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How To Double Your Sales With A Powerful Risk Reversal Guarantee

The concept of Risk Reversal is simple – but it requires some boldness.

It means that YOU, the businessperson looking to close a sale, should identify the various reasons a potential customer would hesitate to buy. You then think of little things you can do to overcome those reasons.

The Risk Reversal is like a Guarantee – but way more powerful.

It’s a “guarantee on steroids”. A “Godfather“ guarantee.

The kind a buyer cannot turn away from because the buyer has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Before we go there…let’s look at the Basic Guarantee that 90% of online and offline merchants usually have. Let’s label this Level 1 on the Scale of Guarantees.

Level 1 – The Standard Guarantee

A standard guarantee offers buyers a 30 day period to return the product for a full refund. This type of guarantee is required by law in many countries such as the UK, USA, EU.

It’s mediocre and your competition probably offers it too.

Truly successful businesses always go beyond a Level 1 guarantee.

Level 2 – The Extended Time Period Guarantee

A Level 2 guarantee will extend this 30 days period to 90 or more days.

Many sellers swear by the 90 day guarantee. By giving the customer a full 90 days to try your product you often lower the refund rate.

Here’s why:

Let’s say Mary buys a $90 set of aerobics DVDs from your online store with a 30 day guarantee. It takes 10 days to reach her. Mary now HAS to test the DVDs in the next 20 days to see if she likes them. But she finds herself too busy. All of a sudden she has 2 days left to return the product for a full refund. It’s still sitting on her shelf untouched – feeling the pressure, she returns it unopened.

But if Mary had been given more time to try out the product, there’s a good chance she would not have felt pressured and may have taken more time to test, play and fall in love with the product.

If you’re selling products online, you can often create significant increases in sales AND lower your refund rate just by extending your guarantee to 90 days.

But Level 2 is nowhere close to what a guarantee can do.

Now we step into the Zone of Risk Reversal.

A few years ago, a guy by the name of Nick got frustrated because he could never find the right kinds of shoes he liked in the local mall. Nick went home that day and got online hoping to browse through online shoe stores – but there were few of them set up at that time in 1999.

Nick wondered if he could establish his own online shoe store. The idea kept jumping around in his head and eventually he quit his day job and founded Zappos.com.

At first people told him he was crazy. Shoes are something you need to hold in your hand before buying. You need to try them on. Feel the leather. Have your spouse see them on you and let you know what they think. There were a multitude of reasons to NOT buy shoes online.

Yet Zappos thrived. In 2005, the 6 year old company did $370 million in shoe sales!

How?

Well let me tell you what gets most people hooked on Zappos. Sure, Zappos had a wider variety than a traditional shoe store. But it was Zappos Risk Reversal policy that really makes most prospects into loyal customers. Here’s the decision making process prospects go through before buying their first pay of Kenneth Coles on Zappos.

  • What if I don’t like that shade of brown? Can I return it? Zappos’ answer was yes.
  • If I try it on and find it won’t fit – can I return it and get another pair? Their answer: yes.
  • Will you pay for the shipping – and the cost of return shipping? Their answer was again: yes!
  • If I buy it and then randomly change my mind – can I still send it back and get my money Again – the answer was yes.
  • If I bought it and then found one for a cheaper price somewhere else, can I send it back? Again – yes.

They had an answer for every SINGLE doubt their prospects had. They were prepared to lose a few dollars or pounds  on return shipping because they were smart enough to understand that once their prospects bought the shoes – they would probably really like them and want to keep them. They knew their prices were good and they knew that once they got them hooked, they would be willing to tell their friends about them.

They were willing to bend over backwards to give their prospects the best service possible and eliminate every single doubt from their mind. No physical shoe store I know would place that much trust in a customer.

Zappos had effectively reversed every single doubt prospects could have in their mind. They made it a no-brainer to be their customer.

That is risk reversal.

Guarantee’s are fine – but they’ll only get you so far.

Risk Reversal on the other hand – will make you millions and make your competition tremble in their boots.

This is where we come to Guarantees that effectively Reverse the Buyer’s Risk and make it a no-brainer to purchase from you.

Once you go beyond Level 1 and 2 – there are 4 more levels of Guarantees that fall in the Risk-Reversal Zone.

Level 3 – The Try and Then Buy Guarantee

This type of guarantee allows the buyer to pay only AFTER 30 days. The buyer pays nothing upfront or pays a small amount like $/£1 and knows that they will be billed later unless they cancel.

This is how this type of guarantee works. You allow the buyer to make a purchase for a mere $/£1 – 3.

They get to play around with the product for 30 days. At the end of 30 days, unless they cancel, they authorise you to bill them the balance owed.

Level 4 – Guaranteed Results or a Full Refund

Stronger still is the “Pay only if it works guarantee”. You guarantee a certain amount of results, say a 5 times boost in profits and allow the customer to claim a refund if this goal is not met.

This guarantee is not only fair to the customer – it helps close sales because you’re painting a positive picture in the customer’s mind of what your product can do for them.

Level 5 – Customer Always Wins

Next is the “Customer ALWAYS Wins” Guarantee. This is where the customer can return the main product for a full refund but can still keep the accompanying bonus gifts.

Let’s say you sell energy-efficient lighting. As a bonus on sales over $/£50 you offer the customer a free energy-efficient bulb worth $/£15. (Of course the bulb would have cost you only $/£5 wholesale, but the value to the customer is $/£15).

You allow the customer to return the lighting within 60 days if it doesn’t please them. And they can still keep the bulb as a thank you for trying out your store. So the customer wins – either way. That can be very reassuring.

Now you may worry – couldn’t people take advantage of your generosity?

The answer is yes – they could. But you’ll find that very, very few would actually do so. Most people are fundamentally good. When using this type of guarantee you will find that less that 0.5% of buyers attempt to misuse the system.

But so what if you lose $/£5 a few times due to a few unethical buyers. The increase in sales you get will more than make up for this. This guarantee and risk reversal policy works well because of the psychological image it sets up in the buyer’s mind.

Simply put: the buyer can’t possibly lose. Even if they make the purchase and then have to return the light fixtures, they still end up with a free bulb.

The customer always wins!

That’s powerful risk reversal at work.

Now Level 5 is where many of the BEST stores stop.

But there is one more level you can use.

Level 6 – The Platinum Guarantee

This is where you offer the customer a double your money back guarantee.

It requires some boldness and you better have an excellent product. If you do – this guarantee can work miracles.

Here’s an example:

If you implement at least 5 tactics from this book and haven’t seen a boost in revenue that puts a smile on your face, makes you more excited about starting your day each morning and deposits more money in your bank account – we will not only issue you a full refund – we will issue you TWICE your money back. We’ll pay you the cost of the book times 2. That’s $594. It’s the least we can do as a thank you for placing your trust in our business.

Now that’s a guarantee.

In this next example I’m going to personally reveal the Risk Reversal script that one of our colleagues used to create an overnight 50% boost in sales for their book.

Take a look at the script below and you’ll see how they answer the customers concerns regarding time, ease of use and depth of knowledge.

Here’s The Risk Reversal Script that Boosted Response by 50%

An Important Note – If You’re Still Undecided

If you own a website and are looking to grow your business but have still not ordered, you’re probably hesitating for one of the following reasons.

Check the Response that Best Applies to You.

Reason #1: You’ve bought many books before but they just sit on your shelf gathering dust. You just don’t have the time right now.

Our course is designed to inspire you to take action. It’s broken down into easy, sequential steps with clear directions. We guarantee that every chapter will make you want to jump up, implement a tactic and grow your business.

So here’s what we’ll do….If the reason above applies to you – we’ll allow you to purchase the book for $1 USD. The balance of $296 will not be charged for 30 days. Order the ENTIRE course for $1 and read the first few tactics. If you feel we’re not living up to our promise, simply drop us an email at (email goes here) and we’ll cancel your billing and refund you $1.

Our bet is that the book will not only inspire you – it will motivate you to act, to take action, and to do something about growing your business. Before you even pay us more than a dollar, you’ll be looking at your business from a whole different perspective.

Click here to order the ENTIRE Course on a 30 Day Trial for just $1 »

Reason #2: You’re still new in this field – you’re afraid that buying such a comprehensive course of advanced tactics will engulf you with too much information and you may get lost.

Our course is designed to be easy to act upon. Knowledge counts for nothing – being able to act on this knowledge is the key to growing your business. So here’s a promise – if at any point you get ‘stuck’ or have questions on how to further grow your business – we’ll schedule a one-on-one call with you to offer help.

I will personally get on the phone with you, and guide you step-by-step through any hurdles or difficulties you may have.

You can request this help anytime by emailing me at (email goes here).

Reason #3: Price is not the issue – time is the issue. You’re busy and you want to know tactics and strategies that can create BIG upturns in your business. Are the tactics in this course really powerful enough?

Our guarantee is that you can return the course to us – ANYTIME – within 90 days – for a FULL, No-Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee. But your concern is really time not money.

We’re confident that the tactics and strategies we outline in this book will make a huge positive influence on the level of sales, leads and revenue coming into your business. And we’ll put our money where our mouth is.

If you have implemented at least 5 tactics from this book and have not seen a boost in revenue that puts a smile on your face, makes you more excited about starting your day each morning, and deposits more money in your bank account – we will not only issue you a full refund – we will issue you TWICE your money back.

Yes, we’ll pay you the cost of the book times 2. That’s $594. Just show us the 5 tactics you implemented on your site. This will probably help us refine our tactics further. We’d be happy to pay you double your money back just to get that information.

Fair Enough? Click Here Now to Order »

That’s it – this is what they did to cause an overnight 50% boost in sales.

An Important Question

Now let me ask you this important question – and I want you to take one of two actions as a response. No matter what action you take – you will win big.

Why have you not purchased our book?

I mean seriously? The risk reversal we’re using should cover every hesitation you have.

If you can’t think of any more reasons not to buy – Go ahead and make the purchase. You’ll love it! But if you don’t love it, just email me and claim your refund.

Now if you can think of a new reason not to buy, and feel I haven’t accurately covered this reason – email me.

I’ll reward you by giving you the $297 course for free because you’ll be helping me refine my Risk Reversal presentation.

Make a Decision Now – Either Way You Win

I’m serious. You’re either going to get the book for free or buy it.

With risk reversal strategies like this, you will see your sales soar.

 

Are You Making As Much Profit As You Think?

A common mistake is to think you are making higher profit margins than you actually are.

Let’s say it costs you $£70 to either buy in or produce what you sell. (This is called COGS which stands for cost of goods sold).

You decide you want to make 30% profit on it.

So you add on 30% of 70 which is 21.

This is called a 30% mark up.

Your GROSS Profit margin is your gross profit (21) divided by your price multiplied by 100.

In this case 21/91 x 100 = 23% NOT 30%.

To make 30% gross profit you actually need to mark up by 21  x (100/70) = $£30.

Now suppose we sell 10,000 of these items.(This is our volume of sales).

Our revenue is now $£ 100 x 10,000 = $£ 1 million.

Our GROSS PROFIT is therefore $£ 30 x 10,000 = $£ 300,000 equals 30%.

But we have overheads such as rent, rates, salaries and wages, utility bills and so forth.

These add up to $£ 150,000.

So now our net operating profit is only $£ 150,000.

We are only actually making 15% Net Margin, (150,000 divided by 1,000,000 x 100%)

What happens if we then decide on a 10% discount?

That won’t make much dent in our profit will it?

How much would our profit fall by?

Price is now $£ 90

Variable cost $£ 70

Volume 100,000 (unless we sell more but it would have to be by a lot)

Revenue $£ 900,000

Gross Profit $£ 200,000 (33% less)

Overheads $£ 150,000

Net or Operating Profit $50,000 (67% reduction)

Question for you; how much extra volume would you need to sell to overcome the reduction in your bottom line operating profit?

The conclusion is you may be making lower profit margins than you realise.

If you reduce your prices, (or fail to raise them each year in line with the market place), you could

completely decimate them!

Crisis Or Opportunity?

Crisis or Opportunity?

Many of us business owners spend much of our time being busy being busy.

Stephen Covey, in “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” talked about segment 2, things that are important but not urgent.

These are the things that many busy business owners struggle to find time for.

The enforced spare time we may be experiencing right now gives us an opportunity to work on ourselves and our business.

Here are some of the important things you could be doing:

  • Set time aside to write out your values and your goals
  • Work on your skills by completing training programmes and courses you’ve invested in
  • Read relevant self-help books and listen to audios
  • Build in a “golden hour” to do so
  • Identify your ideal customer or client
  • Identify what problem you can solve for them
  • Work out your differentiator to get away from having to compete on price
  • Map out your sales process
  • Set up your follow up processes
  • Work out your cross sell, up-sell and down-sell
  • Work out how to bundle and package your products and services
  • Work out your powerful guarantee
  • Decide on your irresistible offer and lead magnet
  • Write out your customer re-activation letter
  • Draw up your testimonials strategy
  • Realise the possibilities of Zoom and other remote communication options and consider whether you could permanently change any of your working practices.

So while I don’t want to downplay the threat to ourselves, our businesses and the wider economy right now, you do also have  opportunities as a result of the enforced idleness some are experiencing.

 

 

How To Multiply Your Qualified Leads

Qualified leads are simply the potential customers who are the most likely to buy your product or service. They’re not just in your store taking at look at the latest features in refrigerators, they’re in the market to purchase a refrigerator. They’re not wandering in to see what a £/$ 500 handbag looks like, they are the kind of person who can actually spend £/$ 500 on a handbag.

Some of the people who will call you or visit your business will never buy from you no matter how good your sales scripts are or how much time you spend overcoming their objectives. There are a variety of reasons for this – and you’ll never eliminate all these people – but you will need to focus on bringing in more of the people who are ready to buy.

How do You Get Qualified Leads?

The crux of qualified lead generation is making decisions based on market research of your target market. You basically need to know where to reach your market, and how to speak to them.

When you are designing, executing and making choices about your lead generation strategies, always consider these questions.

Who is my target market? Write down your target market description to keep you focused on the specifics of this group of people.
DISTRIBUTION IS EVERYTHING: How does my target market like to receive information? Do they read the newspaper? Pick up the family mail? Spend hours on Facebook? Subscribe to Reader’s Digest? Listen to news and the radio on long commutes to work?
What motivates my target market to take action, and how can I tap into that motivation? How will you tap into your target market’s emotional response? What issues or needs will mean something to them, and motivate them to come to you to solve them.
Where can I place my marketing message so my target market will see it? Look at what you found out in your market research about your target market’s hobbies, activities and interests. How can you place your message or your product or service in their path?
What can I offer my target market to entice them to purchase from me? Can you offer your target market something special, rare, or time specific that will appeal only to them?

 

Here’s how some little changes will generate big results for your company in short order.

Firstly, identify the major issue that concerns your ideal target customer. That concern they seek a solution to. Then you innovate what you sell to solve it for them.

This is referred to as “entering the conversation inside their head”

Use your new marketing message. Make sure you put your new marketing message on all your marketing materials, where new and existing customers can see it.

Revise your standard advertisements to feature the strengthened copy.

Strengthen your offer. Create an offer that’s too good to refuse – not for your entire target market, but for your ideal customer. How can you cater to their unique needs and wants? What will be irresistible for them?
Refocus your direct mail campaign. If you’re sending your direct mail to entire postal code areas, stop and refocus. If your distribution area is that broad, chances are the copy on your postcard or letter is too broad as well. Brainstorm ways to narrow your distribution and only hit your target audience. Purchase consumer lists based on demographics, not just location, or limit distribution to specific housing types. Of course, make sure you rework the direct mail piece to feature your marketing message.
Let your target market’s behaviors dictate your distribution plans. The more you tailor your strategy to the needs and habits of your target market, the strong your results will be. Look for opportunities in your existing direct mail, advertising, flyer drop and other strategies to get specific. Narrow the demographics of your list, or place an ad in a niche publication. Brainstorm new ways to target your market’s emotional reactions.

101 Tips To Sell More Online (And Off)

If you’re trying to make money online, (or off), sooner or later you have to face it. Conversion. That intimidating topic: how to get more buyers from the same amount of traffic.

The only reason conversion is intimidating is that there are a lot of places you can go astray. Most of them aren’t that hard to fix, but any one of a thousand little problems can keep you from getting the conversion you should have.

Here are 101 fixes, some small, some big, for making more sales.

  1. Does your product or service solve a problem people actually care about? How do you know? If your basic offer doesn’t appeal to your prospect, you’re finished before you begin. Make sure you’re selling something people want. (Not need).
  2. Let prospects know they’re buying from a human being. Keep your language personal, friendly, and (for most markets) informal. Sound like a person, not a pitching machine.
  3. Tell a story about how you solved this problem for yourself before you started selling the solution to others. Let readers put themselves in your shoes. Let the prospect feel, “Wow, this person is a lot like me.”
  4. Fix your typos, make sure your links work, avoid grammar mistakes that make you look stupid. Reassure your prospect that you know what you’re doing.
  5. Test two headlines. When you find a winner, run it against a new headline. Keep eliminating second-best. Google Adwords is a quick and efficient way to do this.
  6. Try testing an “ugly” version of the sales copy. Boring fonts, not much layout, no pretty colours. Strangely, sometimes a bare-bones presentation works better. Don’t just run ugly without testing it, though, because it doesn’t always win.
  7. Instead of sending traffic right to a sales page, put them through a six- or seven-message autoresponder first. Give them enough information to build their trust and let them know you’re the best resource.
  8. Strengthen your call to action. Make sure you’ve clearly told readers exactly what to do next.
  9. Make sure you’ve described your product or service in enough detail. If it’s physical, give the dimensions and some great photos. If it’s digital, tell them how many hours of audio you include, how many pages are in the PDF. Don’t assume your prospects already know any details — spell everything out.
  10. Getting traffic from advertising, pay-per-click, or guest posting? Be sure your landing page is tied to your traffic source. If you’re running a pay-per-click campaign for “Breed Naked Mole Rats,” make sure the words “Breed Naked Mole Rats” are in your headline for the landing page.
  11. Master copywriter Drayton Bird tells us every commercial offer should satisfy one or several of these 9 human needs: make money, save money, save time and effort, do something good for your family, feel secure, impress other people, gain pleasure, improve yourself, or belong to a group. And then of course, there’s the obvious #10 — make yourself irresistible to the romantic partner of your choice. That’s about the strongest driver we have once eating and breathing have been taken care of.
  12. Now that you’ve identified your fundamental human need, how can that be expressed in an emotion-based headline.
  13. Have you translated your features into benefits? I bet you’ve still got some benefits you could spell out. Remember, features are what your product or service does. Benefits are what your prospect gets out of it.
  14. Put your photo on your sales page. Human beings are hard-wired to connect to faces. If prospects can see you, it’s easier for them to trust you.
  15. If you have a dog, use a photo of you with your dog instead. There’s something about a dog that lowers nearly everyone’s defences.
  16. You can try just using a photo of the dog. Believe it or not, sometimes it works.
  17. Simplify your language. Use something like the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale to make sure you’re keeping your wording clean and simple.
  18. No matter how emotional your appeal, justify it with logic. Give people the facts and figures they need so they can justify the purchase to themselves. Even the most frivolous, pleasure-based purchase (say, a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes) can be justified with logical benefits (superior workmanship, rare materials, giving the wearer a boost in confidence).
  19. What kind of tasty bonus could you offer? Peanut butter is good; peanut butter with jam is great. Find the jam for your peanut butter, the bonus that makes your good product even better.
  20. Are you getting your message to the right people? A list of people who really want what you offer, and who are both willing and able to buy?
  21. Listen to the questions you get. What are people still unclear about? What’s worrying them about your offer? Even if you outsource your email and/or support, it’s a good idea to regularly read a random selection of customer messages.
  22. Keep your most important sales elements “above the fold” (in other words, on the first screen, without scrolling, when readers go to your page). Usually that means a compelling headline, a great opening paragraph, and possibly either a wonderful product shot (to create some desire) or a photo of you (to build trust and rapport). Eye-tracking studies suggest your most important image should be at the top left side of the page.
  23. Check the dual readership path. Do your headline and subheads tell an intriguing story if you read them without any of the rest of the copy?
  24. How’s your guarantee? Could you state it with more confidence? Can you remove any of the weasely stuff? Does your guarantee remove the customer’s risk?
  25. Do you take PayPal? PayPal has its issues, but it’s also “funny money” for a lot of customers. They’ll spend freely from PayPal when they’d think twice about pulling out a credit card.
  26. Have you asked for the sale boldly and forcefully? Is there any hemming and hawing you could edit out?
  27. What’s the experience of using your product or service? Could you make that more vivid with a testimonial video or a great case study?
  28. Is there any reason your prospect might feel foolish for buying from you? Are they afraid they’ll kick themselves later? That their friends, spouse, or co-workers will give them a hard time about this purchase? Fix that.
  29. Are you using standard design conventions? Links should be underlined. Navigation (if you have any on your sales page) should be immediately understandable.
  30. Have you got testimonials? Got effective testimonials?
  31. Does the prospect know everything he needs to know in order to make this purchase? What questions might still be on his mind? How can you educate him to make him more confident about his decision to buy?
  32. Does the link to your shopping basket / cart work? (Don’t laugh. Go test every link on the page that goes to your cart. And make a point of testing them once or twice a day the entire time your shopping trolley or cart is open — even if that’s 365 days a year.)
  33. Is your marketing boring? Remember the great Paul Newman mantra. “Always take the work seriously. Never take yourself seriously.” If your marketing is putting customers to sleep, it can’t do its job.
  34. Social media isn’t just about talking – it’s also about listening. What are your potential customers complaining about on Twitter, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, in forums, in blog comments? What problems could you be solving for them? What language do they use to describe their complaints?
  35. Have you answered all their questions? Addressed all their objections? I know you’re worried the copy will get too long if you address every point. It won’t.
  36. Have you been so “original” or “creative” that you’ve lost people? Remember the words of legendary ad man Leo Burnett: “If you absolutely insist on being different just for the sake of being different, you can always come down to breakfast with a sock in your mouth.”
  37. Can you offer a free trial?
  38. Can you break the cost into several payments?
  39. Can you offer an appetizing free bonus, one the customer can keep whether or not she keeps the main product? An incredibly useful piece of content works perfectly for this.
  40. Does your headline offer the customer a benefit or advantage?
  41. How can you make your advertising too valuable to throw away? How can you make the reader’s life better just for having read your sales letter? Think special reports, white papers, and other content marketing standbys.
  42. Have you appealed to the reader’s greed? Not very pretty, but one of the most effective ways to drive response. (The nice way to put this is “be sure you’re offering your prospect great value.”)
  43. Is your message confusing? A bright nine-year old should be able to read your sales copy and work out why she should buy your product.
  44. Can you link your copy to a fad? This is particularly effective for web-based copy and for short-term product launches, because you can be absolutely current.
  45. Similarly, can you tie your copy to something a lot of people are really worried about? This can be something in the news (an oil spill, climate change, economic turbulence) or something related to a particular time in your prospect’s life (midlife weight gain, anxieties about young kids, retirement worries).
  46. Try a little flattery. One of the great first lines of all sales copy came from American Express: “Quite frankly, the American Express card is not for everyone.” The reader immediately gets a little ego boost from assuming that the card is for special people like him or her.
  47. Is there a compelling, urgent reason to act today? If prospects don’t have a reason to act right away, unfortunately they have a bad habit of procrastinating the purchase forever.
  48. Are you visualizing one reader when you write? Don’t write to a crowd — write for one perfect customer who you want to convince. Your tone and voice will automatically become more trustworthy, and you’ll find it easier to find the perfect relevant detail to make your point.
  49. Tell the reader why you’re making this offer. In copywriting slang, this is the “reason why,” and it virtually always boosts response.
  50. Can you get an endorsement from someone your customers respect? Celebrity endorsements are always valuable, but you can also find “quasi-celebrities” within your niche that hold as much sway as a national figure.
  51. Can you provide a demonstration of the product or service? If it’s not something that can be demonstrated on video, try telling a compelling story about how your offering solved a thorny problem for one of your customers.
  52. How often are you using the word “You”? Can that be bumped up?
  53. How often are you using the word “We”? Can that be eliminated? (“I” actually works better than “we,” which tends to come across as corporate and cold.)
  54. Stay up late tonight and watch a few informercials. Keep a pen and paper handy. Write down every sales technique that you see. In the morning, translate at least three of them to your own market. (Remember, you can change the tone and the sophistication level to match your buyers.)
  55. Have you made yourself an authority in your market?
  56. Is there an “elephant in the living room?” In other words, is there a major objection that you haven’t addressed because you just don’t want to think about it? You’ve got to face all inconvenient truths head on. Don’t assume that if you don’t bring it up, it won’t occur to your prospects.
  57. How’s your follow-up? Do you have the resources to answer questions that come in? Remember, questions are often objections in disguise. Prospect questions can give you great talking points for your sales letter. You may want to bring on some help in the form of a friendly VA or temp to help out with email during a big launch.
  58. Is there a number in your headline? There probably should be.
  59. Similarly, have you quantified your benefits? In other words, have you translated “time saved” to “three full weeks saved — plenty of time to go on a life-changing vacation — each and every year.” Put a number on the results you can create for your customers.
  60. Oddly, “doodles” and other elements that look like handwriting can boost response — even on the web. There are hundreds of handwritten fonts available, which can be converted to visual elements with PhotoShop or simple logo-generating software.
  61. Does your headline make the reader want to read the first line of copy?
  62. Does the first line make the reader want to read the second line of copy?
  63. Does the second line make the reader want to read the third line?
  64. (Etc.)
  65. Throw in some more proof that what you’re saying is true. Proof can come from statistics, testimonials, case studies, even news stories or current events that illustrate the ideas your product or service is based on.
  66. Compare apples to oranges. Don’t compare the cost of your product to a competitor’s — compare it to a different category of item that costs a lot more. For example, compare your online course to the cost of one-on-one personal consulting.
  67. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to have at least one platinum-priced item for sale. They make everything else you sell look nicely affordable by comparison.
  68. Make your order page or form easier to understand. Complicated order pages make customers nervous.
  69. Remember to restate your offer on your order page. Don’t expect the customers to remember all the details of what you’ve just (almost) sold her. Re-state those benefits.
  70. Include a phone number where people can call for questions. I know this is tricky to handle, but it can boost your response by a surprising amount.
  71. Include a photograph of what you’re selling, if you can.
  72. Is there a lot of distracting navigation leading your customers away? (Worst of all are cheap-looking ads that pull people away for a penny or two.) Get rid of it. Focus your reader’s attention on this offer with a one-column format stripped of distractions.
  73. Put a caption on any image that you use. Captions are the third most-read element of sales copy, after the headline and the P.S. The caption should state a compelling benefit to your product or service. (Even if that benefit doesn’t quite match the image).
  74. While you’re at it, link the image to your shopping basket / cart.
  75. Make the first paragraph incredibly easy to read. Use short, punchy, and compelling sentences. A good story can work wonders here.
  76. Does your presentation match your offer? If you’re offering luxury vacations, do your graphics and language have a luxury feeling? If you’re selling teen fashion, is your design trendy and cute?
  77. Are you trying to sell from a blog post? Send buyers to a well-designed landing page instead.
  78. Halfway through a launch and sales are listless? Come up with an exciting bonus and announce it to your list. Frank Kern calls this “stacking the cool.”
  79. Are you asking your prospect to make too many choices? Confused people don’t buy. You should have at most three options to choose from — something along the lines of “silver, gold, or platinum.”
  80. Look for anything in your copy that’s vague. Replace it with a concrete, specific detail. Specifics are reassuring, and they make it easier for the prospect see herself using your product.
  81. Numbers are the most reassuring details of all. Translate anything you can into numbers.
  82. Look for any spot in your copy that might make your prospect silently say “No,” or “I don’t think so.” Rework that spot. You want the prospect to mentally nod in agreement the entire time she’s reading your letter. Tom Hopkins calls this process of getting “yesses” tie downs.
  83. Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself. Prospects often don’t read every word of the sales letter. Find ways to restate your call to action, the most important benefits, and your guarantee.
  84. Hint at a genuinely exciting benefit early in the copy, then spell it out later in your sales letter. (Be careful of curiosity-based headlines, though, as traditionally they don’t convert as well as benefit- or news-based ones do.)
  85. Use the two magic words of persuasive copy.
  86. Successful marketing doesn’t sell products or services — it sells benefits and big ideas. What’s your big idea? What are you really selling? If you’re not sure, go back to our ten human needs in #11 above.
  87. If you offer something physical, make sure there’s a way they can get expedited delivery. The ability to place a rush order lifts response, even if the customer doesn’t take advantage of it.
  88. Put a Better Business Bureau, “Hacker Safe” seal, or similar badge on your sales page.
  89. Could you be underpricing your offer? A surprising number of buyers, even in a bad economy, won’t buy a product or service if it seems too cheap to be worth their time.
  90. Are you using the wording “Buy Now” on your shopping cart button? Try “Add to Cart,” “Join Us,” or similar wording instead. Focusing on word “buy” aspect has been shown to lower response.
  91. Allow your prospect to picture him or herself buying. Talk as if they’ve already bought. Describe the life he’ll now be living, as your customer. If you want a delicious example, go to the J. Peterman website. Few have ever done it better.
  92. Cures sell vastly better than prevention. If your product is mostly preventative, find the “cure” elements and put those front and centre. Solve problems people already have, rather than preventing problems they might have some day.
  93. If your funny ad isn’t converting, try playing it straight. Humour is, by its nature, unpredictable. It can work fantastically well, or it can destroy your conversion. If you can’t figure out what else might be wrong, this could be the culprit.
  94. Are you the king of understatement? The sultan of subtlety? Get over it. At least in your sales copy.
  95. How’s your P.S.? (You do have a P.S., right?) Is it compelling? Typically you want to restate either the most interesting benefit, the guarantee, the urgency element, or all three.
  96. Cut all long paragraphs into shorter ones. Make sure there are enough subheads so you have at least one per screen. If copy looks daunting to read, it doesn’t get read.
  97. Increase your font size.
  98. Include a “takeaway.” No, this isn’t a hamburger and fries (burger and chips) — it’s the message that your offer isn’t for everyone. (In other words, you threaten to “take away” your great offer for those who don’t deserve it.) When you’re confident enough to tell people “Please don’t order this product unless you meet [insert your qualification here],” you show that you’re not desperate for the sale. This is nearly universally appealing.
  99. Are you putting this offer in front of cold prospects? What if you put some variation of it in front of people who have already bought something from you? Your own existing customer base is the best market you’ll ever have. Make sure you’re regularly sending them appealing offers
  100. If they don’t buy your primary offer, try sending them to a “down-sell.” This is a lower-priced product that gives the prospect a second chance to get something from you. Remember, even a very small purchase gives you a buyer to market to later. Building a list of buyers is one of the wisest things you can do for your business.
  101. What is it about your product or service that makes people feel better about themselves? Ultimately, everything boils down to this.

 

“How To Put Them In A Trance With Your Marketing”

There are 5 essential keys to a successful and reusable marketing campaign launch. Once you have these basics mastered, you can use them over and over again.

These 5 essential keys are:

  • Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Put an effective sales offer to work
  • Avoid these common marketing pitfalls
  • Use a world-class marketing perspective
  • Get results!

We’ll go through each one of these, so you can see exactly how to use them and how they all affect the overall outcome of your marketing campaign.

Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Take the time to ask yourself some questions from the prospective of the customers/clients. What would it take to get your attention? What needs do you have that need to be met? What are the promises you want fulfilled?

Once you know the answers to these questions you can start putting together a plan to meet these needs. Take a look at what USP your competitors are using to help you develop your own USP. Your USP is what you are “promising” your customers/clients. This is what’s going to set you apart from your competition. It has to focus on your prospect’s hot button. This is the major issue or concern they have on their mind that they’re searching a solution for.

Put an effective sales offer to work

To develop an effective sales plan, you need to:

  1. Put together a headline that gets immediate attention.
  2. Share benefits of your products/services speaking from the customers’ perspective.
  3. Identify the specific needs met by your products/services.
  4. Make it easy to do business with you by offering guarantees.
  5. Share your specific sales proposition.
  6. Walk your customers/clients through how they should respond and act.
  7. Motivate with a call to action.

What this all means is, you need to put together what makes your products/services special and compel customers to buy. If they don’t feel like they NEED your product, they won’t buy. You need to answer a question, solve a problem or feed an obsession.

Inertia is your major obstacle.

You need to provide them with all the information they need to make an informed and confident decision. Buyer’s remorse is one of the worst things that can happen.

Avoid these marketing pitfalls

There are 5 major marketing pitfalls many businesses fall into and you should avoid:

  • Ignore market testing and push on with an inaccurate plan.
  • Offer an incomplete case, or reasons, throughout their marketing plan.
  • Fail to notice the needs of their prospective customers/clients.
  • Fail to diversify their marketing options.
  • Fail to get market opinions on their offers.

Use a world-class marketing perspective

World-Class marketing perspective is important, especially if you want to attract customers/clients from all over the world. You can do this a number of different techniques and activities:

  1. Keep a marketing notebook or journal and scribble down anything innovative you see.
  2. Keep encouraging your marketing department, or yourself, to try new things and dump the ones that aren’t working.
  3. Order from your own company under a different name and analyse the process of ordering, shipping, online store, customer service and the product itself. This will show you where the areas for improvement in the customer experience.
  4. Read every quality ad you can find and keep a “swipe file” for future ideas to consider.
  5. When out in public, watch how consumers behave in different situations and how they consider their purchases.
  6. Step down a notch or two and work on the front lines with your sales and customer service staff.
  7. Continuously acknowledge your staff, vendors and customers. Everyone works and shops better when they feel appreciated.
  8. Always listen to feedback from employees and customers.
  9. Continuously test markets, ads, and marketing techniques. This is the only way to stay successful and know what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not.
  10. Offer more information in your marketing than anyone else. The more information you offer, the more products/services you’ll sell. This is crucial.
  11. A great marketing plan can only get better. Continue to fine tune and refine your marketing plan based on testing results and feedback.
  12. Be classy in your marketing. Make sure your marketing and advertising fits your company image, products/service and quality.
  13. Improve your best marketing areas and drop those that aren’t working.
  14. Focus on what you say, not how you say it. The best marketing ideas turn into the best marketing naturally.
  15. Develop all your ads, campaigns and sales materials with an attention to compelling and factual information.

Get results!

The last area we are going to talk about is the best-satisfied customers. If your customers aren’t satisfied, you’ve wasted all your marketing resources and all chance of positive word-of-mouth advertising. You can satisfy your customers by:

  • Providing quality products/services
  • Providing high quality customer service
  • Providing a low-pressure, highly informative sales experience
  • Taking all the risk away with a great guarantee.
  • Build your database with a contest.
  • Do regular mailings with sales, discounts, or other incentives.
  • Find other creative ways to keep your current customers coming back for more.

As long as the reward is directly related to your product or service, you can’t lose. Why not get started today? It’s so simple, it’s so seldom done, and it’s so profitable. And that’s the bottom line.” Jay Abraham

It is so simple! So, why aren’t you starting today? We can help you put together a great marketing plan that will get you results. Try our FREE test drive and find the tools and resources you need built by some of the biggest names in the marketing world.

Go to www.bernardkeavymentor.com/1-page-formula-bernard-keavy

 

 

 

How To Increase Your Lead Conversion Rate & Transform Your Profit

Many small business owners could improve their lead conversion rates dramatically by focusing on it.  You need a sales conversion process or system.  Here is an example of how a 10% and 30% increase in conversions can impact your total profit.

Starting Point 10% Increase 30% Increase
Leads 4,500 Leads 4,500 Leads 4,500
Conversion Rate 30% Conversion Rate 33% (10% increase) Conversion Rate 39% (30% increase)
Customers 1350 Customers 1485 Customers 1755
Transactions 1.3 Transactions 1.3 Transactions 1.3
Average £ / $ Sale 140 Average Sale 140 Average Sale 140
Revenue 245,700 Revenue 270,270 Revenue 319,410
Margins 24% Margins 24% Margins 24%
Profit £/$ 58,968 Profit £/$ 64,864.80 Profit £/$ 76,658.40

What is the average conversion rate for your business?

To work out your conversion rate, choose a specific time period (day, week, month, campaign) and then divide the total number of sales transactions by the number of people who inquired about your product or service (leads) and multiply by 100. This is a percentage value of your conversion rate.

For example, 50 transactions / 150 leads x 100 = 33% conversion rate.

Now, if I wanted to look at conversions over a specific time period, the rate would vary:

  Leads Sales Conversion Rate
Day 150 50 33%
Week 910 286 31%
Month 4050 1196 29%

 

If you’ve been tracking your leads over the past few weeks, you’ll find this is easy. All you may have to do is look at your lead tracking sheet, and divide into it your total number of sales over specific time periods. You’ll be able to analyse what your conversion rate looks like over the course of ad or direct mail campaigns, as well as over various weeks in the month.

If you haven’t started tracking your leads, you need to start in order to understand what your true conversion rate is. In my experience, many business owners overestimate what this percentage actually is, so this is an important step in the process.

Keep track of the following items in your conversion rate measurement sheet:

  • Start date and end date of the measurement period (by ad campaign, week, or month)
  • Total number of leads (divided by source – telephone, in store, online, etc.)
  • Total number of sales transactions
  • How trust and qualified lead generation impacts conversion rates

If you’re starting to track leads and sales today, by the end of a week you’ll have a reasonable understanding of where your business stands.

How do you evaluate if your conversion rate is “good” or not?

Once you know what your conversion rate is, how can you tell if it’s “good” or “profitable”?

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a black and white one. The truth is that conversion rates vary and depend on the product, service and customer base. Different businesses can have dramatically different rates, yet both rates can mean the respective companies are highly successful.

For example, a thriving poundland or dollar store may have a conversion rate of almost 80%, while a profitable furniture store may have a conversion rate of 30%. Other businesses might have rates of anywhere from 4% to 99%.

So, instead of focusing on how close your conversion rate is to 100%, you need to think of conversions as relative to your break-even point – either for a campaign or for regular business operations. To do this, you need more information than the rate itself. You need to know how many leads you need to convert into customers to see a return on investment. You need to know how much money each lead costs you, on average how much they spend, and how much of their spend is actual profit.

For example, if you have £/$ 4,000 to spend on advertising and you want to see £/$ 20,000 in sales, will a 20% conversion rate be enough to do the job?

To answer this, you need more information on other measures in your business. You need to know your average dollar sale and average customer acquisition cost. In this example, let’s say your average sale is £/$ 42 and your average customer acquisition cost is £/$ 2.50

If you take your 4,000 advertising budget and divide by your 2.50 customer acquisition cost, you’ll expect to generate about 1,600 leads.

So 1,600 leads with a 20% conversion rate would equal 320 sales – not bad. Now, take the 320 projected sales times the average dollar sale of £/$ 75, and you’ll get £/$ 24,000 in revenue. That’s a reasonable ROI for a £/$ 4,000 investment!

But is the 20% conversion rate a ‘good’ one? To answer this, you’ll have to factor in your profit margin to determine the answer. You wanted to achieve £/$ 20,000 from your £/$ 4,000 advertising investment.

Let’s say your average profit margin is 45.3%. So, on each £/$ 75 sale, you made£/$ 34 profit. So, let’s look at your actual profit after costs:

320 sales x £$ 34 profit per transaction= “/$ 10,880 in take home profit.

So, when the rest of your business measures are factored in, you actually only achieved a 272% return on investment, which is about half of what you were targeting. Therefore, in this case, a 20% target conversion rate isn’t necessarily a strong one for your business.

Now, before you dive into any conversion rate boosting strategies, focus on building trust and generating qualified leads – the cornerstones of a profitable conversion rate.

You likely already know that trust is a huge factor in any exchange with a potential customer. When you first learned about sales and the selling process, you learned about building trust and rapport with the people who are giving you their money.

So, trust is therefore a big factor in having a healthy (and profitable) conversion rate. Your prospect needs to trust in the value of your offering, as well as the credibility of the business and the knowledge of the people who work there.

The issue here, of course, is the length of time it takes to truly establish trust, or credibility. With all your new leads – practically strangers – walking through the door and picking up the phone, you need to establish instant trust and credibility in order to make the most of the time you spend with each prospect.

The other important point I want to make is about the role that qualified leads have in your conversion rate. It’s one thing to have hundreds of leads contact you on a daily basis, but if they’re not qualified leads, they’re less likely to buy from so, and thus potentially wasting your time and squashing your conversion rate.

Here are five ways you can boost your conversion rate with little improvements to your business.

  1. Build instant trust.

Use testimonials. Ask happy customers to write testimonials about their experience at your business. Use their words (or even their whole letters) in your marketing materials, or post them in your place of business. Testimonials boost confidence in what you’re offering and establish trust in the eyes of prospects.

Showcase your good news. Post awards, accolades, media articles and other ‘proof’ of your credibility around your business and on your website.

  1. Create an image of quality.(Known as “Moments of Truth”)

Consider the appearance of your staff. How do you and your staff members dress? Does your appearance communicate the right message to potential clients about your offering? You don’t need to show up in a suit every day, but make sure everyone’s appearance is professional and appropriate for your business.

Improve the perception of your business. This includes the physical state of your place of business, as well as the quality of your marketing materials and the quality of the service customers’ receive when they purchase from you.

Give merchandise displays a boost. Can you make your products look more attractive through the way they’re displayed or arranged? Put complementary products together, and create feature product displays to create variety and interest.

  1. Train and develop your staff.

Give staff conversion targets and incentives. Remember that you’re not the only one who can contribute to an increase in conversions. Involve and support your staff in tracking and boosting conversion rates. Give them individual targets, and incentives for meeting them.

Review and improve sales process. Everyone can improve their sales skills, and refine the process they use to close sales. Take an opportunity to watch and give feedback to your staff members, or hold a brainstorming session to discuss what techniques, phrases, objections are most effective when selling your product or service.

Develop and continuously update scripts. If you’re not using scripts, it’s time to start. If you are using scripts, make sure you’re revising and improving them on a regular basis based on what you and your staff experience during the sales process.

Focus on customer education instead of sales. Face it, no one likes to be ‘sold’ to. Focus your sales process on building a relationship with and educating your customer on the benefits and solutions of your offering. The more they learn, the more they’ll believe what you have to say, trusting the business enough to make a purchase.

  1. Improve your offering.

Increase quality, exclusivity or range. Can you improve the quality of products or services that you offer? Carry a more exclusive product, or extend your range of products? Take a look at your merchandising mix and service menu and identify areas where you can expand or specialize.

Make great offers. Strong offers can also serve as an incentive for a potential customer to complete the sale. Offer great perceived value, or exclusive and time-sensitive products or services, and you’ll see a spike in your conversion rate.

  1. Take away purchase risk.

Provide free trials and demonstrations. Allow your customers to test out your product or service for free, with no obligation to purchase. Or, offer free demonstrations so your customer can see the benefit or solution your product or service provides.

Guarantee product or service performance. Take away the purchase risk from your potential customer, and you’ll have a powerful strategy for closing sales and increasing conversions. This is also an immediate trust and credibility booster – you are so confident in your product or service’s results that you’re guaranteeing them.

Work with your staff on a daily or weekly basis to consistently measure and increase conversion rates.

Post a calendar in the staff room or common area, and track your targeted and actual conversion rates on a daily and weekly basis. This will give you and your staff a visual reminder of the company’s goals, as well as an indication of how the team is performing.

You don’t work in your business alone, so involve and motivate your team to support you in growing your business. Give them incentives and help them develop their sales skills, and I promise you’ll see an impact on your conversions.

The next step is about customer loyalty – how to keep your clients coming back to make new purchases, instead of continuously trying to buy new clients.

“How To Transform Your Profitability By Improving Your Pricing Strategy”

The easiest way to boost your profit margins is something most business owners are scared of, increase your prices.

Many small businesses haven’t changed their prices since they opened. They set their prices based on the cost of the product or service, the competitors price, and a modest profit margin. Now, like many, they’re fearful that they’ll lose some customers if they increase their prices.

We’ll they’re right. You’ll absolutely lose some of your sales volume with a new pricing strategy. However, as long as the increase in price makes up the initial difference, you’re on your way to a bigger bottom line profit.

In this article I’ll cover:

  • How to boost your margins by adjusting your pricing strategy
  • How your prices affect your business beyond the bottom line
  • How to develop a pricing strategy for your business
  • Types of pricing strategies
  • How to test and measure your pricing strategy

The price tag you put on your offering affects your bottom line through more than just your profit margin.

Your pricing strategy is not only important to your revenue stream, but also to the image you project to your customer base about your business and the quality of your products. It can make or break you when you’re trying to tap into new markets, or when you move to a new location. Your pricing strategy is so important to your business that it can clearly make or break your success.

Given its importance, deciding how much to charge for your product or service is a challenging task. You need to factor in your own costs, the product or service’s perceived value, and the going rate. Ultimately, you want to be able to charge as much as possible for each item, without overpricing yourself out business.

Pricing strategies are often overlooked in favour of other marketing strategies, but their impact can be far reaching.

  • Profit margins.The price you establish for each product or service has to have a large enough profit margin built into it. This includes fixed and variable costs,
  • Business objectives.What are you trying to achieve with your product or service? Of course your objective is to make money, but how you price your goods can contribute to strategic business moves. Are you moving into a new market? Trying to out-price a competitor? Increase your market share? Your pricing strategy can enable you to do these things.
  • Product or service (and business) positioning.You can say a lot about the quality of a product or service with its price. You can also say a lot about your business with your pricing strategy. If your pricing is low, customers may believe that the offering is of low quality.  If your pricing is high, a customer is likely to think that the offering is of high or luxury quality, and that you have a high end business.

Work through this process to evaluate and update your pricing strategy so you can optimise your revenue stream and profit margins.

  1. Gain a good understanding of your current price structure and profit margins, as well as your business objectives.
  2. Make sure you have a working understanding of your profit margin on each product or service you sell.

Know how much the product or service costs you to offer before you establish a price. Do these costs remain consistent, or do they fluctuate? Restaurants that offer high quality meat and seafood often price their meals at “market rates” as opposed to fixed rates. Calculate the fixed and variable costs associated with your product or service. You will want to work the cost of the product or service, a percentage of your overhead, and your own profit into the cost of each item.

Do you have mostly high margin, or low margin items? Have your variable and fixed costs increased since you set your prices? Have you added items to your product or service mix that have impacted the sales volume on the rest of your items?

  1. Establish what your business objectives are, and how your pricing strategy can assist you in achieving them.

Your pricing strategy should be purpose focused. What exactly are you trying to do by setting your prices at certain levels? Are you looking for:

  • Short-term profit increase
  • Long-term profit increase
  • Customer generation
  • Product positioning
  • Revenue maximisation
  • Increase margins
  • Market differentiation
  • Survival
  1. Review your corporate values and how you are planning to position your company in the market place.

How do you want your target market to view your business, and your products? Are you trying to create an image of high quality? High value? Reliable service? Make sure your pricing is consistent with the image you are trying to project. If you are operating a high-end spa – you’re not competing with the budget beauty “nail salon” down the street, so your prices should be considerably higher.

  1. Create a list of the factors that influence your prices

When you worked through the exercise above, you probably identified a number of factors that ultimately helped you determine where you set your prices in the first place. Unfortunately, it’s never quite as simple as product cost plus margin equals total cost. You have to take an overall look at your costs in order to price each item. There are a number of things that will influence what the final price is:

  • Fixed costs.Overall, this will affect how much you charge for products and services as you’ll have to build a percentage of this total into the cost of each item.
  • Variable costs.This will affect pricing primarily on an individual product level, as each product will cost a different amount, or take a different amount of resources to produce.
  • This is obviously a big factor in your pricing strategy. Depending on the size of your competition, and the number of competitive businesses in your area, this may be the primary factor.
  • Company objectives.As I mentioned above, your business vision will help dictate what your pricing strategy will be. If you are trying to penetrate a new market, or move old product, your prices will have to be set accordingly.
  • How unique is your product or service? Highly unique offerings will have less competition, and more freedom in terms of pricing.
  • Similar to your company objectives, how you want your business and your product to be viewed plays a part in how much your offering costs.
  • Target market and willingness to pay.The amount your target audience is willing to pay for a product or service is also a huge factor. If they can’t afford to buy your products when you’ve accounted for costs and a healthy profit margin, you’ll need to look for a new market or reconsider your offering.
  • Factors beyond your control.This includes government and industry regulations, as well as professional associations that regulate services.
  • Create a new price structure based on those factors and using these pricing strategies:

Once you know what you want to do with your pricing, and what factors you need to consider, it’s time to decide what strategies are the most appropriate for your business.

Remember that you don’t have to use the same strategy for your entire product or service line. You may be trying to compete with a competitor on one line of products, and position yourself as a high-end reseller of designer goods with another. The best approach here is to group products or services into sections, and apply a pricing strategy to each group.

  1. Here are some helpful guidelines to follow when creating your overall strategy:

Price higher than cost. This may seem obvious, but ensure that your pricing not only covers your costs, but potential fluctuations in sales volume and in the marketplace. If you sell half of your order, will you still make a profit?

  • Include expenses.If you price to cover your costs, will you also be able to cover your expenses and still see a profit? Your margin needs to pay for your expenses, leave you with something to live on, plus some working capital for the company.
  • Consider the ‘fair’ price.What do your consumers think is ‘fair’ for each service or product? This is impacted by your competitor’s price, your company’s image (high quality or high value, low cost), and the perceived value of your product or service.
  • Avoid the lowest pricing strategy.The days of the lowest price guarantee and pricing wars are over – especially for small businesses. The “big players” in the marketplace will quickly put you out of business if you try to compete on price. Their pockets are deeper and they have lower operating costs due to their sheer size. They can afford to – you can’t.
  1. Here is an extensive list of potential pricing strategies for you to use as a reference:

Cost Plus Pricing. This is the most basic pricing strategy. Set your price at a number that includes the total cost of goods or services (based on a specific sales volume), a percentage of total expenses, plus a mark-up, or profit margin. This is the opposite of competitive pricing. Instead of looking at the market, look at your own cost structure. Decide the profit you want to make and add it to your costs to determine selling price.

Target ROI Pricing. Determine your price based on a targeted ROI. For example, if you need to make 10,000 from 200 units ($/£ 50 per unit) then you’ll need to set your price at $/£ 50 more than cost (including expenses).

Value Based Pricing. This is where you price your product or service based on a benefit or value that it will afford the customer later. For example, for an item that costs you $/£ 35 to product, but will save the customer $/£ 1500 to $/£ 2000, a $/£ 100 to $/£ 200 price tag will seem reasonable.

Positioning Pricing. As I discussed above, the level at which you set your prices will say something to your customers about the quality of your products and your business. What message are you trying to send the customer?

Competitive Pricing. Set your prices using your competitor’s prices (retail or wholesale) as a benchmark for your own. Depending on how you are trying to position your product, price slightly higher or lower than theirs.

Loss Leader Pricing. This is where you sell an item at or below cost to draw customers, who will then buy additional high-profit items. This is a short-term strategy, usually used as a promotion, when you know your customers usually buy more than one item at once.

Close Out Pricing. Use this strategy to move old or excess stock. You can sell these items at a discount to avoid the cost of continuing to store or display the items that were slow moving or over-ordered.

Versioning Pricing. This is where you set the price of the base model, and then offer several other “versions” of the same product with additional upgrades and features. This is how most car companies sell their product.

Penetration Pricing. If you’re trying to increase your market share, this is the strategy for you. Typically, the business would set their prices very low to attract customers and build their database. Then, once the customers have been converted, the prices begin to rise, justified with high value and customer service.

Skimming Pricing. Most technology is priced this way. A new product is released at an initially high price, and then the price is slowly lowered to include a larger market base. You’re trying to get as much profit from each market “layer” as possible. The initial high price is not sustainable, but is initially justified by the product’s novelty.

Premium Pricing. If the product or service has a high level of uniqueness, or additional value, price the item accordingly high. You’ll need a competitive advantage for this strategy to work, or your competition will take your business with lower prices. This is the strategy to use for luxury and designer goods or services.

Economy Pricing. This is your basic, no frills low price. Works well for economy brands. The cost of making or purchasing the product is kept low in comparison to other products available.

Captive Product Pricing. If you sell items that require exclusive consumable parts (like razors or printers), set the price of the original item low, and charge a premium for the consumable parts. For example, the latest razor model is priced around $/£10, but replacement cartridges are priced at $/£12 for four.

Geographical Pricing. If you import products from different parts of the world, your prices will need to reflect this increased cost and your marketing will need to position the product as unique to justify the increase in price. Also called rarity value.

Be sure to test and measure your pricing strategy, and make changes where necessary.

Inevitably, when you increase your prices you’re bound to lose some sales volume. However, as long as your price increase makes up for the lost volume in the short term, your strategy is a success. On the other hand, if you have increased some of your prices and those products are still flying off the shelves, you may want to consider a second increase in a few months.

If you have a purpose based pricing strategy, like a penetration pricing strategy, you will need to evaluate if you are achieving your objectives. In the case of penetration pricing, you will need to evaluate if you are increasing your market share with the price you have set. In this case, you would be able to measure the success of your efforts by looking for an increase in sales, as well as an increase in customers who have come to you from the competition.

Let me know if you have any questions!

For further help go to www.bernardkeavymentor.com

How To Write Sales Letters That Sell

A well-constructed sales letter is still the most powerful weapon in a marketer’s arsenal, because a letter allows you to make your sales presentation to thousands of people at once . . . without you ever having to leave your office or sofa.  These ten rules apply both to old fashioned mail and letters you put on the Internet. If you follow these ten rules, your success is practically assured:

  1. Craft a great first sentence that creates intrigue.      Leading off your letter with a question is often a good device to engage the reader. Here’s a good one:  If I can show you how you can double your income by giving me just 30 minutes of your time a month, would you like to learn more?Questions can be effective lead sentences because you’re immediately engaging your reader in a conversation. You’re asking your reader to give their opinion. You’re putting your reader in charge of the conversation. And you’re doing so in a way that gets your reader thinking and imagining.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Or here’s another way to start:  I’m writing to you because your business may be having financial problems, and I think I have a way to help you.  This is attention-getting because you have just told your reader that you know something damaging about them.

    You have inside information about your reader. It’s a bit of a shocker. Who would not keep reading after being hit on the head with such an opening line?

  1. Explain all the benefits of what you’re selling, and promise your most important benefit first. 

People don’t buy things or products. People buy great results. You’re not buying leather seats for your car; you’re buying comfort, beauty, and prestige. Am I selling drivers to golfers, or am I selling long straight shots guaranteed to take balls an extra 20 yards down the fairway?

Before you start writing, list on index cards all benefits (results) you can identify that your product or service will achieve for the prospect. Then organise them in order of priority. Ask others to organise the cards in the priority they think is right. Take a kind of mini-poll—because what you think is important might very well be wrong. The larger your poll sample, the better your data will be. Ask as many people as you can to help you prioritise your benefits on index cards.

If you can, find a ‘hidden benefit’ that can further strengthen your appeal. Anytime you can share a secret or show people something ‘hidden,’ their ears will perk up.

A hidden benefit of aspirin is that it helps diminish the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes by thinning the blood and thereby unclogging arteries.

A hidden benefit of the time-management program you’re selling is that not only will it make your reader more productive and their business more profitable, but they’ll have a lot more time for family, golf and for doing the things they love doing.

In almost every product you sell, you can find ‘hidden benefits’ that might be even more attractive than the obvious benefit. ‘Hidden benefits’ are like ‘hidden treasures.’ They are so much more exciting to read about.

  1. Describe your most important benefit in detail.

Your readers must be persuaded that your claims are true. You must prove your claims.

You do this by going into a fair amount of detail about how and why your product will achieve the wonderful benefit you’re describing. You don’t do this with a lot of hype. You don’t do this by using empty words like ‘amazing’ and ‘incredible.’ You do this with facts, reasons, and interesting little-known details.

Here is a famous marketing case study.

The great advertising writer Claude Hopkins, back in 1919, was hired by Schlitz beer to craft an ad campaign that would rescue the company. Schlitz at the time was running about fifteenth in beer sales and was in deep trouble.

Hopkins made a trip to Wisconsin to visit the brewery. He needed to learn more about how beer was made. Hopkins knew that it was impossible to sell without a thorough knowledge of the product being sold.

The people at Schlitz showed Hopkins the entire brewing process, step by step. They showed him how deep they had drilled their wells to find the purest water. They showed him the glass enclosed rooms that kept the water pure, the kind of yeast they used and where they got it. They showed Hopkins the place where the bottles were cleaned, re-cleaned, and sanitised a dozen times.

‘My God,’ Hopkins said, ‘Why don’t you tell people in your advertising about all these steps you are taking to brew your beer?’

But, answered the Schlitz people, ‘all companies brew their beer about the same way.’

‘Yes,’ Hopkins countered, ‘but the first one to tell the public about this process will gain a big advantage.’

Hopkins then launched an ad campaign for Schlitz that described in detail the company’s step-by-step brewing process for making the beer. Within six months, Schlitz jumped to number 1 selling beer.

Hopkins proved with his ad campaign that there are no boring subjects, just boring writers. ‘Who wants to hear a story about the step-by-step brewing process of making beer?’ one might wonder. It turns out those who love beer are fascinated by the subject.

They want to know exactly and precisely why they should pick this beer above all others. Claude Hopkins understood this law of marketing and went on to turn the brewing process into an exciting story, full of detail—and of riveting interest to beer lovers.

  1. Tell readers exactly what they will get. 

Your customers want to know exactly what they will be getting for their money. 

When you buy a car, you want the exact specifications, so that when you compare prices with other dealers you know you’re comparing apples to apples. When you buy a computer, you need to know the specifications: How fast is it? How much memory does it have? How big is the screen? How clear is the resolution?

Include all the information. If the information is highly technical such as with computers, you should include this on a separate insert, perhaps along with a beautiful and impressive photo of the computer you’re selling. Technical specifications make for boring copy, so the complete list should not be included in the letter, just the highlights. But a complete list should be included somewhere.

If you’re selling a seminar on tape or a study-at-home course, you should include an impressive photo of all the materials that will be arriving in a box. Your letter, your sales package, is like a show-and-tell presentation. Provide all the information—if not all in the letter, on separate inserts and enclosures. Give your reader a lot of great material to study.

  1. Provide third-party testimony and social proof for the truth of your claims. 

Anything the salesperson has to say is going to be met with scepticism, no matter how compelling the story and claims, and no matter how exact the details are described.  You need others—preferably famous and respected people—to confirm that what you’re saying is true.

If you’re selling a cure for muscle pain, you should have endorsements by top doctors—perhaps doctors who work for professional sports teams.

But it’s also important for endorsements not to be just hype. Endorsements are best if they are mini-stories—a mini-story on how the recognized expert discovered your product and then a fairly detailed description of exactly what your product achieved for them is an effective, believable testimonial.

The more testimonials you have the better. If possible, include an entire booklet of testimonials with your mailings. You can never have enough testimonials. Try to secure testimonials on audio and video and put them on your website. Include a CD, DVD, MP3 with your mailing that includes all your testimonials, accompanied by the printed version (because most people will not take the time to view the DVD).

  1. Tell readers what bad things will happen if they fail to act now.

Your readers must be given good reasons to act now, not tomorrow. People buy more out of impulse. If your prospect puts your letter aside, thinking they will get to it later, your offer is probably doomed. Your reasons to act now, not tomorrow, must also be credible, not hype. Scarcity and limited time offers work very well.

Last chance’ arguments for acting now is a proven formula for success. But, as with all your sales letters and presentations, the claim must be believable and should be genuine.

Avoid using clichés such as ‘Supplies are limited, so act now.’ Everyone knows you probably have a warehouse full of it. Stronger more specific wording would be more credible,

We’re down to the last few books, and it could be many months before we go back up on press with another printing.

So I encourage you to get your order in today. Calling us at xxxxxxxx or ordering online at www.website.com is the surest and fastest way to secure your book.

This says almost the same thing, but it’s far more precise. The reasons are solid. And there’s no hype, just good solid facts and reasons for acting now and not waiting until tomorrow.

  1. Rephrase the most prominent benefits in the close and in other parts of the package.

Repeating your message is crucial in all successful marketing. But don’t repeat the same words all the time or you will bore your reader. Look for new, fresh ways to underscore what your offer is and what the benefits are. This is where brainpower and creativity come in.

You do this in your lead. You back up your claims in the body of your letter, in the enclosures and testimonials.

Summarise your offer, restating the principal benefit in the P.S. and on the order form.

What you’re offering, what you’re selling, must be crystal clear in about three seconds. Your reader must never need to search for what you’re selling.

  1. Include a risk reversal money-back guarantee.

This is absolutely essential, because you’re asking your reader, who may never have met you, to trust your claims and send you money. And, as with everything else in your letter, you must make your guarantee believable. Your reader must feel absolutely certain that this guarantee you’re describing is real. It must be unconditional, no questions asked.

Always put the buyer in charge of the guarantee and the decision as to whether a refund is called for.

  1. Offer instant gratification. 

In the 21st Century, the age of high-speed Internet and overnight delivery, you must offer instant gratification. People today are not patient. They aren’t willing to ‘allow four-to-six weeks for delivery.’ That’s like waiting until the next life.

So when your sales letter is mailed, be sure you’re ready to fulfill orders instantly.

  1. Always include a PS

This is the second most read part of any letter after the heading.

To find out more and get some free resources go to https://www.bernardkeavy.com