Billboards pay land rent for the right to be on a property. Sometimes that amount is small, based on the projected revenue the sign can produce. But don’t let anyone tell you that even a small sum “is not enough” to warrant their time working with you. In this episode, we’re going to discuss how to sell very rich people on accepting small amounts of money, and why it makes complete sense for a property owner to embrace the incremental benefit of a billboard on their property.
Episode 60: Don’t Let Anyone Tell You “It’s Not Enough Money” Transcript
Money is proportional, but don't let anyone try and tell you that even small amounts of money are worthless. This is Frank Rolfe with the Billboard Mastery Podcast. It's one of the issues with the billboard industry where you're renting little bits of land from various landowners, and sometimes the amount that you can pay them just based on revenue and the cost of building the billboard or buying the billboard equates to situations where you can't pay them huge amounts of money. It might be $83 bucks a year, which is $1000 a year. Might be $3000 a year. In some cases, it might only be a few hundred dollars a year, but nevertheless, there's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes some people, to try and have their own little ego play, will try and shame you on the fact, "How dare you call me with such a concept. The amount of money is so very low. It's not even worth my time talking to you." That is to say that money is to them in their world nearly valueless, that they're just so very wealthy that talking to you about hundreds or thousands of dollars is beneath them.
Back when I was starting out in my billboard career, I was looking for locations along the Trinity River, there was a road there that had zoning for billboards, but not a lot of billboards. And I thought, "Well, I'm gonna go ahead and see if I can build some billboards along this corridor." And as I was going through the records of who owned the land, I came upon a prominent name. This was a person who actually owned at that time Republic National Bank, which was one of the biggest banks in Texas. So the person was very, very wealthy, and I thought, "No, this can't be them. That's just so weird. But okay, I'll go ahead and send a letter anyway." And I thought, "Well, if it is them, they'll never call me, because why in the world would they talk to me?" I think it was offering $500 a year.
But I sent out my thing, within a few days I get a call from this person saying, "Oh, my gosh, are you serious? That's fantastic. Hey, if I get you some other people would you pay me a commission?" It blew my mind. Here was one of the wealthiest people in Texas, he was just overjoyed at getting $500 a year from a billboard location, and so excited about it, he wanted to go out and get other neighbors he knew along that street to also do deals and therefore get a commission on that, because that's how wealthy people are. Wealthy people appreciate money, they value money. Maybe you've seen the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad. Remember that the rich dad is the one who really cared about money and the poor dad was the one who looked like a high roller but actually had no net worth.
So when people tell me, "Oh, $300, $500, $1000, that's beneath me." Well, they're posers, they're not real, they're not really wealthy people. Wealthy people don't look at things that way. Wealthy people look at basically rates of return on their investment. If they own a piece of land and you're trying to build a billboard on that land and you're gonna pay them money, that enhances the value of their property roughly 10 times the amount that you pay them. So if you give them a $1000 a year, that increases the value of that land by $10,000 if they were to sell it or refinance it, and that's significant money. And if you're paying someone $5000 a year on a billboard, well, that increases the value of the property by $50,000 on an appraisal, and that's a huge increase. And beyond that, that $5000 that you pay them, that may cover the property tax, it may cover the insurance, other costs on that land. Any way you cut it, a smart person looks at money coming in on that land as being beneficial to them.
Doesn't matter how much money they have. Doesn't matter if they're a billionaire, trillionaire, millionaire, it doesn't matter, money is money. And smart people always realize the value of a dollar and they don't just trivially throw it into the dumpster and say, "Oh man, money, that's so beneath me." Well, no, it's not and it shouldn't be. Now, here's some tips so to make people feel better about getting smaller amounts of money. The first thing is always talk in terms of the annual amount. So if I was to go to someone and say, "Hey, I wanna put a billboard on your property." And they say, "Well, how much would you give me?" And I say, "I'll give you $83 a month," that doesn't sound that impressive on the surface. But if I say, "I'll give you $1000 a year," which is the same as $83 a month, suddenly they're interested, because suddenly now there's four digits instead of three.
So sometimes you can get way far ahead if you simply puff up the number based on an annual rather than a monthly amount. Another trick you can do is to go ahead and take it out of their hands and instead, equate the amount of money you're giving them to someone who has no money. Say, "Yeah, I know you're super rich, but here's the deal, what if you just gave it all to charity?" "Oh, okay. Well, how would that work?" "Well, if I gave you $1000 a year, let's see, $1000 a year could do many things. It could get you... Oh, I don't know, it would get your name on the plaque down at the art museum as a contributor." "Ooh, that sounds pretty good." "Or we could go out and get a Christian Children's Fund kid... Those are what, $80 a month? So it would pay an entire kid's cost of living a year. You could raise a kid to maturity and then just recycle with a new kid all off this billboard that right now that you have no money coming in from at all."
That's another tool to often try and get people who are over the hump, who say, "Oh, money doesn't mean much to me," to realize they may not mean a lot to them, but it may mean more to others who don't have as much money. Or you can try and spin it to something they can use for some other hobby they have of some type. So if you're gonna pay someone $4000 a year for the billboard and they say, "Oh, $4000 means nothing to me." "Well, how about this instead? How about I... You just count this as your special slush fund to go to Las Vegas every year." "Hmm, okay, that sounds interesting." Or tell them to contribute it to a family member who's not doing as well as they are. A lot of times when people tell you this nonsense that money is beneath them, they're wanting you to stroke their ego by saying, "Oh yes, I know it's not." That's what's important to them, it's they like the affirmation that they're wealthy enough to tell you the money means nothing, even though when money often does mean a whole lot.
So instead stroke their ego and say, "Oh yeah, no, I know it doesn't mean anything to you. I know that money is valueless to you, but there's many others who could really use the money." And if you can tie that into something that really strokes their ego yet again, such as donating that to a worthy cause where they're gonna get invited to parties or people send them letters thanking them for giving money, now you found a way to really break the ice. Let me also tell you that those people who used to tell me, "Oh, money doesn't mean anything to me," I would kinda track and follow them over time and see what happens to them. I remember sitting in the office with one guy once, he was just adamant, "Oh, I would never sign a contract at that low amount of money. It's not even worth my time to even read it. That's just a waste of my time."
Oh, okay. I followed after that guy. What happened to that guy? He went completely bankrupt. Lost everything. Why? Because he was full of nonsense. He wasn't looking at things from a mathematical perspective based on rate of return on his investment, instead he was just on a big old ego trip. And in the end, since he did not make good business decisions based actually on business on making money, his whole world blew up on him. The bottom line to it all is ignore people who tell you that money doesn't mean anything. Ignore people who tell you that the amount you're proposing for your billboard is just too tiny and too small and too far beneath them. Instead, stroke their ego if necessary. Tell them, "You're right. I'm sure it is to you, but let's find a way to place this in the hands of someone who needs the money. Let's find a way to allocate this to someone who isn't rich." And you're gonna find at the end of the day, when you've talked to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of landowners over the years, that all of the good ones, the smart ones, the successful ones, the richest ones in the world, they're just as excited about $100 as you would be. This is Frank Rolfe, the Billboard Mastery Podcast. Talk to you again soon.