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Terminus Blog

January 6, 2021

How the Highest-Paid Marketing Consultant Thinks Outside the Box

Category: FlipMyFunnel Post

If you want to succeed, you work hard. 

But if you want to be the best… 

You have to think outside the box. 

That’s how Jay Abraham, Owner at The Abraham Group, became the highest-paid marketing consultant in the world. 

Thinking outside the box (and your industry)

Jay: I’m the accidental marketing expert.

When I was 18, I had no education. As far as a negotiable commodity or in the employment market, I was very negotiable.

The only people that would give me opportunity were crazy but interesting entrepreneurs and they wouldn’t give me a salary. 

They’d give me a desk phone, a chair — computers weren’t that available really back then. And they’d say, kid, if you can make anything happen, you can have a percentage.

When you only eat when you earn, you figure out quickly what works and what doesn’t. 

“The things that I try to teach people are so super obvious that they are almost inherently rejected because people are looking for the next new, exciting drug.”

But I had a transitory trend. 

I would jump industries, though — not jobs. Sometimes, I’d be involved in 2 or 3 industries at a time. 

And after about 10, I was able to figure something really profound out: 

I realized that people in one industry almost all follow the herd somewhere between 10-20% better. Though some are more inventive or innovative, that innovation was within a pretty narrow band.

But if you look at 10 industries, people in Industry A have no clue about how Industries B, C, D, E, or F think. 

They don’t know about their strategic approaches, their marketing approach, their business models, their value-added sales, or their lead generation and conversion.

So, I became the equivalent of the one-eyed man in the land of the blind. 

I could take a concept that was common as dirt in an industry you didn’t know about — or multiple industries — and introduce it to an industry where everyone was pretty much doing the same thing. 

That’s how people I have influenced have grown massively.

It’s not that I’m bright, I’m just very good at pattern recognition. 

Quality and intimacy

Jay: Most people spend too much or too little on what you call buyer acquisition, because they just allocate either a percentage or a certain cost, but they don’t have any clue that there’s so much variability in value.

Intimacy and quality always trump quantity.”

Intimacy and quality will always trump quantity, but most people go the other way. 

I have a belief — and it’s for high-end stuff more than anything — if you say free, I think today, even though it’s supposedly one of the greatest words out there, it is discounted so much. 

When I do anything, my approach is: I will buy you 2 hours of my time, or I will buy you $20,000 of my time. And I can do that because I don’t do a lot of one-day consulting, but we get $120,000. So, a couple hours of my time is really worth 20 grand. 

You can say:

The reason I’m underwriting the cost of sharing this $300 or this $500 experience is that someone has to take the first step and invest in the other.

We’re very comfortable investing richly and generously in our intellectual property, knowledge, and giving you insights, distinctions, understanding, epiphany, and connections that you can apply right now to your business.

We know when you validate it — when you see the impact and revenue implications — you’ll want to reinvest more.

There’s a way to take them on a journey. 

But it starts with valuing profoundly the investment and making the intangible become concrete and valuable.

Opportunity in adversity

Jay: I’ve been trained to ethically find opportunity in adversity and I’ll leave you with a simple distinction: 

“You’re either a victim or a victor.”

It has to do with the strategic way you look at every situation. 

There is a concept called optimization, which means getting the highest and best use of — you fill in the blank — time, effort, opportunity, market access capital, human capital, relational capital, intellectual capital, and so on. 

But you can’t optimize if you don’t extend yourself to try to understand as many of the alternatives, options, and possibilities that are available as possible.  

This is a #FlipMyFunnel podcast. Check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here.

Written by Sangram Vajre

Sangram Vajre is the co-founder and chief evangelist of Terminus, the leader of the account-based marketing (ABM) movement transforming B2B marketing. Before co-founding Terminus, Sangram led the marketing team at Pardot through its acquisition by ExactTarget and then to Salesforce. Sangram is the author of Account-Based Marketing for Dummies and is the mastermind behind #FlipMyFunnel. Follow Sangram on Twitter at @sangramvajre.

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