Take any industry. (Service or coaching in particular.) You will notice what normally happens is that you will ask for the money upfront and then deliver the goods. It is up to your client to do the work to get the result they want.
If that doesn’t happen, if they don’t get that result, you can always say: “I gave them everything. All the information and tools they need. If only they did exactly as I said, if they had implemented the things I taught them, they would succeed.”
But here’s what’s really happening; You are shifting all the blame on your clients. This external blame-shifting is comforting because it takes you off the hook.
It is their fault they didn’t get any ROI. Now, look what happens when you change the game’s rules slightly; decide to “own” your client’s wins and say, “I only get paid when my client gets the result.” When you do that, you will notice your whole attitude change dramatically.
Suddenly, YOU are invested in your client’s success. You are both in it together! Now you have to make it so simple that anybody could do it. Because now YOUR money is on the line!
Can you see the difference?
I first got fascinated by this idea when reading about Cyrus McCormick. He’s the guy who invented the reaper in the 1800s. Cyrus had this machine, a game changer for the farming industry, but he could not sell it to anybody. The reaper was so expensive no farmer could afford it.
He knew he had a winner. His machine could do the work of 14 men. He also knew that if farmers bought it, they would get all their investment back tenfold.
So what did he do?
Simple. He let farmers use the machine for the season and pay him after the harvest. He deferred his payments until they got the results. Clever, huh?
It was a double win: farmers cut back on all their labor AND got the money to pay Cyrus from their profits.
But here’s the thing; To be able to think in those terms, “I only get paid when my client gets the result,” you have to be 100% positive; without doubt, your strategy (or product) is a surefire thing. It has to be a guaranteed result-getter. And a great part of that success depends on who the client is. What characteristics does that person need to have to get the best results?
For example, I noticed that when people ran into challenges with one of my real estate programs was when:
A) They were in a market that was too small,
B) They were brand new to real estate, or,
C) They didn’t work with buyers and sellers personally and delegated stuff to a team.
This helped me create a crystal-clear picture of my ideal client. The person I was able to get the best results for. Once I knew that I decided to hand-select a few and run a test project together.
I sent out a PS in one of my weekly emails: “I’m starting a new pilot program next month, and I’m looking for some very specific people. If you live in a market of more than 20,000 people, you’ve been in real estate for at least one to two years, you personally work with buyers and sellers, you’ve got time to work with two new buyers a month starting next month, you’re friendly and coachable, and you can keep a secret… just respond to this email. Put project Cyrus in the subject line and tell me about your business; I’ll select people this weekend.”
I got a flood of people who said, “That’s me!” They would list all the reasons they qualified for it. They were pitching me why I should let them in. It was zero friction. The biggest lesson in all this? Sometimes it’s less expensive to get somebody a result than convincing them to give you money to get the result.
In other words, it will take you less time, effort, expense, and resources to actually get somebody a result than it does to convince them to pay you, say, $2,500 upfront. But you can only do that when what you’re offering is a guaranteed win.
That’s why even if you don’t intend to make a totally results-based offer, it makes the most sense to focus on what you WOULD do if you only got paid when your client gets a result. Clarity comes when your goal is completely aligned with your client’s goal.
It starts with thinking the thought…