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If you are responsible for someone other than you, you have an obligation or even a duty to give the very best to that person. If you are the sales manager and have a sales team that works under you, you have a duty to help that sales team generate the best results possible. If you have real estate agents working in your brokerage then you are obligated to help them succeed. Are you a one man show or a husband/wife duo that runs a business by yourself? You owe it to yourself to find the best route to success.
I could give you many ways to get the best results for yourself and your team and could sound something like this.
- Find a mentor
- Sign up for an online course
- Go to a seminar
- Go to a weekend summit
- Attend webinars
- Read books/Listen to audiobooks
- Ask your friend (bad advice)
However, these cost a lot of money, time and resources that you may or may not have. The solution I recommend is simple. Test, test, and test again. This is what I mean.
The headline in your ad or article is responsible for 80% of the success of the ad or article. It is the number 1 factor in getting people to read what you want them to read. If you get the headline right, you can easily get 5-10X your results just by nailing the headline. This will not make them take action, but it will get 5-10X more eyes on the actual offer. If your offer is good you should see 5-10X the results.
Test, test, and test again.
So here is what I would advise you to do for the next time you advertise. Put two competing headlines head to head to see which one stands out above the other. You will need sufficient quantity for this. If you only show the headline to 10 people, then the numbers can be skewed based on the sampling of who you saw the ad. If you show the ad to your family, they will respond differently than if you showed the same ad to perfect strangers.
Example. When you run an ad on Facebook, you can create two different ads with the everything the same except for the headline. The headline is the Bold Text under the image on a Facebook post. You can do this after you create the ad set. You simply duplicate the ad from the ad level and only change the headline. Facebook will put these two ads head to head for you and will eventually allow the winning ad to get the most impressions. After about 48-72 hours, you will see a clear winner. Then just pause the losing ad.
This can work for all forms of social media, YOUR WEBSITE, Google ads, YouTube ads, direct mail, promotional booths, flyers, business cards, rack cards, referral award promotions, etc…
Simply create two promos with the only difference being the main headline (or their equivalent). Here is what it could look like at a promotional booth for a general contractor. As people walk by, have two sales people begin with two different pitches.
*Remember, the idea is just to get them to stop and talk to you. Once you start that conversation, your chances of landing the sale rises 10 fold.
Salesman 1: Hi, Are you in need of a great licensed and insured general contractor for your remodel?
Salesman 2: Hi, We are sharing how we can save you up to $50,000 by choosing the right contractor for your home remodel. What project are you eager to start?
Now I’m not saying to go out there and pitch these exact two statements, but they can give you a great contract to the point I’m trying to make. Now you might be thinking how can they save up to $50,000? First, I will tell you that choosing the wrong builder for your project will become very costly. I personally know multiple people that have paid someone, claiming to be a builder, upfront money only to see them skip town leaving them high and dry.
I had a friend start a $200,000 project and the contractor needed 10% to start, so my friend forked over $20,000 from his savings and the work began. The contractor started the project but two weeks later came to my friend with a sob story and asked for another $20,000 because he needed to get “a bill” off his back so he could concentrate on the job. My friend forked that over but was now very worried. A week goes by and he heard nothing from the contractor. He showed up to the work site and saw several palettes of material sitting there but it was all wrong. When he tried to exchange it, the supply store mentioned the fact that the contractor that ordered the material claimed to be my friend and put it in his name. At that moment he found out that he was just scammed for $40k and now has no contractor to do the work that he was on a deadline to finish. When he tried to exchange the material, they charged him a restocking fee of $4,000 and he spent another $6,000 trying to find and sue the contractor that skipped town.
Choosing the wrong guy literally cost him $50,000.
Here is another example but a direct mail piece for a fitness center.
Headline 1: Sign up today and we will teach you the 3 Simple Steps to drop weight, feel great and look sexy in your swimsuit by Summer.
Headline 2: 3 Day Free Pass. Sign Up Today
Which one sounds appealing to you? If you are trying to join a gym or fitness program in the spring, #1 will win hands over fist every time.
Once you start applying these types of tests to your marketing and advertising strategy, you are beginning to apply science to your business. You begin to formulate a hypothesis and then test it. The outcome should guide the next test. If you see marginal results, then retest using a different set of headlines. Keep one headline as your control and then have the other as your tester. That way you can always compare the differences to the initial control.
You can apply this to every aspect of your business from marketing to service to production. The idea is find the most optimized process for your business. To make the most amount of money on the least amount of investment or effort. If you used to test but for whatever reason stopped, you have become complacent. It’s not ok, to say, “this method over here is the winner so from now on, we are going to use this process.” The winner will eventually become the new control/constant for further testing. You may be happy with the results so you move on to test other areas, but don’t forget to go back and test again. Give yourself minimums and maximums to create and challenge the control. I would recommend 2-3 months to establish a control and no longer than 12 months without challenging that control.
Now that I said to keep testing, I want to throw a little caution to this as you can get carried away and completely mess up your numbers. Here are a couple things to keep in mind to approach testing carefully:
- You must keep a control! You may see a trend within the control. Just because the other ad does well this month doesn’t mean that it is better than the control from the previous month. If you saw an increase in the control in the same month you saw your test do well, you could assume the market has increased. So, if the control saw an increase in sales, how much? The tested ad may still show bigger results, but you have to take the increase from the control into the formula.
- You should not test multiple areas of the same promotion at the same time. Unless your market is in the millions of people, you should not split up your testing by testing 12 different combinations of the ad. Keep the control and change the headline. Find a winner and then test the image/video. Find the winner and then change the call to action, etc… Find the winner and move on. *Again, if your market is extremely large and your budget is just as large, then it may make sense to split test multiple different combinations to find a winner.
The possibilities of what you can test are endless but I’m going to challenge you to test your sales processes. Test every step of the way from the greeting to the close. Test your customer service on the phone and in person. Test your production line and find different configurations that will produce the most efficient outcome. Test your tools against their equal. Test everything!