Ask The Expert with Adrian Ulsh
featuring Adrian Ulsh, CEO Leader Publishing Worldwide
Q. Hi Adrian, I know that one of the major components to successful marketing is to create a highly compelling offer. There are hundreds of articles that explain how to create compelling offers, but can you offer any advice on what I need to avoid to make sure my client’s offer is successful? I can’t find anyone addressing the DON’T’S when it comes to offers.
Tom Garner Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Several years ago, I wrote an article titled: Is Your Compelling Offer Actually Alienating Your Prospects?
Let me recount some of the highlights I covered in that article. Several years ago when the government was offering its highly touted “cash for clunkers program,” I heard a commercial on the radio for an auto dealership that really brought home a major problem I see small business owners making every day. The car dealer was berating the governments program… saying that by the time the majority of people got qualified and completed the mountain of paperwork needed to complete the transaction, the money allocated for the program would be gone.
The dealer then went on to proclaim that any customer buying from them didn’t need to worry about this situation at their dealership. Instead, they would instantly discount all of their new cars by the same amount the government was offering, “so come on in and buy today… no hassle, no problems, simple and easy.”
Yeah right… if ONLY! Is there anyone remotely alive today that actually believes this garbage? Now granted, this dealer isn’t lying… they will indeed give you the same amount the government is promising, but the way they do it is to discount the car that amount from the “sticker price” which we all know is already over-inflated by close to that exact same amount they’re offering as a discount.
Unfortunately, most people show up expecting this wonderful discount and then realize they are more or less being exposed to a “bait and switch” routine. Ahhh, the auto industry. Is it any wonder why most people would rather go to the dentist for a root canal than visit a dealer showroom?
Are your clients making this same mistake? Are your coaching clients doing something similar in their business… perhaps without even realizing it? Do they promise their customers excellent customer service? Most businesses do, don’t they? And then when you try to call them, you get a nightmare handed to you as you try to navigate through a maze of voicemail messages that never mention the problem you’re calling in with… and never allows you the option of speaking to a live human being. Excellent customer service???
Here’s an actual, real-life entry I found after doing a single Google search on a new product that was recently offered and where the provider touted their excellent customer service and response times.
Are you kidding? I paid for product in full up front, I then scheduled to meet with their coach… and they cancelled my appointment. No call back number – no way to contact them… 4 emails sent and none returned… what a scam!
What about your client’s offers? Every business no matter what they sell should have at least one compelling offer. Consider what today’s internet marketers offer to entice prospects to “give them a try?”
They offer their prospects a 30 day “trial for $1.” This allows the internet marketers to capture their prospect’s credit card number and billing information. Then at the end of the trial period, they will “automatically” provide their prospects with their product or service on a monthly basis, and charge their credit card automatically so there’s “no hassle” for the prospect whatsoever. And of course, you can “cancel” anytime between enrolling and the thirty day trial period.
That’s a very compelling offer for someone truly interested and qualified in buying what those internet marketers sell. Unqualified prospects (those who either don’t really want what they sell, or can’t afford what they sell) will never take them up on this type of offer. Even for a buck, they simply won’t take their time knowing they aren’t really interested. That’s good! That’s what this type of offer is designed to do… “pre-qualify” a serious prospect and eliminate the unqualified ones so they don’t eat up your precious time, energy and effort.
So what’s the problem with this type of offer? Nothing, except for one thing. How many of these offers have you personally subscribed to lately? If you have, did you ever try to “cancel” your trial before the thirty days expired? Good luck!
Many of these types of offers become your worst nightmare when you try to “opt out” of the service. They either make it next to impossible to locate the proper way to unsubscribe by “hiding” it on a landing page smothered in articles and information (think fine print)… or they require you to complete pages of paperwork before they accept the cancellation.
Although these unscrupulous practices are now starting to diminish, the reason for that involves the fact that so many “web shoppers” have had this happen to them, so they no longer subscribe to these types of offers. If your coaching clients are using something similar to this type of offer for their business, now you know why their “opt in rate” is lower month to month, and will probably continue to decline in the future.
Look over your client’s business processes carefully and see if you spot any deficiencies that may be creating a roadblock stopping their customers from buying what they sell… or interacting with their business in an enjoyable way. In today’s economy, it can mean the difference between surviving… and thriving.
About Adrian Ulsh
Adrian Ulsh is the CEO for Leader Publishing Worldwide, the largest online provider of coaching services worldwide. Adrian currently works with more than 500 coaches in 24 countries advising them on building 6 and 7 figure coaching practices.
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