send them to someone else who can better assist them.

#4. By not shutting up after asking a question

Believe it or not as a closer it is possible to talk to much. We need to remember that this call is about them not us. We are here to diagnose issues like a doctor would diagnose medical problems. We need to check our ego at the door and focus solely on the prospect.

This means that if we ask a question, we then need to shut up. If the prospect understood the question he/she will answer. Only if he/she did not understand will they ask for clarification. So often it is easy to get nervous and asked a question, restate it, clarify it and then ask a second question. This just is too much and will it confuse the prospect and break down our rapport. Hit mute if you need to after asking your question. This will make you focus on your prospect and what he/she is saying.

I hope these tips help you avoid some of the ways I have talked my way out of a sale before. I hope you have a great week of clarity and focus as you seek to help others improve their lives and become the best version of themselves. Have a blessed week guys!

Adam McClary


How I went from 150 to 550 friends on LinkedIn in just 30 days.

Hey Guys,

As a closer I love to talk, I am not alone in this situation. Closers thrive in environments where we get to ask questions. We love to learn about others.

However, The other day I was trying to find a very specific type of person. They had to have a certain work history, a certain skill set and they had to have a specific network.

I tried talking to all of my family. I looked all over Facebook and Google. When that did not work, I reached out to my network of friends. Finally I got on Linkedin, the only problem… I only had 150 friends on LinkedIn and none of them needed fit my criteria.

So I started doing targeted outreach to my desired demographics… and something amazing happened. I would send out 20-40 connection requests every day. Usually I would get 5-10 connections within 24 hours. I then would send them a personal message.

My messages typically would mention something about the users profile that was unique. Something that I could relate to. Then I would tell them why I reached out and say that if they found this interesting to go ahead and message me back. Surprisingly, I had about one person a day who wanted to talk to me.

That wasn’t the best part though, in the last month I have spoken with a retired marketer and copywriter who is now doing affiliate marketing. Then there was the Army vet who used to live in Panama in an amazing second story apartment overlooking the beach. I learned how he now lost everything and is rebuilding his life, business and family step by step.

I also met a broker at a venture capital firm who has personally raised $250 million in one funding round. I am now connected to hundreds of CEO’s, Entrepreneurs, Coaches, Retires, Marketers, and Closers world wide.

In life many of us struggle with daily problems. Your problem may be balancing the checkbook or leaving for work on time. Your problem may be with your spouse, but all of these problems start within us. As we seek to become more capable and giving individuals, we must remember what one of the greatest psychiatrist of our time said.

“Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.” -Albert Einstein

So before we reach a breaking point in any situation, we have two choices: one to reach within and bury ourselves in our thoughts, or two, take action and propel ourselves into the public arena to connect with others who are wiser, more experienced, or more grounded than ourselves.

Thankfully, now in 2018, 44% of the US population is on Linkedin. It has never been easier to reach out to people outside of our network and learn new ways of thinking. So my challenge to you is to increase your network.

Think of that one crazy dream you have. Yeah that one you can’t tell to any of your friends. The one that no one in your social circle gets…. Yeah, that idea that has laid dormant and unexplored for years.

I want you to share it this week with ten targeted people. The good news is that you will never meet these people on Linkedin. If they think you are crazy they won’t get back to you.

However, what if just one person does get back to you. What if?

It is said that the scariest person you will ever meet is going to be on your last day on this earth seeing the person you could have become… Thankfully we don’t have to wait that long. We can chose to take action today.

Happy hunting.

Adam McClary


The three steps to creating lasting wealth, Part two

Hey guys,

INTRODUCTION

As a Closer I love to talk about wealth and building wealth for future generations. Today we are going to take a look at the second half of Dan Lok’s wealth triangle. Enjoy!

So if you read my first article, you will remember that we talked about how to support yourself with a skill instead of a job. This is important because once you can step away from a job and work only for results (instead of trading your time for money), you are free to be creative with your time and money. So let’s take a look at the second side of the triangle. What do you do once you are making alright money?

SIDE TWO: HIGH RETURN INVESTMENTS

So now that you are making more money than you ever had in your life, what is next? Investing it wisely so you can have a solid plan for you future. So you can eventually support yourself from your investments and work when you want to instead of having to work to survive day to day.

The amount will be different for everyone, but some will invest 10%, 25% or even 50% of their income every year and put it into High Return Investments.

There are many investments that return higher than the stock market, but again they all take education to understand. Some of you will take the time to learn how to invest in real estate intelligently…

You will learn the ups and downs of different strategies such as fix and flips, wholesaling, or tax liens papers. Once you find a strategy, being able to invest in something that will return value with significant R.O.I will allow you to grow your wealth. It pays to intelligently learn a strategy that will allow you to grow your portfolio year after year.

Let’s say you are a high income photographer. You are now doing 2-3 shoots a week and are making 100-150k a year. Now you just need to decide what percentage of this you will invest and what rate you need to return to hit your target freedom date. Get a great year with returns of 20-30% and retire comfortably in a short time between 5 to 15 years. Once you are free and “retired”, you can now live a life of impact instead of a life of desperation.

For some people, this is the furthest they will ever go on the wealth triangle. If you are diligent about buying investments that will appreciate in value or that will return you income through rent, your income will be hedged against loss and you will eventually make more money from your investments than from your daily labor. This is a beautiful spot to be. For some people though, they want more than just living expenses covered. They want to have greater impact. For these people, the third side of the triangle becomes incredibly important and helpful.   

SIDE THREE: SCALABLE BUSINESS

Let’s say you wanted to be wealthy and have massive impact on the world. In order to disrupt an industry or leave a legacy, what do you need to do? Get involved in scalable businesses. Once you know that you can support yourself with your skills, you are free from the stress of having to make businesses work perfectly day in and out.

The reason that scalable businesses are the last consideration is because businesses are stressful and difficult all on it’s own. Now if you add desperation to the mix, you have a deadly cocktail. A term that is important to understand in any business is your daily income goal. This is referred to as a DIG. If you are not hitting your DIG with your high income skill, it is NOT time to jump into scalable businesses.

So what are scalable businesses? Well online businesses are a good example, if you are selling a product or service, all you need to do to make more income is make more sales. As you scale, you need to make sure you are making generous margins on your product or service so that you still would have a marketing budget.

Then you need to get in front of more people. In order to accomplish this you can work with funnel builders, copywriters and social media marketers to come up with a compelling offer, upsells and unique selling propositions. Then as long as your cost per click is at an appropriate ratio, all that is left to do is spend money on advertising. The more you spend on advertising, the more you will sell.

Another option is the service based business. It’s really anything that allows you to grow constantly and leverage other people's time and money. Pick your yearly income goals and see what businesses you need to be involved in to make it a reality.

What are the margins? how many sales do I need to make to hit my DIG?

Know what your goal is and what it will take in sales to hit the goal. All that is left is to run the numbers and to understand what sort of growth needs to happen in your business to hit your DIG. If you find that your goals will require more than 20% growth within your business, then you may need to look at acquiring another complimentary business instead of simply relying on your own company to grow to the size you require.

Mergers and Acquisitions will become a skill in of itself. Over the following ten years, the most active demographic in the small business sector are the Baby boomers because they’re starting to retire. This will open up many opportunities for Leverage Buyouts know as LBOs and for other unique opportunities of getting started in business without having to start your own operation from scratch.

I hope this helps you as you decide what you are going to do to achieve your income dreams. I look forward to hearing from you on what you have decided to do today, to support yourself not only today, but next week and next year.

Adam McClary


The three steps to creating lasting wealth, Part one

Hey Guys,

Introduction

As a Closer, I love to talk about wealth and building wealth for future generations. Today we are going to take a look at the first half of Dan Lok’s wealth triangle. Enjoy!

Your results today are the sum of your thought patterns from the past. So if you are living paycheck to paycheck, the question is, what thought process did you use to achieve the results that you see today? What thought patterns are holding you back from success? Are you up to learning a new way of thinking? If so let me share with you a concept I learned recently.

Dan Lok’s wealth triangle

Dan Lok has shared his method for wealth creation in a short YouTube video online. He explains the three steps to wealth as a triangle. Let me give you the short recap on the triangle and my takeaways in the following article.

Side one: Develop a High Income Skill

Before diving into what a High Income Skill is, let’s first take a look at the standard thought process for making money. When you were a little kid and you wanted some money for something what did you do? You went and got a job. So straight out a high school, you took the first job that you could find, and started working for minimum wage right?

Now, there is nothing wrong with this, you learn some character you learn how to interact with people and life is great. But not if you stay here!

Usually after a short period of time in this position, we realize that if we had more training or more education, we could get a better job, with better hours and better pay.

So the majority of people go to college, get into debt to get a degree to work a better paying job. There is nothing inherently wrong with this either, if you have a good plan. The golden standard of this method of increasing your income are the doctors and lawyers we all hear about.  The only problem is that they still have to work hourly are tied to a physical location.

So how is a High Income Skill different? Well, developing a skill is different in that you master something that you can be paid up front for. You spend the same effort that you would on an associate degree in developing a skill, and becoming the leading expert in your field (as the go to person that can get the job done).

This is also different because you are not working per hour, you are working per task. The more efficient you are the better paid you will become.

Some examples of skills are photographers, barbers, closers, marketers, copywriters, or niche social media managers. Typically this is anything you can charge at least a thousand dollars for and finish in one day.

There are always three things that business will pay for in any economy and that is branding, marketing and sales. This is because without a brand, marketing and sales; you don’t have a business.

For an example of a High Income Skill, let’s look at photography. If you are the best photographer in your area in a specific niche and you charge $1000 for a shoot, how many of these shoots do you need to do per week to make a good living?

Another example is a High End Barber, if you develop this skill and are charging 50-100 for a haircut, how many cuts would you need to do per week to make a good living? What is you become the best of the best and offer to go to the customers and now charge what the presidential barber charges $1000 per hair cut. How many cuts do you need now?

The list of possibilities for skills will never run out because all you need to do, is become the leading expert in your field. You’ve got to stick with your skill longer than everyone else. How many people have studied and practiced a specific skill for 10000+ hours? Not many.

How many people have spent more than just one year to understand the whole of medicine or the whole of law but one specific niche within that industry? Once you find that High Income Skill, you get to choose who you work with.

You can then go anywhere in the world with confidence, knowing you can rely on your skills to make money for you.

I hope you have found this first half of the article to be helpful. Look for the second half later this week, where we will cover the remaining two sides of the wealth triangle.

Adam McClary


The Truth about millennial employee turnover

Hey Guys,

I was having a conversation yesterday day with a friend. We are both in our mid twenties, so we fall into that demographic called the millennial’s. During the conversation we turned towards discussing coworkers, employee turnover, and how this  is affecting companies, employees and the economy. The general social feeling about this subject tends to point at millennial’s being flighty and changing jobs rapidly. We were unsure if this was generational character defect or if this was a tech age business issue or both. So I did some fact checking into the numbers.


Forbes put out an article in 2012 talking about how job hopping is the new norm. They quoted the bureau of labor statistics that states the median worker stays with an employer for 4.2 years, This is about the same in the recent report put out by the bureau called the 2018 employee tenure survey. This sounds like a shocking statistic, until you realize that his is practically unchanged for the last several decades. In fact when you look at the bureau Spotlight on Statistics report we can see that job tenure back in 2000 was only 3.5 years. It is clear that as employees age they move jobs less often. When you look at the complete economy what I think is happening is the Baby boomer generation is skewing the statistics to show a longer overall tenure than what we were seeing prior to the economic slowdown in 2008. This economic slowdown also taught many millennial’s that having a job regardless of if you like it is a wonderful thing.

To really get clear on the numbers we will need to look at the statistics by age range. When we do that we find that the workers who fall in the twenty to twenty four year old range are on average changing jobs every 1.3 years. Again, this may be a shocking statistic until you realize that this number is practically unchanged since the 1980’s when beginning workers were staying with new employers a whopping 1.5 years. So again no real significant change in the numbers here either.

So what is really going on with millennial’s…

Well for one… More are going to college. According to statista.com, Back in 1980 only 20% of males and 14% of females completed a four year degree this year it is 33 and 34% respectively. However before we jump up and down and get all excited for our students that are studying away so hard, let’s look at another type of turnover. That is the turnover of majors within college. Anywhere from 50- 70% of students will change their major at least once during their four years of study. Once these workers hit the economy we find that only 27% of employees have a job related to their field of study.

What does all of this mean? Well, Our generation has a tremendous desire to do meaningful work. To have a positive impact and to work in a positive environment. Now before you conjure up images of pillows, puppies and safe spaces. I think that overall the trend or desire to find a profession that you are a good fit for is a noble proposition. But how do we go about this without spending years hopping from one low paying job to another? Or worse yet, going into student loan debt only to find out that we don’t enjoy what we are doing.

Know yourself

First, I am going to quote Sun Tzu here from the art of war. If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Being young, We know that technology is rapidly changing the workplace, so it may be unrealistic to expect us to know the enemy. To balance this out we need to know what we are good at. What we like, and why. My father used to ask me anytime I did something silly or stupid why did you do that. Being young it was easy to say “I don’t know.” This answer never flied with my father. He always would respond, you need to know why you do what you do.

It is rare for young people to be laser focused with one job, skill, or business in mind. Keep in mind that for every Gary Vaynerchuk and Mark Zuckerberg who hit it fairly early on in life there are many more Henry Ford's who founded Ford motor at 40 and Colonel Sanders who opened his first Kentucky Fried Chicken at 62. I think that it is important for employees and employers alike to realize that it takes time to learn the skills of leadership, communication, persuasion, sales, and marketing. If you aren't engaging and educating your employees they will move to someone else that will.

Manage your expectations

Secondly, Find joy in what you are doing. Right now, today… Don’t leave your job to have fun. Take pride and joy in today and if you indeed do find that a move is in your future take that winning attitude with you. Don’t expect the move to fix your attitude for you.

Ask for help

Third, For many of us we don’t know what we are good at... yet. We don’t know what we don’t know. So in this arena it is imperative that we ask. Not your buddies, not the hooligans that you grew up with… but old and wise men who have been thru it all. Now more than ever with the internet we can find retired businessmen, tradesmen, and politicians near us. This older generation loves to be involved in passing along their wisdom. Many times all you have to do is ask and listen patiently for free advice. Then all that is left is to implement, take action, do the work. Live out today without regrets. I will leave you with one final quote.

Henry Dodd says, “The reason most people do not recognize an opportunity when they meet it is because it usually goes around wearing overalls and looking like Hard Work.”

Adam McClary


Making the choice, closing team or sales team?

edited.jpg

Hi, my name is Adam McClary, I am a High Ticket Closer. I love helping business owners increase revenues. In this article I am going to explain the different sectors of business, why sales matter, and the differences between sales and closing.

Your choice depends on your sector:

I once heard it said that they are only three basic business models in the world. There is the manufacturer, the distributor and service sectors. You may ask what if I own a pizza shop, I am doing all three, right? You are correct, You put together ingredients to make a pizza (manufacturing). You deliver pizzas for a fee (distribution) and you have “for here” dining (service). So why is it important to make this distinction? Because it is important to know that every business has to answer all three questions. How is our products made, How do we transport it, and how do we sell it.


Today we are touching on the third. “In business nothing happens until a sale is made” (Dan Lok). So for example, If you are a farmer converting sunlight into corn. Your bins of corn do you no good if you can’t convert your corn into something valuable, such as dollars. So you might speak with Kellogg and offer to sell them your corn so they can make corn flakes. If a sale isn’t made, you don’t have a business and Kellogg doesn’t have your corn. Only after this sale can you wake up to a bowl of crunchy flakes.

What is a sale?

On the most basic level, sales are simply the exchange of goods for money. But let’s speak about the broader picture here. To be good at sales you must understand human psychology. Who am I talking to, what do they need, what do they want, and why?

What do we call this process, qualification, right? For our farmer, he must first qualify that Kellogs needs corn. What if he tried selling his corn to Quacker for oatmeal? That wouldn't work would it? Our qualification process may be simple, but I guarantee that at some point you are at least making sure that your prospect can pay you. Otherwise we are wasting our time and frustrating the prospect.

Standard Sales:

My mentor Dan Lok says “We all love to buy, but hate to be sold.” So why do we look down on sales people? Actually, what is the first thing you think of when I say, salesperson. What word came to mind? Pushy, slimy, deceitful, and fast talking? Does that list sound about right? Why do we think of salesmen this way?

One reason may be fear. “The oldest emotion of mankind is fear and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” (quote unknown). As a prospect when someone walks up to you talking fast, supper positive, about something you know little about, it is natural to have some fear. What if we could approach the client differently though? “The golden rule of business is to always deliver value first, before asking anything in return” (Dan Lok). What if we had a better qualification process and only talked to people who had a desire or need for our product?

What is Closing?

Closing is a term that originated from the real estate world. As the final step in the sales process, closing is what gets money in the bank. When I talk about closing, I am talking about a commision only sales professional taking warm inbound leads and converting them into paying clients in one phone calls that usually lasts 45 minutes or less.

In the Closing system, we leverage the power of your advertising to maximize the amount of pre qualified prospects we speak to. We seek to add value to them first. The person may sit thru an educational webinar or we may give them a free PDF via their email. Regardless, the end goal is to get them to schedule a call through a booking page. When they book, we make them fill out a form telling us why they want to work with us. Finally you get the pre qualified client on the phone.

How a closer operates:

As a closer we are not trying to get you to buy what we have for sale. As closers we chose to come at the prospect from another angle. We first want to ask the client what is wrong. Think about it, do you want to work with people who don’t need your help? Or would you rather work with someone who actually needs your help and asks you to help? Which client will get better results? Which client will leave you better reviews?

Even though prospects have already chosen to set aside time to speak with us. We still chose to qualify them further. Do they have time, money, motivation to work with us. Are they even the decision maker? Once we know that we can help the prospect. We ask them why they want to work with us. Again, why should we beg people to use our services? After they tell us why they want to work with us, then we can find out where they want to be. Once the prospect can see the pain they are in and the vision of where they want to go, it is our job to leverage the difference between the two to build urgency and the commitment to making a change.

Choosing a revenue generation system:

So as a business owner, which system is best for you? If you are selling anything below one thousand dollars standard sales techniques may be your best option. Grabbing attention via marketing and putting prospects thru a marketing funnel is not cheap. However if you have a package, product or service that is two, five or ten thousand dollars closing is the most effective way of turning interest into commitment.

I once heard it said of small businesses  “if you have no predictable or scalable way of generating sales, if you are relying only on referrals, then you don’t have a business, you have a hobby.”  If you are looking for help to turn your hobby into a scalable business. If you are looking for predictable income. Consider transitioning from standard sales tactics to the closing model.

I hope that these pointers will help you effectively scale your business. Increase your sales and to spend your time how you want.

If you ever have any questions about closing inbound high ticket calls, email me at

adam@clientasset.com

Till next time, Keep crushing it.

Be awesome my friends,

Adam McClary


Using technology to communicate with employees.

edited.jpg

Hi, my name is Adam McClary, I am a High Ticket Closer. I love helping business owners increase revenues. In this article I am going to explore the topic of how to use technology in communication. Does it help or harm our ability to connect with others? I hope you enjoy this, please leave your concerns, comments and observations in my social media feed.

My first exposure to video conferencing:

A few years ago I joined a non for profit. I wanted to help small farmers in South Dakota become more profitable. Unfortunately, what I did not know that this commitment would require me to drive 450 miles on my own dime to attend a one day meeting. Telling my friends I was a vice president of a non for profit was amazing. But that feeling did not last as I read the email notification one more time. “We are scheduling an emergency meeting as a board. We will not meet our objectives on time even with our weekly hour long phone conferences.” Sitting there in my living room I felt conflicted. Surly I wasn't the only one that was dreading an eight hour drive just to meet for a few hour meeting. I knew I couldn't just quit helping the association. I really believed in what we were doing. However, I couldn't just take a day off work anytime we were in danger of not meeting a deadline.

So I sent out a suggestion via email, Could we possibly meet using a free video conferencing software. Quickly I heard back from the older members, No. They did not know how to download or use this new technology. This idea would not work. Not to be deterred, I thought up a new plan. I knew that the state had video conference capabilities. What if we all traveled to the closest local town and had a web based meeting using these preset rooms? Finally they relented and the date was set. The farthest anyone had to drive that day was one hour. The best part is that we not only had a great meeting. We actually finished our objectives just four hours. Everyone was so excited that they decided we would meet via video conference from now on. I learned a valuable lesson that day, technology is a powerful tool when used correctly.

What is communication?

Communication is simply the transfer of information from one place to another place. There are different levels of communication, verbal, non verbal, and written. Most of us communicate face to face just fine. If we are both in the same environment, we can see how the other person moves their face, hands and body. In fact Albert Mehrabian is often quoted for the work that he published in 1967 saying that 55% of communication is nonverbal, 38% is tone of voice and only 7%  are the words spoken.

Does this mean that when I am writing an email that I am only 7% effective at communicating? I hope not. I would like to think that I am better at writing that that? But what it does mean is that when I am writing my article that I am encoding a message. A message that you then have to decode after you receive it. This means that if emails or text messages are not written carefully entire thoughts or even your intent for the message can get lost in translation. What if you could avoid this? Now with the advent of free conferencing software it is possible to have a face to face meeting with anyone in the world who has a phone and WIFI signal. But what about email and text are they really that effective at conveying our emotions, tone, and thoughts? Is there a better solution?

Why you should use technology for communication:

The other day I was sending some Linkedin messages. I saw a company that I wanted to work with. I got on the phone with a sales representative from the company and instantly discerned that I could help them increase sales. So I sent out a series of messages. I sent them to the ceo, coo, sales managers, everyone. And I only had one person connect with me, this amounted to a 5% engagement rate. I thought to myself, I suck! I knew my writing had been ineffective. But, I also did not want to spend the next two months going thru a copy writing course. I need results now, so I switched strategys.

I knew that there had to be a way to send a video message. So after a few minutes on google I found a company that would allow me to record and send video messages. So I refined my list down to the top four decision makers of the company. I recorded short one to two minute personalized videos and sent the video link out. Guess what happened, I had two videos watched within 12 hours that's 50% engagement. One of the prospects even took the time to view my linkedin profile. I was ecstatic, once again I was impressed with the power of technology in communication.

Communication disasters:

Three years ago I had driven to Pittsburgh PA for a conference. I met up with my group of friends and we walked down a steep hill in the biting cold to get some dinner at the local Chipotle Grill. Apparently it was the popular choice that night. The place was packed but we finally found one table for four. As we sat down all of my friends started staring into their screens. I only had a flip phone at that point so I started watching people. Everyone that came in the door was on a phone. Everyone that was sitting down eating was on a phone. In fact for the first fifteen minutes of our meal I was the only non employed person in the building not staring silently into a phone.

This is the curse of technology. If we are not intently focused on connecting with the other humans around us, we will neglect them and crawl deeper and deeper into the techno world. As far as I am concerned the world of virtual reality is already here, it just is not perfected yet. So you may ask, do you need to communicate with your employees via blog, social media posts, podcasts and videos to remain relevant. My short answer to this is no. We actually need more people willing to set aside all the hustle and bustle of modern life and spend more time speaking face to face. The human next to you is so beautiful, so interesting and so intrinsically valuable that the best thing you could ever do is just speak with them.

However on a balancing argument. I would say that we should strive to make every interaction with employees and customers as relevant and personal as possible. So rather than sending that text, could you call them? Rather than sending that long confusing email, Could you send a personalized video? A limitless list of possibilities is blown wide open to us right now.

Choosing a communication strategy:

Technology has the power to multiply our voice. In many industries gone are the days of hand written reports books are a thing of the past and the file cabinets were kicked to the curb years ago. We are going thru the next big change in communication. The first major shift was when the telephone allowed people to communicate across the country. Then when email came out we could now send messages easily across the world. Now with the advent of social media and video conference software we can not only speak with but also meet with people from around the world.

As a company it is up to you to choose how you will encode and decode messages. I would encourage you to start thinking outside the box. When it comes to writing policy don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Take a look at what is available and adapt it to your context. Let’s take a look at some specific examples of where technology will help you learn more about your employees and be able to connect with them in deeper and more meaningful ways.

Using Social media:

In the past when small family run business was the standard. You could speak with every employee every day. In fact every employee could speak with everyone else and see how they were doing. Today, as companies consolidate and grow it can be hard to connect with your fellow employees and hear how everyone is doing. This is especially true of industries such as emergency services and truck drivers who check in at the beginning of a shift and hit the streets. One free tool available at your disposal is Facebook. Facebook now has private invitation only groups. This means that you could actually have a company wide or shift wide invitation only group where you could share the big wins of the day both at home and at work.

Now this could easily be abused. I will be the first to acknowledge that. There must be standards by which you measure what is acceptable and what is not. This platform can’t replace the managers speaking directly with employees. If you viewed this as a stand alone communication platform you are actually regressing. But what if you are the chief of a large department and as you walk down the hall you not only can greet your employee by name but also congratulate him on his new personal record bench press? Allowing your employees to share with each other allows you to get to know them better so you can connect with them faster and on a deeper level when you speak with them face to face.

Using video messaging:

Video is another powerful tool in your arsenal. Just think of the last emails that you sent out. Some email communication is simple. Do you want this or that, yes or no. Other messages though we spend more time typing. We are scared that we may not be truly getting everything across that we would like to. Take for example a notice of policy changes. Or a company wide email wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. These are a perfect time to use the power of video to your advantage. Spend a few minutes crafting your train of thought. Then simply press record and you can convey your message with the added help of body language and tone of voice.

The main challenges with video are making sure you have a good quality camera, low background noise and good lighting. However with the advances in technology it has never been more cost effective to turn on your smartphone camera and start recording. We are not aiming for movie quality here. In fact, when we make mistakes or our background is a little cluttered it just goes to endure you to your employees as they can see that you are human to.

Ending thoughts:

I hope you have picked up on some new ideas. I look forward to hearing how you have chosen to implement technology in your workplace to better connect with your employees. Just remember that the addition of technology will never be a wrong choice as long as it only augments your communication strategies and does not replace you meeting them, speaking to them and personally showing them you care. Use technology to relate your humanity to others.

If you ever have any questions about closing inbound high ticket calls, email me at

adam@clientasset.com

Till next time, Keep crushing it.

Be awesome my friends,

Adam McClary


The components of an effective Agenda

edited.jpg

Hi, my name is Adam McClary, I am a High Ticket Closer and I love helping closers close more. In this article I am going to explain what the agenda step is. How I build it, and why it is important addition to any sales call.

Introduction

In the sales process rapport is the most important and first step of any call. If you would like to learn more about how to quickly and effectively build rapport just follow this link. However after you build rapport with someone the second step of the effective sales call is the agenda step. It is important to have the prospect agree with you on the purpose of the call. Because, how will either party on a call know if the call was effective, unless you agree on the terms by which you will measure success.

 Second when dealing with different personalities it is important to tailor the call to the person. For example with shy prospects it can reassure them and put them at ease. When they are relaxed they can focus on fixing the problem that prompted the call. On the other hand with overbearing prospects it allows us to set a president. “This is how the call will go.” This protects the closer so he doesn't leave the call filling like he got run over by a mack truck.

Steps of an effective agenda

 Still think an agenda is an unnecessary and awkward step? Imagine for a moment roadtripping cross country without a map, hard right? Now imagine cross country racing again without a map. The added speed just made this difficult task even more frustrating. Jumping on a closing call without an agenda is a lot like hitting the road for that cross country race. How will you ever get anywhere fast, and how will you know you got there when you do get there?

First: The transition

Sometimes when we have a prospect who really likes to talk it can be hard to transition from rapport to agenda. But, using this one sentence can help signal the shift. I often will tell the prospect. “Ok, we can get started if you are ready.” Once they have agreed to starting we can move forward.

Second: Building your frame

The beginning statement can sound something like this.(Great so the way this call is going to go is.) Notice the terminology here. We are not asking for permission to run the call. We are the one laying out the road map. If they agree to my terms we can move on. If they won’t agree to following my road map then why are we on the phone? We can disqualify them and move on. Another opening statement could sound like this. “Well John, I really want to respect your time and mine so before we dive in...” From here you would lay out the rest of your agenda.

Third: Agreeing on the route.

Next we need to agree on where we are going. So for example, I could say “I am going to ask you some questions to understand where you are and where you would like to be. If we find that our program is a good fit for you, and we can help you with this service we can move forward and can get you enrolled today. Does this sound alright?” Another example of an effective way to lay this out is, “Really what I want to find here on this call is clarity on what is working and what is not, where you want to go, and if our service of ___ will help you. And if it will I will show you how.”

Fourth: Putting the prospect at ease.

In closing it is important to know who you want to work with. This allows you to have the confidence to disqualify someone who is not a good fit. So now we have covered what will happen if we are a good fit. It is really important to cover what will happen if we don’t.

 This step is a nice touch, it takes the pressure off of the prospect. You will find that you have less objections at the end of the call using this. We have given them permission to say no. One way to cover this is, “if we find that we are not a good fit to work together I will do my best to send you over to someone else that can help you.”

Fifth: Who is the decision maker here?

In High Ticket Closing we must qualify for the decision maker. So you may ask, why is it important to qualify for decision maker.  Well let’s say you are the clerk in a jewelry store and as you stand behind the glass case. You have this cute little four year old girl walk up and point out this $40 bracelet in the case. She says she wants to see it and feel it. At this moment as the responsible salesman are you going to get the bracelet out and spend the next 15 minutes with her explaining why she should buy this bracelet? Or are you going to ask one simple but effective question, “where are your parents?” It is important as closers that we are in front of the person who can make the decisions the one with the money. Otherwise we are wasting our time and frustrating our prospects.

Putting it all together.

So here is an example of what this could sound like. “Great, so the purpose for today's call is to see if you are a good fit. To do that I am going to ask you some questions, to find out what is working and what is not. If we can help you then we can get you enrolled today. If we can’t I will do my best to point you toward someone that will be able to help you solve the problems we are talking about today. Sound good? Great, so is there anyone else who should be on the call with us today that would be part of making the decision whether or not to invest in this?”

I hope that these pointers will help you effectively build an agenda and take control of your next sales call. This will save you time and will allow you to better help your prospects and add value to their lives. The most important point though is to just have fun and enjoy your next call.

If you ever have any questions about closing inbound high ticket calls, email me at adam@clientasset.com

Till next time, Keep crushing it.

Be awesome my friends,

Adam McClary

Joel Goh a.k.a Rich Asian Guest Post

7 Powerful Steps to Break Down a Closing Call

December 02, 2018

INTRODUCTION

Hi, I’m Joel Goh a.k.a Rich Asian™.

I always look forward to scheduled High Ticket Closing Calls because:

  1. I get to help people move their lives forward and make life-transforming decisions.

  2. I get to work from the comfort of my home, or from anywhere in the world as long as I have a laptop, an internet connection, and a cell phone.

  3. I get to make money, which is always nice.


Let’s back up a little bit, by definition, a High Ticket Closing Call is when a Closer gets on a phone and closes a product or service that’s priced at $3,000 and up.

Would you like to know how to become an expert at closing these High Ticket Offers?

Would you like to know how to break down an entire Closing Call into 7 easy yet powerful steps to follow?

Fantastic, read on to find out!

STEP 1 - BUILD RAPPORT

The first component to a Closing Call is building rapport. Without trust and credibility, a close will never happen.

It doesn’t matter what your industry is or what you do, if you are not relating to the people you deal with, talk to, manage, or lead, your sales career will be a long, hard slog.

That’s why building rapport is essential, especially when you’re forging a relationship and selling over the phone.

Rapport is the first step to earning confidence and trust, and it lets the prospect know you're not running the typical conversation between a pushy salesperson and browbeaten prospect.

So how would you build rapport during a Closing Call?

  • Research prospects’ Social Media beforehand to locate things that you can find a shared mutual connection with.

    • For example, find similar hobbies, pets etc.

  • Get them to laugh and open up during the conversation.

  • Ask them the right opening questions

    • For example, "What is it like to work in X industry?"

STEP 2 - SET THE AGENDA (FRAMING)

Now I was taught by my mentor Sifu Dan Lok that framing is one of the most important keys to success in a closing call.

There can only be one frame that “wins” and controls the conversation. It’s either your frame as a Closer or the prospect’s frame.

In order to control the conversation and lead the prospect willingly to a close, the Closer’s frame has to be strongest throughout the conversation.

How can you have the bigger frame during the conversation?

By setting the agenda.

This is how I set my agenda for most of my Closing Calls

“Great, before we deep-dive in, I just wanted to let you know that this is essentially a discovery call. I want to figure out whether this will be a beneficial business relationship for all parties involved. I will start by asking you some questions, and if we find that this is not a good fit for your situation, I’ll tell you right away.

But, if I think you are a great fit for our services, I’ll tell you how everything works, answer any questions you have, and offer you a good reason to get started today.”

So, are we missing anyone who might have questions about things like this or is it just you?”

In my Agenda step I do a few things here:

  • This is a “discovery call.”

    • No pressure to buy.

  • Figure out whether this will be a good fit for all parties involved.

    • Fair request right?

  • If it’s not a good fit, let’s not waste each others time.

  • If it is, then here’s how you can get started.

  • Next, pre-qualify for a decision maker because this handles this objection at the end of the call: “I have to speak to my business partner or spouse.”

    • If there is another decision maker, do not take the call but reschedule.

STEP 3 - DISCOVER LEVEL 3 PAIN

This part is extremely crucial. There are mainly three levels of pain.

  • Level 1: Surface level pain - “I’m not making enough money.”

  • Level 2: Moderate pain - “I need money to prevent my business from going under.”

  • Level 3: DEEP pain - “If my business goes under my wife will leave me because this is the 3rd time this has happened.”

If you can’t get to Level 3 pain, it will be VERY HARD to get the Close.

So how do you get to Level 3 pain?

By asking the right questions.

  • “Why aren’t you making enough money?”

  • “What’s going to happen if you don’t make X amount by the end of December?”

  • “What’s going to happen if your business goes under?”

This is a very simple example, but you get the point.

STEP 4 - DISCOVER GOALS

This is as important as discovering pain.
Why?

Because if you’ve brought your prospect down to level 3 pain, you run the risk of STAYING in that pain, and not leading the pain towards the close.

In order to move towards the close and not just get stuck in the pain, it’s time to talk about your prospect’s Promise Lands, his or her goals.

So how do you get to the goals from the pain?

Again, by asking the right questions.

  • “What are you currently making per month right now?”

  • “You’re making X per month, what’s wrong with that?”“So in 6 - 12 months, what would you like to be at monthly?”

  • Why do you want to be at Y per month?”

  • “What would you do if you made Y per month?”

  • “What would making Y per month do for your family and business?”

  • At this stage, the prospect will start listing his or her goals. Just expand on that until the prospect is really clear on where he or she would like to be at.

STEP 5 - UNCOVER URGENCY

Look, the fact is, if your prospect doesn’t see WHY he or she needs your High Ticket Offer TODAY, you will not get the close.

What’s stopping them from wanting to do this 2 weeks from now, a month from now, 6 months from now?

So during the call, you have to either uncover the prospect’s urgency or help them build urgency.

How do you uncover urgency?

  • “How important is this for you right now?”

  • “When are you thinking of fixing this?”

  • “What happens if you don’t do this now?”

You could even BUILD urgency with reverse psychology:

  • “You wouldn’t want to take action TODAY, would you?”

  • “You’re not planning to invest in your business TODAY, are you?”

  • “Your spouse probably isn’t going to support your decision if you made one TODAY, would she?”

STEP 6 - DISCOVER COMMITMENT

Commitment is also important because without commitment, what’s going to stop your prospect from coming back and asking for a refund and choosing to quit after a week or two?

Without commitment, your prospect also probably won’t feel full confidence that he or she is making the RIGHT DECISION TODAY.

You want to help them discover commitment!

How?

  • “Would you be willing to commit 6 months to this program to invest in your business?”

  • “Now just out of curiosity, if we were to get started today, could you see yourself putting in 2 hours a day to get to X monthly?

  • “You’re not going to call me back in a week and ask for a refund, will you? Because if you are, let’s handle any final concerns that you may have.”

STEP 7 - CLOSE!

Ah, the beautiful Close.

So now, how do we tie everything up and lead the prospect to the Close at the end of the call?

Hopefully, by this stage, you’ve handled all premature objections before coming to the Close.

To tie everything up to the Close:

  • “Let’s pretend if my program helped you make Y a month, and in turn, saving your business, what would that do for your relationship?”

  • “Suppose if this program allowed you to travel freely with your kids while making money on that resort you always wanted to be at, how would that make you feel?”

  • “If this weight loss program gave you the confidence to wear T-shirts again in public, what would that do for you?”

BOOM!

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and that it provided some value to what you do.

Remember, closing is about helping people move their lives forward and make life-transforming decisions.

The money provided is just a by-product.

If you ever have any questions about Closing Inbound High Ticket Offers, send me an email to joel@richasian.com.

Until Next Time and To Your Success,

Joel Goh

Rich Asian™

If you would like to learn more about what we do and how we do it, then book a call with us today.

https://clientasset.as.me/Rich-Asian-Consult

The five steps to building rapport in a minute or less.

edited.jpg

Hi, my name is Adam McClary, I am a High Ticket Closer and I love meeting new people. In this article I am going to cover Rapport, what is it? How I build it, and why it is important.

Introduction

Rapport in one word is connection. Like the connection you have with a good friend. In rapport just like with friends, it is not necessarily the words said but how they are said that matters. Rapport is a critical and often overlooked component of the successful sale call. Human interaction is complex so for our safety we only do business with people we trust. So how do we develop an understanding with a prospect that will lead to a trusting relationship? More importantly how do we become effective at building this connection in the first 60 seconds?

 To be effective at building rapport, we must have the thought process or intent to understand the prospect. We must shelf our desire for a sale, set aside our script and listen with intent. Our goal must be to understand who we are on the phone with.

First step: The greeting

How we greet someone has a profound impact on how we are received. For example, when we get on the phone with a friend do we ask, hello, is this Mr. Smith? No, we would say hello John, this is Alex. Addressing prospects by their first name lowers the formality and gives a sense of commonality and friendship.

Second step: Sidestepping the well wishes

The second thing that commonly happens on phone calls is the caller will ask, how are you? What does that get you? It does not help you move the call forward or help you learn more about the prospect. What is even worse is that the prospect will then fill obliged to ask how we are, and this can lead to an uncomfortable pause as either party tries to figure out what will happen next. To skip this awkward trap simply wish them well. For example, you could say, Hello John, I hope you are well. Wishing them wellness shows you are a caring human and yet allows you to move to discovery. I use discovery questions with clients to build commonality and sense of community. Remember the theory of six degrees of separation. This is the theory that no matter what country your prospect lives in or how little you have in common with this person you are only separated by at most five intermediaries. To build connection it is our job to find what these commonalities are.

Third Step: Painting a picture

The easiest way to connect with someone is to ask them where they live. We are often defined by the places that we chose to reside. Whether we grew up there or choose to move and surround ourselves with new cultures. Telling others about where we live allows others to understand us, to see a little piece of who we are. It could be that you will hear the person describe with pride the place that they live. Or you might detect an indifferent response to where they are located. These subtle tones help us begin to understand this person.

Fourth Step: Planning the bridge

The easiest follow up to this information is to encourage the prospect. This is as easy as stating Wow, neat, or cool. Giving a sense of approval puts the prospect at ease and starts to build a sense of friendship. The next step in the process is to then connect on a personal level with that persons and their place. You can use so many different connecters in this step. If you are a sports person use that! If you are a world traveler, then you can use that. The most important part here is to be yourself. In this example we will use sports as an example, it matters not if they live in your area or not. You can ask them, John, do you watch college football? The best part is that no matter if they say yes or no you can still use this simple question to build connection.

Fifth Step: Building the bridge

The next step in this rapport process is to humanize yourself by telling the prospect where you are calling from. For example, you can respond to John by saying Nice, I am calling you from Knoxville TN today. Then you can address the reason for your inquiry. You can say, when you said you were from Atlanta I remembered the game last week between Tennessee and Georgia. You all smashed us! Even if the person is not a football fan you are likely to get a reaction, either an affirmative answer or a nervous laugh. You can then say, congratulations on your win by the way. If you can get them to laugh or giggle this is the signaling you have broken the ice. You are starting to connect.

Final thoughts

Never forget that Rapport is not a one-time event but a continual process. Continue to relate, agree and connect with the prospect through the call as you can. Also, it is fine for the closer or salesman to be not ok. We don’t have to ask the perfect connecter question. Relation is far more important that perfection. Telling them a little about myself and then relating it to them is an important part of the rapport steps. By connecting my world with theirs we are far more likely to do business in the future.

These five steps allow us to meet on common ground with the prospect. They will allow you to see who they are. Are they impatient with your questions and pushing you for product details? Or are they a lively person who wants to talk to us and connect with us? Picking up on these subtle nuances allows us to better understand people and to listen to them better. Remember, rapport is not a segue to another topic but a connection with another human being. Now go out there and build some rapport!

I hope that you have enjoyed this article and it has added some value to what you do.

If you ever have any questions about closing inbound high ticket calls, email me at

adam@clientasset.com

Till next time, Keep crushing it.

Be awesome my friends,

Adam McClary