Skip to main content

The Predictable Sales Canvas

Lesson 19 from: Launch a Profitable Digital Marketing Plan for Your Business

Ryan Deiss

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

19. The Predictable Sales Canvas

Next Lesson: Triggering Events

Lesson Info

The Predictable Sales Canvas

A lot of what you're doing is taking the things that you already know to be true and putting them down on paper. I want you to think back to when we opened up talking about Desmond Morris and the 12 stages of intimacy. When you saw it, didn't it seem kind of obvious? You saw it and you were like, "Yeah, that makes sense. It's obvious." Right, but when you begin to document things, and when you begin to name them, that's when they can begin to work for you. Furthermore, that's when other people can step in who aren't you, and carry the ball. So, the Predictable Sales Canvas. Imagine we've now taken the convert stage, that fourth stage, and we've zoomed in, and when you zoom in, you see this. This is essentially four columns: Triggering Event, Requesting Action, Ideal Sales Conversation, and the Purchase box. These four stages are what make up what we call the Predictable Sales Canvas. This is another document that should absolutely, positively, when you're done, be printed out, and be p...

ut inside of your digital marketing plan. This is when we truly document that left turn. That's when we truly document when the relationship changes and how it changes. Very very very powerful. So, what happens, the way that this normally works, I'll kind of walk through this quickly and then we'll break down each stage, one at a time. There is a triggering event. A triggering event is a moment in time when your customer, your prospect, either gets put into, or becomes aware of the fact that they're in a before state. Okay? A triggering event is an occurrence, something happens and your person, either they're in this before state now, or they're aware that they are in it. That's a triggering event. Now, ideally, this triggering event is going to inform what we call the requesting action. That's when they take an action, that's when they raise their hand and say, "Hey, I need some help. I need some help." That then is what initiates an ideal sales conversation which should then flow seamlessly towards a purchasing decision. These are the steps. If we were to zoom in, these are the steps that make up that convert stage. So, the very first action, and this should be simple enough, is fill in the "Purchase" column of your Predictable Sales Canvas with your core flagship offer. We never want to forget, we never want to lose... We still want to begin with the end in mind. So that's what we want to get to, we're now zooming in and saying, "How do we get there?" So that's kind of the first step. Fill that out, write that in. That's a quick one because you've already done that. One out of four down. The other ones are going to take a little bit longer. Now, as we so often do, once we've started at the end, we want to begin to work our way backwards. So where we're going to go next is talking about the ideal sales conversation, and specifically, answering the question, "What the heck is an ideal sales conversation?" So again, we've figured out the "Purchase," now we're living here in this box. What is an ideal sales conversation? And to describe this, I want to go back to this moment in time. I want to go back to the marriage proposal. In my opinion, there is no clearer example of an ideal sales conversation than this. I would define an ideal sales conversation as a sales conversation that is happening in exactly the right place between exactly the right people, and the answer is not in that. In other words, when you're having that conversation with somebody, you know that they're going to say yes. You know that they're going to say yes. Remember at the outset? It probably didn't make any sense, it may have even seemed out of place. When I said we were talking about beginning to fill up our ladder of ascension, I said if you're asking for the order, and the answer is in doubt, then you're asking too soon? Remember when I said that? This is what I was getting to. I was hinting at this concept of an ideal sales conversation. If you're proposing marriage, imagine that you had a friend that was like, "Yep, met a great girl, think she's the one. I'm going to ask her to marry me." And this friend has been dating for a couple weeks, you're like, "What's she going to say?" "I don't know, I hope she says yes!" Hopefully, you'll be like, "Dude, don't do that!" Right? This is one of those times when you really kind of want to know. Now, I remember when I proposed to my wife, I was nervous. I was scared. It was a big moment. I wanted it to go well. But I wasn't confused as to what she was going to say. I knew she was going to say yes. How did I know she was going to say yes? I knew she was going to say yes because for months she had been sending me pictures of rings that she liked, and pictures of rings that she didn't like. Right? She was subscribing to bride magazines. They were all over. I'd go over to her apartment, with bride magazines everywhere, and then one day, I got an email from a site called "The Knot," congratulating me on my recent engagement. She signed us up for The Knot preemptively, guessed on when the wedding date would be, and entered my email address. Now, if in that moment, going back to this thing, she was sitting here when mix tapes were a thing, she would make mix CDs with Going to the Chapel, she was dropping some hints and saying, "When are you going to propose?" "Have you talked to my dad yet?" It was about as explicit as it could have been. If in that moment, when I was down on one knee, if she had been like, "What are you talking about? Where is this coming from?" I would have had every right in the world to be like, "What the hell is wrong with you? You've been subscribing to this, you subscribed us to, you're sending me pictures of rings. What's wrong with you? Every single indication was that this is what you wanted." That is an ideal sales conversation. That is an ideal sales conversation. When you are asking the question, and the answer is not in doubt. Okay? So the question we have to ask ourself is, "How can we make the sale the obvious next step?" How does it become that obvious next step? You don't have to sell them on it, right? You're flowing into it together. It's one continuous motion. Better yet, how can we make it seem like the whole thing is their idea? Best of all, how can we structure it so that it actually is their idea? How great would it be if your customers were coming to you saying, "Please, let me give you money." How great would that be? That's the goal. I think it was John E. Kennedy, not to be confused with John F. Kennedy, but John E. Kennedy, who was an advertising man back in the '50s who said, "The role of marketing is to make selling superfluous." The role of marketing is to make selling superfluous. Now, I don't think that's the case. I have a tremendous amount of respect for salespeople and the work that they do, but I think that the further on the process that we can get it, the easier we can make it for them, the better for us as marketers. We're going to show our value, we're going to be around for a lot longer. Remember, it's already 57% of the way. 57% of the way through before they even talk to a salesperson. What if we could push it to 90%? What if we could push it to 100% and they're begging us for it. That's the goal. So the big epiphany that I had, and I've said this a couple of times, the job of marketing is not to close the sale. The job of marketing is to start an ideal sales conversation. That's the first job of marketing. We're talking about progressing them through, we're not asking marketing to close the sale. The first job is to start an ideal sales conversation to trigger it. Alright, so what is an ideal sales conversation? Here is the formula for an ideal sales conversation. "Since I know you want [After], then [Product/Services] is obviously the next logical step." Since I know you want to get married and spend the rest of your life with me, then saying yes and putting this ring on your finger is the next logical step. Since X is true, then Y is the obvious next step. Since we both agree and acknowledge that this is a fact, here you go. Wouldn't you agree that if you could say that, and you could say it with a straight face, and you could say it because it was true, that selling would be pretty easy. That's where we need to leverage marketing to where we can get to the point where we can say that without being pushy or overly sales-y. So let's go back to the before and after grid because again, all these tie together. Since you want this, then this is the next logical step. Since you, customer segment, desire this, then we know that this is the next logical step. That is the ideal sales conversation. So let's take a moment to outline your ideal sales conversation. What does that look like for you? Now, the big question you have to answer is, "Under what circumstances will the right person almost always buy?" Have you ever had a lay down sale? That's not necessarily a hypothetical, but if you think about it here and those of you out there, if you've ever been in that moment where you've been talking to a person and you're like, "Ooh, I got them." And not necessarily everything that you sell, I recognize, is a face to face, but if you've ever done that, you know when you're in that moment. You know, "I can't possibly screw this up." They want it so badly, right? Under what circumstances will the right person almost always buy? What are those things that have to be true? In other words, when we break it down, we're asking ourselves, "Who is talking?" Who is having this conversation? Who on your side and who is your "who"? Being crystal clear on your "who," are you talking to the right decision-maker? And who on your side is doing the conversing? Is it somebody on your team? Is it a salesperson? Is it you in the form of a video? Is it you on a webinar? Is it a trained person on a demo? And that kind of gets to the second one: Where is the conversation taking place? If I'm a roofer, I want to be talking to a homeowner while standing on their roof, pointing at a hole, saying, "You have a hole in your roof, and since we both know that you don't want water on the inside of your house, then hiring me to fix that hole and replace your roof is the next logical step." And that's when we get into the "what." What are we talking about? We're talking about the hole. So if we go back to the formula, what we're actually looking at is this is the formula for the "what." "Since I know you want [After], then [Product/Service] is obviously the next logical step." Let's look at some examples, I think this will really help bring this home for you. So, DigitalMarketer HQ, I'll give you an example from one of our products. This is our membership where we sell digital marketing training and certifications to companies. So a company comes to us and, "I want to build a digital marketing team." Cool, put them through our stuff, they'll know how to do it. So, who? I want an account executive, a salesperson on my team talking to a marketing manager or executive. I want them talking to a decision-maker. At a smaller company, it could be the business owner. But generally, an account executive talking to marketing. Those are the "who"s. Now, where. They could have a phone, Skype, doesn't matter, could be face to face but we found that that works. And then the "what." I want my account executive to be able to say, "Since you want to build or grow your digital marketing team, would you like to use our tools to train them so you don't have to?" Since you obviously want to build or grow your digital marketing team, since clearly you won't have happen to you when you use our tools to just do it for you. I want him to be able to say that. Now, I recognize that we've got to figure out, "How do we get to that "Since you" part, but right now, we're living in an ideal land. We're living in a magical fairy world where we get to make all the rules. We get to wave the magic wand, we want to be able to say this. Now, incidentally, the way that I figured this out was at our big event, Traffic and Conversation Summit. Big annual event. Two years ago, before this product even existed, I stood onstage and I said, "We're coming out with this new product, it's called DigitalMarket HQ, it's going to be great, here's all the stuff it's going to do. The downside is it doesn't exist yet but if you think you might be interested, come and talk to me at the booth." So I sent a bunch of strangers to basically surround me while I had conversations with them. It was terrifying, but I got to have those conversations, and I got to find out that if I was talking to somebody who was a solo, they walked up to me and they said, "Yeah, I've got my own business, I'm doing my own thing, what's this all about?" I'm like, "It's for team training." "I don't have a team." I realized that that person wasn't necessarily a fit. Talking to a solo or freelancer, the product isn't a great fit. So I know for my "who" perspective, solos weren't a great "who." I also knew if I was talking to people, having conversations about, "Are you interested in building a team?" They're like, "No, I don't think so. I've got somebody doing my marketing." If they weren't interested in building a team, They had no interest in it. If they weren't interested in up-leveling the team they had, not interested. But if I asked them, "Hey, how big is your sales and marketing team?" If the answer was more than five or more, you know, "Do you have any interest in training them or cross-training them on digital marketing so you can have your own in-house digital marketing team?" If they said yes, okay cool. "Well, since you want to grow or build or grown your digital marketing team, would you like to use our tools to do it?" When I had that conversation with that person, they all said yes. The sales became lay down. Figuring out this conversation is critical because once we know it, we can engineer it. We can't engineer it if we don't know it. Let's look at another example. Let's say it's a fashion e-commerce site selling different accessories. So maybe it's a brand spokesperson, maybe it's a video of somebody, and a female shopper. Where? This is all taking place on the website. "That purse you were looking at is on sale. Would you like to purchase it today and save some money?" Very simple. We don't have to over-complicate this. That purse you were looking at is now on sale, would you like to purchase it today and save some money? Let's look at, let's say we're selling a CRM SaaS, hub spot if you're offering a SalesForce kind of thing. Account executive and maybe this is a small business one. Where are they having this conversation? They're having it over the phone. "I see you're interested in automating your entire sales and marketing. Would you like to see how Acme CRM can do that for you?" I see you're interested in automating your sales and marketing. Do you want us to show you how our solution can do that for you? As long as they were interested in automating their sales and marketing, it was a lay down. What about a dentist? Dentist speaking to a new cosmetic patient. Where? In the chair. If you're a dentist, you want them in the chair because if they say no, you just gas them and steal their wallet. Very simple. "Since I know you want a perfect smile, I'd like to suggest some additional treatments to make your smile even better." I know you want a perfect smile. How do I know that? Because you're sitting here in this chair right now. Now again, we've still got to figure out how we get them to the chair. We've still got to figure that out. I'm not overlooking that. We're going to come back to it, but I want to start with that, what's that perfect conversation. Imagine it in your head. What do you want to be able to say and what do you want somebody on your team to be able to say? When they say this to the right person, the person's always, "Yep." The answer is not in doubt. What if you're a consultant? Maybe you're talking to a business owner. Let's say it's a scheduled phone appointment. "I see you would like help growing your business, but which area in particular would you want one-on-one help on?" Which area? Pick, so I know what to sell you next. If you're a carpet cleaner, you obviously want to be talking to a homeowner. Where? In the living room. Since I know you enjoy a fresh, clean home, would you lik me to clean all your carpet and upholstery? Since I know you want this, do you want me to do this? Financial planner. This is repetitive for a reason. I want you guys to see the conversation should be similar. But we've got to imagine what it is. A financial planner and an accredited investor. They want to be talking to someone with some money. Office or over the phone. "Since I know you're interested in growing your yields and passive income, let's discuss some specific investment strategies that might be a fit for your portfolio." Since I know you're interested in yields and passive income. Alright? So now it's your turn. We've already answered the "Purchase" box. What is your ideal sales conversation? Who's your "who"? In a perfect world, who's having that conversation? Now, I recognize it's a little bit of a balance because you're balancing scale with conversion rate. Those are also opposite sides of the same coin. So if it's a video online, it's infinitely scalable, but isn't going to convert as well as face to face. So who's having that? Who's delivering that sales message? And then where is it taking place? Website, phone, face to face, store, webinar, trade show. Again we want our ideal scenario. Our ideal scenario. And then what's your "what"? Since we both know you want this [After], we both know you want it. Then [Product/Service] is the next logical step. I know it feels weird to utter this right now. It feels incredible assumptive. Give me the benefit of the doubt. Give me some willing suspension of disbelief that we can get to a point that you can say that without seeming super weird. You can say that because they're sending you mix tapes with Going to a Chapel. You can say that because they're subscribing to Bridal Magazine. You can say that because they're signing you up for Let's assume we can get to all that. So take a moment. What's your ideal sales conversation?

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

CreativeLive - Launch a Profitable Marketing Plan

Ratings and Reviews

Mike Brown

Amazing content and very well delivered. Ryan was great at covering high level strategies while providing tangible action-items! Totally recommend this class. Thanks to Ryan and Creative Live :)


This was a great course - truly engaging and actionable! I am a professional photographer and would highly recommend this course to anyone who maps out their own marketing strategies. This was the first time I heard Ryan Deiss present, I'm excited to watch his other courses!

a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, the best on Digital Marketing

Student Work