Sometimes a “surprise demand” can create a breakthrough opportunity
The president of one of the top insurances companies in the Caribbean Islands called me six months prior to their company sales meeting, to hire me to deliver a 90-minute speech on "Sales Achievement" to 40 sales professionals on the island of St. Maarten.
Such a beautiful location. I love being with sales people. 90-minutes is a breeze for me.
Nice fee. A truly excellent booking.
I blocked the date on my calendar. And it quickly faded from my mind.
Five and a half months went racing by, and just two weeks prior to the meeting the company President called me on the phone again.
“Bodine,” he said, “We’re all looking forward to your presentation. Everyone’s already talking about it. And I have an exciting surprise for you.”
I've experienced so many last minute surprise requests from my clients, surprises don’t surprise me like they used to. But this guy wasn’t kidding!
He really did have a surprise for me
“We’re sponsoring a sporting association to bring the game of Cricket to St. Maarten, and I’ve decided we’d like to use your appearance at our meeting as a fund-raising event for our association,” he declared on the phone, with great pride in his voice. “And nine days ago I put an ad in the local paper to sell tickets to your presentation for $100 each.”
When he called the newspaper to place the ad, they volunteered to also run a big article on me as a news story. And prompted by that offer from the newspaper, he made another snap decision!
He decided a 90-minute motivational speech might not be considered valuable enough for a hundred dollar ticket price, so he changed the ad at the last moment to promise that I would be delivering a “4-hour Life Development Workshop.”
I was unable to resist articulating what I was thinking, “You gotta be kidding me!”
And there was more!
Within five days of placing that ad, 230 people purchased tickets.
You can imagine my second response, upon hearing this additional “surprising” news. “I think we'll probably need to re-negotiate my fee.”
“Well of course, Bodine!," he said immediately and easily, "We want you to be happy. And I know it will be no problem for you to deliver a great 4-hour learning experience for these people. They want you to help them become more successful. And I know you can do it!”
He had that rare combination of being bold, charming, optimistic and very supportive. Those kind of people can be hard to resist!
And I was already seeing the opportunity, in what he had arranged for me without my permission. (And, truth be told, I've never been able to say no to one of my clients.)
I had spent the previous two years researching & organizing a “life development & business development” methodology which I'm now branding as "the Delta Method." I’d been sharing this information mostly with sales professionals in my keynote speeches, and hadn’t yet had a chance to deliver it in a real hands-on workshop.
My Caribbean client had creatively arranged for me to give this method a full-scale test
As I hung up from that phone call I was thinking two things...
1. Good Lord, I better get to work! ...and...
2. I wonder what kind of results those 270 people will be able to create in their lives after I spend four hours teaching them how to use the information I've organized.
Following the workshop I didn’t have to wait for long to find out.
Even though I worked them hard during the entire four hours of the workshop, virtually everyone who attended totally loved it. Many reported breakthrough experiences.
Many of the attendees quickly created authentic breakthrough experiences in their lives or in their work.
Here are a few of the most noteworthy results they reported...
> OBTAINED BRIDGE FINANCING TO SAVE HIS RESORT DEVELOPMENT PROJECT:
A business entrepreneur from the island of Anguilla came to the workshop because he was five days from defaulting on the original financing for a huge resort development he had contracted.
He had all of his personal wealth tied up in this project, and he had attempted to obtain additional funding from every source he could think of, but they all turned him down.
At the workshop he used the Delta Method to create a specific strategy for discovering new funding sources. Implementing that strategy he was able to obtain $11 million dollars in bridge financing, just in time to save his project (and all of his own money.)
> SAVED HIS MARRIAGE:
Three days after the workshop, while still on the island with my wife, enjoying the "negotiated vacation" paid for by my client, I got a call from the resort manager requesting we meet him in his office. He was the one who arranged the workshop space for almost 300 people, and he also purchased a ticket to attend the workshop himself.
My wife, Sandi, and I were more than surprised as he began to tell us that his goal in going to the workshop was to somehow come up with a plan to save his marriage. Eight months earlier his wife had moved out of their house into an apartment of her own, and was requesting a divorce.
The night after the workshop, closely following the Delta Method plan he had worked out for communicating effectively with his estranged wife, he invited her to dinner. With tears in his eyes, as we sat listening in his office, he told us that following that dinner together he and his wife stayed up all night talking; something they hadn't done since the early days of their marriage. And the following day they began making plans for her to move back into their home, both of them excited about continuing their married life together.
As we got up to leave, he came from behind his work desk to hug us both.
(A wave of extraordinary thankfulness swept through me for being able to provide this man with a process for creating such a beautiful important result in his life.)
We left his office feeling like it was a fine day to be alive on an island in the Caribbean, and headed out for a walk down the main shopping street.
> LEARNED A METHOD FOR PLANNING & CREATING THEIR LIFE TOGETHER:
About 25 minutes into our walk, a young couple began yelling and waving at us from across the street, and actually ran over to greet us personally.
They were newlyweds on a two-week honeymoon in the Caribbean. They saw the ad in the paper for my workshop and, yes, they were the last two people to buy tickets! I expressed delight and surprise at this choice on their part. They said, “It just seemed like a wonderful way to get our life together off to a great start!"
And they fell all over themselves, out there on that narrow sidewalk, thanking me for the workshop experience... telling me how excited they were about their future together especially now that they have a method for planning and creating the life they want.
What beautiful joy and enthusiasm they were both radiating towards each other and the world around them. Sandi and I became instantly 10 years younger, just briefly interacting with those two.
And then with another exclamation of “Thank you so much!” – which they managed to say in unison -- they scampered off together, to continue their honeymoon adventure and newlywed bliss.
I turned to my wife and said, “Ya know, it sure seems like I'm onto something with this Delta Method approach to creating results,” trying to downplay my excitement about the workshop results so I wouldn't burst out into song right their on the sidewalk.
"I might have to start using it myself!," was my wife's playful response, followed by, "I love these beautiful print tablecloths in this window. Let’s go in here and do some shopping.”
> SALES PEOPLE REPORTED RECORD SALES RESULTS, AND RENEWED DESIRED TO IMPROVE THEIR SKILLS:
When we returned home from St. Maarten, many of the sales people reported a record sales pace for themselves in the month following the workshop, and a renewed desire to improve their skills.
I received one email after another from people who wanted to share their results with me.
I'll be sharing the details of the Delta Method online in the next two months.
And I'm quite certain, if you use it you'll create results in your life & your work that will surprise you.