Direct-Response Copywriting Secrets – Day 29: Never sell a thing. To anyone. Ever.
*** Tomorrow is the last day of this sequence: Over the last 29 days, I’ve been giving you “big ideas” to solve REAL-life marketing challenges sent in by subscribers. If you like what you’re reading, show me some love by forwarding this information around to a few of your friends and associates ***
Today’s question comes from Kas, in Australia. He says, “Hi Craig, I am creating a technology startup focussed on education based promotional campaign pages in a small town in Australia (where technology is an afterthought). Our main customers are agencies and directly businesses. Our biggest marketing challenge is getting agencies on-board in using our campaign creation system for their clients because of the infancy of the educational promotion (aka advertorial market) on the Internet. Looking forward to your magic. Regards, Kas”
Oh boy oh boy. Lordy, lordy, lordy…
What to do in a situation like this?
This again, is a situation where the problem isn’t the problem. And here’s what I mean by this:
To begin with, if I’m 100% honest, I don’t understand the question here. But let me take things apart, sentence by sentence, and see if I can at least do “something” with this situation.
First, it says this: “I am creating a technology startup focussed on education based promotional campaign pages in a small town in Australia (where technology is an afterthought).”
If you are in a small town that isn’t interested in technology, then why would you start a local tech company there?
I like a good challenge as much as the next guy, but this isn’t a challenge, it’s an impossibility. It’s like opening up a condom shop next to the Catholic church and figuring you’ll get a bunch of traffic after mass on Sunday.
That’s just not going to happen. (Unless, perhaps, if you’re in New York City.)
So this is your first problem: selling something people don’t want. I don’t care if you’re the greatest salesman in the world and you’re giving the stuff away for free. If there’s no marketplace, then there’s no demand. And if there’s no demand… there are no sales, either.
Next it says, “Our main customers are agencies and directly businesses.”
This is another problem. What kind of agencies and what kind of businesses?
See, most people, when you ask them who their customers are, their answer is just slightly north of “Anyone with a pulse is our customer.” This is a huge problem, simply because if you don’t know exactly who your customer is, then how can you know exactly what they want… or how to speak to them.
For example, if your customer is a “business” – what kind of a business is it? It is a service business? Do they have inventory? Is there lots of cash-flow problems? Do they need leads? Can they convert leads? Are they dealing with the public? With medical doctors? With housewives? Do they ride horses? (just wanted to see if you were paying attention)
The point is, “businesses” aren’t your customer any more than “some woman” is your wife. Gotta know who you’re dealing with, or else you’re going to be in deep trouble.
Lastly, “Our biggest marketing challenge is getting agencies on-board in using our campaign creation system for their clients because of the infancy of the educational promotion (aka advertorial market) on the Internet.”
See, I have no freaking clue what this means. And this kind of summarizes the problem: Inability to clearly communicate and identify what’s going on.
Look, I don’t care if something is brand spanking new or not – if it’s going to help someone, and if they understand the overwhelming ability of whatever you’re selling to help them do something better, easier, or faster than they’re doing it now… you’re going to be able to make sales.
At one point in time, computers, cars, 8-track tapes, and CD’s were all new. And every single day new medical technology is developed that is immediately embraced by thousands of people world-wide.
Being new is far less of a problem then being new and nobody understanding what your purpose is.
Listen, when it comes to relationships and selling, all we have in this world, when it comes down to it… is our ability to communicate. Before selling, before strategy, and before writing copy… this should be your focus: identifying a clear message to offer to a very specific marketplace.
If you miss out on this, you’ll never sell a thing.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
P.S. Want to know how to communicate clearly? Read Chapter 6, “The REAL Secret Behind All Great Business Relationships”
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