How to Optimize Leads & Sales from Your Website & Harness the Power of Email with Terry Dean #069

Show Notes:

Terry Dean went from delivering pizza to a full-time online business in 1996. Many people know him as one of the first people to demonstrate the power of email, earning $96,250 from a single email to his list in front of a live audience. Over the past 2+ decades he has helped thousands of online entrepreneurs earn more, work less, and enjoy life.

Topics explored:

  • If they’re trying to negotiate down your rates, they’re not clear on your value
  • Overwhelming proof is the third step to attracting clients
  • Testimonials and proof early in presentations
  • Swipe exact language from a testimonial to make a headline
  • Hook the people in early
  • A fitness website with an endorsement from Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • The first step is the desperate problem
  • Start with the problem, not the solution
  • Marketing should be based on stories
  • The story of how Terry Dean made $96,250 from one email
  • The principles of email marketing
  • Beware constipated content
  • The importance of asking good questions
  • The biggest mistake people make in their pitch


Al McBride 0:02
Welcome to the dealing with Goliath podcast. The mission of dealing with Goliath is to sharpen the psychological edge in negotiation, ethical influencing and high impact conversations for business leaders who want to be more effective under pressure, uncover hidden value, and build greater connection all while increasing profitability. With expert guests across the business spectrum, we deliver gems of wisdom, delving into their methods, their thinking and approach to business life and problem solving. This is the short form espresso shot of inside podcast interview to boost business performance, using our five questions in around about 15 minutes format.

My guest today is Terry Dean, Terry went from delivering pizza to a full time online business all the way back in 1996, is early days, 30 days, Terry, many people know him as one of the first people to demonstrate the power of email, earning a staggering $96,250 from a single email to his list in front of a live audience. And I have to ask you about that in the military. Over the past two, two or more decades, he has helped 1000s of online entrepreneurs earn more, work less and enjoy life. Terry, welcome to the show.

Terry Dean 1:17
Thank you for inviting me out.

Al McBride 1:19
It’s great to have you here. So let’s just clarify before we get into that wonderful story, because that is amazing stuff. So who is your ideal client? And what are the biggest challenges that they face?

Terry Dean 1:30
My ideal client would be consultants, coaches, and course creators who want to integrate some form of automated systems in attracting clients online. And the biggest challenge that they face is that often they struggled to create a clear message that attracts your ideal clients, which means they’re getting leads that often aren’t a great fit for what they sell or what they offer, making it much more difficult to convert them into sales. So what I help them do is I help them come up with that clear message. And I use a five step system that really clarifies their message and helps them attract those ideal clients online.

Al McBride 2:09
Outstanding I see. So for some people to self identify who might be listening to this. So they may not realize that they actually could really get great value out of getting in touch with you and exploring your material. What might be some of the most common mistakes people make when they’re trying to solve that problem that they might go, Oh, I’m doing that I’m doing that?

Terry Dean 2:33
Well, I’ve noticed that a lot of consultants end up wasting a lot of time on calls with people that they shouldn’t even be speaking to. They weren’t prepared, they weren’t ready to speak to them. They run into a lot of price objections, which again, having a lot of price objections when you move the price. And people who try to negotiate down your rates means that often, you haven’t really given a clear message bringing the clients in. In other words, they don’t know your value. And they see you as a commodity, when they come in, instead of someone who can help basically give them a solution to their problems.

Now, other people, they’ll say, Well, you know, I’m not getting enough good leads in my business. And so they’ll go into hustle mode, where they’re working harder and harder trying to do more stuff online trying to go into every social media site. And they’re still not generating the right clients, all these different things point to not really having a clear message. And I’ll mention one more, maybe they’re running a lot of ads. And they think the solution is to run more ads. Again, if you don’t have a clear message, you’re wasting money on advertising. So you can actually say, if you’re wasting a lot of time, on bad calls, not getting enough clients coming in, or you’re wasting money on advertising that isn’t working, then you probably don’t have a clear enough message for your ideal clients.

Al McBride 3:46
It’s such a good point area, I couldn’t agree more. And this is something I see as well from from my side of things. But in my mind negotiation is kind of higher stakes communication. And what you’re talking about is that lack of clarity in the value that you’re that you’re proposing to your prospect, but also maybe also part of that is the lack of understanding of where they’re coming from and their needs. So that’s the two directional fish, right? I loved what you said there about, they try and commoditize you because it’s so true.

And you think you’re coming up with all this unique value. And they’re just I can get it from the guy down the road. They’re just always trying to commoditize and apples for apples. And that’s the whole point of differentiation know the value that you’re bringing. So fantastic stuff. Fantastic. So, so on. Just on that note, what is one valuable free action that the audience can implement that will help them with the issue. So it might not solve it, but at least point them in the right direction? Is there a particular thing to do or way of thinking that will help them?

Terry Dean 4:51
Well, this comes back to making sure that when the leads come in to you before you even speak to them, they’re properly prepared for you to speak to them. Basically, you’re attract They write ideal clients. And as I said, I have a five step system. The third step that I use is I call it overwhelming proof. And that means you prove whatever promise that you’re making. And I’ll say this is one of the biggest mistakes that people make with their websites, with their emails with their videos, and everything that they’re using online, to attract clients is that they’re not including proof that backs up all the promises that they make.

And one of the best things that you can do is one of the forms of proof that you have. And now forms of proof, there’s a lot of different forms of proof. There are testimonials. Obviously, there are case studies that you’ve had with other clients, there’s your own story, your background story, often, it’s an origin story that you can talk about, that’s a form of proof as well, you can take a form of proof, move it earlier, in anything that you do. In other words, you might move it, we might have a headline on your website, and then you put a form of proof like a testimonial right under the headline, something that I’ve done, a lot of times, you can almost call this a cheat that I used to help clients with their websites, is if we’re trying to come up with a new headline for the website, because I look at their headline on the website, I see, you know, it says strong enough, I’ll often go through and read through all the testimonials that they have.

And many times I’ll swipe exact language out of one of their testimonials to put a headline together for them. We’ll put that new headline on their website, and then we’ll put the testimonial right underneath it. So we make a strong promise. That’s directly what one of their clients had previously said about them. And then we immediately back up that promise with the proof. And that improves the conversion. I’ve done the same thing. I’m thinking of a client right now, that has a video that this video is what brings in a lot of his customers, we took his testimonials that he had later on the video, we moved in much earlier into the video, like only about two minutes into the video. I mean, he has a long video, it’s like 17 minutes long or so.

And he had the testimonials late in that video, we moved to the testimony just about two minutes in so in other words, enough time for him to call out the problem and say the big promise what makes his business different from the others out there. And then he immediately went into a lot of proof to back up that promise. And that improved the number of leads coming through and the number of sales that were coming through.

So that’s the big thing that I would tell a lot of people to do is look at your website, look at your emails, look at your videos, look at even your social media posts, and ask yourself, and I’m including proof early in my presentation some form of proof. As I said, it could be testimonials, it could be a case study, it could be your own story.

Al McBride 7:28
There’s so much I love about that. I’m not sure where to start here, because there’s a lot of good stuff there. And just to point it out to anyone who’s listening that number one is, I just love that idea of moving right up toward the top right up earlier, as you said, why because if you haven’t hooked the people in, you’ve lost them too early, they half the people probably never get to the testimonials, or that that voice as you say the voice of the client voice of of a past customer.

The other thing which I love, which I do in a lot of the marketing with some of the clients and helping them with their communication to be more impactful, it’s the same thing. It’s what can if you say it, people will go sort of roll the eyes a bit and go, ah, you know, I don’t fully believe you. But if it comes from the voice from the face, and from the voice of one of your current or past clients, it’s Wow, it’s so much more credible, it’s so much more difficult for the BS detector in the audience to actually fire. It’s just you know, instead you just go on, that’s actually really quite impressive. I presume there’s a lot of that going on, right?

Terry Dean 8:35
There is a lot and I said as a consultant coming in and helping a client, I called it a cheat when I go through their testimonials looking for a headline. That’s because it does exactly what you just said, it’s now worth our big statement is made from a testimonial. So voice, but at the same time, I call it a cheat as a consultant, because by going over their testimonials, I get a good idea about exactly why people are buying from them.

So in other words, it’s like a shortcut to learning the business quick. And so anytime anybody is like struggling, how do I get started? And I’m talking about anything? How do I get started on my website? How do I get started on an email? How do I get started on a video? Go back and review your testimonials? Again, go back and look at your case studies. That is your best content that you can publish and use in your business and to attract clients.

It’s such a good point. It’s so strong and it’s often overlooked. Do you find it’s often underappreciated by its positioning? But do you find even as a thing it’s often overlooked? It is

I figure right now of someone’s website that I looked at. And this was a fitness website. Okay, they were talking that they actually had a wrong long scrolling page, which is fine. What’s not fine, is near the very bottom of the page. They had an endorsement from Arnold Schwarzenegger on a fitness stage at the bottom of the page.

So what in the world is this doing down here and like you said, a lot of people will put a Testimonials page that Final So, but if that’s the only place you put your testimonials, then 90% of your visitors never see them. Okay, you know, you have to put them upfront. And these are such simple things that dramatically improve not just your conversion to leads, but better prepare people if you’re going to speak to them and negotiate with them.

Al McBride 10:22
Absolutely, absolutely. I could not agree more. I could not agree more. So I’m not lying. Terry. So what is one valuable free resource that you could direct people to that will help them with this? Well, I’m

Terry Dean 10:36
going to be a little self promotional, please do. And tell everyone to go over to my marketing It’s all one word, my marketing my marketing And what they’ll find there is they can opt in to get a free cheat sheet that talks about my five step system for improving their conversion,

only improve is one of those five steps along with that they’re going to get several free videos, they’re going to talk about the different methods that I use to improve again, the conversion from leads sales and everything else on your websites, emails, videos. And what’s really nice is how this five step system works. No matter what you’re using to persuade people online.

Al McBride 11:23
You mentioned one of the five there, do you want to give us a little taste or one of the others that maybe one that you feel is often one of the others as most overlooked, or or under appreciated?

Terry Dean 11:36
They’re all important, I’m gonna grab the one that everything relies on. And that’s the desperate problem. That’s the first step right? And the desperate problem. And I always say, here’s the question that you ask yourself in your see, the cheat sheet actually gives you five questions, one for each step. So the five questions are, the first question for desperate problem is, who is your audience?

And what is the desperate problem that you solve for them? Okay, so there’s two parts to this desperate problem is, first of all, who is the best audience that you serve? And what problem do they have and always, and I’m, I worked as a desperate problem, not just the problem, because if this is a problem that they can solve someday, then they’re going to procrastinate and put it off, it needs to be a desperate problem that’s hurting right now, as anyone knows, it’s in a type of marketing prevention is a very hard sell, to prevent something that’s going to happen in the future.

But if you want to get rid of pain that someone has right now, yes, that’s what that’s what they want. And this applies no matter what you’re doing. So the way that people miss this, is they don’t really think in depth enough about the problems that people are experiencing. And let me use this as email. This applies, again, to any type of marketing you’re using. But let me use an email since I’m kind of a specialist.

On the email side, a lot of people think that the primary purpose of their email is to send amazing content, okay, and they’re sending out this amazing content and people aren’t responding. They’re not calling them. That’s because they’re kind of filling them up. Think about if you went to a store, and they had all the samples that they were giving you. And the sample of the ice cream wasn’t just a little sample, you know that they give you this little cups of ice cream? Yeah, it’s just a sample. What if they gave you a whole banana split as a sample?

Well, you’re not gonna buy anything else, because now you’re full. And that’s what some people do in their emails, they provide so much content, and I sometimes call it constipated content, because it’s boring, dry steps. And that’s what they’re providing the email that does not convert leads. So constipated content doesn’t sell. What does sell is an email, start with the problem. And now this doesn’t apply to every single email you send, but a lot of the emails you send, you should start with the problem.

You can start and how do you start with a problem? Whatever problem it is that you solve, and you there’s probably lots of different variations to the problem, there’s probably lots of different angles to the problem, what you can do is you start many of your emails, either talking about your previous history or previous story of how you suffered with this problem. Or you might talk about how a client so for this problem, or you might even change the name of the client say, hey, let’s talk about married that marries a different name.

Because we’re not going to reveal, you know, who had various reasons, for obvious reasons. But you go into the problem, you get specific, and then you talk about your solution. Because this is what you should think about with email, email talks about the problem, you’re a guide to the solution. So the email is going through the problem leading them to the solution, which is the service that you offer.

Al McBride 14:33
Ah, sorry, thanks tough. It’s a lovely, different approach. And as you said, it’s, it slots in with that notion that you know, a chiropractor doesn’t need to explain back pain to their clients. Turn off God help me help me get out. When can I get when can I pay you money to sort this problem, right? But that’s fabulous that you’re using your revoking story, their narrative as well, which is privatise, you’re

Terry Dean 15:00
not really, you really need to good emails, good marketing online is going to invoke story of some time you notice that when I even when I talked about proof, I said your own story. I said, case studies, those are stories. You know, testimonials might not be a full story, but even a testimonial is a mini story. And some for it. So a lot of our marketing should be based on stories. And you’ll see that of the steps that I share. Four of them somehow involved the story that really convey. So that’s what you’re doing. You’re you’re telling a marketing story,

Al McBride 15:32
you’re clearly a master the email. And I have to go back and ask you this $96,250 from a single email. Very quickly, what is the story around that? I mean, I’m sure that’d be far more challenging to do today. I appreciate that. Because the the environment has changed. Everyone’s flooded with emails, but can you talk us very quickly through the principles there, what was going on,

Terry Dean 15:58
we’ll go back, we’re gonna go back into because remember, I started 1996, I think that email call or either 2000 or 2001, I have to go back and check my records to see which one it was. What had happened was I first started online, and I ran my business, it was a couple of years into running my business online, that I got invited to start speaking at some internet marketing information marketing conferences. And we came up with an idea for these conferences that I was going to speak at, I don’t think it was the first one we’ve came up with.

And we did this multiple times, not just once. And we basically, in the sales copy for the conference, the promoter said that you will see Terry Dean make $10,000 from his email list at the conference. And I was doing it as a proof point. Notice, the proof just came back power of email, and that I can teach you, and you just gotta imagine that, that I’m doing these conferences. I’m speaking at the conference about internet marketing or information marketing. And they actually see me on a Friday, send out an email. And then we check the sales several times over the weekend, and report back, what were the sales were at the end of Sunday.

Okay, so these are the sales. And as I said, I did it several times. And Did I beat the $10,000. Every time that I did one of these specials, I remember 33,001 time, the big one is the 96,000, which is of course, the one that we’re making say this is the big proof. One, there were several others that were a little bit smaller, but they all beat the amount that we claimed. And it really was based with having a strong deadline offer. And see, I’m even I’m bringing in another little one of the points there. And that’s a reason to act now, which is on Friday, whatever the special was, I was making was only good until Sunday, at this time. And that was a big key to the offer.

And it’s kind of interesting that email is a study. And reason why for a reason to act. Now, if actually went back and showed the email, because the email only talks a little bit about the offer, here’s the offer, here’s what you’re gonna get. And then the rest of the email is pretty much a proof story of why I’m making this offer. And get this just so as to how natural and how authentic you can be with your proof as well is the reason I’m making this incredible offer to you right now is because I’m standing in front of a crowd of over 130 people.

And I just made a claim that they would see me make more than $10,000 from this email that I’m sending out to you. And I don’t want to look stupid. So I’m making an incredible offer to make sure that as many of my audience will buy as possible. At the same time, I’m going to use this money for a down payment on a new house as a reason to heck, that’s even kind of a selfish reason. But all I’m doing there is I’m giving proof of why this offer is so good.

Okay, because anyone’s going to understand that, of course, I had talked about the conference, I had promoted the conference going up to everybody at the conference. And then I’m saying, Hey, I’m standing in front of a bunch of people, I don’t want to look stupid. Is there anybody who’s not going to believe that, but I don’t want to look stupid in front of a whole bunch of people. So they all went and looked at the offer. And we had incredible sales from that.

Al McBride 19:02
Amazing, amazing story. And I loved as you said that the honesty you’re getting connection and good rapport from the honesty that people are reading this and going. Yeah, I like this guy. This sounds like an interesting thing is inherently interesting. Outstanding. So Terry, tell us what would be your number one insight or principle on how to negotiate build rapport or connection, or uncover hidden value with clients, customers or your counterparts?

Terry Dean 19:34
The biggest insight I give people is when you’re speaking directly to your audience is ask good questions. I think I think that’s the biggest mistake that people make is the go into their pitch. They go into their spiel, and they’re not asking the right questions first. And even though I focus more, I know you focus a lot on the negotiations. I focus a lot on the lead generation side and getting the leads especially with Online Marketing.

The biggest mistake we make on our side is that we start coming up with our whole pitch, we start coming up with all our content without asking the audience first, I say I’ll give this to everybody here, just here’s another email that everybody can run about every six months. And they should run that every six months to their list. And that is a subject line, I need your help. The email is very simple. I need your help. Because I’m going to I’m producing some new content coming up. And I need to know what’s most valuable to you.

What is the number one challenge that you’re facing? Right now with XYZ, whatever your topic is. And if you have a very small list, just tell people to reply to the email. Okay, if you have a larger list, send them over to a survey form, so they can collect all your responses for you. The reason the reply, the reply will get more responses, but it’ll be harder to organize them if you have a big list. So send them to a survey with a bigger list.

And that’s really important for us online. If you’re speaking to people directly over the phone or over zoom, it’s even more important to ask them the questions, because you need to make sure that their desperate problem matches up with a solution that you’re offering to them. If you think their problems this and you go off in your spiel about this. They’re off in a whole different city from you, and there’s no way you’re going to have a good negotiation with them.

Al McBride 21:19
It’s so true. And it’s such a great point, because it’s great to have a hypothesis about the needs of your clients or your customers. But you want to test that you want to open it, you want to update it from their information, what they’re telling you again, it’s not an assumption. It’s a hypothesis. So absolutely outstanding stuff, Terry. So where can people reach out and find more? Well, you mentioned the my marketing coach with the Golden Gloves cheat sheet that, of course, will be linked beneath the video and beneath the podcast. And where else can people find you? Are you very active on LinkedIn or elsewhere?

Terry Dean 21:53
I’m on LinkedIn, but I’m not really active there, the best place for people to go if they want to get in contact with me is to go over to my marketing As they said, you go to Marketing to get the Golden Glove cheat sheet, you go to my marketing general website, you’ll see there’s other free offers.

There’s other things there as well. And probably the best way to stay in contact with me is actually to get on the list. And if you reply to one of my emails from a list, I pretty much read all of them. Because I have that, you know attitude that hey, I am going to stay in contact with my audience and with my list. So while you might see me on social media, best way to contact me, honestly is through email.

Al McBride 22:31
Outstanding, Terry, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Thank you. Thank you

Transcribed by


Terry’s Golden Glove Cheat Sheet and Accompanying Videos

Terry Dean’s Blog:

Terry Dean’s website with an array of free value: including: Free Guide: “7 Unique Ways To Create Profitable Emails…Even If You’re NOT A Writer”

Connect with Terry Dean

On LinkedIn:

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If you’re interested in more, visit for a free email minicourse on how to gain the psychological edge in your negotiations and critical conversations along with a helpful negotiation prep cheat sheet.

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