Business Strategy Consulting – Day 21: How to get really big checks out of really 'red necks'

*** Over 30 days, I’m giving you several “big ideas” to solve real-life marketing challenges.  To submit your problem for consideration, follow the format today’s subscriber used, and then hit “reply” with your own specific details and challenges.  My assistant will filter through these replies and forward me the best ones to review.  MOST important – if you like what you are reading, show me some love, and forward this information around to a few of your friends and associates ***

Today’s question comes from Grant Werstiuk, who says: “Craig, I am a freelance personal trainer in Red Deer, Alberta Canada.  My primary clientele is women, often housewives, 25-45. (although I wouldn’t mind branching out to men and athletes)

Red Deer is an oil town, almost everyone in the city either works in the oilfield or works in a business closely related to it.  So there is no shortage of money.  Even during the peak of the recession people were buying $60,000 trucks and dumping $40,000 of upgrades into them.

Most everyone here has an old school red neck mentality.  Not inbred; but small town Texas.

Its tough to get them to jump at the chance of dropping $500-$1,000 on a healthy lifestyle.  I advertise on (think Craig’s list if you haven’t heard of it).  I use a long style ad, and not sure if I should go shorter, as in maybe people are clicking away before reading it all.

That being said I can get 750 ‘views’ on my ad per month.  Just really crappy conversion. What kinds of things can encourage not only reading the whole ad, but getting them to call or email for an appointment.  (And to keep the appointment!)  If I can get single moms to drop $600 I know I have some potential, I just need to do it more often or with higher amounts.

Thanks in advance for any advice. Also a huge thanks for the simple and practical info you regularly provide!”

O.K., so today I’m going to spare no pain in answering Grant’s question.  It’s not going to be pretty, but it’s going to be a REAL answer to his question.  The kind of answer your dad used to give you that made you hate him, but after about an hour or so, you realized he was so right it wasn’t even funny.


Good, here goes.  First of all, I’m not so sure Grant is going to be big in Texas after this… nor is he going to win any “How To Win Friends And Improve Cross-Border Relations” contest any time soon, but I will still answer his question.

Second, I don’t care what kind of business you’re in, but the cold hard truth is, when your opinion of your prospects is as unfavorable as this… there’s no way you’re ever going to make any money.

Here, let me give you an analogy: It’s like believing deep down inside, that your wife is an idiot.  Yet, somehow… you also believe if you work hard enough, you’re going to have a meaningful relationship with her.

This simply isn’t going to happen.  So my first advice is to either go somewhere else where you are more in tune with your environment, or… look for the good in people where you are.  When you are looking for something inside of people — whatever that something is — generally you will find it.

As to prospecting on something similar to Craig’s List, and wondering if your copy is too long, that’s like wondering whether you should put more gas in your tank, if your car doesn’t start because you’re out of oil.

One thing has nothing to do with the other.

The problem seems to be that you are looking for women who have a few dollars to spare, who are interested in getting in shape.  And last time I checked, people who have money don’t spend a lot of time on Craig’s list, nor do fitness enthusiasts.

Which to me, are your primary criteria for your prospects.  Not ‘people who hang out on Craig’s list.’  Your low conversions have nothing to do with your copy, and everything to do with who’s reading your copy.

Bottom line: you are prospecting in the wrong place.  It’s like shopping for a Mercedes… at Wal-Mart.  They don’t sell Mercedes there, and no matter how much time you spend combing the aisles… and no matter how much money you’re willing to pay… and no matter how hard you work at it… there are just NO Mercedes to be found at Wal-Mart.

I’d buy a mailing list of people who are interested in fitness (ask your list broker how to figure that out) and send them some direct-mail pieces.  If you use two-step lead generation to do this, you will, no doubt succeed.  In this process, you’ll also be able to figure out who your prospects are, so you can begin buying more specific mailing lists in the future, and lower your client acquisition cost.

But honestly, unless you get that first issue fixed – meaning, until you have a better opinion of your customers — you’re going to have a long road in front of you.  That’s just the universal law of your subconscious running your life.

Also, I disagree with your assessment of your marketplace.  If people are dumping $100,000 into their pickup trucks, there are a bunch of them who can easily afford to pay you for training.

I would imagine your message needs to change a little, and you just need to find which one of these people also want to get, or stay, in shape.  Heck, maybe buying a mailing list of people who have just purchased new trucks might work.

Give it a shot.

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

P.S.  The REAL DEAL?  Just got this in from Pete Kici out of Orlando, Florida:  “Craig, Hope your doing well.  Your book is the F#(&!*% real deal,you make things simple enough to do,for example I used some thing you talk about in Chapter 2 or 3 in a presentation I gave today, I said “Remember you’re in the XX (intentionally omitted – read Chapter 2 & 3 to find out) business not the I want to sell you something business.”  Everyone kind of looked at me with the deer in the head lights look and nodded their heads, like WOW, you’re right!  Amazing — THANK YOU!”

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About the Author

Craig GarberAuthor of "How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers, " and publisher of Seductive Selling - an offline marketing newsletter currently read in 15 countries, world-wide. In a nutshell, I do two things: 1. I show you how to attract a reliable, steady stream of pre-qualified leads who are ready to do business with you NOW... 2. And I increase your net profits and cash-flow, by increasing your customer, client, or patient value -- often, dramatically. How do I do this? By developing, and helping you implement, unique, personalized lead generation and marketing strategies... using compelling sales messages that push your customers emotional buy-buttons. I've worked with over 300 clients in more than 104 different industries, since March of 2000, and I really enjoy what I do. I'm a stable, reliable, happily married family guy with three kids who loves life and always follows through on my commitments and promises. I love to listen to music, workout, read, travel with my family, take pictures, and go bass fishing. I always say "Yes," when it comes to good cigars, good books, and good coffee :-)