Direct Response Copywriting – Day 13: what's missing

*** Over 30 days, I’m giving you one daily “big idea” to solve your toughest marketing challenge.  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, forward this information on to a few of your friends and associates. ***

Today’s question comes from  Nick Snyder, Sr. out of Breese, Illinois:

“The Business: Micro-business start-up and turn-around consultant. I’ve been in business formally since 1986, but started consulting in the late 1970s part-time.  I help local Mom & Pop’s (and others) get their new small businesses (commercial locations and home-based; services, product sales & small manufacturing) off the ground and running smoothly.  So far as I can tell, their are few, if any others doing this same kind of business – in the market I serve – at the retail level – anywhere … large foundations (like Kaufmann) excepted, of course.

This includes everything from taking their initial idea, researching and refining it to fit into the local market demand, setting up their business, advise and help them create their sales campaigns and marketing materials, and building their “ever-so-critical” business operations manual.

And finally, teaching them “hands-on” how to actually run a business that has a very good chance of succeeding – because – they did all of their homework and laid a proper foundation on a solid bedrock foundation. Many of my clients from as far back as the late 1970s and early 1980s are still with me.

Services Plus:  A business having a complete operations manual is especially important – and has proven so many times. When the business needs to keep going and the principals are not available, an operations manual enables someone else (at least partly qualified) to come in and run the entire business with minimal fuss and effort.

It is also the most valuable item in a business sale – because – a new owner can come in and efficiently run, and be profitable from day-one, with almost no turn-over training. The manual tells them absolutely everything they need to know to profitably run that business. It is what makes any business an easy “turn-key” sale – and has very often doubled and tripled (or more) the final business sale value.

Do YOU have one for your business?  Could your wife or kids or business associate(s) run your business if YOU got sick, injured or somehow couldn’t work?  Think about it … OK?

Biggest Marketing Challenge:  Increasing the effectiveness of the off-line sales materials and marketing campaigns I develop for my Mom & Pop clients. This old dog is ready for some new tricks. The old ‘Sir Gary of Halbert’ stuff is getting pretty tired (though it still works like gang-busters). I know you have a lot more up your sleeve … and I’m anxious to be a part of your sharing it.

I’m looking forward to reading a few more of your “secrets” to becoming a ‘king of copy’ in my own little micro-business world.”  Nick Snyder, Sr.

OK Nick, I’m going to answer this as best as possible.  I would have liked to get more specifics on what’s not working with the offline sales materials and marketing campaigns, but let’s see what we can do with what you gave me.

For starters, one thing I didn’t mention is, in some background information I didn’t include here, Nick said his own business is NOT online because he’s got more clients than he needs right now.  Which leads me to believe he isn’t suggesting his clients integrate online marketing with their offline marketing, either.

And this is a big problem.

In fact, in today’s day and age, this is a HUGE problem, if for nothing else, credibility.  The web is no longer an optional media – it’s as mandatory as advertising in the yellow pages used to be.

Even if you’re not selling anything online (which is also a problem), if you don’t at least have a presence online, your business is going to have a tough time being accepted by consumers, in general.

In fact, most people want to see how a business communicates with them online, first, BEFORE even thinking about doing business with them.  It’s like chatting with someone through a dating site for a while, before actually going out on a date with them.

For instance, about three weeks ago. I signed up to receive information from a company that makes chargers for iPods and MacBooks.

I have YET to receive any kind of an e-mail from them — not even a “thanks for signing up” e-mail!  This is unacceptable — especially from a technology company.

And what makes it unacceptable, isn’t the fact that they didn’t say hello to me or anything like that.  What makes this unacceptable is the fact that I’ve now completely forgotten about them.  In fact, the only reason I remembered them is because I saw an ad for them in a magazine I was reading yesterday.

In today’s crazy fast-paced, get things immediately world… out of sight, means out of mind.  And if you’re not doing everything you can to get on your prospects and buyers radar screen, and on their “top of consciousness,” as often as possible… you’re simply going to have a very hard time getting business.

That doesn’t mean offline lead generation and advertising doesn’t work.  In fact, it’s been a core component of most of my clients, and many of my current Mastermind Group members, for quite some time.  And it’s a core part of my own marketing dollars.

However… getting a lead is one thing.  Keeping a lead and converting the lead into a buyer, is another, mutually exclusive issue.  And this is where your online marketing serves you best.

As far as offline advertising goes, outside of having compelling sales copy, the most important things to focus on, are threefold:

1.  If you’re selling a higher-priced or difficult to understand item, are you using two-step lead generation?  If you’re not, it is going to be virtually impossible to generate any kind of activity or sales.

2.  What kind of an offer are you making?  If you want to capture people’s attention, and get them to actually take some kind of action, then you’re really going to have to make it worth their while.  The sweeter your offer, the better your response is going to be.  Remember, no one’s going to do anything to get a piece of mediocrity.

3.  Lastly, are you advertising in the right place?

The truth is, you can have the best sales copy and the sweetest offer, and you can even be giving your goods and services away for free.  But if your target marketplace — your core buyers — aren’t seeing your ads… then nothings going to happen.

So make sure you’re getting in front of your buyers – this is an often overlooked piece of information.  And it’s why direct-mail, trade magazines, and small community magazines are often so effective.

As to me having a business manual, no I don’t have one.  That’s because my current business isn’t sellable.  It’s too personality driven.  No one could operate it because that means they’d have to be me.  And in fact, some days even I have trouble being me!

Thanks for your question Nick, and I hope this helps.

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

P.S.  As you know, in business, there are only three ways to make more money: get more customers… increase your prices… or increase the value of your average transaction size.  In Chapter 12, you’ll discover a practical and very easy to apply strategy that dramatically increases the value of your average transaction size – one that gets up to 98.4% of your customers to spend MORE money with you, every single time they buy

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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 :-)