Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Case Study: How to win more customers or clients!

I’m going to show you how to attract massively more inquiries from your marketing and convert far, far more prospective customers into paying customers. This post contains lots of workable ideas and also a case study, to show you how the process works.

It’s about something I call The Proposition Multiplier Effect.

arrow upHow The Proposition Multiplier Effect works

Here is an example of how the process works:

  • If you give someone a good reason to buy from you, you stand a chance of earning their custom.
  • If you give someone a great reason to buy from you, you stand an even better chance of earning their custom.
  • If you give someone lots of great reasons to buy from you, your propositions becomes irresistible. You stand an excellent chance of earning their custom and keeping it. These multiple reasons (propositions) and their power to motivate people to buy from you, are what create The Proposition Multiplier Effect.

Them focused

The Proposition Multiplier Effect works, because it’s ‘them focused’. In other words, it’s developed around the customer and their needs and wants. It’s a process, which starts with an examination of everything a prospective customer could possibly want and then finding a way to build the most important elements into your product or service.

Me focused

Most products and services are developed from the ground up, around the vendor and the vendor’s needs. It’s ‘me focused’. Then, that package is marketed to prospective customers as cleverly as possible, to try and make it sound attractive. However, because the product or service has been built primarily to serve the needs of the vendor, it is far less compelling to prospective clients. The customer is not interested in what the vendor needs, they are attracted to products and services, which satisfy their own wants and needs.

As a result of this approach being used by the vast majority of businesses, the marketplace is full of predictable marketing messages, about equally predictable, uninspiring products and services.

The switch: From dull and average – To inspired and exceptional

As business owners, we all have a decision to make. We can either use our creativity to market an average product or service so it sounds great – or we can use our creativity to make our products and services actually great.

  • The first option has zero longevity built in. It’s dull. It’s uninspiring. It’s the low-profit, high churn end of the market. It’s also the hardest way to build a successful business.
  • The second option is future-proof, because people will always crave value. It’s where the best profits are. It’s an approach, which compels customers to tell their friends about you. It’s also the easiest way to build a great business.

The Proposition Multiplier Effect works, by adopting a ‘them focused’ approach and combining as many motivating, valuable reasons as possible for people to do business with you. Here’s an example of how I built an extremely successful service, using The Proposition Multiplier Effect.

Pick My Brain: A brief case study of The Proposition Multiplier Effect

pmbI used The Proposition Multiplier Effect to develop and launch my Pick My Brain service in August 2011 and the results were amazing.

In case you have not seen it yet, Pick My Brain is a service where you book a 90 minute session with me, during which you tell me what you would like help with and I give you as many answers and great ideas as possible. The reason you may not have seen this service before, is that it has grown virally, via word-of-mouth. This makes it a great example of how the process works.

I was getting client inquiries within minutes of the launch and had over $14,000 in bookings within 72 hours. The service has had a waiting list ever since and I have only mentioned it a handful of times in blog posts. It is now the most popular service I have ever offered.

So, let’s take a look at how I developed the service and why its marketing spread so successfully, via word-of-mouth.

The Proposition Multiplier Effect: Building layers of value

I started by looking at the service exclusively from the perspective of a client. I knew business owners needed answers to specific marketing questions, rather than the kind of general advice available from websites, forums etc. I also knew that most were put off getting the expert help they needed, because of the huge fees charged by marketing consultants, consultants who the business owners often knew nothing about.

That model is clearly broken. It places all the risk on the business owner. I saw a unique opportunity to help business owners, so long as I could develop a service, which switched all that risk and removed the uncertainty. So, with over 100,000 people connecting with my work every week, I knew there were lots of business owners who would trust my advice, if only I could make it affordable and remove the risk.

Here’s how I used The Proposition Multiplier Effect, to build layers of reasons why hiring me for a one-time session was an easy, obvious solution:

1. I decided to offer a money back guarantee

This reversed the risk, from you to me. I either deliver great value for money or you pay nothing. So, no risk to you whatsoever.

Although people love the reassurance of a money back guarantee, not a single person has requested it. By being selective who I allow to hire me for the Pick My Brain service, I am able to avoid freebie hunters. Genuine business owners get massively more value than they pay for, so the service works beautifully. So beautifully that they tell their friends, which is what made the service a viral hit.

2. I made the fee affordable

I knew that many of the people using this service would go on to become long time clients, so I factored that into the initial fee. This allowed me to reduce the fee for everyone. Initially, I sold each session for $500. I then looked at the numbers after the first month and saw that I had under-estimated how many Pick My Brain clients wanted to work with me over a longer period. As a result, I was able to bring the fee down to just $319 (or £200 + VAT if you are in the UK). That’s a fraction of the fee I charge my large corporate clients for consulting.

3. I made the sessions longer than people expected

Finally, I decided to make the sessions 50% longer than is typical for this kind of work. Usually, services of this nature are sold in 60 minute chunks. That model works great for the provider, but less well for the client. I found that by offering 90 minutes of my time instead of just 60 minutes, I had more time at the start of the call to get into rapport with my client, uncover their needs and get all the information I need. This means I am better able to provide the answers, ideas and insights clients need.

What The Proposition Multiplier Effect allowed me to create

So, by using The Proposition Multiplier Effect, I have been able to create a service that:

  • Is 100% risk free to you, the client.
  • Is offered at way less than half my typical fee.
  • Is 50% longer, so I have more time to work with you and give you the answers, ideas and insights you need.
  • Has grown organically via word-of-mouth and has had a waiting list since the day it was launched.

Here’s the thing: Any one of those benefits of the Pick My Brain service would have made it sound attractive, however, by multiplying them one on top of the other, the service became irresistible.

Tips for building your own irresistible service

The basic framework, is for you to start off by thinking exclusively of your prospective clients or customers and what’s best for them. Remember, people buy for THEIR reasons and not yours.

So, your task is to determine the things they value the most and then figure out how to build them into your service, in a way that makes commercial sense for you. Yes, it’s essential that your service (or product) is built around the needs and wants of your client, however, it has to be commercially viable. There needs to be a way for you to be remunerated appropriately for your enterprise.

For instance, with Pick My Brain, I made the decision to reverse the risk from my clients to me, because I knew that the risk of hiring someone for the first time was a huge barrier for many people. So, to reverse the risk AND to make the service commercially viable, I added 2 simple processes:

  1. I designed the service so that people pay before the date of the session. This requires some commitment on their part and shows me that they are serious. Had I offered the service free, with people only paying me after the call if they wanted to, it would have been a magnet for every freebie hunter out there.
  2. I ask people to fill in a simple fact-finder form before the date of our session. After reading their completed form, unless I believe I can offer them massive value, I refund their payment instantly. People really value this and it increases their confidence in me and the service enormously.

Can it work in my industry or profession, Jim?

Yes. I have helped people create services and products, using The Proposition Multiplier Effect in just about every industry and profession, worldwide. These include; Lawyers, restaurateurs, accountants, trainers, construction companies, graphic designers, software companies, jewellers, bloggers, PR agencies, resume / career marketing professionals, interior designers, hoteliers, art galleries, corporate entertainment, recruitment agencies, manufacturers, translators, wholesalers, financial service professionals and many, many more.

Whilst The Proposition Multiplier Effect sounds radical, it’s just basic common sense. People are massively more likely to buy a product or service, which offers them multiple layers of value and has their wants and needs it its heart.

I hope you found this post useful and that you give the idea of The Proposition Multiplier Effect some real thought, for your own business. If you want to know more about the Pick My Brain service used in the case study earlier, here’s how it works.

About Jim Connolly: I help small business owners attract more high quality clients, make more sales and boost their profits. To see how I can help you and your business, read this.

17 Comments

  1. Great post Jim.Really makes sense..Thanks for posting

  2. Wowzers Jim,

    This is the best post I have read in a very long time. Makes total sense and as always free of BS.

  3. Love it Jim! The details and “peek” behind the curtain to cement the point is really helpful.

    Keep the case studies rolling, great way to prove it works. :)

  4. Very good Jim, inspiring words.

  5. This post is so great I’m going to have to come back to it to let it sink in. Good work. :) I especially like the point about the session being 90 minutes as opposed to 60. It’s a unique but simple twist.

  6. Hi Jim,

    This is absolutely brilliant and super helpful. It gave me a load of ideas.

    I think if you are essentially a good ideas person, then finding a way to leverage your creativity is essential.

    Thanks so much for sharing this… it’s brilliant… may I copy it and call it something different?

    Actually I will try and think of my own unique flavor.

    G

  7. Some serious food for thought here Jim. I work with products that have a fixed price and already carry a money back guarantee, however I am sure I can come up with some ways to win moire customers or clients. Thanks for another thought provoking post :-)

  8. I agree with the others when I say that this is your best post for ages Jim.

    Many thanks.

  9. Hi Jim,

    Love the approach. Do you have an additional system to escalate the brain pickers into higher-spending clients? Or are you happy that a percentage will spend more organically because the results have been so impressive?

    • That’s an excellent question, Richard.

      There is no upsell process. The vast majority get exactly what they need within that one call – which is the only goal I have for them.

      Sometimes when the client has a more complex requirement and wants more help, they will ask for additional sessions. It’s an option, if they request it AND I believe I can be of more assistance.

      Thanks for expanding the conversation.

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