Secret #4: Planting Seeds Of Doubt


An interesting debate came up on Facebook…

You’re not the #1 player in your market. What do you do? Should you attack your competitors? Say nothing?

Russell weighs in with his answer on today’s show. Here’s some cool strategies he reveals:

  • What to do if you’re the #2 competitor (and what NOT to do if you’re #1)
  • How to use doubt to make more sales (without hard selling)
  • Russell’s “Jiu Jitsu” method for taking down bigger, stronger competitors (even if you’re the “little guy”)

So listen in and find out how Russell and company took down LeadPages… and why “Confusionsoft” is next.

Full Episode Transcript Expand Transcript

What’s up everybody? This is Russell, welcome to Marketing Secrets. Today, I got a really cool episode for you guys, I think, hopefully. It’s something that, there’s a lot of things that we’re doing that people can see and they’re aware of. And there’s things happening that people aren’t aware of. So I just to lift the curtain a little bit, so you guys can see my ideas.

Part of the time you’re selling to try to sell your products and services. You’re selling why it’s good and why it’s amazing and stuff like that. It’s funny, on Facebook I saw an interesting thread the other day of someone being like, “Should I attack my competitors, or should I not talk about them at all?” And it’s one of those things that it’s interesting watching the whole conversation because some people are like, “Don’t address your customers. If you’ve got the best product don’t talk about them.” And all these different things and strategies and obviously you guys know that I talk about my competitors and we tease and poke at them and have fun with it.

In fact, earlier today Steven may or may not have launched a new video game where you can actually compete against, you have to defeat Confusion Soft to be able to fight against Low Key Pages and the Drip Armies. It’s pretty awesome. Why would we do something like that?

It’s interesting, first off it’s funny and that helps me get through the day because there’s a lot of stuff we’ve got to do, so you might as well make the day fun. Second off, if you look at marketing as a whole, marketing strategy, because this is a big deal. But if you think about it, and there’s been a bunch of books written on this, so if you want to study deeper, you should because it’s interesting. But I think Differentiate or Die is one of the books that talked about this, I believe. But what they talk about is in your marketplace, that number two always needs to attack number one.

So Pepsi always attacks Coke. But number one cannot acknowledge number two or else it jacks up the whole thing. So Coke never talks about how to beat Pepsi. Have you ever noticed that? But Pepsi is always talking about Coke. Mac versus PC, when they first came out. Mac was number two and they were attacking PC, all the funny commercials we all remember. As soon as they surpassed, notice those commercials disappeared and they stopped talking about it.

So there’s something about that, and maybe it’s the athlete in me, I’m a big believer in if I’m going to beat somebody I need to find that person, identify them, and let the world know this is who we’re going after and this is who we’re going to beat. And then after we pass them and then we stop talking about it. That’s why we don’t talk about Low Key pages very often anymore, because we passed them, as you guys know. But Infusion Soft is obviously the next target that we’re trying to get bigger than.

We have more customers right now, but I think their revenue is higher right now. Because they charge more for their confusing software. But that’s another story so that’s the thing. So for me, I don’t mind acknowledging number one, because we are gaining on them, that’s the plan, that’s how it works. So I don’t have any problem with that. I don’t think its…’s just how business is done, it’s how sports are done, it’s how athletics are done. In fact, if you guys want something fun, scroll down the feed, back before we changed the name of this to Marketing Secrets. When it was Marketing In Your Car, I did a whole episode on athletes and competition. It was pretty funny, I thought. So you guys should go listen to that.

But I talk about the fact that in this business world, who are you competing against? People that you’re competing against? I talk about, I was a wrestler growing up, so my whole life was competition. Who’s the person ahead of me. Literally, my junior year, my first match I lost to a kid that was returning state champ. So I knew that’s who he is, so I studied everything he did for the entire season. We practiced against him, we got better and better and I actually made it to state finals and I beat him.

And that’s the athletic mentality. We’re all about competition. And then in the business world, half the people getting into business don’t have athletic background. They were in Band or choir, things like that. There’s nothing wrong with that, but when you’re in the choir there’s no competition. You’re just hanging out and singing with each other. Maybe there’s competition like first seat or second seat, a little bit but it’s different.  A lot of times, we get in this playground and we’re now competing in business and you’ve got people that were in band and choir and all sorts of things and then you’ve got someone like me who’s entire life was about finding your competitor and destroying him publically in front of everybody so you can get your hand raised and everybody cheers for you. You have to be aware, that’s who you’re competing against. So you can’t be mad, “Oh they’re calling me out by name. They’re competing with me.”

It’s like, “Dude, you’re competing against a  wrestler who’s whole entire life, that’s all he cared about. Of course that’s going to be my goal, that’s how I’m going to go.

Anyway, there’s a whole podcast about it. There’s some background about what we’re talking about. But what I wanted to talk to you guys about, is this concept that we call seeds of doubt. What are seeds of doubt? These are things that if you watch what I do you’ll see me placing all the time, these little seeds of doubt in the competitors. Because I know a lot of times I’m going to talk about something and I know that somebody is using confusion soft, or their using Lead pages or whatever the thing is and they’re using something else and I’m coming in and they’re looking at me like, “We have all our stuff over here, I can’t shift over.”

So I understand that, so instead of me just trying to convince them, hard sell them, I’m just going to place a whole bunch of seeds of doubt. From that moment forward for the rest of their waking hours, and hopefully their sleeping hours too, if I did it right. They’re going to be thinking about that thing, that seed of doubt, about the thing that they’re using. And it’s always kind of running in their head like, “What if, what if, what if.”

If you were at Funnel Hacking Live, I did a whole presentation. In fact, if you go to you can see that presentation. But I talked about Actionetics and where we’re going, and stuff like that. And throughout that presentation, I’m placing a whole bunch of seeds of doubt of our competitors. I talk about if you’re using email marketing, I talk about how many times I got shut down by Awebber, Icontent, Mailchimp, InfusionSoft, all those things. And even if you love those systems, all the sudden now you’re like, “Wow, Russell has been shut down 9 times by Awebber.” All these things I got shut down by. All those seeds of doubt, like, “Everything is good, but what if they did shut me down.” Now that seed of doubt is there and now you’re paranoid. Now the whole time you’re using your thing, You’re wondering, “What if I get shut down? What if I get shut down?” Most of you guys probably will at some point, it’s not like I’m doing this maliciously, it’s the truth.

It happened to me over and over again, but I’m placing that seed of doubt so people are aware of it. I just purchased a product from somebody who was using an Infusion Soft order form, and I filled out my whole credit card information and it took me 7 steps. 7 steps after the credit card was in, 7 clicks, sorry, 7 clicks to give them the money. I wanted them to take my money, but it took 7 more clicks to actually give them money. I was annoyed by that, but instead of being annoyed by it, I talked about it. I’m talking about it right now, by the way. I’m talking about it in different platforms I’m on. I’ve just mentioned, “I tried to buy this thing from somebody who used an Infusion Soft order form. 7 clicks, most people would have left. If I didn’t want the product so bad, I would have left.”

Every click in your sales process, you lose a percentage of people. So my whole mindset is how do we shorten the distance. I want to make sure there’s as few clicks as possible to get someone from where they’re starting to where I want them to end. Because every click you lose somebody. Just after, between me getting the credit card, typing it in and submitting, there were 7 clicks. So that’s what you’re getting when you’re using Infusion Soft.

So I just placed a seed of doubt because you’re like, “How many clicks are in my order form? Crap. Well, that’s the standard. You have to when I’m using that system.” And then you start wondering, “This whole time, what if I’m losing sales and money?” and that thought will keep pecking away at your mind. Keep thinking and keep sitting there and the seed of doubt, eventually will sprout to the point where you’re like, “I’m losing a lot of money. It’s time to make the shift, to do the right thing.”

That’s my whole goal. Because I know not everyone’s going to sign up today, but they’re going to sign up eventually. I always tell everybody, it’s not a matter of if you’re going to become a member of Clickfunnels, it’s when. My goal is like, it’s not right now, I need to place the seeds of doubt so that throughout your system, you’re always thinking about me coming and doing that thing, and when is it going to happen and how is it going to happen and things like that?

That’s kind of the concept of seeds of doubt. So as you’re doing your marketing, again it’s not just like, I know some of you guys will be like, “Russell, where do I pace my seed of doubt.” No, it’s not like…’s like you’re sprinkling that in as you’re doing stuff, Snap Chat, Instagram, your podcast or videos. Whatever it is, wherever you’re at, you’re just sprinkling your seeds of doubt against your competitors and making those things known. So people aware, like, “Wow, I didn’t even know that was a thing.” I want to make sure those things are out there and people are aware of them.

So that’s the concept and it’s a really good thing. In fact, in wrestling we would do the same kind of things with our opponents. We’d go to a tournament and during weigh ins you’d see who were in your weight class and stuff and it’s always kind of a mental game because you’re just like, “Oh my gosh, that guy looks bigger than me.” All those kind of things, so it’s like, how do you place seeds of doubt? A lot of times it has to do with your confidence, like how you shake the person’s hand. All those kind of things because in sports, and business and most things, honestly, it’s a lot less of the physical, and a lot more of the mental.

It’s funny, when I started doing Jui Jitsu, I’m not a Jui Jitsu guy, I’m a wrestler, and I started doing Jui Jitsu. And it’s funny because I think it was my 2nd or 3rd tournament I went to, I went out and I’m up a weight class, because I was kind of overweight at the time, so I’m up at almost heavy weights, so these are big dudes that I’m going against. Most of them did Jui Jitsu for a couple of years and their blue belts and I think it’s brown after that, whatever. I’m just, I just came in, didn’t have any belt at all, no gi, you don’t actually have to have a belt.

So I came out there, so when I went out there I was like, these guys are going to kill me. I don’t know what I’m doing. But I was like, because of that, I have to place seeds of doubt in their mind that they’re going to be able to beat me fast, otherwise I’m going to be choked out and tapped out really quick. So what I did, is my very first match, because everyone’s, your weight class, everyone is sitting close to each other on the mat. So I came out and I’m like, I’m a jui Jitsu guy, but I’m a wrestler, I gotta scare this first guys.

So I came out, and instead of coming out and doing the Jui Jitsu thing, I came out like a wrestler and started running and pounding on his head, boom, boom. Pushing and pushing and knocked the dude over and he falls out of bounds and he gets up and you see, I placed the seed the doubt and his eyes were just like “Oh crap” and he walks back in the circle. And from that point, it was like everything shifted. His whole countenance, he was nervous and awkward and after that he was easy. It was wrestling a little soft puppy. It was so easy after that.

What was cool is that all the other guys sitting on the mat, they saw that as well and they were looking in and they were like, “Oh my gosh.” I rolled him, that’s what they call it in Jui Jitsu, I rolled the other guys. I came out there, and it was funny because as soon as I came out there I could see it in their eyes. All of them started backing up because they didn’t want me to rush, they didn’t want that pressure that I was bringing and you could see it in their eyes and that just spurred me more. But that seed of doubt was set. All these guys who were bigger, stronger, faster and better at Jui Jitsu and probably should have beat me if they would have had the mental belief that they could, they didn’t because they had the seed of doubt and they were like, “I don’t know what to do.” And that’s all it takes.

I hope that helps you guys. It’s kind of fun. Think about how you can do that in communication with your audience. I hope that helps and that’s all I got for you guys today. Thanks so much for everything you guys. Tonight we’re actually launching Funnel Hacker TV the tv show. So if you go to you can see behind the scenes show, I think I got 8 episodes of that right now, and tonight we’re having the first full, I’m not sure what we’re going to call it yet, full documentary or whatever. And then some other cool things when you go to that. Go to and check that out. You’ll notice at the top there’s some cool tabs. One takes you to Marketing Secrets, which is this podcast. One takes you to the blog. I’ll share with you guys the strategy behind that in the near future, but I think it’s pretty cool.

That’s all I got you guys, thanks so much for everything and I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

  • frank

    I love it….. Sports, Competition, Marketing and Business. I found the holy grail…..

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Over the past 10 years, Russell has built a following of over a million entrepreneurs, sold hundreds of thousands of copies of his books, popularized the concept of sales funnels, and co-founded a software company called ClickFunnels that helps tens of thousands of entrepreneurs quickly get their message out to the marketplace.