Shock and Awe


I interviewed Dan Kennedy for our June issue of SUCCESS (on newsstands now). One of the concepts he discussed is one I have employed for much of my life—professionally and personally: Shock and Awe marketing.

I sold real estate when I was only 20 years old (through age 24). The most competitive prospecting group as a realtor are expired listings. These are homes that have been listed by other agents and when their contract expired an alert would show up on the Multiple Listing Service. Immediately several dozen real estate agents pounce and start calling on them.

I made up in hustle and aggressiveness what I lacked in age and experience. I developed what I called my Shock and Awe Blitz Campaign. Once I set my sights on you, you were either going to love me or hate me, but

you would not be able to ignore nor forget me.

Between 6 and 7 a.m. the morning your listing expired, I’d be standing on your doorstep asking to relist your home with me (immediately separating myself from everyone else and delivering a little shock). Sometimes this is all it took, but if not…

Later that day you would get a package hand-delivered by an assistant, that we affectionately called “Da-Bomb,” because it was big and stuffed full of combustible materials explaining why I was “Da-Bomb.”

Then in the early evening an assistant would show up and hand them a SOLD sign and say, “This is a gift from Darren Hardy; you will need this soon after you hire him to sell your


Later that evening I would stop by in person and ask for the listing again.
(Key point: More than 50% of the time the listing was won or lost within the first 24 hours. This is why I blitzed all-out during that time.)

If the listing still hadn’t been secured I would then have something hand-delivered or mailed to them every day for at least two weeks along with a daily call from me personally.

It wasn’t long before they would call exasperated, exclaiming that if I would market their house like I market myself, I had the job. Shock and awe baby!

What is your most important (valuable/profitable) prospect group?
What’s your shock-and-awe package and campaign?
Create one this week.

This is useful in your personal life as well…
I met an entrepreneur recently who met his dream girl online. She came from a very well-to-do Indian family. He wanted to ask her father for her hand in marriage.

Wanting to ensure his success he didn’t just show up neatly dressed with an eloquent speech in hand. No he showed up with 500 of his guy friends at the doorstep of her father’s house all equipped with their speech about why he would be a great husband.

Do you think he got the sale? It’s really impossible to say no under those conditions. How can you make it nearly impossible for your key prospects to say no to you?

Share your ideas, thoughts and strategies for how you deliver or will be delivering your own Shock and Awe campaigns—professionally or personally in the comments below.




23 responses to “Shock and Awe”

  1. I heard about this on the Success audio CD and searched high and low online for the “Chakanah” package. I emailed Success magazine and literally minutes later I had a response that it is called a “Shock and Awe” package. I am laughing out loud right now.
    Success magazine has been a huge inspiration to me. My business has grown tremendously since subscribing. I listen to the CD’s over again on road trips. THANK YOU!

  2. Shock and Awe! A lot of work and organization, but how much fun! I’m impressed that you did this at so young an age. No wonder you have been successful! I’m thinking about my shock and awe right now.

  3. Following you always and the same propects are in line and also in life. Please give me the best list of books to improve the communication skills. Just got my mentor’s book “THE COMPOUND EFFECT” started reading now :)

  4. I love the “out of your comfort zone” way of doing business. Lot’s of money to be made by someone who has a willing and can do attitude. As far as the naysayers, let them continue to sit at home, keep reading, dreaming and continue doing nothing to build their business. That’s the perfect way NOT to make money. The owners who tell you to ‘get off the property or read you the riot act’….well, you don’t need those “all about me sellers anyway” Great post!

  5. I learn from the best! I watch how you always deliver MORE than you promised and make it easier than you said it would be and strive to emulate that~ALWAYS!! Have a magical day DH!!

  6. This is the drive you need to have to be successful and then people call you lucky. What Darren didn’t talk about was the fact that he got rejected many many times I’m sure. But look at where he is now. Darren you just sparked an idea for a shock and awe campaign. Thanks!

  7. This sounds like the typical shove, push, harass until I get my “success”. Thanks’s for the tipl. I will never hire a realtor again I can’t seem to get off a car salesmans automatic mailing list either. You are as bad as the proverbial marketing phone call which our dear politicians passed a law so we would not be bothered by either. So, are you saying, anything goes to be successful? And so you got the listing. Is that all that mattered to you? How many sales from those expired listings? 90%? Now THAT would be SUCCESS!

  8. Hi Darren,

    I loved your article today – great stories, great energy and incredible lessons to be learned. Thank you for what you teach and consistently bring to us.

    You are a gift!

  9. Darren, great post! Here is my response:

    What is your most important (valuable/profitable) prospect group? I consider every team member an ambassador for our company. The sum of our actions and service create the value / profit opportunity.

    What’s your shock-and-awe package and campaign? One of our best shock-and-awe packages is having one of our current clients call a new client and share why they should select Schlouch Incorporated for their next project. I’m told by our new clients that no other competitor has ever had a client with a like kind project call to market their company.

  10. I’ll bet you now live in a gated community. If they could make it past the security they would promptly be arrested for trespassing. And then there is the rest of the world who usually cave because of intimidation…..What else you got

  11. I love it!!!!! It requires a bit of creativity and hard work and that is how this country was built. We all could use a few more messages of how we can do bike up that mountain.

    -Teamwork makes the dream work.

  12. @Joel DePeri,
    There have been studies that show clients will accept 5-6 contacts before they consider it stalking. Plus some of his “contacts” were not hard sale just a “don’t forget about me”. While it sounds a bit over the top you cannot argue with SUCCESS. and honestly having sold several homes I would have loved to had an agent that aggressive working for me!

  13. That is a great approach, keeps you in there minds and shows how dedicated you really are and how passionate you are at what your doing..(or that your crazy :) ), either way, keeps you front and center.. Love reading all the great insighful info you share with the world, thank you for sharing and thank you for being you.. Appreciate it greatly..

  14. It’s not a question of wether or not anyone liked your former shock and awe marketing, Darren. It’s a matter of “You can’t argue with success.” You accomplished what very very few are able to do at such a young age, and this story should give pause to all the wise and hungry amongst your readers.

  15. @Joel DePeri, I’m assuming he did not talk with them with most of his attempts. So if they told him to never stop by again on the first attempt he would have listened to them, but maybe still mailed over marketing pieces. Great article and I would be interested in learning more.

  16. I’ve been following you for two years and have purchased some of your products. However, this post disturbs me. Four contacts the first day and then two contacts a day for two weeks… it sounds like you were harrassing people until you got the sale. When do you draw the line?

  17. Fabulous Darren. Not really all that complicated either but it does require hard work by the team leader, not just by the team.

    Excellent refresher on how to stand out among the crowd.

    In fact, that is what I am doing thisyear in my Financial Planning office in Ottawa, Ontario. What do we need to do to be the Financial Planning office of choice by clients.

    Should be en excitind ride to re-invigorate our office…