I know it’s been a while since I discussed The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau. That whole “Month of Controversy” thing threw me off schedule. But now I’m all ranted out, ready to hit some serious subject matter and tell it like it is. I’ll attempt to refrain from nonsense shenanigans like tartar sauce and glitter, but no guarantees.
Jumping in where we left off —
Part 2, Chapter 7: An Offer You Can’t Refuse
The Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Killer Offer
I may have said this about previous chapters, in which case — YAY! That means this is a good book! — but in the case of Chapter 7, I’m all for realz that this is totally my fav chapter thus far. Not that I was lying, if I did say it about previous chapters. It’s just, that was over a month ago and my brain doesn’t work like that. So what I mean to say is, this shit rocks and makes me want to sell… things. If that sounded in any way prostitute-ish, please know I wasn’t going that direction in my head. And also? You’re a freak.
This chapter of $100 Startup doesn’t focus so much on the $100 part of the equation. It has more to do with not being stupid about whatever it is (tartar sauce, prostitution, or what-have-you) you’re trying to sell.
— Offer the right product, to the right market, in the right way, at the right time.
— And make it an offer that can’t be refused! Like, “I’ll fucking KILL you if you don’t buy my junk!”
Just kidding. Chris Guillebeau totally didn’t say anything like that. He’s too cool to break it down in such crude terms. It’s more like, “You’re totally going to wanna die if you don’t buy my junk!” You know, make it dire. “This is your LIFE we’re talking about here, people. You seriously need to get on board with my shit, or you will regret it FOR.EV.ER.”
— Don’t be that douche-y car salesman with the slicked back hair who harasses you with the hard sell. Nobody likes grease. Keep your hair brushed in a tidy fashion, and play it calm. Dire, but calm.
“I can’t emphasize enough how much you have to have this shit. But, you know, it’s up to you. I don’t want you to feel left out while your friends have all the fun. You decide, though. Your call.”
See how I squeezed in a nudge with that last bit? I’m getting an “A” in this class, because that’s next on the list. Don’t be all pushy with the pointy elbows. Just one elbow, gentle-like.
Okay, but seriously, this next point blew my mind. I hadn’t ever thought of my purchases in these terms. Ready for it?
“The way we make purchasing decisions isn’t always rational.”
“All of us place a subjective value on goods or services that may not relate to what they ‘should’ be.”
“You must learn to think about value the way your customers do, not necessarily the way you would like them too.”
Chris Guillebeau’s example runs like this:
He accidentally locked his keys in the trunk of the car, and had to fork over an exorbitant amount of money to a locksmith. And it kind of ticked him off. He had to pay this giant dollar amount for like two seconds of work. Seemed un-cool. I don’t blame him. But… what choice did he have?
And that is exactly the point he’s trying to make. You (the salesperson) will not view pricing the same way as You (the customer). Paying a krillion dollars for one page of directions may seem stupid to the customer, but s/he will pay it nonetheless if those directions are the only ones available, or the best ones on the market.
This concept made me stop and think about how many times I’ve complained about a price tag yet still forked over the dough. Guillebeau is right — our purchasing decisions really AREN’T always rational.
The final points in this chapter of $100 Startup are goodies as well. Guillebeau refers to it as a “Tool Kit” for putting together your uber-compelling offer.
(1) The FAQ section isn’t merely a place to answer “Frequently Asked Questions”, in spite of its title to the contrary. It’s true purpose is to tell customers what you want them to know. This provides you an opportunity to be proactive in overcoming objections and to thus reassure the customer that they really, for realz, seriously should totally, no joke buy your shit.
(2) Your guarantee of satisfaction should further lull the customer into a feeling of safety. Something along the lines of, “There is no way my junk will chop off your fingers, but if it does — MY BAD — let me know and I will refund your money, plus send you a jar in which to store your missing digits. Friends?”
(3) “Hoorayz! Extra Surprises!” Send a card thanking customers for taking a risk on your junk, and stalk them so they know you care. Look up their FB account and Twitter handle and Linked In profile and home phone and cell phone and any other method of contact you can think of. Use your imagination. Call, chat, mail, sit on their front porch — do whatever it takes to tell that person, “I am so eternally grateful for my one and only customer. Friends?”
I mean, hey — I’m assuming this is how it would go for me. Your junk is probably —WAY— more awesome than mine, so you might even sell two or three. Lemme know how that goes. I need all the fucking help I can get.