Have you ever had something weighing so heavily on your mind you felt you had to get it off your chest no matter what?
That’s how things are for me today.
When I initially sat down to write today I wanted to start with a clever title. Something funny and off the cuff. But because I’m battling and resisting a flu or something that is trying to take hold I said screw writing a humor title!
This information is eating at me so much so that I just want to get it posted and then go get some rest. And then maybe I can finally feel better. By the way, I’ve not had a cold or flu since 2009. As far as those types of virii or diseases go I remain healthy most years. I refuse to let this one take hold and break my winning streak, even though it is making my eyes blurry and making my limbs and body feel almost too heavy to move. So I’m doubly pissed. One because something is resisting my perfect streak and second because this topic ticks me off!
Anyhow, back to this post I so desperately want to toss up…
As a kid I grew up in a small farmhouse just off Lake Killarney in then rural Federal Way, Washington. I went fishing everyday I could sneak away from the house without notice.
Well, imagine for a moment speaking to a man who came to the lake everyday to try out a different bait. A man obsessed with finding “the best” bait on earth. Everyday he researched live baits. He also wrote to other fishing enthusiasts and experts for advice and feedback. He would buy one bait after another. And he even tried his hand at creating man-made baits based on his extensive research.
How valuable would all those baits and all his research be if the fisherman overlooked the need to bring the right equipment: a fishing pole, fishing line, tackle box, nets, a boat that could hold water, or some other critical tool required for fishing? Obviously no matter how great of baits he found he would still go home empty handed after sitting on the shores or docks feeling dejected.
Who Else Wants To Be Lied to?
I know I shouldn’t admit this. Maybe it’s the illness talking. To heck with it. Here goes…
Nearly every consulting manual on earth preaches that a consultant must approach every topic from an angle that prospective clients already agree with. These guides advocate the belief that a consultant must only share topics that are ’empowering’. Agreeable. Accepting.
Again and again these ‘guru’ guides warn never ever let on when you see a mistake in thinking on the part of prospects–until the client pays you. Until then always always always tell prospects they are correct, their ideas are good. No matter how far fetched and inaccurate client thinking may be until you have cash in hand–blow smoke!
The guides teach would be consultants to tell the truth only after getting a check from the prospective client. After getting a check in hand claim some new discovery or some withheld info from the client has opened your eyes to see more clearly. In essence ‘bait and switch’ the prospect from the promise they want to achieve to the reality they do NOT want to face.
I think that’s being manipulative. Sort of like blowing uncomfortably cold wind up someones ‘kilt’ or skirt while claiming nothing is happening. “It’s all good!” you say…until you get paid!
Well, it isn’t all good.
So against the advice of my peers I’m readily exposing a situation I have noticed again and again with the majority of people who contact me for consulting work. What is that situation? Most people are so obsessed with hooking the ‘perfect’ sales letter, or perfect webpage, or perfect landing page that they overlook some other critical piece in their marketing matrix. A component that could make the difference between catching all the ‘fish’ the company could possibly want to pursue…or going home empty handed–like the fisherman who shows up with incomplete gear.
The missing component could be some of anything depending on the medium being pursued. Perhaps the order page needs reworking. Perhaps envelope copy is missing or is a mismatch. Perhaps the mailer lacks proven copy boosters like lift notes or other elements. Perhaps the company has failed to think through a back end offer or one time offer or downgrade offer or offline campaign to launch in conjunction with their online campaign. Perhaps the sales team lacks a specific sales process for handling an increase in ad response, and is instead allowed to ‘wing it’ as inquiries come in. Or perhaps the company is not split testing ad response or marketing offers. Or perhaps worst of all…the prospect is unwilling to admit there isn’t a specific hungry market to target for the product or service they are attempting to sell.
IDK. It could be some of anything.
Regardless of the project coming my way in most cases the overall marketing funnel is lacking in one or more critical areas–and the client refuses to see this. Why? Because consultant ‘x’ already promised the client that the idea the client has come up with is great! And promised they are going to make great money working together. And the consultant claimed he or she is really excited to work with the client on this particular project.
And then there’s me. That one voice saying, ‘uhm, something is missing. Lets look at this from another angle.’ But it is too late. The client is already ‘hooked’ by a lie. They go their way and eventually pays the price in tears when their project sinks.
This is why despite being a very good direct response copywriter I reject the majority of copywriting inquiries that come my way. Not because most projects are beyond hope. That isn’t the case at all. The reason I reject most inquiries is because few companies want to hear the truth — that their sales funnel is incomplete or broken in ways they had not realized. That their idea is lacking in areas that have nothing to do with the copy itself.
Why not just take their money and let them pay the cost of stupidity? Because my name is tied to the results clients want to achieve. I do not want anyone bad mouthing me as having made huge boasts only to knowingly leave the client feeling ripped off.
Instead when I see these leaks I advocate a Total Marketing Package approach to plug the leaks in marketing funnels. A Total Marketing Package is designed to take full advantage of exploitable marketing opportunities that already exist in the company or the product or service offering in ways few clients have in mind when they initially contact me.
Oh heck with it. If you are like most people you are already in love with some unsound marketing idea. You are simply on a search for someone to agree with you and take your money. There are no shortages of such con jobbers. For now I’m going to bed to hopefully dream of solid catches. If that is you feel free to click the contact Andre link or contact button on this page. We can talk when I feel better…unless you are fishing for someone to take advantage of you.
Andre strives to help marketers discover the near-immediate impact of honest ethical marketing practices. He has advised hundreds of business owners on how to keep their dignity as they implement direct response marketing methods that work. Andre is one of only a handful of remaining professionals who can boast having become an online marketer a decade before the World Wide Web came into existence. And as a serial entrepreneur Andre launched his first direct mail business around the age of 12-years old. He has been building and advising ever since.