• Dale

Marketing Tips - How to convert cold leads

This is a summary of a video put out by Todd Brown. If you ever encounter anything from him, grab it. It will be useful. I have pulled out what I consider the most significant bits. Have a look at his video and see what you think.

He said, in essence, what we want to do is turn the prospect’s desire for the result into a demand for our product... before we ever try to sell it.

He told a story of how he asked Tony Zhao, founder of Agora, how he managed to grow Agora so big so fast. He was expecting the typical answer – large capital, expensive copywriters,... However, Zhao said, “We are in the ‘ideas’ business.” The business of expressing ideas, and creating concepts, making arguments, creating different view points, different perspectives.

Todd reviewed many winning campaigns, looking for what made them effective. There was one common thread that he saw. 90% of these successful campaigns were not talking about the product at all. They were shaping perspective, installing beliefs, leading you to a point where you realise, “This solution is the answer to my situation. And I understand why, and why it is better than the other solutions, and why it is so effective.” Then they offer a way to get that solution.

The Agora material was educational. Not just for the sake of education, not just to give information. But as a part of leading you somewhere - to a different perspective, to shaping perspective.

If you do this right, you have perfectly set up the sale, and also created an ‘all roads lead to you’ position.

A common problem with this educational approach, is that you give the prospect the ability to go somewhere else. For example [and this is an example, don’t try this at home], consider a new supplement for blood pressure, “The secret is that it contains 500 mg of magnesium sulfate. Let me tell you what 500 mg of magnesium sulfate does… Let me tell you why it is so effective...” You give a superb pitch, and give them all the information they need – and they then go off to Amazon and get some there, with possibly a “thank you for that” over their shoulder. You want to lead the prospect to buy from you.

Never promote a commodity. Rather, promote your solution. Never educate on and sell a commodity. Never allow the commoditisation of your solution. You will lose your sale and your market. You don’t want the concept of your solution as a commodity to enter your prospects head. You want your solution to be unique to you.

This is easy to understand, but not so easy to do.

Consider one element of how to do this. Todd talks about the concept of a ‘campaign thesis’. What is the one belief my prospects need to have before I go into my offer? The one belief, the campaign thesis? (He calls it a ‘thesis’, because we are presenting an argument for our new perspective.)

For example, if you want to promote a new diet, and a prospect might say, “Okay, tell me why it is good, make your argument, present your case … and the evidence for your case”. You are leading a prospect to a new set of beliefs, a new view point. The one that will make them want to buy. Exactly the same thing happens in a court room. The prosecutor wants to lead the jury to a perspective that will unanimously find the defendant guilty. The prosecutor does so by making arguments, and providing evidence.

We want the prospect to have this one belief in place before we segue into the offer. It does not matter what form it’s in - VSL, long form sales letter, email, ... It doesn’t matter. It is not the medium that matters, it is the ideas being communicated that matters.

A general rule-of-thumb – 75% marketing (leading to the one buying belief), 25% selling (ie the offer – what it is and how it works).

“All I am doing is educating people, leading them to recognise that one belief.”

Your solution needs to be a superlative, in some way. No-one wants the second or third best of anything. Image a chap in the local market, shouting in a loud voice, “Hey people! Come and look at this third-best thing I have for you…” How do you think he’ll do? People want the best. You need to claim some superlative – the fastest, the most consistent, the most reliable, most predictable, the easiest, … You need something. And that is what we are then proving.

At this point you are not a salesman selling, you are an educator educating. All directed to and supporting that one buying conclusion, that one belief, that campaign thesis.

What do you educate people on? Something leading them a step closer to that buying belief. Go back to the prosecutor example. Everything they are doing is aimed at leading the jury to a decision of guilty. If something is not supporting that – leave it out.

Consider another example, promoting Facebook (FB) advertising to pizzeria owners. Those pizzeria owners need to believe in FB advertising. What do they need to believe in order to believe in FB advertising? Various things, like FB ads are good at reaching people. FB ads are the fastest way to reach them. Their customers are on FB. That online marketing works,... One fundamental belief they need is that paid advertising is better than free advertising. If they don’t believe these, we will have a big problem what it is time to make the offer. There are usually many sub-beliefs that go before the one key belief. Each one of these need to be in place before the one buying belief can be in place.

So, how do we do this? With CPB chunks (Claim, Proof, Benefit).

Let’s use an example, “paid is better than free advertising”. Claim = say it. Just say it, you have made the claim However, as it is, that is just a claim, it is not an argument. You need to provide a reason to believe, give proof, some evidence to back it up. Then it becomes an argument. You need to give a reason why you have made the claim. One of the most powerful words in copywriting is ‘because’. Why? Because what come next is the proof. And after that comes, “So what that means for you …” - the benefit. So we have – “some claim” followed by “the evidence to back up that claim (proof)”, followed by “this is what it means for you (benefits)”. Claim, proof, benefit – very powerful.

A common mistake is that people don’t think through the logic of their argument, and don’t invest the effort to provide the evidence. The marketing world is littered with claims that remain just claims. That is not enough to change opinion, or to lead to a different perspective. Also they don’t assemble their arguments in such a way as to lead a prospect from perspective A to perspective B.

Can you just pick and choose from what you see other people doing? It works for them so it should work for me too? No. Go back to look at the example of the prosecutor again, in a court of law. They have one ‘campaign thesis’ – to build sufficient argument to get the jury to arrive at a unanimous verdict of guilty. Before the jury goes off to deliberate, arguments are made, supported by evidence. All of the arguments and all of the evidence is provided with the aim of heading towards that campaign thesis. Just asserting a claim is not enough. Just stating, “Yep, he’s guilty” is not enough. Build the case for it, and back it up.

Similarly with your campaign thesis. What perspective, or belief needs to be in place in order that the prospect thinks, “Yep, I really want get hold of this solution – it is exactly right for me”? What preceding beliefs need to be in place before that can happen? What evidence? It all needs to be a constructed series of arguments, supported by evidence, all lining up and supporting that campaign thesis. It is unique to your prospect’s journey.

(watch it – it is only about 34 minutes)

Key takeaways:

  • In marketing, we are in the business of ideas.

  • We want to turn the prospect’s desire for the result into a demand for our product, before we ever try to sell it.

  • We need to build the case for doing this, for our campaign thesis, that one belief, that perspective where the prospect will think, "Yep, I understand this, and I want this solution now - it is exactly the solution I need". The whole campaign needs to support this.

  • We can do this by identifying all of the beliefs that need to be in place before the campaign thesis belief can take hold. And for each one, build a case for it using CPB chunks (Claim, Proof, Benefit).

  • Never commoditise your solution, and never just educate for the sake of educating.

What do you think? What is your key takeaway from this?

If you want a hand developing a campaign, or just to chat about it, call me

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