I’m often paid just to weigh in on big important business decisions…
Often, when I work with a really good marketer, it’s not necessarily to help them write copy.
Rather, they appreciate the thinking I bring to the table.
They recognize — like one of my inspirations and occasional mentors, Mark Ford — that good thinking is the basis of everything. Good thinking is the basis of good copy. Also of good offers. Good strategy. Good business.
It all comes down to thinking.
A famous Gary Halbert illustration to make the point, then on to our main topic…
Gary Halbert used to run this thought exercise in his seminars. He’d tell the audience they were opening up competing hamburger joints. And that he’d give them any advantage they wanted, as long as he got his advantage that he wanted.
He said with his advantage, he’d beat them every time.
He’d go around the room. “Better hamburger,” some would ask for. “More friendly, engaged staff,” someone else would comment. “Fresher ingredients,” from the front row. “Great fries!” came another reply from the back.
The list of potential advantages would pile up.
Once the ideas were exhausted, Gary would reveal his advantage to beat them all…
“A starving crowd,” he’d reply.
By putting his food in front of a starving crowd, he could sell more at higher prices — even if everything else was inferior.
Sports stadium concessions, movie theater snack bars, and roach-coach food trucks that haunt factory parking lots are all evidence of the power of this principle.
And yet, this principle is an example of something even bigger…
Start with the right thinking, and you can succeed even if your execution isn’t perfect.
Which brings me back to that original point.
When an already-brilliant marketing mind pays me hundreds or thousands of dollars to bounce ideas off of, it’s not that they’re paying me to listen, or to be their friend.
It’s that through experience and self-improvement, I’ve developed a sharp intuition for what works in direct response marketing.
I can recognize holes in your thinking, or opportunities for clarification. In one fell swoop, I can completely transform the results of your campaign — simply by providing a new perspective or insight that will make it far more effective.
An example of this in action — an opportunity to use the small promise to sell the big one (or, using crack hits to sell philosophy)…
I was talking to a client who is developing a sales, marketing, and lead generation program for a niche market. The niche is hardly important, though it’s worth knowing it’s individuals who interact with the public and require a steady stream of leads coming in.
This client is a lot like me. They’d prefer to teach strategy over tactics. They know tactics are important for generating results. But they know the deep down strategy is what will completely transform someone’s life and business. So they prefer strategy. Or, as Perry Marshall calls it, “Philosophy.”
But here’s the thing. Most people don’t buy strategy — they don’t buy philosophy.
Given the opportunity to get a system that makes you $2,500 more per month, on autopilot, starting this month… Or the entrepreneurial strategies behind a $650,000,000 business empire… You’re going to buy the autopilot income.
No offense intended, it’s just how we’re wired. We want the dopamine-inducing “crack hit” of instant income, instant gratification, instant easy. (Another Perry Marshall term.)
We’re seemingly wired to prefer the tactical over the strategic. The instant gratification over the long-run “best practices.”
(This is also, by my estimation, a big part of why many are still broke at retirement age, and such a huge portion of the population has huge levels of credit card debt — and why the same thing has happened with the national debt and government spending, only amplified.)
So, this client is offering both “crack” and “philosophy” as part of this new niche market program. They want to help their clients get leads, and become better marketers and salespeople.
The thing was — they presented it the other way around. They said, “I’ll make you a better marketer — and also get you leads.”
When selling, you generally want to promise the “crack” before you promise the “philosophy” — which is exactly what I told them…
Since so much of marketing and selling is about that dopamine hit you get from the initial stimulation of the headline and first big promise, you want to figure out what’s going to be most appealing and stick it up front.
That frames everything else they’re going to hear from you.
It colors how they interpret and accept the rest of your message.
Which is exactly what I told my client. Basically, promise to deliver the leads on a silver platter. That’s what they want most. That’s what they’re going to respond to. That’s what’s going to excite them. That’s what they’ll value most.
Once you’ve made that promise, you can also tell them you’re going to make them better at selling and marketing. Once they believe they’re going to get what they want with pretty much no work, then you can tell them the work you’ll show them how to do to get even better results.
All the value they’ll assign to your message is in the crack. All the value they’ll eventually get is in the philosophy. But if you don’t sell them the crack (what they want), they’ll never get the philosophy (what they need).
(Another aside: when illustrating a trend in a financial newsletter promo, it’s often smart to smart with a tiny example of the trend that is a more compelling STORY, then zoom out to show the bigger trend implied in the example. The natural inclination is to do it the other way, which is way less compelling, and leads to a bunch of “me-too” sounding promos.)
This is a great example of how the right thinking can completely transform a pitch, a product, an entire business…
This all happened during pre-launch, when it’s supposed to happen. So the transformation is not laid bare in “before and after” numbers. But it will no doubt have a huge impact on the eventual success of this offer.
If you have copy that’s also in pre-launch, or even out in the market, I can also put the advantage of my thinking and experience to work to show you the best ways to boost its performance.
As a Breakthrough Marketing Secrets reader, you qualify for a special discount on my Copy Review service.
I spend an hour digging into your copy (rough draft or final), making notes, looking for opportunities to make a big improvement. I mark it up, including writing in ideas or rough copy that you can adapt. Then, we get on the phone for another hour (recorded) and I walk you through my comments as well as the big picture thinking behind it.
At the end of the hour, you get my notes and the call recording you can use as you make your edits.
For a limited time, I’m offering an “insider” discount that brings the fee for a copy review down to just $500.
This is a great way to put the power of my experience and thinking to work on your project, without writing a 5-figure check (plus royalties) for me to write for you.
Just checked my calendar, and I do have a couple spots next Tuesday (7/26) then it’s mid-August before there are spots available. First come, first served.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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