Do you know why 90% of small businesses fail in the first year?

If you ask the owners themselves they’ll say, “we ran out of cash.”

Yet, you and I both know that really means…. there was lots of cash going out and little or none coming in.

In other words: “No one was buying their shit.”

(It’s the business equivalent of bleeding to death on the sidewalk after a violent mugging.)

So, why… if your product is good and you’ve got a cool name, you’ve designed that badass logo, invested in a nice looking website…

… does NO ONE seem to notice you.

Or seem to care in the slightest that what you’ve got is what they truly need?

Hell, you’ve seen then ASK for it on social media. And now you’ve got it and suddenly they’re practically hiding their face from you like a bad Tinder hookup.

Confusing, right?

Not really.

After ten years as a copywriter, creating or chiefing a hundred sales campaigns, and countless hours consulting entrepreneurs privately…

I can tell you why this happens in two words:

No dialogue.

And this writer from Forbes agrees with me:

Forbes quote
Business with no dialogue fail 90% of the time

So, what can you do about it?

What does it really mean to be “in dialogue” with the people you think would want to buy your stuff?

Let’s start with what it DOES NOT mean to be in dialogue:

  • It does not mean dumping a hundred bucks into a Facebook ad to see which topic or book title gets the most “hits.” That’s data, not dialogue. Useful if you already have dialogue, a misleading waste of money if you don’t.
  • It does not mean asking people “in your immediate circle” if they think your product idea is a good one. If they like you even a little you’re getting bias answers. Super dangerous when you might be investing endless hours and dumping your life savings into building something your friends agree “sounds cool.” (Ask them how much they’d pay for something so “cool” and after they answer say, “Great, let’s do it. I can take a check,” and watch their reaction.)
  • It does not mean “seeing it work for other people in your niche” and expecting it to work as good for you just because you’re “better on video”, or have more experience or still have most of your hair. Online, any of those seemingly sensible factors can backfire on you in ways that defy logic. (Yes. Sometimes “uglier” is better. Go figure.)

Here’s what it DOES mean to be “in dialogue” with your best future customers…

  • It does mean sending messages that teach something valuable and getting a flood or responses saying “Wow! Tell me more!”
  • It does mean asking your subscribers what they struggle with and receiving deeply personal stories back (we only share personal stories of struggle with people we know, like and trust to help us get past it)
  • It does mean receiving “out of the blue” messages of thanks over something you taught or shared months or even years ago and having that person say, “This is exactly what I need. How can we work together?”

So, the harsh reality is….

If you’re creating products or services offers that are not backed by deep dialogue with your best prospects, you’re in serious jeopardy of becoming one of the 90% of businesses that go down in flames like the Hindenburg.

It’s why SO many entrepreneurs online spin their wheels forever, jump from “project to project”, and often end up disappearing for good, sauntering back to the land of 9-5 safety and a lifetime wondering what “could have been.”

Brrrr. Shiver.

Okay, here’s some good news…

Getting engaged in deep dialogue with your potential buyers has never been faster or easier.

Does it take work? Yes. Everything that earns you money requires a bit of work — and focus.

(Side rant: If you take nothing more from this article, please choose to focus on one idea and stay dedicated to discovering if it’s viable. Switching ideas too soon is the #1 reason even more people never get a business off the ground in the first place. Which is the only thing worse than trying and failing.)

Yet, it doesn’t have to cost you precious time and money to effectively vet an idea and confidently move forward or move on.

All you need is a dialogue. A casual (at first) little talk with an audience of potential buyers.

There are 3 layers of dialogue I coach business owners to use. Each layer requires more commitment from your audience and naturally gives you more reliable results.

For example, using what I call the “sure profit offer talk” (SPOT – I know… I just can’t resist an acronym), on the third layer getting back “yesses” means you’re essentially guaranteed to turn a profit with your product idea.

It’s the equivalent of your “inner circle” friend pulling out their wallet and writing that check with a big smile on her face.

Yet, being real… it can take a couple of months to earn that level of honesty in dialogue with your tribe. (But what is a couple of months to achieve a level confidence in creating offers that are sure to return profit?)

Here’s the thing though…

If your idea doesn’t have legs, it will never make it to the third level of SPOT. Not even the second level.

That’s because the first level is where you get to decide (in as little as one day – no longer than a week) whether your idea will produce sure profits…

… or whether it deserves to be shoved in the junk drawer next to that combination cell phone case/wallet/pocket knife thing you were so excited about when you bought it.

Here’s how it works…

On level one of the SPOT filter, you don’t need a loyal following, an email list, or even a website. And, in some cases, not having these things can even work in your favor.

Then, when your idea passes level one, you’ll have the confidence to create a landing page that you know will resonate and connect with your visitors because you’re simply carrying the existing dialogue a level deeper…

… like a cozy chat over coffee.

Then it’s on to level 2 where the dialogue determines how to create your “sure profit offer”…

… and then level 3 where the cart goes live and the sales roll in.

Simple, right?

Imagine how many of those 90% of failed businesses could’ve been saved in advance if their owners had just had a SPOT talk before going for broke – and achieving it – on a bad idea.

And imagine how easy it would be to diminish “shiny object syndrome” when you have crystal clarity on the things that bring in money, and what doesn’t.

For realz.

Would you like to learn more about the SPOT filter and have me act as your personal sherpa through the process of figuring out which product idea is going to produce profit for you?

Like I said, I’ve been vetting ideas with my private clients for years. In fact, a few years into my freelancing copywriting career I began refusing any client who had not run their product idea through the SPOT.

I knew from experience that taking on clients with “fantasy” product ideas always ends in anger, sadness, wailing, gnashing of teeth, the whole bit.

Let’s not let that be you.

Starting mid February I’m working with up to 10 entrepreneurs (strictly limited) to take your product ideas, in any stage of existence, and vet them through the SPOT filter.

I’m keeping this small because the extreme depth of this coaching.

We’ll be rolling up our virtual sleeves and working “shoulder-to-shoulder” both privately and in a small group workshops to filter out your best sure profit product idea.

It’s all happening online via phone, Skype and private Google Hangout.

If you’re interested simply reply with an email  using the subject line “SPOT me” to support [at] and I’ll give you all the juicy details.

Remember, there’s a max of 10 spots here and this little dialogue starter just landed in thousands of inboxes. So, two things, please…

Only respond if you’re serious about working with me (and prepared to invest a significant, but surprisingly affordable amount) to vet your idea and create a sure profit offer together…

Respond quickly if you are.

We’ll talk soon,


P.S. If you’re headed to the Traffic and Conversion Conference this month, this will be extra valuable (critical even) for your business, so you know exactly where (and how) to apply that bulging brain full of new information. And avoid becoming overwhelmed with a year’s worth of shiny tactic syndrome.

Let’s get busy.


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