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Business: I've once again been "PROSPERIZED"...so can you...
If you read BYBA, you saw the name Charles Prosper. I had a nice long phone chat with Charles yesterday afternoon.
A lot has happened to my old friend during my self-imposed banishment from the Internet.
The most IMPRESSIVE thing about our conversation was nothing that Charles said. It was what I heard.
I heard his 20 month old daughter in the background cooing and playing with dad, while he was on the phone.
Did I mind? I was JEALOUS. My girls are teens, and I love them to death, but when they were babes, it was the favorite time of my life.
In fact, I'm starting to look to Tony Randall as a role model.
Anyhow, there was Charles Prosper working from his home, making substantial income, and being able to be with his daughter.
He was gracious, and giving of his time and knowledge. At the end of the conversation, I thanked Charles and he said something that caught me off guard.
He said it was for him a "payback" of sorts. When he first came out on-line, we had a nice chat and he picked my brains. Slim pickins I always thought. And I have always felt I got more from Charles than I was able to give, but I was honored he felt that way.
I asked Charles if I could share his secrets. He not only said YES, he insisted.
Charles Prosper is another one of those successful guys that has learned the power of casting your bread upon the water. He GIVES.
I got off the phone 'buzzing'. I ran to the book store to get the 2 books Charles said I MUST get.
Both were written by Elizabeth Castro and published by Peachpit Press. They are:
HTML for the World Wide Web 4th edition and
Perl and Cgi for the World Wide Web...
Both extremely INTIMIDATING books for me, a non-computer type guy. But I know that if I do what Charles Prosper says, it pays off. It has in the past, and I know it will now.
So, after I got the books, then I went to study his site www.prosperballoons.com and the other sites he had me study.
Here are a few of the gems I mined from the MASTER mind of Charles Prosper.
First an example.
Jennifer Lopez or Brad Pitt (or pick any person you can think of that you would like to spend some time with, as for me, and the two choices, I'll go with Jennifer)
Anyhow, Jennifer calls me on the phone. Says,
"Gordon, I'd like you to come over this evening and spend some time with me. My address is at my web site."
So, I go to the website. And it is SLOOOOOOW. All those pictures of Jennifer downloading. But her address is not on the home page, I have to go hunting for it. Each link I hit seeking what I want, is SLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW.
Now I ask you...do I quit and forget about it?
Baby, I'm a single guy now, I ain't quitting till I get that address.
Go to adobe.com or askjeeves or epson, and you will find some pretty dang slow sites, relatively speaking...
Are you going to leave? Not before you get the information you HAVE to have.
Maybe Jennifer called 10 guys. All answered the challenge to find her address. Only ONE did.
A way to QUALIFY people on the Internet?
The point and the truth of this metaphor is this:
If you are dying, and a web site contains the cure, yet it loads slow, is graphically intensive, and the information you have to have to keep alive is buried somewhere in that site...
how long are you going to stay at the site?
Depends on how long you want to live, RIGHT?
Charles' point. If you have a reason for a select group (niche) of people to come to your site for specific information they can't get anywhere else, don't worry about the download time. Use it to your advantage to sort out the tire kickers, lookey loos from your customers.
I never thought of it quite like that.
Do you know what Corey Rudl and Jack Palance have in common?
The ONE thing.
In the movie City Slickers, with Billy Crystal, Jack Palance plays an old cowboy who gives Billy's character the SECRET to life.
Jack holds up ONE finger, and says, do ONE thing.
Be a MASTER at ONE thing.
How does Corey say it?
On the Internet, you want to be the ONE place, the ONE source of either knowldege or product.
Corey says be a "portal". Charles is THE place on-line concerning the balloon business.
But one of his secrets is to link to his competitors. He is a portal to other information about balloons, even though he takes people away from his site to do it.
Although there is a little secret to this that I'm not going to share until Dien and I have had a chance to use it here...
By becoming the portal, and by being the ONE place people can come to learn about the balloon business, Charles Prosper has seen DRAMATIC results.
What is the ONE thing that you can provide to a niche group?
Here is a Prosperizing secret that is so simple, so elegant, and so full of common sense, we "marketers" often over look it.
When someone DOES buy from you, Call them up, thank them for their purchase and ask them WHY they bought it...
Get the answers, don't just guess the answers.
As Charles pointed out, you may think it is the bonuses, or the copy, or the offer, but until you talk to the customer, and then talk to hundreds, you won't know for certain which ELEMENT of your presentation is doing the most work for you.
If you find one area keeps being THE reason for buying from you, then you strengthen that part, make it even more effective.
Simple. But a technique MOST will never use, only the MASTERS like Charles.
Along the same lines, ASK your customers what they would pay for your product.
I did this with those of you that gave or are giving feedback on REMOTE HYPNOSIS. So far, many have said they would pay 19 bucks for REMOTE HYPNOSIS, and that is after only seeing 1/4 of the book, so,
we think 12 dollars is going to be a bargain, and hopefully will produce a lot of sales.
But Charles spent time and ASKED what his customers would pay for a PAID newsletter.
He already has a FREE one. He gives those away to people who fill out a customer feedback form. He rewards them by giving something of value for their time.
Then in the FREE newsletter, he gives useful tips while using a velvet hammer to get them to subscribe to the paid newsletter. It works too.
Now Charles has an affiliate program too.
But his is also done with e-mail, because a majority of the people on-line DO NOT have web sites, but they all use e-mail.
Did he pay 900 bucks for the program? You could a popular guru sells one for that.
Did he pay 500 bucks?
No Charles found an e-mail affiliate program for 49 dollars. And it works great.
Charles also submits his site weekly to the top 9 search engines.
Does it pay? Well this morning as I did a check, he is #2 at Google and on the front page for almost every searh engine when you use the balloon busniess as the query.
I'd bet he shows up on top pages for several variations and SPELLINGS of balloon, like baloon, or ballon, or whatever...because he studies the metatags of all the top sites and adjusts his...
Another secret, one that Marlon Sanders has mastered too, is to ask for an upsell at the time of the order.
We did this at SCI, especially on the phone all the time. It is the best time to get more busniness, yet so many people are so timid about it.
Why not upsell NOW? It goes back to good old fashion selling.
I sold more extended warranties than almost anybody in the 28 store chain, because I started upselling at the close.
In consumer electronics, if they walk out the door without the warranty, even if you give them 7 days to come back and get it, they AIN'T coming back. I'll guarantee that one.
So, if you are selling vcr's, your customer NEEDS video tape, NOW, they need a vcr cleaning KIT now, and speaking of KITS,
Charles has a great book on Ballooning. He can teach some people how to make $100,000.00 a year with balloon decorating.
But his sales took off through the roof when he put together a KIT. Instead of trying to sell them a whole bunch of stuff, like the book, and the video tapes, and balloons, he put it all together into a KIT and I won't reveal his sales numbers, but they BLEW ME AWAY.
He is selling 10 times as many KITS for 139 bucks than he ever sold books at 20. SEE? Do you have a KIT.
Well, those were just a few of the secrets Charles Prosper SHARED with me yesterday.
You couldn't BUY this kind of tested and proven knowledge from anyone, so I'm very grateful that Charles graciously gave his time and knowledge to me so I could share it with you.
I'll have more on our conversation later.
Thanks Charles for once again PROSPERIZING me...
Gordon (balloon head) Alexander
PS. I loved talking to Charles, but it is always a good news/bad news deal for me...
The good news, I learn so much...
The bad news, he always gives me HOMEWORK assignments. But I don't mind, cause if I do the homework, I get my own reward...increased profits.
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