Mar 26 2012
An interview with Clay Collins of the Marketing Show
I read Inc magazine and I’m always interested in Norm Brodsky’s column. In the 2012 March issue, he brings up something interesting…
Norm says: “I spend a lot of time traveling and talking to aspiring entrepreneurs. And I’d say that nine out of 10 of them are starting Web-based businesses. They’re launching websites because they think it’s easier, less expensive, and less risky than starting a traditional business…”
Clay: I do see a lot of amazing local entrepreneurship happening right now, maybe there’s a shift toward having an online business, certainly there are opportunities there that didn’t exist 10 years ago. However, the line between an online business and an offline business is certainly blurring…. So, it’s up for debate…
Norm: “I don’t deny that it’s easier, cheaper, and less risky to put up a website than it is to open a store, manufacture products, or provide a service to customers. At the same time, however, driving traffic to a website and turning visits into sales are other matters. Few of the would-be Web moguls I meet have figured out how to do these things.”
Clay: I think it’s easier to attract and convert online because that’s my background… An insanely lower barrier of entry is only going to increase the failure rate – of course, I’m in favor of lower barriers to entry, but what it means is a lot of people are prematurely getting to market that they know nothing about; people are prematurely starting businesses that they haven’t clearly thought through because they can do it in a weekend. The stakes are a lot lower so people commit themselves at a much lower level.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing because it’s a hobby for some – it’s entertaining, they learn job skills, etc.
But, things are better than ever for people who are absolutely committed and there are fail safe processes for ensuring that your product is going to be viable before you spend a whole bunch of time and money creating it.
So, Clay, maybe I’ve been trying to start an online business and struggling with it and I’m not really getting where I want to with it. You mentioned pre-sell, what do you mean by that?
The Art of War: “In war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory is won.”
I developed a process called the Interactive Offer which shows people how to co-create a product with your market. They become invested in the process of creating that product with you and so you know you are creating exactly what the market wants and then pre-selling it to the people you co-create it with before you create it.
You have a very structured conversation with the market about what it wants and then offer the opportunity to get in at the ground level to buy an early copy or advanced copy of the product you are making and folks walk away with opt-in 6 figures or more and they create their product with the knowledge that it’s already successful.
It’s a whole lot more fun and enjoyable to create your product when it’s already successful than it is to create your product and be wondering the whole time whether or not it’s going to sell.
How do you get that conversation going with the prospect?
First, get your head on straight and realize that most people think about themselves when getting started by thinking, “what do I have to give?” But the market doesn’t care about what you have to give, they care about what they want. Your marketing cannot create desire; it can only amplify existing desires. So, if there is no one competing in your market, chances are there’s no one who will ever buy in your market. It probably means there is absolutely no demand for it.
3 transformations people need to make in order to do this right:
1. Most people believe: “if you build it they will come,” but I believe that if you pay me for this I will make it. Transform from solo creation to co-creation. Nothing could harm you more than isolation when creating your product. People support what they make.
For example, Local Motors co-creates automobiles custom made for their customers – car enthusiasts.
2. Transform from post-selling to pre-selling
Pre-selling is what you do after you co-create with your market. There’s a specific way to turn the interaction you get from co-creation into a sales process that’s completely natural and makes sense. Most of us know how to give, we don’t know how to receive and marketing and selling is the receiving end of your business.
Examples: Kim West, the sleep lady; Peter Durand, graphic facilitation; high end appliances.
3. Transform from receive last to receive first
Receive first or else you will have nothing to give. Most people don’t have a giving problem; they have a receiving problem. If you are a giver, you try to give your way into receiving, but it’s a total recipe for business failure.
Listen to the interview…