PreneurCast is a marketing podcast. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
Pete and Dom are back from Florida; and this week, they talk about timing your marketing so that your message is in front of prospects at the time they are most receptive — both when they are about to buy and also after they have bought from you.
Pete and Dom talk about how to time your marketing messages to your prospects when they are most receptive
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Dom Goucher: Hello, everybody and welcome back to the regular programming of PreneurCast with me, Dom Goucher, and him, Pete Williams.
Pete Williams: Hey, hey! How are you, mate?
Dom: Pretty good, pretty good. I think I’ve just about got that jet lag out of my system.
Pete: It has been a very crazy two or three weeks in our world, hasn’t it?
Dom: Absolutely. I really have been operating in about three or four time zones all at once for quite some time now.
Pete: It has been a very awesome two or three weeks, but has been a little chaotic which has meant the show has been a day or so out in terms of getting released. So, we apologize for that. But, thank you for our regular listeners for sticking by us and checking out every episode. And, obviously, welcome to the new PreneurCast listeners. For those of you who don’t know what’s been going on, Dom and I have been gallivanting in South Florida, which has been very, very cool.
Dom: Gallivanting. I like that word. Gallivanting.
Pete: Hanging out with Rich Schefren of Strategic Profits team in his offices down there, sort of doing some work with them. And then also while we were there, we launched a new training and consulting program referred to and called Profit Hacks, as the original incarnation of that program’s gone out exclusively to his high-end clients, which has been received very well so far. We did a six-hour live stream, like a live telecast for six hours, to kick it all off. It was a heck of a lot of fun. Full of shenanigans and a bit of craziness, but was very cool.
Dom: Yeah, it was. You were an absolute star. I still cannot believe that you managed to stay with it for six hours. You and Rich were phenomenal on that. Folks, by the way, the Profit Hacks thing was an internal launch for Rich’s high-end clients. But we will be talking some more about that soon, obviously to the Preneur Community. And, at some point, we’ll be giving you the full announcement when it goes fully live.
But for now, we’ll keep feeding bits in as they become relevant. There’s lots of stories about what went on behind the scenes over at Strategic Profits. It was a very interesting thing to experience, that whole live stream, live webcast production. It was definitely a step into a different world, even for me, Pete.
Pete: It was a lot of fun working with the team and everything, beyond just the live stream. Obviously, that was probably the pinnacle of the week, and the highlight. But we were there for almost an entire week and worked with his team on a whole bunch of stuff. And now, we’re back working with all the initial clients who have taken on Profit Hacks to be part of the business, and their processes and workflows.
So, working with them quite closely, and everything else we’ve got going on as well. It doesn’t seem to stop around the Preneur Community. It always seems to be growing, which is very, very cool.
Dom: It is, it is very cool. Speaking of growing and new members of things, we have a new member to our team here, one of our new suppliers. It’s actually an existing supplier, somebody that we’ve used for quite some time, but he’s offering his service now out to the world. This is very relevant to anybody that follows along with PreneurCast and all the Preneur Community activities.
Matthew, the chap that does quite a lot of our transcriptions for the various Preneur products, has set up a service called Get Transcribed and that’s over at GetTranscribed.com. Matthew has a whole team to deliver transcriptions from your video or audio files, back to you in a high-quality, well-formatted kind of way. He’s got a range of services over there, and he’s offering a 25% discount on your first order if you mention PreneurCast. So, that’s over at GetTranscribed.com.
If anybody has followed along with any of the things that we’ve published recently, especially the Content Leverage System videos that we talked about previously- and I’ll link to that in the show notes- then you’ll know that getting your audio and video transcribed is a great way of generating extra media types, or modalities as we call them, from a core piece of quality content. So, it’s great to have a reliable transcription service. And, as I say, we use Matthew and his team over at gettranscribed.com. So, pop over there and give them a try.
Pete: Absolutely. So, a big shout out to Matthew, and thanks for continually working with us. It’s good to see that people that we work with are actually growing their businesses. It’s very, very cool as well. We can sort of now support them who’ve supported us, and help grow their business through our listener base and our community out there.
So, whether you’ve got a podcast that needs transcribing or whether you’re just trying to get more content out on the web using the Content Leverage System-type process, transcription is a great way to go. And, I couldn’t recommend Matthew highly enough.
Dom: Excellent. So, I think that’s enough of what’s gone before. What’s coming next, Pete? What are we talking about this week?
Pete: I wanted to talk about timing and the importance of timing in your marketing and your business processes. There’s a couple points that I think we could discuss quite in depth, and we’ll try and do as much as we can in the time allotted in a normal, obviously, podcast episode; but let’s chat timing.
Dom: OK. I’m intrigued by this. This is one of those grander concepts that certainly has been something that I’ve not been too au fait with in the past. As I learn about the different elements of growing your business and marketing and promotion, I take things one step at a time. As we’ve talked about serial versus parallel, I try to learn a new technique and apply that.
Timing is one of those things that I know is important; but to me, it was always the thing that was additional. First of all, I needed to get it done. Then, I needed to get it done at the right time and in the right order. So, I’m definitely interested in talking about this with you this week.
Pete: Alright, so let’s jump into it. People who have listened to the show for quite a while would probably be familiar with the Preneur Hierarchy, which is a marketing framework that we talk about quite a bit on the show about when and what sort of marketing you should be doing. One of the lower-level foundations of the hierarchy, the pyramid there, is marketing to people who have their wallets half-open searching for a solution that you’re offering.
Now, that’s pretty straight forward. But one thing we haven’t really spoken about on the show is the timing of that, and when should you actually have been doing that. Because sometimes, people are searching for different things throughout the year based on calendars and buying cycles, and all that sort of stuff. So, I thought we could talk about timing in that context throughout the show today.
Dom: OK. So things like seasonality then, yeah?
Pete: Yeah. A travel agent would probably be a great analog example, obviously an online example as well. Expedia and TripAdvisor and all these sites these days are quite huge. But, if you think from a travel agent’s perspective- now, there’s obviously people like me who leave their travel arrangements to the last minute and need to fly out on a trip and book their trip to the overseas destination two or three weeks out from the trip, which is probably uncommon.
For business travel, it probably is common. But, thinking about what most people do when they’re booking holidays through travels agents, in winter is when they’re probably thinking about their summer vacations. It’s like, “I want to go somewhere warm.” They don’t have the funds, or the time off work, or the flexibility to go away right now. Maybe they’ve got family and things like that, and they’re booking trips six months in advance.
So, it’s through the winter months you should be marketing the summer holidays, not necessarily the winter holidays. Obviously, snow trips and things like that for days trips are popular right now. But again, a lot of people, if they’re wanting to go away skiing for a week, don’t plan that weeks out. They’re planning that months and months out. It just comes down to really contemplating your target market, and the products your offer, and when are people in that buying cycle.
When is it actually, from a seasonality perspective, they’re actually looking for that particular solution? Because, some people aren’t looking for the Christmas holiday or Christmas vacation at the start of December; they’re actually looking for that Christmas vacation, that solution, in July or June- six months out.
Dom: Absolutely. I remember years and years ago commenting on this, before I was working for myself. In fact, probably before I even had a job. I remember come January, you would start to see adverts on the television for summer holidays. And, I remember commenting, “Well, it’s January. Why would I want to know about holidays?” But that’s absolutely what happens. Once you understand your market, it’s not just about seasonality though, is it?
It’s about understanding your market, what they’re looking for and when they’re looking for it. Because when you understand that, then you can predict this timing. The holiday example, the travel company example, is a great one because it’s universal. Just about everybody can understand that situation that you described there. But it’s wider than that, isn’t it?
Pete: Yeah. To re-push that point a little bit, obviously, there’s going to be people all year round looking for a summer vacation or a ski trip, or a Christmas vacation. Do your proactive online marketing so you are in front of those people when they’re searching for that with SEO and pay-per-click. Because the beautiful thing with those sorts of marketing activities, you can only pay when people are actively responding to your marketing. Someone searched in Google, “Christmas vacation ideas,” and that’s where your ads, whether it be SEO ads or AdWords ads, actually appear.
Now, that is a great foundational marketing practice that everyone should be implementing; and we spoke about that recently when we were talking about our Low-Hanging Fruit episode. But, if you’re going to be doing anything beyond that- I call that almost reactive marketing, because you’re reacting to the market telling you what they want. You’re standing there ready to go, but you have to react and wait for them to actually proactively search for the keyword or the key phrase.
Whereas, if you’re going to actually do some hypothetically radio advertising, maybe some direct mail campaigns, some TV, some letter box shops, all of those various marketing activities you can do to generate traffic for your business, it’s in this instance where you have to really be conscious about the market and what they’re actually doing right now and what is going to be relevant to them right now. You need to hit the biggest part. What is the majority of your market thinking about and doing right now?
AdWords and SEO give you that all year round, cover-all-bases-type approach, which, for a lot of businesses, can be enough to sustain a very profitable business and a very large business. But, if you’re going to grow beyond that, or you’re a very niche business or a very localized business, there’s not enough traffic in SEO and AdWords. There has to be other marketing mediums you can do, and have to think about the timing of your actual campaigns and your messages to match what the market is actually doing.
Dom: Yeah, I really like the way that you segmented those two approaches. I think that’s a great way to give people- it’s not really a checklist, it’s a decision point. As you say, the pay-per-click or the content network-type advertising, banner advertising, and things like that, as long as it is on a pay-per-click basis, it’s a great thing to do as that baseline in the background, all-year-round advertising. The outlay that you make is only there if somebody clicks on that advert first and foremost, from a cost point of view.
And secondly, it’s presented to the people when they take an action, when they’re making a search, when they’re looking for something, or they have been looking for something that’s related to your topic. So, it’s an effective way of advertising and it is quite a good return on investment. Those, I think, are really two of the things, the underlying concepts here: its effectiveness and return on investment.
Because the second set of advertising or marketing ideas that you talked about where you’re talking about maybe doing direct mail campaigns or running advertising in print media, or paying for a radio spot, or just trying to get on the radio, is slightly less costly way of doing that. Paying anything where you’re outlay and maybe producing something, producing media or print or whatever, then you need to be looking very carefully on how effective that’s going to be and on your return on investment.
And that’s where timing really becomes important, because it does matter where people are in their buying cycle or where they are in their minds right now on what the kind of things they’re going to be looking for. Does that fit in with what you’re talking about?
Pete: Yeah, it’s definitely, absolutely all on the same sort of lines. But, I’m going to take something that you mention at the start of what you just spoke about then, and kind of just clarify it and almost change it a little bit. Because you were saying, and mentioned content marketing, which is, for those who don’t know, it’s advertising with web banners. They’re sort of the billboards of the internet on websites that are on Google’s network.
Now, that doesn’t mean Google’s websites are their own; but I, as a website owner, can actually allow Google to be the ad distributor and display ads on my site for various companies who use their platform to make that happen.” There may be a more articulate way of explaining that, I’m sure. But, the issue with that is I don’t class that as reactive marketing and that doesn’t fit into what I’m talking about. Content advertising is where you put banners on other people’s websites promoting your products.
Now, yes, a lot of those adverts will be triggered and the ad that is shown is a relative ad based on the words and keywords of the web page that the person’s looking at. Google actually matches the advert that’s appearing on the page with the content. Obviously, that, again, is relative and somewhat reactive. If someone is on a website, hypothetically, with a blog post or an article about Aspen holidays in winter, obviously they’re looking for a winter getaway. So an advert that relates to that is very relevant and it is good timing.
But, with things like remarketing, which is a new service Google has which, again, is pay-per-click or cost-per-click advertising where you only pay when someone clicks on the ad, that to me is still a different, almost a proactive type of marketing. Because how remarketing works is, someone comes to your website, be it a travel agent site- to sort of continue the analogy through the show- and they’ve looking at, “ski Aspen winter holidays”, you can tag that person as someone who has been to that particular page of your website and is interested in winter holidays.
As people browse the rest of the web, be it a food website, checking out the basketball scores, any website in any context that allows Google’s network to display the ads, your ads for winter holidays can follow them around the web no matter where they are. So, that again, if someone is actually then, two days, two weeks later, looking at the NBA scores, or maybe a running tips blog, or how to go fishing, whatever it might be; your winter holiday ads can actually appear on that page which is completely irrelevant to the context of what they’re looking at right now.
So, that’s not reactive. In that instance, when they’re looking at that particular webpage about the basketball scores, or on Amazon or whatever it might be, they’re not looking for a holiday; they’re looking for something completely different. So, those adverts are not timed well. They’re not reactive adverts matching the person’s current intent with their wallet half-open. Yes, they still might be looking for a holiday, but their wallet at that very instance is in their back pocket.
They don’t have it open trying to buy a holiday. The message you have to push at that point is a completely different message to a reactive marketing message if someone was proactively looking for a holiday, because the timing has changed in that person. Does that make sense how I’ve changed that? It’s still cost-per-click, so it’s still an effective type of marketing because you only pay when someone clicks on the ad, but not all cost-per-click is a reactive-type marketing.
Dom: Yeah. Actually, that’s a really excellent example that you gave there. It clarified, again, a division of making a decision as you’re going through and choosing the type of marketing that you’re going to do. Then, it is important to choose the appropriate type and the appropriate investment. And, I guess, it talks to the general point that I was making, which is what we’re talking about here, which is what’s going to be the most effective.
But it specifically comes back to your point about timing and about what- you describe it as whether or not they have their wallet out or not, which I think is a great way of describing it. But really that is what it’s about. Are they in that mindset right then and there? And the reactive marketing that we talked about with cost-per-click, it literally is a second-by-second thing. If they punch in a search for Aspen holidays, you’re pretty sure they’re looking for an Aspen holiday or some kind of winter vacation.
But, on the grander scale, which was kind of your original point, people go through these cycles. The most obvious one is a seasonal cycle when they’re potentially looking for things. Now, just to maybe extend that and maybe look at another example, one of the other things that depends on timing, and it’s maybe something that you are more in control of in your own business, if you’re not a travel agent, maybe it’s things like servicing of a vehicle- that’s another form of timing. They need to do it on a regular basis, yeah?
Pete: Absolutely. And it’s the same sort of thing. If you have a service, it’s a perfect other point; it’s a different point, but absolutely a very important point, and there’s a few other separate points I want to make throughout the show. If you’re in that type of industry where maybe you’re a dentist, you service cars, you’re a house cleaner, you’re an accountant, where the type of service you offer should be a repetitive service, make sure you have some sort of automated system in place that reminds people to do that.
Maybe you’re a hairdresser; that at the time of the haircut, you’re booking in that next appointment straightaway. So often, people can get an extra 10% to 15% additional sales by having just a system in place to remind people. Everyone is distracted, everyone is lazy, everyone is busy; and they’re simply reminded and told, they would come back one additional time a year than they would have.
If you leave people to their own devices, they’ll get their haircut six times a year instead of seven. They’ll get their car serviced three times a year instead of 4. All that sort of stuff. They’ll get their house cleaned 12 times a year instead of 24 times a year. It’s all about having that system in place to make it easy for people to keep on top of the things they know they should keep on top of if they had the time.
Dom: Yeah. Can I just pick up on something that you just said there? Because I think it actually, again, speaks back to the effectiveness, but also the return on investment. You said that if you’re in one of these repetitive businesses that has regular cycles, whether it’s car servicing or whether it’s hairdressers, so far we’ve talked about marketing in the sense of sending something out, in the sense of- you could almost call it interruption marketing- putting something physically in front of somebody at the time to try and catch them in a mindset.
But, the thing you just said there is the ultimate, and the most cost-effective, highest return on investment; and that is while they are currently having that service, or taking part of, taking that service, having you do that service for them- whether it’s car servicing, haircut, carpet cleaning- all it takes is for you to have yourself, or train your staff to say to the person when you’ve completed that particular service, “Would you like to book yourself in for the next cycle?” Six weeks for a haircut…
Pete: No, no, no, no. Language difference. Not “would you,” you have to future-pace it.
Dom: Ah, sorry.
Pete: “I’m going to book you in for a follow-up visit in six weeks time.” Just future-pace; slight language difference makes a huge difference. So, it’s not, “would you like me to,” because that’s a yes or no question. It’s, “I’m going to book you in for the follow-up visit in six weeks,” or, “I’m going to book you in for a follow-up visit in six or seven weeks.” The choice is not yes or no, it’s six weeks or seven weeks. Slight difference, huge profit difference.
Dom: And, do you know what? That future-pacing language thing is something I really, really have to work on. I really think that we could do a big segment- not necessarily a whole show, but a big segment on how people can work future-pacing in. Because that’s a great example.
I don’t know if you can- can we just go over that again slowly, just so that people can see the difference between what I said and what you said? Because you’re absolutely right. You’re absolutely right. I mean, first of all I thought, “Hey, I’m not that wrong.” But, when you talked about it being future-pacing, I saw where you were going.
Pete: Concept was great, execution needed a bit of a tweak.
Dom: Exactly. And that’s the thing; again, we’re plussing these things. First of all, just to be clear, you weren’t saying, “No, don’t book people in at the time they’re there.” That was the point I was making, that getting your staff to take the next booking while the person’s still there is pretty much the most cost-effective way of getting that next booking.
But, how you do it is what I want to go back to talking about. Because Pete interrupted me there and said that the way that I had said it was not an effective way to get somebody to do it. And what I said was- let’s just do this; let’s role play this, shall we? I said get your staff to ask, “Would you like me to book you in for you next appointment?”
Pete: As a consumer, I can say yes or no.
Dom: That’s right. But your way of saying it, and you call this future-pacing it, would be?
Pete: “So, I’m going to book you in for a follow-up appointment in six or seven weeks.” You’re still giving the person a choice so it feels like they’re in control; but the choice is between six weeks away or seven weeks away. It’s not a choice between yes or no; it’s a choice between two yeses.
Dom: And what’s the psychology behind this future-pacing, just in general? I really do think it’s really important. It makes a huge difference to any kind of negotiation or sales sequence. I’ve seen it happen many, many times, and I definitely need to bring more of it into what I do. But, what’s the psychology behind that future-pacing, very quickly, Pete?
Pete: Well, it’s part of NLP or neuro-linguistic programming, in a holistic sort of sense. It’s also just a long-term, long talked-about sales technique. People want to be able to have choice. You don’t want to force something down their throat, obviously. But, if you’re giving them a choice of two positive outcomes for you, it’s easier to get that positive outcome.
The person can still say, “No, no, no. I don’t want to book in for six or seven weeks. I will call you back.” So, the person has still got the choice. You’re not forcing them to make a decision like that. But, future-pacing it means you’re just pacing the conversation to the future you’re after.
Dom: So, you’re really talking about it as if it’s already happened. Is that a good way of saying it?
Pete: Yeah, that’s a perfect way to talk about future-pacing. You’re pacing the conversation as if the future, the outcome you want, is a fait accompli; it’s going to happen. You just need to obviously follow through the process.
Dom: Yeah, and it’s not underhand. It’s the same question; and as you say, they still have the option. You give them two positive options and they can still say, “Actually, no, I don’t want to make that booking right now,” or, “I can’t,” or whatever. But it is incredibly effective, those two things.
One, asking the person at the time that you’re still in front of them because they’re still in the hairdressing salon; you’re still there with your carpet-cleaning equipment in their house, or they’ve come to pick up their car. That’s Step One. But, Step Two- future-pacing, presenting it as if it’s already been done, can have a huge extra benefit and a huge increase in your conversion or opt-in.
Pete: Absolutely. And, using that hairdresser/salon example, to take it to the next level; the first step is to actually just try and secure that next booking at the most convenient time for you as the entrepreneur, but also in a beneficial way for the client. There’s no point having a car serviced six times a year when really three or four times is more than adequate. But, the next level up is making it some sort of continuity program. Kennedy’s All-American Barber Club, a franchise in the US, is fantastic because it’s a membership-based hairdressing salon.
So, rather than someone paying per haircut, they pay a monthly membership fee which entitles them to a certain level of, or a certain number of haircuts. Next time we hit Florida to hang out with Rich and the Strategic Profits team, we should do a video outside what I think is the original Kennedy’s Barber Club down there. We can kind of talk about that. But an episode in the future for PreneurCast on continuity in business could be very, very cool.
Dom: Yeah. Because that is a whole different world of kind of creating timing, isn’t it?
Pete: Exactly right. You are creating that timing, or you’re almost creating a vortex or a world where timing’s irrelevant.
Dom: Exactly. So, have we got any more examples of different kinds of timing that we can look for?
Pete: Yeah. Part of the reason that this actual whole episode popped into my mind was off the back of some planning and some discussions internally we were doing, as part of our On Hold Advertising business. One of the businesses we have is OnHoldAdvertising.com.au where we actually do on-hold phone messages for companies across Australia.
There’s a couple different solutions we offer. It’s not a pitch for this, or anything like that; but one of the services we offer is a solution where the hardware has a built-in clock where we can actually pre-record and pre-script messages for clients that change automatically throughout the year. And that’s where the whole holiday example for the travel agent came up.
We were talking about this of some examples of how that can work for different clients. And obviously, what we do for our travel agents is suggest that they use this sort of automated solution that we pre-record a message that plays during the winter months promoting the summer holidays. That’s where that whole idea came from.
Dom: Can I just stop you there? Just back up a few steps. Just to clarify to anybody who hasn’t come across the concept of on-hold advertising. In general, again we’re not pimping, but I am aware of this as a technique used in various industries. If you are a business that is likely to have people call you on the telephone and there’s a possibility that they may be put on hold, the idea of on-hold advertising, which is a great timing thing in its own right.
These people have called you, they’ve called you about some level of service. They are showing an interest, they’re opting in to your services in one way or another. And, instead of playing varying levels of quality of music…
Pete: Or silence, or chimes, or static.
Dom: Or silence, or chimes, or some- usually, I’ve seen a correlation between the more money a company has, the worse quality those on hold things are. Some telecommunications company that I have to deal with quite a lot, over here in Spain, has some of the most awful sound quality you’ve ever come across, which is truly ironic.
But, while these people are waiting on-hold, instead of giving them awful music, why not give them a message about your other services? Why not, before they even come on the phone to ask the question they were going to ask, or ask about the thing they were going to ask about, let them know the other things you do, or some other thing.
And, Pete, your example there was your travel agent advertising summer holidays in the message that’s played in the winter. I do think, by the way, that any system that can automatically trigger that on its own so you can pre-load it like an email autoresponder, has to be a pretty amazing thing.
Pete: Well, exactly. That’s the whole concept. You touched on something which is brilliant, because most people don’t really get it. It’s advertising something different. And, this is the next step that I wanted to talk about. Another example for timing is that as a travel agent, there’s no point putting someone on hold and telling them that we can arrange your holiday and your flight with American Airlines, Quantas, Delta, or Qatar Airlines, because people know that. That’s the reason they’ve called up. They know you can book holidays.
Dom: That sounds like you’ve actually experienced that, Pete.
Pete: Oh, no. That’s just the sales examples we give on the conversation we train our staff, and things like that.
Dom: OK, OK, OK.
Pete: I’ve done it a few times. But, what you want to do is sell the lesser-known services or the auxiliary products. So, for travel agents, it’s travel insurance or summer holidays in winter. If you are an accounting practice, there’s no point- you’ve spent all this money to get the phones to ring. You’ve done all this advertising- these pay-per-click, these banner ads, this direct marketing- to get the phone to ring; you want to maximize that person on hold.
Rather than tell them about the things they’re aware of and what forced them to ring- there’s no point telling an accounting prospect that you can do their tax return. It’s pretty obvious, and that’s probably the primary reason of the phone call. You’ve already told them and educated them enough about your core concept and your core products to get them to take action and pick up the phone.
So, while they’re on hold you should be doing one of two things- reinforcing that you’re the person to deal with: testimonials, case studies, awards. This is where the reinforcement marketing comes in. It’s a different sort of timing message. The timing is different, so your message is different. Or, marketing lesser-known products and services.
You may have a client who’s dealing with you for the tax return, but didn’t know you could do a self-managed superannuation fund or 401(K), or that you also do life insurance. It’s the lesser-known products they weren’t aware of. This is, again, a timing scenario. They’ve called for one thing. They’ve engaged with your business for one core reason. At this point, market auxiliary and lesser-known services, something that you touched on which is brilliant. Most people don’t really get that- that timing element of when to communicate what.
Dom: But, it is just so important. I think that needs clarifying because we’ve talked about this in a previous episode where I’ve had examples of some of my clients who have had people literally in front of them saying that they’d gone somewhere else to buy a particular training course simply because they didn’t know that training was available with them. And they were lifetime customers.
These people had been through a huge number of training courses with this particular training center. But, this one particular course, which was, by the way, quite a lucrative one for the training center, they’d missed out on simply by not informing their clients. That is, again, another really important thing about using timing, using the fact that people are there with you or that you’re communicating, or have this opportunity to communicate, with them.
So, rather than tell them things they already know. As you say, it’s a great example. If someone is ringing an accountant, telling them that you can do their books for them isn’t news. It’s not going to increase anything for you other than possibly the annoyance of your person on hold.
Pete: Absolutely. I guess we’re getting fairly deep into the episode today, so I thought I’d give two more quick examples and won’t go too in-depth. Some other things to think about in terms of timing of marketing and considering what the time and the experience people are going through. What happens after they buy from you? What marketing are you doing to that person?
Dom: Oh, good one.
Pete: And, I’m not talking about upsell marketing necessarily. Obviously, that’s important and you should be doing that. We’ve gone over that many, many times, particularly as part of the whole 7 Levers conversation we continually have here on the show- the importance of being able to come back and buy more additional services and solutions for you. But, what about stick marketing? This is something I don’t think we’ve spoken about on the show before.
Dom: No, we should definitely come back to this topic.
Pete: Let me make a note, because I know we keep promising different episodes and we keep forgetting about them. So, I made that note there.
Dom: I’ll insert a scribbling sound effect there later. Not.
Pete: But, what you want to try to do is ask yourself, what is your refund rate? Hopefully you’re offering some sort of guarantee and things like that. And, it’s inevitable that if you’re doing solid marketing, you’re going to get a small refund rate because it’s a sad byproduct. Hopefully, your refund rate is very, very small. But if you’ve got effective marketing, people are going to take you up as a trial and it’s a way to get them off the fence.
And sometimes your product or solution just won’t be right for that person, which is completely understandable. It’s just nature. If you have that solid refund rate, you’ll entice people to cross over the fence, over that buyer line, who actually get huge rewards from dealing with you they wouldn’t have otherwise received if they didn’t jump across that buyer line, which is what the guarantee did for them.
Obviously, some of the people who do are going to want a refund. But, what can you actually do to help keep the customer sticky, help them stick with you for a long period of time beyond that initial sort of purchase? Don’t just ask for a refund, but actually use your products and services. Because a lot of us, no matter what you’re doing in business, so many people don’t maximize the value they can get from the transaction they had.
What can you actually do to market to them to make sure they maximize that value from the product or service that you have delivered so they come back for more, tell their friends, and don’t ask for refunds? It’s the first two things out of that which are really, really important to do. So, stick marketing is something that everyone should be working out a way to incorporate into the timing and marketing of their business.
Dom: And, the timing of that is very simple. It’s after someone has bought from you, which is, I think, one of the things that’s given the least awareness for a lot of people, a lot of businesses. Once somebody has bought, I think they just deliver and then that’s it. I do think it’s a very important time and there are some very important elements of timing there.
As I said, we should come back to stick, but not just letting someone go just because they’ve bought and you’ve delivered, I think can make a huge difference to the continued success of your business with that client.
Pete: Yep. Absolutely. So, there’s the delivery and the stick; and then there’s the upsell, cross-sell, post-sale timing. There are two distinct marketing timings that have to happen post-transaction or post-confirmation of the sale. You don’t ask for the dessert before you actually deliver the meal. And then, the last thing is obviously just the upsell side of things. Think about it, “Would you like fries with that?” Once people are actually consuming your product, what additional services can you actually offer that support and enhance that actual transaction?
So, not just general marketing to make sure they actually use the original product they purchased, but what else can you offer them that actually enhancing the product beyond their initial transaction now. Think about nail guns, for example. If you use a hardware analogy, maybe the nail gun the person purchased because all they needed at that particular time and all they thought they needed was a nail gun with a power cable. Well, what you could actually do post-sale to actually educate them about the benefits of buying the portable battery pack, to make the experience of the nail gun even better for them.
That’s a different sort of marketing message you can make that’s not upselling a brand new product, you’re upselling a complementary product to enhance their initial purchase. That’s another sort of timing and marketing piece you can do based on the actual experience and the timing of the buy cycle of that particular prospect, and in this case, client, has gone through.
Dom: And again, going full circle on that, right back to one of the original points you made, which is that we’re now coming back to the Preneur Hierarchy. We’re coming back to that bottom level, which is that the easiest people to market to, the most responsive market that you have is people who have already bought from you. You will get the most leverage and the best return on investment for your efforts. Also, it takes very often, in most cases, less effort to market to people that have already bought from you.
So, those two examples of marketing that I think some people just aren’t aware of, don’t think of. Certainly the stick period, the timing, the thing that you do after they’ve bought to make sure that they get the most out of using whatever it is that they’ve bought from you, is important, and again, easy because it’s a small thing. It can be a very, very small thing. It can be an email. It can be something in the post. It could even be something in the box.
We’ll talk about stick in another episode. But, the follow-up after that, the upsell marketing- it’s relatively easy. You know who they are, you know what they bought, you can come up with some kind of complementary product or service to recommend to them. And, if they bought from you, they like the product, they like your service, they’re highly likely to take your recommendation and buy from you again.
Pete: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a recommendation for additional products and services, but also recommendations for products and services they probably should have bought during the initial transaction but didn’t value in it. There’s always two different post-sale upsells that people need to differentiate from and market.
One thing I do want to try and do, before we do that stick episode, is come up with a better name than stick. I don’t love the idea of stick marketing. It just sort of has this weird connotation in my mind. Think of a different word that we can use that culminates and covers everything we spoke about.
Dom: We could even come up with a new Preneur word like “strategery”.
Pete: Yes, I like strategery.
Dom: Off you go.
Pete: But, any of our listeners- if anyone’s got anything, any ideas for a term that they may have heard other people use that we can talk about on that particular episode, make sure you email us or send us a tweet. There’s support [at] preneurgroup [dot] com, I’m @preneur on Twitter, you’re @dgoucher. Get in touch with us whether about that or just the episodes in general.
Dom: That’s right. Let’s give it a quick summary of what we did here because there were two kind of sides of the sale for timing there. We talked about making sure that you’re timing your marketing so that the message is in front of the right people at the time they are most receptive, and you phrased it- the time they’ve got their wallets out, the time they’re looking for a solution and ready to pay for it.
But, there’s also that other side which I really like that you brought up. A lot of people would have focused on that first side of the side and not the second side, which is after they’ve bought from you. That’s a whole timing thing where there’s things you can do after the sale to keep them as clients, and to grow them as clients, and to transact with them more. Is that a good summary?
Pete: I think that is perfect.
Dom: I thank you, sir. Do we have an action for this week?
Pete: Well, email us a better word for that particular episode. Or, just sit down and think about the actual steps that your customer goes through from the various buy cycles, or prospect cycles, or discovery cycles they go through prior to purchasing from you. Then, what happens post-sale? What sort of timing and cycle do they go through post-sale that’s worth considering?
Dom: Cool. Alright, folks, just a quick reminder for you, as Pete says. We have been out and about for the last couple of weeks. We’ve been in various time zones between us. It’s gotten quite silly the number of time zones we’ve been in between us over the last couple of weeks. But, all the time we’ve been traveling, we have been looking after the Preneur Community inside of- first of all, our 7 Levers Home Study Course, which talks about all the things that we’ve talked about in pretty much all of our shows.
It’s a collection, a central repository, of all the different concepts that we talk about from upsells and cross sells, to traffic, conversions, the 7 Levers of Business. And, there’s a great deal of training in that home study course. You can go and have a look at that over at 7Levers.com and we are also offering anyone that signs up to the 7Levers.com Home Study Course access to our Preneur Platinum members’ area. Now, in there, Pete and I give pretty much one-to-one responses, in some cases, to people’s queries.
But, it’s a whole community area that people can talk about the topics- about anything that you come across from the whole Preneur world- all of our podcasts, all of our products. We’re talking in there already about Profit Hacks and what went on over in Florida. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff in there which people are really getting into. So, pop over to 7Levers.com, have a look at that Home Study Course if you’re interested in just having a more concise and focused way to apply the 7 Levers of Business to your business and improve the profitably.
And, as Pete says every episode, thank you for listening. Thank you for being a regular listener, or if you’re a new listener, thank you for joining us. Do give us your feedback on PreneurMedia.tv, the website where all of the show notes and the transcripts are available for all the shows. You can contact us at support [at] preneurgroup [dot] com. Send us an email, we do respond. Or, give us a comment on iTunes in your country, because that will help us be promoted far and wide. And, see you next week, folks!
Pete: See you, guys!
http://www.7levers.com – The 7 Levers of Business Home Study Course is now live. Sign up today and get 2 months free access to our Preneur Platinum private members area.
The Content Leverage System – The post on the Noble Samurai blog that Pete did about our publishing workflow
These previous episodes are talked about in today’s show. If you missed them, go back and listen to them:
PreneurCast Episode 37 – The Preneur Hierarchy
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