How To Convert More Enquiries

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How To Convert Enquiries

Why do people buy?

“We get enquiries but we cannot convert them?”

Here is what I see and hear with clients all the time.

This will help you and will explain why most enquiries do not convert.

More important

How do you get them to convert?

You know what this year, the year of TRUMPLAND and BREXIT has created more issues you should address.

The biggest issue being that of FEAR and how does that ‘mass hysteria’ fear or the thoughts that go into the minds of the majority affect your sales – because it will.

So let me share a few things with you worth knowing.

First your customer has decided to buy what you sell a long time before they get to you. Think about it – you’ve done it yourself.

You see something, decide it's cool or perfect for what you want. This might be ages and ages before you go and buy. For example I decide to buy an IPad Pro the full size and full spec one. I made that decision maybe 6-months ago.

Have I bought it yet? No and that is because I will buy before we go over to our other home in the Republic of Georgia. Maybe a day or two be fore we leave I will go out and grab one.

Yet I have bought it in my mind already. I will buy from the person that gives me a good enough reason to buy from them.

But the point is this: I have already bought it in my mind.

Lets say for example you sell a program to retrain people leaving the Armed forces.

The person leaving the forces knows well in advance – maybe even a year before he or she is leaving. They start to plan their exit strategy for a new life.

They search for training courses or something that will help them. Now after search they know exactly what they want. They have bought it already in their mind.

There is nothing to say when they will order but they have bought.

My son is taking driving lessons right now. He is planning his first car. Everyday he sends me photos of vintage VW beetles. He is building up a mental picture of himself driving the car – even the colour of the car.

It might be a year before he buys.

In other words you do not have to persuade the buyer to buy as the buyer has already bought. What you really have to do is convince the buyer you are the right person to buy from and that means this …

DO NOT TRY TO SELL THEM ANYTHING.

If you do this will turn them off from buying.

Why?

Because they have already bought in their mind and they don’t want you to try and convince them otherwise.

What do they want from you?

How to increase conversions from enquiries.

The buyer needs to be convinced of your expertise, your authentic approach, your position as an expert in your service or products. They also want to know you will support them before the purchase, during the purchase and at anytime after the purchase.

The following two things have never been so important for buyers in 2017.

  • Certainty.
  • Distinction.

In an uncertain climate that we are right now people ask internal questions.

How will BREXIT affect me?

How will TRUMPLAND affect me?

This affects the mind.

This affects the buyer.

How certain are doing a transaction with your company?

Can you offer a level of certainty from during this uncertain time? You’ll be surprised how small this has to be?

How distinct are you?

How distinct are your services, products, staff or even delivery? Are you so distinct you are the one and only option when your buyer is ready to hand over cash for what they bought mentally months before?

I am a so distinct I will be the very first and only option?

So back to the enquiry to sales process.

It goes like this.

The buyer has a thought.

They think more about the thought.

The thought becomes a constant thought.

The thought becomes a want.

Thoughts of do I really need or want sometimes take place.

Once the thought is confirmed it takes root in the mind.

The purchase has been made mentally.

They research a supplier when ready.

They read the website

The ask questions.

They want answers

They want to be reassured.

They demand certainty.

They want a human touch.

They want a company that cares.

They want a conversation and don’t want to be sold to.

They simply want a good enough reason to buy from you.

So…

When someone gets in touch with your company ask yourself what is the reply or response?

  • No one buys face cream they buy youth.
  • No one buys a course he or she but a new life.
  • No one buys a Bentley they buy prestige.

If you try and sell them cream, a course or a Bentley … you will lose the sale because they have already bought that.

All the want is a good enough reason to buy from you and not your competition.

Do you need your conversion from enquiry fixing and would you like me to fix it for you?

I can train your team, I can put systems into place and I can make sure through careful tracking and measuring that you have all of this and more in place.

I can also offer breakthrough critiques and blueprints for your business.

It is the difference between converting and losing sales.

And you don’t want that.

I hope this helps.

You know where I am.

THE FIXER

Alan Forrest Smith

Advanced Marketing Training Here

Work With Me Here

Learn To Write Higher Response Copy Here

Ask Me To train Your team Here

Create An Alliance Partnership With Me Here

Success During Uncertain Times

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It feels like the world has gone mad.

It does and can affect us.

Somethings we cannot control and cannot stop.

Somethings we can.

There’s never been a more important time in history to take control of your life.

There are things we can control and cannot control.

  • BREXIT – we cannot control
  • ECONOMIES – we cannot control
  • TRUMPLAND – we cannot control
  • RISE OF POPULISM – we cannot control
  • TAXES – we cannot control
  • REDUNDANCY – we cannot control
  • RETIRMENT – we cannot control
  • DEATH – we cannot control
  • GOOGLE - we cannot control
  • And frankly the reality is you have no idea if your job will be around next week despite the appearance of all being well at work.

If you are in business this affects you.

If you are in a job it affects you.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Business Up Despite The Madness

Just recently a new client came to me. His new project was failing and had never really got started. His initial investment was pretty huge to say the least.

He had taken the usual routes I see time and time again.

  • Going to a social media company.
  • Hiring an SEO expert.
  • Using a web design company.
  • Blah blah blah and I’ve seen it all before.

Blind the client with science and get them to pay monthly.

Promise them everything knowing that delivery is almost impossible.

The results are results I see time and time again.

  • Nil
  • Zero
  • 0

Not a damned thing!

Now when a client comes to me he or she has usually passed through at least 5-6 different experts or consultants. I am in the eyes of some the most expensive yet the reality is I am always the best investment because of results!

The new client above - the project is new.

The initial changes can take around 1-2 months after careful research and checks.

Yet

I always like to make an impact early on using one thing I do with all of my clients.

In the first week of running a test for just three dollars they have had three enquiries. Now that isn’t bad when you understand the volume of money spent so far for ZERO enquiries.

Just wait until we get going.

Now getting going involves a lot.

It’s an overhaul of everything they have.

The layouts, the design, the words, the images, the presentation, the scripts to open and close a sale and so much more to be looked through, tweaked, critiqued and added.

Yet NO huge changes, just adjustments to what they already have.

It takes time but when you are making no sales or not enough sales, time is something you have plenty of.

And of course unlike many of these new social media ‘experts’ I never promise to do anything overnight as it takes time, strategy, tactics and using tools that actually work toy build a long-term business.

I Know This

Let me share a couple of things I do know and have seen time and time again.

If you have what you might call a business that makes no real profit that isn’t a business.

If you are turning over £3 million and still making no profit that isn’t a business.

If you have everything in place and are loaded to the top with investment and loans yet still not making a profit – that isn’t a business.

And if you think you are doing marketing …

If you are doing social media everything yet still have no clients that isn’t marketing

If you are focused on SEO and positioning in Google yet still have no page listings or still no sales – that isn’t marketing.

If you are old school doing direct mail yet get no results from your direct mail… why are you doing it?

If you are old school with guys knocking on doors yet still get no results … why are you doing these things?

Because here’s the best advice that less and less people in business take.

You do not have to reinvent anything. Sales and marketing are a process that has been tested despite the changes. It isn’t a one off event it is a strategic process that has to be planned out and carefully executed.

And that doesn’t mean rebuilding everything. Most of the time it means simply taking what you have, making changes, testing and refining until the process is in place for you to increase your sales.

Now there might be things we cannot control, you cannot control taking place in what can seem like a crazy world. Yet the reality is this.

When it comes to sales or marketing your business that can be very carefully controlled.

I am yet to meet a client that hasn’t been to many other experts before they arrive on my doorstep.

I am yet to meet a client who’s problems in sales and marketing I have never been able to fix.

I am yet you meet a client that has never experienced an almost instant impact from my work yet.

I AM A SHOW OFF - GET OVER IT!

And I don’t mind showing off

I have increased client’s sales by £15,400 in just 3-days.

I have increased a client’s sales by £42,000 in 12-hours.

I have created converting direct mailers that have previously failed into million pound best sellers

I have generated sales overnight from client’s website.

All by doing small things that carry more power than big things.

And if you know what an Atom is… you know the power small can have?

So we might not be able to control what is going on in this mad world yet we can control the results of of business and its easier than you might have been told by many experts.

You Can Do this

  • Plan your results
  • Use what is proven
  • Get tested solid advice
  • Put experts - NOT 'EXPERTS' in place
  • Dont be scared to change things if they aren't working
  • Stop what you're doing and take time to think.
  • Stop reading the news - it really doesn't matter to your business
  • Test what you do for results
  • Measure the results
  • Be in control
  • Get over social media - it really doesn't work for everyone.
  • SEO is dead unless you spend mountains of cash
  • There are many ways to skin a cat - or attract your clients - find out how.

If you need more results … You know exactly where I am.

Peace & success.

Alan Forrest Smith


Work At  Alan's Side

Take an advanced direct marketing course

Get Breakthrough Advice

Visit my office

Think Big

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From Desk Of: Best Direct Marketing Consultant, Alan Forrest Smith

Do You Think Big - Bigger Than Most?

What you are about to read might just be for you.

This page isn't written to persuade you. If you are of the right mind, you think big and demand results, you will know in seconds if you should keep reading.

BEST FOR

This is best suited for you if …

Entrepreneur already hitting £500k but want to hit their first few million plus!

Organisation that needs their team to be kicked up the backside and sued into a direction that delivers results!

Can you answer YES to the following?

Do you understand that marketing is a process NOT an instant fix? Yes/No?Have you researched demand for your product? Yes/No?

  • Have you researched demand for your product? Yes/No?
  • Have you a list of hungry buyers? Yes/No?You have a great product that won’t demand refunds? Yes/No?
  • You have a great product that won’t demand refunds? Yes/No?Does it look good, packaged and packed well? Yes/No?
  • Does it look good, packaged and packed well? Yes/No?Is it well made? Yes/No?
  • Is it well made? Yes/No?Have you your sales systems in place? Yes/No?
  • Have you your sales systems in place? Yes/No?Have you a support system in place? Yes/No?
  • Have you a support system in place? Yes/No?You have well-planned strategies in place? Yes/No?
  • You have well-planned strategies in place? Yes/No?Have you at least half a dozen ready-to-go tactics? Yes/No?
  • Have you at least half a dozen ready-to-go tactics? Yes/No?Can you
  • Can you back-up great copy with great service? Yes/No?Assuming you have done that and you have all of that in place I will work with you! Yes/No?
  • Assuming you have done that and you have all of that in place I will work with you! Yes/No?
  • Do you need You need more sales Yes/No?You need more customers Yes/No?
  • You need more customers Yes/No?You need more profits Yes/No?
  • You need more profits Yes/No?You need some advice that is going to bring you a return on your investment. Yes/No?
  • You need some advice that is going to bring you a return on your investment. Yes/No?Are you happy to work on a 12-month contract? Yes/No?
  • Are you happy to work on a 12-month contract? Yes/No?

WORK WITH ME - 12-MONTHS!

Work with me over 12-months on any project you need to be a success

  • Faster
  • Easier
  • Low-risk
  • Proven strategies
  • 100% results measured and driven

You get a recognised world-class thinker.

World class strategist.

World class writer.

And a world-class consultant that is regarded as the consultant to consultants.

I'VE OUTPERFORMED

  • I've outperformed full blown marketing teams time and again on strategy and results.
  • Written copy from scratch with literally jaw-dropping conversions (as high as 63%).
  • Created email campaigns that have blown phones off the hook (from one call a day to 17 an hour)
  • Built from scratch online strategies, sales funnels and leads going into the Millions (Just under seven million for one client from start-up).
  • Delivered performance numbers that have been nothing short of miraculous for clients (I'd call a 2,300% increase not bad).
  • REAL NUMBERS

And some numbers from the past few decades have looked like this

  • From 0 to 47% response.
  • In increase of 2,300 in sales
  • 53.4% turnaround in 4-weeks
  • £90,000 in sales from a single email
  • £1.2 million in sales of cars from a very simple direct mail strategy
  • £42,000 in sales overnight for another client after tweaking a sales message
  • And
  • Creating direct mail since 1991
  • Ad campaigns since 1989
  • Web marketing since 1998
  • Email marketing since 1999
  • Training others since 1996

And

BRILLIANT MIND

Experts like Jay Conrad Levinson thought I was the best at what I do... brilliant ideas, brilliant results!

If your marketing team are driving you crazy, costing you a fortune because of a lack of results.

If your copywriters are failing to convert and persuade with weak writing.

If your numbers are way shorter than you'd ever have wanted in a perfect world.

PERFECT FOR YOU THE BIG THINKER

This offer could be perfect for your company.

And according to my track record, it'll probably be the

Most creatively profitable move you'll ever make with your direct marketing and results.

Work with me personally over a 12-month period on any project you need true expertise on.

A SIMPLE INVESTMENT

The investment is simple and a round figure.

£100,000 gives you 12-months with me at your side.

  • 50% down
  • 50% monthly over 12-months

Keep reading ...

HIGHER DIRECT MARKETING PERFORMANCE

What do you get?

You get my higher direct response marketing mind a proven expertise in things like conversions, fine tuning for results and even more.

Any day, any hour, anytime you need an expert like myself to get things fixed.

Any travel has to be covered.

First class travel.

First class hotel only.

Now is that a lot of investment?

No, and I'll explain why and why you know it isn't a lot.

I'M NOT STAFF - I AM YOUR DOOR TO RESULTS

First unlike staff, I don't need to be babysat and goaded to work.

When I'm in I'm in. I give it what you deserve and I deserve and if that means 24 hours a day of sweating blood sweat and tears that's what I do. I do that now for

Myself and will do the same for you.

And it might sound like a lot of cash yet if you have read this far I know your team right now that are costing you a fortune are not delivering the results you want.

I work on some very simple dynamics that I'll happily explain over a phone call but not on this page.

This is what I call THE AFS METHOD.

The first thing I will work on is getting back your initial investment with myself. This way the pressure of off for you and of course it's off for me also.

Once you have your initial investment back we work on the next parts that are designed in a pure and simple way to create a dramatic increase in conversions, sales, campaigns, leads or the outcomes that we agree on.

I think you'll find working with me at your side will be a very different, very direct and very profitable experience for both of us.

  • I make you feel good.
  • I make you happier with your results.
  • I give you the numbers you want.

And this way you'll not only want to look after me but you'll never want to let me go at the end of our first contract together.

Now I know this isn't a message full of the smaller details but if you are the right partner you'll get that because I don't tell any of my clients what I do unless we speak over the phone or face to face.

Once we speak we can cover all the details.

And of course, you might not want to work with me and frankly, I might not want to work with you so let's talk first.

The first chat over the phone is free. The next meeting will be more depth and face to face. Probably it'll last the day. I do charge for this time but the fee comes off any future Invoice.

And if you pay this fee and we don't work together you'll get enough from my mind on the day that you'll be able to use and profit from I guarantee that.

Should we talk?

All you need to do is call me at my office In the UK, Manchester 0161 928 8328 or text this number with this word... GENIUS... and we will arrange a call back asap.

Now I'm going to close this with some honesty. Clients can drive me crazy these days. More and more want dramatic results for nothing. Honestly, my track record, my 31-years of knowledge, my sharp insights, my response is driven skills and my all round genius are worth millions upon millions in sales to the right client.

I'm too old and too wise to play negotiation games. I won't be treated as an employee and you will have to do as I request otherwise I might fire you!

This is strictly only for you if you absolutely refuse to settle for any less than the results you demand.

And look at this

As an external expert, you don't have to

  • Get me a car
  • Get me a phone
  • Get me this
  • Get me that
  • And hope and pray I'll deliver.

With me, you are hiring a cutting edge, a breakthrough business experience that could very easily change your results.

I CAN ONLY THINK BIG AS MY TRACK RECORD PROVES

Conversions, turnarounds, numbers... if there is a way I will find it and put it on a silver plate for you guaranteed!

Again should we talk?

Do not get in touch if you want to negotiate me down or feel you can persuade me on future profits.

If you feel deeper inside that I am the right person but are not quite sure, I am probably the right person and we should talk.

If you feel I am far too in your face, over the top and arrogant- you are correct but I won't be the man for you.

This is for a serious business player only that has the ability to think big.

Only that is looking to dominate their market built on the back of real results!

IF YOU ARE AS BIG A THINKER AS YOU SAY - CALL ME

Should we talk?

  • Tele: 01619288328
  • Text: 07793069486 - send word GENIUS

I'm not sat by the phone so will probably not answer it right away.

Let's talk soon.

Time served results-proven direct marketing expert and consultant.

Alan Forrest Smith

ps. this post isn't meant to try and persuade you in any way whatsoever. It is for the right person the demands results. If you need to know more about I do your homework online. you'll see I am well respected and well known in many areas of direct marketing.

Pps: More results and what others say can be read here

Direct Mail Works

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Should You Use Direct Mail?

Yes.

Yes because it works.

This morning in my mailbox I had direct mail (letters) from Amazon, Apple, Google and PayPal. I have had letters from other web companies. It’s also not uncommon to see these guys using TV more than ever to keep you in the loop.

Keep reading because this will help you.

I also want to share this with you; my most successful clients ALL use direct mail. Direct mail is in a surge right now.

Are you using direct mail?

Why you absolutely should be using direct mail every week.

Recently I had a client that wanted to contact someone. That someone would be their biggest client to date if the client could be contacted and a deal closed.

My client had emailed her target numerous times over a 6-month period with no reply. They had sent them Facebook messages with no reply. They had found people who knew them and asked them to contact them with absolutely no reply.

She asked me this one question.

Alan how do I get the mobile number of this client so I can at least speak to them.

My reply was this.

Use Direct mail.

How?

Clearly, I’m not going to reveal the exact process right now but what I can share is still hugely valuable.

Let me be clear here.

I am talking about using paper and envelopes or another packaging - NOT email as some now consider email as direct mail - IT ISN'T!

The direct mail is part of a carefully constructed system of direct mailers.

Every word in the mailer is carefully chosen, trigger loaded, buzzword based and is what I call conversation focused.

That means the start, the middle and the end are all superbly coherent fused and masterfully put together for one thing and one thing only – to get a response.

There is more.

The envelope, the stamp, the cover deign, the cover notes, the layout and design of the mailer, the delivery option and some other secrets.

Also, there is more.

The response mechanism at this side, the script, the conversation, and the call to action, the emotional reaction and tone of the response and is the response by phone, email, SMS or messenger?

There is even more.

Every direct mail needs to consider things like, call-outs, hand notes, jonsons boxes, hand -written notes, font choices, factoids and more.

And there is even more.

The delivery of the initial promise, the follow-up and any other physical reaction to being carried out during the system or campaign.

Back to my client's direct mail.

So I helped and consulted and advised on a campaign that initially had five direct mailers. The number five had been based on certain criteria after research had been carried out on the target.

The mailers had been designed and laid out according to what we felt (we don’t always know) would or could work.

Just one day after the direct mail went out my client had received an email.

The email had a thank you and a mobile number and a time my client was to call the person that responded!

A result!

Why is direct mail going through a resurrection and resurgence?

Think about it and you will see the answer is very simple. The noise from email, social media and other imagery and words is so great now its very hard to get heard. Yes even social media and the web can be highly targeted but when you realise estimates can go as high as 20,000 marketing messages pass through the eyes of the average person daily you really have to do something different.

I have a client that took just over £6,800 from a single direct mailer that cost him just £2 to run. I have other clients that have generated well into the millions using just direct mail. I even have another client at invests just over one million euros per month on direct mail.

Why you should use direct mail today.

When direct mail is done badly or wrong the results can be zero. If the results are zero this can be a loss for you

Direct mail works. It’s direct, it's focused, it massively profitable and will give you many more times conversion than any email will.

I myself started using direct mail around 1993/4 and used since. I have a huge track record with very successful, highly profitable direct mail writing and strategies.

Help with your direct mail campaign?

  • Fix your direct mail campaign?
  • Consult and advise on your direct mailers?
  • Create a powerful direct mail campaign
  • Put together a killer strategy for your direct mail campaign using almost 30-years of my direct mailing experience and working with some of the biggest direct mailers out there?
  • Would you simply like me to critique your campaign and mailers?
  • Would you like me to refine your headlines for your direct mailers?
  • Would you like me to create an irresistible offer for your campaigns?

Or if you are the type that believes they can do every area of expertise yourself and simply want free advice my advice is this.

Start direct mailing as soon as you can.

Research well and create a kiler strategy based on tested and proven formula.

My second bit of advice is this.

Never do it yourself – you are not an expert in all things. Be brilliant at what you are good at, hire experts.

You know where I am.

Alan Forrest Smith

Breakthrough Consultant

PS. Read more useful articles

How to Create Fliers That Sell

Creating a simple, targeted sales letter

47% Response Direct Response Marketing Sales Letter

Direct Mail and Selling Cars

The Parrot Escaped

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The Parrot Escaped!

When I get up in the morning and head for breakfast I always sit in the same chair.

It looks out onto large trees. The bird noise in the morning is pretty deafening. It’s funny how I can identify the birds from the songs now. Now and then I can see a red hawk as well as all the usual pigeons, crows, and other none exotic birds.

Today when I sat down I heard a screech that I have heard before but never heard here. When I was young my father kept parrots and other birds. They have a sound that is very piercing and very loud.

So when I heard the bird noise this morning I immediately thought of a parrot. Yet we don’t have parrots here, they don’t survive alone in the wild.

I grabbed my binoculars as I could see a large bird on the tall birch tree in front of my apartment. There it was a huge green parrot sitting at the top of the tree making a racket!

Here’s the thing.

It has clearly escaped captivity.

It now has to survive.

It can only survive if it adapts and adapts very fast!

It will have to do something different. It’ll have to eat something different. It’ll have to play wild until it becomes wild. Its life has gone from comfort to survival it just doesn’t know it yet. It's still overwhelmed by the fact it is free, flying around and maybe for the first time in years it’s able to stretch its wings and fly across opens space. There he goes, from the top of the tall silver birch to the large 40-meter conifer.

Last night he was probably in his safe little cage. Today he is flying truly free as a bird.

I can’t see him now.

It got me thinking, though.

There are times in business or in life when things happen very unexpectedly. If we fail to adapt our business or our life flow just withers and dies.

Recently with the UK leaving the EU I’ve seen and heard some really interesting comments. Comment son TV and comments on the streets.

A change arrived that no one really expected. That change cannot be unchanged. The truth now for anyone in business, anyone thinking about business or anyone that is now feeling free is this.

An adaptation or evolution or change has to take place in the way you do things. If it doesn’t take place there could be a negative effect.

Now some will sit and wait for something to happen.

Some will take advice and not work on the advice they are given.

Some will even try some new advice and never go beyond trying.

Yet the world is changing, the world has changed.

There is nothing we can do about things out of our control but are we looking at the things in our control?

Someone said to me the other day

Alan, you’ve really changed since we first met.

Now we first met over 30 years ago so how could I be the same?

Every cell in my body has been replaced and is replaced every 7-years. The only old part of me is my memories; the rest is renewed and refreshed. My whole being has gone through 7 full body changes since I birth.

That means, of course, I have changed.

That also means you have changed.

For example, you might have run marathons when you were 21-28 years old but that doesn’t mean you can run them later in life. You have to adapt always.

Like the green parrot on the tree today.

Now I am no prophet but I do know that if that parrot fails to adapt it will be dead pretty quickly.

Yet the parrot has a secondary problem to overcome and it is this.

Deep embedded, repeated routine that is harder to shift than the deepest stain on the whitest sheet.

It has never had a life outside a cage. It has never had to find its own food. It has never had the habit ingrained by its mother on what food to choose. It has never found its own shelter.

This really is a change or die scenario.

A very long time ago a group of parrots found freedom in Windsor England. It was said they would die very quickly die.

Surprisingly they didn’t. Not only did they survive they thrived to the point they are a nuisance in some areas.

How do they survive?

They changed their behaviour.

Now listen up close because I am going to say this once for you.

If you are struggling to the point that the changes you need are not coming if you fail to change your behaviour you will not survive.

You can only survive through change.

Sitting and thinking about it changes nothing.

Sitting and moaning about it changes nothing.

Walking around looking at your feet change changes nothing.

Running the same marketing campaigns that have already proven to fail for your business changes absolutely nothing.

No change means no change – it’s as simple and as uncomplicated as that.

I’ve been doing some cool stuff that is stripping back layers and getting into the core of what works.

Works in life and works in business. Some of the results have been pretty astonishing, to say the least.

We can talk about that if you get in touch.

I hope that parrot survives. I am a fan of the underdog, the rebel and the non-conformist. I always gave been. Maybe that is because most of the happiest success stories I see are those that ride against the wave of the norm.

I like the idea that the parrot feels free, he is happy and he has escaped the confines of a caged life.

Part of me wants to catch the parrot and save him.

Part of me wants to let him go and see if he works out his own future.

Life’s like that.

We work it out and are happy doing it.

We struggle and cry and wish our life were the life of someone else.

Either way now and then it’s possible we all need some help.

As always you know where I am.

Here’s to a life thriving, thriving and prospering.

Alan Forrest smith

Catch me here

Iconoclast Collective OrangeBeetle 2nd Floor 213 Ashley Road Hale Cheshire WA159TB (Above Thornley Groves Estate Agency)

Tele: 00 44 (0)161 928 838 (office hours) Text: 0044 (0) 7793069486 (text anytime any day) Email alan @ orangebeetle.com

Old v.s New School Direct Marketing

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Old School vs. New School or

FUSION MARKETING?

Old school marketing is using sales reps, cold-calling, flyers, and anything else including FAX machines to spread the word of your campaign.

New school is email, social media, websites and anything else that flies through the web in or even out of the office.

Old school is seen as expensive.

For example here, is an actual case study.

Old school team wages

  • £65,000 - £115,000 for a marketing director
  • £24-£35,000 for other members of a marketing team.

It isn’t uncommon for me to go and meet a team of twelve people working in a marketing office or suite.!One client I have was spending over £230,000 on wages for his marketing team.

One client I have was spending over £230,000 on wages for his marketing team.

Direct mail can cost as low as £1 per letter or as high as you want to go. I worked on one direct mailer that cost around £25,000 to send 10,000 letters. I also worked on another that was costing over £1,000,000 per month.

If you take the back of a Sunday magazine and place your advert there it will cost you around £70-£100k for a full-page glossy advert.

New school is seen as cheap and fast.

Email to click and send – free!

SMS to click and send – free!

Social media free to set up!

Web pages can now be free to set up!

And most of the time you don’t have to have a team you can do it all yourself.

What would you choose old or new?

The truth!

Why is it I see and meet more old school marketers that are rich and successful and many less online marketers that are hardly making a penny?

The reason is simpler than you might be thinking and then I will tell you what I prefer and advise you to do.

THE WEB PROBLEM

Web marketers usually try to do everything themselves. They sit with laptops in cafes, on a sofa or even on a beach (how they do that with sun glare is beyond me) and try to do everything themselves.

They can email endlessly, SMS to death and more yet the reality is most web marketers that I have met over the past 2-years and more struggle to make ends meet.

Why?

They fail to work out some very simple formulas and data.

  • Return on investment
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Breakeven vs. lifetime value
  • And the biggest cost of all – time!

If you have no idea what your time is worth you’ll run around like a headless chicken trying and hoping something will work at some point.

Most online marketers believe that if they simply keep throwing it out there something will come back in.

Here’s another critical thing to think about.

  • Not all of your targets are on Facebook
  • Not all of your clients like social media
  • Not all of your clients use email
  • Not all of your clients feel good about SMS into their space.

Coke a cola invested a year's marketing budget into social media rather than old school media they have been running for decades. The result was a 5% drop in market share. For a company as large as coke that was huge. They now stick strictly to what they know.

Recently I did a trade show in Manchester. There were over 7000 businesspeople at this event. Almost every conversation was the same and went a little like this.

We use mostly Facebook and LinkedIn. When asked about results again the response was mostly the same… not good!

At the same event, I spoke to a guy that does just direct mail and nothing online. I asked him about his results and his reply was similar. He told me his response was very good, business was just fine but his costs for marketing were just far too high.

So what’s the answer?

It’s easier than you think but it needs you to have a re-set of your mind and marketing actions to make it work.

FUSION

I call it FUSION. It’s always been part of my AFS METHOD and has proved itself time and time again for my clients.

Let's take a step back a little.

You can send a simple direct mail/flyer/postcard to a home at a low rate. It can start with a number as low as 25 houses. This is what I call part of a seeding strategy and a warm-up strategy. It’s also very old school. You would send a number of these, not just one! One send will do nothing!

After the campaign starts you then support that with a more guerilla style campaign. What does this mean? It means you need to get more information about the household so you again set up a way to do that using old school guerilla style marketing.

Once that is in place you can support this with a more visual marketing in the local area. This can be done through THE placement of Ads where your marketplace will see these ads. They must be very simple and direct using triggers and buzzwords that apply to your customer.

Hang on in here don’t stop reading I will explain everything and why it applies to your business in a second.

At the same time, everything you do is fully supported with an online campaign using proven Facebook tricks and other social media tricks that have already been tested to work. There is more but I don’t want to complicate it for you right now.

Recently we ran a campaign for a client using just that very method. Everything was tested and eventually put together in a fusion campaign supported by my AFS METHODOLOGY. Not only were his results good his response went up by 1,700% in a single day! He was happy because not only was his failed marketing for the past 2-years now fixed he was also making money.

Let me share a short story with you about a client that was so fixed the results for him were disastrous.

This client had cash from investors. The investors were Russians. These guys are tough. They asked and paid for my advice. I put forward a plan for them that would do the following.

  • Use low cost-high-return guerilla marketing
  • Create a distinctive USP that really did stand out
  • A fusion plan that had been carefully planned through for cost and return
  • A system that put their core message back into the minds of their buyers

And so much more

They had invested 4-weeks of my time into this plan.

At the same time, I didn’t realise they were also talking and asking for advice from an ad agency.

The agency put together a very predictable plan.

Focus on the logo/brand and do as much social media as possible. They would buy likes and hire cheap labour in the Philippines to post content daily.

I was dead set against that whole plan.

A solid return on investment hadn’t been worked out

An acquisition cost hadn’t been thought through

No consideration of any kind of outcome was in place. They were simply told that they would get the message out there.

They asked my thoughts and I told them blunt it is a plan with failure written all over it.

Why?

They had failed to plan and hence planned to fail!

18-mothns later I received and email from the director. He apologised for what happened at the time and told me the company had folded and that he wished he had stuck to my directions.

The problem is this.

They were too fixated on a single plan of action and the world of marketing is now very different.

You have to be smarter, you have to be clever, you have to think, you have to plan and you have to minimise risk. Never before has the opportunity to so that been greater.

Are you doing fusion marketing?

Are you stuck on trying everything and anything online?

Are using just cold-calling?

Are you knocking on doors and doors only?

Are you running the same ads for the past 3-years just hoping they might work?

Are you doing just one email every month and hope that email will get sales?

Whatever it is you are doing today you need to get smarter.

The world has changed and the world of marketing has transformed.

Yes, Facebook might be telling you how to take your business to market in a step-by-step fashion. Yes, Google is doing the very same.

Yet are they showing you how o get smart, how to position, how to close deals, how to create scripts, how to build trigger sequences or how to sit and strategize and put together a smart fusion system that is measured and capable of actually increasing your sales?

The future of marketing is very different from just old school or just new school. Truly it even goes beyond fusion. The future of marketing is built around very careful smart thinking that we supported by planning, systems and testing.

If you like the idea of working alongside and installing my AFS METHOD into your life and business you know how to get me.

And just so you know.

Here at Orange Beetle I am making some huge changes to keep in harmony with the marketplace. Those changes include my fee or your investment with me and I can tell you my fees won’t be going down quite the opposite.

So now is a golden opportunity to either work at my side as a mentor protégé, have me rebuild or fine-tune your entire marketing systems or have me leverage what you have to give you more of what you need.

Do you want me?

You know exactly where I am.

Just in case.

Tele: 0161 928 8328

Text: 07793069486

Direct Mail Vs. Email

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Direct Mail Vs. Email

I’m the first to admit I rarely check my mailbox. When my wife and myself get home she will tell me to open it and hand her the mail.

So does direct mail still work?

Today I got two direct mailers. Nothing unusual in that of course but what might sound unusual is both mailers were from two mammoth online companies that have tens of millions of visitors each and every day.

Amazon was one and the other was Google.

Both letters were addressed to me personally.

Letters had vouchers, offers and a small brochure. Both letters had a time limited offer.

I took up the offer in Google, after all, it was a cash voucher we can use in our business. Amazon was for their TV channel. I don’t need that.

A client called me recently. He told me he was already doing direct mail. He wanted to know how to increase his response.

We spoke over Skype for one hour but what I quickly realised when he said direct mail he meant direct email. Maybe I’m getting old!

I told him that isn’t real direct mail. He replied well it’s all the same but we don’t waste paper.

I asked him how many emails he sends? He told me around 50,000 each day. I asked what is the response rate? He told me he had no idea, the list was bought and he hoped for a sale or two.

The truth was he just kept emailing the list until people said stop emailing me!

So what is better email or direct mail?

First here’s a few numbers I www.DMA.org.uk

It’s pretty enlightening, to say the least.

[START]

E-mail - is fast, quick, low cost and research shows people prefer it as a method of communication when they know the organisation that is contacting them. In 2013 average open rates were 19.6% (consumer products faired better at 25.4%) and a unique click-through rate of 16.9%. Only 3.0% of those who received the e-mail actually visited a web page and that generated an average response rate of 0.12%. Where you have a relationship with the individual results improve and the top performers had an open rate of 38.6% but 25% of e-mailers only achieved 7%.

This data shows that e-mail can and does work but the sheer volume of clutter in people's in-boxes, shows that e-mails are great at communication mainly if the recipient knows you.

However setting out to build a business and generating new enquiries is far more difficult due to low open and response rates and the difficulty in sourcing good quality e-mail lists.

Direct Mail – 100% delivery, 56% of people believe that printed marketing is the most trustworthy form of communication, 66% of consumers keep their mail for over 2 weeks. Even in a digital world direct mail gets 44% of recipients to go your website. Average response rates are 4%. Overall 7% of receivers will take some sort of action.

Research undertaken at Bangor University looked at how the brain reacts to printed material versus virtual stimuli. The “real” experience that the physical media provides means it’s better at becoming part of memory. It generates more emotion, helps to develop more positive brand associations, the materials have a more personal effect, and therefore aid motivation.

[END]

Interesting stuff right so that takes us back to the question why are Amazon and Google – two companies that rule the web now taking things offline with TV ads and direct mail?

It’s real easy and I will simply copy & paste again … ‘The “real” experience that the physical media provides means it’s better at becoming part of memory. It generates more emotion, helps to develop more positive brand associations, the materials have a more personal effect, and therefore aid motivation’

So here is what I’ve personally found over the 18 years I’ve been doing both email and direct mail.

Email is getting lost in all of the noise. Yes, you can email and hope someone will open and read and even better … act on your message but it is certainly never been harder to get a business built purely on email.

Think about it.

Facebook, Instagram, snap chat, browsing favourite websites, endless push notifications and more. The electronic web is giving your mind and your customer’s minds a real beating.

Amazon knows that. Google knows that. That is why they are upping their direct mailings because it works.

  • More response.
  • More opens.
  • More leads.
  • More sales.
  • The perfect thing with direct mail if it is targeted is this.

Most will open quickly and then put to one side to sit and read over a coffee. They will hold on to the mailer and read again more than once. They will put it on their desk and only after a couple of weeks if no action is taken they will throw it away.

Email most of the time is deleted without actually opening the email. There’s nothing successful about that.

Direct mail might be more expensive to produce but when you break down the numbers it is still highly profitable and way more responsive than email.

Email is free.

One piece of direct mail is a minimum of £1

0ne thousand emails are free

One thousand direct mailers can be £1000

Yet ...

The huge difference in response rates, open rates and sales outweighs any cost because the reality is there is no cost just a very healthy return on investment.

There are other things I love about direct mail in relation to email.

I have a system for converting and pursuing one client (or a few clients). Those clients will be worth far more than 1000 clients yet the cost of converting the few can be so tiny in relation to the return on investment.

So it can be used as a laser sharp business tool almost like a sniper rifle. One target, one aim and one client to convert.

Direct mail can also give you the edge in a world that has slowed right down with direct mail in small business and in a world that is hell bent on emailing everyone and anyone.

There are huge lessons you and I can learn from Google and Amazon right now. I know of the planet's most successful companies have gone back to direct mail isn’t that telling you something?

Here's 30-thoughts for you to chew over on direct mail vs. email

  1. Grab a coffee
  2. Sit and relax
  3. Feed your mind with good examples
  4. Brainstorm the campaign
  5. Get your targeting right
  6. Work out the acquisition cost
  7. Workout the lifetime value
  8. Work out your offering
  9. Create a stack system
  10. Understand the client mindset
  11. Work out the buyer’s path
  12. Hire good writers if you don’t have one
  13. Hire good advisors (this can save you tens of thousands)
  14. Create a strong angle for your message
  15. Make your offer irresistible
  16. Take your offer to the very edge
  17. Work out the packaging, envelopes and anything else for the mailer
  18. Know your breakeven
  19. Know your costing’s
  20. Work out your worse case scenario
  21. Work out your best-case scenario
  22. Understand direct mail isn’t a one-off hit it’s a long-term campaign
  23. Understand it will need momentum to build
  24. Be committed to a slow start just in case you have a slow start
  25. Be committed to testing your campaign
  26. Make any changes as it runs
  27. Do you have a back-end or follow service or product?
  28. Do you have a funnel in place?
  29. Do you know exactly what you want from this campaign?
  30. There are more questions but I hope what you’ve read here is enough to get your mind thinking into action.

Never forget the big boys know what they are doing. They set the way for marketers like you and me. We simply have to take apart their campaign and redesign them for our own campaigns.

Will you do that?

If you need help here are a few numbers I can share with you.

  • Neil – 11% conversion
  • Steve – 33% conversion
  • Rob 47% conversion
  • Neil – 83% conversion

ALL from direct mailers.

I have created literally dozen upon dozens of hugely successful campaigns over the years. From water filters to windows, from cars to shampoo. I’ve also been creating direct mailers since 1991.

If you need a respected, trusted and prolific advisor, mentor, consultant or copywriter that can put together a winning campaign for you - you know exactly where I am.

Tele: 00 44 (0) 161 928

Text: 00 44 (0) 7793 069 486

Email: alan @ orangebeetle.com

Or come over to my office and speak to me face to face. Here's the map...

Lets talk soon.

Breakthrough direct marketing consultant and specialist

Alan Forrest smith

 

 

Direct Marketing Training

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We Offer The Very Best Specialist - Advanced - Premium Direct Marketing Training Anywhere in The U.K.

Bespoke - Day Rate - Specialist - Advanced - Guaranteed

We only offer Direct Marketing Training to entrepreneurs and business that demand EVERYTHING and refuse to settle for OK. We do not offer OK training at OK prices.

  • Are you happy with your team results or now demanding more?
  • Are you happy with conversions or just know you can hit higher?
  • Are they getting the leads and sales you urgently need or do you feel they are missing something?
  • Have you had enough of just ‘OK’ marketing and now want everything from your efforts?

Orange Beetle Trainers (including myself) are now visiting teams like yourself and offering advanced, conversion, lead-generating, copywriting, positioning training, online training, offline training and more.

It’s the kind of Direct Marketing Training you won’t get elsewhere and I will tell you why.

We don’t just share ideas, we only share what we have been using in our own businesses to make our own businesses work.

I don’t accept OK here at Orange Beetle. If it fails we don’t use it. If it works we run with it like crazy.

So it’s tested and tested to death until we see a work or fail. I don’t accept OK.

For example you might have been told to simply start posting all kinds of stuff on Social Media because that content will bring your business. Your team is doing that but the results don’t show.

10-Minute Video Gives You Almost The Same Detail On The Page -YES That is the ever eccentric "brilliant" Alan - We do everything different here and it reflects in our results.

[video_embed name="dmtraining"]

We don’t and would never advise such bad, cheap, haphazard marketing.

We advised one client to stop all of his social media until we set up tests.

We tested two images against each other.

One image got four clicks.

The second image got over 240 clicks.

The result went from no bookings for his event to over 300 bookings - in just ten days!

Guess which image we advised they use?

We will show your team how to fine tune all of your Direct Marketing Training, test everything, refine everything or in other words… throw ‘OK’ marketing out of the window and start delivering you results.

And me personally; I started marketing 32-years ago. Today I love online everything and have tested just about every online system you can think of from Apps, to iPhone marketing to websites, SEO and just about everything else.

I break every rule because every rule is already broken - most just don’t realise it.

Now...

I’ve added a few numbers below for you. They are all numbers from real clients. They are also numbers we can certainly help you or your team to hit.

First, here is just a small part of what we can offer you or your team.

  • Specialist Direct Response Training for Higher Response Direct Mail Mastery
  • Specialist in email or online marketing
  • App training
  • Advanced iPhone marketing
  • Higher conversion training specialists
  • Online mastery training (NOT JUST SEO)
  • Hundreds of ways to grow your business faster using proven strategies
  • Specialist Copywriters program - writing for higher and direct response
  • Positioning a company from A-Z in crowded marketplaces
  • Onsite training available - I will come to you
  • Powerful direct marketing retreats available in our training centre
  • Unique up close and very personal training centre in Hale, Cheshire
  • Bespoke direct marketing programs available
  • Powerful direct response marketing training for struggling marketing teams
  • Over 31-Years Experience
  • Loved by experts and those that want faster growth
  • Everything shared is field tested and proven to work
  • And more...

Far More Cost-Effective Than Hiring Another Marketing Expert (Min £63k per annum) That Yet Again Fails To Deliver

We can now offer team your marketing team or staff specialist training on higher response direct response marketing?

You can send your marketing guys, copywriters, strategists, managers or anyone that has any control on parts of your business for specialist higher response training.

We Can Come To You Or You To Us!

When you see results like this it becomes pretty obvious.

  • Sales letter still not working? I will fix it. One letter I created a BREAKTHROUGH that went from zero to sales of £1.2 million
  • Direct mailer getting zero response? I took a miserable campaign, reduced the costs, reduced the mailers and created a 47% response rate.
  • Web pages not converting? I helped one client hit over £5 million in sales in a single month from his website after his sales were locked into a cycle of no increase.
  • Can’t you get your offer right? I changed just 12 words on an offer. Despite the previous, campaign not selling the client went on to sell just under $84,000 in new sales.
  • You’ve no idea how to position yourself as the best and only option? One client, I worked with in Scotland on positioning went from unknown to the number one in her field.
  • Is your strategy no-strategy? That’s fine almost no business I have ever worked with has come to me with a strategy … that’s why you come to me.
  • Your lead funnel is none existent? Last year I worked with a client in the legal business that went from 3 leads a month to over 250 each month.
  • None of your media appears to be working? Again this is common. I have fixed so many campaigns that it’s impossible for me to list them all here for you.
  • BREAKTHROUGH: Like the salon owner that increased her salon turnover by 53.4% in just 4 weeks (but actually increased her cash in her drawer the day after we met)
  • BREAKTHROUGH: Like the printer that generated over £42,000 in sales from a single email after we re-wrote his email messages to his list ( this guy was almost bankrupt – after our breakthrough, he generated over £2 Million in sales over a year)
  • BREAKTHROUGH: Like the promoter that struggled to sell seats and slashed over £100,000 from his marketing budget only to increase his sales by over £800,000
  • BREAKTHROUGH: Like the security company that went from 1 lead a day to over 17 leads per hour. The phone line went so crazy they called and asked me to switch off what I had switched on.
  • BREAKTHROUGH: Like the lawyer that increased his leads from 3 a month to over 330 per month! (He then went out and got himself a Rolls Royce as his reward for his new breakthrough.
  • BREAKTHROUGH: Like the consultant that went from as good as no sales to sales of over £74,000 in sales after her breakthrough. She also went from £20 per hour to £250 per hour
  • BREAKTHROUGH: Like the Yoga teacher who’s sales messages couldn’t sell a thing to selling out classes with one class taking in over $117,000 from one campaign

We can help you to transform current campaigns or plan new campaigns . Everything your team learn is time-tested and always built with proven direct response strategies over the past three decades and more.

And We Show Your How To - Test Everything DIRECT RESPONSE MARKETING

Again a handful of bullets on subjects we think you'll want to know.

  • Direct response marketing training intensives
  • Online direct response strategies
  • Social media direct response strategies that turn into sales
  • Lead generation building using stealth strategies
  • Brand impact and placement tactics
  • Targeted message-to-market
  • Powerful core messages
  • Masterful direct response copywriting that works
  • Keyword-driven direct response words
  • How to create perfect offers that get the click
  • How to build direct mail campaigns that really do work
  • How to closes sales the direct response way
  • Web pages that sell the direct response way
  • How to create irresistible sales letters that sizzle (and sell)
  • How to create funnels with webinars
  • Everything guerilla marketing
  • And so much more from my 31-years of direct response marketing
  • AND...
  • We can train up to 30 of your team in our large writer’s room
  • We can train a dozen in our Pompeii room
  • We can offer mastermind and brainstorming intensives
  • We can offer one-on-one mastermind sessions
  • We can offer writing for sales intensives
  • You can hire our rooms and resident experts and myself to train your customers
  • We can offer any kind of bespoke direct response specialist trainings for your guys.
  • You can send one person for a day.
  • You can send 7-people for 7-days.
  • You can even work one-on-one with me for the duration of any campaign or for a longer period as long as 12-months

We Are Waiting To Train Your Team

Alan himself has over three decades of specialist experience and training experience offline and online. He has also worked very closely with some of the world's very best in direct response marketing.

Our team of experts also have decades of proven experiences in the world of direct response marketing.

In recent years I have created and been involved in literally dozen upon dozens of web breakthroughs with some clients sales going into the millions, leads going from zero to well over 300, sales of hundreds of thousands of email campaigns and strategic positioning and campaigns all from the web.

I have similar numbers for offline campaigns especially direct mail.

In other words – I/We at Orange Beetle have more to offer than most because most just don’t have the business experience, direct marketing experience or life experience.

We are NOT trained to be trainers - we are direct response marketers ourselves with some huge numbers under our belts.

How Much Is Our Direct Marketing Training?

  • For Alan: £14,000 Per day for a team of between 3-12. I can do more at an increase rate.
  • For Orange Beetle Trainer: £6,995 Per day for a team of between 3-12. I can do more at an increase rate.
  • Extra day rates can be agreed at a reduced rate.
  • Date to be agreed.
  • A 50% deposit books your place
  • Payment must be made in full a minimum of 7-days before your training.
  • We offer no money back guarantee
  • We do offer some of the very best, most advanced, most results driven Direct Response Marketing training in the U.K.

Is it really worth the money?

This is an investment based on a value exchange return on your investment. I expect your results to reveal the outlay is a fraction of your results.

Well you can hire myself for the whole year at a feee of £150,000 plus royalties or you can hire myself or my team per day?

The big benefit of hiring us on a one-off fee is this. You pay once and get skills for life. It's a no-brainer for anyone that takes their business results serious. I think you are one of those otherwise you wouldn't have read this far.

All of my team are trained by myself and are experienced marketers. I do not use interns, newbies or anyone that has no business experience.

Location?

You can come to us. We hire training space for the training. Manchester or locations within manchester to be agreed.

We can come to you anywhere in the U.K. Travel, food and accommodations costs to be met. First class trainers like us always require first class travel, food and accommodations if required. To be invoiced (and agreed).

Are You Ready To Start Ramping Up Your Results With a Stronger Approach Direct Marketing Training?

Is this an opportunity staring you in the face right now? Can you afford to miss it? You send your people and I will give them the skills they need to create huge sales for you. It's that simple.

I know you’ll want to know how much and more detail. All of my work is bespoke and built around your budget and business problems that need to be solved so it is best we talk first with no obligation and then let's see what we can do together.

Here's What To Do

  • Tell us what you think you need from Direct Marketing Training?
  • Tell us your number one problem?
  • Tell us your current strengths in marketing?
  • Tell us your weaknesses?

Send an email or call us direct (details below)

Let’s talk with no obligation and see if we are a fit. If we are we can start working out a deal that suits us both as well as strategy, tactics and a way forward to fix your results, conversions and your business.

  • Tele: 00 44 (0) 1619296902
  • Text: 00 44 (0) 7793069486 With the word TALK
  • What’sApp: 07793069486
  • Viber: 07793069486
  • Email: alan@orangebeetle.com
  • Skype: orangebeetle

After this we will create a bespoke training package for you built around real-time direct response, current thinking, results driven and tested solutions.

I guarantee your team will be blown away with our training.

I also guarantee it'll be the best investment you make into your business. I can say that because that is what my own clarinets tell me time and time again.

To your success through our advanced direct response marketing training.

To even greater success through better, stronger and proven Direct Marketing Training at it's best.

Alan Forrest smith

NEWS: May 2016 Iconoclast Collective & Breakthrough

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NEWS ICONOCLAST COLLECTIVE & BREAKTHROUGH:

Getting asked to feature on a Canadian TV show. Enquiries and ventures with the biggest property experts in the UK. First ever direct mail campaign with astonishing results. Over 37 new people through Iconoclast Collective

This month we have had

  • Sellers of the finest Indian Silk garments outside of India
  • A large cosmetic company
  • A writer
  • A Journalist
  • Hair salon owners
  • Data Management Company
  • Consultants
  • Copywriters
  • Business management teams and more

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They arrived by plane and some spent 21 hours from start to finish on Breakthrough. Others by train and car.

Photos are on the Orange Beetle Facebook Page - Link below.

They came from the top of Scotland to the very bottom of England. Yorkshire, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Devon, London, The midlands and more. In total 37 Breakthroughs have taken place in our new space in May alone with a couple more still to arrive.

We have had people just walking in to talk. We have had the phone ringing time and again and yesterday we had an enquiry from one of the UKs’ biggest in their field on training programs. So what we thought would be a slow start has been pretty explosive to say the least and tomorrow we have another 12 guests into our training rooms for a full day of change and breakthroughs.

One breakthrough entrepreneur has transformed her business habits and actions in 24-hours only to continue her new habits. Her results are coming in. After a long time trying and getting nowhere she now has her first major enquiry after her breakthrough day. That might not sound much but this is her first in well over a year!

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Another breakthrough entrepreneur that was chasing new customers has now discovered how to increase his business this week by creating a breakthrough-marketing stack. This can be started right away and frankly I’m dying to see their results!

And one more has discovered a way to increase her business by 30% in a single week (yes you read right) and then with a target of 50% over the following four weeks. Now after seeing 37 clients (strange as 37 is a number that is always in my life) not only did they learn a thing or two but I also learnt a ton of stuff about the marketplace today.

One is a major and disruptive problem you will face, are facing and might be involved with right this minute.

MISINFORMATION OVERLOAD or MISINFORMED PSUEDO EXPERTS!

The No.1 problem I am seeing in my offices is misinformation or overloaded minds that are taking in so much information they are no longer able to make any progress forward. This is a massive problem and I will tell you why.

Misinformation stops results It slows business right down It costs a fortune in loss and missed sales It kills marketing results It deflates business leaders It stagnates and even ends businesses

Here’s how.

Online it is more than easy to sound like an expert. It is even easier to look like an expert. An incredible website can be created in less than a couple of hours using a cheap online service. Words are easily copy and pasted from books or other websites and then presented to look like their own. You really can look a million dollars very easily and very quickly yet think about this.

They might look and feel and sound like an expert but once they have passed over to you their very limited expertise it usually stops there. Follow up support and changes are usually based on guesswork as this is outside what they know. For your business this is dangerous and when your home and family are being supported by your business is it worth the risk?

Cheap advice makes about as much sense as cheap medicine.

This is interesting: If I had to put a number on it I would say 95% of new entrepreneurs that come to me have already seen or spoken to at least FIVE ‘experts’! Most of them go to the experts based on one of two things. 1. Persuasion. 2. Price. Yet both results are the same and that is a lack of results.

I find that interesting reflection on the age we are in. You see as a man in business myself I have my own priorities. Those priorities being that there has to be cash in the drawer every week otherwise why am I in business? My business has to bring me happiness otherwise why am I in business?

I spoke to a client during a breakthrough. She had invested over £2 million into the fixtures and fittings of her business over the years. The past year and a half she had taken on expert after expert after expert to help her grow her business. Her results were not only a huge drop in business for that year but a huge spend in cash on useless expertise. This isn’t uncommon and this past month has made me super aware of the rampant-ness of misinformation.

So I am going to be blunt and explain why you should come and visit myself at Iconoclastic Collective.

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First I am an expert with all the medals real experts carry. I started in business at 10-years old. I have faced and fixed every business problem ever thrown at me. I have been in the grown up business for over 31 years. I am also the choice of experts for EXPERTS. A huge portion of my expert clients are seen as experts in their fields.

They come to me not for more expertise but for breakthroughs based on what works not on what might work! That might be fine tuning and adjustments rather than a business rebuild. I have been flown around the world fully paid first class to help experts build the business. In fact once a Jewelers flew me all the way to Melbourne in Australia to advise and direct him with a breakthrough. While I was in the first class lounge waiting to fly home he called me to let me know his breakthrough had netted his business over $30,000 over night and this was the start of a new venture. It wasn’t new it was simply his breakthrough moment.

How does breakthrough work?

A

Once you arrive at my offices we sit in my studio and talk about you, your life and what you need for your business right now. We look over scenarios like, problems you have and the fastest most effective way to smash through them carefully and quickly using my proven 31-years of experience and my powerful AFS methodology. This includes things like things like leverage, stability, growth and innovation. All are clearly based on more sales for your business. All are also based on bringing in more cash fast so you can have the business you truly deserve.

Does a BREAKTHROUGH work?

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for today, my mind is buzzing and I can't wait to take it back to the salon, I know the girls will love it and get on bored as soon as they know they can get what they want too :) it's a win win! You were both great and really helped me figure out what I needed to do to get to where I want, thank you very much again and I look forward to May 2017!

Many thanks Carrie

I have crossed many mentors but there was something magical about you---both my partner and I share the same thoughts-- I honestly did more work in the last 5 days -- got more clarity and focus --- I worked from my brain as you told me---that advice changed everything kept me focus.... They say the only regret is not trying--- for somewhat reason you were the icing on top of the cake! I am proud today because I tried to put things together --regret that I didn't find you earlier but I guess things happen for a reason.

“Alan I mean this from the bottom of my heart. I was introduced to Alan by a friend. My business is based within the creative industries and it took hard work, determination, blood sweat and tears to establish my business, as the leading creative market leader in the UK. I have clients travelling from all over the world for my training courses and it’s amazing to wake up every morning, knowing that I can service my clients from the rich and famous, TV shows, celebrities and billionaires. Of course bringing in high end clients take a lot of time and effort and it got to a stage where I needed to get back to my goal of reducing my working hours and increasing my family time and that’s exactly what Alan has helped me to do. I’ve worked with Alan on his VIP mentoring day on a one to one basis, great lunch and company for sure. From my investment of £10,000 and amazing copy provided by Alan, I’ve confirmed a £12,000 client, two £7,000 clients in one month, that’s a total £26,000 in one month, so I’ve already got my investment back!

And the beauty is I can use the same strategy over and over again to bring in new high end clients. Alan is very strategic about packaging and leveraging your existing skills and services. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business there is always room for growth and expansion. I love the fact Alan is so down to earth, listen guys his clients are turning over millions of pounds however Alan is so open and honest with the truth, makes you feel so comfortable, he gives so much thought and care to your business. If you are ready to grow your business, first you need to step out of your comfort zone about investing money into your business, I can assure you if you follow his recommendations you will not be disappointed. It takes a lot of courage and strength to keep going however you can make your journey easier by working with experts and Alan is an expert in his field so go ahead and make your decision to have a chat with Alan today. Alan, I would like to thank you for being so open and supportive in the next step of my business, it’s going to an even more amazing journey than it has been so far. Thank you again.”

Neelam Meetcha Author, TV Host, Creative Expert Neelam Meetcha – Fabulous Gift Wrapping Expert TV Host, Author and Speaker

"I have been working in and for a number of desparate businesses over the past few years without having any specific or clearly defined goals or strategies and Alan helped me to find my focus. Following the session, it became apparent to me that bringing together my prime contacts in the fields of media, property and self-development to their mutual benefit would be the best way forward. I can now see that providing compelling reasons for people working across different business genres to work with each other is what networking is really all about, rather than 40 individuals awkwardly swapping business cards across an impromptu breakfast table as they wipe the croissant crumbs off their collective chins. In short, Alan has provided me with the clarity and coherence I need to be a facilitator and my mind has been uncluttered as a result. You can't put a price on that."

Andre Mcinnes, Consultant and Writer

Some More Powerful and Business Changing BREAKTHROUGHS

  • Sales of 5 million in a single month – Previous campaign failed to deliver anything
  • Sales of 15,400 on 3-days – 5 weeks of previous marketing and no sales – £15,400 rose over a week to sales of around £60,000
  • Sales of 1.2 million of cars from one direct mail campaign – marketing costs slashed, sales went through the roof – new stock sold-out! Sales of 485k from a single campaign – huge edit and critique of a webpage that had previously sold NOTHING!
  • From no leads to 17 paying per hour – breakthrough phone script and email funnel system put in place
  • From no new clients to over 400 from one campaign – The client had to stop this campaign due to massive volume of enquiries
  • Sales of just over 800k from one simple system – This breakthrough actually saved the clients marriage yet built an empire!
  • Sales of £7,300 from one letter – had never used direct in the past! This results came the day after the mailer went out Sales of £90,000 from a single email – This was just 3 sales of a high-end product to a tiny database
  • Sales of 2.1 million – This guy was desperate and on the verge of bankruptcy when we met. His initial results was £17k in 12 hours!

And I could go on and on but I won’t otherwise this letter will be the size of War and Peace! Yet all of the above had one thing in common and it was this…. All had tried a lot of different marketing, tactics, strategies and advices All were desperate for a a transforming BREAKTHROUGH

Most despite knowing me for years tried the cheap options. Those cheap options proved to be the most expensive options All realised very quickly I was the lowest investment and yet highest return on investment they had for their business from the day after their BREAKTHROUGH - See more at: http://www.orangebeetle.com/breakthrough/#sthash.WE8iY7R2.dpuf Some More

If You have had enough and are ready for a breakthrough contact me right now.

If you’ve ready this far you have an issue that isn’t being solved and hasn’t been solved yet. It could be many things, marketing, message to market, positioning, direct marketing, how to do this or do that in a way that works?

I am yet to come across a business problem that I haven’t been able to solve and solve fast. So the chances of not being able to solve the issue you have right now is almost zero. So just before you book your time we will speak over the phone and if I feel I can’t help you I will honestly let you know it isn’t what I can help you with.

How much will a BREAKTHROUGH cost?

Breakthrough costs NOTHING – Not SINGLE PENNY.

My number one priority is to return back to you any penny you spend on BREAKTHROUGH through the new sales or breakthroughs you have. Your investment back fast as goal has never once failed and only fails if you do nothing with the breakthrough I give you. Not only will I make sure your breakthrough works I will make sure you see returns that you will only ever have dreamt about.

Like the client that came to me with 3 leads per month and finally hit over 300 leads each month. Or like the client who had endless failed campaigns only to run a campaign that pulled in over £485,000 in just under 3-weeks after his breakthrough. Or yet another client that was total unknown in her city to becoming the number one choice in the city through some incredible smart positioning again after her breakthrough.

  • Full day BREAKTHROUGH - £5,000
  • Half day BREAKTHROUGH £3,000
  • One hour BREAKTHROUGH £1,200

All BREAKTHROUGHS are 100% bespoke to you and your business. I can offer quotes for breakthroughs for any period of time required from one hour to one month or more.

Payment terms are flexible including barter exchange and partner alliances in profit. I do not work with anyone without cash advance so please do not ask for free work based on future profits only.

What will you do?

Life is a choice. What we eat today is a choice. The car we drive is a choice. Success or failure is a choice. Misinformation is absolutely the number one killer in business today. It arrives through emails, through Facebook, through social media, in seminars and a ton of other places. It is not only running rampant it is killing businesses.

If you’ve had enough, if you feel you need to fast track your success, if you feel you can push things out but are not sure how call me right now.

Breakthrough works.

I have seen it so many times with my own eyes; it really can work for you, your company, your team and your business sales as a whole. Not only do you need more sales and success you probably deserve it after all you are the on that has invested so much. Now you can take a day out, visit my ion my HQ in the very prestigious Hale in Cheshire where it isn’t uncommon to see a handful of the rich and famous from TV and certainly the highest amount of famous premiership football players you’ll ever see in one area. Rooney and his wife were being hounded by the paparazzi just the other day here.

We have 3 meeting rooms, all are private and any information you share is confidential o Clients have come to see me for breakthroughs from as far as Namibia, Auckland, New Zealand, Singapore, Los Angeles, Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland, Melbourne, Sydney and many more places. Maybe they know something you don’t, maybe this is the perfect time for you to get in touch with me and lets get your business a breakthrough that will change things. I am now taking breakthrough bookings for June and July.

May has been booked out solid and it’s looking like the next two minths are heading the same way. I do have spece with your name on it. Get in touch now and lets change things for the better for you.

Thanks for reading.

Your breakthrough expert

Alan Forrest Smith

P.s don't forget to subscribe to our Facebook to see updates and photos and even live feed from BREAKTHROUGH or other events over at ICONOCLAST COLLECTIVE

Breakthrough17

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BREAKTHROUGH No.17

How does your customer think?

When I was a hairdresser I discovered this very early. If I asked my clients do they want a cut and blow they would simply say yes. They were never thinking that way at all they were simply going through the process in response to my question.

When I started to say to my clients, ‘when is the last time you changed your hair?’ the response was over whelming to the point that I had to create a while new service, pricing and take on more staff to cope with the huge influx of new clients.

So I discovered something and it was this.

When you think like the client thinks you tap into something very different, more direct and the client then begins to relate to you on a deeper lever.

In modern marketing waffle terms they call this engagement (like it has just happened).

You see when a client is at home they stand and look at the mirror and say to themselves, ‘I really want to change my hair’ but they are nervous of getting into the conversation because they are not sure where that conversation will lead and it could lead to an unexpected outcome. Hair isn’t a disaster for one day it’s a disaster for 2-3 months. So whatever the conversation a client or customer is having with themselves or friends is what you must tap into.

So whatever it is you are selling you have to think like the customer thinks, speak how the customer speaks and slip into the conversation that is already taking place.

How can you know that?

It’s easier than you think.

For example Apple buyers love to have the very latest at all times. They watch the live updates; the launches and they want to know the detail way before anyone else. So the conversation they have is this.

Revolutionary All New iPhone 7 Arrives Midnight April 1st

A headline like that will have a line half a mile long (at least) of fanatics doing anything to get the cash to order a new iPhone 7! Why? Because the conversation is all about the latest gadget and being first to own the next new thing. That is the buyer mindset.

So if you need to sell more you need to also sit down and ask the break through question…

‘Do we think like our buyers think?’

And then ask and write down…

‘How does my customer think?’

  • Create a list of words – I call them buzz words
  • Create a list of paragraphs
  • Crate a list of wants
  • Create a list of needs and then ask the simple question…

Does my customer actually say these things and are these things a want or a need? You need to know they wants and needs of customers as they change in almost every generation. So what you think your clients really need probably isn’t the reality today.

Once you know and tap into how your customer thinks you will see changes that will breakthrough results that maybe you aren’t seeing right now.

If this helped you please leave a comment below.

Love, peace and success.

Alan Forrest Smith


 

My Best Selling BREAKTHROUGH IS HERE

 

Misinformation Overload

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MISINFORMATION EXPERTS

One of the biggest threats facing business owners like yourself today is the massive distribution of relentless misinformation.

And it’s rampant.

Here’s why and why you should be careful. It can cost you a fortune. It can close your business. It can lose you sales.

For example.

In the year 2000 I had mastered Search Engine listings for my early websites. If you typed in the words

  • Copywriter
  • Copywriting
  • Consultant

Just my website and 2-3 others would appear. That was the option to choose from.

Type it in today and you will see that there are almost TWENTY ONE MILLION websites now trying to sell you services as a copywriter.

Now the following is based on what I see and know based on conversations with clients and ‘experts’.

Some will say more is good.

Others will say too much choice is just too much choice.

Others will ask how the hell do you find what you are looking for out of 21 million websites all saying the same things.

This should help you but lets understand a couple of things first.

Writing copy or giving advice is a dedicated skill. It isn’t just about words as I will explain.

I started writing copy around the year 1985. I had to write to get sales into and through my new businesses after I had been fired again.  I listened very carefully to the words people would use when thinking about my services. I would carefully walk through the mental process of my buyers. I would think about every word at every stage of the buying process. I would then list words in no particular order until I could see in front of me strings of words my targets would use.

I had single words. Group words. Sentences. Fear words. Calming words and just about every type of word I pulled together after very carefully picking through them during my researching.

Beyond that I would then use the words and paragraphs until I found what would and would not work. That could, can and does take real time from any day. So it was practice and trying a lot of different things. I soon found out what did and would never work. The science and art was coming together. That starting process took years (not days or weeks). My early advertising was very effective due to trying everything in the real world, on the front lines of daily business.

By 1995 clients had started to ask me who wrote my adverts for me? When I told them I was asked if I could I write for them. I started writing for clients using proven formulas I had learnt over the previous ten years.

Twenty years later in 2005 I had created copywriting for clients all over the world with some pretty spectacular results going into the millions.

Thirty years later I have tried just about everything in copy. I’ve seen all the failures and a ton of successes.

And it isn’t just myself. People like Bob Bly, John Carlton, Michel Fortin and a few others who are at the very top of their game all have long time-served experience behind them in this business.

Yet I can count on both hands the brilliant copywriters I would share admiration with.

And copy is just one aspect of business we are talking about.

So that raises a real issue for you as someone that needs help and advice for their business using words, messages, tactics, strategies and copy because I have seen a problem rise to a level where it is now absolutely out of hand.

Here is the problem.

MISINFORMATION ARMAGEDDON

In the past a client would come to me for consulting, business and help with sales in their business. I was usually the very first port of call. I have observed that is no longer the case.

When a client calls me he has usually tried 2,3 4 or many more ‘experts’ before he gets to me. That same clients has also usually spent a small fortune to those ‘experts’ so that when he finally gets his invoice from myself he has spent not just 5 times more than he used to spend but has lost a fortune in time and lost sales. One client I met had spent £22,000 on advice that lost him what he called ‘hundreds of thousands’ in sales. This isn’t uncommon these days.

So the web has created a huge problem for you as a business person that wants more success and it is this.

We have seen the massive rise of the guru ,the rise of the expert and the rise of those that claim to know everything but simply outsource what you need to someone across the world hoping you will never notice.

And there is an even bigger problem.

How do they get their education and expertise?

A huge majority love the idea of being a recognised expert. They read a book, read another book and then rather than have real experience they simply sell what they have read. That isn’t a good thing for you because you are not a simple formula from a book are you?

Now some might say I also read books and became an expert doing just that.

That isn’t quite true.

I have been writing and creating business solutions and results since 1985. I have tried, tested and can confidently say that I absolutely know what will not work which also means I know what will work for you. Because I have sent out tons of direct marketing, I have had to get myself busy time and time again. I have had too give my clients results time and time again. So what I share with my clients isn’t just a book its real experience from real business as well as recognised expertise. And of course this isn’t really just about me, this is about the difficulty you will have finding a real master these days.

But Alan these guys are so cheap compared to someone like yourself?

Listen cheap medicine is cheap but I wouldn’t take it would you? As I said earlier most clients that now come to me have usually failed with maybe five ‘experts’ already. That isn’t the fault of you the client that is the sole responsibility of the person that faked their way into your bank balance.

Now there is one more problem and this is huge. A book that an ‘expert’ will use will tell them a system or a way of doing things. In my experience that cannot work and here is why.

Every business is unique. Every target marketplace is unique. Every business has its voice that should be maintain or created. Every buyer has a way of thinking that buyers from other business don’t think. You cannot learn that from a book. You have to test things, experience things, try things until you get the mix right.

But when you work with an expert that has already worked in 400 industries over a 31-year period you know at least they must know what they are doing otherwise they would have been out of business a long time ago.

So the following is a list of things that will help you for sure weed out the imposters that earn a living misinforming and destroying business like yours.

And yes they do destroy businesses like yours. I have seen it on many occasions where bad advice has led to disaster.

So here is a checklist in no particular order of what I would personally look for in a consultant and what you should look for. The list is in no particular order.

  • Honest
  • Ethical
  • Service driven
  • Lots of social proof
  • Good strong traceable testimonials
  • Years in service
  • Skill set and how they got their skill sets
  • Client list
  • What kind of big promises do they make
  • Guarantees if any
  • Years in business
  • Comparable results with your business
  • Impressive stats
  • Friendly
  • Accessible
  • Support
  • Do they understand data
  • Have they direct mail experience
  • Do they understand copy to core message sequencing
  • Can they explain triggering?
  • How do they feel about ‘memes’?
  • Do they have their own REAL business – in other words not just selling expertise but experience?
  • Do they know what leverage is?
  • Do they understand innovation and when to innovate?
  • How many tears experience online and can they show results?
  • How do they feel about old vs. new media?
  • Why is their fee set the way it is set?
  • Are they open to any other form of payment?
  • Can they give a time frame on results?
  • Can you see yourself working for them as a long term relationship?
  • So misinformation is a real problem today that is only going to get worse.
  • And play around with any questions you feel you deserve an answer to before anything is started.
  • Once you decide whom you would like to work with do this.
  • Make an initial enquiry and see how you FEEL about the response from the consultant or expert.
  • How was the email written? How did your phone call go? Do they sound as though they know what they are talking about?

The feeling you get will reveal more than the actual response.

Once you feel good about dealing with them make sure you have your list of pre-written questions and be very blunt when asking them … “do you have the answer to this question?”

How much should you pay them per hour? Personally I wouldn’t care as long as the return on investment is worth the payment. I have bought books and spend months learning from them.

The books have made me tens of thousands in sales but it has also taken me months and months to learn the new skill. Today I simply pay for the information to be fast tracked into new sales.

It really depends on how much you value your time or how fast you want success?

You do want faster success right?

These are very dangerous times for people like yourself that are looking for good advice. Just be careful, do your homework and tread very carefully before you make any huge commitment to anyone.

Has this helped you?

Please leave a comment at the bottom or share or like so I know how you feel.

Heres to more success for you.

Alan Forrest Smith

Business Breakthrough No.9

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BREAKTHROUGH 9: "Do you have the expertise needed?"

I am yet to consult with a company that thinks they have the expertise but their results prove they don’t have the expertise needed to get results!

So to create a breakthrough you must be honest with yourself and truly ask the question ‘do we have the expertise needed?”

Not all that long ago I went to see a guy about a car. I went to see him because first I wanted a car but second they kept sending me letters for trucks of all things.

When I called in he asked me how I heard of him? I told him that he keeps sending me letters for trucks but I told him I don’t want a truck I want a car. After we sorted out the car I told him what I do and what I could do for him. He was interested and I liked him so we chatted and I offered him some advice as I was buying the car from him.

Now it is very hard to give advice to someone that thinks they know everything. Especially when the business we are talking about has been there for over 30-years and handed down from  their father.

The advice was very simple. This was breakthrough advice because he had told me they just send and hope to sell. That's what most businesses do.

When you do a direct mailer the most important things are as follows.

Make sure the person you mail has in interest in what you are selling – truck drivers - trucks.

Make sure the letter speaks as the prospect is thinking – New truck.

Make sure the letter has buzzwords built in – New truck - I need a new truck.

Make sure the letter has a trigger – Drive home this week – easy to pay!

Make sure the letter has a call to action – Five only, call us right now but be quick!

But there are two things that are more important than any of the above and this is the breakthrough for him.

I told him ...

You are not experts so hire an expert or employ an expert.

Create a database that has several sections so each target ie. Truck buyers, sports cars buyers, saloon buyers etc can be targeted easily.

Stop playing games with your business, stop wasting money and time by hiring an expert.

So he did everything I told him because he realised after our conversation sending thousands of mailers out in the hope that someone would react was foolish and causing a lack of business rather than a flow of business.

His business breakthrough was this.

I wrote a series of direct mail letters for him.

I created a target database for him by segmenting his data.

I created a campaign and strategy for him that was more targeted and much simpler. This slashed his waste costs.

The breakthrough result was his best ever sales of around £1.2 million of new German cars from a campaign we ran over a 3 week period.

And of course I got my new car.

So breakthrough No.9 is an easy one to remember.

You can’t be an expert at everything so hire an expert in what it is you need. How do you know what you need?

It's a problem that needs solved that has been there for a long time and isn't shifting.

In his case the problem was a lack of results over a long period of time.

Breakthrough No.9... Hire an expert!

If this has helped you leave a comment below.

To success and a good life.

Your friend

Alan Forrest Smith

Email Secrets

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If you are a copywriter, want to be a copywriter or write emails for your business you'll find this interesting, exciting and hugely valuable. Seriously if you can't see the value you are in the wrong job! Read very carefully, every word is true!

Not too long ago I started a project that I wanted to really just keep under the radar. It’s a copywriters project that I actually emailed you about. Finally I took on MENTOR Protoge that I can nourish and grow and expand in any directions.

The finances behind this project are to take this average copywriter into the multiple hundreds of thousands.

It feels the difference here is everything and anything I tell him - he does exactly as I say! If he doesn’t I kick his ass and then he does.

The first week he worked under my wing I taught him how to DOUBLE his invoicing and use positioning to do that. That first job he took on the rule was simple - charge DOUBLE what you usually charge.

How and why? Well the how is our secret for now but the why is all about value, perception and vision.

Right now his identity remains a secret but we will reveal him as time goes on along with his results.

Today I simply wanted to share his email to you (with his permission) that he sent today.

Let me set the scene.

He has an email he always sends to new clients or fresh leads.

I asked him before he sends anything always send to me and I will show him in-depth how to and why to re-write his emails for response.

By the way my track record for response emails is still and has been for years at around 100%.

So he sent me his email that he sends.

We re-wrote that email from the ground up and as always I asked him to explain to me the difference between his and mine.

If you are a copywriter or someone that writes and sends out emails I think you’ll find his reply extremely revealing (as did I).

The value in his reply to you as a reader cannot be over estimated. Don’t just read it devour it.

Now before I sent this to you I have to admit I asked myself does this reveal a bit about my thechniques and persuasion as I know you are possibly a client or a possible client. That made me feel a little uneasy about sending it because I wondered would you feel I am persuading the sale rather than just talking in logic and service.

Then I thought about it and realised well this is what I do because it is what I have always done for my clients. No persuasion just a service offer of the highest calibre in mind.

So with that in mind,

Enjoy

------------------------- Hi Alan

Here are my observations on the re-write, as requested:

Why this is better than original proposed reply:

You thank them for getting in touch but also remind them of what they got in touch about - their project - so they know what you’re replying and referring to.

You are reaffirming that THEY have a choice of copywriter and that they have made a great choice in you (me)…. this is a way of reassuring them they are making a good decision. Psychologically that will make them feel good.

You set out your position as an expert straight away through…. saying you are “highly sought after” (which, even if they don’t know you, implies you must be good. People don’t like to feel they are missing out so it also seeds a “I want what those people are getting” idea in the mind) making reference to the work you’ve already done in THEIR field of work. Positioning yourself not just as an in-demand copywriter but one who knows this business really well (“working deep inside..”) you can offer them an inside track on what works and what doesn’t (which is always appealing because it infers that you can save them time and money by doing it right first time round).

My reply is quite general and does not position myself either as expert or specialist in NLP/coaching field

You place some doubt in their mind (“what most people think does work can be the worst thing for your business”) about whether what they think is right IS right…then reassure them it’s OK because YOU know how to get results.

You use a bit of flattery… “This is where you’ve made a smart choice”, which will make them feel good

You refer specifically to things they mentioned in their enquiry (funnels, commerce, etc) and you reassure them “it’s not a problem”… then back it up by saying you are a specialist in these areas… and get results (“sells your products like crazy”)

You move away from they have some ideas I can review (my approach) to saying “I can take care of this for you” (with the hint of… just leave it to me)

You set up arranging a call as the VERY NEXT step. You are leading the client on action. You explain why (you need to know main issues) the call is needed and what that will help with (“a solution as fast as possible”)

You set the scene for the call. There will be some questions for them to answer (powerful and proven questions)…. it’s a system you use. And you say what you need from the prospective client (“open and honest as possible”)…. to get a BETTER result for them.

You direct them about the call… give just TWO time slots… specific dates/times reinforce the image that you are BUSY and SUCCESSFUL. Your time is limited.

You also create “scarcity”. You are a busy, in-demand copywriter and YOU get to choose who you work with (this is positioning - you are not one of those general copywriters who feels they have to take on every project just because they need the money. You’re doing so well that you can pick and choose the work you do and the people you work with.

You refer to their website - shows you’ve done some research or “homework” on the prospect/client.

You state specifically how you’d like to help (funnel and conversions) and create intrigue (you have at least 9 critical areas to change now). So, the prospect is now thinking (a) you’ve looked closely at what they already have (b) there are some things not quite right which need changing (c) there’s some urgency to get things done and (d) YOU are the one with the answers.

You soften this with a bit more flattery… “saying that, great website…”. So they don’t think what they have is rubbish. But they are now hearing that it’s not good enough and you know exactly what to do.

You’re positioning yourself as the “I know what to do” expert - I’m in demand, I know this business, I have the answers, I can do some stuff to help straight away, I can pick and choose so it’s up to you if you want THAT kind of level working for you and your business.

You repeat the NEXT action step (the call) and offer the two dates/times for them to choose from (puts you in control of when you have the conversation)

You show that you’d love to work with them and you can see the possibilities for their business (makes them feel good). You phrase it in a way which suggests the decision is already made (“I’m excited to work with you…”)

You close with a thank you (closing the “circle” of your reply - you started with thank you and finish with thank you.

You use the PS to explain the need for a call (effectively the THIRD time in your message that you’ve said “we need to talk asap”) before talking about a quote…. you’re not providing a “rushed” job or a “menu” price. This is bespoke (“carefully worked out and detailed” the quote will be)…

And a final thank you and sign off to complete the PS and the reply.

  • In summary, Your reply is about:
  • Positioning yourself as the expert
  • Demonstrating you understand their business/field/industry
  • Taking the lead
  • Reassuring the prospect that you are a safe pair of hands (without giving away any specifics in terms of results)
  • Guiding the prospect to take the next step - have a call with you
  • A little bit of flattery in pointing out they’ve done a good job AND highlighting that there are things that they’re missing or haven’t done which means their results are not as good as they could be..
  • You are the solution - the best choice

This is PRECISELY why I have invested in you.

I could have wasted that kind of money on a “mastermind” with someone else in the past and it would not have been the right time to invest.

Now IS the right time for me.

I know we’re still learning about each other but you will find me a willing student. I will listen. I will do what you tell me (to guide me). I’ll keep asking questions.

The difference between you and, say, XXX is gulf-like.

I’ve already got value from the process.

I know I’ve got potential. I’m in a good starting position and I’d love in 12-24 months time to have a “success story” that would form one of your most powerful EVER testimonials.

Thanks G ---------------------------------- I know this guy is in for one hell of a ride and a stepping stone to bigger things.

You know since my very first brick and mortar business I had to master one thing (in 1985) to get a sale and it was my messages or writing.

Since then the foundation of all of my business has been the words I write to my prospects.

I am at a stage where I can write myself almost anything. I know that because I have. I written myself a home a car and so much more. i even wrote love letters to the woman that is to become my wife this September 17th.

This is a skill that can change everything for you.

It will for the secret guy above. It has for myself and it has for many previous mentor students of mine.

You want change... you'll find it here. If you deserve change ... it's here

I hope this helped you and if it did hit reply and let me know why?

Love, peace, success should be yours.

In your service always.

MENTOR Alan Forrest Smith

 

Marketing Change Part 2

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Marketing problems ...Marketing has changed part 2.

In the last article I hopefully sent the fear of God into your hearts by talking truthfully about how businesses predictably fail by using marketing techniques, advice that no longer serve your business in this faster than fast generation.

So here is what you can do right now to kick-start a whole new campaign.

Stop

Stop everything that’s being done right now.

Why? Because it isn’t working and if you keep on doing what you are doing right now you are going to lose cash, waste time, lose sales, lose your investment and eventually there is a possibility that your business might fold.

And stopping wont be a problem for the reason that nothing is working right now. Once you have stopped you now get time to …

Think about everything. I said ...

THINK

Now is the time to give your marketing and advertising some real thought. Stop it for a day or a week or even a month and think it through very carefully. Is your targeting correct? Are you engaging your audience in the correct places? Have you found out and mastered all the buzz words spoken by your targets? There are a lot of things to think through to get this right – think it over in full and then …

Take a moment

Yes go get a coffee, sit on a hillside, go fishing or ride out on your Harley for a day or so. Get out of your office and take a moment so you can look from the outside into your business rather than trying to see everything from the inside out. This will give you more clarity and a clean sheet mind to work from. Now you need to …

Analyze

That means start to give your marketing some serious thought here. Be honest … is it working, do you get the numbers, the leads or the results you not only want but you need to grow and expand your business into the coming years? Simple analysis can bring up a lot of thoughts, can help you see problem but can also surface solutions for you. Be honest and truthful and once you have done that you can park your Harley and …

Regroup

Regroup with your team but I will offer you this warning. Those that have already been working on your campaigns will not be the ones to fix what they have already failed with. Think about it – it makes no sense and they will probably fight any changes because your new changes will feel as if you are attacking their skillsets directly. Yet the reality is they have been given a chance and it simply isn’t working. Next you need to think about your …

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Big picture

The big picture is the direction, the profits, and the everything you see and want for your business. The numbers year-on-year and results do you know them? If you don’t know where you are heading your marketing and advertising will reflect that. Work it all out, write it down and then next …

  • Remove anything not working
  • Remove adverts that don’t work
  • Remove webpages that don’t work
  • Remove people that don’t deliver
  • Remove brochures that don’t work

How do you know they do or don’t work? Make sure you test and measure everything. That is the only way you will and can know what is and isn’t working.

That goes for your team also. Measure and track what they do and if they fail to deliver … they have to go otherwise your business will go and they will simply move on. You also must …

Removed fixed thinking

There are and will be people in your company that have big thoughts on marketing and advertising that are NOT experts. They should be ignored when it comes to an area as specialized as this. In my experience their thinking will be very fixed based on the fact that it could be their business so they think they know best yet the results speak for themselves and are clearly not for the best.

Here are a few more things you must give serious thought to…

Be open to ideas

New ideas, different ideas and ideas that might challenge your concepts of what you have been doing for sometime now with no results.

Don’t ask those that have already failed to deliver to now deliver. They will simply repeat the same mistakes but dressed in new clothes. These ones are great at blaming others for their bad decisions. Find them and throw them out the building.

Just fire them or ask them to make coffee while you solve this with your new team.

Hire an expert thinker

Don’t try and pretend you are an expert at marketing – you’re clearly not as I think deep down you know. A true expert will not cost you anything, they should be seen as an investment. Listen to them closely as long as they have a long track record that is proven.

Release new minds from inside

You might have a few geniuses around the office that are waiting to be unleashed. Now is your chance to let them out of their cages so they can shine. Get smart as there are some very cool ways to get these guys shining like the sun for you.

Create a workspace for minds and pens

If the usual meetings don’t work well don’t do the usual meetings. Shake things up and add or take from the mix. Gets smart and break the routine.

Work out ROI for your new marketing investment

Marketing isn’t a cost and if it is this isn’t marketing. Get a genius like myself to create something new. If you cannot afford a genius like myself get smart and find someone that is a fit for your business. If it is not at least ten times higher than you invest – screw it don’t do it.

That’s it for now.

If you need a thinker that can not only shake things up for you but deliver powerful measurable results you of course know where I am.

Your orange genius

Alan Forrest Smith

Part 1 of this article is here

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A Sales Letter Story

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The Incredibly True Story 47% Response Sales Letter

I started writing sales copy around 1985 but this was now 1992 I think.

My new high-street business had been opened around 6-months and we were struggling. Not enough anything pouring into the shop. People wanted paid, I needed more cash and if I am really honest it was a major pressure time for me.

My second son had arrived, I had also moved home, my first wife had ordered another new car (and furniture and everything else) so the cash was going out as fast as it was arriving.

It was this time I first came across a computer. At the same time I came across a book about marketing by a hero of mine, Jay Conrad Levinson.

I read about letters and the use of them for business so I decided to buy a computer and write my own letters to my clients. This had problems in itself. Creating direct mail in those days was painful.

First I had to write the letter.

Then the letter that I managed to print on my dot-matrix printer would be taken to printer. Most of the time my dot-matrix printer chewed everything up so I had to hand write the letter and give to the printer or give the screwed up letter with print running off the edges.

The time I would spend was ridiculous creating these things. This really was one-fingered writing at that time. The next step was seeing what the printer had put together. I never liked what they did so we would then spend a few weeks creating the right look and feel for the letter but even then I was never that happy with the finished look and read.

Once the letter had been done I would have around 500 printed with envelopes with my brand printed on the front.

Once the process had been done I would drive over in my little mini to pick the boxes up, drive back to my salon around 8-miles away and then finally sit in my office licking stamps and hand writing 500 addresses on the front of the envelope that were taken from the salon cards we had.

That was another problem as most of the record cards we kept were never complete so truthfully it was a little hit and miss.

After spending weeks in preparation and then days writing and licking stamps I then had to wait for the following Monday to arrive as Tuesday was always the best day for the client to get the letter.

Now I worked out quite early the process that takes place in the mind of a client coming into a salon and this was key to creating good sales letters.

Anyone buying anything has bought the thing they want to buy at least six months before they go out to buy it. Did that make sense? If not read again because what you have to understand when writing sales copy is you are not selling anything. The selling has already been done; the client bought in their mind a long time before they met you.

Once the client starts to look what you have to do is create a message that convinces them using layers of strategic communication to order what they have mentally bought some time before.

In simple terms – so they buy from you from the letter you write!

The letters were mailed out and guess what? The phone began to ring. I knew they had the letter because the letter had a mechanism built in that made it possible to measure calls. I was in business.

After that initial success I eventually set up a system that wasn’t automated but it worked. Remember the Internet hadn’t been invented for people like myself at this point… dial-up arrived for me around 1999.

This new discovery of mine using sales letters exploded my business at every possible level. More sales, increased sales, more loyalty, more new customers, more recovering of old missing customers and so much more. It was a tool that I mastered over some years to eventually have the ability to write exactly the right words at the right time to create torrents of clients pouring through the salon doors every day of the week.

How? Through the simple yet masterful use of writing letters or as some like to wrongly call – sales letter!

Now here is why I use the word masterful

I discovered very early that you cannot sell through a letter – you can only convince people to use or buy what you are selling. The decision to spend had already been made a long time before.

But even more … the mind of a buyer takes a certain process and that process takes time to carefully map out.

It’s a little like steps and each step is supported by a mental decision whether it be subtle or obvious it is supported by that very subtle decision.

These decisions can involve many external decisions. Even things like what others think and fears that aren’t so obvious.

This isn’t just for my early business of course. As time passed I write more and more for businesses that were nothing like the salon business. This meant hours, days and weeks and sometimes months of research to process the mental path and inner triggers of a prospect.

Just recently I wrote a long form sales letter for a client. His previous campaigns had failed. He wanted the letter right now and was willing to pay for it. I told him a few things. One time had to be invested into the research, as this was a marketplace I hadn’t dealt with before. Next he would have to be patient. It took around five months to deliver that letter. That same letter delivered this client the best results they have ever had from sales copy to the extent their staff actually complained that they were too busy.

The client asked my advice on what do with staff that complained like this. I said – fire them!

So here’s the thing

Most writers or copywriters (apart from an elite few and I can count on one hand that few from millions) take the time to research everything.

If you absolutely need and cannot take a risk any longer and are so focused on results and nothing but good strong results that takes a specialist not just a copywriter.

It takes an expert, it takes a professor of words and minds, and someone that digs so deep they never give up until the strike gold.

When I work on long form copy or even short form for me it has to start with the mind of your prospect. That takes time after time. That takes research after research. That takes deep mining into the buyer’s path and the mental communications, natural thoughts and fears along the path to making an order.

That can take me weeks and sometimes months to perfect. In my own businesses it could take me 6-12 months to create a perfect campaign after much testing.

And today there has been a big change. A change so obvious, yet subtle, yet monumental that most marketers and copywriters have missed it so far from where I am observing from.

This change is so big missing it is the difference between make or break, success or failure.

It’s a golden ingredient. It’s a must-do process and must know action and it’s the most powerful series of things you should know before taking a single step into your marketing world of writing letters.

No wonder my fee is £50,000 for long sales copy because what I do and have developed and created is so unique, the successes I have experienced with direct mail are pretty unsurpassed (11%,33%,47%,63% and one explosive 83% response) could never have worked in a million years without knowing what I know today.

It has taken me since 1985 to master yet the past few years in my mind have been the biggest changes and learning curve ever in writing communications for your clients.

I should end this with a warning or two.

  • If you are looking for the absolute best of the best – hire me.
  • If you have the time and commitment to get it right – hire me.
  • If you want an expert that will give it blood sweat and tears – hire me.
  • If you want genius, science, predictability and premium – of course – hire me!

But - If you want an average results for an average fee go to Google type in the word copywriter and take your pick from 80 million copywriters that know not a ounce of what I have tried, tested, used, practiced, studied and spent decades perfecting.

Look at this magical math.

Plant one seed get one tree.

Plant many seeds get many trees.

Invest a little get little return.

Invest a lot get a lot in return.

Its now science of the rocket is it?

It’s a law as natural as breathing.

Pay a cheap writer and you get a cheap return.

Pay an expert for true expertise and you get a premium return!

And just before I do finally go why do I spend so much time doing this initial stuff? I learned a long long time ago that I couldn’t take risks with my own business and cash. If I took a risk and lost my kids wouldn’t get fed and my first wife wouldn’t be able to go and buy more furniture.

I cannot, I do not and I will not take risks with cash – your cash!

How about we talk?

Contact me right now.

I even answer my own phone… how utterly sexy!

Lets ride into the sunset and create magic.

Your writer of words

Alan Forrest Smith

Ps I wanted to tell you in this document about all the new things that have changed everything but you know what I believe they are so incredibly valuable for your success I think it is fair I only save that kind of thing for my own clients and my own projects. But I will say … these things are truly powerful when it comes to getting results.

4 Things Hairdressing Taught Me

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4 Direct Response Marketing Tricks I Learnt From Hairdressing

What can hairdressing teach your business about marketing, copywriting, strategy and good old direct response marketing?

This weekend I was taken back in time when I caught sight of a video of John Paul Dejoria talking about his business, the salon industry and of course how he built his four billion dollar empire. I had the good fortune to meet him and talk with him in 1990 in Buckinghamshire England. That meeting was to change my salon business completely. It was my first encounter with marketing.

Lets go back in time

I was a hairdresser for over 20 years. I started cutting hair when I was around 15-years old. I then trained at twenty years old officially as a hairdresser and then had 3 salons of my own until the year 2003 when I then launched full-time into OrangeBeetle (OB started in 1998).

On the first day of opening my very first salon with my very first employees I also had my first staff walkout from a junior member.  I had no idea what I was doing and frankly I don’t blame her, it was total chaos.

The second week in business it was slow and that carried on until I was around 2-3 months into being a new businessman and desperately counting the cash to see if I could pay staff wages by the weekend.

Then late 1989-90 (I know it’s a long time ago) I saw an advert in the hairdressers journal for a club for hairdressers that was being supported by Paul Mitchell Salon Products.

I saw the advert once, twice and maybe a dozen times after that when I decided to call the number and ask a few questions.

I spoke to a guy named Mike Kemball in Buckinghamshire and before I knew it I was on my way to their Insight meeting.

Marketing Was New To Me

Insight was an understatement. Despite the reality that I started selling things to other people at the age of just 10 year, I hadn’t thought about business the way I was now being shown.

For example; I learnt about how to price services. In those days I simply thought you charged what you were wanted to charge. I certainly never understood perception of a price can affect your business. Mercedes – you never ask the price you simply know this. You can or cannot afford it but you know it’s the best and part of that belief that it is the best is in the price. It’s expensive so it must be – good!

Then there were all the other things I began to discover. Upselling services, products, reception layout, staff wages and just about every single thing you can think about to run a business I discovered fast!.

The nice thing they did that also affected me in a big way was introducing me to something called a book. Yes you read correct I said a BOOK.

You see up until that point in my life I had read NOTHING – not a single thing that was printed onto a page apart from what I was forced to read at school so the thought of reading a book was against my inclination because I associated booms only with school. So I began to read books - business books.

I also bought a cassette (remember them?)  for my car by a guy I had never heard of before named Jay Abraham. I also bought a book by an expert named Zig Ziglar and one more expert named Tom Peters. It was heavy but I was enjoying this new learning the business of business experience.

So in a short period of time I had learnt lots of new things about running a business. How to structure everything, staffing, finances, marketing a lot of new and mind-expanding materials.

Astonishing Results From Hairdressing

The more I discovered especially obeyer direct response marketing, the better the results were for me. I managed to build a huge 5-bedroomed house in its own grounds with my success, had the holidays, the cars and all the other benefits that a successful business gave me. It was hard, really hard but it gave me a foundation that transformed a lot of areas in my life.

But for you reading this I wanted to share something’s that were critical in that business succeeding but any business I have worked on since then and are working on right now.

4 Things I Learnt from Being a Hairdresser

Number one: Feed from others for bigger ideas

There’s nothing wrong in looking at others for ideas. I used to look outside the industry all of the time for ideas on how to build a strong salon. That meant my salons were very different to all of the other salons. The other salon owners all looked inside the industry whilst I was looking at things like how a football club was structured so I could apply those guidelines to my salon business.

For example in 1991 we were the only salon business in a town of 35 salons to sell something I named a ‘season ticket’. In other words they could pay in advance for their appointments at a lower rate. This was something that was only really seen in the football industry and certainly not hairdressing. This was also direct response marketing at its best with everything being tracked and measured.

I saw they were filling their football stadium appointments (seats) up to two years ahead so why couldn’t I by simply copying them. I did and it worked massively. Actually as a side note I have never seen this in a salon ever apart from my own salons.

I have since applied the very same to all my businesses since. For example today I model a lot of my ideas on the film industry. Why? Well if you want to sell a lot and be the best at what you are selling you’d better model a business that turns over literally billions and the movie business does just that. They sell a movie based on a 120 second video and very powerful imagery. I use them as one of my swipe models. Today I read around 5-books a week to feed my mind and write around one million words a year to keep me in full flow.

So how about you who do you look to for idea outside your current industry and how many ideas do you discover, swipe and apply in your business?

Number two: Get the infra-structure and finances right - STRATEGY & SYSTEMS!

This is short and simple… get it right or you are forever hoping and praying.

In the early days of my salons it went like this. I got cash from the clients and then I would put that cash in my pocket, under my bed, in an old sock and then inside my mattress or – I would go and buy something with the cash. Most of the time I would go and buy something.

That led to problems and here was one of the major problems I faced one day. I had received a huge tax bill that I simply couldn’t pay. I missed the payment day time and time again yet I would go home and sit and ask myself this, “I’m taking a ton of cash here in the salon but how is it I can’t pay a bill for £5k?”

Now the answer is really obvious but it wasn’t one I had in place all those years ago. It was this – I was spending far too much and managing nothing.  I quickly discovered that if you are taking £50k yet spending £51k you are in big trouble. I then found out that money should be divided and split apart so that everything is covered. I know its obvious right? Yet I never did it. It took me years to learn cash management.

Not too long ago I knew a guy that bought a post office. The old post office and shop was very old and needed urgent renovations.

So he went and got a big loan. On his loan the first thing he went and bought was a new Range Rover. Then he bought his wife a new Range Rover in white. Then they spent cash on the house attached to the Post Office and lived the good life – for a short while.

Suddenly he realised that he has to pay stock bills, pay staff, and pay invoices and pay and manage the cash in all areas of the post office. He never did and about six months later he finally was forced to close. On a Saturday after my salon had closed with my very young kids at the time for their comic and sweet treat I found out when I went to the shop it had been closed by bailiffs and his cars and home had no been removed.

Why?

He simply failed to manage his finances and had no infra-structure in place.

How about you in your business? Are you finances covered and do you know exactly how they should be split? If this is a failure in your business your business will fail. It was a very early lesson I learnt through hairdressing and running three hairdressing salons.

Number three: You are only as good as your service or product

Before you do anything I discovered that the service or the product has to be good enough. For example in those days I would promote a new stylist that came into the salon. The stylist was then sent clients and the clients would expect a service that I was advertising. Unfortunately I had yet to discover that despite all the bells and whistles I was blowing and waving I was not training my staff to support for my marketing was saying. This meant I was saying how great we were but my services and products simply didn’t support that. Of course this lost me clients that I had paid to bring into my business.

It’s like pouring endless water into a bucket with holes. The more you pour in the more that pours out.

This took me to a place where I had to rediscover my salon services and make them work in a way that was a match with what my marketing was saying. Not easy but we did it in the end.

Now as a consultant for the past 15-years and more the first thing I ask is how good are your services. The reply is ALWAYS the same, “ yes really good”.

Once I flew to a salon to create a new strategy and plan for her business. She had already told me her business was the very best, services and skills were the absolute greatest in the area yet her spread sheet numbers were telling a story of clients in – clients out, like the bucket so I decided to fly over and see what was actually going on.

From the moment I walked into the salon the staff clearly hated her, she clearly hated them and it all showed in the work they were doing. Service was poor, skills sets were average and nothing was quite as it should or could be.

The day I sat and spoke to her and her team the phone rang. She jumped up and shouted, “can’t one of the miserable FU&%KERS get the phone”. I was shocked and clearly there was a huge problem with a team that was reflecting in the salon services.

So it was a big lesson for me to be able to support any marketing with solid service and solid products.

And what I have seen in business is the need to sell is stronger than the need to fulfill and deliver. People will sell sub-standard services or product just for the sake of the sale yet it’s a recipe for disaster in business.

Once I realised this we spent thousands in cash and hour upon hour in time training my staff to a level that was unsurpassed in the salon business in the location we were at.

How about you?

Everyone always tells me very blunt that they are the very best at what they do. Are you services and product as good as you think they are? Have you tried them, tested them, read them or even reviewed them? Have you asked your clients for an honest review or opinion on your services or products? Regardless of the industry you are in you need to know the answer to this.

Number four: Marketing is a daily event

After I had been on course in the 1990s I started to apply what I was learning. For example despite there being no real home computers as such in those days or certainly no laser printers for an office unless you spent thousands I began to run direct mail campaigns. Direct mail was personal and as the name suggests it as direct. Every Tuesday was direct mail day. I would send mail to, new clients, birthday clients, Christmas cards, thank you, promotions and literally a long list of ideas for direct mail. There was no email or social media or even text in those days.

The response was crazy at the time. The more mail I sent the busier we became. More marketing meant more promotion and that of course I had less and less time to do my marketing.

The problem then was that when I never did my marketing guess what happened? Business would slowly drop off. So I created a whole system that was a little chaotic at the time but it worked for us. Not every month, not every week but every single day of the week we did active direct marketing. That meant, direct mail, flyers, posters, PR events, promotional events, piggy back promotions and just about every other thing I could think of at the time.

Yes marketing had to be DAILY. It had to be regular and it had to be a system. Even today in my current businesses if we do nothing - nothing comes in and if we do a lot a lot comes in.

I see time and time again that marketing is treated like it isn’t really part of a business. Some businesses treat marketing like its something they have to do now and then because they feel that’s just part of being in business. Yet it is the lifeblood, it’s the part of business that should be prioritized always.

A farmer cannot shift his potatoes if he doesn’t drive over to the market. They will simply lie in the barn and rot. Why? Because of lack of visibility and if you are not seen you won’t sell.

  • A website isn’t marketing it’s a critical business tool. Once you have a site you must have a strategy to send people to that site.
  • A random advert isn’t marketing. It takes at least a dozen shows of an advert before it ever gets read and noticed as long as its well designed and written.
  • A one-off magazine advert isn’t marketing because no one sees it with one hit.
  • A Facebook page definitely isn’t marketing because Facebook is a gossip forum not a place of business and those that tell you millions are being made on Facebook are lying to you.

I learnt in my hairdressing salons that marketing has to be a daily event and when it isn’t we the daily event of taking profits just doesn’t happen.

Today things are even harder because the noise is so loud in the world of capturing people’s attentions.

Messenger, text, email, social media, on the go TV, streaming this, streaming that YouTube and just about every other battle for the attention of your buyer is raging yet what is it you are doing for your business.

I learnt early that marketing is a daily event. It is a strategy that must be stuck to and applied. It’s tactical and well thought out. Its planned over a period of time and there is no let up because once you let up suddenly the guy down the road that you thought was ok takes over you and is getting more sales and more customers than you will ever get.How about you?

Is direct response marketing part of your strategy or is your strategy designed around your service or product?

If that’s the case how are you getting that out to your buyers? You have to fight and battle for attention theses days are you doing that. Are you presenting your very best and are you doing it on a scheduled basis or is it simply random?

Random marketing means random profits. Lots of marketing means lots of profits.

Hairdressing taught me a lot, way more than simply cutting hair.

I hope this article helped you or even enlightened you at some level.

If you have to have the very best advice and cannot afford any more risk - call me on 07793069486

Your ex-hairdresser and hairy marketing genius

Alan Forrest Smith

 

MENTOR can be found here

CONTACT me from this page

The HABIT - Important Read

HABIT.jpg

Bad Habits Hold You (and me) Back

As a business mentor I am adding a warning because if I am correct, you'll resist what you are about to read. How do I know that?

Because that’s what humans, people - YOU and me - that’s what we do, we resist change because change means confronting habits.

It’s about habits, changes, you resisting me and then you finally working with me and rewarding me for ground breaking alliance for the results I will and I can deliver for you.

It’s a long article but one but worth every minute of your time.

If needed you may print and read it later with a coffee or tea or whisky if that’s your thing – just read it because it affects you and your business.

Ok … Here we go…

Every now and then you get an awakening call in life and business that makes you feel uncomfortable to the point that you either change things or lie down and give up. Yet the reality is and has been shown and proven time and time again is that …

  • Everything can change for the better
  • Everything can be put back on track
  • Everything will be OK - it always is

You can survive thrive and prosper into change but only if you haven’t lay down and totally given up yet. Have you lay down and died or am I still getting through to you?

So here's a story, short but true none the less.

I started with a new trainer last December. Frankly he is killing me but killing me in a good way to the point I now have zero-shirts that fit me because the muscle size is so large in relation to how it was previously. Yet we have one conversation weekly and it is about belly fat and body fat generally.

Despite having huge arms, a huge chest, big muscular legs and a well defined back I cannot shift my fat. The problem is the fat of course covers the muscle so despite the reality that there has been a ton of change in my body I cannot get the definition I really would want. I know I need to grow up and lie back and retire gracefully but that isn't for me.

And here is my problem.

H.A.B.I.T. that is compounded with decades of reenforcement.

I was born with a sweet tooth that won't go away and lie down gracefully and despite trying as hard as hell I still have huge cravings for sweet things until I realised this isn't anything special or new it is something I simply have to accept and then confront.

So right now I have not stopped the sweet things but I have adjusted accordingly and replaced sweet things with things like dates, figs, apricots and more. it seems to be working.

Habit can hold anyone back but the real problem is we oversee the habit and try always to blame it on something or someone else.

You changes might be getting stopped but habit - nothing else.

Do you know what you want in your life? Do you know what you want in your business? Are your embedded habits destroying everything? The habit kills, destroys and holds back anything it can hold back.

If I want muscle definition I have to make a change. If you want definition in areas of your life you must make a change.

Life and business: Yes both are absolutely intertwined and if you are in business, they can never be taken apart so if one isn’t right neither will the other be right. When business is bad your life becomes miserable.

That creates unhappy people.

I have another habit in my life that isn’t a drug habit although some will claim I’m on another planet, I’m not a sex addict although sometimes I think I could be or would like to try and be at least and I don’t gamble but this habit has me addicted.

It’s a habit called repetition.

That life repetition leads me down the same paths every now and then and despite the fact I think I am going down another path in a different direction. It’s usually when I am halfway along the path I realise hang on, this looks familiar and it’s at that point I make changes. Progress is made but life can feel like one step forward, two steps back. Thankfully I am aware of it. Thankfully I make the changes.

Some will say well that’s life but I know it isn’t it’s  a habit and it’s a destructive habit that needs to be addressed.

Do you understand that? I know you do and I know maybe you experience it also. Why? Because it’s a very human thing for us to be like that in life and business. To repeat and do the same old thing again.

The problem with this habit is it can make you frustrated, angry, resentful at the lack of change and success and ultimately it can lead to you being frozen to the spot if it’s not addressed.

  • The same route
  • The same path
  • The same ideas
  • and worse - stuck in the same place

They all leave you totally stuck stuck stuck!

I see it all the time and I mean all the time with clients I work with. Of course you’ll feel this isn’t you, how can it be?

Are You Stuck?

Here’s a pattern an embedded habit I see in businesses; A fortune gets spent on the business structure. That means cool office, the best equipment, latest gadgets, and lots of meetings with lots of PowerPoint from experts in dark suits waiting for applause and finally of course … The Car (BMW preferred) …parked outside imperceptibly decomposing and rotting money even as I type. At this stage ZERO marketing or true business building has been done!

I even saw a client once spend almost £30,000 on a freestanding reception desk that could barely hold a computer on it. That was habit of his ego and he replaced the desk a year later as it simply wasn’t practical. Now they have coffee, tea, cookies and lots of circular stains all over the 30k desk in the dark damp back room where his slaves sit and moan.

And then there’s the wages, the costs and just about every other expense in business. Yet the situation always seem to be the same when clients contact me and its this … we have everything our customers want and need we just don’t have enough customers. Our advertising doesn’t work, our marketing team seems clueless and we are getting deeper and deeper into the red or they are simply not getting the growth that would just be perfect for them.

Yet it’s all part of the habit

And that’s the habit of doing things the things that are expected to be habitually done. Crazy right? Yes its so crazy we all do it all of us including me.

Yet every now and then the moment arrives when we have to get serious and be honest and that can be hard for you to face.

One of my millionaire clients has the habit. He has cash pouring through his fingers all the time but is always broke. I have worked on and off with him now for well over twenty years and the habit is always the same.

Big office, big staff, big invoicing, big visions and lots of cars, lots of holidays, lots of wine and women in no particular order yet he is always broke and struggling for more and more yet his outgoings are so huge even great incomings never pay for things. I think he’ll die and get buried in a cardboard box – recycled of course!

He makes me laugh when we meet because the story is always the same yet he never confronts it, waits to go broke and then repeats the habit all over again.

His Habits Always Destroy What He Builds

Recently he went for another medical to see if he was dying again. He has this machine that reads and delivers a 3d image of all of his insides. Once he thought his brains was his kidney and thought that his kidney was so misshapen that he had a week or two to live.

Then once he found out his illness was all stress related he went and bought his 6th sports car to make him feel better yet … he couldn’t pay his staffs wages that same month. I fear he is heading down another total breakdown, closure and then repeat.

And then very predictably just a few years ago he lost over fifty million pounds and this wasn’t the first time. Nuts right?

So Unless You Change Your HABIT Your Habit Will Always Control You

If the habit controls us our life remains the same. If our life remains the same and we are not happy with our current results and then the reality is, it’ll be the same if not worse the older we get because your body and mind simply wont be able to keep fighting all the stresses and strains of the habit. Time to act?

Can you make any changes or maybe the real question is are you humble and wise enough to realise that you have the habit in your life and changes must be forced through? Most people with habits don’t believe they have habits. Go ask a clairvoyant to ask any of rock n rolls famous 27 club (the rock stars that overdosed and died at 27 years of age).

My mother believes in herself in a big way and always has done. She doesn’t like me but I do admire her. She believes that you are weak to ask for advice and you should fight through everything and battle everyone until you find out the answers for yourself. I don’t accept that and I have watched the consequences of that acceptance of the habit in my mother’s business life.

Yet she was one of the very first pioneers of the health food shop on the high street. There was no such thing as a health food shop when she had her shop. People came from miles to get her advice, it was very cool. She knew every working of the body from a holistic view back to front and with her medical training she was just amazing. She always wanted to do it her way and NEVER took advice from anyone. I had to endure garlic tablets each day and go to school stinking of garlic in the classroom. That wasn’t great for a 10 year old Scottish immigrant I can tell you.

In the mid-1980s a now famous health store offered to buy mother out at a high rate just to get her out of the town because her expertise was such a threat to them. She refused any advice and decided she would fight them to the end (think of brave heart in a dress). Mothers shop of course closed and the giant of health foods and supplements have well over 659 stores in the UK today. Where’s mum’s? (I know you’ll be wondering why she doesn’t like me now – that’s a whole other story for another story time)

Why did she lose out? Her habit was so deeply entrenched that change for her now becomes the impossible reality.

I have seen this habit in action so many times yet times have changed and 2014 running a business is very different. The difference is of course the web. When I say the web I don’t just mean having a website but I mean the way connections are now made.

  • You have to connect and stop sitting and waiting
  • You have to be a leader and stop waiting to be led
  • You have to have brains and guts to take action
  • You have to build your cult or tribe around what you are offering
  • You have to make it easy for your buyers you are now know as your friends
  • You have to make sure the like you or they’ll unlike you over night
  • You have to make sure they are follower’s not just passers-by
  • Instant branding
  • Instant ideas
  • Instant memory installations
  • Instant likes
  • Instant everything for a world that is fast and thinking different
  • The need for speed has never been greater
  • Change must become your mantra because change is the mantra

The old ways used to be the best ways but the best ways are now the new ways. Delivery must be fast. People want viral, they want clickable, they want apps, connections, hangouts and everything at light speed. Zooooom!!!!!!!!

Habit Killing Your Business and Preventing a LIFE?

Yet is your habit running your business, running your job or even running your life? And you wont change because you didn’t realise you have to change and because you didn’t realise it you are not even thinking about change. All you are thinking about is what the hell am I going to do to make things better?

  • Change starts as a thought
  • Change is a point to begin
  • Change is a plan
  • Change is a strategy
  • Change is an action

Change has to be done if you need change but habit hates change so it isn’t easy because you love to be habitual and you don’t even know it… YET!

When I started orange beetle in 2000 it was almost impossible to get anyone on email from my old AOL address – even in 2000. I had to call everyone because hardly anyone had an email address.

Today that can sound so ridiculous. Everyone has a connection and is connected at light speed. Nobody wanted an email address but everyone now has an email address. Changed pushed through because of necessity.

I asked all of my four kids what they use to communicate and why and they only use iMESSENGER now. Why? They said its fast and yet I thought email was fast but apparently not as fast as messenger because you can see the other person typing a reply right away in messenger. That’s cool and that’s a change for me.

Beyoncé sold millions of albums overnight using images on Instagram

Radiohead delivered a genius way to sell millions of albums but giving them away or the fan could pay what he felt the album was worth

Prince gave away a double album in a Sunday newspaper

Why?

It increased their sales. Do you think the music label wanted to do that? No way, they never wanted in a million years to break their habit but that habit was smashed by change and change changed everything. Of course change in the music business is nothing new just read the book named 'The Grateful Dead on Marketing a band' … very cool!

They all broke the regular habit of doing their marketing the same old way. The habitual way and the unchanged way and nobody liked change and if they don’t like change they soon go back into the habit.

This is the 21st century but are you still living in the habit of the last century?

Why? Because you think it should work because it’s always worked right?

  • People don’t live how they used to live 3 years ago never mind 10 years ago
  • People don’t do business like they did 5 years ago
  • Everything is changing but is your habit holding you back?

HABITS are tough to break but even tougher to recognise and admit.

I understand I absolutely get it - habits can be a killer and I have and still have plenty of them that need changing yet how about you? Are you simply happy to carry on as usual and hope and pray changes will take place? If that's the case the bad news is they never take place on their own. Do you maybe feel like you have tried a lot and still cannot mange that big breakthrough? Are you feeling so stuck that you are really just not sure what direction to take next.

I CAN HELP YOU CHANGE YOUR HABITS

I’d love to work with you, partner with you and guide you into change.

  • I understand how it feels to be trapped by habits
  • I have helped myself and many others move forward fast
  • I have been involved in many changes over the past 30 years in business with some incredible success stories
  • I have mentored many new business overruns and established business owners into more success and change of habit
  • I am tapped into every source that is tuned into change
  • I live and breathe change
  • I study how buyers think and act and finally buy from you
  • I am obsessed with mind triggers and mind directions and all the twists and change that take place in a mind before a purchase is made.
  • I have written, completed strategies and alliances with people like Jay Abraham, Jay Conrad Levinson and many many more giants of business
  • I eat breakthrough information for dinner each day
  • I have been doing just that and smashing habits and creating changes for over 30 years

If your organization needs a habit change that could be holding you back from advancing

If your marketing is like most others embedded with old habits I will see them in a second for you

If your own mind is stuck, trapped and cannot break out I can guide and mentor you into your new change.

Will It Mean More - MORE OF WHAT?

And lets be frank here what does the breaking down of habits that are backed up with change mean for you?

Profits and more of them?

There’s nothing dirty about that word but maybe you need a strategy that is more in tune with a new world and that is ‘giving back’ because your new century customers expect you to be giving back. Do you do that or are you out of the habit?

Are your messages into the media the same old stuff that no one really cares about anymore? Habit!

Are you feeding into a old-mindset that passed away with the last century? Habit!

Are you doing everything you do in your life and your business out of pure habit?

Habit is the death of most things. It creates boredom and prevents change. Habits tells you that you cannot be wrong yet your bottom-line is telling you that something is wrong.

I have helped changed and transformed businesses and lives fast. I have turnaround business, lives and created spectacular changes and sales for my clients.

Just imagine what I could do for you with my 31 years of experiences?

I’ve won with direct mail with insane 47% response rates yet they told me that couldn’t be done. The client had a habit of sending out to 5000 a month regardless of the result. I said stop, cut it back to 100 mailers and made the client over 800k… smashed his habit and created change!

Look …

Shall we talk things over to see if I can actually help you or are you already resisted doing that because your habit tells you that you know best and what could I do for you that you don’t already do?

Maybe you have no bad habits, maybe life is great and maybe you don’t need change of any kind. That’s fine I hope you enjoyed what I shared so far and I didn’t waste your time. Maybe you have enough sales or you love your job and for you it’s not a habit its something you just do because you know you have to do it.

I never used to read. I never read until I was around 46 years of age as a serious way of learning. Today I read maybe five books every week. That was hard for me to get into but it worked.

I read newsletters about marketing that you will probably have never heard of. I am inside inner circles that create billions in sales (not millions) for business and am a student of the human being, the human mind and words that can change everything for you. I’m an early adopter of all things even the stuff that fails bt I love to give it a go and see where it leads.

I even once sat on the street all night long in a big line to buy a new Video 2000 so I could watch movies at home. It was minus 5 on January 2nd 1980. Do you know anyone that has one of those dinosaurs now? Change!

Yet even after reading this far your habit is still probably telling you no to change and here is why.

You are maybe thinking now what will this cost you because your habit tells you that everything has a cost.

Yet my services and alliances have never cost any of my friends and cleints a penny and I will tell you why.

Yes they have paid me and paid me well but here are a few numbers to look at.

  • Paid £5,000 and got a return over well over £200,000
  • Paid £10,000 returns £300,000
  • Paid £15,000 returns £489,000
  • Paid £10,000 returns £1.2 million
  • Paid £35,000 returns of £250,000 a month
  • Paid £15,000 returns £74,500
  • Paid £500 returns £15,400
  • Paid £7,500 returns £2.4 million

Now your habit is telling you that to work with me will cost you but the reality is that it NEVER costs an of my clients money to work with me. Can you see why? The habit says no yet the proof tells another story.

  • Yes an investment has to be made but the returns are always huge.
  • Buying a huge office is not a good investment it’s a massive cost
  • Buying a stack of cars is not a good investment it’s depreciation

The habit has told you what is what but it isn’t. The habit takes you down a path that you have been walkng down for years and will resist change. I can pretty much guarantee your habit is stopping you from taking action and working with me right now yet ask yourself this.

  • What do I need right now?
  • Am I getting what I need right now?
  • What would I pay to get what I need right now?

One client came to me and told me he had to get to five million over 24 months. I worked out everything and realised that 8 million could easily be reached. His business was a new business but he had a habit of telling me I was wrong.

So we talked and talked and exchanged emails and calls.

Finally it came to a fee or as I like to call it a reward. I told him this. “If I can create sales of 8 million for you I would like to be rewarded well” He told me ”fine name your reward” I told him that I would like a reward of £400,000 plus a vintage Triumph motorbike as a bonus” His reply was something like this.. “Are you serious I don’t want to pay more than a few grand and that is outrageous” Maybe you think, “Holy shit Alan that’s outrageous” … do you? OK but now lets think about this.

He had a new business that was going head on into a very strong and established arena with a lot of huge competition in the world of muscles and fitness.

I had ideas for his new product that were current, new, and diverse and put a strategy together that would put him into the top of his market in 7-21-days flat.

At this point all he had to pay me was a monthly residual to cover costs and wages and a small down payment of just £20,000 for us to get started. The £20,000 would barely cover costs from my side but it was a commitment from him.

The rest was to be paid on a deliverable agreement of hitting figures. The first number was £2 million in turnover for him. This would give him lots of sales, lots of profits, and lots of fun buying toys and would help him pay back his Russian investors very comfortably

Yet…

He was being over ruled by his habit. His habit was telling him contrary to the facts. The facts were I was going to help his new business create sales of £8 million. His habit was telling him I am not paying this stranger for marketing that any monkey could do so he went to an agency… it didn’t end well!

Yet marketing companies and agencies do what they do – create flyers brochures and stick you on Facebook and wouldn’t ever dare promise turnover of £8 million pounds! Of course a promise of a number is hard to keep and cannot be guaranteed but if we never hot that number I never got paid so they were in a win-win.

The client had invested over a million into a deal in Moscow Russia to make this happen. His house was on the line but he drove a very nice Bentley so he would look good in his meetings.

We never worked together his habit stopped him and change wasn’t in his agenda. Two years later his partner emailed me to talk about a new business he was planning. I called, we talked and he told me that the fitness company had folded with huge debts and almost NO sales.

I did say wow but I wasn’t surprised after all this is the 21st century and you can play 20th century games around here.

Why did he fold?

Because the habit over ruled the mind and the mind deceived the man. He believed doing things the way things should be done was always enough and that would pull them through.

NO – not in the 21st century where everything is about

  • Fast
  • Change
  • Smashing old habits
  • Creativity
  • Invention
  • New
  • And being smart

And being smart means doing things different and doing things different means taking action and taking action means taking action against habits and the old ways.

Even kids hardly have habits these days but everything is new new new.

Did you resist me? Have you though this isn’t right? Are you getting bored now? Are you awakening to the reality that embedded habits are killing your business and giving you a life you don’t want?

Shall we talk?

I’m always interested in interesting alliances with interesting people or even boring people that want to do something interesting.

As you might know I am creative and always looking to get rewarded well from my customers. I am open to lots of adventure, motorbike riding across the USA and renting out paradise islands for our business meetings. Are you or are you so restricted by old habits you cant bring yourself to hit reply and speak to me?

I am sat here right now with my feet on the table whilst writing to you and drinking coffee. The coffee is strong Turkish coffee as prepared by my partner Tamuna. It keeps my high and buzzy. I had my first drink of coffee just 3.5 years ago. I decided to change a habit of green tea only because it was utterly boring. The habit still wanted tea but now it’s coffee. Coffee brought me love – literally. Change is good and confronting habit is good.

Soon I shall be finished doing what I am doing so I am ready to break some habits and make some new friends and incomes.

  • Shall that be you and me?
  • Shall we meet in the USA?
  • Shall we meet in my house in Tbilisi Georgia?
  • Shall we meet in London’s best restaurant?

Where shall we meet?

If you are thinking Starbucks forget it. Manchester? OK that’s cool in the right place. Or how about I come to your office or home?

Did you realise I can come and train your marketing team. You know the ones that rent delivering for you right now. I can do lots but that means you breaking a habit.

My mind is thinking big, it’s on big and I am looking for smart entrepreneurs that understand that every now and then you have to do something really different to make an impact and that won’t start in a cheap coffee shop where all the smelly reps look over spread sheets on cheap laptops.

Are you ready to break the habit – your habit? The habit that is holding you down, pinning you to the ground and threating your business and even threating the way you live your life?

If you business folds will you lose you home and all the stuff you love to play with? I am here I am ready and I can’t wait to work with you.

I can even help you start a new business. That works and some of my mentor guys do incredible stuff with their new business.

  • Everything is possible for you
  • Everything can change for you
  • You can be your change for yourself

All you have to do now is take the first very small step and that is hit reply to this email with your number and some information about yourself in there or send me a text to

UK 07793 069 486 OUTSIDE UK 00 44 7793 069 486 All you have to do is put the words… LETS TALK CHANGE

Finally … I am looking forward to talking with you, meeting you and creating change through shifting and removing habits.

Ready?

Lets do it!

Where shall we meet? I can fly anywhere if I think the reward for helping you is great enough.

I know – it was a long email. Sorry if it wasn’t what you expected but if it wasn’t well I am not right for you. Either way hold in there I have some good stuff always coming up and would love you to be a part of that.

Shall I share a story with you before I go?

It’s a story of change and the breaking down of a restricting habit.

On December 2009 I was alone and pretty broken after a long 5-year war and battle in divorce. It was horrible and close to killed me. I never did anything alone, I was a home bird and loved having family around me.

I thought how do I break this because if I don’t I will be alone forever. So I bought a ticket to New York, flew there for New Years Eve on my own and confronted my habit of hiding away. I was terrified. A new friend named Sam emailed me seeing I was in New York and promised to look after me for a day or so.

The first time we met he asked if I wanted to go out in the evening to a club. I don’t do clubs so I said… YES. I wanted to break the habit. He said can I meet him at the empire state building at midnight? I go to bed at 10pm so I said YES as I wanted to break a habit. He took me to the biggest baddest black mans rappers club in the west side of Manhattan and I can tell you when you are the only white guy there I felt freaked. I dint want to go but I went and I loved it.

One thousand plus hard-core rap fans bouncing to a 50-cent type rapper. I loved every minute – loved it!

Then I walked home alone at 4am through the streets of New York getting approached by prostitutes and almost getting mugged. Why did I do that? So I can reform my mind, break habits and create a new way to do things. That trip changed a lot of life for me – I loved it!

19955_268754881424_3104530_n But I didn’t want to do it. I was worried on the plane thinking what the hell am I doing going to NY all alone. Then 5-days of doing everything I had never done before.

It broke me and smashed my habits. Sometimes you just need to get out of the comfort of your habit and do something so new it changes everything for you.

I’m ready to help you. MENTOR – I am ready to work with you. STRATEGIC ALLIANCE – just ask.

If you read and are ready to change your habits we what the hell are you waiting for … Hit reply and let’s talk

Your man on a Vintage Triumph Motorbike heading to LA from New York

Alan Forrest Smith – The destroyer of Habits!

MY ACCLAIMED MENTOR PRGRAM CAN BE FOUND HERE

33% Response Sales Letter Interview

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Below is an interview I did over 10 years ago ( I think). The interviewer wanted to know more about a letter I had written that pulled a huge 33% response.

Here's the interview.

JY: Hi, this is Jerry Yeo from AdWriting.com, and today, my guest is Alan Forrest Smith, from AlanForrestSmith.com. Alan specializes in writing sales letters, and his sales letters have brought in millions of dollars in sales for his clients. He has worked with the leading marketers in the world, such as Andrew Reynolds, who is UK’s number one marketer, and also the Jay Abraham Group, and Marlon Sanders, and Michel Fortin and many other very successful marketers. And, Alan has also lectured throughout the world, in countries such as Russia, UK, Ireland, and he even has upcoming lectures in Milan and Japan. So, welcome, Alan.

AFS: Okay, Jerry, thanks, it’s good to be here.

JY: Great. so today, we’re going to be breaking down a sales letter that brought in an amazing 33% response, which is quite amazing. I’m just doing the math here, and it seems you’re making about ₤16 for every letter you mail.

AFS: Yeah, well, Jerry, I don’t know, because I write for the client, and the client mails it out, and he sets his own price, his own figures, his own breakeven. But, yeah, on this particular letter, the guy did very, very well with it, very well. And, he’s still running this letter. In fact, he ran this letter last week, and he sold 155 products with the letter, so he was very pleased.

JY:That’s a very good response. So, I’m going to just jump right in, so Alan, how do you prepare yourself before you sit down to write copy?

AFS: OK, well, to be honest, I don’t think I do anything in particular, or anything special, but I will tell you what I do do. When I have a first contact with a client, I get as much information as I possibly can about the whole project. The next priority beyond that is to find out about the target market of the client. My client is looking to sell to someone in particular. I try and find out as much information about that individual or that target market. I then read everything I can on that particular market, and I research as much as I can. When I’ve done that, that takes a couple of days, I don’t do anything, probably, for about two or three weeks. I think about the project. So, while I’m writing one project, I’m usually thinking about the next one.

So, that’s how I do it, Jerry, I just turn it over in my mind for about three weeks, two or three weeks. I then sit down and write, and it takes me probably a day to write the whole letter. This particular letter was probably about 20 pages when it was written. I sit down, write the letter. That will probably take me about 12 to 14 hours, non-stop, I’ll just go right through. And then, when I’ve done that, I go back to it in the morning, I just re-read it, I take some copy out, and then, I’ll leave it for a few days. Then, I go back after a few days, polish it, and send it to the proofreader, then.

JY: Okay, I see, so let me back you up a little bit. You mentioned researching your target market, so what are some ways you would recommend that we go about that?

AFS: Well, we’ll come, as an example, the letter I sent you.

JY:Okay.

AFS: And, I can tell you how I worked that particular one. First of all, this actual letter is for the business opportunity market, so it’s for the kind of guys that go on many courses, buy many how to do it books, how to succeed, how to pack in your job, so you’ve got to tune in to the mentality of that market. In other words, you’ve got to try and think the way that target market would think. So, these guys are thinking, I want to get away from my job, I’m fed up with 9:00 to 5:00, I’m sick of sitting in the car all day. What would be a good way for me to earn a month’s wages in a few days? So, basically, research the mindset of that market, where they’ve been, where they are now, and where they want to be. And, that’s it, really, Jerry.

JY: OK, great, so when you’re writing copy, do you use any kind of a formula?

AFS: I don’t really, to be honest. I mean, there’s loads of people talking about formulas, and you know, you can buy this electronic software now where you know, like Push Button Letters, or so on, which, actually, they’re not too bad. But, for me, it’s too formularized. I just believe that copy, I mean, I do like formal copy. For example, if I wrote a letter for a bank, it wouldn’t be in the style of the letter that I sent you. It would have to be more formal. Well, I don’t really use any fixed formula, but what I try and do is, I try and have a conversation through the copy to one individual, rather than talk to a big target market of 10,000 people at once. So, just try and keep it conversational, really.

JY: Yeah, and you’ve really done that in this letter.

AFS: Yeah, I think this is a good example of that, yeah.

JY: Okay, so I’m just going to go through the copy, and ask you questions along the way.

AFS: Yes, fire away.

JY:So, let’s start the headline, so I believe you’ve put a lot of thought in this, just this headline, so could you kind of break it down, how you created this headline, and what’s the psychology behind it?

AFS:Sure, well, just for the sake of the listeners, Jerry, I think what I’ll do is I’ll just read that headline out, shall I?

JY: Sure.

AFS: At the very top, in very small font, probably about a 10 or 12 font. It just says, “Important,” in bold, “if you are serious about creating a life free from 9:00 till 5:00 restrictions, you’d be nuts not to read this incredible story of...” “How Ex-Landscape Gardener turned Web Entrepreneur banked 2,540 UK pounds,” which is about $5,000 U.S. dollars, “in just 9 days from his ‘NEW’ First Venture.” Now, the psychology behind that headline, was first of all, it’s tapping into the target market, because the target market, they want to be free from a life of 9:00 till 5:00 restrictions.

So, first of all, you’re tapping into the way those people think, straightaway. So, if they want to be free from those 9:00 till 5:00 restrictions, well, you say to them, “Well, you’d be nuts not to read this incredible story of how…” And then, what we’re going to do is, we’re going to tell them a story of somebody who’s really done this, and we have an average guy, ex-landscape gardener, who if he’s always going to be a gardener, he’s not going to be earning great money. Notice how he’s turned Web Entrepreneur, and he banked this massive $5,000 in just 9 days. And, the point is, it says, “From his “NEW” First Venture.

So, in other words, all that headline does is, it says to the target, “Look,” it says, “you are the target market,” because that’s the way they’re thinking subconsciously, and then, it says to them, “Here’s an average guy, nobody special, who’s done this in 9 days, on his very first venture.” In other words, it’s easy, anyone can do it. You just need a system, and if you want to know the system, read his story.

JY: And that will lead them to read the story.

AFS: Hopefully!

JY: So next to the headline, you have, actually, a picture of a guy with a shovel…

AFS: Yeah.

JY: And, is there any reason why you decided to put the picture there?

AFS: Yeah, just to show, first of all, the eye will be drawn to the right.

JY: Yes.

AFS: Just naturally, your eyes are always drawn to the right, so the photo’s on the right for a reason.

JY: Right.

AFS: And also, just to show that this really was an average guy. And, this is an actual picture of the guy at work, so I just said to the guy, I said, “I need a photograph of you doing your daily, average job, digging a hole, filling a wheel barrow, and working in the cold,” because, if I put a man right at the beginning, sitting behind a desk with a big wad of dollars in his hand, well, the average person can’t relate to that. That’s what they want to be, but they don’t relate to it. Where, on this photo, it’s the average guy, doing an average job, average wage, and they can relate to that. So, they’ll automatically say, “Well, you know, if this average Joe has done this, I can do it, as well.” So, that’s the psychology behind the photograph.

JY:Okay, I see. So, now, moving along in the letter, I’m not going to read out the letter. The listeners are going to have a copy of this letter.

AFS: Yeah.

JY OK, so, but I see the first two-thirds of the letter is basically a personal story.

AFS:Yeah.

JY: So, is there any reason why you chose this approach?

AFS: Yeah, there is, I mean, you know what, Jerry, if you read a newspaper, what you read in a newspaper, is you do get some editorial. But, the really interesting stuff that people want to read is the stories.

JY: Yeah, that’s right.

AFS: So, people want to know what’s happening to someone, what’s happening to a country, what’s happening to a nation, what’s happening to a product. People want to know stories. But, when it’s a one-on-one story, a real guy doing a real thing, he’s at home with his wife, he’s got all this stuff, all this junk piled up everywhere, and he’s suddenly become a success, people want to know why, because it’s intriguing. Because, just on a purely human level, people are always interested in reading about people who’ve achieved things that they’ve never achieved, because they think, yeah, well, I would love to do that. I want to be there, as well. If this guy can do it, I can do it.

So, stories are great. For me, stories out-pull anything, and what you’re doing is you’re sitting…it’s like one guy sitting on one side of a table, another guy sitting on another side of a table, both drinking a coffee, and you’re having a conversation. So, you sit there, and you’re telling this guy, “This is my story, listen to this.” And, people love stories, people just love hearing about people. So, that was the reason for the story, Jerry, on that.

JY: Okay, I see. And so, you’re sending a business opportunity product letter, and most people selling such products, they try to position themselves, like they say that, “I’m a guru, and I just discovered this new way to make money.”

AFS:Yeah.

JY: But, your letter takes quite a different approach.

AFS: Yeah.

JY: And, in fact, kind of self-deprecating.

AFS:Yeah.

JY:And so, why did you choose this kind of approach?

AFS: Because, I think the reason…I might be wrong on this, Jerry, but I do believe the target market for this stuff has been absolutely destroyed, really, by online copywriters, because I think there’s too much of the same going around. And, when I first had this project, he wanted to go down that first approach, this is a guru, etc., etc., and I said, “What is the point,” because we knew that other projects exactly the same are drawn out to different mailing lists in the UK, and he would have been happy with a 2% response rate. But, for him to have a 2% response rate, meant to have a 98% fail rate, and I didn’t really want to go down that path, because I just felt we’ve seen it all before, we’ve heard it all before. People are becoming numb to the word, “guru,” the word, “expert.” People just don’t believe it now, and we do live in a very skeptical society, because we’re being fed so much junk.

I wanted to make it as real as possible. And, it was a little story. I just wanted to tell this guy’s story, exactly how it happened, so I avoided the guru thing on purpose, because I think it’s been hammered to death. But, Jerry, just let me say, I might be wrong on that. But, I wanted to take a different approach, and I think the response rate proved it was the right way to go in this particular case.

JY: Yeah, I think it really made a difference.

AFS: Yeah.

JY:And, so as I read your letter, I find it very disarming and, in fact, it seems that there’s some emotional bonding going on.

AFS: Yes.

JY: So, how did you achieve this effect with your letter?

AFS:Well, I think the best way to say it is as others said before, really. What I’m trying to do is, I want the audience, or the one individual I’m talking to, to be able to relate to the guy in the letter, so, eventually to say, “Well, yeah, I’ve made those mistakes, and I’ve wasted that money, I have tried this, I have tried that.” He’s tried it, as well. So, if he’s tried all this, and he’s wasted all that money, and eventually, he’s been able to make a complete success of it, well, maybe I can do the same, because, I think people like to think of themselves, and probably including myself, people like to think of themselves as I’m successful at what I do, I’m doing really well, you know, and nobody can teach me anything.

And, what I wanted really to do was to bring down every single barrier, which I think the letter did well, and just have a conversation, just sit and chat to someone, and just again, say, “This is my story. Anyone can do it.” And, I think the point was, it was to disarm the reader, to pull him into the copy, so that it’d take down every single barrier that he may have, and to keep him reading through the copy.

I mean, I think we have to remember that the whole purpose of a sales letter, initially, is to get read. You know, because if it doesn’t get read, we don’t get any response.

JY: Yeah, that’s right.

AFS:So, you have to pull them in, and it’s a little bit like grabbing the end of a rope, and the individual is 100 meters away at the other end, 100 yards, and you’re pulling them in slowly. And, that’s what you have to do with a sales letter, you have to pull them through. People don’t want to read. People don’t want to read, I mean, in this case, it’s a 12-page letter. People don’t want to sit and read a 12-page letter, so you have to give them a good enough reason to pull them through the copy. And, you have to keep pulling them through, because as soon as they get…it’s a big boring, they’ll just burn it, it’ll just go straight in the trash.

JY:Okay, so…and, I see that along the way in your copy, you sprinkle in lots of seemingly meaningless details, like, for example, the part about waking up the wife in the middle of the night.

AFS:Yeah.

JY:And, imagining himself on the beach, and all those…is there a reason why you included these details?

AFS:Yeah, there is, because I think I try and pinch some of my ideas, again, from newspapers, and from things like kids’ books, as well, because I have four children, and we read all the time. And, I like the way that they actually build pictures in peoples’ minds.

JY:Uh huh.

AFS:So, people can…see, Jerry, the thing is, I didn’t want to just tell the story. I wanted them to be able to look into this guy’s house, and I wanted them to see him unloading everything from under the stairs. I wanted them to see him having this great idea, and running upstairs, and waking up his wife with excitement. I wanted them to actually see that, and to feel that, because what it does, it creates a little bit of adrenaline, as well. Along that stage, you can feel the pace of that letter actually picks up, then, because, he says, “In the morning, I didn’t want to go and do my landscape gardening, I didn’t want to cut the hedge. I needed to do this…”

So, it goes from kind of a story, and the pace picks up then, and becomes a little bit more exciting. And so, yeah, they’re meaningless details, but it builds a picture of the guy’s life, and that was the point, really. See, because a lot of these guys that do these biz opportunities, you know, they’ve already spent thousands, and you know what it’s like if you’re a married man, and you’re going to say to your wife, “Listen, I want to spend another $3,000,” she says, “You spend another $3,000 and I’m going to throw you out the window.”

JY:Yes.

AFS:So, I was just trying to make it as real as possible, really.

JY:And, along the way, I see you have pictures along the way, and also, there’s hand-written notes.

AFS:Yes.

JY:About hand-written notes, aren’t they kind of untidy? Why don’t you just type in directly to the letter?

AFS:Because, one, the hand-written notes are supposed to look a little bit like an afterthought, so it says, we’re going through the letter. And, again, going back to newspapers, if you look at newspapers, they will have many headlines just stuck right in the middle of copy. Now, in this particular case, to be quite honest with you, I would normally put hand-written notes in the margin. In this case, I wanted to try it within the copy, so that was why I put the hand-written notes right in the copy because I wanted it to stand out, and we have to remember, when people read…if somebody gets a 12-page sales letter through the Post, they’re going to read the headline, they’re going to flick through the pages without reading them, and look at the sub-headlines.

But, the stuff they will read, they’ll read the copy that’s underneath the graphic, and they’ll read any other copy that stands out, that was different. For instance, on Page 7, you just see, “I’ve banked a monster 2,540 in only 9 days.” Well, as they flick through the copy, they’ll read that, and it’s exactly the same in a hand-written note, because it stands out. As they flick through the pages, before they decide to read the whole letter, they will read those little notes. And, I think the one that you’re talking about is the one that says, “I hate computers.”

JY: Yeah, that’s right.

AFS:Yeah, the one that says, “I hate computers,” again, that was to get onto their level, because I want these guys who do these biz ops with people like, I don’t know, Internet marketing opportunities and so on, a lot of them are not that good with computers, and one thing that holds some of them back is, they’re terrified. “Well, I have to build a Website, I have to…I don’t even know what auto responder is, how to use e-mail.” You know, because I deal with a lot of these guys, and they’re a bit frightened of using this stuff. So, it was just, again, it was just to get onto their level. You know, it says, “I hate computers,” well, they’re thinking, well, that’s good, because I hate computers, as well. So, it was just to get right on their level, again there, Jerry.

JY:Yeah, and I can see you repeat that point many times in that letter.

AFS:Yes, that’s right, yes.

JY:Okay, and so, since we are on the topic of cosmetics, so, could you explain like how do you pick out these sub-heads and all these phrases that you underline and emphasize?

AFS:Okay, well, again, this has got to go back to the second the target opens the envelope, he will take the letter out, and he will see the headline. Beyond the headline, he’ll flick through the letter, and he’ll pick up the sub-headlines, and he’ll pick up anything that’s unusual in the boxes, the hand-written script, copies, or the offer or the P.S. at the end. So, what you do is, I’m just going through the letter now. You see, you’ve got this big headline at the beginning, and the next thing the guy would find interesting is, “Here’s what I did to make 2 months’ wages in just 9 days, flat.” Then, this other one, “Check out my private sales ledger from my first crack at changing my working life below.” And, then there’s one under there, I think it’s Page 8, it says, “Steve, can I copy what you have done and earn some serious cash?”

So, again, the headlines, the sub-headlines, they’re usually to emphasize a point, and I think it’s important to remember, as well, Jerry, that most of these little tips and techniques are grammatically incorrect, and incorrect grammar within a sales letter can work very, very well, because if you have a letter that’s too grammatically correct, people generally, as a sales letter, wouldn’t read it. They think, oh, no, just another letter, tear it up, in the trashcan. So, when it’s grammatically incorrect, it tends to draw the eye, because it’s a bit different, you see? And so, really, most of the sub-heads and the cosmetic stuff are there for a reason, and the reason is to catch their eyes in reading through it, because most people will scan read it first.

I think you mentioned the bit about the how to, why was the how to boldened up.

JY:Uh huh.

AFS:Well, in the bullet points, in fact, Jerry, do you want to move on and I’ll step back in line.

JY:Oh, it’s OK. So, let me back up a little bit.

AFS:Sure.

JY:You mentioned one point just now about grammatically correct.

AFS:Yeah.

JY:Yeah, I noticed this letter has a very folksy tone, and it just seems like someone just scribbled a note to his friends and pasted a few pictures in it, just sent it out without any editing.

AFS:Yes. That was the whole idea.

JY:Yeah.

AFS:Because, it had to feel as real as possible. You see, the purpose was not to look as if it’s been written by a copywriter.

JY:Uh huh.

AFS:The purpose was, to look as if it was just a letter from a friend…to a friend, as if that was the whole purpose behind the whole thing. If this was going to directors or CEO’s of big companies, it would have to be absolutely right. But, you’re sending to a similar mentality, and you have to tune into that mentality, so it has to feel and appear as if it’s from a friend, simple as that.

JY:Yeah, and along the way, there’s a lot of places where you ask yourself a question, and then, you answer the question, yourself…

AFS:Yes.

JY:…many times in the copy, so is there a reason why you’re doing that?

AFS:Yeah, the reason for that is, that target audience for that letter would generally ask themselves those questions, so what you did is, you’re actually raising a question, that the target would have in their minds, and you’re giving them the answer. So, as they read through it, they might be thinking…can you give me an example in the letters, and I’ll try and go through it, any one in particular, Jerry?

JY:Yeah, so, for example, “Steve, can I…,” there’s a big sub-head on Page 8, “Steve, can I copy what you have done, and earn some serious cash?”

AFS:Right. Okay, so, and then, Steve says…”I say a big yes. I should know, I have done it.” And so, it’s raising the question and giving the answer. So, the point is, maybe at this stage in the letter, maybe they’re saying, “Well, I wonder if I could copy what he’s done?” So, really, what you’re doing is, you’re pulling out the thoughts in the mind of that individual, so you know at this stage of the letter, the individual may be thinking, Steve, I wonder if I could copy what you’ve done? And, Steve says, “Well, I say a big yes! I should know, because I have done it, and if I can do it as an ex-landscape gardener, believe me, anyone can do it, it’s that simple.” So, yeah, so, the questions are raised, on the basis that the target may be thinking the same thing, and then you offer the answer. All that really does, Jerry, is it really shows that individual that they’re making the right decision to buy, that’s what it does.

JY:Oh, so it’s kind of like if it was a face-to-face selling situation, the prospect would be asking that question at that moment.

AFS:Exactly, that’s it, yeah.

JY:Yeah, okay, I see. And, I see, I’m looking at the bullet points right now, and it seems your bullet points…do you actually target your bullet points at different objections that the prospect may have?

AFS:Right.

JY:Like, the prospect may say, “I don’t know how to create a product,” so one of your bullet points is, “How to create or find a product that Web users are looking to buy.”

AFS:Which page is that on, Jerry?

JY:Uh huh. And…

AFS:Just give me the page number, and I’ll put that one in.

JY:Page 8.

AFS:Oh, Page 8, okay, yes.

JY:So, do you do that intentionally, like to answer…?

AFS:Yeah, again, it’s just the answer, because for some, I mean, if you’ve read through to Page 8, they’re going to start raising questions in their own minds. So, you have to start giving them just solid, simple answers now. And, when you say, “How to, how to, how to,” because they could be thinking, well, how am I going to do this? How am I going to find this perfect thing? How am I going to find a product? How do I build a Website? I hate computers, I hate the Internet. I don’t have thousands of pounds to invest. You know, how am I going to drive people to this Website, or this product? There’s all sorts of ways at the end of it, it says.

So, you’ve got to draw out the mind of the individual and pull them into the copy. So, really, what you’re doing, Jerry, is you’re answering the questions that they’re thinking, and again, it’s just…you know, you said before about the face-to-face, it’s just, it’s face-to-face selling in print, that’s what it is, just on a one-to-one level.

JY:Yeah, and since we’re on the topic of bullet points…

AFS:Yes.

JY:Do you use formulas when you write bullets?

AFS:I do not at all, really, it just depends on the product, to be honest. I mean, I’m not sure exactly what you mean, so I’ll tell you what I do with bullets.

JY:Okay.

AFS:The format with bullets, I do like bullets on the how to, how you can see the first how to is bold, and then, it stops. Well, I think that makes it easier to read. And also, what I tend to do with bullets…I don’t think I’ve done it in this letter, but on other copy, what I’ll do, is I’ll take the one word from the paragraph in that bullet point that sums up the whole paragraph. And, I will put that bold, at the beginning of the bullet point. Because, some people, and again, I base it on newspaper writing, some people do not want to read the whole bullet. So, if you can say it in one word, well, say it in one word. And then, you can break down that one word in a few more details through the bullet.

And, I also like the way John Carlton does bullets, and kind of use that effectively. John Carlton uses a technique called, “double punch.” And, the way John does it is, he uses a very powerful headline, but a sprinkle through his bullets, he’ll use another powerful headline alongside the bullets, so you have your bullet point. Then, in your brackets, you would have another headline. So, you would have a double headline in each bullet. So, I think the way he does it is really good, really.

JY:Yeah.

AFS:Yeah, he does that very effectively, yeah.

JY:Yeah, I love John Carlton’s bullets.

AFS:Yeah, it’s good, yeah.

JY:And, let me back you up a little bit. You mentioned you tried to sum up the whole bullet into a short phrase, and then you put it right in front of the bullet…

AFS:Yeah.

JY:…in bold. Do you have a few examples of that, like, offhand, can you think of a few?

AFS:The one I can think of, offhand, is not actually a bullet point, but what I did is…I mean, as you know, I have two Websites, there’s OrangeBeetle.com, which is my main Website, and I’ve just launched a new Website, which is AlanForrestSmith.com. But, with AlanForrestSmith.com, I tested loads of headlines, but I’ve wanted to do something a lot simpler, on the basis that I wanted it to be more like a classified headline, rather than a story headline, just wanted to try something different, really. So, if you look at that Website, the only word it says in the headline is, “impact.” It doesn’t say anything else, apart from impact. So, we have impact, and then you have three smaller words underneath. I can’t remember exactly what it says, Jerry. I don’t know if you can bring it up in front of you. I’ve not got a computer where I am.

JY:Let me bring it up. It says, “Impact, results, response, profit.”

AFS:Right, and then you’ve got a few results underneath. I tested loads of headlines before I came to that, and the reason we used that is one, that Website, at the moment, is just under 30% conversion rate from visitors. And, when I say, “conversion,” that is not conversion to sale. That’s a conversion to responding the form at the bottom. So, at the moment, it’s doing really well, and that headline, I think…what you could say is, “How would you like to build your business by 67% in 5 days?” And, if you build your business by 67% in 5 days, well, obviously, that’s high-impact advertising.

So, what I wanted to do is, I wanted to do a classified-style headline, which, basically, you know, you have to say as much as you can, with as few words as you can. So, the word I settled on in the end was, “impact,” and then the other three words underneath, which, hopefully, sum up why they get the impact. So, that’s the best example I can think of at the moment, which is working very, very well for me.

JY:Okay, so, now, going on to Page 10.

AFS:Yeah.

JY:Just the point about ask for the order, and you say…there’s a little sentence that says, “Do me a favor, though, just don’t expect hidden secrets from the Pharaohs or any other miraculous program.” So, is there any reason why you decided to put that sentence there?

AFS:Yeah, there is, Jerry, because I think what’s happened…I mean, let’s be honest, advertising and copywriting has been around for decades, hundreds of years. So, what we’re doing is nothing new, really. But, I think…one thing I don’t like at the moment, is I think a lot of online copy is destroying the credibility of copywriting, to some extent. There’s some brilliant copywriters, like Michel Fortin, I mean Michel does fantastic stuff. His copy’s great, and there’s loads of copy out there that is really good. But, there’s a lot of this really, really bad stuff, and what’s happening is, these copywriters are selling absolute junk through words, and I think what’s happening is people just don’t believe it.

So, you know, it’s saying there, “Do me a favor, don’t expect hidden secrets from the Pharaohs or any other miraculous program.” What we’re just saying to them, “Look, I’ve told you exactly what it’s done for me. Don’t just buy this product and expect to be a multi-millionaire overnight, because it’s just not going to happen.” And, that was the reason that paragraph was put in, just to make sure they know that it was just a real live product that anyone could use, but it’s not a miracle cure, you have to work at it, simple as that.

JY:Yeah, and I do agree that it really adds to the credibility.

AFS:Yeah, I mean, that is the word, Jerry, credibility. It makes it credible, yes.

JY:And, also like, in this company, like Steve, the client, he says so many…when I’m reading it, he says so many bad things about himself, that he has to be telling the truth.

AFS:Yeah, that’s right, yeah. And, that’s the point, I mean, you know, we’re not all Supermen, are we? You know, we’re just all average people doing average things, and every now and again, we all do something a little bit special, but all this mess on line, that if you buy this product, you’ll make a million, it’s absolutely rubbish. I mean, I wrote with a big company in the UK, these guys sell fantastic marketing stuff, you know, the Terry Dean stuff, the Corey Rudl, Declan Dunn, all the good stuff. They’re only something like 25% of the people who attend their seminars, actually do anything with it. And, these guys are paying 5,000 UK pounds to go in the seminar.

You know, but I think what they expect, Jerry, is they expect to take it home, put it in the house and think now I’m going to make a lot of money. It’s not like that. You know, just buying a pair of scissors, doesn’t make you a great hairdresser. You’ve got to pick the scissors up and practice, and practice, and practice, and then you become a great hairdresser. And, the principle’s the same with this stuff.

And, you know, I think when I write copy, I’m really zeroing away from the fact that I don’t want to tell anyone it’s a miracle cure, I don’t want to tell people they’ll make millions, I don’t want to tell people to do anything with it. I want to tell them real life examples, and I want them to say, “If this guy can do it, you can do it, but you must follow the system.”

JY:Yeah, okay, and right now, I’m on the last page, and there are three P.S.’s, so could you kind of explain what you try to achieve through the P.S.?

AFS:Well, the P.S., I’m not sure about P.S.’s, really. I’ve never really tested them to the limit, myself, but a lot of other people have tested them, like Dan Kennedy, and Michel Fortin goes on about his P.S.’s, and quite a few others go on about the P.S. Very honestly, what I do is I just copy what other people are doing, as far as testing goes. You know, the current line of thinking of testing with a P.S., is three P.S.’s work better than one, and that is the reason I used three P.S.’s.

I just want to say, looking at this letter now, because this was done quite some time ago, I think these actual P.S.’s are quite weak, but P.S.’s can work very, very well. And, again, what I’ve started doing, and I’ve been doing for a while now, is on my last P.S. is I think, a pinch from John Carlton, on my last P.S., using a testimonial in it, or a couple of testimonials. I think just doing a testimonial in P.S.’s, it’s interesting what John Carlton does, because sometimes, what we all tend to do, if somebody sends us a testimonial, we tend to use the whole thing, but what John Carlton does is he says, “Just take out the three or four words of it that does the work, which are really powerful, and glue them together, and use it that way.” So, I think that’s a better way to use a testimonial, especially in a P.S.

JY:Okay.

AFS:Just remember, with a P.S., as well, you know, going back to the beginning, when people scan read a letter, they scan the headline and the subs, and then, they always go to the P.S.’s, as well as the offer. So, it’s important to keep the P.S. very strong, and give them a reason to buy in, or to read the copy.

JY:I see, and you spoke about testimonials. Is there any reason why there are no testimonials in this letter?

AFS:Well, there is because…with the actual product, the actual product is a Terry Dean video and some other stuff, Marlon Sanders, and so on. This particular product has been hammered to death, so I really didn’t want the letter to read like anything anyone else had seen already. In fact, I think what’s interesting about this letter, it doesn’t actually talk about the product.

JY:Yeah, you’re right, it just talks about the end results.

AFS:Right, it talks about Steve and his experience.

JY:Uh huh.

AFS:And then, at the very end, the product gets a slight mention. You know, “This is what I use, order it, and I’ll send it to you.” So, I didn’t really want to use testimonials in it because I really…all I wanted to do with this letter was to tell everyone an experience, what happened to someone that worked well. And, this guy’s basically saying, “Look, this letter is my personal testimonial. It’s worked for me, it could work for you, but you have to do it.” So, testimonials, although we have loads of testimonials from people we didn’t know, I didn’t want to use them, really. I just wanted to keep it very personal.

JY:Okay. Now, Alan, I’m really going to put you on the spot, now.

AFS:Go ahead, fire away.

JY:This is the Alan Forrest Smith Challenge, okay.

AFS:Yes.

JY:Okay, so, suppose you had a time bomb planted into your body, and you’re given an assignment, a piece of copy to write.

AFS:Yeah.

JY:And, the copy has to succeed, or the time bomb will explode in your body.

AFS:Yeah.

JY:So, what are the three most important things you would do to make sure that the letter succeeds?

AFS:Right, well, the first thing you have to do is get their attention. So, the headline is crucial. The second thing you have to do is give them enough information, that they could be thinking about in their minds. And, the third thing is to give them the biggest desire to act that they could ever possibly want. I think David Ogilvy, famous copywriter, sums this up really well, because he talks about subway advertising. He talks about how subway advertising fails really badly, and it’s because they try and write a long piece of copy while people are stuck in the subway, hoping that people are going to read it. And, actually inside the cube on the train, itself, you know, the boards that you have, and what David Ogilvy said of this, you’ve got to say it quick, you’ve got to say it fast, and you’ve got to give them a good enough reason to act.

And really, I think that’s the whole thing, really, great headline, great reason, and a great reason to act. So, basically, the usual thing, you’ve got to attract, inform, desire, and get them to act on it. I think that just goes back to the classified-style copy, as well, Jerry. You know, if you can say in one word, say it in one word. You know, a lot of copy…especially new copywriters, think, well, I’m going to have to think of this great headline, and they think of these headlines which are about 20 words long, or whatever. If you can say it in two words, three words, five words, say it in that amount, because if you don’t catch them with the headline, they won’t read the rest.

JY:Yes, okay.

AFS:Has the bomb gone off?

JY:No, okay. Alan, you’ve given so much great info on this interview. I know my listeners are going to want to know like what other resources or any services you have that can help them?

AFS:Okay, well, the funny thing, Jerry, since I’ve been copywriting, I’ve been…my work in life, I started working very early really, was a bit of a young Entrepreneur, but my first job, I was a landscape gardener for a few years, and I used to wash cars, and I used to do all sorts of things. And then, I became a hairdresser, and I had a chain of hairdressing salons, and due to that business, I started doing my own copywriting. So, probably for the past 10 or 15 years, I’ve been writing stuff for myself. But, for the past three or four years, I’ve been doing it as a living, and this is what I do all the time now.

So, for copywriting, I think the best thing you can do with copy is, first of all, you’ve got to learn from the masters. Now, when I say the masters, I tend not to read a lot of the modern day guys, because I think what they do is they dress up a lot of the old people, you know, like the John Caples and David Ogilvy, and Leo Burnett, just all the real old masters. I think if you can get into them, that’s great, and of course, Claude Hopkins’ “Scientific Advertising,” which everybody talks about, but I just wonder how many people read it. You know, I’ve read it…I must have read it 10 times, at least. But, I wonder if people buy it and think, it’s a little bit too simple, so they don’t read it. But books like that are brilliant books.

Also, find someone you can copy, so if you can find a mentor that you can actually…if you can get his advert., his sales letters and so on, and you know he’s successful, you just copy it, and I’m not saying blatantly copy it and use it as a working piece. I’m on about copy the style and everything else. And, when you’ve got his style right and you know it’s working, well, what you start to do is you start to develop your own technique, your own thoughts, your own thinking, and you move forward from there.

But, the most important thing, I think, is to just start writing because just even this letter that we’ve gone through this morning, or this evening in your country, this letter that we’ve gone through now, I’ve not read that letter, probably for 12 months, and I’m reading it, and I’m seeing a lot of mistakes in it, really. And, I’m thinking, you know, oh, I should have changed the P.S.’s, I should have done the headline different, I don’t like the sub-heads. And, the point is, the more you write, the better you become, because you can start chopping out a lot of junk, and you start to understand that people don’t read certain things you write, you know, so there’s no need to do that.

And, just keep writing, really, Jerry, keep on going. Try to copy someone. Can I just tell you what really winds me up these days?

JY:Sure.

AFS:I think…now, don’t get me wrong, I love John Carlton, I’ve got all his stuff, I’ve bought all his stuff. I love what John Carlton does, and you know, when I see his examples and his DVD’s, you know, you get loads of great ideas, and you go, oh, fantastic. And, the same with Gary Halbert, as well. I mean, who wouldn’t click open a Gary Halbert page and read it? You have to read it, because his copy is done in such a good way, you’re pulled all the way through.

JY:Yes.

AFS:And, the same with Marlon Sanders. Marlon Sanders, fantastic to read his stuff. The one that gets mine these days, Jerry, is everybody thinks they’re John Carlton or Gary Halbert, or Marlon Sanders, and what’s happening is, we’re going to loads and loads of Web pages or Web sites which look and sound exactly the same now. So, people are not defining themselves with a real definite face. I mean, years ago everybody knew Ogilvy had done this, or people knew that someone else had done that, and so on.

These days, everything’s mish-mashed into each other, and people are just trying to copy, copy, copy. But, don’t get me wrong, I mean, I think copy’s the best way to start. You just duplicate something that someone else has done, but I don’t think…it must infuriate John Carlton and Gary Halbert, or maybe flatter them, I don’t know. Everybody’s trying to copy exactly what they do. Because, the problem is, you know, people stop reading it in the end because it all looks and sounds exactly the same, and let’s face it, there’s nothing as good as the original, anyway. So, it’s very important that yeah, you copy these guys initially, but you progress and develop your own style, it’s very important. Sorry, Jerry, I know I’m rambling on there.

JY:Oh, no, no, it’s okay. So, could you give us more information -- I know you have a couple of Websites, and you have a copywriting service, as well. Could you give us more information about your Websites and how people can get in touch with you?

AFS:Sure, yeah, well, and anyone can contact me through OrangeBeetle.com, or they can contact me through AlanForrestSmith.com. And, I have a few new projects which are not ready to go yet, so I won’t let you know. I also…I’ll just give you another real interesting thing, I have another website called Hairee.com, and Hairee.com is a good example of how to establish a niche online, because this particular Website just draws on past experiences from running and owning hairdressing salons, and it’s now one of the biggest hit Websites just for hairdressing salon-owners in the world now, so that does very well.

There’s a couple of services, you can e-mail me at OrangeBeetle.com, or AlanForrestSmith.com, and OrangeBeetle… OrangeBeetle is moving towards being more of an agency. Probably over the next 12 months, you’ll see more of that. I have nine first class copywriters that I work with on that one, based in Canada, Australia…they’re based all over the place, to be honest. So, that does really, really well. That’s grown unbelievably, really. The phone numbers are all the same, as well, it’s UK 00-44-1925-764-422, and I’m not cheap. I try to stick being a premium, top end copywriter, but I think with a 33% response rate, I can justify my prices.

JY:Yes, and would you like to spell your Website URL’s in case people are listening?

AFS:OrangeBeetle is O-r-a-n-g-e-B-e-e-t-l-e.com. AlanForrestSmith.com is A-l-a-n-F-o-r-r-e-s-t.com. Oh, sorry, no! It’s, A-l-a-n-F-o-r-r-e-s-t-S-m-i-t-h.com. See, there you go, Jerry, that’s why copywriters need proofreaders! I can’t even spell my own domain name!

JY:Okay, so thank you, Alan, for taking the time today for this interview.

AFS:Well, you know what, Jerry, I mean, I’ve had all sorts of invites, and just to sit and I tell you right now, I’m sitting in the middle of a field by an orchard, surrounded by sheep. I don’t know if you can hear them, Jerry, there’s some tractors in the background. So, I just live on a farm in the middle of nowhere, and I’ve just come back from Russia for four days, which was incredible. So, I’ve had a little busy four days, but just to sit here and be interviewed, you know, by a guy in Singapore, who I’ve never met, and we’ve had a nice chat, nice relaxing conversation. And, even just going through these things refreshes my mind, so I’m really grateful that you’ve asked me to do it, and I just want you to know that I’m grateful for your listeners that they’ve taken the time to listen, as well.

JY:Okay, so thanks a lot, Alan.

AFS:Okay, Jerry, the pleasure, it was all mine.

JY:Okay, see you, bye.

AFS:Thanks, Jerry.

JY:Bye.

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The 47% response Rate Sales Letter

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The 47% Sales Letter

How the hell do you get 47% response rate to conversion from a direct mailer? Especially when the guy had already been mailing every couple of months with a dismal response.

This is a true story.

The story will shock anyone involved in marketing.

The story will also be hard to believe.

The businessman has asked for his name to be protected.

So it started with a cake.

A guy walked into my business one day and asked to speak to me. I walked over introduced myself with a smile and asked what I could do for him.

He handed me a box and said I heard you love Mille Fleur cakes (I do) so I brought a couple for you. He had got my attention right away. The cake wasn’t opened there and then but we drank tea together and shared a cake. His problem was really simple, brutally honest and threatening his marriage.

His problem was this.

He had set up a new company with a partner just around one year previously. The partner was now screaming his brains out and threatening all kinds of actions if more sales weren’t made.

You couldn’t blame the guy because he had pulled together an investment of just under a million to kick-start this project. The project included a mad-scientist from the mountains of Switzerland where he worked in a deep cave where he and other mad scientist were working like crazy to save the world. However …

Almost one year had past and sales were pathetic.

I asked him what he was doing to take this new business to market. He told me the following about his campaign.

“Each month I send direct mail to a list of highly targeted prospects”

“How many pieces do you send out?” I asked him.

“I send around 5,000 a month, sometimes more, sometimes less”

“And you get how much response?”

“Most of the time I get no reply”

“No reply?”

“Yes” he replied with a face that looked grey and surrendered to a battle he now believed he could never win.

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Yes one thing”… he stalled for a moment, looked me in the yes and smiled.

“This is weird but if this doesn’t work now my wife is leaving me with our two kids”

“Wow” I replied.

SOLD HIS WIFE'S CAR

He then went on to tell me that he had sold her car, sold their small holiday place, and had re-mortgaged his home 3-times to make this dream business happen. The same dream that was now fast becoming a nightmare of nightmares.

So for the sake of getting to the point here is what I did (because this is a long detailed story).

Five thousand direct mail letters a month for this guy was like a King's ransom. So the first thing we did was reduce the volume of mailers. Why? No response after all the mail he had sent proved his targeting was way off.

Second, we hand picked just 100 targets from his list to chase. All were more specific to his product and a higher end client. The list I used was a leverage campaign. This meant they had dealt with him before so this increased the possibility of the sale.

Third, we stopped trying to sell from the direct mail but created an intimate evening where they were all invited to join us, listen to professional advice for the target’s businesses and receive free gifts for from the evening. This allowed the target to get to know my client before making any commitment - trust!

The build-up period for this small gathering was just 4-weeks as time for the client was now very tight. The mailers were packed with good news, urgency and a strong call to action.

One thing I spent a long time persuading my client was to create an offer that was an acquisition offer. This meant rather than make money from the first sale he would actually spend some money to buy his new client. This is a killer strategy that almost no one uses.

All of the one hundred direct mail letters were sent.

Out of the 100 targets, 47% responded and were booked into the open evening. All apart from one arrived on the evening. We used another strategy to ensure all came.

The evening began with a small presentation. The presentation gave the guests more than they could ever have expected.

THE BIG CALL TO ACTION

Finally, at the end of the evening, there was to be a call to action.

It was really simple. I removed ANY profits from the first sale to the client. This removed all risk for the potential new buyer. So a package that was to cost £2,500 was reduced to just £1,100. This was cut-right back to the cost price. This is the acquisition strategy.

So the reality was for everyone that bought on that night it was going to cost my client to buy them. It cost him around £100 per client. Honestly, he didn’t quite get it but trusted me at the time.

Here’s the good news.

His wife never left him.

His partner didn’t fire him.

That evening was had a 12-month value in sales for him of OVER £800,000

All from 100 direct mailers.

All from stripping-back his wasted and thoughtless marketing campaign.

All from a response from a tiny almost microscopic list of just 47 prospects.

And it all started with a cake and a dammed good one at that!

So looking back what went wrong for him?

GET IT RIGHT FROM THE START

Really simple, he did what every business I work with has been doing for years before we meet and that is just do marketing with no thought at all.

  • If you get your planning wrong it just won’t work.
  • If you get your strategies wrong it just won’t work.
  • If you use tactics that are just not suited to your targets – it just won’t work.

So when you create your own sales letter you have two things you can do.

Hire an expert copywriter that understand words, paragraphs, openings, closes, body copy, offers, guarantees and more.

Do it yourself and hope and pray to God your wife or husband doesn't leave you in the middle of your hapless efforts. But seriously why take a risk or a chance or waste time trying yourself?

The client above is proof of that and believes me when I tell you 99.9% of clients that come to me despite doing what they have done for years waste fortunes on marketing that will never work in a million-billion years.

Over 30-years in business has taught me one thing … thinking and planning a campaign through is always the key but the most and biggest thing I have learnt in business is this…

Ask for advice and where required a cake offering can help.

If you need help planting a rocket in your marketing systems … you know here to find me but be quick and to the point – I’m a busy man.

I’d love to help you.

Peace and cakes.

Your beard wonder - Alan Forrest Smith

PS. You'll like to read Direct Mail The Lead Sales Letter Sample article

How to writer a sales letter article

Marketing Budgets and Costs

How to Create Flyers That Sell

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