Effective marketing is the lifeblood of nearly every business on the planet. Increasing ROI is on every business owner’s mind. That said, it never ceases to amaze me at how many of those same business do such a poor job of it. Case in point, how many times have you heard a car dealer announce on the radio “if you’re in the market for a new BMW….. call us for the lowest prices,….best service…. Blah blah blah” Sound familiar?
First of all, the percentage of the audience that is actually in the market for a new BMW is very small – let’s say 1-3%. Of that small % of buyers, an even smaller percentage will pay any attention to the ad and then even a smaller %, if any, will take any action. What a waste of resources!
Today’s buyers are slammed with advertising from literally thousands of sources daily. We have learned that if it looks, sounds, or feels like a sales pitch to automatically tune it out.
There is a better way!
To get the attention of today’s sophisticated buyers we need to offer something of value by educating (not selling) them on our products and services. This basic premise should be the foundation for all your marketing efforts. If your marketing looks like a sales pitch, today’s consumer will dismiss it quickly.
The first step in any successful marketing program is to get your audience’s attention. We do this with a Stadium Pitch.
Here is how it works.
Just imagine that you are standing in the middle of Wrigley Field with a stadium full of 41,268 potential customers all waiting to hear what you have to say. They all paid admission to come here your 10 minute presentation on how your products and services can help them.
Be aware that there are several groups of people in the audience.
So then, just before you get on stage it is announced to everyone that if your speaker fails to keep your attention, you can simply get up and leave.
Right now, you have the opportunity to either keep the crowd in their seats or watch them all walk out. What do you do? What do you say?
An ineffective “stadium pitch”
For purposes of our example let’s say you are in the business of selling treadmills.
Let’s say you walk on stage and say, “Ladies and gentlemen, the title of my presentation tonight is ‘The 5 Reasons Why You Should Own a Treadmill.’ You then discuss in detail each of the five reasons. How many people would be in their seats 10 minutes into your presentation? Remember, 90% of the audience isn’t interested to begin with. So these people have left the stadium. Most of the 7% who are open to buying, but are not currently looking, headed for the exits after a couple of minutes because they thought they were being sold. The 3% of the crowd who are currently looking are still seated.
Here are the steps to creating an effective “stadium pitch”
A Startling Statement
How to craft an effective Startling Statement
The first thing you say in person or in writing is extremely important… start off with an attention getter! You can do this in one of two main ways…
- a) Use a WOW statement that makes someone say (wow…I didn’t know that – or wow, tell me more)
- b) Use a well crafted Unique Selling Point (USP). A USP is basically a differentiating statement that establishes what problem you solve and why you’re the best or only person who does it. A proper USP will be attention getting to someone in your market.
Let’s try again. You take the stage and proclaim, “Ladies and gentlemen, the title of my presentation is ‘The Three Most Dangerous Heart-Related Threats to Your Health and The One Thing You Can Do to Avoid Them.’ Notice this title appeals to everyone in the stadium, even the ones who aren’t necessarily interested. The crowd is in their seats and want to learn more.
2) Present the Problem Supported by Facts. Pour On The Bad News.
Because it works! You see, if you don’t know what the bad news is for your market, then you don’t know what’s driving them. It is no lie that bad news makes a deeper impression on the vast majority than good news.
A recent study revealed how more than 90% of people will do more to avoid losing $10,000 then they would to actually gain it. The fear of loss is a much greater motivation for them. It’s unfortunate, but not to be ignored by a smart marketer. Make sure you add a quick and powerful statement or two that highlights the bad news, disadvantage or danger you market is currently facing.
The goal is not to create a negative pitch, but to set up the case for the urgent importance of your solution. Sometimes without this, your ‘good news’ may lack context or fail to connect with your audience.
You then present a series of statistics and trends concerning diseases and general well-being. This information spurs the crowd to think, “Wow, I didn’t know that!”
Next, you discuss “The Three Threats” one at a time. You back up each threat with statistics based on verifiable research. The information is interesting, powerful, and practical. Notice that you have not talked about your treadmill at all. The focus is entirely on educating your audience, which is glued to the stadium seats because you are educating not selling.
3) Solve the Problem & Differentiate.
Now that you’ve shown them the problem, show the solution. Not a general solution though…show how YOU specifically are the best solution. That’s done with a powerful Unique Selling Point (USP). Discover your USP by completing this statement;
My competitors only do this____________ BUT I do this___________
Be specific, not general. Be clear, not vague. Don’t say ‘better’, ‘cheaper’, ‘faster’ etc unless you can quantify it. That’s what makes a promise more believable and compelling.
Here it important to find the match between the most important distinction in your market, and the distinction that you can definitely deliver.
Then, you dramatically present the three steps required to squash the threats. The first two steps may have nothing to do with your treadmill; however, Step 3 does. For example:
- Reduce foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol from your diet
- Increase your consumption of green leafy vegetables in your diet.
- Exercise for 30 min each day by running which is one of the most efficient forms of exercise. People with a treadmill in their home are 3 times more likely to get their running in vs. people without a treadmill
4) Establish the Buying Criteria
Next, you present the criteria people should use when searching for the right treadmill and company to do business with. As you layout the buying criteria you and your product or service should meet all of them. Up to now, you have been an educator, not a salesperson. You have gained trust and rapport, not suspicion. Almost everyone is still in the stadium.
“When looking for a treadmill it is critical that you buy one with an impact absorbing running platform to protect your joints. You will also want to have a built in heart rate monitoring that connects with your smartphone so you can track progress. You’ll also want to do business with a company that meets the following criteria:
- Been in business for at least 5 years
- Big enough that they’ll be around in the future but small enough to serve you
- A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
- Offers at least a 3 year warranty on all their products
- Offers a money back guarantee
5) Make The First Action Step Clear And Easy.
If you’ve been compelling and if you’re talking to the right person, their next question will likely be…”So what next?” or “How to I start?” Don’t assume people know how to engage your services. Spell it out.
Text healthy heart to 5679 right now to get a 10% coupon on the new X Series Treadmill
An education based marketing approach not only serves your customer but it serves your business as it educates people into the market that otherwise were not. As with everything in business, execution is key. Build a marketing and sales program that focuses on educating your audience and watch your ROI on marketing soar!