Julie Guest Direct Response Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, Best Selling Author

Sales

How To Make Selling To Your Prospects Effortless (Without Feeling Like An Icky Used Car Salesman)

Do you love owning your own business but when it comes time to actually getting people to buy from you – you feel about as comfortable as a Rich Arab Sheikh riding the subway? Maybe you have lots of people who “like” you.

You’ve got stacks of business cards from people you’ve met at networking events.

You’ve even got a pretty large number of people who’ve told you they’re interested in what you’ve got to offer.

But here’s where you come a bit unplugged.

You hate selling.

You don’t want to be seen as someone pushy.

You think to yourself…”well, I don’t need to sell to them because they’ll buy when they’re good and ready to…

Actually they won’t.

Most people won’t buy from you if you leave them to their own timeframes, no matter how much they like you.

Why?  Because we all procrastinate.

I agree that selling the traditional way is icky, sticky work.

In fact it’s revolting.

Who wants to feel like they’re pushing products on people, who likely are backing away just as fast as we’re moving towards them. If any part of my work involved this kind of selling I would likely be off living on a ranch somewhere shoveling horse poop for a living.

The good news is that with this new economy we’re in – the old way of selling is OUT, OUT, OUT (though many are still teaching it).

And the new way of selling?  It isn’t actually “selling” at all.  It’s SERVING and it’s got a whole different emphasis and a brand new set of rules to follow which are essential for survival in these unprecedented times.

Here are 3 easy steps to doing it:

1.    Start off by asking yourself?  Is the world a better place because of the work that you do?  If the answer is yes (as it must be or you need to do something else), then you’re making people’s lives better.  So it follows that if you don’t offer your products and services to people you’re actually doing them a disservice.  They NEED YOU.  Great businesses are hard to find.  People need to know about what you do and how you can help them solve their problem.  This isn’t selling, it’s serving.  Make the mindset shift on this one and you’ll never ever “sell” another day in your life. 2.    Always begin a new relationship by offering VALUE first.  Educate your prospects about your services.  Develop a rapport with them and give them such an incredible experience that the next logical step will be for them to ask YOU “what’s next?  How do I buy from you?” 3.    Listen first, then speak.  The old way of selling is about speaking first – pushing your products to prospects.  There’s no two way conversation.  There’s no listening to  what their needs are and then offering a solution.  Always start with their needs first – not yours.

Follow these 3 easy steps the next time you find yourself in a “sales” situation and you’ll be amazed at how effortless and easy the whole process becomes!

Old Navy the Sales Machine

So I'd be willing to bet that if I said the words "Old Navy"... one of the last things you'd probably be thinking of... is a company you'd want to model your own business against. Maybe platform heels, psychedelic t-shirts and over-sized active wear aren't your thing.

Me neither.

But I found myself there over the weekend looking for toddler shoes... and let me tell you – Old Navy has got it going on when it comes to customer experience and instore marketing.

First let's look at their target market.

Busy Moms with kids under the age of 10.

The store has a gum ball machine(!), a light display for kids to dance on, walls filled with brightly colored clothing, wide aisles, and activities galore to keep pint sized tag-alongs happy so Mom can shop.

The shopping carts are oversized and comfortable for kids to sit in.  There are changing "spots" scattered throughout the store –  forget having to trudge back into the bowels of a store to try and ferret out a changing room. Just stand in one of the central change spots, pull the curtain around you and your brood and wa-la.

No more guessing if clothes fit and no more returns.

So simple yet genius. And shows Old Navy has a deep understanding of the needs of their target market.

Now it's time to check out. Hold onto your wallet because there's a long line to stand in that's covered with some of the most well thought out upsells I've ever seen.

Everything from booga wipes and bottles of water, to squishy water bombs, whoopee cushions and granola bars.

Of course all in easy reach of little hands to grab (I had to extricate more than 1 soft toy and set of neon bracelets from the clutches of my eager 1 year old).

So you finally arrive at the counter, probably by now feeling a little worse for wear.

You unpack your cart, hand over the credit card, and count yourself lucky that you managed to escape relatively unscathed having spent maybe $100 on useless junk and clothes that will be lucky to last the season.

Except you're not out of the woods yet. Oh no.

The sales clerk joyfully gives you 2 discount COUPONS to encourage you back within 2 weeks for a hefty 30% savings and a special event where you can bring your pet to "play dress up."

I tell you - these guys are marketing geniuses.

Go take a marketing field trip to an Old Navy store, (leave your kids at home), and see what I mean for yourself.

Better yet, take their great ideas and apply them in your business!

Looking For Value In All The Wrong Places ...

If I was to conduct a straw poll of 100 different businesses and asked them just this one simple question: “What’s the one thing you have that’s of MOST value in your business?, what do you think the responses would likely be? Here’s what I think they’d be:

“Well, DUH – its in our super-fandangled-whiz-bang new product we’ve just released”

“It’s in our amazing customer service – our customers love us and refer us like crazy”

“it’s our incredible service”

“Our single biggest assest is that we have THE best storefront location in the city”

“My staff is my single biggest asset”

“Its our amazing technology”

The list goes on and on…you get the idea.

But here’s the thing. ALL of them would be wrong.

Unless, of course they made this one simple statement: ”It’s in our customer list – we’ve got full customer information for ALL our customers – name, address, mailing address, physical address, phone numbers, buying history, referral history …”

Most business owners mistakenly place high value on the physical or service aspects of their business – their location, factory, equipment, products or services. But all that is just “stuff”. Its easily replaced and easily duplicated.

The real value in your business is with your customers.

If you have a great customer list, then you, quite literally have at your fingertips the ability to create your own income on demand. Releasing a new product? Zaap! Send an email to your list with a great offer before you go to bed at night and cha-ching – you’re got money in your account when you wake up. Found a great product that your customers could really benefit from? Send an offer to your list and earn a commission off the sales.

If you’re not zealously collecting the names and contact details of not just your customers, but all your prospects too (especially your prospects) – you’re letting a HUGE amount of money slip through your fingers.

Stop the hemorrhaging and make this your number one priority starting today…

PS if you haven’t ordered yourself a FREE copy of my audio CD: 10 Secret strategies to get more clients, make more money, turn customers into raving fans and give more back in the new economy – you’re nuts. It’s a $97 value, yours FREE! Just visit my website at www.TheClientStampede.com and use promo code GetYerSpursOn at checkout.

16 examples of irresistible offers to light your prospects pants on fire

The strength of a great sales letter really boils down to how irresistible your offer is.  Matching the right offer with your target market is often the one little hinge that can open BIG doors.  In my Client Stampede Ultimate Marketing Home Study Tool Kit I provide my exact magic formulas for how to craft an irresistible offer - here's 16  irresistible offers  out of my list of 47 in my Ultimate Marketing Toolkit you can easily "swipe and deploy" for use in your own business:

  1. Free information report, starter kit, demo, sample etc
  2. FREE with absolutely no strings attached
  3. Free trial converts to monthly billing or payment of product after X days – (Pay nothing now)
  4. Free Shipping
  5. Hold your check
  6. Time deadline
  7. Limited number of units available
  8. Bonus overload – stacked bonuses
  9. Early bird bonus tied to a specific response date
  10. Silly premium – mousepad, cartoon, t-shirt, coffee mug
  11. Mystery gift
  12. Basic/deluxe or good/better/best
  13. Accept payment on multiple credit cards
  14. Easy pay options (monthly payments)
  15. The more you buy the more you save – tiered discount based on amount purchased
  16. Different pricing based on customers promise of action (e.g. for testimonial or referral)

7 Easy Steps To Writing A Darn Good Sales Letter

You've gotta love the power of a great sales letter.  It's THE best leverage of your time and is like having your very own army-sized sales force, pounding the pavements for you, perfectly delivering your marketing message every time for less than a cup of coffee.  They never call in sick, never go on vacation, never ask for a pay raise and they'll work tirelessly around the clock for you 24/7, 365 days of the year. So here are 7 expert secrets to writing an extremely effective sales letter.

Secret #1  Create an attention driven headline that specifically speaks to your target market, arouses curiosity and answers the question in your prospects mind "what's in this for me?".  For example: "Using a Lawyer May Be Dangerous To Your Wealth" "For the Woman Who Looks Older Than She Is" "Former Hairdresser Earns $8000 a Month As A Real Estate Specialist" "How To Double Your Income in 60 Days Or Less"

Secret #2 Open your letter with a personalized salutation (the more PERSONAL you make your letter look and sound, the higher your response rate will be).  If you can't address it to the person directly (eg Dear John, or Dear Mrs McDonald), try using one of these salutations: Dear Friend Dear Neighbor Dear Fellow _______er <i.e. Golfer> Dear Colleague, Dear Reader Dear Frustrated Tax Payer Dear Valued Customer

Secret #3 Use a powerful "letter opener".  The first couple of sentences of your sales letter have to be really compelling to "hook" your prospects and get them to read the rest of the letter.  Consider these: Here’s you chance to... In looking over our records I noticed that you... Will do me a favor? Will you try this experiment? Here’s an amazing opportunity! I’m writing to.. Congratulations! Could you use an extra $500 a week? Frankly,I’m puzzled... I couldn’t wait to write to you.

Secret #4: Talk about Benefits, NOT just features in your sales copy.  Understanding the difference between benefits and features is critical for the success of your sales letter.  A feature is fact driven, a benefit is more of an emotional connection.  This difference is extremely important because people BUY ON EMOTION, THEN JUSTIFY WITH LOGIC!!!  For example a feature is this drill has 27 different drill speeds.  The benefit is that you can get your work done in half the time which means you get to spend more time relaxing on the couch, watching your favorite sport.

Secret #5 Use Subheadings, bold font, itallics, and underlining to create a "double readership path" Everyone reads sales letters differently.  Some people will read every word, others will skim read every paragraph, and still others will just read the headline, the opening paragraph and then maybe the PS at the end of the letter.  That's why you need to make sure the most persuasive and important messages in your sales letter are made to jump out at the reader and create a "double readership path"..

Secret #6 Make sure your sales letter contains an irresistible offer and a deadline to respond by (remember this offer should be bold, it should be different to anything your competition offers, and compelling enough to light your prospects' pants on fire).  Here are some examples of irresistible offers:

  1. FREE with absolutely no strings attached
  2. Free trial converts to monthly billing or payment of product after X days – (Pay nothing now)
  3. Free Shipping
  4. Hold your check
  5. Bonus overload – stacked bonuses
  6. Early bird bonus tied to a specific response date
  7. Silly premium – mousepad, cartoon, t-shirt, coffee mug
  8. Mystery gift
  9. Easy pay options (monthly payments)
  10. The more you buy the more you save – tiered discount based on amount purchased

Secret # 6 Include a bold reverse risk guarantee.  This is a very powerful copywriting technique to make it easier for your prospects to say YES than no.  Here's an example:

"You’re fully protected by our iron-clad money-back guarantee: If you decide that your <name> membership and <publication> aren’t for you, just let us know at any time during your membership period. We’ll send you a prompt 100% refund – every penny you paid. That’s a full refund, not partial or pro-rated. All the issues and the bonuses are yours to keep – even if you cancel. Could any offer be fairer than that?"

Secret #7  Use a powerful close to make your prospects whip out their credit cards

The way you close your sales letter is very important - it will determine whether your prospect puts your sales letter down to "think about it" or is moved to tale immediate action.  Here are some great examples:

"The next move is up to you. I’ve shown you that the <name of your product> is as risk-free as an offer can come. You and I both know that if you’ve read this far in the letter, you’re seriously interested in improving your business and personal income. All that’s left to do now is take action and call the number below to place your order".

"You really can’t afford not to invest in this course! Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to move on this incredible opportunity?  So what are you waiting for? Drop the enclosed card in the mail today."

That's it!  Follow these 7 simple steps and your sales letter will be MILES ahead of anything your competition is using!!!!

 

How a Cow Shaped Rubber Band Sparked a Fashion Revolution and Made a Fortune

This month, while trawling for interesting information to share with you in Marketing Dynamite, I stumbled on an interesting article in Inc magazine called “How I Did It.” It was about a guy named Robert Croak who in 2006 started a national fashion frenzy by introducing colorful shaped rubber bands called Silly Bandz. At their peak in 2008, his little company was selling more than 1 million packs of Silly Bandz a week and people were driving to its offices from Alabama, Indiana, and Kentucky because his phone lines were jammed up with orders. In Inc, Croak talks about being so overwhelmed with shipments at one stage that the company ran an ad on Facebook saying:  “if anyone was looking for work, they’d hire them on the spot – with a line down the street, and a full warehouse, they started packing shipments on tables on the sidewalk.”  Croak goes on to say “Silly Bandz put me in a category of wealth that most people have never imagined, and everybody wants to look at me and say ‘that guy got lucky,’ when in reality it took me 20 years to get where I am today.”

I tell you this story because all too often we assume that an overnight success is just that – luck, when rarely luck has anything to do with it. It’s the culmination of invisible years of multiple failures, bulldog tenacity, sweat, massive risk, a steadfast goal and belief in yourself.

Got QR Code Fever Or Wondering How You Can Use QR Codes In Your Marketing?

QR Codes have lovers and haters.  The haters say its just another fad.  The lovers are using QR codes and laughing all the way to the bank. You be the judge.

Here's my view - it's new technology, it's a fast-growing technology, and if your target market has smart phones and are somewhat tech savvy then I think its great to find another media to connect with them that's low or no cost. Plus QR codes are a great customer involvement device and provide another call to action you can use in your marketing to get prospects to buy.

Here’s my favorite QR Code creator (some elements are free, others cost a bit): http://www.QRStuff.com

Here's a list of QR Code readers / decoders / scanning apps for iPhones, Androids and more: http://www.qrstuff.com/qr_phone_software.html

And most importantly, here are some examples of how you can use QR codes in your marketing to make more sales

  1. Business Cards Put a code on your business card containing all of your contact information and give them an irresistible offer
  2. Put a QR code On A T-Shirt Send them to a great landing page with a free introductory offer or low cost offer with big savings
  3. Use a QR Code as a "get more info" option If you have a physical store, put a QR code on products which when they scan it gives them additional info.  If you don't then you can use QR codes in your service menu or product menu to keep it uncluttered.  List just the main points of each product and service offering in your menu and then give them a QR code they can scan to get more info
  4. Put It On Your Website's "Contact Us Page" People take a picture of your page on the screen, put you in their contact list
  5. Put It On Your Instruction Sheet People scan it to get step-by-step instructions on how to use a product or service, or get directed to a video where you give them step by step instructions
  6. Use QR codes In Print Ads People scan to be taken to a specific landing page on your website
  7. Put It On A Campaign Sign, or a Poster Take people directly to your website - preferably a squeeze page so you can incentivize them to "opt in" and give you their info
  8. Put It On A For-Sale Sign Take them to a website with video and information about the item being sold - for example a house, a car, a boat.  You could even post this on a bulletin board.
  9. Use a QR code to Put It On Your Luggage Ok so it won't get you customers but it'll save you a lot of grief if your luggage ever gets lost…
  10. Send a Tweet Scanning it sends out a tweet
  11. Do A Location Login Put on every table and the walls of your restaurant, does a foursquare login or a Facebook location login
  12. Add To Your LinkedIn Page Passes your contact information or website
  13. Call Us To Place Your Order Scan dials their phone
  14. Send a Teaser Postcard Send a QR code to a potential client, which takes them to your website
  15. Put It On Your Conference NameTag Contact information or website
  16. Put A Backsell On Your Invoice Taking them to a landing page making a special offer to upsell them
  17. Paypal Buy Link Scanning takes them to Paypal to buy your item
  18. Promote An Event Scanning the QR code puts it on their calendar
  19. Announce Your Free Wifi Scanning logs them into your wifi account
  20. Put It In Your Powerpoint Presentation Build your list by sending them to a special bonus offer if they sign up!

What other ideas do you have for using QR codes?  Share them by posting a comment...

Got Rejected? Buck Up And Read This ...

As Super Entrepreneur Kathy Ireland recently told me "I love it when people tell me no, because then I say 'well great, now at least we're talking!' ." If you're feeling a little down and out because of a little rejection, then buck up, toughen up, and most importantly don't give up,  because you're in great company:

The Vice President of Columbia told this actor that he was never going to make it in the business. This actor went on anyway to enjoy an acting career that so far spans 4 decades, has been ranked #1 in the Top 100 Movie Stars Of All Time, and today is still the third highest grossing U.S. domestic box-office star.  The actor? - Harrison Ford

This author’s first book was rejected by 12 publishing houses and sixteen agents. The author? John Grisham.

This band was turned down by a recording company who told them "We don't like their sound and guitar music is on the way out." They were talking about the Beatles

A chubby child, this boy was told by a music teacher "as a composer he is hopeless" - Beethoven

This well known person was fired from a newspaper because he "lacked imagination and had no original ideas" - Walt Disney

This author was told by Publishers that "anthologies didn't sell" and his book was "too positive" .  He was rejected a total of 140 times. The book? Chicken Soup for the Soul. It now has 65 different titles and has sold over 80 million copies all over the world.

Feeling better?  Ok good - now go out there and make that sale :)

The BIGGEST Pulling Sales Letter Of All Time

This sales letter, written by one of the greatest yet least known copywriters of all time (Martin Conroy), was first launched for the Wall Street Journal in 1974. It's known in insider expert copywriter circles as the "Two Young Men" letter and still today is the single largest pulling sales letter of all time (it's raked in more than 1 billion in subscription revenues for the WSJ).

This sales letter has been successfully used as WSJ's control piece for the last 18 years, combining a compelling offer, a reverse risk guarantee,  and very well crafted sales copy that tells a story.  This sales letter can be mailed just about anytime to a qualified list and it's a sure winner to pull in response profitably year after year.

Your DIRECT RESPONSE “MUST HAVE” Laundry Checklist For ALL Your Marketing

In the last post I discussed the vital importance of scrapping traditional/brand based advertising for your business.  Instead, I talked about the importance of shifting all your marketing and advertising to direct response marketing. What’s direct response marketing again?

In its simplest form, direct response marketing is advertising that ALWAYS contains a special offer with a deadline.  It’s advertising that has the objective of motivating prospects to take action immediately.  Direct response marketing directly sells a product or service by containing an irresistible offer – it doesn’t just talk about what you sell with no reason to take action now.

Using direct response marketing, you can tell within a day or a week of running an ad exactly how effective it was. You can tweak successful ads to try and make them more successful, and scrap the dud ads that aren’t pulling a response. No more guesswork. This way, every one of your marketing dollars can be ruthlessly tracked and held accountable.

For examples of direct response marketing think of home shopping channels like QVC, or catalog marketers like J Peterman, and Cabela’s.  It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in – whether you offer legal services or sell tires for a living – direct response marketing WILL work for your business.  In fact it’s the missing ingredient required for a major marketing break through.

As promised in the last post, here are the essential ingredients you must include in your marketing to ensure it’s a direct response advert, not a brand/traditional advert:

An irresistible offer or offers

  1. A deadline for response
  2. Clear instructions on what they need to do to respond (e.g. To place your order call our customer service department at xxx-xxx-xxxx or fax your order to...etc.)
  3. A bold guarantee that reverses the risk for your prospects
  4. Strong sales copy that talks about benefits, not features (e.g. Feature: This drill has 21 different speeds.  Benefit: You can get your work done in half the time)
  5. Testimonials from customers that overcome your prospect’s main objections
  6. Follow up.  Don’t just mail one piece or send out one letter – use ideally a three-step follow up process

I go into more detail about each of these steps in the Client Stampede Ultimate Home Study Kit and show you exactly how to apply these to your business, including done-for-you templates that you can “swipe and deploy” to use in your own business.

The information contained in this blog post is pure gold!  Many, many fortunes have been made based on applying just these 7 principals! These principals will work for you too!

Print out this blog post and pin it to the wall so you can refer to this information often!

Who You Sell To Is More Important Than What You Sell

When most people decide to start a business, they figure out what they want to sell first, and then once they’ve developed the product, widget or service, they try and figure out who to sell it to. Actually this is backwards.

The best, most surefire way to success is to start with the WHO first, not the WHAT. Otherwise you may have gone to all the trouble of developing and investing in a new product or service which no one actually needs, or wants to buy.

To successfully sell a product you need a starving market. That’s why it always makes sense to identify the starving market first. You need to get to know them, figure out what problems they have that you can solve - and then go develop your product and service to specifically meet that need.

Note also that there is a big difference between a product we all know we need versus one we actually want to buy. It’s a much harder pitch to sell a product that’s needed instead of wanted. Obviously the sweet spot is a product that’s both needed and wanted.

For example, we know that we need to see our dentist at least once a year for a check up and cleaning. You’ll have to work a lot harder in your sales copy to get a prospect to schedule the appointment because it's a service they know they need, but don't necessarily want.

Compare this to an offer for professional teeth whitening that’s sent to a list of 30 and 40 something year olds who are single, smoke and drink coffee.

That’s a much easier sale to make.

In starting with the WHO first and not the WHAT, you'll be saving yourself a LOT of time, money and effort. You won't be investing in a product that you might think is the best thing since sliced bread, but your market doesn't!

The Sloppy Sales Guys In My Neighborhood

Over the last 6 weeks I’ve had 3 separate tradespeople come to my door trying to sell me construction upgrades, lawn fertilizer and a new roof.  Over the summer so far, that’s brought the total amount to probably 10 cold calls. Unlike most people I LOVE standing at the front door and hearing their sales pitch.  I like watching their body language, I eagerly outstretch my hand for their sales collateral, and I listen intently to their “close”.

Unfortunately though I’m always left very disappointed.  Their sales pitches are usually rambling and sound over rehearsed.  I’ve yet to hear one that contains an irresistible offer or a reason to make me want to whip out my check book right then. None have referred to a guarantee, and frankly their sales collateral (if they even have any) is just awful.  And follow up direct mail?  None.

All 3 of these companies are great examples of organizations still trying to use the old economy rules in the new economy.  Sloppy salesmanship was acceptable in the past because back then it was more about being in the right place at the right time.  The heedy spending days of the property boom meant cash was flowing and you only needed to offer a service scarcely adequate to make a good living.

Not any more.

As consumers we hold all the purchasing power again and we know it.  Companies who want to separate us from our hard earned cash MUST woo us, persuade us and give us an incredible offer to make us take action. While the 3 different companies who dispatched sales people to my house had invested in uniforms, name tags and their staff actually taking the time to do cold calling – they choked on the stuff that really matters.  The actual sales presentation, the sales collateral and the direct mail correspondence afterwards.

At bare minimum the sales collateral they left me with should have radiated with benefits and contained a limited time, irresistible offer that also contained a risk free, full satisfaction guarantee.  And if I still failed to call to take them up on that offer, I should have been mailed 2 follow up pieces containing a second offer.  And then I should have been added to their mailing list so that when I am ready to “grow a lawn as rich and thick as nature’s own shag carpet”, I’ll know exactly who to call.

Don't Make This 100k Mistake A Small Ann Arbor Business Made

Happy April fools day!  I have 2 brothers (one younger one older) so as a kid I grew up with a big fear of this day every year.  I'd wake up to fake dog poop in my school shoes (thankfully it was fake), salt on my tooth brush, a whoppee cushion under my breakfast chair...phew glad I managed to survive that lot! I wanted to share with you a major mistake that's being made by a hairdressing salon I just started using, so you can learn from it and avoid this giant pothole in your business.

They're a relatively upscale Ann Arbor hair salon, serving mostly professional women and a handful of men from the area (think $70 and up for a haircut and color starting from $130).  Inside is tastefully decorated, modern - has a high end/trendy/warehouse feel to it. All good so far.

And they're doing some things right - they've implemented a successful referral campaign, they've created an actual "sales process" so that when you come on your first visit you get presented with discount coupons for your second and third visits to get clients coming back.  They greet people by name regardless of whether they've met you before or not.  You get an actual "hair consultation" which is of course a sales pitch for the latest and greatest products that will transform your golden locks from drab to fab.  All good stuff and a good start to creating a platform to really grow your business from.

But here's their $100K+ mistake.

Their location absolutely sucks.  They're situated in the outskirts of Ann Arbor in an area I can only call industrial.  But worse than that, they're part of a strip mall that has, as their neighbors, many visibly struggling small businesses, and several vacant store fronts.  All with a very dilapidated feel to it.

When I pulled up to my first consultation, I could hardly believe where this salon was located.  From the outside there was absolutely no street appeal created by the owners to make their salon at least look somewhat inviting despite it's horrid surroundings.  I wondered what kind of place this was and had it not been that a good friend and client had referred me, I would have turned my car around and canceled my appointment on the way out.

No doubt this owner thought he was "saving" money by paying a lot less in rent.

He probably figured that as the interior of the salon was so nice, and they were good at what they did, they could be located nearly anywhere.  Little does he realize the true cost of this giant mistake.  If he moved to downtown Ann Arbor - yes he would pay a lot more in rent but this would be more than offset from the higher prices he could then command (clever positioning), attract and retain better talent, attract far more prospective clients just from visibility...the list goes on and on.

Also, on researching this salon, I found glowing reviews.  Except that 3 mentioned the sinking feeling and intrepidation they felt on driving up and seeing it from the outside.  For every one client who mentions it, at least 100 think it...

You may or may not have a physical location that you operate your business from.  Regardless, learn from this mistake and review objectively the interaction your prospects have with your business before, during and after they do business with you.  It'll make a HUGE difference to your bottom line.  If you need help, call my office and ask about my End-To-End Sales Choreography service - from prospect to close and happily-ever-after after sales.

Have a great weekend! Julie

It Takes 12 Miles of Cotton To Make This Lands' End Shirt ...

State just the facts but make it extraordinary by telling a story.  Begin with your headline (12 miles), continue with the weave and yarn (you can't quite recall what the short makers call it but you're impressed).  Tell about just a few of the steps (not all 69), about the "super durable buttons" (only 62 in the whole world - you're also creating scarcity), and the 120 lock stitched buttonholes.  Tell your story with about 12 steps in all, plus the promise of a great price, a better than money back guarantee, a free catalog.  Throw in multiple calls to action.  Put the headline under the picture...sit back and watch the sales flood in.

How risk reversal can transform your business & beat your competition every.single.time

A mother was looking to buy a pony for her little girl.  She had done her homework and knew exactly what she wanted.  After a bit of searching the mother found 2 ponies that were virtually identical in size, age, temperament and training. All that differed between them was the asking price.

The first farmer wanted $500 for his pony. He told the mother all she needed to do was to write him a check for $500 and the pony would be delivered to her.

The second farmer wanted $1000 for his pony.  He wanted the little girl to have the pony right away but he didn't want any payment for it.

Instead the second farmer offered to deliver the pony to the little girl for a full month.  He'd bring all the pony's feed and supplements for that month, so it wouldn't cost the mother anything to "try out" the pony.  And he'd send his barn manager over to the little girl's house once a week to teach her how to groom, feed and care for her pony.  He told the mother that the pony was kind and gentle, but that the little girl should ride the pony every day, just to make sure they got along.  He also offered two free lessons with his wife (who happened to be a certified horse riding instructor).  All at absolutely zero cost.

If at the end of the 4 weeks, if the mother decided she wanted the pony, then the $1000 would be payable then.  And if she decided that she didn't, then the farmer would send out his barn manager to clean out her stall and pick up the pony. No questions asked, no mess left behind, no payment needed.

Which pony do you think the mother bought for her little girl?

Obviously there was no contest. And it will be no contest for you if you incorporate strong risk reversal in your business operation.  By completely eliminating the risk from the buying decision - you make it easier for your client to say "yes" instead of "no" and you eliminate the major barrier to them buying.

How?

You need to totally and completely guarantee the purchase for your client.  Think about what your clients want most from purchasing your product or service.  Then guarantee them that outcome, or they can have their money back.  If it's not practical to fully guarantee the entire purchase then guarantee whatever portion of the purchase is practical.

Take my guarantee for example.  I back all my services with my 100% Grin-Ear-To-Ear Happiness Guarantee.  If for any reason my clients aren't happy with any of my work - then I'll do whatever it takes to make them grin ear to ear - whether that means: completely reworking a campaign at my cost, refunding their money, or both.  No hard feelings.  Whatever it takes to make my clients happy, I'll do it.

And everyone wins.

My clients win because they get a truly amazing service or they can get every penny they paid back.  I'm motivated to work even harder to ensure my client is happy because of my guarantee.  And I win because I get a happy client who'll keep using my services and will spread the word.

Reverse the risk in your business and place this message up front and center in all your marketing.  Watch what a difference it makes.

Stop Guessing. Start Tracking...

your marketing that is... :) Remember that the ONLY reason you spend money in your business, is to make more money.

How do you know what's actually working to bring you new customers or bring back old ones, unless you ruthlessly track the marketing results of every dollar you spend.

Sounds hard but it isn't.  Here's how you do it.

For every piece of advertising you put out there - you include an offer that is unique for every ad.  So if you're running a half page display ad in the local newspaper, for example, you include at the bottom an irresistible offer (of course with a deadline imposed) but that contains a unique call to action.  So the simplest would be a unique coupon code redeemable at your business or website, or a specific webpage to visit where they enter their details.  Easy, trackable and you get the added bonus of capturing their contact details to add to your mailing list.

But if your business doesn't fit this model - the dead easiest way to track your advertising is have them call a number to place their order and ask for a person of a fictitious name (eg To order call now and ask for Marlene).  If you have 10 different ads running at the same time, you use 10 different names to find which ads are driving in the most business.  Obviously the person at the other end of the phone in your business is already fully briefed on your tracking strategy so when a call for Marlene comes through, she pretends to be Marlene and keeps a record of the call.

Tracking should apply to every little piece of advertising you put out in the marketplace.  You will be amazed at what the results are.  Often they are the exact opposite of what you'd expect.  Once you find a winning advertisement, keep it as your control piece and make minor tweaks to it (one tweak at a time otherwise you won't know what worked!) to see if you can bump the response rate and beat the control.

Happy tracking!