Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why I Love Infomercials But Hate The Telephone

Infomercials vs Cold Calling
I have a fear of the phone.
Something about the person that picks up not wanting to talk to me and hanging up all pissed off just bothers and scares me. Cold calling is the worst. When I was doing real estate investment with Jen a few years back, the process was pretty simple and highly effective.

Find people that owed a ton of back taxes in a specific undeveloped area, research them, cold call and ask them to sell to us so that we could flip the property and make some cash.

I couldn't do it. I saw the money piling up in my imaginative back account, the house that we could buy, the boat that I would be sipping Corona's on while wakeboarding on a Tuesday and the freedom that came with the real estate boom of the early 2000's. But I still couldn't do it.

The phone scares the shit out of me. Still to this day I will shoot an email 100% of the time over making a phone call, but I have gotten better. I have gotten better because I have been studying and understanding people and relationships. Most people want to talk, they want to learn and they want to better themselves. If you can solve these conditions for them, you will have a much better chance of getting them to open up, become vulnerable and make a sale - or at least make a legitimate pitch. However I find it to be a very unpleasant approach to a first impression.

Why Infomercials Rock

The exact opposite of direct selling via the phone is direct selling via an infomercial or direct response tv ad. Here you have a scripted salesman, sales crew, whatever - talking into a camera, using sales copy and client testimonials to tell a story about their product, the history behind its design and success and what you can achieve if you act now! My favorite part is the opt-in. If you don't like the infomercial - you change channels.

And I love Saturday morning and super late night infomercials. Hearing the way these people talk to the camera, the way they invite you into their mindframe and the way they get you into their buying cycle is absolutely priceless. But why do you get sucked into the 30 minutes of madness and get hooked?

It is results oriented selling.

These people are selling on the premise that by buying their shit, you will have a better life in someway. Here is the breakdown:
  • I don't care how many flavors it has - only that it will quench my thirst or make my date happy at the movies
  • It doesn't matter how many exercises I can do - only that I will have Marine like abs in 30 days
  • House moms care about getting the stain out at all costs
  • I will be rich in 30 days

When you are creating your marketing plan, focus on the end results of what you want your client, customer, whatever to see. The bells and whistles are cool, but at the end of the day they want results. If you can show them results, they will continue to buy, continue to do the promotion for you and continue to give you kick ass testimonials to keep making cheezy infomercials.

We are going to be breaking down some infomercials, internet marketing sales letters and other sales tactics in the next few days because what marketing boils down to is producing more sales through interaction at some level with the product and the consumer. While some people will claim that these long form methods of selling are old school, annoying or do not work - I can tell you that they still 100% work, but (you knew there was a but coming) you will have to keep coming back to find out why these damn things are so infectious.

Today's homework

Recall the last infomercial that had you hooked and ready to pull out your Amex. In a sentence or 2, explain why it had you hooked. Write your responses in the comments and we will explore and break down the best infomercials you kids can bring into the conversation. Looking forward to seeing your insight.

-Greg Rollett

P.S. Yes, I am working on a product launch. More on that to come. It has to do with Rock Stars, Personal Branding and Selling, but mostly its about, "Really Cool Lifestyle Design." I am pretty excited about it, although it may shift the focus of this site, like I always do every 6 months or so, to more of a lifestlye design or business design or marketing design - post themes. Hopefully it will add value and steps and most importantly action to help you get the results you want for yourself, your company and your life.


Mark Schoneveld April 29, 2009 at 12:03 PM  

Funny - I really loved the 'Infomercial for millennials' channel Honeyshed but it was an epic FAIL in the end. I would have liked to see it play out better, the concept was totally there.

Greg Rollett April 29, 2009 at 12:13 PM  

Thanks Mark - haven't heard of that series, but I am on my way to check them out now, if there is anything left of it online.

Greg Rollett April 29, 2009 at 12:17 PM  

Here's what I found on Honeyshed -

If anyone has access to their videos please let me know. Looks interesting to check out and see how the brands interacted on the channel.

ELROSS April 30, 2009 at 8:20 AM  

Can't remember the product name, but it was a socket set that had all these tiny posts and would conform to any size nut, bolt or what have you. Came so close to getting one, but it looked just a little bit too cheaply made, figured it would last a few turns & start breaking.

Greg Rollett April 30, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

@elross - very cool. So again your "almost" action to buy was caused by the direct result of using the product - probably the relief of knowing that you don't have to destroy your garage looking for that one darn socket that is missing and fixing the problem with minimal effort. I'll try and look for the video!

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