Don't market your services
or your program.
Market the outcomes you deliver
by Burt Dubin
Reach 'em where they live! Grab 'em where the hair is short.
Create a 2 prong penetration into your customer's consciousness.
Experience a double-edged blockbuster benefit.
First, guarantee specific outcomes. Don't market your
program. Instead, market what your customers identify as their
desired outcomes of your program. Bingo!
Second, beat your promise, right from the gitgo. You
gotta deliver when you market outcomes. So, give more than
your previous best. Raise the bar again. And again. Raise
the bar on you.
I've been doing this since Day One. Promise a real, measurable
return on your client's investment in your service. (Call
it that. It's not a fee. It's an investment. It's an investment
in the outcomes of your work.)
Why market outcomes instead of programs? Because programs
are commodities. Outcomes are not. Outcomes are far more valuable.
For example, a $4000 program may easily expand to a $25,000
intervention. Research the value of the desired outcome to
the client. Then, when you're with the person who can say
yes, rub salt in the wounds of the way things are. Make it
Now, romance the outcomes you can deliver. Be an evangelist.
Compare what they have now with what you are prepared to deliver.
Ask which they prefer. The answer is obvious. (See Selling
the Dream, Guy Kawasaki.)
How about your handouts? They aren't handouts any more. Now,
they are Learning Guides. Prepare, for each person in your
audience, something bound with more than a staple. Or 3-hole
punched. Or even in a 3-ring notebook. Make it a detailed
paint-by-number System that, when wisely engaged, produces
desired outcomes. Title it The _______________ System. Or
call it The __________ ____ __________ Operating Guide. Make
it easier and more natural to succeed in creating desired
outcomes. Build accountability for taking prescribed actions
into this implementation instrument.
(Details of how to evaluate-and to set your fees for-outcomes
are in my Addendum 3, How To Create Value for Your Corporate
Targets. This is part of my Speaking Success Report #3, How
To Penetrate Rich Corporate Markets Now. )
Some interventions may be beyond your skill level, beyond
your experience level. Be judicious. Before you accept an
assignment, consider whether you can guarantee desired outcomes.
Don't go in over your head. Avoid hostile Balkan entanglements.
Guarantee a real return. A measurable return. A bankable
Here's an example. In the early 1980s I delivered a lot of
sales trainings. I guaranteed decision-makers a 12% increase
in sales within 30 days of my program. If they didn't get
this measurable result I'd come back for expenses only and
do some more training free. This promise cost me nothing.
That's because I not only showed my students how to paint
mouth-watering, alluring, seductive (and true) pictures. Pictures
of the benefits of the benefits their customers would enjoy
after taking recommended actions. Then I went well beyond
that. I showed my students their personal benefits when they
sold the way I modeled.
When you speak or educate, always cause your audience members
to imagine, to picture, to envision, to visualize themselves
experiencing their life after they do what you want them to
Like this: See yourself, you, reader (and I do mean you,)
after you allow yourself to accept-and to don-the mantle of
your true power. See yourself lighting up the faces of your
audience members when you illuminate them with your how-to's
and your why-to's. See your audience members inspired. See
them breathing hard. See them eager to get out there and use
the ideas you gave them.
That vision you hold inside you enlivens the inner you. It
reflects on the outer you. You carry yourself differently.
You stand taller. You move more dynamically. The look in your
eyes is more steadfast. Your voice has a new and bolder ring.
You reach people at a deeper level of their consciousness.
You vivify your audience members.
Some topics, (example: Managing Diversity), are hard to quantify.
Let success be as seen through the buyer's eyes. If the decision-maker
who brought you in does not see the desired difference in
performance, effectiveness and results, be willing to return
and do more of what you do for expenses only.
There's magic in this, real magic. You, having guaranteed
your work, go the extra mile. You do your advance research
with more care. You probe. You diagnose more deeply. You identify
the points of pain. Then you prescribe with more care.
In your early discussions with the decision-maker, you may
ask, How will we know this program is a success? What outcomes,
outcomes we can see and touch, will tell us you got the value
you desire? What will have improved after I do my job?
You then develop your program with even more care. The intervention
you recommend may expand to include one-on-one, in-depth interviews
with different management levels. You, as the outside expert,
may recommend an Executive Retreat to dig deeply into possible
high-level policy changes. Why? Brilliant Australian speaker,
Ivan Frangi, says that without senior management buy-in, your
training won't stick. This Executive Retreat requires your
presence, of course, as leader and moderator.
After your program for the troops, a Management Overview
is appropriate. Why? Because, as Ivan said in a program at
NSAA, it takes management/supervisors support after your program
to keep the troops on course. The Management Overview naturally
includes you as guide and facilitator!
Lavish your essence on delivering desired outcomes for all
concerned. Arrange to be available to respond to audience
members questions for a full year after you complete your
work. And for down-the-road consultations with management
Develop a fee for your intervention based on the value to
the client and not on the time you invest. This is called
value-pricing. It's the only way to go. After all, you're
the Doctor. Your client is investing in your experience, your
know-how, and your wisdom, not in your time.
Blue-sky fantasy outcomes
Some problems are unsolvable at the level of the problem.
The roots of the distress may be at a higher management level.
There may be deeply seated philosophical challenges requiring
major management surgery. Intervention may be appropriate
at the Board level.
You may choose to recommend-or to bring in-a specialist to
share the challenge. You may choose to decline an all-but-impossible
Take these profit-boosting actions now:
1. Resolve - effective now you do not market programs.
You market outcomes exclusively. Outcome delineation is
the source and the root system of six-figure speaking and
2. Target senior management exclusively.
3. Pour your heart and your energy into in-depth
You uncover hidden causes; you discover new insights; you
create golden handcuffs; you get to know and understand
the key players. What's more, key decision-makers get to
know and appreciate your true value.
4. Expand your speeches or workshops into
Once you master this art form, you live your personal and
professional life at a whole new level.
5. Don't bite off more than you can chew.
6. Produce graphic support tools that are works of art.
Make these too valuable, too dense with wisdom, too physically
handsome to toss out.
7. Set outrageous penetration goals for each