April 9, 2023

Have you ever thought about your clients or customers as “patients?”

And if you haven’t (or even if you have), what kind of bedside manor could you add when you deal with them…in addition to selling to them and servicing them?

One way is to onboard them forever as I talked about in “Onboarding is not housekeeping.”

Another way is to be more patient with your patients.

When emailing your online family (i.e., your list), if someone writes to you with an outrageous excuse for not doing something you’ve recommended…or is stubborn with their position when you know they are off base…or they even begin to troll you…how patient should you be with that particular “patient?”

We had this discussion on our Titans Xcelerator call this past week with Ben Settle, the king of email marketing, who is known ostensibly for having less patience…but when you dive deeper into his philosophy, it’s less patience with a purpose.

He establishes a baseline that if someone on his list (which is truly his online family…they are feverish in their loyalty to Ben) is obnoxious, rude, or can’t disagree without being disagreeable, he not only writes that person out of his will (i.e., removes them from his family) …but he uses them as an example of “what not to do” when one is at a “family gathering” online.

His goal: To have his family be like minded in their general philosophy about direct response marketing without being sycophants…all the while encouraging disagreements, conversation and lively banter that leads to education, lessons, and wisdom.

And goal #2 for Ben is to have a group that is one with him until they aren’t… that is, encouraging conflict while coming back together when the conflict is complete.

You just need to be polite no matter what your beef is with him.

Be on the lookout for misery and email lashings if you cross that red line with him, however.

While I have a different style with my online family, I endorse Ben’s because it is congruent and consistent with everything he does…he never wavers…because I know underneath it all, he is a pussycat.

When I told him I loved him during our call (when I said I loved my online family), he replied, “I’m fond of you too, Brian.”

I’ll take that as “I love you” in Benspeak. 🙂

When I receive what I will call a “misplaced response” to one of my emails or blog posts…whether it is rude or just ignorant, my first reaction, which I mumble under my breath, is:


Then I get my composure and determine if this person “deserves” a teaching moment.

Not to make them wrong or to prove my superiority…but to give them a perspective from a soldier who has been in the trenches of marketing wars over four decades.

As the man who saved the world during WWII, Winston Churchill, said:

“Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” 

And since I’m still here, I resemble that quote.

Don’t get me wrong…if I receive an email that is beyond repair (i.e., it is a rant with no direction or purpose), I immediately disown that person from my estate (i.e. I delete them from the family) and go on to the next.

Chances are those kinds of folks are not going to respond, engage…much less buy anything in the future from me…with “buying” being a distant third (and not a requirement) to be part of my online family.

More times than not, I can’t help myself being grandpa at the picnic…not to tell the kids to pipe down or give them a “back in my day” lecture…but rather to comment on a flippant response that has no truth and has been thought about for less than 15 minutes, and needs lots of clarification.

In my opinion, of course.

And I’m still figuring stuff out every day so I’m not saying I’m always right.

Well, in the examples I’m thinking about, I am always right. 🙂

Here’s one I get often:

“That’s interesting but it doesn’t apply to MY business.”

Combatting this one is difficult with someone with limited business experience…but when I heard it applied to Breakthrough Advertising, I couldn’t let that stand.

A buyer wrote to me asking for a refund after he bought the book with the following reason for returning it:

“The book just doesn’t seem to be as applicable to my industry, as I thought. I am a real estate investor, who markets directly to home sellers, to purchase their property.”

Hmmm. Aren’t home sellers “consumers?”

And isn’t Breakthrough Advertising a book about consumer behavior as much as it is about copywriting and marketing?

I felt this was a teaching moment…not just about Breakthrough Advertising, but also about dismissing core concepts of direct response too quickly and missing out on gems from others.

My reply:

The book is very applicable to your industry…as it is to every industry…and I am not just saying that because I sell it.

Are all the “home sellers” in your market homogeneous?

That is, do they all have the same reason for selling (i.e., their desire)?

Do they all have the same level of sophistication?

Do they all have the same awareness of the marketplace…or you personally?

Those are just a few of the things Breakthrough Advertising brings to light…and would make your messaging stand out depending on who you are talking to (or mailing, emailing, on Facebook…whatever).

And we also sell Breakthrough Advertising Mastery which is a way to apply the principles to any business…yes, even real estate investors.

Having shared this with you, I can sleep tonight. 🙂

You should be careful dismissing something that has a proven track record based on “it doesn’t apply to me”…there are things hidden in plain sight worth exploring…always.

You aren’t the first to claim this. In fact I’ve heard this from hundreds of people over the years, rarely about Breakthrough Advertising mind you…and you won’t be the last.

When we do hot seats inside my Titans Xcelerator Mastermind, I always preface them with at least these three key concepts:

1) If you’re on the hot seat, no “yeah buts” or “I did that and it didn’t work.”

2) If you are in the audience, think about how the hot seat applies to you no matter how different the subject seems to be (while helping the person on the hot seat).

3) You are always one sentence, one comment, one spark from someone else in conversation, a quote in a book or someone presenting on stage from changing your business…even your life.

I wish you only the best in all your future endeavors.

When the book is returned, we will issue you a full refund.

I’m sorry it didn’t meet your expectations.

I must admit, this was an easy one…and while it didn’t save the sale, it saved my sense of truth, justice and the American way. 🙂

I have many more emails like this where I educate someone without their permission…and so far, this has served me well…whether it ever makes me a dime.

I will share others in the future and you can be the judge.

I want to “troll with a purpose” (like Ben) doing it in a way that is consistent with my philosophy and style.

Ironically, the next email in my InBox after the one above was easier to deal with…from a (soon to be removed) member of my online family:

“F*ck you. You talk like you know something and you don’t. You’re a dinosaur.”

I actually loved this one as well…especially because my email address is “T Rex” …and I am not extinct (yet).

It takes a village (with some idiots)… and this person will sadly miss out on all of my future lessons from the Mesozoic Era.

Somehow, I don’t think he will lose any sleep over it.

Nor will I.



P.S. This Tuesday, April 11th, my good friend and marketer extraordinaire Kim Walsh-Phillips, is holding a Livecast where I will appear along with many other business builders and marketers to talk about scaling businesses…the ones we run which are like the ones you are running now.

Kim is a master when she does these Livecasts…I’ve been on one before and it was a fantastic experience.

She brings each speaker on to answer one key question, with some give-and-take, never taking more than 12 minutes per person…definitely a challenge for me if you’ve ever heard me on a podcast where you don’t even know there’s a host. 🙂

The last one I did with her, which was to promote Kim’s previous book (which she wrote with Dan Kennedy), No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing, the one question was:

“What do you use social media for when marketing your products or services?”

My answer:

She even provided the graphic above as a bonus for appearing. She is generous to a fault…that’s why I love her…er…why I am very fond of her.

The question for the Livecast on Tuesday is equally intriguing:

“What is the one shift you made in your business that allowed you to multiply your wealth without sacrificing you?”

I will hopefully get to use all 12 minutes, so I can talk about two seismic shifts…one from my days at Boardroom, managing a 9-figure consumer publishing and direct marketing company; and one from my current “hobby,” Titans Marketing, a business-to-business coaching/education business, that is 2% the size of Boardroom.

Both “shifts” are different and connected at the same time.

I hope you will attend the Livecast…you can sign up by clicking here.

It runs from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on April 11th, U.S. Eastern Time…and my “slot” is at 1:12 p.m…Kim runs a tight ship. 🙂

It is so fast moving…there isn’t enough time to get bored with any one speaker either.

Here are some of the others who will be answering that all important question about their respective “shifts”:

  • Kevin O’Leary
  • Rich Schefren
  • Suzanne Evans
  • Bill Allen
  • Vonzell Solomon
  • Tristan & Sabrina Truscott
  • Jana Danielson
  • Scott Whitaker
  • Ramon Ray
  • Magda Castañeda
  • Aaron Stokes
  • Kevin Mar
  • Richard James
  • Marty Elberg
  • Dannella Burnett
  • And more!

As Kim says:

There’s working hard and then there’s working smart…and like most, I didn’t scale my businesses by accident.

In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners are not busy…they are productive and focused on growing their business.

The good news for you is, this isn’t magic.  You deserve better and the formula to scale is in reach.

This Livecast also celebrates the release of Kim’s newest release, The Shift: Scale Your Business and Multiply Your Wealth Without Sacrificing You.

Reserve your spot for this very special “Kim Walsh-Phillips Shift Fast Livecast”…done like no one else does it…getting only the gems from gems.

Click on the play button on the graphic below and I hope to see you on Tuesday…all of the details are there.

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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