The first step in any marketing funnel is the bait!

We’ll talk more about this in a minute, but before we do, I’ll cut right to the point! Most of you reading this blog are asking people to contact you because you’re nice, family owned, or priced right!??? If you were to look at your ads next to your competitors, you’re probably saying the exact same thing! How good you are! How fast you are! How cheap you are! My response to this is that people don’t care about YOU or your business! They care only about themselves and their best interest. I heard a quote one time that says, “everyone is tuned into WIFM radio!” Meaning – What’s In It For Me? So for the most part, business owners who talk about their business and NOT about what the customer really wants, are wasting their breath!

The problem is, we are asking people to “call us” or “order” right away based solely on an ad! But it doesn’t work! Why? PEOPLE are skeptical! There are so many rip offs, bad deals, and scams these days! People don’t trust anyone anymore! From the government to preachers, to used car salesman, they are all NOT to be trusted. So, people for the most part are not willing to just come and buy right away without learning more! We are in the information age, and people want to Google what you are saying to see if it is accurate or not.

So, when you ask them to “make a decision now” you are actually putting up a BIG RED STOP SIGN in their minds, as the prospect thinks that they are getting taken advantage of and quickly leaves your store, showroom, office, or website. This brings me to the point of having bait! Bait is simply a low risk offer for them to find out more about your business. It might be an audio CD, MP3, Ebook, white paper, report, or even a gift package! It could be a free gift card, coupon, or anything that would make the person desire your bait offer. Bait offers must have perceived value! If no value, then you won’t get any opt-ins!

For example, about 5 years ago, we were sponsoring a college baseball game for a company I was helping to promote. There were about 2500 people in attendance. To capture leads, the client had a new, small flat screen TV to give away. Probably worth about $400 at the time. The goal was to get people to register for a FREE TV and then we would take their details and follow up and try to sell the client’s product. This wasn’t my idea, but he asked so I suggested that he get a lead generator rather than just do a “brand” promotion.

At the game, there were tables out front with the company brand, and information all about the company. Flyers, pens, key chains, and even temporary tattoos! People had no problem picking them up after all, they were free. The sales team was dressed with team colors and, all the company did was to nicely ask people if they want to register for a FREE TV to be given away in the 7th inning.

The results were interesting… out of 2500 people we ended up with about 450 registrations. However, so many people wouldn’t register because they assumed right away there was a catch. The “bait” however was too good for many to refuse, even though many were very skeptical, we did get 450 names, numbers, and email addresses! The company ended up following up with those leads and gaining new business! So, by providing good bait, you can overcome skepticism and gain leads. But the bait has to be good enough to overcome objections.

So think about your business! What is the bait? What is the reason for them to make a call or fill out a form? Why should they type in their email address on your website or call you after seeing your ad? Chances are good, you have no bait anywhere. Your only bait is “please contact us”. And for the most part, businesses make it on gaining these last minute customers.

If you are only marketing to last minute buyers, then what about all the people who might buy down the road? You see, you can’t just focus on today’s buyers, but you must focus on future buyers as well. That is why, as part of the McCombie Marketing Solutions marketing funnel, we suggest that you build lead generation into everything. Your website, your ads, your commercials, your telemarketing, yes, everything you do! WHY? Because sometimes people are not ready to buy today! They are planning on buying, but not until next week. So if you capture the lead, you’ll be able to follow up with them when they are ready to make the buying decision.

If you never capture the lead, you will never be able to follow up! Imagine THIS!


Hi, I'm Robert (Bob) McCombie founder and CEO of McCombie Marketing Solutions. I am passionate about family, veterans, business and marketing.


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