How Jay Abraham, Michel Fortin,
Peter Stone and Dr. Martin Weiss
Each Made Me Millions Yesterday


PLUS …

  • The “luxury” no business person can afford …
  • How to double your commitment to (and chances of) success …
  • My first rant in months (actually, there are two) …
  • The best premium you’ll ever offer …
  • The essential ingredient most ads leave out – and how it multiplies response for smart marketers …
  • And more!

Dear Business Builder,

Evidentially, I rock.

Or so it would seem, judging by the blizzard of complimentary emails TOTAL PACKAGE readers fire off to us each week.

But please – don’t worry – I am NOT getting the big head. Couldn’t if I wanted to. I’ve got The Redhead to keep me humble. All it takes is a roll of her big blue eyes and a hearty “Hooo boy!” and my illusions of grandeur suffer severe shrinkage.

Plus, the work I do each day for Response Ink – my direct response marketing agency – constantly reminds me that:

  1. Nothing always works …
  2. Nobody always thinks of everything, and …
  3. Nobody’s infallible (least of all, me!).

That’s good. Because if I’ve learned anything from the last thirty-something years in this direct response racket, it’s that the minute you get cocky – the second you get lazy or allow yourself to sleepwalk through any marketing or copywriting decision – you’re making a date with the spank-monster.

Don’t get me wrong: I am NOT saying you should obsess on the possibility of failure. Taping a picture of spectacular success to your mental refrigerator – and looking at it often – is absolutely essential to creating winners.

But realizing that an inflated ego is the costliest of all luxuries … and that success is not an entitlement – that it always must be earned through arduous effort, long hours and meticulous attention to detail – will both energize and incentive you.

Let fear of failure be the rocket fuel in your engine. And let your desire for success be the spark plug that ignites explosions of energy and creativity for you.

The Joy of Oysterhood

Yesterday was a conference call-a-thon for me. I spent an hour on the phone with world-champeen business exploder (and buddy of some 30 years) Jay Abraham … another hour or so with web marketing wunderkind Michel Fortin … another hour with copywriter extraordinaire and big idea monger Peter Stone … and yet another hour with the nicest and smartest guy in this part of the Milky Way, Dr. Martin Weiss.

These conversations were scheduled for all sorts of reasons. On some of these calls, I was just supposed to keep my trap zipped and entertain a business proposal. On others, I was expected to contribute a brilliant marketing idea or three. And on another, my job was to help brainstorm a joint venture opportunity.

Now, if you know anything about Jay, Michel, Peter and Martin, you know that each of these guys enjoys a dazzling reputation as a world-class marketer. Each has achieved truly spectacular feats in his industry.

So I doubt you’d be surprised if I also mentioned that each of these guys also has a very healthy ego. The good news is that each one of them is also intelligent enough to understand how much ego can cost you when you let it off the leash.

If I’d been talking to anyone else, these calls could have turned out to be verbal hump-a-thons, with each alpha male attempting to establish dominance over the other. Instead, they were warm, supportive, frank conversations with each of us attempting to bring value to each others’ lives.

And so I talked when I was expected to … and listened – actively – when it was the other guy’s turn.

The listening part was kind of like being an oyster … taking it all in, filtering out stuff that didn’t apply, and digesting the good stuff:

  • Without even knowing it, Jay triggered an idea that utterly vaporizes the #1 problem every advertising and marketing agency struggles with (including mine) – and that I’m confident will add several million dollars to Response Ink’s bottom line over the next 18 months or so
  • Michel gave me two tools that will allow me to give you at least three times more copywriting and business-building help each year than I ever dreamed possible
  • Peter Stone busted down the door and slapped my face with a possibility so positively huge, it instantly changed my life’s script for years to come.
  • And dear old “Uncle Martin” (as my kids call him) triggered an idea that’s going to make Response Ink an extra $200,000-plus every month starting right now (without even one extra lick of work) – and that will make him ten times that much.

Wowzers. Not bad pay just for setting my ego aside, shutting up, listening and learning!

The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth

Lately, I’ve been quietly lurking around a lot of marketing and copywriting blogs just to see what folks are thinking and talking about. And frankly, most of the discussions I see are positive, helpful and sometimes even profound.

But on every blog, there always seems to be one guy – an angry, bitter know-it-all – who has nothing good to say about anyone.

In his negative, skeptical, sarcastic, cynical, verbose pontifications, he questions the honesty of honest people, he disrespects the experience of experienced folks, and he downplays the success of copywriters and marketers who earn more in a day than he does all month.

To this kind of guy, a blog isn’t a place to learn, connect or share. It’s free Vi*gra for his limp, useless little ego.

When I see these guys’ posts, all I can think is, “Looo – hooo- hooo – ser!

I mean, really. They might as well be wearing signs.

Couple of thousand years ago, a pretty smart Jewish fella said that the meek will inherit the Earth. Seems like a pretty crazy statement on its face. Try as I might, I can’t imagine a meek little Wally Cox conquering every government on the planet.

So I figure the rabbi probably meant something closer to, “Be humble enough to learn and you’ll go far.”

Or the corollary: “Be too proud to learn, and you’ll wind up eating humble people’s dust.”

Or maybe, “The more you learn, the more you’ll learn you need to learn.”

Or even, “Learning is a journey – not a destination.”

Was he right?

In a word, “Yep.

Inquiring minds want to know…

For me, personally, one of the best things about life is the fact that each lesson I learn leads me to the next lesson in my journey. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that for me, learning something new ranks right up there with the blues, Haagen-Dazs cookies & cream, Grey Goose and big-legged women (not necessarily in that order).

And I’m not just saying that because I personally find learning new things is so satisfying. The human animal’s hunger for knowledge also presents us with one of the greatest opportunities any marketer or copywriter could ever ask for!

For one thing, it allows us to slap some black ink on white paper, call it a “Special Report” … a “White Paper” … a “Course” … or even a “Book” – and if it contains information that’s worth more than the price, charge a king’s ransom for it without a single guilt pang.

Or equally cool, give it away free as a premium – an incentive for purchasing something else.

(Uh oh … I feel a rant coming on. Helpless … to … stop … it …)

I don’t know about you, but it absolutely drives me stark, raving, certifiably insane when clients (actually, it’s usually freshly minted still-wet-behind-the-ears marketing grads who snagged their first job with one of my clients) suggest that instead of offering a printed report as a premium, we offer a gadget: Some three-dimensional made-in-China gee-gaw like a calculator, alarm clock, a three-ring binder for their newsletters or other such stuff.

Do the math and you’ll see what I mean…

Cost / Benefit Analysis
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -
Report Premium Calculator Premium
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -
Cost: $1.50 $3.95

Benefit: Shows you how to
double your money
in stocks.
Saves you $3.95 – but ONLY if were planning on buying a calculator in the first place.

Perceived Value: Tens of thousands
of dollars
$3.95
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

… So – you up for a quick little IQ test?

Pretend you’re the prospective customer. What would you rather have?

A big, fat wad of cash from stocks that are doubling?

… Or a lousy $3.95 calculator that’ll just wind up in the kitchen junk drawer?

What’s that you say? You don’t sell investment newsletters? You sell garden tractors?

OK, fine. What would you rather have?

A free report that shows you step-by-step how to produce prize-winning vegetables or maybe roses? With less work? For less money? In less time?

… Or a cruddy Taiwanese alarm clock that’s so cheap it’ll probably explode and catch the drapes on fire the first time you plug it in?

Say again? You’d rather have something that brings real value to your life than a cheap plastic bribe?

Congrats, Sparky – you’re a genius! A veritable Einstein of the marketing world!

Too bad we can’t say the same for the marketing hotshots at the big magazine houses, isn’t it?

Doesn’t matter what you’re selling. Folks don’t want you to give them stuff they can buy – or worse, plastic junk they’d never dream of blowing good money on. They want you to change their lives.

Information does that. Expert advice does that. Brick-a-brack does not.

(Nuff said, rant over.)

But more than anything else, the human being’s thirst for knowledge presents us marketers with a super-weapon that gives us the power to drive response off the charts!

Just look at what happens when your promo copy includes specific ideas and/or step-by-step advice to help your prospect assuage a fear, erase a frustration or fulfill a desire …

  1. You make reading your ad a “must”: Using your headline, deck and tables of contents to “advertise” the valuable free information lurking inside your ad effectively “bribes” prospects to read your promotion. Readership rockets off the charts.
  2. You blow away sales resistance: Giving away valuable information and/or how-to advice for free establishes you as an advocate and champion for the prospect – not just another salesman. The prospects’ sales resistance melts like a Phoenix snow cone in August.
  3. You establish bullet-proof credibility: If you’re selling an information product, the information and advice you deliver in your promo is like a free test-drive of your product. It palpably demonstrates and documents the depth of your knowledge and value of your product in ways that no mere sales claim ever could.

    Even if you’re selling a non-information product, the information you give away demonstrates the depth of knowledge your figurehead possess and (again) proves that your commitment to your prospect’s success extends far beyond a mere sale. Powerful stuff!

  4. You create a sense of obligation in your prospect: Gifting your prospect with information and/or advice that brings value to his life creates a healthy tension, a debt – a kind of “karma imbalance” between the two of you.

    As the beneficiary of your generosity, your prospect feels a sense of duty to even the score – by giving your product a fair try.

  5. You excite the prospect’s curiosity: The value-added info in your promo makes it nearly impossible for prospects to resist the urge to experience the full force of your product first-hand.

Curiosity is, in Claude Hopkins’ words, among the most powerful of human emotions – and the ideal emotional state for your prospect to be in as you ask for the sale.

Hope this helps – see you next Monday!

Yours for Bigger Winners, More Often,
Clayton Makepeace Signature
Clayton Makepeace
Publisher & Editor
THE TOTAL PACKAGE

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