Sell Like Crazy - Critical summary review - Sabri Suby

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Sell Like Crazy - critical summary review

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Marketing & Sales

This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: Sell Like Crazy: How To Get As Many Clients, Customers and Sales As You Can Possibly Handle

Available for: Read online, read in our mobile apps for iPhone/Android and send in PDF/EPUB/MOBI to Amazon Kindle.

ISBN: 064845990X

Publisher: Editora Independente/Não Encontrada

Critical summary review

No matter what industry you’re in, no matter how great your product or service might be, the minute you decide to scale your business, you stop being a doctor, designer or dentist – you become a marketer. Meaning, the fate of your business and your dreams of becoming a millionaire lie not in creating the best product or service, but in finding the best way to market them to your potential customers. At least that’s what Sabri Suby – founder of Australia’s fastest-growing digital agency King Kong – claims in “Sell Like Crazy,” a 2019 bestseller. In it, he reveals an 8-phase selling system for generating leads, sales and profit for any business in any market. Get ready to hear the details!

Phase No. 1: Understand and identify your dream buyer

Most businesses are started by practitioners; however, all successful companies are built by marketers. “Profitable sales,” writes Suby, “are the lifeblood of your business, the oxygen. Without them, your business will die.” That’s why the first step toward building a successful business isn’t building the perfect product, but understanding and identifying your dream buyer.

In each industry, explains Suby, only a small fraction of the entire population is looking to buy at any given time. In his estimations, we’re talking about no more than 3% of the addressable market. Yet, nine out of 10 ads focus on them. Why? Because they are the easier sale. If you want to scale properly, you must understand and target the other 97% as well. Be aware – more than 60% of them aren’t even aware they have the problem your product or service solves!

The best way to attract their attention is the Halo strategy, which is essentially a method of uncovering your prospects’ hopes and dreams, pains and fears, as well as barriers and uncertainties using Google, Reddit, Quora – and an Excel worksheet. Suby also suggests using the website, which he describes as “one of the best-kept secrets in the sales and marketing industry.” At, any typed keyword generates a diagram of related searches. Those are the things that should interest you. Because they are essentially the problems of your audience. And what people usually buy are solutions. Offer them.

Phase No. 2: Create the perfect bait for your dream buyer

In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto discovered that 80% of the wealth in Italy belonged to only about 20% of the population. Ever since, the Pareto principle has been observed in many different areas of life and work. In business, claims Suby, it works exponentially, meaning you should always apply the 80/20 rule twice. In other words, not only 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your buyers, but also 80% of those 80% of your sales will come from 20% of the top 20% of your customers. Do the math, and you’ll realize that the top 4% of your customers will always be responsible for 64% of your revenue. Suby calls them “The Power 4%.” Those are your dream buyers. 

To create the perfect bait for your dream buyers, use a High-Value Content Offer, or a HVCO for short. When creating an HVCO, you must follow these three simple rules:

  1. Create an attention-grabbing headline.
  2. Make sure every point touches a burning issue.
  3. Keep it simple. 

The goal of an HVCO, in Suby’s explanation, is to “wow” people by offering them not just a product or service, but an experience. “If done right,” he clarifies, “an HVCO will prompt a conversation to take place in their mind: ‘If this is what they're giving away for free, imagine what their paid products/services are like!’” However, be aware that these are called “high-value content offers” for a reason: it’s not enough to merely make a big promise, but you must deliver on that promise as well!

Phase No. 3: Capture leads and get contact details

According to Suby, 99% of businesses are too eager to make a sale, so they “approach their prospects like an army would attack a walled city – with a full-frontal assault.” In fact, they should approach them the same way one would approach a romantic prospect. You don’t just go asking a stranger to marry you after walking into a bar – you must do some wining and dining first before the right time comes for proposing.

That’s where an opt-in page comes in. It’s basically another way of telling your prospects that you have a solution to their problem and that they are free to check out bits of it. Every good opt-in page includes the following five elements:

  1. An opt-in headline. It must be surprising, sensational and specific. Here’s a simple formula: “[PROBLEM]? Get My [SOLUTION] and [RESULT]!”
  2. A subheadline. This is where you should restate your offer and state precisely what your customers will get from you. For example, “26-page Paleo cookbook including 16 delicious Paleo-friendly recipes you can make in under 20 minutes PLUS beautiful high-resolution pictures.”
  3. Ultra-compelling fascination bullets. Suby describes these as “small nuggets of tantalizing teaser information that intrigue the reader while offering or implying a benefit.” Here are three of the many formulas that always work: “How to X without Y,” “X ways to Y” or “What you never do if you want X.”
  4.  A compelling image. Make sure to include in your opt-in page a visual representation of what your customers will get in return for their email address. It can be a free report, a cheat sheet, a video tutorial – really, anything you like. As long as it is free, of course.
  5. A basic form. Don’t ask your prospects to give you their contact details. Tell them where to put them. “The less information you ask for,” remarks Suby, “the higher the conversion rate on your opt-in page.”

Phase No. 4: The godfather strategy

If you want your prospects to buy something from you, you have to make them a Don Vito Corleone offer – that is, one they can’t refuse. “If your offer and your guarantee doesn’t keep you up at night,” Suby writes, “then it is not strong or intriguing enough.” The response you’re looking for from your customers is not “Hmm, that sounds interesting,” but “‘How can they possibly offer this?” or even, “Who’s crazy enough to guarantee so much?” Every Godfather Offer consists of the following seven major components: 

  1. Rationale. “A clear and credible explanation of why you’re making such an outrageously generous offer.” Tell your customers why you’re cheaper, faster or better than the others.
  2. Build value. Establish a believable regular price and make it seem like a really good value through comparison. Then, reveal your discount to make your offer even more attractive. Reduce the final price down to a daily or weekly figure to make it even more ridiculous. You can even compare it to something trivial, for example: “For the price of a cup of coffee per day, you get X for life.”
  3. Pricing. Don’t just have one offer – but at least three. New customers usually go for the middle one, and the power 4% always go for the most expensive one. By incorporating multiple offers, you are sure to increase your return on investment.
  4. Payment options. If the price of what you sell is high, break up the purchase into a payment plan of three or four payments.
  5. Premiums. A premium is a free gift a prospect receives, along with the product they are buying. As you know from all those late-night infomercials, free gifts usually come with time pressure and in the form of, “But wait, there’s more: if you order right now, you’ll also get X for the same price!”
  6. Power guarantee. Counter risk by offering a power guarantee. The stronger your guarantee, the better. Generally, 12-month guarantees are the most common ones, but you’re free to up the ante if you can.
  7. Scarcity. Offers without scarcity don’t sell as well as those with it. So, put expiration dates on your offer, countdown clocks and even “only X left at this price.” They always work – even when the customer doubts them.

Phase No. 5: Traffic

Once you’ve identified your dream buyer, created your HVCO and your opt-in page, and presented your Godfather Offer on your landing page, it’s time to look at what traffic channels are right for your business and, of course, to delve deeper into the art and science of producing click-worthy ads.

Assuming your goal is to scale your business, you must build multiple flows of traffic to maintain your flow of leads. In other words, optimizing your website for search crawlers (or search engine optimization for short) is just the beginning. Next, you should turn to Google, and afterward to Facebook and YouTube. Finally, you should take into consideration the power of podcasts as well.

As far as the ads themselves are concerned, what we said about your opt-in and landing page applies here as well. Meaning, try to be intriguing, specific, boastful and shocking. State both the direct and the implied benefits of your offer. Play on your customer’s vanity, and self-interest: always offer them something stronger, smarter, sexier than your competitors. Finally, don’t ever underestimate the power of fear: fear-mongering ads are some of the most clicked-on for a reason.

One more thing. Ads are expensive. If you spend more on them than you get from your customers then they are pointless as well. So, do your research and get your calculations right. In the words of Suby, “Only when you know how much you make from a customer, you'll know how much you can spend to get one.” 

Phase No. 6: The magic lantern technique

As we already mentioned, only 3% of your prospects are ready to buy from the get-go, and 97% aren’t in the “buy now” mode when they see your opt-ins and offers, either because they aren’t aware of the problem (60%) or because they are aware, but aren’t willing to do anything about it until having it researched (37%). The Magic Lantern Technique is designed for them.

The Magic Lantern Technique is essentially a series of two or three nicely edited YouTube videos providing prospects with pure value and nothing else. Meaning, these videos aren’t meant to sell anything – their sole objective is to inform people of the problem your company’s product or service has addressed, without mentioning either. However, at the very end of these videos, it’s essential that you add a call of action along these lines: “If you liked this content and you’re committed to getting X outcome, I’ve got a really great offer for you. Follow the link below to set an appointment with me.” 

The Magic Lantern Technique, explains Suby, is “like guiding your prospects down a metaphorical path to their desired end state. Along the way, you provide a ton of value and all the goodwill that comes with it." As time-consuming as producing three complementary videos might seem to you, such a video sequence – if done properly – can turn a good chunk of the disinterested 97% into genuine, eager buyers. In other words, you’re risking more by not making the videos.

Phase No. 7: Sales conversion

In Suby’s experience, most businesses “vomit every feature and benefit of their service during their sales presentation, hoping that something hits a nerve that will make the prospect buy.” But that’s the equivalent of a doctor touching all your body parts while asking you, “Does it hurt here?” What doctors do is far more subtle: they ask, “Where is the pain.” In the medical profession, “a prescription without a diagnosis is malpractice.” It’s the same in sales, writes Suby.

To convert your prospects into buyers, follow his simple 7-step process

  1. Find your prospect’s “why.” Dig deep. Use the Five Why’s technique to get to the bottom of the problem, with each of your prospect’s answers forming the basis of the next question.
  2. Discover where your prospects want to go. Determine not only where your prospects currently are in life, but where they want to be a year from today. If the “why” hides a desire, the “where” reveals a destination. Both are important if you want to make a sale.
  3. Squeeze an admission. Get your prospects to admit that everything they’ve tried so far to get to where they want to be hasn’t worked and that they need something new from someone new.
  4. Deliver the promised value. This is the most important part of the pitch – it’s where you prove to your prospect that you can help them by actually helping them.
  5. Get the commitment. After helping the prospect with their problem – or giving them an outline of how you can help – it’s time you asked them the all-important question, “Would you like to hear more?”
  6. Give the prescription. If you get a “yes” to the last question, then you can freely take a couple of minutes to give an overview of your product or services, tailored to the “why” and “where” from earlier.
  7. Close the deal. Based on your prospect’s tone and involvement, at this point you should be able to tell whether they are “cold,” “warm” or “hot” for your offer. Do a final temperature check, and then make your offer. After stating it, don’t say another word until you get a “yes.”

Phase No. 8: Automate and multiply

What we just described should work well for small businesses, but the bigger you get, the more difficult contacting your prospects directly will become. For this reason, Suby considers email the best marketing channel there is because it allows one to communicate with a larger community, while still keeping things personal enough. Here are a few of Suby’s pieces of advice on mastering the art of the email:

  1. Make it personal. Don’t send mails from your official company mail: make sure you use a personal sender name. Also, ask yourself before sending every single email, “Will it get into the ‘P’ group or die in the ‘C’ group?” Every Inbox has them. The “P” group contains emails that are personal. Everybody opens them; always. The “C” group, on the other hand, contains emails that are commercial or promotional. Nobody opens them; ever.
  2. Send your emails at a specific time. A study by CoSchedule discovered that Tuesdays at 10 a.m. is the best time to send out emails, closely followed by Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Wednesdays at 2 p.m. 
  3. Be very brief or very long – as well as intriguing. Make your subject lines either two to four words long, or super long. Nothing in between. Use intrigue in the preheader to attract your readers to the content of the email which must “entertain, excite, and engage.”
  4. Be visceral, not visual. Make your emails plain text instead of visual masterpieces: you don’t want to distract readers from the message. You don’t want to distract yourself either: the plainer the message looks, the more interesting it must be to attract attention. Bring your email copy to life with specifics!
  5. Make your emails about your readers. The most important person in everybody’s life is themselves – so, play on that card. Also, make sure to talk to readers as you would talk to your best friend. More than anything, people want to be understood. Conversely, there are a few things they hate more than being talked down to.
  6. Don’t ask, tell. Finally, don’t ask your readers to buy, click or act. Tell them! 

Final notes

In a personal letter to his readers – which acts as the book’s introduction – Sabri Suby promises that his book will deliver on every promise he makes in the advertising. Moreover, he claims that buying it may be the smartest decision one will ever make, provided that they are interested in building a million-dollar business. 

As exaggerated as they might sound, both claims are actually true – but only if you haven’t read similar selling how-to guides. Even then, “Sell Like Crazy” has some original insights and practical bits of advice that make it worth the money. In fact, if you can get used to Sabry’s pumped-up style and him quickly jumping between concepts in a manner that might confuse a novice, pound-for-pound, “Sell Like Crazy” may be one of the best marketing manuals on the market.

12min tip

Clickbaits may have contaminated the world of marketing, but that’s because they usually work. Use them to your benefit. However, make sure to deliver on the promises they sell. Otherwise, they will work only once – and never again.

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Who wrote the book?

Sabri Suby is an Australian digital marketer, serial entrepreneur and the bestselling author of “Sell Like Crazy.” In 2014, at the age of 28, he founded digital marketing agency Ki... (Read more)

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