28. High Profit Presentations: Clearing the Obstacles

High Profit Presentations: Clearing the Obstacles

Is your response rate low? If so, it’s tempting to think that folks don’t want what you’re selling. Or that sales is a numbers game. 

But that’s not what’s actually going on. All humans are the same. If you’re selling something that one human wants, the rest of them probably want it, too. So why isn’t everyone buying? 

Your early adopters buy right away. The rest of them need a little more help. There are obstacles between them and making a purchase. This episode explains exactly what the obstacles are, and how a high profit presentation helps to clear them. When you have this, your audience can get what they want–the solution your business offers. And you, in turn, will get what you want. More sales!


  • Exactly what prevents your audience from buying (it’s not what you think)
  • How a high profit presentation will clear the obstacles away, so your audience feels free to buy
  • Why I no longer have to sneak into the Ritz-Carlton swimming pool!



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Welcome to Episode 28 of How to Make More Money, a podcast that helps you get seriously good at the game of making serious money. I’m your host Kelly Hollingsworth, and I’m thrilled you’re here, because today we’re continuing our discussion of high profit presentations. We’re continuing our survey of the targets to shoot for, to achieve a high-profit message and to distinguish your marketing messages from low profit presentations.

Thus far, we’ve discussed two key targets to aim for in your messaging. The first is distillation. When your message is distilled, it’s clear, simple, and potent. Just like a martini, it leaves a mark on the hearts and minds of your audience. This happens with a distilled message because the meaning of the transformation you create is abundantly clear.

The second target to aim for is a highlighted happily ever after. This is a way of presenting the results of your offer—in other words, the transformation that your business creates—in a manner that makes your audience aware of their own desire. When you highlight the happily ever after, you’re serving your audience by shining a light on the contrast between where they are now, and where they could be with the help of your offer. When you do this, they are organically drawn towards your offer, because it’s going to help them get what they want. They’re organically drawn towards your offer because every human is hard-wired to want to leave what I call the “unhappy here” and move toward the happily ever after.

What do struggling business owners do? Instead of helping their audience recognize and act on their own internally-generated desire, struggling businesses instead try to manufacture desire, or try to create motivation in their audience—to give their audience a motive that they don’t currently have. When you’re using your marketing to get your client to move towards something you want them to do but that they themselves don’t want to do, then the whole game of marketing and sales starts to feel adversarial. The whole effort takes on an insidious, repellant flavor. Sometimes it’s subtle. Sometimes it’s unmistakable. But whatever the degree, whenever this flavor of “we have to motivate them” is present, the entire marketing approach permeates a stench of how can we lock this down? How can we get these people to part with their cash, even when they don’t want to? How can we motivate them???

If you hear nothing else I ever say in this podcast, please hear this. You never have to motivate someone when it’s clear that you’re offering what they already want. If you’re feeling like you have to motivate them, as we saw in the first failed pitch between Pierre Cartier and Evelyn Walsh McLean that we discussed last time, in Episode 27, you will drive your customer away from you. The stench of “we need to motivate them” is repellant, even in cases where they actually want what you’re offering, you will drive them away. . The energy of a “consummate salesperson” who is motivating the client to move forward prevents both of you from getting what you want, and here’s why:

That, my friends, feels terrible, for both of you. If you’re a business owner who’s just in it for the money, this isn’t going to bother you. but if you’re listening to this show, my guess is, it would bother you.

. Instead, your audience is propelled by the power of their own desire. This marketing approach feels compelling and meaningful rather than creepy and manipulative, because your audience is clear that you’re offering them something they actually want, rather than feeling like they’re being convinced to climb into a cash-sucking vortex that’s all about what the seller wants.

What’s next? Once it’s clear what you’re offering, and your audience is drawn towards it by their own desire, it might seem like there’s nothing more to be done. In some instances, that may be the case. This is the point where some people—your early adopters—begin buying. But most folks need a little more help. Why? Because of what I call low-profit thoughts. A low-profit thought is a rule in the playbook of any human being, that prevents them from getting what they want.

And here’s the thing. Most, if not all, humans suffer from low-profit thoughts of some degree or another. They see what they want, but they don’t think it’s available to them, so they don’t move towards it. Here’s an example. When I lived in St. Thomas, a girlfriend came down from the states to visit me. We were sitting on my balcony. She was looking at a magazine and she saw a picture of the pool at the Ritz-Carlton on St. Thomas, which wasn’t far from where I lived in Red Hook. And she said,  “Oh, wow. Wouldn’t it be great if we could go swimming there?” Her voice was wistful, and she sat back in her chair and fanned herself with her magazine. It was clear that as much as she would have liked to go, she didn’t think we were going anywhere. So she was shocked when I picked up my bag and my keys and said, “Come on. Let’s go.”

She asked where, and I said, “Let’s go swim at the Ritz-Carlton pool.” She said, “Can we do that?” And I said, “Sure!” So we went swimming, and it was amazing. It was hot on St. Thomas that day. The pool was beautiful. And we made some new friends at the Ritz-Carlton pool bar that day. If I recall, their names were Monte and Pandora. Monte and Pandora, if you’re listening to this, I’m thinking about you and the fun we have at the Ritz-Carlton pool that day.

We had quite a little adventure. And why was this fun little adventure possible? Because my friend was stuck. Wanting to go to the pool, and thinking it wasn’t allowed. But I knew differently. When she was speaking wistfully about the pool, I stood up, grabbed my bag, and said, “Let’s go.”

Why was I able to do this? Because I knew that there was no obstacle between us and the pool. Did I always know this? No. When I first moved to St. Thomas, I really wanted to go to the pool. It’s a beautiful hotel, if you haven’t been I’m linking it in the show notes so you can get a glimpse. When I lived on St. Thomas, I had my clients come visit me and stay at the hotel all the time. So I knew the pool and how lovely it was. But I thought it was off-limits if you weren’t a guest, so I never went unless I was there with a client who was a guest. Then one Sunday, I was at the Ritz-Carlton for brunch. Afterwards, I was going to meet a friend to go sailing, so I had my suit with me.

The sailing fell through, so I thought, Well, I’m sitting here not far from the pool. I did just spend a boatload of money on brunch. Maybe no one will mind, or even notice, if I take a dip this one time.

So I did. I went swimming in the pool, and it was fine. No one noticed. After that, whenever I wanted to swim at the Ritz, I’d go to brunch and take my suit. I’d have brunch, and then I just wouldn’t leave right away. I’d head out to the pool and spend a very enjoyable afternoon swimming and chatting with folks at the pool—mostly honeymooners who were staying on the island for a week or ten days. I made lots of friends who were on their honeymoons whom I never saw again.

This went on for a while. But then, one day, I really wanted to go swimming, but I just didn’t want to eat another brunch. At that point, I thought about it and realized I didn’t actually have to have brunch. I could just drive onto the property of the hotel, walk straight out to the pool, and dive in. I loved swimming, but I didn’t hang out for very long. Because I didn’t know if I was allowed to be there or not.

And then, one of the women who worked in our firm—who’d grown up on St. Thomas–told me that every hotel on St. Thomas welcomes locals to use the pool. Why? Because locals support the restaurants and bars during the off season, and they don’t take up much room when the tourists are there, so the hotels want to encourage the locals to visit their properties all year long.

At that point I learned that I wasn’t doing anything remotely shady at all. I wanted to use the pool, and I was actually welcome to use the pool. When I learned this, a giant obstacle was cleared from the path between my hot balcony way up on a cliff in Red Hook, and the glimmering jewel that is the Ritz-Carlton swimming pool. I don’t know if they still let locals use the pool, but that was the case when I lived there. When this obstacle was cleared—when I understood that I was actually allowed to use the pool—my life was so much better. And then what happened? Many afternoons at the pool, when I got exactly what I wanted. And so did the Ritz Carlton. Because I took all my friends and clients there, and we spent much money at the Ritz-Carlton pool bar.

So why am I telling you this story? Because the folks in your audience want things–that they don’t think they can have. And your high-profit marketing mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help the folks in your audience see that they can have what they think they can’t have. Just as my friend from the states wanted to go swim in the Ritz-Carlton pool, your audience wants something. Just as my friend from the states had no idea that she could go swimming in that pool, the same thing is happening with your audience. The thing that they want, they don’t think they can have.

So here’s what you need to know. Your high-profit presentation will clear all the obstacles from your prospective client’s minds. When you communicate with them through a high-profit presentation, you will effectively resolve the debate they’re having in their heads—about whether they can get what they want or not—and you will clear the obstacles away, so they will no longer perceive imaginary obstacles.

This is one of the key ingredients of what I call “Invitation Marketing.” You’re not motivating folks to pay to visit a place they have no interest in going to. You’re not convincing or persuading them to buy something they don’t want. Instead, you’re helping them see that they want it. And that there are no obstacles between wanting it and having it.


How do you do this? It’s one of the things I teach you to do inside of Gateway to Seven. Want to know the next thing? Stay tuned for the next episode, and thank you so much for being here today.