Once you have amassed a large database of prospects, the single most important weapon in your marketing arsenal is a GREAT sales letter. This is a FACT lost on the vast majority of people who think that no one reads anymore (despite the fact that in the last decade, the size of the average bookstore has grown from about 3,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet).
Someone must be reading!
Top direct-sales copywriters don’t come cheap. I charge a minimum of $15,000 for a series of single page sales letters or one long one. Others like Dan Kennedy and Jay Abraham charge far more. Of course, you can hire a cheap copywriter or one with no history of direct-sales success, but that’s a big mistake. Ninetynine percent of professional writers—people who may write excellent prose—cannot write sales copy. It’s the difference between reading a travel magazine article and saying “That sounds like a nice place” and “Honey, bring my wallet. I’m going to book our vacation at this new beach resort right now!”
Adopt these seven resolutions and watch your business grow and thrive.
Resolution Number One. Spend the first hour of each day on marketing. Send emails, write letters, make phone calls—do something that has a chance to generate business! I would credit this one factor above all others in business success. If you just get in front of the right people every day, you have a chance to make a sale! Too many business owners are so busy being busy that they never have time to market! How much time do you spend on marketing per week—really spend?
Resolution Number Two. Spend at least three hours a week (more would be much better) working on your business, NOT in it! That means taking the time to write procedure manuals, business plans, and the other cornerstones of duplication and long-term success. Few people enjoy this, but it is a very important factor if you are ever going to maximize the potential of your business. The more systematized your business becomes, the easier it is to run and the more time you can spend making money or playing golf instead of putting out fires.
Sam Walton became the world’s richest man in the 1990s using one fundamental strategy. He built his stores in smaller towns where his competition didn’t go because they thought there weren’t enough people to support a store. (Which just shows how wrong you can be.)
Southwest Airlines used the same initial strategy in building their company on less-traveled routes and secondary airports, where the gate fees were less.
I built a multimillion-dollar business in an industry no one had thought about—the karate business—that at its peak had 20,000 schools in the US alone. Earlier in my martial arts career, I had the only karate school in two different cities.
One of the most powerful objection busters in the business is the Feel-Felt-Found solution. It can be adapted to handle many different types of objections. When the prospect raises an objection, you listen attentively then follow up using these three steps:
1. “I understand how you FEEL.” This statement avoids being argumentative and takes prospects’ objections seriously. It tells them you were listening and shows that you do indeed have their best interests at heart.
2. Many of our clients FELT that way before they invested in our services. “For instance, Mr. Miller is in your line of work [church, age group, or other category].” This shows prospects that their concerns are valid and the fact that you name other customers they can relate to who had the same concern builds trust in you. “He worried about that but…”
3. What he FOUND was that… [your answer] there were lots of people with [concern]. However, his family enjoyed the club facilities, the contacts were valuable to his business, etc. Here are some examples that put all three steps together:
Before you start your new venture, commit to becoming a business sponge. Soak up every bit of key information you need to rapidly increase your competence in sales, marketing, time management, and other key entrepreneurial skills that will dramatically affect the ultimate success of your business.
It’s a pretty simple yet seldom discussed fact that competence in various disciplines of business brings success, lack of competence—failure.
Mark Twain lost his entire fortune on a series of entrepreneurial ideas, most notably a typesetting machine that never actually worked. Twain, like many of us, fell in love with the idea and simply didn’t know when to say stop.
I have a friend in the exotic car business whom I visit quite often. Every time I’m down at his house, he has a Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bentley, or some other beautiful car in the driveway. He lets me drive whatever he has, which for a car nut like me is heaven. Invariably I say, “Why don’t you keep this one?”