I don’t know if this is still the case, but when I was growing up there were hundreds of commercials on television for phone and mail order products.
They were fun to watch. They seemed to follow a similar formula. First they would present a problem. Someone wanted something, or was scared of something, or was in trouble.
Then it presented a product or service that would fix the problem they showed.
Then they would show a “consumer” enjoying it. It might have been a really good drive with new golf clubs. Or it could have been a dip in the pool of the retirement community a celebrity was pitching.
It often seemed like it was an older couple sitting at a kitchen table, enjoying the peace of mind that came with their new life insurance policy. I think they still run those commercials!
It makes sense. If there is a formula, don’t mess with it. Keep using it until it stops working. Then play around until you find something better.
But if you watched those commercials and were paying attention, you usually noticed one other thing…
They didn’t ask for the sale….at least not directly.
They asked you to call a phone number and ask for a free brochure about the product.
As a marketer, I now understand what they were doing. Asking people to make a big investment at the beginning of a sales process is a bad idea. They haven’t built a relationship with you, or the product. They haven’t “sold themselves” on the need for it.
But asking them to obtain some free information is the beginning of a commitment. Notice how they usually used the words, No Risk when describing this action.
And not only that (this was my favorite part), they would usually show someone – again, often an older person – asking the operator to send that free brochure. The operator always had a friendly smile and would say, “Right away, Sir!”
Get it? When you start the process, you get respect and esteem. You get someone who will serve you.
Safe, and reliable.
And you begin the process of selling yourself on the product.
Not to mention the fact the company now has your address and/or phone number, and can market to you over and over.
We very much do the same thing these days with capturing email addresses. Google and other companies customize your advertising based on the websites you visit and the text of your emails.
But that is all part of the same process. Going after the sale at the beginning of the process is for marketing goofballs.
Giving your prospects something to do that makes them feel safe and empowered is where the gold is.