Momentum Podcast: 610

Vitamins vs Painkillers in a Crisis

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

If you want to sell a product in a crisis, you have to make it a painkiller. Here's what I mean, in a normal market, people are willing to invest in improvement. They will buy things that make their lives better, like a vitamin.

In a crisis, people buy things to solve problems get out of pain. If you're not selling a painkiller in a crisis, it is going to be very difficult to be heard. When the world is noisy people don't think improvement, they want to make the noise go away. If you're having trouble selling in a crisis, ask yourself if you're selling a painkiller that solves someone's problem? If you can solve someone's problem better than anyone else can, you will exponentially grow a business in a crisis.

Full Audio Transcript

This is The Momentum Podcast.

Here's the reality of selling a product in a crisis. It has to be a painkiller. In this episode of The Momentum Podcast, Alex is going to take you through what the difference is between a painkiller product and a vitamin product. In a crisis, people buy things to solve problems and get out of pain. If you're not selling a painkiller in a crisis, it's going to be very difficult for you to rise above the noise. If you can solve someone's problem better than anyone else, you will exponentially grow your business in this crisis.

I'm Alex Charfen and this is The Momentum Podcast. Made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be.

I just got off an amazing call, just really inspirational, with three of our members that are growing businesses in this crisis. And the reason that all three of them are growing so consistently in a crisis is that they are selling painkillers. And here's what I mean by selling vitamins versus painkillers in a crisis. In a normal market, you can sell a vitamin, you can tell an improvement, you can sell a product that makes you feel better, that makes you look better. That does improving it. It's like a vitamin. See, if things are going great in a normal market, people will spend money on a vitamin. Now, in a crisis, people want to get out of pain. People want problems solved.

People want to know that you are going to solve the problem that they are feeling now, the new pain that they're feeling now, and this is why it's so important to reposition from vitamin to painkiller if you haven't already. And so, the three clients that I interviewed, one of them, Daniel Rosen has a credit repair training company, so he shows people how to start their own credit repair business. A lot of people have lost their jobs. That is now a painkiller for the person who's starting the credit repair business and they're selling a painkiller for other people because they show people how to improve their credit and people want to improve their credit when they're in pain. And then, one of the other clients that I had on was Chris [inaudible 00:00:02:59]. Chris shows fitness professionals how to go online, how to build their business and in some cases fitness professionals that have been working offline and struggling now go online.

Well, in a crisis, growing your business, being able to do it online, being able to do it virtually. Right now, that has become a massive painkiller. And then, the third client that I have, Maria who runs face yoga. Maria, her face yoga method, it's such an extraordinary company and you would think that that's an improvement product because what does face yoga do? It helps you do exercises so that it literally looks like you've gotten plastic surgery. Only, unlike plastic surgery that looks somewhat inhuman and foreign most of the time, face yoga makes people look more human, more empathetic. Radically, they look much better. They look like they've had some type of a facelift. Only, when you have a facelift it makes you look not real and they're growing like crazy because this is a painkiller. Looking better is actually a painkiller, but also in their backend they really teach personal development and growth and they show people how to become face yoga certified and that is a painkiller in this market, so they're selling like crazy and they've seen their numbers explode.

And the reason that you see painkillers in a crisis market go crazy is because when the world is in crisis, most people feel it at a very deep level. When the world is in crisis, most people are engaged in that crisis and they are only thinking about the pain that they're in. It's like Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. I've had some people tell me, "My business hasn't shifted at all. Nothing's changed. It's exactly the same." And I'm always curious, is that real? Could it possibly even be close to real? Because 100% of businesses that I know of, every business we're coaching had to shift, had to change, had to modify. Even if it was slightly. There's some businesses that we have where they've been taken out of this and are completely closed.

We've had other businesses where all they had to do was a shift in messaging, so that they're selling a painkiller. But in this market and in a crisis market, that's how it works. I want to share with you an example from the auto industry. So, this is so interesting, I've been a consultant for a long time. I did some, not a lot, but some consulting in the auto industry and you can see crisis market messaging. I'm already seeing it in the ads that I'm seeing. What were they selling six months ago? Buy this car and you get a rebate. What are they selling now? Same offer. Buy this car, get a $2,000 rebate. Now, the offer is buy this car. They know people are strapped, they know people, they're insecure about their future, they know payments are a worry. So now, they'll make your first six payments for you.

So, getting $2,000 back in a normal market, I get two grand. In a crisis market, I'm going to take the pain of payments away. That's actually a better offer in a crisis market, that gets more heard in a crisis market. So, how are you shifting your product to sell painkillers? Because here's the issue. In a crisis market like this, if you're selling a product that isn't a painkiller, if you're selling a high ticket item or if you're trying to engage business owners or if you're trying to engage consumers and selling something that doesn't specifically serve what's going on, then it has to be something that's a necessity to them. Because if you have something that specifically serves what's going on, this is how you will experience exponential growth. Now, can you grow a business just selling normal products without creating crisis messaging and any of those things? You absolutely can. But if you want exponential growth in a crisis, and I mean explosive growth like as an example, Daniel Rosen who was on the call. Who runs Credit Repair Cloud, you can see his stuff at And his business grew $2 million a year in a month. So, they added $2 million to their top line number in a month.

So when you think about, that's exponential growth. Why is it exponential growth? Because they're selling a painkiller. And so, if you're an entrepreneur who was selling improvement before, start asking yourself, "How do I shift that to be a painkiller product?" Now, I'll share with you what we did in our company. So, I feel like in our organization, we sell painkillers exclusively, but selling process, structure and routine, selling a communications cadence. Selling those things to an entrepreneur, we actually have to encounter an entrepreneur when they need us in a normal market because there's always something else that's more exciting to focus on than process, structure and routine. Than having the frameworks to work out better decision making, better communication, grow your team faster.

Now, here's what's interesting. In a crisis, that completely shifts. In a crisis, entrepreneurs want predictability. They now want things to run on time. They want to know what everybody's doing. They want more clarity, they want a higher level of connection with their team. So, our products do very well in a crisis but here's what was happening for us. Once this COVID-19 hit, within about two weeks, 90% of the people coming towards us were entrepreneurs whose businesses had been significantly affected and definitely wanted to work with us. Wanted our systems, wanted our strategies, but had had revenue hits. Had had some challenges. Were insecure, were experiencing the realities of this crisis. They were not in a good place.

And so, most of the people that we've been talking to about buying into our programs, now the avatar for us had significantly shifted. And here's what we were dealing with. We went from dealing with mostly entrepreneurs who had successful businesses, that were growing fast and wanted help putting the right systems and process in place into those businesses, to shifting to entrepreneurs who had a successful businesses and now needed to figure out, did they make need to make a minor pivot, a massive pivot or an absolute pivot. How do they do those things? They needed to figure out what they should do next. They needed systems really to lower the noise for themselves fast because this crisis caused so much noise for people.

That's what we are hearing is they needed to make better decisions. They need to know what decisions to make, what to do next. We had people showing up that felt disoriented and knocked sideways. Literally, we had people tell us they felt like they had just gotten hit by a bus. And so, we took that avatar of the entrepreneur that we were working with before who was growing a business, who wanted help, who wanted to put the right systems in place so that they could grow the business faster and get into passenger status. That actually came up on the last call. Passenger status in a crisis is so crucial, where you're not running all the meetings, where you're not running the calendar, where you're not running all the projects. Where you're in a strategic position to be able to make decisions.

That is one of the most important things you can do in a crisis. But what we knew was coming towards us was entrepreneurs who needed help right at the beginning. What do I do next? How do I answer these questions? And here's what we know we have as a company. We've been working with entrepreneurs holistically for decades now. And when I say holistically, here's how we work with entrepreneurs. We help entrepreneurs align their lives, and so what are their personal outcomes that they want? What are the personal things that they're working towards? What are the things that they want in their lives? What do they want in their relationships and what do they want in their business?

And when we can get entrepreneurs to align those three outcomes together so that they're excited about going in the directions they're going, then we see this explosive growth and people move forward. And here's what we know, we've worked with a lot of entrepreneurs who've had challenges in their business. That's a normal part of business. We have a saying in our company, your business is broken and if things go well, it always will be. Here's what I mean by that. Your business is broken. No one has a perfect business. I always tell people you don't want a perfect business. It's the one that's closed down. You want a business that you're constantly growing, and so when you're growing you break things and you want a business that's adaptable. You want to be able to fix the brakes, you want to understand what to do next.

And so, right now we know that a ton of entrepreneurs and businesses are broken. And here's why we tell people your business is broken and if things go well, it always will be, because we have the frameworks where here's what you do. You start at the right level so that you understand where are you going, you understand what you need to do. You put a plan together and you can commit to executing that plan. We have a simple process. We have people analyze where they are, prioritize what they should do next, commit to moving forward, execute and then renew. Go right back to the beginning, and we have frameworks to do that in your life. We have frameworks to do that in your relationship. We have frameworks to do that in your business. And here's what we put together as the painkiller for this market is a program where at a very low price, lower than we've ever offered any of our systems before, of only $297 a month, we are offering a product where there's all of the content that we normally offer in our higher level coaching programs.

Where we have all of our personal planning, all of our business planning content that will help you literally get the plan together for your business, get the plan together for your life, go forward steps confidently so that you can start moving in the direction where you build the business back to where you need to grow your team. And we have other programs for that. We made it a group coaching program, so there's a ton of engagement and community. A lot of entrepreneurs were telling us they were having a hard time in this market because they're not seeing a lot of people. They're not talking to a lot of people. They needed a community, so we built that community and then we also... But based on what people told us that they needed, we made sure that we had the right support in place.

So, there's not just coaching calls. We've got our platform in place, everything's documented. This is stuff we've been teaching forever, and then we also added coaching calls with me and my wife once a week. So, Cadey and I, we're doing weekly Q and A support calls and then we're also doing expert sessions where we are interviewing experts on specific things, specific tactics, specific strategies to get through this crisis. That was the call that I was just on earlier and so, by introducing this product, here's what we know. We know that we have a ton of people coming towards us that are in pain and we know that we are the painkiller for exactly what they're feeling and here's what's more important, especially in a crisis. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our systems are better than anything else they're going to find out there because no one else has ever tied together personal planning, relationship planning and business planning so that you're on one system in your whole life and you don't get overwhelmed by any of them. And very quickly you can get to the place where those systems are running your business and helping you make decisions and you're not doing all of it.

And I know that for entrepreneurs specifically in crisis, there is no other business out there that has the frameworks and the tools that are minimum effective dose, that you can apply fast, that you can get through quickly and then radically improve what's going on in a crisis and radically improve your decision making, radically improve the momentum you're feeling. And we show entrepreneurs how to exponentially grow businesses in a normal market. In a crisis market, it's going to happen faster. You're going to have more demand, you're going to have more people coming towards you.

So, if you're already in that situation, reach out to us because we have other programs where we help you build a team fast. But if you're in the place where you are figuring out what to do right now, you need clarity as a human being, you need clarity around what's going on around you and you need clarity as to what decisions to make in your business, this is the ready-made program we created. And so, here's the results we experienced and these are all to warm traffic, so I don't want anybody misconstruing these results. So, when I mean warm traffic is we put out a webinar last week to people who are on our email list and to people who follow me on social media. We had 700 people sign up. We had about 300 people show up. We had over 40 people join the new foundation program. So, over 10% on the first time we ever shared it on the first webinar ever. And that just shows you how significant it is to have a painkiller product in a market like this. I know we're going to get that product to where we're converting at a higher level than that.

So, if you're in a position right now where you are selling a vitamin, how quickly can you shift to painkiller? We are going to be talking about this a lot in our foundation membership and I want to give you two links. I know on a podcast you're never supposed to give two links, but I want to give you two links. One, if you're trying to shift your messaging, if you're trying to understand this crisis, if you want to understand more about it, I'm going to repeat the webinar that I did last week. I'm doing it this week. You can go to and sign up for the webinar. If you watched it last week, I'm making significant updates and edits to it and so that's one. And if you are an entrepreneur who wants to understand this crisis for your business, if you want to understand how to shift your messaging, watch how I'm doing it on this webinar and if you want to excel in a crisis like crazy, be a truth teller. Tell people what's really going on. Don't be a cheerleader for your industry, don't be a cheerleader for your company. Go tell people the truth about what's happening and they will flock to you. I'll show you how to do it this Friday.

And if you're an entrepreneur, if you've had a successful business, you had a successful practice, you were going in a direction and this crisis has derailed you or you are trying to figure out how much you need to pivot, what you need to pivot, what parts of the company you need to, and you want to get clarity about exactly what decisions you should be making, then you should go to and register and just sign up for the membership. Because here's what you'll get in the foundation membership. You will have the frameworks to make the decisions you need to make in your personal life and get clarity right now. You'll also be able to do that in your relationship and you'll also be able to do that in your business. And here's what I know about entrepreneurs like you and I. When we have clarity and we know where we're going, and when we have confidence in the outcome, we make the commitment where we put the pedal down and we go fast and we don't slow down for anyone. And if you're in a situation right now where the noise in your life is high and you feel stuck and that pedal isn't mashed to the floor, then let us help you get it there. Because when entrepreneurs have clarity and confidence and they're committed, we can go faster than anyone out there.

And here's what I want all of you to know. This crisis has given us a massive opportunity as entrepreneurs. It has given us the opportunity to contribute in a way that we couldn't before. This is opened up the channels of contribution. This is increased urgency for all of our clients. This crisis, as industries have challenges, as things change, as the world shifts around us is going to create massive opportunities for entrepreneurs who are willing to identify the opportunity, rise above the noise, grab onto it, make it happen, get into momentum, and take the world with you. Because we need you to. So, if you're that entrepreneur, go to, sign up for our program and join me on our weekly calls. My coaches will be with you on a several times a week basis and we are going to help you rebuild, pivot, and go through this crisis and grow a business exponentially because that's what we as entrepreneurs, we're meant to do. For those of you we're here, thanks for being here with me live. I appreciate you.

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