Thursday, June 25, 2015

How To Win Clients With Speed, Shock, And Service

Every so often, a big company does something smart with their marketing that any entrepreneurial business owner can learn from.

It happened to Linda James Bennett, a Marketing Copywriter from Orlando, FL.

She got surprisingly great service, along with a "shocking" box by FedEx, both of which helped win her as a client for Quicken Loans.

And her story offers 4 powerful lessons you can use to build your business.

Here's the story ...

"I saw a TV ad for Quicken Loans on a Saturday and went to their website. I entered my phone number and within 5 minutes they called me to do an initial interview to see if they could help me," said Bennett.

Lesson #1: Speed sells. A callback within 5 minutes from any business -- of any size -- is shocking. Speed conveys two big positives about your business: You care enough to call back quickly, and you're competent enough to do so.

"After I gave them my details, they gave me a quote. On Monday I called them back and gave them the ok to get started," she said.

The process went smoothly, with many of the forms delivered online and electronically signed by Bennett. She received updates by text, email, and phone.

Lesson #2: Communicate early and often. By keeping your clients updated on what's happening and what's next, you can keep them happy and more likely to refer others, at very little cost to you.

"Once they were done, Quicken Loans called to schedule the closing for the next day. I was expecting the usual; a drive to the other side of town in rush hour traffic to close the loan, said Bennett.

“Instead, they asked what would be a convenient time for the notary come to our house to sign the documents. The notary called immediately to confirm our date and time, and arrived as promised. She was friendly, courteous, and very efficient."

Lesson #3: Deliver happiness. How you deliver the thing you sell can generate as much (or more!) word of mouth as the thing itself. By letting her choose a time and place to sign the documents, Quicken Loans exceeded expectations for Bennett. She'll probably tell others more about the service she got than her interest rate.

What happened next may shock you ...

"Ten days after closing, we received an email telling us the documents were coming. This super clever box arrived by FedEx with the closing documents inside, bound and tabbed."

Photos of that "super clever" box, also known as a "shock and awe" box, are below.

Lesson #4: Touch people memorably. In world of tweets, posts, and emails -- all of which are intangible -- it pays to show up in your prospects' mailbox or on their doorstep.

Quicken Loans took it a step further by FedExing the documents to Bennett in a fun way. By sending a "shock and awe" BOX, Quicken Loans sets the stage for doing business with them so that nobody else can stack up better.

To summarize, here are all 4 marketing lessons for you:

#1: Speed sells. Respond to qualified inquiries as fast as possible.

#2: Communicate often. Keep prospects and clients updated at every turn.

#3: Deliver happiness. How you deliver is as important as what you sell.

#4: Touch people. Find a way to make direct mail or FedEx work in your business.

These lessons are examples of what I call Marketing Multipliers -- small actions that deliver big profits. They are simple. They cost little. And you can implement them today.

If you own a business, there's a box of 11 Marketing Multipliers waiting to be shipped to you. You can try it Free. Click here now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Little Big Things That Can Wreck Your Business

Seth Godin, in his book Free Prize Inside, writes about a nasty experience he had with hernia surgery. It's a lesson in word-of-mouth advertising that could boost your business -- or wreck it, if you choose to ignore it.

Here's Godin's story ...
I had hernia surgery. It costs a lot, it hurts and the hospital makes a fortune.

The places it hurts might surprise you. The surgery gives you a very sore throat, because they clamp your mouth open while you're asleep. It also hurts a lot when you pee, because they use a catheter.

The surgeon doesn't care one bit about how much it hurts. He's a superhero, he cuts and sews and moves on. But the hospital cares. The hospital cares because they know that most patients have a choice when it comes to ambulatory surgery, and that choice is dictated in large measure by how positive the word of mouth from other patients is.

The traditional way for a hospital to improve its services is with technological innovation. Buying million-dollar MRI machines or investing in a huge new facility. But that ignores free prize thinking.

As I lay in the recovery room for two hours, all I could think about was how much my throat hurt and how difficult it was to pee. The surgeon told me later that this happens to everyone. He told me that if I had gulped down some cranberry juice and sucked on a throat lozenge when I got home, I would have had a much easier time.

So here's the question: Why didn't someone offer me a throat lozenge and a glass of cranberry juice at the hospital?

The return on investment is huge. Charging $5,000 a patient for half a day, all the hospital needs to do is get one or two new surgeries a year as a result of word of mouth to pay for a lifetime supply of Sucrets.

Now, here's the irony that can wreck any business, including yours: The hospital delivered on the Big Thing Seth paid for. They fixed his hernia. It was a Little Thing -- post-operative service -- where they dropped the ball and left Seth unhappy. Worse, Seth has since told anyone who will listen about the rotten service at this hospital. Which sucks for them (and rightly so).

All too often, we business owners work like the surgeon who operated on Godin. We are "superheroes" who deliver Big Things. That's our sole responsibility. The Little Things like post-operative care are for others to worry about.

But we need to worry about Little Things. Because those are what our clients tell others about.

So, here's the question for you: What's low-cost or no-cost Little Thing is missing from your business? Something which, if you added it to the Big Things that clients pay you to deliver, would make your business remarkable?


1) Box of chocolate or other food item as a gift with purchase. If you deliver a high-priced product or service, sending a $25 gift basket is truly a Little Thing, but clients will appreciate you -- and tell others.

2) Phone call after delivery of the product or service, to express genuine concern for how the client is doing and answer any questions.

3) Thank-you note after the sale, after any service failure -- or both.

4) User guide or instructions downloaded from your web site, mailed -- or both -- to help clients get the most from their purchase.

5) Mailed receipt with a personal thank-you message and signature added.

The Little Things above are what I call Marketing Multipliers -- small actions that lead to big profits. They are simple. They cost little or nothing. And you can implement them today.

If you own a business, there's a box of 11 Marketing Multipliers waiting to be shipped to you. You can try it Free. Click here now.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

What’s In A Name? More Money For Your Business

What’s in a name?


Especially if you sell a service.

Here’s the story ...

If you sell a service or a customized product, you almost certainly deliver proposals, bids, or price quotes to prospects before they make a buying decision.

And this is hurting you. Because everybody does that.

Think: When you’re choosing a consultant, insurance agent, attorney, painter, whatever, what do you? You do two things: get 3 price quotes, and choose the best one.

Guess what? If every vendor submits a price quote, the prospect will compare and choose based on ... price. And that’s not a game you want to play. Because there is always someone cheaper than you. Why race to the bottom for prices?

Instead, you can do two things to set your business apart and avoid questions of price:

1.    Never send another price quote
2.    Name your proposal after the prospect

Let me explain.

1) Never send another price quote

By this I mean, stop submitting price quotes to prospects and start submitting sales letters.

Begin with the name. NEVER call your submission a “Price Quote,” “Project Bid,” or anything like that. It’s commodity language, like everyone uses. Instead, speak your own language. Examples:
  • Game Plan
  • Project Blueprint
  • Outline
  • Project Summary
  • Vision
  • Roadmap to Results

Get the idea? If a prospective client is holding two price quotes from competitors, and one “Project Summary” from you, guess who stands out and defies comparison? You, that’s who.

But don’t stop there. Do some actual selling in your price quote/sales letter. To that end, be sure to include:
  • Clear, exciting benefits (instead of dull, dry features)
  • Testimonials from happy clients and vendors (to offer social proof)
  • A clear, call to action (instead of a wimpy “I hope to hear from you soon”)
  • Your signature at the end, which makes it an actual letter (and creates a personal bond with the reader)
Now let's take it one simple, incredibly effective step further ...

2) Name your proposal after the prospect

This is a cool trick that could change everything for you. At no cost.

You see, substantial research has shown that we’re most likely to relate to others with whom we share personal characteristics, according to the book Yes! by Robert Cialdini. And psychologists have found that we tend to feel especially positive toward things we associate with ourselves, such as our names.

Here's the application for you: If you name your proposal after your prospect, they will associate themselves with your proposal, feel more positive about it, and be more likely to buy it.

  • “The Smith Project”
  • “The Jeff and Sally Game Plan”
  • “The Johnson Blueprint”

Best part: Naming your project after the prospect costs you NOTHING. Yet, in my experience, the proposals I submit to prospects that are named after them (“The Smith Project”) are 25-50% more likely to result in a sale. Boom.

This is so sneaky and works so well that I’ve been keeping it a secret for years. But here you go.

Now. These two ideas:

1. Never send another price quote
2. Name your proposal after the prospect

... are perfect examples of what I call Marketing Multipliers
-- small actions that lead to big profits. They are simple. They cost nothing. And you can implement them today.

If you own a business, there's a box of 11 Marketing Multipliers waiting to be shipped to you. You can try it Free. Click here now.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Charlie Munger's Problem-Solving Tip: Invert The Question

You know Warren Buffett, but do you know his right-hand man, Charlie Munger?

You should.

The vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway is so respected by investors and business leaders that they get on planes and fly to see him speak on those rare occasions when he does.

In a now-legendary commencement address to the University of Southern California Law School, Munger dropped a lifetime's worth of wisdom into the laps of graduates. (One of them took notes, here.)

Here's one nugget from that speech for today, to help you solve problems in your business faster. It's Munger's idea of inversion. Quoting him:

"... problems frequently get easier, I'd even say usually are easier to solve if you turn them around in reverse. In other words, if you want to help India, the question you should ask is not 'how can I help India', it's 'what is doing the worst damage in India? What will automatically do the worst damage and how do I avoid it?' 
"Let me use a little inversion now. What will really fail in life? What do you want to avoid?"

That's it. Pithy, but POWERFUL. Let's try it now.

Here's a question you've probably asked yourself dozens of times: What's the best thing I could do to grow my business? It's a good question. Answered correctly, it will yield good answers. But familiarity breeds contempt, and if you've been asking yourself variations of that question for any length of time, you're probably too familiar with it and a little contemptuous of the answers.

So let's invert the question, as Charlie Munger might. Try this: What's doing the worst damage to my business? Answering that question will likely deliver new insights, which you are likely to fix because it's human nature to avoid pain faster than to seek growth (at least in my experience). By fixing the pain, you'll plug the leaks that are keeping your business poor right now, which makes you richer tomorrow.

That inverted question could lead you to such painful insights as these:
  • my website is horribly outdated and not converting traffic into leads
  • nobody has sent me a referral in months
  • my marketing is totally reactive and not proactive or strategic
You get the idea. The answers to Munger's inverted question are painful. Brutal, even. But all fixable.

And as they say in any good 12-step program, recognizing that you have a problem is the first and most important step toward fixing it.

So, ask yourself Charlie Munger's simple, brilliant question at least once a week: What's doing the worst damage to my business?

Now. If your business is doing at least $100,000 in revenue, my Free Client Cloning Kit can give you a slight edge -- and then some. It's NOT another download. This is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.