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Dan Kennedy: Two Sword-In-The-Stone Secrets

Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy, The Millionaire Maker

“How To Make More Money Than Ever When Others Are Stymied And Struggling”

My newest book, No B.S. Wealth Attraction In The New Economy is all about making yourself magnetic to money, in part via different approaches to marketing. Here’s some insight into that process…

A few years ago I bought a 1972 AMC Javelin. I already own a ’63 Lincoln Town Car convertible. I don’t have them as investments or to show; just to drive around during the summer. I didn’t need two summer cars. In fact, I had to rent a garage for the second one. Then I bought Dean Martin’s 1986 Rolls-Royce, which has only 19,000 miles on it and is nearly showroom new. It’s not that I haven’t been affected by the recession and by anticipation of economic damage to come from the President’s policies (mis-guided or sinister – your choice) and the big tax target he has painted on my chest. There are some things I might have bought that I stopped myself from buying precisely because of those realities. But I bought these because I wanted them.

What does this have to do with you, since you don’t deal in classic cars? Plenty. It reveals two “sword in the stone secrets” of marketing and selling in any circumstances, but especially in tough times. You may recall the Arthurian legend, or at least the Disney version: mighty knights could not pull the sword from the stone with muscle and brawn; only one young, much less muscular boy pure of heart and strong of mind could command the sword. If you were prospering by “pushing” products and services on anybody breathing during the boom, you’ve probably now found that muscle doesn’t matter. Something different is required, for success with advertising, marketing selling; for attraction of prospects, customers, clients.

A fact about money. Whatever money is in circulation is always in motion, moving constantly from one person to another like bees flitting flower to flower, attracted not by happenstance but for definitive reasons that can be managed. At the moment, there is, admittedly, money withdrawn. Some is sitting on the sidelines; private capital on strike; money hiding in what one of my clients, a business coach to 4,000 financial advisors, calls “coffee can portfolios.” Middle class spending reduced by restricted access to credit. Affluent spending reigned in as much by feeling need to show respect for others’ recession as by financial reality. So yes, there is a little less money in motion. But there is also a lot less competition for it.

Tens of thousands of retail stores closed over the past few years, and that is continuing. Thousands if not tens of thousands of real estate agents, insurance salespeople, etc. have gone into hibernation or off ledges. An even bigger number in every business category just aren’t trying. They believe effort or investment; advertising, marketing, promoting futile, because they deny the reality of money in motion, and the few times they’ve tried recently, they haven’t been able to budge the sword in the stone. So there are orphaned customers, neglected prospects, discouraged and listless salespeople, foolish business owners stopping all outreach to try waiting out a New Economy evolving. Thus, there is actually more money in motion for you than anytime in over a decade. So, here are the two secrets you need:

  1. No matter what, each and every individual will buy when what is offered is perfectly, precisely aligned with his greatest, highest, burning brightest personal interest, desire or need. The individual in this situation will buy without price resistance or hesitation.
  2. To prosper, you need only (a) be certain you aren’t wasting time on the bottom 20% who really can NOT buy anything but bread crusts and water, and (b) align whatever you sell with someone’s greatest, highest, burning brightest personal interest and invest in presenting your business only to individuals for whom it is aligned with their greatest interest.

*And, a bonus #3: There is somebody whose highest personal interest can match what you sell. Plenty of such somebodies.

In order to be a good prospect, by my criteria, a person must have a need or desire for which he is profoundly and urgently interested in – preferably seeking – an answer to, and must have the financial ability to buy my answer to it, at my price. I have other criteria specific to my businesses and you should have other criteria specific to your business. But this is universal, foundational criteria. Important note: without great clarity about the ‘who’ you want as prospect or customer, you are playing “blind archery,” a fool’s game.

This is why I bought the $30,000.00 Javelin and $70,000.00 Rolls-Royce but talked myself out of an $8,000.00 closet remodeling project we actually needed in one of our homes – however, at the Home Show, had a very astute closet remodeling company owner or sales professional stopped yakking about their design awards, quality wood, guarantees, and deals and discovered that a very important wedding anniversary was coming up and talked about surprising my wife with something unexpected inside a box wrapped to look like another piece of jewelry, there would have been a closet bought, without a second thought!

If I were running the closet company, I’d get lists of affluent neighborhood residents, and busy doctors and other affluent professionals, having spouse’s birthdays or wedding anniversaries each month and send them persuasive sales letters about ‘the gift she’ll appreciate every day. Flowers perish. Fine jewelry worn occasionally, hidden away most of the time. But this gift….’ (Yes, such lists are available.)

All this requires making yourself a much more sophisticated marketer. A choice. But know this, for the foreseeable future, trying to dislodge that sword with brute force won’t work. I’m all for work. But the cliché is true now more than ever: working harder won’t get much. Working smarter is essential. The smart goal is perfect alignment of what you market or sell, probably re-positioned and more creatively presented, with the passionate, urgent interest of a group of reachable prospects, to the exclusion of all others. In other words, be about something really meaningful to somebody, not about “stuff”; your product, your service.

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