Just started the 9x12 system.

by 52 comments
Hi all,

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sam and I own a small consulting firm in Ohio called Vantage Professional Services. I didn't see an introduction thread anywhere so I hope that this will suffice.

Anyhow, I started working on the 9x12 system about 3 weeks ago. I purchase BobRoss' program the other day and am now going through my first round of sales visits.

I have my mockup done, as well as my branding. 'The Savings adVantage'.

I'm posting here because I need some advice in how to fine tune my pitch. The biggest obstacle for me has been a competing product called the Town Money Saver. This is an 8x10 full color coupon book that is mailed through USPS monthly to 22,000 homes . If you catch them when they are running a special you can get a full page 8x10 color ad for $450 a month.

I have my largest ad space (4x3) priced at $495. As a business owner who understands the value of this kind of marketing, I think the price is VERY reasonable. However, some of my potential clients just aren't seeing it. What can I do to overcome their objection to paying more money for a smaller ad that goes out to half as many homes?

Many thanks in advance for any advice.
#offline marketing #9x12 #started #system
  • Profile picture of the author HostWind
    Explain to them the effectiveness and 'open rates' of direct mail. Also compare cost to other forms of advertising where CPC may be 10 dollars or more each for a single view!

    You may launch your first one half-priced on the condition owners report their success data to be used in a 'case study'. Then, you can use this data for later sales.
  • Profile picture of the author azurews
    If it's an actual coupon book then they will be competing with lots of other businesses for attention.

    They may be buried in the book somewhere that makes it hard to find their.

    They are taking the chance people are actually going to look through the book.

    With the mailers people don't have much of a choice but to see the ad since it is right there in their face.

    I am far from the best sales person but those are some of the points I would try to bring up.
    • Profile picture of the author justmerob
      Awesome your beginning this Sam! I'm in Ohio as well in the NE part. Might see you on the streets one day LOL

      Anyways, I've heard that one too about the town saver and as others said, push the exclusivity of it, the BAM IN YO FACE aspect and the targeting in the "coupon friendly" areas. And if all else fails, discount the hell out of it "only for the first one of course" to let them SEE how good this thing works!

      Good luck! What part of Ohio you in btw?
  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Keep digging for those prospects.

    Do go after the ones that advertise a lot -- those are your most probable buyers AND they "get" why you want IMMEDIATE, virtual 100% exposure versus a SMALL PROBABILITY of exposure in a coupon rag.

    When I was marketing personal training, if you showed me this program and it went to the right list (area) where my prospects were, I would have jumped at trying out AT LEAST one month to test drive it.
  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Originally Posted by VantagePro View Post

    Hi all,

    Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sam and I own a small consulting firm in Ohio called Vantage Professional Services. I didn't see an introduction thread anywhere so I hope that this will suffice.

    Anyhow, I started working on the 9x12 system about 3 weeks ago. I purchase BobRoss' program the other day and am now going through my first round of sales visits.

    I have my mockup done, as well as my branding. 'The Savings adVantage'.

    I'm posting here because I need some advice in how to fine tune my pitch. The biggest obstacle for me has been a competing product called the Town Money Saver. This is an 8x10 full color coupon book that is mailed through USPS monthly to 22,000 homes . If you catch them when they are running a special you can get a full page 8x10 color ad for $450 a month.

    I have my largest ad space (4x3) priced at $495. As a business owner who understands the value of this kind of marketing, I think the price is VERY reasonable. However, some of my potential clients just aren't seeing it. What can I do to overcome their objection to paying more money for a smaller ad that goes out to half as many homes?

    Many thanks in advance for any advice.
    Even though it looks like our product and the coupon book are similar, they aren't. The problem is that we're not comparing apples to apples. Yes they are both being delivered via the same method but that's it.

    To most business owners, they are going to compare these based on:
    • amount mailed
    • price

    Like someone said above though, the open rate is what they aren't factoring in and this is the critical difference that makes our product a significantly better value.

    You can't win these businesses over if you're allowing them to generalize everything and reduce it to mailing amount and price. You'll lose.

    You have to get them to see the value in actual exposure (open rate).

    Artifical value

    Advertising reps will push these big numbers in order to create artificial value. Think of a billboard on a busy highway, it might get 100,000 views per day! A newspaper ad can get 50,000 views and only cost a couple hundred.

    This is why they sell tons of ads that keep failing, it's easy to convince business owners that a few hundred bucks is well worth reaching these ridiculously high numbers of people.

    Your job is to bring them to reality.

    Reality

    Ok so 22,000 of these coupon booklets are sent out. The $450 ad is sandwiched between 20 pages (per your email) of other businesses ads. This is similar to a newspaper except a newspaper people actually do open it up everytime unlike a coupon booklet.

    How many people open up these coupon books and go through all of them? I'd say something like 1 in 5 people or less, right? That's only about 5,000 that actually get opened and flipped through. Assuming those 5,000 people flip through all 20 pages, how many will really notice the one Ad squished in between all of them? Probably a fifth of those people or less. That's 1,000 people (and that's a conservative estimate by far).

    The fact is, 22,000 mailings mean nothing because only a 1,000 people or less will actually notice the advertisement.

    A postcard forces you to notice it. 10,000 4x6 postcards at $4,000 can easily outperform a quarter page ad in a 250,000 circulated newspaper that costs half as much. Because it forces the recipient to look at it.

    Analogies will help

    Sometimes it helps to say things like this: "If you had to send a critical life-or-death message to someone and all you knew was that they lived in X town, would you put that critical message on a gigantic postcard or on page 16 inside of a junk mail coupon book?

    Apples to Apples

    Your ultimate goal in this case is to get them to compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges. A postcard and a coupon book are two completely different things.

    There's another argument to be made about the type of people who open coupon booklets. Are these really the customers that they want? Postcards force EVERYONE to look at their ad, not just the coupon-seeking bargain basement crowd.
  • Profile picture of the author goblue1918
    I have also seen the Town Mailers as I have been selling the 9x12 cards (just finishing up on cards #2 & 3).

    Use it to your advantage. Show it to potential advertisers so you can highlight the differences Bob mentioned above. Take the wind out of their objections.

    I just received that flyer in my mail today and it had an ad for a "Diner" type restaurant tat is 50 miles from my house. You are sending that to people in their backyard.

    Another way to counter their objection about price is to ask if they are the lowest price for whatever product they sell. They are not. You are providing value to them, like they provide alue to their customers.

    Good luck.
  • Profile picture of the author Mister Natural
    a lot of people dislike "junk mail", and there are "Anti junk mail" organizations all over the world for the serious "green minded" crusaders.

    Don't get me wrong I love tree's, fresh air, white snow and cute little bunnies myself.
    But in the usa there are still industry's dumping horrific chemicals into the land and streams in the middle of the night.

    So coupons in the mail are not at the top of the list of environmental dangers.

    Back to my point,,,
    When people retrieve their mail from the mailbox,, they scan through it, and sort it for anything important and relevant.

    Once they see an obvious form of junk mail such as an ad magazine, or a blue envelope bloated with ads, most people will pitch those WITHOUT opening or reading them. Those methods have been around since the 1970's and the public is bored with them.

    The EPA has documented these products in the nations landfills UNOPENED,and UNREAD AT 44% !
    That's 44% straight into the garbage. That's also 44% of the bizz owner's advertising investment into the garbage.

    In contrast, the postcard is completely open and exposed. It's like a suckerpunch hitting them from their blindspot,,, POW ! Nobody can retrieve this giant glossy, colorful postcard from a mailbox without looking at it and reading it,,,,, even if they are walking to the garbage can, they'll glance at it.

    They at least see that they can get a $10 Oil change,,, or a $5 dollar pizza and so on.

    That brief exposure register's into their subconscious mind. Even if they don't intend it to stick,, it does.

    When a family member needs work done on the car, the person will recall the $10 oil change and even suggest it, with a statement like "take your car to Joe's Garage I read somewhere they'll do it for 10 bucks,, I can't exactly recall where I read that, but call them first".

    That's a minimalist example of postcard exposure.

    Still ,,, it's much better than the products that are never opened and never read.

    You ever notice those ad companies always seem to be hiring sales rep's?
    Maybe some of their sales people begin to feel guilty for taking money from small bizz owners while, they know the service doesn't come close to fulfilling what is promised?

    could be
    • Profile picture of the author VantagePro
      Anyone have tips on how to get past the receptionist when calling Dentist Offices, Optometrists, Etc?

      @Justmerob- I am in central ohio, just a bit north of cbus.


      Thanks for everybody's help.
    • Profile picture of the author cruisinman
      Originally Posted by Mister Natural View Post


      Once they see an obvious form of junk mail such as an ad magazine, or a blue envelope bloated with ads, most people will pitch those WITHOUT opening or reading them.
      You have any data or research that alludes to this statement that "most" people pitch them away?
    • Profile picture of the author cruisinman
      Originally Posted by Mister Natural View Post


      The EPA has documented these products in the nations landfills UNOPENED,and UNREAD AT 44% ! That's 44% straight into the garbage. That's also 44% of the bizz owner's advertising investment into the garbage.
      ??? You have a link to this ?

      44% of what number? The epa has no way of knowing this . . .
  • Profile picture of the author ekalaivan
    VantagePro,

    I just use this line to get past the receptionist:

    "Hi, my name is _______ and I'm doing a business promotion targeting 10,000 households in the _____ area and I would like to discuss that with your chief doctor (or whoever)"
  • Profile picture of the author KingOfContentMarketing
  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Vantage built this into something like a 12k/month system by February this year, and I believe is now doing consulting full time as a result.
    • Profile picture of the author beverly21
      Hi Bob/Jake,
      This is unrelated to the current post, but I really need your help.
      I cannot reset my password on your forum. I last logged into the forum in June of last year, but now it is asking me for a secret passcode to be able to reset my password.... I don't have the secret passcode. I would like to get into the business again, Please help.
  • Profile picture of the author offline master
    ^ I am in the same situation... I have emailed and pm'd you!
  • Profile picture of the author rizy
    Congratulations Vantage Pro!
  • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
    Hi there,

    One thing I think you're missing (at least I didn't see it above) is that you can tell a business owner this mailing is TARGETED.

    The Town coupon books are blanket-blasted. They go to low-end housing that will never use a coupon. You, on the other hand can insure that your card only goes to residences that you choose. That's huge.

    All the best,

    Sasha.
    • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
      Originally Posted by SashaLee View Post

      Hi there,

      One thing I think you're missing (at least I didn't see it above) is that you can tell a business owner this mailing is TARGETED.

      The Town coupon books are blanket-blasted. They go to low-end housing that will never use a coupon. You, on the other hand can insure that your card only goes to residences that you choose. That's huge.

      All the best,

      Sasha.
      A lot of these coupon books are very targeted. I do 3 that are only sent to the top 30% of household incomes.
  • Profile picture of the author acw
    Originally Posted by VantagePro View Post

    Hi all,

    Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sam and I own a small consulting firm in Ohio called Vantage Professional Services. I didn't see an introduction thread anywhere so I hope that this will suffice.

    Anyhow, I started working on the 9x12 system about 3 weeks ago. I purchase BobRoss' program the other day and am now going through my first round of sales visits.
    ....
    What is the Bob Ross Program?
  • Profile picture of the author mrjosco
    Hope things are going well with those trying this.

    I think it is a brilliant method, but I haven't had any luck. My town has about 35k in it. I was offering to send a mailer to 10k homes (nearly every single home in town, PO Boxes excluded) for as little as $297 (or as much as $697)

    I haven't gotten anywhere. Granted, I am a terrible salesperson - but I have tried in person visits, phone calls and letters.

    With the university in town these business owners are hit up ALL the time for advertisements. Most still go by the small town business owner mentality of no advertisements or they spend their money in radio or newspaper ads.

    I haven't even gotten anyone to hint at interest. Of course, this town has always been a tough sell for all my services and, like I said - I am not much of a sales guy.

    In fact, if I can't convince a business owner to get his message to 10k homes at .03/home I am pretty hopeless. It seems like a no brainer to me!
  • Profile picture of the author Achiz768
    That would be a lot of work! But definitely doable if you're aggressive enough... You could certainly just focus on 9x12 cards and make a very sizable income with it OR you could offer additional services to your groups of business owners like printing, SEO, web design, solo mailings, etc...
  • Profile picture of the author wsands
    It's a numbers game. You have to figure most business owners are familiar with direct mail.

    Some tips from my own experience selling this type of marketing:

    1. Get a business card or a name and number if they aren't there. Most employees will give you the owner or marketing managers info if you are polite and create a sense of urgency.

    2. create urgency, tell them you only have limited space available and you would really like to work with them instead of some other xxxxx type of business.

    3. Restaurants have a great return on coupons in direct mailers. Don't be afraid of franchise companies either. Most of the time they tell you "my corporate office takes care of this" because they want you gone, unless you have a direct mailer.

    4. Print a sample at staples. Google "coupons" on google, fit them into the layout on powerpoint or something you are comfortable with that fits your sizing, then print the "sample" at staples. Hold it up when you walk in, say "Hi, I'm (name) and we are mailing this (hold up the sample) mailer out to 5000 homes in the area on (date), this is the actual size of the mailer, I just wanted to chat with you guys and see if you were interested in getting on it, I have a limited amount of space available."

    You will get a better response that way.
    • Profile picture of the author wsands
      Just an update for anyone else out there thinking about trying this out, I just completed selling a mailer.

      It never ceases to amaze me, if I walk into a business and offer to help them tighten up their online footprint, they get that glazed over look of mass confusion, but I walk in and offer to put a coupon on a mailer and send it to 5000 homes in their area, and they write a check.

      Took me 9 days of cold walking businesses to sell 22 ad spaces. Made over $3,000 in profit.

      This afternoon I will be out to sell another one in a neighboring city, I'll have it sold by mid next week if it goes as fast as this first one went.

      Then it's on to the repeat customers for Jan. I have 5 different cities within a 40 mile radius of me. I can run all 5 simultaneously by march.
  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    great job wsands, I'm proud of ya!

    Keep us updated.
  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    Join http://http://bobrossoffline.com/forum

    It is not as active as it once was, but it is full of information on subjects such as the one you ask, and there are people, including Jake (BobRoss) that you can ask your questions.
  • Profile picture of the author ramohr
    How are you contcing your prospects once I know how you are doing this...then I can give you input

    Thanks
  • Profile picture of the author cruisinman
    What is everybody charging for a 5,000 Card EDDM Mailout per AD?

    What size ads do you run?

    Do your advertisers run on more than one card a month / market?

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