Strategy #1: Change Your Mindset
That's right, change your mindset! It's probably the number one most important strategy when selling Big Ticket Items. Plenty of people are uncomfortable selling items that are priced above the $500 - $1000 mark.
It's the intangibles which make Big Ticket marketing tougher to come to grips with for many business people. They have questions like:
- Will my customers accept a product priced this high?
- How can I put a value on information?
- Who's going to buy an island for one million dollars?
It's a lot easier to value a low ticket item like an E-book at $17 or $49 or $197. There are already books available that have prices in a similar range.
So how do you start the switch in mindset?
The best thing to do is to find a Big Ticket product that you believe in and just try marketing it to your list of customers!
That's what Joel Christopher did. He wanted to attend a particular seminar but it cost $1000. In those days, that was a lot of money for Joel. But the organizer told him that if he sold 3 seats he could get in free and earn affiliate commissions on every seat sold.
Now, Joel wasn't sure whether his existing list would accept a Big Ticket Item at that price. But he decided to go for it! He wrote up an email and sent it out. And, much to his surprise, he sold 2 seats in less than 2 days!
And that was a key turning point for Joel. His mindset was shifted.
But how did Joel get up the nerve to send out that Big Ticket email to his list? We're going to talk about that in Strategy #2.
Strategy #2: It's All About Value
It is crucial that you value and believe in all of the products and services you sell. And that includes all lead generation products and services, as well.
You must always provide huge value for your customers or they won't be your customers for long.
By providing such value, you are successfully able to market to your customers. But this is especially important when selling Big Ticket items because it relates to your mindset.
Here are a couple of quotes about marketing Big Ticket Items:
Ted Nicholas: "You need to be able to basically establish the value in your mind before you can establish the value in the mind of the prospect."
Joel Christopher: "Now deep inside, it was really about the value I was giving. When I said, I value what I'm giving and I value this thing then I can really promote it to my list."
In the first quote, Ted is just saying that you need to have a firm idea of the value of the product you are marketing before you can put a price tag on it and convince a prospect that it is worth that price.
In the second quote, Joel is describing the process that he had to go through internally, establishing the value of the product to himself and also its benefit to his list, before promoting it to his list.
Strategy #3: Have a Marketing Plan
Jay Conrad Levinson calls the Marketing Plan, the first marketing weapon.
Jay is the father of Guerrilla Marketing and he says: "And in guerrilla marketing, if you don't have a marketing plan, that's like entering a battle under a commander who says, 'Ready, Fire, Aim!' You're not going to win any battles if you do that."
Now, I am not talking about a 300 page document that puts your team members to sleep J No, I am talking about a very simple marketing plan that helps guide every decision that you make for your business.
As Jay Conrad Levinson describes it, a guerrilla marketing plan is only 7 sentences long and can be created in under 5 minutes.
This article is too short to give a detailed description of a guerrilla marketing plan so we'll quickly highlight it and give you some resources for further reading.
Sentence 1: What is the purpose of your marketing? What specific action do you want people to take? E.g. Do you want them to visit your website or join your mailing list?
Sentence 2: How are you going to achieve that purpose? You do this by stressing your benefits and competitive advantages.
Sentence 3: Who is your target audience or audiences? Who wants your product?
Sentence 4: What is your niche in the marketplace; what you stand for? When people hear the name of your business, what's the first thing that enters their mind?
Sentence 5: Which marketing weapons will you use? Guerrilla marketing has over 100 to choose from. E.g. marketing plan and marketing calendar. Check out
http://www.gmarketingcoach.com/weapons.htm for the complete list of marketing weapons.
Sentence 6: What is your identity? Which means your company personality. And it tells the truth. An image tells a lie; an identity tells the truth. Every business has a personality.
Sentence 7: What is your marketing budget? It should be expressed as a percentage of your projected gross sales.
And that's it, a marketing plan that is concise and focused. Make sure you check out the following resources as well:
- "Bigwig Briefs: Guerrilla Marketing - The Best of Guerrilla Marketing & Marketing on a Shoestring Budget by Jay Conrad Levinson"
- "The One Page Business Plan with CD ROM by Jim Horan"
The second book isn't Guerrilla marketing but the planning is very similar. It also has some easy templates you can use.
You can find links to these resources and many others by checking out the sites in the resource area below.
Strategy #4: Have A Marketing Calendar
Jay Conrad Levinson calls the Marketing Calendar, the second marketing weapon.
The marketing calendar does not have to be a time consuming task. You can do the rough outline of a simple one in 5-10 minutes or you can do a really detailed year by week calendar in about 2-3 weeks.
Here's how to create a simple marketing calendar:
Create a table with 12 rows and 5 columns. The 1st column is Month, the 2nd column is Thrust, the 3rd column is Media, the 4th column is Marketing Cost ($) and the 5th column is Grade.
For each of the 12 rows, fill in one month (e.g. Jan, Feb, Mar, etc.) in the Month Column.
Now for each row, fill in the thrust of your marketing in the Thrust column. In other words, for each month you should have a particular thrust for your marketing. (e.g. a special event, a special price, a new service, etc.)
Now for the Media column, fill in the media you plan to use during a particular month. (e.g. email, newspaper, radio, TV, networking, etc.)
In the Marketing Cost ($) column, you will fill in how much money it cost you to do your marketing for that month.
And finally, in the Grade column, you give a letter grade (A, B, C, D, E, F) about how well you thought your marketing did that month. Be honest!
Now, at the end of the year you simply look back over your marketing calendar. Compare your monthly financial statements with the marketing activities for that month and see which activities really paid off for you.
Eliminate any marketing activities that did not receive an A or B grade. Use only those A and B grade activities for planning the following year's activities.
After the second year, repeat the above process again, except only keep marketing activities that had a grade of A. All you're left with are things that have been proven in action for your business.
Now isn't that worth the small amount of up front effort to create the marketing calendar?
Strategy #5: Multimedia Marketing
Single media marketing is not sufficient! You cannot reach all the prospects for your products and services through a single media anymore.
Take email for example.
But first, a brief side note. Your marketing email message should NEVER be SPAM; it should always be permission based email. In other words, the people you're sending it to should have opted in to receive it.
Anyway, with the ever increasing amount of SPAM and people using SPAM filters to try to help that problem, your marketing message in email might not even be making it through to your prospective customer!
Or your customer may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of email messages they receive and will not even get around to reading your Sales Letter, E-Course, Article, or Newsletter.
TV and Radio. How many customers just ignore your message because they use VCR's or DVD recorders to tape only the shows they want to watch AND then they speed through the advertisements.
And TV and Radio ads are notoriously hard to track in terms of their effectiveness. Infomercials at least use specific 800 numbers that can be changed for each marketing campaign to track how well they are pulling in sales. But how do you gauge whether a 30 second ad spot on TV is working?
Here's what Jay Conrad Levinson, the father of Guerrilla Marketing had to say about multimedia marketing:
"Guerrillas know that the only thing that works now is marketing combinations. If you do advertising and you do direct mail and you have a website, all three will work. All three will help each other work. The days of single weapon marketing have been relegated to the past and we're now living in an era where only marketing combinations work."
And here is what Joel Christopher, the master list builder, had to say about multimedia marketing:
"Multimedia marketing is the next principle. See, another myth that I saw happening was that internet marketing is the end all and be all and nothing else. ... you can generate leads and do email marketing, but for High Ticket Items, the sale is done offline. So you have to combine online marketing with offline marketing."
An excellent resource on multi-media marketing:
- "Mining Online Gold with an Offline Shovel
by Joel Christopher and George McKenzie"
You can find links to this resource and many others by checking out the sites in the resource area below.
Strategy #6: Build Long Term Relationships
Building relationships isn't a new marketing concept. You must build relationships with your customers. In order for them to buy from you, they must come to know you and trust you. Only then, will they buy from you. But once they buy, most of them will be your customers for life as long as you treat them well.
In the field of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), building relationships has taken on even more importance over the last few years. It used to be that CRM was nothing more than a new buzzword for sales force automation (software to make the taking of orders easier for sales representatives). There was no "C" or "R" involved, only "M" for management of sales.
But, people in the CRM field learned that in order to maximize profit you must first maximize customer lifetime value. And the way that you do that is by building long term relationships with customers!
This becomes particularly important in Big Ticket businesses with extremely long sales cycles.
E.g. Mainframe or super computers
E.g. Jet or 747 airplanes. You cannot just hit these prospects with a "buy, buy, buy" sales message. You need to build a relationship with them. Their order could be worth $500,000 to $1,000,000 or more. They are not going to trust you with that size of an order without getting to know you much better, first!
Jay Conrad Levinson says: "... traditional marketing is all about taking. How much can we get from each customer? Let's go get it. Guerrilla marketing is all about giving. Guerrillas realize that marketing's real purpose on earth is to educate people how to succeed at achieving their goals."
Copyright © 2006Chuck Daniel, Like Magic Marketing, LLC - All Rights Reserved.
Chuck is a former Microsoft software designer and program manager who spent more than a decade happily working on Email for Microsoft Exchange Server and on Integration for Microsoft CRM. Admittedly a seminar, workshop and information addict, Chuck left Microsoft to pursue his interests in personal development, internet, direct and information marketing and to promote and work for charitable causes.
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