- Posted by Jeff Vacek
- On June 23, 2016
- 0 Comments
- Jeff Vacek, Selling
First, I need to give credit where credit is due…
This post was originally written in its entirety by my great friend and world renowned direct-response copywriter, Guy Lyman.
If you are EVER in need of any copywriting, messaging, offer creation, etc. type of work then look no further than Guy.
He is the ‘Michael Jordan’ of direct-response copy and once even beat the great Joe Sugarman in a head-to-head copywriting competition.
Anyway, you can reach Guy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for who you are and what you do Guy!
On with the post…
From hardware in a 1930 Sears catalog to webinars on self-improvement, the basic principles of effective selling haven’t changed much. The same things that made for successful marketing in the early days of consumer products hold true today.
If you’re selling yourself, there are books and CDs and webinars, but behind these are the brands – the people themselves – trying to build followings that translate into long-term loyalty and income.
I’ve boiled the key factors in marketing success into Five “P’s”. Get all five of these right and you can’t help but succeed. Get even one wrong and you’ll likely fail.
Great product at the right price, but talking to the wrong audience? Or to the right audience, but with the wrong message? You won’t get far.
So let’s take a quick tour through the Five “P’s”. And by all means, be sure you’re solid in all five areas before you put your time and money behind an effort to build your guru business.
You’d think this would be by far the most important factor in marketing success: what is it you’re actually selling? Is itgood? But ironically, in 35 years of helping people market their products and services, I’ve been less concerned with this than the four other “P’s.” You’ve heard the expression that a certain person could sell “ice to an Eskimo.” There’s a certain degree of truth to this. It’s what people believe the product will do for them that makes them pull out the credit card. It’s how it’s packaged, priced and promoted that matters.
In our industry, there are consultants who will actually “give” you a dozen or two free subjects to build a guru business around. “How to be more organized.” “How to create a mindset of success.” “Take your spirituality to the next level.” “How to create great relationships.” You get the picture. The “products” in our business aren’t hard to come by.
This being said: I’m not maintaining that it doesn’t matter what you’re putting out there. For one thing, there’s your integrity to think about: are you really going to help people, or just try to take their money? At Guru Authority, in fact, we won’t accept clients with weak or misleading products. There’s also the longevity of your business; put junk out there and you won’t get repeat business – you’ll have to continually find new “suckers.” And finding new customers ishard. In the long run, you’ll fade into the long history of fly-by-night hucksters.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Through my years in advertising, I’ve heard variations called the “unique selling proposition,” the “benefit,” you name it. What it really is is the “what’s in it for me?” People don’t want a drill; they want HOLES IN THINGS. They want to be happier, richer, healthier, prettier. Always, as you formulate your message, put yourself figuratively across the table from your ideal prospect and convince them: why do they absolutely need what you’re selling? What’s in it for them? And importantly (particularly in the guru industry): how is what you’re offering different from what they’ve heard a million times before? The more specific and unique you can be, the better. You might want to avoid the broad and overworked: unless you’re already very well known, it’s going to be hard for you to go out there as an expert in “how to be more successful” or “how to maximize your relationships” or “how to bring joy into your life.”
Bad list? Good luck. It doesn’t matter how good what you’re offering is, how well it’s priced or how brilliantly you’re promoting it if you’re either 1.) talking to the wrong people, or 2.) talking to people on a list that’s worn out. This is a principle that like the others long precedes the age of the Internet and the email list. It was true when direct mail was king and we paid lots of money for mailing lists. And it’s been true for print advertising from the beginning – advertise in the wrong magazine, waste your money on the wrong prospects, and you won’t last long. Many of you are or will be building your OWN email lists, from scratch. That’s a science in itself.
The right price can mean the difference between a modest income and riches, or even between failure and success. Yet it’s incredible to me how little testing is done with various price points. You might find there’s little price resistance between, say, a $299 price point and a $499 price point. And if your cost of goods is, say, $100, every sale at $499 generates twice the profit. More Chivas Regal was sold after the price was tripled. Test, test, test! If you want to have some fun, read the classic short book “Scientific Advertising” by Claude Hopkins. My mentor David Ogilvy said about this book: “”Nobody, at any level, should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book seven times.”
How are you packaging your offering? What’s the “deal”? Yes, this flows into price, but what about free bonuses to garner email addresses or sweeten your deal? Free trials? Up-sells? Cross-sells? Is there limited-time offer? Price and promotion demand constant experimentation, in the form of variations on what they pay and what they get for it. The good news is there’s an enormous history of success to draw from in our business. When in doubt, imitate the models of the best in the business!
So let’s say you’ve got all these right and you still aren’t making money. Frankly, that’s not possible, unless you really do have something people just do not want no matter how you market it. Before you reach this conclusion, take this checklist of the 5 “P’s” and figure out your weak spot. Tweak one, then another, until the cash starts flowing. It can take persistence, but nobody said being an Internet entrepreneur is easy – and the rewards can be huge.
Thanks for reading!