A Market That Is Far More Likely To Buy Your Online Services by Claude Whitacre
What Do Business Owners Buy Before They Buy Your Service?
I don’t know precisely what you sell. But this will probably apply to what you sell if you just think about it. I honestly don’t remember when I learned this, or figured it out on my own. But it’s a powerful question to ask yourself.
What is something that business owners tend to buy before they buy your offer?
I can give you the real life examples from my businesses.
When I was selling vacuum cleaners in people’s homes, I noticed that the people who had just bought new carpet were easier to sell than people with older carpet, or bare floors. Why?
Because they had invested more in their carpet than in my vacuum cleaner. And my vacuum cleaner would protect their investment in their new carpet. The new vacuum cleaner would get rid of the sand and grit that cut carpet fibers, when you walked on the carpet. Also, it kept the carpet fibers standing straight up, making the carpet look nicer.
I went to a few of the larger carpet dealers, and asked them for the names of the people that had bought carpet in the last few months. Why would they give me those names? First, because I was bragging up the quality of the carpet they bought, and word got back to the dealers, and they wanted me to see more of their customers to help promote their stores. The other reason was that I gave each store a free vacuum cleaner, and free service.
I didn’t tell customers that I was from the carpet store, or that we had anything to do with each other. I tell you now, that it would have been smarter to make that arrangement.
But I was calling people that I knew had new, high quality carpet in their home. I also knew that they could afford my new vacuum cleaner, or at least qualify for financing. And it was such a natural thing to say to them, “You just bought new carpet for your home. If you were ever going to take care of it, and keep it clean, when would be the best time to start?”
And usually, they would say “As soon as possible”. It was a natural sale, and my closing percentage on these sales was better than 80%. And that was essentially a cold call.
I knew that these leads were already super qualified, and hay already had a reason to buy from me. So I gave them a great gift for letting me show them my vacuum cleaner. It wasn’t for buying, just taking a look.
When I‘m selling my local online marketing service to brick and mortar businesses, I also think of “What do they buy before they buy my thing?”
And you know what it is? Print advertising. The business owners who buy lots of local radio, cable TV, and print advertising are far more likely to buy my online marketing service. Why?
Because they re used to buying lots of advertising. And every ad that they run, can point to my online marketing. Their newspaper ad can direct the customer to a website I built for the business. The people seeing the ads can be directed to videos I produce for the business. It all fits together nicely. I don’t give gifts for these appointments. But when I get a newspaper in the mail, or a direct mail ad from a merchant...They are getting a call from me.
The approach I use?
“Hi, Bob? This is Claude Whitacre. I’m looking at your ad right now for mattresses. It’s a fine ad. But it’s missing two things that could make it at least twice as profitable. Would you like to know how to do that? (Yes). Good. I create quality leads and sales for businesses that already advertise in the newspaper (or wherever I saw the ad).I’ll show you haow to make your current advertising less expensive and far more productive. All I ask is that you’ll keep me in mind, if you ever need any of my online services. Fair enough? (Sure, I guess. Can you tell me now?)
Bob, I want to meet with you for a moment, to show you the ad, and point out how to make it more profitable. Will you be in tomorrow between 2 and 3PM?”.
And one out of three times, maybe a tad more, they say “Yes” to the appointment. And almost always, they buy my service. Why? Because they are already buying just about every other thing that advertises for them. Want to sell fish? Find someone who eats a ton of fish. Stop trying to convince a vegetarian to eat fish.
Now, here is your exercise for today; Think of at least two things, that business owners buy, that makes them more likely to buy your product. It should be something that costs more than your product, to make your sale easier.
By the way, the "Two things that would make their ad far more profitable"?
Well, the first thing is to write a much more powerful headline. That's always easy. and then..
A phone number to a 24 hour Toll Free Consumer Helpline, and a link to their home page of their website I build for them that feature several helpful videos I produce for them.
The helpline is a voicemail box. I record a sales message including any contact information. They can't leave a message, just listen. It directs the customer to call the store for sale information. The message can be any length.
There are lots of services like this offered online.
Added later; And something I say to them; "If you were ever going to make your print ads really pay, when would be the best time to start?"
What if they're not stars? What if they are holes poked in the top of a container so we can breath?