How to make ‘em say SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! without resorting to begging, bribery or (eek) beat downs

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“Shut up and take my money!” is a beautiful thing to hear.
It means your potential client wants to buy.
It also means they’re excited to buy.

Which makes selling so much easier, right? You don’t have to talk them into wanting it. They already want it (pending a few details, of course).

There’s just one hitch. Your clients actually have to be excited.
Luckily, you play a big role in whether or not your clients are excited.

If you want your clients to say “Shut up and take my money!” you can’t just sell them “business services.”

Instead, you have to sell them…

  • How excited they’ll feel working with you

  • How fascinating they’ll become after working with you

  • How obsessed their customers will feel with their product or service.

You have to sell them an obsession. They want “business services” and ultimately, that’s what you’ll give them.

But you have to sell the obsession first if you want them to throw their wallet in your face.

Case in point: That one time I bought an obsession

Last year, I received an irresistible, captivating offer that I was instantly, feverishly obsessed with. I’m not kidding. The minute I read the sales page for this offer - I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Couldn’t stop talking about it.

Normally I don’t talk about my money, but, I think you HAVE TO know the price in order to understand the sheer power of selling an obsession instead of a service.

It was $10,000.

This was no drop in the bucket for me. In the previous year I’d made $36,000 before taxes.

But there I was, ready to beg, borrow, and/or steal to buy this. Good thing I didn’t have a firstborn child.

What WAS this thing?

It’s a two-day, extreme makeover for your brand—and we’re personally whisking you away to London for the show.

(My heart still pounds when I read that sentence.)

In case your heart isn’t pounding, let me break it down:

  • Going to London ←- the business version of a destination wedding

  • A business strategy and planning session with Ashley Ambirge ←- queen of making people say “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”*

  • A photoshoot in which I was guaranteed to look amazing thanks to international brand photographer Heidi Hapanowicz ←- queen of taking jaw-droppingly gorgeous photos of people**

  • Oh and the sales page also told me the result would be doubling my revenue by the end of 2017.

“Ash+Heidi Go to London” was an amazing opportunity no matter what, but, it arrived just in time. I was just days away from leaving my then-current gig, and striking out on my own.

Hard to hang your own shingle when you have no website, no brand, no photos, and no money.

And yet, when I saw the offer of a payment plan, I couldn’t fill out the Ash+Heidi Go to London contact form fast enough.

And I did it. I went to London. And here we are today: Obsession Eleven.

The anatomy of an obsession: How business owners get it wrong

What was Ash selling? Was it...

  1. The service: A business strategy session and brand photoshoot

  2. The benefits of the service: A strategy to double my revenue and gorgeous photos for my website


Truthfully she was selling all 3 of those things. But let’s back up and analyze the differences between Levels 1, 2, and 3.

Here’s an example of the kind of thing I would have written for my very first communications gig, where I wrote about information technology and SaaS at Pfizer.

I would take something like this, which sold the service (Level 1):

“eChem is a web-based portal to log your research notes”

And instead, “sell the benefit” (Level 2) by turning it into this:

“With eChem, never again will you have to hunt through Word docs and paper scribbles to find your research notes because it’s all centralized in the eChem portal, which you can log into from anywhere in the world.”

Instead of making a chemist groan, “Not ANOTHER app they want me to use” they think, “Huh, this sounds pretty convenient.”

You’ll notice I did not take it to Level 3 and sell an obsession. Because: I was not supposed to sell an obsession. I was supposed to write blurbs about apps for an internally-facing Quarterly Report. (Some things, like funerals, should not be turned out.)

Most business owners get it wrong because either stop at Level 1 or else max out at Level 2.

Maybe you think your products/services aren’t worthy of obsession or that you don’t need obsessed clients.

I’m going to challenge you on that.

(Because I totally want to turn out MY funeral. I have plans for a CRAZY funeral y’all. I may need to sell tickets).

How Ash and Heidi sold me an obsession

Here’s how the Ash+Heidi Go to London offer looks at Levels 1, 2, and 3.

Level 1 (service):

Work with copywriter and business strategist Ash Ambirge and international brand photographer Heidi Hapanowicz in London.

Okay yes, that’s what I was buying. How do you feel when you read that? Not exactly baja panty am I right?

Level #2 (benefits):

Get beautiful photos of you and a new business plan when you work with Ash and Heidi for two days in London.

That’s definitely more specific! When I read that, I think, oh, I’d love some great headshots and a new business plan. But I don’t feel one way or another about it.

But can you guess what’s missing?

The obsession factor. The shut-up-and-take-my money that I don’t even have right now.

Level #3 (obsession):

It’s a two-day, extreme makeover for your brand—and we’re personally whisking you away to London for the show.

When I read that I discovered I desperately wanted to be the kind of person who flew to another country for a high-fashion-yet-professional photoshoot with a brilliant photographer and one-on-one business strategy session with my idol.

And that’s why I cashed out part of my 401(k) to be that person. The results?


What kind of person does your customer want to be?

Does your customer want voice lessons?
Or, does your customer want to sing better?

OR does your customer want to be the kind of person who:

  • Brings down the house at the karaoke bar?

  • Nails their audition at Julliard?

  • Sings the National Anthem at the minor league baseball game so well they get applause, cheers, and an ENCORE?

Which would you feel excited to buy?

If you’d signed up for my email newsletter, you would have gotten a super-secret offer by now

*Sadly Ash has retired from copywriting to be a Penguin Random House author (OMG) but you still have me for all your copywriting needs.

**Prior to Heidi, photos of me have always been a horror show of crazy eyes and awkward smiling. I’m not going to prove this to you. Take my word for it.

Photo purchased from iStock.

Jenn Whinnem