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Report #13: How To Make A Great Deal Of Money With As Little Pain As Possible
Now I will wax philosophic about absolutely essential business knowledge: |
The biggest, single misunderstanding people have about business success is that the “wrong path” is so remarkably easy to wander down.
As you know, I talk to a huge number of entrepreneurs through Guthy-Renker, referrals, seminars, consulting, my subscribers, fax, mail, phone, UPS and daily, they’re most eager to regale me with every nitty-bitty detail of their incredible product or product idea. Sometimes I listen patiently.
And I groan inwardly as I listen to these people so into their particular product, so enthused with their product, so convinced that it’s one of a kind, so profoundly committed to its unique ability to stand out in the marketplace...
Because all of that is incidental to the issues we should be talking about. Like: Who was it built for? What evidence is there that they will spend money for it? What media and marketing method lends itself to the situation? Because:
An associate called me at 9 p.m. the other night, understandably excited by the succint way to explain this to people which he had just found in an old advertising book he had bought in an antique store. The quote said:
There is the wisdom of the ages. There is a million dollar quote.
It’s so hard to accept. The lady psychologist sends me the cassette program she’s lovingly, painstakingly put together about successful parenting, and she does not want to think of that as “soap”. She believes, maybe rightly so, that it is different and better than any book, tape, and anything else that has ever been put together about parenting. But there are two things she doesn’t want to get: one, I’ve
got 11 other products just like hers piled up in a corner in my office, from 11 other people who believe just as passionately that theirs is the only/best doohickey on parenting ever invented. And over in Palm Desert, Cindi Anderson at Guthy-Renker has nine more. And down in Key West, in Gary Halbert’s office, there are 14 others. And on and on and on. Darn it, it is “soap”. Second and more importantly, even if it is the best, most innovative, most technologically advanced, best researched, most incredible, etc., none of that matters if no one will buy the damned thing. They will only appreciate all that if and after they buy it. And the truth is any psychologist, many other authors, coaches, teachers, ministers and parents can “make” this particular “soap”. It takes a clever person to sell it.
Now, the next tough idea to accept: the time to think about who it will be sold to and how it will be sold to them is BEFORE you build it, not afterward.
You cannot imagine how many people arrive with their “soap” and no money left to promote it. “But I spent all my money making it,” they cry, “I thought somebody else’d jump at the chance to put up all the money to sell it.” Please let me dis-abuse that idea. If I wanted to sell “soap”, I wouldn’t invest my money in selling your “soap” and make you rich; I’d hire some “soap-maker” for a pittance to make “soap” for me. If I wanted to sell a course on parenting, I’d run a little ad in Writer’s Digest, Psychology Today, the National Writers Club newsletter, etc., have my choice of a blue-zillion experts and writers, and pay one a few thousand bucks, at the most, and maybe a teeny royalty to create that course just for me. And that applies to anything and everything.
“Hey, that means he’ll steal my idea.” Nuts to you. That’s not the point. The point is that I don’t need to steal your idea for “soap”; I’ve already heard it 100 times before you got here.
The person who DOES get his “soap” promoted in a big way brings marketing assets to the table with the soap. The skin care product maker shows up with Victoria Principal in her pocket. The author with the course on parenting comes in with a nationally syndicated radio show, a contact at Sally Jesse Rapheal. The guy with the golfing thingamajig has access to a list of 135,000 golf newsletter subscribers, etc.
At the very least, the smart entrepreneur does research and builds a case for the successful marketing of “soap” BEFORE making “soap”.
Before investing a year of your life putting together a whiz-bang course on parenting, how about finding out whether anybody has ever sold an audio-course, a video, a newsletter or a seminar on parenting to parents - other than in bookstores, and if so, who, how many, at what price, and how. Now, what do these buyers “look like”? What are they willing to spend? How can they be reached? Let me tell you something about blazing an entire new trail; you get eaten up by the lions, fall off a cliff, or killed by Inguns.
Here’s yet another powerful marketing lesson:
“A BUYER IS A BUYER IS A BUYER, BUT SOMEONE WHO WON’T BUY, WON’T BUY.”
If you want to sell your “soap”, find an economically sensible way to reach other people who have bought different kinds repetitively.
OK, YOU’VE IGNORED ALL THE ADVICE AND BUILT SOME DARNED PRODUCT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH, MARRIED TO AND IN DEBT WITH. NOW WHAT?
You’ve just got to find buyers. When you find one, you’ve got to learn as much as possible about that creature, so you can try and find more like them.
The buyer of a Mercedes is every different than the buyer of a Pontiac Sunbird. This industry idiotically talks to everybody about their products. But if you’re starting from scratch, with little resources, you’d better not do THAT. If you’ve got a “Mercedes”, you’d better find out exactly who will buy it.
Then find out where people just like him are. Do they all live in one place? Do they all read one magazine? Do they all go to a particular restaurant? Do they all shop at the same mall? You see, you can ONLY afford to communicate with these people who are precisely matched to and already proven likely to buy a Mercedes.
Going back to the person who invests life and limb in creating her course on parenting. If she’s given any thought to parenting at all, she has statistics. She’ll say, “There are x-# parents of kids between a and b.”
Great. Unfortunately, an overwhelmingly majority of those parents don’t give a rat’s behind about being better parents. Some think they know it all. Some think their kids are screwed up, but they’re okay. Most don’t think at all. Some are dead broke. Some are functionally illiterate. And I could go on. Somewhere in all that, there is a miniscule percentage who are literate, open-minded, concerned, self-improvement oriented, and have already demonstrated their willingness to invest time and money in being better parents. But if you have to wade through all the muck to find them, you will run out of gas long before you get there.
“But there are millions who NEED my product.” Terrific. Want to get me excited? Show me how many have previously, preferably repetitively, demonstrated their ability and willingness to invest in their desire for products or services like yours. Then, show me that we can find them and reach them. Now, we got something. Now I can help you.
Source: 15 Secret, Money Making Reports!
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