Apr 1, 2011

The Marketing Two Step

Back in the old days if you watched one of the grain boats on the Great Lakes getting ready to dock you would see one of the crew members with a softball in his hand. The idea wasn’t to make baseball players nervous but to get the line ashore. The lines on a boat of this size are enormous and extremely heavy. If you attempted to throw one of these ashore you would be lucky to throw it five feet. In order to get these huge lines ashore the crew member would tie a smaller diameter line (the heaving line) to the softball, tie the other end to the heavy line (the hawser), and throw the softball ashore. You need to do the same with your lead generation activities.

To give an old example, trying to sell your product or service to a prospect who doesn’t know you is like going to a dance and asking a girl to marry you before you’ve even danced. It is surprising how many business owners and salespeople do just this. Obviously this works sometimes, but how often?

If you look at almost any advertisement in any type of publication you’ll notice that most of them are trying to sell their product or service using a one step approach. If you were to call any of these businesses and ask them how effective their advertising campaign has been the vast majority would say “Terrible, but thanks for asking.” The next thing you would hear would be a long litany of complaints about how all advertising is a total waste of money.

Here’s a news flash that will save you thousands of dollars, today. One step advertising to sell complex offerings that require consideration doesn’t work. Period. Unless you own a very well known business you will find institutional (Generic) one step advertising is a total waste of money. People buy goods and services from people they know, like, and trust. If your company is a complete unknown why would anyone want to buy from you? The same also applies to all forms of direct marketing.

The solution to this particular problem is to use a two step approach. What you need to do is identify your best prospects first as cheaply as possible. Creating direct response advertisements, mailing sales letters, or mailing post cards to properly targeted suspects with proper initial offers will dramatically increase yields from your yield generation.

The best initial offer is for you to package and send further information to the interested respondents. This information can be in the form of a report, or booklet. This information package must not be a sales pitch for you. It should be a “free sample” of your work and should offer worthwhile information. The suspects who respond to your offer have stepped out of the crowd and have now identified themselves as prospects.

Once your prospects have identified themselves then you can begin the marketing process. You should mail or e-mail your information to them as fast as possible as when some one wants information they generally do not want to wait. Prompt fulfillment is a reflection of the standard of service that the prospect can expect if they choose to deal with your company. When you send your information package out to your prospects you most certainly should send out a sales letter accompanied by a brochure or other marketing material about your company. You may also want to offer a discount coupon or an offer for a free initial consultation as well.

Remember, ask for a dance before you make a marriage proposal.