Hey Rainmaker, I want to introduce you to a really interesting strategy I picked up from reader (and excellent copywriter) Adil Amarsi, who picked it up from someone else, who picked it up from…
How many people want to get on the phone with you?
Once you establish yourself, build up a reputation, and start to attract potential clients and other to you, you’ll start to get the, “Can I pick your brain?” requests.
Which means, can I get on the phone with you for free, for 15 or 30 minutes, maybe an hour, and have you dispense free advice?
And at first, there’s nothing wrong with saying “yes” to these requests.
But the busier you get, the more frequent the requests get. And if you say “yes” to all of them, all your time will be full and your brain will be picked-out.
What’s even worse is that the person doing the picking will rarely, rarely value your advice. Because you gave it free, they actually are LESS likely to implement, than if they’d paid for it.
The first obvious way to control the value of your time is by requiring payment for it…
If you’re like most folks who have expertise to contribute, your most valuable advice will usually come in the first conversation you have with someone.
You’ll see very quickly how to apply your expertise to their situation, and they’ll get your best, most valuable advice right away. There is no reason they should get away with NOT paying for this — this should, in fact, be your MOST valuable time.
And if you want to work with me directly, one of the best ways to get started is this.
You pay me a day fee to come visit me here in Lincoln, NE, and we spend the entire day diving into your business.
Or, in some cases, you pay me a consulting fee to hop on the phone, and we hash out your situation and the opportunities it presents.
Either way, if additional work arrangements come from it, we can apply the day fee to whatever first project we do together.
Either way, you’re getting a ton of value even if you don’t go on to work with me.
But that’s not always a fit, so here’s a great solution to the “pick your brain” requests…
In Ryan Levesque’s Next Level Mastermind group, Adil recommended this approach, which I loved and adopted right away.
When someone — a peer, a potential client, whoever — comes to him and just wants to hop on the phone with him really quickly, he has an easy answer.
He’s put together an Amazon wish list.
This is where you “go shopping” on Amazon.com, and select products you might want to buy. But instead of buying them, you use their Wish List functionality, and save them to a list.
You can make this list public or private. For our purposes, make it public.
You can also set your preferences for the list with a default shipping address and more.
Then, you actually have a link you can share, where other people can go to Amazon and view YOUR Wish List. (You can click here to see my Wish List.)
Here’s what Adil does, and what I’m doing, too…
If someone wants to get on the phone with you and “pick your brain,” tell them to get you a gift off your wish list!
I’ve actually put a wide range of products on mine. Everything from books you can get for a penny plus shipping, all the way up to a $1,999 DJ controller.
I added different levels, laid out in the list description.
Get me anything off the list, and we can do a quick 15-minute call.
$400 or more and it’s a 30-minute call.
$600 or more, it’s an hour.
$1,000 and you get two uninterrupted hours of my time, with an action plan follow-up based on what we talked about in the call.
This has benefits for me and for the people who take me up on the offer.
— First, I get cool stuff I picked out, that I may not be as quick to buy otherwise.
— Second, I get greater control of my time and make sure I’m only dealing with people who will take my time seriously.
— Third, I actually have less and higher-quality “pick your brain” calls.
— Fourth, did I mention I get cool stuff?
For the people who take me up on the offer…
— They’ll take my time more seriously, even if they just get me a low-priced book, because they invested in it in some way.
— Because they paid for it (in some way) they’re more likely to follow through on my recommendations.
So in other words, we all benefit when you give me gifts!
Now here’s a really important part of making this work…
Scheduling a 15-minute call can take 2 hours of back and forth if you let it.
I’ve committed to not dealing with that crap, thanks to a new tool I’m using.
It’s called TimeTrade.
It’s an online appointment scheduling software, that integrates with Google Calendar (and maybe others but I use Google Calendar so that’s what I pay attention to!).
It’s free to try for a month, and only $45 per year.
What you do to set it up is you define different kinds of activities. For example, a 15-minute phone call, a 30-minute phone call, an hour-long phone call, a full-day in-person appointment, etc.
Not only do you define the activity, but you can define your availability for the activity. For example, I’m pretty much ONLY doing phone calls on Mondays, Wednesdays, and at the very end of the day on Fridays. Those are my default availability for phone appointments.
Then, it gives you a link to share with people to schedule the specific kind of activity. For example, a 15-minute phone call.
Now here’s where it’s really cool. Within the availability window you defined, it checks your Google Calendar for availability. If you have something scheduled during that time, it doesn’t show it as available. If you don’t have something scheduled, it will offer the time for scheduling.
So, when I give this link to someone, they can go on, look at all my availability over the next few weeks, and find something that matches their availability.
For 99% of appointments, that means the ONLY thing I have to do to schedule is to copy and paste a link into an email.
Everything else, including gathering phone number, putting it on my Google Calendar and setting up an email reminder, and a whole bunch of others steps are taken care of for me.
So, when someone buys me a gift off my Amazon list, I ask them to forward me the receipt, showing they bought it and that it’s coming to me.
I open up TimeTrade, and grab the link to send to them. I paste it into my email and hit send.
I get a confirmation when they schedule the appointment, and a reminder just before I’m supposed to call them, complete with their phone number (or I can give my conference call info, skype username, etc.).
It’s pretty dang slick.
Would YOU like 15 minutes of my time?
Well, now you know a really easy way to get it.
Read the list description to see how it works, and for full instructions.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets