Story Selling the Secret Behind $400,000,000 in Sales ft. Perry Belcher
(Click The Video Below To Play)
The Perry Belcher Interview
You can’t argue with a story. And that’s why digital marketing legend Perry Belcher leverages storytelling to make sales. So, what makes people buy when they’re under the influence of story? And how can we harness an understanding of storytelling to sell real estate?
Perry is the cofounder of DigitalMarketer and the cocreator of Traffic & Conversion Summit. A serial entrepreneur known for his expertise in digital marketing and copywriting, he is a prolific author and sought-after consultant in the realm of growing an eCommerce business, driving web traffic, and increasing conversion. Today, Perry runs Olympus Peak Media, a digital marketing and membership company with 5.5M annual readers and a client roster of 500K.
On this episode of Founders Club, Perry joins Oliver to share the DigitalMarketer origin story and discuss how his background in retail contributes to his success in eCommerce. He offers his formula for building a business around a domain name, explaining why he sees web addresses as land and where to go to buy available domains. Perry also describes his ‘peel the onion’ approach to writing headlines and weighs in on the top tools for writing copy that converts. Listen in to understand the relationship between storytelling and sales and learn how to apply the story arc for effective real estate marketing!
Here is how the interview breaks down:
[1:23] Perry’s background in business
- Retail, manufacturing, eCommerce and digital marketing
- Partner with Ryan Dice on DigitalMarketer
[6:50] Perry’s insight around domain names
- View as real estate (buy and register for 10 years)
- Build site with content to increase value
[13:26] Resources for buying domain names
[19:16] Perry’s formula for picking winning domains
- Product people need
- Over $100
- Hard to find in local market
- Don’t sell on Amazon
[22:31] The DigitalMarketer origin story
- Met partner at mastermind
- Made $9M in first 7 months
[28:07] The relationship between storytelling and sales
- Creates connection with consumer
- Make promise, tell story + call to action
[35:57] Perry’s explanation of the story arc
- Set the scene
- Introduce characters
- ‘Story cliff’
[43:19] How to adapt the story arc to real estate
- History of home
[51:12] Why story is key to persuasion
- Puts prefrontal cortex to sleep
- Reptilian brain releases happy chemicals
[1:03:40] Perry’s ‘peel the onion’ approach to writing headlines
- Figure out what customer really wants (the WHY)
- Make replacement offer, not improvement offer
[1:09:30] Perry’s favorite online tools and software
- Hemingway app to write to grade level
- Natural Reader reads copy back in human voice
- Trello for storyboarding
[1:12:20] What Perry is investing in right now
- Business of human capital
- Trained and managed outsourcing
You can’t argue with a story. And that’s why digital marketing legend Perry Belcher leverages storytelling to make sales. Today, Perry joins Oliver to explain what makes people buy when they’re under the influence of story and how can we harness an understanding of storytelling to sell real estate!
Links to your favorite other players:
🎧Listen on Itunes here.
🎧Listen on Spotify here.
🎧Listen on Sticher here.
🎧Listen on Iheart Radio here.
🎥Watch Full Video on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/chaRWgvouEc
Full Transcript Below:
1home and I can just operate an iPad with a thumb and thick glasses, I can make a living flipping domains.
Oliver Graf: What about for the people out there that want to purchase something or look around to find domains? Do you have resources that you would recommend for purchasing?
Perry Belcher: There’s a bunch. I use a site that I don’t think a lot of people don’t use. It’s called registered compass. Registered compass shows you all the domains available to purchase from different sources. That’s a paid service. Lately I’ve been using another service. It’ll show you what’s available that’s expired, recently expired and it’ll show you what’s about to expire searched by name or whatever and then they’ll show you what’s for sale. I can usually spend 30 minutes on registered compass and come up with something wicked better than anybody has. Sometimes you’ll just find stuff that’s cool. I was showing this to a guy in an event once and he just … He was searching T-shirt domains available and sturgisteeshirts.com was available. He bought it for nine bucks. It was expired. Got a bunch of T-shirts for Sturgis the big motorcycle festival. He has a business now.
Oliver Graf: Sturgis T-shirts online.
Perry Belcher: The thing about it is … What’s called … It’s called an exact match domain. They’re branded domains like Big Buck Realty. That’s a brand. If you were sandiegorealestate.com that’s an exact match. Thing about it with the same amount of weight in development and links and everything sandiegorealestate.com is going to always out rank Big Bucks Real Estate for San Diego Real Estate. Which is your main search term? It’s going to always out rank. What a lot of people get confused about. Which one should I get? Should I get this one or this one? Truth is both. What I would do is redirect my branded domain to the exact match and then I would have my logo on the exact match domain. You can be leroy’[email protected]
Oliver Graf: Lasvegasbarbecue.com whatever.
Perry Belcher: Yeah, whatever. Because once you rank with an exact match domain it’s easier to rank but it’s very hard to knock that person out of the top slot when they have it. Tires.com. They’re number one for tires or make up tutorials.
Oliver Graf: Because of that exact match.
Perry Belcher: It’s very hard to knock them out of that saddle once they achieve the position.
Oliver Graf: Nice. One of the other resources you shared with us which we’ve actually made a couple purchases on is justdropped.com that’s a great website for finding [crosstalk 00:15:51]. Everything is like 60 to 80 bucks. Maybe at the most 200 but they have really good domain names all the time.
Perry Belcher: I’m using a new source called undeveloped.com. It’s only stuff for sale. It goes all the way from 20 bucks and they’re aggregating all of the different domains sellers into one searchable list.
Oliver Graf: They’re like the kayak.com.
Perry Belcher: They are. They’re trying to be. They’re doing a pretty darn good job. Some will make offer and you’ve got to negotiate and depending on who owns on this. There’s one guy named Frank Schilling that owns 70% of the really great domains in the world. There’s an article about him it’s called the man who owns the Internet. He started buying domain names as soon as they were available to buy and he bought hundreds of thousands of them. He owns-
Oliver Graf: What’s his name? Frank Schilling.
Perry Belcher: His name is Frank Schilling. I’ve never met him.
Oliver Graf: I’ll check him out.
Perry Belcher: He lives in [inaudible] or somewhere. There’s a guy that wrote … Ink wrote an article about him. It’s called The Man Who Owns the Internet.
Oliver Graf: Check that out for sure.
Perry Belcher: He’s just made hundreds of millions of dollars.
Oliver Graf: Probably never had to work again.
Perry Belcher: When he’s been selling them even though he’d bought them a lot of them, as he’s selling them, he’s buying more. He’s still buying premium. There’s a lot of places to bid on ones that are about to expire. One resource that’s really cool. It’s called namejet.com. It’ll show you everything that’s about to expire or if you just want to put a domain in it, I’ll tell you one. I wanted a particular domain for a product we’ve just developed called potty bombs. Potty bombs are freaking awesome. They’re bath bombs but it’s only this big. They have the same stuff in them that’s in Poo Pourri. Instead of spraying it you just drop a bomb.
Oliver Graf: Splash it in.
Perry Belcher: Just drop a bomb.
Oliver Graf: You drop a bomb and then drop a bomb.
Perry Belcher: I wanted to buy a potty bomb at potty bombs.com so I contact this guy. He’s like, “Yeah I want a $100,000 a piece for them.”
Oliver Graf: Please?
Perry Belcher: I’m like, “You’re freaking high.” This wasn’t even worth a conversation. I went and put them in the NameJet. This doesn’t always work out. About nine months later he didn’t re-register them and I bought them for $69 apiece.
Oliver Graf: He just forgot to register them and you got an email alert.
Perry Belcher: No. It goes ahead and pays for me and grabs him off. The way the service works is a little weird. If you’re the only person that put that on hold, then you just get to [inaudible 00:18:11]. But if you and I both put it on hold at different times and it comes available, they’ll grab it and then there’ll be a private auction just between you.
Perry Belcher: It’s called reserving it. You reserve that domain. I use them a lot and they have just a lot of good auctions on their stuff that pops up that you would never think of. I bought … I won’t say the name of it right now because we’re fighting over it but there’s a country club name that I bought that there’s six of them in the country with this name. I bought xxcountryclub.com. I bought it for a $210 or something. I sent out a FedEx to all the different country clubs that there’s none of them had their domain. They got a.net or a hyphenated. I said look, “I have this I’m going to sell it at auction and here’s the thing.” I bought it on NameJet, promoted it and then listed it back on NameJet and now it’s an auction. I think I’ll probably get I think right now the bid on it’s about 3400 bucks.
Oliver Graf: That’s wild.
Perry Belcher: It’s just I bought it on that platform sold on that platform but this alerted more people that it was available … People that would want it that it was available.
Oliver Graf: Really is just real estate.
Perry Belcher: It really is.
Oliver Graf: It’s literally-
Perry Belcher: It’s like saying, hey, your neighbor is going to sell and you’re sending a letter to the social guys. It’s like that. Who would want that? If you get them bidding against each other you can ask a price but its way better to just let them bid because they’ll just go bananas.
Oliver Graf: Especially if they don’t know.
Perry Belcher: Yeah. Nobody knows what its worth. It’s worth … Somebody had told me one time you know how a painting becomes worth $1 million?
Oliver Graf: How’s that?
Perry Belcher: Two billionaires want it. That’s a secret. Seriously that’s it.
Oliver Graf: Market to the billionaire. Very cool. Great advice on domains. I think that’s definitely something that people can do a lot with. What about your first big internet win? When was it when you were this is really a thing for me?
Perry Belcher: Crusher.com as cool as it sounds we did $14 million in the first year we were open. We didn’t make a single penny. I bought a bunch of domains. It’s when I started domaining. I bought rubberstamps.com, I bought dryeraseboard.com, a bunch of other stuff. I developed almost everything I bought back then. I developed rubber stamps. I developed Dry Erase Board. Dry Erase Board was a pretty big success. We did about … I probably made $100,000 a month from dryeraseboard.com for a lot of years.
Oliver Graf: That’s just selling Dry Erase Boards.
Perry Belcher: Just selling Dry Erase Boards. I set a distributor and we sold them and the distributor fulfilled on them and we made the profit. We bought Google ads. It was pretty simple. We had a pretty simple business. It was easier back then. It’s not that easy now. I had a standard though when I was selling physical goods it was because these were big porcelain dry erase boards. I still think it works by the way. If you can come up with something to buy … To sell rather that a good example with stanchions. I used to sell stanchions, those retractable belt things that crowd control. So many people need something cost over a hundred dollars something they would have a hard time finding in a local market and something they don’t really sell on Amazon. That last one used to not be the case. Now that’s really-
Oliver Graf: Now that’s probably the biggest one there.
Perry Belcher: They are 53% of the market. 53% of all income is Amazon. I saw yesterday was prime day. I heard this morning they shipped 175 million items yesterday.
Oliver Graf: Really mind boggling.
Perry Belcher: A day. There it is the behemoth but there are still a lot of stuff. There’s still a lot of opportunity out there. Those stanchions were really a good example. I imported them from China. There were about 15 bucks apiece. I sold them for $79. I think nobody buys a stanchion. The average ticket was about 1500 bucks. It was great. There just this little sweet spot products consumer packaged goods. My sister sell snake repellent believe it or not online. I built a website for her 12 years ago and she makes six figures a year selling snake repellent online. Little weird niches of things that you would never think about. There are all kinds of stuff you can get.
Oliver Graf: There’s a market for everything it sounds like on the good old internet.
Perry Belcher: Yeah. I sold … My first information product was on how to start a hot dog cart. It made me famous in the business because I sold $1 million worth of courses on how to start a hot dog cart. That’s how Ryan heard about me in the beginning. It’s pretty funny.
Oliver Graf: Well that was my next question is actually how’d you guys get involved with doing the digital marketer?
Perry Belcher: We met at a MasterMind actually. MasterMinds are good things if you haven’t heard of them. Yanik Silver is a mutual friend of ours had a MasterMind and we met at a MasterMind became really good friends. My life would have taken a different trajectory had I not had that friendship I think.
Oliver Graf: How did it go from being in the MasterMind together to forming the business relationship?
Perry Belcher: Remember I told you I almost went to jail. That’s how it happened. Ryan knew that. Generally speaking was a good guy. We’ve made some mistakes. I shouldn’t have done some things that we did but we weren’t, I don’t think any bigger offender than anywhere else just happen to be our day. They punched our ticket. I wiped out. I was killing it. We were making so much money and they just all went one day. Be careful in regulatory marketing, be careful in regulatory markets.
Oliver Graf: What was that about? It was a supplements thing and you got popped for disclosure.
Perry Belcher: By the state. For weighs and measures, how much a package weighs? How much the content inside weighs? That jacked up.
Oliver Graf: It was just inconsistent.
Perry Belcher: Inconsistency is just a pain in the ass. Anyway then it got into some claims as just some other stuff. Anyhow but Ryan called me up so what are you going to do? I said, “I don’t know. My phone is not ringing and I’m broke.” He said well if you want to come down and run my business with me I’d love to have you as a partner. My ass has already left.
Oliver Graf: That’s very cool.
Perry Belcher: Ryan was a real small … We were both pretty small players back then in retrospect. I think we did $9 million our first seven months.
Oliver Graf: Through digitalmarketer.com?
Perry Belcher: It wasn’t digitalmarketer.com it was a Touchstone Publishing I think was what we called it.
Oliver Graf: That’s a much better name.
Perry Belcher: It rolls right off the tongue. We did a product for … We did a Google ad buying product and I think we did two, $3 million which basically almost all went to pay my legal bills. I still was broke. I was broke for two more years. When I finally came to even we had a huge Perry’s broke party and I celebrated just being broke.
Oliver Graf: I love that.
Perry Belcher: Because I was sub broke for … I paid all my bills I didn’t file bankruptcy. Everybody is like why don’t you just bank … It’ll mess my … I don’t want to do that. Those people that are doing anything wrong. I’m pretty proud. That’s one thing. I’m not proud of a lot. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and done a lot of things I don’t I’m not proud of but I was really proud I didn’t do that. I paid all my bills.
Oliver Graf: That’s very impressive man.
Perry Belcher: Even though I lost all my money.
Oliver Graf: A lot of people wouldn’t do that.
Perry Belcher: Because they took all my money and left me about $3 million in debt. Crazy. We paid off all that.
Oliver Graf: Then how do you … Who came up with the idea to transfer it to digital marketing?
Perry Belcher: If it was a good idea it was obviously mine.
Oliver Graf: Clearly.
Perry Belcher: No, that was Ryan’s. Ryan came up with the digital marketer brand and I wanted to buy internetmarketer.com and it turns out he was right and I was wrong. He had a vision on the future of what the industry was going to look like, which is really important especially in domain buying. I just bought. I’m not lying I bought about a year ago I bought a mediastrategists.com. Three or four years ago I bought it. Now the social media people and the PR people and now that’s all converging under one title now and its media strategists and I own it. If I ever get back into that business again or if there’s a partner out there that wants to hook up let me know.
Oliver Graf: Holla Adam.
Perry Belcher: Holla. Call me. That’s-
Perry Belcher: That was cool. I think if you can get a glimmer of what people are calling themselves because titles change. You remember I was I read a thing the other day because I wanted to write an ad because I’m a old dude. My office I get a lot of young guys and the young girls that work with me and stuff and I’m writing an ad the other day and I said we need to run an ad for a webmaster. They looked at me like I had three heads. They said, “A what?”
Oliver Graf: What’s a webmaster?
Perry Belcher: You don’t call them … I have a Google what do you call a webmaster now because it was a Web … If you own webmaster.com it used to be a big site. It’s dead as fried chicken. If you can figure out where the vernacular of your audience is going … I love stuff not just exact match. If I can’t get exact match, I love things that are the common vernacular. I own amazingwomen.com. If you talk to somebody … If you talk to a woman the way some accomplished … Women that are accomplished always get described as amazing women. Guys that are accomplished always get described as a good man. Isn’t that funny? They’re amazing. We’re just good. People if you can pick up on that vernacular how people … What did they say?
Oliver Graf: The verbiage being used.
Perry Belcher: I own you’resopretty.com. We have a fashion blog there. Weird stuff you’d never think of. I wanted to buy fashiontrends.com because I thought that’d be cool to own it. That would be the one to own. They wanted $250,000 for it. Fortunately it was expensive so I didn’t buy it. I started digging around and I found that cuteoutfits.com … I was going to a fashion blog there. Cuteoutfits.com because the vocabulary has changed.
Oliver Graf: More people are googling.
Perry Belcher: Six times more traffic and I bought it for $7000.
Oliver Graf: That’s very interesting.
Perry Belcher: You never know.
Oliver Graf: You guys had the foresight to call it digital marketer.
Perry Belcher: You guys didn’t, he did.
Oliver Graf: He did. Great job Ryan.
Perry Belcher: I’ll give him full credit on that one.
Oliver Graf: Shout out to Ryan Deiss on that. Cool. I want to shift gears a little bit. One thing I think you’re most well known for is copywriting and storytelling. I think that’s-
Perry Belcher: Copywriting before more recently storytelling you.
Oliver Graf: I think storytelling is a huge part of sales now, especially with people wanting more authenticity and the more realness in what they’re consuming. One thing that you said was those who tell the best stories rule the world.
Perry Belcher: They do. Proven fact not my idea, proven fact.
Oliver Graf: Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Perry Belcher: Just to prove that point. First of all they did a survey a year ago and they asked 10,000 people if one of these two people could rule the world who would you pick? One was Queen Elizabeth and the other one’s J. K. Rowling who wrote Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling one is 63% to 37%. She tells a better story. I was reading not long ago this book Sapiens and it really opened my mind to storytelling even more. That for 160,000 years since the beginning of time they could imagine men were on earth we traveled in packs of six or seven. We’re now the only animal on earth that converges by the millions in certain geographic areas. We’re the only one if you think about it. There’s nothing else that works that way. We didn’t either for 160,000 years. What changed? Hieroglyphics.
Perry Belcher: When they started telling stories about drawing on cave walls people started congregating they hear the stories and read the stories by drawing on cave walls people started congregating to hear the stories and reading the stories. Then ink and other way printing presses the Bible then you got the Roman Empire. You got hundreds of thousands of people living in modern cities because they could effectively communicate … They could share … And it was all stories. It wasn’t about the communication of facts. All information back then was conveyed in stories. It basically still is. There wouldn’t be civilization without stories. That’s a biggie. The coolest thing I’ve seen lately there’s a website called significant objects and this blew my mind but. There’s a journalist bought 200 items on eBay for an average price of a dollar and 25 each.
Perry Belcher: He sent each item to a journalist friend of his and asked them to write a totally fictional story about this item. They relisted them on eBay with the fictional story. The average item sold for $41. 8X. 8000% markup with the story. There are so many things like that though if you really think about. You know the story of … The most popular these movies about singers and stuff, the singers love movies about them because they … That lets people have more insight in them. Nobody knows the gossip business. It’s how do they find out that Jennifer Lopez likes bananas? Well, because she asks her publicist, begged them to do a freaking interview because they realize a long time ago that the more you know about your celebrities and their origin story and where they came from, especially their challenges, their difficulties the more you feel connected to that person and the more you’ll go to their movies or buy their products or what have you.
Perry Belcher: If you watch keeping up with the Kardashians all they do is talk about all the problems they have in their lives. They’ve got a manufacturer that shit. They’re living in Malibu sitting on a pot of money up their ass. They got to make that (beep) up. They got to create drama. That’s the biggest thing about storytelling. Remember the only thing interesting is trouble.
Oliver Graf: Trouble.
Perry Belcher: That’s it. Nobody wants to hear a story, a good story, nobody cares. If you think about it you automatically do it because people just … If you go on a vacation you’re gone two weeks and you’re sailing through the Greek Isles. You don’t come back and tell people, you might say it’s beautiful, it’s really nice. You talk the rest of the meal about losing your luggage somewhere or being pick-pocketed, almost missing the bus. You’ll talk for an hour about all the things that went wrong on the trip. You do that because you know that’s all people really want to hear about.
Oliver Graf: Its way more interesting.
Perry Belcher: Its way more interesting. I think people on their social media can learn a lot from that. I see so many people on social that are, “Look at me.” The fish lip picture that the girls are turning around with their ass up, which I don’t mind those but all that stuff, here I am at a fancy restaurant or here I am. Let me tour you to my fancy hotel room. Some asshole does that all the time. Just kidding. I love you. That was fun.
Oliver Graf: That was good.
Perry Belcher: No, but seriously break your toe and put a picture of that on Facebook. See what gets more engagement. Everybody engages when there’s pain and loss, when there’s tragedy. Significant objects was very interesting because of the stories that worked, that made the most money. It’s pretty funny to read the ones that didn’t work and you can see why they were easy happy stories. They were fun stories that don’t work. The ones that worked had some things you get sex, tragedy, death, nostalgia and humor and those were the elements of a good story.
Oliver Graf: How do you take that trouble, that drama and that interesting engaging piece and put it into a sales message?
Perry Belcher: There’s a formula for it. There really is. I’m going to pee and then I’ll come back and tell you about it.
Oliver Graf: Quick intermission.
Perry Belcher: I got to pee.
Oliver Graf: All right.
Perry Belcher: My bladder thanks you.
Perry Belcher: Sure.
Oliver Graf: How would you say that someone can take that and put that into their sales materials?
Perry Belcher: I’ll give you the long version, because the long versions is usually the better version. Abbreviating is hard because there’s an old saying it’s I apologize for the length of this letter. I didn’t have very long to write it. Really I used to write everything with a … It’s called a 21 step formula, sales order formula. It’s online. I think they publish it at early to rise or something. A lot of people have it. You see Perry Belcher’s 21 step sales letter formula. It’s pretty good.
Oliver Graf: Check that out. The 21 step sales letter formula.
Perry Belcher: It’s not in the … I don’t even think it’s on one of my sites. I do that for years. It’s the way I wrote copy. It’s still a good system writing copy. Now I scrapped it. I think that the way consumers buy has really changed. There’s a lot more information. People would know more about your product. They’ve done more research, statistics. You can look at all the reviews and they know everything before they ever think about buying your thing. The way … So how do you sell in that environment? Well, you may be the cheapest guy, maybe the guy with the most features or your widget, which sometimes you can do and sometimes you can’t. It’s very difficult to do those two things and make a profit. How do you do it? You emotionalize the sale. You do that with the story. Now, my method is, make a promise. Promise what my product is going to do. Tell a story. Ask for an order. It’s actually a much simpler thing.
Oliver Graf: Make a promise. Tell a story. Call to action.
Perry Belcher: Call to action, Simple Simon. If you take somebody’s homeless thing and you scrap the, and this beautiful colonial home comes with three full bathrooms and … I bet if you tell a story there, you’ll sell that home three times faster if the story is good. Tell him it’s a great house, sell it at a great price. Tell a story, ask for the contact or whatever.
Oliver Graf: What would a story like that look like? I’m just curious.
Perry Belcher: Well, I’ll tell you what a story looks like, how about that. There’s a common story arc they call it, and it comes with a few parts. A story requires three things. You’ve got to have a scene, you’ve got to have characters and you have to have a story. A storyline. I’ll start with the scene. This is the one most people really miss. For a story to be effective and engage people, they have to be pulled into the place the story happened. That’s super important. Most people miss it. If you read Stephen King, he’s awesome at this. He’ll write three pages describing where the character is in one line of dialogue.
Oliver Graf: Setting the scene with words.
Oliver Graf: The smells the sights.
Perry Belcher: It really is huge because you’re bringing people into the scene. Why does it work? I don’t know, but it does and you have to have it. The things that set a scene are typically, there’s a lot, but things I can remember off the top of my head are. I don’t have any notes here at all. By the way, time, place, hot cold colors, textures, smells, the senses basically. You want to describe the five senses as much as you can to them about the place.
Oliver Graf: To get people to feel like they’re there, experience it.
Perry Belcher: If you want to really learn how to do it well, you’ll listen to country music. But really not just country, any kind of ballad. A ballad, there are a lot of ballads. There are rock ballads, but country is always the best. I like both county music, country and western you hear me say that a lot. A country song or any ballad is a three act play, it’s a story. Act one describes a scene and introduces the character. Act two, describes the trouble, the bridge, heightens the drama. Three-
Oliver Graf: Is the triumph.
Perry Belcher: Is the triumph or the tragedy, IT depends. The difference between a drama and a tragedy is whether the hero wins in the end or loses. If the hero wins at the end, that’s a hero story. If they lose in the end or die, that’s a tragedy. Shakespeare wrote a lot of tragedy. Everybody died at the end. What happens first is the scene, right? Those things get set with color, textures, whatever. If you think about it in songs like who’s somebody you like that I might know, since I’m old.
Oliver Graf: We’re talking about ballads. I’d go with, Mötley Crüe, Home Sweet Home.
Perry Belcher: All right, I don’t know that one.
Oliver Graf: All right, you pick one. I’m a rock and roll guy, so [crosstalk 00:38:33].
Perry Belcher: (singing). You had a place. You’ve got a description of a character right up front. Why does that matter, because you got to have a scene. On a warm summer’s eve, on a train bound for nowhere, I met up with the gambler. Then the second part you’ve got to develop your characters. There are four key characters to every story, the hero, the villain, the sidekick and the love interest.
Oliver Graf: Hero, villain, sidekick, love interest.
Perry Belcher: Yeah. They’re in almost every story you’ll ever hear. Now there can be more characters than that, but those characters are almost universally mandatory. You’re going to develop these four characters. You want to know … You want to write down on a piece of paper some background stuff you can make it up. You need to have some … They need to have a history. I’ve seen some writers that … Some a novelist. They will have notebooks like this thick on the back stories of characters in their books and stuff, most of which they’ll never put in the book. They do that so they know the characters.
Oliver Graf: They just map it out.
Perry Belcher: Yeah. That way they’ll know that, that character would never do this or that character would always do this in this situation. It helps them to write and it helps the … The character has to stay consistent. People don’t do things out of character. Now today really good stories, if you’re a master storyteller, master storyteller you’ve got amazingly complex characters with plots and subplots. You’ve got characters like Dexter, who’s a serial killer-
Oliver Graf: And a doctor.
Perry Belcher: That you don’t want him to get caught, or Tony Soprano who’s a murderous-
Oliver Graf: Gangster.
Perry Belcher: Gangster, but you just want to give him a big hug because he’s a nice guy and he loves his family. These complex characters are emerging more and more and more in film and television. The more complex the character, we’re becoming more sophisticated watchers. We know from inside our own bodies and our own minds, this is going to come as a surprise. I’m not completely good.
Oliver Graf: Shocking.
Perry Belcher: Neither are you, and neither is anybody else. We’re all good. We’re all bad. We’re all sweet. We’re all bitter. We all have a mixture of these different personality traits. Except may be Ryan, he’s pretty much good all the time. You’ve got to figure out what’s good about your character, what’s bad about your character. What do they show on the outside and what do they actually feel in the inside. That’s called a character diamond. You can Google that and find maps of a character diamond. They’re really cool.
Oliver Graf: We’ve set the scene, you have set characters.
Perry Belcher: Now you tell the story. The story follows something called a story arc. I call it a story cliff. All stories start with establishing norms. It was a normal day. We we’re just going along and you establish what a normal day looks like within a minute two minutes into the story, like a film or whatever. Then there’s something called an inciting incident. I mean something happens that just turns the hero’s world upside down. This totally jars their world. Because we can relate to that because we’ve had things like that happen-
Oliver Graf: So and so died, went through bankruptcy, lost the house, got sick.
Perry Belcher: Whatever the case is, whatever car wreck, or train wreck or whatever, a plane crash. Then they have to make what’s called an acceptance of the call, so that the hero goes, “No I’m not going to let that stand. I’m going to go correct this.” They go on a mission. They’re immediately met with challenges. That tenseness between the hero forcing this way and the challenge is going this way, is called drama.
Oliver Graf: That sparks the drama.
Perry Belcher: That’s drama. Just when you think that he’s making a little ground, he gets smacked back down. Then over time somewhere in there, he’s probably going to run across somebody that he falls in love with, or maybe he’s going to save somebody he was already in love with or whatever. There’s a love interest talked about. Then there’s a sidekick.
Oliver Graf: Then the sidekick shows.
Perry Belcher: The sidekick shows up, somebody’s going to help them. There’s this challenge, not the sidekick yet. We got ahead of ourselves, the villain. The villain gets introduced. Now he knows what he’s up against. There may be more than one villain. There’s all these forces, the more forces going against this hero, the more interesting the story. Then there’s a sidekick that comes along. It’s like, well, he might be able to really help him save the day and they have a brief victory. You’re like, “Man, maybe they’re going to make it.” We fall for this over and over and over and over and over. It’s called Hollywood. They act the brief victories, something catastrophic happens and there’s no way the hero can win. Somehow-
Oliver Graf: He will overcome.
Perry Belcher: He will overcome. There’s a solution and he wins, and he gets the girl, he makes a new friend. There are lessons learned. Everything is better than it was before. You show the new normal, and that’s the end of the story. In our case we do all that stuff and we make an offer. There’s a lesson taught.
Oliver Graf: How would that look for someone in the real estate space? How would that relate to-
Perry Belcher: Yeah. You could tell the story, the history of the home. If you’re selling the historic home for sure it would be great. If not, you can tell a story that starts with imagine.
Oliver Graf: Imagine waking up on your balcony, feeling the ocean breeze.
Perry Belcher: Imagine it’s 5:00 PM Christmas night and everybody’s on their way over, and nobody’s seen the house yet. The fires crackling, the scented candles are burning-
Oliver Graf: The roast beefs and the smells from the kitchen are, roast beef, or whatever.
Perry Belcher: Who has roast beef on Christmas, what’s wrong with you? What kind of weirdo. It’s a turkey. You don’t have to be so dramatic and just talking about what their day looks like. I’ll tell you the way I won my wife, I’m way better looking at her. One of the things I asked her was, “What’s a perfect Saturday look like to you?” We sat in a cafe a couple days after we met and we described what a perfect Saturday would be. I had her.
Oliver Graf: You guys were in alignment.
Perry Belcher: I had her too. I was in like a nerdy shirt. You could use this stuff for anything, good or evil. As soon as the story is over, and what you want to do is, as soon as the drama is released, you’ve got to make your offer almost immediately because all the interest is gone. I’ll give you a couple of examples to prove my point. They say that the best example of a great dramatic story, the hero’s journey is Die Hard. Almost everybody has seen that movie. Here’s this guy. He’s going home for Christmas, he’s got big teddy bear. Everything’s cool. He’s going for the like the multipleth times to try to get his wife back. You can tell. The love interest is baked into the story. Then what happens, the Nakatomi Tower blows up. He’s in the basement. First thing he’s got to get out of the garage which was a challenge. He takes the mission, he’s going to go save everybody because he’s a good guy, but he’s a flawed character.
Perry Belcher: He’s a good guy, he’s a workaholic, he drank too much. He cusses too much. He’s a smart ass. He has all kinds of flaws.
Oliver Graf: Rough around the edges.
Perry Belcher: But he’s a good guy at his heart. He takes off. He accepts the call. He encounters the villain right away, Hans Gruber. They show that Hans Gruber is the evil villain. Now you know who the villain is and he’s after McCain and McCain is trying to get him. Then they start cutting back more to a story about his wife. They’re working the love interest in the position. There’s a timeline for all this. There’s an arc. I’ll give it to you. You’ve got it. Probably you got my story, and then there’s a sidekick. Who’s the sidekick?
Oliver Graf: Which Die Hard?
Perry Belcher: The sidekick is the fat cop in the car eating Twinkies. He’s the sidekick. Then he’s telling them where they’re at and tell them the way out of the building. He think he’s going to win, and now everything is like, man, if I’m going to get it and then all of a sudden they got them surrounded, and there’s no way out. There’s no way he’s going to make it. The guy has got [inaudible 00:46:13]. He’s dead as fried chicken. John McCain picks up the nail gun and shoots the guy in the head with the nail gun in the constructionary. It says nailed them.
Oliver Graf: Nailed them.
Perry Belcher: It’s so awful. As soon as that guy’s dead, and you know there’s no more bad guys and Hans Gruber falls down and he’s dead, you’re ready to pack, you’re ready to put your coat on and get out of the theater. You got to hurry up while people are still in that suspension of belief and make them the offer of whatever it is that that story associates to you. If you look at a movie like Shrek, couldn’t be more different than Die Hard.
Oliver Graf: Totally, yeah.
Perry Belcher: It’s not, its identical story. Shrek is wallowing around in his mud puddle. He’s living a life. He’s digging as an ogre in the woods. Then this princess gets dumped on his doorstep and he’s like, “(bleep), what am I going to do now? I’ve got to get back to the castle.” He decides to take the mission to get her back to the castle. They take off. Then you introduce Lord Farquaad, the bad the mean guy that. There’s the villain and then you get-
Oliver Graf: The donkey comes in.
Perry Belcher: The sidekick pops in. This donkey. Then they start winning after donkey. Things are getting a little better and he starts to find out he’s really in love with the princess and then it all gets wet … And then all of a sudden the whole army comes. Impossible situation takes her away and he’s screwed forever. Then and only then he realizes she’s the love of his life, and he has to get her back no matter what. That timeline is exactly at the end. He gets the girl, the bad guy loses, the good guy wins. He makes a new friend and everything goes back to a new normal that’s a little bit better than it was before. Exact same story. Tommy Boy, everybody loves Tommy Boy. You get the thing, that the line is the same no matter what the movie or the story is.
Perry Belcher: You can shrink that line into five minutes … The story of five minutes or you can stretch it out to 90 minutes like you do in the films, or you can stretch it down to 300 pages like they do in a novel. The story is a story is a story, it never changes.
Oliver Graf: As you’ve taken through that formula, what’s the call to action?
Perry Belcher: It depends. It really is a lesson. You got … In every good story and there’s a lesson learned. You tend to weave that lesson into whatever it is you’re selling. If you know what you’re selling in the beginning, you can retrofit the story to fit your-
Oliver Graf: The narrative or whenever.
Perry Belcher: The narrative of whatever you want to happen. I wrote a story for our survival business and it was all about a lady who woke up one morning her house was flooded, and she didn’t … She was freaked out. She was all by herself. She had a little dog with her. All kind of trouble happens. She’s trying to get out of her house, or try to set her a boat and plane. They can’t get her out. Finally out of nowhere, her neighbor comes up on a jet ski, rescues her. He’s the sidekick. Her love interest was the dog. Is that funny? You getting a lot of liberties of this. That he shows up.
Oliver Graf: It can be unconventional.
Perry Belcher: He shows up, saves her and as they’re 200 feet away on a jet ski from the house to house explodes in the flames from a gas explosion, totally true story. How did I get it? I saw it on Ellen. The guy was on Ellen as a hero story and I found it on YouTube. I just looked up hero story on YouTube and I found this one, and I’m like, “Crap that’s great.” And I wrote it. At the end, the guy who saved her was very prepared. I said, in the end Joanne, Gary saved Joanne because Gary was prepared. He had a plan. He had tools. He knew what to do in a case of emergency. What’s your plan? As a member of the Family Protection Association, we give you plans, tools yadi, yadi, yada, yada. I immediately pivoted in then I pitch.
Oliver Graf: That’s good.
Perry Belcher: That’s the-
Oliver Graf: You took the emotion from a story, and then roll that into-
Perry Belcher: It doesn’t even have to be totally related. It’s just pretty crazy. When I teach this now I call it the soap opera method for selling. Back in the 50s, everybody here has heard of soap operas, but most people have no idea why they’re called soap operas. It’s because back in the 40s and 50s, this company called Procter & Gamble realized that every time they advertised their dish washing soap or their things like that to primarily women. At the time most women were in the home. They weren’t in the workforce, that they were when they were advertising the stay at home moms, if they advertise during a talk show or something, they didn’t sell it. If they advertise during the news, they sold almost none at all. If they advertise during a dramatic movie, a love story particularly, they sold more soap. They actually went to NBC and said, “You don’t have much playing during the day. We want to buy all day every day on NBC, ABC and CBS and we’re going to create our own programming. We’ll buy all the sponsor spots.”
Perry Belcher: which was a great deal for the networks because they had nothing going on. They did. They created the Guiding Light, and General Hospital in all those shows. Procter & Gamble owned and produced all those shows and then bought all the spots forums.
Oliver Graf: With the intention of selling more soap.
Perry Belcher: Of course, and they become the largest consumer products goods company in the world by a lot. By like … They’re like 40 times bigger than their next competitor. It was all based on that.
Oliver Graf: That’s really amazing.
Perry Belcher: Isn’t that crazy.
Oliver Graf: Had no idea.
Perry Belcher: That’s the power of story.
Oliver Graf: What about the other thing I think you’re really good at and I think this is key for most people in business is writing good headlines and good hooks.
Perry Belcher: God, it’s almost impossible to teach, I think some people get that and some people don’t. It’s the best that I can teach it is I call it peeling the onion. Most people will write a headline that’s very direct. Lose 30 pounds in 30 days or some … That’s how you get in trouble because you go to the easy. It’s real easy to make a claim. It’s real easy to … Being more emotional, is emotionalizing your headline is much more difficult. All you really have to do it well, is to do what I call peel the onion. We’ll stick, wait for a minute. Let’s say somebody wants to … They’re looking for weight loss order. Why? Well, I want to lose some weight? Why? Well, I want to be skinnier. Why? You’ll find that maybe, maybe it’s because they love nice clothes and they can’t buy nice guys on their size. Maybe it’s because they love their grandchildren, but they can’t get down to the floor and play to them and get back up.
Oliver Graf: Each why is one layer of the onion going deeper and deeper.
Perry Belcher: Every why is one layer of the onion. The more times you can ask why and get an honest answer, when you get down to the core of things, there’s a thing called Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. That hierarchy of what we need in life is at the bottom of it basic is food, water and shelter and safety. The next thing is love. We need … Really its sex is the way that thing is sex. We call it love because it’s better than saying, “Hey, I want to hit it.” I love you. It sounds better than I sure would like to have [inaudible 00:53:06]. You know what I’m saying? Anyway and then it goes up to like other layers of self-improvement and the things that we need. It gets right down to most things you sell, they’re primal needs. There are three brains in your head, most people don’t know that. You’ve got three brains. You’ve got a mammalian brain, you’ve got a prefrontal cortex and you’ve got a reptilian brain. There a three brains in your skull right now. The little bitty one back here, it’s about the size of a walnut.
Perry Belcher: It makes almost every decision you make. That’s called the reptilian brain. The reptilian brain doesn’t know how to say no. It only sees what it wants and it wants it. Then the mammalian brain is like a hard drive. This brain’s like a processor and this brain is like a hard drive. It keeps a record of all of our experiences in life. Some even experiences we didn’t have, but that our ancestors had. That we’re born with that are baked in where we have natural fears of things. Then this front brain the prefrontal cortex is only really humans have that. Then the very small dysfunctional version in primates and that brain says no. That’s all it does. That’s its whole job.
Oliver Graf: That’s our defense mechanism.
Perry Belcher: Yeah. That references this. It says, “Last time we did that. That was bad.” Or, “Last time we did that was good.” Maybe I’ll let that through. Putting this prefrontal cortex to sleep is the secret to persuasion. That’s what hypnosis is.
Oliver Graf: Okay, I feel like we;regoig deep right now. I like this.
Perry Belcher: When we’re going deeper, when you’re hypnotizing someone, you’re turning off this prefrontal cortex so you can see, adjust or change the programming on his hard drive so that you process information differently back here. The best way to explain it that I know and I’ve done this a bunch of times, so I’ve had to get better at it. If there’s food on the ground and a snake is crawling along, and it sees the food, it’s just going to go eat it. Even if there is a 1200 pound gorilla in front of it, it stomps the snake dead. Snake has no memory and has no judgment. It only knows to eat, protect itself against the elements and reproduce. That’s the only … That’s what’s hardwired in all of us.
Perry Belcher: This brain back here wants to get laid, get fed and have a comfy place to sleep. That’s all it’s looking for. If a dog is walking along, it sees the foods, sees the gorilla and it has what’s called a fight or flight response, this is cooked into us. We don’t have to process this with our brains. It says basically, if it’s smaller than us, eat it. If it’s bigger than us run from it. If it’s the same size as us, have sex with it. I’m not kidding, mate with it.
Oliver Graf: All right.
Perry Belcher: That’s it, or maybe fight with it. If there’s something you want to fight over. The dog would have a fight or flight response, see the gorilla and go, shit and run off.
Perry Belcher: I’m out. Because the dog at least has memory, it’ll either run away because of memory or because of not natural fight or flight or it’ll run away because it’s already had an encounter with a gorilla in the past. It didn’t-
Oliver Graf: Knows not to mess with it.
Perry Belcher: It didn’t go well. The difference in those two kinds of animals and a human is, we can see the gorilla, we see the food. We’ll have a natural fight or flight immediately. We have the ability to reason. No other animal has that. We might be able to say, that’s a big gorilla over there. He looks like he’d be slow. I’m in the desert eight days. If I don’t eat by tonight, I’m going to starve to death and die. I don’t have a lot of choice here. I think I can run and grab that food, grab it and run up this tree before the gorilla can get me. We can judge that sort of thing. Cars are going by, we can judge when and if to take off from the curb and go right based on how bad we need to be on the other side. If we’re really in a hurry, we may take a higher risk. If we’re not in a hurry we’ll wait until it’s safer.
Perry Belcher: Our ability to do that, sets us apart from every other animal. If a dog is walking down the street, sniffs the butt of another dog and wants to have sex with it, they just have sex. I’ve tried that in clubs before. You get in a lot of trouble.
Oliver Graf: We don’t recommend that.
Perry Belcher: You’ll get real beat up, you’ll beat up. No, no kidding. You think about that. I say it as a joke. I make jokes of most of this stuff just because it makes them a little more interesting to listen to. It’s sort of boring otherwise. Why wouldn’t we just walk into a bar, see a good looking girl, go strip her down and start having sex with her? Well, they call that rape. You can’t do that. It doesn’t matter the desire of one or the other. That might be someone else’s wife. That person might not like us at all. We may go to prison for that. I mean there’s all kind of consequences that come with it. It can be worse. We can get married. It can be really bad. I’m kidding. I love you honey. Stories, hypnosis and stories and alcohol and drugs, those are the only things that turn that brain off. When you do want to go out and say, “God I just really need to have some sex.” Whatever you do.
Oliver Graf: You’re going to go to club, have some drinks-
Perry Belcher: Get hammered, you’re going to turn that brain off. You’re going to turn all that judgment off and you’re going to allow yourself to make bad decisions. You need a chemical aid to do it. It may not be a bad decision, but you’re going to mail yourself to make decisions without too much judgment or guilt. When you’re selling somebody a fine sports car or a Rolls Royce or whatever, they can tell you an amazing story. Did you know the Rolls Royce takes seven months to build one car? The Camry, Camrys come off Toyota line every seven minutes. It takes five experienced craftsmen seven months to build one Rolls Royce.
Oliver Graf: They build it with their hands.
Perry Belcher: They build it with their hands. They hand polish the solid sterling silver lady of whatever, I forget her name. The spirit of whatever on the topic. Everyone is hand polished. The wood is taken they tell you this beautiful romantic story of the history of the Rolls Royce, because otherwise no other idiot will but 400,000 car. When they’re telling you all that stuff, the better that story is, the more this brain is turning itself off. You’re being allowed … Because you looked at it and went-
Oliver Graf: That makes sense.
Perry Belcher: Want car. This said I [inaudible 00:59:50] want car. You just want it. You would normally go do it. People buy with an imaginary scale. I believe every sale is made this way. There’s a scale over here that says will this improve my life or not improve.?
Oliver Graf: Negatively affect it.
Perry Belcher: Negatively affect it. If it’s a status scale, and they say is the status that I’m going to achieve from this purchase worth the money I’m going to have to pay to get it. Because for instance like, do you have a Rolls Royce?
Oliver Graf: No.
Perry Belcher: You want one?
Oliver Graf: Yes.
Perry Belcher: You want one? I happen to know that you’re very credit worthy.
Oliver Graf: Yes.
Perry Belcher: Why don’t you just go buy one?
Oliver Graf: Because it’s hard to get over the hump.
Perry Belcher: Well, because you subconsciously put this on a scale, and you say, “This is definitely going to elevate my status, but if I can’t make my mortgage payment, my status is going to be severely depleted.” It’s real easy when we want. When that reptilian brain back there wants something bad enough. It starts spewing chemicals in our brain, drugs. We already have drugs. We don’t necessarily need.
Oliver Graf: That’s the dopamines, the cortisols.
Perry Belcher: Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and that cortisol. We have these very powerful drugs in our brain. Either you hear about people having extra super power strength to this brain when adrenaline is released, they do. When you use cocaine it releases dopamine into your brain. It floods it with dopamine. It doesn’t … Cocaine doesn’t produce dopamine. Cocaine doesn’t have dopamine in it. It makes your brain produced dopamine. That cocaine is not itself a drug, it releases a drug that you already have.
Oliver Graf: It just tells your brain to release that chemical and that’s what makes you feel good or whatever.
Perry Belcher: That’s right. It’s all about the anticipation of a good thing happening. Oxytocin is a love drug that’s community. When people feel comfortable in the community they’ll do things they wouldn’t normally do. When you feel comfortable around, you’re around your buddies. You’ll do stuff around your best buddies. Like, Sam I can’t even imagine the (bleep) around Sam. You’ll do stuff around your best buddies that you wouldn’t do around strangers because you feel comfortable. That’s a drug that’s a sedative that’s being released in your brain to relax you. It’s like smoking pot. Oxytocin is most like smoking pot. Serotonin is a status drug. It’s most like alcohol. There’s all these … They’re like other things. They don’t last very long. When you’re telling a story, these drugs will last for very short periods of time. While these people are in this, what we call a temporary suspension of belief, you’ve got to inject your message. They go, that makes sense.
Oliver Graf: It’s like, and you’re doing that in the hook or you’re doing that in the story, or you?
Perry Belcher: You do that throughout the story. For instance, you wouldn’t believe you’ve watched the movie Smokey and the Bandit?
Oliver Graf: Yeah.
Perry Belcher: With [crosstalk 01:02:40]. The end of that movie, right? If you’re too old, remember it, go watch it because it’s funny. Pontiac sold I think it was almost a million black trans AMS right after that movie.
Oliver Graf: Because of that movie.
Perry Belcher: Yeah, so you went, “Oh my God, that’s the car I want.” You see James Bond wearing Omega watch and all of a sudden, one day you’re walking through the mall. You ain’t even thinking about it. You walk into the mall, “That’s a beautiful watch. I think I want that one.” You don’t realize your brain got set on that. That suggestion was put inside of your brain while you’re in a temporary suspension of believe or hypnotized watching a James Bond movie. That’s why that’s so powerful. I’ve watched a John Paul DeJoria, who I think is one of the greatest entrepreneurs who ever lived. They told a story about Patrona Tequila because he owns Patrona. It didn’t take off until Clint Eastwood drank a bottle of it in Gran Torino.
Oliver Graf: Associations.
Perry Belcher: Associations and associations and the powerful associations when you’re under the influence of story, its like-
Oliver Graf: I like that, under the influence of stores.
Perry Belcher: As I said it, I think I want to write that as a book title.
Oliver Graf: That’s good. That’s real good. Then how do you structure the hook? Back to the peeling of the onion?
Perry Belcher: Well that’s the promise. It has to be at the beginning. At the beginning, you said how to write a good headline. How do you write a good headline is figuring out what it is they really want, not what they’re saying they want or not even what they’re looking for, all right?
Oliver Graf: Okay, and then speak to that.
Perry Belcher: Yeah. If someone is buying a new home, I’d say oftentimes they’re trading up. They’re trying to increase their status. They want to increase their status, so tell them how it’s going to increase your status. Tell them how proud they’re going to be when they invite, your friends will be so, your friends are going to be so impressed when they walk through the Marble Gateway and the blah, blah, blah. If they’re downsizing, imagine how smart you’ll appear to your friend. You’ll be living in this wonderful neighborhood. They always say by the best, the smallest home and the best neighborhood and you’ll be the smartest person in the neighborhood with this beautiful blah blah blah.
Oliver Graf: You have so much less stress.
Perry Belcher: Yes, you have so much less stress. Think about why they’re downsizing their home and play to that. It’s not, their message, the one message won’t always work, it depends on the buyer. They might not be able to spell that out in the ad, but you’re certainly going to meet them in person if you show them the home, or if you go to list the home. If I were a real estate agent, I’m certainly not. When I talked about, I think all these guys go in, telling the client I’m the best real estate agent in town. I’m going to sell your house faster, and then I’m going to sell it for more than anyway. I wouldn’t talk about any of that. You know what I’d talk about, their next home. I would start letting them imagine themselves in that next thing they’re really dreaming of. Because people, there’s a … I teach this in a different thing that I teach from time to time. It’s called replacement or a replacement offer and improvement offer.
Perry Belcher: Improvement offers are very hard to sell. I want to teach you how to work out every day for the next year and be real fit. I always use marriage counseling or an affair. Most people who have a bad marriage would rather just have an affair. They just replaced that spouse with another spouse. They don’t really want to put the work in to go to marriage counseling and do all those things. That’s improvement and it’s hard and it requires work. Most people don’t want to do that. Most people just want to replace. I did an offer. A friend of mine is here right now used to be in the dental market. He was having a hard time with this business because he sold dentists on how to get more patients and improve their practices, and it just didn’t sell. He couldn’t sell it for hardly anything. But it was rough because he was teaching them how to improve their business.
Oliver Graf: That sounds like work.
Perry Belcher: When he made them an offer on how they can own self storage units and not have to work behind the chair all day and go have a more relaxing lifestyle, it outsold everything he sold them. Even though the previous offer was much more congruent to them, that offer sold better because it was a replacement offer, not an improvement offer. Think about that. They don’t care about you or what your … Or they do to some extent, but that’s not what’s going to get them to list that house with you. If they have an emotional bond with you, if they like you and the way we speed that process up in relationships is by stories. Ryan always said because we used to teach together a lot. He said it’s so weird that I have students and you have fans. Ryan is way smarter than I’ll ever be. He’s very much a teacher. He’s very good at it. He teaches. He said in first you do this., he’s great at it, it’s fantastic.
Perry Belcher: I’ll do like I’m doing here. I’ll be an idiot and tell some stupid … I’ll use some stupid colloquialism or I’ll tell some … Let me tell you a story about that or whatever. Oftentimes I can get a better bond with the audience, even though I’m-
Oliver Graf: Even though it’s relatable.
Perry Belcher: Even though as a product, I’m a flawed product compared to Ryan. He’s a better product, but I can oftentimes out sell him. When I saw Donald Trump debate, Hillary Clinton, I had a good feeling that she was in trouble. Because she’s a very smart lady, but she talked very much in facts and numbers, and he told stories and used sound clips.
Oliver Graf: That’s almost like education versus entertainment.
Perry Belcher: Right. Frank [inaudible 01:08:13] told me one time that even in the business opportunity space, 90% inspiration, 10% information. People need to be inspired.
Oliver Graf: Sell them on what it’s going to do for them.
Perry Belcher: Stories going to do, stories can also inspire. That’s another thing that facts can’t do. I had an unfortunate event, I’d call it although it wasn’t, which turned out to be a great event. I was teaching human behavior and persuasion at one of our meetings we had and Robert Cialdini who wrote Influence, came into my breakout room and sat directly in front of me and just waited for me to teach persuasion. I was like fuck you.
Oliver Graf: You’re like, great.
Perry Belcher: He was actually really nice. He gave me a lot of good feedback and he said something that I’d never thought, he said. Anybody can argue with facts, it’s impossible to argue with a story. That’s a big deal right there. You can’t argue with a story. Anybody will dispute facts. You know there are … You know the average home in this neighborhood is $300,000. “No it’s not. I sold it for 295 … Everybody, they just don’t believe you automatically. We don’t trust people. If you start telling a story about I moved in here five years ago, me and my sheep dog and my husband, and you embed this fact that when we bought our house was only 225,000 [inaudible 01:09:27]. The reason I got an appraisal with $325,000, and most of the houses around here were like that. I was like, it embedded in a story, those facts become just part of the story and they don’t get argued with.
Oliver Graf: That’s a good distinction. I love this stuff. I think you’re giving some great insight into stories and how to leverage stories to help you sell. I just want to wrap with a couple quick easy questions. What are some of your favorite tools or software’s that you’re using right now that you couldn’t live without?
Perry Belcher: Three things I really like writing, because I write a lot. I write in something called Hemingway App. It’s a really cool word processor. It cost $20 and it goes in and strips out whatever you write, all the bullshit out of your writing and it makes your writing more of the way Hemingway would have written whatever you write. It takes out all the junk and you can tune it to write to a certain grade level. I write at fourth grade level and [inaudible 01:10:33].
Oliver Graf: This is just preset into the Hemingway App?
Perry Belcher: Yeah. You can say I want to write it for … You can, as you’re writing it’ll tell you what grade level you’re writing at, and then they’ll show you which words to eliminate to get your grade level down or to change. When you’re writing your people, no matter what you’re writing, even when you’re talking to them. Rather than saying a police officer in an official cruiser, say a cop in a car. It’s always better. If you listen to, and this goes back to songs again, storytelling and songs is very similar. The biggest hit songs in all of history have always been songs that had a lot of one syllable words. Love, love me do, I love you, always be true. They’re always really simple, very short words in this song. Rolling stones are like that. Most are very short words just so I can say I didn’t just talk about country music.
Perry Belcher: I use that tool a lot. After I write in there, I take whatever I wrote and I put it in this thing called Natural Readers, naturalreaders.com. Again it’s about 25 bucks that you use. Both of those things have an online version. It’s free. National Readers when you’re done with whatever you’re writing, it’ll read it back to you in a human voice.
Oliver Graf: That’s cool. You can hear what it sounds. like
Perry Belcher: You’d be freaked out at how bad they sound. I’ll usually do three rounds of edits. After I think I’ve got it perfect. I’ll put it Natural Readers and I just sit with another computer. I do Natural Readers on an iPad and I’ll have it read to me, and I edit on the computer while it’s reading. I’ll do three more rounds of edits. When you get it to where it sounds conversational, you’ve got a good piece. Just writing it, email that way we usually between those two things, will increase the conversion email two to three times.
Oliver Graf: That’s a great tip. That’s a great tip.
Perry Belcher: Big impact for not a lot of trouble.
Oliver Graf: Hemingway App, Natural Readers love those.
Perry Belcher: I storyboard in Trello. Trello is a good-
Oliver Graf: I love Trello myself.
Perry Belcher: Trello is great for story boarding, it’s good for project management though. But, it’s really good for story boarding.
Oliver Graf: Very cool, so Trello’s the third. What about, what are you investing in now? I know you’ve sold a couple businesses.
Perry Belcher: I sold for four exits last year.
Oliver Graf: 01:12:42 Nice, congrats.
Perry Belcher: Which was weird in one year, kind of good, but in this business now, if you’re going to be in the business, if you’re going to sell businesses, you’ve got to be planting and harvesting. I planted and then I stopped planting waiting for a harvest and then they all harvest at once. Now I’m out of stuff to do, which is good. I get some bandwidth, and a little relaxation. The thing I’m most excited right now, I just think there’s a big need in the human capital business. I think that we’re in the tightest hiring market we’ve ever been in our history where pay is off the scale. There’s lawsuits and you got to buy everybody computers, you got to put on expensive offices, people cost really high. They didn’t think … Harvard did I think two years ago that said a $70,000 employee now packs up to $111,000 a year. By the time you put them on vacation-
Oliver Graf: With all the extra stuff.
Perry Belcher: I’ve got a new company called Scale Wind. It’s not active right now. We’re in Beta, a private Beta. I’ve had people in the Philippines for years, 130 people over there right now. We’re training people in verticals, like real estate. I bought realestateassistant.com and so we’re training … We’re doing trained managed outsourcing. Instead of just hiring somebody on oDesk that you could do, we’re bringing somebody in our facility class A office space, high-speed computer, fiber all the time up, uptime and we train them to be a good real estate assistant for 30 days before they ever start. Then so you don’t pay for any of the training. We have management levels.
Oliver Graf: That’s great.
Perry Belcher: Both there and here in the US, so somebody gets an assistant from us, they don’t just or will get an assistant from us. They’ll have a US person to contact. They really have any issues or whatever they call US. They talk to an American person. The business of human capital is going to be good. I want to … I’m on a mission. I want to employ 10,000 people in the Philippines, give them a better life, pay them more than average pay.
Oliver Graf: I love it.
Perry Belcher: Treat them really well and hopefully making a nickel in there for myself somewhere. Provide, we’re doing it for real estate. We’re in for tech. We’re doing it for mortgage brokers, we’re doing for graphic design, studios. We’re doing graphics for sign shops so they can outsource … They don’t have to hire a graphic designer.
Oliver Graf: That’s great.
Perry Belcher: Because graphic designers are really expensive and hard to get right now, and a little individual sign shop can’t afford it. With us for 900 bucks a month they got 50 hours of graphic design. It’s really-
Oliver Graf: I think that’s a great idea too because graphics is one of those things that every business needs. To your point, like to hire full-time graphic designers–
Perry Belcher: It’s hard, right?
Oliver Graf: A, doesn’t make sense because most businesses don’t need a full time graphic designer, but-
Perry Belcher: They’re going to be 40 and 50 grand. Pack them up. They’re going to be 80 grand. You’re going to be paying basically 10 times what we’ll charge, and you don’t have to manage them.
Oliver Graf: That’s going to be all through-
Perry Belcher: All through Scale Wind.
Oliver Graf: Scale Wind.
Perry Belcher: Yeah.
Oliver Graf: Dot com.
Perry Belcher: Yeah, scalewind.com. There’s not even a site there right now. I shouldn’t be saying that. There will be. It’s all good.
Oliver Graf: Coming soon.
Perry Belcher: Is all good. It didn’t matter. I can’t sell it right now anyway so it doesn’t matter. That’s what I’m excited about. I’ve got a great publishing company, partnership with Agora. We’re hiring, by the way, if anybody out there wants to come to work and learn [crosstalk 01:16:07].
Oliver Graf: If someone wants to learn more about what you’re doing and contact you, what’s-
Perry Belcher: They can go just [email protected]
Oliver Graf: [email protected] Definitely check that out.
Perry Belcher: Well, I know that my guys over there are hiring people left, right and center right now.
Oliver Graf: Awesome.
Perry Belcher: What’s the J-O-B?
Oliver Graf: There you go. You need a job, talk to this man right here. Really appreciate your time man. Thank you so much for everything you shared with us.
Perry Belcher: Absolutely.
Oliver Graf: You gave away some really good nuggets. If you liked the show, give us a like, leave a comment, subscribe to the channel. We’d love to have you on future episodes. Leave any comments. I’m sure Perry will able to circle back and answer those for you. We’ll look forward to seeing you on the next episode of Founders Club.
“Anything you wouldn’t do in a store setting, you shouldn’t do online.”
“I see domain names as land.”
“Those who tell the best stories rule the world.”
“There wouldn’t be civilization without stories.”
“The only thing interesting is TROUBLE.”
“Any ballad is a three-act play.”
“As soon as the drama is released, you’ve got to make your offer almost immediately.”
“In every good story, at the end, there’s a lesson learned.”
“People buy with an imaginary scale: Is the status that I’m going to achieve from this purchase worth the money I’m going to have to pay to get it?”
“Stories can also inspire. That’s another thing facts can’t do.”
“Anybody can argue with facts. It’s impossible to argue with a story.”
- War Room Mastermind
- Traffic & Conversion Summit
- Roland Frasier
- Undeveloped Domain Marketplace
- Frank Schilling
- Yanik Silver
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- Significant Objects
- Perry’s 21-Step Sales Letter Formula
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
- John Paul DeJoria
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
- Hemingway Editor
- Natural Reader
Connect with Perry
Connect with Oliver
Other episodes of founders club you might like:
Matt Fleming – How To Build A 37 House Luxury Real Estate Development
Sal Buscemi – From Goldman Sachs to Developing a $20,000,000 Commercial Project
Thank you for watching!
If you’d like to see all the episodes go to: www.OliverGraf.tv/FoundersClub
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas contact me here.