1 Step Cold Selling with a Letter

21 replies
I'm trying to sell a one hour marketing consultation for $97 with a cold sales letter and as I've gone through this letter several times I'm guessing this is a very difficult thing to do. Do you think I'm correct? I'm wondering if the conversions would be marginal even with a really good letter.
#cold #letter #selling #step
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Formby
    Hi Paul,

    If i was trying to do this personally i would create a video of yourself inside the video i would talk about foundations that businesses must be implementing such as email marketing a optimized website for lead generation etc show the business they have problems in the video. Pitch it as setting the foundations and plugging the leaks and then pitch the consultation offer at the end.

    Or do something for free for the business, a Facebook page etc and then promote your consultation.

    Another option is to offer a free consultation and then pitch them on implmenting your suggestions.

    Hope that helps.

    Mikey
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7599813].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
    Here ya go Harry. I'm going to target educated white collar professionals such as doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc. in suburban Chicago towns of approx. 30k population.

    I'm having a real challenge trying to "show" the prospect in detail how I can help them without giving away the farm so I thought I would start the letter out like a newsletter with a valuable tip to prove I can help them. I also realize that this letter struggles to get the prospect emotionally involved and it really doesn't show them that I know anything about their business so it needs a lot of work. And I realize I didn't do much to position myself other than "guerilla marketing expert" but I crammed 2 pages as it is. Thanks for any feedback.

    How I Get New Clients for a Nickel Each


    Hi John,



    I've got a tip for you if one of your biggest challenges is getting a steady stream of new clients without paying thousands for billboards or phone book ads (which usually have a negative return on investment). You probably already get some referrals from existing clients but probably leave a lot of money on the table too. And since referrals cost you almost nothing, you need to maximize them. Here's how to do it.


    Create a formal referral systemwhere you directly ask clients and business associates for referrals and incentivize them and the people they refer. Its really easy to do and if you take a minute, I'm sure you can figure out how to apply this idea to great profit in your business.

    What I did was created a referral business card that clients could hand out to friends. When the friend brought in the card I gave them a small discount on their first purchase. I also noted the referrer's name (written on the back) and gave them a discount on their next purchase.

    Guess what? It worked like gangbusters. Clients loved it and it boosted my referrals by about 25%! (about 10 clients per year) And keep in mind that before implementing this system, I regularly asked clients for referrals. Can you see how valuable that simple technique is?


    Are You Getting A Return on Your Investment?

    There's no question that referrals produce an incredibly high return but what about the rest of your marketing? If you're satisfied with the ROI and you're meeting your goals, then there's no point in reading further and I wish you success in all you do. But if you're frustrated with dumping your hard earned cash into ads that don't even pay for themselves and you aren't sure what else you can do to grow your business, then you'll want to keep reading.


    How would you like to learn how to take that referral technique and scale it up by a factor of 10? Of course you would. And how would you like to learn dozens of other tricks and strategies that will add to your bottom line such as how to....


    • Significantly reduce marketing expenses
    • Keep your clients longer
    • Get your clientss to spend more
    • Boost profits with strategic partnerships
    • Get your clients to buy more often
    • Bring long lost clients back
    • Increase sales conversions
    • Free up your time with autopilot marketing
    Proven Beyond A Doubt to Work!


    I can teach you how to do all of the above and more. What proof do I have? Back in the mid 2000's, I personally used the same strategies and techniques I teach to double sales and more than double profits of my retail business in Schererville (yea, I'm a local guy...been in NW Indiana my whole life). And it only took about 2 years. Plus, these are the same exact strategies the greatest business minds in history have used over and over again to build their fortunes!


    Simple, Quick and Inexpensive


    You might be wondering “Am I going to have to hire someone to do all this stuff?” Absolutely not! Of course, anything worthwhile takes work but, like the referral system, many of




    these techniques can be done quickly and very cheaply. And they aren't rocket science
    either so you don't have to be a master marketer to implement them. If you can run a business, you can do this!


    How to Literally Turn $97 into Thousands (NO HYPE!)


    So I gave you just one tactic that can easily be worth $1000 per year to your bottom line. What if you could learn 9 similar techniques all increasing your bottom line by $1000 each year? That would be $10,000 added to your net profit per year! What could you do with an extra ten grand in your bank account? Would you invest a hundred bucks to learn how to make that happen?


    I hope you answered yes because all it takes is a measly $97 to get a full 1 hour, one-on-one session with an expert guerilla marketer (me) where together we'll figure out exactly which techniques and strategies I teach are the best fit for your business and goals and how to apply them to put the most cash in your pocket and get your business moving full steam ahead.


    Now think about this: $97 is probably about half what you spend on one night out with your significant other. But what it will do for the future of your business will amaze you!


    You Can't Lose!


    Can I guarantee that you'll add $10,000 to your bottom line? No. But what I can do is guarantee that if you aren't convinced that what you learn will add, at the very minimum, ten times the $97 cost to your net profit, you'll get every penny back on the spot, no hard feelings! And lets face it, I would be a fool to offer a guarantee like that unless I had the utmost confidence in my service.


    Doing the Same Things Produce the Same Results


    So you have two choices: Continue doing what you're doing and continue getting the same results you're getting or take action NOW and get the new information you need to move your business forward with the bottom-line-boosting strategies and techniques I will teach you. Plus, you can sit back and relax, because we'll meet in the comfort of your office.


    So do what's best for the future of you, your business and your loved ones, and schedule your no risk, “no-sales-pitch”, one-on-one expert guerilla marketing session now by going to: www.GrowYourBizEasily.comor just give me a shout at 219-555-5555. Thanks for taking the time and I look forward to working with you to take your business to new heights.


    Committed To Your Success,






    Paul Ladendorf
    Expert Guerilla Marketer
    Performance Marketing
    219-555-5555


    PS. Remember there is absolutely no-risk. If you aren't 100% satisfied, you pay zero!
    PPS. Don't wait and miss this. You won't receive another letter and appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to availability (I'm only one guy). Go towww.GrowYourBizEasily.com or call 219-555-5555 NOW!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7600772].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by PaulintheSticks View Post

    I'm trying to sell a one hour marketing consultation for $97 with a cold sales letter and as I've gone through this letter several times I'm guessing this is a very difficult thing to do. Do you think I'm correct? I'm wondering if the conversions would be marginal even with a really good letter.

    Paul; Your letter isn't bad. But you need to give a reason for the $97, and you need to make it sound like a real deal.

    For example;
    "My fee for an hour of my time is normally $300, with a minimum of three hours.
    I can accept three new clients currently, and am going to make you an offer you cannot refuse. Call me and reserve a one hour block of time. The one hour will only be $97 for the next week.

    Now, why am I willing to "give away the farm" for only $97?
    Simple. It's a "test drive".
    You see, after the hour, there are only three things that can happen;
    1) You feel you wasted your time, and I give you back your $97 (hasn't happened yet, but the offer is real)
    2) You get everything you want out of the first hour, and you and I part friends.
    3) We find that you want more done, and ask me to do some work for you.

    So you have everything to gain, and nothing you lose.

    PS, I'll even bring you a copy of the referral card to use in your own practice. Yours to keep as my gift"




    That sort of thing. I would also include an example of someone using an idea from you, making money. A dentist preferably. A quote from a dentist client. Or even an example of someone using the same ideas you teach, and getting results. You know...proof.

    Good luck, Claude
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7600987].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      Your letter isn't bad.
      That's by far the best compliment I've gotten so far.

      Great ideas as always, Claude.

      I would also include an example of someone using an idea from you, making money. A dentist preferably. A quote from a dentist client. Or even an example of someone using the same ideas you teach, and getting results. You know...proof.
      Oh you must have missed the part where I said "What proof do I have?" Blah blah blah.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7601440].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by PaulintheSticks View Post

        That's by far the best compliment I've gotten so far.

        Great ideas as always, Claude.

        Oh you must have missed the part where I said "What proof do I have?" Blah blah blah.
        Paul; "What proof do I have? Back in the mid 2000's, I personally used the same strategies and techniques I teach to double sales and more than double profits of my retail business in Schererville (yea, I'm a local guy...been in NW Indiana my whole life)".

        You said the word "Proof", but what you gave really isn't proof. The results you get need to be more specific. Dollar amounts. specific time frames. A Client that has got these results is better.

        And another thing! :rolleyes:
        Selling an hour of a dentist's time is hard. They are busy. They make far more than $100 an hour (Except ones with a brand new practice). I might guarantee " If, after ten minutes, you don't feel you have already made more than the $97 fee back, just let me know and I'll give you an immediate refund.

        At the beginning, I would also give multiple problems. You never know what specific marketing problem they have right now.

        For example:
        "Are you getting calls from your advertising, but they aren't converting into large cases?"
        "Are you getting calls from ad reps, promising you the moon, but delivering nothing but a bill?"
        "Are you getting some results from advertising, but don't know which ads are producing?"
        "Are you tired of dealing with advertising reps that don't know how to create a profitable ad?"

        I'm not an advertising rep. I'm a marketing consultant. And I know a secret that you don't. Ready? Nearly every marketing method I learned that created a profit in my business was learned from entirely different industries from my own. It's the same with your dental practice. If you keep doing what other dentists are doing, you'll never get better results than they do."


        Paul; That's just an idea. Do you know what I do when thinking up a pitch? (which is what the letter is)
        I list all the problems they have, from their point of view.
        I list things that keep them awake at night.
        What things in their business make them grit their teeth in anger?

        You may want to buy a dentist lunch to find these things out. A drink is better. The ideas will flow and they will open up.

        You need a testimonial from one Dental client. do it for free. The first letter I would send would be for free hour long consultation...and tell them it's to prove what you can do.

        And read The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy. It will give you the bones of a profitable sales letter.

        This is work.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7602186].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
          All very good points Claude.

          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          And another thing! :rolleyes:
          Selling an hour of a dentist's time is hard. They are busy. They make far more than $100 an hour (Except ones with a brand new practice). I might guarantee " If, after ten minutes, you don't feel you have already made more than the $97 fee back, just let me know and I'll give you an immediate refund.
          That's a great point I never considered.

          You need a testimonial from one Dental client. do it for free. The first letter I would send would be for free hour long consultation...and tell them it's to prove what you can do.
          I've been mulling this over and I absolutely agree. But I've just got to send out a small sample (50) of the original letter for the helluvit. Really because its the first finished (almost) sales letter I've ever written and the curiosity is already driving me nuts. Plus I'd be pretty psyched if I sold one.

          quote]And read The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy. It will give you the bones of a profitable sales letter.[/quote]

          I just dug it out of my book stash and am going to re-read it.

          This is work.
          You said it. Luckily I'm used to it.

          As always, your help is very much appreciated. Muah!
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7602746].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Paul to make the offer more compelling, say in affect "Give me 10 minutes of your time and $97, and I guarantee I'll tell you 3 ideas you can mediately use to [whatever advantage, desirable outcome]. Should you believe they are unworkable or have wasted your time, not only will I refund in full your $97 immediately, I'll also pay you $97 for your lost time."

          That's the gist of the offer Dan Kennedy used starting out in his early career as a ad agency.

          Only difference was there was no up front fee to talk with him.

          This is a clear, easy to understand offer which is risk free.

          Best,
          Ewen
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7602778].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
            Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

            Paul to make the offer more compelling, say in affect "Give me 10 minutes of your time and $97, and I guarantee I'll tell you 3 ideas you can mediately use to [whatever advantage, desirable outcome]. Should you believe they are unworkable or have wasted your time, not only will I refund in full your $97 immediately, I'll also pay you $97 for your lost time."
            Thanks. I like it Ewen. And if I end up broke after a week of doing this, I would think of some other business to try. I think giving them away is going to be an easier "sell" but I could be wrong. Will do some testing.

            I tried to give away a ranked web property a week ago in a small market for "auto repair/town" and it was interesting because it took 3 calls before someone accepted the "gift".

            It was a free trial of course but no contract and no cash upfront. Literally the only thing they had to do was e-mail me a logo to put on the property. My pitch was "once it starts generating FREE leads we'll talk about the value I bring to the table." One guy wanted to know if I had any testimonials and kept saying I'm part way sold and wanted me to e-mail a proposal. The next repair shop I called had enough brains to take it.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7602934].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
              Originally Posted by PaulintheSticks View Post

              Thanks. I like it Ewen. And if I end up broke after a week of doing this, I would think of some other business to try. I think giving them away is going to be an easier "sell" but I could be wrong. Will do some testing.
              When you think about it, people on both sides of the transaction
              believe, to some extent, there is risk involved...usually the prospect.

              This eliminates it.

              I had a $1,000 penalty guarantee in a un-related business
              and only one guy called me out on it. Only asked for $50.

              The beauty of this type of proposal is that you
              make darn sure you deliver or your promise.

              The biz owner will be intrigued by your balsey offer.
              as nobody has ever done it before.

              Best,
              Ewen
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7602998].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author misterme
              Originally Posted by PaulintheSticks View Post

              I tried to give away a ranked web property a week ago in a small market for "auto repair/town" and it was interesting because it took 3 calls before someone accepted the "gift".
              That's because even "free" needs to be sold, Paul.

              It was a free trial of course but no contract and no cash up front. Literally the only thing they had to do was e-mail me a logo to put on the property. My pitch was "once it starts generating FREE leads we'll talk about the value I bring to the table." One guy wanted to know if I had any testimonials and kept saying I'm part way sold and wanted me to e-mail a proposal. The next repair shop I called had enough brains to take it.
              You're missing a lot of lessons here. One guy wanted to make sure this wasn't a waste of time, so he asked for testimonials (skip the written proposal part). That was very prudent of him. So don't be like he didn't have brains. And you got one potential client from the cold out of three using the free method. Which isn't bad. And what are you doing with that knowledge? You decided you're going to ask for $97. You just witnessed a small step of success and you're turning your back on it. Go back to the free model. That gets you in. The next step is to make sure these potential clients make some money out of it. Make it profitable for them, A few calls, one sale, that's all they need to see happen. Paul. Then you can get your money. If they don't pay, "Next!" Go to their competitor and tell them what happened with the last guy. There's your testimonial and your next sale.
              Signature
              "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7603111].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
                Originally Posted by misterme View Post

                That's because even "free" needs to be sold, Paul.
                Wow. You're missing a lot of lessons here. One guy wanted to make sure this wasn't a waste of time, so he asked for testimonials (skip the written proposal part). That was very prudent of him.
                Thanks. Lots of good points.

                I didn't actually say the other guy had "no brains" but I admit it was a condescending comment and I shouldn't have made it any way.

                But I don't think it was prudent of him at all because he wasted a lot more time of both of our time talking on the phone trying to be sold when in 5 mins he could have e-mailed me the logo and been done. You've heard the saying don't look a gift horse in the mouth?

                You decided you're going to ask for $97. You just witnessed a small step of success and you're turning your back on it. Go back to the free model. That gets you in.
                Why commit to one strategy over another? I haven't done any testing so why not try the $97? I mean, if I've got to sell freebies anyway, how much more difficult is it going to be to sell a $97 product with a money back guarantee and a good letter? What will be the difference in ROI? How many freebie seekers will I get? Will the perceived value be diminshed because its free? Plus its a totally different product to a different market using a different means of contact. Those are just some thoughts and questions I'm mulling over.
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7603219].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    I'd change the letter's structure. OK if you want to give a free tip, but maybe promise you'll get to it shortly, but first... then I'd address an obvious pain point first. Maybe that's about referrals. Then extend that to its logical conclusion, aggravating the pain or loss.

    "Proven Beyond A Doubt to Work" is hype. I wouldn't make such absolute claims because they're not believable. Even if it were true. Why give them reason to be more skeptical than they already are?

    "Plus, these are the same exact strategies the greatest business minds in history have used over and over again to build their fortunes" - why not give a few examples. You don't have to mention the technique involved. Just names and what they accomplished with the techniques.

    May be even more powerful if you detailed a bit of how you studied these business masters and learned their strategies. And maybe that even ought to be the nucleus of your message. You studied these giants and that's when you then put what you discovered into practice and saw results in your own business. Then state those specific results you achieved. Did you get written up in a newspaper or something because of your successes back then maybe? Insert a clipping of that too.

    Then make the offer.

    edited to add: Just happened to read in the NY Times today, that the term "significant other" is being dropped by many people. They see it as being too 1980's.
    Signature
    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7601729].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
      Thanks for the great suggestions.

      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      then I'd address an obvious pain point first. Maybe that's about referrals. Then extend that to its logical conclusion, aggravating the pain or loss.
      I tried to do that but maybe didn't do a very good job of it.

      This was supposed to be the pain point:"If one of your biggest challenges is getting a steady stream of new clients without paying thousands for billboards or phone book ads (which usually have a negative return on investment)"


      And then the aggravation:

      "But if you're frustrated with dumping your hard earned cash into ads that don't even pay for themselves and you aren't sure what else you can do to grow your business"

      Back to the drawing board.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7602071].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7603105].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by PaulintheSticks View Post

      A $582/hour penalty seems pretty steep though.
      Ahh now you are feeling the possible loss.

      Put yourself in a prospects shoes,
      he just may well feel the same way!

      Why would you ever feel that same fear when you deliver on the promise?

      I'll give you a even higher stakes penalty example.

      A young up-start direct response ad agency advertised not only will they beat a clients existing best response ad by 10%, they would pay for the cost of the media used if it didn't happen.

      The team were sweating blood as the days drew closer to the publication of that ad.

      They got plenty of calls but the conversation quickly moved away from the guarantee
      as they said they weren't interested in it, but "you sound like you know what you are talking about, let's talk about my..."

      A typical client would spend 10's of thousands on media buys
      so that would be a huge hole they would of buried themselves into if things went sour.

      Never happened.

      Best,
      Ewen
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7603177].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Fox30
    I would make your campaign/letter more targeted. For example, tailor the campaign and letter to attorneys who specialize in auto accidents, dentists who specialize in cosmetic surgery, etc
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7603121].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Paul; Remember when I said (to include in a letter) "I'm not an advertising rep. I'm a marketing consultant. And I know a secret that you don't. Ready? Nearly every marketing method I learned that created a profit in my business was learned from entirely different industries from my own. It's the same with your dental practice. If you keep doing what other dentists are doing, you'll never get better results than they do."?

      This does two things, it really is something that most business owners don't think about. And it sounds like a real marketing lesson in itself. The benefit to you, of course, is that it sets you up as the guy that has studied all these other businesses. You can use this in your 60 minute consultation (I do).

      You're getting some real good advice here. (I mean from everyone...although my advice is 99.44% pure):rolleyes:
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7603172].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Originally Posted by PaulintheSticks View Post

    Thanks. Lots of good points.

    I didn't actually say the other guy had "no brains" but I admit it was a condescending comment and I shouldn't have made it any way.
    You implied it when you said the other guy had brains for taking your offer, lol. No worries. Signed, Jiminy Cricket.

    I wonder if that reference will be lost on some here...

    But I don't think it was prudent of him at all because he wasted a lot more time of both of our time talking on the phone trying to be sold when in 5 mins he could have e-mailed me the logo and been done. You've heard the saying don't look a gift horse in the mouth?
    Yeah I've heard that saying, but he just wanted to make sure your horse wasn't from Trojan. Look, the Skepticism Meter rises when someone says "go on, take it. it's free." People wonder, "what's the hitch?" or "if it's so good, why is he giving it away?" and rightly so. This is part of what I mean when I say free needs to be sold too. They know you're trying to make money out of this, and they're trying to figure out how it's gonna be stuck to them. Total transparency is what's needed here. "And I'm giving this away, free, on a limited basis, because..."

    Why commit to one strategy over another? I haven't done any testing so why not try the $97? I mean, if I've got to sell freebies anyway, how much more difficult is it going to be to sell a $97 product with a money back guarantee and a good letter?
    My guess is... much. But that first question, "Why commit to one strategy over another?" Because you had a spark of something right happening there and you ought to develop that more. This is a life lesson I learned I'm passing on to you, so pay attention! Learn to see tiny successes. You see, you may be thinking that success is going to come looking a certain way and therefore, anything that doesn't match up with that vision gets discarded. That's a mistake. Some people think it needs to be all or nothing at all. That's a mistake. More often that not the final version of a successful business is way different than how it started off.

    You witnessed a step in the right direction. A 33% close out of three calls. That's pretty good! But you didn't go ahead and develop that. But there's opportunity standing there just waiting for you to recognize it. That's all I'm saying. Don't overlook the successes that are the stepping stones to your goal. Take them, and do more of what works rather than what you think it ought to be.

    Sure you can go on to another model. but maybe you should master this one first.

    How many freebie seekers will I get?
    Some. But you host the domain on a sub-directory until they pay you and you turn it over to them.

    Will the perceived value be diminished because its free?
    Does that mean you don't value my advice? You can pay me for it if that works better for you. How much value would you like to perceive? And where do I send the bill?
    Signature
    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7603485].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mgreener
    After seeing the amazing wealth of knowledge and wisdom that has been shared in this thread, I think you're next step is to log off and put this stuff to work. Polish up the sales letter and give it a test. Then on to phase 2.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7603753].message }}

Trending Topics