Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Hi,

Just a quick note from my family to yours as we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the United States.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving holiday.

Or if you're not celebrating Thanksgiving I hope you just have a bit of time to rest and reflect.

Thanks for reading, your comments, your thoughts, your feedback and everything else you do.

I appreciate it!

-Chuck

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Are You Sick And Tired Of Product Launches?

Are You Sick And Tired Of Product Launches?

If you are, you are definitely not alone.

And even though I am in the marketing business, I have to admit that it gets to be a bit much at times. 

Recently, highly respected internet marketer Mike Filsaime released a FREE report called "The Death of Internet Marketing"

Please DON'T stop reading just yet :-)

I know you have probably received several emails about this report.

I know I got 4 - 5 messages about it.

I was also at a workshop at the time the report came out and hadn't had a chance to read it yet.

And I'm pretty picky about what I recommend or pass on to my readers. 

===================================

Just a quick side note. My guidelines for referring a product or service are: 

  • I must have had a chance to review the product. Ideally, I'll have tried or used the product in my own business or life and been very happy with it.

OR

  • I must have reviewed, tried or used previous products from the person I refer and those have been of high quality and I have a good relationship with that person

This means that I actually recommend far fewer products or services than I could.

But it's more important to me (and I think, to you) to only recommend products or services that I've reviewed or tried and liked and are by people I know have high quality products.

Wouldn't you agree?

===================================

Anyway... I finally got around to reading the report and found it had some great points to make.

I can't cover everything here (the report is 59 pages!) but I did want to take a few minutes and tell you about what Mike covered and why you should read this report:

The report is called "The Death of Internet Marketing" because many things that used to work in internet marketing work no longer.

The primary reason for that is that once something new comes out that appears to work, everyone and their dog tries to copy it.

Sometimes they are successful and sometimes they are not...

....but overuse of the tactic kills it in the end.

The reason I titled this note "Are You Sick And Tired Of Product Launches?" is that ever since Jeff Walker came out with Product Launch Formula, it seems like everyone is attempting their own version of a product launch (myself included).

Now, Jeff's course is great (I own it) but the concept of product launch is now being overused. 

In Mike's report he talks about 17 popular internet marketers launching products in October alone!

And if you believe the trend will continue, how can this be sustained? Mike says people will just get sick of all the launches and in the end will just start unsubscribing from those lists where they are flooded by products being launched.

What has this got to do with Big Ticket?

Well, Mike also had a great example of a friend of his, who had a killer $1497 big ticket product.

Really, this product was so good (at least in Mike's opinion) that it could have rivaled some of the folks who were able to do $1M in a day.

Guess what?

Not even close. Apparently the product did well but it got lost in the noise of all the other product launches that were happening at the same time!

The report also looks at the practical side of even being able to support this increasing number of launches.

Mike talks about affiliates and other big name marketers basically being guilted into mailing their list about the product launch of a friend simply to return the favor that friend may have done for you to help support a product you were promoting.

Mike points out that its time to start saying NO to some of these requests instead of just promoting to return a favor. (Of course if you promised to do it you should keep your word!) 

And Mike has a great suggestion for how to to do that and increase the overall quality of these campaigns.

In fact, you should read this report if for no other reason than to learn about "Skulls Alliances".

I expect this to start happening soon and you need to make sure you understand what this is and how it effects you so that you can plan to be part of or create your own "Skulls Alliance".

Anyway, Mike covers that and a lot more in his report. There is nothing to buy and the report has got me thinking about changes in the way that my business will operate in 2007.

Give it a read:

http://www.chuck-daniel.com/recommends/RestInPeaceIM

-Chuck

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mini-Review Of Michael Masterson's "Seven Years To Seven Figures"

Most books that outline plans for financial independence almost always rely on extreme saving and “penny-pinching”.

You can get rich this way but most people just don’t have the discipline to do it because it will take 30–40 years to reach the goal.

In a nutshell Masterson’s approach is:

#1
The key to massively increasing your wealth is to dramatically increase your income. 

Masterson says there are 3 ways to do this.

  • Do what you currently do but do it better.
  • Develop a financially valuable skill, one that contributes directly to the bottom line of your own company or the company you work for.  This is usually in the sales or marketing areas.
  • Create multiple streams of income

#2
Investing passively (without working at it) will not generate significant enough gains to achieve the goal of 7 figures in 7 years. 

You can make good money in investments but to make great money you MUST work at it.

You must get better than average returns in the investments you make with your increased income.  He suggests investing in your existing company for profit sharing, starting your own business on the side of the one you currently work at and investing in real estate

This is a very simplified, overview of what Masterson covers in his book.  The best part of the book, in my opinion, is Part II.

It includes eight case studies of people who have achieved “7 Figures In 7 Years”.  

The case studies look at Big Ticket Businesses in Consulting, Retail, Real Estate and Information Marketing.

And… it covers exactly what they did to do it.

I really enjoyed this book because of its completely different approach.

You can find the book on amazon.com or bn.com

-Chuck

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How To Overcome Price Resistance When Selling High-Priced Information Products

When selling specialized information products -- newsletters, conferences, online services -- we are often asking prices that are many multiples of what trade publishers charge for books and magazines. The higher the price, the more the prospect is likely to experience “sticker shock” -- a resistance to paying that much money for information, no matter how much he wants it.

Fortunately, there are a number of promotional techniques that can help us overcome sticker shock and get people to pay the hefty prices we are asking for our print, fax, or Internet information services:

1) Make the reader relieved to hear how little you are charging. Do this by stating higher prices for other services or products first, then giving your price, which is less. For instance, if you are selling reading specs, mention that laser eye surgery is $1,000, new eyeglasses can run $300 at an optician’s, but your buy-by-mail reading specs are just $19.95. If you are selling an options trading course on video, first mention your $1 million minimum private managed accounts ... your $5,000 seminars ... by the time you get to the videos, the prospect will actually be relieved that they are only $299.

2) Make an apples-to-oranges comparison. Don’t compare your newsletter to another newsletter; compare it to another information resource, such as private consultation or expensive training. Promotions for Georgetown’s American Speaker compare the $297 price to the $5,000 a top speechwriter would charge to write just one speech. Leeb’s Index Options Alert notes that the $2,950 it charges for its options trading fax service is like paying a 2.95% fee on a $100,000 managed options account -- and that it’s actually lower than the total fee such a managed account would charge.

3) Spread out the payments. Rodale and Franklin Mint are well aware of the sales-closing benefits of offering several smaller payments vs. one large lump sum. One publisher of financial fax advisory services costing thousands of dollars found offering subscriptions on a quarterly basis reduced sticker shock and increased sales. If yours is an Internet service, consider offering it for so much a month with credit card payment on a till forbid basis. After all, which sounds better -- “$19.95 a month” or “$240 for one year of service”?

4) State the price in terms that make it seem smallest. Even if you want full payment up front, state the price in your promotion in terms that make it seem smaller. A $197 annual subscription, for instance, gives the buyer access to vital information for just 54 cents a day. Warning: Divide the price by length of service or subscription, but avoid a price per book or price per page comparison. Reason: Specialized information products always have a higher price per page than the trade books or periodicals with which the buyer will invariably make a comparison.

5) Value the component parts. If you are selling an options trading course for $200, list the individual elements and show that the retail prices of each (videos, workbook, telephone hotline, Web site access) add up to much more than $200 -- therefore the course buyer is getting a great deal. Even better: Position one or two of the product elements as premiums the buyer can keep even if he returns the product or cancels the subscription. Offering “keeper” premiums usually increases response. Example: Instead of selling your 8-cassette audio album for $69, say it is a 6-cassette album for $69, then position the other two cassettes as premiums.

6) Add an element that cannot easily be priced by the buyer. Loose-leaf services, for instance, face a built-in resistance from the buyer: “Why is it X dollars if it’s just a book?” Supplements help differentiate from regular books, but publishers have found it even more effective to include a CD-ROM with the notebook. The CD-ROM is perceived as a high-value item with indeterminate retail price (software on CD-ROM can cost anywhere from $19 to $499), so it destroys the “book to book” comparison between loose-leafs and ordinary books.

7) Show the value or return in comparison to the price. Demonstrate that the fee you charge is a drop in the bucket compared to the value your product adds or the returns it generates. If your service helps buyers pass regulatory audits, talk about the cost of failing such an audit -- fines, penalties, even facilities shutdowns. If your manual on energy efficiency in buildings cuts heating and cooling costs 10 to 20% a year, the reader with a $10,000 fuel bill for his commercial facility will save $1,000 to $2,000 this year and every year -- more than justifying the $99 you are asking for the book.

8) Find a solution with your pocket calculator. With intelligent manipulation, you can almost always make the numbers come out in support of your selling proposition. Example: A high-priced trading advisory specializes in aggressive trades with profits of around 20 to 30% with average holding periods of less than a month. The challenge: Overcome resistance to paying a big price for modest-sounding returns. Solution: Dramatize the profits the subscriber can make with numerous quick trades. Copy reminds readers: “If you could earn 5% each month for the next 10 years, a mere $10,000 investment would compound to a whopping $3.4 million. At 10%, it would be an almost unimaginable $912 million!”

9) Pre-empt the price objection. Most mailings for expensive products build desire and perceived value, then reveal price once the customer is sold. An opposite approach is to state price up front and use the exclusivity of a big number to weed out non-prospects. Example: “This service is for serious investors only. It costs $2,500 a year. If that price scares you, this is not for you.” An element of exclusivity and snob appeal is at work here. Also, the more you tell someone they do not qualify, the more they will insist they do and want your offer. The classic example is Hank Burnett’s famous letter for the Admiral Bird Society’s fund-raising expedition. The second paragraph states: “It will cost you $10,000 and about 26 days of your time. Frankly, you will endure some discomfort, and may even face some danger.”

10) Do a false close. Bring the prospect to the point of asking for the order, then instead of doing so, say “But wait, there’s more...” and then present another irresistible benefit. THEN ask for the order.

11) Add a sweetener. Add an extra incentive -- a special premium, extended warranty or guarantee, free service or support, two for the price of one, or other special offer to close the deal.

12)  Establish yourself as the leading expert in your field. Price resistance diminishes in direct proportion to the prospect’s belief that you are the unchallenged expert in your field or niche. Reason: They perceive you offer solutions unavailable from other sources, and that your solutions work as promised. Note: My forthcoming book, Become a Recognized Authority in Your Field -- in 60 Days or Less (Alpha Books), is packed with strategies on how to establish yourself as a guru.

by Robert W. Bly

Bob Bly is an independent copywriter and consultant with more than 20 years of experience in business-to-business, high-tech, industrial, and direct marketing. He has written copy for clients such as IBM, AT&T, and Agora Publishing.  Learn more about Bob at http://www.bly.com