Dance, monkey, dance...

13 replies
I just read an article on Bob Bly's blog about marketers that try too hard, bending over backwards to make sales.

The example he used was someone who emailed him about one of his ebooks ($29), asking Bob to elaborate how his ebook was better than a competitor's, which the emailer had purchased and been disappointed by.

Bob told her to go read the sales page -- all the info she needed was there.

His reasoning was that, given the value he puts on his time, it would have cost him more to handhold the emailer than he would have made from the sale.

According to Bly, "A dancing monkey is a seller who will jump through hoops -- and
say and do anything -- to get the order."

Among the reasons Bly gives for not being a dancing monkey is that doing so often alienates serious prospects, as the practice reeks of desperation.

I happen to think he is right.

So here are your options:

> Make your best offer, reverse the risk and put your credibility elements right up front, and let the chips fall where they may.

> Dance, monkey, dance...

What do you think?
#dance #monkey
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  • Profile picture of the author bangontime
    Agreed.

    In this situation, I'd say definitely respond to the potential customer in a polite and friendly manner. Answer any questions that you might have neglected to cover in the sales page.

    But don't get into pitching why your product is better etc. Such an enquiry is unlikely to convert anyway IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

    What do you think?
    John, generally I agree . . . however, a brand new seller (like so many of the members here at the forum) can't be too picky about turning down a possible sale - any sale. In the beginning of your business, I think "bending over backwards" is OK - you do what you have to do to get some traction in your business and make a little money. In the case of someone just starting out, the $/hour for the owner's time is a lot different (less) than Bly's hourly rate would be.


    Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

    Among the reasons Bly gives for not being a dancing monkey is that doing so often alienates serious prospects, as the practice reeks of desperation.
    I question this logic. If a business owner provides extra customer service (as in the example Bly gave) to a particular person, how is anyone else going to know about it? To me, giving outstanding customer service as a way of doing business doesn't automatically label an owner of "reeking of desperation." And again, how do serious prospects even know the amount of help given to any individual?

    Great thread and an important conversation - thanks.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      John, generally I agree . . . however, a brand new seller (like so many of the members here at the forum) can't be too picky about turning down a possible sale - any sale. In the beginning of your business, I think "bending over backwards" is OK - you do what you have to do to get some traction in your business and make a little money. In the case of someone just starting out, the $/hour for the owner's time is a lot different (less) than Bly's hourly rate would be.

      I question this logic. If a business owner provides extra customer service (as in the example Bly gave) to a particular person, how is anyone else going to know about it? To me, giving outstanding customer service as a way of doing business doesn't automatically label an owner of "reeking of desperation." And again, how do serious prospects even know the amount of help given to any individual?

      Great thread and an important conversation - thanks.

      Steve
      Steve,

      I understand what you are saying... but for a moment lets drop the notion that a minute has value... A minute is a minute the world over.. its the same for Bly, its the same for you and its the same for the newbie. But we all know its not a minute, its 30... we all know its not a single off, its 10 a day. It adds up real fast.

      I would say that there is a line between the "Dance" and customer support. IF someone is questioning the value of what you have to offer, and how does it compare? I would say spend less with that ONE, and focus more on the buyers insight and correct the issue for the other 10 or 100 visitors to your page that day and beyond.

      You can very quickly get caught in a cycle of putting out fires all day, or you can translate the impact of that fire at a broader scale and prevent the fires all together. Basically having to step in and handhold a prospect through the buying process is a good indicator, that the sales page itself is the handicap.

      Here is a personal example. I have a number of Amazon affiliate pages in different market spaces. On the contact us page, I actually list a phone number. If the phone doesnt ring once it rings 10 times a day. I answer the phone every time ( my wife loves it at 3 in the morning the best ) Basically if the phone is ringing, there is money on the other end of the line.

      more often than not, its missed information on the checkout page. THIS is customer service. IF they call and say "How does this compare to whatever?" I simply say "I am familiar with the products I sell, I am not sure how it compares." basically what Bly says no?

      Now if I get enough of these types of calls.. guess what? I will add comparison content on the site, if its not already there. Buyers insight for online marketing is actually not so readily available.. so if its is by email or by phone or however yes respond as politely as possible, and note what it is they are asking for... make adjustments to meet the needs of the masses at the cost of ONE.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Damn I'm disappointed because by the title of this thread I thought Mr. Tom Addams was the author of this Post . Oh well I guess I will settle for JM

    Seriously though, I think this is a really solid point. The other day I got a Refund request from a Customer who said he thought my Product was going to be different because of what my Slaes page said. I know for a fact my Sales page accurately says EXACTLY what a prospect will get if they purchase it.

    Instead of going back and forth explaining this to him I just gave him the Refund and moved on
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  • Profile picture of the author hfbadvertising
    There is always that one that will drive you nuts. Cut them loose fast.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

    Bob told her to go read the sales page -- all the info she needed was there.
    I love this response from Bob. There's nothing wrong with saying this to paying clients - let alone mere subscribers. Bob Bly is world-renowned, so for this woman to deny/question his credibility... she's foolish. This is somewhat what i say to some of the people who email me here on WF and at my business email address - who ask thorny questions - even though everything they need to know is on my sales page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Brindamour
    John,

    I like it, your time is "priceless" and you need to make sure the "time stealers" don't get it. But it is also important to have a dialog with customers also.

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    A large percentage of your prospects will never buy anything. Focus on the ones who will.

    elaborate how his ebook was better than a competitor's,
    When I was promoting guitar lessons I got one of these a week. My response was always the same, "As I've never heard of (Insert guitar "guru" I'd never heard of) I couldn't possibly comment."

    Brent
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonTheFreeman
    I agree.

    May I add that it's also important to recognize immediately who are the ones that will waste your time and the ones that have a potential to be a serious prospect.

    You can usually tell during the first message or the first few exchanges.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    As many have noted, there is a difference between customer service, such as filling in information that may have been missed on a sales page, and the kind of "convince me why your product is better than Gooroo Joe's" nonsense.

    I'm all in favor of customer service.

    I'm not in favor of getting into the kind of desperate "monkey dance" that turns off legitimate buyers. I've seen salespeople turn into unpaid errand boys trying to gain favor with a purchasing agent.

    It works much the same way online. If you cast yourself in the role of doing someone's due diligence for them, you spend your most productive time cataloging the differences between your and every other product out there.

    I like the approach of "I know what I have on offer, and if something is unlcear, I'll be happy to clarify it. I can't do the same for other products."
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi John,

    1000% up my alley.

    I have some posture, so I see myself as the 800 pound gorilla from a clarity approach. I am clear on my offerings, pretty much, so if somebody who projects their fear onto me, by asking about my product's worth, or by exploring some other doubt, I either tell them we do not have a match, or do not give my energy to them, aka, I let them go without responding.

    The reason why I take this approach; the customer is often afraid, or worried, or doubtful, and my job is to align with the clear, confident buyer who knows what they want....not the fearful buyer. Naturally, since where your attention and energy goes, grows, by releasing on unclear potential customers or unhappy customers, I attract more perfect matches and expand my business.

    One blessing of traveling through Southeast Asia for about 4 of the past 7 years John is that their face-saving culture dictates that the customer is often way out of line, and deserves to either be ignored, or to be addressed with a smile and "sorry", then they move on. The customer is definitely not always right there; refreshing mindset. I respect Thai culture especially for this attitude because as a customer in Thailand, I am grounded in gratitude and understand that complaining gets you nowhere. So this has leveled me off some, and has humbled me some, but I also apply to my blogging business, from the service provider.

    I am pleasant, engaging and appreciative of potential customers and clients but am picky in choosing whom I connect with. When I took this viewpoint, my business grew quickly and I encountered less and less folks who even attempted to make me jump through hoops, before they saw I was a chill, happy go lucky, fun-loving but totally immovable 800 pound gorilla.

    This has nothing to do with arrogance, or anger; nope, it's all about knowing that the less you give your attention and energy to unclear, picky, doubtful potential customers, and the more you give your attention and energy to perfect matches who dig your offerings, your business will grow quickly.

    Love this topic.

    Ryan
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    • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
      A quick add guys; the energy behind the action is the difference maker.

      Most entrepreneurs bend over backwards not because they are rendering service from the most heart-centered, generous, fun-loving, detached space, which would be OK. Nope; they bend over backwards because they are petrified to "lose" a customer, allowing fear to dominate their decision to go above and beyond,

      Bad energetic precedent because if you habitually do this whenever an unclear person approaches you, you will have the energetic posture of an earthworm who never does core exercises, in addition to taking on and trying to help nightmare clients and customers who you had no businesses taking on or connecting with in the first place.

      Ryan
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    I could be wrong ... However I think it all comes down to being sincere and authentic

    2C
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