Act Now – How I Turn Ideas into Million-Dollar Products

A friend recently recommended the book “Act Now – How I Turn Ideas into Million-Dollar Products” by Kevin Harrington. You probably know Kevin Harrington from the first few seasons of Shark Tank. He is known as the “King of the Infomercial.”

Harrington shares his journey in business in this great book and you’ll get to see all of the challenges he faced building his business and his wealth. He began his journey working in his father’s restaurant where he learned a very strong work ethic.

At the age of 15, he started his first business with a friend. The business was an asphalt driveway repaving business. Kevin would go door-to-door selling their repaving service and his friend would do the work work of coating the driveways. At first he had trouble selling because he was so young. So he began testing different scripts when the homeowner answered and finally landed on this one:

We want to reseal your driveway to get rid of the cracks so next winter when it freezes, your paving won’t keep getting broken up even worse. You probably think we’re too young to trust with the job so here’s what we want to do. Let us do your driveway for just the cost of materials. If you don’t like the work, you don’t have to pay for it. But if you’re happy with the work, I want you to let me put up a sign at your sidewalk and also let me show neighbors before and after pictures of your driveway.”

This sales presentation ended up working like gangbusters. It’s a beautiful sales script because it completely eliminates all risk for the customer and deals with the customer’s biggest objection of his young age. (How can you use a script or offer like this in your business?) He earned so much money from this business that he could afford to buy a new car when he turned 16. Pretty powerful sales script, if you ask me!

He leveraged this sales experience into other sales jobs over the next few years building several different businesses in different industries. He seemed to use this same risk reversal process with each and every business. At one point, he ended up creating the first franchise brokerage and began selling business franchises. His pitch was: “You don’t pay me a nickel unless I bring you a deal.”

In this franchise brokerage, he created a business with multiple income streams. He wrote:

“I leased another entire floor of the office building and rented out space to agents and brokers for just about everything a small or start-up business person needs: in the one location, an entrepreneur could learn about franchise opportunities and local businesses for sale, discuss a business loan, arrange for business insurance, get help finding a store or office space to rent, and more. Everybody fed business leads back and forth, paying commissions to each other. On top of brokering franchises, we could then help the buyer find a prize location and earn ourselves a real estate commission as well. If we negotiated a lease, we made money; if we handled the sale of a building, we made money; if we helped someone buy an existing business, we made money; and if clients didn’t want to buy an existing business, we’d sell them a franchise, and make money. This we called the small business center.”

It’s hard to read this and not think about doing something similar in our businesses? His target prospect was someone looking to buy, or start, their own business. He engineered his entire business around this target prospect and profited from whatever this prospect decided to do. Buy a local business, he profited. Buy a national franchise, he profited. Lease space and start their own business, he profited. Buy a building for their business, he profited.

Can you arrange your business in such a way where you make money with almost every possible scenario a client might decide to pursue?  Who is your target client? What are the various options this client has? How can you help them with every single option and setup new profit streams for your business?

Understand this is different than trying to do everything for everyone, which is how most real estate sales people operate. They spread themselves too thin and cannot build deep profit streams in their businesses. Notice Kevin focused on the target client and built opportunities around this specific type of client.

Amazon.com is my favorite website. We do most of our shopping and buying on Amazon. It saves our family a great deal of time. Amazon is known as the “Everything Store.” Guess what? Amazon continues to lose more money with each passing year. As a business, it isn’t profitable because they’re trying to be everything to everyone. The business does more work for less money. The various businesses who sell their “targeted” products on Amazon are actually more profitable than Amazon! They do less work for more money. They are very focused and use this focus to their advantage.

This is one of the reasons why I decided to work with investors when I started my brokerage. I realized we could setup multiple opportunities for profit helping investors buy properties, lease properties, manage properties, and sell properties. We could also help teach investors how to invest and use this opportunity to create info products and monthly memberships. I arranged the business to profit from every single step in the real estate investment process. Everything created was focused around a target client.

If you’re currently trying to be the “Everything Store” in your real estate business, you might consider a change for 2015. Who is your target client? What does your target client need? How can you go deep with this target client helping them with their various needs and creating new income streams in the process?

Do you work with first time buyers? What does the typical first time buyer want and need? Do they need help with painting, new carpeting, or kitchen renovations?  Or maybe they need help learning the basics of home maintenance? Do they have lawnmowers and a snow blower? Do they need help cleaning out their gutters? Do they need to have their deck power washed? The list of possible needs is extremely long and these first time buyers don’t have any help with these needs. They don’t have a roofer. They don’t have a plumber. They don’t have an electrician. They don’t have a painter, or a landscaper.

Is your target prospect a seller? What does the typical seller need? Do they need temporary storage? To they need help decluttering their homes? Do they need help improving the curb appeal of the exterior of their home? Do they need help with any interior cosmetic improvements (painting, flooring, etc) to make the home show better?

Going deep with a target prospect also creates new marketing opportunities for your business because you’ll have new lead generation opportunities you can leverage. Most of these new lead generation strategies cannot be copied by others because they don’t offer the same services. They’re too busy trying to be everything to everybody!

A great example is the property management business of one of my coaching clients.  A significant and profitable part of his business is maintenance and repairs. He has a great crew that can handle just about any type of repair. He can create new lead generation campaigns to  landlords offering maintenance and repair services in addition to property management services. Once he sells a repair or maintenance service to a local landlord, he can help them with their other management needs, too. This obviously may lead to full property management at some point in the future.

Did you notice Kevin Harrington referred to his business as “The Small Business Center” instead of “Business Franchises, Inc.”?

This is a clue on how the business transforms when you build opportunities around a target client.

 

 

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