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195. Dean Jackson 9-word Email And Referral Marketing Strategies That Work
Ash RoyApr 28, 2020 10:58:47 PM45 min read

195. Dean Jackson 9-word Email And Referral Marketing Strategies That Work

Dean Jackson 9-word Email And Referral Marketing Strategies That Work

Dean Jackson is one of the brightest marketers I’ve come across in a long time. In this episode, he explains how he Dean Jacksoncame up with the idea of the landing page, the 9-word email, and his unique approach to referral marketing as a business growth strategy. Our conversation starts off discussing the coronavirus crisis we find ourselves in. We discuss some useful mental approaches to handle this crisis as business owners including (but not limited to):

– putting your fixed assets to work

– approaching the situation with open-mindedness and a bias towards innovation

– the importance of starting with the outcome in mind.

Dean then shares his unique mental approach when it comes to requesting referrals.

Hint: Sending you a referral serves the referrer as much as it serves you (as the beneficiary)

Dean explains the importance of understanding Dunbar’s number and how that plays into what he calls ‘return on relationship’.

He then explains the 3 things that need to happen for a referral to take place We also talk about his 9-word email and how it can be used to reactivate inactive email lists.

If you find this episode useful please do share it with someone else who might benefit.


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Ash Roy and Dean Jackson Video Transcript (This transcript has been auto-generated. Artificial Intelligence is still in the process of perfecting itself. There may be some errors in transcription):

Dean Jackson (00:00):

How are we going to get people to come to our restaurant? Forget that. Don’t focus on you. Focus on them.

Ash Roy (00:06):

The customer, exactly. Ask the right question and one of the best questions you can ask is how can I serve my customer more effectively in this situation? When you were saying that, I put my CPA hat on for a moment and what you described is what an accountant would say. Put your fixed assets to work.

Ash Roy (00:27):

Welcome to the Productive Insights podcast. It’s excellent to have you here. My name is Ash Roy. I’m the founder of productive I hope you’re watching this on the YouTube channel, which you can access at and if you’re listening to this on iTunes, then I recommend checking out the YouTube channel later. Today’s guest says his favorite thing in the world is discovering new information and he spends most of his time reading, talking to marketing innovators, discovering new things, and figuring out how to apply them in the real world. His next favorite thing is to share what he learns with the rest of the world and he loves to learn from other people. This is somebody who I’ve been following for years and who I believe to be one of the brightest minds in digital marketing and entrepreneurship in general. And his name is Dean Jackson and I’m delighted to welcome Dean Jackson from, welcome Dean.

Dean Jackson (01:25):

Thank you. What a lovely introduction.

Ash Roy (01:27):

You’re welcome, Dean. You’ve earned it man. And we were introduced by another one of the brightest minds I’ve come across in digital marketing and that’s James Schramko. We met at one of his meetups in Sydney, so very grateful to James. He has been instrumental in helping me launch this podcast and he really has been amazing. So great to have you here. So Dean, we find ourselves on the 18th of March today at the time of this recording in very unprecedented at times, the Corona virus has completely changed the way the world interacts. We are looking at social distancing, we are seeing supply chains break down completely. I believe there’s going to be a move from globalization more to localization because China is going to be repositioned. It’s already experiencing huge impacts, not all positive. Wherever we have change, we also have opportunity.

Ash Roy (02:19):

I do want to acknowledge the tragedy here and there’s a lot of people who are suffering and I, my heart goes out to them. This is an opportunity, in my opinion, for us to be able to offer more value and as Ryan Deiss mentioned on a recent Facebook post, offer more value in advance and I would love to open this conversation by asking you how can we as online marketers and people who are fortunately sheltered from the virus and can continue to create content without having to be worried about it, impacting us directly? How can we serve other people in our lives, particularly small business owners? What can we do to make their lives better?

Dean Jackson (03:01):

Yeah, I mean it’s certainly a big disruption like nothing we’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. I can’t recall ever entire countries shutting down travel and everything. Now what we’re seeing right now, I think we’re going to look back on this in historic times in the context of it and reflect on the time that we made the full migration from the main land into cloud Landia and that’s where we’re sitting right now. That as we entered, you know, the twenties 2020 that we are really on the cusp of the difference between 1999 and 2020 was that in 1999 the internet was this separate thing from the mainland. We were a main land real world out into the area focused society, everything. The main stuff was happening on the main land and we were using the internet as a distraction from that.

Dean Jackson (04:13):

So we were slightly distracted from the main world 20 years later, cloud Landia as we’ve started calling it now, cloud Landia is the real world. That’s where the real world is and we have to claw and pull ourselves away from it to spend time in the mainland. And so much so that we were all these apps, all these things that are designed to maximize the amount of time that we can spend in cloud Landia without the need to go out into the real physical world. I mean even you look at something like Amazon for sure, being able to any physical good. Do you think I went to the grocery store to get this? No. Any physical good can be delivered right to your house at the very latest tomorrow morning, righ. Views, Instacart, which is what we use here in Florida for grocery delivery. They bring the things right to your house.

Dean Jackson (05:16):

Grub hub. They are deliver roof for you and Australia that you get meals delivered right to your door and they take away all of the friction that keeps you away from spending time in cloud Landia by letting you pay in advance online. So when they come, you only have to look up from your iPhone or your tablet or get up from Netflix or whatever you’re doing. You only have to do it for a moment. Enough. Just go and grab the food and then run right back to your oxygen tank to be able to get connected to cloud landia. You know, you look at it’s a different world. We’re really, this is where we’re going to really notice the realization that there’s very little that we actually need the mainland for, you know, and I think organizing all of those things, it’s a big, big shift. Yes.

Ash Roy (06:17):

So how do our listeners, I’m imagining my ideal customer, a small business owner, how does she position herself to one, minimize the impact on her business? Let’s say she’s a lawyer or maybe an HR specialist who has an HR consulting firm. How does she minimize the impact to her business while still being able to offer value to her customers?

Dean Jackson (06:45):

Yeah. Well I think what we have to realize is that there’s a difference between something that is a longterm shift or something that has fundamentally changed in the way we are going about our lives than our businesses. What’s the reality of what’s happening right now is this is an acute onset special cause of variation as W Edwards Deming would call it, that this is not an underlying weakness or something in the economy that caused this. This is a totally unrelated event that is causing these weaknesses and, uh, to be unveiled or revealed. Now we have to kind of get our minds right, is to realize that this is not going to be forever. It’s not, it’s going to pass. It’s going to potentially be several weeks to several months of time. And when we look at it, what happens in times of crisis like this or in times of trauma, time slows down and it magnifies because we’re only experiencing it here in the now. Right? And so what to think about that, there’s a good chance, really good chance that by June we’ll be completely through this and everything will be back to what we’ll call normal, the new normal. And that I think is a term that’s being over used because it’s not really forcing the new normal. It’s just, it’s a temporary, unusual circumstance that’s happening right now.

Ash Roy (08:30):

In my view, I think we’re going to see a new normal in the sense that the way business has done, it’s probably going to be a little bit different. Do you not see that?

Dean Jackson (08:38):

I mean normal would be if this was not a virus, but it was something that it was some chemical reaction that when two humans came in contact with each other that if they had a different blood type that this was going to cause you to explode and we ever stay six feet away from other people. Gotcha. That that would be a new normal that we would have to adjust.

Ash Roy (09:04):

I’m thinking more in terms of business processes in the way that we do business. I mean, isn’t this pushing us to a new way of being?

Dean Jackson (09:13):

I think it’s going to push us into another way of being and an awareness that we’re adaptable and that life go on. And that, you know, when you look at it 90 days from now, and let’s call it six months, just to be ultra safe, that six months from now going forward is seems like a long time, but it’s March, you know, 17th or 18th or whatever it is right now. It’s literally almost 90 days ago from Christmas. Now when you put that in perspective, that looks like that was yesterday, right? Like that’s the thing that when you really get that thing, people panic, your pupils get dilated, things slow down. You’re looking at things in a more granular dimension. So it seems like everything is slower and it seems like we’re amplifying what’s going to happen, you know? And so it’s unfortunate that the reality of the fragileness of our economy is that when you take physical travel out of the equation and gatherings, the domino effect of the impact of that is unbelievable, right? Yeah. Or some people who are already living paycheck to paycheck and living depending on that regularity that that’s what’s causing the real problem. So hopefully, I mean you and Australia, how are you seeing it right now? Is that besides you holding our national treasure, Tom Hanks?

Ash Roy (10:56):

I think the country in my personal opinion, like a lot of countries acted a little bit too late. I believe the only country that has done a brilliant job is South Korea. And to me that there was a big learning there. Interestingly enough, you know, test, test, test, we say that in marketing as well. And they were very aggressive with testing and then subsequent isolation. So they took decisive action and they did it early. And I think that Australia hasn’t acted as early as they could have acted in my personal opinion. But I understand that the government has other concerns,

Dean Jackson (11:27):

what are the measures there, what’s happening in Australia?

Ash Roy (11:30):

So at the moment the schools are still running, but they have requested as that yesterday, no gatherings are 500 or less or 500 or more. I’m sorry. And I expect that will change. I know that, you know, San Francisco I believe, I think has gone into full lockdown. There are some countries that are in full lockdown and I think Australia should go into a lockdown sooner rather than later because this is not something that can be, it’s going to happen.

Dean Jackson (11:56):

Well I did hear you fly in there but you got to self quarantine for 14 days, right?

Ash Roy (12:02):

Yes, yes. So and Tom Hanks is being very well looked after and you know the Australia has got good hospitals so that’s very fortunate. I think Australia is going to get through this as are most countries. We’re going to learn some valuable lessons here and that’s what I’m keen to bring out in our conversation now. What can we share with our listeners and how can they use this opportunity to serve their audience better or maybe even better themselves?

Dean Jackson (12:27):

You know, I think that part of the thing to realize is that to look at the impact, let’s take a particular business because every individual is going to have a different situation. So we want to be sensitive to that and you’ve got to do your own analysis on what’s going on. So you have to kind of say and take an assessment of am I in a business where this is going to impact this? Right? Like if you’re thinking if you own a restaurant and opening public restaurants except for takeout and delivery, well then you’re going to be in a situation where, okay, you need to be adaptable and you need to say, listen, the need for people to eat is not going away. And the access to commercial food supplies is not going to be as, there’s probably going to be a surplus of that compared to the growth cause they’re not running to the grocery store to get the food that they’re going.

Dean Jackson (13:36):

They’ve got commercial supply chains of food for the restaurants at high volume. Now restaurant attendance is going down. So you can argue there’s probably a surplus of food, commercial food available. So there’s an opportunity to say, well, what have we got? So you’ve got first of all, a kitchen that could probably at capacity cook more than what you normally do. At your best or peak, uh, things you’ve got access to a food supply that is there that you could rally and together with your chef and your team come up with a way to have a modified specially for home delivery, home cooked meal, um, packages that are available to people. You can enlist an army of people who have lost their other jobs to be redeployed as delivery point. Yeah, you could have that as an opportunity. And with Facebook is where is everybody going to be?

Dean Jackson (14:51):

This is the blessing of all of this is that the disruption has exclusively been on the mainland. And I said to Dan Sullivan the couple of days ago, we were recording a joy of procrastination podcast that the, the fortunate thing in this is that all the disruption has been limited to the mainland is that imagine if they said, Oh, we have to shut down the internet for 90 days. Right. How would that impact that would be huge. Yeah, that would be a problem. And so you have to embrace what’s actually happening here. You know that there’s a thing where what if, you know, if you were able to cook foods, cook meals in packages that you could come and get bulk meals where you can get meal, you know, individual things that you could put in your freezer or in your fridge. You could put family meals where you could have, you know, one menu item that’s doing everything there. There’s so much opportunity for you to innovate and adapt to what’s going on because that’s what people need. They need food, they need water. They’re worried about that. And I think being adaptable rather than thinking, Oh no, how are we going to get people to come to our restaurant? Forget that. Don’t focus on you. Focus on them and what they need.

Ash Roy (16:29):

Ask the right question. And one of the best questions you can ask is how can I serve my customer more effectively in this situation? When you were saying that, I put my CPA hat on for a moment and what you described is what an accountant would say. Put your fixed assets to work.

Dean Jackson (16:43):

Yeah. You go, what assets? You have

Ash Roy (16:45):

Fixed assets that you’re already paying for it in a restaurant. You know you’re paying for the electricity, you’re paying the rent for the kitchen, you’re already paying for that. We’ll put that to work. Yeah. And the more of these items you can sell, let’s say you think on your feet and you’re decide to create home delivery services. For example, if you were previously a restaurant, then the variable cost of producing a meal will not change. You still have to buy the food and all that sort of stuff to make the meal. Right. But if you start delivering, say twice as many meals as say you were previously producing, your fixed cost per meal reduces because it’s separate, it spreads out of a more meals and your average cost of production goes down, which then means that you know, you’re using your assets more effectively and your responding to the market to demand. And the market is basically saying, look, I can’t come to a restaurant because I’m worried about the virus, but I am okay with you’re delivering into my house. So innovation, this is another thing I learned from James, you know, innovate, innovate, innovate, think on your feet. Adapt, adapt, adapt.

Dean Jackson (17:52):

Yes. I have a friend that owns a hotel here in winter Haven and that uh, they have a big commercial kitchen and they’re, you know, there’s so much opportunity there. I’ve got another business close to my office building that is a homeschooling connection business and that’s, you know, you think about that homeschooling is the, what are people really worried about, food and water and all that stuff is be adaptable and think what you can do. You know,

Ash Roy (18:23):

I said at the start of this conversation, I think one of the things that is gonna also be a lot in demand in the short to medium term is working remotely because corporations are having to close their doors but they still have to continue. So there’s a whole lot of people out there that probably haven’t worked remotely before.

Ash Roy (18:45):

Buy zoom stuff. Absolutely. Yeah. And Netflix too, if you happen to have been working remotely, which my team and I have been doing for years now. Stuff that we think is obvious to us, maybe useful to someone who hasn’t worked remotely, maybe they don’t even know what zoom is. Maybe they don’t know what options you have in terms of Skype screen sharing. Little things that are obvious to us might be useful to others and maybe we could create information products around those things. So there’s great opportunities out there where you can serve the world as Ezra Firestone says serve the world unselfishly and profit

Dean Jackson (19:19):

That’s exactly right. Yeah. You can’t go wrong helping people get what they need. Yeah.

Ash Roy (19:25):

So Dean, your famous for having created the nine word email, which I think is absolutely brilliant and it’s amazing in its simplicity, but it is profound and this is something I’ve noticed you’ve done with a lot of ideas you’ve come up with. And if I’m not mistaken, you also first thought of the idea of the squeeze page. Is that right?

Dean Jackson (19:46):

Yeah. And you know you, so you look at those things, what they all have in common. If you look at the pattern of the things that I’ve kind of introduced into our community or our world here is you know that they’re the simplest way to do something, right? The simple is always the best. That’s what it comes down to is the nine word email is nothing magical that it’s nine specifically nine words, not a potion or something that were a a spell that we’re casting on people, but that it’s a personal message. We call it that it’s, it’s short personal and expecting a reply.

Ash Roy (20:27):

Could you explain it to our listener because some of them may not be familiar with it. I’d love it to come from you because you’re the one who created it and also, can you just tell us how you come up with such profound but simple innovations?

Dean Jackson (20:41):

Well, I’m a big believer in the scientific method and a big follower of that in that I take things from an outcome, you know, hypothesis first, what, what’s our, what is the outcome that we’re, we’re looking for? And I create a hypothesis for what would be the best way to get that outcome for instance. Right. Yeah. And then experiment to find out what actually happened and then that or you know, that’s the answer. So the squeeze page that, that I didn’t name Jonathan Mizel named the squeeze page brilliantly is that the, what I was really observing was that my objective was to get the highest number of opt-ins on my, on visits to a webpage because I viewed that most valuable outcome I could have from a visitor, first time visitor to a webpage would be for them to leave their name and email address because then it doesn’t matter whether they ever come back.

Dean Jackson (21:47):

Right. Cause you control the conversation then. Yeah. Now there were already, there were forms that you could use to put on your website, right. To collect names and email addresses, but they were always sort of up in the upper right hand corner, you know, all the content and the sidebar and then join our newsletter and you’re, the bar for it. And what I found was that if the offer that you have for somebody to leave their name and their email was one of 10 things that somebody could click on on your website, you have just lowered your chances to one in 10 is there to choose to leave their name and email, because that’s the path of least resistance, right? You’re going to click, it’s easier to click something than to type something. So they’re going to look around and do other things.

Dean Jackson (22:45):

So I started experimenting and I thought, well, what if I combine the compelling sort of copy on the cover of Cosmo magazine? I don’t know if you guys get Cosmo magazine in or the national Enquirer or whatever, a tabloid that they sell at newsstands or at the grocery aisles, you know? And so I started thinking that way and instead of saying, click here, I would say free inside or more side or you know, free inside, I would have three or four headlines of things that you could get. And instead of saying, click here more inside free inside, see inside all of those. And then a thing that said, free instant access, leave your name and email address to come on in. And that immediately skyrocketed the opt-ins because there was no other option for access than that. So now they want the information and the way to get it is to leave their name and their email address. So then it turns out that the even starting to experimenting then and having a single offer is the thing that wins. And so now that’s the thing I’ve been using and I’ve gotten it, I’m always experimenting and I was going on. And the best performing single offer that we use all the time is a book. That’s the thing.

Ash Roy (24:24):

Now, just one thing I want to just deconstruct here, which I noticed, you know, you looked at the Cosmo or the national Enquirer headline, you combined it with the click here idea that you saw on the top right hand side of the website. Steve jobs used a similar approach. He would say that when he came up with innovations, it was about taking ideas from different disciplines and combining them to come up with a new way of looking at things. Yeah. I think that it’s so simple, but it’s so profound and I really appreciate your sharing that process with us because that’s first of all, very generous of you. So thank you.

Ash Roy (25:01):

It’s just so simple and all of us can do it.

Dean Jackson (25:04):


Ash Roy (25:05):

And the other thing that resonated with me that you said, and James Schramko often say, is to start with the end in mind. Yeah. Simple but profound.

Dean Jackson (25:15):

And in that way, then I don’t get my ego attached to any way of doing something. I’m not married to that because I came up with the idea or that I think of the thing. I would abandon it if there if I knew there was a better way. But at the moment, and what it turns out is that there isn’t a better way and that I know of, and I’m humble in that, you know, I seek out the best way. I don’t need to be right. I’d like to be; I’d like to see, I want to know what the, what is, right? I’m not, I don’t need to be correct but understand what is right.

Ash Roy (25:56):

I think humility is essential because arrogance gets in the way of learning, and some people are at the top of their fields. This often happens with surgeons. I’ve noticed they get the God complex, and they’re more prone to making mistakes. Not all of them obviously, but I think we all need to be open to learning shows. We need to be confident. We need to believe in what we’re doing. But being open to learning is essential. You know, when I did my MBA, they talked about lifelong learning, and I liked the concept of lifelong learning. And I see myself as a student. So that was a big takeaway for me. You know, start with the outcome in mind. Think of ideas from different disciplines and see how you can combine them to turn it into something valuable in the here and now.

Ash Roy (26:36):

Similar concept with a restaurant analogy we used earlier on, the market is changing. The situation is changing. Well, think about how you can repurpose your circumstances, your assets to deliver value to the market still, and the way the market needs. Yeah, I remember talking to Joe Polizzi in episode 75, and something he said to me that stayed with me as your content needs to meet your customer, where they are on their journey. And by the way, I see content as a product. It’s just that people don’t usually pay with money. They often pay with attention, but they’re still paying. So it needs to be customer-facing. And so do our products. You are going to tell us about the nine-word email.

Dean Jackson (27:15):

Okay, so then now that’s the reason that works then is that I’ve optimized everything in my world to attract the most emails. Right? So that’s why I must have a way of gathering the most emails. Now the thing that happens with that is that not everybody is ready to buy right now. Right? And so it’s okay that I don’t, that everybody doesn’t buy right now because that gives me a chance to nurture a relationship with people. And then 90 days from now I can send them an email and ask them, you know, the original nine-word email that we sent was for a real estate agent that you know, had a list of people that they had sort of abandoned and came back to it. We sent a nine-word email saying, I said, let’s, before you just start generating new leads, let’s just see if any of those people are looking for a house. And so we sent an email and said, Ash, are you still looking for a home in Georgetown? Yes. That was it. Just those simple nine words.

Ash Roy (28:33):

The other thing that a lot of people want to know about is what did you put in the subject line and tell us about the signature, how simple, and how minimal that is. That’s so important too.

Dean Jackson (28:44):

Yeah, so the whole thing would be Ash in the subject line and then sending out Hi Ash are used and dot. All on one line. We’ll send Hi ash. Are you still looking for a house in Georgetown?

Ash Roy (29:00):

and do you sign with your name at the end?

Dean Jackson (29:02):

Yes, exactly. That’s it. No super signature or anything on that. Just the Dean. And it’s coming from a person, right, not coming from a business. So that’s part of the, the reason that it gets such great response is that our minds can’t, we can’t leave a mystery unsolved, especially if it’s within our power to solve it.

Ash Roy (29:29):

And I love the subject line having the name of the person because our name is apparently the sweetest sounding word in our language.

Dean Jackson (29:36):

Absolutely. Yeah. And that’s the truth. So first of all, they’re addressing me and then they’re saying something to me that I know they must know me because I am looking for a house in Georgetown or they must have known that I was looking for a house in Georgetown. And that’s, you know, so there’s part of the thing is that I know that if you six months ago, downloaded my free guide to Georgetown house prices.

Ash Roy (30:09):


Dean Jackson (30:10):

And then six months later I asked you, Ash, are you still looking for a house in Georgetown? Now the dots are going to connect, right. That sets up the reasons

Ash Roy (30:22):

it’s just one line, and there’s no fancy signature. Almost like your close friend sent you an email.

Dean Jackson (30:27):

The way I described it, ashes. If we, if I, if I met you one time, as I have met you, I met you at James. Yeah. So it would be the, like if I ran into you in Starbucks and I recognize you, and you recognize me, and I came up, and I said, Hey Ash, are you still going to the super-fast meetup? And I look right at you; it would be awkward for you not to say that.

Ash Roy (30:53):

Exactly. Absolutely. Yes. Spot on.

Dean Jackson (30:56):

So that’s the thing. Typically what people do though is they end up saying, you know, they said, are you still looking for a house in Georgetown? Because if you are, I’ve got three really new ones that have just come on the market and they’re this, and this and this and you know, you start to like going, and you’ve solved the mystery, and they’re like, Oh yeah, no, I’m not really interested in those. So they don’t feel the need to respond. Yes.

Ash Roy (31:21):

By the way, you mentioned emails earlier on, and I just want to mention to our listener that I had a great episode with Andre chaperon. It’s episode one 40, and you can access it at He shared some wonderful ideas about how to create useful email content and really great ideas. So he’s another person I really admire in and online space. Okay, so let’s talk about referrals. Is that something you’re particularly good at? And this is a nice segue into referrals because we’ve established that the nine-word email creates a certain sense of trust and familiarity. Is there a way to convert that into a referral or maybe you can tell us about your process.

Dean Jackson (32:03):

So all the referrals are going to come from the people who know you like your interest is getting a lot of referrals for people who don’t know you or have an experience of you. And so you focus your attention on that, right? To know that that’s who’s likely to refer you. Now, you know, in your talking, you seem that the businesses that you primarily work with are people who are local, small businesses.

Ash Roy (32:30):

Yeah. Some marketers, both in the United States and Australia and then mainly for business owners.

Dean Jackson (32:37):

Okay. And so what types of businesses? We can use a real example,

Ash Roy (32:44):

A coach or a consultant. That would be a good example.

Dean Jackson (32:47):

Okay, perfect. So if they’re a coach in a local market, maybe they’re physically meeting with people or doing things or a practitioner or a consultant or any, any type of thing like that, right. That a personal service business where it’s a low volume in terms of not thousands of customers but the practice of a few ongoing and sustaining clients or customers or clients. Okay. So what we have to look at is that, first of all, you have to get over the mindset. Somebody referring you is doing it as a favor to you. That’s what’s happened. Wow. And that’s so often the thing that blocks people from really orchestrating referrals in their business is that they have some awkwardness. I’m asking for help and it’s shows weakness and it’s awkward or uncomfortable or the sense of deserving or that they’re, you know, have to incentivize people to refer to them.

Dean Jackson (33:58):

That it’s just uncomfortable around it. But the reality is the reason that we refer anything is because it makes us feel good. That’s why we do it. I want you to have a good experience. And if that’s the, if I can do that with confidence, then you know, I’ve been to manually a lot. Yeah. And there’s, do you go to Manley a lot?

Ash Roy (34:30):

Not a lot but I love the place.

Dean Jackson (34:31):

Okay. So in Manley, there’s a particular place that I love for breakfast called Jellyfish. Have you been there right?

Ash Roy (34:40):

I think I have. Is that what James mentioned often? I think I met up with them once there.

Dean Jackson (34:44):

Yes, yes. Yeah. So if I know that you’re going to Manley then I’m going to suggest you got to go for breakfast at jellyfish cause it’s, it’s really good and I know that you’re going to have a great experience.

Dean Jackson (35:02):

Right? And I just want that for you. I’m not doing it because I’ve joined the jellyfish referral club and I um, you know, trying to win a toaster or something. Right. It’s like, because I, I have great experiences there and I want you to do that or the pantry. The pantry is probably a better example of that, right? Yeah. Right on the beach. Beautiful setting. And so I now if you’re one of my friends from America, you’re going to Manley, I’m going to tell you about the pantry and you need to go there and the course though and to take the, take the uh, the fast fare or the slow ferry from the Harbor to Manley and really enjoy the walk down the Corso and then go have breakfast at the pantry that I’m painting that as a great experience for friends. And I’ve done that for all our friends that go to Sydney and they all say the same thing.

Dean Jackson (36:05):

What a great place. What a great little experience. That’s a nice morning for them. Right? So now I, and if we go really like, you know, evolutionary psychology wise, what that does is that raises my status in the hurt is that I brought nation to them that they didn’t know they benefited from it and psychically they owe me now. Yes. And that’s all happening below the surface without any conscious thought about it. Right when they come back to America, when I see them, what I’m waiting for is the acknowledgement that they went to the pantry and they go, Oh, what a great day that was. Thank you so much. That was a great session and I’m going to puff up and I’m going to get the squirts of dopamine and I’m in a wave of good feeling as that happens and I want that as much as I can right now.

Dean Jackson (37:10):

That understanding is the first job of being really good at orchestrating referrals. You have to get over that. It’s not about you. They want to do it. If you think about not asking for referrals, orchestrating referrals as a way for you to be a dopamine dealer or your your friends and family and the people who know. Yes, that’s, that’s job one. Now job two is to realize who do you have that influence over and it’s not thousands of people. The people you have that influence over are probably people that if you saw them in the grocery store, you would recognize them by name and you would stop and have a conversation with them. Right? Like that’s the thing I’ve seen you and we don’t know each other. Well, I’ve met you a few times and we, we’ve communicated online and I see you on, on Facebook and in super fast business.

Dean Jackson (38:18):

So if I saw you somewhere unusual, you might not spur, I might not have that immediate like, Oh, but now, but if we look at each other, we go, Oh yeah, like that. I would know exactly who you are and we would have that, uh, recognition, right? You know who I am. So those are the people that we are likely to get referrals from them. In your local world or in your environment. Most people have 150 of those people. And there’s some really interesting studies done on that. There’s a evolutionary psychologist in Oxford called Robin Dunbar, and he’s done a lot of research on this and they’ve created something called Dunbar’s number, which is the number of relationships that you can hold, which is, you know, 150 plus or minus people you can have that level of relationship with. So you now think about who are those top one 50 in your world and identify them.

Dean Jackson (39:35):

Now we’re ready to start orchestrating them. You’re already, it’s already happening right now. Anybody who’s in a business does get what we call repeat and referral business, right? But they may not measure it or be aware of it or orchestrate it or know what turns that dog and dial to make it happen. So the first thing is let’s assess what’s going on right now. If we took the last 12 months of somebody’s business and we look at how much of their business came from repeat and referral, how, how many of people, and then all of those people that did repeat business or referred would be in the top one fifth, fifth, right? So we look at it and you say, we calculate what we call their return on relationship. And it’s a standardized metric that somebody in an industry can share with somebody else in the same industry and have a frame of reference for it.

Dean Jackson (40:50):

So if a coach, if a coach, a local coach says to like a personal trainer or a yoga instructor or anybody who’s in a local real person market says, I’ve got a return on relationship of X, that means that the number of people that did repeat business or referred them divided by 150 are divided into 150th is going to give us their return on relationship. So in real estate, what we look for is to manage your relationship portfolio for a 20% annual yield, meaning that we should be able to generate 30 transactions from your group of 150 people.

Ash Roy (41:50):


Dean Jackson (41:51):

We looked back at it and you got 10 transactions out of your 150 that would be that your return on relationship. Let’s do the math here. Let me just calculate this here. It’d be about 7% right? So now you know that if you’re a real estate agent and you did that math, and I’ve told you that your aspiration should be, and I can point to people in our community that have a 20% annual yield, 30 transactions, and you’ve got a 7% annual yield, you’ve got a big Delta there, you’ve got an opportunity for absolutely. So now we have to go and orchestrate the referrals. Yes. And so we have to look at the mechanics of it and say, okay, how do referrals happen? And all referrals happen as a result of conversation. Yes. Well, but he’s in a conversation and they, there’s three things that have to happen. They have to notice if the notice that the conversation is about real estate or yoga or chiropractic or coaching or whatever it is that you do, they have to think about you and they have to introduce you to the person that they’re having the conversation with. Now those three, there’s often situations where the only time we see what’s happened is when somebody calls you up and says, Hey, I’m a friend of your client John, and he told me that you could help me.

Ash Roy (43:39):

Right, right. Absolutely. Yeah,

Dean Jackson (43:42):

and that’s how 80% of the referrals happen. Now the other 20% are John your client calling you up and saying, I was talking to my friend Ash and he’s looking to take yoga classes and I told them all about you. You should give him a call. So now you know we call that a reactive referral where now you have to re do it as opposed to the passive referral.

Ash Roy (44:10):

Right. This is brilliant. I’m furiously taking notes. There’s a couple of things I want to just mention to your earlier point, I love what you say about getting the mindset that they are doing you a favor. When you said that it occurred to me, one of my members, so I have a membership site and I try and give as much value to my members as I can. It’s extremely cheap at the moment, although I’m to be increasing the prices. Soon. One of our members contacted me and he said, I would like this other guy to join your membership. He needs a little bit of help and I’m going to pay for him. And I thought that was an amazing act of kindness, but I was blown away by that. Obviously he got enough value that he paid for one month’s membership for this person to try and get him on his feet so that he could then go on to pay for his own membership. And it’s not a lot of money. It’s only $99 a month at the moment. Right. But it was such a kind thing to do. But after what you just said, I realize apart from being kind, it was also something that he felt was a way for him to add value. He was saying, Hey, it’s a little bit,

Dean Jackson (45:12):

and what happened then? Did that person continue on?

Ash Roy (45:17):

Well, we are still working together at the moment. It’s just that initial month right now.

Dean Jackson (45:21):

if you did that where imagine if you said to someone that, listen, I know that you’re in it, you know, out and about, and if you have friends or somebody who could really use this help, give me a call or text me and I’ll get you this to give to them. Whether you’ve got

Ash Roy (45:44):

Oh, that’s a great point. Yes, I forgot about that. But I think I may have learnt this from listening to one of your podcasts. And by the way, are you still doing, is it more cheese, less whiskers? I can’t remember where I heard it, but yeah, it was the simple question. I’ve been asking my members this, did you know that we have a referral program? Just that. And they go, no, I didn’t. How does it work? So I think the key to that then is if you want to generate referrals, you need to be creating a lot of value. You need to have a wonderful product. Something that really as jobs would say, something that’s magical, something that delights people and over-delivers and then the referrals are going to be easier. I want to be respectful of time. I’m just going to go over some of the action steps and we’re going to talk a little bit about how our listeners can find out more about you and the awesome stuff you have to offer. So the key takeaways for me from this conversation where we are in a very different time, things are changing, but we will come out the other side. There are a lot of learnings to be had from this. Something that South Korea has done as a country was test, test, test. And that applies in marketing as well. And we talked a little bit about the restaurant scenario and how one can think about how to repurpose that existing fixed assets or their existing infrastructure in their business to better serve the community.

Dean Jackson (47:05):

Oh, can I add on that? That it’s not even the thing that is the most useful even is not to limit it to thinking about your fixed assets, but to think about your intangible assets that you have, the opportunity assets that you have with that and that. Yeah. So there’s so much it’s creating that vision.

Ash Roy (47:24):

Well and at times of change there is opportunity to be even more valuable. So I would encourage our listeners to take that mindset like, you know what? I can make the world a better place because things are changing. I’m not going to allow myself to get overwhelmed. I’m going to actually deliver more to the world. I loved what you said about innovation and you’ve talked about starting with the outcome in mind. Simple but profound. I love how you took ideas from different disciplines or one was the idea of the popup thinking that you saw on websites where they were asking people to join a newsletter and you combine that with the headlines from these magazines and you turn that into a simple offer that was useful. We also talked about referrals, the important mental shift to make us do not think that they are doing you a favor necessarily by giving you a referral, although they they might be and that’s fine, but the person referring is also getting something out of it so you don’t need to feel awkward and uncomfortable about the process.

Ash Roy (48:27):

And then you also talked about the Dunbar number, 150 people. Typically in our circle you explained that there are three things that have to happen for a referral to occur. The person needs to notice the conversation is about the topic in which you specialize, whether it’s coaching or you know, logistics, whatever it is your business is about to, that person needs to think about you oh Dean’s good at that. So they make that connection. And the third thing is they need to introduce you to the person who they are talking to so that the referral can happen. And then you talked about reactive referrals and passive referrals. So wealth of information. I’m going to be unpacking this for some time. This is wonderful. Now Dean, you have a lot of information, a lot of content that our listeners can access. So what’s the best way for them to find out more about you? Please tell us everything and anything they can access. Tell us about your podcast. Tell us about your opt-ins. Everything.

Dean Jackson (49:28):

Yeah. So that’s the thing, you know, uh, is probably a good place for everything, but there’s a good, really good place for people to start is at okay. And just the number of 50 minute marketing, and that is a book that people can download that is giving a whole understanding of the way that we approach business the whole before unit, during unit, after unit, the eight profit activators that we talk about and Joe Polish and I do a podcast called where there’s, you know, hundreds of episodes of amazing content on uh, on there.

Ash Roy (50:22):

I recommend that podcast, I’ve listened to it and I like it.

Dean Jackson (50:26):

Sorry, but you kind of, one of the things that we really spent a good portion of the time talking about here is this concept of getting referrals. And so I have a report out of, I have a website called and it’s a, and we have a report called the secret psychology of why people refer real estate agents and how to be the only one they refer and it’s but all of this psychology of it. If you can replace the words real estate agent with yoga instructor restaurants or whatever it is, it’s absolutely the psychology fits for you.

Ash Roy (51:05):

Fantastic. Well, I’ll be linking to all that in the show notes and they’re going to be available at and I also want to mention that this episode is brought to you by which is my membership site. My main website is productive thank you so much for being a guest on the show Dean, and you know this has been one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve had in some time. I really had a great time with it.

Dean Jackson (51:30):

We’ve been trying to organize it for a long time.

Ash Roy (51:32):

If it’d be fun for you, maybe we can have you back on sometime.

Dean Jackson (51:35):

Perfect. Yeah. Maybe we’ll do it when I’m over there would be great.


Ash Roy

Ash Roy has spent over 15 years working in the corporate world as a financial and strategic analyst and advisor to large multinational banks and telecommunications companies. He suffered through a CPA in 1997 and completed it despite not liking it at all because he believed it was a valuable skill to have. He sacrificed his personality in the process. In 2004 he finished his MBA (Masters In Business Administration) from the Australian Graduate School of Management and loved it! He scored a distinction (average) and got his personality back too!