Productivity & Effectiveness

Getting Everything You can Out of All You’ve Got

Getting Everything You can Out of All You’ve Got in business

One-sentence summary of “Getting Everything You can Out of All You’ve Got”: There are three ways to develop a business: 1) increase the number of customers, 2) increase the average amount the customer spends and 3) increase the number of times the customer comes back and buys again. Getting Everything You can Out of All You’ve Got teaches us 21 techniques to maximise these factors.

By Jay Abraham, 2000, 366 pages.

Book chronicle and summary of “Getting Everything You can Out of All You’ve Got“:

The human mind is marvellous and fascinating. It is capable of understanding incredibly complex and intricate concepts. And sometimes it is incapable of recognising the most simple and obvious things.

According to the most recent research, the anatomically modern man has existed for around 200,000 years. Many things that seem perfectly obvious to us today actually took tens of thousands of years to be invented. For example:

  • The most ancient arrow heads that have been found date back about 20,000 years. This means that for 180,000 years, not a single human being thought of stretching a string between the two ends of a flexible branch to create a bow. Throughout all this time, men used slings and spears, which involved getting very close to the target. You can imagine all the risks associated with that. The spear-thrower, an extension of the arm that allowed hunters to throw their spears further appears to have been invented just 35,000 years ago.
  • The domestication of animals began around 15,000 years ago with dogs. For 185,000 years, no-one understood that animals could serve another purpose other than to be hunted and eaten.
  • Farming was only invented around 12,000 years ago. It took 188,000 years, 1,880 centuries for men to understand that they could in some way control the way in which plants grew, instead of simply being satisfied to gather and eat them.
  • The wheel, which we can still see at work today, was only invented about 5,500 years ago. For almost 195,000 years, not one man thought of building a wheel to help him carry heavy loads instead of carrying them himself.
  • Writing was invented at around the same time as the wheel, about 5,500 years ago. Before that, not one man had come up with the possibility of transcribing the spoken word into a form of signs.
  • And – most importantly I think – ice cream was invented around 4,000 years ago, but it was 3,900 years later before someone came up with a cone.

Once the obvious connections have been made, they seem very obvious. We can hardly believe that no-one thought of them before.

An incalculable number of connections exist today, just waiting to be discovered, in particular in the world of business. We are surrounded by simple and obvious solutions that can dramatically increase our income, our power, our influence and our success.

The only problem is that we don’t see them

Jay Abraham, a well-known marketing guru in the United States – like Seth Godin – shows us in this book some obvious connections to make to dramatically develop a business, a career and, according to him, improve virtually every aspect of our lives.

Getting Everything business

He begins by telling us that in his opinion, there are three ways to grow a business. No more, no less:

  1. Increase the number of customers.
  2. Increase the average amount that customers spend.
  3. And increase the number of times clients return and buy again.

It seems simple, doesn’t it? It is. To start, just:

  1. Determine how many customers you have
  2. Calculate the average amount they spend.
  3. Determine how many times they buy over one year.

Let’s imagine that you have 1,000 customers who spend an average of £100 each time they shop, and they shop with you on average twice a year.

So, this gives us:

1,000 x 100 x 2 = £200,000 in sales revenue

What would happen if we increase these three factors by just 10%?

1,100 x 110 x 2.2 = £266,200 in sales revenue

The sales revenue increases by 33.1%. An increase of 25% in all these factors practically double sales revenue, bringing it to £390,625. It’s very simple. But the results can be incredible.

Jay Abraham offers us a number of methods, manners, approaches and tips to increase these 3 factors. Read on.

Part one: How to maximize what you have

Chapter 2: Great expectations

One study has demonstrated that out of sixty revolutionary inventions, only sixteen were discovered by major corporations. Most of the best ideas come from people just like you.

For example, if you go fishing when it’s -20 degrees outside and you catch a fish from a hole you dug in an ice-covered lake, something obvious will happen – the fish will freeze, fast and hard. But Clarence Birdseye, who lived with his family selling furs in Labrador, noticed something about these frozen fish. He noticed that when they thawed out, they were sweet and tender – almost as good as a freshly caught fish.

And the same was true for frozen caribou, for geese and for cabbages. He understood that if he developed a technique to freeze food to keep it fresh it would make him rich, so he got to work and succeeded in developing a functional process in the 1930s. The freezing process was born, and so was frozen food. And Clarence Birdseye became rich.

There are many other examples of this kind. The most important thing is to understand that revolutionary ideas are within our reach. In order to produce the maximum number of revolutionary ideas possible, we need to focus on the following fundamental objectives:

  • Always discover the hidden opportunities in every situation.
  • Try to discover at least one abundant source of money for your business or your employer every three months.
  • Develop maximum success in every action you accomplish or decision you take.
  • One of your revolutionary objectives is to always make you, your business or your product special, unique and more advantageous in the eyes of your customer.
  • The greater the value or the wealth that you create for your customer, the greater the power of your “big idea”.
  • Big ideas increase in direct proportion to an increase in the size of your network and the brainstorming you conduct with successful people with innovative minds outside of your field.
  • In creating revolutionary concepts and using ideas, your objective is to create more value for others.
  • The best revolutionary ideas remove all risk or resistance on the part of other people. Making it easier to say yes than no.
  • Use the best winning methods of other people operating outside your field by adapting their philosophies and their methods to your business.

Chapter 3: How can you go forward if you don’t know which way you’re facing

If a child comes to see you and says “I’m sick”, you will ask “Where does it hurt?” The child will tell you where it hurts and you can begin the process of healing or soothing.

business question

Obvious, right? So why don’t people do the same thing when it comes to their career or their business? If their business or their career “isn’t doing well”, they either do nothing or they do more of what they are already doing, hoping that things will get better, even if what they are doing is precisely the cause of the problems they are encountering.

The fact is that they don’t know what their success or lack of success is based on. They don’t ask the right questions because they don’t know the right questions to ask.

The first step in any journey into the choppy waters of business is to know exactly where your strengths and your weaknesses lie, and how they work in relation to what you are doing. Almost nobody in business performs this kind of strategic analysis. It is even less likely that people working in big corporations will manage their career strategically. Jay Abraham suggests fifty questions in this chapter, and here are some of them:

  • What initially made me start my business or my career? (what motivation, opportunity, etc.)
  • When I started, where did my customers or my promotions come from? (what process, method or actions did I use?)
  • Why did my original customers buy what I was offering?
  • Why do my customers today buy what I am offering?
  • Which of my sales or marketing efforts brings in the majority of my sales or my customers? What percentage of my business does this effort represent?
  • Where specifically do my customers come from? (demographically speaking)
  • Do I want to attract more new customers or make more money from my existing customers, and why?
  • Describe in detail what your business or your career consists of (what I sell, how I sell it, who I sell it to by sector, sales category or specific niche)
  • What is my business philosophy when I am in contact with my customers?
  • What is the lifetime value of the customer (or my contribution)? In other words how much income will customers generate over the entire period that they do business with my company?
  • Who are my biggest competitors and what are they offering that I don’t?
  • What do my customers really want (be specific, don’t just answer “a quality product or service”)? How do I know this?
  • What potential does my market hold and what is my current share of the market?
  • How much does it cost me to acquire a new customer?
  • Have I already tried to reactivate old customers and leads that have not been converted? Do I maintain systematic contact?
  • Have I already tried to sell a list of my unconverted leads to my competitors, or turn my enemies into allies?
  • Do I have to make money when customers buy for the first time, or I am happy to just make money on the follow-up sales? Short or long term strategy?
  • What is the churn rate (or attrition rate) of my customers?
  • How much does the first sale to a customer bring in?
  • Do I have sales partnerships with other companies? If so, what are the results?

According to Jay Abraham, if you answer the 50 questions he suggests, you will be doing better than 95% of business people, and many of them are your competitors. These people spend so much time working in their company that they never work on their company.

Chapter 4: Your business soul – The strategy of preeminence

The strategy of preeminence is quite simply the capacity to always place your customers’ needs above your own. Once you master this, success will come naturally. It makes people enthusiastic at the thought of doing business with you rather than with your competitors, gives you an incredible glimpse into what they want and why they act in such and such a way and can literally turn your customers into friends for life.

In this chapter, Jay Abraham highlights a fundamental difference in approach, which he illustrates as follows:

  • The “customer”: a person who purchases goods or a service
  • The “client”: a person who is under the protection of someone else.

According to Jay Abraham we should always think of the people we serve as clients and not as customers. What does “under protection” mean? In this case, it means that you are not selling goods or a service just to make as much money as possible. You have to understand and appreciate exactly what people need when they do business with you – even if they are not capable of expressing those exact needs themselves. Once you know the desired final outcome, you can bring them to that outcome – you become a trusted advisor who protects them. And they get reasons to remain your client for life.

Let’s take an example to understand this properly:

A dad comes into your shop to buy his six year old son his first bicycle. What does he want? Just a bike? No, he is looking to experience one of the biggest, most joyful experiences of his life – teaching his son how to ride a bike. Just like his own father taught him when he was six years old. He is seeking that unique moment when his son, grinning from ear to ear, says: “Look Dad, I can cycle without the training wheels now!”

What do you do in this case? Do you suggest a top-of-the-range bicycle with the biggest profit margin you have in your shop? Maybe you do, if it’s the solution to your client’s problem. But you must definitely tell that father that you have seen hundreds of dads come in to buy their child’s first bike, and you know that it is a wonderful experience. And a cheaper model will do just as well. It’s his first bicycle, he might crash into a tree or two. Make the sale and become a trusted advisor to the dad.

The father realises that you have not simply sold him a product. You “protected” him. He becomes a client. His son is going to need a new bike in a few years. Where do you think he’s going to buy it?

Whatever you do, when you focus on the added value you can offer and advise instead of manipulating and manoeuvring, you get far more from your leads, clients, bosses, colleagues and friends.

One of the biggest mistakes that people can make is to fall in love with the wrong thing. They fall in love with their product, their service or their company. But you should fall in love with your clients. And not just the people who pay you for your products or services, but also your employees, bosses, colleagues and salespeople.

Lots of people think “What do I have to say to make a sale?” when they should be saying “What can I give?” “What advantage can I bring?” The more you value others, the more value you generate, not just for your clients but also for yourself.

This business approach may seem obvious. But it is incredible to note how poorly people in business understand this very basic concept. It is difficult to understand that what they are really selling is a solution to problems, not merchandise.

Chapter 5: Break even today, break the bank tomorrow

Most businesses turn a substantial profit from clients who continue to buy over and over again – over months, years and decades. Clearly, all these purchases will swell your bank account in the future. Very little of this profit would exist if you hadn’t brought clients into your business in the first place.

How much would your business make if you could add 10, 100 or 1,000 additional clients this month and every month? Even if you don’t make a penny on the first sale, you will make huge combined profits on all the repeat transactions you will perform with them in the future.

Acquiring clients by just about breaking even or by suffering a tiny loss in order to make substantial profits on the purchases they will make later is one of the most neglected and under-used methods available to you to increase your income.

But until you have identified and understood exactly how much combined profit a client can represent for your business throughout the duration of your relationship, you cannot begin to understand how much time, effort and most importantly, expense you can allow yourself to invest to win the client in the first place. You should know the total lifetime value of your client.

sales develop

Many companies increase the number of their clients and their profits by accepting not to make a big profit when they acquire a client, with the desire to make a genuine profit from all of the repeat purchases that these new clients will make in the future. A classic example is those astute collections that come in thematic series and offer various items such as DVDs, miniatures, models, etc. The first issue always retails for £1 or £2, the second one for £5 and all the others – and there can be up to sixty in the series – between £8 and £10 most of the time.

This is a brilliant business model, because of the low entry fee, and often when someone has bought the first magazines, they want to continue to build the entire collection or to build the complete model! In France at the moment, Hachette is offering a series that allows you to build a model of the battleship Bismarck. On Amazon, the 1/350 scale model costs £65. For the moment, there are 74 issues of the magazine Building the Bismarck at €6.90 each, making – if the price of the first magazine was €1 – a total of €504.70! These magazines come out once a week, which means that subscribers do not notice the total amount, which is much higher than in the shops.

Here is an extreme example, but in your opinion, does Hachette make money when it sells the first magazine for €1? Not on the magazine itself. But in relation to a first issue sold at the normal price, they probably make thousands in extra profits, simply because many people, attracted by the unbeatable price for the first issue, will buy the first magazine, and a certain number of them, under the influence of commitment and coherence will go on to buy the following issues – at full price.

The idea is to understand that it is OK to lose money in order to gain a client if it means that you will generate regular sales that you would not have had otherwise – because the client would not have come to you unless you lost money by attracting him.

Let’s imagine that each new average client brings you £75 on an initial purchase. He goes on to buy from you three times a year, for an average amount of £300, and each of these purchases makes you a profit of £150. If the client stays with you for an average of 2 years, it means that each new client will bring you an average of £975 over two years. So, in theory, you could spend £975 to acquire the client and break even.

One of Jay Abraham’s clients made around 6 million dollars per year repairing and maintaining air conditioning and heating systems. Twice a year, the client sent a letter to all his clients, and did some advertising, to offer a cleaning and configuration service for $19.95. It cost him $30 every time he intervened.

Why did he accept to lose $10 for every client that took up his offer? Because he had discovered that this low price significantly increased demand, and that 50% of the people who asked for this service had additional problems that they had not even detected, which resulted in an average additional profit of $125. He also discovered that half of the new people who came to him because of the offer went on to become regular clients for years to come. So he made a big profit, even though he appeared to lose $10 on each intervention.

The objective is not to reduce the price of the first purchase. The objective is to make the first purchase so attractive that people find it much harder to say no instead of yes… please! Reducing the price is one of the most obvious ways to do this, but there are other ways to get new clients.

Let’s say that your product or service retails for £200 and you make £100 on it. Your average client buys from you several times a year over several years. Clearly, you could reduce your price by £100 to break even and win a new client, but there are lots of other things you can do.

For example, you could keep the price of £200 and use the £100 as a bonus incentive for your sales people or dealers. Yes, give them 100% of your profits on the first sale: this will motivate them and you will still go on to be the winner. Or you can use the £100 to buy more of your product or service. You still ask for £200, but you provide your new clients with twice the usual amount. Or you could use the £100 to buy additional products or services. Or invest the £100 in advertising, mail shots, additional salespeople, free seminars, etc. You could rent a promotional space in another shop and give the owner £100 for each new client you get that way.

The list is endless – the only limit is your imagination.

Chapter 6: “Vive la différence”

You should identify and understand what you or your company are doing or starting to do that is offering a result that is superior to the competition. This is called the unique selling point or USP. This distinct, appealing idea is what sets your business apart from all of the “me too” competitors.

When you have identified this distinct advantage, you should integrate it to all your promotional, marketing, advertising and sales operations. And you don’t want to just say it. You want to show it constantly. You want to live it.

Developing, identifying and incorporating this USP is a challenge, but the reward makes it worth the time and energy invested. So, take your time. Think about what you are doing. And think about what your competitors are doing, or not doing, and how they could do better. The opportunities to build a USP are boundless. However, it is preferable to develop a USP that addresses a clear need on the market that you want to fill.

How can you create, and then choose one? You should first identify the needs to be filled on your market, such as:

  1. A wide range
  2. Significant price reductions
  3. Advice and assistance
  4. Comfort and practicality
  5. High-end products or services
  6. Fast service
  7. Services that are more than just basic services
  8. A longer and more comprehensive guarantee than is usual
  9. Any other distinct advantage or material or immaterial benefit that you can offer that your competitors cannot.

Your USP is the core around which you will build your success, your reputation and your fortune. Therefore, it is preferable that you are capable of demonstrating it. If you cannot display it, your prospects won’t see it. And the objective is that when a client needs the kind of product or services that you are selling, your USP will lead him directly to you or your company in his mind. To do this, you need to reduce your USP to its most pure and concise essence.

Try. Write a paragraph in which you explain your USP. At first, you may find this difficult to do. Your USP can be contained in two or three paragraphs. That’s OK. Now made brutal edits to all the general stuff and concentrate on one clear and concise engagement that promises the most you can offer.

For example, a USP could be:

Five Times the Choice,
Four Times as Many Colours,
Three Times the Number of Places,
Twice the Guarantee,
And Half the Price of Any Other Seller

In advertising, you can use your USP as a tag line, and go on to detail what you are offering below.

You can also create separate USPs for the different branches of your business. Or single-use USPs, during holiday periods for example, or some other particular promotional period.

In any case, it is important to remember that actions speak louder than words. You absolutely have to respect your USP, or your soon-to-no-longer-be -your-clients will make you pay for it.

Chapter 7: Make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse

A farmer wanted to buy his daughter a pony. Two ponies were on sale in the village, the same age, strength and appearance. The first man told the farmer that he wanted £500 for his pony – take it or leave it. And the second one was selling his pony for £750.

pony

But the second man told the farmer that he wanted the daughter to try out the pony before making a decision to buy it. He offered to bring the pony to the farm for one month with enough hay to feed it. He said that he would send his own stable boy once a week to show the little girl how to take care of the pony. Finally, he said that at the end of the thirty days, he would come back to the farm to either take back the pony and clean the stable, or to ask him to pay the £750 if his daughter decided that she liked the pony.

Which pony do you think the farmer decided to buy for his daughter?

The choice was of course obvious. And you will be a clear choice over the competition if you incorporate removing strong risk to your business.

When two parties meet – in reality or virtually – to carry out any kind of transaction, one of the parties always asks the other (consciously or unconsciously) to take on most, if not all, of the risks.

When you remove the risk for your prospect or your client, you reduce the barrier leading to action, by eliminating the primary obstacle to the purchase. And that is what you should do. Take on the risk in every transaction. Let your clients know that if they are not satisfied, they will get their money back or the work will be carried out again at no extra cost. Say any other thing that demonstrates your full and total commitment to their entire satisfaction.

You probably already offer some kind of guarantee. But you need to go one step further. What you need is to fully and completely guarantee your clients’ purchase. What does guarantee mean? This signifies that you guarantee that the client will obtain the desired result, or will get their money back. If it is not practical or possible to guarantee the total purchase, then guarantee the portion of the purchase that is practical.

There is something even better than the absence of risk: the better-than-the-risk guarantee. This means that you offer your client something more than the full reimbursement of the purchase, to say thank you for taking the time to test your product. This could be a bonus that you offer at the time of purchase and that the clients can keep even if they ask for their money back. Some people have also successfully offered to refund “twice the purchase amount”.

There is a lot of flexibility in the time frame during which you can offer this guarantee: it could be 30, 60 or 90 days, or even a lifetime guarantee. You can also offer a form of specific guarantee based on the product or service you are offering. For example, a fitness club could make a commitment in writing that you will lose 10 kilos and develop your muscles in 6 months or get your money back.

This kind of very specific guarantee works particularly well. Even though a small percentage of people will ask for a refund, if your product or service is good it will be largely compensated for by an increase in the number of sales. The number one reason people don’t make purchases is because they don’t want to appear foolish in front of other people, and they don’t want to make a mistake. By using risk removal and guarantees, you help clients to see that they cannot go wrong. You now have a very powerful tool, which gives you an enormous sales advantage over your competitors who are not offering the same thing.

But your guarantee must be sincere, and you must stand by it 100% and ensure that there are no slip-ups. More specifically, in general a 60 day guarantee performs better than a 30 day one by 20 to 100%. You need to test it and see what you can profit by it. Jay Abraham has seen substantial guarantees double or triple sales while increasing requests for refunds by just 0.5 to 3%.

Chapter 8: Would you like the left shoe, too?

When clients turn to you and decide to buy something, it is because they trust and respect you, as well as your ability to respond to their individual needs. In their eyes, you are a leader, a guardian of knowledge, a trustworthy person. But are you doing everything you can to give your clients all the advantages and choices that they can get from you and are prepared to pay for?

Most business people limit the amount of business they do with their clients.

Obviously, they don’t mean to do it. It is quite possible that this is happening in your business at this very moment. Ask yourself this question: Could your clients get more value, advantages, protection or benefits from every purchase they make from you? If the answer to this question is yes, even if only in a handful of cases, then you should demonstrate to your clients how they can get greater benefits from every one of their purchases.

When you make a sale, it is the perfect moment to make an additional sale, especially if there are excellent reasons and benefits for the client to buy a package or additional products.

Here are three simple techniques that will help you to give more value to your clients, often at a discount for them, while bringing more cash into your business:

1. Add products or services: Offer your clients the opportunity to add products or services to their base purchase that when combined will increase their level of satisfaction.

develop customer

To find complementary products, simply determine the final result that the client wants when buying the product. For example, somebody who buys a camera doesn’t just want a camera: they want the enjoyment of taking nice pictures that they will keep to remind them of beautiful memories. Once this final result is determined, find complementary products that will help your client to reach this result or take advantage of it. For a camera, this will clearly be the cassettes that go with it, or a video storage service, home reader, etc.

2. Add volume or offer time frames: Help your clients to decide on the right amount and the right quality for their needs, or for how long they want a service to continue automatically. And offer reductions if the clients buy in large quantities or over longer periods.

Allow your customers the opportunity to buy as much as they want, whenever they want. Often people in business make assumptions about how much or how often a client wants – and get it wrong. By allowing clients the opportunity to choose between different possibilities, they are often tempted to buy more than if you did not give them a choice. For example, if you have a magazine, instead of offering a subscription service to your readers for one year at £55, give them the option of a two year subscription for £95 and a three-year subscription offer at £120. Jay Abraham’s tests demonstrate that in this case 40% of buyers choose the three year subscription, 25% choose the two-year offer and just 35% choose the one-year option.

If you run a dry cleaner’s and you offer a full suit cleaning service for £10, offer to clean three suits for £25. If your costs are half the price, or £5, then you can encourage clients to make you a profit of £10 instead of £5.

You can also allow your clients to buy per period rather than just once. So if you have a company that offers gardening services like cutting grass, instead of a one-off service, offer them a maintenance contract that allows the client to hand over all gardening management to you and allows you to have a regular income without making any sales efforts.

Note: At the end of my company’s first year in business, I offered my clients maintenance contracts in addition to simply offering a repair service and my business went through the roof. This is how my company became profitable.

3. Add combinations: Give your clients the opportunity to buy combinations or packages that will add value to your products or services.

We are trying to help clients reach the end result that they want more easily, more fully and more efficiently. But most clients don’t know the best way to use all the value that we can offer them, at least not as much as you do.

So you can do your clients a great service by helping them to choose the best combinations that you have to offer to fulfil their every desire. For a long time, products were sold separately in fast-food outlets. McDonald’s began to offer meals combining a hamburger, fries and a drink at a discounted price in comparison to the purchase of these three products separately. This was an advantage for the client, who got to eat a full meal for a cheaper price, and for McDonald’s which got to sell more.

Here are a few examples drawn from clients of Jay Abraham:

The manager of a company selling electronic components to industrial clients gave the pricing in the form of written estimates. He added an additional product or service to each estimate, whose price was 10% to 15% of the price of the main component.

The clients never questioned the additional products, and 30% of them purchased them outright.

Thanks to a simple process that required no effort, the manager increased the profits of his business by $60,000 per year.

Another example:

A tree surgeon had a completely reactive business: he waited for clients to call to get their trees pruned, did the job and left.

On the advice of Jay Abraham, he offered a regular tree pruning service whereby, at a frequency determined in agreement with the client, he would regularly take care of the trees by appointment. His clients didn’t have to think about it, and he turned 70% of his clients into subscribers to his new service. 70% of people who had been using his services in a haphazard and erratic way were now buying his services 2 to 4 times a year, for life. His profits increased fourfold.

Note: once again, this works extremely well and the simple change to offering a regular service can transform a company that is in danger into a functioning company and a functioning company into a highly profitable one.

Chapter 9: How to never fall off a cliff

According to Jay Abraham, a marketing genius is someone who can get the most results with the least amount of effort. No more, no less. You are a marketing genius if you understand that the results of one approach to getting clients can be five times better than another – as long as you can keep up the approach that offers the best results.

Anyone can become a marketing genius by doing one thing: testing.

It is amazing how little companies test their marketing by comparing it to something else. They gamble their future on random, subjective decisions and conjecture. You do not have the right nor the power to choose what the market wants and what is the best price, package or approach. But you do have the duty, the obligation and the opportunity to submit every important marketing question to a vote from your clients and prospects, who will vote with their chequebooks, their credit cards, their orders, their contracts, etc.

The tests apply not only to external direct sales, but to every aspect of marketing.

If you print advertising in the papers or in magazines, test different approaches, arguments, packages, prices, bonuses, etc. Test a position at the top, the bottom, on the left or the right, test the various directives given to the readers, etc.

The point is that when you test one approach against another, and carefully analyse the results, you will be impressed by the fact that one approach always does much better than the others by a large factor. And you will also be impressed by how many additional sales you will make, or by the increased size of your average sale, obtained using the same amount of effort.

Test each variable, each thing, such as:

  • Different ways of saying the same thing
  • One magazine over another.
  • One mailing list over another.
  • One time slot on the radio over another.
  • One offer over another.
  • One price over another.
  • One guarantee over another.
  • One presentation stand over another.
  • One kind of packaging over another.
  • Etc.

To effectively test two different approaches, you will need to get specific results that will allow you to determine which approach offers you the most. For example:

  • Use a reply coupon which is different for each version of your advert.
  • Ask prospects to specify a service number when they call or write – this service does not have to exist.
  • Ask prospects to tell you on which radio station they heard the advert and benefit from a reduction or special offer.
  • Use different telephone numbers – each offer has a similar, but separate number.
  • Create different packages and make a note of which bonuses or prices people ask for.
  • Ask the prospect to ask for a specific person – it may be a fictional name.

Don’t be shy about doing small tests: on a fraction of your target, a sample, that will offer convincing results for a fraction of the normal cost.

If you don’t do tests, you are literally throwing money out the window. It is impossible to guess which option will work best in advance. Here are a few genuine examples to convince you:

  • In an advertisement for a French class, two hooks were tested:
    1. “The man who makes French simple.”
    2. “Do you make mistakes in French?”

The second line produced three times more sales.

  • An insurance company tried these two hook lines:
    1. “What would become of your wife if something happened to you?”
    2. “A savings plan for your retirement.”

The second approach produced 500% more results than the first one (!) .

  • Another insurance company:
    1. “The lowest car insurance prices for careful drivers.”
    2. “Turn your careful driving into cash.”

The first hook line was 1,200% better.

1200%. Imagine if this insurance company had not taken the trouble to test and stuck with the second advertisement. Profits would have been 1,200% less using this advert, and the advert would have cost the same amount of money.

One of the most fascinating things to do is to test prices. Depending on the product, a lower price does not necessarily lead to more orders, far from it.  For example, a few years ago Jay Abraham sold a business course. He tried three prices: $295, $395 and $495.

The price of $495 beat the $295 price hands down: it generated three times as many sales. And it generated 1.5 times the number of sales as the $395 course. Should Jay Abraham have randomly defined a price of $295 without testing, sales would have been three times lower and he would have made only half the amount of money for the same amount of effort. That is what you are doing if you do not take the trouble to test your marketing.

Note: with the Internet, it has never been easier to hold free, automatic tests, and effortlessly receive precious statistics about conversion rates. If you are selling something on the Internet, testing is something that you cannot afford not to do. For example, you can use the free Google tool.

Finally, once you are familiar with testing, do not stick to the first conversion: consider the quality of the responses generated as well as their quantity. Analyse every type of advertising, hook line and offer that brings in every type of client, over their entire life cycle. Once again, you want to get the most results from your efforts, and to do that you want to have the best possible clients over the length of time that they will do business with you.

Part two: How to multiply your maximum

Chapter 10: With a little help from my friends

Sharks are well known for their predatory attitude and their tendency to turn every creature in the ocean into a meal.  Every creature, except the pilot fish. The pilot fish and the shark have developed a mutually beneficial partnership: as soon as the shark kills and eats its prey, the pilot fish acts like a kind of automatic toothbrush and eats the leftover food stuck in the shark’s teeth. It is a profitable relationship for both parties: the shark gets its teeth cleaned and is protected from parasites, while the pilot fish gets to eat without having to hunt and is protected from predators by the presence of the shark.

This collaborative relationship is a simple example of a win-win relationship in which each party finds the advantages in working with the other.

Getting Everything

Over several years, the average company will spend hundreds of pounds on marketing, sales and advertising efforts to develop and keep a loyal customer base. The cost of acquiring a client or a prospect is enormous. Most companies spend their marketing budget to reach 100% of an audience, when in reality they will only touch a fraction of that audience. What would happen if you could spend your time and your money on people who are already prepared to buy, rather than having to find them among thousands of prospects who are not interested? And what if you could make profits thanks to unconverted prospects who contacted you in the past? What if you could do all that with minimal effort?

Well, it is in fact possible. It turns out that other companies and professionals have already spent time, money and efforts on acquiring clients who could be yours for the asking. This does not involve stealing clients from a company: it is about gaining access to your new clients with the express permission and kind cooperation of the company that acquired these clients.

The process is simple: company A accepts that company B sends a sales message to the clients of company A. Company A can also agree to encourage its clients to buy a product or service from company B.

If you are the beneficiary, you are going to get new customers and make money immediately, with little effort. If you are the host company, your clients will respect you for recommending quality products that complement the ones that you sell. And you will have a percentage of the sales of the beneficiary company – allowing you to increase your revenue with no effort.

Beneficiary company

To find a company that is prepared to open its client book to you, there are two stages:

  1. Ask yourself: “Who already has a strong relationship with people to whom I could sell a complementary product or service?”
  2. Once you have some names, contact the companies in question and ask them to introduce your product or service to their clients. Provide them with a great deal of information about what you are selling and customer feedback confirming the quality.

You should contact companies that have clients that are logically inclined towards buying what you are selling.   For example, a real estate agency may have clients who are interested in a carpet cleaning service, or a stock market broker may have clients who are interested in financial planning software.

To convince them, you should use a simple, bold and incredibly seductive proposal. Contact the owner of the company and ask whether they would like to make an extra £10,000, £20,000 or £30,000 almost instantly – with no risk, no effort and no investment.

Normally, no business-minded person is going to reject your proposal, at least not until they find out more. Once you have the attention of the company, set out the following facts:

  1. Your product or service is absolutely not in competition with their products or services.
  2. This will not divert or replace any kind of profit that the company usually makes.
  3. This will increase their profits.
  4. They don’t have to lift a finger or spend a penny. But if they do want to contribute, all the better.
  5. You will create all the marketing material – which will be subject to their full approval, of course. And you can offer to pay the eventual costs of printing or mailing or suggest a sales partnership, which will increase their commission.
  6. You will unconditionally guarantee each product or service sold.
  7. The host company could have all the orders routed through them at first so they can check everything for themselves.
  8. Point out the fact that this will represent nothing but bonus income for them, particularly if the host company is completely tangential in relation to yours.

Allay all of your potential partner’s fears immediately and with confidence. Most of the time, your potential partner will not understand the concept and how it works for him: you should educate him on the subject and introduce yourself and your business to him.

To truly earn the confidence of the company and their clients, you can offer a bonus with your usual product or service: an extended guarantee, more options, or a lower price. This will allow the host company to present your product or your service to their clients, letting them know that they have negotiated the best conditions for them – the clients will be delighted and more inclined to buy, and the host company well be perceived as protecting their clients and offering them advantageous conditions.

You can afford to do this, because you are going to offer your own businessenormous savings in terms of time, money and energy. If, for example, you have to spend £12,000 to bring 100 clients to your company which leads to £20,000 in sales. Your profit is £8,000. Here you are in contact with a partner who can bring you 100 clients with almost no effort, and it leads to £20,000. Would you be willing to give him £10,000 to do that? Of course you would, because you will still be making £2,000 in relation to the cost of acquiring a client in the traditional way.

Host company

You can also use the process in the other direction, by opening your list of clients to a beneficiary company. What are the benefits for you? You make money that you would never otherwise have made. You generate streams of revenue with no sales, production or logistical outlay. And you can also profit more from the investment that you have made in your clients and your prospects.

This will also allow you to re-evaluate the net margin on each client, which will allow you to allocate more money to advertising and marketing. You will know that every time you bring in a new client, you will not just be making £100 in sales of your product or service; you will also be making £1,000 from the arrangements you have set up with the beneficiary company.

The middle man

If you don’t have a business but would like to start one, this is a great way to do it. You position yourself as the “middle man” between the host company and the beneficiary company. You contact as many companies as possible and you say: “I would like to market your product for you by having other companies in complementary areas of business sell it for you. All I want is 25% of the profits.”

Then you go to another company that you have identified as a possible host and you say “I would like to bring you products that you can market and all I want is 25% of the profits.”

In doing this, you can set yourself up in business immediately, and practically without investing a penny of your own.

Here is an example that illustrates a mutually beneficial partnership:

You have a company that sells inexpensive photocopiers and you know that many people cannot afford an expensive copier like one by Xerox. Let’s say that Xerox has 1,000 prospects and they want to sell photocopiers to 10 of them. They are simply abandoning the 990 other people.

You could go to Xerox and say: “Look, you have spent £10,000 on the 990 people that you did not convert. You are just wasting your money. What would you say to recovering that £10,000 and making an extra £10,000, allowing you to increase your advertising budget four fold? I am going to propose an arrangement that you are not going to be able to resist.”

And then you offer them two things:

  1. You would like them to sell your photocopiers when they cannot sell their own.
  2. If they don’t want to, they can give you the contacts of the leads that they didn’t convert.

In exchange, you will give them a commission on all the sales you make thanks to them.

It’s so logical, yet nobody does it.

Chapter 11: Someone you should meet

It is distinctly possible that a surprisingly large portion of your new clients will come to you through direct or indirect recommendation – in other words word of mouth. But it is also quite possible that you have never implemented a formal and aggressive system of recommendation.

Getting Everything recommendation

You must do this. You have invested too much in your business and your clients, and you give too much added value to them to allow yourself to prevent interested leads from coming to you. If you demonstrate that you are concerned about your clients and that your products and services make a difference to their lives, they will swiftly recommend you to a constant stream of new quality clients, if you show them how to do it.

To give yourself an idea of the potential of an efficient system of recommendation, all you need to do is picture each active and inactive client as a potential source of dozens of new quality clients.

How to do it

Step 1: Every time you are in touch with a client, whether in person or through your sales team, by letter, email or telephone, ask them diplomatically whether they have any potential clients they can recommend. But you have to set the scene first. Tell your clients that you appreciate doing business with them and that they are probably associated with like-minded people who share their values and their quality. Tell them that you would like to give them the opportunity to recommend their trusted associates to you.

Then help the client to have a clear picture of who in their life could benefit the most effectively and the most naturally from your services and your products. Tell your client what kind of person or business you are picturing, where they are, what they probably do – and how they would benefit from your products and services. Then propose a totally risk-free guarantee, a sales package that is completely without obligation and commitment.

Step 2: With the best will in the world, propose to advise, confer, analyse or at least talk to or meet anybody that is important to your client. Offer to carry out an audit, or to leave a sample or do a demonstration of your products or services in action with no obligation to purchase. Your client will see you as a valued expert that he can confidently put in contact with his colleagues and friends.

If you do that every day with every client you speak to, sell to, write to or visit – and you also ensure that the key members of your team do the same – you cannot help but come across dozens or even hundreds of new clients. Jay Abraham has seen businesses literally triple in volume in six months once they implemented this kind of recommendation process.

Some actual examples:

A therapist sent patient visits to her office through the roof using one simple method: she asked people who were sending her patients to tell the new patients that she would not charge for the first session. The therapist had to bear the cost of the first session, but it turned out to be profitable when so many patients advised their friends and family to take a trial session with her.

A fitness club got 80% of its new clients through recommendations. When new people turned up, the emphasis was placed on service and results. When they signed up, the club persuaded them to commit to regularly using the services of the club, and then it persuaded them to recommend the club to their friends so that the club could help them too. And when the new clients got the results they wanted, the club asked them to write a letter of recommendation.  50% of the people did so.

Chapter 12: The prodigal client

The simplest way to increase your clientele is incredibly obvious, but hardly anyone does it. You can instantly increase the number of your clients by winning back your inactive clients.

Almost all companies have a factor on which almost nobody focuses. That factor is attrition. Attrition is the number of clients that stop doing business with you or your company. They become inactive clients. Most companies have no idea what their level of attrition may be.

To fight against it, you must first identify how many of your old clients are no longer active, what percentage of your clients that represents and what exactly an inactive client is.    If you lose 20% of your clients per year, you will have to win 30% new clients just to get a 10% increase in sales.

Once you have identified this, you have to understand why your clients have stopped doing business with you or your company. Most people stop making purchases for one of these three reasons:

  1. Something that is completely independent from you has happened in their life or their company, forcing them to stop doing business with you. They intended to come back, but they simply haven’t taken action on doing business with you again.
  2. There was a problem or some dissatisfaction with their last purchase which they probably did not mention to you. So they have turned their back on your company.
  3. Their situation has changed so much that they cannot take advantage of your products or services any longer.

Let’s explore these three points in more detail.

Point 1: Out of sight, out of mind. Once you have stopped working on a regular basis with a company or a professional, it doesn’t matter how good the products or services in question were, we tend to forget about these products or services.  Have you ever let a magazine subscription lapse, without ever signing up again, even though you enjoyed the contents of the magazine?

We live in a world where our minds change every day and we are bombarded with hundreds of thousands of messages seeking our attention, our time and our money. So, according to Jay Abraham, more than half the client attrition rate comes from faithful and satisfied customers whose only intention is to stop doing business with you temporarily, but they never get around to coming back to you.

You have the marvellous and noble opportunity to help your clients to start their relationship with you again.

Point 2: Clients who stop buying because they are not satisfied is the second cause of attrition. Let’s look at some statistics:

  • The average company will hear nothing from 96% of unhappy customers who have experienced rude or discourteous treatment.
  • 90% of clients who are dissatisfied with a service will never come back or will never buy again.
  • Every one of these dissatisfied clients will talk about their experience to at least nine people. And 30% of these dissatisfied clients will talk about their experience to more than twenty people.
  • Clients who complain and see their problem resolved remain clients in 70% of cases. The rate jumps to 95% if the client feels that the problem was resolved quickly.

The best way to address this problem is to never lose a client, by adopting and living the Strategy of Preeminence. However, if you do lose a client because of a negative experience, all is not lost. There is one important thing to recognise, which is that it is very rare that you will intentionally offend, dissatisfy or not recognise a client.

These first two points represent on average 80% of lost clients. As soon as you realise that all these clients did not leave for a reason that is irreparable, you can act almost instantly to turn things around and make many – if not most of them – come back. And when they do come back, the good news is that they tend to become your best clients, the most frequent and faithful ones. And also your best sources of recommendation.

Point 3: When clients stop doing business with you for an external reason, they clearly still have a lot of respect for you, good will and a connection to you and your business. Simply by contacting them and honestly expressing your concerns about their welfare, you put yourself in the perfect position. If they tell you that they can no longer use your products or services, ask them to recommend you to their friends, family members and associates who could take advantage of what you have to offer. They are generally happy to do it, but would not have thought of it by themselves.

Chapter 13: Your ten-thousand-person sales department

Would you like to have 10,000 men or women, maybe more, who tirelessly work for you at every hour of every day?

You can, and you won’t even have to recruit them, pay them or manage them by using the powerful tool that is the mail shot. Mail shots are not those cheap flyers that you get in your letter box. By mail shots, we mean every kind of written format that business people can use to communicate with their leads and clients, from traditional letters to sales letters, to advertising brochures to formal written proposals.

Getting Everything

Most salespeople rarely get to speak to a qualified lead the first time they call a business. If they do succeed, the chances of getting the exclusive attention of the lead for 10 or 15 minutes in their own home in the evening or at the weekend is impossible. But you can do that as often as you want by renting lists of people that include their home address, or if the information contained in your sales pitch is appealing enough to make the recipient want to take it home to read it.

A cold calling campaign can be very expensive. For less than one pound, you can contact your target audience by letter or email.

Furthermore, sales letters allow you to issue more convincing arguments than you can normally engage in over the phone or in person. And you don’t have get past the barriers of secretaries to reach your lead and make your full presentation. You never have to do that with a sales letter. If the letter is opened and it makes it to the desk or into the hands of the intended recipient, you can pass on the full message from start to finish. You have an answer to every question, all problems are resolved, all contradictions are swept aside, every concrete application is explained and every call to action is expressed.

Sales letters are the most powerful prelude to telemarketing. The author has seen a number of situations in which sending a sales letter before making a telephone call multiplied the effectiveness of the call by 1000%.

The mail shot is therefore one of the least expensive and most efficient ways to give your entire sales pitch to your prospects. Now you have undoubtedly thrown away hundreds of mail shot letters, and maybe you are wondering how this kind of advertising can work. Marketeers making successful use of the mail shot know that a huge percentage of people throw the letter away, sometimes without even opening it. But if the letter is intelligently created and testes first on a small segment before being sent out aggressively, it will generate sales from an impressive number of people.

That is why in general, we can be more than satisfied if 95% of the people who receive the letter do not open it, as long as half those who do open it respond. Let’s do some maths:

  1. At the cost of around one pound per letter, it will cost £1,000 to send one thousand letters.
  2. If just 2% (20 people) respond for an average sale of £100, the revenue is £2,000 for a £1,000 outlay.
  3. Take away 50% of the revenue for sales costs, plus the £1,000 for the mail shot, then subtract 10% from what is left for overheads and administrative costs.
  4. A simple 2% response rate still produces a profit of £450 for 1,000 letters sent.

If you send out one million letters and have the same percentage of responses, you will be doing pretty well. Even half of that result will still be impressive. This return is possible with the right lists and the right offers. Obviously the costs will be even lower if you use email.

Writing an effective sales letter is an art in itself, and it will no doubt be wise to seek the expertise of an expert in the field. The book goes on to offer advice about the art of creating a good sales letter, and all you need to do next is apply the test principles from the first part to the different samples to  determine the most effective sales letter. You can also do some research into copywriting.

One tip you can use is to insert a reply coupon into your sales letter. Do it by writing a powerful statement paragraph, repeating the offer as if the reader is saying it out loud.

For example:

Yes!! I agree! Your proposal is irresistible and your product appears to be superior. What’s more, the bonus you offer is so attractive that it is hard to refuse. But your 100% money back guarantee while keeping the bonus is the real reason I am replying.

I am going to take your guarantee at face value and try your product, but just for the next sixty days. If it does not perform well or if I don’t get the benefit from it that you promised, I will send it back to you and expect an immediate refund. And I will keep all the desirable bonuses for the sake of the time spent on this.

On that basis only, here is my order.

In the case of a coupon, provide a pre-addressed, pre-paid envelope. Evidently, you can use variations on the coupons to easily test different kinds of sales letters.

Chapter 14: Fish where the big fish are

It will cost you a huge effort, human capital and money to move around, send samples or bring someone to your office and hear them say “Yes, I want to become a client.” Therefore you cannot afford to waste your time and your money contacting people who are not genuinely interested. You need to target high quality leads rather than high quantity leads.

Businesses waste tremendous time and opportunities when they do not qualify targeted leads. Instead of targeting leads, they target suspects. The difference between a suspect and a lead is quality. A suspect is anyone who could, possibly or eventually one day be capable of buying your product or service. A lead is someone who needs your product or service. He or she has the capacity to pay for it. He or she has the capacity to make a decision now.

Let’s take an example to illustrate this:

Winter in the cold parts of the United States is an excellent opportunity for children to earn some pocket money. And those who target the most qualified leads earn the most money. After a big snow storm, the children get out their shovels and start knocking on doors, offering to remove the snow piled outside the owner’s house for a modest price.

The sales ratio is just 1 out of 3. The children who understand how to target the houses that are most likely to be good leads, however, make 4 sales out of 5, without reducing their price.

Who were the most qualified targets? Adults who had refused the original offer, decided to remove the snow themselves, and who were now halfway through their project, exhausted and on the verge of a heart attack.

How to find highly qualified leads. There are mailing lists for almost every market, and almost every niche you want to target. You can rent or buy these lists, not just by name, but by title and profession. Companies that rent or sell lists can provide lists of predisposed buyers. These lists, combined with well-written sales letters and effective telemarketing, offer qualified leads and result in a much higher number of sales.

There are types of list:

1. Compiled lists

These are lists that classify people who have things in common. They may be owners of a certain kind of car, people who live in certain places, people who belong to a certain age group, people who have the same job, etc.

2. Direct response lists

They include people or businesses that have responded to a prior solicitation. They have either purchased, or looked for, or contributed one way or another to a very specialised product or service which demonstrates that they are interested by things related to your product or service.

Not only can you go through intermediaries such as those described above, you can also contact almost all the specialised magazines, companies and even associations and rent or buy a list of subscribers, clients and members. For example, a company selling sophisticated investment plans to high-income people could rend the list of subscribers to golfing or yacht magazines, a list of luxury car owners or holders of Visa Infinite or Mastercard Platinum cards.

One example of real application of a search for highly qualified leads:

An architect was specialised in designing shop fronts. Jay Abraham had her target all the owners of every major chain of stores in her region. There were approximately 100. Over one year, she wrote these people a letter once a month sharing her advice on how to make a store look more attractive, how to keep customers in the store for longer and how to make customers psychologically attached to the store and what is sold.

After sending these letters for one year, the architect had added ten major chains to her client base, which meant millions of dollars for her business.

Chapter 15: Watson, come here, I need you

(Note: this chapter title refers to the first thing that Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone said during the first trial of his prototype: he asked his assistant who was in the room next door to come and join him.)

business customer

Almost everyone in every company uses the telephone to sell, and this true whether you are the owner of a corner shop or the CEO of a multinational.

Telemarketing, when used properly, can produce explosive results. Poorly managed, it can lose you tons of money and can ruin your relationship with your best leads and your clients.

To avoid this, don’t forget what we saw in chapter 13:

Begin the process with a letter (traditional or email).

Telemarketing works best when it is prepared with a letter or an advert that makes the lead contact you to ask for more information. Once you know someone who is sufficiently interested to at least return the coupon or send an email or letter, you have a qualified lead. You or your sales people are not calling blindly, or simply taking a list from the Yellow Pages.

It is important not to jump into telemarketing feet first until you have tested it on a small scale and determined if you have at least a fair chance of making a good profit. The product or service that you are telemarketing should have a price that is high enough to pay the telemarketers and cover your other costs. A good ratio is one third for the telemarketers, one third for the other expenses and one third as profit for you, so that you can have a margin of error. Having said that, as seen in earlier in this article, if the tests show that you lose a little money acquiring clients through telemarketing, it’s not the end of the world if you understand and know the lifetime value of your clients.

You can conduct your telemarketing campaign yourself or through your salespeople, or entrust it to third party specialists who will bill you by the hour of telemarketing, or for the number of calls made or appointments or sales made. They can take care of everything from A to Z, including writing the sales script.

A real example of successful telemarketing:

A company sells 40 million dollars in curtains and blinds per year. They use telemarketing to track and respond to requests that they receive. They get around 100 per week. And they send a brochure to leads to help them decorate their home better.

The brochure answers questions and shows a number of different ways to use curtains and blinds to embellish the home. Once the brochure has been sent out, the company calls the leads. They answer questions, act as an advisor, an interior decorator, and sell to around 45% of people contacted.

Out of the $40 million in sales that this company generates, around 30 million would not be produced if the company had not integrated the phone after sending the brochure.

Another example:

A car dealer uses the telephone to contact all the customers who bought a new car without taking out an extended guarantee.

The dealer calls them two weeks after the purchase to tell them that they are still eligible, retroactively, if they want to extend the guarantee on their purchase.

He succeeded in extending the guarantee for 35% of the people who initially said no. This had an enormous impact on the profits of every transaction.

Chapter 16: BigProfits.com

Note: this book was published in 2000, when the Internet was a very different place. For example, the author gives a list of what he considers to be the best 8 search engines and Google isn’t even on the list! Therefore, I only include here what I consider to still be relevant in this chapter today.

The most important thing when it comes to successful selling on the Internet is this: the key to online success has almost nothing to do with technology. Internet is simply a powerful, yet different form of communication and marketing vector. The second thing you have to realise is that the Internet is still in its infancy… but it is growing up fast (this seems to me to still be true today, especially on the French market).

Many successful companies are not just on the Internet. Many have created additional revenue streams through the Internet.

There are three things you have to do to successfully sell your products or services on the Internet:

  1. Offer very high quality products and/or services that your visitors want.
  2. Create a great website that sells efficiently.
  3. Generate qualified, high quality traffic to your site, at a reduced cost.

That’s it. That’s all you need to do.

To know if an offline product or service will sell well on the Internet, a good indicator is to know whether it sells well through mail shots or from a catalogue. If so, there is a good chance it will sell well on the Internet.

Advice for an efficient website

95% of websites use the name or the logo of their company or their product in the header or say “Welcome to the XYZ website”. This is a mistake. The products and company names are not headers: they offer no benefit to your visitors. When someone visits your site, you only have a few seconds to convince them to stay and explore your site. A powerful header allows you to use those precious seconds in the best way: properly done, it can increase the results of your site in an incredible way. The header is responsible for 90% of the success of an advert or a sales letter.

It is an incredibly powerful lever because you can test a number of headers for a cost that is equivalent to 0 (Note: for example using the free Google tool).

Think of the Internet like the cheapest printing press ever. It allows your company to send its message anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, without the bill. And you can send the message to as many people as you want – hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and maybe even millions.

What’s more, Internet allows visitors to interact with you, to share their experiences. In other words, Internet creates virtual communities. And that is exactly what successful sites do.

For example, Ebay based its success not on the products it was selling, but on the interaction between its millions of users. That is the same business model as Meetic. No products to design, manufacture, manage, send, take care of returns, guarantees, etc.

The community generates its own value. Obviously, it is not necessarily easy to create a business whose biggest value is entirely created by the community. But any activity on the Internet can benefit from this: for example, Amazon has long allowed its clients to rate the products it sells, by leaving comments, which guides other clients in their choices. It has now become common practice for most e-commerce sites to let their clients rate their products.

Search engines

Here are a few tips to get a good ranking in search engines.

  • Focus on what your leads search for to find a business like yours offering the services or products they are looking for. Use the important keywords that these people use And look at the keywords your competitors are using to get your ideas (Note: you can also use the Google tool Adwords Keywords Tool that lets you determine the monthly volume of searches for any and all imaginable keywords).
  • Use the most important keywords in the title of your page and its URL (address). This is a primordial factor for search engines.
  • Use keywords in the plural as much as possible: “cars” instead of “car”. This is simply because if you use “cars”, people who type “car” or “cars” can find you. Whereas if you use “car”, people who type “cars” will have trouble finding you.
  • Simplify. Avoid using big pictures at the top of your pages: search engines cannot read them, which will lower your ranking.

Chapter 17: Manhattan for $29 worth of beads

Bartering probably represents the most entertaining, stimulating, lucrative and gratifying business opportunity available.

Bartering does not involve giving your doctor a few chickens in exchange for making you better. And bartering is a form of leverage that can be very simple or very sophisticated, and it lets you get what you want or need without requiring cash. When you barter, you create almost limitless buying power for yourself. You can literally create your own credit line for an unlimited amount. You can purchase goods and services at a large discount and under more advantageous conditions that you could get with cash.

Understand this: whatever business or profession you exercise, you have the capacity to generate products or services that will cost you less than their market value. For example, a plastic surgeon can sell facelifts for $4,000 even though it only costs $400 in actual cost. A sofa manufacturer can sell a sofa for $3,000 even though it only costs $500 to produce it.

So you can exchange the goods or services that you produce for goods or services that have the same sales value, even though your real cost is much lower than this value.

Let’s take an example:

You have a company that sells goods and services related to air conditioning, and you need office supplies. Take the phone book and call each seller of office supplies, introducing yourself and your company.

Tell the owners of the stores that you need around $8,000 in office supplies and that you would like to exchange them for an equal amount in air conditioning materials and services. Above all, tell them that you want to make the exchange on the basis of the normal price of the supplies, with no discount or promotion.

Exchanging on the basis of the normal retail price is often an excellent way to conduct bartering. Why? Because in today’s ultra-competitive society, it is not always easy for companies to sell their products or services at the normal display price, and they often have to accept a lower profit margin in order to make the sale.  But because the actual cost of the $8,000 of air-conditioning services and products is much lower, you already have a comfortable reduction and can therefore do without a discount or promotion.

Whether or not the owner of the shop has air-conditioning needs at the moment is irrelevant, as long as he is convinced that he can make use of your products and services in the near future.

The primary parameter in bartering is that if the people you are negotiating with do not have any immediate use for what you are offering, don’t let the deal slip away – offer an unlimited period during which they can take advantage of your products and services, up to the amount negotiated and tell them that this credit can be used by anyone they choose.

This way you create rational and persuasive reasons for the owners to do business with you. If they know that they need £2,000 of your air conditioning products and services per year, they understand that they can “buy” them from you for a fraction of their real cost (because they also get their products at a fraction of the real sales price) and with pounds that they have already spent on supplies that take a long time to sell.

An astute business person will seize this opportunity. Anyone who pays cash to get a reduction of 2% will jump at the chance to get a discount that can be as much as 60% if they barter with you.

Triangulation

The direct approach has its benefits, but what is perhaps the most interesting technique in bartering is triangulation. Triangulation is the use of three (or more) separate transactions to reach your ultimate bartering goal. This may seem complex, but it is very simple in practice.

Let’s take an example to shed some light on this approach:

You own a restaurant that sells food and drink at an average margin of 500% and you would like to exchange your products for a new car. This is quite simple, until you go to the car dealer and find out that he has no use for £10,000 in credit for restaurant meals. He might even find your proposal funny. You could always go to other car dealers, but they will probably turn you down too.

Take a moment to think and to analyse things from the point of view of the car dealer’s profits and losses. What services or products could help a car dealer make or save money?

Why not… advertising? Most car dealers have an important budget for radio, TV and newspaper advertising.

Using triangulation, you can turn this to your advantage. Approach the local radios and newspapers in your sector, and offer them credit at your restaurant that they can use to take out their best clients, in exchange for advertising credit that you will be entitled to use as you please, including giving it away to a third party, either in part or in total. Because you know that car dealerships don’t have the same margins as restaurants, in order to make the triangulation work, you have acquired at least double the price of the car in advertising credit.

So you exchange £20,000 in credit at your restaurant to be used however they want – with no expiration date – in exchange for the fact that you can use your advertising credits whenever you want. If your restaurant has a solid reputation, there is a good chance that the radio station or newspaper will accept the transaction.

Then, with £20,000 in advertising credit in hand, you go back to the car dealer. Now you have something that he will be interested in, and you propose exchanging it at a rate of £1.75 for £1.00 in his favour. You give the dealer £17,500 in advertising credit in exchange for one £10,000 car.

You also offer the dealer something that he can definitively use, and there is a chance that he will accept your proposal. Why wouldn’t he? You are giving him £17,500 of advertising – something he would have had to pay for in cash – for a £10,000 car that probably only cost him £7,500. Usually, he would make a margin of less than 10% on his sales – because a car never sells for the listed price – and is increasing his profits by 233%.

So you have exchanged £20,000 in restaurant credit – which will cost you at most £4,000 in expenses – for a £10,000 car, right? So you have bought a car for 40% of its price, getting an unprecedented discount of 60%.

And this is just the beginning: there is a good chance that you won’t have to pay out your restaurant credit for a while. The radio station or newspaper is going to take months or even years before they use their £20,000 in credit. They will have financed your purchase, allowing you to buy a car at a 60% discount with a 0% loan. It might seem incredible, but wait, it’s not over yet. Because your prices are going to increase over time, at the time when the radio station or newspaper gets around to using all their credit, their spending power will have been reduced. The longer they wait, the more it will cost them.

If they take three years to use up the credit, your discount, which is already strong, may increase by 10, 15 or 25% – another £1,000. And you will have bought a new £10,000 car for £3,000 with a zero interest loan over 3 years.

And it doesn’t stop there, because you still have £2,500 in advertising credit that you haven’t used that you can do whatever you want with. For example, you can go to other retailers and sell them this credit at 65% of its price, which will make you £1,625 in cash, allowing you to pay for the taxes and insurance for your new car, along with a few tanks of petrol.

In any case, be aware of the question of taxes – VAT is due on bartering. Ask your accountant or a tax specialist for advice.

Chapter 18: Leave a message after the beep

The simplest and most important strategy that you can use to maximise the value of all the others is to communicate regularly with all the people who contribute to or will contribute to your business, in any way whatsoever. You should do this in order to maintain powerful positive relationships that will be advantageous to all involved.

People are bombarded with more information today than ever before. This means that when they enter into a transaction with you or any other business, their minds are immediately focussed on other preoccupations, problems, challenges, needs and ideas, and you drop completely out of their mind. Your challenge and your greatest opportunity is to remain connected to your clients permanently, demonstrating to them that they count for you and that you are interested in them.

Let’s take a real example to illustrate this:

Jay Abraham advised one of his dentist clients to adopt a policy of calling his patients. And that is what he did.

He called each patient after their appointment, to find out how they were doing and whether the dental work performed was successful. He would do it three or four days after the appointment, one week after the first call, and one last time one month later, to check that nobody was having an unexpected or undesirable setback. Does your dentist do this?

What do you think would happen if your dentist called you up like that? Do you think that it would demonstrate that he is concerned about you, much more so than any other dentist you have worked with? Do you think that you would be more inclined to recommend him to your friends? And do you think you would take care to visit him regularly?

Of course you would, and that is exactly what happened with the dentist who followed this simple procedure. And he appreciated it tremendously, because it helped him connect with his patients on a much deeper level. He says that it is wonderful when he calls his patients and they discuss things. His patients appreciate it. He becomes connected to them and their families. And he says that a transformation takes place. The relationship improves and reaches a deeper level than he could have ever believed possible.

Chapter 19: Somewhere over the rainbow

When you go on holidays, do you pack your suitcase, go to the airport and take the first available flight? Of course not. But that is exactly how people live their career.

90% of people do not have the most basic thing they require – an objective. Most of the ones that do have an objective have the wrong one, or one that does not take them where they want to go.

If your objective is to “make more money and get rich”, one thing is certain – you will never make more money and never get rich. You must have a specific objective. You cannot efficiently get to where you want to go if you do not know exactly where that is.

So it is time to think about where you want to go in your life, your business or your career.

Chapter 20: Your never-ending success

The strategies on how to increase revenue and success that you have learned work. Jay Abraham knows that the facts speak for themselves – more than ten thousand clients that he has helped in more than 400 different markets.

But don’t stop at the first success. Jay Abraham is really stupefied by something he sees a lot of among his clients. They write to him to tell him that they applied one of his strategies and were very successful, making an extra $50,000 in one month or doubling their income in six months. It’s not their financial success that stupefies him – it’s the fact that so many of them use one strategy and one only. As soon as it starts to rain money, they stop.

This is a mistake. Every technique in this book works and can produce significant results. And they produce even more significant results when they are used in combination with each other and implemented into a formal strategic system. Each one can give you ideas for your own business, that you can test and adapt until you develop your own winning formula.

Book critique of “Getting Everything You can Out of All You’ve Got”:

This book is breathtaking and that is why I have written the longest chronicle in the history of this blog to try and give you an idea of the relevance, practicality, intelligence and ease of access that characterises it. Throughout its pages, Jay Abraham offers practical, concrete, useful and easy to understand advice, most of which seems obvious and simple common sense, and yet I see it applied very rarely in the majority of companies I encounter, often never.

I would love to have had this book when I started my company – when I think that it was already published! It would undoubtedly have made an enormous difference in my approach to my business and would have saved me from making a number of mistakes, especially during my first year in business. I truly believe that it can make the difference between poverty and riches, between a failing business and one that has double digit growth, because the many methods, approaches, tips and advice seem so relevant and applicable to a variety of situations.

Obviously, it is not without its flaws, and it is very US oriented – although we can hardly fault the author for that – and sometimes seems designed to sell Jay Abraham’s seminars and consulting services.

What more can I say? This book is a must-have for any entrepreneur, and I think that a significant number of readers who apply its methods will see their revenue increase substantially. It should be noted that many of the principles explained in this book are applied by successful Internet businesses.

There is no waffle, no obscure theory; it is a collection of practical ideas that can immediately be applied to your business or your career. A gem. It would be a crime to deny yourself this book for the cost of £12.

Strong points:

  • Very easy to read
  • Practical, simple, concrete advice
  • Relevant and intelligent
  • Sprinkled with many example, anecdotes and true stories drawn from Jay Abraham’s experience
  • Completely changes your views about marketing
  • Almost instantly offers you a number of ideas for your business

Weak points:

  • Designed for a US market
  • Sometimes promotes the author’s services a little too much

My rating : Business customer Business customer Business customerBusiness customerBusiness customerBusiness customerGetting Everything customerGetting EverythingGetting Everything

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