Category Archives: Conversion

The ONLY Answer to THE Impossible Marketing Question…

Today I’d like to talk about the ONLY answer to THE  impossible marketing question we entrepreneurs face  on an almost daily basis…

But first, you need to understand where this answer comes from in the REAL world.  I find that whenever you’re faced with a marketing dilemma, it’s helpful to try and revert back to the world of RELATIONSHIPS, which is ultimately what marketing is about.

So let’s look at the only answer to impossible relationship questions first…

In the real world, the ONLY answer to an impossible question is I LOVE YOU…

Q: “Do these jeans make my butt look fat honey?”
A: “I love you”

Q: “Can my mother stay with us through the end of July?”
A: “I love you”

Q: “It’s not such a big deal that I leave my clothes all over the place, right honey?”
A: “I love you”…

See where I’m going?

ANY other answer leads to big trouble!

For example:

Q: “Do these jeans make my butt look fat honey?”
A: “Not at all ”  (She knows you’re lying and doesn’t trust anything else you say)

Q: “Do these jeans make my butt look fat honey?”
A: “Just a little, yes” …. (You’d better duck!)

Q: “Do these jeans make my butt look fat honey?”
A: “Humongous ” (Might as well call your divorce attorney)

Q: “Do these jeans make my butt look fat honey?”
A: “Not sure, what do you think? ”  (Functionally equivalent to “Humongous”)

No, the only answer to an impossible relationship question is I love you.

Now, let’s talk about the world’s most impossible marketing question which is…


Why is this an impossible question?

Because implicit in this question is the assumption that you are a commodity.

For example, suppose you’re a coach and you’re speaking with a new prospective client.  One of the first things they ask you is “How much do you charge?”

If you answer that question too soon, you’re buying into the prospects pre-existing comparative framework…

Let’s say you answer “$200 per session” or “$1,000 per month”…

The prospect will immediately compare that to other coaches they may have spoken with, rates listed on internet sites, what their friends, family, or co-workers might be paying, etc.

Because at this stage the prospect is thinking of coaches like light bulbs… you can go to the hardware store and pick another one up, any old time.  Take the old one out and put in another one just like it.  There’s NO reason to get attached to any particular light bulb.   NO reason to assign any emotional value to it…

Light bulbs (commodities) are “things” and gets treated as such…

If you allow your prospect to treat you like a light bulb, you’re gonna get screwed!

The trick is to forestall the pricing conversation until AFTER you’ve established your value.  More importantly, to forestall it until AFTER you’ve established a meaningful emotional bond.

With the coaching prospect scenario this might look something like this:

Q: How much do you charge?
A: Oh, I’ve got a variety of packages at different rates depending on exactly what you want to accomplish.  I can almost always work something out for clients when it’s really the right fit, and if for any reason I can’t, I know a lot of people with specific expertise to match most client’s problems.  Let’s talk for a few minutes and to see if I can understand why you’re calling and what you’re hoping to achieve with the coaching.  No charge for this.  So what are you looking for help with at this time?

See what I mean?

Several things usually ensue after such a conversation…

Usually, the prospect will launch right into a more detailed explanation of what their problem is, what they want help with, and why they called you in particular.  You ask a dozen pertinent questions, listen carefully, and demonstrate empathy.  By the time this is over with, the client FEELS ATTACHED to you in particular.  They don’t want to have to go through telling their whole story again.  They feel listened to.  They want to work with YOU… they do NOT want to screw you like a light bulb (because they’re less frightened of being screwed given your demonstration of empathy and interest)…

The pricing conversation then takes on a whole new  meaning.  It’s more about “how CAN we work together” than “how can I get the most from you while giving you the least”…

See what I mean?

The online analogy to this is the famous poaching vs. ranching analogy Perry Marshall put forth in 2004.  You can be a poacher and put up your commodities for sale with a clear price right away, or a rancher who gathers, tends to, and carefully protects his herd. (Acquire opt ins, phone numbers, and mailing addresses, then invest in proving value with free content before you present the offer with the pricing you require.  And you can also have multiple packages and options available to suit the differing needs of various prospects, along with relationships to other specialists/vendors to meet needs you can’t and shouldn’t be trying to solve)

The corollary to all this is that if you’re not making enough money from your market, they may not be feeling loved enough, and you may not have provided enough options and referrals to take care of them the way you need to in order to escape the commodity trap.

Everyone’s butt looks fat in those jeans…

It’s our job to figure out how to love them in spite of it!

All my best,

Dr. G 🙂

PS – For those of you saying “but I’m not a coach, this doesn’t apply to me”, well…go eat your vegetables, OK?

PPS – I’m very likely going to be taking the Million Dollar Coaching product out of my product catalog shortly. I’m revamping a product line to specifically serve the coaching market (including personal training and certification), and unfortunately my research strongly indicates this product is inconsistent with that market’s way of viewing the world.  That’s because the product itself is marketing focused, and contains several brutally honest and powerful coach-marketing secrets.  New coaches don’t want to know about this–(believe it or don’t Charlie Brown!)–and its presence in my systems will likely hinder sale of the full certifications.  Of course I’ll still TEACH the marketing in the certification courses themselves, because what’s the point of knowing how to coach if you don’t have any clients!?  But I’ve got to “sneak in” the marketing medicine they NEED under the radar of the certification and skills training they WANT.  To make a long story longer, if you want to buy the Million Dollar Coaching from me, now is the best time!

PPPS – I love you.

Crowdsourcing Conversion Optimization

What if you could instantly break out of the “myopic mindset” which causes virtually all entrepreneurs to reach that dreaded point of diminishing returns on their advertising tests…

What if you could get a team of optimizers working on your site, and only pay when they succeeded in bumping your conversion?

OR – what if you could put YOUR conversion expertise to work and get a guaranteed payment when you succeed for any number of clients?

That was Hagi Erez’s concept for his start up “Pluralis

Listen to this audio interview first, then use coupon code “GlennL” at checkout if you choose to try the service for a significant discount on the success fees…

Three notes before you listen…

1) Hagi is a partner of one of my partners.  I don’t own any equity in Pluralis, nor do I make anything from these referrals at this time.  I just think it’s an interesting concept and wanted to share the interview…

2) If you listen carefully, you’ll pick up on some rather Geeky points regarding conversion optimization, including how to manage the risks, how and when to make statistical adjustments to your standard test protocols, etc.

3) Our Skype connection was less than perfect.  Sorry 🙁  (Still WELL worth listening in my humble opinion)

Onwards and Upwards,

The Good Dr. Glenn 🙂

Four Strategic Pricing Mistakes

Pricing is something which I usually consider to be an empirical question. My standard advice is: “Start reasonably low so you’re more likely to get a volume of orders… then use that transactional velocity to create market intelligence with speed by aggressively split testing offers. That way you’ll distinguish buyers from non-buyers, and once you’ve optimized other factors you can start split testing price until you reach the sweet spot”

But there’s actually a lot more to it than that…

– How many options should you present?
– How do you set the buying criteria from a pricing perspective?
– What’s the cost of your prospect doing nothing?
– How can you “dollarize” the cost to your prospect of choosing to do business with your competitors?
– Etc.

I’ll be shocked if you don’t get dramatically more ROI by listening to this brief interview than it costs you in time.


Dr. G 🙂

PS –

Origin Stories Part Two

I moved this interview and many of you missed it.
So below (at the bottom of this post) is  the long awaited part two of “how to construct your origin story”

G 🙂

PS – If you’re struggling to  get that critical leg-up that only comes from understanding the conversation in your customer’s head better than all your competitors, you’ll definitely want to consider this DONE FOR YOU service before the price goes up.  Because you may just:

  • Make a LOT more money with less effort because you know the precise language people use when they’re getting ready to purchase…
  • Discover your most valuable buyers and convert them into loyal customers quickly (BEFORE your competition gets to them)
  • Earn MORE profit with FAR FEWER keywords (so you can focus your resources with laser-like precision in your effort to dominate your market)
  • Be the only one in your market to offer your customers real point of difference benefits (as opposed to simple “price of entry” features
  • Create products and services with distinct advantages your customers desperately want (and can’t find elsewhere)
  • Boost profits on existing product lines or help cut your risk of failure in new markets in HALF…
  • Dominate new markets you enter because you understand the conversation in your prospects’ head better than anyone else…
  • Wipe out competitors by making it difficult for others to compete…
  • Work with the only professionals in the world certified to provide these risk avoidance and maximum ROI marketing strategies…

Click here to learn more.  And enjoy the audio below!  Oh yeah, have a Happy Holiday too! (But I’ve got to ask you a SERIOUS question:  how come family members never seem to want to talk about internet marketing, market research, hiking, or lifting weights?  What’s wrong with these people!  They just want to hang out and do family stuff over the Holidays.  Geez!)

My Mom Lives in Newtown, CT (really)

I’d just like to say something about the Newtown tragedy before I get to this week’s content…

My mom lives there.

Literally right around the corner from where it all went down.

Needless to say we touched base with some urgency on Friday, and she was horrified and in shock.

But it wasn’t the first time she experienced the terror as she was in Manhattan on 9/11.  And in a moment of clear-though-indirect communication you could tell we were both recalling the weeks of confusion, helplessness, and despair we felt during that time…

Constantly asking ourselves “what can we do to help?”…

And then remembering the best thing is just to do what you do best…

Sure, we should all debate the gun laws, examine our security systems, and ask ourselves what structural changes we could make.  We can’t let this pass us by without some deep soul searching regarding what, if anything, we could have done differently.

But on the deepest level–and as heretical as this might sound–I think we owe it to society, to our families, and to ourselves to avoid becoming so overridden with upset that we cease to provide the value we’re best at providing to the world…

In a nutshell, what can you do?

Do what you do best.

Become more passionate about helping those you were helping before Friday’s Newtown tragedy…

Get better at your core competencies, and become more dedicated to share them with the world…

And even more determined to ensure you are mission driven…

Full of purpose…

And eager to give.

Because ultimately THAT is where you’ll have the biggest impact on your small corner of the world… which grows surprisingly larger the more you focus upon it.

Dr. G

Unusual Insights into Local Marketing Mastery (Call #1)

You wanted unusual insights into LOCAL marketing?

Your wish is my command. Well, Ryan’s command, actually…

In this unusual interview you’ll discover…

  • 3 strange ways to leverage local prospect trust…
  • The “once bitten – twice shy” rule for engaging local customers…
  • How faulty local logic can be used in your favor…
  • Why “sheer terror” is an underestimation of your local customer’s mindset (and what you can do to overcome it)
  • Why “Superior Service” is NOT a marketable advantage…
  • The “blind leading the blind” phenomenon which prevents local customers from developing true business loyalty (and how to overcome it)…
  • 4 uncommon ways to obliterate trust issues and explode your local business referrals!…
  • Discover how to play “Show Me” in the local market without disgusting your customer or losing your lunch…
  • And much, much more!

Who said I never gave you anything?

Onward and Upwards!

Dr. G 🙂

PS – Did you ever wish I could just do my fancy research FOR you?  Grab one of the spots before the price goes up!

    Nuances of Conversion Rate Optimization and PPC Budgeting

    Did you ever consider the relationship between your Pay Per Click budget and the time, money, and energy you spend on Conversion Rate Optimization?

    Have you ever wondered what stops you from doing more testing?  (Or doing testing AT ALL?)

    Listen to this intriguing interview with the author of AdWords for Dummies, Howie Jacobson, Ph.D.  (And myself of course)


    Dr. G 🙂

    PS – Howie and I are also offering a new conversion rate optimization service.  Have a look if you haven’t already!

    Building Bridges, Partial Credit, and Marketing Blunders

    You don’t get partial credit for building HALF  a bridge…

    You could do EVERYTHING right from working with the architects, the city, acquiring the best materials, surveying the land and support structures, etc.

    But in the end, if you don’t put ALL the pieces in place and complete the bridge, ain’t no cars getting across that river.

    Period.  (End of story)

    Either you complete it, or nobody crosses the river, period.

    Same thing with marketing funnels…

    You can select your bulls eye, define your keyword space, study your competitors, do extensive marketing research, identify a unique point of difference around which to construct a USP, source and/or create your product, manage your inventory, design your site to clearly call out to the right audience (with the right problem they’re desperate to have you solve) , articulate it perfectly in both text copy and video, present overwhelming proof, and even create a credible reason to act with urgency…

    But if you screw up the OFFER (price point, bonuses, terms and conditions, competitive comparison, value build, etc), ain’t nobody coming through your shopping cart.  Period.

    In fact, if you screw up ANY of about two dozen variables in your sales funnel, conversions go to zero mighty quickly.  It’s a sobering realization…

    The fact that you do NOT get partial credit in marketing means if you’re gonna succeed, you’ve really GOT to be made of really solid stuff.

    There’s simply no replacement for fortitude among bridge builders.

    Which is something you should take comfort in…

    Because it means that despite lack of sales in a particular project you’re working on (or your business as a whole) you very well MAY be doing 90% of it right!  In fact, this phenomenon is what makes successful marketing so hard to learn… because it can be very difficult to identify the pieces and parts you’re getting RIGHT when the sales aren’t coming through to reinforce it.  But rest assured, you’re probably getting at least some of it right. (This is why it’s critical to get ongoing feedback from other, more seasoned marketers… if a little bell went off every time something was right in your marketing funnel you wouldn’t need them, but in the absence of sales to reinforce your correct efforts, most marketers “fly blind” until they give up)

    Besides, it beats shoveling up after the elephants in the circus for a lowly paycheck, hands down.

    Food for thought on a crisp Sunday morning here in New Hampshire.

    Dr. G 🙂

    PS – Keep your eyes peeled for a special 50% discount coupon good only during my new product’s introductory week, and only for the first 200 orders.

    The Info Marketing Apocolypse

    Ahhhh… remember the good old days?   When you could set up a “business” selling ebooks, CDs, and DVDs, on Google?  Maybe make them entirely downloadable, have your customer service person handle the complaints, and you just spent a little time each day managing your PPC account?

    Info Marketing, that’s the dream.

    Move some electrons from here to there and money winds up in your bank account.  (While you, of course, munch on Doritos and chase cheap thrills in God-knows what way suits you!)

    Enter the Kindle, the economic crash, and the general education of consumers over time and…

    Oh well, you know the rest.

    It’s getting harder and harder to sell information products these days.


    Except if you knew what information marketing was REALLY all about in the first place…

    If you understood that the dissemination of information was really just a leveraged way to communicate with your market…

    To build RELATIONSHIPS with your prospects…

    And that you didn’t rely on information alone as a SUBSTITUTE for that relationship.

    You see, smart marketers have only incorporated information products into a more traditional product funnel all along.

    Because an introductory DVD which outlines the SYSTEM you’ve got for solving XYZ problem is really best suited to position YOU as the only one in the world to SERVICE THAT PROBLEM!

    The key word being service.

    I’ve come to MANY high end professionals like this…

    My present monthly health coach, for example, is someone I chose after (a) reading a book on her philosophy; (b) joining a paid continuity club where I relentlessly consumed her philosophy, recipes, interviews, and more.  And I actually came to both Perry Marshall and Terry Dean only after a similar course of info-consumption. (I’ve been worth tens of thousands of dollars to each of them!)

    Now, most people smitten with the information marketing dream don’t want to conceptualize it like this.  They want to hide behind the information.  At least twice a week someone says to me “I’ve been working so hard at doing X for years… so everything I do going forward from here on in is going to be an effort to productize this knowledge… I’m sick of trading dollars for hours”

    Well I’ve got news for you Joe…

    That’s a BIG meatball you’re asking the market to swallow!

    Because while every new marketer I speak with gives me some version of being sick of delivering service, every consumer I speak with tells me they’re sick of marketers trying to hide behind info products.

    So you do the math!

    But take heart…

    Because if you KNOW the right model…

    If you’ve spent years trying to master information marketing, your skills will NOT have gone to waste, and you still CAN have the dream with free time, independence, and the money you want.

    But you’ve got to add something to the mix…

    For most businesses, this means HUMAN CAPITAL.

    One of the most natural ways to do this is just SERVE the market with a completely done-for-you solution.  But unfortunately this is often VERY expensive, time consuming, and difficult to manage.

    The sweet spot is COACHING… you serve the market by CUSTOMIZING a solution for each individual, but you’re not responsible for the work itself.

    And when you do it right, you can LEVERAGE everything you know about info-marketing to achieve what you’ve been looking for all along in your business…

    And you can even manage other coaches to free even more of your time. (As long as you keep the bar HIGH for the people you allow to coach for you… they DO have to be able to deliver the results you promise!)

    Now, I’ve sold coaching in almost every variety you can imagine.  From  some of the MOST EXPENSIVE coaching ever (when I used to do corporate team building and name development workshops, sometimes for as much as $25,000 for a two day project) to hundreds of individual pay-as-you-go sessions, to a sold out monthly coaching board (

    I’ve SUPERVISED many coaches to success to0 (both from a skills perspective, but also regarding how to market their practices).

    Up until this point, I always recommended coaches work hard to sell FREE sessions using my stepladder system (bulls eye keyword –> opt in site –> dozens of content gifts –> contact for free session)

    But THIS YEAR I’ve discovered a NEW model that makes the above look like a cheeseburger at La Fondue.

    In fact, it’s so dramatically changed how I think about marketing a coaching practice that I’m recommending to all my coach-supervisees (with one minor exception), that they NEVER do another free session again!

    On Monday (10/8/12), I’ll launch this program with Terry Dean, David Oliver, and Dan Gallapoo.

    Watch your inbox for a special 50% off introductory price.

    Onwards and upwards,

    Dr. G 🙂