"Content is King," the speaker on the stage said.
For years, that has been a generally accepted maxim that I religiously clunk to, but no longer. The reason - in my opinion - is not that it is wrong, but that it is incomplete. Let me explain...
A textbook is "content". But can you name the authors of ANY of the texts you've ever had to study from? I can name a few like Freud and Jung but only because their work frequently resurfaces in many of the books I read about marketing, sales, and influence. Content gives you information that you can apply to create some sort of gain - either for yourself or someone else.
But as marketers, is that our goal?
I contend that it is not and that our true goal is to get the consumer of our information to take action.
Over the years, I have created a "crap-ton" (a highly technical term used by marketers) of different content featuring a plethora of vast topics. And for the most part, I have had some kind of related offer in the continent or at the end of the content. Some of those CTAs (Call To Action) worked, but most did not. Honestly, that is 100% expected. Rarely have I had content convert at over 50% and anything that converts at over 20% is cause for a MASSIVE celebration.
So while considering the speaker's comment that "content is king" it dawned on me that the true power of the content comes from the APPLICATION of that new knowledge. For most people, applying that knowledge requires them to have some kind of offer placed in front of them so they can benefit from their new information.
This led me to realize that the goal is not to have an offer, it is to present multiple offers.
Typically, when most marketers create a marketing piece there is only ONE offer like:
- Call now
- Save $5000 until Friday
- Download the eBook
- Buy today to receive a gift with your purchase
- Make an appointment
That offer might be ideal for us, but is it ideal for EVERY prospect? Odds are it is not. And this is why most marketing assets have such dismally low response rates. So what is the solution?
To start, give your prospect multiple reasons to respond with several different offers.
In the blog post Engagement - The Art Of Creating And Distributing Content To Grow Your Business, you learned about what it takes to create the content that prospects use to get to know, like and trust you. If you've been doing that, you've likely noticed that most content does not contain a singular idea but actually has multiple points where you refer to something else or have to provide additional detail for clarity. Each of these is the opportunity for an offer. For example, the hyperlink to the Engagement post is an offer. The bottom of this article contains an offer.
The point is, and my experience tells me, that at any given time, the number of people ready to take you up on your product or service - RIGHT NOW - is probably no more than 2-4%. By adding additional offers, you steadily move your prospects towards either making a purchase OR deciding that your product or service isn't the best alternative for their situation.
If you haven't noticed yet, there is one other force we have not discussed - procrastination.
Your prospect may have a genuine need to acquire your product or services TODAY, yet they do not. They may have the means to afford your solution, they may even openly admit that your solution is something that they want and need. Still, they do not proceed. Why?
There can be a myriad of underlying answers like "I might need the money for something else'' or "Do I really need this today?" In all my years of face-to-face selling, I can tell you from experience that procrastination was THE number 1 reason that people did not buy. This was especially evident when I was selling seasonal recreational products in my parents' powersports business in Winnipeg.
A past customer would bring in his 20-year-old fishing boat at the end of summer to get winterized and put into storage. They would complain that it "was low on power" or "didn't perform like it used to" (plus they hadn't washed or cleaned it in years and it looked like it had come from King Tut's tomb). They KNEW it was time to replace it yet getting them to order their new boat in the fall for next season was extraordinarily difficult because of procrastination. It was almost like they were thinking "Why procrastinate about this today when I can procrastinate about this tomorrow?"
To be successful, I had to give them offer after offer after offer:
- If you buy your new boat now and trade in your old boat, you won't have to pay for storage on your current boat and …
- If you buy now, we can order your new boat with every option you want for delivery in spring and…
- If you buy your new boat in fall, we have all winter to get it ready for you so there's no waiting in spring when we have to deal with all the dumb procrastinators (this was a none-too-subtle jab at the prospect) and…
- There are no payments and no interest until spring and…
- Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...
While you might think "Well sure Rich, of course someone is not going to want to buy a new boat going into a Winnipeg winter where it's so freaking cold that exposed skin freezes solid in under 2 minutes." And you would be correct in saying so. But accepting the prospect's excuse does NOTHING for solving the problem that you know you would have if you allowed them to wait until spring. Plus, it also exposes you to the additional problem of the prospect "cooling" over the winter, forgetting all the negatives about their current boat, and saying "Yeah, that old boat is looking a little tired but if I give it a wash and wax it'll be ok for another season..." Now your sale is pushed back ANOTHER 6 months plus your odds of losing that sale to a competitor just INCREASED.
Procrastination is real. You CAN NOT afford to lose business because you are too lazy to craft multiple offers.
Crafting an offer to overcome EVERY objection you can think of - including doing nothing - will get you more new customers, patients, or clients. Going into the 1995 Winnipeg Boat Show we crafted a stacked-up "super-offer" for the Sea-Doo watercraft we were showing and combined multiple offers including "free" lifejackets, safety equipment, extended warranties, deferred payments, a trailer, etc. All they needed to do was say "Yes'' and put down a $100 deposit to guarantee delivery by the May long weekend. The offers were irresistible AND we killed procrastination by convincing them that if they went home to "think about it" instead of buying at the boat show, the offer was absolutely, positively GONE. DEAD. FINITO. YOU SNOOZE - YOU LOSE.
We sold over 137 of them. In 4 days. In February. DURING A BLIZZARD.
So yes, multiple offers WILL grow your business.
You just need to create one for every objection and start getting them out to your prospects.
And now, here's an offer you'd be CRAZY to pass up on:
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of a product or service you'd like to sell more of along with three (or more) different offers to get someone to say "Yes!" to it. Put "OFFER OFFER" in the subject line so I don't miss it. I'll email you back with a special calendar link where you can book a 30-minute Zoom call with me for $5. All we talk about will be your offers.
Here's the procrastination killer. This offer is going to disappear without warning. Once it's gone, it's gone FOREVER. If you come back to this blog post and the offer has been deleted, you're outta luck.
Don't go get a coffee. Don't call home. Don't check Facebook. Send the email NOW.