Today, a story about how a salesman sold me thousands of dollars worth of clothes I wasn’t going to buy.
As you read this, try to spot the differences between an average salesman and this top-performing salesman.
A couple months ago, I got an email from a sales guy at a clothing store I’ve bought from before. (I don’t buy clothes that often, but once in a while I’ll do a year’s worth of shopping, and I must have filled in my email address while checking out.) He said, “Hey Ramit, it’s ____ from ____. We’re having a 40% off sale starting next week, but if you come in this week, I can put aside the clothes so you get first crack.”
Sounds good, I thought. So I scheduled some time and wandered in on a Friday around 2pm. This is my life. Blogging and shopping for clothes on a Friday afternoon. I would be an incredible trophy wife.
I was running early and the guy wasn’t there yet, so I walked around the store and picked up a couple clothes. Nothing was really working out. I was getting ready to leave when the guy walked in. “Hey man,” he said. “What’s up?”
I told him I was just about to leave, so he said, let me show you some of the stuff we have. He then walked around THE SAME STORE I HAD WALKED AROUND, found a bunch of pieces, and showed me how to combine them in a way I would have never thought of.
I ended up buying thousands of dollars of clothes that day.
Now, let’s analyze what happened.
He deeply understood his audience. The customers who shop here are not primarily concerned by price. They’re looking for a high level of service and clothes that are perfect “for them.” Getting a personal email from their guy at the store to invite them into a sale before anyone else? For the target audience, that is the definition of service.
He was extremely good at his job. He saw patterns that I did not. He wasn’t ever pushy. And he offered to help me get the clothes tailored in my timeline (service). Notice that most people think that being good at their job is enough. It is not.
He made me happy to pay. I love hearing from people who think that persuading people always involves deception, like this person who emailed me 2 days ago:
“Ramit, I do not want to read a half hour American-style infomerial before I get to your point. Christ!
Get to the fucking point at the start, dont lead me on a tour through your childhood first.
1. you grab me with the intro so I click on the link
2. there’s an unending page of infomercials (plural)
Please dont waste my time with sales. Hire a copy editor.”
Look at that last line: “Please don’t waste my time with sales.” Her invisible script is: “Anyone selling something is bad.”
Wrong, wrong, wrong. This invisible script assumes that the person being sold to is some naiive person who has no agency. Look, I’m not some doe-eyed 8-year-old. I know how persuasion works in the sales process. You think I’m going to get “cheated” out of my money? In fact, once he showed me value — I got first crack at the merchandise, 40% off, and new clothes that I needed — I was delighted to pay.
When you understand these principles — deeply understand these principles — you can use them to secure your Dream Job…and people will be HAPPY to hire you. They’ll be happy to pay you more. Even if they know the exact techniques you are using, they’ll be powerless to stop you. And there’s no reason they would, anyway, because you are taking a 100% ethical approach — just like my sales guy at the store.
LET ME REPEAT IT AGAIN FOR SCAMMY MORONS THAT SOMETIMES SLIP ONTO THIS SITE TO USE MY STUFF FOR NEFARIOUS PURPOSES. IF YOU USE THIS TO TRY TO SCAM SOMEONE AND I FIND OUT, I WILL CREATE A PAGE CALLED IWILLTEACHYOUTOBERICH.COM/IDIOTS AND I WILL LIST YOUR FULL NAME THERE. Trust me, it will happen.
Now, I know this works because some of my own staff have used random Dream Job techniques “against” me, and they worked. And I created the Dream Job system!
Now, I get to teach the system to you.
Introducing Competence Triggers
In the hundreds of comments about the lies we’ve been told, one of the code words was BETRAYAL. We feel betrayed because we were told if we study hard and get a good job, we’ll be successful.
But let’s deconstruct that. What does get a good job mean? Part of getting a good job is becoming good at what you do. But typically, that’s where the advice stops. Most people genuinely believe that “being good” is enough. But in a world where there are millions of other good people, you can’t just be good — you have to stand out. Think about it: There are thousands and thousands of “good” salespeople in NYC. How come this guy made a fat commission off me? Yes, he’s good at picking out outfits (like 5,000,000 other people in NYC). And yes, he’s a nice guy. But there’s something else.
He made it because he is a master of what I call Competence Triggers — the signals that show you are a top performer. Take a look.
Let me explain carefully so I don’t get morons accusing me of teaching how to trick people.
Competence Triggers are not a trick to hide your deficiencies. Of course you have to be good at your craft. If we took the typical illiterate blog reader and simply decided to copy the guy’s tactics — sending an email, inviting in someone early, etc — it might work for a few minutes. But if he wasn’t good at his job, he would quickly be discovered.
If you try to put lipstick on a pig, you will be discovered. (Interestingly, the more advanced you are, the quicker any deception will be discovered, because you’re competing with increasingly smart people).
But Competence Triggers signal that you are potentially worthy of further investigation. Like my Craigslist Penis Effect, they show that unlike the unwashed masses, you are at least somewhat credible — and when used correctly, highly credible.
If you internalize these Competence Triggers, and the psychology behind them, you can get amazing results like this (check the timestamp on the first one):
Or this one:
Or Mel, from a recent comment:
“I actually used your negotiation tactic to negotiate a 25% raise and more responsibility within the first 90 days of my employment. Being a contractor at this company did not make it an easy task for me to get more money before I had been with them for a year.”
I’ll be teaching you the ins and outs of Competence Triggers, including the exact ones you can use in your Dream Job search. And best of all, my top students have internalized these triggers to be able to use them in social situations and relationships. They are truly one of the most versatile techniques you’ll learn on IWT.
Introducing the 3-Week Dream Job Boot Camp
Last week, we saw that there’s a game being played around us that we don’t know about.
We’ve seen that there are deep psychological frameworks, mindsets, and techniques you can use to land your Dream Job…to find your passion…and to negotiate an enviable salary.
We’ve also seen that I have no patience for whiners. (You want to complain about the macro economy as a reason for why you don’t have your Dream Job? Leave this site.) I also have no patience for terrible career advice that’s never tested. I’d rather have 5 people who take action than 5,000 whiners — which is how I get success stories like the ones above.
About 18 months ago, I decided I was tired of seeing the same old terrible career advice. I’d already helped a bunch of friends get jobs, but I wanted to systematize what I’d learned so you could use it. So that instead of answering random questions like “What should I say in my cover letter?” and “How do I find out what companies to apply to?” I could turn over a seriously comprehensive system to answer ALL your questions — even the ones you don’t know you should be asking.
I could have made some series of blog posts, or a random $27 ebook. But those are the kinds of things that people read on their lunch break, then say “I L1ke d1s guy,” and then do nothing with.
I wanted to think bigger.
You guys have seen some of the videos I’ve been putting up and probably wondered what’s going on. I took 2 routes.
Starting tomorrow, I’m launching a free Dream Job Boot Camp. This is a 3-week free course via my blog and Dream Job Launch list that will take you behind the scenes of mastering your Dream Job search. I’m going to share scripts, case studies, and teardowns — where I take people, live and on camera — and show them how to take their interviewing skills to the next level. Their negotiation skills. Their storytelling skills.
I will put this free material up against anyone’s paid career advice, and I believe mine will come out on top. But that’s for you to decide, not me.
Let me tell you why I’m doing this. I already told how disgusted I am at the terrible career advice that so-called “career experts” dispense. From the 500+ comments posted last week alone, I can tell this has hit a nerve. But I’m also tired of hearing people in their 20s and 30s complain about the economy and delegate their job search. “I’ll do it later,” we say. Or “I sent in 20 resumes last week,” they say. I just shake my head. There’s a game being played around them that they don’t even realize.
A top performer would never send in 20 resumes. A top performer would have already put the pieces in place so that when he’s looking for a Dream Job, he has a network of people LOOKING FOR HIM. He would know how to distinguish himself, knowing that if he submits his resume through the front door (or, god forbid, a jobs website), he’s already lost the game.
He would know that money is not the only part of a Dream Job, but he would understand how to be compensated for the amount that he truly deserves.
And a top performer would build a simple, testable system to figure out:
- What is my Dream Job?
- How does that relate to my passion?
- Where are the broken “links in my job search chain” and where should I be spending time? Improving my resume? Interviewing skills? Negotiation? What??
- What are the things I do NOT need to do?
I spent the last 18 months building that system and now I want to share it with you.
Here’s how this is going to work for the next 3 weeks of free material.
Week 1: Decommoditizing Yourself. Too many idiots think that if they sent in 20 resumes this week, they’ve done their job. If you think it’s sufficient to take the same actions as 5 million other people, frankly you don’t deserve a job.
Instead, I’m going to show you how to stand out from other people using the very words in your email, the phrases you say in in-person meetings, and even the psychological techniques you use when scoping out WHO to meet. Most importantly, you’ll learn about the psychological barriers you have that you didn’t even know you had — and how to tackle them.
Week 2: Networking. Another area where people whine using this heart-attack-inducing phrase: “Well, maybe if I went to STANFORD, I could…” or “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know” (most used by 20-something dudes and especially tech-y people).
Total nonsense. You have a network, even if you don’t realize it. I’ll show you how to find it, and I’ll show you that people actually WANT TO HELP YOU — if you approach them in the right way. (Hint: Don’t ask someone to be your mentor. That is a classic low Competence Trigger.) You’ll learn both the theory and the exact scripts you can use to build an incredible network. I’ve done this with best-selling authors, journalists, and CEOs — and not only does my technique work, but I’m so comfortable with the approach that I’m simply going to give it to you, openly. THAT is the test of how ethical your approach is. Would you be comfortable having it seen by 300,000+ people? Judge for yourself.
Week 3: Interviewing and Negotiation. Just wait for this. Watch me take real people on video and take them from being 7s to 9.5s in a matter of minutes. Watch me sit down with interview masters and learn how they would approach every situation at the highest levels (e.g., Tier 1 management consultants). And learn how you can create a “mental toolbox” to store these techniques when you walk into an interview or negotiation. God I’m getting so excited right now.
All of that is my gift to you for reading my material and FOLLOWING THE ACTION STEPS.
Btw, you know the difference between people who read my stuff as intellectual entertainment…and people who take action?
Whiners who read but do nothing:
“Obviously, you are…a huckster who preys on the younger and more gullible college set along with those who feel left out of a closed economic system. You think you are filling a gap. Now, you are hawking a book. What is new here? Absolutely nothing! Your tripe bores me — go get a real job.”
As you can see, my inbox is filled with unicorns and love. Now look at people who actually take action:
“I’ve increased my salary from $67K to $80K/yr in less than one year using your negotiation techniques and getting into my boss’ head.”
“Today, with your help/encouragement to figure out how to stand-out and be exceptional at my job and articles on negotiation, I just scored myself a $10,000 raise on an offer that was already a few grand over my current contractor position!!!! The best thing is that all I have to do is show up to the same job tomorrow and keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
“By doing some prep and using your advice (including watching your videos), I was able to increase my salary by almost $5,000/year and receive paid-time-off for a 2-week vacation all within in a 10 minute conversation. Thanks Ramit!!”
Who would you rather be?
And by the way, of those successful students, do you think they’ll stick with me for the next 10-20 years? Of course — they’re students for life. That’s what I want for you.
The Dream Job course. So we’ve covered the free material coming your way starting tomorrow.
What I didn’t tell you was that I really wanted to think big for this Dream Job material. Not some random series of blog posts alone. Not some $27 ebook. To step it up, I invested over $250,000 into this material, countless staff members, over 20 cross-country flights, and years of testing and research. My goal is for my free material to beat any other paid material out there. I have the means to invest in you first, and I know that when I do — and you find success — you’ll be a student for life.
Obviously, it doesn’t make sense to invest $250K of my own money, then just give it away free. So I figured, why not do both?
The 3-week Dream Job Boot Camp is completely free. Use the stuff to get results like tens of thousands of others have. All I ask is that you take action and not passively consume it. This is not some psychological buffet.
And after the Boot Camp, I’ll be releasing the full Dream Job course. This will be a premium course and it won’t be cheap. But if you’ve come to know the quality of my material, you know that it will be the single-most comprehensive course on finding your Dream Job ever created, covering everything from “What IS my Dream Job?” down to “Give me a video of how I respond to THIS interview question…and show me the right body language to use.” 100+ hours of video, dozens of tested scripts, and other stuff I’ll share later.
So you can decide. Try the free stuff. See how valuable it is. For a small percentage of you, you’ll want the advanced stuff and I’ll be happy to offer the next level of material through the Dream Job premium course. I thought this was a pretty good compromise.
I hope you guys like this approach, because I didn’t want to just offer you a 10-part series of blog posts. Anyone can do that. But it’s difficult to share the level of insight and depth that I want to share with you if you’re limited to a few posts. So I’m going to offer you material you’ve never seen before — and I believe that if you’re serious about finding a Dream Job, you’ll know that it’s worth investing more than 5-10 hours. This is the rest of our lives we’re talking about.
So here’s what to do.
1. Leave a comment with the following:
- Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully (example: “When I walk into a bar and I’m confident/with friends, I get better reactions than when I’m desperate…”). Be specific.
- What’s a situation that you’d like to optimize but you’re not sure which Competence Triggers would apply? (Example: Interviews, negotiation, informational interviews.)
- BONUS question: In the student examples above, why do some people whine while others take action?
2. Sign up for the Dream Job Boot Camp list below. You’ll also get access to a private Dream Job blog where I’ll be releasing private scripts, videos, etc.
Are you ready?