Marie Forleo Interviews Ramit Sethi, On Selling More

I’ve upped biking to work to 3x’s a week – which has been freaking fantastic for clarity of mind, but made it tough to listen to self-development shiz at the same quantity as before. I did find time to slip in this short interview last week: it’s Marie Forleo* interviewing Ramit Sethi on her show, about selling. My notes below as usual. The main message is a good one, and both Ramit and Marie lay out great examples: niche down on “who is your customer?” like a motherf*cker. Ask “who are you targeting?” and “who aren’t you targeting?”


01:35 – “One of the things you’ll find is that we’re not specific enough, with who we’re going after and what your product does. For example, I have a course called Earn 1K on the side… It took us 6 months to get that name.”

02:24 – He breaks down why he chose the name “Earn 1K on the Side”:

Earn 1K – many successful students earned more than that, but he set a goal that people would find achievable.

On the Side – to combat the idea you’d need to start the next Google or quit their day jobs if they wanted to start their own business.

03:21 – “Alot of your students are using very similar phrases, and are in the relationship or financial area… and not many of them were as specific as they could have been. If you are trying to help your customers with their relationships, who are you targeting? When I asked this question, many people said, ‘women.’ That’s not specific! How old are they? They said, ’25 to 54′. Okay, there is virtually nothing identical to a 25-year-old woman to a 54-year-old woman. In fact, if you’re talking about love, they think of love totally different. What if they went to an Ivy League college? She thinks of love differently. You have to get really specific. For example, I’m targeting 24-to-29-year-old women who are interested in X,Y,Z and this is what they’re doing.”

04:27 – “The second question to ask is, ‘Who am I not targeting?’ That brings us to a whole other question, on why we don’t get specific.”

04:50 – MF “Not drilling down, not getting specific, from a business and marketing perspective, is shooting yourself in the foot.”

04:59 – “In a world of infinite choices, when you see something that is not directly for you, you close the window and move on. When you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one.

06:38 – “Put yourself in the mind of your client. If they’re 24, what language do they use, what are they looking for, how much are they going to be willing to pay? When you can reach directly to what they want, you’ll find that not only will your clients be happier, but your business will dramatically grow because price will become a mere triviality. You’re actually solving a problem by getting specific.”

07:45 – “So they want to empower women to live the life of their dreams? Okay, let me tell you five ways… buy a nicer shirt, better haircut, nicer car, make more money, find the life partner they deserve… Okay? So are you selling cars or are you selling shirts? What exactly is it that you’re selling? Empowering is a good word, but it’s so general, without additional positioning it’s meaningless. What happens is, we’ll look at really large companies and say, wait a minute, Coca-Cola is selling happiness! Well they’ve been around for a 100 years and they have a multimillion dollar market cap. People know what Coca-Cola represents. When you’re starting out, no one knows who you are.”

09:07 – “One of the best things you can do when you’re getting specific is to show three or four testimonials of before and after. P90x does this really well. You see ultimate specificity.”

I remember listening to David Siteman-Garland interview Marie Forleo on The Rise to the Top. She was telling him that her production value used to awful, a far cry from the polish it has now. That’s how you get started though… put out what you can, slowly develop your skill sets, and build upon what you created yesterday.

Photo Credit: Jared Goralnick

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