Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” is one of the greatest strategic manuscripts ever written. The core principles apply just as well to combat as they do to life, business and relationships. Here’s how to apply Sun Tzu’s wisdom to your online business for lasting success.
Art of Igor Part 2
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once again it’s time to claim your List Building Lifestyle.
Welcome back to another addition of The List Building Lifestyle with your host,
Igor Kheifets. This week we're continuing with the Sun Tzu's Art of War. I now
call these principles the Art of Igor, where I'm showing how Sun Tzu's Art of War
principles apply to life, business and marketing. And so last week we've covered
three great principles, and this week we're gonna carry on and get ahead and cover
some more. Okay, so if you're excited, let's go ahead and dive right in.
Now here's a great principal that I believe is essential for any marketer to
successfully build a thriving business, a thriving organization, six, seven, eight
figures. That is, victorious warriors win first and then go to war. While defeated
warriors go to war first and then seek to win. Now it kind of ties back to what
we've talked about last week. We mentioned the self image. The whole idea of, you
gotta believe in yourself. Many of Sun Tzu's principles are repeated actually,
throughout the manuscript only stated in a different way, which I think is a great
thing because repetition is essential to learning and to implementation.
So the victorious warriors win first and then go to war. What it basically means
as far as I'm concerned for marketing, it means you have to assume the sale. In
other words, if you're going out there and you're creating a product or you're
creating an offer or you're making an offer into the marketplace really not
knowing whether or not they'll accept it, not knowing whether or not the
marketplace is actually willing to spend money for it, then you're actually doing
it the other way around.
What needs to happen is, you first need to figure out what people are already
buying. What people are already successfully saying yes to, and then give it to
them. Right? Assume that sale. Win that war before you actually start it because
if you go out in the marketplace and you test a product, what will happen is,
you'll create a new thing. You'll find something, or you'll build something. It's
gonna cost you time and money and energy and effort, and then you'll find out that
the market just doesn't want that. And I've done it many times myself.
The first two products that I've put together for this marketplace actually were
complete failures. Collectively, I sold three copies. I made less than $50 all
together, and that was because I was going off bad data. I didn't really go off of
what really converted and what really sold. I just tried to offer people things
that they weren't willing to buy. So I lost that war before I even got into it.
So I highly recommend first winning the war, and only then getting into it. And
never to go to war without having proof, evidence, data, or anything like that
showing that you will win it before you even start it.
The next principle. To know your enemy, you must become your enemy. Now this is
great, and this is beyond the cliché of, to catch a criminal you gotta be a
criminal. Or to catch a psychopath you gotta be a psychopath. Like in that famous
Sylvester Stallone movie where he's trying to catch Wesley Snipes, and the Wesley
Snipes guy just has literally zero boundaries and zero principles. No ethical or
moral values what-so-ever. He's just crazy. It's a really cool movie with Stallone
and Sandra Bullock and Wesley Snipes.
So basically what this principle really comes down to in marketing is, you have to
understand your customer before you go talk to your customer, before you attempt
to market or sell anything to your customer. Of course that comes back to, know
thy market. Know thy customer. Know thy enemy. This principle is so powerful
actually, that in my most recent news program called The List Building Lifestyle
Master Class that's still not publicly on sale, so don't go looking for it, okay?
It's only available by invite only, and we will be opening the doors to general
public a little bit later this year.
And that program I spent four hours, the first four hours of coaching, showing you
who your target customer, target market is. Okay? It is that important because
that's where you win and lose the war before it begins. If you know exactly who
you're dealing with, you will know exactly what to say, exactly how to say it,
exactly how to offer it, how to position it, in order to successfully make money
as a market. Or successfully sell whatever it is that you're selling to your
potential clients. You can only do that by knowing your enemy before getting
involved with the enemy.
Of course, the catch 22 is, how do you know your enemy if you never worked with
your ... I'm sorry. How do you know your market? How do you know your target
prospect if you've never worked with them before? And that is, of course,
something that comes with experience, and of course for this, I recommend getting
some coaching and really finding out how to talk to your target market to make
money and to convert better.
So let's see, the next principle. Even the finest sword plunged into salt water
will eventually rust. So this is a great principle. It reminds you of always
staying alert. Always staying on your toes. Always being aware of your
surroundings and your situation. Always being ... thinking ahead and being
practical because even if you do have the best tools, the best people working with
you, the best venture partners, you have the best marketplace position, if you
have the best budget, if you have the best everything, still just over time, just
by the passage of time or just the natural forces in the marketplace, you can
still lose it all which is why you can't get complacent. You can't get complacent.
It is absolutely critical that you don't get complacent if you want to maintain
position in the marketplace.
So again, the way they put it, the way Sun Tzu puts it is beautiful just in terms
of the actual saying, the actual sentence, but the translation is don't get
complacent because even just salt water can make your sword rust.
The next principle. He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
This is beautiful because what I'm seeing out there, and this is a mistake
business owners make in general, it's just people getting really excited about
pitching. Getting really excited about offering the products and services to
others. It's the people who really jump the gun sometimes. People who just want to
sell all the time.
It's really not about that. You can't always be selling. There's time and a place
for you to make a pitch. You can be marketing, but you can't be trying to close
everybody 100% of the time. You have to know and understand when to fight and when
not to fight. When to close. When to go for the pitch. When to go for the kill and
when not to do that. You definitely need to understand the subtle timing of when
and when you cannot do that, and again, let's just take coaching for example. Most
people, if you approach them and you say, "Hey, I wanna get coaching with you."
They're gonna try and quote you a fee right away, and they're gonna try to sell
you. Now that is a mistake.
When I was doing coaching, whenever people approached me saying, "Hey, we've heard
great things about you. What is your coaching cost?" I would literally not let
them have the satisfaction of finding out what my coaching cost, how it works, and
how exactly am I supposed to help them. I would actually push them back. I would
start questioning them. Why should I work with you? I would withhold information
on purpose. I would really just pick my fights, if you will. I would engage them
selectively, and if I couldn't engage them, I always had something for them to do.
So for example, if it was a brand new person I've never worked with before but
wanted for me to help them with their business, I've actually had a funnel that I
would send them to with some content in it which, by the time they were done with
the content, they were warmed up enough to a point of submitting an application
for example. Right, so he will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight
because fighting is not something to do 100% of the time.
So again, applying to marketing, it's pitching. Pitching and selling is not
something you do 100% of the time. Marketing and influencing is something you do
100% of the time whether you realize it or not. You're always marketing.
Everything you're saying is marketing. Everything you're doing is marketing.
Everything other people are saying about you is marketing. Everything that your
customers are saying and not saying is marketing, but to actually go and engage in
a form of a sales conversation, for that you have to orchestrate the right moment.
You can't go in and just do it. You can't go in and just randomly begin a sales
conversation because you will not make money. You will not close the sales, or at
least you won't be closing even one tenth of the sales you could be closing.
You see this mistake all the time in network marketing. Network marketers are
absolutely guilty of this mistake because they try to recruit you into their
program all the time, and it's enough that you have a heart, a wallet, and a pair
of ears. They will tell you about their product. Why it's the most amazing thing
in the world, and why you should hop on this ground floor opportunity right now.
But that is definitely a mistake.
Another principle is, he will win who knows how to handle both superior and
inferior forces. So in this case, in my business the way it comes to play is,
there's two different types of customers. Some customers are on a different level
than other customers, and they hold different value to me then the people that are
unquote average customers. So the average customer that, for example, approaches
my traffic agency. They're just an average customer that is gonna get an offer to
get traffic, and they're gonna get a certain type of offer in a certain way. That
offer's gonna made to them by Dennis, and that's fine.
Now another type of prospect, another type of potential customer that I will
approach differently, may be someone that I would consider to be a potential for a
joint venture. For instance, recently we developed a great webinar which has been
doing really well where we would come in and do a joint venture with someone where
we would come in and teach their audience about traffic. That webinar has been one
of the better things we've done for Igor's Solo Ads in a while.
So naturally if I come across a potential customer that can have that JV potential
for me, not only I'm gonna be the one to close that traffic sell myself rather
than leaving it up to Dennis, but I will also pre-frame it and plant seeds
throughout the conversation that will allow me to build on those after the fact,
after the sell, to structure a joint venture relationship. In other words, that
would be a superior type of customer compared to the average customer who's only
there to buy some clicks from me. There's a superior relationship as far as I'm
concerned, and the future outlook is different for that relationship. So again,
different types of customers, different types of relationships treated absolutely
differently. So he will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior
So let's cover one more before we wrap up this episode, and that is, he will win
who's army is animated by the same spirit throughout all it's ranks. Now this one
comes down to the morale of your team and morale of your tribe. There's two
elements to it. If you're internet marketer, and especially if you're a team
builder, maybe you're involved with MLM, you can have two types of teams. The
first team would be the kind of team that works for you. The kind of team that
builds your organization with you by being a part of your employee team. People
are getting a paycheck helping you build your business. It could your support
staff, your sale's people, your ... pretty much anyone who's a part of your team.
Your team has to have the identical outlook on what ideal outcomes look like. They
need to have clear enemies outlined to them. They need to have the same philosophy
throughout the entire set of ranks in the company depending how big your company
is. Now I realize a lot people out there are listening to this, and they're like,
"Yeah, Igor, but I'm a one man or a one woman show. I really don't have a team,
per se." That's okay, but at some point you will. When you do, you will need to
invest as much time into building up your team's philosophy, guide lines, almost
writing a book for it. Making sure your team understands exactly how they ought to
think, at least within the boundaries of your business as the time you're
investing in marketing and other activities.
Now if we're talking about your team as in your tribe, your customer database,
your team and your marketing company or opportunity, that team must also be bred
and grown with the exact same mindset in mind. So you want to make a list of all
the things you feel your team members need to know, understand, and accept in
order to work with you. For example, my list will include the items such as,
Facebook is a bad traffic source. In order to work with me, in order to become a
member of my tribe, I will sell you on the idea that Facebook is just a crappy
traffic source. If you reject that idea, there's a lesser chance of you being a
part of my tribe, and with the first opportunity, you may leave. But if I'm
successful at doing that, you will be sticking with my tribe for a long, long
Another idea, some other ideas may include email traffic rocks. You gotta be
building your list. Cheap traffic gets you cheap results. What else? Always use a
squeeze page when you're driving traffic to make more money. Email followup is
really important. My quote unquote army, and if I say army in terms of Igor's
tribe, my list, my customers, my lifers people who pretty much buy traffic from me
every month and every week, these are the people that have took in my philosophy
on many different levels allowing us to form this really powerful tribe that's
often considered to be one of the best tribes in the internet marketing space
today, and I say that. I say that because every time we do a joint venture with
anyone, we promote a product, or we do a special offer to our list, or we do
something, I always get the same thing from my joint venture partners, and that
is, "Igor, you're like either the highest converting affiliate for me right now,
or you're like the second highest, standing only next to some guru out there who's
been building a list for 20 years."
It's always the same. Always the same. The reason for that is because of my army.
The army of Igorites is always getting the same message, and I make sure that
look, if you want to work with me, you have to accept these facts. And I say facts
in quotes because a lot of these become facts only after you accept them. So you
have to accept these facts to be a part of my tribe. If you wanna stay, these are
the facts for you to embrace. If not, it's all good. No hard feelings. You may go
because we live a life a certain way. We subscribe to a certain set of beliefs.
So that's, he will win who's army is animated by the same spirit throughout all
its ranks. That concludes the second episode, the second part of The Art of Igor.
Next week we're gonna continue with more Sun Tzu's Art of War principles and how
they apply to your life, business and marketing. So until next time we chat, this
Igor Kheifets. Have a good one.
Thank you for listening to The List Building Lifestyle. Make sure to subscribe on
iTunes or Google Play to never miss an episode, because who knows? Just one
conversion tactic we share on the show might double your list and double your
business. Download the transcript of today's episode and all future episodes at
listbuildinglifestyleshow.com. And don't forget to claim your complimentary copy
of The Wealthy List Builders Survival Guide at listbuildinglifestyleshow.com/survival .
This is Igor Kheifets, and until next time we talk, have a good one.