So… This is weird.
As you probably saw already, earlier today I put out a survey on copywriting.
And within a couple hours, I saw something interesting.
You see, I’d sent the survey to you, and I’d sent it to another group. You may or may not know, but I own the group Claude C. Hopkins Copywriter, on LinkedIn. I sent a version of the survey to them.
Well, within a couple hours, I noticed a HUGE difference in response.
Even though my Breakthrough Marketing Secrets family is quite a bit smaller… The number of respondents to the survey you got was many times bigger.
I logged into a private mastermind group I’m a part of in Facebook, and commented on this there…
Why did I get a much better response in Breakthrough Marketing Secrets?
The biggest difference in me getting you to take action (and this applies equally to selling and survey-taking) is…
Pure and simple, I have a much better relationship with you than I do with the LinkedIn group. You read my daily emails. I reveal myself here in ways I’ve never revealed myself there. I’m constantly delivering valuable content.
Here’s what I said in that group:
“Relationship is probably THE most important determinant of response, across the board, in marketing, selling, business, life.
More important than anything, if you can get your prospects to know, like, and trust you (in one sales message or over months of being on your email list), you can get them to do business with you.
And if you ever screw up the relationship by abusing their knowing, liking, or especially trusting… You’re toast.”
Now here’s the weird part…
Shortly after I posted that, I checked out which chapter of my book Breakthrough Marketing Secrets I had for you today, and it’s called…
“Relationship, Trust, And “Who” Are The Core Of Selling”
Totally unintentional that it would line up like that.
I wasn’t even going to mention the whole relationship conversation here.
But, well, sometimes the universe works in mysterious ways…
Here’s that chapter…
Bad salespeople — and marketers — sell the product or the price. They don’t know any better.
This is why many businesses think of themselves as being in a “commodity” business. Because, in effect, they are. Not because the market has dictated it, but because that’s the position they’ve established through their own actions.
They sell a certain product at a certain price. They can make an offer, and the customer chooses to buy or not buy. If there’s the same or a similar product available at the shop down the road (or a few clicks away on another website), prices will be compared.
The low price leader will almost always win in this scenario. And lacking a better way to compare products or services, the low price leader deserves to win. Because, in effect, the client wants to pay the least amount of money to get the best set of features.
As a consumer, no doubt you appreciate being able to pick up commodity products at prices driven low through competition. This is why businesses like Walmart are so popular — and can grow so large. And more recently, Amazon.com. Before Walmart, Kmart, Sears, and others. (Though it seems like Walmart is unstoppable today, a little study of history will find this advantage is never sustained.) Low price leaders make small amounts per sale, but the successful ones make it up on volume.
However, if you want maximum profits from minimum efforts, you DO NOT want to play the low-price game! In many cases, you can succeed for a while offering lower prices. But your margins will continuously be squeezed and shrunk by trying to keep up. And besides, it’s almost impossible to create liberating success if you’re always competing for the lowest prices.
You will never create breakthrough results trying to compete in the low-priced commodities market.
Thankfully, if you’re following the strategies in this book, you don’t have to. Simply by following The Strategy of Preeminence, you’re shifting the buying criteria. You’re telling the market — sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly — that they are NOT choosing between commodities. They’re choosing you, or they’re choosing an inferior experience.
You can educate your customers on why paying less will yield an inferior result. You can show them why your service is reassuringly expensive.
And most importantly, you can build a personal connection in which your clients understand that you have their best interests at heart.
The sale becomes about “who” — doing business with YOU — instead of about “what” or “what price.”
If you sell directly, you establish this position in each client’s mind with every one-to-one conversation you have.
If you sell through marketing, you do this in the tone, language, and content of your marketing messages… As well as through your public behavior.
Your goal is not to make the sale. Your goal is to build a relationship. To say and do things that engender trust in your prospect or customer. To make yourself indispensable in the buying process. To make yourself the type of person they want to be around — and do business with.
The end result of doing this will be that most of your prospects will choose to do business with you. Whether or not there is a cheaper version of your product or service available to them. Because of the relationship you’ve built, they’ll decide that you offer quality worth paying for.
And it’s worth noting that all of this happens BEFORE they’ve actually experienced your product or service. They make these assumptions based on their experience of YOU.
These habits will help build your reputation.
Strategic Coach founder Dan Sullivan lists what he calls his “referability habits.” These are specific habits you can cultivate in yourself that build your relationship and trust with prospects and clients. These are habits you can develop to make sure that not only do the buyers in your market choose you, they refer others to you.
I don’t claim to be perfect on every one of these, every day. Most people — even high achievers — aren’t. However I do constantly work to better myself on these habits, and you should too.
The first habit is to show up on time.
This isn’t just showing up to meetings on time. It’s starting everything you do on time. And ending on time, too. Being completely mindful of time commitments. Even ensuring that if you can’t be on time, you give whomever you’re meeting with ample notice and the ability to reschedule.
What you’re communicating through this habit is that you value the other person’s time. That they are worth arranging your schedule to accommodate. That they are important. And by telling them — through your actions — that they are important, they will consider you all the more important as well.
The second habit is to do what you say you will do.
In today’s society, it’s practically taboo to say “no” to requests. We’ve been taught from a young age that we should oblige others — particularly in a business relationship. How many times have you heard, “The customer is always right?” And you might think I would be the first to back that approach, because of my emphasis of the service attitude.
However, it’s often more important what you say “no” to than what you say “yes” to. Let me explain why. When you say yes, the worst thing you could do is not mean it. And the way you’ll be judged as to whether or not you meant it is if you don’t follow through and do what you said you would do.
Alternately, you should be ready, willing, and able to say “no” to requests. Whether it’s because it’s an unreasonable request, or you’re unable to fulfill it for whatever reason. Don’t be afraid of the no. Because when you say yes, you better mean it — and you better follow through!
The third habit is to finish what you start.
There are many reasons you need to finish what you start. A marketing campaign left unfinished will never be tested, and it will never generate revenue. A product left unfinished can never be sold, and can never provide value to buyers. A project left unfinished will never generate desired results.
For the sake of yourself, your family, your team, and especially your clients, you need to make sure you commit yourself to finishing what you start. This is especially difficult if, like me, you find yourself with more ideas than time.
If this is the case, here’s a process you can follow. First, quickly capture ideas — write a note to yourself so you can come back to the idea later. Second, finish your current project — don’t let yourself get diverted by the next shiny object. Third, re-prioritize between projects — when your current project is done, you can prioritize what to do next. I know this is simplistic. But if you do it, you’ll be surprised by how much you get done.
And a little lesson: if you regularly have trouble finishing what you get done, try to limit the number of ongoing commitments you sign yourself up for. Particularly with clients. Rather, make agreements on an appointment or project basis. That way, once you’ve had your appointment or finished your finite project, you’ve finished what you started.
The fourth and final habit is to always say “please” and “thank you.”
This is just as important (even more so!) with “low-level” service workers such as waiters and waitresses, taxi or car drivers, airport workers, assistants and secretaries, and more, as it is with clients and colleagues. It’s amazing how rare simple acts of politeness and dignity are today. It’s appalling how exceptional it is to be kind. Particularly when someone is in a service position.
And yet, these simple acts of kindness will take you a long, long way. You will get better service. Everyone you deal with will be happier — and you will be, too. You will be respected.
Your business colleagues, prospects, and clients will like you better, and trust you more. People — and customers — will want to be around you.
Say “please” and “thank you.” Use terms of respect. Tip generously. Show gratitude. And smile. If you truly want the best for everyone you interact with every day — and show it — you will get the best back from the world.
This isn’t woo-woo positive thinking. It’s the social version of Newton’s Third Law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” If you’re putting kindness out into the world, kindness will come back to you.
Follow Dan Sullivan’s four “referability habits” and you will establish yourself as someone prospects and clients want to be around, who they trust, and who they want to do business with. This makes the selling job easy — almost irrelevant. And it certainly removes you from the commodity business.
You’ve probably heard it before — people do business with people who they feel like they know, like, and trust.
People don’t buy from products, or even businesses. They buy from people. And if you make yourself someone that your market wants to buy from, you will get all the business you can handle.
This is part of the book I’m writing while you watch. You can read previous chapters at that link.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets