The ONE thing, perhaps the ONLY thing which virtually guarantees your success in Copywriting.

by gjabiz
16 replies
I'm old school.

And I haven't found ANYTHING by anyone which is more succinct than Sir Gary Halbert's take on things.

The ONLY thing Halbert wanted was a STARVING CROWD, if there is a hungry mob, that is where he would build a hamburger stand.

Me too.

Many years ago I had the job to evaluate product submissions to a large marketing company, almost 500 of them (this company actively and aggressively solicited this)...and of the 500, I called 50 people, the ones with either a decent product or a concept we could use.

Many were inventors or writers.

I asked ONE question to them all. WHO is going to buy this?

40 of them said, 'EVERYBODY' will want this'

That took me down to 10 realists. I also got offers to buy them out for a million bux, a couple only wanted 100 grand plus a few dollars per sale.

So, I had 10 people who were not delusional or didn't live in Never Never Land.

There was ONE guy with a product I liked, a golf club, a wedge...and we had a golf division and I was the resident golf pro...in our conversation this guy wanted to sell the club for over a hundred dollars. Doable? Sure but it narrowed the audience, shrunk the pool and LIMITED OUR PROFITS.

Consider we had over a couple of Million gOLF Buyers on our house list. The sweet spot for selling his club was 49.95 and he would get about 75 cents per club sold. He went ballistic. Bananas. Called me names.

Well, we talked again...and again. We were interested. He couldn't understand why we were so stupid and out to screw him over.

We projected sales to the house list to be near 70,000 units in a 90 day period...putting around 50 grand into his pocket. BUT this was his million dollar baby. Long story short, he decided to take it to people who were serious about it, and knew and understood the value. I wished him good luck.

His club NEVER made it to the market. He later lamented about his own LACK OF KNOWLEDGE of marketing and wished he would have taken our deal.

Back on point. TARGETS and HUNGRY CROWDS.

In going through a handful of potential products, from books and reports to specialty items the person either invented or CONTROLLED...the first thing I did was search the SRDS for a Hot List.

Preferably 30 days. I looked for BUYERS...ones who bought recently, and frequently and/or in multiple units. These people make you rich in Remote Direct Selling.

So from the very GET GO this 150 million dollar a year marketing company looked for the STARVING crowd, for PROSPECTS...FOR

MARKETS FIRST. Products second.

There were rare occasions when a PRODUCT came in and there was a market for it. These also were golden.

In fact, there is a guy in MO who has made over 12 million dollars with his CONTROL of a specialty product the company has been selling for several years now. HIS control was/is in the form of exclusive North American DISTRIBUTION rights (the perfect TOLL position) granted by the manufacturer early in their efforts to penetrate this market. Not all that unusual.

I'm a gentle teddy-bear of a curmudgeon who beats this concept to a pulp...and yet, I'm still amazed at how many people ignore it. TARGETS first.

Where is the potential buyer coming from? THEN you construct your copy.

But, hey, go ahead and struggle and come back here in a few months asking for further help cause what you KNEW was going to work...didn't.

Here are MY five essentials of success in Remote Direct Selling. You may have a different take on things.

There are Five Basic building blocks for an effective promotion which will make sales for you:


  1. Find a hungry PROSPECT and serve up what they are looking for.
  2. Have a PRODUCT they can't live without, once they learn of it.
  3. Create a PROMOTION where they can buy from.
  4. Create an INTERSECTION where your Promotion meets their Desire.
  5. TIME the meeting at the intersection for maximum results.
When you tie these five basic building blocks together with a knowledge and understanding that copywriters use salesmanship to make sales, there is no limit to how well you can do with your marketing whether it is online or off.


Read the main forum for about 15 minutes and see all those frustrated and failing wannabe IMers, some have been at it for years.

Study those people with a Sure Fire Can't Miss PRODUCT thinking that GOOD COPY is all they need...and you can find many right here.

Once in awhile someone gets lucky, makes a few bux, writes a WSO and lives happily ever after. Hmmm.

If you are interested in making sales, that is MONEY, and at a rate where your savings increase daily and dramatically...then start with your TARGET...and

KNOW AND UNDERSTAND...
NO ONE is waking up in the morning all excited about YOU or your damn product.

You must KNOW what they want and why. You must KNOW how and when they are going to INTERSECT with your promotion, whatever form it takes...and TIMING plays a role...

THEN, when you have all the features and benefits written down on the 3 by 5 cards per Gary Halbert...THEN you can begin to write a SALES piece which gets results. Over and over and over again because you put the TARGET, the prospect first and got inside her head, and fulfilled her desires and NOT yours first.

But, do as you please, sometimes education in this business is the most expensive thing you'll get out of your efforts. And if you are educable, the most valuable too. However, the path already carved out is a super shortcut and can save you time and money.

Please you newbies to Copywriting...it isn't about your BRILLIANCE with your ideas...

It is meeting a hungry prospect on HER path, at the right time, with the right offer and it makes your copywriting life so much easier and profitable.


gjabiz


PS. Prospects. And copy is selling, and the sale begins when the customer says NO. Don't sell the steak, sell the sizzle, etc., etc., etc.
#copywriting #guarantees #success #thing #virtually
  • Profile picture of the author MRMagMark
    Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

    You must KNOW what they want and why. You must KNOW how and when they are going to INTERSECT with your promotion, whatever form it takes...and TIMING plays a role...
    That was the money quote for me.

    Many creative people have a great idea, build out a product or service, and then try to market it without any target market research done beforehand. I've heard stories about a "great product" but when it was presented to a target market, it went over like a lead balloon.

    One trick is to research beforehand to see if there is anyone else offering a similar product or service. If so, that's a good sign. It means the market can sustain at least one business doing the same thing you want to do.

    The toughest thing to market is a product or service no one has ever heard of before. Trust me. I've been trying to do this for an employer for the past three years. We've spent more time on educating the target audience than I'd care to admit. The product is just now starting to gain traction. It's a good thing that about 80% of the revenue comes from services and not just this one product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
    Banned
    Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

    The ONLY thing Halbert wanted was a STARVING CROWD, if there is a hungry mob, that is where he would build a hamburger stand.

    ...it isn't about your BRILLIANCE with your ideas...

    It is meeting a hungry prospect on HER path, at the right time, with the right offer and it makes your copywriting life so much easier and profitable.


    gjabiz
    Boomshaka!

    Sales = income. No sales = No profit. Simple.

    Now for illustrative purposes most business people think of sales (income) in this manner...

    Units x Price = Sales.

    But I think it can be better explained like this...

    # of customers x average sale x frequency of purchase per visit = Sales Income.

    For example let's say you've got 20 customers spending on a purchase an average of $1,000. These customers they visit your on or offline premises twice a year so this equals $40k per year. 20 x $1k x 2 = $40k.

    Now, if you can double your overall business marketing and selling activity and increase the number of customers per year to 40 rather than 20 and the average sale price to $2,000 and the frequency of purchase per year per person to four, then your sales would amount to $320,000 per year. 40 customers x $2,000 each x 4 purchases / orders per year.

    Simply by increasing your marketing and selling activities by a factor of 2 in effect doubling your efforts up you can increase sales income eight times.

    Which makes you seriously start thinking about what you're selling. If your trying to sell to a non-hungry crowd sales income will at best be dismal if indeed you register any sales at all.

    Conversely, if you find a very hungry market and redouble your marketing and sales activity - you can make a killing for what basically amounts to the same amount of effort put in.

    It's not about working harder in business. It's about working smarter in business. Always striving to do things better. Streamlining.

    Everyone has the same number of waking hours in the day. It's how you use this time and your knowledge effectively which will yield for you the best ROI for your time and effort put in.

    Follow Gordon's advice above and you should see a massive increase in the number of sales produced.

    Remember! You want to get your product or your service right in front of the starving crowd of willing buyers. People who are ready to part with their money this instant to get their hands on what you can offer them.

    Tell them why they should buy into your product over and above what your competitors are offering. Tell them what makes you better. How you can offer a better service. Deliver the product or service faster. Or whatever other unique benefit or USP you've got for your specific target market (rabid buyers) so they can take advantage of it.

    Bloody good post Gordon - love it.


    Mark Andrews
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    • Profile picture of the author NickN
      Gorgeous post. Best I've read in awhile.
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      • Profile picture of the author videolover7
        The sweet spot for selling his club was 49.95 and he would get about 75 cents per club sold.
        How much would your company have made per club sold?

        VL
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        • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
          Originally Posted by videolover7 View Post

          How much would your company have made per club sold?

          VL
          That would be speculation on my part, rather not do that.

          Toll Positions and royalty agreements aside, one thing from my original post was the comment that no one wakes up thinking about you or your damn product...

          To me, it begs the question...

          Well then, what do they wake up thinking about?...

          And anyone who will take the time to answer that question, will find dozens of STARVING people in a wide range of niches.

          For the copywriter seeking work, or one that wants to specialize in an evergreen area perhaps...

          Nothing beats your knowledge of what people want and why.

          So, a study of copywriting, in my opinion, includes a study of salesmanship and human needs and wants and psychology... what desires do people have.

          A google search for keywords in an area of your interest, would probably point you to the right area to locate your STARVING market.

          gjabiz
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          • Profile picture of the author videolover7
            Originally Posted by videolover7
            How much would your company have made per club sold?

            VL
            That would be speculation on my part, rather not do that.
            Calling you names and making accusations was no way to enter into a business relationship. Obviously the guy was operating on emotion.

            That said, I can understand why he thought you wanted to rip him off. 1.5% of sales? Not a very high percentage.

            VL
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            • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
              has been offered?

              It is fairly typical with inventors, which is why so few of them bring their creative babes to the market place. It also shows a total lack of understanding of how marketers work.

              He could, maybe, have gotten a much bigger percentage from a major golf manufacturer, none of whom would even give him the time of day.

              Other companies he approached said no thanks. He came at them with his "it's worth a million bux" attitude, also typical of inventors not inventing for markets.

              He felt he had designed a superior club. He wanted to sell it for over 100 bux...and yet his months of effort to find a manufacturer and distributor left him frustrated.

              We made him an offer.

              So tell me, is 1.5% a ridiculous offer in your direct response experience?

              I think it is fair. We had to put up money for manufacturing, expenses for marketing, in other words we were willing to assume ALL the expenses and costs for bringing this to the market, and it wasn't tested, no promotion was written so it truly was, from a realistic perspective a gamble on our part.

              We sold a couple hundred thousand of a similar club and THAT guy was tickled pink with his ywo hundred and fifty thousand dollar take...which allowed him to do other things.

              Please let me know of the direct response companies who pay more than 1.5 to 2.5 on a new, untested and unproven product, cause I'd like to submit some things to them.

              There is the law of supply and demand, IF there would have been any competition for the rights to market his product, maybe he could have had a negotiation advantage. I've never bet on a one dog fight, have you?

              Point being, he was given a choice, an opportunity, which he refused. He turned it down. No biggie for us, we had hundreds of people lined up with products who wanted to be serious about getting their product to the market.

              This is the truth of marketing, there are very few products which are going to take the market by storm, most have a long and hard fight (speaking of inventors and independent product developers here) to even get to the market in the first place.

              As for his anger, it wasn't a big deal to me, I knew where he was coming from and I got his frustration, I just happened to be in the way...

              Sad thing, the club was, at the time, a pretty neat and different type of club.

              A couple of years later, there were a dozen or more variable loft and bounce wedges on the market, some selling for 19.95.

              This was just this company, but in over a dozen companies I've worked with, I haven't seen a significant higher percent under those conditions. Again, please share your experiences with us, what do you consider to be a "fair" percentage?

              gjabiz

              PS. This company, as well as others I've worked with, had an escalator clause which bumped the % up when a certain number were sold, it is about economies of scale, so as the costs of things come down with more sales, there is higher percent to be paid.


              Originally Posted by videolover7 View Post

              Calling you names and making accusations was no way to enter into a business relationship. Obviously the guy was operating on emotion.

              That said, I can understand why he thought you wanted to rip him off. 1.5% of sales? Not a very high percentage.

              VL
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              • Profile picture of the author videolover7
                As a marketing professional who is accustomed to climbing into the mind of others, you can't see why 1.5% would seem low to him?

                The guy was clearly emotionally attached to his "creation" and probably thought it was going to make him rich.

                VL
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                • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
                  Banned
                  Following on from Gordon's point...

                  How many inventors have you actually worked with VL?

                  Believe you me, most of them live in another land completely. They generally have very high expectations that their next invention whatever it is, is going to make them millions and very often bringing them down to earth with a bump is a massive bruise to their huge ego which often gets in the way of them making sensible business decisions on the spot.

                  Typically, they instantly hop onto the back foot and try and wow you with all the technical details trying to prove to you their technical expertise and brilliance with whatever it is they've created. In effect calling you a fool for not understanding just how great they are. In doing so of course, they often completely and utterly miss the point altogether.

                  And trying to negotiate what they think is their real worth, they instantly step into a world they're completely unfamiliar with but desperately need. (Although they hate to admit it). Often though they won't take the next required action to move their business, their product, their invention to the next level.

                  They quite simply don't understand market conditions. How to bring a product to market. I should know, I've worked with a couple of these types for years and they will often drive you up the proverbial wall if you let them argue their point.

                  Needless to say, the one guy especially who springs to mind (who is guilty of this) and can argue himself silly until the cows come home, he's still looking for his next big break. At 75, personally I think he's running out of time because he just won't face reality.

                  And so we go back around the loop again. As a personal friend (and a technical genius at that) he's the hardest work of anyone I know. At times I could almost positively strangle him. Expectations are one thing practical reality another.


                  Mark Andrews
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  • Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post


    It is meeting a hungry prospect on HER path, at the right time, with the right offer and it makes your copywriting life so much easier and profitable.

    This made me think of a an interesting post Rus Sells has over on the Offline forum. He has a friend that sells high-end investing products in the oil business. Their main goal all day is to find the RIGHT prospect. The rest is easy.
    http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...ng-my-guy.html
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  • Profile picture of the author jimbo159
    Amazing post. Hat off to you sir. Best I've read in a long while.
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  • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
    Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

    I'm old school.

    The ONLY thing Halbert wanted was a STARVING CROWD, if there is a hungry mob, that is where he would build a hamburger stand.

    Thanks for bringing up this point Gordon.

    I wrote about this exact topic more than two years ago, only to get shredded by WF's best copywriters.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...-included.html

    But you know what? I still stand by what Gordon (and what I wrote 2 years ago): demand with little to no supply is the most important thing to consider.

    GREAT copywriting gets your ideal target to buy at an superior rate.

    Now that I think about it, great copy is only required when you have a crappy product or you're in a mass scale business.

    For most businesses, good copy is good enough.

    Bottom line: crappy copy for an in-demand product beats a product with low demand with killer copy.

    In short, I agree with you Gordon ( and Gary, too!).
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
      Originally Posted by copyassassin View Post

      I wrote about this exact topic more than two years ago, only to get shredded by WF's best copywriters.
      That other discussion was interesting too, and I can see why a "This/that is king!" argument would create some passionate discussion.

      There was a good point made there by Kay King (someone with over 15,000 posts?). She said:

      "The "great truth" is that there are 3 points of balance.....a good product in a niche with high consumer demand.... and good copy to market the product."

      Gordon essentially said the same thing with with a couple of added points:
      1. Find a hungry PROSPECT and serve up what they are looking for.
      2. Have a PRODUCT they can't live without, once they learn of it.
      3. Create a PROMOTION where they can buy from.
      4. Create an INTERSECTION where your Promotion meets their Desire.
      5. TIME the meeting at the intersection for maximum results.
      The two added points were about creating that intersection where promotion meets desire, and being there at the right time. That's where truly understanding the prospect would be useful - knowing how they live, where they are, what they want, how and when to best approach them.

      It seems obvious, I know. But as Gordon points out, we don't have to go far to see how often it is overlooked.

      This has been a thought-provoking thread. Thanks for starting it, Gordon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Rodill
    If you write copy yourself at all, you wouldn't be wrong to print out this post and superglue it to your refrigerator. Just saying.

    Wait, you caught me...

    Marc

    PS.
    HIS control was/is in the form of exclusive North American DISTRIBUTION rights (the perfect TOLL position) granted by the manufacturer early in their efforts to penetrate this market. Not all that unusual.
    Gordon, could you expand on this?

    Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
      A few years ago I started conversations with Harvey Brody, a superb marketer and copywriter and perhaps the guy who started the long/long copy with his 64 page booklet for his course.

      Most of you have never heard of him. Know who has? Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy, Gary Halbert, Ben Suarez, Joe Sugaman, Joe Karbo and so on and on.

      Anyhow he did the original Clayton Makepeace close down of his publishing business, very lucrative, to do his thing sans employees.

      And his thing is...the TOLL position. Two of his products are found in most stores, the Zoom Spout Oiler and the pistol grip sprayer (which fits over most spray cans, like paint). These are just a couple of the many products he owns and CONTROLS.

      He is a one man band with a little help from his wife and daughter.

      He doesn't manufacture, he doesn't touch product, he simply shuffles some paper on his desk, opens his mail, deposits check, often ones of six figures and he talks on the phone. For a couple of hours per day.

      His course on the TOLL position has been out of print for over 20 years but you can still find it sometimes on ebay.

      The guy in MO had a small retail shop, selling specialty items, and I may be wrong, but I think his best seller was vacuum cleaners. Like many Entrepreneurs he sought out opportunity and subscribed to newsletters and such that introduce new products and seek distribution.

      He saw something interesting, contacted the manufacturer and ordered a minimum amount to test. He liked it and started selling the product.

      He inquired about Distribution Rights. Like many overseas companies, they don't put their eggs into one basket and have several product lines. They were willing to listen to his offer. He needed to know capacity, and if you know and understand how this works, you know most can scale up almost overnight, depending on tooling and dies and such.

      He was able to get an EXCLUSIVE North American distribution agreement, with minimum sales written into it. Again, this was a new, UNTESTED product. He started selling them locally while seeking a MAJOR Direct Marketing company, and most of them turned him down.

      One company, who believes in MARKETS FIRST, did some serious research and then TESTED some copy, and TESTED PRICING. Their Real Life studies showed a STARVING market, this market is for HIGHER priced, premium specialty items. Think Rainbow vacuum cleaner for example.

      They then negotiated with the guy who had CONTROL, which he would not surrender, but, was able to pass on these rights as long as he got a piece of the action. He didn't manufacture it, he didn't sell that many, he didn't have a warehouse full...he had a piece of paper. Then he had TWO pieces of paper.

      The second piece, was the ROYALTY AGREEMENT. Fast forward several years and a few million units sold for 200 and 300 dollars, and you have a guy who simply created a TOLL position and for the past several years has received monthly checks into the hundreds of thousands of dollars each, because he had CONTROL.

      I've never been a pure copywriter only, having started in mailorder when I was 16. As a Creative Marketing Professional, I was mostly hired to "do it all"...and had to apprentice under some very excellent copywriters who wanted results. So I was fortunate as far as that goes.

      But after about 3 years of weekly mentoring by Harvey Brody, I changed gears and have sought out TOLL situations. Dan Kennedy has recently, in the last couple of years been talking about them and shows copywriters how to license their work, as does Bob Serling and Jay Abraham.

      So, there is a guy with a couple of pieces of paper in MO, who has collected a few million dollars a year simply because he created the TOLL booth, where you have to pay if you want to get to the other side.

      It is a far different world than copywriting, but one in which a few people who take the time to LEARN, can and do create their own situations.

      My advice to the copywriters is, learn how to write first, get success, then study the HOW TO LICENSE your copy folks I've mentioned.

      LICENSING is one of the most lucrative fields there is, but it requires as much time and study as does learning how to write great copy.

      Hope this answered your question Marc.

      gjabiz

      Originally Posted by Marc Rodill View Post

      If you write copy yourself at all, you wouldn't be wrong to print out this post and superglue it to your refrigerator. Just saying.

      Wait, you caught me...

      Marc

      PS.

      Gordon, could you expand on this?

      Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Rodill
    Yeah, cool. I've heard of Harvey Brody from Kennedy. Never had a chance to get anything from him, yet. Isn't it true you have a Brody product released with someone named Dien? Or was that a once upon a time gig?

    Marc

    PS. Thanks for the new "mind virus"!
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