The Magic of Reverse Marketing
My whole philosophy of marketing is to do the opposite of what others are doing. When you do what others are not prepared to do, you will get results that others can only dream of!
We are creatures of habit, and we love to follow what others do. Many companies market the same way. Many people go to lunch at noon and dinner at 6:00 p.m.
Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison had no rules. They made their own! Someone once called Thomas Edison, and asked if it was too late to call on him at 11:00 p.m. He answered, “Why is time so important? What do you define as late?” Einstein said “Creativity is more important than knowledge.”
I live by and believe in “The Magic of Reverse Marketing.” Successful people are different than the average person. They buy when people are selling, and invest when the market is down. They are opportunistic and positive, while others are pessimistic.
In fact, it is believed that only five percent of the American population becomes financially free and lives a life of true abundance. Why? Most humans face the same opportunities and challenges in life. What do the successful do differently?
My belief is that they use what I call the “magic of reverse marketing.” They do things differently than everyone else; in fact they do the opposite. In this report I give specific examples of the power of reverse marketing. My hope is you’ll use the ideas to make a 180 degree turn in some area of your life and go the other way, where you will find little competition and a whole new world of opportunity.
What do successful people do?
Set Goals versus Hoping Things work out
All successful people have goals. Whereas, ninety five percent of the population truly believes that things will just work out, and leave their lives and destiny to chance. The only times they write goals is on New Year’s Eve, and then never look at them again. Just about the only thing certain to happen is that the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. After that, the rest is up to you. Successful people have written goals, as we discussed in Special Report Number 9.
Without a plan, nothing is possible in life. The only difference between a dream and reality is a plan. So get serious and don’t leave the most important things in life to chance. It is just too important. A financial plan is called a budget. You are the CEO of your own life. You determine how you spend your time and money. Take control and write down your goals. Goals give your life focus, purpose and clarity.
Always ask – never assume
The reverse marketer always asks and never assumes. Assumption is a common mistake made by those untrained in marketing. The reverse marketer prefers to get the facts, and then makes his or her decision. The reverse marketer knows that assumption is no more than a manifestation of someone’s fear. If you assume, you have basically proven to yourself why you should or should not do something.
Assumption can have a fatal impact on one’s life. When I finished my book Marketing is King! I sent it out to some very famous people in the world of business for endorsements. Did I assume that they would say no? No, I simply asked. And yes, most of them were more than happy to give me testimonials.
My eight year old son loves the Subway seafood sandwich. One day, when he and his mother went to a local Subway shop, they were told the shop did not stock the seafood mixture anymore. My boy started to cry. I later asked my wife if the owner had told them it was a national decision. She replied that she did not ask this question, but assumed it to be so. I picked up the Yellow Pages and called four other Subway shops.
Within ten minutes I got the facts: Each franchise owner has the right to stock or discontinue certain items. There were other Subway places in the area that did feature the seafood sandwich, much to my son’s delight.
My point is simple. Get the facts. Life tests us daily and many of us fall into the trap. If you start assuming, you’ll miss out on a lot of life’s gifts.
Know the most important person in the organization is the receptionist!
The first person your customers come into contact with when they call on your company is the receptionist. The receptionist’s role in today’s business world is not simply to take messages and forward calls. That person is your company’s first port of call and contact with customers – Your company’s Ambassador. One of the buzz phrases in marketing today is “customer experience.” The customer’s first experience starts the very moment he or she talks to the receptionist.
Receptionists in reverse marketing organizations are considered to be one of the most important people in the organization. They are highly skilled and trained, using carefully chosen words to greet customers. They will not simply say “hello” but will add something like “How can we help your company grow?”
Be a customer instead of a vendor when looking for a job
When looking for work, most people send out a bunch of resumes to people they’d like to work for. They basically sell themselves. However, the most successful people use the principle “sell me first.” They play the role of customer, ordering information, brochures, literature, and annual reports. They talk to key management members. They meet management at talks, seminars, and trade shows. They know that once armed and in possession of good company information, they can make a better “pitch” or value proposition, since they see where they fit. They do not “shoot in the dark.” They know exactly where the opportunity is for them to add value.
The easiest and simplest thing to do when looking for a job is to act like a customer. This way you know in advance if the company is one you would like to work for in the long term.
Focus on Customer versus Market Data
Most business executives spend a lot of time looking at financial data, the profit and loss and balance sheets. This is good, but “after the fact.” Most large companies will spend big money on “Market Position Reports.” These reports give a very broad brush overview of what is going on in the market, the market size, a business’s share of the pie versus its competitors, along with market growth rate and other figures. Directionally these reports are great, because modern day management is focused on market data.
But what do reverse marketers do? They focus on customer data – Information that comes straight from the customer. We have the power today with the internet to not only capture data in “real time” from the customer, but to also communicate with them in real time. How does this compare with a market position report already several weeks out of date?
On the same note, most companies use market data to understand what their competitors are doing, and based on the information, develop a USP or unique selling position. Instead, what I teach is to focus on the customer and develop a VP, a value proposition. What is of value to your customer is more important than how you compare to your competition!
Bottom line: Stop focusing on market data, and do the reverse. Focus on customer data, data that is “actionable.” I am developing a web-based marketing management information system to allow companies not only to collect and manage customer data, but to communicate with them in real time. This gives immediate feedback and allows corrections as necessary.
Focus on marketing spending versus cost cutting
In most organizations today, marketing is considered to be an expense. People spend money and have little to show for it.
So the general rule has become, focus on cost cutting. But if you look at cost cutting or saving, it actually costs money in the short term. If a company lays employees off, they pay large amounts in severance and other costs. The payback is theoretically over the long term.
What do reverse marketers do? They focus on getting the front end to work at full efficiency. For example, just ask all of your current customers for a referral and convert these referrals into sales. What does this do? It can double sales, at no or very little extra incremental cost.
This is a lot better than looking for marginal savings through cost cutting and productivity improvements. But most business owners just don’t see it this way. This is not to say that you shouldn’t ever seek cost and productivity savings. But it does mean that it is quicker, easier, and simpler in fact to think in reverse.
Use the 80/20 rule and focus on the top 20
The 80/20 principle or the Pareto Principle was suggested by Joseph M. Juran, and named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto observed that 80 percent of property in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population.
The assumption is that in any given situation, 80 percent of what you do is a waste of time, and only 20 percent produces results. In business, 20 percent of clients are responsible for 80 percent of sales.
Reverse marketers know this principle very well, and use it to their benefit. In business they will only focus on the top 20 percent of customers, and develop things like key account strategies. Why bother with the 80 percent that doesn’t bring in significant revenue? At the very least, it makes one realize how to prioritize the day.
Most people “major in minor things,” the irrelevant things that can many times be delegated or ignored.
Focus on strengths not weaknesses
Reverse marketers do not focus time, energy and capital on weaknesses, but instead do the reverse. They focus energy and effort on getting better at what they do, and do well. The way to become outstanding at anything is simply to know it and practice it more than anyone else.
Some people are gifted in certain areas, born with natural talents. And many times we are all forced to focus and learn things that we are not good at. The secret the reverse marketer knows is that you don’t need to be gifted in all areas, you just need to know what your limitations are and find and seek out people who can take care of them. You don’t need to know or be able to do everything.
People that you know and respect are not talented in all areas. They focus on what they do well and let others take care of the rest. Top performing CEOs surround themselves with high caliber managers who get things done for them. Henry Ford was accused of being an ignorant man, but when interviewed he said that he always knew where to get the answer. That’s a smart man!
Reverse marketing is focusing on what you do well, and letting others handle the rest. This is a trait found in all top performers. The term for this is the “mastermind principle,” which I write about in my book Marketing is King!
See problems as opportunities
Most people fear problems, and will run away from them. But for the reverse marketer, problems are opportunities, opportunities to make money if you are in business, to grow if it is a personal situation, to get a promotion if you are looking for career advancement. I believe it was Dr. Norman Vincent Peale who said when God wants to send you a gift, he wraps it up in a problem. Once you remove the problem, you will find your gift!
Every product that you see in the marketplace is really no more than a solution to someone’s problem. In reality, problems keep business in business. If all people were healthy, we would need no doctors.
If we could all handle our oral hygiene, we would need no dentists, if we could sit around the table and have a reasonable discussion, we would need no lawyers.
Once you change your mindset into a reverse marketer, you will not see the problems, but only opportunities everywhere you look.
Don’t advertise; let the world tell you how good you are
Rolls Royce is one of the most prestigious cars in the world. McKinsey and Company is one of the most influential management consulting companies in the world. Yet how many ads do you see for them? They don’t really need to spend millions of dollars in advertising. People already know who they are, what they do, and the value they can bring.
The same applies to the most exclusive lawyers and doctors. The only way you will get to them is through their referral networks.
The products you see most advertised are not necessarily the best. As I say in my book, the best form of marketing is “word of mouth, or a satisfied customer.” The reverse marketer focuses on building relationships with existing customers and managing those relationships, while other marketers are focused on continually advertising to get new customers.
Be Reactive, not Proactive
The reverse marketer is proactive, not waiting for things to happen, but making them happen. He or she holds the controls!
People looking for jobs will quite happily send out resumes, and never make a phone call afterwards to get feedback. They see it as an intrusion.
The reverse marketer does just the opposite, saying, “I made the effort to research this company, spent time and money to communicate with them, so I deserve a response.”
They will find out what the company liked and disliked about them, and ask the million dollar question. “You perhaps don’t have the right opportunity for me, but do you know someone who might?”
Most small business owners are reactive when it comes to selling. They assume just because they have a storefront with a sign, customers will turn up. But customers are people who need to be managed. They need to be constantly informed, educated, enlightened, and given a reason to come visit you. How many people would turn up at your house for dinner without an invitation? The same applies in business. A business relationship is no different than a personal relationship. The only difference is that in business, people pay for the privilege.
Focus on others, not themselves
The reverse marketer is focused on you, not themselves. The reverse marketer knows to get what they want; they simply need to help you get what you want. But in life, we are taught that it’s all about us, and we put ourselves, our own interests, needs and desires above others.
Networking versus Leg working
The reverse marketer is the king of networking. Others may look down on it, and think it’s taking unfair advantage. I have said it in my book, and will say it again, “I hate network marketing.” The only thing I like about it is that it works! The only way you can find a job and get to new customers faster than a competitor is to learn how to network like a professional.
The reverse marketer always has a well equipped Rolodex. Cards are not something to throw into the trash, but into a database. The average person will focus on developing new contacts from scratch, which is very hard and really unnecessary.
It takes a lot of time, effort, and leg work to develop new friends and contacts, but it’s so easy to be able to use your own network, by ideally tapping into other people’s networks.
Referrals are considered to be the fastest way to grow a business, but if you look at it, a referral is no more than your ability to tap into your customers’ networks. Again, reverse marketing works magic!
Make friends; don’t wait for friends to come to you
A lot of people struggle with relationships, but not the reverse marketer. Why? The ability to build friendships quickly and effectively is the hallmark of the reverse marketer’s success.
And it really is not that difficult. Let me show you how it is done. Remember “To make a friend, all you have to do is be a friend.” It means that you have to make the first move. Introduce yourself to others and offer your hand of friendship first. It’s no different than buying a house in a new neighborhood, and going to your new neighbors and introducing yourself for the first time.
My son is eight, and when we went to a party recently, I told him to introduce himself to all the other children, using very simple ideas.
– “Hi, my name is …”
– “I go to school…”
– “I live in …”
– “Can you tell me about yourself?”
Within an hour, I thought he had started a new political party! He had all the kids around him. The point is simple. Reverse marketers never wait for things to happen, they make them happen. Take the first step, and the rest will follow.
Sell Solutions, not Products
Reverse marketers always win in the game of business, because they know what they are selling.
Many people in the business world do not know what they are selling. 95 percent think they are selling products, or ideas, but the reverse marketer knows this is not true. That businesses sell solutions, solutions to other people’s problems. And the bigger the solution, the bigger the financial reward for solving it.
This is why the reverse marketer will win every sales opportunity, since all they need to do is to show people how their product, service or idea will benefit someone else. The sale is the result of helping other people get what they want, while for the ordinary marketer the sale is about getting what they want. Guess which is easier?
Again, reverse thinking pays off!
So now you have seen why the top five percent of Americans are successful. They do things in reverse! It’s really no more than real marketing, and it’s about being proactive. The word “failure” does not even exist in the mind of the reverse marketer, because failure ultimately leads to some level of education. It is the opportunity to learn, and fine tune the approach. It is seeing the world from the viewpoint of an opportunist. It is a healthy mindset.
Reverse marketing is not only powerful, it is realistic. Those people that are getting results are getting them for a reason. Figure out what they are doing and why they do it, and join the five percent club.
You can learn more by visiting my web site, and purchasing my book and CDs. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity of sharing my views on marketing with you.