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Sell the Story, Not Just the Product

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When it comes to marketing, one detail people often overlook is how pricing comes in to play.
If you think pricing is an insignificant part of your messaging, you should think again. Pricing is a marketing tool, not simply a way to get money. And while marketing may change your pricing, the opposite is also true – pricing should change your marketing.
Stories That Sell
In any sales transaction, countless stories are being told, including the stories we tell ourselves and the image we convey to those around us.
The exorbitant price of a brand name basketball shoe communicates an obvious story to the people who see you wearing it. And the rock bottom pricing at a clearance closeout tells your internal budget coach a story about what a fool you’d be to overlook this sale!
As a marketer, price determines what your business stands for, who you’re designing for, and the story you tell customers. How might that play out? Here’s a practical example.
Consider a baker who wants to adjust prices and m…

Simple Strategies for Mobilizing Powerful Testimonials and Reviews

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How do you grab a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
Ask the audience! While “experts” tend to get a trivia question right two-thirds of the time, the audience gets that answer right 91 percent of the time.
Why? Because individually we are limited, but collectively we are genius.
In today’s global economy, buyers understand the importance of collective intelligence. People rely on others to help them decide what movies to see, which vet to patronize, or the best software to buy. More than half of adults under age 50 consult online reviews before making a purchase decision, and 88% read reviews to determine the quality of a local business.
Meet One of the Millions
AutoTrader.com put testimonials to work in a recent print ad for their company.
To recruit new dealers for their association, AutoTrader.com used a pocket folder with sell sheet inserts featuring recent, happy buyers. These 5x7 flyers introduced customers with the headline, “Meet One of the Millions,” and displayed photos…

How to Establish Trust with Potential Clients

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Have you ever received a cold call from someone trying to sell you something?
Which of these actions characterized your response?

You found an excuse to hang up
You used short words or sentences in response to leading questions
You used delay tactics or told the salesperson you’d call them down the road
You were excited about the call and took proactive steps to learn more

If you are like most people, you probably lean toward a quick disconnect. That’s because behaviors 1-3 are basically kneejerk reactions that display a lack of trust.
Easing Past Apprehension
Sales can be scary – for everyone involved.
When you begin by recognizing this, you gain an immediate advantage. If you want to influence how a person thinks or responds, first you must guide them out of the calm sea of apathy and into riskier waters of decision.
And that requires trust.
So how do you get there? Especially if you’re wooing prospects you might never see face-to-face? Here are three helpful options:
1. Become More Transparent

Overcome Nervousness in Your Video-Conference Meetings

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If you were called to stand up and give an impromptu speech, would you flourish or would you flee?
One of the world’s richest men said he used to be so scared of public speaking that he was “terrified of getting up and saying [his] name.” Warren Buffett spent most of his college years avoiding courses with group speaking elements, and even signed up for a public speaking course but dropped out at the last minute.
Beating Back the Butterflies
Glossophobia, or fear of public speaking, is believed to affect at least 75 percent of the population.
From small butterflies to full-on panic, public speaking causes many to tremble. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once joked that some people report that they fear public speaking more than death, so “if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy!”
With the 2020 pandemic thrusting us into a new world of virtual meetings, this discomfort can be amplified. Professors and teachers around the world report teaching to dark blank squa…

How Anxiety Can Bring Out The Best in Your Business

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“Anxiety is essential for creativity.” –Soren Kierkegaard
Have you ever been stressed in your sleep?
Perhaps you tossed through a restless night of dreams, finding that, when you were most physically exhausted, you ended up “working hard” all night. Common anxiety dreams include arriving late to the airport (without a passport or luggage), laboring at work with frustrating results, arriving for a huge test and realizing you never did any prior homework or studying, or falling, being chased, or losing something.
Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worry, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. Whether you sense foreboding about the future or you’re responding to the trauma of the past, everyone deals with stress or anxiety sometimes.
And while most of us dread the pangs of anxiety, it can actually be a productive and inspiring muse.
Keys to Harnessing Your Mental Energy
Neuroscientist and author Joseph LeDoux called anxiety, “the price we pay for an abilit…

Direct Mail Postcards: A Proven Winner

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Results. Whether it’s weight loss, test scores, or finances, tangible success is the payoff everyone wants.
With a limited marketing budget, it’s important for your business to make every penny count. And, according to a 2018 DMA Response Rate Report, direct mail consistently outperforms all digital marketing channels. 
Direct mail allows readers to comprehend, process, and remember the material more quickly and easily, with postcards and large envelopes eliciting the best overall response. Think about how quickly you process your own mail – ‘bill, letter, junk, ad . . .’ It takes a split second to accept or discard each piece. Postcards put the message front and center as soon as the printed piece hits their hand.
When it comes to results, 52.5 percent of potential recipients claim they will read a postcard, whereas a letter-sized envelope will be opened only a third of the time. Postcards get a fairly high response rate – 4.25% – followed by dimensional mailers with 4% and letter-sized…

Adapting to the Changing Needs of Your Audience

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Everyone knows Fender.
Fender makes amazing guitars, amplifiers, and more. They also have a popular digital learning program called Fender Play. In March of 2020, Fender started giving away free 3-month subscriptions to this tutorial service.
The response was overwhelming.
Statistics show that most new learners quit playing guitar after six months. Fender realized if it could reduce that abandonment rate by 10%, it could double its market. As people began to watch videos and play along, they grew in confidence and in the joy of playing. By May of 2020, one MILLION people were strumming along with Fender from home.
How did Fender decide to release a 3-month tutorial? Here’s what general manager Ethan Kaplan said:
“Right after folks went into lockdown, we started talking about how we could help people get through . . . it was clear [part of the answer was] the power of music. A free three-month offer felt like a good idea. So, we started by offering it to 100,000 people. And we blew through …