You can kiss the easy sales goodbye in this economy

You can kiss the easy sales goodbye in this economy

“Near the old highways of America pass businesses that have gone broke.  End of the dream.  The spoor of a broken marriage can be kept in a couple of cartons on a shelf in the garage.  Broken lives can be tucked neatly away in graves and jails and sanitariums.  But the dead business in a sub-marginal commercial strip stays right there, ugly and moldering away, the frantic advertising signs of the final convulsive effort fading and tattering over the weeds.  For every one of them was the big dream, the gala opening, the last dusting and arranging before the doors opened.  “We’re going to make it big, honey.  Real big.”  Then there is a slow slide into doubt, into confusion, and into the terminal despair.  “So we’re going to make it real big, were we?  Ha!”

Hey you,

It’s #2.

The words of wisdom above are from back in 1968 from my man, Best-Selling Author John MacDonald, spoken through his rouge character, Travis McGee.

When I read this it made me think of the abandoned, closed down, lifeless corpse buildings that previously housed… ‘Linens & Things’, the ‘Ultimate Electronics’ mega store and the ‘Wendy’s’ fast food restaurant I passed today driving here to the office.

All of them in fabulous locations.  All of them with spectacular brand awareness.  All of them successful once upon a time.

I don’t know what ‘excuse’ each of the locations cited for having to shut their doors but I do know one thing for certain.  Each of those companies talks to the masses in their advertising.  Their marketing always speaks to the public, to America.  Never to you.

If companies these previously untouchable, well funded, “Big Time Operations” are feeling the pain horrible marketing has inflicted on them… what’s the little guy got in store if he makes this mistake?

Then, I come here to the office and while cruising 24/7 Wall St.com’s site and I see this…

“The American Bankruptcy Institute reports that the September 2009 consumer filing total reached 124,790, a 41% increase from the 88,663 consumer filings in September 2008.  The number is also up 4% from August.

The news is bad for both retailers and credit card companies, particularly as the holiday shopping period approaches. Last year the drop in consumer spending in the fourth quarter a number of retailers closed led by national electronics chain Circuit City. Weak sales between Thanksgiving and New Years would like cause another wave in lay-offs in the retail sector.”

More bad news for the idiot’s who are above talking to you like a regular person.

You know, the retards who run the DEEP VOICED, blaring, mile-a-minute radio ads that scream, “ABC Nissan is having the Thanksgiving Special-of-The-Year.  2007 Pre-owned Maxima ONLY $13,995.  2008 Altima’s ONLY 18,500.  Come down and buy a car now and you’ll be thankful to ABC NISSAN.  Come now.  Come Now COME NOW.  Prices are UNBEATABLE.  ABC Nissan, ABC Nissan, ABC Nissan on the corner of Camelback and 24th St.”

Followed by the hi-speed fine print weasel clause contradicting everything they just told you.

This actually reminds me of the Nissan and the Masserati dealerships that’re right across the street from each other on McDowell Road here in Scottsdale… that closed almost 8 months back.

Big empty vacant lots with weeds sprouting out of them.

At peak, hell even when times were just plain OK, these companies should have had plenty of cash flow to pour into finding out exactly who their ideal prospect and customers were so that they could build relationships with them and ad campaigns that attracted people  just like Starbucks has,  hypnotizing the coffee snobs like me.

I can’t imagine how much money Starbucks saves by not falling for ad agency’s slicker than Vaseline sales spiels about how they’d be doing sooo much better if they had radio & TV spots working for them.

Howard Schultz knew who he wanted to attract and then built a place where those people would feel at home.  Principle 13 of Dan Kennedy’s “Influential Writing” is entirely dedicated to how you can do what Howard did for Starbucks with your online business or brick and mortar store.  Click Here to get access to this secret and much, much more…

To create a place where people feel like they’re right, approved of, and in control, a place where people have maximum situational confidence… you’ve first got to know who they are.

How Do You Find Out Who Your Ideal Customer and Prospect Are?

A friend to the nerd cause (you know who you are) recently steered me into the genius program that is Rich Schefren’s ‘Founders Club’.

All I’ve got to say about this is, GET IT.  Rich’s revelations here are nothing short of amazing.

Today I want to share with you the notes I took from the first report in this program about knowing who your ideal customers are… and what they really want.

Let’s roll.

There is nothing more important than truly understanding your ideal prospects and customers.

Rich uses this Dan Kennedy quote which states… “I do not believe in ‘generic’ persuasion.  In fact, my contention is that truly understanding the targeted prospect/customer is more important than any other element in your marketing success.”

Not only will knowing your prospects and customers make your marketing convert higher but it will also make the products you produce have a more significant impact in your customers lives because they’ll be zero guess work into what they want and need.

Rich advocates that you should know your market cold before you even design your business.

You Have An Obligation To Yourself and Your Ideal Prospect To Become A Detective

Jay Abraham says, “Most entrepreneurs fall in love with the wrong thing.  They fall in love with their own company, or their product or service instead of falling in love with their clients and prospects.  Your whole business success, your whole passion, your whole connectivity, your whole positioning, the way you’re seen, embraced, respected, will change massively when you conceive your business as interacting and enhancing people’s lives.”

If you believe this to be true for you, then you’ve gotta know your ideal customers Core Complex.

The business titan Michael Masterson passed this concept on to Rich and here’s what it is…

The Core Complex of your ideal customers are the emotions, attitudes and aspirations that influence all of their decisions.

A Core Complex is made up of…

  • Beliefs:  What does audience believe is true for them?  What is their attitude about the result your product or service promises to produce?
  • Feelings:  How do these beliefs make them feel?  Are they confident and brash or are they paranoid and fearful?  How does their current situation, you promise to improve, make them feel?
  • Desires:  What results do they want?  What means success/peace of mind in their eyes?

There are ways to find this but it needs to be you that does this work.  If you sub this out you dilute the effect of getting a real gut feeling and understanding of what makes this person do what they do.

You get to know their problems better than they do so when you talk to them they feel like you’re one of them instead of some faceless corporation who want all the benefits of the customers money with none of the “Dirty work” of actually knowing, talking too and relating to the people that make their business run.

Approaching Your Research So You Don’t Waste Your Time

The few people who even attempt to do research to find out what turns their ideal customer on, totally drop the ball.

Rich talks about looking for clues and then reflecting on them by putting them through a set of questions.

One of the places to find clues is in the Q + A Sites or Q + A sections of your markets forums.  Once you find these questions and you sift through them you want to be asking yourself…

  • What’s definitely true
  • What might be true
  • What’s definitely not true

Remember, there have been beliefs you may have had in the past that you thought with your whole being were true that turned out to be completely false.  Especially ones about what you’re capable of as a person.

Your prospects and customers are no different.

This process helps you become conscious of what to say so you meet people where they’re at so you can potentially take them where they want to be.

Here’s what to be on the lookout for while doing your detective work…

Product ideas

Biggest frustrations

Problems consistently experienced

Biggest competitors

Popular websites & blogs

Topics of interest

The words they use and any special lingo they use

Their likes and dislikes

Level of sophistication

Common enemies

Recurring themes/topics

Demographics (age, sex, education, occupation, income, marital status, children, etc.)

Psychographics (hobbies, lifestyle choices, purchasing behavior, media habits, values, etc.)

10 Steps To Finding Everything You Need To About Your Prospect

Build a Strong Keyword List

What keywords represent 80% of your market?  If you don’t know, now you will.

Rich’s two favorite resources for finding keywords are…

Google’s free keyword research tool https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and http://www.keycompete.com/

First go to Google and put in your most popular keyword to see what Google recommends and what kind of traffic it receives.  Then, pick the ten most popular/relevant ones and go over to keycompete.

Here’s what to do now…

  1. Type in the keywords you got from Google into the search box
  2. Then, you’ll see all the domains bidding for that keyword
  3. Click on one of the top sites listed and peep the keywords being bid on.
  4. Write down all the interesting keyword phrases they’re using.
  5. Now, click on one of the best phrases you hadn’t thought of before to see who else is advertising for that term.
  6. Do the same thing from step 3 on.

Look Over The Shoulder of Your Competitors

Just by going to competitors sites, you’ll learn a ton of stuff.

Go to Google and type in your primary keywords (one at a time) and check out the pay-per-click ads streaming down the right side.  What are the common themes?  Write down any thoughts that come up.

Now, cruise over to your competitors sites.  You’re lucky if you’ve got a smart competitor that either knows how to write brilliant copy or is astute enough to know investing in great talent will lead to success.

When you read the salesletter a few times you can start to reverse engineer the beliefs, feelings and desires the writer was trying to arouse, instill and tap.

While here you can also skim the link texts, scan their blog and soon you’ll get a good idea of what the owner of the site believes to be true about their visitors.

Now, go over to compete.com and do a site profile and check out their search analytics.  Then, head over to quantcast.com to find out the sites demographics.

And of course, you should be opting into their list and studying their emails and sales process.

Put Amazon To Work For You

Amazon has earned the trust of almost anyone who buys stuff online.  This means lots of your prospects probably hang out there.  Which really means Amazon is your ally in the quest to find out more about your prospects.

Go there and use your keywords to search for the best selling books in your market.  Skim through the pages they allow, paying very close to, even copying the table of contents of the book for bullet copy ideas or article ideas.

Then, make sure you’re copying and pasting customer reviews of the books (good and bad) because this gives you emotional language your prospects use to express themselves about your topic.

Make Your Analytics Sweat For You

If you’ve got a site that gets traffic and has great content on it you’re visitors are talking to you without saying anything.

Your analytics can tell you what content is repelling first-time visitors and what content sucks virgins into your vortex of value.  Check your new visitor segment and look to see what the most popular pages are in order of bounce rate.

Obviously you should fix the pages with the highest bounce rate as soon as possible.  And you should model the ones on the bottom of the list that people are parking on.

Your analytics are also gonna tell you what pages people keep coming back to see.  This lets you peer in on what excites them.

You can also see which keywords bring you the visitors who are ideal for you by sorting the most popular keywords of return visitors and compare them to the most popular keywords used by single visitors.

Make sure to also watch you keywords report for the keyword phrases that tell you what your visitors are looking for and the language they use that brought them to you.

Also be sure to check out the referring site report so you can see where visitors are coming from?  Is most of your traffic coming from search engines, other sites or directly?

Find Forums and Plunder Them

Here’s how to do this fast, easy and profitably…

Find the most popular forums in your niche by going to Google and typing in “your primary keyword and forum”

Next you want to get the visitor profile of each of the forum sites you find.  This is how you get it.  But first, make sure you keep the individual profile on each forum because you find out what each segment of your market wants and what their frustrations are that they want help with.  You’ll see how this info differs from forum to forum.  Then you can create a complete marketing message.  Or, this info may tell you need to talk entirely different to one group than the other in order to connect with them.

Now, go to http://www.quantcast.com and there they’ll give the profile of each forum.  There’s going to be a tab on the left and it’s going to tell you the demographics of each forum.

Make sure you prints these out and cut and paste them into a word doc.  Summarize the visitor and then put everything you discover underneath the summary.

When you digging around in the forum you want to find the threads that get the most action (views & posts).  You can even swipe the thread titles and use them for subject lines for your emails.

What you should find by doing this…

By seeing their most frequent questions this is going to tell you their sticking points.  When you see these you now know you better answer these questions with whatever product you want to bring to them.

Look for posts that talk about goals.  Here’s where you’ll see in their own words what they think they’ll get once the achieve their goal and what they want to be different about their life.  Pay attention to all the ‘feeling’ words because those are anybody does anything for, to change the way they feel.

Make sure you’re plucking all the lingo they use to refer to themselves and the actions and steps involved in whatever the forum is about.

Haunt the Hottest Blogs

As dumb as it sounds, people overlook this step all the time.  A popular blog that masterfully gets their followers talking to them is money in the bank for you.  You get to see people express themselves with gut reaction comments.

Find the most popular blogs on your topic by going to  http://www.technorati.com and typing in your main keyword in the search box.  There’s a green box where you can filter your results by changing the first drop down menu from “Search posts” to “Search blogs.

Then take the names of the most popular blogs and plunk ‘em into http://www.quantcast.com again and do the same detective work here that you did for the forums.

Next go the blogs you selected and find the old posts with the most comments.  Within these posts is a goldmine about what turns your prospects on and how they express their excitement.

Make sure to pay attention to the worst ones too because it will teach you what to avoid.

Mimic Magazines

Every month the covers of magazines in your niche provide you with awesome, timely, email subject line copy.

The benefits promised to this crowd is on the top of their mind because the magazines has put it there.  Take full advantage of this.  They’re telling you what they’re telling the market to focus on.

Rich goes in and takes pictures of all the covers related to his niche once a month.  Not a bad idea.  You could also do this at the library.

What Sites Do People In Your Niche Not Want To Lose Track Of?

Delicious is a site that keeps track of it’s user’s bookmarks, sites they fell in love with, lets other people see a list of the most bookmarked pages for specific keywords.

Go to delicious.com and search under your main keywords.  It’s that simple.  Think about it, if you see a page about your topic on there that’s been bookmarked 1,391 times, you think there’s the possibility it’s got something to offer you?

Now, The Ocean Of Insight… Q & A

Here’s a list of places your ideal prospects probably go to when the want answers to their questions…

http://www.askyahoo.com

http://www.faqfarm.com

http://www.answers.google.com

http://www.oyogi.com

http://www.expertbee.com

http://www.wondir.com

http://www.askbar.com

http://www.pointask.com

http://www.askfreddy.com

http://www.yahooligans.yahoo.com/content/ask

http://www.freepint.com/bar/

http://www.healthanswers.com

http://www.answersthatwork.com

http://www.catholic.com

http://www.christiananswers.net

http://www.answeringenesis.org

http://www.anzwers.com.au/

http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk/

http://www.vrd.org/locator/suject.shtml

http://www.answerbag.com

http://www.invisionfree.com

http://www.askdrz.com

Go to these sites…treasure awaits you.

I Spy With My Little Eye

Maybe you know about it, maybe you don’t but there’s a feature on your computer where you can invite a friend of yours to take control of your computer to help you fix something or show you, virtually, how to do it… from their computer… anywhere on the planet.

There’s a service called clicktale that lets you see every action each and every visitor who comes to your site does while there. While clicktale doesn’t allow you to take over their computer it allows you to watch what they read, what they blow by, what gets to pass over and then come back and at what point they start scrolling and at what speed.

Go to http://www.clicktale.com to see all the details about this spy tool that will tell you what like and don’t like about your site on their unconscious level, which is the best kind of info you can get.

That’s all for today folks.  We’re at 10 pages of a word doc and I know you’ve got stuff to do so I’m not keeping you any longer.

But now, I hope you’re ready.  Ready for business and selling to be easier.  Ready for higher conversion rates.  Ready to talk to prospects the way that makes them feel understood.  Ready to fall in love with the people who are going to fund your lifestyle.

Not being ready for all of this could cost you business.  So take advantage of the gift I’ve posted.  Start using these 10 ways of finding out who your ideal prospect is and you’ll be grateful to yourself for doing what the losers won’t.

Once again, thanks to my fellow nerd who turned me onto Rich Schefren’s Founders Club report and inspired this share today.

Talk to you again soon,

Note Taking Nerd #2

P.S.  Remember… I’ve decided to commit to spending at least One Hour of my time responding to any thoughtful question or comments made about posts I’ve written.  I’m not perfect yet and after spending hours writing this I’ve had to leave some stuff out.  So feel free to point out anything I wasn’t crystal clear on.  What you say might exhaust the whole hour (if you’ve seen my responses in previous posts you’ll see I don’t wimp out here).  And, if  it’s of the ” ‘Great’ or ‘Shitty’ post” type, it may not warrant any further elaboration but yet will be oh so appreciated.   I’m here for you and I’d love to hear your voice.  Just let me know what you have a question about in today’s topic.  The doors open so go on ahead and deepen our relationship today by coming on in and talking to me.

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