The #1 Roadblock to Systems-based Selling

In the last issue, I shared the secret to systems-based selling…selling where YOU don’t have to sell.

But there IS a catch.

When you force a decision you discover two things…

You find out who’s ready to buy now.

AND you find out who’s not.

Everybody wants the “who’s ready now.”

Most fear the “who’s not,” “who never will be” and “who never was” a prospect.

Before you force the decision, they’re all prospects…

Or, at least, you can convince yourself they’re all prospects.

Once you make them decide, you see reality. Your funnel may not be as full as you’d like.

So you “hold onto” those phantom prospects in your contact list…hoping one day, they’ll come around.

So, what’s the barrier to systems-based selling?

It’s not the phantom prospects and it’s not fear of the reality that your funnel isn’t so full…

It’s that if you force the decision and some say no, you don’t have a steady, predictable way of replacing them.

Fix the flow…and the system can begin selling for you.

Why Referral Incentives Fail

If only it was this simple... Find someone who really likes what you sell and pay them a few bucks or give 'em something cool (everybody wants a free iPad, right?) every time they bring you a new client.

Too bad referral incentives almost never work.

There are two underlying reasons:

#1 - Most people are uncomfortable with the self-interest that's injected into their recommendation of your business. They worry that if they disclose the incentive they'll hurt their relationship with the person being referred. And if they keep it a secret...they worry that they'll be found out.

#2 - The oft-overlooked reason these schemes fail is that selling is hard when you do it for a living, have training and experience. It's nearly impossible when you're part-time, virtually unpaid and completely un-trained.

The idea behind incentives is good...align your client's self-interest with your own.

But there are more elegant, more effective ways to create the alignment.

marketing consultant  Steve Gordon

7 Marketing Strategies You May Not Be Using's Carnegie Deli day at The Marketing Letter™ worldwide headquarters... Here's how to works: Pick one item from the menu that you're not using and order it up.

Here we go:

1. Place strategy - showing up places your competitors can't find

2. Referral multiplier - move from 1-by-1 referrals to 10x referrals

3. Front-end/Back-end - can you add a low-cost front end offer to acquire clients at break-even or better? Then sell them the bigger back-end product or service...

4. Ascension - build a path for clients to "grow up" from small, baby client to grown-up, big-spending whale

5. Media Mogul - own your own media and own your prospect's attention

6. Two-step selling - the tried and true lead generation offer to get a hand raise, then follow-up to get the client

7. Price Strategy - Align price to your buyers...don't assume low price is important.

If you're under $1-million in revenue, master ONE strategy to get to $1MM.

If you've achieved that milestone, too much reliance with ONE strategy is should be adding one new "stream of clients" each quarter.

Happy hunting!

marketing consultant steve gordon

It ain't the club...

I've played golf since I was 12 (too long to count) and as a kid I played this game with my buddies. It was invented because we were too lazy to carry a full bag of clubs around for 18 holes in August. So we'd carry one club.

My club of choice...

An 8-iron.

I could hit it far enough to be OK on the long holes...and I could putt with it almost as well as with my putter.

The club (or lack of) didn't much matter.

We won or lost for the day by how we used the club.

The tools at your disposal for growing your business might as well be infinite today.

But your success (or failure) isn't so much about the tools. It's what you do with them.

That's liberating. You don't need ALL the tools. You just need to MASTER one or two.

For me, that means publishing.

Of all the clubs in the bag it's the easiest to's the trusted tool that always delivers.

marketing consultant steve gordon

I've spent two-decades searching for the key to unlocking 10-times more referrals. A few years ago, I discovered how to do it...and publishing is at the core. To discover how to grow your referrals by 10-times using my simple system register for my free course.

If Billy Mays sold high-dollar services...

Legendary pitchman, the late, Billy Mays was famous for two things...

#1. His blue shirt

#2. His loud boardwalk bark

Despite his loud delivery, Mays understood something important in sales...

Better to show than to tell.

But how do you demonstrate winning a case in court or navigating the IRS rules to save a client a few bags of cash?

How do you demonstrate a service that must be purchased and applied to be "seen?"

I've only ever found one way that works...

You publish.

A book, a newsletter, a speech, doesn't much matter the format.

Publishing is the only way to demonstrate to a buyer of a high-ticket service, what it is that they're about to buy. 'Cause the service is, in the end, a product of your mind.

Now, you certainly can sell without demonstration, but it's a hard row to hoe.

Again, he stopped three feet from gold

You may have heard the story of R.U. Darby and his uncle during the gold rush. The story is told by Napoleon Hill in "Think and Grow Rich." It goes like this... Darby and his uncle head west and start mining to find their fortune...

...they strike gold!

...they buy drills and machines to dig deeper...

...days later, the gold vein stops...disappears completely!!

...Darby and his uncle give up, believing the mine is barren and sell the equipment to a "junkman."

...The junkman hires a mining engineer to look at the mine and the engineer determines, based on the geology, that the gold vein begins again just 3-feet from the spot where Darby and his uncle quit!

I have no idea if the story is true. It doesn't much matter, the lesson is important.

Yesterday, I told you about my client who was unsure of what to make of the early results of his new marketing.

Lacking expertise in reading the "signs of success" he might have decided to give up, like Darby, just 3-feet from gold.

marketing consultant steve gordon

Understanding These Signs of Marketing Success

I had an interesting conversation with a client yesterday that's worth sharing. We spent 30-minutes reviewing what's happened since we launched two of his marketing "oil wells."

He said..."I sent 40 letters and got 2 responses. I just don't know if it's working."

He goes on...

"And I called a few people who got letters from me in January and have been getting my monthly newsletter. One guy thanked me for sending the latest one. Said he and his wife set it aside to read and he needs to come see me."

When you're selling high-dollar products and services using marketing, that's what early progress sounds like.

Forty letters and two responses = a 5% response. That's a good start in my book.

If the numbers hold after a few more tests we should be able to mail 80 and get 4 (or more) and 120 and get 6...and up and up.

But here's where it gets fun. In three to four months, we now know we'll get 3-5 more from every group of 40 we send today. We've doubled response in maybe as little as 90 days.

Remember, we're testing small...results are small, but good.

Yet, here's the danger...

If you expect to mail 40 and get 35 responses, good luck. Sure it happens, but not often.

Look for the seeds of success. If you're building a marketing and selling SYSTEM the right way, those seeds can be grown predictably and profitably.

marketing consultant steve gordon

The most common missing answer on your website

And in your emails... ...sales letters


The answer is missing from most every communication with your future clients.

We leave it out when we're not clear in our own minds what that answer should be...

...when we fear that the answer will offend, will drive off (in some cases, that's its purpose).

Yet, without the answer, your future client reads your webpage or sales letter or email, thinks that's nice and moves on.

So answer this question...

"What happens next?"

The real prospects want to know.

It's the path to solution. It's the step towards relief.

When you're not clear about what should happen next, you rob that person...and yourself.


P.S. Finding the answer to "What happens next?" is just one part of the plan you'll build in the next Lead Generation Sprint™ (happening in July). Get on the early notification list now at

Do you have a track to run on?

Virtually all businesses start in belly-to-belly sales mode. There's almost no way around it...if YOU can't sell what you've got, sitting across the table from a good prospect, how in the world will you get a sales letter or a website to do it for you?

Most businesses that survive the first phase of growth--zero to $750k--do so on the back of the entrepreneur's ability to hustle and make sales.

That's where things start to fall apart. The business starts to get more complex, and needs more management attention. At the same time, the entrepreneur needs to hustle faster and faster to keep the growth going.

Somewhere between $750k and $1.5-million there's an invisible brick wall. And hitting it hurts!

The only way around is to figure out how to scale up the acquisition of clients...

To get double the clients with half the effort.

But how, exactly, is that done?

There are 43,562 ways to get a client...which one will work for you?

And there's the don't know. You try the first 73 and can't seem to make progress.

Really what you need is one (maybe two or three) that you can master.

You need a track to run on...with lanes that keep you focused. Where all you have to do is, here's the one step I need to take to get closer to the finish line.

marketing consultant steve gordon

P.S. I'm often asked what's the fastest way to get clients. If you know more than two people on the planet, the answer is referrals. If you need a FAST track to run on right now, I've built one just for you here.

Weightlifting on the Moon

Free marketing channels, like social media, SEO and "networking" are a bit like weightlifting on the moon. There's no you don't build any real muscle.

The drive to free channels makes you sloppy. There's no skin in the game.

And while I love "FREE" just as much as the next guy, it doesn't sharpen your sword like having your money on the line.

One reason why you see paid online ads and direct mail create big, fast to scale businesses, is the money.

Both media allow you to start with small money...but still require money. Test, tweak, improve, DISCOVER WHAT WORKS.

And when you discover it...let the marketing profits cash flow your growth.

Free doesn't force you to learn quickly...or at all. But all that "free" marketing will cost you dearly in the long run.

marketing consultant steve gordon

P.S. My friend Dov Gordon's webinar "How to Be Noticed, Be Valued and Be Paid by the Clients You Want Most" was a hit yesterday. He's made the recording available and you can get it here.

80/20 Referrals

I'm a serious student of the 80/20 principle. It says that 80% of the results are created by 20% of the inputs. I've found it to exist in every part of my business and my life...

Including the development of referrals.

Three strategies drive 80/20 referrals...

#1. Authority - You want more referrals with less want leverage? Become an authority. Not just in knowledge, but create the "stuff" of authority...a book, a speech, something that satisfies our pre-wired notions of what makes someone authoritative.

#2. Ease of Referring - Referring YOU is hard.

You're a referred prospect facing a first meeting with you, the sign of a successful meeting is it ending with his wallet lighter than when he arrived.

But you, "packaged" in something less threatening--a book, or webinar, or CD--is easier, no chance of a "wallet-ectomy" if I pass on your book.

#3. Specificity - Want to guarantee you'll get zero referrals? Ask a client if they know "anybody" who might need your help. I've never met anybody, who knew anybody, named "anybody."

Do a little bit of legwork for your client and put a list in front of them of people they should know. Let 'em pick who you should meet like they'd pick lunch off a Chinese menu.

One of my private clients put these three strategies together yesterday to grab 11 referrals in 90 minutes from a single client...the first time he tried it.

Click Here

marketing consultant steve gordon

Creating New Clients With Certainty

Imagine for a moment that you knew with certainty that next week you would land two new clients... Would you sleep better at night?

Would you be nicer to your spouse?

Would you actually get off the computer and go to your daughter's dance practice?

Would you invest in hiring that new team member you really need?

Would you feel secure, putting two big checks in the bank, knowing there are two more right behind those?

For two decades I've been perfecting the system for attracting clients with certainty. Specifically in the selling of "hard to sell" services.

In that time I've learned three important things:

#1. That it is possible to know how many are coming in the future.

#2. That getting them to come to you is a system, a formula...applied uniquely to each business and each business owner.

#3. That the reason you create the system is to live in the peace of mind it gives you.

The "Race Packs" for the April Lead Generation Sprint™ are arriving in the mail to those who registered and the event is closed.

If you'd like to participate in the next Sprint (will probably take place in late July) get on the early notification list now:


Are you using these 5 "trust accelerators" with your prospects?

It's an untrusting, skeptical world out there. Your future clients are at the same time fearful of being scammed and desperately wanting... ...needing, to trust someone to lead them to a cure for their problem.

Right or wrong, we all look for "clues", little signs that a business (or person) is trustworthy.

If you're not proactively building these little 5 "clues" of trust into your business you're making selling unnecessarily difficult.

  1. Authority - We give deference to those in authority and grant some degree of trust solely based on a person's authority position. Something you can, and should manufacture for yourself.
  2. Familiarity - The more you know someone (or feel you know someone) the more you tend to trust them.
  3. Consistency - Showing up regularly, like clockwork, in someone's life...right where they expected you...shows you can follow through.
  4. Association - Do you associate with other people they trust? In groups, organizations or individually. This is the foundation for every referral (for the complete shortcut to getting referrals try this).
  5. Demonstration - This is a biggie...if I "see it with my own eyes" I'll believe show them.

How many are you using today?

marketing consultant steve gordon

How to Build A List of Buyers Even If You're Not Getting Enough Web Traffic Now

I got a great question from a subscriber earlier this week. He asked, "How can I attract the right kind of clients to my website? I'm not getting much traffic to my site and I don't know if I should run ads, work on SEO or write articles for other websites."

It's the wrong question to ask. Here's a better one:

"How can I find the most likely buyers for my business?"

That's what he really wants. Who cares HOW they come through the door, so long as they do.

Now, here's the answer that nobody wants you to know...

You don't have to work for years to build up SEO cred' with the big "G." You don't need to run ever-more expensive online ads, hoping you've dropped your line in a pond with fish.

There's a shortcut.

Just go BUY the list of BUYERS.

So, if you're selling, for example, high-end medical weight loss, you can get a list of affluent BUYERS of other weight loss products, services and publications.

If you're selling financial services, you can buy a list of people who already purchased investment information.

Etc., Etc.

These prospects are far more valuable than those delivered from search (paid or free), 'cause they've revealed one important fact...

They'll spend money on something close to what you're selling.

Chances are, if what you've got makes any sense at all, a percentage of them will buy from you, too.

It's the great shortcut to mo' clients.

marketing consultant steve gordon

Have you ever said this?

"If I get in front of a good prospect I usually close them." Followed by...

"If I could just get more meetings with good prospects, my business would be great!"

There are two parts here...getting in front of MORE prospects and getting in front of GOOD prospects.

It's fairly easy to get more...much more difficult to get more AND good.

You won't get good prospects until you figure out and write down what a "good" prospect looks like. Who are they, where are they, how do they think?

You won't get good prospects without a deep understanding of why they really buy--not the surface reason, but the feeling that motivates their decision.

You won't get good prospects until you can package that "feeling" and put it in front of them, compelling them to stand up and say, "YES...that's for me!"

Few really understand the deep down, hidden drivers of buying behavior. Too often we stay on the surface, stick with the facts and assume that buyers must be rational.

But facts don't sell. Even to businesses. They may help, but they don't sell.

So today, look at your website, look at your brochures and look at your message. Are you a fact teller? And if you are, are you attracting enough of the right prospects to feel happy with your success?

No? Join me here.

And stop saying, "If I could just get more meetings with good prospects, my business would be great!"


The Keystone Pipeline and your marketing

There's a big controversy here in the U.S. over the Keystone Pipeline...a giant pipe connecting Canada's oil to our spigot. The pipeline is still on the drawing board, stuck because of fear of something deadly (gasp!)...


Leaky pipelines are bad news.

And I guarantee your prospect pipeline leaks...they all leak.

Some a trickle...most like Niagara.

And, frankly, leaks are damn expensive.

You go to all the trouble to get a lead...I mean really, someone who expresses some interest in what you’re selling.

You go to all that trouble, then, in a moment of confusion, when they don't immediately trip over themselves to empty their wallet in your lap you think "!"

It's as if Will Smith walked up and flashed that mind eraser doohickey from Men In Black in front of forget you even had a lead.

Expensive mistake.

And understandable.

It's difficult to know what should happen next. How should you follow-up? Do it the wrong way and the positioning you created to get the lead is destroyed and any future sale along with it.

Even if you know what to do next, implementing it is work. Following up for six-months or a year or five takes thought and planning.

I've been selling high-dollar, complicated "stuff" for 20 years (don't do the age's not pretty), I've made every mistake you can think of and in the process figured out the few things that actually work.

The things you'll actually implement.

On April 23rd, I'll be creating customized plans for a few. Join me.


Are you making your high-dollar sale too hard?

Getting the first sale with a new client is the most difficult task in most businesses. It's compounded when the sale involves a lot of little green photos of George Washington. You're asking the client to take a huge risk, without having experienced buying from you...

Without seeing that you do, in fact, deliver.

It requires mammoth trust.

And it's the single biggest reason that prospects "disappear" just when you thought everything was go, go, go.

They simply get sacred...they can't reconcile the risk of loss with the outcome to be gained.

And, frankly, the higher up the price ladder you go, the less that guarantees work to mitigate the risk. The purchases are often just too complex--and the clients know it.

So what can you do?

First, create education based marketing systems to build trust.

That's the minimum.

Want to get advanced?

Build a purchasing "ladder"...small purchase, leads to bigger purchase, leads to biggest, ultimate purchase.

You'll turn prospects into clients faster at the low level, and once they buy, they'll buy again more easily.

I'll be working through advanced lead generation and conversion strategies like this in the next Lead Generation Sprint™--register now.


Have you seen the line for...

...the guru at the bottom of the mountain? Me either.

Instead, you hire a sherpa, get a team and gear and trek up the mountain.

Pass mountain goats and fight off Yeti to reach the modest temple where the guru sits waiting for searchers to arrive.

It's an investment to get there. When you do finally get there, do you think you might value the advice you get?

Without question.

At the bottom of the mountain the guru with no line dispenses the same advice...but it's worthless.

Same stuff being sold...radically different positioning.

If you want to sell at higher prices and with greater ease to better clients...get better positioning.


The Power Of This One Thing

How many different ways are you trying to use to get clients? 3, 4, 5, 20?

For most there's networking, "prospecting" (a fancy way to say cold calls), social media, SEO, PPC, direct mail, print...

I'm all for diversity of client acquisition, in fact, I think it's essential to time.

But approach it the right way.

Don't be like the business owners I see dipping a toe in the water to "try out" a half-dozen or more methods of getting clients.

They never get beyond the toe. There's no depth of experience or real success with any of them. They're on to the next one in hope of a quick fix to the not-enough-clients problem.

It's much more powerful to pick the one thing you're going to master and make it really work.

Maybe it takes a year...then add the next.

You'll find you actually gain speed and momentum with mastery.


How to avoid being invisible to clients

I had a cool experience a few weeks ago. I was in a client's office and he proudly showed me his print-outs of The Marketing Letter™.

Yes, he felt compelled to print the messages that hit home for him and keep them in a binder next to his desk.

Flattering for sure, but not the point (if you're reading this and do something similar, send me a photo...we'll come up with something to reward you with).

The experience got me thinking, so I went back to my own office and looked around.

The people and companies that get the lion's share of my money all have "presence" in my office. Physical presence.

And because of the physical presence in my environment they get more mindshare...more attention. This is valuable real estate that you should be trying to acquire.

This is the real point behind creating a book, audio CD or sending a printed newsletter each month.

These things hang around. They literally take up space in your clients' lives. They can't be sucked into email oblivion by the end of the day as the endless tidal wave of email pushes your message below the "fold."

So...if your clients stood up in their office and turned around in a circle, would they see any of "you?"


P.S. - The next Lead Generation Sprint™ is just a few weeks away. Register today: