Trevor “Toecracker” Crook is a master at crafting outrageous offers for his clients to use. With a knack for positioning and for marketing copy, he puts together deals you wouldn’t expect to work - but they do.
In this interview, hear about his successes and the reasoning behind his offers. Listen too as he shares tips for how to write copy that sells. It’s all in this episode of SuperFastBusiness.
In the podcast:
01:00 – The origin of an odd name
02:15 – When you get past the tough exterior…
04:04 – Would you write my bio?
06:05 – How to be outrageous with your offer and sales copies
08:52 – Why more people don’t do it
11:09 – Has it ever gone terribly wrong?
16:27 – The restaurant and the florist
19:40 – Putting a price on a free report
23:53 – Proceed with us, and we give you back the fee
25:25 – Proof, positioning, and higher pricing
28:30 – The sales copy you must have in a good proposal
31:03 – Why you want a good mix of case studies
36:33 – How to start when you haven’t got case studies
38:37 – Wrapping up the episode
Trevor “Toecracker” Crook has changed lives with his copy writing and mentoring services. One of the things he’s best known for is the out-of-this-world offers that he advises clients to make – offers that often scare them.
Take for instance, the seven-second marketing tip he gave a client in 2000 (not his originally, but as counterintuitive as his typical advice): “Increase your prices 10 percent overnight, and 95 percent of your customers won’t leave you.” That client went from an average overdraft debit of $900,000 every day, to $750,000 cash at bank within a year of implementing the tip.
“The hardest thing online is coming up with an offer that converts.”
Today Trevor shares other amazing offers he’s proven to work, and that you might want to implement in your own business.
Offers based on guaranteeing your service
Apparently, you can make a lot of crazy, outrageous offers based on guaranteeing your product or service. To do this, you need to know that your numbers and your business guarantee the risk reversal.
Example 1: A real estate agent was struggling to secure a consultation. Trevor wrote a letter for her guaranteeing the appointment. It asked, basically, that the home sellers allow her to visit them, bring them tea, and explain why they should give her a listing. If at the end they were not convinced, she would turn the dollars out of her own pocket to pay for their valuable time.
Example 2: Trevor wrote a free report for a guy in the rent-to-buy market. It essentially guaranteed the house. If someone got the house through this guy, they had 60 days to decide if it was really for them. In other words, they could move in with their stuff and get settled, and if after 60 days they weren’t emotionally attached to the house, they could back out.
Why more people don’t do it it
The most obvious barrier to people making such offers is that they are fearful people will rip them off – make the appointment, and run off with the money. Trevor says the business’s numbers usually debunk this. Plus, there are more law-abiding people in the world than there are criminals. The only way you can lose is if your product genuinely sucks.
Interestingly enough, in Trevor’s many years of crafting these offers for people, it has never ended in catastrophe.
The reluctant client
Another client had a picture framing business. They had a database that they’d never mailed, and sales were disappointing. Trevor wrote them a letter to send to their customers, that would let people walk into their shop and exchange the letter for anything worth $50. It had an expiration date of seven days.
The clients agreed and printed the letter off, but didn’t mail it. They’d done the math with their database of about 1800, and were afraid they’d go out of business. After some strong convincing from Trevor, they sent the letter.
One hundred and sixty-seven people brought the letter in. Not one of them simply took the freebie and left. The clients made $43,000 in net profit just from that first letter. There were three letters in all.
Working with other businesses to deliver your offer
If you can get a good deal from another business on something you can give your customers, you have a terrific offer in the making.
Example 1: A restaurateur who consulted Trevor was serving a Valentine’s Day dinner for $45. Trevor found out the client knew a wholesale florist. They added $15 to the menu price and gave every couple who came in a dozen red roses for the lady. That night the restaurant could have been filled fourfold.
Example 2: The same restaurateur mentioned to Trevor that Sunday nights were the quietest, and like most restaurants, they’d close then. Trevor told him to make every Sunday night Mother’s Day, and give every Mom who came in a bouquet of flowers from his florist connection. The flowers would normally retail for $50, but cost him just $8. They advertised it in a letter, “confidential” in a pink envelope to the man of the house, but knowing the mom would read it, and insist on eating there Sunday night.
Putting a price on a free report
If there’s something you’re offering for free – a report, audit, quote, etc. – as a stepping stone to your paid service, consider asking people to pay for it.
“If you’re currently doing a service or a front end that’s free, consider getting paid for that.”
Trevor started doing this in his own business as a commercial broker. He started charging $750 for what was a free report at first – a finance investigation report, he called it. Response was good, so he doubled it. He got an even better response. He decided to make it three grand. People still paid. So now he was getting paid for the initial report, and for the actual work.
Proceed with us, and we give you back the fee
A landscaping business Trevor is involved in didn’t use to charge design fees. Now they do. And if the prospect proceeds with their service, the fee gets credited against the landscaping project. So that approach works as well.
Proof, positioning, and higher pricing
Trevor says he could quote $50,000 for a project on which another copywriter would quote $5, and he’d win. The reason, he says, is the proposal he presents. He has a proposal for copywriting, which closes at 90 percent. And he has a proposal for mentoring which closes at 95 percent. It’s all in the positioning and the proof. The proof, he says, covers roughly half of a 28-page proposal.
The sales copy you must have in a good proposal
1. What does hiring you make possible?
If you’ve had a call with your prospect, says Trevor, then obviously you should be listening and taking notes understanding what them hiring you makes possible in their life. You use that to your advantage in terms of the copy. He uses it in the headline.
For Trevor, this is about 10 pages long. And it might include just one testimonial. The bulk is what Trevor calls snapshot case studies – two, three max paragraphs written in third person, similar to an editorial or advertorial. Just the nuts and bolts.
“Case studies do the heavy lifting.”
Case studies can be more convincing than testimonials. And if you don’t have testimonials but you know the result that you got, you can write about it as a case study.
3. The offer
The offer is detailed, together with justification for the pricing and expiration date.
4. Testimonials (Part 2 of proof)
This can take up eight or nine pages. Use the best ones you have.
Why you want a good mix of case studies
When compiling case studies, you want to cater to both the big players and the regular folk. If all your subjects are aiming for the millions, it can seem out of reach for those less advanced in their business journey.
How to start when you haven’t got case studies
If you’re just starting out and haven’t got paid successes you can write about, think back – have you ever shared knowledge with someone, even without pay? And were they able to apply it and get results? If it’s a yes, you can write a case study about that.
“Put an X-ray over your past and find examples.”
If you come from past employment and did something on the job that got results, you can write about that, as well.
Want to know more about Trevor “Toecracker” Crook? You can check out his website at smofo.com.
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