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Does this sound familiar? I hope not.

Does this sound familiar? I hope not.

April 29, 2010

Revealed! The single, best thing you can do to increase sales

Every now and then I pull back the curtain and let readers get a behind-the-scenes peek into how some of my conversations go with clients. Here's one I think you'll find interesting'

'Hi Jon, I hope you can help me. I need a promotion that will work better than what we already have.'

'What's happening with your current promotion?'

'Well, it worked for a while but the market is changing and it's no longer working as well. Our response rate is down and we're just not getting the sales we used to.'

'Who are you trying to reach with your marketing?'


'Are you still there?'

'Yes. I'm thinking. Because like I said the market is changing but we've been marketing to the same people for years.'

'Sounds like the first place to begin is with your list building. What are you doing now to build your lists and acquire new prospects?'


Unfortunately, this conversation is a common one. So many business owners are concerned about sales they neglect the single, most important thing that will help them achieve their goal and that's build lists of qualified prospects. Look, I realize list building can be a slow process and you're always wondering if your lists will convert into sales.

So make it easy. I've talked to you previously about creating an irresistible bait ' an offer that your prospects can't refuse. Use your irresistible to attract your 'hungry fish' and create a pool of highly qualified prospects who you can convert into buyers.

Bait can include a special report, a series of videos that entertain or solve a specific problem your prospects are wrestling with, a low-cost, high-value complementary product, a free trial offer, the list goes on.

And one of the best ways to do that is to create an opt-in campaign in which prospects are raising their hands and have taken the time to give you their contact information. Why? Because he who controls the list has everything. I don't care if asking your people to opt-in online, offline or in-person! Every business should be setting the hook.

I have one client who owns a restaurant and he built a list of 2,500 customers in one month simply by having patrons sign up to receive his special offers. Imagine if you had a list of 250, 2,500 or 25,000 people who said, 'I'm really interested in what you're selling and I want you to send me your promotions because I'll probably buy something.' Need more convincing? In my experience, response to opt-in lists are usually triple the response for standard lists.

Here are 5 tips to create an opt-in list online or off-line:

1. Offer something. One of the best ways to build your list is to offer something FREE that's so irresistible your prospects would be willing to pay for it. A FREE report is terrific bait because it positions you as an expert offering advice and it will help you build trust in your new relationship.

2. Make it easy to opt-in. I see so many business owners try to turn their sign-up form into a survey asking prospects to tell them about their interests, income, education, shopping habits, etc. STOP! The opt-in is about helping your prospects get what THEY want! As soon as you go beyond asking for just basic contact information (name, email and address) an internal warning pops up in the mind of your hungry fish that says, 'They just want to use my information for marketing ' they don't care about me!'

3. Offer security. If you share your lists or rent your lists, be sure to disclose that information on the sign-up form. However, I advise against sharing your lists. We just said your list is gold so treat it like gold. You'll also get more prospects to trust you and sign up for your opt-in list if you tell them, 'We'll never rent or share your list.' Business owners with lists are in a very enviable position. If you want to market another seller's product to your list, send the promotion yourself with your endorsement. Your prospects have a relationship with you and trust you, so any promotions should come from you.

4. Follow up! Don't let your list just sit idle. It's amazing how many clients I talk with who have lists and never send any promotions to it. Follow up right away while your product or service is still top of mind.

5. Don't give up. Follow up with your prospects again and again. Remember, 81% of all sales don't occur until after the fourth contact. And by that time, 90% of your customers have given up! Plan to follow-up at least five times so you can turn your relationship into a very profitable one for you and your customer.

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,


Jon Goldman, President