Monday, November 30, 2009


Let's talk about the personality traits of a guerrilla marketer. Remember that you do not need to be born with these traits. You can learn them. As one of my favorite motivational writers of all time, Napoleon Hill, said: "There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge...Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought."

A side bar here: If you do not spend a little time every week, if not every day, doing some sort of motivational "reading," then let me suggest that you start.

Your subconscious mind is so inundated with "garbage" every day, you need to put some good stuff in to counteract the negative. Like they say, "Garbage in, garbage out." You cannot be a great guerrilla marketer if you only spout the same garbage that you subconsciously soak up from your environment

According to The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook, the personality traits found in most guerrillas are:

  • Patience
  • Commitment
  • Imagination
  • Sensitivity
  • Ego Strength
  • Aggressiveness
  • Constant Learning
  • Action Oriented
Patience is tied in very closely with commitment. You must make a commitment
to your prospects and customers. You must get involved with them. They come first!

Their dreams must be your dreams! You must help them realize those dreams!

You must make a commitment to your marketing plan, no matter what your family, friends, employees tell you. No matter how bored you are with the daily routine of carrying out your marketing plan, stick with it. Be committed! Be patient!

There can't be one without the other.

Patience is knowing that things take time. You cannot make diamonds overnight.

The reason most people fail on the Internet - or in any business - is a lack of commitment and a lack of patience!

Patience and commitment must be matched by a strong imagination. Not just imaginative copy writing or imaginative web design, but you must be imaginative in everything you do. For instance, Jay Conrad Levinson, the man who developed guerrilla marketing into a true marketing system, tells the story of a guerrilla marketer who mailed a letter requiring 32 cents postage. He put 11 stamps on that letter: one 6 cent stamp, three 4 cent stamps, a 3 cent stamp, and 6 two cent stamps. No postage meter or for him! Which letter would you open first? The metered one or the one with the eleven stamps on it?

This imagination must include the ability to be flexible and "convenient." What I mean by that is, although you are committed to your strategy, you must be flexible in your tactics and the weapons you choose. A great guerrilla marketer is not locked in on how he implements his marketing strategy. Nor can she be locked in on how she handles her prospects and customers.

Be flexible!

Make it as convenient as you can for your prospects to do business with you! Make exceptions! Break the rules! The prospect comes first always!

In order to do that, you must have sensitivity. You must be sensitive to what your prospect needs. Read between the lines. You must be sensitive to what your competition is doing. Another one of Jay's great stories involves a guerrilla furniture store owner in a shopping mall. The stores to either side of him had big clearance sales going on. Each store had a huge banner over their respective entrances touting their sales. The guerrilla put a sign over his door that simply said, "Enter Here."

Another side bar: Your sensitivity should not be limited just to your prospects, customers, and competitors. Expand your sensitivity to include your communities and the economy. Economic trends will help you determine which tactics and weapons will be most effective. And sensitivity to your communities will help your identity as someone who is committed and involved.

The next two characteristics of a guerrilla marketer go hand -in-hand. They are
ego strength and aggressiveness. Ego strength is not egotism. Rather it is the quiet identity rather than an image. It is this ego strength that makes commitment possible.

The aggressiveness of a guerrilla is not the stereotype used-car salesman aggressiveness. Rather it is the aggressiveness that makes a marketer do the extraordinary to get and keep customers. It is the giving of more value than any of your competitors.

It is the willingness to "go the extra mile" for your prospect. It is following up with your customers regularly, offering them more and more value - more and more reasons to stay loyal to you! This aggressiveness is best used in combination with the next characteristic, which we've hinted at already.

A guerrilla has generosity. There is a testimonial on our web site that one of you sent to me which says, "Thank you for your time and generosity." It means we went beyond normal expectations and gave value beyond what the monetary compensation demanded. Testimonials like that are what keeps us going day to day!!!

Patience, commitment, ego strength and aggressiveness are generally combined under the rubric of persistence. Persistence is something we all are taught is necessary for marketing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Classified Ads Secret: Benefits versus Features

Benefits versus Features

A friend that works at a car dealership was recently discussing a sales technique with me. "We're not allowed to let customers leave...until they take a test drive," she said. "If they take a test drive, the chances that they'll buy really improve."

What does this have to do with today's topic? The car dealership's policy clearly illustrates the difference between selling features and selling benefits.

So what's the difference?

Feature: The structure, physical description, or attributes of your product or service.

Benefit: The emotional reasons or connections your prospect makes with your product or service.

At a car dealership, putting the consumer in the driver's seat changes the way they view the vehicle. No longer are they looking at the "features" of the car, they are experiencing the benefits. (Hence the increase in sales.)

So what can you do to make sure your message is speaking to your prospect's heart and not their head? Ask yourself a series of questions:

How will their life be better, easier, or more fun with my product or service?
Why will they want to tell their friends about my company?
Without my product or service, what will the prospect be missing?
How will the prospect justify this purchase to themselves or their spouse?

By answering these questions, you will discover the benefits that will attract your prospects. No matter how tempted you may be to point out the incredible "features" of your product, sell with the prospect in mind.

When you constantly put the prospects emotions first, you will create marketing messages that drive sales like you've never seen before.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Buying is Fun

While buying is fun and exciting, nobody likes to be sold.
(This also apply to classified/written ads and sales letters)

The truth is: the best salespeople don't "sell" their customers; they help them buy.

* Get emotional.

- do not attempt to appeal strictly to the buyer's rational mind with a list of perfectly logical reasons to buy. Instead, fire their imaginations, and appeal to their emotions.
- stress the benefits and rewards of owning your product or using your services. If possible, have them hold your product in their hands.
- use colorful verbal illustrations that stress benefits. Sprinkle in some brief case histories.
- be likeable.
- have some fun.
- let the customer do most of the talking.
- take the pressure to buy out of the experience, and the successful close will come naturally.

* What buyers want.
- the central question on buyers' minds is, "What's in it for me?" Take note: the question is, "What's in it for me?" not, "What's in it for my company?"

- let prospects know how your product or service will help them to:
Make their jobs easier
Gain respect and prestige
Be appreciated
Have some fun and excitement
Minimize their personal risk
Look good to management
Advance their careers
Save time
Stay ahead of the competition

Remember, the central question you must answer for the prospect is, "What's in it for me?"

* Respect your buyer's intelligence.

- speak to your potential customer as if you were talking with an intelligent, yet uninformed friend.
- do not insult your prospect's intelligence with inane leading questions such as, "We all want to save time and money, right?" Instead, simply state, "Our product will save you both time and money," and immediately follow this statement with a brief example or two.

* What's in a name?
- there is no sweeter music than the sound of one's own name. Try to use your prospect's name a couple of times during your sales presentation.

* The nose knows!

- Do not overwhelm your client's olfactory sense. It is a major turnoff for buyers when a salesperson reeks of perfume, cologne, or aftershave.
- Rule of thumb: use only enough fragrance that if a loved one were nuzzling your neck, the scent could barely be detected.

* Be on time, but don't come early.
-Never arrive more than ten minutes before your scheduled appointment. Being punctual shows respect and good business form, and will get your meeting off to a good start.

* Create powerful imagery.
- Instead of saying to a business owner, "Your employees will really appreciate this program," consider saying with a smile, "Your employees will stand up and applaud you for giving them this program." Don't worry; the buyer will allow this bit of poetic license. Even though he knows his employees won't really stand up and applaud, the mental image of them doing so is powerful.

* Beware the time bandits.
- Everyone needs a break from the action. However, 20 minutes a day wasted on office small talk, surfing the Net, or personal phone calls adds up to two full weeks a year in lost production. How many sales could you make in two weeks? Eliminate these time bandits, and watch your productivity climb.

* Don't interrogate buyers.
- your fact-finding process should flow naturally in response to buyers' comments and conversational pauses. Do not put them on the hot seat.

* Breaking the ice.
- employ a more businesslike opening, such as, "The reason I'm calling you this morning is to learn about your company's personnel needs, and to see if we can be of help." In other words, after introducing yourself, state the reason for your call. Prospects will appreciate your honesty and respect for their time and intelligence. Only ask, "How are you?" after you've progressed beyond the initial contact, and a relationship has been established.

* Don't answer a question with a question.
- this tactic is usually perceived by the prospect as evasive. For example, if your buyer asks, "When can you ship?" do not respond, "When do you need it?" This strategy diminishes your credibility.

* Look sharp.
- Your clothes and personal grooming speak volumes about you to buyers, co-workers, and management.
- if you are looking good, you are undoubtedly feeling good, and you will close more sales.

* Never thank anyone for taking your call.
- This seemingly polite gesture immediately puts you in a subordinate role—and subordinates are easily dismissed.

* Mood follows form.
- your phone personality. If you sit up straight and smile, you will begin to feel self-confident and purposeful. Your voice will reflect those qualities, and you will enjoy more successful contacts with prospects and clients.

Michael Dalton Johnson is the Editor and Publisher of "Top Dog Sales Secrets", the bestselling book featuring advice from 50 renowned sales experts. When order your copy now you'll receive over $3,000 in bonus sales tools.


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