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The principle of attraction is most frequently presented as a metaphysical concept, carried to foolish extremes – thinking will make it so. It won’t, but it is a legitimate principle when applied in a practical manner, as in marketing strategy.
The idea is simple: Almost all marketing and prospecting is done as hunting, which makes potential customers or clients feel like prey. This naturally produces resistance. I prefer selling in a low-resistance environment, in which the consumer feels he is discovering, selecting and coming to you rather than you appearing uninvited and pushing a proposition. He has to choose YOU.
The smart questions are not: How can I “get past” the gatekeepers? How can I “get” an appointment? How can I “lure” a prospect to my webinar? And the worst question of all is: How can I sell something to somebody today? These questions have a primitive foundation: the caveman contemplating how he can find and kill a beast today so he and his brood can eat tonight.
Instead here is the much smarter, more sophisticated question: How can I set up a system of attraction that brings a steady, reliable stream of ideal potential customers to me, asking for my advice or assistance as a trusted authority or provider in their category of interest or, even better, who are predetermined to be by customers if accepted?
This is a much more complex question. It represents a major shift in approach. If you can accomplish this for your business, it might beneficially (and maybe radically) alter your entire experience of doing business. These questions’ answers can eliminate commoditization and make competition irrelevant, minimize price or fee resistance, facilitate price elasticity and higher profits, make your time infinitely more valuable, and create a less stressful selling scenario for you and your customers - leading to greater customer satisfaction and more referrals.
So let’s be clear. Most advertising and marketing is product-centric and push-engineered: We’ve got this stuff to sell; how can we sell it? The diametrically opposite approach is customer-centric and attraction-engineered: Who are our ideal customers, and how can we attract and interest them?
There are three parts to my Marketing Triangle message, market and media. One is no more or less important than the other; nor should they necessarily be in a 1-2-3 order.
Find the Best Target Market
Precision targeting to a select group of customer candidates is the secret of both financial/time efficiency and magnetic attraction. Simply, each person wants most what is clearly and specifically for him or her, not for anybody and everybody. I want to know: Is this for me? Why is this for me? And in every business, there is a specific high-probability prospect.
Most marketers practice blind archery, wildly and randomly firing off as many arrows as they can, hoping a few hit any target. When you use fewer arrows precisely aimed at one carefully chosen target, you can cut the fat, waste and frustration out of your advertising and marketing.
Tap the Power
You are fascinated with your thing—but few share your fascination. Most people are most interested in themselves and their lives.
Some homeowners buy furniture because they simply need a couch, and some get carpets cleaned only because they have filthy carpets. But most are interested in other things: having a more contemporary-appearing, more stylishly furnished, more beautiful home that impresses friends, or a healthier home environment for their new baby.
One store that sells mattresses priced at $4,000 to $35,000 (versus the national average price of $1,000) is not selling mattresses. The company sells a good night’s sleep, guaranteed, to chronic back pain sufferers or insomniacs or snorers with sleep apnea. So here are two rules:
Stop selling stuff. Most marketing messages are about product and price. Make yours about something more interesting to your target audience. And second:
Stop appearing as another salesman. Most people don’t trust salespeople and don’t trust themselves with salespeople, so anxiety and resistance rise even if they are interested in or seeking a given product or purpose.
The following are three key ingredients that make for a great marketing message:
- Be unique. In this economy, there is little tolerance for ordinary. You must be unique. Gardner’s Mattress uses Demonstration Strategy: The company installed its Dream Room, modeled after a luxurious hotel suite, where a potential customer enjoys a four-hour nap on the mattress prescribed. The closing rate is 100 percent. Yes, 100 percent.
- Offer information instead of pushing product or service. The core of a magnetic marketing message is information of profound interest to your target audience. You can differentiate by marketing information instead of products/services.
- Market yourself as the go-to person. I recently visited a restaurant show and visited four booths, each selling POS Systems. I made it clear to all four I wanted to buy. They all bungled it. They buried me in technical information. They defaulted to cheapest price. I wanted to find a guy to trust with making the right decisions for me. This is what most people want in most product and service categories.
Right Message to Right Market via Right Media
Media provide ways we deliver magnetic-attraction-engineered messages. No medium is inherently better than another any more than a hammer is inherently superior or inferior to a surgical scalpel. Purpose makes one better than the other.
One key purpose is effectively communicating with your target prospects in the way they prefer and are most responsive to. That means setting aside your biases and preferences, peer pressure and superficial cost considerations in favor of simply what works best.
As an example, consider online vs. offline media. Many marketers have abandoned Yellow Pages for Google Places, yet certain target prospects – notably the 60-plus age consumer – still prefer referring to the Yellow Pages and go there first. Consequently, astute advertisers are staying put and even expanding their prominence in the Yellow Pages.
Or consider these facts about direct mail that will surprise many businesspeople: The 2017 Epsilon Research Preference Study shows that, despite unprecedented growth in use of online social media, direct mail remains the next top choice by consumers for receipt of information in many product categories, including health, travel and finance. Forty-six percent of consumers rank direct mail as more trustworthy than online media, and 50 percent report paying more attention to direct mail than email. Of all media, the least trusted is social media and blogs, in part because there is so much being thrown at people.
In business-to-business marketing, one of the most telling and ironic facts is that Google uses direct mail to sell its pay-per-click advertising.
The use of direct mail for marketing and sales purposes rose by 5.3 percent from 2016 to 2017. It is anticipated that 2018 percentages will be even higher.
The best media strategy is comprehensive, integrated and sequential. To be comprehensive, every medium that can be made to pay needs to be used – because diversity equals stability. Relying on too few media outlets, or on the cheapest, opens you to vulnerability. To be integrated, all types of media need to be used, and online and offline messages are fit together into an organized system for delivering magnetically attractive information. To be sequential, a prospect’s contact information is captured and then a series of follow-up communications occurs.
The principle is: Don’t yell out a product-price offer and hope some people come to buy it. Instead get interest and permission from prospects to communicate with them repeatedly and persistently.
The purpose of all the strategies I’ve described here is to have new customers coming to you, predetermined to do business with you, if they can and if you’ll accept them.