I have been watching everyone post their fliers, door hangers, ads, etc. and I can't stand it anymore. AND this is going to be more blunt than most posts BUT it is NOT meant to insult or instigate an argument because some guy is pissed that his flayers just went to print and everyone says that his layout "looks professional" and all. BE WARNED...if you are easily offended...DO NOT READ ON. I don't want any hate mail. This IS to help the guys on this forum. It is US who show up here to get the best information from our colleagues in the business. We are using this information (hopefully) to make us better at our personal businesses and to squash the competition in our respective towns (as they are not smart enough to log onto forums like this to get that "extra edge") Ok...Ok...calm down everyone. This is information that I (and my partners in marketing) use and it is proprietary. Realize, you are getting some good stuff...USE IT....Make some $$$$. When marketing, who's point of view are you using? From the ads on this forum, the answer would have to be "from YOUR viewpoint," when instead, it should be from the customer's point of view. I have said this before but it is worth repeating: The customer is NOT reading your ad worrying whether or not you give FREE ESTIMATES. Or is the old lady saying to her husband, "Harry, oh my lands, they are licensed & insured!"? Maybe she is thrilled you do snow removal as well. Get the picture? Marc Gamble says to Use This Quick 3-Question Evaluation Process, So You Can Be Sure Your Message Will Sell! EVALUATION #1: "Well, I Would Hope So!" When you make a claim, don't think about it in terms of words coming out of your mouth. Think of it in terms of words entering your prospects ears. Then you'll realize how ridiculous some claims actually sound. Whenever you make a claim, ask yourself if the prospect will immediately echo this response: "Well, I would hope so!" For instance, an insurance agency faxed me the following reason to choose them over their competitors: "We will be there for you when you have a claim." Well I would hope so! You're an insurance agency! Isn't that what you do? Statements like this have as much meaning as the hair-cutter telling you that your hair will be shorter after it's cut, as the gas station attendant telling you that you'll have more gas after your tank is filled, or the LCO promising a shorter cut lawn after they leave. Always, always, always ask this important evaluation question whenever you make any claim. Avoid pointless claims and it will improve your effectiveness by 500% immediately. EVALUATION #2: "Who Else Can Say That?" Pay close attention to this one. The question is not who else can do what you do. The question is who else can say what you say. And, the answer to that is "just about anybody and everybody". We consulted with an auto repair facility that was, by FAR, the most awesome business of its kind in their area of influence. They put competitors out of business every year and monopolized their marketplace in the process. Small problem: Even though no other business could even come close to performing at their level, their yellow page ad looked virtually identical to all of their cheesy competitors. Try This: Look at your ad and compare it to your competitors' ads. If you can cross out your name on your ad and replace it with the name of your competitor or vice versa, and the ad is still valid, you failed the test! You failed to distinguish yourself from your competitors. You failed to differentiate your business. You look like everybody else! EVALUATION #3: The Specificity Challenge. I could write an entire book on this subject. But, suffice it to say for sake of this newsletter, you need to quantify all of your claims. Businesses generally fail to create a compelling case to buy their product or service. Instead, they merely ask their prospects to buy without justifiable, rational reasons. Quantify your business in terms of: 1. Specifically, How Are You Different? 2. Specifically, Compared To What? 3. Specifically, Why Can You Do That? 4. Specifically, What's Your Advantage? If You Want To Distinguish Your Business From The Competition, Build A Case As An Attorney Would. You need to realize that your business is on trial. You're the attorney. And it's a life or death sentence. Your customers and prospects are the jury. What will you say that will convince them to buy from you? What kind of specific evidence can you produce to PROVE beyond any reasonable doubt that they'd be a fool to not buy from you? Use your evidence to build and present your case.