Over lunch the other day, my very seasoned entrepreneur friend was illustrating the anatomy of a multi-level marketing scheme on a paper napkin when she was reminded of a hilarious story from her past. While working at a gas station in the town of our youth, her boyfriend at the time was approached by a representative from one of these MLM things.
“You look like you could use some extra cash,” he said. As she told this story to me, I couldn’t stop laughing. Soon after, we were both in laugh-induced tears. Who says that?! Oh right… someone who’s involved in a multi-level marketing scheme.
Even though the comment was offensive, it worked. The sleezy sales guy had alluded to the fact that her boyfriend looked somewhat disheveled and desperate, which totally played on his insecurities and probably made him think “Oh god, maybe I DO need some extra cash. After all, I don’t want to work at this gas station forever!”
He ended up going to this MLM meeting to find out how he could indeed get some more of this ellusive ‘extra cash’.
I’m still laughing about this story to this day.
Not to say we should be modelling our marketing communications in any sort of resemblance to multi-level marketing, or ruthlessly play on people’s insecurities, but this story does illustrate a good lesson:
1.) When thinking of ways to sell your services, first try to determine your prospect’s biggest concern.
2.) Then, outline how your product or services can help them find an easy solution.
You don’t have to be sleezy or offensive about it, but make sure you’re being clear. Your website content is a great place to do this. Too often I see people waxing poetic about how great their products and services are on their websites, when they’re missing the point: it should be about your customer, and what benefits you can offer them that will help them overcome their concerns.