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Thursday, May 8, 2014

One of My Secrets for Producing Sales by Marc Charles

The Secret to Closing a Sale (online or off)

The “A” Prospect Advantage
by Marc Charles

No matter what you’re selling, your job will be a lot easier if you target marketing efforts to “A” prospects.

By that I mean pre-qualified buyers. These are people who have already purchased what you’re selling. Ideally, they’ve done it recently (and often).

“B” prospects are people who have shown an interest in what you’re selling – maybe by calling a toll-free number, sending an e-mail, or writing a letter to ask for more information. They’re interested, and they’ve acted on that interest which is great.

But “B” prospects are not nearly as valuable to you as “A” prospects.

How and where do you find these prime prospects?

I’ll provide some examples in this report of real life situations.

The best place to find “A” prospects in your own list of buyers. If you don’t have a list like this don’t worry, I’ll show you how to get one, build one or use someone else’s list.

When you are selling products to an in-house list of “A” prospects try to create an offer or product similar to one they purchased from you in the past.

Another option is to partner with a company that has successfully sold products like yours. You can rent their postal mailing list, or “piggyback” a message on the company’s email subscriber list. You should never send unsolicited bulk email to anyone, this is spam. A nice way around this is to “piggyback” on someone else’s opt-in email subscriber list.  These buyers should respond well to your offers.

Most of the entrepreneurs, business owners and startup ventures I’ve helped over the years are clueless when it comes to the “A and B Prospect” concept.

I learned this strategy at the feet of one of the great direct marketers of all time, Gary Halbert. Gary passed away on Sunday, April 8, 2007

Most entrepreneurs (online and off) focus for a lifetime on “B” prospects, and produce dismal sales results to prove it.

Any time you are going to try to sell products and services you should always focus primarily on “A” prospects.

When it comes to marketing products online, do you think the people who responded to Google AdWords ads, or sales letters in the organic search results, are “A” or “B” prospects.

It’s a loaded question.

In some cases the people who respond to AdWords ads or sales letter landing pages are “A” prospects – they’ve recently purchased what you are offering.

But in my experience marketing online since 1994 – the majority of people who respond to ads are “B” prospects.

It’s hard to “rent” legitimate, legal, permission based; opt-in email lists for “A” prospects. And believe me I know….I’ve been working with email lists for more than 15 years.

However, it’s fairly easy to buy advertising or purchase “piggybank” promotions on opt-in email newsletters or related media.

It is MUCH easier to find and rent direct mail (postal) lists of “A” prospects (recent buyers). In fact, it’s a multi-billion dollar business. Google “top buyer list brokerages” and see for yourself.

Specific Examples

Three of the hardest items to sell in this economy are cars, boats and homes.

But, people are doing it.

Bob W. in Los Angeles CA is one of the top Toyota salesmen in the country. Granted, the parent dealership has several prime locations, ads running and billboards.

But all of the salesmen have this advantage. Bob maintains an “A prospect” list of recent auto buyers (2-5 years) in his zip code, and he also rents lists from different brokers. Bob retains professional copywriters to craft sales letters and offers to bring people into the dealership. Bob closes a lot of sales because he focuses on “A” prospects.

Terrell G. lives in Miami FL. He is an independent boat broker, and moves millions of dollars of product…even in the current economy. Terrell swears by the power of the “A” prospect advantage. Terrell lets other people, brokerages and salesmen deal with “B” prospects. Terrell spends 90% of his time working, consulting and closing “A” prospects.

Larry D. is from Chicago IL. He specializes in selling condos and “hip” apartments downtown. Larry maintains an in-house list of more than 3,200 recent condo buyers (2-5 years), as well as “A” prospect referrals from other brokers and friends. Larry sells millions of dollars of properties every year while others struggle. The secret is focusing on “A” prospects.

Closing Online Sales

Most entrepreneurs build websites, stores, social media, Facebook Fan pages and almost everything else with things that are important to them.

However, as we’ve seen a powerful principle applied on Amazon, Google, Zappos, Walmart and other high-traffic, high-converting and high sales websites. These sites are built from a buyer’s point of view.

There are other things involved like graphic design, simplicity, ease of ordering, intuitive websites and great copy.

But, when you build a website THINK and ACT like a buyer, not a salesmen, or an entrepreneur.

Ask yourself, “What can we do to really help the buyer or visitor to our site”?

This Question Has Stood the Test of Time!

 “What can I do to make this work for YOU today”?

This question is an age-old trick employed by used car salesmen, and many others.

And on the surface it might seem cheap and degrading.

But it’s not!

What Can I Do To Make This Work For You Today?

I’ve closed more than fifty million dollars in sales in my businesses over the past 30 years. This so-called used-car “pitch” has helped me more than any single thing.

When you ask someone what you can do to make this deal work for them, they will usually respond with an answer (if they are a qualified prospect).

The answer should help you craft a wonderful proposal, deal or offer……so you can close the sale!

Most salesmen are concerned with themselves, not others.

This question, “What can I do to make this work for you?” puts the burden on your prospect. If they really want what you are selling they WILL respond.

Granted, some prospects will respond with a ridiculous answer, such as “Yeah, I want $5,000 knocked off or I’d like it free”.

But these types of answers are rare. Most “serious” qualified prospects will respond with an honest reply. Then, it’s your job to craft an offer or proposal with the BUYER’S DESIRE in writing.

So now we come back to where we started.

The secret to closing a sale is having qualified “A” prospects.

An “A” prospect is someone who has purchased what you’re selling (houses, boats, cars, gold, carpet, furniture, web hosting, or advertising… doesn’t matter).

In addition, an “A” prospect will have done so recently, and for approximately for the same price as what you are offering, and ideally several times.

A “B” prospect is someone who is very interested. They may have responded to an advertisement, website sales copy, a TV commercial or many other things.

But a “B” prospect has NEVER purchased what you are selling.

In order to close a high volume of sales I think it’s a good idea to focus on “A” prospects.

When you have qualified “A” prospects simply ask them (in person, on the phone, in an email, on a website or in a sales letter) what you can do to make this work for THEM – today.

When you start to apply these secrets you’ll be impressed how powerful they are in your business.

This is my secret to closing sales (online and off).

Please visit my blog for updates and humorous insight on business.

Your friend,

Marc Charles
My Blog: AskMarcCharles

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