Price Training

Package Selling: Can I Buy This Car With No Tires?

September 18, 2010100 Comments

One thing you are going to notice over and over again when you put out information products, when you offer your services - and more, is that the average person loves to save a couple of pennies, even if they have to bend over backwards to do it.

It is totally fine for your customers to do that when they going to Wal-Mart, but you should train them not to have that mentality with you.  If somebody can't afford what you have to offer, or it is not the right fit, they simply shouldn't buy it!

When it comes to selling your product online, you need to be up-front and clear about what you are giving them; don't be afraid to say "No", and to market more.

Car with No Steering Wheel?

Let's say you went to a car dealership and you were going to buy a car; looked at the car and you said, "I like it but I already have my own steering wheel. Can you sell me the car without a steering wheel?"  Or "I already have a stereo.  Can you sell me the car without the stereo?"  They would almost always tell you "No!"

But it aggravates me when I offer membership training that includes a membership plug-in and people ask, "Can you offer me the training without the plug-in and make it cheaper?"

A few years ago, when I didn't make as much money, I might have tried to negotiate with them.  But nowadays it is a lot easier to simply say, "It is all a package deal."   I don't try to sneak in any charges; I don't try to say that they pay once but accidentally get re-billed over and over.  I am very clear about the monthly recurring - but they can't pick and choose what they want.  The offer is "Take it or leave it!"

And it is totally okay to throw in extra features that you already offer, because many of these people who try to negotiate the price down don't look at everything you have to offer; they are only looking at the price.  For example, if someone is trying to get my training without the plug-in, I remind them that after all the payments have been made, they are in for LIFE!

Lump Sum?

On the other hand, here is an offer I get every now and then:  I get people asking me, "Can I simply pay you some lump sum fee and get access for life right now?"  And what they are usually looking for is a way to cut the price because they are paying it all up-front.

As much as I would like to be the "Nice Guy", this gets back to the price training and customer training.  I want my customers to get used to paying me month after month, and not buying the whole thing out - so I say "No."

Never be afraid to say "No."  It's okay if this person who is asking you is not a perfect fit.  This definitely does not apply to everyone.  And this definitely does not apply to you.  But I have found that if someone is trying to negotiate the price down with me, they are the kind of person who always is trying to find some extra reason for why they shouldn't do something.

For example, they are not buying because the price is too high. That is one roadblock they have put into place.  Then, when this type of person finally gets in, they put in more roadblocks for why they can't watch the videos, why they can't take action on the things I've talked on, and why the things they have read about and been taught are not exactly the way they have implemented them.

I don't want that kind of person in my membership sites.  I want the kind of people who are willing to try something once without trying to be fancy or reinvent the system until they have tried it.  People like me!  If someone is trying to remove the packaging or trying to buy your membership all up-front, don't be afraid to say "No."

So what do you do and say?  How do you overcome these kinds of price objections or nickel and dime strategies?  It's simple!  You market more. You create a better sales letter. You split test.  You add more follow-ups. You remind people more.  You are more confident on your Webinars.  And you price your OTHER products at the same level as the thing you really want them to buy.

You want to train people to pay you more.  You don't want to be the "Bargain Basement marketer"; you want to be the marketer that actually gets people to do things.

What This Means for Your Offers

So when somebody asks you, "Can I buy this car with no tires?" (And by "car" I mean can they buy into your "Membership site with only half of the components for half the price") tell them "No!"

You made an offer. Everything in your membership site is totally necessary.  So they have to pay the full price - and they get the whole thing.

Just remember, the average person loves to save a couple of pennies.  But you need to retrain them so that they will actually get something out of your marketing!

This is just as much a favor for them as to you.  Be clear about what you are offering, don't have forced continuity, don't fall into the trap of selling "life-time access", don't be afraid to say "No"; and market more, sell more - and price more.

Offer a Payment Plan Or Not?

July 6, 201015 Comments

Any time somebody teaches membership sites, you always see the question come up, "Should I offer a payment plan or should I offer some kind of a trial?"

And while it seems like a lot of fun, and while it seems like you might get a lot more subscribers and customers into your funnel by offering a payment plan or a trial period, I recommend you stay away from them, for these three reasons:

You are always training your subscribers (whether you realize it or not); you are training your buyers as well; and trials just plain suck and attract the wrong kind of customer that you do NOT want to be a part of your business.

How Do You Train Your Subscribers?

Even if somebody doesn't see everything that happens behind closed doors within your membership site; even if they have not bought a lot of things from you, they still see the way you market your stuff.

If you are always offering a payment plan, or if the reason for you offering a payment plan is because no-one is buying, you look desperate!  If you are not emailing to your subscribers enough, then they get the feeling like you are not much of a marketer.

If you keep dropping the price or keep piling in more bonuses without actually marketing your product, you look like somebody who will simply pile on more "stuff" in order to get a sale; and not really marketing and not convincing people and giving real good REASONS for them to join.

And let's say somebody does join.  You are training those buyers as well. If someone is used to only paying you $1 or $5, and they have been doing it for years, it might be a little bit of a struggle to get them to the $100 or higher mark.

It might take a little bit of time - but if you can get your buyers to pay you more money to get more stuff, instead of paying you less money to get less stuff, they will be used to dedicating a larger portion of their monthly budget to getting your solutions.  And that includes payment plans and membership sites.

I am totally for having a membership site where with every payment they get some new kind of concern.  But too many times I see launches happen where someone is offering a product for $100, and people split it up over five payments: they pay five times but they only get one thing at the very beginning!  How much sense does THAT make?

And the reason why many marketers offer payment plans like this is to claim a high number of sales. They get a lot of people to pay them $20 and then they claim that every sale was a $100 sale, when really it was only a $20 sale, and many people canceled along the way - because after all, why should somebody continue making payments if they already got the product they paid for?

Payment Plans Are Good If There Is Ongoing Content...

But they are not good if there is just a single-time delivery and you are doing it to inflate your sales numbers.

And finally, payment plans, and trials, and low barriers of entry just suck!  I have tried membership sites with and without a trial - and with the trial there were lots more dropouts.  There were a lot more people not logging in and not using the material because they didn't really have any motivation to; the price was low enough that it didn't really hurt their pocketbook, and they didn't have a good reason to make their money back - because there was so little to make back.

Trials really do suck. The new credit card laws are moving everyone slowly away from trials.  And I would definitely recommend you TRY marketing your site without a trial.  If you are having difficulty, it might be because you haven't trained your subscribers or your buyers enough.  Tell them why you are not offering a trial, and turn it into a good selling point.

For example, there is no trial because you want to reduce the number of people who get access to this information; there is no trial because you want them to take action on what you show right away; maybe certain bonuses are worth a certain amount of money and a trial would cheapen that.

And that is why you should only offer a payment plan for ongoing content, not for a single-time product:  because it trains your subscribers, it trains your buyers - and trials draw in the worst kinds of customers.

Do you offer a payment plan or not on your website? And what is the reason?  Please comment below telling me.

5 Elements of Social Proof to Explode Your Business

June 30, 201016 Comments

There are many things that I do on a daily basis that almost are not worth my time – things like maintaining a free blog or submitting free articles or posting on forums or even updating my Twitter status.

None of those things directly make me as much money as landing a new joint venture, as writing a sales letter, sending out emails or running a webinar course.

Why do I do them? Because they demonstrate social proof. If someone is thinking about buying from me and they look me up, they'll find hundreds of articles, hundreds of blog posts, and thousands of forum posts.

What will I find when I look you up? Will I find lots of social proof or will I find negative social proof? I'll find a lot of good things about you if you follow these 5 steps.

Element #1: Blog Comment Scarcity Or Blog Responses

You probably do have a blog, right? If I go to it, will I find it's being constantly updated or it has not been updated in the last several years? Are there lots of posts or only 1 or 2? And out of those posts, are lots of people commenting? I decided very early on that when I created my blog, I wanted to have lots and lots of comments.

Otherwise, it would look like I was talking and no one was listening.

When I make blog posts and I get dozens, if not hundreds, of comments for every post, everyone can see how much of an authority I am. When you have the same thing, people can see how much of an authority you are. I got a lot of comments on my blog at first by limiting posts to only 10 comments.

I told people that if I got 10 comments on my blog, then I look at either the post content, otherwise I would stop.

Eventually, I escalated this to saying after I had 10 comments, I would close comments completely and now I have this at 100 comments per post and that's how and why you should have blog comment scarcity and blog responses.

Send traffic to your list, to your latest blog post, but have some kind of deal either that you will turn off comments or stop writing unless you get a certain number of responses because people read but they don't like to respond.

Element #2: Price Scarcity

How do you show that what you're offering has lots and lots of value but still get people to buy when you are first launching it and don't have a huge list? If you're entering a new niche or at first building a list, offer your product at a low price but set a deadline for when you will increase that price and then actually increase it.

This way, if people are buying your product for $20 but you are about to increase it to $50, people realize that the regular prize is $50. Don't run a discount because that will anger your early adopters, but this way, you will reward your fast action-takers and early adaptors by letting them buy low, and then once you have a proven selling record and you have testimonials, now you can increase the price at the time and date you said you would.

Element #3: Webinar Replay Scarcity

Are you starting to see a pattern where I'm talking about social proof?

People can be trained to give you a certain reaction. When you make a blog post, you train them to leave comments. When you are increasing the price, you train them to buy. The same should be true for your live instructions. When I run a webinar, I want the maximum number of people to show up live. When somebody shows up live, they're kind of a captive audience.

They can't fast-forward, they're usually not multicasting and they're sure as heck can't pause your presentation either. It's as close to real life as possible.

That's why you shouldn't always offer a replay of your webinar. Maybe you're not going to offer any kind of replay of your webinar or you're going to offer a replay only available for the next 48 hours or even you're only going to offer a replay inside of your paid membership site.

Either of these 3 strategies will motivate people to attend your webinars live and even if they don't believe you now, they will believe you after you stick to your guns and do what you said you will time and time again.

Element #4: Testimonial Follow-Up

The number one problem I see with sales letters is a lack of proof – why should I buy from you, why should I trust you if you can't show me anyone else who has benefitted from your training? That's why the easiest form of social proof is the testimonial.

Ask your buyers what they thought of the product they just bought from you. What I like to do is add this message as an autoresponder follow-up in my autoresponder sequence. This means that when someone buys from me and joins my list after 7 days, which is enough time to look at whatever product they just bought, I will ask them what they thought of it and have them directly reply to me and then I will use their testimonial on my sales letter.

It's important though to ask not for a testimonial but for an honest review, good or bad.

Element #5: Feedback Survey

I told you a little bit about getting testimonials and training people not just to read your emails but reply to them as well. I use this in many of my pre-launches when I ask people things like "do you want to see this product, do you want to see me explain programming?"

And then the next day, I will tell people how many responses I got. This does many things. First of all, it shows everyone that there is a high demand for what I am about to offer and it makes people part of the process. It makes them know that they have an interactive role in my marketing. When they respond to me, their "yes" answer goes into the total number of yesses I receive over email.

If you take any of those 5 elements of social proof, blog responses, price scarcity, replay scarcity, testimonial follow-ups, or feedback surveys, you should notice a slight increase in sales, a slight increase in response, and a slight increase in popularity.

Are you using any of these 5 elements yet? And which one?

If you're not using any of the 5, which one do you plan on using within the next week? Please leave me a blog comment below with your speedy response.

Forfeit the Race to Free!

February 11, 2010100 Comments

Price training your list and your customers IS real. If people are used to getting everything from you for $10, there's going to be a price shock if you jump to $500.

So you're stuck working way too hard trying to land 10-dollar cheapskate customers.

You need to work your way up to at least 100 bucks per sale.  Consider if you want to raise 700 bucks... you can either make 7 sales at $100, or 100 sales at $7. Which do you think is easier?  Getting just seven sales. Continue Reading »

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