Lessons on Selling the Infomercial Way

I have spent a lot of time thinking about what really works in selling. An amazingly effective model is the TV infomercial. Infomercials, as we all know, can make a substantial amount of money in just a couple of minutes. They spot the product, it suddenly solves our problem and then *bang* we have bought it before we even knew we needed it. It is powerful stuff and there are many lessons that we can learn about the sales process if we dissect how infomercials work.

Find a person's problem, pain or bruise.

I will start with a timely example – the New Year’s resolution. In January, around the 12th or 13th, there is a barrage of marketing about losing weight. Why then? Because it is during this time that many people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. This establishes our first principle of infomercial marketing: You have to find a person’s problem, pain or bruise. That is why they do not put the ad on the TV during December, because in December you did not have a problem. You had decided to not think about your weight until January and you were happily enjoying all the food you could get your hands on.

In fact, the infomercial does not even appear on the first of January because for a period of time you are still convinced that you will be able to do something about your New Year’s resolution of your own strength. That is why the infomercial people wait for the 12th or 13th day. They know that 50% of the population will make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or to get healthier and they know that if they wait until you are frustrated and depressed about failing your resolution, they will have found your problem, pain or bruise.

Make the bruise bleed.

The second marketing principle used by infomercials is that they now make the bruise bleed. They agitate it. How? First of all they wait for 12 days and they know that after this time you have done nothing to lose the weight. They play on your mental turmoil. They make it bleed by showing you amazing images of what you and your life could look like. They cast your dream. They take you to your personal heaven. Then next thing they do is that they now completely solve your problem. They show you some revolutionary break through that they have created and how they have solved this problem for people around the world.

Now prove it.

Once they have solved the problem, they realize that you are a doubting Thomas. They know that you are suspicious of infomercials. So what do they do? They prove it. Let us have a look at the ways that these organizations prove things.

  1. They give you a load of testimonials. They do not just give you one or two; no they smack you with eight or nine.
  2. They prove it through statistics. Occasionally, they are now starting to introduce a medical professional who gives their testimonial about how good this product is. They find some doctor with five titles behind his or her name to give credibility to their statistics.
  3. They also prove it by using social media where they get the talk going by trying to get your friends to say how this product is just fantastic. They use devices such as Facebook with their powerful “Like” buttons.

Make it easy to buy.

Another thing infomercials do is that they make it really easy to buy. They do not say “Give me $1,000” no they say “Give me 12 easy installments of $80.00 per month.” They may even make it look ridiculously cheap by lowering it down to a daily amount. “For a cup of coffee, you can look like this.” They make it really easy for you to buy.

Show them they cannot lose.

Then they give you an insane guarantee like “If you are not completely satisfied, you can send the product back – no questions asked.” Some even ship you the product before they invoice you. They are trying to convince you that you cannot lose.

Instill a sense of urgency.

Then they close the sale. Right at the end, they give you an enormous sense of urgency. You must buy the product right now. They do that by limiting the offer for a time period – one hour only. They might give you a bonus if you buy the product then and there. Or they might tell you that there are only 100 available. All of these tactics instill a sense of urgency.

Now I worked a little bit in this industry. I was absolutely amazed. I cannot tell you how much volume that they do. It is incredible! It is in the millions and millions of dollars. What really surprises me is the simplicity of this marketing principle and how brilliantly it works.

If you want that kind of success, go back to your business and see if you are doing these things well. If you do those things well, your sales will go through the roof.

About Tony Gattari, Achievers Group

The author is founder and Chief Energy Officer of Achievers group. He is a much in demand passionate professional speaker, business educator, author and corporate, business advisor. He has worked with over 140 businesses around the world.

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