These are the Five Famous Fibs & Fables...
The Worst Small Business Marketing Advice Ever Given
This is a collection of some of the most common misconceptions we have come across. Belief in these lies can reap havoc in your life, but the truth can dramatically change your outlook for profit and opportunity in the weeks and months ahead. So read carefully as we drop the bomb on traditional sales and marketing.
Fib Number 1: “You’ve Got To Pay Your Dues.”
“You can’t expect results overnight in this business and customers aren’t easy to come by.”
Can’t you just hear an old boss or someone you know telling you this exact statement? This happens all the time when you’re the new kid on the block.
Think about your first job out of college. Maybe it was a sales position and your father was telling you this. You’re frustrated, you’re not getting leads and you’re having to cold call. Your dad or your uncle or your older brother, even your wife is telling you, “You’ve just got to pay your dues.”
A lot of times if you’re starting at a new position, there might be a salesperson there who’s the top dog. Maybe he's been there the longest. This is the guy who walks around with his beer-belly flopping over his belt, holding a cup of coffee, walking around the office like he’s in charge of the place.
And he’s telling you, “Well, you can’t expect results overnight, kid…You’ve got to learn the ropes…You’re going to have to eat lean for a while and take a back seat to the old timers while you work your way up.”
Give me a break. The same thing happens if you own your own small business. People tell you that you need to wait a few years before things start to take off and before you can really expect to make a profit. But if you stand in line and wait your turn, you’re going to be waiting a long time.
You need to cut to the front of the line. Nobody will keep you from doing that but yourself. This whole concept of paying your dues and not being able to expect results overnight is nonsense. This is bad information which is made up by people as an excuse for their failure. People fear the responsibility that comes along with success.
People like to think that the reason their business isn’t doing well is because of the inalienable truths they believe, such as:
“I’ve got to pay my dues.”
“I’ve got to stand in line.”
“Eventually, if I follow the footprints of the fairly successful people before me, then I’ll get my just desserts and I’ll be mediocre myself and I’ll have an average business or career.”
Imagine someone in their first year, first two years or for that matter even their fifteenth year running a small business or a person in a sales career sitting around wondering why things just aren’t going their way. They’re thinking, “I need to keep my nose to the grindstone…I need to keep paying my dues and learn the ropes and one day this is going to pay off.”
If you go to big cities where they have a lot of night clubs, you'll see the hot clubs have a line around the block to get in. But there are a few people who have a little extra cash and they go right up to the front of the line as they palm a fifty to the bouncer.
They get right into the club.
There are certain people who know the tricks and can circumvent the system. They’re able to leap-frog the entire line and you can do the same thing in your business if you know the insider tricks.
Unfortunately, people have a herd mentality. We know this to be true. We witness it. You may have noticed this yourself. People like to do the things they see other people around them doing. We are taught in school to stand in line and follow the people in front of us. Single file.
Business is no different. Everyone’s doing the same mediocre things. Everyone’s learning the ropes, waiting their turn, paying their dues. But if you know the trick, you can jump right in at the front of the line and cut off the rest of the pack. So the question is, “What’s the trick?”
When you use Gravitational Marketing to attract customers, you can create an automatic acceleration that supercharges your sales efforts. You can enter a new job or marketplace with a new or even old business all with a bang.
You can explode right on to the scene. You don’t have to wait in line. That mentality of waiting in line is for people who want mediocre results over a long period of time. We’re not talking about that. If that’s you, then you can put this book down right now. We want to talk to the people who want rapid success. Even if you've been in business for a long time and you have been following the herd mentality, it’s not too late to go from obscurity to celebrity in a matter of months or weeks.
It is true. Using Gravitational Marketing, you will become an instant expert and command respect. You can become the go-to guy or gal. When there’s an expert in town, people believe, “She’s the girl to see…He’s the go-to guy.”
If you need to talk to the expert, you need to talk to this guy. The experts are known and that’s who you want to be. When the subject of your business comes up, you want to be the one people automatically think, “That’s the business to go to.”
Most everyone believes that there’s some long process you’ve got to go through to become this expert. But the truth is that today you can declare yourself the expert and tomorrow and the next day you can be operating as that expert.
It requires you to abandon your preconceived notions about success, sales and marketing. It requires you to take action, hard and immediate action, and be fierce and determined in doing it. It also requires you to abandon your ego and be impervious to criticism because implementing the principles of Gravitational Marketing are not typical. They’re not conventional. You may even be criticized for it by the unwashed masses that aren’t part of the elite few who understand.
Everyone on the outside, everyone that’s close to you, everyone that you think knows about your business, everyone that you have personal relationships with, will look at you like you have three heads if you follow these tactics.
You will be a foreigner. You will be someone people just don’t get. You’re going to be looked at like you’re doing something ugly. And it’s not until you achieve success (which doesn’t take long) that they start to realize that maybe you were on to something. If you’re not impervious to that criticism, you’re going to falter before you get rich.
How does ego affect your ability to pull this off? Ego encompasses your concern or your feelings about what other people think about you. Since the herd mentality exists and is prevalent in our society, when you act differently from the herd, the herd is going to look at you in an odd fashion.
They’re going to think ill of you. That’s because people have negative feelings about success. They also have negative feelings about people being able to skip the line and get to success quicker than they have.
What The Flock?
Let’s reference an old book, written in 1970 by Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. If you haven’t read it, we recommend it. You could literally read it in an evening. In fact, Travis did when he was in high school. It’s about a seagull named Jonathan Livingston, who had a very strong desire to fly and soar very high, very fast and nose dive while flying very far away from the shore.
The rest of the seagulls just wanted to stay right around the shore. They’d fly no higher or farther than a hundred feet, just lob around, fly very slowly and just be scavengers and pick up scraps of food left behind by people and other animals. Those seagulls represent the flock – the unwashed masses.
But Jonathan Seagull wanted so much more. When he went for it and when he tried to obtain his goals and fly faster and higher and farther, he was basically an outcast from the rest of the seagull community. But he had to overcome that. He had that choice. Was he going to be successful or was he going to be a member of the community which was by and large mediocre?
When new ideas and techniques are presented to most people, their ego does not allow them to accept the full value and potential of what the ideas hold. Because of their preconceived notions about sales and marketing and what they think they already know or what they already do know, they start blocking out and reducing the effectiveness and power of the new ideas.
Steven Covey discusses this in detail in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In one of the earlier chapters, he tells the story of an experiment he uses when he does presentations. He breaks the people out into two groups and exposes one group for one second to a picture of a beautiful young woman and then he exposes the other group for one second to a picture of an old woman.
Then he gets the groups back together and exposes the entire group to a composite picture of both the old woman and the young woman for one second. Afterwards, only with minor discrepancies, the people who were exposed to the first picture of the beautiful young woman see the composite as a beautiful young woman. The people who were exposed to the first photo of the old woman see the composite as an old woman.
So based on what they’ve experienced in the past, they see that composite picture in a light that isn’t what it necessarily is. They see what they want to see because of what they were exposed to previously. That is how ego and past experiences affect what you see in the future and what you see in the present. You need to overcome that. You need to be able to jump ahead, take the advice, take the new ideas and run with them.
Let’s talk specifically about sales and marketing for a minute. Let's say you’re a salesperson and you’re cold calling or you’re door knocking, burning up pavement or shoe leather, you’re out there pressing the flesh.
You’re doing the sales bull-work.
Perhaps you’re a business owner, an entrepreneur, running some advertising. Whatever the case, people are going to tell you, "Look, these things don’t happen overnight…You can't get results right away…You have to keep at it for a long time until you finally start to experience results."
We're telling you that’s bad advice. If you’re marketing correctly and wisely using Gravitational Marketing…
you will see results immediately.
Fib Number 2: "If You Want To Be Successful You’ve Got To Work Your Tail Off."
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “If I'm going to leap-frog the herd and skip paying my dues, what I’ve got to do is make more cold calls, make more appointments and work more hours, right?” But no, that’s not what we’re telling you. In fact, we’re telling you that’s bad advice.
Have you ever made a cold call or met a person who’s a hot prospect you had a great conversation with and then they told you to call back tomorrow? Then when you called you didn’t get a call back? Then you tried again and you didn't get a call back again and again? It happens over and over.
You’ve rang that person’s phone off the hook and you feel almost embarrassed when you see them because they’re trying to avoid you and it’s obvious they’re not interested. But you’ve been taught not to let up, to be relentless in your cold calling, to be relentless in your sales efforts and that eventually they’ll crack. You think eventually you’ll get the deal if you just keep at it or if you’re tenacious enough.
What really happens is you get treated like a salesperson or product pusher. People don’t take your calls. People avoid you. They don’t like you. They talk to their receptionist about you. They joke about you behind your back when you’re not there. They say, “Oh if that guy comes in again, I’m going to hide in the bathroom and you get rid of him for me.” Is that what you want? Most people don’t want to be an unwelcome pest to other people. It’s just not a good feeling.
Have you ever hit the street to try to get your foot in the door? It’s like you’re a cheesy old time encyclopedia or vacuum cleaner salesman or something. You’re just dropping in. You’re in the neighborhood or you want to learn a little bit about their business.
You’ve heard all of these cheesy sales lines. “I’m not trying to sell you anything… I’m just on a fact finding mission to see if there’s a fit between the two of us…to see if there’s a fit between our businesses… just want to get a little information…learn about your business.” That’s the stuff the average salesperson does every day.
It's transparent and it turns people off.
If this stuff is working for you right now, go ahead and keep doing it.
But if you’re the kind of person who hates that stuff and is wishing that there was a better alternative, we’re telling you right now there is. But again you need to stop accepting advice from most people. Most people just don’t know anything. Most people are broke.
You need to forget the things they taught you in college, in business school, in sales training or in orientation at your new job. You need to only be focused on the success that you desire for yourself. Remember, many people view success as a crime, especially in sales and marketing. That’s why they allow themselves to be victims of bad advice.
Deep down inside they want this nonsense to be true so they don’t have to be successful.
The same marketing techniques that allow you to skip the line and leap-frog over your competitors and co-workers can actually allow you to instantly cease cold calling, cold prospecting, street bull-work and all of the unfriendly and dreadful things you’re doing currently.
You can create an intelligent system that positions you as an expert and causes qualified and interested prospects to come to you and ask you to do business with them. And that stops you from having to do all the ordinary sales grunt-work like dropping all of those cheesy lines, popping in on people, bothering people and calling them 25 times just so you can get a return call.
If you want to find the solution, stop cold prospecting, be viewed as an expert and don’t want to be an average salesperson who earns an average wage, Gravitational Marketing is for you.
Here's a true story from our own business that illustrates this perfectly.
In the first two months of our existence as entrepreneurs, we relied heavily on the telephone as a marketing tool.
We made the calls ourselves. We were selling a product that cost $4,500 (to use for three months) and we had figured that if we sold only one per week, the compounding effects would make us rich within the year. So when we got a warm lead, we would pounce and make sure the lead didn't get away. One time we made a total of 27 calls to the same individual.
We always had to leave a voicemail or got the dreaded “I'm busy now, call me tomorrow” blow off. In the end, we realized the guy was just stringing us along so he didn't hurt our feelings. Instead he wasted hours of our time and cost us money in the form of lost opportunity.
Now, years later, by using Gravitational Marketing, this same guy pops up again. This time, he was pulled in and automatically converted to a sale on one of our most expensive products and we never spoke to him on the phone a single time. Everything happened automatically with no resistance.
This fellow doesn't even know that we (people he now perceives as top experts in the field) are the same two pests who harassed him every day for a month practically begging for his business. If you see him around, don't tell him. It will be our little secret. Clearly, our new method is far superior to the original, conventional method.
It was Earl Nightingale who said, “If you have no successful example to follow in whatever endeavor you choose, you may simply look at what everyone else around you is doing and do the opposite, because—The Majority is Always Wrong.”
It’s simply because everyone else makes their fair share and has average results, lives and wages. If you don’t want to be average, you can’t follow what the average person does. You’ve got to do the exact opposite.
That's where Gravitational Marketing comes in.
Fib Number 3: “It’s All About Getting Your Name Out There.”
You’re probably thinking, “If I’m going to leap-frog the competition and I’m going to stop cold calling, the only way to do it is by getting my name out there, right?”
People say, “You want to build top of mind awareness…It’s all about getting your name out there.” You’ve heard that before, right? Ad agencies love to tell you this one. Media representatives like it too because it’s a great excuse for when your advertising doesn’t pay off. They want you to think that it's a good way to measure your advertising.
“Top of mind awareness” or “getting your name out there” is not a reasonable way to measure your advertising or marketing. You can't deposit “top of mind” in the bank. You can't pay your bills with “name recognition.” The same goes for dropping off high gloss, fancy material that you’ve paid tons of money to print. You’re not getting your name out there. You're wasting money.
Here’s what happens. You’re cold calling, you’re doing some advertising or you’re doing some networking and you’re not getting results from any of it. No one’s calling off your ad. No one’s answering your cold calls and your networking events are fruitless, right?
What you are thinking in your head or what other people are telling you is, “At least you’re getting your name out there…You’re getting that top of mind awareness…You’re getting your face in front of people, so when the time does come for them to buy, they’re going to choose you.” Supposedly all your efforts will pay off in the end.
That’s what building top of mind awareness is all about, so that when it comes time to make a purchasing decision, your name flashes in the prospect's head. The reality is that doesn’t exist for you, period. For an entrepreneur, business owner or salesperson, there is no such thing as top of mind awareness. There is no such thing as brand equity. What you need is for people to buy now.
Unless you have a bottomless ad budget, you cannot build image, generate top of mind awareness or create brand equity with dollars. Big name cola companies can do it because they’ve got tens of millions of dollars to invest in their brand. They’re willing and able to wait for a return on their investment, which may take years.
If you’ve got millions to put out in advertising and marketing and ten years to wait for a return, then by all means, spend your time and money getting your name out there and building your brand.
But if that’s not what you have, if you’re a business or individual who needs cash flow and money in your pocket to take home to feed your family with, to put your kids through college with, to go on vacations with and to do the things you want to do with, then the “get your name out there” people are not the folks you want in your corner.
A very popular marketing method is running advertising endlessly. For example, placing an ad in a magazine and putting it in month after month even though you get no calls. The sales representatives love to tell you that you’re “getting your name out there” and that it takes a little while to “kick in.” That’s a reason for you to continue advertising without results. That’s the justification.
Another very popular method is purchasing endless promotional items like pens, coffee mugs and other tsatske items that you start handing out at networking events or dropping off at people’s offices thinking, “They’ll have my pen around and then they’ll call me.” That’s not going to happen.
Another big problem is people spend literally thousands of dollars on printing sales and corporate identity material such as brochures, pamphlets, booklets and so on. Now, some of that is necessary, but a lot of it is junk. More than 99% of all brochures and business cards out there are worthless.
If you’ve got one, the odds are great that it’s junk too, even if you spent a lot of money on it, even if it looks really slick. And you already know this in your heart because you’re handing them out in the hundreds and none of them are coming back. No one’s buying. You’re thinking, “What did I bother doing this for?” Brochures alone don’t make sales.
The problem is that most of your material is given to people who aren’t interested in what you’re giving them. You’re giving it to people who haven’t asked for it. And of course we all know that if people ask for it, most of the time it’s just a form of blowing you off as a salesperson. They may say something like, “Sure just leave some of your information behind.”
The only time this information is valuable as a marketing tool is if the information in your promotional material is geared toward advancing the sales process and the prospect takes some sort of action to get a hold of it. They must truly want the material if they're ever going to take a good look at it.
Gravitational Marketing helps you create promotional material that people actually want and gives you a way to use that material to attract people who are qualified to do business with you. So instead of “getting your name out there,” you can create a list of people who want what you have to offer and focus your marketing efforts and energy on only them.
Fib Number 4: “Advertising Is Expensive”
If you’ve done any advertising or if you’ve gotten rates from media, you may know that even a small ad in a local publication can run several hundred dollars or more. Other types of large advertising like radio and television can run many thousands of dollars for just a 30 or 60 second commercial.
Many business people think advertising is too expensive for them and is only for big companies. That belief comes from spending money on advertising and getting no results. They figure, “This advertising thing is only for companies who can afford to waste money.”
When you spend any time or money marketing your business, even through cold calling, printed material, a Web site, driving around, in a magazine or on the radio and you don’t track and measure the results of those efforts, your marketing is always going to be an expense.
But when you can associate every dollar spent with an equal or greater return, it’s easy to begin to see advertising as an investment rather than an expense.
”The reality is advertising is only expensive when it doesn't work.”
Here’s an example, if you can spend a hundred dollars in advertising and get two hundred dollars back in net profit, wouldn't you find more places to advertise?
We feel like we need to throw a disclaimer in here so that people don’t misunderstand. We don’t sell advertising. We just help people make smart decisions about advertising. So we're not trying to talk somebody into advertising for profit of our own. Instead, we're trying to convince people to advertise for their own profit. We advise this because it truly is the only way to automate the sales process.
You see, there’s a calculated and relatively simple way that you can convert ad dollars into a return instead of an expense. There’s a way to use marketing and advertising to attract a steady stream of qualified prospects that bang on your door, flood your e-mail box and fill your voice mail every day.
The secret is to test your advertising on a small scale first and then explode it once you’ve discovered what exactly does create a return on investment for you.
So many people jump in and spend a lot of money on advertising. Then, if it doesn't work, they are out of money and say, “Advertising doesn't work.” Advertising doesn’t work more frequently than it does work.
That’s the truth, even for the smartest advertisers on the planet. But what smart entrepreneur knows that everyone else doesn't, is you’ve got to start small. You run small tests that won’t break your bank if they fail.
Then you roll out big and reap the rewards of smart, tested and proven marketing.
Gravitational Marketing is about rejecting all marketing and advertising that is an expense and embracing any marketing and advertising that generates a return on investment. Gravitational Marketing finally gives you a way to make advertising work (and to know when it isn't working so you can shut it off and divert that money to something more profitable).
Fib Number 5: “All You Need Is A Good Product, Good Service And A Low Price.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door.” If you’re not familiar with Thoreau, you may be familiar with Costner, Kevin Costner. In the movie, Field of Dreams, Costner’s mantra is, “If you build it, they will come.”
This is a huge mistake. It happens all the time. Someone starts a business, opens their doors, then waits for the people to show up. But they never come. Next thing you know, they’re out of business.
In other cases, people start out in business and spend months or even years just working to perfect the product or service they sell. They constantly delay taking action or getting started because they believe they have to make everything as good as it can be.
The first thing you need to do is focus on getting people to show up. Good customer service and a good product alone aren't good enough. People won't come just for a good product or good service. They expect that. They need a good reason to come. If you fail to provide that reason, they'll go somewhere else.
In our neighborhood, there's a brand new sandwich shop that makes Philly cheese steaks better than what you can find in Philadelphia. But the place is empty and will probably be out of business in no time. A great sandwich alone isn't enough to keep this business afloat. They need to deliberately attract customers.
Gravitational Marketing is about attracting people. It’s about making people come to you. You can worry about the quality and service after people start showing up. Don’t misunderstand, you do need to have good quality and service but you don’t have to spend all your time focusing on making it stellar until after you have people actually coming in to consume it.
If people don’t want your product or service, what good is the quality and service after the sale? You see, having a good product and service alone won’t make people buy. It will only make people return.
People also like to say, “Well, I just need to come up with a brilliant idea…like the next Pet Rock or something…If I have a brilliant idea, people will just flood to me and I’ll be rich, rich, rich.”
We believe that the path to riches is littered with the bodies of pioneers who have arrows stuck in their backs. The pioneers don’t necessarily get to their destination. The people who succeed find out what the pioneers have done, copy what they did right and correct their mistakes. The pioneer, the one who came up with the idea first, is unfortunately lying on the side of the road with an arrow in his back.
Marketing success is not about perfect products, service or brilliant ideas. Marketing success is about finding people who want what you’ve got to sell and finding an efficient way to get the message to them.
Once you’re an ace at that, you can start perfecting your product and service and coming up with brilliant ideas. That’s the order. Most people have it reversed. You have to go into the market first worrying about finding people who want to buy and second worrying about what you’re going to sell.
Let’s talk for a moment about low price. You've heard it before, “If you just lower your price then you’ll get more of the business.” But we see low price as a function of the herd mentality. People feel compelled to be in the ball park. They feel like they need to be similar in price to their competitors to have a chance.
We completely disagree with that thought process. Our experience has proven that low price is reserved for the people who can’t market themselves effectively. If you’re competing on price, you haven’t established enough value in the minds of your prospective customers.
If all things are equal between a product or a service and its competition, then people will buy on price. Your job is to remove yourself from the commodity game and make yourself no longer equal to your competitors. This will help you create a buying preference.
Bottom line is that it's not about how good your product or service is or how low your price is. Your success in business is dependent upon how good your marketing is. Price, service and selection are all secondary to effective marketing. So stop wasting your time trying to come up with the next great idea or to perfect the idea you have and begin attracting people who will buy from you.
You may be thinking, “How do I do this?” Gravitational Marketing establishes you as an expert. It reprograms prospects to your way of thinking and it makes you the obvious choice in their mind. It allows you to create a powerful buying preference in the minds of your prospects and customers.
It ultimately reduces price anxiety and distrust. It allows you to create an incomparable comparison which causes you to be compared to no other. It eliminates competition from the playing field.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Guys, all of this sounds great but my business is different.” And somebody may have told you that before. Maybe you’ve presented a good idea to management or to a co-worker or to your business partner and they’ve said, “That’s fine, that might have worked somewhere else, but our business is different.”
The most successful people in business are able to observe actions and strategies that work in one business and apply them to their own business, even across industries.
All businesses are essentially the same. Cold calling always sucks and rarely works. Most people all believe the exact same fibs and fables. They all stand in the same line to get their fair share of the business. The tiny percentage of people who are able to make the move to Gravitational Marketing (the Gravitational Marketing mavericks) are able to command higher prices on their terms and get more than their fair share of the market.
The details may be a little different for your business, but the guiding principles and the strategies are all the same. It has worked for thousands of others and it can work just as easily for you. Just imagine what your business will be like when leads pour in every week like it was Christmas at the mall, when the phone rings with interested prospects so frequently that it seems like you were giving away free money or when your e-mail box is filled up with messages from people who are raising their hands asking you to do business with them (instead of filled with spam).
Imagine what life will be like when you can stop cold calling, stop wasting money on ineffective advertising and start doing business only with people who want to do business with you, on your terms. Imagine what it will be like when you can attract customers at will.
If your imagination is limited, we can tell you your business and life will become ESP – Enjoyable, Simple and Prosperous.