“Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business has two – and only two functions: marketing and innovation. All the rest are costs.”
— Peter Drucker, Author and Fortune 500 Business Consultant
Profit is the lifeblood of any business. No business large or small can survive over the long term unless it is profitable. And the sooner you get to a level of consistently profitable earnings – the better it is for you.
Profitability must be the major objective of any business venture. But being “in the black” is the effect of good business – rather than its root cause.
But how do you get to (and sustain) maximum profitability? That’s the purpose of this report — to lead you to profitability sooner, rather than later… and help keep you there.
Profit needs to reach an acceptable level, or your business will ultimately fail. Minimum profitability beats losing money hands down. But when all is said and done, if you’re just not making enough money, your enterprise is in serious trouble. Profit is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and your mission should be to keep that pot filled to the brim.
Since profitability is the desired RESULT… let’s begin at the end and work in reverse. There are a number of steps between opening the doors of your business and achieving the kind of profitable outcome you desire.
PROFIT – the net result of sales minus expenses
SALES – the result of positive action taken by a customer
CUSTOMERS – first time buyers and repeat buyers
LEADS (PROSPECTS) – indicate an interest product or service offered
TARGET MARKET GROUP – identifiable segment of the marketplace
Generally speaking, profits are earned by sales of products and/or services. Sales are made when the customer places an order and spends money. Any given sale either originated from a first time customer, or a repeat buyer – someone who’s purchased once before, or many times in the past. But before becoming a “customer” each and every buyer is first a “prospect”. Originally, each and every customer was simply someone who showed an interest in your product.
Individuals within your target market who demonstrate an interest in your offer are genuine prospects. The key word is “interest”. These people are the lifeblood of our business… and attracting more of them is the focus of this report. If they’re not interested, they’ll simply never buy. But interested prospects do convert to customers and customers generate revenue for your business. Revenue minus expenses incurred equals PROFIT.
1. Narrow your marketing efforts. Choose a select audience, rather than the mass market. Effective prospecting is about going after business from those most likely to buy from you. So start with the more general mass market, and refine it to the specific group(s) most likely to buy your product.
2. Start from square one. The ultimate goal is maximum profit. But the first step is to identify specific markets that are hungry for the benefits your product or service provides. These are high-probability customers. Work those markets to cull grade “A” prospects… then work those prospects over and over again to convert the maximum number into first- time customers. Then serve those customers well so they continue to buy from you again and again.
- MARKET – identifiable segment of the marketplace
- PROSPECTS – expressed interest in your offer
- CUSTOMERS – willing to spend money to acquire what is offered
- SALES – actual revenue generated from first time buyers and repeat buyers
- PROFIT – bottom line results
3. Focus on prospecting. Too many businesses of all sizes focus on sales and profits. But that’s only part of the equation and NOT the most important part. Business success begins much earlier in the cycle – at the prospecting stage. But just any “prospect” or “lead” won’t do. You want interested, targeted prospects who not only need what you offer — but want it and are willing to spend money to acquire these alluring benefits for themselves.
Prospects are the foundation. A flow of quality leads or prospects is what fuels your business. Good quality leads convert to customers in higher percentages. The higher that rate of conversion, the lower your costs and the more profit you’ll earn. A steady stream of qualified leads keeps the vital business machinery functioning.
Prospects become customers and paying customers are what effectively put you in business from day one — and keeps your enterprise open and thriving. Without a large pool of interested prospects, you’ll only grow frustrated. Sooner or later, a lack of customers will drive even the best-financed and organized operation out of business.
4. Profit from your prospect list. Good prospects are golden. But leads that don’t convert to customers are still an asset that can be sold elsewhere – earning you additional revenue. But don’t give up good names too early in the process.
5. Insure your business against failure. Few businesses fail when they enjoy a consistent stream of topnotch leads. Quality leads are fresh, hot prospects who are ready, willing, and able to spend money on products and services that solve their pressing problems, or move them closer to their dreams.
6. Discover what your prospects desperately want – and then supply it. Observe the unmet needs and desires of your target market. Seek out what is lacking now, that were it available, would likely satisfy this definable group of people. Then it’s simply a matter of supplying the demand. Answer the call in the most appealing way possible.
7. Identify and isolate an already existing “hungry market”. Spot the void and you’ll have little trouble drawing a large and continuous flow of interested and qualified prospects. The key to the vault in business is to tap into a market with a craving that needs to be fulfilled.
8. Give them a taste of the very thing they most want. Allow your prospects to experience a sample of the benefits you have to offer with their purchase. Find a starving crowd and whet their appetite by shaping your “free introductory offer” to suit their specific wants and needs.
9. Remove the obstacles. Give them what they want and remove any barrier that stands in the way of prospects receiving it. Make your offer easy to receive, collect, download, or redeem. Do that and you’ll have a large pool of potential customers you can sway your way with a carefully targeted message that hits home.
10. Refine your search for prospects. Locating a “hungry” niche market is an important first step – one that is overlooked by far too many entrepreneurs and business owners. The more specific you are in defining and pinpointing your target market, the more your carefully crafted message calls out to true prospects — and the more you stack the deck in your favor.
11. Dangle a big, juicy carrot. Discover the most wanted result and then package your offer to be the “ultimate solution”. It’s a surefire way to get more prospects coming to you – rather than you pursuing them. It’s about magnetically “pulling” business to you – instead of “pushing” your product or service upon the marketplace.
With this approach to business, prospects are naturally drawn to you. This is what separates your business from the crowd. In a world of “me-too” marketing where most sellers focus on their products more than their prospects, you’ll be seen as a helpful alternative and a refreshing change. Take this fundamentally different approach and you’ll gain an obvious advantage over your competitors.
12. Commit yourself 100% to what you offer. Part of successful marketing is having a solid product, service, or opportunity to promote. It doesn’t matter if it’s yours or someone else’s. What does matter is that whatever you’re promoting is something you believe in wholeheartedly with every fiber of your being. If you have any doubts, rethink your strategy. Either revise your product, service or offer so you can proceed with unshakeable confidence and resolve, or pursue something else altogether.
13. Market likely winners. When searching for the right product or service to market, ensure that these fundamental requirements are in place before you start:
• Efficient, reliable production/duplication system
• Available inventory at all times
• Fast delivery anytime, anywhere
• Proven marketing system
• Adequate resources to operate and expand
14. Deal only with reputable people and companies. You don’t want to get stuck investing in business generation for an inferior product, or a supplier who can’t deliver in a timely manner. Look for cutting edge approaches, proven techniques, established track records, and potentially lucrative arrangements that allow you maximum profits with as little risk as possible.
15. Fulfill all prospect requests immediately. Instant delivery creates a positive experience for the prospect, increasing the chances they’ll buy. If you’re offering your own product, look for innovative ways to produce, inventory, and deliver the goods faster. One significant breakthrough in just one area can make a huge difference in your results.
16. Take action everyday. Many entrepreneurs complain about not having enough business. But most don’t realize that it’s only a symptom, not a disease. Disgruntled business types tend to blame everything under the sun, but few will accept the responsibility for their own results. Fewer still will actually do something about it. Everyone wants to increase sales and profits. But to make that happen, you’ve got to set the wheels in motion first. You can’t sit back and do nothing. Take new action at the prospecting level by continually getting your message out to the marketplace.
17. Concentrate your efforts and resources on attracting only qualified prospects and customers. Always be on the lookout for new prospective customers. Don’t just open your doors and expect great things to happen. Success is all about marketing and marketing begins by prospecting for new business. Everything else, as Peter Drucker says, is just an expense.
18. Make money three ways. According to marketing wizard, Jay Abraham, when you get right down to it, there are only 3 ways to make more money in any business – online or offline. They are…
1. Increase the total number of customers you serve…
2. Increase the average dollar value of each sales transaction…
3. Increase the number of subsequent purchases each customer makes…
19. Solicit “high-value” prospects. The easiest and often least costly sale you can make is to an existing customer. A satisfied customer has already put their trust in you to deliver whatever was promised. You don’t have to sell them again on the merits of doing business with you, as opposed to a competitor. These people are “high-probability” prospects for your next offer – and are therefore a tremendous asset. But before you can benefit from any repeat business, you need to attract people as first-time customers. The best first- timers are those with the greatest possibility of long-term buying relationships. Wooing lifelong customers should be a primary objective of every entrepreneur. You want customers who will repeat the buying process over and over again.
20. Keep prospecting relentlessly. In a perfect world, an already established business might be able sit back and serve existing customers only. But to do so would only inhibit growth and profitability. Eventually every business needs to attract fresh blood and that’s exactly what a consistent marketing effort will do for you.
21. Find those who are the best possible “fit”. Maximizing your customer value starts with the initial point of contact. Wise entrepreneurs know the road to success begins long before the first sale is ever made. The trick is to generate good quality leads consistently – prospects who are an ideal match for whatever it is you offer.
22. Create a totally satisfying experience from the beginning. Satisfied prospects turn into customers and customers mean everything. Your long term success is directly attributed to your ability to regularly attract new customers… while getting existing customers to happily buy from you again and again. That’s how to get the best possible return on both your cash investment and “sweat equity”.
23. Develop a mindset of “service”. In business, you’re essentially there to serve others. If you develop the mindset of simply being in it for the money, you’re going about it the wrong way. Obviously, it’s sales, cash flow, and profits that you want. But all that will come your way if you focus your attention first and foremost on serving prospects and customers.
Focusing on your prospects — their problems and desired solutions — ensures you’ll gain a receptive ear. Talk about their wants and needs and you’re speaking their language.
You’re talking about something of genuine concern and interest. People in your market will pick up on your prospect-centered approach, quite possibly without consciously realizing it themselves. They’ll naturally gravitate towards you because you’ve “invited” them along and provided a strong incentive.
24. Deliver the best solution. Unveil the optimum solution to the pressing problem weighing heavily on your prospect’s mind. Establish rapport and gain a solid understanding of where he’s coming from. This approach helps you zero in on the optimum “dream” solution. Stay on track and more prospects, customers, and cash will flow your way.
25. Position your offer for maximum impact. Some entrepreneurs feel if they only had the right product – they could make a fortune. These are the same folks who think that the “right” product is one that sells itself. Well, the truth is, the product itself isn’t all that important. What is vitally important is the reason the product exists – the big idea or concept behind it.
26. Open your mind to the possibilities. Without being limited to a particular product, you can proceed unencumbered. You’re free to consider just about anything. Simply tune in to the marketplace. Find out what it is they would dearly like to have, do, or be. As the legendary marketer Joe Karbo said… “Find a problem looking for a solution. If you can find a problem that needs a solution you will discover the product.” Simply select a product that can be repackaged, recast, or reshaped into the ultimate solution – something that quenches your prospect’s thirst like nothing else available.
27. Position your product to suit the marketplace. If you’re already committed to a product, here’s what you do: Let the market dictate the way you position your product – rather than allowing your product to dictate the direction of your marketing.
Look for the underlying problem that could be even better solved by repackaging the product to be more accurately aligned with the true needs and desires of your specific target. Present a superior solution. Make your package offer the ideal answer or “fix”. Compose an offer that targets your market, feeds their specific “hunger”, and positions you and your product as unquestionably the best choice available — anywhere.
28. Qualify true prospects. Separate genuine prospects from the general. When you reach out with a solution-oriented offer, you invite prospects to respond, thereby qualifying themselves as genuine leads worth courting. The idea with lead-generation is to get the most interested and qualified prospects to raise their hands. You then have the cream of the crop to work on with your sales message.
29. Pull prospects in like a magnet. With most marketers so focused on selling, it’s no surprise that their lead generating attempts are ineffective. It’s the “push” versus “pull” mentality. They think they need to constantly sell. But that’s definitely NOT the best strategy to use at the lead-generation stage.
There’s a time for selling. But selling too early in the relationship can often be self- defeating. Instead of pushing your product, offer the much-needed solution your prospect wants in the form of a free “preview” package. In other words, don’t try to close the sale early on. Focus instead on “pre-selling”. This is much more subtle and inviting to the prospect. Simply invite leads into the fold by making an offer that’s easy to say “yes” to. Usually this means offering a free report, CD, audio tape, article, or book.
30. Establish a preference for action. Another important function of the lead gathering stage is the action it incites. The purpose of all direct-response communication is to trigger responses. At the selling stage, you want prospects to respond with an order. At the lead-generation stage, you only want them to respond with a “Yes, I’m interested. Please tell me more.” type of reply. In essence, you’re conditioning prospects to take positive action. Getting them to raise a hand in interest is that all important first step. It sets a precedent you hope they’ll follow later with a direct order.
31. Use empathy. If there’s one quality that sets winning entrepreneurs apart from the rest it’s the ability to genuinely empathize with their target markets. The more you know about your prospects and their problems, anxieties, fears, desires, and dreams — the better positioned you are to present an offer that will be appreciated and gratefully accepted.
It’s important as a marketer to get “inside” the lives of the people you can help most. Walk a mile in their shoes. See how they live. Understand what’s important to these people. But it’s not enough to internalize this level of understanding. You’ve got to communicate your empathy and understanding directly, rather than relying on prospects to pick up on it unconsciously.
32. Cater to the whims and wants of those you serve. In business, prospects and customers are always in charge. They make the choice as to where and when to spend their hard-earned money… and when to keep it in their wallets or purses. Deliver a self- serving message and you’ll only be ignored. Persist along this path and your marketing efforts are doomed. If you want to win a receptive audience, you’ve got to be audience- focused.
33. Offer major benefits. Effective lead-generation advertising is always benefit- oriented. Successful advertising messages offer direct, specific benefits to targeted prospects. Offer a new benefit your market wants and your ad has the potential to pull in an unlimited number of prospects. Ads that hit the mark with appealing benefits are those that get the best results.
34. “Recommend” products, services, and special introductory offers. This is another effective method for generating prospects. Instead of creating what is clearly an “advertising” message, try gently suggesting products and services, as a friend might do. This method works particularly well online in ezines, signature files, discussion board posts, and so forth.
Sincerity is crucial if you want to be believed. You simply cannot recommend every new product that comes along, or your credibility goes out the window. Suggest quality and helpful websites, free reports, interesting articles, discussions, and downloads to others. Doing so makes your suggestion appear more like a third-party endorsement, rather than an obvious advertisement.
Done effectively, third-party endorsements have a lot of clout in the market. You’re not seen as the manufacturer, business, publisher, promoter, or advertiser with an agenda. Instead, you’ve viewed more like a satisfied customer – some who was as impressed enough to express their level of appreciation publicly.
Referring others is a softer, gentler approach to marketing. It’s “pre-selling” — rather than “closing” by suggesting a tangible benefit – one that you don’t seemingly make money from. The value in this method is the disarming ability of a simple recommendation, in a busy world where people are hungry for helpful, valuable, on-target information.
Only recommend products or services that you strongly and sincerely believe in. If you don’t use the product yourself, you’re not being true to your prospects. Refer too many products and your sincerity loses its lustre. Do this often enough and any credibility you once had is gone. Pick and choose your endorsement opportunities carefully and use this technique sparingly for maximum effect.
35. Invest carefully. Select your audience with precision. Prospects or leads are “potential” customers by definition — something that disqualifies most of the general population. Many businesspeople make the mistake of thinking that anyone and everyone is a good for their particular product or service.
In truth, if you’re aiming your messages at “everyone”… you’ll reach no one. So if you think your hot new offer is something “everyone” would surely want – think again. Aiming for such a wide target is a big mistake.
A genuine prospect should belong to a certain identifiable group. In this way, your specific target prospect is reachable. You need to find ways to get through to those individual groups you want to target. Some are more difficult to reach than others. Explore the various ways to attract prospects online and offline.
36. Target a smaller segment. Success is about pinpointing your approach, rather than broadening it. The more specific you target prospects, the better. Make your message of specific importance, relevance and timeliness and it becomes a major priority. It then is seen as a “must” read. Why? Simply because it’s specifically addressed… offers an important advantage… and is presented at a crucial time. In other words, it’s delivered at the time when your prospect is most in need of a solution.
37. Increase your target prospecting efforts in proportion to the resources you have available. The fewer the resources you have at your disposal, the more important it is to TARGET your market with absolute precision. Address a very specific group in a way that only that group can relate and you effectively legitimize and prioritize your message. It’s similar in difference to a generic form letter versus a personalized piece addressed to you. The more specific you are in your message – the more your words appeal to that narrow group.
38. Think of lead generating as a funneling system. Start with the masses. Then identify the group(s) best suited to for your specific marketing message. This secondary group represents the NICHE you want to focus on and it may only be a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions of people you could potentially reach. Your market at this stage may only be a few hundred, several thousand – or, perhaps even millions of people. But even after narrowing your market somewhat, this audience pool itself is not particularly valuable to you – at least not at this stage.
39. Stimulate action from your audience. It’s action that makes the difference. When someone from your niche market raises their hand and demonstrates a sincere interest in your offer – they in turn become a qualified lead. The difference is EXPRESSED INTEREST.
Up until the time your prospect actually responds to your message or offer, they aren’t truly a top quality prospect. Response is the major qualifier. Whenever a hand is raised and another prospect responds, they are in essence saying – “Yes! I’m interested. Tell me more!” A quality prospect is one who comes TO YOU.
Let’s suppose your advertising message is exposed to 1000 people in your target market. 150 respond to your “free introductory offer”, which is of course, related to your product. Now, of the 1000 people exposed to your message, who do you think is more likely to eventually buy from you? Obvious, isn’t it? It’s the 150 who eagerly replied to your introductory offer.
A quality, grade-A prospect is one who contacts you. That’s the key. They respond to your lead-generating offer. It doesn’t matter how hard or how often you drive home your marketing message to your audience. Until people respond, they aren’t truly qualified prospects.
40. Follow up for more conversions. Don’t ignore those who don’t respond immediately to your initial offer. They are still part of the market you chose to target. Deliver your message repeatedly to your niche market. But until they stand up and declare their candidacy as interested prospective buyers who want more information – these folks are only lukewarm prospects, at best. The real point of differentiation is in the action taken.
Action can never be forced. It must originate from prospects themselves. This is as it should be as it the audience in complete control.
41. Attract high-caliber prospects. Until you have an interested lead, you’re merely “fishing” for business in a larger pond, even though you’ve done some targeting already. Once you’ve drawn a lead, it’s up to you to close the sale. Use every tool in your toolbox, if that’s what it takes to get the job done.
But the whole point of being “in business”– and that’s really what you are if you’re marketing anything – is to make money. It’s all about profit… and profit comes from customers – customers who first were leads. The whole cycle of business begins in the lead-generation stage.
42. Act immediately. It’s vital that you act on every quality lead as quickly as possible. Strike while the iron’s hot. It’s at this “moment of truth” when interest is at a high level that you should respond with your free offer. The interested prospect is expecting exactly what was promised. They’re keen, eager, enthusiastic and often ready to buy once they hear back from you. Anticipation is high… but the longer you make them wait, the more likely it is they’ll cool off. They might even forget about your and your offer altogether.
43. Set the stage for success. Lead-generation is where it all begins. It’s the initial contact — step one in the process. As such, it’s the launching pad to every business transaction. A strong lead-generating system keeps the wheels of your profit center turning. It continually gets your message out in front of the marketplace… and woos hot, new prospects – prospects with long-term profit potential for you. Lead-generation is a vital component to continual growth and maximum profitability.
44. Value your assets. Fresh new leads represent the greatest potential return. First of all, they’ve indicated an interest in your offer by responding. They’ve come to you based on the appeal of your introductory offer. Not only are hot prospects ideal candidates to purchase your current product, they’re also a good bet to purchase again and again – assuming of course, that they’re happy with each subsequent purchase.
Let’s say you have 10 different products in your complete lineup and that the average long-term customer buys 7 different products over five years. Those customers you’ve had for 5 years or more have been tapped out. All you can hope to sell them is any new products or services you introduce down the road.
But a fresh new lead is a good prospect for all 10 related items. It’s not just the first sale… but those repeat sales that really pad your pocketbook. In truth… there’s no better prospect for additional related sales than the one you’ve just sold. So in terms of pure potential, each new qualified prospect is worth more to you in potential earning power than even your best, most established customers.
45. Develop a system. Once you’ve established a system for attracting new leads, you have added substantial value to your business. It’s no longer speculation where customers will come from. You’ll be able to predict the number of new leads coming in — based on your outgoing advertising messages.
A lead-generation program gives you hard data immediately – something you can use to adjust course as you see fit. It delivers actual results – not theory. So you can make sound decisions based on fact, rather than flying by the seat of your pants, like so many do.
You’ll stand out from the crowd as most businesses have no reliable system for bringing in new leads on a regular basis.
46. Attract investors. Having an automated system in place makes your business more appealing to investors. This helps you raise additional capital – should the need arise – or to sell your business at a higher price. If it’s worth more to you (and it certainly would be with an effective lead-generation system already established) it would be worth more in the eyes of a possible successor.
47. Put your business on autopilot. There’s one inevitable fact in business: no matter what, you will lose customers through attrition. It’s a fact. Better to know the truth and accept it at the outset, than to realize it later on when it might be too late.
There are a great many books and experts that focus on building success through repeat business. But there’s another area you need to focus on regardless of how long you’ve been in business.
Customers move on. They relocate, become disabled, pass away, change interests, quit their affiliations, or change their tastes or buying habits. It doesn’t matter how much they like you and your products. Changes eventually occur. That’s why you need to keep the supply of new prospects coming into the fold. A lead-generating system keeps you going through the peaks and the valleys. Lead-generation brings in fresh, warm prospects… an essential element to keeping your business operating and profitable.
48. Confirm market demand for your offer and product. A constant lead-generating system gives you up-to-the-minute results. You can measure your level of response and gauge it against past performance, anytime you wish. If you’ve been running the same messages and achieved consistent rates of return… and then suddenly, your response rates take a nosedive, it may be time to make some changes.
You shouldn’t necessarily abandon ship at the first sign of trouble, particularly if you’ve been enjoying success for some time. But by monitoring your lead-generation results, you can spot emerging patterns. A sound lead-gathering system helps keep your finger on the pulse of the market. It gives you important information about the niche you’re targeting – information that allows you to turn on a dime and gain an extra advantage over competitors.
49. Consider all possible tools for attracting prospects. Following are several known lead-generation tools available to any entrepreneur. Try those that appeal to you, and seem right for your offer and budget. It’s always a good idea to use multiple tools, rather than relying on one or two to bring you all the business you can handle. That’s the best way to insure a constant inflow of new prospects and customers.
Offline Lead-Generation Tools
• Classified Ads
• Display Ads
• Yellow Pages
• Direct Mail Letters
• Follow Up Letters
• Package Inserts
• Card Decks
• Trade Shows
• Take-One Boxes
• Free Consultations
• Signs – Car/Truck/Shop/Window
• Directory Listings
• Window Displays
• Joint Ventures
• Free Tips
• Book Reviews
• Letters To The Editor
• Clubs, Groups, Associations
• Press Releases
• Media Kits
• Book Signing Events
• Speaking Engagements
• Free Advertising Specialties/ Gifts/Incentives
• Advertising Reprints
• Article Reprints
• Book/Directory Covers
• Audio/Video Brochures
• Business Cards
• Gift Vouchers
Online Lead-Generating Tools
• Opt-In Emails
• Ezines and Newsletters
• Discussion Board Posts
• Web Log (Blogging)
• Free Tips
• Web Sites
• Press Releases
• Signature Files
• Search Engine Listings
• Affiliate Programs
• Product Reviews
50. Give First. The key to the lead-generation vault is to focus on giving, rather than getting. Serve others first… and you too will be served. It’s simple… basic… and yet, so misunderstood.
It’s a universal principle – “as you sow, so shall you reap.” But it’s all something that is largely forgotten in the dog-eat-dog world of business. The simple fact is that “giving” sets you up to “get”.
But there’s another reason to come from a position of giving. First of all, free offers of worthwhile value are increasingly difficult to come by. Yet it’s the one thing most people want. Most people live their lives with tunnel vision — whether they’re online and offline. Their single focus is… “What’s In It For Me?” It may not even be a conscious focus, but one way or another they’re directed to the things of personal interest, payoff and benefit. Everything else is noise that gets automatically filtered out.
51. Feature your free offer prominently. Make it a major part of every lead-generation message you employ. A free offer specifically targeted to a niche market cuts through the clutter and gets picked up by your prospect’s automatic radar. When you’re competing with thousands of other messages, distractions and interruptions that occupy your prospect’s mind on a daily basis, it’s vital that you make your message pertinent and worthwhile.
Interruptions that offer desired solutions are generally welcomed with open arms. Offer something of value up front and you will get noticed. But a message that starts selling immediately is often ignored. It’s much easier and far more effective to communicate with prospects who want to hear what you have to say — rather than to those who won’t give you the time of day.
52. Know what it is your market wants. You must discover what this is if you ever hope to deliver it. If you don’t first uncover their problems, challenges, hopes, and desires — how can you ever expect to interest them in your offer? The more in-depth your understanding, the more likely you are to prepare precisely the kind of offer target prospects are looking for. Not understanding your market going in is akin to taking a shot while blindfolded. In the marketing world, such a hit and miss strategy spells disaster.
53. Common Prospect Desires
To make money
To save money
To achieve comfort To enjoy health
To live longer
To be popular
To satisfy curiosity
To gain pleasure or enhance enjoyment
To be praised and admired To be in style
To satisfy an appetite
To own beautiful possessions To attract the opposite sex To be successful
To make work easier
To gain prestige
To be efficient or more efficient
To protect oneself and family
To be loved
To fulfill a fantasy
To collect valuable things
To satisfy the ego
To find new and rare things
To be more beautiful or attractive
To bring back pleasant memories
To feel important
To gain knowledge
To enhance leisure
To get a better job
To gain social acceptance To win acclaim
To win advancement
To seek adventure
To satisfy ambition
To gain confidence
To get on the bandwagon
To get something for nothing To relax
To replace the obsolete
To add fun or spice to life
To find love
To feel intelligent
To feel wanted, appreciated and valuable To work less
To have security in old age
To avoid criticism
To avoid loneliness
To take their mind off their troubles
To avoid loss of reputation
To avoid trouble
To avoid embarrassment
To get rid of aches and pains
To escape drudgery
To gain freedom from worry
To avoid effort
To protect possessions
54. Facilitate Response. Make it exceptionally easy for prospects to take advantage of your offer and redeem the item of value you promise. Doing everything you can to make taking action a “no-brainer” is one of the tricks to generating maximum results with your lead-generation efforts.
Qualifying them is one thing, but making genuine prospects jump through hoops to collect on your free offer can be self-defeating. Remember, once a prospect replies, they’ve indicated an interest. The value to you is the opportunity to either produce a sale immediately, or to forge a relationship through regular communications, with the intention of eventually winning over each prospect.
55. Automate the lead-generation process. Create a system — a repeatable process — something that can be done over and over again automatically, without much conscious effort or attention.
An effective system makes life easier by putting this key area of business on virtual autopilot. “Systemizing” has long been done in production settings to create duplicate products in the most cost-efficient way. But this concept can and should be adopted by every businessperson – large and small. A systemized approach can help you achieve success faster, easier, and at far less cost – regardless of your product or service.
The secret of a great system lies in the planning and organization. It’s important to plan out a sequence of actions, so you never have to stop and think about what to do next. It’s all mapped out for you in black and white. Ideally, you want what author and business consultant Dan Kennedy describes as “reliable, predictable, consistent systems that affordably and efficiently provide abundant quantities of quality prospects/customers/ clients.” Plan each step and arrange them in logical sequence to produce optimum results.
56. Create all your marketing materials in the beginning. Take whatever time is necessary to develop your entire campaign before launching. Create your initial attention- grabbing, offer-centered message… your main sales page… and any secondary communications you plan to employ in your system. When you’re caught up in day-to-day business activities, you won’t want to stop what you’re doing to generate more leads. At this point, getting more business will be the furthest thing from your mind. But this is the precise time when you want your lead-generation system working on your behalf.
57. Choose only the best products or services. Don’t get duped into marketing anything less than a terrific product. Select items you would buy yourself. You’ve got to believe in whatever you sell wholeheartedly, if you want to maximize sales and profits. If you don’t feel that the product you represent is a terrific problem solver and a sound investment, your prospects will sense this and they won’t buy. To start any marketing venture without having a first rate product in place is to unnecessarily handicap your success from the start.
Inferior products benefit no one. You might make the sale… but you’ll quickly be saddled with returns and requests for refunds. Even those who don’t return it tend to remember where they got any shoddy product from in the first place. You’ll only end up generating ill will and negative publicity – instead of referrals.
58. Present your most appealing unique advantage. If there’s nothing that sets you apart and gives you a clear advantage — what’s the point? Without an alluring point of differentiation, you’re just another option in the marketplace. There’s nothing to give you an obvious edge over competitors who may have years more experience, name recognition and credibility.
As a new entrant in the market, you need to offer an appealing alternative – one that benefits the prospect in an uncommon way. Make your free offer one that provides genuine and lasting benefits so prospects will get a good idea what your product is all about.
59. Use the “direct response” model for generating leads. Direct-response advertising gives you a precise method to measure response. You know exactly how many responses each lead-generation ad brings. Using this information, you can easily calculate the cost- per-inquiry, or the cost-per-sale generated. With this information, you’ll know immediately how effectively your ads perform.
With direct-response lead-generation ads — feedback is fast. You know almost immediately whether it’s been a worthwhile run, a total failure, or somewhere in between. Direct-response always pushes for action by leading the prospect to respond promptly.
60. Control the process. When advertising for leads, you maintain complete control of the process. You choose the size of ad you want and how much money you’re going to spend. You select the location and decide how long your ad will run. You choose the frequency of placement and the specific media in which to advertise. And it’s you who decides on the content of your message. The greater your commitment (number of insertions and dollars spent) to a particular venue, the more clout you have in terms of actual cost and preferential placement.
61. Adapt your ads to suit your budget. Every business can use lead-generation advertising to their advantage. Being on a shoestring budget should never be an obstacle. Advertising comes in all sizes, formats, and rates – so simply tailor your strategy to fit within your means. You can still access major audiences, nationally and internationally, on a small budget. You’ll want to do some testing, but small ads with the right offer can make a significant impact.
62. Start small with a single small ad in an affordable publication. If the ad pulls reasonably well, you can run it again… bump up the size of the ad… test the same ad in other locations… test the same ad with another headline… or run the same ad in a different section of the publication or website. Each time out is another opportunity to attract customers you wouldn’t otherwise attract. In addition, with each insertion, you’ll also gain valuable experience and insight that can only help your future advertising results.
63. Aim for results every time. A mindset focused on results is necessary to optimize your advertising investment. Set your sights on achieving maximum response. Don’t just place an ad because that’s what appears to work for others. Be stringent in your efforts and diligent in your approach. Measure response to every ad you place. Each lead- generation ad needs to stand on its own and be accountable by performance.
64. Create an original ad and offer. The marketplace is already saturated with advertising in general, so providing more of the same won’t help anybody. In order to deal with the barrage of ads on a daily basis, your prospects have automatic filtering devices in place to limit their exposure to all but the most important and interesting things. Everything else appears as drivel and is given no attention at all. When something comes along that touches the prospects hot button, they’re magnetically and instantly pulled towards it.
65. Avoid the common pitfall of creating “cute” ads. Many businesses make the mistake of believing that an advertisement that’s heavy on attitude and light on information will somehow grab the imaginations of many and trigger a massive rate of response. It may get noticed, but what’s there to move prospects to action? A huge logo next to a web address in a small display ad might succeed in catching a quick glance from some passers-by. But including an irresistible free offer with the promise of an important benefit from would encourage not just a higher response, but response of a more qualified, and therefore, more valuable nature.
66. Set your goal before devising a strategy. What do you hope to accomplish with your ad? Set a target and be very precise. You should do this with each and every ad you run. Know what it is you want in return for renting the allotted space. If you have a clear picture in mind from the beginning, it helps keep you focused throughout the ad development process.
67. Establish clear objectives. Let’s suppose your goal is to acquire 100 new leads from a small display ad. Your objectives to achieve this might include the following:
• Creating a message that targets a specific group
• Using a powerful incentive to encourage prospects to reply
• Clearly communicating your special offer online and offline, in a way that facilitates instant and easy response
Next, take a look at the specific methods you’ll use to achieve your goal. First, there’s your ad, which is intended to guide prospects to your main sales message. Make it your mission to respond immediately to each and every prospect request. In most cases, this means sending your sales material or making it available online, in addition to whatever “free offer” incentive item was promised.
68. Keep it simple. Stick to a single, easily understood message. A straightforward, benefit-oriented message that hits home, followed by a compelling and easily-understood offer is the key information you want to present in your ad. If what you’ve assembled requires effort to understand, most prospects won’t bother. There are too many other choices available, and they’ll quickly move on to the next message, the next page, or the next website. Today, prospects are busier than ever. They won’t stop and try to piece together various bits of information contained in an ad. It’s much easier to ignore it… and that’s exactly what they’ll do. Maintain a singular focus – one that’s instantly understood by your target prospects. The most successful ads promote a single idea only.
69. Communicate effectively. Here are some 4 ways to keep things simple and direct so prospects understand your lead-generating message at a glance:
• Create an irresistible “hook” that has natural appeal
• Keep your ad uncluttered and straightforward
• Present information in a natural order that anyone can understand — Start with the headline, unveil your offer and include your clearly legible contact information at the bottom.
• Tell the truth in a personal, conversational, me-to-you style
Apply these basic principles and you’ll compose a lead-generator that captures attention, is easy to understand and even easier to respond to.
70. Stand out from the crowd. Make your message unique and captivating. Create breakthrough lead-generation advertising with an uncommon appeal — one that sets your offer apart. Most ads lack this unique advantage and therefore, they blend into the landscape, rather than contrast with competing messages. If you want to be noticed by large numbers of potential customers, you need to highlight whatever it is that makes your offer a better choice for the prospect. Gaining an advantage over competing ads means a more attractive benefit. The trick is to communicate your advantage in a strong, dramatic fashion – so it’s sure to be viewed by the exact audience it was intended for.
71. Make an instant connection. You only have a mere second or two in which to draw eyeballs to your little corner. But it’s not just any eyeballs you want. You really only want those who are interested and fully capable of ultimately buying and gaining the advantages your product offers. Don’t waste your time or money trying to appeal to anyone else. It’s far more profitable to connect quickly with those most qualified to buy.
72. Expose your message to the right audience and offer an appealing reward. Your goal is to get every qualified prospect to respond to your ad. In order to accomplish this feat, you must first make your presence known. Your ad must be “seen” by prospects before they’ll ever “hear” your message. Sounds logical, right? Next, you need to make it attractive enough for prospects to justify stopping them in their tracks to read your ad… accept what you’ve told them… and then act on it, to get the promised payoff. Even the busiest people read messages of personal relevance and interest. It’s up to you as an advertiser to make your lead-generating ad interruptive and intriguing.
73. Direct your message at the ‘sweet spot” of prospects. You need to seize their attention with a message of supreme importance – something that can change their lives for the better. Everything you communicate should be about the prospect – not about the product. Present the first step to solving your prospect’s problem in the form of your lead- generation offer. In essence, your ad should figuratively leap off the page with a powerful message of utmost importance. Deliver it instantly and touch a nerve. Do so and you’ll pull in plenty of prospects.
74. Start off with a bang. Begin with your headline, sub-head and the initial words of your body copy. Make the first few words powerful, direct and hard-hitting. Use your best, most provocative words first. Never save key words for later in your message. The purpose of each line – even each word, for that matter — is to encourage readership of the next one in succession. So start with your heaviest, most powerful artillery before introducing any secondary ammunition.
75. Benefits sell. Be aware of the unquestionable power of prospect benefits. Inject your strongest benefit, advantage, or solution as early as possible… and the more “Herculean” the benefit — the better. Benefits attract interest and big benefits sell. Never save the best benefit for last. Instead, deliver the biggest bang right out of the gate. If the finest, most awe-inspiring benefit doesn’t stop true prospects and get them to take notice, surely a lesser benefit wouldn’t work either.
76. Present a dynamite offer. The offer is the heart and soul of any lead-generation advertisement. It’s the proposition you put forth to encourage prospects to respond, thereby qualifying themselves as prospects by taking that first step towards making a purchase. An offer is what you make available in exchange for your prospect’s reply. The best offers are truly compelling, heavily stacking the deck in favor of action.
77. Make it “free”. An offer’s purpose is to persuade prospects to respond. But taking action involves some effort on the part of prospects — even with the easiest, highly- automated order-taking process. The best possible strategy is to demonstrate that the apparent effort involved is nothing in comparison to the payoff. Make whatever premium or incentive you offer in your ad not only valuable and FREE… but one that actually pays those who act on it.
The greater the perceived value and the higher the importance placed on obtaining it — the stronger and more compelling the offer. When you make it truly irresistible, it’s a no- brainer – the prospect simply must have it… and will take the action necessary to get it. Your offer should present some form of a bargain. In other words, the benefit of taking action has to be worthy of the effort required. A strong offer is crucial to maximizing results. Make yours as powerful as possible so everybody wins.
78. Give prospects a reason to respond. If prospects really want what you’re offering, they’ll find a way to get it. Your job is to make them want it and give them a reason to take the next step. Nothing is acted upon without reason. You’re fighting a battle against lethargy, inertia, and competing influences and messages. Therefore, you need a strong reason for prospects to read your ad and respond. Cut through the clutter and get your message across by reaching them where they live. Whatever it is that weighs heavily on your prospects minds is something they’re focused on in their lives. It’s a symptom they’re feeling … and they’re looking for a cure. What symptoms does your offer help alleviate?
Every product has the potential to be the “cure” or the “treatment” for a particular symptom. Look for the most common symptom your market experiences that your product can help reduce or eliminate. The cure is the benefit. That benefit may be physical, financial, emotional, or social. Present your benefits as the ultimate solution. Do so and you’ll find a more interested, attentive and receptive audience. They’ll read every word because you’ve reached them on an emotional level.
79. Inspire action. Success depends on your rate of response. Without action, your ad is wasted. It’s not enough to capture attention, build interest, and intensify the desire in prospects to obtain your promised benefit. You need to go further by actually getting them to follow through and respond to your offer. Attracting response is the natural conclusion of your lead-generation ad – and maximum response is what you’re after here. You’ve made your claim and established an advantage. You may have even provided proof. Now you enter the make-it-or-break-it phase, as far as your ad goes. You’ve got to nudge prospects to take the next step.
80. Simplify responding. Keep it simple and unquestionably clear for prospects to respond to your ad. There shouldn’t be any question in their minds as to what they need to do next. Be explicit in your guidance and crystal clear in your communication. Make your ordering/contact information blatantly obvious rather than forcing readers to look for it. Put it where they expect it to be – at the conclusion of your ad or presentation.
81. Keep running ads that work. Spaced repetition helps ensure the largest number of prospects respond. You might have written the greatest ad of all time. Still, you need to be prepared to let it run again and again. Your finest work may have been overlooked the first time around. Perhaps it’s due to less than ideal placement or a “bad news” day. It could be a case of more advertisers than usual in the same issue, or any one of a number of things. Sometimes it just takes time for people to get comfortable with you, before they respond. Moving on too early will cost you prospects and profits.
82. Follow this formula for successful lead-generation ad creation. Use this simple, 3- part system whenever you need to compose a new ad. These 3 components are the key ingredients to an ad that gets noticed and acted upon. Once you understand the importance of each part, you’ll find the ad creation process much easier.
The three components are as follows:
2. Body Copy/ Offer
3. Call To Action/ Contact Information
Lead generation ads can be any length – though tests have proven short, concise, offer- oriented ads work best in attracting prospects. With a small ad, you can often combine all three elements into a single sentence, or paragraph. Many effective classified ads are created this way.
Begin your ad with a strong headline. Headlines are crucial as they serve many purposes. Not only do they provide a natural starting point for readers, they also…
• capture attention
• explain in words what the graphic communicates visually
• target a specific audience
• guide the scanning reader by signaling who the message is for and what it’s about • stimulate interest and enthusiasm
The body copy/offer section of your ad should carry on where your headline or sub-head left off. You want to communicate a single, coherent message. One thought should smoothly lead to another, with an obvious connection between them communicating a single message, while suggesting a single action.
Introduce your outstanding offer, if you haven’t dome so already in the headline.
What actually constitutes the body copy of an ad varies greatly. For a full page ad, it can include several paragraphs or columns of sales copy, complete with sub-heads, bullets, numbers, call-outs and indented highlighted sections.
A smaller ad might only contain a few bullet points or a single paragraph of sales copy. Any component that sells should be considered as possible body copy. Testimonials and endorsements are always effective additions.
Your call to action/contact information section is the easiest of all to compose. All you have to do is decide the method(s) you want prospects to use to connect with you and how you’ll entice them into action. It may be as simple as this: “Call (111) 111-1111 Now!” or… “Click Here!” It’s always better if you can inject urgency into the situation by offering a limited but valuable incentive, such as… “Admission to this FREE show is strictly limited to the first 25 people. Call 111-1111 now and enjoy a 90-minute magic demonstration that will knock your socks off — absolutely free of charge!”
The simple, 3-step formula can help you create great ads for any product or service under the sun. It’s an easy way to make excellent use of display ad space. Use this 3-part method as a convenient guideline to composing your own highly-responsive ads.
83. Follow up consistently. Most prospects won’t bite the first time around. So you’ve got to devise a strategy to follow up on “unsold” prospects, repeatedly. Ultimately your goal is to convert prospects to customers. That’s when the money starts to flow to you. An effective follow-up strategy can boost your sales by several hundred percent. This means potentially thousands dollars more in your pocket every month. People are people. Sometimes you need to light a fire under them to get them to move on anything – no matter how enticing it may be.
Your prospects are busier than ever before. Free time is growing increasingly scarce and disposable income for the middle class is shrinking. Meanwhile, every consumer on earth is being hit with a increasing barrage of marketing pitches, from morning to night. Choices are greater than ever – so there’s more competition not just for the limited dollars available, but for the limited attention span of those you’re trying to reach.
All things considered, it’s no surprise that many people don’t respond the first, second, or fifth time you contact them. Truth is… some won’t respond at all, no matter what you do. But on the other side of the equation, many more will see your message and respond positively if you continue to keep in touch intermittently. Regular communication is vital.
84. Expect some delays both in attracting prospects and converting them to customers. Some won’t see your message… until you’ve put it out there a number of times. With the volume of messages floating around online and offline, it’s no surprise. Most are filtered from a distance and never reach the eyeballs and the minds they were intended for. Many people won’t buy right away, only to become paying customers later in the cycle. You’ll be better equipped to know this in advance. Preparation is half the battle. Develop your entire marketing system – from lead-generation to follow-up customer sales – before you begin and building your business consistently is much easier.
85. Understand why prospects delay action. People have questions – questions about you, your product, your service, your business, your history. Chances are they don’t know much about you and may not have heard of your product before. Allow them the opportunity to get comfortable with you, first. This is an important step in the process – one that always precedes buying for the uncertain prospect. Repeated exposure creates
visibility, helping to build confidence while overcoming any fears prospects might have. Keep following up until your prospect becomes a customer, or asks to be removed from your mailing list.
86. Follow-up with enticing messages. You’ve placed lead-generation ads and collected many responses. Respondents have taken you up on your free offer, which you’ve sent along with your sales letter. But as yet, they haven’t bought from you. So what’s a smart entrepreneur to do? Keep marketing. Hopefully you understand this already. But you may be a little confused as to what you should say in your subsequent communications. After all, you probably feel tapped-out, having put a major effort into your sales letter. Not to worry. It’s not so much what you say… it’s more a matter of getting in front of receptive ears again and again… and inviting them to seriously consider your offer again, by directing them towards your full sales message.
are several follow-up approaches that work well…
• Notice – “I’m sure you missed this”
• Frequently Asked Questions & Helpful Answers
• News Story That Relates In Some Way
• Success Stories/ Case Histories
• Helpful Articles
• Bulleted Lists Of Major Benefits
• Important Product Updates
• News Stories About You Or Your Product/Service
• Special Offers
• Timely Tips and Helpful Insights
• Point Out Additional Benefits/ Product Uses/ Unique Advantages
• Direct Them To New Resources You’ve Discovered
• Timely Offers (Stock up now for Christmas)
• Personal Experiences And The Valuable Lessons Learned Form Them
• Fresh Updates On Customer Success Stories – New Testimonials
87. Build valuable relationships. Effective follow-up means building relationships. Most people prefer doing business with individuals and companies they like, trust, and respect. Each time you reach out with another message, it’s another chance to strengthen that bond. The stronger that bond you build — the more likely it is that your prospect becomes your customer.
88. Demonstrate your intentions. Let prospects know that you’re the “real deal”. Be clear about your desire to serve them. Provide the opportunity within each message for prospects to make an easy purchase. Establish an easy entry point, so all your prospect has to do is point and click, or pick up the phone and call when they’re ready to buy.
89. Provide multiple choices to increase your prospects comfort level. It’s also a good idea to provide multiple means of response. Don’t make the assumption that everyone else likes to do business the same way you, or most of your customers do. Respect the individual and serve the prospect by giving them a choice. Consider offering a mailing address, fax number, email address, and telephone number. Not only will your prospects appreciate having a choice, they’ll see you as an individual who is both approachable and reachable.
90. Use leverage to produce big results. Leverage is about attaining the best results for the least amount of time, effort and money invested. It means using small amounts of energy and capital resources in the most effective way — to produce huge results. Employing proven strategies is one method to boost your odds and give you a greater probability for success. Leverage is a way of hedging your bets to position yourself for better results, without spending a fortune.
It’s really a strategy for establishing superior “field positioning”, before the game even begins. Essentially, leverage is: Creating the highest likelihood for successful results… providing the lowest possibility of failure… and utilizing the least amount of resources (time, energy, money) — in order to gain the greatest possible return on your effort and investment.
91. Get more for less in your marketing efforts these 7 ways:
Use smaller, well-designed lead-generation ads that pack a punch, as opposed to costly, larger ads. Always test small, first.
Choose better publications or mailing lists, ones that better reflect the target market you’ve identified as ideal for your product.
Take advantage of low-cost marketing options such as classified ads, co-op advertising, Internet, and publicity. Don’t overlook the huge potential of each.
Renew the sales relationship with inactive or past customers.
Create superior lead-generation advertising that gets more people to respond.
Rework your follow-up material so recipients are literally compelled to buy from you because not doing so would actually cost them dearly due to all the benefits they’ll miss out on.
Once your system is working, expand your marketing reach and put it on autopilot so you can free up more of your time for other activities.
92. Profit repeatedly. Leveraging your marketing efforts helps you find more first-time customers. You can then turn those one-shot sales into continued relationships that can last for many years and potentially generate thousands of dollars in profits. Using the principle of leveraging allows you to exponentially grow your business by multiplying the effectiveness of every marketing initiative. It’s like profiting from the results of 60 sales- people instead of 3, and it’s like having the power of a full-page ad in a highly-respected publication for the price of a one-line directory listing in an unknown publication. Leverage allows you to duplicate your efforts and produce many times greater results – at a much lower expense.
The keys to successful marketing are:
- Find your best sources of new prospects…
- Determine the most viable, cost effective, productive, and expedient way to reach as many targeted prospects as possible…
- Convert as many prospects into customers for life – delighted customers who happily tell others all about your products and services.