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#6  Pull-Power: Without It, It's All Waste

How much Pull-Power do your marketing materials have?  Take that gorgeous new brochure you spent a fortune to have professionally designed, then another fortune to print.  How many of the prospects you gave it to actually looked at it, much less read and absorbed the message?

Or, perhaps you went the route of designing it yourself or at least writing the copy.  You know what you want to sell, so who better to create the tools to sell it.  Right? Probably not, but at least you didn't spend a lot of money on design.  But what about the cost of printing or the cost of the lost opportunity?  

FACT:  The most beautiful marketing or advertising piece in the world doesn't sell diddly.

FACT:  Photos and fancy graphics don't sell anything, either, except, possibly, video games.

FACT:  What actually pulls the interest is the message.

In order to have marketing materials that are functional sales tools, that provide a needed visual support to a presentation or even substitute for a personal presentation, that at the very least arouse the curiosity of your prospects, you have to remember three very important things:

  1. You have to have a target market that not only needs whatever it is you are selling but is also aware of that need and is open to a solution.

  2. You have to have a message that focuses - not on what you do, but on the results the prospect gets from your solution.

  3. You have to have a "hook" that connects with a word or an idea in the prospect's mind and that "hook" has to be the first thing one sees on the marketing piece.

Most small businesses think the most important thing on their materials in their business or product name.  But take a look at your own mail.  How much time do you take sifting junk from what you really want to peruse carefully?  The average is less than 2 seconds.  If the only thing you notice is a name or a logo, do you really bother to look further?  Probably not.  As a matter of fact, in most cases, your company name should come last - not first.

So, is there a formula for ensuring that all your prospects will open, keep, or read your marketing materials?  Sadly, no.  But there are some guidelines you can follow that will increase the probability thereof:

  • Start with your most prized benefit.  The first thing a prospect sees should somehow focus on what is most important to them.  Of course, that means you really have to know a lot about your prospects, their businesses, what their needs are, and what they value.  A favorite example is the "self-setting" clock on some VCR's and the message, "Never let that blinking 12:00 make you feel stupid again!" 

  • Invite the prospect to "play." Whether you use a question, a graphic, a story, or something else, you must entice them to participate in the process.  In today's mail was a card promoting the new location of a marketing research firm.  Enclosed with the card was a miniature CD.  Instead of going directly in the trash, the entire packet is now on the side of the desk waiting for the opportunity to play with the CD.  And while it sits there, visible, it is doing its work.

  • Give a prospect enough information, but not too much.  The purpose of a marketing piece is to arouse interest, not sell.  That is your job, unless you are selling a product directly to a consumer by direct mail.  If you are selling to another business, you want to tease the prospect into remembering your solution just long enough to call you or be willing to receive a call from you.  That is why you focus on results - not on the process of getting those results. 

  • Even if you can do it, don't promise the moon.  If a solution seems implausible- even if it's absolutely real -  the prospect won't believe it, and the piece is wasted.   It is always preferable to provide better results than you promise.

  • Give the prospect a reason to call or to accept your call.  More than the results of the solution, why should the prospect take immediate action?  Is there a deadline, a special offer, a schedule - real or perceived?  Then use it.  For example, a golf pro flyer might focus on getting a prospect's swing in shape before the next local tournament or before their next outing with the boss.

If you want your name to stick with a prospect, you have to get them to focus on you, first.  If you arouse their interest, they will look for the name and remember it.  That's the job of a marketing piece.  When it works, that's Pull-Power!



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