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Marketing Wizard's Alliance

Marketing Skills Must be Mastered says Marketing Speaker Jim Ackerman

By Jim Ackerman · Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 · No Comments »

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I recently went to Mesa, Az to watch my son play baseball for Utah State University, against Mesa Community College.

Well, Chris got hurt and couldn’t pitch, but the teams provided quite a contrast and a metaphor for developing your marketing skills. Here are the 4 installments of my 30-Second Marketer Tip of the Day that I shot at the ballpark. You’ll see them from the first installment to the last, top to bottom here. (I point that out because, of course, when you logon to my YouTube channel, you see them in reverse order… the latest post, back to the first.) Anyway, all 4 worth your consideration as you move forward with your own marketing efforts. Here they are…

Marketing Speaker Jim Ackerman reveals 3 MORE tips on Selling the Benefits

By Jim Ackerman · Friday, March 21st, 2014 · No Comments »

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There isn’t much more important in the world of marketing than delivering the vital message to prospects about WIIFM (What’s In It For ME). In other words, what does the prospect GET out of your proposition. That’s what I mean when I recommend that you talk to your prospects, customers, clients and/or patients in BENEFIT LANGUAGE.

My previous post of 4, 30-Second Marketer Tips of the Day talked about just that. But I wasn’t through. Here are 3 more videos that will complete this short course on selling the benefits. Check ‘em out. Then, serve and impress your friends in business, by sharing the videos with them. Oh BTW… if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube Channel, you really ought to, don’t you think? Subscribe from any of the videos.

Here they are…

Pound the Emotional Benefits…

By Jim Ackerman · Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 · No Comments »

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It’s been far too long since I’ve posted to the Alliance website. I’ve got a whole collection of videos for you to check out. Here they are…
They’re a collection of my last 4 30-Second Marketer Tips of the Day, all focused on SELLING THE BENEFITS. And stay tuned, because there are more to come. . .

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Marketing Speaker, Jim Ackerman says… Don’t be such a STIFF!

By Jim Ackerman · Monday, May 7th, 2012 · No Comments »

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When it comes to your marketing, advertising, and even face-to-face selling, you’re probably too stiff. You’re probably afraid to shake things up and knock prospects out of their comfort zone a bit.

Ironically, this may be costing you sales in a face-to-face selling situation; it may be costing you prospects through your advertising.

Try using the technique of the Pattern Interrupt to shock people out of their sleepy-eyed, ho-hum, day-to-day doldrums and get them to pay close attention to you, your message, and your offer.

Check out this video to see what I mean…

Now, once you get them in the door and shock them into giving you their full attention, it’s time to MAXIMIZE your sales results. The normal approach is to ask a few qualifying questions, guess what the prospect would like and offer it to her.

May I suggest an alternative?

Instead of guessing and presenting your best-guess offer, present three offers… Go from best, to better, to good. (It’s important not to do it the other way around, as you can see in this video…

You see, if you can snap people out of their “stinkin thinkin” and provide them great options, you not only increase the number of transactions you’ll get, but you also increase the amount you make on the average transaction.

And the best part is, your clients will love you for it, and you’ll have a lot more fun. Nothing STIFF about that!

Now, if you haven’t subscribed to my 2 YouTube channels, it’s time you did. Click on the links below…

MARKETING TIP O’THE DAY - This one is for may marketing tips. Normally 2-4 minutes long.

GOOD BAD N’ UGLY ADS -This one has fewer new episodes, but they go into more depth. They’re usually 7-10 minutes long and they give you a chance to review and ad campaign and submit your impressions BEFORE I give you mine in the next episode. It’s INTERACTIVE YouTube!

Up & ADD ‘em… Advice from Marketing Speaker, Jim Ackerman…

By Jim Ackerman · Friday, April 27th, 2012 · No Comments »

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In a recent post I talked about coming to grips with the fact that most often, you’re acquiring customers at a LOSS.

Well, it doesn’t have to be all that bad. Take a look at this video, where I explain that Up-selling & Add-on selling can mitigate that loss — maybe even turn it into a gain…

A couple of additional points…

First, I really didn’t mean to say getting the earrings FREE was a companion offer. Getting the earrings at a discount when you buy the bracelet is what I meant to say.

Now, remember that companion offers aren’t the only things you can add-on. And there is no rule that says you can only make one add-on offer.

SEASONAL offers make sense in some businesses. I saw a little sandwich sign sitting in the isle of a grocery store saying, Flu Shots At The Pharmacy, $20.

That was in the Fall. In the Spring they ran allergy shots.

Your seasonal offers could be holiday seasons, hunting seasons, football seasons, bridal seasons, whatever.

AT LARGE offers could be located anywhere around the store if you’re a retailer, or come out of nowhere if you’re any kind of business. You just mention them…

“Because you’ve made this purchase today, Mr. Jones, you have qualified for a special offer on (fill in the blank).”

Finally, let’s not forget the CHECK-OUT offer. In the store they may suggest batteries when you’re at the counter. Certainly you can come up with something to offer at check-out.

Now here’s the thing. Have 3 add-on offers ready to go. Offer the first and get a decision. Regardless of whether you get a yes or no, offer the 2nd and get a decision. And once again, regardless of the answer, go ahead and offer the third.

“Wait a minute, Jim, people will get turned off. They’ll say I’m a pushy salesman!”

No, they won’t… if you do it right. Pushiness is not what you do, it’s how you do it. There is an elegant way to do this a crass way. Think it through in advance. Think like a customer. Then craft a script and process that will leave the customer feeling like you have actually served him or her at the highest possible level for making these offer.

Before a close, a word about UP-SELLING.

Do it!

Start out by selling the dream… give them a vision to shoot for. Let the client have a glimpse of what’s possible. You might be surprised that some will actually say yes. The first time that happens, you’ll wonder how many similar sales you’ve missed because you robbed the client of even the opportunity to look at something better than what they thought they wanted.

And in addition, when you sell the dream, they’re highly likely to spend at a little higher level — due to the principle of contrast — than they would if you never showed them the possibilities.

Marketing Speaker Jim Ackerman says, “Watch Out for Discounting Dangers…”

By Jim Ackerman · Monday, April 16th, 2012 · No Comments »

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Discounting can be dangerous… if you don’t do it right. For example, if you offer 10% off, it costs you the full 10%.

Value adding could be a far more compelling offer because…

1. You still get the same amount of revenue
2. Since your cost of goods is typically around half of retail value, you can build a more compelling offer for the same out-of-pocket cost. (Add 20% in value for the same 10% out-of-pocket
3. Customers usually like value-added MORE than mere discounts.

Check out my latest video for the details…

With that in mind, remember, that if your offers aren’t good, your ads won’t work. To make a better offer costs you more money up front, but it may also bring in exponentially higher results. And when you’re focused on the Lifetime Profit Value of a customer as opposed to the transactional value, that can be an excellent trade off.

The ONLY trade-off, in fact, because if your ads don’t work, you don’t have customers to make into lifetime profit streams.

Marketing Speaker says, “You Want ‘Em to Take Action Now? Limit Their Ability to Take Action Later”

By Jim Ackerman · Monday, March 19th, 2012 · No Comments »

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For the most part, we spend a lot of time in marketing, telling people all the good things about our product, and making sweet, compelling offers to get them to buy. But sometimes limiting their ability to do just that — BUY — is the best thing to get them to do so, NOW, rather than later or never. Take a look at this video and see what I mean…

So, next time you’re scratching your head, trying to come up with an offer that will get immediate action, take away their ability to take delayed action and just see what happens. You could create a feeding frenzy!

Success,
Jim

P.S. Subscribe to both of my YouTube Channels… and

2 Vital Insights on “Risk Reversal” From Marketing Speaker, Jim Ackerman…

By Jim Ackerman · Saturday, March 17th, 2012 · No Comments »

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I have made hundreds of thousands of dollars for myself, very much on the strength of one of the most unique GUARANTEES ever devised — my 400% ROI Guarantee, associated with my Principle-Centered Marketing Coaching Program.

This Guarantee “reverses the risk.” In other words, it puts the onus on ME to perform as promised, as opposed to putting my clients in the position of “buyer beware.”

More important than my success is the experience of dozens of my clients who have adopted their own versions of unique and powerful, risk-reversing Guarantees, that lower the barriers of entry and resistance for their prospects, more easily turning them into clients.

Here, in these 2 videos, enjoy a brief overview of this principle of “risk reversal,” and how you can use it in your enterprise…

Part 1: Craft a Compelling, Performance-specific GUARANTEE

Part 2: Once You’ve Got a Great Guarantee… MARKETING It!

Put these principles to work in your business and you’ll not only give your prospects a compelling reason to buy, you’ll give them a reason to pay MORE for what you offer than what they can get it for from the competition.

Finally, on my 2 YouTube channels, you can get a regular diet of profit-proven, cash-generating marketing tips, instruction and insights. Why not subscribe to both channels…

Marketing Speaker Jim A

Good Bad’n Ugly Ads

Marketing Speaker, Jim Ackerman Claims Snail Mail Beats Email 6 Ways to Sunday

By Jim Ackerman · Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 · No Comments »

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If you’ve shifted to email as your primary marketing medium; indeed, if you’ve switched to almost any form of electronic marketing as your primary marketing channel in your brick and mortar business, you are almost certainly costing yourself thousands.

Here’s the facts…

Email simply doesn’t get opened. I just doesn’t. People who give us permission to email them —

or even ASK us to email them — don’t open our emails. At least nowhere near at the rate they open snail mail.

Yes, you can send an almost unlimited number of emails, virtually for FREE, and at that rate, if you send enough of them, you can generate some sales, even at their pathetic open rates. But beware the motivations of the email buyer. You may get the same number of sales, but will they be for as much, will the new customer convert to a long-term client, and won’t you have spent as much in time, energy, and yes, even money, to get these few, lower volume, less loyal sales?

In addition to the “spam effect,” which causes us not to open email, even when it’s not spam, there is also the inherent difficulty of getting people to open a document with just a few characters of introduction in a “subject line.” Are you that good a headline writer? Humbly, I must say I think I’m a great headline writer, and I’m a long way from consistently cracking the code on this one.

And since the headline is the ad for the ad, if you can’t get people to open your email from your mini-headline subject line, it ain’t gonna get opened at all.

Contrast both of these inherent weaknesses of email with good old fashioned snail mail.

While we largely ignore most of what we get in our email inbox, everybody goes to the mailbox once a day to see what they got. I even have six and eight year-old grandkids that ask me if they got any mail today.

And while little or no formal “sorting” takes place in the email world, every piece of mail that comes into your home commands at least a glance from at least one person in the house. That means somebody looks at and evaluates the relevancy to them of each piece of snail mail. And they decide whether the piece goes into the “must open” or “maybe open” pile. Whichever pile you make, at least you got your shot. Not so with email.

And with snail mail, you’re not limited to a few characters, blandly presented just like every single other piece of mail in your inbox. No limitations on size, font, style length or materials. Each piece of snail mail looks different. Email can’t match that.

With snail mail, you can use color, illustrations or photography, size, shape, dimension and bulk to get your piece opened. What do you think your odds are with that kind of creative flexibility, compared to that dull, boring, email offering?

Not saying email doesn’t have it’s strengths. Economy of delivery is certainly one. And if you can get your package open, you can do some cool stuff with it that’s tougher to do with snail mail. Add video or audio, for example. These things CAN be done with snail mail, but it’s not inexpensive.

Still, for all that, snail mail has a tactile advantage that 2-dimensional email will never have. You can touch, heft, examine, mull, if you will, with snail mail. No matter how compelling the video, it is stuck in the 2-dimensional plain, behind (on) a screen; untouchable.

Now, I understand the expense arguments. I understand that when you’re looking at sending almost unlimited emails for $15 a month, and a single snail mail envelop can cost you 89¢ or more, the temptation is to forget the snail and stick with the e.

And I’m not saying you should abandon email. You shouldn’t.

But snail mail remains a proven winner for business — small business, in particular — and the costs of acquiring transactions through the mail remain very competitive indeed.

So, here are some tips for lowering the cost of acquisition of a transaction, using snail mail.

· Don’t use a #10 envelope. That’s the standard size of “business” mail and open rates will go down.

· Do use “announcement size” envelopes and greeting card-size envelopes. Doing so could increase your open rates by a factor of 10 or more, which, with a good offer, could dramatically decrease your cost of acquisition.

· Do use email and telemarketing as a follow-up, to increase open and response rates. People need to be told what to do, more than once.

· Do focus on your existing customer lists and specific segments of it for specific offers. This is part of the “small ball” approach we talked about in a recent column.

· Use multiple offers to multiple mini-segments of your list, running concurrently. You can send a promotion to one segment of your list, and another promo to another segment, based on your knowledge of what they have, what they like, etc. You could mail to as few as a couple dozen or to as many as a few hundred.

· When you find something that works, keep using it. Don’t make the mistake of doing something successfully and then asking yourself, “what do I do now?” Do the same thing again… and again… and again.

· Test small and scale up when you achieve success. If something works on a small scale it will likely work on a larger one, and perhaps on the largest one.

· Keep tweaking and testing to “genetically engineer” your marketing for ever-increasing success.

These aren’t the only things you can do, but they’re a great start. As you experiment and refine, I’m guessing your shift back to snail mail will put a nice stamp on your success.

THE END

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Ackerman is a Salt Lake City-based Marketing Speaker, Marketing Coach, author and ad writer. For Jim’s speaking services go to www.marketingspeakerjimackerman.com Subscribe to his VLOGS at www.YouTube.com/MarketingSpeakerJimA, where you get a video marketing tip o’the day, and at www.YouTube.com/GoodBadnUglyAds, where Jim does a weekly ad critique and let’s you do the same.

Time For Small Ball… Says Marketing Speaker, Jim Ackerman

By Jim Ackerman · Thursday, March 1st, 2012 · No Comments »

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In my last column I talked about the power of relationships in marketing. I want to take that a bit further this time, in this light…

It’s no secret the world of marketing has literally been turned upside down with the advent of the iPhone (smart phones), the iPad (tablets) and online and mobile media in general.

But in the end, it’s not the technology, but the way it has allowed society to return to its roots — without even realizing it — that has revolutionized the world of marketing and advertising.

The result of the technology is the “social media.” And while I have decried the expected longevity of online societies like Facebook and Twitter as viable marketing channels in the long run, specifically because there is no barrier to entry — everybody can get in for FREE — they have created societies that return us, in some sense, to the ways societies worked in yesteryear.

Maybe you’d have to be as old as me to remember this, but it used to be that people knew their neighbors. It used to be they knew most, if not all their neighbors. They went for walks, they sat on the porch or on the stoops. They got into conversations with each other. And it didn’t end there. They played penuckle together, had back yard picnics and barbecues, went to church together. They socialized.

Enter the television, commutes to work, two-income households, crime, fear, excessive government intrusion into our lives “to keep us safe,” and we saw an erosion of the societal rituals and norms that had sustained civilization for generations.

The result was a society that increasingly “holed up” at home, in front of the tube. Shoot, we even stopped talking to each other in our families.

And the early electronic and digital technologies exacerbated the situation. Transistor radios, then personal cassette players, then iPods (mp3 players). We got more and more separated; isolated.

Things began to swing back ironically enough, with the introduction of the Internet. Yes, now we were even more tied to that computer, but with email, then chat, we were able to connect with others, anywhere and anytime, so easily, that we began to do it again.

The communication is different, to be sure. Not as intimate in many ways; lacking a certain depth, perhaps, but it is taking place again.

Enter the mobile media. Texting, Facebook, Twitter and their ilk. The online hook-ups have us back on the figurative stoops, sharing our experiences one with another. We’re slowly getting used to “the neighborhood” again, even if that neighborhood literally spans the globe.

As in days of old, if you screw up in business with a customer today, the whole world is going to hear about it in minutes. It won’t take months, weeks or days. My son, Dave, did a controversial YouTube video a few weeks ago and within 6 days, over 636,000 people had not only heard about it, but actually saw it.

So the collective appetite for relationship has been re-whetted. But still, there appears to be a longing for more; a longing for a greater than digital connection.

And this is where marketing “small ball” has an opportunity.

Big ball — tall ball, if you will — was the old foundation of mass marketing. Advertise on radio, TV, in the newspaper, in the yellow pages, and people will come. True once, much tougher anymore.

The numbers, as we’ve discussed in this column in the past, simply are no longer there.

But the people are. The population is still growing, so they’re around somewhere. Just not in one place anymore…

Well, that’s not exactly true. Fact is they ARE in one place. Your place. Your customers have gathered in one place and it’s your customer database.

By now, you see where I’m going. Whether they know each other or not, your clients, customers or patients — every single one of them — have at least one thing in common… YOU. They all know you and you know them.

A neighborhood is born!

Now it’s your job to pull that neighborhood together. Here are some ways to do it…

1. Do a newsletter. It can be delivered electronically, if you want, but make sure it contains lots of acknowledgement of specific individuals in your “neighborhood.” Welcome newcomers to your business or practice. Thank referrers for their referrals and name who they referred, and how you rewarded the referrer. Make offers. Tell case histories. Include testimonials.

2. Use the telephone. Ashley Green Miller of Green’s Jewelers in Roxboro, NC was chatting with another jeweler about the perils of unmoved inventory. The other jeweler indicated he was going to do a mass ad campaign to get the product turned. Ashley said, “why don’t you just call your best clients and offer it to them?”

Indeed, why not? Don’t the people in your “neighborhood,” your circle of influence; the ones who have already shown you the most loyalty, deserve the best you have to offer, before the inventory gets picked over by bargain-hunters you may never even have met?

And if you have employees you’re paying during slow times, just to be there, the phone is a great way to make them more productive. Trust me, your clients won’t be offended, they’ll be thrilled!

3. Use email, but more importantly, use SNAIL MAIL. Open rates for email are below 10%, often even with people who have said they want to hear from us. Most snail mail gets looked at, and at least opened. Especially among people we know and like, and especially when the mailing doesn’t look like advertising.

Use an announcement sized envelope. Hand address it. Use a first-class stamp. Sure it’ll be more expensive per unit, but I’m betting your cost per lead and cost per sale drop like a rock. (Again, you have dormant employees. Have them stuff and address. After all, you’re playing small ball here. You’re not mailing to 10,000. You’re mailing to 500. Maybe less. That’s what small ball is all about.

4. Integrate. Use all three systems; snail mail, email, the phone. Bill Warren, another Jeweler client of mine does exactly that. He has response rates to his promotions that range from a low of around 6% to highs above 30%. What would happen to your bottom line if you were able to get response rates like that.

Want to find out? Play small ball this spring and watch your sales go big.

THE END

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Ackerman is a Salt Lake City-based Marketing Speaker, Marketing Coach, author and ad writer. For Jim’s speaking services go to www.marketingspeakerjimackerman.com Subscribe to his VLOGS at www.YouTube.com/MarketingSpeakerJimA, where you get a video marketing tip o’the day, and at www.YouTube.com/GoodBadnUglyAds, where Jim does a weekly ad critique and let’s you do the same.