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Market or Die Part II: Life-saving principles that will make a massive impact on your business

Market or Die Part II: Life-saving principles that will make a massive impact on your business

January 20, 2011

Last in a 2-part series

Last week, I introduced you to 4 of the 7 marketing principles every business absolutely must follow. Today, I'm about to reveal the last 3.

After more than 20 years of marketing, I’ve found that these 7 principles work in a good economy, bad economy, for start-ups and for companies that are looking to breathe new life in their marketing.

If you missed last week's column and the first 4 principles you can GO HERE to get them now. Ignore any one of these and you do so at your own peril! So once again, I give you these warnings not to scare you but to impress upon you how critical they really are. So without further ado here are the rest of the principles you must follow...


Principle #5: Reverse the Risk.

The more you can reduce the risk in the buying decision among your customers, the more you'll increase sales. The key is to understand what's holding your customers back. Is it price? Quality? Durability? Then address their concern in your guarantee.

When people buy from you their risking their money on your promise. And every prospect is asking themselves, is it worth it for them to take that risk?

Reverse the risk so they don’t have to feel like they’re taking a chance. That’s the power of a guarantee.

But, like everything else, your guarantee must stand out. Just about everyone offers a money-back guarantee so what do your offer that will make it easy for your hungry fish to say, “YES!”

When Rick Alden, founder of Skull Candy, started selling stereo headphones he wanted to sell them through untraditional channels such as ski shops in Utah. But retailers were worried that they would buy new merchandise that wouldn’t sell. So what did Alden do? He gave them a guarantee. If any headphones didn’t sell, he’d buy them back. Result? He’s now doing about $25 million in sales.

Here’s the key: Understand what’s holding your prospects back from taking action with you and then position the guarantee that solves their concern.

For one of my launching programs, for example, I understand clients’ concerns about spending thousands of dollars on coaching. So I promise them that our services will give them a 10:1 return on their investment or I give them their money back. So if they spend $20,000 with us, we guarantee that their investment will be worth at least $200,000 as a result! Oh, and I leave it up to them to determine whether the return they want is sales, gross profit or net profit. There’s no fine print. Do you think that gets people to contract with us? You bet it does.

So what big bold promise can you make in your guarantee? What can you promise in your guarantee that will make your offer a no-brainer?


Principle #6: Create a BIG ZIG

If there’s ONE thing you must do, it’s this. Create for yourself a Big Zig that screams, “I’m not the like the rest.” Your Big Zig is the one thing that makes you dramatically different from everyone else in the market so while they’re just zagging, you’re zigging!

Growing up in St. Louis, I never knew realized I would have seen the birth of Monster Trucking but that’s exactly what happened. Dave Chandler owned a truck parts store and to get people to notice the big tires he was selling he put them on his truck and parked it in front of his store for everyone to see. Everyone was stopping just to check out the tires.

So what he did do? He added bigger ones … and bigger ones … and bigger ones. 

Before long, he could barely drive down the street without hitting the stoplights. He was invited to show off his truck with its huge tires at the town fair where one of the organizers said, “I bet you could drive over an old beat up car.” He did just that and people loved it! And while other truck parts stores were doing things the same old way, he became known as the “Monster Truck Guy”and launched an entire phenomenon.


Principle #7: Give them a reason to believe

We live in an age where very few people trust each other. That’s just the way it is. So you must give your prospects a reason to trust you. And the best way to do that is to use one of the most persuasive words in marketing. You know what it is? “Because.”

That’s because as soon as I use that word, you know that your doubts and concerns are about to be answered.

Here are some examples:

  • We try harder because we’re #2. 
  • Because with a name like a Smuckers, it must be good. 
  • L’Oreal is more expensive but you’re worth it.


Notice too what each company did in the examples. They took a weakness and turned it into a strength. Avis always placed second to Hertz so it turned what most would consider a negative into a powerful statement about its brand. L’Oreal’s prices are higher than most of its competitors, but they too turned that into a positive about the quality of its products. Don’t be afraid to show your warts. People are actually more inclined to trust you when you’re willing to humble yourself and show your faults.

Be honest. Tell people what you won’t be able to do for them. For instance, one of the most viewed pages on our LumpyMail.com website is the one called, “Our Weaknesses.” We talk openly about the fact that Lumpy Mail may be more expensive (but it produces higher returns) and that it may not be pretty (but it gets noticed).

What are some of your weaknesses? Ask your customers what they see as your weaknesses. Then add the word because to the end of their statement to give them a reason to believe you.

Here are just a few examples: We don’t have the lowest prices because we want our clients to experience the finest quality. We aren’t the fastest because our customers take the time to enjoy our service.

Try one or two of these principles I shared with you to get started. Before long, you’ll be using all 7 and you’ll make a massive impact on your business.

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,


Jon Goldman, President & CEO 
Brand Launcher 
Center for Unstucking 
Lumpy Mail