When I was first getting into the business of selling educational programs, a famous zero-down real estate guru asked me, “Do you know the thing people who take my courses want most?”
I had a sneaking suspicion I was about to get it wrong, but I gamely answered: “To be successful real estate investors?”
He laughed. “You’ve got a lot to learn, my friend.”
I took the bait. “So what do your customers want?”
“They want to avoid taking action.”
I told him I wasn’t sure I understood. He was kind enough to clarify. “Most of the people who take my courses and who will be buying your programs want to feel like they are on the road to success. But they don’t want that road to end. They like the journey. They fear the destination.”
“And why would that be?” I asked.
“To tell you the truth,” he said. “I don’t know. But I can tell you this. After our real estate students have gotten the knowledge they need to succeed, few of them get out there and get to work. Most of them just buy more programs. If they don’t buy them from us, they will buy them from someone else. So we sell them extra programs.”
“That’s sort of depressing,” I said.
“If you give one of my customers – someone who has completed his real estate education and is fully prepared to start investing profitably – a choice between actually getting to work and buying another course to learn more, he will buy the course.”
“Are they afraid of failing?”
“Could be that,” he said. “Could be they’re afraid of success. As I said, I don’t know.”