The more we give away; the more people want to buy from us



Andrew Berkley


29 Oct 2015




The more we give away; the more people want to buy from us

It’s a modern phenomenon made possible through the immense power of the internet: if the information is yours to give and there are no legal restrictions on you giving it, then you should share. For no fee. With everyone.

And here’s the paradox: “The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in practice. In theory, it’s a total disaster.Not my quote, I hasten to add, and I will leave you to find whose it is. I have no hesitation in sharing it, though.

And you might want to check out Coursera, an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.

And here is our paradox at F1F9: the more information we share; the more those who are able to pay are seeking us out and buying.

Why do people still buy training when they can get all the information for free? And before you read further, check out what we do offer for free –  Here are my thoughts:

Information sharing generates trust. You are more likely buy from someone you trust.

We want you to trust us because we only want you to buy if you are sure it is right for you.

Information sharing generates appetite. If the stuff shared for free is good, then how much better must the stuff they charge for be?

At the heart of a good appetite lies a need. The more both parties understand that need, the more likely a purchase is to satisfy the need. So information sharing is key in starting to understand need.

But I am being way too easy on myself. How disappointing would it be for someone to commit to a purchase only to discover that the purchase adds very little to what was shared for free? Come on, Andrew, be more specific. What is it that a course purchased from F1F9 gives me that I cannot get for free?

And here is my answer:

The big picture. Information shared for free tends to be detailed and piecemeal. And that is a function of how the internet works. I need to know what I don’t know before I can search it on Google.

An F1F9 course will give you the big picture – and with FAST modelling the whole is very definitely bigger than the sum of the parts.

It will give you sufficient momentum such that incremental learning that happens post course is useful to you. It will help you acquire a critical mass. And it does so quickly and efficiently.

Dots that are joined. The best questions asked on a classroom course are those that start “Why?” The best answers given on a classroom course are those that start “because if you accept [x], then you open up the possibility of [y].”

And it is even better when that answer is supplied by a course delegate that has themselves just made the connection. Which leads me on to….

Light bulb moments. Lead instructors have as a core competence the ability to spot light bulb moments in their delegates. This is the moment when a delegate says (to themselves): “I get it and I understand why. Life will never be the same again.”

It is the best moment an instructor’s day when a light bulb moment happens – they seek out light bulb moments like a miner looking for diamonds. And they make sure that the whole class benefits from them. Which leads me on to…

An immersive experience. Light bulb moments are much more likely to happen in a learning environment that is distraction-free. Financial modelling skills are best learned when the learning environment is focused and intense. Which leads me on to…

Active learning. Active learning is far better for financial modelling skills than passive or lecture-based learning. A delegate is always doing stuff on an F1F9 course, starting with “do as I do” and often ending with “try this on your own”.

There is also the potential for peer review. The best test of whether a model built is any good or not is whether your neighbour is able to understand it. And one of best ways of learning how to improve your own performance is to review somebody else’s.

An immediate experience. Perhaps the biggest advantage of being in the classroom remains the unfettered access to instructors for whom financial modelling education is their core business.

Questions posed result in immediate answers. Immediate answers lead to immediate learning or further questions – now the responsibility of the instructor.

Blended learning. All F1F9 delegates have access to online versions of courses they have taken in class. This allows them to revisit key concepts and built up their post classroom incremental knowledge.

They also have access to the F1F9 support forum that consists of 40+ modellers whose core business is building FAST financial models for third party clients. Not only is help available (responses within one business day, if not sooner) but that help demonstrates that FAST financial modelling is not just for the learning environment. What is taught is also used in practice.

free financial modelling course 31 days to better financial modelling

Andrew Berkley
With a background in business education and financial advisory work, Andrew leads financial modelling training at F1F9. He has been with F1F9 since 2013.