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Snake Oil Salesman or Saint? You Decide...

Snake Oil Salesman or Saint? You Decide...

February 08, 2012

Update: Contest Is Now Closed

FREE offers like these are among the 3,000 marketing messages we tune out every day. So how can you stand out from everyone else if you can't even offer give-aways? Read on...

Quick, how many free offers did you see this morning? One, two, five, 15?

Fact: By the end of the day you'll be exposed to about 3,000 marketing and advertising messages. Not just today, either. Every day!

So what do most advertisers do? They offer give-aways to make the offer appealing. No one can turn down a give-away, right? Wrong! We do it all the time. Most of us see right through them as empty pitches or worse as snake oil. We've gotten so good at saying no to the thousands of messages and give-aways we simply ignore them.

So how do you get your message to stand out?

I'll tell you in a moment. This one will blow you away. (I gave you some pretty good hints last week')

The fact is most offers ask for a yes or no decision. That's it. Take it or leave it. So to get more people to buy, they offer a give-away. 'Buy one suit, get one free.' 'Free shipping.' 'How much would you pay for all that? Don't answer because you also get this knife set free!' 'Get a free travel case when you order today.'

I've got a better way. I call it, 'Just Say Maybe.' Instead of asking your prospects to say yes or no right away, ask them to 'Just Say Maybe.'

How? By offering something your prospects can really use - something they would find so valuable that they would be willing to pay for it. And that's the secret. Offer something they value ' but give it away.

'Wait a minute Jon!' I can see the emails being typed at this moment. 'You just said give-aways don't work and now you're saying offer give-aways!'

It's true. We've become immune to free offers. But does that mean you quit offering them altogether? No! Most offers come across as snake oil. You want to come across as a saint. How? By offering your prospects something they find so compelling they'll stop what they're doing and say, 'Wait a minute! I could really use that!'

Think about this: just about every product of service solves some kind of problem. At Brand Launcher, we help entrepreneurs turn around their businesses and their lives.

One of our clients is an amazing deck builder in Colorado who helps homeowners transform their outdoor living spaces into decks, patios and backyards that they can enjoy year-round. Another client helps doctors' offices collect their unpaid bills from patients. Another client helps business owners get financing they need.

Each one solves a problem for their customers. And to help them stand out from all the other competitors in their markets, we help them develop e-books that tell readers how to solve some of the biggest problems on their own. These are short 20-40 page books, reports or white papers sent electronically as a pdf. They can also include video courses, a series of articles, a series of trainings, how-to manuals, do-it-yourself guidebooks, etc. that can be bundled with the e-book or in place of an e-book.

Does it work? See for yourself... We have one client who increased his revenue by more than $100,000 -- doubling the size of the business using an e-book as irresistible bait. We have another client who has added 7 new clients as a result of creating an e-book and then "repurposed" the content for a series of seminars. We know one publisher who generated 15,000 leads offering an e-report in online ads and added 1,000 new subscribers. Another consultant brought in $18,000 in business in one month from his e-book. And it costs very little to produce! Yet, it delivers incredible value.

Replace your empty pitches with valuable guidance your prospects are most hungry for -- and give it away! It's a great way to get your prospects to "Just Say Maybe." This one, for instance, shows medical office managers how to collect more unpaid bills, which has helped net 7 new clients for one collection agency client.

The idea is to get your prospects' attention by offering to help them solve their toughest challenges by giving away some of your best solutions. Why would you just give away some of your best ideas? First, to make you stand out from all the clutter and marketing noise. Second, to build trust with your prospects. If someone gives you advice you find valuable, do you think you'll remember them and want to go back to them when you're ready to buy? Absolutely! Third (and this is one of my favorites), it establishes you as an expert.

Think about it. If you add the title of 'author' of a book to your biography, you're automatically considered an expert in the field. In fact, you wrote the book on the subject! Who else better to go to for advice than the author? It immediately sets you apart from everyone else ' and you're offering to help someone else with their problem.

But there's a very practical reason why e-books are so important to your business. They'll generate leads for you. These are highly qualified leads ' all of whom have expressed an interest in what you have to offer.

Try this exercise. Open your hand in front of you with your palm up. Where are your fingers pointing? They're pointing to those you want to serve. Close your hand and your fingers are pointing back at you. When you open your hand and give you live in abundance ' more will come back to you as a result.

Are you living in abundance? When you do, your hand is open and pointing those you serve. Those who don't close their hand. Their fingers are pointing back at themselves. Give more and you'll receive more.

We're working with several clients right now in which we're not even offering the business' product or service. Instead, we're offering the e-book; much like we do with our popular e-book, Secret of the Watermelon, How to Turn Around Your Business and Life Even in a Recession. Just as we do in our own e-book, we offer sound, practical advice readers can use and we let the e-book tell the story of the business.

But that's just the beginning. Remember, it's all about taking the first steps in a relationship with the customer. So the first step is to offer an e-book (or it could be a video course, training series, white paper - whatever you feel would benefit your audience). For prospects to receive the e-book they must give you their contact information. Remember, one of your goals is to generate a list of leads. That means your content must be so compelling people will have no problem giving you their contact information.

The next step is critical. You absolutely MUST have a plan for following up with your prospects as you try to convert those leads into buyers. What's the next step you want them to take? And the next step? What if they say, 'No.' What's your next step?

What I love about this process is that you just have to build it once and then you can walk away. Using automated email response systems you can set up email campaigns to send to your prospects after they download your e-book and respond to your offers. It all happens automatically!

Here are 3 different models of what I mean:

In this model, the approach is very simple. The goal is to get prospects to meet with a salesperson in a consultation. This model could be used for financial planners, CPAs, collections companies, landscape architects, designer, contractors, chiropractors -- anyone who wants to meet with a prospect to offer his or services.

But first, we want them to "Just Say Maybe." So we begin by offering an e-book or report in a postcard or email campaign and drive traffic to a website. Here, prospects are asked to fill out a form with their contact information. When they do, they will receive the e-book. Then, follow up with them in a series of emails promoting the consultation.

This model uses the same preliminary approach as we saw above. But in this case, we add a phone call campaign to those prospects who don't respond to the email campaign. For some, this may be a terrific list to follow up with. All of them have expressed an interest already in the service so they are highly qualified prospects.

And if they say "No" to the consultation offer, it's a great opportunity to offer a lower-priced product or another service that may better fit their needs.

And in this model, we added a Lumpy Mail campaign. These are unique direct mail promotions that are meant to grab the attention of your prospects and get them to take action. Remember, 81% of all sales come after the 5th contact. So don't just send one promotion and stop. Keep marketing and you're prospects are more likely to respond.

Win a FREE e-Book cover design!

Enter our Best of the Best e-Book Contest and you may win a FREE design cover on your e-book.

Got an idea for a new e-Book that you think will generate business for yourself? We're opening the doors to our Best of the Best e-Book Contest. There are 3 rules. (1) You must have a compelling title. (2) You must show you will use the e-book to promote your business. (3) Tell us why we should pick you. The most innovative submission will win a FREE cover design ($149 value) for their e-Book! Just send an email with your ideas to jongoldman@BrandLauncher.com to enter the contest.

Last week, I gave you advice on how to get started creating the content for your own e-book or course to begin offering. GO HERE to see the full article. But an e-book by itself won’t do you any good. As you see in the models I’ve shown above, you MUST offer a next step for prospects to take with you. The goal is to convert those prospects into sales.

Your next step could be an offer for your product or service, a trial offer, a FREE consultation, a sale or discount offer, etc.

What’s the next step you want prospects to do? If they say no, what will you offer next? If they say, yes, what’s the next step? And what’s the next step after that?

I think you get the idea. Use the models above to help guide. We live in an age of publish or perish. The choice is yours!

And of course, if you need help developing your own e-book and lead generation machine give us a call at 410-235-7070 for a FREE (that I know you'll value!) consultation. One of our coaches, will be glad to help get you started.

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


Jon Goldman, President & CEO 
Brand Launcher 
Lumpy Mail