Meet Frank Kern, the founder of Behavioral Dynamic Response, an automated marketing method that customizes your marketing messages based on your prospect’s behavior. Listen to the most sought internet marketing consultant and learn what behavioral dynamic response is, how you should be selling your products and services, and what principles earned Frank success.
What You Will Learn About Marketing Done Right with Frank Kern:
- How Frank Kern became interested in online sales
- How his Behavioral Dynamic Response hits the customers with the right message at the right time
- Why it is important to uncover your strengths
- The most impactful approach to make your business grow
- The right way to sell your products or services
- How Frank would use his marketing and copywriting skills to find distressed owners
- What principles Frank followed to become successful
- For free educational content, visit Frank’s website
- Find here the full episode on YouTube
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Frank Kern: As a credit card machine salesman, I was door to door, so no one had invited me to show up at their business in the middle of the day and interrupt them and try to sell them something. So I was never well received, and I was like, “Agh, I gotta figure out a way to sell something without having to talk to anybody.” And it’s not that I’m antisocial or anything, but I equated human interaction with people saying, “Hey, go screw yourself, I don’t wanna talk to you right now.” So that’s how I got started.
Matt Theriault: Hey Matt Theriault here, on another episode of Thought Leader Thursday right here on The Epic Real Estate Investing Show, got a hot one for you today. Alright, so on today’s episode of Thought Leader Thursday, I am joined by the creator of behavioral dynamic response, which is an automated marketing method that speeds up your sales cycle by customizing your marketing messages based on your prospect’s behavior. He is one of the most sought after direct response internet marketing consultants and copywriters on the planet. And so please help me welcome to the show, Mr. Frank Kern. Frank, welcome to Epic Real Estate Investing.
Frank: Man, thanks for having me. That’s funny, that intro. It must be true ’cause it says so right there on my website.
Matt: It does. I’m stellar at research. Frank, happy to have you here today. What were you doing just prior to becoming the most sought after direct response copywriting guy on the planet, and what inspired the transition?
Frank: Alright. So I think what you mean was how did I get started doing stuff online, or at what point in my online career?
Matt: Yeah, I just try to get really creative with my question, rather than tell me how you got started.
Frank: Alright. I was a door-to-door credit card machine salesman and hated it ’cause I’m terrible at in-person sales. Absolutely hate in-person sales, probably wouldn’t have hated in-person sales if I’d have learned it in a different environment. But growing up, one of my first jobs was a porter in a car dealership, washing cars and running errands and stuff, and then one of my first sales jobs was at a car dealership. And I wanted a very confrontational, high-pressure method of sales, which I just hated because nobody likes being on the receiving end of that, you know? And so I was terrible at that. And went through all sorts of menial jobs ’cause I have no education or real credentials or anything.
As a credit card machine salesman, I was door to door, so no one had invited me to show up at their business in the middle of the day and interrupt them and try to sell them something. So I was never well received, and I was like, “Agh, I gotta figure out a way to sell something without having to talk to anybody.” And it’s not that I’m antisocial or anything, but I equated human interaction with people saying, “Hey, go screw yourself, I don’t wanna talk to you right now.” So that’s how I got started. I went to a computer, and this is before I think Google was a thing so 1999, so I did a search for how to sell credit card machines on the internet, and I saw a banner ad for a course on how to sell stuff on the internet, then read the sales letter seven million times, then bought it, finally. I think it was $297, and followed the directions, you know? And that was it. That was it plus 19 years of doing stuff.
Matt: Right, didn’t happen overnight.
Matt: So tell me about the behavioral dynamic response. Tell me a little bit more about that and why it’s important.
Frank: It is important. Well, it’s diminishing in its importance as email as a communication channel is starting to lose its efficacy. I like saying words like efficacy ’cause it makes it sound like I know what I’m talking about, but I don’t really.
Matt: I’m a believer.
Frank: You’ve gotta be, you know.
Frank: I should put on a blazer and say efficacy a lot and charge more. Yeah, so what it means, basically, in normal redneck terminology, I’m from Georgia, is you customize what’s happening in a marketing funnel based on how people are actually behaving. Which means if they click on a link, for example, they’ll get a different series, than if they didn’t click on the link within your funnel. If they open an email, they’ll get a different response versus if they, you know, didn’t open the email. So if you can map out every one of their behaviors, then you can show them customized marketing messages and campaigns based on it. Which means you’re hitting them with the right message at the right time, which makes everything work better.
Matt: Right. Got it. Yeah, so you’re just, you’re speaking directly to the person and what they’re dealing with at that specific moment, right? So it’s more relevant.
Frank: Based on what they do, rather than what they say, you know?
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Frank: I’m a big believer in that. Surveys, ad, [inaudible 00:04:31], you know? And I really base everything on data and what people actually do. So in online marketing, if you pay attention, you can analyze everything, and you can get metrics on everything. Like how many people click something, how many people go somewhere, and their behavior can dictate how you respond to them, which makes everything work better if you do it right.
Matt: Right. Yeah, I’ve been following you for a little while, and I see that you do this for yourself. You show others how to do it, you deal with a wide variety of people, and a wide array of industries. What do you like most about what you do?
Frank: Diagnostics. So it’s funny, when I’m working with clients, they’ll come to me and they’ll be like, “Alright, we have this objective,” actually they rarely know the objective, they’re going, “We just wanna grow our business.” I’m like, “Okay, well here’s $5, you’ve now grown your business, is that [crosstalk 00:05:22]?” I actually don’t say to them, could you imagine? I don’t think that would go very well at all. So I ask them, “Alright, what’s the specific objective?” And then that kind of throws people off guard for a minute like, “Damn, I’ve never even really thought of that.” And then when they come up with it, 99.99% of the time they’re like, “Yeah, so I have this objective, and here are the seven billion things I wanna do to achieve the directive.” And it’s like abandoning all the stuff that they’ve been doing and starting something new. So my favorite part is going through the process with people to uncover what they’re already doing that’s working really, really well, and having them maximize that and focus only on that, which typically leads to a client doing less. Not necessarily less work, but less stressful overwhelming things, and getting a bigger bang for their energy so to speak, or the energy invested in the business itself. So that’s what I like the most, is uncovering that one thing.
Frank: Yeah, it’s pretty fun.
Matt: Yes. I can imagine. What do you wish you could talk about more that you don’t get the opportunity to?
Frank: Math. Which is funny, because I was terrible in school. And my math teacher, my first math teacher that wanted to kill me, was named Ms. Gordon ’cause I was a bad student in fourth grade, and then every subsequent math teacher Ms. Pool, Ms. Williamson, I owe all of these ladies apologizes, ’cause I was horrible and I hated it and I was like, “I’m never gonna use this because I got one of these,” calculators are great, which I still have to rely on those.
But in terms of business and marketing, it’s very difficult to sell math, to be like, “Hey, if you wanna grow your business, it’s really in the math, and here’s how you find your numbers on stuff, and here’s how you make decisions based on numbers.” That’s very boring to people, it’s not sexy, it’s not catchy, it’s not a new Facebook trick or anything like that. But it is without question, hands down, the most impactful way to grow business, is to look at the numbers of everything and then make decisions based on those. And I don’t talk about it ’cause people don’t typically like to hear it. They’re like, “Okay, great, so how do we use Facebook messenger in our ads?” It’s like, “Agh. Okay, well here’s how, but if you actually listen to what I told you, you would realize that the majority of your business is coming from follow-up sale calls to people who made product inquiries.” Or something, you know?
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative). The answer to this next question might have kind of been intertwined in what you were just talking about, but I’ll ask it anyway. What commonly held truth around business do you disagree with?
Frank: I think the thing that I struggle with the most when dealing with some clients, not all, is getting them to market more. So getting them to actually reach out to their database more, getting them to promote more, so in a lot of cases someone will have a belief that promoting and selling is bad, and it puts people off. And it can if you do it in a high pressure, obnoxious, confrontational way. But if you don’t, then you should be selling constantly. I was watching an interview with my buddy Grant Cardone, who I’m a huge fan of, love the guy, and he was saying- it wasn’t an interview, he’s got a dude, follows him around everywhere, you know it. So they were in a corporate meeting or something, Ashley Furniture, and he was saying, “We don’t send out any communication ever that isn’t trying to sell somebody on something.” And I think that’s the right thing to do. I think it’s smart, and most businesses are terrified to do that. They’re like, “Oh, my email subscribers will hate me, or people will think I’m this that and the other,” and you’re right, if you are obnoxious and uncool about selling, but if you’re friendly about it and provide value in that sales process, then you’re missing an opportunity to make a lot more money, and help more people.
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative). What’s something few people know about you, but you wish more people did?
Frank: I have no idea. I never, strangely, never think like that. Like, “Oh, here’s what I want people …” when I think about what I want people to think about me, there are two things that I always want them to think is helpful, and friendly. And that’s it. If I can get someone to be like, “This guy’s helpful and friendly,” then I’ve got a foot in the door, I can demonstrate value to them, provide results in advance, which is a huge part of my marketing methodology and overall philosophy, and then I’ve established the relationship. So you know, I’ve never thought of that at all. It’s like I really don’t care what they think about [crosstalk 00:09:52]
Matt: There you go.
Frank: [crosstalk 00:09:54] helpful and friendly, you know?
Frank: [crosstalk 00:09:57]
Matt: I can vouch for that, for the short period of time that we’ve known each other, that you are very helpful and very friendly, and a pleasure to be around, so.
Frank: It’s the old demonstrate you can help them by actually helping them trick, that’ll get them.
Matt: Yep. I’ve said that before, since I’ve met you, more than once. I love it.
Frank: [crosstalk 00:10:14] nefariously like, “Gets them every time.”
Frank: By actually helping them trick.
Matt: The whole evil scheme thing, right? Be nice and friendly.
Matt: If you were … I’m gonna ask a little bit more of a self-serving question, and more for myself and as well as my audience. It’s an audience of real estate entrepreneurs, heavily emphasized the real estate but they are entrepreneurs. If you were a real estate investor, Frank, and you were looking for distressed properties, whether it was a distressed house or a distressed owner that’s in a certain situation financially or personally, what’s the first idea that comes to mind with regard with how you would use your marketing and copywriting powers to find them?
Frank: So I like to keep things really, really basic and go after lowest hanging fruit. So I would run a series of ads, I might even start with the newspaper believe it or not, which I know from an internet guy people are like, “Dude, what? That’s crazy.” But I’d probably run a local ad in the paper that said, “If you need to sell your house fast, read this.” And then it would say, you know, it’d be like a sales letter like, “Dear friend, sometimes you’ve gotta sell your house fast, but then you’ve got all of these,” insert whatever they’re worried about here, like you know sketchy real estate dudes trying to steal your property from you or whatever, “Well you don’t have to deal with that. If you’re looking to sell your house fast, and you don’t wanna deal with someone that’s gonna put all kinds of high pressure on you and try to trick you, then give me a call, I can’t guarantee I’ll buy your house, but I can guarantee I’ll offer you a fair price on it if it’s something that I can use, and I can also guarantee that our experience together will be beneficial to you regardless because you’ll get a very good idea of what to expect going through this process, etc, etc.” You know? So again, relying on the old, demonstrate you can help them by actually helping them.
Matt: Right, right.
Matt: Addressing their actual situation or their problem, and then revealing or discussing, bringing their fears to the surface, and then showing them that you can actually help them by actually helping them.
Frank: Isn’t that the craziest- and being upfront with them you know, I can’t guarantee that I’m gonna be able to buy your house, but if I can I’ll offer you a fair price for it, and worst case scenario then I’ll give you some free advice on how to navigate this situation, what to expect, and what to watch out for. I would talk to them like I would want someone to talk to me if I were in that situation.
Matt: Right. That’s fantastic, that was very helpful, thank you. If there were three guiding principles for your success, Frank, what would they be?
Frank: Alright, that’s a good one. Number one is work, right? So the more effort you put into, at least for me, the more effort you put into trying to avoid the work part, the worse everything gets. So just accept it, hey, all this stuff is hard, you know, to … I don’t know, make a couple hundred grand a year is not hard, but to really do something, to get a business into the multi seven-figure, eight-figure mark, it’s a lot of freakin’ work, so that’s thing number one. Be prepared, I always hold that to be true.
The second guiding principle is simplify. Always, for me, I try to eliminate as much complexity as possible. Our funnel, so to speak, for our private client group in the business is one web page, and if someone puts their name and email address in there, they get three emails, and that’s the entire thing, right? Then we either approve the application, or we don’t, and then we talk to them and they either become a client or not, and that’s it. And that’s an extremely lucrative funnel, and by that, I think we acquire a member of that group, it’s a $40,000 annual membership, and we spend $5,000 in advertising to get somebody. So if some, you know real estate investors can appreciate this, eight X return on the investment, because it’s simplified.
And the final thing, which it’s easier said than done, is always keep 80/20 in mind. Which is be looking for that big lever. I believe very firmly in the 80/20 principle, it’s been revolutionary for me. And just constantly be on the lookout for, “Okay, how can I 80/20 this situation? Where is there waste? Where is there wasted energy? Where is the real gold, and how can I redirect that energy to the most support levers?” And all of that stuff sounds really easy, and maybe it is for some people. For me, it’s not. It’s a mofo. It is a daily struggle, you know. [crosstalk 00:14:39] love to go downstairs and play Sniper Elite 4 all day. You know what I mean? And I’d love to make some new product for the sake of creating it and making it and be like, “Yay, there’s a new thing,” but this takes a tremendous amount of focus, like, “No, don’t do that. Work, write copy, promote this thing that’s been working forever,” you know, focus.
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I appreciate you sharing that, ’cause you sure make it look easy.
Frank: It’s not. It’s a bitch.
Frank: It’s a pain in the [crosstalk 00:15:03] not physically hard, it’s here, you know, it’s your mind, just be blank, shut up dude, thank you for being creative and everything, but just give me a minute. Let me focus on the task at hand, and keep the main thing the main thing.
Matt: That’s awesome. Frank, it’s been a pleasure. If someone wanted to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to do that?
Frank: They can go to frankkern.com and read articles, and I think there are links to videos and stuff on there. And I think there’s a contact form, I really should know these things. I should do better at marketing myself than I do. I should follow my own advice to clients. But yeah, go there, and follow me on Facebook or get some of my free stuff, and if you like it, then reach out and maybe become a client.
Matt: Love it. Thank you. Let’s do this again.
Frank: Alright, don’t ask hard questions next time. [crosstalk 00:15:51] well thought out questions, I was like, “Damn, I don’t know dude.” You know? This is the third podcast I’ve been on, so this is a good one.
Matt: Is that it?
Frank: Yeah, I don’t really do it, you know?
Matt: Oh, blessed.
Frank: [crosstalk 00:16:01] feel weird, I’m like, “No, strangers.” You know?
Matt: Perfect. Thank you very much. And alrighty, so God bless to your success, I’m Matt Theriault, I’ll see you next week on another episode of Thought Leader Thursday right here on The Epic Real Estate Investing Show. Take care.