Your Entrepreneur Home Based Business Success Series – #13 – Direct Response Marketing

When you enter the fascinating world of the Internet Industry, some of the most important skills that you will acquire are those of an expert Marketer. All of the top earners in this Industry utilize the proven successful techniques of Direct Response in order to achieve the high results in their sales campaigns.

The key to effective sales is to elicit a “Buy Now” instead of a “Waiting till Later” reaction from your prospect. The Direct Response is a process whereby the Buyer’s normal sales resistance is converted to the action step of a “Buyer’s Rush.” “Later” usually means “Never.”

My Mentor is a Master of Direct Response Marketing. He teaches a course that is dedicated to the subject. You want to build into all of your sales tools and materials, the elements of Direct Response. These are directed toward guiding your prospect, through the use of your high value products or services, to want to take action to buy.

Your Capture Page, your Website, Videos, Articles that you write and the Ads that you place on the Internet should all have woven into the materials that you present the messages directed to influence the prospect to take some action. By the simple way that you word your opt-in button, you can start to influence the prospect into taking action. Getting your prospect to always take an action, is a parallel to the response that you want in the sales closing process, of leading with questions that result in “Yes” answers.

Of course you must prove your trustworthiness, be knowledgeable, and be a professional, and conduct yourself with the highest integrity.

You must further establish good will with your prospect by demonstrating your knowledge and reliability. Understand that he or she will most likely follow his or her normal buying patterns and only close when he or she is ready. Your task is to make that as painless as possible for them. Your skill in asking questions in order to determine the prospects buying pattern will give you an insight that will assist you in the process.

Offering incentives, utilizing scarcity and deadlines are some of the techniques that will assist the buyer to change his behavior and want to act in your favor. These techniques should not be considered as ways to “Trick” people to behave, as you desire. The system is designed to understand Human Nature and to offer real value in a way that will be recognized by your prospect.

IF IT’S NOT A GOOD VALUE, IT WON’T SELL

THIS IS THE ROAD TO SUCCESS

Marketing Incest

I think we all know that “incest” is a terrible word. But how does it apply to marketing? Well, in this context, it applies when your products or services, your company, or your marketing methods or strategies are too closely related to those of your competitors.

In human culture, inbreeding dumbs people down and makes certain rare illnesses far more prevalent. The same thing happens in non-human populations. I’ve raised dogs all of my life, and I’ve learned that purebred dogs are the ones most likely to have health issues, because they’re inbred. Sometimes the healthiest dogs are what we call “Heinz 57″ dogs — the kind where you can’t tell what breed they are, because they’re a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. Well, those types of companies are the healthiest companies, too.

Marketplaces tend to be incestuous in the sense that they’re resistant to outside influence. Ultimately, you end up with the blind leading the blind, and to be blunt, the stupid following the stupid. Everyone following the same methods. There’s no innovation. People are afraid to stand out. There’s nothing that really separates one company from another company. Even if there are things that separate them, they’re not making a big deal about them in an attempt to attract new customers — and they should.

You could ask a hundred different marketing experts, “What is marketing?”, and their answers would range all over the place. Some of the people who have advanced degrees behind their names will give you very complicated answers that take fifteen minutes or more to explain. That’s not necessary. What it all boils down to is this: Marketing is all you do to acquire and retain customers. Period.

There’s a great book by Seth Gordon called Purple Cow, and it tells you how to transform your business by being remarkable. You do that by offering something that’s so great about you, your company, or your products or services that people talk about it. It gets them so excited that they feel it’s worthy of conversation. We’ve seen this in action with great movies, great restaurants, or excellent services. You can do the same with your company. Make people talk about your products and services with awe. If you do that, you’ll be rewarded with money.

This is extremely important, because effective marketing requires that you separate yourself from everybody else. Technically, this is known as “differentiation.” You must differentiate yourself to avoid marketing incest. You’ve got to offer something different to your customers, something unique and intriguing. So here’s the burning question: what makes you, your company, your products and services different from everyone else? What makes you important to your best prospective buyers or customers?

You have to ask yourself that question repeatedly; and I suspect that at first, your answer will be “nothing in particular” or something weak like, “We offer great service.” (This is normal, by the way.) But if you ask that question often enough, you’ll start zeroing in on what you do or can do better than anyone else in your market. That’s a great starting point. From there, you have to either discover or create your points of differentiation.

The average prospect will rarely ever say to you, “What’s different about you, opposed to everybody else?”, or “Why should I choose you over all the other available choices?” But nevertheless, you need to have an answer ready — because they’re all asking themselves variations of that question. They have a finite amount of money to spend, so they’re wondering, “What is it about you, your company, and your products and services that makes you different? Why should I choose you?”

Just because they don’t say the words doesn’t mean that they’re not thinking then, because they’re always wondering. And as I’ve already indicated, the real answer for most companies is, there’s not a whole lot of difference between them and everyone else. That’s why behavior that some might consider outrageous stands out. Consider the entertainment world, where Lady Gaga might be the best example at the moment. She’s worth something like $100 million these days — and her fans adore her.

She does the most outrageous things. She showed up at the 2010 MTV Music Awards dressed in meat. I’m not making this up! It was outrageous, and people talked about it — a lot. Well, I’m not asking you to do anything like that, but you do need to make some effort to make yourself different. Don’t go too far, but don’t just copy everyone else, either.

Now, is Lady Gaga more talented than other singers? You make the call. If you’re reading this sometime in the future and the name’s not familiar, just check her out on the Internet (or whatever it’s morphed into by then). She’s a marketing phenomenon, if nothing else. Her name is kind of dumb, but it sticks, doesn’t it? And her outrageous performances make her memorable. She’s always dressed in something outrageous, something that looks totally different every time. As for her music, there’s not a lot of difference between it and everybody else’s. I don’t see her being especially gifted musically, though of course she does have some talent. But her big talent is standing out in a very crowded marketplace.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Bruce Springsteen. He’s got loads of talent, but he made his big mark through the length of his concerts. Where others might last 90 minutes to two hours, he’s up there performing for four and five hours, sometimes longer. He’s also a phenomenal performer, giving it all he has for all that time, putting it all out there for the fans. He’s remarkable, because he’s different from all the other rockers — and I’ve seen plenty of them.

Wichita, Kansas and the other cities I’ve attended concerts in aren’t exactly on the main circuit… and you could see how bored the performers were when they got up on stage. Sometimes they would even turn their backs to the audience. These guys were our heroes, and we paid big bucks to see them — money that could have gone for a million other things — and they were blowing us off like we didn’t matter. That’s like a slap in the face.

Bruce Springsteen wasn’t like that. He performed for us, singing his heart out. Not only did he go for two or three times longer than the rest of these guys, but he gave everyone a hell of a show. I became a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen and his band, because I admire them so much — especially how they’ve differentiated themselves from everybody else.

It’s easy to see real differentiation in the music business, which is crowded with clones. Most markets are like that, and again, many of the companies in all marketplaces are like the blind leading the blind. But in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king — so keep your eye open. Instead of copying others, reach for something different. Why don’t more people do this? Because they’re afraid to.

Look: people want to know who you are. They want to do business with other people. It’s the relationships that are important. So don’t be afraid to tell your story — and stop being a copycat. Sadly, you find Market Incest everywhere you look. Once you’re aware of this, it’s like the Jackson Browne song with the line that goes, “You take Sally, and I’ll take Sue, there ain’t no difference between the two.” You can’t let yourself be like that, so find those differentiations that make you unique. Look for weak areas that your competitors aren’t serving, jump in, and inject that “wow” factor to make yourself stand out above the crowd.

Here’s another useful idea: adapt ideas from other markets. My best example here is something you take for granted every time you go to your local fast food joint and don’t even have to leave your car to get your food. A McDonald’s executive was at a drive-through bank one day when it occurred to him that he could adapt the idea to his restaurant — and the rest is history. Nowadays, everybody’s got a drive-through window, even Starbucks. People are pre-conditioned to expect it. If you don’t have a drive-through window, they’ll go somewhere else that does.

So look for ideas outside your marketplace. The essence of creativity is combining existing ideas in whole new ways. Innovate. Search for new and exciting ways to do the same things that everybody else is doing. Look at it as a game — a challenge.

Remember: “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.” All you have to do is find those points of differentiation that make you different, and build them into your business. Do that, and you’ll see a lot of prospects gravitating to you instead of your competitors.

MLM Network Marketing Prospecting – Five Step Sponsoring

Lots of “Sponsoring Systems” leave little room for individuality or your personal creativity. Here’s one that gives you the systematic structure you can lean on–yet it’s an open structure, which you can make your own and do your own way. It’s a proven mlm network marketing prospecting system.

No matter what company you’re associated with… no matter what product or service you’re offering… whether your orientation is product, opportunity, personal growth or whatever–this system will work for you. The reason it is so versatile is that it is based on universal principles of human nature, expressed in conversation–because that is the essence of the interviewing / sponsoring process.

Let’s jump into it.

Step 1: Establish Relationship

    Obvious? Good. But this is one area where a surprising number of people make life (and sponsoring) much harder than necessary. There are three keys here. One and two: Ask questions, and Listen openly to the answers. And three: Be direct.
    One thing you can’t fake in this business is a genuine interest in people. If you don’t have it, find it–because this really is the people-to-people business.

    The most popular conversation starter in the world is the most-often-asked and least-listened-to: “How are you?” Don’t take no answer for an answer to this one. Pounce gently on a superficial reply by asking, “Really, Sara, how are you?” You can easily continue the conversation by asking things like: “Can you say more about that…? What do you mean…? Why is that…?” etc. One tip: Remember the person’s name–and use it often. It is, for them, the most important word in the language. Write it down, if you’re forgetful. Begin sentences with their name, “Ralph, that’s interesting…” Some call this “building rapport”; others, “priming the pump.” You might say simply, “Making friends.” No matter, it is the required Step One. Focus on them and keep yourself in the background. Keep asking questions. Don’t champ at the bit to move on to “more important things.” Nothing is more important than Establishing Relationship–if for no other reason, because it’s in this initial step that you’ll begin to hear the information you need to know if this person is right for you and your opportunity. Be direct. Don’t evade anything. If asked “Why?” answer straight. We all have a built-in avoidance meter that screams when the truth isn’t being told. And it’s easy to tell the truth when the other person is speaking to a listener who’s really interested in who they are and what they’re up to. And you must be, because you’re asking all those questions.

Step 2: Explore Possibilities

    After you’ve earned the right to continue the conversation by Establishing Relationship, get to what’s most important for them in their lives. This isn’t prying, and if you’ve built up a resource of knowledge, interest and trust in Step One (which is another reason for that Step), you’ll be able to get to the heart of the matter right away.
    What is “the heart of the matter”? Very simply: what your prospect values most in his or her life. Find this out before you ask what they want.

    Many times–most times–we express what we “want” as a positive reversal of what we already have that we don’t want. Most goals are like this: “I want to make a lot of money” (that is: “I am sick and tired of being in debt”); “I want to be slim and trim” (in other words: “I am fat and I don’t want to look this bad anymore”); “I’d like to be in business for myself (because: “I am tired of feeling like a wage slave”). When you get people in touch with what’s really important to them, their goals and wants grow out of that. Touching that essential core is much more powerful than basing your interview on what they don’t want more of in their lives. Possibilities, dreams, aspirations, childhood wishes, genuine wants–these are the things to get to in this step. Take them back to their childhood, get them talking about what they wanted to be and do before “the system” beat it out of them. When you get to people’s possibilities, they’re almost always about great things like freedom, making a difference, empowering and enabling others, making a creative impact on the world… Those are the real, essential desires–and they are what connect most directly and fundamentally with your opportunity. Follow them back to their essence as best you can. “What would it be like if you were that prima ballerina, that statesperson, that millionaire…?” In a real sense, almost everyone is “the right person” for network marketing, because the essential things they value are all available from doing this business successfully. In the next Step, you’ll find this out with the person for real.

Step 3: Reveal Resources

    Here’s where you come in with your opportunity–and link it directly to them and the values they’ve revealed in Step Two. Up to this point, you’ve shared visions of Possibilities–but Possibilities and Opportunity are quite different.
    If Possibilities are dreams just waking up in the morning, Opportunities are Possibilities that are dressed, breakfasted and ready to walk out the door and go to work.

    Possibilities are a wonderful expression of values–but out of what’s possible, what’s truly available? You begin revealing that by letting them know how and why network marketing can be the vehicle for them to accomplish what’s truly important to them. Ask questions to make sure they agree, that that’s true for them. They may doubt it’s possible at first. That’s okay. Let them know that one part of your job is to help them know that it really is possible. You do that by revealing all of their resources.

    Possibilities + Resources = Actual Opportunities.

    John Kalench listed five key questions from his book, Being The Best You Can Be In MLM, that every prospect has in his or her mind:

    1. Is this business SIMPLE?
    2. Is it FUN?
    3. Can I make MONEY doing it?
    4. Will you HELP me to do it?
    5. Is NOW the right time to get involved?

    Network marketing is a system that can enable your prospects to make the most effective use of their resources: Time, energy, effort, talents, character, skills, caring for others, etc. As you explain the business to them, help them discover and plug in their own unique, individual resources. That way you can show them how they will be successful in network marketing, because they have just what it takes to succeed in this business. After you’ve done that, share your experience of your products and your company. Take them from network marketing directly to your particular vehicle. And remember, it is your vehicle. They are not joining Acme MLM Company. They are joining you and your network organization. This is very important. Don’t forget that you yourself, including your experiences with your vehicle and your willingness to serve your prospect, are a key resource. In fact, you are perhaps–in their eyes–the most important resource of all. So, in Step Three, you reveal and connect their resources (time, energy, effort, etc.) and your resources (product, company, training, coaching, team support, etc.) to create a believable alignment. And next…

Step 4: Design Actions

    You’ve got their wants (their goals), and you know the resources they’re bringing to the table, and you know how much time, energy and effort they’re willing to commit to building their business. So, the first point here is a reality check: Here’s your opportunity to make it really real. Let them know exactly what it will take to achieve their goals in the time frame they envision. This step is all about “create and adjust.” Create expectations, then adjust them (if need be) to what’s real. Next, reverse goal-setting. Start with each of their goals and work them back one at a time to a first-step action they can take today or tomorrow. First steps are: Make a list, make a call, sign an application, get X amount worth of inventory, etc. A note about inventory: In the previous Step, you revealed their resources. One of them is money for inventory, i.e., capital to invest in their new business. Now, based on their expectations, you can tailor just the right size inventory they will need to do the business at the level that’s appropriate for their stated–and checked-out-by-you–goals. There’s never a question of inappropriate inventory “loading” when you do this, never a bad feeling because of too little or too much. Also, keep it lower rather than higher. Although some people recommend that you make it a tad too high to keep the pressure on, I do not! That’s manipulation, and it’ll ruin the relationship–if not with you, between the person and him–or herself. It’s easier and more natural to increase the commitment over time because the business is going better than expected, or because it’s easier than they first thought. Going the other way is disappointing–sometimes terminally so.
    Reverse goal-setting is a simple way to trace the goals back, step by step, so that the first step for taking action and second, third, fourth… are clear and, above all, do-able!

    And that’s a key. It also helps you in your coaching role, because you can have a copy of their action plan, which enables you to check in with them and support them in generating and keeping their momentum going.

Last, but not least…

Step 5: “What Could Go Wrong?”

    One thing that absolutely, positively comes along with every goal we ever set is the inevitable breakdown(s) along the way. If you’re aware of them (if not specifically what they are, at least that they are coming), you can get over and through them with far greater ease. What breakdowns should you and your prospect plan for? First and foremost, non-supportive family or friends.
    When people first choose to enter this business, they are “newborns.” They need to be protected, nurtured and provided for. Any attack, no matter how well-meaning, may knock the wind out of your prospects’ sails. Help them out.

    Let them know it could happen. Provide them with some tools to help the potential “attacker” understand the business. CDs, websites, brochures and books that explain network marketing are great. So is a good solid rap on your product and company. Also, make yourself available to talk with any of their advisors. It’s best, but not always possible, to do sponsoring conversations with everybody involved, husband and wife, etc. If that’s not possible, volunteer to speak with them and answer any questions–whenever. Showing their goals and action plan is a beaut! It proves real thought and planning, and that’s very hard to blow away. Also, the very fact that you’re willing to spend time on what could go wrong is a big, big plus. Trust in you will knock away many third-party objections. What else could go wrong? Rejection. Mark Yarnell has a wonderful story of 199 sponsoring failures and only one success–who went on to make him almost $50,000 per month! It’s a good reminder of the truth of networking success. Commitment balances rejection. So does reconnecting the person with their values. In fact, that’s the key to handling breakdowns–refocusing on the vision. It’s where the power is in the whole process. Without doing this, your prospect may get over the difficulty, but it’s iffy at best. When he or she refocuses on the vision they have for getting into the business, it’s darn near a done deal. Also, let this part be a group or team effort. Facing breakdowns all alone is a real struggle. You will build just as much character–and have far more power for positive change–if you and your group have an active “creative brainstorming” session to help each of your people over the tough spots when they occur. Remember Kalench’s key question, “Will they help me do it?” And what a great way to show people how very directly you and yours will be of genuine help.

That’s it. A proven mlm network marketing prospecting system: Five Steps For Sponsoring.

Where’s Their Beef?

Have you noticed something missing from the Five Steps? There are two:

First, no “Handling Objections” section. Why not? Because “objections” are 99 percent a product of a lack of understanding on the part of your prospect. In fact, they are certified, red-flag clues that the Five Steps described above haven’t been completed.

The key to working this system successfully is to reach a point of completion on each Step before moving on to the next. Remember, “completion” is not final. It is simply complete for the moment. Establishing Relationship will continue and deepen for as long as you are in relationship. As people do the business, they will discover resources they didn’t know were available at first. Each Step is ongoing, but each requires a sense of completion before it can give birth to the next.

When completion is achieved in each Step, you have reached an understanding–and from that grows positive belief. Successful completion of each step also generates momentum, which grows geometrically throughout the entire process.

Objections do not come up in this process, because the purpose of the entire Sponsoring Conversation is to see if this is the right opportunity and the prospect is the right person and now is the right time. So it’s not a question of handling objections. It’s questions and answers to discover what’s true for them. A very different ball game.

And by the way, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to reach completion of all five Steps in one actual conversation. And there’s no rule that says you have to. One key to reaching completion is to take any imagined time pressure off yourself: In one conversation with a given prospect, it may be more important to spend your entire time establishing a solid Relatedness, and leaving the door open for your next conversation, than to plunge through your agenda before the bell rings.

Other times, the prospect may seem so “in sync” with what you’re offering that one or two of those Steps sail by with barely a nod. Watch out! Even when it feels like “a breeze,” don’t let that blow you off track. Make sure that you do cover each Step, that it’s voiced, shared and complete, so you won’t have to come back later to fill in the blanks and assumptions.

In Closing…
The second thing “missing” is “The Close.” Where is it? It wasn’t even mentioned! That’s because there is none–it’s unnecessary.

You don’t “close”–you open. The point of this process is for your prospects to “close” themselves.

You won’t get through Resources and Opportunities on to Step Four (Action) if they are not in and interested. In fact, you won’t reach completion in any Step if this is not something they genuinely want to do.

MLM Network Marketing Prospecting: Five Step Sponsoring enables people to enroll naturally. Not only do you not have to “sell” them products, you do not have to “sell” them the opportunity, either. If it fits their goals because it is a great way to express their values, they’re in–automatically. Why? Because we will pay them to live and work that way.

It’s more than win-win, it’s win squared.