Is Your Shock and Awe Shocking and Awe-inspiring?
The term “shock and awe” is technically known as rapid dominance; it is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power, dominant battlefield awareness, special maneuvers, and spectacular displays of force - all in order to paralyze an adversary’s will to fight. This doctrine was written by Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade in 1996 and is a product of the National Defense University of the United States.
The term was then adapted by Dan Kennedy followers to describe a marketer’s response to a prospect’s show of interest in the product or service. We all know the value of a good shock and awe package. It welcomes a prospect into your world, gives information about your business, and persuades the prospect to take the next step. Dr. Charles Martin called it your “trust box” because it builds trust in the heart of a prospect interested in your business.
Anatomy of a Shock and Awe
In order to get you familiar with what a shock and awe really is, let me explain to you the structure of my own personal shock and awe packages. The elements included might be something as follows:
Background of Clouds
We are going with a ‘flight theme’ with yours truly as the info-pilot. The portfolio is displayed with a nice blue sky sprinkled with some puffy white clouds. Now, this is not to say that all shock and awe packages must have a pilot theme with a background of clouds but the goal is to have a theme. Find a cohesive thread that will tie all the components of the bundle together. This will help to keep prospects more engaged in the information that they are receiving from you.
16-page free report
This part of the booklet is designed to get you excited and interested. This helps to get people looking into their own world to determine if the business relationship is a match for both of you. By also emphasizing the “free” aspect, it shows you are putting trust in them and giving them value before the relationship has even begun. This makes them more likely to trust you and, eventually, buy from you. Does it have to be 16 pages? Of course not. But, give them some content that will be of value to them while also showing that you are an expert in what they need.
This is the first call-to-action. It is designed to persuade the prospect to schedule a consultation. This is important because it is the step that allows for the prospect to take the leap and get in touch. Making an appointment or scheduling a consultation is key in beginning to build the relationship.
Digital gift box
This tastefully describes all the gifts the prospect will receive even before the start of the relationship. Once again, this is slowly convincing them to come work with you. You are appealing to their desire to come out of this potential relationship having gotten a real return on their investment. This only helps to move the boat -- or plane in this case -- along the ocean.
The satisfaction guarantee is pretty self-explanatory but it essentially describes my own unconditional -- more than your money back -- guarantee. Take careful notice that I am placing this guarantee before asking for any money. This establishes their confidence in the integrity of my company. Whatever your company’s values are, be sure to highlight them in this package and show that you care about your customers.
Message from the “pilot”
This is my personality brochure. This talks about me, my background, my mindset, and my own success story. This is important because it gets information across which allows the prospect to be more comfortable. This is another key aspect of building that trust before the relationship even starts because without trust, there is no chance of anything more than a glance at your weekly emails or monthly newsletters.
Here is where prospects can see business people who are just like them who have worked with me in the past. This piece of the package tells the prospect that he/she does not need superhuman strengths or a large marketing budget in order to do business with me. This is where you can throw in some testimonials and really let your customer service shine.
Have them take a quiz. This section is designed to have the prospect look at their current situation and see if it can be improved. This ‘sets the stage’ for the deal. The philosophy is this: establish a current state, goal state, and determine the distance between the two. By having them fill this out, they are better equipped to hear your pitch because they now know what needs to be done and you will be able to tell them what exactly you are going to do to get them there.
Flight path brochures
These brochures describe my core services in detail. They take out any ambiguity and show prospects exactly what we do. I lay out the 478 individuals tasks that it takes for me to complete my main services. Now you may ask...doesn’t doing this leave you open to people taking your road map and hiring a team of vendors themself? Sure, it could. But in reality, this does two things for me. First, it clearly describes what is included in the price (notice that we still have not talked about price or asked for an order yet. We are still in the process of shocking and awing them). Secondly, it is likely to scare the prospect. Most people (especially those who are not technically inclined) would not want to venture into doing this on their own.
This is finally where we start to talk about price. Personally, and you may choose to do otherwise, I keep the price “masked.” I do not give a specific number. It only tells you to send an email or give me a call to discuss pricing. This is another call-to-action. Remember that the most important part of a shock and awe is to get the prospects in your door with cash in their hand.
The final piece is an invitation to a full day consultation session. This is me asking for the order. After being exposed to a cocktail of Sandler’s “Monkey's Paw” strategy and Kennedy’s theory of micro-commitment, I learned that if you want to make a large deal, ask for a small order. Be careful when doing this because you must make the initial order large enough to qualify the prospect throughout your process. If you are going to ask for a $40k deal and your initial order is $259, then you will have a very hard time ascending someone from paying $260 to $40k.
So that is how I organize my own personal shock and awe boxes. Obviously, you can use this framework but you must make it your own. Add or subtract items as needed depending on the particulars of your company. Good luck and if you have any questions, feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.