Archive for the ‘Pricing Strategy’ Category


What Business Owners Don’t Know About Price…..

By: Dan Kennedy on: May 17th, 2014 16 Comments

…would fill a shelf full of books.

For starters, they do not understand how elastic price is. Only a small percentage of buyers of anything make a small percentage of their decisions sole or predominately based on cheapest price. If more did, the Yugo’d be the car you see on the road most; no clothing store would exist but Wal-Mart.  One of my favorite stories has to do with a client in the business of helping divorced, frustrated American men meet up with foreign brides. At my urging, he raised the price for his service from $395.00 to $3,995.00 in one leap, with no change whatsoever in the percentage of prospects buying. He’d left millions on the floor in prior years.

Second, they do not understand people buy at different price levels. Yes, obviously, there is a Wal-Mart customer, probably in every category (although it is a big mistake to think Wal-Mart’s chief attraction to its customers is lowest price. It isn’t. It’s more complicated and clever than that. It has more to do with the social and entertainment experience.)  But there is also a Nieman-Marcus customer, in every category. You can get a steak dinner at Dennys, you can get a steak dinner at Mortons. You can sleep at a Marriott Courtyard or a full service Marriott. Or a Ritz Carlton. You pick your own clientele, so if you wish, you can certainly pick those for whom price is low on the totem pole.

Third, they try to compete on price. My preaching on this has been consistent for over 20 years: if you can’t be THE cheapest, there’s no benefit in being almost the cheapest. What kind of ad slogan is that?  No sane single guy goes into a busy bar at Friday happy hour, climbs on a stool and loudly proclaims he’s the 5th best lover there.  If you’re in a commodity business –get out. I mean: reinvent. Find another basis to compete on. One of my clients, who consults with the restaurant industry, just had me write an ad for him featuring one of his students; they own a gourmet pizza take-out and delivery shop, in a small city, where they compete with 127 other pizzerias. 127!  And they are the highest priced of all of them. They do no 2-for-1’s. And they doubled sales and more than doubled profit last year. Key word: gourmet.

Fourth, they pay too much attention to industry norms.  A lot of businesspeople look at what others are charging, the high, the low, and pick some place in between. Pfui. Most selling occurs in a vacuum, and if yours doesn’t, you should alter your entire approach to the marketing that occurs before the sale so it does. Understand that everybody else has arrived at their price decisions through the same foolish process as you might now. It’s price incest, which works like regular incest; over time, everybody gets dumber. Also, there’s ‘price’, then there’s ‘presentation of price’, meaning structuring what you sell, how you package it, how you deliver it differently than everybody else, so you can price it differently, with direct comparison impossible.

Fifth, they live in fear. Any business decision made out of fear is a bad decision. Most business owners needlessly under-price, raise prices too little too late, and ignore opportunities to sell premium priced versions of their products and services entirely out of fear.  Price paid is a result of target market selected, value built, value proposition presented, salesmanship, credibility, celebrity, brand, buying experience and many other factors. It actually has very little to do with objectively measured intrinsic value. If it did, diamonds would command no more than glass or coal.  Because you can control and manipulate all the non-intrinsic factors, you should approach price courageously and creatively. One good way to grow courage is to make yourself very aware of what else your clientele spends money on, and how much it spends. Another is to make yourself aware of really affluent customers’ (or companies’) spending on a variety of goods and services.

I work with a cosmetic dentist who routinely presents cases from $40,000.00 to $70,000.00 and enjoys an 80%+ acceptance rate, practicing in a community where he is the highest priced dentist. I think he’s pretty good dentist. But I seriously doubt he’s 400% better than his competitor down the street, even though his fees are 400% higher. This dramatic difference between intrinsic, objective value and perceived value exists in every business, industry, profession, city and town. There’s always somebody successfully selling at prices or fees dramatically higher than everyone else, with a difference far greater than the objective difference that exists in the quality, competence or delivery. If one can, so can you.

If you really want to discover how you can achieve a higher income, more prestige, greater wealth and more certainty in Your business click here and I’ll tell you a little bit about Powerful Price Positioning. 

Dan Kennedy Warns: You can no longer afford to do this

By: Darcy Juarez on: March 31st, 2014 5 Comments

In case you didn’t know, each year at SuperConference Dan Kennedy gives a talk on his trend predictions.

It’s uncanny how he seems to really nail what is happening and going to happen in the marketplace. Each year, people come back and say, “I wish I would have listened to Dan.”

A few years back Dan Kennedy spoke on the Super Powers of Price Elasticity and that’s been worth ten’s of thousands in the right hands (see the note at the bottom for more info)

So while talking to a friend of mine about her shopping experience, I couldn’t help but think of the warning Dan Kennedy cautioned people about during his trend predictions at last week’s SuperConference…

My friend needed new jeans, but had been putting it off. She HATES shopping for them due to the fact that she can never seem to find a pair she truly loves.

She started at Dillard’s. Looking at the wide expanse of choices, she said she felt overwhelmed. She was standing over a table full of DKNY jeans with a look of trepidation on her face.

And that’s when it happened.

The dreaded sales person approached.

She was fully expecting to hear the words “May I help you with something?”  However that was not the line used.

Instead the salesperson’s words caught my friend completely by surprise. So much so that she completely let down her guard and told the sales person details she had never revealed to a salesperson before.

She said it was the best clothing shopping experience—let alone jean shopping experience she had ever had.

Not only that, her intentions had been to buy one pair of jeans. She left with three pairs of jeans, gave the salesperson her phone number and email address and made the salesperson put her contact information in her phone so she could contact her in the future.

So what were these magic words that disarmed my friend and got her to spend three times as much as she had planned?

After observing my friend and asking a simple question about the brand of jeans she was looking at, the salesperson said, “I’m a jean specialist.”

This made my friend perk up. She confessed she had never heard of a jean specialist, but that it sounded exactly like what she needed. Even better, while she did have to try on some different jeans, she says it didn’t take long for her jean specialist to identify the perfect fit.

Dan Kennedy says that today, especially in the ever-expanding crowded marketplace, “Specificity is now more important than ever.” He warns “You can no longer afford to be for everyone.”

Dan says that people are looking for that product or service that jumps out and “speaks” to them by indicating somehow, “This is right for me.”

How do you do this?

1)      Get a clear and sharp focus on who your target audience is. Use precision, laser-focused targeting so that when you are creating ads, sales letters, and other marketing materials it is clear who your ideal customer is.

2)      Become the ONLY choice. You can’t afford to be “just another choice.” Figure out how to be different, unique and “just right” for your consumer. By carefully selecting your words, you can make it completely obvious that you are clearly the one and only choice available for them.

3)      Repel people who are not the right fit. Stop trying to be right for everyone. And don’t worry if people think your product or service isn’t right for them. You’ll attract better quality customers and you’ll no longer waste ad dollars on prospects who will never buy from you.

Listen to Dan’s advice on this. Because just like the jean specialist was to my friend, if you intend to survive and thrive in the marketplace, you must figure out how to have specific relevance to a specific customer and have extremely direct communication with that customer.

NOTE: Want 10 Clever Ways To Increase Your Prices and More Importantly Profits Almost Overnight?

Until Noon (PT) today Dan Kennedy’s Course “The Super Powers Of Price Elasticity” is available for 30 days for a single dollar trial.  To take advantage of this offer just click here.

In it you’ll discover…

  • 15 different PRICE Presentation Strategies that make ACTUAL price irrelevant.  (Each of which can be used in print, online, face-to-face, and even in platform selling.)
  • Myths, Lies, Fears, and True Facts about price and the advanced psychology that turns off customer’s habitual thinking about price and value.
  • How to move spoiled customers from FREE or cheap to properly priced purchases.
  • The new science of micro-targeting and how to use it to remove ALL price ceilings and attract customers/clients/patients who will eagerly pay from 500% to 5000% more than your competitors prices.
  • 10 Clever ways to raise your price (without changing what you do)
  • The links between price, power and profit that can work for you…or against you

Again to get this you must take action by Noon Pacific today.  Then it goes back to full price…NO EXCEPTIONS!

To get this business changing program for just $1 for 30 days click here or go to www.gkic.com/elasticity now.

The Most Powerful Marketing Force Available. Are You Using It?

By: Dan Kennedy on: January 9th, 2014 6 Comments

An age-old copywriting secret is to ‘enter the conversation already happening in your prospect’s mind.’

One of the easiest ways to do this is to look at what everyone is talking about.

According to USA Today, Google reported the top two trending searches for 2013 were for former South African leader and human rights activist Nelson Mandela and actor Paul Walker—followed by the iPhone 5 and actor Cory Monteith.

Yahoo reported that the top obsessions for 2013 included Miley Cyrus “twerking”…”Duck Dynasty”…the casting of “Fifty Shades of Grey”…and “The Walking Dead.”

The popularity of these searches indicates that this is what is on your prospect’s mind.

Other than the iPhone 5, do you notice a common denominator?

The answer is obviously they are celebrity-related.

People love celebrities. They’re obsessed by them.

A single celebrity death will often trump media coverage of anything else going on in the news, even if the reality of the other news story is far more staggering.

The truth is people are fascinated by celebrities and that trend isn’t going to change. It’s only growing. And, inexplicably, people confuse celebrity with credibility.

This is good news for smart marketers.

Every year billions of dollars are spent on celebrity endorsements. People will buy whatever celebrities eat, drink, wear, and drive. They want to know what celebrities do, where they shop, live and do business. Tap into celebrity and you have access to the most powerful marketing force available.

It’s easier to do than you think.

If you do business on a local level, it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to become a local celebrity. If you do business nationally but in a niche market, it’s also relatively inexpensive.

Make yourself famous by writing articles and books, giving lectures and being active in industry and community affairs.  Feature yourself in your advertising, videos and webinars.  Get interviewed on radio and TV and post the files on your website.

It’s worth noting that, these days, the lines between “PR” (public relations) and paid, commercial advertising as a means of creating celebrity status are very blurred.

It wasn’t too long ago that I watched an alternative health guru interviewed on Larry King and noted that virtually all the questions were the same as what our hosts on an infomercial asked two health experts.

When entertainment TV reporter Leeza Gibbons interviewed and profiled motivational speaker Tony Robbins in an infomercial was that as good as being on the TV show, Entertainment Tonight? Yes. In some respects it was even better…because this suggests strategy.

If you could get 3-time NFL Super Bowl Champion Emmitt Smith to appear in one of your ads do you think that would get more attention than an ad without a celebrity in it? (Incidentally, there is a way to get him and other mega-celebrities to do this when you attend Super Conference℠.  Find out more here.)

Using advertorials in newspapers and magazines, bought radio and/or TV time, self-published books, etc. you can do the same thing you once had to accomplish only through publicity and public relations.Not to mention that you can exert complete control over the process, unlike in live interviews with the media where you are at the mercy of what they ask, what they include in their edits, and whether or not your story gets bumped. Plus you can get it out much faster.

Whether you make yourself into a celebrity or you find celebrity endorsers to create a connection between your product and service and showcase this connection, celebrity is undeniably one of the most powerful tools you can have in your marketing toolbox.

This draws attention, enhances the buying decision and increases the loyalty of your consumers. Plus as mentioned before, you’ll be viewed as a more credible source.

One of the smartest moves you can make this year is to capitalize on the growing trend of celebrity fascination.  Build your own celebrity and/or start connecting with celebrities to form an association between them and your business now.

*What’s HOT at GKIC This Week*– Go behind the scenes and cash in on the undisclosed, off the record strategies of today’s top direct marketers.  These high-profile techniques  Get my new edition of the best seller No B.S. Direct Marketing For Non-Direct Marketing Businesses.  Find out how you can get this report FREE and join the best, brightest and most successful GKIC members here.

One cool strategy that you can use to make more money now

By: Dave Dee on: January 7th, 2014 3 Comments

Recently I read that the travel website Orbitz is experimenting with a new pricing strategy to boost online sales.

Their plan: Show higher priced hotel offers to Mac computer users.

Why? Their research shows that Mac users’ spending habits are higher than PC users.

Orbitz found that Apple users spend as much as $30 more a night on hotels and are 40%-50% more likely to book a four-or-five-star hotel than PC users. They also found that when Mac and PC users book the same hotel, Mac users tend to stay in more expensive rooms.

Smart strategy. My guess is that they will not only get their Mac customers to respond better, but that these customers will spend even more.

However, most business owners don’t think like that. Many sales people and business owners are more compelled to reduce their prices, often without research or any real marketplace pressure.

It’s unfortunate, because when that happens, business owners are damaging their profitability—and may even lose customers because of it.

Dan Kennedy says, “Your prosperity begins with your price strategy.”

No business owner can haphazardly set prices or change them with no regard for his customers’ abilities and willingness to pay or without regard to competitive factors. But, you can’t let price paranoia or over-optimism about what you think your prospects and customers will pay rule your choices.

If you do, in many cases you’ll be wrong.

Case in point, a business owner I know was a shoe-in for a major project with a Fortune 100 company. Going in as the only referral, he was told the proposal was pretty much just a formality. That protocol required them to get bids. He submitted his proposal feeling confident he would get the business.

When he didn’t win the contract, he inquired why. The company told him that when they saw how low his price was, they thought maybe he wasn’t as good as they were told.

A higher price can reassure your clients, customers and patients that what you offer is high quality and of more value. Likewise, a lower price might be sending the wrong message.

Like Orbitz, it’s always smart to know who your target audience is and what their spending habits are.

So do a bit of research and test prices. You may be surprised to find that pricing your products and services higher will increase response and produce more revenue.

In Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. Price Strategy Book, several case studies are presented to support this.

For example, in one price test, a B2B newsletter tested pricing of $97 versus $127. Many would think that crossing the one hundred dollar line might suppress response. However, in this case, the $127.00 price pulled 11% higher response. The higher response combined with the higher price resulted in 45% more revenue for this company. (Source: TargetMarketing.com)

The point is… don’t reduce your prices without any evidence. Always test and re-test frequently to see what the market will bear. And remember, higher prices don’t necessarily mean poorer response. In fact, you might be able to work less and earn more this year, simply by changing your price strategy.

Do you have a story to share about testing your products and services at a higher price? What were the results? Leave a comment below.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

The 7 Critical Marketing Areas You Need To Have In Place To Be Successful

By: Darcy Juarez on: January 4th, 2014 8 Comments

In business, there are 7 critical areas of marketing every business must have in place. Think of it as your “Wheel of Marketing.”

And in order to have your business run smoother, be less stressful, less time-consuming and excel faster, you must have all the spokes in place and balanced.

We determined the spokes of our “Wheel of Marketing” from working with Dan Kennedy and our millionaire and multi-millionaire entrepreneur GKIC members.

Through our members generous sharing of their successes, we discovered that these extremely successful and wealthy business owners each have 7 critical marketing areas (i.e. spokes) in your wheel and consistently have them working at their maximum potential. These 7 critical areas are:

1)      A market that is hungry to consume your message…and your product or service.

2)      A marketing message that grabs your prospects by the lapels and gets them to read your ad, sales letter, emails, or other marketing pieces.

3)      A system for increasing the lifetime customer value (LCV) of each customer, client or patient.

4)      A system for reaching more affluent customers that don’t make purchasing decisions based on price.

5)      A lead generation machine that never leaves you wondering where your next customer, client or patient is coming from.

6)      Offline strategies for getting your marketing message in front of your customers.

7)      Online strategies for siphoning more leads and sales to your business.

Take a minute to honestly rate yourself on each of the spokes of your marketing wheel—with 1 being not existent and 10 being outstanding. For example, if you don’t have a system for reaching affluent customers then you would rate yourself a 1 or if you have tried reaching out to the affluent market, but don’t have a system that consistently works, then you might rate yourself a 5.

This will not only help you determine where you are weakest and can improve the most, but it will also show you whether or not you are balanced. For instance, if you rate yourself a 10 on offline strategies but a 1 on online strategies, you can’t experience a thriving business.

Make all of your spokes strong in each of these seven critical areas and you will have a business that provides you with the income that allows you to take vacations without feeling guilty and have a business you look forward to going to each and every day without having worries constantly keeping you awake at night.

Is your “Wheel of Marketing” balanced? Leave a comment about what area(s) you need to strengthen the most.

NOTE: If your Wheel of Marketing isn’t balanced, check out our never before released Maximum Profits Online and Offline Fast Track Success Kit.  This is the closest thing to having GKIC personally take you by the hand and personally mentor you to get each of these 7 critical areas in place and running at maximum strength so you can possibly double or even triple your profits.

You’ll get GKIC’s uncommon strategies and the most comprehensive training we’ve ever compiled to date that will allow you to not only balance your marketing wheel, but push each spoke to its maximum. Plus, this training is designed to help you QUICKLY assimilate, implement and profit from a balanced GKIC-style marketing wheel so your business can start thriving FAST.

For more information click here

5 Things You Can Do To Make Your New Year More Profitable…

By: Dave Dee on: January 1st, 2014 6 Comments

As you begin the year, we wish you growth, prosperity and autonomy…and hope you have your best year yet.

Yesterday Darcy gave you five things to do to get ready for 2014. (If you missed it, read 5 Things To Do Right Now That Will Make 2014 Your Best Year Yet here.) Today, I’ll list five things that will specifically help you meet your income goals for 2014.

1)      Pick your biggest wins. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with ideas and strategies you want to implement. Instead of attempting everything, becoming overwhelmed and paralyzed and completing nothing, pick one or two ideas that will give you the biggest wins.  Give yourself a deadline to complete them. Then pick two more. For example, perhaps adding a follow-up sequence to a sales letter that is converting will give you the biggest win right now. Make your single focus to get that follow-up sequence in place in the next week. Then move on to your next big idea.

2)      Improve your copy. People often wonder what Dan Kennedy does to justify fees of $100,000 to write a sales letter or ad campaign. The answer is simply that words matter and he’s very good at picking and combining words that sell. Dan says, “It’s absolutely true that how you say it is as important as what you are saying.” (If you are thinking of hiring a copywriter to help you with this, be sure to read our FREE report, “The 7 Key Questions That Every Copywriter You Hire MUST Be Able To Answer To Write Killer Direct Response Copy and Create Marketing Campaigns That Will Outsell The Pants Off Your Competition, to ensure you don’t waste your precious marketing dollars on bad copy.)

3)      Add another stream of income.  Back in the 1950’s a family could survive on one income. Today, many families require two incomes. And if one income is lost, they quickly face financial hardship. The wealthiest people I know have more than one source of income flowing in. That way if one stream isn’t doing well, another source will make up the difference. The best way we know how to do this here at GKIC is to add information marketing to your existing business. Focus in on a niche or sub-culture where your audience is already narrowed.  This way your price point can be higher.  (A good place to start is by watching the free training video and getting the quick start-up guide  from the Information Marketing Association here.)

4)      Raise your prices. Make more money this year simply by raising your prices for the same products and services you already offer.  Not only will you make more price per unit sold, in some cases price tests show that a higher price will actually cause higher response. (See chapter 7 in No B.S. Price Strategy.) Use the pricing strategies and secrets in Price Elasticity Online Training to extract the maximum price for your products and services and raise your prices with little or no price resistance.

5)      Write a book.  Writing a book positions you as an expert.  This gives you a huge edge over your competitors who have not written a book. Plus as an expert, you can charge more for your products and services.

Doing one of these this year will increase your income. Doing all of them could be life-changing. What do you plan to do in your business this year to raise your income? Let us know in the comments below so we can help provide you the information you need to succeed.

NOTE: As a way to get your year started right here’s a FREE replay of “Secret Productivity Strategies Of The Ultra-Successful” that I did several months ago.  This will help you to accomplish more of your goals in 2014 and get them done faster than you ever thought possible.

Six Sales Lessons From Smart Phones

By: Darcy Juarez on: December 17th, 2013 7 Comments

Recently a friend of mine took her 79 year old parents to buy their first smart phone.

Having purchased their last cell phone more than a few years ago, they were shocked by the price.

Expecting to pay under $100, they quickly found that instead these phones were closer to $200 and up.

Their first reaction was to ask for the cheapest phone they offered.

Sensing their shock, the sales woman showed them the lowest priced phone and said, “Phones are much different today. What you are really purchasing is a computer, phone and camera all rolled into one.”

Instantly, the tides changed and my friend’s parents no longer thought of the phones as expensive.

This sales person did a whole lot of other things right too. Here are just a few of the lessons you could learn from observing her…

Package what you sell.  Reminding her customers that the phones were not just cell phones but a computer, phone and camera all rolled into one, immediately increased the perceived value of the phone…so much so that my friend’s parents actually bought more expensive phones, not the cheapest ones available. And they left feeling like they got a great deal. This is because the salesperson showed how the phone had packaged three expensive types of technology into one device.

How can you package your products and services and show the increased value of what you offer?

For example, if you hold an event and cover multiple subjects and bring in a variety of speakers, you are offering a package deal. You can showcase the increased value by reminding your customers/clients that to get the same or similar secrets, strategies and methods, they would have to purchase multiple programs in order to receive all the subjects you’ll cover and/or travel multiple times during the year to different locations to see all of the guest speakers you’ll have… were it not for you gathering them all together in one place for you. The package has a higher perceived value because it would cost them a great deal more in time, money and effort to obtain the same benefits individually.

Make it easy for them to purchase.  The payment options offered for the phone included the option of paying a small percentage down with a payment plan of just $10 a month and no interest. By offering payment plans, you can make it feel affordable for buyers therefore easier to say yes.  Plus by doing this, the sales person was able to get them to take multiple upgrades, such as their insurance plan at $10 a month and extra products such as car chargers and phone cases.  Paypal will even do the financing for you with their “Bill Me Later” option and you’ll be paid the full amount up front!

Create urgency. The sales person explained a limited time offer that expired at the end of the day.  Offering a discount or offering a limited edition item that will disappear and that you can only get during a set time period are two ways to do this. If you offer something people truly want, the second one can actually be more effective.

Make whatever they buy FREE. For years, mobile phone companies have made phones appear free by offering phones “free” when you sign a contract for service.  There are many ways to make your product or service appear free. For example, if the value of the bonus gifts you offer add up to an amount equal to or greater than the price of what they are actually buying, psychologically it makes your prospect feel like they are getting it free.

ALWAYS offer upsells. My friend said this sales person offered multiple upsells…from phone cases and chargers to an upgraded data plan and extra insurance to a plan that allowed them to trade their phone for a newer model anytime they wanted. Twenty percent of people will take your upsells, so if you aren’t offering them, you are automatically leaving money on the table.  This is covered at length in the GKIC course “Secrets to Tripling Your Customer Value”

Don’t abandon them after the sale. After my friend’s parents purchased their phones, the sales woman spent time showing them how to use their phone. Sensing they were still unsure of some of the features, she told them when she was working over the next few days, gave them her phone number and invited them to come back in or call her personally if they needed help.

Use stick letters, emails and follow-up communication to continue engaging with buyers after you’ve made the sale. This reminds them why they bought from you, tells them how to consume your product, and reinforces that they made a good decision.

One of the most effective way’s of keeping in touch is through great use of a print newsletter.  For each month you’re not communicating with your customer list you’re losing 10%-20% of it’s value.  That means 10%-20% are leaving and going to the competition, are finding other alternatives to your product or service, or simply are forgetting about you.  One of the least expensive ways to actually increase the value of your list is to have a monthly newsletter sent to them.  To get full details on why you need a newsletter…click here.

This buying experience actually became a mini sales lesson. Pay attention to how people sell to you. When you do, you can learn a lot about how to sell better in your own business. In the meantime, print this mini sales lesson out and use what you’ve learned to help you increase your own sales.

NOTE: This Friday, December 20th is the LAST DAY for you to receive huge savings on SuperConference. You should know there will be no better deals offered after this day. And for those of you who just want to wait to sign up so you can see all of our marketing…well I have good news for you. Sign up now and you’ll receive every piece of our marketing so you can save it for your swipe file.

We’ve put together a great package…

  • A dozen top entrepreneurs and speakers including…Former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith, Dan Kennedy, Craig Proctor, Howard Berg, Darin Spindler, Matt Buchel, and Lisa Sasevich.
  • 4 Sessions with Dan Kennedy.
  • Networking Reception and Book Signing.
  • Breakout sessions that fit every category and level of business.
  • A Teen event so you can cultivate the entrepreneur in your children.
  • Celebrity photo opportunity with Emmitt Smith.
  • Private coaching opportunities.
  • A chance to meet with GKIC preferred vendors…many of who have special offers (which add up to BIG savings) that are only available at SuperConference.
  • And much more…

Don’t miss out. This event is selling very well—in fact we sold over 400 seats at last year’s event and Info-SUMMIT before we even opened up registration to the rest of our GKIC members. It is common for a rush of people to sign up right around deadlines. Don’t gamble in losing your seat because you waited too long.  For more info and to get the best price you’ll EVER see…click here now or go to www.gkic.com/sc2014

3 ½ Business-Boosting Lessons You Can Learn From J.C. Penney’s Rebranding Disaster

By: Dave Dee on: August 6th, 2013 4 Comments

Last week J.C. Penney Co. hired a new senior vice president of marketing.

Debra Berman, formerly with Kraft Foods, was hired to win back customers and create more frequent sales.

This is the latest in a plan by J.C. Penney’s CEO to reconnect with their customers and revitalize their struggling brand.

Why are they struggling?

Well, the former CEO tried to transform the store to attract a “younger” and “hipper” audience…and failed, amassing nearly a billion dollars in losses.

Can you guess the big lesson?

If you already have a target audience buying products or services from you, it’s not a good idea to abandon them in search of a different audience.

Now, I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad idea to target new and different customers. But if you are going to do this, test it and do it in addition to what you are already doing. After all, if you are going to go to the trouble and expense of winning a customer over, why abandon them?

Because when you abandon your customers, they will find somewhere else to spend their money.

J.C. Penney has a big task in front of them…

Even though you most likely have not made a major shift like J.C. Penney did, there are a couple of takeaways you can use in your own business.

1) Clearly define who your target audience is. When I started at GKIC, one of the first things we did was to nail this down. The obvious answer is that they are small business owners, entrepreneurs and sales people.  But that is pretty broad, so we dug deeper.

We identified our target audience as being people who are “doers.” They don’t just “talk the talk… they walk the walk.”

They are the movers and shakers.  They don’t want fluff. They want to cut through the B.S. and get to the stuff that really works.

We identified that they want more independence and time to do what they want, working less hours while making more money, unapologetically. And they want a place where they can find other like-minded individuals who understand, appreciate and support their endeavors.

Imagine if instead of trying to go after a new audience, J.C. Penney had spent time getting clearer about what their existing customers want. Instead of creating new products to attract an unproven audience, they could have developed products that were a better match for what their existing paying customers wanted.

Another problem they didn’t think through was that by not spending the time to clearly understand their existing customer, not only did their core customer not relate to their new messaging, but they didn’t necessarily embrace the new type of customer that J.C. Penney was targeting.

Clearly defining your audience makes it easier to create messages that resonate with your customers. It makes it easier to know what types of products and services to develop. And it attracts more customers…partially through referrals because your customers often hang out with other like-minded individuals that will also be interested in your products and services.

2) Identify a strong USP. Have a clear, honest, benefit driven USP (Unique Selling Proposition) in place.

While recently interviewing GKIC members about what has made the biggest impact on their business, one answer that kept coming up was developing a strong USP (Unique Selling Proposition). And for good reason…

In order to succeed in today’s cluttered and competitive arena, you MUST construct a great marketing message that is powerful enough to circumvent the competition.

In The Ultimate Marketing Plan, Dan Kennedy defines a USP as “a way of explaining your position against your competition and against all other choices, actual or even imagined.”  He also says it is “a way of summarizing and telegraphing one of the chief benefits of the business, product, or service being marketed.”

Before their rebranding, more than half of J.C. Penney’s audience was over 55 years old and 87 percent were Caucasian. Two of J.C. Penney’s main competitors are Target and Kohl’s who appeal to younger shoppers. Rather than trying to be more like Target and Kohl’s what if they would have focused on what makes J.C. Penney unique?

Identify what makes you different and then capitalize on this to become the best at it. This will attract more of the right customers to you…people who will spend more money with you because they feel you are catering specifically to them.

A strong USP might even become your theme. Like “Just Do It” (Nike) or “The happiest place on earth” (Disneyland) or “We’re number two, so we try harder” (Avis).

3) Win back lost customers. We all do it: We lose customers. Become aware of it and put a campaign in place to win them back. Let your lost customers know you miss them, that they are important to you, and that you want them back.

J.C. Penney has apologized to their core customer, but they should take it further. Getting to know their core customer better, targeting their messaging to them and creating an entire marketing campaign around winning them back will go a long way towards bringing this customer base (and their wallets) back to the store.

The lost customer reactivation system we teach at The Fast Implementation Boot Camp is a campaign that many GKIC members say has been enough to revitalize their business and create an immediate surge of cash in their business.

Learn from the successes and failures of other businesses. Understand and clearly define who your best customer is. Then make your business the clear and only choice for your customers based on what you discover.

And if you’ve lost some customers, don’t just let them go. Do everything you can to win them back—even ask for forgiveness. When you do, you’ll maximize your results and find money in your business you didn’t know existed.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

Are You Making This Same Money-Losing Choice?

By: Dan Kennedy on: June 5th, 2013 8 Comments

Last month, the Miami Marlins announced that they would be closing off part of their stadium for some home games.

They aren’t the only stadium having trouble selling tickets.

Across the board ticket sales for Major League Baseball are down and ten clubs are experiencing more than a 20 percent drop in ticket prices in their secondary markets.

Even the mighty Boston Red Sox had their 820 game sellout streak come to an end in April.

What’s to blame? Some are citing the economy. Others cite weather. And yet others blame individual clubs for their poor performance during the previous season.

The response has been to lower ticket prices.

The interesting thing is that based on TV ratings, interest in baseball isn’t in decline. Millions are still watching and, in fact, interest has even slightly increased. So does it make sense to lower ticket prices?

You’ve no doubt read and heard talk by economists, futurists, financial analysts, politicians, and the media about the need to lower our expectations and shrink our lifestyles as the only rational response to all that has occurred in the economy. For example, there was an article that ran in USA Today, in which they warned of the need to “brace for a lower standard of living.”

You’ve likely seen a store at the local mall that has an eternal “Buy one, get one half off” sale that never ends.

Lowering prices, lowering standards…this seems the “natural” response.

But for you and I, lowering prices and lowering expectations is the least rational response.

It only makes sense if you wish to cede control of your life to circumstances. That is a fundamental choice that belongs exclusively to you.

There are, of course, changed and changing facts and realities in the business and financial landscape, but a good way to think about them is as a pro football team’s coaches and players must think about games played on natural turf, artificial turf, outdoors, indoors, in heat, in cold, in rain, in snow—regardless where they play, they play to win. And somebody wins every time.

Given the different conditions, they dress differently, run different plays and use different game strategies. They change their plan and figure out different ways to adjust to their conditions. But they don’t ever set aside their intentions of winning.

Whatever the realities are, one is that there is wealth. As long as it exists, it is yours to attract.

And you can attract it with far greater ease and faster than you think possible, if you believe you can and have the right “know how.”

There are three components necessary for you to shift to a winning plan.

  1. There is a philosophical component. There is a way of thinking that repels wealth, which is how most people think. There is also a way to think that attracts wealth. If you think that way, you are magnetic to opportunity, money and wealth.
  2. There is a strategic component. There are very practical things to do to put yourself in the right position and set in motion the forces that attract wealth. These include entrepreneurial strategies, relationship strategies, influence strategies, marketing strategies—that when properly employed and focused on, will make you magnetic to opportunity, money and wealth.
  3. Finally, there is a behavioral component. There are behaviors that repel wealth, and there are ways to behave that attract wealth. Ultimately, it is my contention that wealth attraction is more about doing than thinking. (You can read extensively on these three components and how to make radical shifts in your business  using them in my book No B.S. Wealth Attraction in the New Economy.)

You have to ask yourself if your business is really in decline and if so, is lowering your prices and expectations really your only option, or is your wealth attraction skewed. Because in the end, you have to either prepare to win, or lose to someone who is.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

How To Make More Money On Memorial Day (Or Any Holiday)

By: Darcy Juarez on: May 24th, 2013 1 Comment

What are you doing for the holiday weekend?

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. Swimming Pools open. Parades take place. People barbecue. Oh yeah, and there are summer sales.

Memorial Day weekend is the biggest sales event time of year until November’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year, retailers for clothes, appliances and cars offered significant discounts and it looks to be the case this year too.

Tying holidays to your marketing campaigns—especially a big holiday weekend like Memorial Day is a reliable, formulaic and effective way to stand out in a crowded marketplace and stimulate consumers to take action.

As a small business marketer, you can use holidays to keep your marketing interesting, boost your response, and even create better relationship with your clients, customers and patients. Here’s how:

1)      Enter the conversation already going on. What are people talking about around the water cooler this week? They are talking about their plans for the holiday weekend. When you use holidays as part of your marketing campaign, you use one of the most famous copywriting principles from Robert Collier of entering the conversation ALREADY currently occurring in your prospects’ or customers’ minds.

Grab your calendar and look for the holidays you know your customers will be talking about—then plan promotions around them.

2)      Create or strengthen your bond with your customers. When you have something in common with your customers, certain holidays can help nurture a stronger relationship with your prospects and customers.

Are you particularly patriotic or do you have a tie with the military you want your customers to know about? Choose holidays that will reflect that—such as Veteran’s Day, Independence Day and National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Or have you noticed an affinity to Star Trek and a lot of Star Trek fans in your target market? You might try a promotion around “Captain Picard Day” or “First Contact Day” (a holiday celebrated to honor the flight of the Phoenix and First Contact with the Vulcans on April 5, 2063.)

Causes are another connection and there are holidays built around these as well. For example, May is ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Awareness Month and Brain Tumor Awareness Month.

The idea here is to pick a holiday topic, even if it’s unknown, that will spark their interest because it’s a topic or cause they are interested in. There are holidays for almost anything you can think of, so the more you know about your customers, the more you can find holidays that will match their interests.

3)      Keep them interested. You’ve heard it said many times that people want to be entertained. Holidays can keep people interested and entertained.

GKIC member, Dr. Bergh shared in our July 2012 Swipe & Deploy File how he uses holidays for a highly successful referral program that sparked a 300% increase when he changed to using holidays which made his program more interesting. It’s something that keeps his clients excited and wondering what he will do next. Certain holidays have been so popular that his clients look forward to, and anticipate their return.  [Swipe & Deploy Files are included with every No B.S. Newsletter and showcase proven marketing pieces or campaigns for GKIC members to quickly, easily and “legally steal” to use in their own marketing. To receive the No B.S. Newsletter plus $633.91 worth of money-making information, click here.

One way to keep people entertained is to pick official (not made up) unknown holidays that are silly, bizarre, strange, or wacky such as International Audit Month, No Pants Day, National Dog Bite Prevention Week, or Lumpy Rug Day.

4)      Increase your revenue. It stands to reason if you can get more people to pay attention to, open and read your marketing, you’ll have more people come through your door, order your products, use your services and/or respond to your offer.

In our Ultimate Holiday Promotion Swipe File, we show real holiday promotions from business after business boasting impressive response. For instance, Ed Rush used holiday promotions to increase the number of people attending GKIC chapter meetings. He tripled his response immediately. Brett Fogle of Options University used a holiday promotion to more than double response, producing over $237,000 in revenue from a two-week promotion. Here’s something important to note about Brett’s promotion. He used the exact same sales letter and its offer a number of other times, without the holiday theme.  With the holiday theme, it more than doubled the number of registrations over his previous record.

Whenever you need an immediate boost in response, try choosing a holiday from one of the free websites that offers lists of them (brownielocks.com is one you can try), put together a quick campaign, and watch your results pour in.

NOTE:  If you’re looking for the quickest and easiest way to put together an effective holiday campaign that will skyrocket your response, check out the Ultimate Holiday Promotion Swipe File. You’ll be able to tap into proven marketing ideas and immediately create fun, exciting and money-making holiday promotions when you swipe and deploy from the dozens of real examples included.

Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.