Strategy #1: Risk Reversal
Reversing the risk is an important marketing strategy and it is especially critical to provide some form of risk reversal for Big Ticket Items.
When you are talking to your customer, they are going to have the following questions on their mind. “How can I ensure I get value? Am I going to lose money? Does this sound too good to be true? Am I going to purchase this seminar or tape set and it won’t work for me or it’s not going to be as valuable as I think it is?“
Risk reversal eases your customers mind and helps them focus on the benefits your product will give them as a solution to their problem.
Risk reversal can be provided to your customer in a number of different ways.
Some are fairly standard legal remedies such as “lemon” laws when you purchase a car, for example.
Most customers know that they can return items to the store they purchased them at, usually with very little hassle. Good retailers know that it isn’t worth their while to create a bad return experience for their customers because they want those customers to continue shopping with them.
And customers tend to tell many more friends about a bad experience than about a good one. So creating a bad experience can really build a bad reputation quickly by word of mouth.
In the following 3 risk reversal examples, Ted Nicholas is talking about seminars; definitely a Big Ticket item. Although these examples refer to seminars you can adopt them for use with other Big Ticket products or come up with your own risk reversal strategies, using these as idea generators.
“An ironclad, money back guarantee. Virtually all of our programs come with an ironclad money back guarantee. If people are not thrilled with what they get on the first day of a seminar, for example, they can get, upon request; they can get their money back. So they basically are taking no risk. We’re taking the risk in inviting them and coming and sharing information with the prospect.“
“We provide bonuses very often which equal or exceed the seminar investment or if they don’t equal it or exceed it, they’re of extremely high value and they’re free. So this helps reduce or even reverse the risk of attending a seminar or buying a Big Ticket set of tapes or videos.“
“Showing how even a single seminar tip will return many, many times the seminar investment. … we have reams of actual testimonials with permission to use the name of the individual and the state or country that they reside in where they talk about what value a single tip at one of the seminars that they have either on tape or at a live seminar, what value that had on an individual’s business.“
Strategy #2: Co-opetition
A combination of the words competition and cooperation; co-opetition was originally coined by Ray Noorda, the founder of Novell. Authors Adam M. BrandenBurger and Barry J. Nalebuff wrote a book about it called “Co-opetition: A revolutionary mindset that combines competition and cooperation“.
Many people have the mindset that in business you must crush your competitors to survive. That is certainly one way to do it but it can be very difficult if you happen to be the little guy in the competition. Instead, it is far better to cooperate with your competitors and actively seek opportunities where you can both mutually benefit from working together.
Jay Conrad Levinson defines it as the cooperation with one or more businesses, which will help you market your business while you help them market theirs. This type of cooperation is also called joint venturing.
There are many ways to joint venture. You might have a product that is similar but not exactly the same as your competitor. In other words your niche markets are slightly different.
But guess what? Many people in both of your markets might have interests that span what your products offer. So you can approach your competitor and offer to market your competitor’s product to your own customers if they will market your product to their customers.
In many cases, the customers might buy both products and become customers for both you and your competitor. Again, this is a value mindset where you believe that your product has as much or more value than your competitors. Let the customers decide which they want, or both if they desire.
Another way to work with your competitors is to see if they want to jointly increase their customer list by sharing the costs of advertising for new customers that are interested not in a specific product but in a specific niche area. All the joint venture partners get the name, address, email, and phone numbers of all prospects who respond. You all split the cost of the advertising and then you all market to the new prospect.
One last thing, the fact that there are competitors in the market you are targeting or are thinking about targeting is a good thing. It means there is a viable market there. And like most markets there is usually more than enough customers to be shared or had by everyone.
Strategy #3: Auto-humanization
This is a term coined by Joel Christopher, the Master List Builder. It is really automation with humanization.
This is closely related to the strategies of Multimedia Marketing and Building Long Term Relationships.
What Joel found out during his transition from a “touchy-feely” physical therapist, as he describes his old career, to that of high tech internet marketer, was that the more you humanize your business with personal touches, the more profitable it becomes!
And it really makes sense. As you build your business you want to have customers who trust you, are loyal to you, buy more products from you and eventually buy your Big Ticket Items. And the only way you can do that is by providing them with huge value and by letting them get to know you, the human you, the real world person you. In other words, you build a long term, personal, relationship with your customers.
Of course the way that you do that, the big key, is automation with humanization. You can humanize your business in many ways. Examples include live teleseminars or webinars, live events, sending postcards, doing follow up phone calls when a customer purchases just to make sure the product arrived, personalizing email messages, etc.
And many of these tasks can be automated with the help of technology. That is the automation part of auto-humanization.
When you remember that there is a human being at the other end of the email address and you always think about them and treat them as such, they appreciate it and they respect and love you for it. And they will pay you back by being your customer for life.
Strategy #4: Testing, Testing, Testing
Testing? Isn’t that something that the quality assurance department does to make sure a product is up to standards?
Well, yes it is. But it is also one of the most important strategies that you can use with your marketing as well.
For example, you can even test the waters to see where a viable market might exist for a new product. Say you already have an email list or an address list of customers. Or you could use your co-workers, family, friends, neighbors and local community organizations. What are they frustrated about or need help with?
Survey them and they’ll tell you! If you can find a common problem for a large number of people, you can use that as the basis for your next product. Find the market first; then build the product, not the other way around.
Based on their answer, you can go out, do some research, figure out a Big Ticket solution and turn that into a new product!
You can even write up a sales letter or ad before building the product and see who buys it. If no one buys it or very few people buy it you can just tell them that due to lack of demand the product has been shelved and return their money.
Of course, if you have a huge number of orders you will have to be sure you can turn out the product reasonably quickly, with high quality. But what a GREAT problem to have!
Another way you can use testing is to improve your sales emails, letters, brochures and web pages. Even changing something as simple as the headline, sub headlines, location and selection of testimonials, purchase now links, font type and size, paper and background color, choice of graphics and even price can impact response and conversion rates.
Response rate is simply the percentage of people who respond to your offer. E.g. A typical direct mail response rate to prospects might be 2%. Conversion rate is just the percentage of responders who become customers.
In Big Ticket Marketing, you need to ensure that your sales emails, letters, brochures and web pages are as compelling as possible because Big Ticket Items are treated with extra skepticism due to the larger price tag. You must test everything to maximize your response and conversion rates!
Start with one version of the sales email, letter, brochure or web page you want to test. Call this one the master version. Now, all you have to do is change one element at a time. Then test whether it increases or decreases response and conversion rates.
If it increases it, then use that new sales email, letter, brochure or web page as the new master and then change another element. If any change decreases the response or conversion rate, then go back to the previous master version.
And on the internet, this testing can really be done quickly. You can host two web pages that are nearly identical except for one element. You can direct equal amounts of traffic to each page. Then compare which page was more successful. Use that page for the new master version. This is called split A/B testing and there are tools you can use to help automate this task.
And here is the best part: If you don’t know if something will work, just test it!!! You should be constantly testing new ideas and new strategies. Let your customers tell you what works and what doesn’t.
Strategy #5: Testimonials
You can blow your own horn about how good your product is all day long.
But, from a skeptical customer’s point of view, that just isn’t good enough.
Sure, your customer is going to carefully evaluate your product on the benefits that you describe to them. They want to determine if your product will be a great solution for their needs.
But, they know that you are trying to sell them your product, after all!
So, what really makes the difference, as Ted Nicholas alluded to in the strategy on Risk Reversal, was to have other people give testimonials about your product.
You see, if you have a ton of raving fans, all telling how your product helped them solve their problems, other people are really going to look at that and be impressed.
Now other customers are blowing the horn about your product! It’s not just you saying that your product is great. These, objective and equally skeptical other customers are saying that your product helped them.
And especially with Big Ticket Items, because of the larger customer investment, you need to do everything you can to make sure that your future customers understand how happy existing customers have been with your product and with you.
Testimonials are the answer!
Strategy #6: The Money Is In The List
Jay Abraham says there are three main ways to increase your business:
- Increase the number of clients
- Increase the average size of the sale per client.
- Increase the number of times the clients return and buy again.
Big Ticket Marketing focuses on all three but with an emphasis on the last two. For example, average size per sale goes up when an existing or new customer buys a Big Ticket item. By definition, the Big Ticket item will be a larger sale.
If you have customers who value your products so much that they just buy everything you put out, that is an example of the third way of increasing your business. If you total the profit from all the products purchased by a specific customer, the revenue is a Big Ticket sale as well.
Many businesses tend to focus on trying to actively seeking out and find new customers all the time. This process is called prospecting. And, many businesses do this by cold calling the prospects. This is not very effective but we won’t discuss it here.
But my point is that many businesses tend to ignore their existing customers. They just assume they already made the sale and nothing further happens unless that customer volunteers to purchase something else.
This is the opposite of the strategies we have talked about for Building Long Term Relationships and It’s All About Value.
Your existing customers are the MOST likely to buy from you again and again. They are also the most likely to buy Big Ticket items because they have got to know you and to trust you. And that is why you should treat them as specially as possible.
Joel Christopher says that your list is your goldmine and that he or she who has the gold (the list) makes the rules.
What he means by this is the money is in the list! Your list is your treasure. You can lose almost everything else but if you keep your list of valued customers, you can start again and make it back.
And having a responsive list that trusts you, allows you to introduce new products easily, especially Big Ticket products! And it makes you very popular with other people who have products to sell and are looking for people to sell them to.
That is part of making the rules. You decide what products you offer to your list. You decide who you want to work with. Your valuable customers allow you to generate revenue on demand because of your relationship with your list.
So get to work growing your list!
Here’s a resource to help you:
- “Joel Christopher’s Build and Profit From Your List System“
You can find a link to this resource and many others by checking out the sites in the resource area below.
Copyright (C) 2005 Chuck Daniel, Like Magic Marketing, LLC – All Rights Reserved.
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