Managing Your Marketing In Times Of Crisis


Thanks to Netage for the use of this article:


With the ongoing global health crisis caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic of COVID-19 now starting to hit hard in the world, many businesses are faced with difficult decisions to make in the face of challenging circumstances. And make no mistake, these are challenging times for business, and we need to be prepared for a struggle.

With orders and sales and bookings down, companies are looking for ways to save money quickly, and marketing budgets are often seen as an easy target. But cutting your marketing is a short-term fix that might have long-term implications, because maintaining your visibility in the market is critical for lasting success. Remember, your customers might be being cautious, but they’re still spending on the right products, from companies they trust.

Prepare Your Marketing Activity

With that in mind, here are a few things to keep in mind while you’re preparing your business to weather these uncertain times.

Customer Retention

Hanging on to your existing customers is always easier, and cheaper, than having to find new customers, but like the old saying has it, “out of sight is out of mind.”

Whether it’s personalized touch base emails to your clients, or relevant social posts, you need to keep contact with them wherever you can during their online journeys to ensure that even if they’re not buying or booking or ordering now, they will be again when they have the chance.

No matter what the circumstances, content creation remains a critical part of the process of keeping in touch with existing clients, whether it’s news, innovations, or relevant information that helps keep you top of mind.

Leverage your social media following and exposure to engage with your customers wherever they’re reviewing your products, discussing their purchase decisions, or talking about your business itself. Wherever they are in the social funnel, you need to be able to reach them, not to advertise, but to make valuable and appropriate contributions to their discussions.

Visibility, Visibility, Visibility

Creating brand awareness means being always visible, and once you drop off the radar, you might as well not exist anymore as far as many potential clients are concerned. You need to be visible at every point of the buying cycle, especially when your potential clients are searching for what you offer.

Studies have shown that consumers can develop a preference for your brand / products / services only because they are more aware of them. It’s known as the “mere-exposure effect” and its impact on generating business should never be underestimated.

This is the perfect time to explore low cost strategies for regularly keeping your brand visible in front of potential clients on a frequent basis. A budget dedicated to maintaining visibility will give you long-term benefits, and pairing this with quality content creation means it will pay a dividend long after the work is done.

Conversion Optimization

The 80/20 business rule states that usually, 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your clients. Conversion optimization involves small changes to your visitors journey through your site in order to encourage more of them to convert. This way, you can get more business from the same number of visitors you’re already getting.

This includes reducing or removing barriers to conversion, adding things like case studies, reviews and social proof to the site in order to increase credibility, and making small changes over time to try and improve the customer experience.

It’s a long-term strategy, but small changes can have big impacts, if you’re changing the right things.

Track Everything

When it comes to online marketing, you can’t make the right decisions if you don’t have the right data. No management without measurement. Use this time to make sure that you’ve defined key performance indicators, and that you’re accurately measuring sales, leads, etc. etc. not just online, but across the business as a whole.

When you’re deciding where to cut back, you need to be sure that you have a clear idea of your ROI so that you can be confident that any changes will benefit you, rather than ending up costing you sales.

Plan For Today & Tomorrow

We know that it’s going to be tough times for everybody for a while, and it’s important to stay positive, and be proactive as much as possible. When you start making decisions about how to weather the crisis, make sure you’re making the right decisions, and that the data backs them up.

And remember, this too shall pass. And when we come out the other side, you need to be positioned to not only keep going, but to be able to benefit as much as possible.

Blame Television For Everything That’s Wrong In Your World 

Feeling a little out of sorts lately? Not accomplishing your life’s goals? Fatter and balder than you wish you were? Don’t worry, it’s not your fault! You can blame everything that’s wrong in your world on…. TELEVISION!

I’ve told you before that everything you know about marketing is wrong. Let’s start to clarify that statement a little bit…everything you know about marketing does not effectively allow you to accurately and succinctly portray your inside reality to the outside world. This is a product of years and decades of being conditioned to doing marketing the wrong way. Let me take you by the hand on a quick guided tour of why we’re in this situation. I think you’ll have a better appreciation for the problem itself, as well as the solution to the problem, if you have a better foundation of why the problem exists in the first place.

In the early days of advertising–the late 1800’s and early 1900’s–most companies were competing on a local or regional basis…and because of that, competition was fierce. Much of the advertising was comparative in nature. They wouldn’t just say, “Hey, we’re better.” They’d say, “We’re better, and here’s exactly why…based on this, this, this, this, and this.” On average they did a pretty good job building a case and helping prospective buyers understand the important issues in regard to their particular product or service.

This all helped to facilitate the decision making process of the prospective buyer, which is what marketing is supposed to do on a base level anyway. In other words, the ads performed a sales function. This highly competitive environment forced advertisers to use their brains when writing ads, and the beneficiary was the buyer. Back in those days, ads were thought of as an “army of tiny sales people all armed with the perfect sales presentation.” The result was that the outside perception was generally a pretty good reflection of a company’s inside reality. 

All this helped, for the most part, clear up through the end of World War II. Then, everything changed. At that time, Americans had unprecedented prosperity, free time, and discretionary income. For the first time in the history of the world, the average citizen of our country said, “Hey, I’m doing pretty good. I’ve got some time, I’ve got some money, and I’m ready to CONSUME!”

Then the most significant event in the history of marketing and advertising occurred. In 1945 television was first commercially introduced….and it changed everything. At the time, there were less than seven thousand TV sets receiving signals from just nine stations in five markets. From there, it mushroomed. By 1951, less than six years later, there were twelve million sets. One year after that, in 1952, there were twenty million sets. 

Here’s how that changed advertising…I’m talking about all advertising…even if your company doesn’t use television advertising, what you’re about to learn has directly impacted you… and in a negative way: In the 50’s, the typical family in America had one TV set that received just 3 channels…and everybody in the family sat around and watched it practically every night. Television was very influential. Some of the biggest companies in the country said, “Hey, here’s a way that we can reach everybody in the whole country with an advertising message, and we can do it pretty cheap.”

Up until then, total national distribution of an advertising message was extremely limited to print advertising in a few magazines or in the Sears catalog. Now these advertisers could buy a TV commercial and reach literally just about every living person in the country while they were sitting around watching the boob tube, and it only cost just four thousand dollars a minute. What a bargain, even in 1950’s money! When more and more companies began to catch on to this, the prices for commercials went through the roof. Local and regional competitors quickly lost their ability to buy airtime, and soon only the largest national companies could afford the huge advertising rates, but because they were so big and already had national distribution for their products…and because of the almost instantaneous effectiveness of those advertisements, they gladly paid the money.

As advertising prices went up, the length of the average TV commercial shrank down. Instead of one or two minutes per commercial, the networks started selling them in 30 second blocks. Now here comes the key point: This meant that advertisers had less time to sell–and therefore had less time to educate prospective consumers on the important issues and build a case as to why they were different or better or unique–so instead, they started using slogans. It started getting harder and harder for a company or product’s outside perception to accurately reflect it’s inside reality.

On a base level, what is marketing supposed to do? First, marketing has to get the prospect’s attention. Even with only 30 seconds, getting attention was still not a problem. But then what? Marketing’s next job after interruption is to facilitate the prospect’s decision-making process and make the them feel like they would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone else but that company…regardless of price. Companies and their ad agencies found that this was a lot harder to do with only 30 seconds. But they also found out that they didn’t really need to do it because the number of real competitors–that is, the number of competitors that could actually afford to be on the tube advertising alongside them–was amazingly, very few.

They found out that with television, because of the limited number of players, they could just spend money and win by default. Not by better products, not by having a better inside reality. Not by better advertising. They discovered they could win by being the only one who got to the consumer on a consistent basis. It’s like winning in sports by forfeit–if the other team doesn’t show up, you automatically win! If there happened to be two or three major competitors–say like Pepsi and Coke–that was fine because there was plenty of business to divide two or three ways. The bottom line is that because of the circumstances, a company’s inside reality and outside perception didn’t have to match up; the lack of a substantial number of choices eliminated this necessity.

Can you see where this is heading, and how it affects you? Because of the reduced amount of time available, and because of the relatively few number of competitors, all of the focus shifted to simply getting attention.  Advertising quickly lost it’s penchant for selling and developed an appetite for creativity. The idea was to get into the consumer’s brain with something creative that would stimulate them and cause them to recall the product later on when they needed it. Like I said earlier, that’s when slogans began to rule the roost. Aren’t you glad you use dial? Ring around the collar. Melts in your mouth not in your hands. How about this one: Don’t squeeze the…….. that’s right, Charmin. How do you know that? That commercial hasn’t run in almost twenty years!

The creative approach took over and soon began to filter to all other advertising media, including radio, newspaper, magazines, billboards, yellow pages, you name it. Once the creative message was in place, these big companies opened up the checkbook, spent the big bucks, and basically gave people no option but to remember the message. After 6,722 times of hearing “Plop plop, fizz, fizz,” you’re going to remember it whether you want to or not! We call this using the “C&R” Formula–C for creativity and R for repetition. Make something unusual or weird, spend a zillion dollars, and haul your dough to the bank.

So how does this work now, in today’s marketplace? Not as well as you’d probably like it to. It does still depend, to a certain extent, on how much money you have to spend. But to see it’s true effectiveness, let me give you some slogans of companies now, and you tell me if you can name a) what company the slogans are for, b) what they do, and c) what you think their inside reality is. I’m betting you won’t get more than zero or one.

Okay, here goes:

The Power To Know

Log in and meet

At your side

A Passion for the middle market

Instruments for professionals

Now you’re really flying

Everywhere you go

These are all slogans that were pulled out of a major business magazine for major companies with major products or services. There has been a lot of money spent to support these campaigns and these slogans and in order to raise “awareness.”  But chances are none of them had any impact on you at all. “Now you’re really flying?” Come on, can you tell what the inside reality of that company is? No way.

Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a slogan. But I am saying that if it’s all you’re relying on, you’re in for trouble. Even if you do spend enough money to garner widespread awareness, there’s still no guarantee that people will know what the heck your inside reality is and feel compelled to buy something from you. There’s a big gap between what the ad agencies like to call “awareness” and what we like to call “selling something.”

Bottom line: You need to be cognizant that your ideas about advertising have been shaped by all the commercials you’ve seen from huge companies over the last 25 to 50 years. All is not lost, however. We can still recover. The answer is the Adult B2B Marketing System.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

If Your Customers Love You, Why Aren’t They Sending Their Friends In Droves?

If your customers are so grateful for your service or love your product so much why aren’t they telling all of their friends and family about you? Why aren’t you flooded with new business who already knows just how great you are? Where is the proof of the all-powerful word of mouth?
Marketing Quick Tip: Referrals

1. Get Real: Conventional wisdom says to ask for referrals when you make the sale. That’s not horrible advice, but don’t get your hopes up too high, either. Why not? Because chances are good that your (new) customer honestly doesn’t know anyone else right now who needs what you sell. At least not right at that moment. Think about it. Do you keep a mental inventory of what all of your friends may or may not want or need? Let’s say you switch to a new swimming pool service company, and the salesman asks you if you know anyone else who might want to switch. How could you possibly even know that? Likewise, your customers probably have no idea which of their friends would be excited to purchase a new water softener, giant subwoofer, lizard skin attaché case, or (insert your product here) either.

2. Beware Reward Programs: I’ve seen reward-for-referral programs that work, but more frequently they overwhelm your customers, frustrate your salespeople, and ultimately end up gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. If you insist on a reward program, keep it really, really simple. Like: “Give us 10 names right now and we’ll give you a $50 Outback Steakhouse gift card right now.” That way nobody has to remember to do anything later. Because we all know that stuff that’s going to get done later never actually gets done. Plus the reward is a lot more tempting when they can get it RIGHT NOW.?

3. It’s The System: Here’s how referrals REALLY happen: Your customer is sitting at dinner with their friend who, during the course of ROUTINE conversation, mentions something about how they were having a pool party, but the pool guy didn’t show up that week, and so they tried to treat it themselves, and all the kids ended up with red eyes because the chlorine was out of whack. Your customer can now either refer their friend to you. or the can NOT refer their friend to you. The key here is to make sure that you are putting your name in front of their face frequently enough so that they remember who you are when this situation comes up. Think they won’t forget you? Don’t kid yourself. With 9,433 things going on in their lives, you and your great pool service are low on their list. My advice: send monthly postcards with specials, testimonials, or straight-up referral requests.?

4. Raving Fans!: The best way to get your customers to talk about your business is to knock their socks off when you sell them in the first place. Innovation and excellence will gain far more referrals than any “program” you can put in place. Think about it for a minute? When was the last time you were TRULY astounded by great service, unbelievable quality, or a unique buying experience. Sadly, the answer is probably, “I can’t really remember.” Fix that, and your referral problem will automatically fix itself. 

Want to find out more? Get a MARKETING EVALUATION

The Pursuit Of Wow

Within Seconds Of Seeing This Dude On Video For The First Time, I Knew He Was Worth Paying Attention To

Learn About Tom Peters, The Man Who Rants, Raves, And Screams

About Treating Customers & Employees Right. I Mean RIGHT!

The first time I ever saw or heard of Tom Peters, it was a mind-blowing experience.

I was a senior at S.F. State in 1979, and life was hectic.Then move on to bigger, more important things as you become a practiced “change artist.” I was juggling a job, a full class load and working for a local radio station.

The teacher announced we’d be watching a video and dimmed the lights. Perfect. I’d be able to sleep without anyone noticing and without missing anything important.

Then some guy came on the screen and started ranting and screaming. He got so worked up in the first ten seconds I thought he was going to have a heart attack and die right there on screen. Take a look:

A Passion For Customers with Tom Peters

Within seconds, I realized that this dude—whoever he was—had something worth paying attention to. So I did the unthinkable and got out a piece of paper and took notes. Pages of notes. Detailed notes. What I heard was so refreshing and so (it turns out) unique, that I actually went back and summarized the key points from my notes. That little forty-five-minute video became a keystone for my way of thinking about quality, service, and customer service for the rest of my career.

On the video he profiled five companies and told how they destroyed their competition by focusing all their energies on their customers wants and needs.

Turns out, this dude’s name was Tom Peters, and he had written a book called In Search of Excellence in 1982 that has often been called the best business book ever. He went on to write over a dozen more books that encourage companies to be innovative, to focus on customers, and to do things right.

My goal today is to take some of the best Tom Peters advice and convey it to you. This is not a regurgitation of one of his books; it’s not a Tom Peters’ “greatest hits.” It’s simply the best principles I’ve personally been able to pull from my years of study of his books. Consider a “Tom Peters Cliff’s Notes.”

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite Tom Peters stuff:

1. Make A Decision: Determine right here and right now that you are going to set a matchless standard for service. Even if you’re currently not in a position to follow through, set the standard and work toward it constantly. It should be the first thing on your mind in the morning. Don’t worry about being clumsy or getting it wrong. Picture yourself as the greatest in your field and start accordingly. It all starts with the decision to do it.

2. Customers Are NOT #1: The number one priority should be the employees, not the customers! If the employees are feeling good and doing their jobs, then the customers will naturally benefit! Empower employees to try things without fear of failure or reprimand. Hire smart and expect a lot—you will get what you ask for.

3. Treat Them Differently: Don’t make work all serious all the time. Give employees a break… do something different… call a timeout… change the scenery… celebrate success! Encourage them to read good books and implement ideas. Have a “spring training” where you get them all together and work on fundamentals in a fun, out-of-the ordinary way and place.

4. It’s Show Business! Whatever your job, make it into a show! If you work in retail, make your seventy-five square feet or three tables come to LIFE! Change the course of somebody’s day. Carefully plan how you can infuse imagination and zeal into your work to recreate it on a daily basis.

5. Blow It All Up! The way you’re doing things now won’t keep you ahead for very long! When things are going well, resist the temptation to ease up. Make a plan for systemic, incremental change. Change ten things completely every sixty days. Start with minor things like the brand of coffee or the size of post it notes. Then move on to bigger, more important things as you become a practiced “change artist.”

6. Humanize! Ultimately, you’re doing business with PEOPLE, not companies. Take time to search for and perform small acts of human kindness; your customers will notice and appreciate. The service you render is more valuable for the server than it is for the served. Tom calls this mindfulness, and you can read a great column by Peters here that talks about the power of thank you notes and a story about elderly nursing home patients who thrive when asked to care for house plants. Yes, house plants!

7. Relationships. Relationships: Forge relationships with both employees and customers. In the end, they make all the difference in the world. Send thank you notes; recognize people for any contribution that’s worthwhile. Use your lunches to advance relationships, not agendas. Dress for success. Solve problems now instead of letting them linger. Travel 3,000 miles to close a deal if you have to. Relationships are everything!

8. It’s The Small Stuff: Don’t take anything for granted—dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. Make sure your invoices are errorless. If your bathrooms are clean, what else is going wrong? The devil IS in the details and little stuff WILL torpedo the big stuff. Work on accumulating small wins—they’ll add up to a major victory.

9. The “Bump Into” Factor: Make your results and progress visually tangible. Post statistics on customer service. Distribute letters from happy customers—and mad ones. Plaster photos of your customers on the wall—how about a “wall of fame”? Invite customers over to your place—let them look around and see what you really look like. Pass out awards to employees for heroism, innovation, and little stuff.

There’s more, of course. Much more. But this is a good start. Think about your business, and infuse a little Tom Peters into your thinking… and you’re DOING.

I think Peters summed it up best in his 1994 book titled The Pursuit of WOW! Tom Peters is all about WOW and keeping your customers coming back simply because they can’t bear the thought of going anywhere else.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

Genius Marketing Advice From A Middle-Of-Nowhere Drugstore

They Started With A Few Billboards For Free Ice Water… And Quickly Became A Marketing Phenomenon

The Most Staggering Marketing Statistic I’ve Ever Seen….

The most inspiring marketing campaign I’ve ever seen came out of nowhere… in the middle of nowhere. Keep reading because this idea can (and WILL!) produce results in any company’s marketing.

This story dates back to 2005, although none of the critical facts have changed one iota since then.
I was on a 4,975 mile cross country vacation with my wife. After driving from California to Idaho then on to Yellowstone Park, we found ourselves in Rapid City, SD admiring the presidential head carvings of Mt. Rushmore.

The next day after lunch, headed east on I-90 with a destination of Sioux City, SD. About fifty miles east of Rapid City on Interstate 90 we passed a pinprick on the map called Wall, South Dakota. It sits on the edge of the Dakota Badlands, and under normal conditions, it would be one of those no-stoplight towns you’d never exit for in a million years unless nature was calling in the fiercest of ways and you didn’t have an empty bottle handy.

But the conditions surrounding Wall are NOT normal… thanks to Ted Husted.

Ted is the third generation owner of Wall Drug, the mother lode of all weary tourist oases. While most rest stops are nothing more than gas stations with 7-11’s attached to them, Wall Drug is a block-sized bonanza of refreshment, shopping, and entertainment opportunities, including carnival games, museums, a shopping mall, restrooms, restaurants, an arcade, a gas station, a playground complete with an eighty-foot dinosaur, and more. And there it sits, basically, in the proverbial “middle of nowhere.”

Ted’s grandfather, also named Ted, moved to Wall in 1931, with his wife Dorothy and bought the local drugstore. Relatives called them crazy. At the time, the entire town only had 329 residents, and the Depression had sapped them of their money and their will. The Husted’s gave themselves a five year deadline to make the store work, and if not, they vowed to move back to Sioux Falls and get “normal” jobs. When five years was up, progress was minimal, and they nearly abandoned the implausible dream.

Then inspiration struck. One particularly hot August day, Grandma Husted got the bright idea to put signs up along the main road offering free ice water to cross-country travelers. Success was instant; travelers stopped by in hoards and not only ordered free ice water, but ice cream, candy, and other travel treats. Soon the Husteds added more signs. And then more. And then more.

Fast forward to the 2005 vacation. As we pulled out of the Best Western in Rapid City at about 1 PM heading east on I-90, I was absolutely blown away by the multitude of Wall Drug billboards dotting the landscape for as far as the eye could see.

Free Coffee and Donuts for Newlyweds—Wall Drug. 6 Foot Rabbit—Wall Drug. Wood Carvings—Wall Drug. 5 Cent Coffee—Wall Drug. Traveler’s Chapel—Wall Drug. Shootin’ Gallery—Wall Drug. Silver Dollar Display—Wall Drug. Real Americana—Wall Drug. New T-Rex—Wall Drug.

I think you get the idea. If not, maybe this mega-collage will help:

Over the fifty-mile stretch between Rapid City and Wall, I conservatively estimate that we passed a staggering eighty (yes, eighty—think about that before proceeding—FREAKING EIGHTY) billboards promoting Wall Drug. Easily one every twenty to forty seconds. Some were big. Some were small. Some were old and worn. Some were freshly painted and new. Most sat right on the freeway. Some were off in the distance. Sometimes you could see two or three at a time. And all of them were provocative—even for non-marketing junkies.

A few hundred miles later we finally landed in Sioux City for the night, and I fired up the laptop and did some online research.

As I read through the Wall Drug website, I found a statistic that is now officially the most shocking marketing statistic I have ever encountered. Turns out, all those crazy billboards really work—to the tune of 70%. That is, seventy percent of all cars that pass Wall, SD on Interstate 90 STOP. Seven out of every ten people who drive by can’t resist the siren’s song and convince themselves that, Starbucks be damned, they’ve got to have a cup of five-cent coffee… or at least check out the extensive collection of wood carvings. That seventy percent translates into as many as 20,000 visitors a day in the summer—nearly as many as the neighboring Rocky Noggins themselves.

So here are a few simple questions for the intelligent marketing reader:

Do you think there’s a positive correlation between the number of billboards (eighty) and the conversion ratio (70%)? Of course—that one was easy.

What if the number of billboards was lowered from eighty over that fifty-mile stretch to just fifty? That’s about one per mile, or one every forty seconds if you’re driving ninety miles per hour (it is South Dakota, after all!). Would that make a difference in the conversion ratio? Probably a little bit.

What if the number was just ten billboards over fifty miles—one every five miles. Would the conversion ratio drop? Almost certainly.

What if there were just two billboards? Would anyone even notice the place?

What if there were NO billboards?

Finally, the most important question: How many contacts do you have with your prospects when they’re checking out your business? That’s what I thought—not nearly enough!

So you want more new customers? Take a page from Husted’s book: Wall Drug ’em. The marketing ramifications of this “million billboards in fifty miles” masterpiece are significant. And most of them don’t have anything to do with billboards. The “Wall Drug effect” is much greater than that.

Let me give you an example.

Think about a typical new home builder. They spend a couple million bucks to buy and develop a piece of land for a neighborhood and another half a million dollars to build and furnish a beautiful model home on it. Then they pay a salesperson to sit there all weekend and wait for you to walk in after seeing the advertising they spent a small fortune to produce and place in the newspaper and on billboards. By the time you finally wander into the model home, poke around, and get harassed by the salesman, they’re up to roughly $31 billion dollars in cost incurred… just to get you to the point where you’ll fill out one of those little cards with your contact information.

So then what do they do? In most cases, if they do anything at all (and most don’t), they slam the checkbook shut and instead of spending any kind of significant money on their best prospects—the ones who have already set foot in their extraordinarily expensive model home—they instead mail out a cheap little handwritten thank you card that asks you to “please buy a home from them” that arrives about two weeks after the initial visit. I guess they figure if you didn’t buy on the spot when you set foot in the model, that you either a) must not want to buy a home from them, or b) will be instantly swayed to make a half-million-dollar-plus purchase decision based solely on their riveting handwritten message. When was the last time you bought a home after one look and a thank you card?

Talk about rocky noggins.

A few important points: First of all, most people who visit a model home are there because they’re looking to buy a new home; they’re not just looking for their health. Second of all, because of the magnitude of the purchase and the sheer number of available choices, most people are probably going to look at more than one model home—this ain’t like buying a tube of anti-fungal ointment at Walgreen’s—people are going to look around and compare their options. Third, by the time the builder’s measly little platitude-filled, hyperbole-laden Hallmark-wannabe thank you card arrives two weeks after the fact, the memory of their model home visit has probably been buried deeper than the ruins of the Titanic in the prospect’s mental archives.

All that considered, how ‘bout we put Wall Drug to work for this home builder? What if the salesperson took that extremely valuable contact information card that the prospect filled out and input the data into a computer, and they did it (gasp!) on the very same day it was filled it. Now imagine this scenario unfolding: once the data is input, a thank you email is instantaneously launched and waiting for you by the time you arrived home from a day of house hunting. The email goes on to acknowledge the effort put into finding a home and points out some of the advantages of buying a home from this particular builder. The same day, a six by eleven inch full-color postcard is mailed that contains a powerfully stated, well-articulated message that points at some of the advantages of buying their home. Since it’s going through the mail, it arrives one to three days after your visit.

Okay, so now what? We’ll, let’s Wall Drug ’em.

How about one postcard every two days for the next three weeks? There are six mail days per week, so that’s a total of nine additional postcards in twenty-one days. After that, maybe we can cut it back to one postcard every three days for an additional two weeks. That’s four more—and a total of fourteen postcards in five weeks. Meanwhile, we could send an email every five days during that same span—that’s eight total emails (including the initial ‘thank you’ one). So here’s what we have: during the five-week span of time starting the day the prospect walks in the model home, we get twenty-two “touches.”

Question: approximately how many touches do you think they’re getting from other home builders whose models they’ve visited? My guess: about ZERO. Think this increases the likelihood of converting a prospect into a sale? Remember the most shocking marketing statistic I’ve ever heard? SEVENTY PERCENT!!!!

If it sounds too difficult to manage that kind of mailing program, here’s the good news. There’s software that can manage everything for you—including sending the right postcards to the right prospects on the right days. It can digitally print the postcards you need when you need them. And as for expense—emails are free, of course, and postcards cost about ninety cents each to print and mail. Ninety cents times fourteen postcards is a whopping $12.60. How much do you think it costs to get that prospect in the door in the first place? Would you be willing to spend an extra $12.60 over five weeks if it could raise your conversion ratio by 10%… 20%… 50%…. up to 100%?

You may not have an eighty-foot T-Rex or a six-foot tall rabbit to capture attention for your business. But you can benefit from the same principles that have led to Wall Drug’s success. All it takes is a little imagination and some disciplined execution… and if you need inspiration, just think SEVENTY PERCENT!

So… are you ready to “Wall Drug ’em!?”

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

Leveraging Your Company’s Hidden Assets – Part 2

More Hidden Gems That Are Just Waiting To Make You More Money

Even More Money-Making Opportunities Sitting Right Under Your Nose, Just Waiting To Be Discovered & Exploited

Okay, it’s time to ramp up the 2nd half of our discussion about hidden assets… here we go!

Hidden Asset #6 – Relationships: Think about all the people you’ve done business with over the years, and then ask yourself this question: Which of them, if any, run or manage businesses that sell stuff to your same target market? By your target market, I mean people who are the same demographics as your typical customer.

The answer to this question might surprise you.

These people can endorse your company and services to THEIR customer list as a way for you to generate leads. I won’t go into a tremendous amount of detail now—I’ll save this for a more complete posting later—but suffice it to say, they send out an email or Facebook posting and you get leads.

Why would they do this? MONEY! You will PAY THEM for every customer that actually buys.

Hidden Asset #7 – Expertise: If you’ve been around a while, then you’re probably pretty darn good at what you do, right? So why not leverage your expertise into making yourself an AUTHORITY on the what you do? If you become a recognized authority on the subject, people will come to you for advice, they’ll look to you for solutions—and they’ll buy from you because they trust that you know what you’re talking about.

So how do you leverage expertise into becoming an authority? For starters, write a blog. Not a BS blog full of stupid articles that no real person would actually read. But create a series of ongoing articles that tackle real issues in your industry, offer real advice, and share your real, hard-earned experiences. You’re reading this… from a self-proclaimed marketing expert. But if you go back and read over 100 posts that are readily available right in front of your face, you’ll start to realize that maybe I actually DO know a thing or two. To create authority as a blogger, you have to be consistent.

Next, get your stuff published by somebody else. It could be a publication or website that focuses on the industry. Guess what? They are all ravenously STARVING for great content. If you have great content, they’ll eagerly publish it.

Start small and use your brain.

Other ideas include giving seminars at shows, writing a book and becoming a guest speaker.

Hidden Asset #8 – Identity: You’re probably pretty good at what you do, right? But can prospects easily tell—at a glance—what makes you different and better than all your competitors? After evaluating marketing from THOUSANDS of companies, I can tell you the answer: NO.

There’s a huge disconnect for most companies between HOW GOOD THEY REALLY ARE and the message they use in their marketing to communicate those advantages. They key is to make the message match the reality of your company… which is what we call developing an IDENTITY.

I won’t talk about Identity at length here simply because I have done so many times elsewhere in my articles.

The benefits of having a powerful, precise, and passionately articulated Identity are many. Here are the most important:

Generate More Leads: When people can see the obvious advantages in your ads, they’re a lot more likely to call.

Website Conversion: Dittos for your website. It’s the single-most important part of a company’s marketing program—does it have a strong identity throughout it?

Lower Price Resistance: Selling is much easier when people already love your company when you show up for a meeting. They understand the value you bring—because you’ve communicated it through your Identity!—and they’re ready to buy.

More Referrals: When people remember the awesome experience they had with you (instead of remembering you as “just another company who took my money”) referrals start coming out of the woodwork. It’s incredible.

Hidden Asset #9 – Speed: I’m talking about the speed of handling your leads. If you are good at it, it can be a major competitive advantage for you. The companies that are geared to respond in nano-seconds (instead of hours or days) are the ones converting them into sales. All the laggards call and call and call and never get anyone on the phone. That’s because they already bought from Speedy Gonzales. Think about it.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

Leveraging Your Company’s Hidden Assets – Part 1

You’re Probably Sitting On Tons Of Opportunities… And You Don’t Even Realize It!

Dozens of Money-Making Opportunities Are Sitting Right Under Your Nose. Learn How Find & Exploit Them

Note: I started writing this post and realized it was a lot longer than I anticipated when I started!

What an excellent topic it turned out to be. So I’m breaking this into two parts. This is part 1. Part two comes next week.

When it comes to lead generation and generating new business for companies, the discussion almost always focuses on advertising, internet marketing, shows, or all three.

And for good reason: these are the obvious places to find new customers that have reliably generated business for years.

But I’ve found that there are some FAR LESS OBVIOUS places to look for business that can be extremely profitable if you just know where to look. Most companies never realize that these opportunities even exist, or if they do, they don’t realize they are as fat and juicy as they actually are.

That’s why I call these “hidden assets.”

These are assets your company possesses that you might not even recognize. The purpose of this post is to identify what some of them are… and show you how to exploit them to your advantage.

Disclaimer: Not every hidden asset will apply to every company. And you may already be taking advantage of some of them. So read through this list with an open mind… and take notes as you go. I think you’ll find this to be a worthwhile endeavor.

Hidden Asset #1 – Past Customers: Yes, I know this is pretty obvious. And some of you reading this probably already do a pretty good job of getting more sales out of past customers. But in my experience, this is the #1 most fertile place to drum up sales, and it’s almost NEVER approached in a systematic way. Instead, most repeat business comes from old customers who happen to need something, happen to remember doing business with you before, and happen to call. There’s nothing “wrong” with that except it could be much better.

Getting Them To Buy Again: The first thing you should be doing is reselling your past customers.

The easiest way to do this is to gather an email list for them and send them monthly emails to remind them that you exist, and to poke them into thinking about other needs they might have. Yes, it costs time and money to do this, but so do all marketing activities. If you’re not doing EXACTLY what this paragraph says, I promise you that you’re making less money than you should.

Also consider selling a DIFFERENT product if you don’t right now—don’t get crazy with this… but if you can find something that ties in with what you do then do it. If you’re not sure, send out an email offering it to your customers and gauge the response. If it’s good, figure out how to sell and fulfill it.

Referrals: Same thing—you should be emailing monthly if you want to get referrals. Remember that the majority of referral opportunities are going to occur AFTER you did business with them, the customer is happy, and the subject of what you provide comes up in natural conversation with their friends. You have to keep in front of their faces OFTEN so they remember who you are so they can refer you over to those friends. Simple, yet almost ALWAYS neglected.

Surveys: I’m not necessarily talking about formal surveys that are emailed over to them (although those are good, too); I’m talking about talking to your customers specifically about what you do, how you can improve, what they like and don’t like, what their decision-making process was when choosing you, what other services they might buy from you (and when!), and so forth. Don’t be afraid to send somebody over there after the fact and just TALK to them. Pump them for information. Ask for honest feedback. Find out how you can improve—they know!!!

Hidden Asset #2 – Competitors – Cost Sharing: What if you found four or five companies that sold the same thing as you at about the same price as you and you got together, pooled your money, and ran a BIG CAMPAIGN. Naturally, you’d only want to associate this way with companies you trusted, and you’d have to find a way to split the leads up in an equitable way and you would probably want to form a formal alliance of some sort… BUT WHY NOT TRY THIS????? This is about thinking outside the box. Quit hating your competitors and start working with (some of) them to your mutual benefit!

Hidden Asset #3 – Current Customers – Upselling & Cross-Selling: I’ll keep this one short: you can make more money by selling more stuff to your customers at the point of sale. Obvious as it seems, very few companies put any effort into selling anything other than what the customer already expected to by going into the meeting.

Find something that you can package to increase the sales price and take home more profits.

Hidden Asset #4 – Past Prospects Who Didn’t Buy: Industry statistics say that 70% of prospects who don’t buy are going to end up buying from SOMEONE within twelve months. Yet most companies never attempt to proactively reach back out to unclosed leads and sell them again. They just assume that if their big, bad salespeople couldn’t get the job done, then the prospect must be “broke and/or stupid.”

The reality is different: the #1 reason prospects don’t buy right away is STICKER SHOCK! The amount they were expecting it to cost is less than you asked them for. In many cases, they CAN afford your price, and they WANT to do business with you. They just need time to come to grips with the price, or in some cases, save up the money. Your job, then, is to keep yourself in front of them and get them when they’re ready.

This is easily accomplished with a series of emails. But here’s the surprising part: you can actually afford to send WAY MORE mail than you think. 

Hidden Asset #5 – Longevity In Business: I was talking to my mortgage guy last time I bought a house about eleven years ago. It was the third time I’d used him out of three houses bought, and as usual, I started quizzing him about his marketing. He had recently switched from a local phone number on his radio ads to a toll-free “vanity” number, and I wanted to know if he’d seen an uptick in response rates. He told me it was too soon to tell; check back with him later.

Then I asked him what his best marketing tool was—what single thing brought him the most business. His immediate response: “Being in business for over twenty years.” He explained that due to the repetitive nature of home buying, that I was the epitome of his typical customer with three homes bought (mortgages) in nine years. He said that new people were coming into the mortgage business all the time (it was 2004) and they left almost as fast as they showed up. He then boldly proclaimed that he could shut off ALL of his advertising for a FULL YEAR and still be the #1 volume (transactions and dollars) mortgage broker in the area. Why? Because he already has twenty years’ worth of people who automatically call him when they need a mortgage.

If you’ve been in business a long time, your phone is going to ring no matter what, just like his. But unfortunately, it could also be hurting you because your “automatic” sales are probably bringing down the average marketing cost you spend to find new customers. That probably means that your marketing cost as percentage of sales is actually LOWER than it should be.

Instead, you should use your longevity as a hidden asset. Instead of spending 3% on marketing, spend 10% on marketing. This will give you a HUGE, MASSIVE, GIGANTIC competitive advantage on everyone else, and will likely be the spark that takes you from where you are to where you want to be.

I’ve seen this scenario 1,000 times—old-school companies living off “repeat and referral” that are hindering their own growth because of reluctance to spend on marketing. Break the chains and leverage your hidden asset into big dollars!

That’s all for this time… next time we’ll cover four additional hidden assets, including relationships, expertise, identity, speed, and employees.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

How To Make Your Prospects Fall In Love With You

Don’t Wait For The Meeting! Your Marketing Should Make Prospects Fall In Love With Your Company On The Spot

If Your Marketing Works Properly, Prospects Will Decide To Buy From You Long Before Meeting


I’m talking about finding ways to cause your prospects to fall in love with your company… so they are practically begging to do business with you. And I’m talking about achieving this level of adoration BEFORE you ever talk with them.

Sound impossible?

Stick with me. It’s not only possible—it’s imperative that you learn to do so.

See, the way businesses conduct themselves doesn’t really work that well any more. You know the drill, right? Generate a lead, set an appointment or call, have the meeting, go through your presentation, close the deal.

In today’s internet-connected world, people don’t want to wait until the meeting to decide if they want to do business with you. They want to know ahead of time. And the companies that figure out how to facilitate that “falling in love” are the ones who are going to win. Big time.

Your Website Is The Key

First of all, realize that every single customer you’ll ever get is going to look you up on your website.

That’s pretty obvious. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself this question? WHY are they looking you up on your website?

The real answer is that they are hoping to find something that will validate their decision they are about to make to CONSIDER buying from you. To receive this validation, they need to get as much information as possible about your company—and they want to get it RIGHT NOW (while they are on your site).

In other words, they are trying to do some “due diligence.” The problem is that most websites are so pathetically devoid of any REAL information—instead, it’s just filled with platitudes—that the prospect can only hope to get a “feel” for your company based on the design quality of your site and other surface-level breadcrumbs you may leave.

Here’s a novel concept: help them do their due diligence!

When you realize that a) most people have NEVER have bought what you sell before, b) they have no idea how to evaluate your company and c) they can only guess at how much you’ll charge it’s NO WONDER they are STARVING for information!


So set out a buffet!

To stick with the metaphor, your buffet (of information) should contain far more choices than any normal person could reasonably consume in one sitting. You want to stock the buffet full enough so that they can pick and choose what THEY find to be delicious (helpful, relevant, interesting, thought-provoking). Make sure that they walk away stuffed—and satisfied. Don’t force them to wait until the meeting to get a bite from you. Give it to them right here, right now, on your website.

What To Put On Your Buffet

Identity: You’ve got to communicate in powerful, unmistakable terms WHO you are, WHAT you’re all about, WHY you’re different/better, and WHAT people can expect when they do business with you. We call this creating an IDENTITY.

Don’t do it like this:

XXXXXX Inc., is a xxx company that has been (enter your product or service here) since 1990.

Our xxx is designed to give you confidence that your xxx will be done right. XXXXXX Inc., is a family owned company who personally oversee the complete operations of their company.

This leaves the prospect still hungry—it’s full of platitudes and generalities. It sounds “nice” the way a Hallmark card sounds “nice.” But it’s not particularly compelling, interesting, educational, or profound.

Proof – Building A Case

It’s not enough to just claim to do really cool, love-worthy things. You’ve also got to give your audience some kind of reason to believe you actually deliver on those things you’re promising.

The best way to accomplish that is to provide… drum roll please…. Even more information!

Specific Types of Proof

Other ways to provide proof—that you can put on your website—include videos, case studies and customer references.

The idea here is simple: Show your prospects that other people (LOTS OF OTHER PEOPLE) already love you. That’s why they leave say nice things about you. That’s why you’re willing to give names and phone numbers as references.

Your prospects see that stuff and layer it on top of the expectation you’ve set with your powerful identity… and BOOM—they fall in love.

It’s not magic. It’s not voodoo. It’s simple psychology of persuasion.

Your job is to facilitate the decision-making process.

Your job is to help give them what they want (compelling information) when they want it (right now!).

Do this and prospects will fall in love.

Do this and prospects will be willing to spend more money.

Do this and you will see immediate, positive upticks in your sales and profits.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

Why You’re Terrible At Marketing

The Good News: It’s Not Your Fault

The Bad News: It’s Imperative That You Overcome This Weakness

In my experience, there are SIX major business functions that must be mastered within a company in order for it to THRIVE instead of just survive:

1. Sales Ability: All business is hyper-competitive; you’d better be able to outsell the rest.

2. Sales Management: Managing the sales team is a distinct skill from just knowing how to sell.

3. Operations: Somebody’s got to know how to manage the business. Hiring, firing, paying bills, ordering.

4. Finances: More than one company has bit the dust due to poor handling of finances.

5. Marketing: Making sure your sales force has qualified, eager prospects to sell to.

Guess which of the five sub-specialty backgrounds most company owners hail from?

That’s right: Sales. There’s nothing wrong with this—it’s just a statement of fact and observation.

Sales-guys-turned-owners usually go out and find somebody who’s “good with details” to manage the business (operations, finance, etc.).

But almost nobody ever figures out the marketing side of things. Most company owners I talk to either handle the marketing themselves and/or have a “marketing person” that is essentially a glorified traffic control cop (coordinates mailings, places ads, contracts with website companies, etc.).

Almost NEVER is there a bona fide marketing expert involved in the mix. There’s nobody who really understands how to write ads that sell. Or create web copy that converts browsers into prospect and prospects into customers. It seems like everyone in the industry learned their marketing from “the company they used to work for” from “looking around and doing what everyone else is doing or worst of all, they have a marketing degree.”

This is how we get THOUSANDS of websites that all pretty much look the same and say the same thing. How many home websites start out by saying, “Welcome to XYZ. We’re a business that has proudly been serving the industrysince 1978.” When your marketing looks, smells, feels, and sounds like everyone else’s, nobody stands out, and everybody suffers. Then one of our clients swoop in and devour all the market share. All of it.

Your Business Is On Trial… And You Need A Capable Attorney

Think of your business as if it was on trial—and it was a life or death sentence at stake (because it is!). Would you want to be your own attorney and defend yourself? Or maybe you would hope that the court-appointed lawyer with his online law degree would get the job done. Remember, if you don’t gather all the evidence you need and present it to the jury (prospects, in your case) in a bold, compelling, and passionate way, you’re dead meat.

So here’s the good news: It’s not your fault that your marketing stinks. Your background probably hasn’t built marketing into one of your strengths. And realistically, I DO NOT encourage you to try to make marketing one of your strengths. I’m a big believer in focusing on what you’re really good at, and surrounding yourself with experts in the areas where you’re weak.

So just like you wouldn’t attempt to represent yourself in an important court case, I would encourage you to reach out for professional help with your marketing. Sure it costs more than doing it yourself—up front—but paying a little more now beats the heck out of getting clobbered and losing long term.

If that sounds like a commercial for our services… well, maybe it is. If you know any other marketing experts who have taken the time and effort to post HUNDREDS of marketing articles online to educate and prove expertise, then by all means call them instead. But trust me: not calling SOMEBODY who is qualified is costing you money. Every. Single. Day.

And that, my friends, is a price you shouldn’t have to pay.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

The Rule of Three

There’s Something Inherently Powerful About Groups Of Three Things.

Here’s A Clever Little Writing Tool That Will Make Your Writing More Powerful,               More Persuasive… And More Fun

Want to learn an easy little trick to make your marketing more potent, powerful, and persuasive?

Hint: I just used it in that first sentence—did you notice it?

And no, I’m not talking about the use of the letter ‘p’. I also used it in the header for this article. It’s a grammatical device known as a “tricolon;” also sometimes known as the “Rule of Three.”

A tricolon (pl. tricola) is a writing device with three clearly defined parts of (usually) equal length, usually independent clauses, and of increasing power. They allow you to express your points more completely, emphasize your points better, and increase the memorability of your message. Oops, I did it again.

You don’t have to look very far in history and popular culture to find tricola; they’re practically everywhere:

“Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” (Abraham Lincoln)

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost

“We came, we saw, we kicked its (butt).” (Ghostbusters)

“Friends, Romans, Countrymen. Lend me your ears.” (Shakespeare, From Julius Caesar)

I went back to some recent articles I have written and found these examples:

“Seek opportunities to genuinely encourage, genuinely compliment, and genuinely praise.”

“Suburbans, he went on to hyperbolize, have bad crash ratings; they flip over, catch on fire, and on occasion—he let it slip—they even behead passengers.”

“He started sending fun things like shocking cigarette lighters, remote controlled flatulence machines, and fake lottery tickets.”

Why does the rule of three work so well? The honest answer is I don’t know. But work it does.

There’s something about three things that makes your communication more powerful. It hammers your point more forcefully. It drives the impression deeper into the brain. See, another one.

So what about you? Need some pep in your writing step? Then find a way to inject some tricolon action into your ads, brochures, and websites. Feature one in a headline. Drop one in a bullet list.

Work on into the text of the ad. You’ll find that your writing feels more powerful, complete, and compelling.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

How To Create An “About Us” Page That Tugs Heartstrings…And SELLS

Your “About Us” Page Can Do A Lot More To Sell Your Company Than You Think

From Overlooked Afterthought To One Of The Most Powerful Pages On Your Website

The best argument against what I’m about to teach you is that nobody actually reads the “About Us” page.

Shortsighted argument.

The truth is, people actually do click to it… but since there is never anything of value, they quickly navigate away in search of something shinier and more fun.

This is the internet, people.

Here are a couple examples of text from “About Us” pages randomly pulled from some websites to prove the point:

I want to take a few seconds to tell you a little about XXXXXX company and why you can count on us every time to do a good job. We have been servicing the industry for seventeen years and have established a quality reputation.

We appreciate your interest in our company and thank you for the opportunity to submit our proposal to you.

(My commentary: the answer to the question “Why can you count on us to do a good job?” is “We’ve been servicing the industry for seventeen years and have established a quality reputation.”

Did anyone even think about that after they wrote it? Did ANYONE think to read what is being published?)


For thirty years the management team at XXXXXXXXXXX, has been involved in the industry. Their vast experience covers all phases of the industry including.

Today we offer to the industry the best value. We have the most products. All designed to satisfy out client’s needs.

(My commentary: starts off third person and unexpectedly shifts to second person; how can you help me?)

People, we can do better. Much better, in fact.

Your “About Us” page represents a fantastic opportunity to HUMANIZE your company. Tell your prospects what kind of people you really are… so they can connect with you on a HUMAN level.

Nobody wants to read a truncated history of your company (we started in 1984…), a rehashing of all the crap you sell, or a bunch of platitudes about your dedication to customers and service.

Here’s a better way: Tell a story.

Make it a personal story.

A story that illustrates why you operate the way you do.

A story that shows how your mentality and philosophy were molded.

A story that helps people know and love the real you.

Our about us pages are designed to seal the deal on getting prospects to want to do business with you. By the time they meander over to your “About Us” page, they’ve already probably thoroughly absorbed your Identity (assuming you have one) and checked out mounds of social proof and evidence (assuming you’ve provided it).

You should already have them preferring you over other competitors. They should already be wanting to do business with you.

And since everything else they’ve seen on your website has been so interesting, relevant, and engaging, they’re going to keep clicking and clicking and clicking.

Until they find your interesting little story that gives a little bit of backstory. In their mind, they’re going to pay you tens of thousands of dollars to do what you do for them; trust me, they’ll gobble up every delicious morsel of information about yourself you make available.

If it’s written in an interesting way.

To build an about us page I start out asking the client about his background: How did he start this business? What is his business philosophy? What was he like growing up? What did he want to be when he grew up?  And more.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

Don’t Give Up On Prospects Who Drag Their Heels

You Think They’re Not Interested, But They’re Actually Just Busy

About 6 or 7 years ago, I was driving home from work one day and trying to figure out what to do.

I went to a fitness center I had heard about.

It just popped into my mind. I pulled a U-turn at the next stoplight and drove straight to the exercise mega-complex known for as much for its family-friendly facilities as its gargantuan size.

We had joined the club a few years before when it had first opened, and had remained paying members for about 18 months. We loved their facilities. They had a nice indoor pool.

The only reason we had quit was it was a little too far from our home—about a 20 to 25 minute drive. That doesn’t sound too bad, but when you double it to account for driving to and from… then add the 2 hours required to actually use the facilities, it was a 2 ½ to 3 hour commitment. So after a year and half, we opted out.

But that had been 3 or 4 years ago, and now I was eager to find another place to work out.

So after my abrupt U-turn, I drove straight to this fitness place and found a membership salesman to help me out. His name badge said “Jason,” and he was an eager, early 20’s fitness enthusiast who seemed genuinely happy to answer my questions. I told him how I had been a member before, and so I didn’t need a “sales pitch” or a facilities tour—I just needed to know how much the current monthly membership fee was.

He informed me that since I had been a charter member at that location, there would be no initiation fee, and the monthly dues would be $140 for my wife and I, no long-term contract required. I wanted to talk it over with my wife first, so I told Jason I’d get back with him. He said fine, handed me his card, and thanked me for coming in.

The next day—Friday—when I got home from work, my wife said that some guy from the fitness place had called during the day; apparently I had been in the club the day before and was going to discuss joining with her. He asked my wife if we were going to join. I realized that I had forgotten to mention it to her the previous night. I told her it was $140 a month and asked her what she thought.

She said that sounded good.

The next day—Saturday—we went out to lunch. As I was backing out of my driveway, my cell phone rang. I hit the brakes, looked at the caller ID, and didn’t recognize the number except that it was a local number. I answered the phone and was surprised to find Jason from the fitness place on the other end of the line. He was wondering if I had a chance to talk it over with my wife and what we were thinking about joining.

I said, “Jason, thanks for calling. But it’s really not a good time to talk right now. I am literally backing my car out of my garage right now on our way to lunch. Is there any way you could call back later?”

Jason agreed, and we zoomed away to lunch.

About 3 months later—sometime in January—I suddenly realized that we had never gotten around to discussing joining the fitness club. It had simply slipped our minds. By that time we were involved with 100 other things. I mentioned it to my wife who shrugged it off. Oh well, maybe next fall.

But here’s the funny thing. If Jason had just tried to call me 2 or 3 more times, I’m almost certain we would have joined. The only thing that had kept me from talking to him is what I call “The Law of 9,344.”

The Law of 9,344

This one is right up there with the Laws of Physics—it’s always true and it never changes. The Law of 9,344 states that at any given moment, people have about 9,344 things going on their lives—competing for time and attention—and because of the sheer volume of things, most of them inevitably get ignored, forgotten, or procrastinated. The 9,344 things includes extremely profound and important things: you’re leaving for Hawaii for 2 weeks tomorrow; you just changed jobs. Like that. It also includes incredibly the mundane: your desk is dusty; your wifi is running slow; you need more bananas; Judge Judi is on right now.

And right there in the middle of all that is whatever you’re trying to sell people.

Improvements for your business are incredibly important to you. It’s one of 9,344 things to your prospects.

It could be anywhere from #1 to #9,344.

And when it comes to marketing whatever you may do, it’s imperative that you remember this at all times.

We’ve talked before about the importance of contacting back a lead really, really fast.

You also need to focus and concentrate on calling prospects over and over again until you finally catch them at a moment when they are willing to talk.

Stated differently: Don’t assume that because they won’t talk to you that they’re not interested in talking to you.

As counterintuitive as that sounds, it’s true.

Here are some stats from an Inside study—this isn’t specific to your business, but it paints a clear enough picture:

• 38% of sales reps will attempt to contact a prospect just ONE TIME

• 28% will try twice

• 11% stick it out for three calls

• 8% will try four times

• 6% will dial five times

• 4% will call the prospect six times.

Now consider these mind-blowing stats:

• If you call one time, you have a 38% chance of getting though

• Two calls raises your chance to 61%

• Three calls – 71%

• Four calls – 82%

• Five calls – 90%

• Six calls – 92% chance of getting through.

So think about it: if you get 20 leads per week and can increase the percent set by just 15%, that’s 3 extra presentations, which is ONE extra sale, assuming a 33% closing rate. If your average gross profit is $5,000 per sale, that’s an extra QUARTER-MILLION DOLLARS IN GROSS PROFIT PER YEAR JUST BY NOT GIVING UP!

This is not rocket science—it’s sales & marketing. It’s pretty easy stuff. You’ve got to put the right software and systems in place to allow yourself the best chance of success.

So call… then call again. Who knows what’s going on in somebody’s mind at the moment when you call. It could any one of 9,344 things. My recommendation is to KEEP CALLING until the prospects flat-out tells you no. Until then, your unwillingness to be persistent is very likely costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Just ask Jason. He learned the hard way.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

Harnessing The Power Of Facebook Groups For Fun And Profit


Sure, I know you can use Facebook to generate sales. Companies pay big bucks for you to see those ads that fill up the right side of the website.

But here’s a surprising, little-known, and incredibly powerful marketing method on Facebook.

As far as I know, very few businesses are doing this.

And, get this…

You do NOT have to spend money on those teeny-tiny ads on the right-hand side of the page.

You do NOT have to have a large follower count or number of “likes”—in fact, you don’t need any at all.

You do NOT have to spam people’s feeds with hype-y posts two or three times a day (if you’re doing that, stop—it’s a surefire way to make people quickly hate your guts and “unlike” your page).

Here’s the story:

I was checking my Facebook notification and saw that a friend had posted a comment in a group and I clicked the link.

And when I did, I was astonished at what I saw.

In one of the posts on the group board, someone who had previously asked for a recommendation of a business, had great success… and now was raving about the business on Facebook.

That part didn’t blow me away. What did was the 50+ comments from other companies who wanted the guy’s contact info, so they could use his services too!

I’m sure the guy got a ton of business. All from one Facebook post. ONE.

It got me thinking—how could other companies use the power of Facebook groups in a similar way?

Anyone can create a Facebook group dedicated to any topic—it can be a Golden State Warriors fan club, a place for thrifty shoppers to share the best deals and coupons, a group for wine snobs to discuss their favorite vino… whatever a person dreams up. Facebook users can then join that group if they’re interested in the particular topic.

Now, how to utilize this to your advantage and generate a whole bunch of sales…

First: Identify which groups exist that serve the local circles you are in.

Second: Join any that make sense for you to join. They are usually “closed,” which means you have to request permission to join.

Third: Once you’re a member, DO NOT then start posting crap about your company. This is stupid and only makes people want to punch you in the face. Repeatedly.

Fourth: If somebody in one of the groups asks for a recommendation for what you do, offer your company.

FIFTH, AND MOST IMPORTANT: Ask your customers what groups they are members of on Facebook.

THEN, make sure your customers have an AWESOME experience when doing business with you.

Fawn over them. Over-communicate with them. Send them a gift at the end. Yes, all of this takes time and effort and money. Of course it does. But it’s worth it. So do it.

FINALLY, ask them to post in their groups about how happy they are about the job you’ve done.

Ask them to tell people to contact them to get your info. Or have them just post your info.

Make sales. The end. You can thank me by never, ever sending me a Facebook request to play Candy Crush.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

How To Transform Your Company’s Biggest Weakness Into Its Strongest Selling Point

As you may know, Adult B2B Marketing is a virtual marketing company. We don’t have an official “office”, we operate entirely online.

When some people find out how we operate, you can hear a tinge of cynicism as they say, “Oh, you’re a virtual company? That’s… interesting.” They initially can’t wrap their heads around how our virtual business model functions efficiently.

What these skeptics don’t realize is that our virtual model is actually one of our biggest strengths:

Since we don’t have a home base of operations, we aren’t restricted to hiring locally. We have the entire world at our disposal to search for the best subcontractors. We believe in using the best of the best.

We have much lower overhead, so our prices are ultra-competitive compared to brick-and-mortar marketing companies.

No office politics, time-wasting company meetings, or anything like that. Operating virtually allows us to have a laser-beam focus on marketing and only marketing.

Once we explain the advantages of a virtual company, people “get” it.

Here’s why I’m telling you this: Your company—just like Adult B2B Marketing—probably has a certain aspect that people at first perceive as your weakness. In other words, something that might make some prospects hesitate.

But here’s the thing. More often than not, your company’s weakness is, in fact, a huge strength disguised in Groucho Glasses.

Your company’s biggest selling point could be hiding under your nose.

In many cases with reputable businesses, there’s a positive hiding underneath the surface of what people (or even you) consider the “negative” qualities of your company. You just have to dig a bit deeper than normal to show prospects why what’s initially making them hesitate is actually one of the main reasons to do business with you.

Here are five examples, along with why they can be one of your biggest selling points:

“Achilles’ Heel” #1: You Have Higher Prices 

Why It’s Actually A Strength: Unless you’re shamelessly price gouging, your higher prices mean better products and service. A good portion of Adult B2B clients are “above average” on the pricing scale because they demand the best of the best in everything they do and realize quality doesn’t come cheap.

“Achilles’ Heel” #2: You Have Lower Prices

Why It’s Actually A Strength: On the other end of the spectrum, some businesses fear advertising their low prices because their clients sometimes equate low prices with cheap quality. While some companies do sacrifice quality to keep prices low, others are just really good at cutting costs with low overhead and minimal (but effective) advertising. If that’s you, proudly flaunt your lower prices—just make sure to inform your customers how you’re still able to deliver quality.

“Achilles’ Heel” #3: You Aren’t As Fast As Your Competitors

Why It’s Actually A Strength: Sure, your clients want their tasks done as quickly as possible. But 99.9% of them prefer quality over speed. Do you take your time on a project because you want to get it right? Great! Play that up in your marketing to bring in the high-paying clientele who want the absolute best quality—even if they have to wait a little longer for it.

“Achilles’ Heel” 4: You’re A Small Operation

Why It’s Actually A Strength: Personalized service and hands-on ownership, which clients love.

Customers don’t have to deal with seven different people for their project, so you provide better communication and eliminate annoying “I thought he said…” situations.

“Achilles’ Heel” 5: You’re A New Company

Why It’s Actually A Strength: Some companies have a notoriously poor reputation. Positioning yourself as the new-and-improved sheriff in town can reap huge rewards. Let prospects know that you’re the company who has eliminated all the common things clients hate about whatever it is you do (sales pressure, pricing games, etc.).

Let me warn you: Do NOT use these tactics unless what you are saying is true. I consider honesty to be the only policy. I don’t like when people use my marketing advice for nefarious purposes.

So if your prices are cheap because your products stink, don’t spin it into a #2 situation.

And if you take a long time to complete projects because you improperly manage your schedule or like hitting the snooze button, don’t even think of trying #3. You’re being deceptive, and it will blow up in your face (and I will laugh at you because you deserve it).

If, however, you’re a reputable company who has your customers’ best interests at heart—and you need a little help overcoming common objections to your company—use this weakness tactic to turn the Doubting Thomases into True Believers.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

3 Magic SEO Pills That Are Really Search Engine Cyanide


Ever notice how there are approximately 129,347 different diets, programs, pills, products, and scams for weight loss?

Heck, you probably have someone on your Facebook friend list who’s become a “representative” for some multi-level-marketing company and the latest fat-loss fad product (stomach wraps, magical diet pills, etc.) they’re hocking.

Even though 99.9% of these flash-in-the-pan remedies don’t work, people buy ‘em up by the millions. The prospect of a getting a killer beach bod while exerting zero effort is just too tempting to pass up.

Deep down, though, everyone knows—but won’t admit to themselves—that there’s really just one simple three-step process to losing weight:

1. Lay off the Big Macs.

2. Hop on the treadmill.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you get the result you want.

This method is GUARANTEED to work, but it takes time and energy. That’s why everyone always flocks to the latest bogus “solution” that promises instant results.

It’s the same with SEO.

Businesses don’t want to put forth the required time and effort to get good results. So they fall for all the gurus promising magic solutions that launch your site to the top of Google Mountain with no effort or time.

In the back of your mind, though, you know it’s a load of crap.

But in case you don’t, I present 3 SEO “Magic Pills” that are actually poison for your rankings:

Magic Pill #1: Keyword Stuffing

Shoving a bunch of keywords and geographic locations on a webpage might get you immediate results, but your ranking will gradually decrease as Google realizes that no one likes your website.

If your website reads like it was written by Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, people will click away faster than you can say “Captain Jean-Luc Picard.” As a result, your rankings will sink at warp speed.

Bottom Line: Prospects who visit your website are humans, too. So don’t write for Google; write for PEOPLE (while tossing in the occasional keyword in logical places).

Magic Pill #2: Spammy Links

Having a ton of outside sources linking to your website SOUNDS like a great SEO-boosting strategy. But it only works if the places linked to your website are worth a damn.

This is called “forum spam,” and Google will destroy you if they catch you doing it.

Bottom Line: Quality links to your website = good. Spammy links to your website = bad. REALLY BAD.

Magic Pill #3: Emphasizing Quantity Over Quality

Having 400 blog posts on your website is useless if they are poorly written, boring, thin on content, and irrelevant to your market.

If you spend less time on your blog posts than it takes to nuke a Hot Pocket, you’re who I’m talking about. If you want a smorgasbord of examples, Google just about any type of service in your town. You’ll see a ton of keyword-stuffed blog posts with wafer-thin content.

Bottom Line: Google will hurt your rankings if they discover your webpage content is awful. (And Google WILL discover it sooner rather than later.)

To sum all of this SEO information:

To achieve true SEO success, you have to do things the RIGHT way.

There is no “magic pill” that takes you to page one instantly. If someone tells you otherwise, remember all of the worthless weight-loss products that deliver ZERO results.

The truth is that it takes at least 6 to 9 months to start seeing quality SEO results.

When choosing an SEO expert, these are the things they should be doing:

Sure, this takes time. But it’s the ONLY way to get the results you want.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

Legendary Marketing Tips From A Violent Madman


“Holy crap, this guy is insane.”

That’s what I said the first time I saw UFC fighter Conor McGregor give an interview.

He’s loud, arrogant, funny, and swears like a sailor who just stubbed his toe.

Here’s an interview he gave immediately after becoming the first UFC fighter to hold championship belts in two weight divisions at once:

If you’re thinking, “This guy sounds like a crude, cocky jerk,” you’re supposed to. This is the type of personality many UFC fans respond to… and McGregor knows it.

Despite his sometimes crude and Neanderthal-like behavior, McGregor is a savvy marketer—one of the best I’ve seen in an athlete.

McGregor’s marketing acumen makes him the UFC’s richest and most popular fighter. And it’s not even close. With an annual salary of $22-million per year, he’s the only UFC fighter to ever make Forbes’ list of richest athletes.

McGregor’s eight-figure salary allows him to live an extravagant lifestyle:

He regularly drops $10,000 on custom-tailored suits.

He recently spent $100K at a high-end jeweler on a whim.

He once rented and stayed at a seven-bedroom, 12,000-square-foot mansion in Las Vegas leading up to a fight in the city.

When the guy spends, he spends BIG.

Maybe too big in some folks’ eyes.

But guess what?

He’s making $22-million per year, and they’re not. He doesn’t give a flying fart what people think.

Here’s the point…

When you’re the best in the biz—not only at what you do, but MARKETING what you do—you make giant stacks of cash.

So much cash that you can spend it however the heck you want… and still have stacks on stacks to spare.

Want to splurge on 50-yard line tickets to Super Bowl LI? You can.

Want to take multiple Caribbean vacations a year? You can.

Want to build your dream house in your dream neighborhood? You can.

The question is, how do you take your marketing to this level?

It’s not easy; thousands of business owners try to “crack the code” every year… and fail.

But, unlike you, they don’t have me in your corner.

So allow me to reveal Conor McGregor’s 5 Big Secrets To Unparalleled Marketing Success:

1. Be Bold

You don’t need to be over the top like Conor McGregor, but grabbing people’s attention and getting noticed is a big part of the marketing battle.

Most UFC fighters are the same ol’ boring meatheads who can barely string together two sentences. McGregor, however, ALWAYS has something interesting to say. The fact that he’s not a lifeless lunkhead is enough to set him apart and make UFC fans love him.

It’s the same with businesses. Ninety-nine percent of them say the same ol’ boring crap that no one cares about:

“Expert products.” “Quality service.” “In business since 1942 B.C.”


How about instead of saying these things you tell people what makes your products better, your service higher quality and everything else your business does better than the competition?

And be specific. People lie in generalities and tell the truth in specifics.

2. Be Confident.

Conor McGregor is incredibly confident. He truly believes he can beat anyone, even guys twice his size. And he’s not afraid to say it.

When you’re marketing yourself, you need to have this type of confidence and let others know about it.


Confidence is contagious.

When people see you’re confident in your abilities, they believe you can do what you say.

3. Have Passion

Conor McGregor LOVES punching people for a living. You can see it during every fight and in every interview. He pours every waking hour into becoming a better fighter because that’s his PASSION.

You need to have that same passion for YOUR craft. Not just for doing whatever it is you do, but also for helping people. And then you need to communicate that passion in your marketing. Let everyone know you love what you do.

Because, when you get down to it, helping people is what being in business is all about. If you have a passion for that, it will show in your work… and elevate you to amazing new levels of success.

4. Have An Identity

McGregor’s “shtick” is that he’s blunt, loud, and extravagant. And UFC fans (McGregor’s market) eat it up. His identity has become so powerful that it has now become synonymous with the UFC.

So, what does YOUR specific market respond to?

Do they want low-stress? Are they on a budget? Something more specialized and high end?

Once you figure that out, package it into a powerful, passionate identity you use in all your marketing. The goal is to make your specific market instinctively think of YOU when they need a project.

5. Be Great

If you’re going to say you’re awesome, you better be able to back it up.

McGregor is the first UFC fighter to hold championship belts in two weight classes at once. His record is 21-3, and he’s only lost one fight in the past six years (and that was when he moved up a weight class to fight someone a lot bigger than him).

McGregor backs up his brash talk… and then some. If you’re going to talk a big game in your marketing, you need to do the same.

If you say you provide amazing work, you make sure every your work is amazing. If you say you deliver great customer service, you better make sure every single customer gets the “King of England” treatment from start to finish.

Because if you fail to deliver on the promises you make in your marketing, word that you’re a phony will spread like wildfire.

Now Go Knock Out The Competition

Follow the “Conor McGregor” marketing blueprint, and you’ll be on your way to becoming one of the biggest, baddest, and richest companies in your field.

And if you need someone experienced in your corner to help, you know who to turn to.

P.S. Would you get mad at your personal trainer if you didn’t get washboard abs in two weeks? No, because expecting results in that timeframe is silly. But if you stick with it, you absolutely will get the results you want—and they’ll likely be better than you could have imagined.  It’s the same when you work with Adult B2B Marketing.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

Don’t Be a Vicim of Marketing Malpractice

Marketing Companies and Consultants Take Advantage of a Company’s Lack of Marketing Knowledge to Squeeze More Money Out of Them

It Happens All the Time and Most Businesspeople Don’t Even Realize It

I have a 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid. I bought it new on April 25, 2008, and it has run PERFECTLY every day since.

Last July, at about 110,000 miles, the Hybrid battery light came on… literally the first problem with the car I ever had.

So I hauled it down to the dealership—they confirmed the hybrid battery was dead and wanted something like $4,400 to put a new one in.

I said no way and got the car back. It was still drive-able, so I was able to get it home.

I found a company online that installs refurbished hybrid batteries; it was going to be $1,700—still a lot of money, but cheap compared to $4,400. The company had to come up from Houston to install it (on my property), and they gave me a one-year warranty.

Later in the year I left the car at the airport. When he got back, it wouldn’t start. It was completely dead.

I immediately started cursing my decision to get the refurbished battery.

I paid $200 to have the car towed to a dealership .

It took them 10 days to figure out that “we can’t pinpoint the exact problem but the hybrid battery and the electric system that controls it is definitely bad.”


So I called the battery company to see if they would honor their warranty; they said they would—I could either have the battery shipped to do the work, or I could haul the car back home to get it done here.

I tried to find a mechanic who could do the install there (the battery company would pay for shipping of the battery, but not the install). The dealership wanted $495 to install it. I found a guy who would do it for $200, but I’d have to arrange a tow truck to get it to him.

Meanwhile, I ended up buying a whole new car—I was so frustrated with that Camry that I just wanted to get rid of it. I asked the dealership what they would give me on a trade-in… they said $500—the car is worth about $5,000 with a good hybrid battery, but with a bad battery, almost nothing.


So then I tried to find somebody to haul the car to me . This is a whole other mess I’d rather not talk about… but I finally found a guy who would do it for $800.

So my choices were:

– Pay the dealership $495 to install the replacement battery that would be shipped from the battery company

– Pay a guy $200 to install it, but have to pay another $50 to $100 and the hassle of arranging to get it towed to him

– Either way, I’d have to get the running car home so I could sell it—either haul it or fly up and drive it down… either way probably $500 to $800

– Give it to the dealership for $500

After much tribulation and delay, I finally paid a guy $800 to haul it to my house. It would normally be about $600, but it costs extra to haul a non-running car.

Today, the car finally got to my house.

The guy pulled up in front of my home and knocked on the door. I asked if there was any way to navigate his car hauler onto my driveway, so the Camry wouldn’t be on the street. He looked at me funny and said, “I don’t have to do that. I’ll just drive the car.”

I said, “What do you mean? The car doesn’t run.”

He said, “Yes, it does. I drove it up on the car hauler.”

I said, “What the heck are you talking about. The hybrid battery is dead.”
He said, “No, I think it’s just the regular car (starter) battery. I haul these hybrids all the time. The dealership always says the hybrid battery is dead, but lots of times it’s just the regular battery.”
He drove it off the truck and onto my driveway. He showed me that he had connected a portable jump charger unit to the battery—with that it started and ran fine.

The entire time, it was just a garden variety dead battery. $79 at AutoZone.

I paid $200 (tow) and $110 (diagnostics at the dealership) and $800 (to haul the car) to get it to my driveway. Two months—MONTHS—worth of unnecessary aggravation.

Sound familiar, business owners?

Tons of Marketing Companies and SEO/PPC Consultants take advantage of a business person’s lack of marketing knowledge to squeeze more money out of them. It happens ALL THE TIME… and most businesspeople don’t realize it. (It’s probably even happened to you!)

At Adult B2B Marketing, we hate that crap.

We’re always honest. We always play by the books. And we never sell you stuff you don’t need.

We know you’re no expert. You come to us because you NEED an expert. And we take that responsibility seriously.

In fact, we regularly turn down clients we feel wouldn’t be a good fit for us (or us for them).

Sure… we could take them on as a client—even if they aren’t a good fit—to collect their monthly payments and fatten our bank account. That’s what a lot of companies do.

To us, that’s wrong. We have these things called “morals.” And we adhere to them uncompromisingly.

We’re the kind of company that tells you a $79 dead car battery is a $79 dead car battery… not a $4,400 dead car battery.

If you want confirmation we’re the straightest of shooters, CONTACT US for a marketing evaluation.

We’ll candidly tell you where your marketing is succeeding, where it’s failing, and EXACTLY how to fix any problems. 

Why You’re Chicken To Raise Your Prices and How To Do It Anyway

Raising your prices is the easiest and most crucial factor in building your company

It’s also the scariest part

If you think your prices are already high, you’ll still probably need to raise them again.

If you remember my recent newsletter, I gave this simple (and mandatory) 3-step formula to get to make more money:

1.Sell awesome stuff that people genuinely love.

2. Charge high prices.

3. Do solid marketing.

We’ll talk a bit more about #1, selling awesome stuff that people love, in an upcoming newsletter.
It’s crucial.

But I promise you this:

If you’re not a high price, high-quality provider in the market, you’ll never get to where you want to be.

You won’t even have a chance.

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt: I’ll assume that you offer exceptional quality and service to your customers. And if you don’t now, you’re at least committed to doing so in the near future.

After all, step 1 is to “Sell awesome stuff that people genuinely love.”

But even if you do, chances are high that you’re not charging enough.  Here’s why:

Your sales people are scared to death that they will lose the sale!

They’re CHICKEN!

-They have that terrified look in their eyes.

-They already struggle to close at the prices you already have that they already think are too high.

-They are SURE that if you make them ask for even MORE money, the customers won’t just say NO… they’ll actually laugh in their faces! Or get mad.

Meanwhile, Disney World charges $325 for a 4-day pass, even though I can buy a full one-year Six Flags pass (good at 13 different parks) for about $80.

Do you think the gal at the ticket counter at Disney World gets all nervous, starts sweating and stammering, and apologizes when asking for $325 per person for a 4-day pass?

Are you kidding me?

That’s because Disney World is committed to selling awesome stuff that people genuinely love… and because they have massive brand authority, thanks to decades of solid marketing.

Most importantly, I can help you raise your prices. Here’s how:

1. Be better than everyone else. It’s not that hard. The majority of your competitors suck. I mean that, and you know it’s true.

2. Clearly articulate how you’re different and why you’re better in all of your marketing. This is harder, but I can help you do it.

3. Spend a enough money in your marketing to get people to believe it. I can help you do this, too.

Don’t worry. Selling for ultra-high prices is not hard when you have the right product or service and you do the marketing the right way.

That’s the heart and soul of our system.

Meanwhile, in my future newsetters, I’m going to give you PROOF that people are just begging to pay higher prices for your products and services. You’re actually insulting them by asking an average price.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

Proof That Your Customers WANT To Pay More

I know, it’s hard for you to believe that people WANT to pay more money than you’re charging right now.

I mean, it’s tough enough to get your sales people to sell at your current prices.

But the fact is that people are paying exorbitant amounts of money for all kinds of luxury items in every category you can imagine. It’s been going on for about three decades now.

I’m not talking about super-rich people who can afford whatever they want.

I’m talking about regular people who live in nice, normal houses in nice, normal neighborhoods that make nice, normal incomes.

Ever hear of Callaway Golf?  Or Victoria’s Secret?  Or Cheesecake Factory?

These brands have already cashed in on regular people’s desire to pay extra for premium products—and they’ve done it to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars.

It’s simple economics:

In the last 40 years, the average middle-class family enjoyed a doubling of real per-capita income… while the cost of living remained basically flat, in real terms.

Therefore, the amount of money available for “new luxury” has exploded.

That doesn’t mean that everybody is now eating caviar at every meal and driving Bentley’s to drop their kids off at soccer practice.

It means that people have the money to pamper themselves with luxuries on certain purchases that are important to them.

Take Victoria’s Secret. They took ladies underwear from a utility item women bought off the rack at Montgomery Wards to something extraordinary that they really wanted. The average price of a Victoria’s Secret bra is TRIPLE to QUADRUPLE what you can pay for a “plain” one at Wal-Mart or Dillard’s. But women would rather “treat” themselves.

And it’s not just the ladies; there’s a reason you dudes buy Big Bertha drivers and Callaway irons. Who cares if it’s $3,000 a set—it’s worth it!

And guess what?

These same people are DYING to fork over huge sums of cash for the best of what you offer.

Look, not everyone eats at the Cheesecake factory. I get it.

And not everyone is going to pay you more.

But believe me when I say there are more than enough who will.

Enough to get you to where you want in sales and enjoy all the benefits we talked about.

There are plenty of people who want the ASSURANCE that you will do it BETTER (and bend over backward to make it right if you mess up) instead of paying some dude they have never heard of and have no idea of what kind of work they do.

All of this has been documented in an excellent book called Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods—And How Companies Create Them.

Grab a copy of it on Amazon.

It came out about 10 years ago—but don’t worry, it’s not outdated. Not even a little.

To spare you from having to buy and read an entire book, I found this clip on Youtube of the author giving a speech in 2006—again, a bit dated, but the point is still as valid today as ever.

Watch starting at the 1:15 mark:

To get to where you want to be in sales, you’re going to have to become part of the new luxury.

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION

You Don’t Tolerate Bad Salespeople – So Why Tolerate A Bad Website?

Let’s take a quick trip to Imaginary Land…

Say you want to bring on another salesperson.

After poking around, you find a guy who has been in your industry for 15 years.

You bring him in for an interview, and he nails it. He clearly has a ton of industry knowledge.

You call his old boss, who gushes about him. He tells you that your new sales guy knows how to close.

After you work out a base salary and commission package with the guy, he signs on.

You put him through your company’s sales training. He absorbs everything like a sponge.
So far, so great.

After a couple training and shadowing your top guy, for a few weeks the moment of truth comes. You hand him 10 leads…

… and he closes one sale.

Your company’s average closing rate is 33% for first-call closes, and 40% for follow ups.


The second week doesn’t go so hot, either: 12 issued leads, two sales.

The guy is a newbie, so you cut him some slack.

But things don’t improve in week three: 11 leads, and just a single sale.

You begin to get nervous.

You direct your sales manager to dig into the issue. He discovers your new salesman is not following your sales protocol… at all.

He drones on and on. He doesn’t ask prospects enough questions. He gets flustered after objections.

At this point, you’ve invested six weeks and over $10,000 in his hiring, training, leads, and salary.

Do you get rid of him?

Do you give him another chance?

Do you hop in your DeLorean, gun it to 88mph, and travel back in time to start over?

The answer is obvious…


He is not just falling short of your averages by a giant margin, but he’s also costing you a lot in lost revenue. If your typical sale is $8,000, the eight sales he lost cost you $32,000 in gross profit. You really have no choice but to fire him.

Logically, you’d also give the boot to any severely underperforming employee. Dreadful accountants, bad receptionists—anyone who isn’t pulling their weight.

So why do so many businesses stubbornly clinging to websites that don’t get the job done?

By that, I mean any website that doesn’t do what websites are supposed to do: Make prospects fall in love with your company so they contact you, schedule appointments, and hire you.

Actually, I already know the answer to my question. I’ve asked hundreds and hundreds of businesses.

Here is usually what they tell me…

1. Don’t Realize The Website Is Not Performing?

This is by far the most common reason. Business owners often have no idea their losing prospects left and right because their sites lack the power to turn lookers into buyers. They don’t understand the key elements of conversion, which includes an Identity, headline funnel, social proof, and evidence.

2. It’s A New Website And They Don’t Want To Start Over?

This the second most common reason, but it makes zero sense. This is like holding on to the salesperson in the story above simply because you’ve already invested time and money in him. It’s an emotional, even prideful decision that’s illogical. It’s ALWAYS more expensive to keep an underperforming website (or employee) than it is to bite the bullet, start over, and do it right.

3. No Confidence They Can Do Better?

This relates to #1. It’s the misconception that all websites will perform about the same as long as they look relatively good. In addition, many business owners have already been through the “website development” ringer with a few marketing companies over the years, and they’re convinced that they all stink. While that conclusion is largely true, it’s not ALWAYS true.

4. Get Compliments About Website?

Cognitive dissonance on display here. It’s tough to believe your website is underperforming when everyone says it’s great. But consider the “tryout” episodes of American Idol. Someone who is AWFUL auditions and honestly thinks they are amazing. For years, family and friends have told them they are great. But when they are scrutinized by professional talent evaluators—and common sense—they’re clearly terrible. The “American Idol Effect” happens all the time with websites.

5. Don’t Understand How Important A Website Is?

This is becoming rarer these days. But there ARE still business owners who are convinced that only their repeat and referral business they’ve gotten the past 30 years can continue to sustain them. They simply don’t believe their lousy website hurts their sales. Except that’s not true. It’s exceptionally difficult to see the business you’re missing from a crummy website—after all, you don’t see (and therefore miss) the people who never call.

Is This You?

Clearly, a terrible salesperson is easier to spot than a money-sucking website. That’s why we provide free Website Conversion Audit for businesses curious to know if their website is pulling its weight.

We’ll scrutinize your website and give you our opinion.

If you discover you’re hemorrhaging opportunities, give yourself a break.

You’re in business, and you’re going to make mistakes. Those mistakes are going to cost you money sometimes. It stinks, but it’s called life. Just don’t continue to knowingly make the same mistake—that’s just silly!

To find out more, get a MARKETING EVALUATION