The Lucky Titan

Win Buy-In To What You Care About in 60 Seconds With Sam Horn

March 03, 2021
The Lucky Titan
Win Buy-In To What You Care About in 60 Seconds With Sam Horn
The Lucky Titan
Win Buy-In To What You Care About in 60 Seconds With Sam Horn
Mar 03, 2021

Sam is the CEO of the Intrigue Agency and the Tongue Fu! Training Institute. Sam's 3 TEDx talks and 9 books have been featured in NY Times, Fast Company on NPR, and taught to Intel, Cisco, Boeing, Capital One, NASA, National Geographic, U.S. Navy and Nationwide. She was the Executive Director of the world-renowned Maui Writers Conference for 17 years, and was the Pitch Coach for Springboard Enterprises which has helped entrepreneurs generate $10 billion in funding/valuation.

Show Notes Transcript

Sam is the CEO of the Intrigue Agency and the Tongue Fu! Training Institute. Sam's 3 TEDx talks and 9 books have been featured in NY Times, Fast Company on NPR, and taught to Intel, Cisco, Boeing, Capital One, NASA, National Geographic, U.S. Navy and Nationwide. She was the Executive Director of the world-renowned Maui Writers Conference for 17 years, and was the Pitch Coach for Springboard Enterprises which has helped entrepreneurs generate $10 billion in funding/valuation.

Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan podcast and today we're here with Sam Horn, I am so excited to be here with her today. Sam has done some amazing things in her career being featured on some of the top publications, having helped people generate over $10 billion I mean, this lady knows how to build businesses and how to scale them and the part that excited me most about having her here with us, is to really talk about that million dollar plateau  you know, we get stuck there and say, Okay, do I, do I move on to my next company? Or do I scale this one, and I think she is uniquely qualified to help us learn and understand how to do that. So Sam, first of all, say what's up to everybody, and I will hop in

Sam: what's up!! and by the way, Josh, I hope people have paper and pen so they can ink it when they think it because the clock starts ticking the second we start talking, and we want to make this bottom line valuable for everyone.

Josh: See, and I love that. So do make sure you have paper and pen. If you're driving, please do not get paper and pen out. We don't want any wrecks happening on our watch. So, um, so Sam, let's, let's hop in, though, I want to talk about your framework. First off, the very first thing we should cover is really the framework of how do you help people in that transitionary stage?

Sam: The most important thing is Jerry Garcia said, it's not enough to be the best at what you do, you must be considered to be the only one that you do. So when I work with people, it's what's your competitive edge? How are you one of a kind instead of one of many and once we crystallize that and position it then we can message it, it puts the light on in your eyes, and it gets other people's eyebrows up so that they're intrigued.

Josh: See, and that that is beautiful. I mean, most of us we run into that problem, you know, is how do you differentiate yourself? I mean, for us, if I just said, oh, we're a podcast editing agency. Yeah, right. Nobody's gonna buy that but if we can position ourselves differently, it makes a huge difference. So the first question with that is how, how do you differentiate yourself?

Sam: Hey, normally I have my seven P's we go through process in our short time today, let me just give you one right and and and I'll give you a 62nd example and then everyone listening can be thinking about how this applies to their industry, their profession, their business, is that when enterprise wanted to enter the car rental agency, it was owned by hertz and Avis I mean, they had 82% market share, how can you possibly go into an industry when it's dominated by the big boys, right? Well, you ask yourself two questions. The first question is, what does everyone want, that no one else offers? Well, what everyone wanted was to be picked up at home, right or dropped off at the office. All right, they were the first to offer that and when you're first to market, you own the market. Now, the second question is, is what is everyone else doing? We won't do that. We will do the opposite of the always, well, all the car rental agencies were at airports. So they didn't go to airports they located in neighborhoods. Do you know who the number one car rental agency companies in the world today?

Josh: Is it enterprise? 

Sam: enterprise.  

Josh: I don't know. 

Sam: See, everyone be thinking about Okay, I can't possibly compete. They've got you know, they've been in business 20 years, I'm new. It's like this is crowded lalala? No, ask yourself, What does everyone want? No one else is offering? What are they all doing? And I won't do that I'm going to do the opposite of the always, it is a quick way to pop out of your pack.

Josh: Oh, I love that. And I have to ask you this, because in the context of coaches or agencies, right, we're all doing things based off of, you know, really should we be, you know, selling the same with everybody else's. So we buy these courses and these other things to learn how to do it separately but I want to ask you this, what would help somebody in that instance being a coach to differentiate themselves because that's a very crowded niche.

Sam: Here's what you do is you come up with a great 60 seconds so once again, a 90 seconds story and then three steps that can help you in 60 seconds or less get the attention of your decision maker Sound good? 

Josh: Let's do it.

Sam: Okay. As you mentioned, I was the pitch coach for springboard enterprises. We've helped women like Robin chase of Zipcar, Gail Goodman and Constant Contact 10 billion in funding. So one of my clients said, I've got good news. I've got bad news. I said, What's the good news? She said, I'm pitching in front of investors at the Paley Center in New York. I said, That's fantastic. What's the bad news? She said, I'm going at 2:30 in the afternoon, and I only have 10 minutes. She said, Sam, you can't say anything in 10 minutes. I said, you don't have 10 minutes, you have 60 seconds. Here's a 62nd opening we came up with. She won millions in funding, and she was business week's most promising social entrepreneur of the year. So I'll give the example and then we'll help everyone on the call right now. Figure out their opening. 60 seconds. Get here's the 60 seconds, Did you know there are 1.8 billion vaccinations given every year? Did you know up to a third of those are given with re used needles? Did you know we're spreading and perpetuating the very diseases we're trying to prevent? Imagine if there were a painless one use needle for a fraction of the current cost. You don't have to imagine it. We're doing it and she's off and running. So right now people have their paper, what are three? Did you know questions, you could introduce that get people's eyebrows up about the problem you're solving about the issue you're addressing about the need you're filling, we're looking for startling statistics, recent research and if you're thinking Sam, where do I find these startling statistics you Google that stuff? If we had time right now, Josh, right now everyone could put in, maybe you're a coach and you're doing podcast around ADHD? Or maybe it's a small business coach, or maybe it is and you know, a positioning coach or something just put in? What are surprising statistics about blank what his recent research about blank Apple comm things even you didn't know and if you didn't know him, it's the quickest way to get smart people's attention is to bring up something and they think I didn't know that. Now they're in. Second Step, use the word imagine the word imagine pulls people out of their preoccupation. Imagine this. Imagine this. Imagine this. This is the power of three. And furthermore, think back to Kathleen calendar of the pharma jet. Who did this pitch? You put yourself in the shoes of your decision makers? What are they thinking? while they're thinking about those painful inoculations? We made it painless. They're thinking about reuse needles, we made it one use all decision makers think about money we said a fraction of the current cost. Do you see how in a world of info obesity, we distilled this into a one sentence best case scenario where people are thinking, who wouldn't want that? Third step? You don't have to imagine it. We're doing it. Now come in with your precedents and evidence. So whatever it is, you're building a podcast around that you are centered around? It is like did you know that as a 67% increase in this? Do you know that people normally charge this? Do you know that it takes this long? Well imagine if it didn't have to take that long imagine if you could do it for production of price imagine if you could get it. We don't have to imagine it just last week, or people in my program, boom, all in under 60 seconds. Everyone else is still wah wah wah wah, wah wah, you hit the ground running.

Josh: Seeing that I hope everybody stops the audio, pause the podcast, go back if you have to and answer those three questions and that is a really amazing way to do a pitch and you know, once we've, we've figured out that pitch what's really intriguing, and I've even found this out recently in our own company, when you get that on paper, it almost changes the entire way that you think about your company and it makes it easier to promote what you're doing in every aspect because you have a succinct message that solves a need sounds a very basic need so beautiful. 

Sam: Yes, you're 100% right, is it Richard Branson said time is the new money I think time is a new trust and as we said, the clock starts ticking the second we start talking. So how can we distill what we say? So it is so clean, so concise, so compelling and convincing that at the end of 60 seconds, people are willing to bet on the jockey because we're that rare person who hits the ground running and hasn't met. Hello? 

Josh: Yeah, that man. Yeah, you're speaking to my soul here, just so you know. I hope our listeners are feeling the same thing. So Sam, you know, I want to ask you this, because even if our own company and this isn't to just say like, Hey, this is where we're at, I'd like you to kind of pick apart what, what our pitches and how we do our company, because we have been recently changing this and refining it. So I think it'll be really fun to, for our audience to hear, you know whether ours is good, or we need to tweak it. So just the one liner for our for our company is that we help people to mock, we help coaches and agencies to monetize their podcast without having to take on sponsors and that's really like our entire company in a nutshell. So let me ask you this. Where's that out on a scale of one to 10? And how can we fix that?

Sam: Okay, so it's a clean line, and it's based on the standard. People ask what we do and we tell them, you're ready for me to say something really contrarian. 

Josh: Let's do it. 

Sam: When people ask what you do, don't tell them. That's a lecture. You know, anyone who likes to be lectured and even if they get it, you know what they say? Oh, and the conversation is over. So if we have time, I'm going give you a quick example of how to actually answer that in a way that opens the conversation instead of ends it. Okay? 

Josh: Ah, yeah, please do.

Sam: I'm an Inc 500. This was the top rated session because this is exactly what we did. So story here's Colleen, I said, What do you do? Want? want, want, want? Want? What? No one knew what she was did she was the CEO I said, Can we play? I said, all right from now on. Instead of telling people what you do, ask three questions. Do you know anyone could be yourself? could be your friend could be a family member who has done this. Now you stop talking because they're going to give you an answer and then we, we hook a conversation and hinge it on what they said so here's, here's what happened when she said what she did it was like magnetic resonating imaging devices people are going What? I said, No, what do you do that we can see, that we can smell, that we can taste, that we can touch? She said, Well, I run the medical facilities that offer MRIs I said, Great. Now don't tell people that because if you tell people that they'll go, Oh, so say, Do you know anyone could be yourself a friend or family member who has had an MRI? And they may say, Oh, well, I haven't. But my daughter did. She hurt her knee playing soccer. She had enough. Oh, I run the medical facilities that offer MRIs like the one your daughter had when she hurt her knee? Oh, the eyebrows go up. There's a connection. We have had a dialogue in 60 seconds instead of a monologue where we tell people what we do. So do we have another quick example? And then we can actually play with yours, Josh?

Josh: Yes, please. Let's do it.

Sam: Okay, so I'm speaking for YPO gentlemen comes up to me beforehand, he said, Sam, I don't tell many people this. He says I'm an introvert I flew across the country in an ocean to get here I hang out my hotel room because what I do is so complex, I can't explain it to people. It's always so awkward I just avoid it. So I said, Alright, once again, do not tell me what you do explanations or infobesity I said, What do you do the results that I could see or smell? And he said something about computers, software. Finally, I said, Ah, do you make the software that makes it safe for us to buy things online? He said, Yes. I said, don't tell people that. Ask, do you know anyone who buys stuff online, like on Amazon or Ebay or Travelocity, by the way, once again, the power of three when you plant three options, people will pick the one they're familiar with right now we have a dialog, now they're controlling the conversation. They may say, Well, I hate that stuff. My wife's on Amazon all the time. She loves the free shipping. Oh, I make the software that makes it safe for your wife to buy stuff on Amazon. This guy kind of got misty eyed and I said, What's going on? He said, I cannot wait to get home from this conference. I said Why? He said I can finally explain to my eight year old son, what I do in a way that he gets it. So let's take your line now that works, right? Say you're at South by Southwest, say you're at you know the UN and people ask what you do. Do not tell them. That's an elevator speech instead say, do you know anyone who's interested who's into podcasting, kind of like, you know, James Altucher, Jim, Jim, Tim Ferriss, or Joe Rogan? And they'll go, Oh, I love Joe I listen to him all the time I say, Well, can you imagine if you could do a podcast like Joe without sponsors really? Do you see how in 60 seconds both people are talking, they already have some skin in the game, you are already customizing and tailoring what they said to what they have just said, you're on to a dialogue instead of a monologue and a mutually rewarding conversation, instead of just telling people what you do.

Josh: See that that is awesome. I love that. Try to think have some questions for our own company for that because I mean, that's, that's so unique it differentiates you because it clumps you into something right off the bat, right? Oh, it's like the MRI example I have a facility that does MRI. So how then do you differentiate yourself after that after you've said you've clumped yourself?

Sam: I love that question, is that you replace info obesity with a real life example. Because your story your success stories are your secret sauce. We stop explaining because explaining explanations are infobesity so once again, a quick story and then let's do it for you, shall we, Josh? Okay, so my son Andrew Horn was running a nonprofit. So when people said what do you do? Guess what he said?

Josh: I run a nonprofit.

Sam: And guess what happens to the conversation

Josh: glazed over?

Sam: Bye, bye right. So when he started saying, you know is that well, do you know anyone who has a child with a disability, whether they're in a wheelchair, whether they have autism, or they have other special needs, stop talking? See, the whole goal is for us to stop talking in the first 10 seconds. So other people have an opportunity to talk, right? They may say Oh, my son's best friend, you know, dove into a swimming pool when he was 10. He's in a wheelchair, and you say, Oh, we offer activities that help kids like, like Ben, get out of their wheelchair and up on horses and up on water, skis, etc. and they're going to go wow, tell me more about it. Wow, what kinds of programs do what's your website? Now you see how they are leading the conversation Amy Poehler said, I get a little itchy if I don't have some kind of control, right? When we give a speech, who's in control? We are, they're not gone. Plus, it's like a conversation, right? And you feel, Josh, this isn't a tactic this isn't manipulative this is based on really what an elevator intro is supposed to be, is to give people a hook on which to hang a mutually meaningful conversation and when we ask people, when you ask people, they either they don't they don't they're not they don't even listen to podcast, but their friend at work, right? Or it's like, well, they hate podcasts, because they always do this or what if they didn't have to do this right? It's like, well, they listen to this person all the time because Do you see how you and I just talked about this dance right? Two people both talking about what's important to them, common ground, where we enjoy each other and wherever the conversation goes, we did not script it. We are responding in real time to what matters to the other person.

Josh: And I love that because you're putting it in the context of their life instead of in the context of your life, I mean, I know a lot of people and they'll come and pitch us. I mean, we probably get 150 pitches a week on email, or what have you about, you know, can you promote my product? Can you do this? And it's like, it's always about their frame of mind and I'm not even thinking about should I be coding, you know, this new thing for an app that I did not exist an app that I don't have, you know, it's, it's really interesting, because you're saying, take them where they're at, show them really divisionary solution and from that solution, they're going to start saying, where's your website? How do I pay, right that’s. 

Sam: because they want to not because you're being told to here's a quick other example I was judging something called the dolphin tank it's kind of like a friendlier, nicer version of the shark tank, I'm looking at the business plan the night before, and this woman was trying to get funding for a hook you put in your car to put your purse on. I'm thinking really, Josh she was brilliant, this was the Long Beach Convention Center, there's probably like 500 people in a ballroom that could seat 5000 no one's really paying attention. She went toward the end of the pitch competition. She was so smart; she hauled a full size car seat up to the front of the room. She put her purse on it, and she put her cell phone on it and here's what she said she put her hands 10 and two, have you ever been driving along, you had to stop all of a sudden, and your purse and your cell phone fell off the seat and you're scrambling around and trying to retrieve it with one and a drive imagine never having to do that again. A man stood up in the audience. And he said, I'll take two, one for my wife and one for my daughter and I thought she went from really to I'll take two in 30 seconds. So here are the three steps. Have you ever have you ever and put people in the scene of the problem you're solving. Say you're a confidence coach, or you talk about, you know, some? Have you ever walked into a room and felt like a wallflower? You know, have you ever walked into a room and everyone was in clumps and no one seemed heavier? Well, imagine never having to do that again imagine. Do you see how, once again, we're asking instead of telling and we're showing by putting people in the scene of a situation and they think yes, that's happened to me. No, it didn't feel very good. Yes, I would like to prevent that from happening again all this is taking place in 60 seconds once again with this question, dialog people are thinking relating to it, imagining how much they'd like it 60 seconds.

Josh: Well and man Yeah, you're blowing my mind over here, Sam. I hope you know this. This is one area I've been I've been so weakened. So I really appreciate you sharing this, I hope our, our audience is getting that same feeling as well and I have to ask you, because obviously, we don't have enough time to cover all the different steps in the framework. Where can people get access to the rest of the framework? Is it in your book?

Sam: You bet. It's both the pop book, which, thanks to Seth Godin, he gave it a wonderful endorsement, and got your intention, great endorsement from Dan Pink. And they can go to my website, which is intrigue it's got my TEDx talk my books and articles on how you can whatever it is you care about, how can you communicate it in integrity, so other people care about it, too.

Josh: So go check that out, everybody. So it's, you can check that out, it's probably sold pretty much anywhere. I mean, you have to know this if you're in the online space if Seth Godin endorses something, it's worth checking out. Okay. So make sure you go check that out and then Sam, I have one final question for you just to wrap this up because we've covered so many different pieces, right but if you could leave our audience with one last thing that you say, hey, if this was the last words that you could ever say, what would those be?

Sam: I'm going to borrow them from Elmore Leonard. Elmore Leonard was one of our favorite keynoters at the Maui writers’ conference, which I helped start and run for 17 years, someone in the audience stood up and they said, Mr. Leonard, why do people love your books? And you know what he said? I try to leave out the parts people skip the key to be intriguing is to be concise and clear and compelling and to leave out the parts people skip.