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Trevor “Toecracker” Crook is on the show for the third time, and this is why we’re privileged to have him… [00:53]
A great market offering is the heart and soul of effective advertising – without it, good copy is nearly impossible. [02:14]
Trevor took this property consulting client from a 75K top tier price to a quarter of a million. [05:56]
It’s a very common mistake to charge less than what you could and should. [08:50]
Trevor has a go-to campaign for clients new to his approach. This is what it contains. [12:01]
If you’re not doing lumpy mail and fliers, you could be missing out. [14:34]
Ever consider radio advertising as part of your marketing repertoire? [23:04]
If you really want your offer to stand out, this is what you put in it… [24:58]
Discerning customers look for something to ensure they don’t get ripped off. [28:56]
So you’ve taken on Trevor’s services – are you ready to deliver? [31:33]
Do you want a satisfied customer, or a loyal one? [36:29]
This is what gives a copywriter the confidence to push the envelope. [39:33]
If you can deliver what most of your competitors can’t, you can cash in big time. [42:07]
Win free X for a year is one outrageous offer that surprisingly works. Trevor explains how. [48:26]
Optimize your business strategy with help from James
When a guest is as knowledgeable and engaging as Trevor “Toecracker” Crook, you want him back as often as you can get him.
We’re privileged in this instance to have him guest for the third time. If you didn’t catch his previous appearances, you’ll want to check out Episode 804 as an introduction to his outrageous brand of marketing. And if that whets your appetite, Episode 843 brings him back to deliver, as per the title, a truckload of ahas in the form of more marketing insights.
Getting the all-important offer right
On this occasion, James wants to continue the topic of outrageous offers begun in Trevor’s first guesting. Because nothing happens without the offer, he says. The right offer gets you money to build a team, buy tools, grow your business, and eventually invest and grow wealthy with.
“Nothing happens without the offer. – James Schramko”
It’s a long journey to get halfway decent at crafting an offer, and it can take a lot of resource – time, energy, money, effort. Or you can simply hire someone like Trevor, provided you can afford him.
What James hopes for this episode is to provide a couple of tips, or at least get the juices flowing with the ideas Trevor shares, to help listeners with their offers.
So where does Trevor want to start?
He’s got a couple of good shares in mind, some old, one new. But it is interesting, he says, how much weighs on the offer. People hire him to do the copy. But if the offer is weak, your copy is going to suck for the most part. Or it might do okay, but it won’t hit that home run you want.
So as a copywriter, he always wants to get the offer to the best he can, whether it’s changing the bonuses, raising the price, presenting it in a better way. Giving the product a different title, even, can make all the difference.
From 75K high-ticket to a quarter of a million
Trevor’s first story is about a property consulting company, property managers looking to get more clients into the property game.
The angle was to get clients to speak to the owner of the business, who’d close the deal. Trevor’s copy would get 90 percent of the job done.
They had a few different levels, and the lowest-level clients were the biggest pain to deal with. A couple might buy a property for 60 to 100 grand, do a bit of a run and flip it, making 25 or 30 grand. The company would charge them $5K to project-manage the thing.
They also had a $25K level, and the highest level charged $75K.
Trevor did his research, probed their team and spoke with the owner. He then wrote a 15-page, free report/glorified sales letter to sell the appointment. And he overhauled the offer, raising the $5,000 fee to $25,000, the $25K to $38K, and the 75 grand to $120,000. Then he added an upper level, a quarter of a million. These were all upfront fees. From talking to the people at the company and looking at their numbers, he knew people paying $75K would pay $120K. The proof, the runs on the board, the case studies were there.
And Trevor knew there’d be a smaller element with much bigger equity, who’d happily pay a quarter of a million up front. The new pricing, he said, worked gangbusters for the company.
Should you actually be charging more?
A couple of takeaways, says James. One, it’s pretty common for people to undercharge. And two, there’s usually always a percentage of your audience who would pay quite a lot more.
“It’s pretty common for people to undercharge. – James Schramko”
An easy win from the conversation is, firstly, just revise where your pricing is at, compared to what the market might bear.
And Trevor’s customer had proven they could get results, and maybe hadn’t reevaluated their prices since that point. Once they’d proven that they could get the results, the price could come up, and it could sustain, because it could be justified.
Sometimes, it takes an external party, a role James plays a lot of the time, to let someone know, Hey, you’re outrageously cheap here. Too cheap, and people think there’s something wrong with your product.
One of James’s favorite coaching tools is to suggest putting a product on top of the highest-level product. What could you sell, he asks, for a whole lot more, to a fraction of your existing customers who know, like and trust you, and want a deeper relationship?
Yeah, says Trevor, the external eyes can see what you can’t see as the business owner. He was just talking to a potential new client who thought he had to compete on price. They guy was doing a free quote, and Trevor told him he should charge for it. Call it a report, he said, position it better, put a price on it and pull together his proof and a decent proposal, and people would pay him more.
The essentials of Trevor’s go-to campaign
What’s Trevor’s go-to checklist, asks James? His go-to campaign for the green customer who’s never done direct response advertising? What are the essentials?
Everyone wants instant gratification, says Trevor. Direct response is delayed gratification, where you can test the various offline marketing tools, but there’ll be some sort of free report, some sort of lead generation ad. And toll-free recorded messages still work.
And he explains to people that the free report is a glorified sales letter. And there’s going to be a three-step direct mail sequence over 30 days, wrapped around that sort of direct mail package.
So it’s a paid report, asks James?
It can be, says Trevor.
Or if you’ve got a free report, says James, you run ads to it, people and call in a number, and then what happens?
They call the number, says Trevor, and listen to, generally, a 90-second script. You can say a lot in 90 seconds, he says. Run a smaller advert or reduce your advertising costs, run a really kickass LGA (lead generation advert), just designed to get them to call the toll free record a message, and get more punch and benefits and reasons why they should leave the details into the 90-second script.
They request the information, out it goes. So if that free report is actually the sales letter to sell the product or service or to sell the appointment, then that part is free today.
So if it’s to sell the appointment, says James, then it’s a phone call sales pitch.
Yeah, says Trevor, or in person. If it’s B2C like some of Trevor’s landscaping clients, they come up with a free report. Or they call it a report, and charge for it. So some of those clients are charging 297 pounds for a garden assessment report, whereas before they’d do it for free and just hope to get the business.
The impact of direct mail marketing
Since the last episode with Trevor, they’ve launched some done-for-you templates and the like for their higher-level clients. Part of it is a 20-page high-resolution, printable and digital version, gardening magazine called Dream Garden Digest.
All the clients get the same digest. Trevor and co write the inside cover story, and their graphic designer puts the client’s name on it, white labelling. Trevor has taught them, when they’re on a project, to drop around 15 or 20 copies with the magazine, and offer seven garden assessments valued at 297.
James’s cleaning lady of the last three or four years has gotten thousands of dollars’ worth of work by putting a flier in letterboxes.
Direct mail is big, says Trevor. He’s done it for many different industries using the same formula.
And it works. One of Trevor’s clients has dropped 40 magazines with neighborhood farming letters, and had five people respond. Sixty percent of those converted to design fees, worth 5,808, and one closed at 50,000 pounds.
James loves it.
The garden assessment report is a simple offer, says Trevor, but outrageous enough to work in the industry. And the magazine is the lead generation selling tool.
What really makes an offer stand out?
So what does one actually put in a market offering to make it compelling and different?
Plenty of answers, says Trevor. He looks at various things, and one that sucks the most for him in people’s advertising is when they base their credibility on how long they’ve been in business. No one cares, he says. It’s how many products or how many services have you provided in that time, and what’s the satisfaction rate, because then you’ve got specific numbers, you’ve got specific outcome.
He did an advert for a domestic cleaning company in Australia, who’d been around since 1991. What he wanted from them was, how many houses they’d cleaned since then, and how many came back more than once.
They gave him the results for the last 12 months, which was 884,000 services in one year, with a 99 percent satisfaction rate. Trevor wrapped that in an ad saying, “Puts housework on autopilot.”
The short ad said, basically, the cleaning company you choose can greatly affect how clean your house is when it’s finished. When you want to come home from work, shopping, or after spending quality time with your family, loved ones and friends, and know that your home is fresh as a mountain dew, spotless, even your washing and ironing done by a cleaning company that has carried out 883,974 services in X year with a 99 percent satisfaction rate, you need to call us now.
It hits all the results and solutions, says Trevor, and backs it up with specifics.
And it’s got the emotion, says James. People come home from shopping, with their bags and the tired kids, and the house is clean, like brand new.
The huge importance of proof
James’s shortlist for any trade would be to check reviews. Putting reviews or statistics in your offer sounds like a very good idea, because that’s really the one thing consumers are most fearful of, is getting ripped off. He’s experienced good and bad services, but choosing people with good reviews has limited the negative.
“The one thing we’re most fearful of, as a consumer, is getting ripped off. – James Schramko”
And also, says Trevor, if you understand the snapshot case studies that he’s spoken about before, you take those reviews, and you turn them into snapshot case studies. That’s a double whammy of proof.
But most of the time, he says, it’s just getting that emotional side of it, letting that prospect know what your services make possible for them. What would getting your house cleaned make possible for you and your wife and your kids, or what would getting your lawn mowed make possible for you?
Trevor modeled the cleaning ad he spoke of for a lawn care client. This client started business at age 12, and he had his numbers: 392,000 lawn mowing services since 1982 with a 93 percent satisfaction rate. With those specifics, it’s a no-brainer who you’re going to call.
Have you got the capacity for what’s coming?
James is thinking, once Trevor works his magic, the business will quickly have other problems, in terms of capacity. Does Trevor prepare his clients in any way?
He does preempt them, Trevor says, saying, Let’s test this first, and see how it goes. Then based on that test, you may need to prepare for additional staff, this or that. Because you can implode a business by bringing in work for which they haven’t the operations and systems in place.
That’s why James prepares his guests – there is some effect of increased inquiries and sales when they come on the show.
Is loyalty more important than satisfaction?
Now Trevor has talked about customer satisfaction, which James thinks is interesting. He’s been taught the difference between satisfaction and loyalty, and why loyalty is of a more important metric.
“You can have a satisfied customer who’s not loyal. And you can have a dissatisfied customer who is loyal. – James Schramko”
You can have a satisfied customer who’s not loyal. And you can have a dissatisfied customer who is loyal. And when you have a long buying cycle and high-value items, what you really want is that loyalty. Satisfaction is a secondary measure.
For example, the average SuperFastBusiness client has been subscribed for 48 months. That’s a loyalty metric. And on a month-to-month subscription, people are not going to stay for four years if they’re not getting a result of some kind.
Trevor loves that take.
Pushing the comfort limits of the customer
Now, says James, someone who’s wise with copywriting will typically ask the business owner to make an outrageous offer, something that will push their comfort levels. What sort of things does Trevor ask for, if they don’t already have it?
When he’s gotten the numbers – how much they’ve sold, whether they get called out for poor service, if they’ve got a good loyalty or satisfaction rate, if many people are happy to give them money and few are pissed off – then Trevor looks at how much he can stretch the relationship on the guarantee.
If the owner doesn’t have a guarantee in place, Trevor will get really outrageous on that. He’ll see, usually, what can be offered as some sort of perceived value to get the prospect to say yes.
In his first appearance on the show, he mentioned the picture framer that he had send out a letter with a $50 voucher. They thought, almost 1800 letters at $50, that’s 90 grand. He assured them, it’s a limited number to begin with. Your costs are 45 percent. So let’s call it 50 percent. It’s really only 25, there’s a limited number, so it’s not going to bite you on your backside.
But they had to run it, they couldn’t play safe. It was a calculated risk, not a crazy risk. And what Trevor has found is, every time he comes up with that sort of offering, a ridiculous guarantee in the client’s eyes, that they’re hesitant to run, it’s always a winner.
If the numbers are correct, it usually works
There are several things that allow Trevor to make such calculated risks. First of all, there’s the numbers. If what the client has told him about their business and their process is correct, the risk is limited.
And they test small. So if for some reason, it’s wrong, they’ve only done the small test.
So it’s a hypothesis based on a spreadsheet, basically, of numbers that can be confirmed and validated, says James.
Yes, says Trevor.
The skip bin scenario
He gives an example of a skip bin company he helped in Melbourne. Now, he knew, in the construction game, there’s money lost when a skip bin doesn’t turn up on time. The company hired him to write some advert for the yellow pages and the newspaper, focusing only on part of West Melbourne, saying they could deliver to anybody within two hours, guaranteed.
Trevor erred on the side of caution and made it three hours. And he knew a lot of landscapers lost money because of skips not turning up on time, so any skip bin company that actually delivered in a certain time period could own the market.
That’s another sort of capacity strength, says James. The big discovery for him on this call is, if you have strong capacity to deliver, if you’re actually good at getting results, that should be communicated in your offer.
If you deliver great results but you don’t let people know about it, then you’re no better off than the people who can’t deliver great results.
And how did it go?
Smashed it, says Trevor. The company came back the next year and wanted him to write an even bigger ad.
The big point, says James, is, if there’s something you can deliver that most of your competitors can’t, that would be a good starting point to put into your offer and highlight for your prospect, no matter what industry or market you’re in.
Win free X for a whole year
Something else Trevor has done is the offer, Win free X for a year.
Say it’s, Win free beer for a year, he says. Now imagine James selling beer at $24 a carton. Trevor might be selling his at $27. But he’s got the offer, Win free beer for a year. You’d likely buy his beer over James’s, for the chance to win.
Trevor modeled that for a shoe store client in Lismore. Lismore is a remote town, and his client was selling the high-end boutique shoes you’d normally see in Darling Harbor shops.
Trevor came up with advert, direct mail copy. And the whole angle was around, win free shoes for a year. The copy was very emotional, about how women love shoes, etc. And he said to give away $2,000 worth of shoes, sort of a pair a month.
The client’s costs, in gross value: $100 pair of shoes cost her less than $50, $43 on average. But that hook, and everything that went into the copy, was an absolute smash hit for her. She had women driving from Brisbane to get that special offer.
James did something similar for a friend with an acting school: win free acting classes. And in the Mercedes dealership, they’d give away driver training lessons to learner drivers.
Trevor could probably do two or three more episodes with James, and James says he probably should. If you want to find out more on Trevor, his website is unlimitedsuccessclub.com. You can follow him on Facebook, obviously, under Trevor Toecracker Crook. And if you’re so inclined, he says, join Beers, Bourbon and Business, where he doesn’t hold back.
Discover a treasure trove of business resources inside JamesSchramko membership
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