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Guerilla Marketing for Hi-Tech Sales People

How to Eliminate Cold Calls & Wasted Advertising Dollars


By Perry S. Marshall
21 Secrets of High Impact Low Cost Marketing that eliminate sales resistance, acquire new customers, bring new technology to changeresistant markets, and create enormous amounts of free publicity

Perry S. Marshall & Associates


Lead Generation & Publicity Systems for Technical Sales
2001-2003 Perry S. Marshall and Associates www.perrymarshall.com 1508 Ridgeland Avenue Chicago, IL 60402-4900 USA Phone +1 (708)788-4461 FAX (708)788-4599

A message from the author Youre about to learn about twenty-one powerful ideas that permanently changed my life for the better. The word Paradigm Shift is the only way to describe this radically different understanding of the sales and marketing process. What youre about to hear represents a significant departure from conventional thinking, but it is absolutely provably superior to the oldschool method of selling. Im going to challenge you with some new ideas today, and I invite you to be open-minded and to really think as I discuss them with you. These ideas will make sense and youll intuitively know that theyre true. Its very important to recognize the difference between a principle and a technique. A technique is a trick that you use to get something done, something that works in a very specific situation. A principle, however, is something thats universally true, something that transcends any particular company or circumstance. Today were going to talk about principles, not techniques. That means that not only does this information apply to my business, it applies to your business, and every other business. Secondly, that means this information will be just as true 20 years from now as it is today. Businesses are failing today because they are ignoring principles and trying to replace them with techniques. If youre struggling to bring a product to market, if youre working harder than you know you should, then pay attention. These 21 powerful secrets have changed my life for the better, and will change yours, too. Perry S. Marshall About Perry S. Marshall In four years, Perry Marshall went from being a rank-and-file salesman in Chicago to helping create a high tech success story in the capital equipment and semiconductor component business. He joined a small consulting firm as National Sales Manager and reinvented the company twice, from zero name recognition in a quasi-startup product business to over 2000% growth. He applied his unique marketing system to producing over 100 pages of press exposure in a single year, more sales leads than the sales team could effectively handle, massive amounts of website traffic, and enormous credibility in the companys chosen market niche. He departed upon the sale of the firm to a publicly traded NASDAQ company for an eight-figure transaction price, and his system continues to generate business there to this day. Today Perry Marshall is an author, speaker and consultant in Chicago. His company, Perry S. Marshall & Associates, develops marketing and lead generation systems for high-tech Original Equipment Manufacturers who sell cutting edge technology to business. His clients seek his counsel on product and message definition and their sales process. This extends to advertising, publicity, and relationships with the media. Mr. Marshall has been published in over a dozen magazines and trade journals, including Control Engineering, InTech, Sensors Magazine, Electronic Component News, and Voice Coil, and is author of The Industrial Ethernet Pocket Guide, published by ISA press.

Guerilla Marketing for Hi-Tech Sales People


1. The old fashioned sales routine of cold calls, telemarketing, pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, ignoring No Solicitors signs and trying to visit people who dont want to see you is DEAD. I spent nearly ten years of my life making unsolicited calls and visits, trying to beat down doors and windows, climbing over barbed wire fences, burning up shoe leather, and inventing excuses to go see people who didnt want to see me. Can you relate to this?: You call the guy on the phone: Hi, Im going to be in the area next Tuesday and I was hoping I could drop by and see you as though you being in his neighborhood constituted any sort of reason for him to change his plans for that day. You only get one chance to make a first impression. If the customers first impression of you is that youre just another sales guy who wants to take away his precious time, then youve got one foot in the grave before youve even started. Prospecting = Obsolete Sales Technology If you dont remember anything else from our time together, remember this: that type of selling is obsolete. Dead. Ancient technology. Irrelevant. Its like vinyl records, 8 track tapes, carburetors and Disco. Now Vinyl records still have their place in the world; some audio fanatics still think they sound better than CDs. There are still swap meets where 8 track tape aficionados smoke weed and remember the 70s. Theres probably still a carburetor shop in the town where you live, and as far as Disco is concerned well, you never know. But no sane person is going to build any kind of real business on those things. There are going to be times when you need to pick up the phone and find someone who will see you. But that should be the exception, never the rule. And if youre building your business on old fashioned, outdated, manual labor grunt work, then youre violating every trend. Which means youre wasting huge amounts of time and money, antagonizing potential customers and missing out on very significant opportunities. Ten years ago, a visionary woman named Faith Popcorn wrote a book called The which basically means Popcorn Report. She said the trend in the 1990's was Cocooning people don't want to be bothered!Theres no question, if they were "cocooning" ten years ago, then today they're locking themselves in a fortress!Some people hide behind their computer, reading their e-mails all day long, but won't even answer the telephone. Youve probably got a lot of customers just like that, dont you? If youre going to effectively sell to them, youre going to have to find a way to get invited not as an unwelcome pest, but as a welcome guest. Who Finds Who First is Very, Very Important! seller... Imagine these scenes. It could be any two situations where there's a buyer and a

Scene 1: A buyer has a problem and needs to solve it. You get lucky and just happen to call the buyer that same day. The buyer was on your 'list' and you were able to show him a solution to that very problem.

Scene 2: Same buyer. Has the same problem and needs to solve it. He starts keeping an eye out for a solution. Talks to a friend, or notices an ad, or looks in the yellow pages, reads an article in a magazine and hears about you. Calls you on the phone to see if you can help. Which situation is most typical for you? Which one do you like more? Scene 1 or scene 2? Well, unless you enjoy making phone calls that are uncomfortable both for you and the guy on the other end of the line, you'd rather be living in scene #2, wouldn't you? course you Of would. But theres another factor that's very, ver important: In scene 2, you ALSO have y TWICE the chance of getting the buyer's business as you do in scene 1. Why? Because the buyer found you first. In scene #1 you were prospecting. In scene #2 you were positioning yourself. The buyer naturally has more respect for you in scene #2 because everyone knows you must climb the mountain to find the guru. Gurus don't come down from the mountain hunting for disciples. Who calls who first is very, very important. This leads to the next important principle: 2. A prospect who finds you first is more likely to buy from you, than if you find him. Has your medical doctor ever called you on the phone during dinnertime, asking if you might be looking for help fighting a flu bug? He doesn't find you, you find him. And when you do see him, he tells you what medicine you need to take and you take it. If he says you need surgery, you might seek a second opinion, but you're willing to pay good money for that opinion.And most likely you end up taking the advice, no matter how painful or inconvenient it is. Do your customers respect you as much as they respect their doctor? Why not? They don't know him any better than they know you. His diagnosis of problems are not correct more often than yours is. You went to school. You have expertise. You know how to solve difficult problems. So what's the difference? Positioning vs. Prospecting The difference is positioning. The doctor is perceived to be an expert, so you seek his counsel. You believe what he has to say while your premiums go up every year. The truth is, the medical industry knows things about marketing and positioning that most people in our industry are simply ignorant of. Most people just imitate their competitors, and everyone just gets dumber every year. In the world of corporate sales, people are still doing things the exact same way as they did 20, 30 or even 50 years ago! And they consume enormous amounts of effort! But when you replace manual labor with automation, the difference is dramatic. The Decoy of Sales Motivation I endured a bitter struggle with this before I finally figured it out. I thought the problem was that I wasnt motivated enough. I listened to tapes constantly. I learned the Power of Positive Thinking. I smiled everywhere I went and shook peoples hands. I remembered their names. I chatted with them about golf and fishing and their grandkids and the plaques in their office. I looked at myself in the mirror every morning and said Im good enough, Im smart enough, and doggonit, people like me. Isnt that pretty much what most salespeople learn how to do? Believe great things, be nice to people, work like a banshee and think positive, until success sweeps you off your feet

and your bank account is filled with cash? Stop and think about it for a minute. Does it really work? Thats what I did, and I was working very hard at it. But it wasnt working, and every month I was falling further and further behind. You can only do that for so long before something finally gives. And I knew I was close to the breaking point. Motivation is NOT your real problem But I remember exactly when and where I found the answer I was looking for. It was May 7, 1997. I was at an-all day sales seminar in Peoria, Illinois, where I was, once again, trying to get more motivated. I had robbed Peter to pay Paul, just so I could be there that day. They had all kinds of speakers who were going to motivate me to achieve great things in my career. But the last speaker of the day did not talk about motivation at all. He talked about how to bolt a marketing turbocharger on the front end of your sales organization, so that your customers would call you instead of you having to call them. He said if you had a steady stream of qualified prospects to talk to, you wouldnt have a motivation problem in the first place. Now Id be lying to you if I told you that this speech instantly solved all of my problems. But it WAS the tip of the real iceberg. It radically, permanently changed my perspective on the entire problem and finally pointed me in the right direction. I eventually realized that this whole motivation thing was a huge decoy. Why? Because I was already motivated to begin with. The problem was, I was trying to dig a basement with a shovel when I really needed a bulldozer. I didnt need to be more motivated! Why? Because no matter how motivated you are, the laziest guy in the world can still move more dirt with a borrowed bulldozer than you can with a shovel! I went on a mission to study the most brilliant minds in marketing today, across dozens of industries and professions. And what I discovered was that with a good marketing system, you can have people lined up to have you help them solve their problems. You can be a welcome guest instead of an unwelcome pest. Why My Sales Career Was So Miserable I began to understand why the old way was not working. In hindsight, these were the problems: The companies I was selling for did have marketing and advertising budgets. And they certainly did attempt to generate sales leads. But heres the problem: Most technical, industrial and business-to-business marketing and publicity is simply terrible. Abysmal. Everyone just copies everyone else, and the whole industry gets dumber and dumber every year. The sales leads were low quality and there wasnt nearly enough of them. If youre going to get better results than everyone else, youre going to have to do something different. You shouldnt spend your time prospecting any more than absolutely necessary. Your time is too valuable and expensive. You should only spend time with qualified, interested potential clients, discussing your solutions to their problems. A good marketing system, which helps customers find the salesman, can do this for far less money than paying the salesman to find the customers. My problem was that I was spending so much time prospecting, I didn't have time to sell.

Once an effective marketing system is in place, you can spend twice as much time in front of interested customers and double your income. There's a hidden benefit to this: When the customer finds you, instead of you finding the customer, his perception of you is different. He perceives you as a consultant, not a peddler. Customers don't repect peddlers as reliable information sources. I was improperly s positioned as a 'peddler' and could never accomplish what I was trying to achieve. Over time I discovered an arsenal of powerful tools that cause people to see you as a "valuable resource" instead of "unwanted pest." Each customer has a unique category for you in his mind, and youre no longer just another salesman. 3. A true marketing and publicity system delivers a predictable number of quality sales leads to you every day, month after month, year after year, so your salespeople only spend time with people who already understand what you do and who have proactively asked you to help them solve their problem. Our entire modern world is only possible because we can automate many things. If new cars were assembled by hand instead of machines, they would cost $100,000 instead of $20,000. If we used Pony Express to deliver mail, each letter you send would cost $100 instead of 34 cents. A finely-tuned marketing system is automated. Its like a machine used in manufacturing: If you power it up and put raw material in one end, it produces qualified results prospects on the other end, predictably and reliably, around the clock. Every day when you walk into the office you know it will produce new potential customer relationships for you to cultivate. A Website Can Sell on Autopilot: 24/7/365 One of my most interesting successes was creating a web page that sold a product on the Internet. It was a four page sales letter that used those time-tested marketing formulas to move my customer from mere casual interest all the way to typing in their credit card information and ordering the product online. There was no phone number where they could call and ask for more information, and no email address. The website had to do all the work by itself. That web page has hardly been changed in five years, and it is still successfully selling that product to one out of every twenty-five visitors. It literally runs like clockwork, a selling machine that works on autopilot. You cant do much better than that, can you? The product and the website together are like an annuity that works for me 24/7/365 and puts money in my bank account month after month with 55% gross profit all with no maintenance and no annoying phone calls. Wouldnt you like your business to run that way? Wouldnt you like your sales process to be a machine that runs on autopilot, constantly generating leads or sales orders whether youre awake or asleep, whether youre in the office or on the golf course? Sales Leads on Autopilot, 24/7/365 Im here to tell you that your business CAN run that way. Now please understand, if you sell two million dollar printing presses, nobodys going to order one from your website with their VISA card, as though it were a $12 book on Amazon.com. However, you CAN get lots of quality sales leads for that printing press, the exact same way, if you know how to do it. Make no

mistake: Once you have a system like that in place, your life as a sales professional will change for the better forever. You will NEVER go back to the old way of selling again! When you have that kind of marketing machine working for you, youll make more money, have less stress, experience less month-to-month variation in your sales numbers; your sales people will be more motivated, youll attract reps and resellers and get more mind share from your sales people because they dont have to work nearly as hard to get appointments. Autopilot: Not a Fantasy, But A Necessity Marketing on autopilot is not some fantasy or theoretical ideal. It is the cornerstone of literally thousands of businesses and it quite literally is the difference between failure and success for many people. If you look around at all the really successful people you know, they all have systems that work for them when theyre playing or working on other projects. Maybe its their stock portfolio, growing their money year after year. Maybe its real estate income, maybe its their employees and the businesses they own. But in any case, theyre not using manual labor. If you can make the transition from manual-labor grunt work sales to marketing on autopilot, youve literally built a foundation for business success. Do you or your sales people spend 50% of their time prospecting for new business? There are millions of sales professionals who spend most of their waking hours doing just that. Its even worse for brand new salespeople, who often spend 80-90% of their time doing prospecting and cold call grunt work. Believe me, Ive done it. And it was tragically wasteful. What would happen to your commission checks if you could end the never-ending battle with voice mail and eliminate the time wasted getting past gatekeepers and setting up appointments? What if you spent all that time in front of qualified prospects instead? Wouldnt you double your sales and your income? Convert that wasted prospecting and grunt work time to productive sales time. Generate a steady flow of interested prospects who call you and want you to help them, and make sure your sales people are spending 90% of their time in front of those prospects. Youll make twice as much money and cut your stress level in half! Eliminate the Stomach Churning Misery of Cold Calls and Rejection There are several other huge benefits to this, by the way: first, the life of your sales people dramatically changes for the better. The stomach churning rejection and constant stream of no, not interested not today call me in three months youll have to talk to the purchasing department about that all that goes away. Its far less tempting to procrastinate when you know that everyone you call on the phone is at least somewhat interested in having your help in solving a problem. Its a lot easier to roll out of bed in the morning when you know that when you get to the office every day, youre going to have a number of hot leads on your desk that have come in via the website, email, fax machine or voice mail, people who understand what you do and are waiting for you to help them solve their problem. Second, its easier to attract and keep good sales people, whether they work directly for you or if theyre commissioned representatives or resellers. Now if you sell a cutting edge, high tech product, then despite the fact that its cool and sexy, its probably very hard to sell. The world has an overabundance of neat products that nobody feels compelled to use. This forces small, innovative companies to do backbreaking missionary work to sell that neat new product. This is the #1 reason why hi tech companies go out of business the cost of acquiring new customers is simply too high.

Getting Those Lazy Distributors to Go Sell Something Have you ever tried to get your distributors to sell a bleeding edge missionary work type of product? Its like nailing jello to the wall. You cant get a distributor whos making maybe 20% gross profit to stock and promote a product that nobodys eager to buy. It just doesnt make business sense for him to do so. A lot of manufacturers think its just because those distributors are lazy. They think, These guys are all bozos! They just dont understand how great our product really is! No, actually its because theyre too smart. Theyve fallen f or that before, probably more than once, and theyre not going to do it again. They work on commission; theyve got car payments and a mortgage. And they dont like eating baloney sandwiches and ramen soup. So if you have a cool, sexy, cutting edge, high tech product, and if you use my lead generation system, then you wont have any problem getting serious potential customers to raise their hands and express interest in that product. The system will educate those prospects at very low cost before you make any significant investment in them, and youll be certain that theyre pre-disposed to buy before you get in your car and go see them. Your Marketing System Can Protect You From Lousy Prospects Please listen very carefully: You should not visit anybody, unless on a scale from 1 to 10, theyre at least a five in terms of likely to give you their money. Personally, I aint even calling a customer on the phone unless theyre a 5 and theyve called me first. And Im not going to actually, physically go see them unless theyre a 7 or 8. You can actually have such a wide funnel that captures so many leads and interested prospects that you then devise second, third and fourth steps in your marketing system that further separates the diamonds from the dirt. You can even make prospects jump through hoops to talk to you, if necessary. A built in feature of a true marketing system is that it qualifies leads for you so you can determine the quality of each lead with a high degree of accuracy. Then you can actually adjust the size of the bottom of your funnel as business conditions change, and literally regulate your sales volume from one quarter to the next. If youve got plenty of sales leads that are 4s, 5s, 6s 7s and 8s coming in every day and the occasional 9 or 10 then youll find that VARs, reps, and even your own sales people are much more eager to go see those customers, because they know those customers are genuinely interested. 4. Your marketing & sales message must effectively answer the following four questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. Why should I read or listen to you? Why should I believe what you have to say? Why should I do anything about what youre offering? Why should I act now?

These are very basic questions, but few sales people can fire back fast answers to any of them. There are all kinds of companies who are the greatest in the world, but cant give you a really solid explanation of what they do or why it matters. Your precise answer to these four questions is your Unique Selling Position. You must have this message clearly defined and focused. It must be written down and you must be able

to repeat it in the middle of the night when your spouse wakes you from a deep sleep. Everything you do should answer those questions in a consistent way, whether directly or indirectly. This goes hand in hand with the next principle, which is: 5. Every time you communicate with your customer, you should reinforce the core ingredients of your sales message. People forget. Its never good enough to say something just once. Once your prospects have contacted you, they should regularly get things from you that reinforce what you told them the first time, and every time you talk to them, you must communicate your core sales message. Its easy to get tired of constantly saying the same thing all the time, and its easy to stop doing things that work just because you get bored with them. But you must resist this temptation and consistently, persistently reinforce that message. Your message will never be consistent unless everyone in the company agrees on what it is. If you change your message every month, youll never get real traction in the marketplace because customers will have only a vague idea of what you do. 6. You are in the best negotiating position with customers when your marketing generates deal flow which exceeds your capacity. Have you ever taken one of those negotiating classes? Who has the most power in a negotiation? Its the person who has the most options. If your customer has more options than you, then hes in charge. He can dictate the price and the terms of the deal. Ive spent a fair amount of time doing deals in Detroit, and its ugly. There are ten potential suppliers and only one General Motors. The pricing is cut throat and everyone gets squeezed real hard. You dont want to be in that situation, and you dont have to be. If your marketing system delivers good leads to you every day, youre far less concerned about each deal than if you have to dig them up by hand. And thats good, because a customer who senses you dont need him is more likely to buy from you than if you have to beg. An effective marketing system solves a number of very difficult business problems: You have enough deal flow that you can choose customers who match your capabilities, rather than taking whoever you can get. You have more negotiating power because you can safely walk away from a deal. Clients have more respect for you because you didnt chase them down. You can anticipate variations in your available capacity and revenue stream and open up or tighten your sales funnel as necessary, rather than scrambling at the last minute. You dont have to alter your manufacturing process or systems to accommodate customers whose needs dont match your capabilities. Your time with customers is spent productively, because when they call you, they already understand exactly what you do, whats unique about you and how you can help them. You are able to focus on the nuances of solving your customers problems and building personal relationships with them, rather than worrying about whether or not you can close a deal.

7. Marketing is far more systematic and formulaic, than creative Most people in hi tech sales have some sort of technical background and are sometimes engineers whove transitioned into a sales role. Many of you own consulting practices, integration companies and service firms, and for you, selling is a necessary evil. Teaching an Technical Person to Sell The career transition to sales can be a very difficult one, and it often fails. Especially when it is real sales, not customer service or tech support --- as in prospecting for new business every day, navigating the complexities of the customers organization, dealing with difficult decision makers and actually getting hard purchase orders. It simply is not enough to understand the technical merits of your product. You also must understand the psychology of the sales process and the emotional reasons and motivations that cause people to do what they do. The human side of this equation comes much more naturally to some people than to others. When I went from engineering to sales, I already knew how to dial for dollars, make cold calls and secure appointments which is ironically what I now teach my clients not to do! But other aspects of the sales process just mystified me. My Friend, the Uneducated Sales Wonder Boy I had this job at a manufacturers rep firm and there was this guy I worked with who was the top salesman in the company. He was personally handling almost ten million of dollars of business at anywhere from 2 to 10% commission, which meant he was easily making several hundred thousand dollars a year. He was selling to some of the biggest companies in Chicago, a fiercely competitive market, in some very competitive product categories. For example, he sold printed circuit boards. In case youre not familiar, there are literally hundreds of companies who sell circuit boards, but this guy had exclusive contracts with some of his customers, usually at higher prices than some other vendor just down the street. What was really amazing about my friend was that not only was he extremely successful, he hadnt gone to college, only had a high school diploma, his writing skills were absolutely terrible, he could barely spell and he was a very non-technical person. But none of this seemed to matter. His intuition and ability to think on his feet made up for all that. He would say amazing things to customers that I could never get away with saying. His skill set was the exact opposite of mine, and it was pretty obvious that his skills were helping him sell more than my skills were helping me sell. I desperately needed to know what he knew. I watched him as closely as I possibly could, and what was really frustrating was that he really couldnt teach me his thinking process. He couldnt seem to explain what he did or why he did it, he just did it. Meanwhile here I am, furiously searching for a success secret so I can put some money in my checking account and pay for my baby girls diapers. How Does a Technical Guy Get the Hang of This, Anyway? So how does a systematic, technical guy learn those important nuances of the sales process? Well you usually wont learn it from a natural born salesman like my friend at the rep company, because he doesnt know how to teach you. People who do things that naturally are usually poor teachers. Thats why its almost impossible to learn anything from most college professors. However, you can learn it from someone who learned it the hard way someone like me. I say that because I did learn those things. I struggled to learn every bit of it, but I

eventually got my arms around this. I actually learned it from people who write highly effective advertising. One of the great misconceptions in business today is that sales and marketing are two different disciplines. This is 100% wrong. Marketing and sales are much closer to each other than most people think, and the separation of the two is the cause of many huge problems. Show me a company with sales on the first floor and marketing on the fourth floor, and Ill show you a company thats spending millions of dollars on irrelevant marketing campaigns while the sales people are dialing for dollars to make their numbers every month. You Can Sell With Proven Formulas That Work Again and Again The good news is that technical people and anyone else, for that matter can become very skilled at sales, marketing, and even advertising, once they learn the core principles and formulas. This also means you can take templates and examples that others have used, which are included in my system, and easily adapt them to fit your product or service. You need not, and in fact should not, re-invent the wheel. What worked in 1925 and 1967 still works in the 21st century, because human nature has not changed and never will. As you fine-tune this process over time, you can achieve a level of effectiveness that frustrates and baffles your competitors, because they are not privy to your formula or system. Most of them will think and operate like the rest of the herd theyll continue to use the same inefficient, obsolete image advertising / dial for dollars and shoe leather sales formula that simply doesnt work and they really wont understand what youre doing at all. 8. Advertising is selling in print. Advertising and marketing are selling in print. There should be no fundamental difference between the message in your ads, brochures, website, newsletters, press releases and white papers, and what you tell your customers face to face. If there is a difference, its usually because marketing lives in an ivory tower, the ads are written by some agency in LA, and sales has to ignore everyone else in order to get their job done. And oh, by the way, the disconnect between marketing and sales is also a symptom of a bunch of departments who have no collective agreement on what the companys message really is. But more about that later. If youre going to successfully sell in print, you need to study the people who make their living by doing just that. And thats why my discovery of response-based marketing was so crucial. There is an entire industry called response-accountable direct marketing, which I have spent years of my life intensely studying. No person in marketing can afford to not understand the direct marketing industry, but 95% of marketing people have no clue. Who Really Knows How to Sell in Print? A direct marketing company, by definition, is a company that sells without sales people. Direct marketing companies are the best kind of companies to study, because theyre the only companies who can prove what they got for those dollars. Most companies cannot prove that their marketing works at all, and if you copy them, youre just following people who are following people who are lost. Response-accountable direct marketing is used to successfully sell almost every conceivable kind of product, from industrial control systems and medical equipment to electronic components to diet plans and magazine subscriptions and the high tech gadgets in those airline catalogs.

Now when I say direct marketing Im not talking about how the product is physically delivered to the customer. They can buy it at Wal-Mart for all I care. Direct Marketing simply means: Communicating to the customer in a personal way and asking them to do something. Its always measurable, and real practitioners always measure it. Therefore its really the only kind of marketing thats rigorous and scientific. It truly separates the men from the boys. True response-based marketing is much more formulaic than creative! Most people think that advertising people have some esoteric formula for hypnotizing people as they flip through the pages of a magazine or channel-surf on TV. You may imagine that they have some magical, profound wisdom about human psychology that is beyond the realm of mere mortals. People just assume that most advertising must somehow, magically, make people buy stuff. Theres very little truth in this. The Ad Agency Racket Im going to talk about ad agencies for a minute, and some of this may offend you. And while there are certainly some good agencies out there, most deliberately avoid doing anything that allows their work to be measured. Many ad agency people are really misplaced creative types that should be selling pottery and paintings in craft shows and coffee shops. They have no business selling your product or company to your customers. The fundamental reason for this is that most of them have never, ever had to sell for a living, and in fact most of them think theyre above it. Theyve never been in a situation where if they dont get the purchase order this month or sell the lady the vacuum cleaner or cookware, theyll be buying their groceries on Visa next week. So when you see an ad or billboard with some bizarre picture mated with an obtuse slogan and a short, vague message about how xyz company will make you cool, dont be fooled into thinking it works, because it may not work at all. The Lie About Advertising That 95% Buy Into Then the agency tells the client The Great Lie: Advertising cannot be measured. You cant quantify this or count how many leads come in, that would be very misleading. You just have to get your name out there so people have heard of you when you call them. And the customer doesnt have a clue whether the ad really works or if its just wasted money. At this point you might be thinking, Well the advertising guy at least has to sell his advertising services. No, its his salesman that sells the advertising, which further illustrates the problem. Have you ever noticed that ad agencies dont advertise? Heres a little experiment: Grab your Yellow Pages book and look up advertising agencies. How many ads for ad agencies do you see? Here in Chicago, the number is ZERO. Zip. Nada. They all hire telemarketers and sales people who dial for dollars and pound pavement. They literally knock on doors. So why would you want to buy advertising from a guy who knocks on doors? Fundamentally what the ad agency appeals to is your ego. As long you dont rigorously hold his advertisements accountable for black-and-white, bottom-line, dollars and cents results, then all he has to do is create pretty ads that make your company look good, whatever that means. Sucking up to the Client

He creates stuff that tells everyone how fantastic your company is and strokes your ego and the ego of the VIPs, who all think its great. You can all play golf and congratulate each other on how beautiful the new ad campaign is. But your prospects and customers couldnt care less. Its all puffery and meaningless chest beating. And thats how some artsy ad guy, who couldnt sell a loaf of bread in a concentration camp, manages to bill big corporations for hundreds of thousands of dollars and keep them happy, despite the fact that those ads may not actually sell anything. Advertising a Mass Market Commodity vs. Technical Specialty Am I saying that Nike and The Gap and Budweiser are all run by a bunch of yo-yos who are pouring their ad money down the drain? No, Im not. But these companies sell very simple commodity products that must compete in a broad consumer market, and image is king in that world. You do not live in that world. You are in a technical specialty. So while advertising promotes your brand, it can and should do far more than that. It should educate your customers and position you as an expert at a known Return On Investment. Why Ad Agencies Dont Advertise If you want to learn more about this, youll enjoy one of the tapes in my system. Its called Why advertising agencies dont advertise and its an intriguing expos of the shell games and sleight of hand thats used in one of the worlds most wasteful and deceptive industries. But truly effective advertising is not done that way. Effective advertising nearly always follows time-tested formulas that work again and again and again. Its very systematic and easily learned by people who have technical and business backgrounds. Creating a marketing message that is well understood, and getting that message to cut through the clutter and noise of the marketplace is a lot less mystical than you may think. Once you understand the formulas, most of which have been used by very successful companies for a century or more, and once you understand why those formulas continue to work, you will have mastered the most difficult elements of the sales process. How a Technical Guy Learned How to Write Great Ads & Give Great Presentations Thats exactly how I learned the organic nuances of selling. I learned them from the old masters of response-based advertising and direct marketing. I learned some of my most valuable methods from books that have been out of print for thirty or forty years! These old masters explained to me the things that my friend, the #1 salesman at the company could not by breaking them down into formulas that could be put into an ad, press release, sales letter, brochure or web site. You can use well-proven methods to design a marketing system that works for you by making sure that your sales process works the same way in print as it would work live in person. Your website, sales letter, or brochure has to interact with the customers emotional hot buttons and inner motivations and persuade him or her to take action. Technical and business people relate to logical systems and processes, and thats exactly how a good marketing system really works. It is NOT some wild creative voodoo thats only understood by people who practice Feng Shui and meditative chants. It is not fundamentally about image or branding. It is about telling your own unique sales story in a way that matches the wants, needs, loves, hates and fears of YOUR customers.

9. What other people say about you (publicity, referrals and testimonials) is infinitely more believable and less expensive than what you say about yourself (conventional advertising). This is why advertising isnt enough effective publicity is a vital part of any marketing campaign. You can leverage the power of your existing customers and the media to tremendously increase the impact of your marketing message by making it far more credible. Lets start with the simple press release. Most companies do an absolutely terrible job with this. You cant begin to imagine the quantity of pure drivel that rolls off of editors fax machines and mail slots every day. Most press releases are poorly written, vague and pompous all at the same time. The Amazing Power of a Great Press Release Creating a press release does not have to be difficult or complicated, yet a really good one can do amazing things. Once I sent a press release that generated over 200 sales leads from just one trade magazine. These were quality leads, too, because almost every information request came via email. The product we were selling cost well over $1000, and that press release got us into three Fortune 500 companies and many other smaller ones. The best part is, it cost absolutely nothing. Had it been an advertisement, the same amount of space in that particular magazine would have cost six thousand dollars and it wouldnt have worked nearly as well because it would have been an ad. When I left my post as a corporate employee, one magazine editor, who works at one of the oldest and largest technical trade journals, sent me the following note: Perry, it's been a pleasure working with you. I know you'll be a success at whatever you turn your hand to (although I'll admit to a certain sinking feeling at the thought of one of the few, the proud, the savvy PR people I know leaving me at the tender mercies of people who write bad press releases and then call me up and whine at me...) Anyway, the best of luck to you and don't be a stranger. In my system I teach you the art of writing highly effective press releases, and how to integrate free publicity into all the other things you do, so that synergy exists between all of your marketing systems. Another important skill the system teaches is exactly what kind of relationship you should seek to develop with magazine editors, how they see you and how you should see them. A Real Marketing System is Multi-Faceted By the way, its important to mention that a marketing system is never just one thing. Its not just advertising, or direct mail, or publicity, or referrals. Its the combination of all those things working together. I have a friend who helps dentists bring more patients into their practices. He always tells them, I dont know one way to get you thirty new patients a month, but I do know thirty ways to bring you one new patient a month. And thats the best way I know to describe how a really good system works. Testimonials are extremely powerful, and a collection of great testimonials is one of the most powerful things you can possibly have. The problem is, especially in Business-toBusiness sales, theyre very hard to get. Thats because nobody wants their competitors to

know that your product is part of their success formula. Well Ive learned a trick to getting testimonials that works almost every time, and youll find it in my system. 10. Smart marketers know their numbers: How much a customer is worth, what they can afford to spend to get a customer, and the Return On Investment for each ingredient in their marketing mix. Marketing projects / dollars must be measurable and accountable for ROI just like every other aspect of your business. If you called up your stock broker and said how much is IBM selling for today? what would you think if he said Oh, its been doing really well, but dodged your questions every time you wanted a specific answer? Youd fire him in a heartbeat. You want to know exactly how much the stock is worth, in dollars and cents. Thats the only way you know if youre making money or not. The same applies to the operation of any aspect of your business production, sales and customer service. The Numbers You Must Know to Be a Smart Marketer Well if you want to make your marketing just as accountable as your stock portfolio, youre going to have to answer tough questions. How much does it cost to get a new customer? How much does it cost to get a sales lead? How much does it cost to send a salesman to an appointment? How much did you spend on your advertising, direct mail and literature fulfillment and what was your Return On Investment? You may have heard the phrase, I know half of my advertising dollars are wasted, I just dont know which half. A company like Coca-Cola that does image advertising of a mass marketed consumer product may have no choice but to accept that answer, but you can do much better than that. Many people are afraid to answer these tough questions, so they just ignore them. But getting down to the truth is very liberating, not only because it prevents you from wasting money, but it also tells you where your money is doing the most good, and where you should put more of it. A symptom of the problem is what happens to advertising budgets during lean times: They get slashed. Now does that make any sense at all? If advertising is where contact with new potential customers is initiated, why would you stop when business is slow? Wouldnt you want to advertise even MORE? This should be a blazing red flag to everyone, a warning that they dont know whether their advertising works or not. The Money-Making Secret of Having One Good Ad Heres a secret that people in the mail order business have known for decades: One really good ad in the right place can earn you money for years, with no changes or alterations. And when you use rigorous methods to identify advertising formulas that work, then youre going to do as much of it as you possibly can. Maybe even more if youre in a recession. Fundamentally what youre looking for is advertising and marketing mechanisms that give you $2 for every $1 you put in. If advertising is the great hidden waste in corporate America, effective advertising is one of the great success secrets. Its just like that website I mentioned earlier that sells for me all the time, even though I havent changed it in three years.

Tapping this goldmine is a huge subject that gets extensive treatment in the system. And when you have a bunch of different media working for you website, trade journals, direct mail, postcards and more its ridiculously easy to make money. A surprising number of my clients have made the following statement to me: I hired a marketing consultant and spent $50,000, and he never really did anything. There are probably a zillion possible reasons for this, but I believe it all comes down to the client not having a clear mandate that marketing must be held accountable for concrete results. How much money does it cost us to get a sales lead or a new customer? And how many more can you get by spending that money again? And what can you tweak so the results are even better next time? You Will Sell Yourself the Same Way I Sell Myself Its very important to point out that I teach my clients how to market themselves and their businesses the exact same way I market myself and my business. I use the same systems, the same mechanisms, the same techniques and the same criteria. How did you get your hands on this tape or CD? Either you found out about it through some kind of media or someone told you about it, but in any case it probably happened through means that can be replicated in other businesses and situations. My company didnt contact you; you contacted my company. What youre reading right now is not a thinly disguised promo. Its productive information that you can work for you starting right now. I teach you to market yourself the same way I market myself: With results-accountable, response based marketing. And someday when we meet in person, youll respect me because you found me and I didnt hunt you down, and because what I teach and what I do are consistent with each other. 11. All people make buying decisions based on emotion; therefore your marketing must use emotion to sell what people want, not what you think they need or want them to need. Yes, this is really, actually true. Engineers, accountants, executives, attorneys, housewives, and ministers PhDs, delivery truck drivers and farmers and butchers, bakers and candlestick makers We all fundamentally make all of our decisions based on emotion, not logic. Logic supports our emotions and is used to justify our decisions after we have made them. Logic plays a part, but emotion is the core ingredient. Show me a product that people have little emotion for and Ill show you a product thats hard to sell or has very thin profit margins. Show me an ad or brochure that doesnt provoke any emotion, and I can guarantee you that it doesnt work. Some people think emotion has no place in business-to-business marketing. Those people are absolutely 100% totally dead wrong. You can use them to write instruction manuals and employee handbooks, but keep them out of your sales and marketing department. This sort of thinking is exactly why most business-to-business marketing is so dull. The Cardinal Sin in Marketing: Being Boring The greatest sin in marketing is being boring. The world is a busy, cluttered place with advertisements and messages everywhere. If your message is boring, you dont stand a chance. If you cant think of anything exciting about your product, then get a different product. But dont be boring.

Please understand, theres a difference between emotion and hype. Your message doesnt need to sound like late night television in order to provoke emotion. You need to figure out what your customers love, and what they hate, what keeps them awake at night, what gives them ulcers and what catastrophic events they dread. Youve got to know what aspects of their job theyre emotional about and design your products, services, and marketing to address those felt needs. All great leaders and managers, all great marketers, all great teachers and all great product designers learn how to harmonize with the emotions of the people they work with and turn them on and off at will. This of all things is the greatest and most profitable art form in marketing, and always will be. In my system there are dozens of examples of advertising and sales messages that are professional, believable and credible, yet illustrate the incredible power of emotional marketing. 12. You will capture the attention of your customers when you enter the conversation already taking place inside their heads. One of the greatest mistakes companies make is developing products based on a great idea. My friend and fellow consultant Rob Olic used to be Marketing Director for small business development at the prestigious Wharton School in Pennsylvania. Every week he had entrepreneurs coming into his office, telling him Man, my company developed this exciting new product thats so good, it sells itself. Ive got a warehouse full of these things, can you help me get rid of them? Great ideas are a dime a dozen. Even well executed great ideas are on every street corner, but that doesnt mean theyre successful in the marketplace. Winning products and marketing messages talk to people about things theyre already wanting and thinking about. They address irritations that have been lurking under the surface. They solve problems that people have been laying awake at night wondering about and worrying about. Several years ago I was working with a company whose great idea was scheduled delivery of household consumer products. The idea was that just when you were about to run out of something like taco shells or Kleenex or vitamins or peanut butter, the service would replenish your supply automatically. All you had to do was decide on a delivery schedule and youd never have to think about those items again. It was a great idea because it was convenient for customers and it was an automatic revenue stream for the company. This looked very promising, but nobody was losing sleep because they might run out of toilet paper or shaving cream. Nobody was really thinking about this at all. It was a great idea from a salesmans point of view but not from the customers point of view. It was a flop. I, and a lot of other people, lost money in that business. Why did it fail? Because that business did not enter the conversation that was already going on in customers heads. It didnt harmonize with what they were already thinking about. A very practical example of this is marketing on the Internet. Search engines are a very, very powerful way to obtain new customers, and theyre practically free. Theyve brought me a thousands of customers over the years. If someone types in a specific phrase in a search engine and your product comes up in the first few entries, its free advertising. Ive gotten boatloads of quality sales leads just exactly this way. But as we all know, its not as simple as just throwing some information on a website and waiting for the orders to start coming in. There has to be a precise match between the words your customer is typing in, and the content on your website. Its a very strategic process and it requires that you know exactly what your customers are already looking for. That phrase that they type in Yahoo! or Google is part of the conversation in side their head. Tap into that conversation and your income will grow.

13. You will earn the trust of your customers when you talk to them the same way they talk to each other and themselves. Americans think in English. Chinese people think in Mandarin. Mexican people think in Spanish. Auto mechanics think in terms of car parts and History teachers think in terms of history. Skateboarders think about skateboards and they use skateboarding words when they talk, even when theyre not talking about skating. There are thousands of tiny subcultures related to various professions, industries, hobbies, passions, cultures and geographies. Each one has its own language, customs and rules. You can be extremely effective selling to a group of people if you understand how they talk to each other. Then you can be one of them instead of being an outsider whos trying to peddle something. If you deliver products that people truly want, and services that solve problems that theyre genuinely bothered about AND talk to them about those things in the same language they use when they talk to each other then sales resistance melts and disappears. 14. Your marketing should deliver a concrete explanation and promises of tangible appealing value and specific calls to action; not catchy slogans, clever phrases, puns or abstractions. Marketing and selling are much more alike than different. So when youre writing ads, press releases, brochures or anything else that you do, you should always think in terms of what you would tell the person if you were sitting across the table from him. If you began a meeting with a huge potential prospect, would you open your conversation with a pun? Would tell him bizarre jokes and show him abstract pictures? NO. You would start by listening to her making sure you understand the problems shes facing and repeat them back to her to verify that you in fact understand what she wants and needs to change. Youd begin your presentation with an attention-getting statement backed up by features and their tangible bottom-line benefits, with as much proof as you could possibly produce. And when you got done, you would ask her to take some sort of action. Yes, Once Again: Marketing is Selling In Print Why should your advertising and sales literature be any different? Most people will not relate to your attempts to be clever or funny. At the moment there are billboards all over Chicago with one of the stupidest ads Ive ever seen in my life. Its a picture of a guy sticking a fork in a toaster. It says Bad idea. Kind of like changing your phone company. Wheres the tangible appealing value? Wheres the specific call to action? There IS none. More than anything, its a temptation to switch to a company that doesnt put up dumb billboards. If theres any two people who deserve to be unemployed in the present economic turmoil, its the guy that came up with that billboard, and the guy who signed off on the whole thing. Dont succumb to such ridiculous messages and schemes. Give people strong, solid, concrete reasons to do business with you and they will.

15. Customers should be spoken and written to in a conversational, laymans tone of voice that strives to build trust, educate and persuade, rather than dazzle and impress. Do you like to see impressive, amazing things? Do you like to witness jaw dropping, astonishing situations and events? Of course you do. Everybody does. And it only costs eight bucks. Thats right, for eight bucks you can go to a movie theatre and watch Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger deliver two solid hours of stunning imagery, special effects, lighting, action and thrills, splashed across the big screen in blazing color and Dolby Surround Sound. These days, with a few thousand dollars of equipment, you can even get the same thing, maybe better, at home. Yes, people like to be impressed, and Hollywood thinks nothing of spending $100 million on a picture so they can give the people just what they want. And they do a great job of it. You Cant Compete With Hollywood But one of the worst things you can do is deliberately try to impress your customers. Why? Because youre not Hollywood and you dont have $100 million dollars. And impressing people is not your job. Your job is to help them solve problems and capitalize on new opportunities. Heres what happens, almost on a subconscious level: When you try to impress, instead of building trust, educating and persuading, you immediately cause your customers guard to go up. He immediately stops believing you. This is a big, big mistake. Most companies are trying so hard to impress people, nobody can figure out what they do. More importantly, nobody cares how impressive you are. Nobody cares how many billions of dollars of assets some insurance company has. Theyd much rather know that you will go to the mat for them when theres a problem. Theyd much rather know that you really care about their problems and that you want to help them. 16. The most valuable asset you can own is a well-maintained customer database. If your company writes software, then your source code is like the family jewels. Youve probably got a safe somewhere in your building with that code locked inside, and if youre smart youve also got copies at a remote location. Well if your product is that valuable, then how valuable are your customers? Its easier to get a product than a customer. Therefore your customer list deserves even more reverence, security and protection than your product. That said, its simply amazing how many companies are sloppy about what is arguably their most valuable piece of intellectual property: Their customer database. Thats right, no matter what you do, what you make, or how smart you are, the most valuable thing you own is your list of customers. And the second most valuable thing you own is your list of prospective customers, those people who have expressed interest in your product or service. Do you capture the name, address, phone number and email address of everyone who calls you? Do you stay in contact with them, letting them know whats new and always reinforcing your sales story every time you contact them? If your customer list is the most valuable thing you have, then maintaining it and growing it should be your number one priority. Just doing a good job of this will put you head and shoulders above the crowd.

17. Friends come and go but enemies accumulate. Its much easier and less expensive to serve existing customers than to get new ones. Your existing customers are the number one asset you have. Heres a story about a company thats has never figured that out. An Internet Tale of Woe Last year I had an Internet Service provider for my website, who did a very nice job for a long time. I never had to think about them, because the site always worked right. But they started to have problems, and my entire website was down several times, two or three days at a time. I talked to my account rep, who apologized for the inconvenience and said he would help. But the problems didnt go away. I decided to go above him. I sent the president some very angry emails. The only response: a voice mail from the same account rep, who offered to help again. At about this time I started getting direct mail pieces from this same company, inviting me to use their web hosting services. Clearly whoever sent this mailing did not know I was already an angry customer. I was furious. I called the company, closed the account and switched to a new hosting company. Meanwhile the direct mail pieces still kept coming, and by the way they said Guaranteed 99.9% uptime which if you do the math was a blatant lie. Even after I closed the account, they continued to try to draft my credit card for $50 per month. It took more emails and phone calls to straighten that out! And I still get mail from them every few months. Every time I get anything from them it makes me mad. And I swear I will never, ever do business with them again. Now heres a company with good marketing, good use of direct mail, and good (though otherwise dishonest) advertising, who doesnt know how to keep a customer happy. They only know how to replace angry customers with ignorant ones. Very, very dumb. And very expensive. We all know it would cost them a lot less money to do a good job for their existing customers than to acquire new ones, set them up, give them web addresses and passwords and transfer their files. It was certainly a major hassle for me to change and start over with a new vendor. Dont Lose a Friend Over Incompetence and Apathy Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate. You cant afford to lose a friend, especially over incompetence and apathy. Dont let this happen to you. Take good care of your customers. Maintain a personal relationship with them. If you do a bad job at this, all the great marketing in the world will just put you out of business faster. Common sense knows better than to treat customers this way, but its still worth saying: In your rush to get new customers, dont forget the old ones. And remember that most of your existing customers are unaware of your entire range of products and services. They need to hear your whole sales story just as much as everyone else does. 18. What you sell should be re-packaged and re-invented to differentiate it from competitive products and make apples-to-apples comparisons difficult or impossible.

The worst thing a business can do is be just like everyone else. And the worst reason your customer can have for buying your product is that its the cheapest. Live by cheapest price, die by cheapest price. There are many, many product categories that are commodity items. My definition of a commodity is something that can basically be bought and sold by the pound from a half dozen or more companies. The Pathetic Life of the Lowest Bidder Its easy to think customers only want the cheapest price, but thats only true if nobody gives them a reason to pay extra and get more. Another Internet example: America On Line has done a very admirable job of packaging their service such that it cant be directly compared to other Internet Service Providers. Features like AOL Instant Messenger have proprietary features that other providers cant duplicate. AOL has always made it very easy to install their software and theyve distributed their CDs to just about every living creature in North America. This is how theyve maintained a price over $20 while many of their competitors went broke trying to do it for free. Clever, Interesting Packages are not Commodities Microsofts problem with the Federal government is very complex, but the whole debate about packaging Internet Explorer with Windows proves the power of bundling things together. This is so powerful for Microsoft that it had Netscape and all the other enemies of Microsoft screaming bloody murder. Many products and services commodities, and if yours are too, then you need to take drastic measures to change that. You need to learn from Microsoft and AOL and add value, add services, bundle things together and make it so that a true apples to apples comparison with some other brand is difficult or impossible. 19. People are cynical and will only believe what you can prove. You and I must fundamentally understand the culture and times that we live in. Things change. Techniques that worked 10 years ago may not work now. Do you remember when Richard Nixon left office during the Watergate scandal? The entire nation was in shock that its very own President would tell a bald faced lie on television. Once the truth was known, he had no choice but to resign, because such behavior was totally unacceptable. Richard Nixon Loses & Slick Willie Wins Fast Forward 24 years to the Clinton / Lewinsky scandal. Clinton was lying, and everyone knew he was lying, but Americans have so little trust for their leaders, and were so desensitized, that he managed to stay in office anyway. George Bush Sr. said Read My Lips: No New Taxes and somehow it didnt seem all that surprising when he raised taxes anyway. Cynicism is at an all-time high. Trust is at an all-time low. And that is very bad for you. Some people might think its OK since perhaps they can get away with things they couldnt before, but this is incorrect. Its still bad, because true business relationships are always built on trust.

What this means is: While you tirelessly go and tell your story every day, you must expect never to be believed the first time. And you must not expect anybody to believe anything you say unless you can prove it. Can what you say be proven? Can you offer a guarantee? Is there a way that you can lay it on the line and visibly demonstrate to your customer that you can deliver the goods? People may be cynical but they still crave trust. They still desperately want to have partners in business who will tell them the truth and keep their promises. If you can do this, youll keep your customers for a long time, and youll pick up a lot of customers from companies who do not keep their promises. This deserves some serious thought. In my full-marketing system, I show numerous examples of companies who have the cajones to prove that what they say is really true, lay it on the line and guarantee performance. 20. You will dramatically enhance your credibility as a sales person by authoring, speaking and publishing quality information on your field of expertise. Dont you hate going to see a customer when you know deep down that he really thinks youre wasting his time? Dont you hate being knowledgeable and sincere about your field of expertise but not being believed or trusted? Isnt it frustrating to be thought of as just another guy who sells xyz when deep down you know your product is really superior? You want to be an invited guest, not an unwelcome pest. You want to be an expert problem solver, not an annoying peddler. You want to be a respected authority, not some suspicious car salesman in an ugly polyester suit. Heres how you can gain extraordinary credibility. This is one of the greatest secrets to marketing success that you can possess. I hope youre paying attention, because if you truly understand this simple concept, it will change your business life forever. It changed mine. This one principle will give you an edge over everyone else. Write books. Publish magazine articles. Produce white papers. Speak at conferences, organization meetings, trade shows and public events. Get yourself on talk shows. Get yourself quoted by other writers. Make sure magazine editors call YOU when they need information on your subject area. Become the most visible person in your field. You Can Be Your Industrys Media Golden Boy Most people have never thought about this much. You might have assumed that if you want to be an expert then some large institution has to anoint you with that title. Maybe you thought you could only earn that status after years and years of relentless toil in the back office, paying your dues, crawling buck naked over mountains of broken glass, and when you finally have gray hair and a colostomy bag, then theyll know that youre an expert and theyll ask you what you think. Actually this idea is a distant cousin of invent a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. This method of achieving notoriety is way too hard and takes way too long. Not only is it difficult, its not even likely to work at all. It might work that way in academia, but not in the entrepreneurial or business world. In the entrepreneurial world, you appoint yourself as the expert and just start acting like one. So what do experts do? They publish their views and opinions. They speak at conferences. They write books. They get on the Oprah Winfrey show. They take phone calls from reporters and magazine editors who want to know the real scoop.

Being a Commodity Wont Make You Famous Now if youre just another Joe who peddles toilet paper or telephone wire, its going to be pretty hard to find anyone whos looking for an expert on those subjects in the first place. Who wants to read about some familiar commodity item that everyone already understands? No, you need to be an expert on something that someone doesnt know about but wants to like specialized chemical processes for increasing the yield of toilet paper manufacturing plants. Or the nuances of wire making machinery and why the copper in your special wires last longer when its twisted and flexed. Yes, there are interesting angles on even the most mundane subjects, angles that somebody really wants to know about. Those people will take you real, real seriously if you can legitimately demonstrate in the media that you understand these problems. Each of those narrow subjects represents a marketing niche that you can capitalize on. There are people who will pay a lot more money for soft toilet paper. There are people who need wire that exceeds the norm by 150%, and all those niches represent an opportunity for you to be a big fish in a little pond by talking about those special problems and how they can be cleverly and creatively solved. If you and your company bring a special angle to some narrow category, as most high tech companies do, you can become a leading recognized expert on that subject in a fairly short period of time. You just need to publish and publicize like a madman. You need to do more of this than your competitors do. Beat Your Competitors to the Punch Many times your competitors are not even doing it at all. But if theres any place for creativity in marketing, its right here: finding angles on your solutions that create interesting stories and applications. Sales people intuitively collect stories like this. The guy who sells dull grey telephone wire tells you about the customer who spent a little more money to get the premium quality version and cut defects by 5% and saved $300,000 per year in warranty returns. The shrewd marketer takes it a step further she interviews the customer and puts it in writing, with the whole story of how this new technology saved the day for the ACME company. She engages thousands of readers by explaining how and why its possible to produce such miraculous results with her unique process. Magazine editors, especially in trade journals, crave stuff like this. Every day they wake up in the morning thinking OK, how am I going to fill my magazine with interesting stuff this month? Normally their budgets are thin and they cant afford to have a platoon of reporters scouring the industry for interesting angles. No, theyre dependent on vendors to help them find interesting content. Infomercials vs. Real Content Now lets get something straight here: Im not talking about thinly disguised infomercials that do little more than tell readers how great your product is. Editors hate that stuff, and the good ones run from it like the plague. No, Im talking about interesting, informative material that really helps people solve problems and stimulates the customers thinking process. Writing magazine articles is not very hard. They dont have to be long; usually 1-3 pages is plenty. And even if it seems like a lot of trouble to do this, it always pays off in the long run. First, its more believable than advertising, because its editorial content. That should be reason enough. Second, you can use it for a long, long time. You can get copies of the magazine and show them to customers as a credibility builder. You can reprint them as white

papers. You can use the same material in your own literature, and my system discusses many more ways that you can re-cycle the information and use it for other things. Remember: If you go see somebody and talk to them, they forget 90% of what you say within 24 hours. If you write something down, it stays written down as long as someone has the piece of paper. It can be sent to 100 or 100,000 people. Writing takes extra effort but its permanent. And you cant have a marketing system that runs on autopilot unless you get your true sales story down in writing. The Esteemed Published Author Its even better to write a book. If you write a book, then whether the book sells or not, youre always The Guy Who Wrote The Book On ________. Everyone in your field will always recognize you as an expert. Actually youll be amazed at how much more customers believe what you have to say. Ive experienced this myself. Since Ive done this Ive rarely found myself in front of a skeptical customer whose arms are crossed and who looks like he was weaned on a pickle. Instead, he asks me how he should approach the problems that Ive written about and he takes what I say seriously. It gives me such a consistent advantage over my competitors that I can hardly imagine living without it. I know what youre thinking: I cant write a book. Im not an author. I hate to write. Heck, if I try to become a published author, my high school English teacher will send me suicide notes. Thats OK; you might be a terrible writer. But I dont really care. Quite frankly Id like to say, OK, fine, then let somebody else get famous, and you can keep making cold calls, knocking on doors, climbing over barbed wire fences, ignoring no solicitors signs, sneaking past gatekeepers and annoying otherwise promising customers. But please realize: you do NOT have to be a writer to do this. You can record yourself talking to a customer on tape and have your secretary transcribe it. You can hire somebody to write it for you. You can write it in your own sloppy, terrible English and pay somebody else to fix it later. You can appoint somebody to be your marketing and publishing person. You can occasionally outsource this to others; Many of my own consulting clients have come to me for this service. It doesnt really matter how you get it written, just do it. By the way, my system refers you to some excellent speedwriting resources, including a powerful program called How to Write a Book on Anything in 14 Days or Less. This is a technology that I personally use every day, and its not an exaggeration. If you know a subject well then you really can write an entire book about it in 14 days or less. Charging for Something Others are Doing for Free Heres another tip: Give seminars on your subject of expertise. And you should consider charging good money for them, not just doing them for free. I was the first in my niche to do this on a grand scale, charging $1500 for a seminar that some vendors were attempting to give for free. Not only did we make a lot more money that way, we got a lot more respect as well. Fortune 500 companies paid us to teach them how to use our products. People respect what they pay for. Seminars are another way to package your knowledge and build your credibility. The process also helps you organize your knowledge so that its more effective in every other venue. My full marketing system explains in detail and with multiple examples how this is done. I used this exact publishing and publicity approach to catapult a tiny company with less than 20 employees to national prominence in its industry with over 100 pages of free press in a single year. This company was very small, with a pittance of an advertising budget and very thin resources, yet we got pictures of our products on the cover of three magazines and stories inside nearly two dozen others. How was this possible? The answer is in the last principle:

21. If you sell a product or service, you should lead with information about solving problems, not information about the product or service itself. Its an old clich, but it bears repeating: Nobody who bought a drill wanted a drill. They wanted a hole. What this means for you is that instead of providing information about drills, you should deliver information about making holes. Youll get a LOT more sales leads with fewer literature collectors and build more rapport with prospective customers that way. This is Huge! This is NOT an afterthought. It is an entire shift in strategic direction that has created fantastically effective results for me, my clients, and my students. As in thousands of potential customers calling, sending emails, asking you for information. And you should incorporate this into everything you do, from your sales collateral to the presentations your sales people make, to seminars and white papers, to advertisements and press releases. Ive fine-tuned this to the point where results are 100-1000% better than most marketing initiatives. What if you got 5 to 10 times as many sales leads as you do now? How would that change your revenue forecast for this year? If you diligently apply this principle, you will get phenomenal results. This is absolutely one of the most important concepts in the entire system. Fundamentally you accomplish this by capturing your collective knowledge and expertise, and publishing this knowledge like crazy. You can find an audience for this information through every kind of media that exists, and the results are nothing less than amazing. People constantly ask me how I do this. They marvel at my ability to produce tons of sales leads, but its no secret once you use a true marketing system. In my consulting work I tackle many kinds of assignments, from the Total Tactical Review in which I analyze the clients' sales process from ship to stern, to copywriting, ghost writing of articles and white papers, newsletters and direct mail campaigns. Most commonly we walk step by step and build their marketing system from the bottom up, sharing the work at every step in the spirit of an apprenticeship. After have a true marketing system working for you, itll be like your microwave oven, your automobile or email: youll wonder how you ever survived without it. It changed my life, and it can change yours. Dont spend another day doing sales the old fashioned, obsolete way. You can transform your business with powerful marketing and lead generation systems that work for you round the clock and deliver dramatic results every single day. Thank you for reading, and I wish you the very best of success! For an Audio CD version of this book and Perry Marshalls special report 9 Great Lies of Sales & Marketing email system@perrymarshall.com or call (888)231-9716.
Perry S. Marshall & Associates 1508 Ridgeland Avenue Chicago, IL 60402 USA Phone +1(708)788-4461 Fax (708)788-4599 www.perrymarshall.com info@perrymarshall.com