Thank you for educating and creating MY future clients...

18 replies
Obviously my title is poking a bit of fun
but
the sad truth is that many of us have invested in creating educated clients
only to have them quickly snatched up by other marketers that focus on identifying ready buyers rather than educating the clueless.

I recognized this a long time ago and now I often take the quick and easy route
to getting new clients and it has little to do with educating them.

Folks here are spending a massive amount of time to find clever ways to find pain points, help business owners come to conclusions, get them to say yes and generally convince them they should take a specific action.
There are endless threads about it.

Doing it well might make you feel clever but often it is not the best way to build your bank balance. At any given time 97% of the people you are pitching have zero interest so why waste 97% of your energy?

If you want to be in the business of education that's great
but
if you want to make quick cash working with clients that get it
then just change or at least run a parallel marketing strategy.

The Educator will put out marketing like this:

"Did you know that an unclaimed Google places listing is costing you money every day! It is critical to your business that you claim your listing and built it properly to get more clients. Download this report on why your listing is important...."

The Identifier goes about it differently.

He has realized that educating takes time and conversions are low.
His ads are specifically targeted at folks that have already been educated by
other marketers and now are ready willing and able to pay money to solve the problem.

The identifier will re-target his marketing at folks that have ALREADY been educated and come in with simple ads aimed at folks searching to actually buy right now.

Simple stuff like "Google places expert, affordable and fast, 2 openings left this month".

To continue with the above example I often hear look for unclaimed listings it is a gold mine. Well it may be a gold mine, but keep in mind most miners die broke and tired.

My ideal gold mine was already worked, has huge carts of gold ready to just be wheeled away and the poor sap that did all the work fell into a hole.

My ideal prospect under this example is actively seeking or would raise his hand quickly if I asked do you want to rank higher in Google places. Contact spot 3,4,5 that have done obvious work and tell them how you can get them to spot 1 or 2 and it is a simple yes or no without all the fuss and education.

IMPORTANT

- I may start to add this point to all my posts. Just because a specific post is about doing X NEVER means I ONLY do X. For this example of course I ALSO have education funnels that are automated but those are not what I would recommend to anyone wanting a pay check before the weekend!

I find it annoying that when a warrior says do X, someone else has to say oh that's dead, do Y. There are a million ways to carve a turkey, this one is simple and profitable but certainly not the only way.
#clients #creating #educating #future
  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Peter, recently there was an ad in my email account
    which brilliantly illustrates your point of capitalizing on
    others marketing and education efforts.

    They were offering unbiased help of which 3
    big name software was the best option for their situation.

    The message was to buyers...the people who had already made up their mind
    to buy, but hadn't decided from who.

    Right in the hot zone.

    Which of course I freely gave here the ad I wrote for web design was
    based on buyers who hadn't made up their mind
    who to buy from was an example of speaking to people in this hot zone
    and re-setting their buying criteria plus eliminating other options
    in a very helpful and unbiased way.

    Best,
    Doctor E. Vile
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Thanks Peter,

    It's a bit like standing around in a department store with a swag of product draped over your arm looking for assistance whilst all the shop attendants are trying to help browsers with no selections having been made….

    …or worse still they are sharing idle chat with a work colleague whilst the obvious buyer is getting anxious about how long it is going to take to bag it all up.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Here's the key phrase:

    focus on identifying ready buyers

    Where do you enter the buyer's conversation?

    At the very beginning? Before the beginning?

    This "swooping in and stealing" of clients would happen a lot in the software field...particularly accounting and CRM. If you weren't differentiated to the client, you were the same as everybody else. And no amount of educating would make them stick with you when a competitor with a better understanding of the world the client was in arrived on the scene.

    Didn't matter if you'd been warming them up for a year. If the actual decision was a month or even two weeks out, someone could pop in and take the order.

    The question for those wanting to do better in this department:

    What behaviors do my prospects exhibit just before they make their buying decision?

    When clients have bought, what did they do that sped up their process?

    Ewen has pointed out: "What do your clients buy right before they realize they need what you offer?"

    Start thinking along these lines.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by Peter Lessard View Post

    The identifier will re-target his marketing at folks that have ALREADY been educated and come in with simple ads aimed at folks searching to actually buy right now.
    Always good stuff, Peter.

    A related problem for the Educator, is that they will send reminders by e-mail, and think they are selling. They will do everything but..make a call.

    If you interrupt a buyer, when they are in heat, it doesn't matter who else is educating them. It's just easier to say "Yes" to you, than contact the Educator.

    And...I hate to say this....but Education marketing can be used as a crutch, to make you feel like you are doing something, without actually talking to a prospect.

    I had a client that owns a print shop. He sent maybe 20 direct mail letters to his customer list. He sent monthly "newsletters". Of course, he loved the idea of "printing as marketing".

    He wasn't happy with his results. I asked, "When do you call these people on the phone?"

    Of course, he never did, because that was too much like selling.
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      Always good stuff, Peter.

      A related problem for the Educator, is that they will send reminders by e-mail, and think they are selling. They will do everything but..make a call.

      If you interrupt a buyer, when they are in heat, it doesn't matter who else is educating them. It's just easier to say "Yes" to you, than contact the Educator.

      And...I hate to say this....but Education marketing can be used as a crutch, to make you feel like you are doing something, without actually talking to a prospect.

      I had a client that owns a print shop. He sent maybe 20 direct mail letters to his customer list. He sent monthly "newsletters". Of course, he loved the idea of "printing as marketing".

      He wasn't happy with his results. I asked, "When do you call these people on the phone?"

      Of course, he never did, because that was too much like selling.
      Couldn't agree more. It freaks me out how businesses think that keeping busy with education and content etc.. is the same as selling or that it can possibly generate the same results.

      CRAZY EXAMPLE THAT HAPPENED TODAY:

      I was looking for some high end appliances but I am cheap ;-)
      Found a place that specializes in buying open box, or appliances that may have a small scratch on back/side etc..
      I found them on a local classified the equivelant of ebay classified in USA but Canadian version. They have HUNDREDS of detailed ads up so they are spending a huge amount of time and money. They have millions in inventory, huge warehouse yada yada.

      Anyway all their ads say "visit our web site to view more inventory" but none of their listings have a website link lol

      so I send an email from a listing that is in the $8,500 range. I say I am interested in this and similar but your ads say visit our site but there is no link.

      So what email response do I get? Does it ready "sorry Peter, I am Steve and I can help you get what you want, here is my number."

      Oh god no! I get a url of ourstore.com
      That's it! No name, no sig line, no sorry, no can we help you...

      I just made an info request on an $8,500 product! and obviously if someone upgrades one major appliance like this they are likely in reno mode and will be buying much more.

      The person who responded is an idiot! Afraid to sell and hopes it will happen magically.
      I would immediately fire this person, sadly it is probably an owner or an owners relative.
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  • Profile picture of the author urmilp
    Great post Peter.

    It took a while for me to learn the lesson of focusing on Ready To Buy customers VS the One's That Needed Educating.

    Logically it made sense to go after the uneducated. You educate them and assume they perceive you as the expert. This wasn't always the case.

    Often you find that once they have been educated, they may want to look around to find the right expert for help them "in their new found education" that you've provided for free.

    I spent years in the web design and online marketing business offering free consultations to the uneducated, much of which in hindsight was not the best use of my time and extremely frustrating.

    I also made the same mistake in the property (real estate) business, focusing on educating homeowners with a strategy to sell their homes quickly. Again, only to have a homeowners sign up with another business, after I had educated them on an new strategy they knew nothing about.

    Finally I shifted my mindset to focus on SERVING the customer that already knew they needed me services.

    Not only did it yield better clients, ones that knew the benefit and value of the service, but also made life less frustrating and my work much more enjoyable and financially rewarding.

    I believe this is one of the best pieces of advice you can give any business owner. Focus on the clients who know and understand the value you can provide and so them your expertise, instead of spending your time trying to cultivate your ideal customer from one that doesn't know or understand what your offerings can do for them.
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    • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
      In a nutshell 'Preach to the converted'

      Dan
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        To me, it's not so much the "educate the consumer" ideas that is flawed. It's the "educate the consumer, while making no effort to close the sale, hoping they will come to me eventually", idea that needs re-considering.

        I've made several thousand sales to people who have never heard of me, never heard of my product, and were not educated at all, about the concept.

        Did I educate them? Sure. But I did it in the confines of the presentation.
        Education was part of presentation.

        I qualified them to see if they were highly likely to buy from me first. but buy that specific service? No.

        If they buy lots of advertising, they are already used to paying lots of money to promote their business. Are they already sold on online marketing? Maybe not. But they are sold on marketing and advertising. They are sold on paying for it. They are already conditioned to accept paying at a comfort level that you can easily determine.

        They don't already have to be converted. They just have to have a history of going to church.
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        • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          To me, it's not so much the "educate the consumer" ideas that is flawed. It's the "educate the consumer, while making no effort to close the sale, hoping they will come to me eventually", idea that needs re-considering.

          I've made several thousand sales to people who have never heard of me, never heard of my product, and were not educated at all, about the concept.

          Did I educate them? Sure. But I did it in the confines of the presentation.
          Education was part of presentation.

          I qualified them to see if they were highly likely to buy from me first. but buy that specific service? No.

          If they buy lots of advertising, they are already used to paying lots of money to promote their business. Are they already sold on online marketing? Maybe not. But they are sold on marketing and advertising. They are sold on paying for it. They are already conditioned to accept paying at a comfort level that you can easily determine.

          They don't already have to be converted. They just have to have a history of going to church.
          Very good points.
          I think we all know there are many variables at play, very 3 dimensional.
          Things like past behavior, where they are now in the process, messaging, actually asking for the sale etc...

          I have often seen "experts" showing proof of how great something 2 dimensional they did was like use this email and it will get you a high close rate but that is often very misleading because they are leaving out the other important bits.

          One example was a marketer claiming how great he was because he sent out an email for a high ticket service and got a higher than 50% close rate. Built a course around it.

          What he left out when you dug deeper was that this email went out to a group of serial buyers that were already attending a weekend conference that they had spent large sums on to focus on marketing their businesses and this offer fit in perfectly and was essentially endorsed by virtue of the organizers allowing him to mail them.

          Newbies might look at this and say wow what a headline and email, this guy is a genius when the truth is he just dropped bait into a pool of starving fish that already loved what was on his hook.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    There was a famous marketer who put out a product and the pitch was to watch him make $94,487.56 in 24 hours. That is how much he made in 24 hours after opening his book for sale. He did not tell you about the six months to build his list, the $6,000 to have his site built a top web guy.....

    ---

    I was in a mastermind group and we had a discussion about ego and its place in asking for the appointment and/or sale... The model used was big "E" and little "e". Little "e" being too humble or afraid to get business. The financial planner in the group brought in his new brochure for us to review. It had his company name, but not his name, address, phone number or website. We sure told him he needed to work on the big "E".
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    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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  • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
    Good stuff. I still like the concept of education-based marketing because even the people who are ready to buy often aren't fully qualified to do so. Yes, they've researched online, but they usually haven't considered key factors (that my product takes care of.)

    And since this is Thanksgiving, I'll share Micheal Corbett's idea that you are not marketing to a standing army, but a moving parade. Happy Thanksgiving!

    "You’re not advertising to a standing army. You ‘re advertising to a passing parade. Different people are shopping all the time for the goods or services you sell, and they’ll buy those goods or services from you or from your competitors. If you want a bigger share of the consumer market, you have to let people know about you. You do that by advertising all the time."

    Corbett, Michael (2012-02-15). The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising (Kindle Locations 565-567). SummitView Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
      Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

      "You're not advertising to a standing army. You 're advertising to a passing parade. Different people are shopping all the time for the goods or services you sell, and they'll buy those goods or services from you or from your competitors. If you want a bigger share of the consumer market, you have to let people know about you. You do that by advertising all the time."
      Thanks for the share.

      In regards to the "You do that by advertising all the time." it fits in nicely to the thread. Some marketers make the great step of building systems so that they are advertising all the time but where they fall down is defining advertising as educate, educate, educate, educate...
      when it should be qualify, educate, ask for the sale, educate, ask for the sale...
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Can I ask a question?

    How does one identify those ready, willing and able buyers?

    Peter, I saw your examples, but I'm not connecting the dots. What's the mindset you're using when you do that? What do your know about your prospects in addition to what you've already said?
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      Can I ask a question?

      How does one identify those ready, willing and able buyers?

      Peter, I saw your examples, but I'm not connecting the dots. What's the mindset you're using when you do that? What do your know about your prospects in addition to what you've already said?
      Thats the thing, you get them to identify themselves more often than not.
      It can go from dirt simple to complex. On the simple end it can be that they respond to certain copy or marketing. For example I can run an ad that says "Looking for 1 client with a pressing marketing issue and real budget".

      Now one would think that someone would NOT reply unless they had a need and budget but you can test further by seeking how quickly they are willing to meet/talk. After all if its pressing they should not put you off for two weeks and if they have a real budget then $500 for the first consult should be no issue.

      The $500 is a test to see if they are for real.

      By the way don't get me started on the fact that most "free consults" are given because the person providing the consult is afraid of being turned down and not because they are just nice guys ;-) Giving free consults makes them feel like they are working and selling when it is simply a result of being afraid to sell and fear of rejection in most cases.

      Then of course there is the more complex road of obtaining lists or finding groups that will have an obvious need based on an action they just took.
      Person buys new house, may need snow removal, lawn care etc..
      Or business grows beyond certain size may need software/hardware/security.

      The triggers are endless but you can mix education/passive marketing to these types of groups with embedded links and offers that are the equivalent of them raising their hands.

      For example imagine an education marketing message going out to a group explaining the steps they need to take to secure their wordpress blog and within that copy a link that says "If your site has already been hacked and you need it fixed within 24 hours for only $99 click here" then the person has obviously raised their hand by virtue of clicking that link.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    So basically Peter and forgive me if I've misunderstood, what you're basically saying there are times when it's advantageous to skip/forget the marketing, and just make the target audience, on a specific medium, an offer.

    So for instance, you have an email list of recipe lovers and you make then an irresistible offer on a cookbook. You skip the "warming the up" phase and go straight to selling them something that fits their demographic.

    Am I tracking here?

    Let's just say for instance, I have a local alternative to Groupon type advertising. If I were to not market, in other words, educating people on the value of this type of advertising, and just made them an offer, odds are I'd be successful without the marketing expense.

    Is what I am interpreting from your posts accurate? Or am I missing something?
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      So basically Peter and forgive me if I've misunderstood, what you're basically saying there are times when it's advantageous to skip/forget the marketing, and just make the target audience, on a specific medium, an offer.

      So for instance, you have an email list of recipe lovers and you make then an irresistible offer on a cookbook. You skip the "warming the up" phase and go straight to selling them something that fits their demographic.

      Am I tracking here?

      Let's just say for instance, I have a local alternative to Groupon type advertising. If I were to not market, in other words, educating people on the value of this type of advertising, and just made them an offer, odds are I'd be successful without the marketing expense.

      Is what I am interpreting from your posts accurate? Or am I missing something?
      I don't want to get too hung up on philosophy here but to me "marketing" is about making an offer. It would of been a rare occasion before the internet that you would sent out 12 mailers with no offer ;-) but now with email and auto- responders this happens all the time.

      Now to use some of your examples for clarification if I was selling a Groupon Alternative I would spend money on advertising specifically targeting folks that have already bought into Groupon ads in the past because in essence they have raised their hand. My education would be limited to countering any bad things about the Groupon ad so I am taking a short cut because I am NOT starting with an initial group that need to be sold on online advertising in general.

      For the cook book example I would target buyers of other cook books with a similar cook book or some sort of discount on the new one because they bought the old one. Again a short cut as opposed to trying to sell a crowd that may or many not have ever bought a hard copy book online and had it delivered to their door etc..

      There will be costs in both education or more direct marketing or hybrids. The trick here is to constrain your found set as much as possible based on past behavior and/or how compelling your offer may be as a compliment to previous purchases/behavior so that you accomplish the highest return on investment in the shortest time.

      Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    I understand. Thanks for the clarification, Peter.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Some of this identification has to do with the language your prospects use.

    Random guy calling me up, beginning with, "What can you do for me?" is probably not a fit. If after explanation that we do a consultation, we discuss their situation, and the more they're able to share with me the truth about what's really going on in their world, the more likely it will be a fit.

    Peter's first example talked about the Google Places listing. A prospect has to have a certain level of understanding for that phrase to matter; otherwise, it'll just bounce off ("Why would I need that? I've been surviving all this time without it.")

    So, in the niche you're entering, what are people saying as they're becoming ready to buy?

    In accounting software, they sure aren't saying, "Darn it, I'm tired of this accounting software. What else should we do?" They are much farther down the line than that.

    Me: "What have you learned so far in your search?"

    Them: "Uh...well, we're tired of using the system we have..." (uh oh, I'm gonna have to edjuamacate)

    vs

    Them: "We've been looking at a couple options, both reducing the number of screens our staff need to move through for postings. We're in this price range..." (OK, this is almost too easy; I can qualify very quickly as I have some pain and budget.)

    So industry-specific technical terms, good ol' jargon, is one of our indicators. If they're using it, they're probably past the basic ed stage. They could still be a gearhead, and so you have to ID the stakeholders and potentially the real decision maker, but it's a good lightbulb that here's someone you can work with.

    And when they're talking about implementation issues, that's even better.
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