Eben Pagan on direct response marketing
There are a couple of philosophical approaches to marketing. One of them, is to try and get as many people in the world to know who you are, thinking that if more people know who you are, then they’re just going to automatically decide to come and buy your stuff. Another approach is to actually take responsibility for connecting with someone who’s potentially a prospective client, convincing them to make the decision to buy your stuff, and then actually following it all the way through, until the trade you their money for the value that you offer.
That responsibility is the mindset behind direct response marketing. Direct response marketing, is marketing that demands a response. In other words, at the end of the marketing piece, it asks the customer to take action, it asks them to actually buy the thing. It doesn’t just say, “Here’s the name of our company. Come give us some money some day, if you’d like.”
The reason why I think people avoid direct response marketing is because they avoid the thing that they would have needed to learn to be good at direct response marketing, which is sales. The reason that they avoid sales is because they avoid something that would lead to sales success, and that is the ability to ask people to do things and accept that they may say no, and accept that they may actually reject you.
There’s kind of an unconscious human assumptions that, if I’m rejected by another person, that’s the biggest sin that can happen. I think it goes back to our primitive wiring, where if we were rejected by the group, 100,000 years ago, we would die. We couldn’t survive on our own. So, we’re really sensitive to rejection. There’s some research that shows that rejection is processed in the brain in the same way that physical pain is processed. So, it actually triggers the same part of the brain that triggers physical pain. So, when you put all this together, you realize, “Oh, we don’t ask people to do things directly, because we don’t want to be rejected. We don’t go into sales because we never want to ask people to do things…and we don’t go into marketing because we never learned how to do sales.”
So, if you really want to go upstream, it’s important to start working on your self-esteem, learn how to ask people to do things, learn how to be persuasive, and learn how to speak to groups. Overcome these primitive fears that just come up and block you. Realize that a lot of these beliefs around asking people to do things, selling, and marketing are just beliefs that were inherited from culture and from other people, but they’re not real.
If you go out and market or sell professionally, what you learn is that professional marketing/sales is about asking the other person questions in a way that you really understand what their needs are, to the point where you might even understand their needs better than them. Once you understand their needs, then you offer them solutions that meet their needs. It’s not about trying to talk people into buying what your selling. That changes the whole story. It changes the whole game.
For the full episode, check out The one with Eben Pagan.