Welcome back to Business Outlaws. A circle of winners. We’re business at large.
We’ve got BigMike and our host, Jayme Foxx. And we have a new guest behind our doors—Jason Fladlian, Marketing Maven and Sales Machine. He’s very European—at least, Jayme thinks so while butchering his last name—and over the last ten years, he’s made hundreds of millions of dollars.
And then there’s me, Business Performance Expert, cigar enthusiast, and tequila aficionado—Chris Collins. Here we are. And here’s the inside scoop.
Jason has died a thousand times. And I love the idea of rebirth in your business. Jason’s been a hip-hop artist, a monk, a marketer, and a millionaire. Today he makes and pitches webinar products, and better—he makes a lot of money.
Jason will be the first to tell you that money hasn’t bought him happiness. But even more oddly, he’ll also tell you that being a monk was one of his biggest secret business weapons.
Jason used to have panic attacks. He couldn’t go outside. He was absolutely miserable and depressed as a result. At 17 years old, he felt like a failure. He knew he should be killing it, but he couldn’t even stay focused on writing his rap songs.
But as a monk, Jason chanted two hours a day at least—some days, four, maybe six. I myself do TM, where you have a mantra and you’re chanting words without any personal meaning…
And when he did, Jason got this energy to perform, and thought, “Now, I have the focus to do something big.” When he wasn’t doing music he was meditating, and when he wasn’t meditating, he was doing music. And he learned all he could to get his music off the ground.
While marketing music wasn’t so easy, he thought, “Why market music when I can market anything?” And so, he transformed from a monk to a marketer. The first dollar he ever made online was in 2007, and a decade later, he’s a hundred million plus.
He just started chanting, and began to feel good. Didn’t have to believe in it, just repeated it. That’s how you come to believe in things—hearing them enough times. People want to believe it before they do it. But Jason learned to do it, and create belief. Break a pattern, you can shift identities.
As a marketer, Jason’s biggest launch was an information product he hyped to the moon. It’s usually about $2,000 to make—then you sell it, you onboard affiliates, and then, blast off. This time, the product was called the Amazing Selling Machine. It taught people how to do their Amazon sales.
And ASM launched their program eight times, which brought 25 million dollars in from cart open to cart close—in only a seven-day period of time. And that 25 million had never been done before. Prior to that, it was 10 or 12 million max earned in that info. space.
Jason’s company was their number one affiliate, and did over 10 of that 25 million themselves. How did he accomplish that? A lot of engineering, and some brazen negotiation. By the time ASM got to their sixth launch, Jason said, “Listen, take us off the leader board. Just give us the hundred thousand and then let us recruit new guys and get them to first place instead.” And ASM said, “Okay, here you go—here’s a hundred grand.”
Amazon is the biggest eCommerce platform in the world. Something like 22 percent of every dollar spent online flows through it. So Jason’s other big launches were at the same time and place in internet history. In 2013, his company sold over 40 million dollars worth of Amazon product launches and trainings. And that was only on the frontend.
Most of the guys he affiliated with made less on their launches than the guys they paid to help them. What these guys didn’t do, and what nobody seemed to, is build in a backend—coaching programs, technology. 40 million was chump change when you look at what Jason did on the backend after the initial frontend bang.
The thing about business backend, unlike human backend is—it’s all invisible. It’s not mass marketed, it’s not in anyone’s faces. It takes advantage of what comes through the frontend, but it’s very hush-hush.
All the money’s made in the backend, and people don’t realize it. Jason put together a continuity program—300 bucks a month for all the frontend customers—and then, added mega, ultra-exclusive software…for $12,000 per year. Between those two extra, invisible products, they did 6.7 million dollars. Every so often, Jason had to sell again, but the lead flow and pitch were pretty simple: someone else takes half of six million dollars, let’s say, and everyone walks away happy.
And after the launch is done? By strategically sizing up backend opportunities, you can leave competitors in the dust.
“There’s a difference between being number one and being so far ahead of number two that they think they’re number one,” Jason said. “That’s the philosophy in our company.”
Here’s a thing, too: You gotta know your numbers. They’re important because when you know your numbers, and you also know the lifetime value of your client, wow, you can now go negative to acquire while your competition goes broke trying to keep up. You’ll burn them right out of business.
This especially works if your secret sauce is on the backend. Because your competitors don’t even know it exists, and they’re trying to chase your frontend…and they’re wondering, “How the hell are they doing this?”
Simple Stories and Steps
Direct response copywriting is salesmanship in print. You can tell a story a certain way that’s more compelling and easier to understand and break down the concepts so people understand them, and then nurture them along to an immediate sale. Great copy moves people through your sales process. So you have to have great copy—which communicates simply and clearly who you are and what problem you solve. A lot of people get this part wrong.
Whether you’re selling or delivering, there’s going to be a series of events that should always make it easy for them. Make it digestible. At my company, we want to make sure that if they buy it, they’ll get it…We’re careful not to overload them.
There’s a balance. Your customers can’t do it all. You have to take them through steps. You want them to get a little success in the beginning, and to be primed right through the end.
Look at something like Coca-Cola, versus the supreme, nutritious drink, V8. Well sure, Coca-Cola tastes better. But it’s really a totally inferior product. A lot of mediocre products rise to the top. A lot of really terrible products with no real value hit the shelves and they take up all the space, and then the really good products never get seen. The fallacy is a lot of people assume that just because your product is superior, things will therefore be easier for you. But it’s actually the opposite. Superior products are way more sophisticated. They require explanation, like V8. “Let me explain why my soft drink is healthier for you, and if you’re not brainwashed, actually tastes better.” All Coke has to say is, “Here. You know us.” It’s a simple sales pitch that’s ingrained in the culture, and tradition will always be easier than breaking ground.
A superior product requires more understanding; a superior solution requires education. Superior things cost more to develop. The science allows people to be happy they bought, but you still need to know how to engage people simply.
Scaredy Cat, Copycat
Sure, you might give V8 a chance…but without knowledge distilled, you’re afraid to spend the extra buck and not see results. “Is it healthy? Am I going to feel better? Eh, I’ll just get Coke.”
As Jason explained, the customer is absolutely afraid to take a chance on a non-traditional solution. In their comfort zone, they can pay less and keep striding, so ultimately, they do get some benefit. But let’s say they tried the superior solution. When Jason’s company enters a market, they dominate whatever it is by being better. They get to be not just number one by a net, but to be so far ahead that it’s really scary.
But if you look around at the marketing playing field, it’s one big joke. You know why?
Everybody’s copying everybody else. They say the same thing that the last 15 guys before them said. And if you wanna leave your competition in the dust…you’re gonna have to do something really different.
Everybody’s so scared to take a chance that hundred millionaires, up to billionaires, even have this issue.
Jason was working with a super high-profile guy who raised over six billion dollars. He was worldwide famous, at the top of the top…But these guys—sometimes they want the magic shortcuts. They hire you ‘cause they wanna lose weight, and then say, “No, I’m not gonna work out. No—I’m gonna keep eating éclairs!”
So Jason would give the guy a position to take in the market, and he would be too scared to attempt it. He’d say, “Well, so-and-so doesn’t do it that way.” And Jason would say, “How come you didn’t cut them a big gigantic check, then, and just keep doing what they do?” In Jason’s mind—they’re both millionaires—if they screw this thing up, who really cares? They’re still sleeping on a nice four-thousand thread count. (Not that many threads, really—just his example.) Even though this guy was super successful—way more successful than even Jason—he was scared.
If you wanna live in the past, you can continue to do things the way they’ve always been done. But Jason called out his client for his fear. He said, “Here’s the deal, you’ve done 25K for 10 years now, and the first three years were extremely hard, and you took some bruises, you screwed some stuff up—people got mad at you for asking ’em for money. But it’s seven years later and everybody loves you and you’re great and you’re comfortable and you know psychologically that when you launch this new program, all that same stuff you went through when you started—you might have to do it all over again.”
Jason said, “But here’s what pisses me off. Guys like me, we’re upset that we can’t give you a hundred thousand dollars right now, because you’re robbing me of the opportunity to make a lot more money, simply because you’re not man enough to take my money today.”
A big successful guy, nobody pushes. Everybody loves them, they’re surrounded by “yes” men. They start to believe their own PR, so they get risk averse, terrified of mistakes. They buy into the bull that they have more to lose. Their branding, which they’ve spent ten years building, might be unwound in ten minutes if they fail. Their success almost becomes their failure.
But Jason repositions their stuck wheels. “I’m absolutely pissed that you won’t take my money to make a change I believe in.” And when you shift the narrative like that on a successful guy, he tends to do what you’ve told him to do. This guy did what Jason pushed him into…and they both profited.
When your current identity is, “I am this traditional thing,” it is the main thing that will hold you back.
The lamest way ever to create a new identity, said Jason, is to keep on copying each other. Then, when you fail, it’s someone else’s fault. And when you succeed, you go only as far as the previous bar.
Controlling the Narrative
Since clarity is king, one of the best narrative structures Jason ever created was…to tell ’em what his sales narrative is.
For years, he’s gone into his sales situations for a webinar or video training launch, and he’s said, “Hey listen, I have two goals here today. My first goal is to give you information so you can now do X when previously you couldn’t do X. My second goal is to then show you an opportunity that you can invest in to get to do X even better, or faster, quicker, stronger…” He literally says, “I have an objective to sell you this product at the end of this training today, but before I do that I’m first going to attempt to convince you that you should buy it. Now, if I accomplish this, is it okay if I then show you my offer at the end?” And they always say, “That’s fine with me, Jason.”
Now, there’s an implicit contract. If he can make good on his promise—and it’s a big, bold promise—they’ve already said, “Yeah, Jason, prove it to me…and if you do, I’ll absolutely be eager to see what you have to sell me.” Can’t get much more straightforward than that!
That’s a controlled narrative. It’s literally a path from A-Z that compels and obligates them to buy. You make yourself an absolute authority of “This is what’s gonna happen and you’re gonna go along with it.” Since the sale is assumed at the outset, there’s also no big pitch at the end—Jason’s just like “Well, okay, I did what I said, now it’s time to buy.”
Nobody likes to be hard sold, until they say, “Sure, okay hard sell me.” Then, you’re like, “All right,” and now, you’re not hard selling anymore. You gotta have guts to do this—and Jason clearly does.
And if you really wanna control the narrative and get absolutely incredibly good at it, position competitors in addition to selling to the customer. When you bring up a competitor in your sell, not only are you showing them the superiority of your solution, you’re also minimizing any other possible alternative.
One of the narratives that Jason uses with his clients is to tell them it’s their fault they’re not doing better. And they’re like, “What do you mean, Jason?” And he says, “Let me explain this to you: Because it’s all in your control, and you can now leverage that.”
Jason gains rapport because he says something to them that they haven’t heard from anyone else. He controls the narrative by calibrating what other speakers are saying to them, and he builds that into how he talks, so there’s always competitor positioning in his communication.
So there’s you, there’s your customer, and there’s everything else circling around their heads that you have to swat away, or redefine. This helps them into their rebirth as your loyal customer…putty in your hands.
Cream of the Crop
BigMike was once 19 years old and broke, in a cockroach-infested studio apartment with his entire life in five garbage bags. No furniture, no prospects—ladies or business or otherwise.
I was once a broke kid growing up in Mexico who was teased for my pale skin and golden hair. My stepdad abandoned us in the middle of the night with a 21-year-old mistress when I was 13, cleaning out Mom’s bank account, and leaving us nothing but our ragged clothing, homeless then in Washington State.
And now—we’re nothing like that. BigMike is a problem solver with countless clients, and I turn dealerships all the way around. Our lives are good, and as Jason points out—we don’t have to pretend we’re still broke and struggling.
What you do can set trends. You can be inspirational. One of Jason and my favorite books is Winning Through Intimidation by Robert Ringer. In it, Ringer talks about posturing and positioning, which also leads to controlling the narrative. It’s all right to put yourself in a top position.
Most people’s narrative out there is, “Hey, I’m the same as you.” But in a recent training of millionaires, Jason looked around the room. “Look at you,” he said. “You can’t relate to the common person. I can’t relate to the common person. I have a bad day if one of our three maids calls in sick—Oh, my God, what a travesty!” So Jason could attempt to spin off some narrative that he’s just like you even though he’s not—or, he could spin a truer, more powerful narrative:
“Because I’ve come so very far, I can give you insights you can’t get anywhere else.”
Now, customers are inspired to rise to the occasion. While everyone else tries to lower to that customer, pandering to their pain and all that crap, you can build them up. A better narrative is: “You’re far smarter at this, and far better off, than everybody says you’re doomed to be. And I’m going to prove it to you by the way that I talk to you.” If you talk to a kid like she’s stupid, Jason pointed out, she’s going to end up stupid. When you talk to people like they’re capable, they’re going to rise to the top.
The human being is the greatest invention in existence. Think about it. You have a body that is self-regulated, that beats its heart, blinks its eyes.
You get a cut here, next week you don’t have it anymore. The body is amazing…but then, the mind? The things that people can think of and create and do are astoundingly incredible.
All this comes from us. And if you believe that, it influences your behavior, and that behavior influences others. So once you actually take that position, Jason said, all you actually have to do is tell your customers.
It’s never crowded on the road to the top. Have you ever heard that saying? These guys are creating the traffic jams racing to the bottom, making it harder just by the fact that there’s more players, period.
Jason’s biggest product launch he ever did with Amazon was the traditional model by his friend Jeff Walker—it was supposed to cap at $2,000. But the product they made the most money on, on the frontend, was actually $5,000. They broke all the rules, because they didn’t accept the norms.
Once you quit listening to all of these people who say it won’t work, they quit telling you it won’t work anymore. A defining moment in Jason’s life was back when his music business was failing. He was living with his dad in a two-room apartment in Muscatine, Iowa. His dad says to him, “You shouldn’t do this business stuff, Jason. It’ll probably fail.” And here was Jason’s answer to him: “Dad, you’re probably right. It probably will fail, but I’m going to find out anyway.”
Anybody reading, take a query from Jason: What is conventional wisdom in your industry, the “this is just how things are done,” and how can you break that wide open? Even if it doesn’t work, the fact that you have done something different is going to unlock way more creative energy to get to the next potential breakthrough. Then, it’ll be game over.
1. Meditate, Repeat. Just get the words or mantras in your head. They don’t have to mean anything to you yet. Rebirth is a regularity for the successful.
2. Don’t neglect the backend. Most of your booty is acquired there.
3. Simplify your message. If your product is superior, educating others will require finesse.
4. Don’t do what everyone else does. Break new ground, and you’ll leave them in the dust.
5. You’re in charge of sending them through the funnel. So do it with authority, not apology.
6. You’re allowed to rise to the top. Create inspiration, and others will follow.
Damn, it feels good to be a Business Outlaw.