Hey Rainmaker, let’s talk one of the fastest, easiest ways to boost response to any and all selling and marketing efforts.
Like all great lessons, this one was learned — for me — in my mistakes. (Hopefully you can learn from mine, rather than making the same mistakes yourself!)
You see, I’ve had plenty of successes in marketing.
But I’ve also had plenty of failures.
And while the following rule doesn’t 100% account for the difference between the successes and failures…
I’ve found it’s far easier to have a success when you avoid this all-too-common mistake.
Your best marketing may be dead without a deadline…
We all know about deadlines. We know about limited-time sales. About event-based promotions that give you a special deal only while the event is going on.
We’ve probably all been made a compelling offer, that we ended up responding to specifically because there was a date after which it was no longer valid.
Deadlines are powerful.
Because one of the easiest ways to put off making a decision is to say “later.”
“That sounds very interesting, so I’ll respond to it later.”
“I want to get that, let me get it tomorrow.”
“I have to think about it, and I’ll get back to you.”
There are a million ways to say “later.”
But if you’re selling — in person or in print — you come to realize that later, more often than not, means “never.” Because “later” always remains “later,” it never becomes “now.”
A yes or a no is always better than a maybe…
This was a phrase I adopted in doing one-to-one selling.
A no was manageable. Maybe it was an objection that could be addressed, or maybe it was a hard no. Either way, it was clear.
A yes, of course, is great. It’s a deal closed, a sale made.
But a maybe is deadly. Because a maybe means infinite obligation to follow-up, or lose the sale. A maybe simply strings along the sales person, without any obligation on the customer’s part.
Are you going to get maybes? Absolutely. They’re a constant of selling.
My goal — as should be yours — was to always try to reduce or remove them, using every method I could come up with. Starting with telling the prospect, flat out, that “a yes or no is always better than a maybe…”
And yet, words are a dime a dozen.
A deadline is a much better way to force the decision.
Your customer won’t act in their best interest unless you force them to…
I’m assuming, for the sake of this illustration, that you have a great product. I don’t know what it is, but by taking you up on your offer, your customer’s life will be all the better for it.
They actually benefit by giving you money.
Maybe it’s financial benefit. Maybe it’s emotional benefit. Maybe it’s a utility benefit. Whatever it is, their life is better by buying, rather than not buying.
If you let them string you along with maybes, you’re letting them accept an outcome that is less than what is possible.
They actually benefit when you force them to say yes, to take action, to buy.
And if they’re not going to buy, they benefit to by gaining clarity and the ability to move on, and by relieving themselves of your constant follow-up.
The worst thing you could do is let them keep not taking action.
That’s why you have to use a deadline to force action.
This is why many marketers teach that an offer isn’t an offer unless there’s a deadline…
In any good direct response campaign (in any media), 40% of the response is determined by who is getting the marketing, 40% is determined by the offer made, and 20% is determined by the creative.
When you exercise control over the deadline — by forcing one into the offer, if there’s none there yet — you actually take greater control over the final outcome.
While creative strategy contributes to 20% of the outcome, this is also taking control of the 40% contribution made by the offer.
Which means you’re giving yourself a much bigger opportunity for success.
If you don’t have a deadline, create one…
In retail, the weekend sale is famous. Maybe it’s 2-day. Maybe it’s 3-day. Maybe it’s a 4-day blowout extravaganza.
None of these are “built in.” They’re made up. Sure, today they may be tied to holiday weekends. But sometimes these holidays — like Black Friday, for example — were practically created to give an excuse to offer big sales.
Every week of the year is an excuse to run a sale. As-is every weekend. Or, every month. If you want to use holidays, use holidays.
I’m just trying to show you here how easy it is to come up with a time-frame for your offer.
You simply have to decide to do it.
If you don’t want to run sale prices, you should also note you have options here…
Sale prices are not required to establish a compelling offer.
One of the best things you can do is bundle information with your products. And it doesn’t matter whether your products are physical or digital/information products.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re selling a product that you just don’t want to discount.
Instead of discounting, package.
Offer a free webinar or teleseminar, for people who buy by a certain date. Or offer a special report that’s only available for responding as part of this limited-time offer.
The perceived value of the content needs to be high enough to justify taking action today, but this is a tried-and-true strategy. In evergreen markets, you could even have a set of 4 or 6 or 12 reports you cycle through every year, as part of regular campaigns.
Alternately, maybe you wouldn’t discount ONE item but you’d discount TWO. It doesn’t have the same effect as straight discounting when you offer a “buy-one-get-one” deal with the discount only offered on the second. And yet, it can significantly boost response.
Or maybe it’s as simple as free shipping. You could offer free shipping for a limited period of time, as part of a special deal.
The whole idea is that you simply need to create a deadline!
If you want people to take action, the best thing you can do is to give them a date by which they need to take it, and a consequence for not taking it.
Can they come back and order after your deadline? In some cases, yes. But they won’t get as good of a deal.
What I’ve found is that in campaigns where there has been a deadline, a significant percentage of the response has come right at the deadline.
As much as 50% of the sales can happen on the final day.
And in campaigns where we’ve added a deadline mid-stream, the same effect has happened.
People are motivated to action by deadlines.
It’s a very simple principle.
You can choose to use it, or not use it. But most often, when you do use it, your sales and profits will increase.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets