Effective executives grow their business in all economies. If you’re not using an irresistible First-Time Offer, you’re missing a powerful tool in your arsenal.
I’ll walk through how craft a First-Time Offer (FTO) that will supercharge your sales. It will build trust faster than any other mechanism. to get more out of every lead while inspiring trust with potential buyers. It will increase the productivity of your sales team. And your company will make your competitors tremble in their boots.
This article isn’t for you if you have a simple product or service. But if you need an irresistible offer to sell a complex product or service, buckle in and clear your calendar. This will change your life.
An Irresistible Offer is Better than Your Best Sales Person
No sales person can overcome a bad offer. But an irresistible offer can overcome a bad sales pitch.
That’s because a truly great offer is packed with so much value that it sells itself. It’s a no brainer. Then it’s just a matter of building a marketing strategy to attract customers so they can see your offer.
First, You Must Understand the Lifetime Value (LTV) of Your Target Audience
One of the biggest mental obstacles to overcome is the belief that your First-Time Offer must hit margin goals. That’s not true.
Instead, focus on a profitable lifetime engagement with your customer. For example, we had a client with a $5 million lifetime value for each customer. When asked, he told us he’d be willing to spend $1 million to acquire a new customer. The math is simple. That’s $4 million of profit for each new customer. And it’s a good deal every day of the week.
A general rule is whoever spends the most on customer acquisition wins. So, add more value to close the sale. Just make sure you don’t offer more than the lifetime value of the engagement.
Next, You Must Know the Pain Points in Your Customer’s Mind
Every irresistible offer speaks to known pains. That means pains your customer is feeling and can articulate. It doesn’t matter how much you know they have a need. A successful offer requires that they’re aware of the need without you explaining it.
Don’t get distracted by your unique selling proposition, or what makes your company unique. Your customer is ego-centric. That means they care a lot more about their pain than your uniqueness.
So, once you’ve identified your target market, start focusing on their pains and make your marketing messages speak to those pains.
It’s impossible to have irresistible offers that don’t speak to a known pain felt by your target market. And getting the pains wrong will cause your offer to fail.
Offer Irresistible Removal of the Pain They’re Feeling
Someone told my dentist that he needed to start marketing. So, he bought Chapstick with his brand name on it. He should have saved his money.
I became one of his patients years ago when I cracked a tooth on a Saturday morning and needed to fly out on Sunday. I had an immediate pain that needed to be resolved. There’s no amount of Chapstick that would have swayed business in his direction. It was strictly his ability to deal with my immediate issue.
Please don’t make your First-Time Offer a meaningless tube of Chapstick. It must remove an immediate pain that your customers are feeling.
The Essential Ingredients of an Irresistible First-Time Offer (FTO)
An effective First-Time Offer has a few essential ingredients.
- It’s an impulse purchase. (Not budgetary or discretionary)
- It delivers a disproportionate amount of value to price.
- It solves a problem.
- It leaves the bigger problems unsolved.
- It naturally leads to your core offer.
- It has a minimum of 3 deliverables and a maximum of 5 deliverables.
- One of the deliverables is the product of a joint working session where the prospect contributes to the outcome.
- The final deliverable solves a problem that’s created by the successful delivery of the preceding deliverables.
This has proven to be a great formula for irresistible offers. So, let’s break down the pieces.
The Price Should Match an Impulse Purchase
If you’re thinking about payment plans, you are WAY too high on price. It should be priced stupidly cheap for the value it’s delivering.
But more than that, it should be so cheap that they’ll never need permission to spend the money. It should be the coins in the cushions of their couch, the money in their wallet, or the B2B equivalent.
For B2C purchases, we believe it should be less than $100. For B2B purchases, we typically try to keep it below $500. You don’t want the prospect to ever worry about being held accountable for how they spent the money. Here are a couple responses we’ve heard when the customer heard the price:
I’ve don’t need to ask anyone about spending that.”
I don’t have to ask my wife about that.”
If they need to talk to someone else before committing to your First-Time Offer, it isn’t irresistible, and you’ve got it priced too high.
It Delivers Disproportionate Value to Price
Target delivering 10X the value of what they pay for it. If someone isn’t pleading with you to charge more, then you don’t have enough value packed in it. Your potential customers should look at that offer and pounce on it like ravenous lion. When you create an irresistible offer, that should be the only response you get.
Your Irresistible Offer Solves a Problem
Part of what makes a First-Time Offer a powerful marketing tool is it solves a problem. So, create an irresistible offer that does that.
Don’t fall into the trap of withholding that until they pay more money. Your goal is to get the first sale quickly by helping them solve a small problem. Now they’re a customer. And customers who you’ve solved small problems for will invite you to solve big problems later.
Leve the Big Problems Unsolved
You will most likely lose money on your First-Time Offer. So, you don’t want to solve all of their problems and lose money at the same time.
So, make sure the big problems are not solved as a part of the First-Time Offer.
Your First-Time Offer Naturally Leads to Your Core Offer
Yes, your irresistible offer should solve a problem. But you want to make sure the ship is pointed in the right direction.
Make sure your First-Time Offer points them to your core offer. Then it will make perfect sense for them to move forward from there.
Your First-Time Offer Must Have a High Perceived Value
This goes back to the Chapstick example. My dentist should save his money and not buy branded Chapstick. Unless he has some special type of Chapstick that’s infused with massaging nano-bots that will massage my lips to a Heavenly bliss, it’s just not special… or valuable.
It should be no mistake that your customers are getting an amazing deal when they buy your First-Time Offer. It’s your job to make sure they know the value of what you’re offering. If they think you’re offering a cheap gimmick, you’ve got something wrong.
Three Secret Elements for Your Irresistible First-Time Offer
We’ve found that an irresistible offer includes three secret elements that push the offer over the top.
- Your irresistible offer should have a minimum of three and a maximum of five deliverables.
- One of the deliverables should include a workshop where the customer contributes to the deliverable.
- The final deliverable should solve a new problem that’s created by the successful delivery of the preceding deliverables.
Let’s break that down.
When you have less than three deliverables, your offer can feel underwhelming. When you have over five deliverables, it can feel overwhelming and hard to track. So, having between three and five is the magic range.
Another reason for having at least three deliverables is to ensure your customer values at least two or more of those deliverables. Some customers may not care about one or two of your deliverables. So, you want to make sure you hedge against that by having multiple deliverables.
There are a couple of reasons you want to include your customers in the development of the deliverable. First, they will value it more highly if they contributed to it. That triggers two cognitive biases known as the Ikea Effect and the Endowment Effect. Secondly, if they contribute to it, you’ve got buy-in built into the system.
The final deliverable should solve a new problem that’s created by the successful delivery of the preceding deliverables. That can sound confusing. But imagine someone buying a boat. The successful purchase of a boat creates a new problem – you need a place to store your boat. Telling them at the front-end that you’re going to help them solve that problem (i.e. find the perfect marina for your boat) moves them into a success mindset where they’re visualizing success in their mind. In the case of the boat, they already picture themselves on the boat and enjoying it before they’ve even bought it. That’s an important mental trigger that will move them to purchasing.
Money back guarantees are not always the best way to reverse risk. We believe they’ve been over-used.
Your potential customer wants to feel confident and secure when they purchase a product or service. But money back guarantees can look overly promotional or gimmicky.
Instead, evaluate potential risks involved with a product or service and find effective solutions to help ease a customer’s concerns. This can include addressing anxieties through educational content, providing trial periods, offering money-back windows or partnering up with a trusted third-party organization that can lend credibility.
Risk reversal should be thoughtful and offer an experience that resonates authentically with customers and long-term success.’
Make Your Irresistible Offer More Irresistible with Added Bonus
Once you build your offer, we recommend adding a bonus or two. This helps overwhelm them value. I’m not a fan of the value stack that lists all the bonuses and what they would be worth. I fell that’s overused and contributes little to selling your First-Time Offer.
We’re not fans of giving away freebees in hopes that someone will eventually buy. There’s excellent research that shows offering something for free increases engagement. But all you have is a list of people who will say “yes” if you offer something for free.
We prefer different list… A shorter list of people who have demonstrated a willingness to pay a premium for value. While a First-Time Offer is ridiculously cheap. It is a compelling offer that’s still a premium over free.
Status Quo Risk Reversal
Another way to reduce risk is to make the status quo look more risky than change. We have psychological triggers that make us resist change. This is a powerful force that’s working against you in the head of your customer.
So, present the perils of the status quo as a path fraught with risk. Your marketing team should go to work doing the research. Find facts and statistics that show the status quo has increased risk. Facts and figures are important. But they’re not persuasive.
The more powerful persuasion speaks to the goals and life dreams that are imperiled by the status quo. This is what really moves people. Then they use the facts and figures to justify their choice. That’s why it’s important to speak to both aspects of the status quo.
Scarcity: Limited Number or Limited Time
Scarcity is like rocket fuel that drives your irresistible offer. You see phrases like “only a limited number,” or only until such-and-such date. These are examples of scarcity.
But be careful. You want your scarcity to be reasonable and credible. Don’t fall into the trap of flash sales that seem completely arbitrary. That will hurt your credibility. Also avoid false scarcity. If you say it’s only available for a limited time, then stick by your word.
How a First-Time Offer Increases Word of Mouth Marketing
People like two things. They like good deals. And they like to look good in front of others.
When you deliver an irresistible offer and they see the added value, it turns them into raving fans. It makes them look good when they tell others. It enhances their personal brand to brag about your irresistible offer. And just like that, you’ve got word of mouth marketing. It’s a marketing campaign you don’t have to pay for.
The Irresistible Offer is the Ultimate Word-of-Mouth Tool
Require Minimal Effort to Purchase Your Irresistible First-Time Offer
Once someone says “yes” to your First-Time Offer, you want it to be as quick and easy to purchase as possible. Remove all friction from the process. You should be able to deliver a payable invoice in less than 10 clicks including typing. Ideally five would be better. But the point is that you want it to be fast and easy to purchase. This will have a huge impact on your closing rate.
BTW, this is not the place to obsess about credit card fees or transaction charges. You’re not trying to make money on this sale. You’re trying to create new customers as quickly as possible. This will increase sales on your core offer where you do make money.
How Your First-Time Offer Converts Your Prospects into Loyal Customers
Your irresistible offer is a great value to your new customer. Not only does it increase conversions, but it flips a lever in your customers minds. When you do this right, they immediately know the scales are imbalanced. They’ve gotten more than they paid for, and humans have an internal desire to balance the scales. So, they engage again.
As you continue to engage, look for ways to imbalance the scales in their favor. Not only is this great customer service, but it creates a loyalty that keeps them around for a long time.
All in all, an irresistible first-time offer is one of the most powerful tools to help businesses grow, even in tough economic times. Whether you’re selling a product or a service, having an appealing offer can be the difference between making sales and not.
Be sure not to skip the essential ingredients. They are important. If done right, your irresistible first-time offer will super-charge your sales force and help your business reach unthinkable results.
Finally, if you need help getting started with crafting an irresistible offer, don’t hesitate to reach out and we’ll do a mini-project together. It won’t be free. But it will feel like it’s free. Let’s make success possible for your organization by creating an attractive and compelling offer today.