Episode #8

The one where Joe just got back from Necker Island

Episode 008:

  • Joe shares tales from Richard Branson’s Necker Island
  • Dean talks about a better way to look at your marketing budget
  • How to create “self-funding-money-wells”
  • PLUS: Another round of Yellow Pages Roulette!

Dean: Everybody, it’s Dean Jackson and Joe Polish. How’s everyone doing? More specifically how are you doing, the one individual listener because we only have one person that listens to the iLoveMarketing podcast and so we’re talking to you.

Joe: I think we have, like, 200,000 or something at this point because you know, it’s getting really, really big. So we want to thank everyone that is listening and supporting us and posting positive comments because someone would literally I honestly would have to be brain dead to not listen to what it is we’re sharing on these podcasts and not be able to convert it into some sort of money. I mean, the only people that could possibly be unhappy with the advice we’re giving on I Love Marketing are people that simply are not going to do anything. Or they just have an aversion to marketing for some bizarre reason like missing, you know, the ability to think or I don’t know what it could be, but we’re here, and we are ready to go.

So, Dean, you know I just got back from a weeklong trip at Necker Island. It was my third trip to Richard Branson’s private island. I am still currently the largest fundraiser, individual fundraiser in the world for his foundation, Virgin Unite, and I brought up a whole bunch of cool people there, and I will have to give a bit shout out to Yanik Silver who, me and him did this trip together. And we sat down and did an interview with Richard on business and, you know, talked a lot about marketing and business building and, you know, various things and I included Yanik Silver and Marie Folio with me on that interview. So it’s the three of us asking Richard some questions, and we’re going to post some of the videos that I shot at Necker Island on the ilovemarketing.com website. So those of you that have iTunes and listen to this podcast, we recommend you actually go to the site because – well, why should they go there, Dean? I mean you know, we’re going to have – we already have videos up the…

Dean: You know, that’s the thing. I love iTunes, it’s so easy to just download right to your iPhone or your iPod to listen on the go, but when you go to ilovemarketing.com, there’s all kinds of cool stuff there that don’t make it onto the podcasts. So we’ve got a couple of – all these last few episodes we’ve been talking about converting the leads, and I put up two videos about lead conversion. One of our episodes we talked about the conversation matrix where we talked about prospects that are now and prospects that are later and prospects who are going to buy and prospects who are not going to buy. And we talked about putting all of, your you know, the winning move is to put most of your chips on the quadrant that is prospects who are going to buy later. That’s the one that is the surest money maker.

So I said I would put up a picture of that graphic, but I went one step beyond that. I put up a couple of videos where I talk all about that whole concept and go a little bit deeper in it. So that’s on the website right now at ilovemarketing.com, plus a lot of times, people don’t realize, we have the transcripts of every episode. So you can get a word for word transcript, it’s about 28 or 30 pages every week, of every word that we say on the I Love Marketing podcast. So if you want to take any notes, you can get the word for, word and highlight your notes. So there’s lots of good stuff. So if you’re listening on iTunes head on over to ilovemarketing.com and get all that cool stuff.

Joe: Yes, exactly, and if they’re highlighting the transcripts, I wonder if they’re highlighting more of me or you.

Dean: That would be very interesting.

Joe: What I want to share, like, we were doing the last episode, we were talking about basically, what did you call it, Yellow Page Roulette?

Dean: Yellow Pages Roulette, JR called it Yellow Pages Roulette, actually.

Joe: Yes, where Dean just, you know, he picked up a phone book that he had just gotten delivered to him and we picked a random company and just started talking about that industry, that business.

Dean: Yes. I’ve got it right here, and I want to do that again, but I want to hear about your best insights from your trip to Necker.

Joe: The best insights that I got are that whatever – I mean, this may not sound like, you know, specific business strategy. But the people that came on this trip they all paid $40,000 a person and that money goes to cover the island and, you know, cover basically putting the thing on. It’s not an inexpensive island to rent. We rent the entire island, and we’re there with, you know, 20-something attendees and then our staff and a couple of people to shoot video and assist. And so we have the entire island, and you know, we had it for a week this time.

And Richard was with us pretty much every day, you know, lunch and dinner most days including three private brainstorm sessions that we had. And you know, going out on boats and various things like that and it was kind of interesting too because Richard had, you know, a couple of months ago got in a skiing accident and hurt his leg, so he was sort of, you know, kind of hobbling around at times but he still swam every day. And I even brought a guy who was a former, you know, Lance Armstrong’s former chiropractor who was on all the tours with him, Geoff Spencer, on the trip and he actually, you know, was there to assist Richard and any of the attendees, so it was really cool. And one of the biggest insights was, you know, people think spending $40,000 is a lot of money, and it is. It certainly is a lot of money and most people, you know, would have a lot of – even if they’re very wealthy, that’s not something that you know, just don’t think about.

It’s an expense. But every single person that completely removed themselves from their day to day business and went to this island and hung out, the bonding was absolutely incredible.   The sharing was absolutely incredible and because people make that investment in themselves they really got a lot out of it. I mean, everyone on the trip was ecstatic. I mean, every single person was ecstatic. 70 percent, which is not – the amount of people, we’re talking 20–‐something people, but at least 16 to 17 of the people said, you know, I want to do this next year again. I mean, we already got the trip, you know, pretty much 70 percent sold if we decide to do another trip to Necker or do it to another location. And so one of the biggest insights I got is just how valuable it is to remove yourself from your business and do something completely out your normal day to day and how important it is to go and hang out with other entrepreneurs and talk about business. Especially with people that will put their own money on the line because there’s this lovely saying which is, if people don’t pay, they don’t pay attention. That’s one of the challenges even with me and you giving out all of the advice that we give on the I Love Marketing podcast.

There’s been several comments and a lot of people that listen to this podcast tell me that the advice that you and Dean are giving on this podcast is better than most marketing programs and seminars that we’ve ever paid for, and that’s exactly what me and you said before we even started this. We said, you know, let’s share things that are better than what most people that are “marketing gurus” coach people money for and that’s what we’ve done. So there’s always a danger in that. If people don’t pay for it, you know, they don’t like it, well, should I do something and then they kind of slip into, you know, listening for entertainment value, which is fine. But we’d also like people to take action, and there’s been a couple of comments from people, predominantly everyone that – and we’ve been reading them, you know, at the beginning of our podcasts here, we read the stuff, and we respond, and I thank people.

And I do all that, and I want to do that as much as I can, although both of us are really busy people, we really care about what people’s feedback are, and it’s interesting that whenever there’s negative comments. They’re never comments, there’ll be things like, well, why don’t you guys get a better mic or you know, you could have said what you said in 30 minutes instead of an hour. Instead of saying, hey, I actually took the strategy you talked about, and I did it. And I ended up making, $10,000 or something that cost me, you know, $900 to implement, or you know, I tried this thing that cost me five bucks, and I made a $20,000 sale. You know, I mean, those are real critiques of the value of this, it’s like actually testing and using the ideas, not trying to critique, like, if you like our advice or not. Test it and then tell us how much you like it.

So it’s kind of a way of saying that if people don’t pay, they don’t pay attention and so one of the biggest insights I got out of the Necker trip was just how much value people got because of the investment they made. It almost seems like the more commitment that people make into their own learning the more they get out of it. I mean, the real education in life starts as an adult, I think. You know, I mean, it starts obviously the day you’re born but the school that you create for yourself, your own investment I think is huge. And beyond that, I shot a bunch of videos that have marketing tips and advice and we’re going to put some of them up on I Love Marketing, so I won’t talk about all that stuff here. But one of the biggest things was Richard said that his life became simpler the more businesses that he actually added to his plate because he said when we only had only one business he would always meddle with it more. You know, he’d go to the office more, and now he delegates pretty much everything, and he says that the biggest grow thing for him was that he would work really hard to find the very best people to run his company.

Not work his company because he does have that, Richard has 50,000 employees, you know, throughout the 300 Virgin companies, but he said people that can actually run the company and Richard literally does not spend the time working on it. He was with us at lunch and dinner every day, swimming. He swims an hour and a half to two hours a day, and Tim Ferriss wrote about a conversation I had with him at the last trip in Tim’s book, The 4-Hour Body, where I asked Richard about productivity, and Richard said, you know, workout is the best way to become more productive. And I asked him on video because I wanted to get a video for Tim Ferriss about that conversation we had at the last trip and he said, by working out, by exercising, it makes it twice as productive. And coming from a guy like Richard Branson, if you could think of one strategy that would make you twice as productive, exercise, I think that’s a good tip.

So there’s my point for that. Delegate and set it up so that other things run for you. So what does that have to do with I Love Marketing? Since me and Dean talk about Direct Response Marketing and both of us believe that marketing is the ultimate leverage, you can literally set up auto‐pilot marketing systems for you that don’t require a human being to do the selling for you because good marketing does your selling in advance and the ultimate leverage as it relates to marketing is delegate your marketing efforts to a sales letter, to a website, to a system, to a mechanism, very much similar, you know – once I wrote a consumer awareness guide for carpet cleaners. All of a sudden the communication was written. At that point, I didn’t have to go out and teach a live salesperson or someone on the phone to say that same information over and over again to process. We simply had them listen to a 24 hour free recorded message, watch a video, read the consumer guide. So it’s another form of delegating your sales efforts to a system instead of a human being.

Dean: It’s probably the first step that everyone should take, and that’s the easiest thing, to start replacing yourself from the equation first.

Joe: Totally, totally and…

Dean: I remember thinking, I mean I talked about it on one of our episodes about the freedom that sending those direct response postcards offering the free book for first time home buyers. When the contrast between making the 100 cold calls a day versus sending a thousand or 1500 postcards and getting, you know, a huge response, getting a week’s worth of A prospects that the time that that bought was just incredible, the freedom. I mean, I still get giddy when I think about it because I knew that moment that I would never have to cold call again, no.

Joe: Yes, exactly. It is truly a beautiful feeling because it gives you read confidence. You now realize that, wow, I have actually figured something out. It’s like discovering a new method of simplifying – when things were difficult and all of a sudden you see, wow, this is going to free me up, and I think I was liberated tremendously a direct response marketing, where I realized the power of words.

Dean: And the thing is too that a lot of times people look at the expense of doing a big monthly spend on marketing. They look at that as a budget amount and say, you know, that’s a lot of money. But the reality is, if you’re investing in a direct response system, all you really need to think about, all you really need to pay attention to is how long does it take you to recapture that money? You know, I was talking with one of our realtor clients who was doing our Getting Listings program and mailing 9,000 postcards and when he started thinking about the cost of that, you know, he was doing the math on how much that would cost to do for a year. So you start mailing out 9,000 postcards times 12, that’s, you know, 100,000 postcards or more, and you start thinking, you do that math and you think that’s a lot of money.

But the reality is you only have to have the mail the first few times because by the time you get to the third month, which is exactly what’s happened with Chuck, mailed in December, mailed in January, mailed in February and he’s already had four listings that have sold. He’s gotten the listings and sold them from the first mailing to the third mailing. So by the time the one closes next week he’ll have already a big return on the investment that he’s spent so far, but what’s even more important is now that is an oil well versus a hamster wheel that is going to continue to self-perpetuate now. It’s like you’re playing with the money that this system has generated to refund, you know, to continue, it’s starting to fund itself again and again.

So it’s amazing the leverage you can get when you start thinking about instead of limiting yourself to a monthly budget. You start thinking about in terms of seed money. You know, how much money do you have to get something going and always take that money then and re-invest it, you know, and starting another oil well. Once you get something to the point where it’s running again and again and again and generating a great result, the money is self–‐generating. I mean, you took your business from, what was it $2,100 a month to $12,000 a month in less than five months?

Joe: In six months, yes.

Dean: In six months you took your carpet cleaning business, but when you think about that, what was your best regenerator for your consumer guide, where did you advertise it that got the best results?

Joe: A carpet retailer joint venture was the best jobs that I got. There was a company, a carpet retailer in Ahwatukee, you know, it’s part of Phoenix, and we used to pass them out there. I used to have them passed out at dry cleaners, but I also used to run like a Value-Pack type money mailer ads where people would call and request a consumer awareness guide. And I would run, you know, the very best ways were running free recorded messages in the Yellow Pages at the time because there was no internet when I was first doing this. And mailing out postcards that had a free recorded message and a request for a consumer awareness guide and I even ran some newspaper ads.

Dean: Yes, and the great thing is when you run those ads you start thinking about, like I was advertising the guide to [Halton Hills] I ran, there was a publication that was Homes and Condos. I think the publication was called but it was a Greater Toronto real estate publication, and I could run a full page in that publication. It was about three or $400 I think at the time, and you know, so you start thinking that okay, well, to do that, your mind automatically tends to think in terms of how much it’s going to cost you all year, right? So I was thinking, you know, $400 a month times 12, that’s $5,000. That’s the way you start to automatically think about it, but the trust is that before the second ad came out, you know, it was a monthly publication.

So before the second ad came out I had already done a transaction from the first – I’d actually done two transactions from the first ad that didn’t close yet but had already gotten them. And by the time the third publication came out I’d already closed those, so you’re paying for the advertising from the money that it’s already generated, you know.

Joe: Yes, exactly. I mean, when I first ran a – I shouldn’t even say first, because I think I was dumb and kept listening to the advertising people. I’d run the same ad, and they were like, well, the reason that your ad’s not working is people haven’t seen your name enough, and you need to keep running it over and over again in order to get name recognition. And I used to buy into that erroneous belief that, you know, people need to see your name before something starts working as if Mrs Jones is sitting there with her calendar, every time you’re spending money on an ad. Well, you know, as soon as I see that carpet cleaner’s name five more times then I’m going to call them because then he’s trustworthy, and people actually believe that nonsense and I actually believed that.

But I remember I ran a Value Pack coupon and it cost me 350 bucks to have it distributed to a zip code area of 10,000 homes that were, you know, clients in those areas that I wanted, that were nice homes. And I ended up literally getting like three calls and one job and the job was like, 80 bucks and I was like, god, this sucks, it didn’t even pay for the ad. And then when I learned marketing a few months later after getting the consumer awareness guide written and created and running a coupon for a request for a consumer awareness guide I got something like 77 calls off the same area. And the only difference was the offer, you know, and I mean, I ended up making several thousand dollars from the business that I got as a result of that. But it was the same space, just like we talked about last week, you know, advertising space online on the internet and in print is like real estate.

I mean, you can buy an acre lot on what you can put a beat-up trailer on it, you can let it get grown over with weeds. Or you can build a beautiful home and put something there that just makes that real estate really go up in value and the way to start looking at all of your advertising is real estate. What are you going to build there? And if you build a crappy ad and a crappy message and it’s not compelling, it’s not going to do what putting something really nice on there. And something really effective is going to do, and that’s where the copy – the copy is the equivalent of the beautiful building that you would put on an empty lot when you use it for advertising. It’s the offer; it’s the words, it’s the calls to action, it’s the reasons why the testimonials – it’s all of the things that drive the attention of the ideal prospects. And you know don’t speak to the ones that aren’t your – you know, just like on property, you want to put a fence up to keep people out that you don’t want coming in and…

Joe: I like that. Let me just put this to you. The last talk we were doing, we were talking about different industries and stuff, and we ran out of time, and I wanted to share something that had come the day before, that particular call – let me back up. A couple of days before we get an email sent into Gina in my office from a guy who’s literally utilizing what it is we’re sharing with everyone on I Love Marketing. So he sends in an email to Gina that says, we started our ad campaign this morning around the 24-hour message deal. We sell wood shutters and window coverings. I designed a whole shutter program around this method, including a good consumer guide. So far our cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap black and white ad has resulted in 24 calls in just half a day. I’m running a full-color ad in the community section of the A–‐Z Republic, or Arizona Republic, as I have for the last three months. It runs three times a week, and in all that time I haven’t come close to that response. The color ad costs me $690 a week. The black and white costs only 225. This is incredible, and this is only our first run. Wait until we improve. Please call me. I’d love to discuss with you over the phone. And he had sent this to Gina.

Now, what I wanted to point out is that he was running an ad that cost $690 a week. He went to a black and white ad that cost $225 and then had resulted in 24 calls in just half a day. He ended up sending out literally this email, you know, halfway through the day because he was so ecstatic that he had already received 24 calls. So Gina writes back a message, you know, Gerry, great talking with you today. I forgot to ask, can I use the email below as a testimonial based on our – blah, blah, blah. She sent him some stuff, and she had a good conversation with him, and so he writes back to her, that’s not a testimonial. Here’s a testimonial. I purchased the Piranha Marketing Program about four weeks ago. I’m involved in two Mastermind groups, and a couple of the members knew how hard I worked on my marketing. They recommended Joe Polish’s program to me. I took a look, and I saw what the cost was. It was two to $300, not a whole lot seen as I was pissing away 50,000 a year on marketing that was not giving me the return I knew it should.

We’ve been in business for 17 years now. The first 14 years I advertised myself into bankruptcy. I was the smartest guy I knew when it came to advertising. I knew there were smarter people. I just hadn’t met them. The people who sell advertising don’t know jack. They don’t understand how to get noticed. It’s all textbook advice. You have to advertise with us for several weeks to   get noticed. Bull. It’s about the offer. Bull again. You need to brand yourself. What? I’m not Nike or McDonald’s. I’m a small business. What’s this nonsense about branding yourself. I need results. I don’t have money to burn, and I don’t have money to experiment. Okay, I’ll cut to the chase here. The name of our company is Blind Devotion. We match blind people to ugly people – just kidding. We sell blinds and shutters.

Joe’s first technique, the 24 hour free recorded message is what we are trying first. I’m using this with shutters because it’s the best product to have the greatest impact. We are advertising in the Arizona Republic. The ad is costing me $225 a week, and it goes valley‐wide. It’s black and white, and it just gives a consumer alert about shutters. We invite people to call our 24 hour free recorded message. I hope I’m not giving away too much here, Joe. Let me tell you the impact. This is the first day of this ad running. We received over 40 calls. No bull. Over 40 calls in one day from one small cheap black and white ad. We do have to adjust some things, but we are blown away at the response. There is no offer in the ad. Just an invitation to get information. It’s insane.

Now, I want to tell you we are also running what I thought to be one of our best ads ever. It’s a four-color half-page ad that shows beautiful color photos, and the ad gives an offer. Our response? Well, let me ask you, how many fingers do you have on one hand? That’s right, less than five a week for a $690 ad. Okay, do the math. You can run a $690 ad and get five calls, or you can run an $225 ad to get 40 calls in one day, and the count is still on. I’m so excited to get more involved and put more of Joe’s techniques to work, and the great thing is my competitors are too damn lazy to do the work it takes to put these programs to work. I know this is a testimonial letter, so I want to say to whoever reads this, good luck. And that’s Jerry Levison from Blind Devotion. So here’s the point, you know, if you just break down what he said obviously it’s great because this is exactly what we are teaching on I Love Marketing. And you know, I mean, it’s the difference between a non‐threatening sort of call, this 24 hour free recorded message and no phone call fear, people can do it, and it’s running in the newspaper. You know, this is traditional advertising with very effective methodologies and the time difference was about seven hours between the first email and the second email. I’m going to have Gina follow up with him this week and see how much money he’s made, and I’ll keep people posted.

Dean: That’s the kind of thing that using just the simplest of things. You know, we talked about the stem cells of marketing strategy, using the free recorded message and using a little consumer awareness guide. I mean, these are the tools, but you don’t have to go completely overboard. I mean, these are simple, simple things that you can literally put them together pretty quickly. I wanted to talk a little bit about this idea of preparing that consumer awareness guide because a lot of times people might see that as an obstacle of how, what are we going to put in it and how do we put that together. And one of the easiest things is to start thinking about the kinds of questions that people are going to have about whatever it is that you offer. The kinds of questions that they should have about what you’re putting together and have somebody just interview you or explain them to somebody and record that and get that transcribed.

I mean, a lot of people are more comfortable talking than they are writing, you know. They get a block when they start thinking, well, I’ve got to write a consumer awareness guide. But if you really start thinking about it, everybody would be more than happy to answer somebody’s questions, you know, if you had a conversation about them and it’s a pretty easy formula for putting something like that together.

Joe: Totally. I mean, what you just said everyone should really just pause here and think about this because I’m going to reiterate it, it is so critical. I mean, one of the very best ways to get copy down is to just talk it and if you – Gary Albert, one of the things that he would always say. I remember years ago he wrote a newsletter about the Chevy campaign, the Heartbeat of America, which was – god, how long ago was that? You know, 20 years ago or something.

Dean: Right.

Joe: And he said during that year they had their lowest sales, you know, in like decades in terms of profitability of the company but they had won a big advertising award for the best campaign for Today’s Chevrolet, Heartbeat of America. And he said the smart thing, if they really wanted to sell more cars is they would find the top 10 salespeople in the country that were selling Chevys. And they would go and literally ask these people, what do you do to sell cars and you would record everything that these people are saying, and you would replicate it. You would write sales letters; you would teach the other salespeople to say what it is they say but instead, you know, they get all these advertising awards because some ad agency comes up with some slogan that happens to win an award during their worst sales in decades.

And what Gary would always say is that capture yourself a concert pitch, you know, record it, get it transcribed and then get out a highlighter and then just highlight everything that is powerful copy, that just speaks to what your prospect needs to hear, what their objections are, what their misconceptions are, what their fears are. In very much the same way that’s how I’ve written probably half the copy that I’ve come up with, is all just talk and what you said is have someone interview you. It’s a great way to do it. You know, just come up with a list of questions.

Dean: Yes, write down the questions and have them interview you, yes

Joe: And next time you’re talking to one of your prospects, I mean, most people if they just got out a yellow pad and thought what are the five big objections that you get the most. What are the top five questions that you have, what are people’s biggest concerns, what do they hate the most about your industry or people in your industry? I mean, when I’ve taught my carpet cleaners, it’s like, ask your prospects, what do they hate about service businesses is that they give them these large windows of time that they show up. And people are expected to stay sitting around their house all day waiting, you know, between 8 in the morning till 6 pm at night for someone to show up. I mean, what is this? And address all of that in a consumer guide, you know. Is it fear, misunderstanding about how something works, what their expectations are and yes, I mean, all of the things that you need in order to create education-based marketing is already rolling around in your head. You just need to pull it out of your head and put it into an organized form and distribute it. Can and close.

Dean: Really the most important part of that, though, and I want to make sure that we don’t gloss over that, is that when you’re putting together your consumer awareness guide or your education guide or your booklet or any kind of marketing piece like that. You’ve got to think about what is the next step that somebody should take and make it easy for them to take that next step because so often, you know, all of this is about carefully crafting and engineering the path that somebody’s going to take from you not knowing who they are. Not knowing that they’re a prospect for whatever it is that you offer, to using a consumer awareness offer and a free recorded message to have them raise their hand and identify themselves to you. And now this next step, sending them your guide and sending them the letter that goes along with it, the only purpose of that is to get them to take the next step, and you’ve got to carefully engineer that.

You’ve got to know what is it that’s going to be the easiest thing that somebody can do next because so often the mistake that people make when they start doing direct responses. They come up with a great report, they come up with a great headline, and they run a direct response ad. And they send out a bunch of reports of a consumer awareness guide, and then nothing happens. And it’s because they did a great job of educating people, but they didn’t offer people, the next step. They didn’t have a crystal clear next step that they wanted somebody to take. So you’ve got to think like a chess master. You’ve got to think two or three moves ahead knowing that the only purpose of that ad is to get them to call and listen to the free recorded message and the only purpose of the free recorded message is to get them to leave their contact information so that you can send them your consumer awareness guide. And then just like that, the only purpose of that consumer awareness guide is, it’s a delivery device to send what you promised them but also to make them an offer that’s going to compel them to take that next step.

Joe: Exactly. Can I point out something too? When I was learning this marketing, I used to buy chemicals and equipment from a supplier that was not too far from where I lived, you know, there’s a company in Tempe. So at the time, I lived in Chandler, Arizona when I actually had my carpet cleaning business but Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix, they’re all kind of all glopped together in the Phoenix area. And I just, you know, had learned direct response and I was using consumer awareness guides, and I had free recorded messages, and I had not yet become a, quote-unquote, adviser to the cleaning industry.

I was just, you know, building my cleaning company and this one company that I bought stuff from, they sold different types of pre-sprays and equipment, and carpet wands and carpet groomers and things for carpet cleaners and they would send out a catalogue every month, a paper catalogue. I said, you know, I go, think about the catalogue mentality. You know, it’s one of the reasons why, you know, the Sears catalogue and everything cease to exist anymore, but basically they were – remember the days when the companies used to send big giant catalogues out to people? Yes, I love those things. I love looking at the old ones from the 1800s and stuff, but…

Dean: Like the Sears catalogues, yes.

Joe: Yes, I think it’s fantastic, and so what I told this person that ran this company, I said, you know, I go, if you could imagine someone having their attention devoted to many specific things in a catalogue. So say for instance a catalogue has 100 items listed in it and in that catalogue, let’s say the catalogue is, you know, 50 pages and there’s two items per page. Well, you know, you’re literally – so there’s 100 different things that are featured in that catalogue. Well, if the person has 100 percent of time then you’re literally giving them one percent of their attention per item. I go, but if you really want to increase your sales from catalogues include a cover letter. And on the cover letter point out a couple of things specifically that you would really be happy if people were to buy, things that are either making the most money or the most useful for your clients. And something that you got extra inventory on that you want to sell more of, you know, because you have all these different things you can sell in a catalogue.

So I wrote, a literally wrote a cover letter for the guy that was selling the chemicals and equipment in the carpet cleaning industry, and he sent it out with his catalogue that he’d been mailing every single month for, you know, at least a month that I’d been buying stuff from him. And he ended up doing an additional $30,000 in business as a result of mailing that catalogue with a cover letter highlighting four items that were in there that said, hey, by the way, you may notice in this we’ve got this particular item that we have featured on special, this thing is what you know. I mean, it just like dawned on me, like, wow, how important it is for that – so to your point. You have a consumer awareness guide. You have an educational booklet that explains your free recorded, whatever, it just educates people on how to do business with you, your industry, and there’s going to be a cover letter that makes an offer. In the case of carpet cleaners, it’s a free room of carpet cleaning and a carpet audit that’s coupled with the consumer awareness guide.

So they will send out a letter, and they will offer, you know, either call a free recorded message, visit a website, you know, there’s many different response mechanisms there that can be tested, but tick – you know, there needs to be an offer. And there needs to be a caller action, and if you just were to put a consumer awareness guide in an envelope and mail it, you don’t tell people what to do then you gave them a really valuable educational piece, and it still may result in business. But it certainly is not going to be anywhere near as effective if you don’t tell them what you would like them to do.

Dean: Right. Or offer them, you know. That goes back to what we were talking about with the idea of the cookies, you know, of sending them the catalogue and saying, you know, if you want anything to eat or drink there’s lots of stuff in the fridge versus offering them the cookie, you know.

Joe: Exactly and those of you that have forgotten that conversation, go back and listen to Dean explain the cookie analogy. As a matter of fact, I think it would be cool if everyone went…

Dean: Actually the videos that are on ilovemarketing.com right now, I talk all about the cookies on there too.

Joe: So Dean, in the time we have left, how would you like to – what do you think would be a really good takeaway we could give everyone?

Dean: Do you want to do another round of Yellow Pages Roulette?

Joe: Yes, I think that would be cool.

Dean: We need a theme song. And now it’s time for America’s favorite new game show; it’s taken the nation by storm, it’s Yellow Pages Roulette.

Joe: Wow, that was powerful. I mean, I don’t even think I can handle it.

Dean: You’re supposed to hum some tune or something.

Joe: I know. I’m tired now. I got back from Necker Island late last night, and I’m tired.

Dean: Wah, wah, wah.

Joe: I’m tired. I know, it’s a rough life.

Dean: I’m tired. I just got back from a week on Necker Island.

Joe: My brain still works, but humming is really – that’s asking a lot right now.

Dean: Can you at least pick a number 1 and 809?

Joe: Let’s do 424.

Dean: 424, not that page. I’m always so afraid that we’re going to come on the page that there is no way that marketing would ever work for and I think we did find it. Insurance.

Joe: We’re on insurance?

Dean: There’s plenty of…

Joe: Marketing doesn’t work for insurance. Should we pick another one?   

Dean: Marketing definitely works for insurance.

Joe: So that’s interesting. There’s lots of pages of insurance here, but it’s interesting that the one that I turned on to right here is Garland Insurance right here, locally owned and operated. All types of insurance, low down payment, instant quotes, easy monthly payments, auto, home, business, health, life, mobile homes. They do it all, and they’re open Saturdays 9 to 1.

Dean: Really?

Joe: And they speak Spanish.

Dean: That’s cool, and if someone doesn’t, you know, read anything but Spanish that’s the only part of the ad they can understand which will make them immediately go there.

Joe: Yes. So hit me. Let’s talk about, what would you do to apply the stuff we’ve been talking about to the insurance?

Dean: Knowing you you’re going to say let’s really think through who are your clients, what is it that – you’ll kind of break it down where…

Joe: And knowing you, you’re going to come up with headlines right away.

Dean: No, no, of course. I mean, immediately I’d scratch the whole ad and say, Warning, before you even think about buying insurance, call this 24 hour free recorded message and listen to, you know, how to avoid the three biggest mistakes people make when purchasing insurance. Call now. 24 hours a day. You know, something like that. Yes, I’m going to look at headlines, and that sort of stuff is where I would typically go or, you know, Visit this website at www.insurance buying mistakes and watch this seven-minute video that will change the way you think of buying insurance forever. But again, that’s not specifically a strategy – well, I mean, a strategy that covers everything. You know, part of it is like, so what would be the Dean Jackson methodology for thinking about this?

Joe: I think that there’s something. We’re kind of teasing each other about the method, but I think there’s something valuable in both the purchase. I mean, we’re talking about, you know, walking around with our chocolate and peanut butter, you know, but they’re really good together, they’re all parts of it. So your initial thought is you immediately start thinking of copy ideas and my initial thought is I start thinking about the individual target markets. That’s what I always start with. So if I were an insurance agent, you know, I’d start looking, you know, what types of insurance do we have here. You’ve got auto insurance, home, business, health, life, mobile homes. I’m just looking from this one ad here. So you start thinking who are the people who are going to buy this because under each of those target markets there are probably three or four sub-markets to do with that. You know, when you start thinking about auto insurance I’d start thinking about who are the people who are most likely to be buying auto insurance? I mean, you talk about the difference between selling and marketing a product that no one wants to buy, like carpet cleaning, versus a product that everyone has to buy, like auto insurance.

Dean: Yes.

Joe: What do you think the dynamic is, the difference there? I mean, what drives that?

Dean: Yes. I mean, there’s fear, there’s requirement, there’s the law.

Joe: Do you know, it’s interesting because you know when you look at the drivers for what’s going to make somebody make a decision about one insurance company versus another, you know, what are the potential motivators for that? I mean, so you’ve got people who have low income that are driving older used cars that just want the lowest cost bare minimum legally required insurance available. Then you’ve got on the other end of that spectrum; you’ve got maybe people who have luxury cars and maybe a collection of them who have maybe, you know, three or four luxury cars that they’re not concerned about the lowest cost for their auto insurance.

But what they’re really concerned about is that it’s going to be easy to get help if they ever need it. If they’re ever in an accident or anything ever goes wrong with the car, that somebody vandalizes it or something that they want to know that it’s easy to get a claim and that it’s going to be covered. Have you see what’s going on right now? I don’t know who; this is very interesting right now because there’s the series of commercials on TV right now about mayhem for auto insurance. Have you seen those?

Dean: No.

Joe: So there’s a guy, he’s always personified as mayhem, so they had one at Christmas where this guy was, you know, they’re just painting different situations where this guy is a Christmas tree, and he gets tied up on top of the roof. And his Christmas tree falls off the roof and makes another car go off into the bank and wrecks their car and they’re talking about how some auto insurance policies don’t cover you for mayhem like this, he’s saying, you know. Another one is where the car is in the garage, an older garage and it’s winter, and all of the snow is piling up on top of the roof of this old garage, and he’s saying how with every snowflake it just gets heavier and heavier, and the roof gets weaker and weaker. And all of a sudden the final snowfall comes, and it breaks the roof, and it all comes crumbling down on the car, and basically he’s saying, is your insurance covering you for all these things that you might not be covered for, you know?

Dean: That’s actually very clever.

Joe: It is very clever but here’s what they’re missing. I don’t know who those commercials are for.   

Dean: Well, there you go.

Joe: Isn’t that funny how they’re very clever and it is well done, you know, I don’t know whether it’s All State or it’s State Farm. I mean, certainly, when you look at that as a motivator, when you check who your audience is, there are people who are conscientious and are not concerned about getting the lowest price on their insurance. They’re concerned about getting the best coverage, the most comprehensive coverage, the least hassle if anything ever did go wrong, that they’re not going to get any surprises.

Dean: For me as an example, it is a bigger motivator for me when it comes to auto insurance, as an example, to know that I’m going to be with an agent that’s got his act together, that’s going to respond really well. And it is lower priced because I know for a fact I can get lower price on my insurance and get, you know, pretty much identical, “coverage”. But to me, that’s not the number one factor as to why I stay or go to who I go to and you know, those are the things that people need to overcome.

But going to your example there of not remembering the company, I remember back when I first started my marketing company. A couple of years into it, you know, I’d become good friends with Dan Kennedy and Dan Kennedy wrote a lot of sales letters and sales copy for me over the first nine years in my business, and he would have his signature speech that he would give when he would speak at marketing events. And he would survey the audience in these big stadium events about what is the battery with the pink bunny and the drum, and he would ask people to raise their hand. He would ask them to write it down or think of the name of the company, and 30 percent of the people would say Duracell. He’d say Duracell, and a third of the room would raise their hand, Duracell batteries, and he would then follow up and say that Energizer spent a billion dollars to get people to remember a pink bunny and a drum so you can go out and buy the wrong damn battery.

And the point is, if you’re going out and educating people or planting the seed about these episodes of how the roof is going to cave in and damage your car. If you don’t make it real clear to call you, specifically what is the call to action for them to do business with you, to know who you are. What you’re doing is a great public service for things for people to think about, but you may be just helping your competitors by doing that sort of marketing without making sure you’re known.

Joe: Yes, but picking a single message and really going with it like that is pretty powerful. I mean, they’re not trying to get all of it in the one commercial, you know.

Dean: Yes, yes.

Joe: I mean, people who’ve probably done the very – stuck to their guns is GEICO, right, with one phone call, 15 minutes could save you 15 percent on your car insurance. That whole message has built that company over years and years and years, you know, that they stick right to it. Now, that’s an excellent strategy too, if you can accommodate that audience, if you can accommodate the ones who want to get the lowest price, then it’s a great position to have if you can organize your whole company around it which is exactly what GEICO has done, you know. They have inbound telemarketing, that’s how that works. So it’s a lower cost system.

Dean: Say that again?

Joe: It’s a lower cost system to operate than, you know, a local agent who’s got their office here and you get their phone number, and you know them by name, and that’s what State Farm is all about, right? Like, they’re good neighbors. State Farm is there, and you see those commercials now, it’s like anything goes wrong, and all you have to do is, you know, sing the song, and they’re right there. All you have to do is call your State Farm agent, and they’re right there on the spot for you. And that’s what you were saying. Your idea is you want to have the confidence that if anything goes wrong, there’s going to be somebody that you can call right there, you know. You don’t have to take a number and go through this whole claim.

Dean: Exactly. You know, the thing I’ll say about GEICO too, you know, as an example, you’d be well served to watch your junk mail and where you’re getting pitches from certain companies over and over again. I mean, it was way more relevant, you know, 10 years ago when there was a lot more junk mail but today, you know, GEICO, they do a great job with consistent direct mail follow up and rest assured, they absolutely know their numbers. They know that stuff works, which is why, you know, if you keep getting mail from companies that are trying to sell you stuff. It doesn’t mean they can’t do a better job of targeting and being more specific, but the point is they wouldn’t keep mailing it to you if it wasn’t working and the numbers weren’t working for them.

So whenever you get a sales pitch, or you see an ad running over and over and over again, you might want to look at it as, you know, what is Swipe? What are they actually doing? What is making it work, because some of the best marketing can be learned just by seeing what is repeated on a frequent basis over and over again. I mean, I never look at junk mail as junk. I look at it sometimes as the best examples of advertising that are being personally delivered to me for free for me to really be aware of them.

Joe: Isn’t it great?

Dean: Yes, it’s awesome. I think people, for no other reason, you should get on direct mail lists, even if you get a PO box, if you don’t want it coming to your house. I mean, get yourself on the direct mail list so you can actually see what companies are doing a good job of, you know, doing direct mail and following up and where you’re getting pitches over and over again. I remember finally, I bought a Tempur‐Pedic mattress a few years ago and, I mean, man I just got hammered with every pitch under the sun, and I collected these Tempur-Pedic mailing pieces, and to this day I still get them. But it’s like I have at least nine years’ worth of Tempur-Pedic direct mail campaigns and pitches and when I first inquired they were sending me a multisequence campaign literally almost every 10 days. I mean, it was crazy. But you know, when you’re selling a multi…

Joe: I hate to leave now because of my Tempur‐Pedic bed. I can’t leave the house because of my Tempur‐Pedic bed. I mean, I’ve got them…

Dean: Do you really have one, do you? Or are you just trying to be funny?

Joe: No. I have two. I have one here, we’ve got the Tempur‐Pedic Celebrity and so that one here in Florida, and I’ve got one in Canada, and I even have one in – you slept on one at my house a couple of weeks ago, right here even in the guest room.

Dean: I didn’t realize that was a Tempur‐Pedic.

Joe: Yes.

Dean: That’s how brain – I wasn’t even – you know, that’s what’s funny about doing these podcasts with you. I mean, we’ve known each other again for over, like, what, 15 years or something and now I know what kind of mattresses you have, and I think we’re going to basically learn everything that you could ever know about another human being by talking about marketing and selling.

Joe: That’s true.

Dean: It’s ridiculous.

Joe: And what we fall prey to. What works on us, exactly.

Dean: Yes, exactly. So here’s what I think – because I think we’re almost at time, right?

Joe: Yes, we are, yes.

Dean: All right. So here’s the deal. Everyone that’s been listening, you know, I think if you haven’t done it already, if you haven’t put together a consumer awareness guide or a free report, start. Even if it means just getting one page of valuable information that you can share with prospects about your business, just start it. There’s an interesting book called One Small Step, and it’s about the Kaizen Method where tiny small improvements. And one of the things that they talk about that actually was a real example was a person that would not use the treadmill, they wouldn’t exercise, but they had a treadmill, so this person had instructed them to spend one minute standing on the treadmill. Don’t walk on the treadmill, don’t run on the treadmill. Just when you wake up, literally go there with a timer and stand on it for one minute and just do that for one minute for an entire week and what ends up happening is if you’re standing on it you start walking. You just start doing it. And the same thing with any of these marketing strategies.

I have a friend named Steven Pressfield who wrote a   book, The Legend of Bagger Vance, they made a movie about, he wrote another book called The War of Art. I mean all his books are fantastic, but he wrote a book called The War of Art about resistance, and Seth Godin loved that book. And you know, Seth Godin learned a lot from him, and you’ll see Seth write about resistance in a lot of his blog posts and stuff, but basically, he says the hardest thing for a writer is not the writing. It’s the sitting down to write that’s the hard part. So just taking that first step and just sitting down and doing it, we’d love to have you do that with our podcasts. You know, whatever idea, even if you just get one idea from each podcast, that you could just do something tiny with, when you add this up over a period of time. I mean, you’re going to have a lot of really great marketing methods and tactics and strategies and campaigns that will grow out of just taking one small step. So that’s kind of what I wanted to say.

Joe: You know, the biggest obstacle that people have is often getting themselves to focus, and that’s why one of the very first things that we put on the ilovemarketing.com website is the video of the 60-minute focus finder, of how to get yourself to focus on something for one period of time. And that might be a great place for people to start, because if you can’t get yourself to start, block off 50 minutes and watch that focus finder video and just get in the habit of creating the space for you to implement the ideas that you have.

Dean: Yes, exactly, great advice.

Joe: Have you ever watched the video? Go the ilovemarketing.com site and watch that video and it’s also something that I watch, that video, on a pretty frequent basis. I mean, that’s one video, Dean – it’s all Dean, it’s Dean sharing the best 50 minutes I’ve ever seen in my life for eliminating, overwhelm and how to prioritize and stuff, I’ve probably watched that video, you know, 10 times. It’s fantastic, and it takes a lot for me to watch something even more than once, so I’d recommend that especially an AD.

Dean: person like myself. But you will love marketing once you make money from it and, you know, that’s why we love marketing so much is because marketing does what other forms of learning don’t do all the time and as easily as it puts money in your pocket and…

Dean: That’s absolutely true.

Joe: You know what I mean, there’s a lot of stuff you can learn. You can listen to a lot of different podcasts right now, and I’m sure that some of them will be maybe more entertaining than this one, but this one, if you use the advice, will put money in your pocket and that’s why we’re doing it.

Dean: Welcome back.

Joe: Thank you.   

Dean: Have a good week.

Joe: You too and we will talk to everyone next time. Please leave us your comments and have a wonderful week, bye, bye.

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