Are you flying by the seat of your pants?

Have you ever watched an aircraft cockpit scene on film with the pilot and co-pilot going through a checklist in preparation for take-off?  The checklist is usually mounted on a board or strapped to something.

The point is that it is a physical checklist and not coming out of their memory.  You might not realise it but those scenes reflect reality.  No matter how many times they have done it commercial pilots are not allowed to process the checklist by rote.  Checking has to be read from a physical checklist. 

Commercial pilots have been using checklists for decades.  Apparently the practice goes right back to a fly-off at Wright Field, Ohio, in 1935, when the US Army Air Force was choosing its new bomber. Boeing's entry, the B-17, would later be built by the thousands, but on that first flight it took off, stalled, crashed and burned. The new airplane was complicated, and the pilot, who was highly experienced, had forgotten a routine step.

Now while you are not flying an aircraft no doubt you have found that managing a small business is far from a simple thing.  So much to do, so much to remember.  Too often missing something routine can bring you undone. 

Veteran marketing expert and author Denny Hatch ( wrote of the importance of checklists in getting your marketing and promotional campaigns right. A pity to spend all that money and effort only to have the campaign fail because something was overlooked.

So with Denny’s blessing I thought I would pass on to you his checklist.  To quote Denny “I believe the revised and expanded checklist that follows will be useful to the 20- and 30-something newbies entering this business who are handed decision-making authority beyond their experience.  It's also invaluable to us addled seniors, who tend to forget things.”


All Media

1. Does your message employ at least one (preferably several) of the seven key copy drivers—the emotional hot buttons that make people act: Fear - Greed - Guilt - Anger - Exclusivity - Salvation - Flattery?  ___Yes ___ No

2. Does your copy contain some or all of the 13 most powerful and evocative words in the English language: You - Save - Money - Guarantee - Love - Results - Proven - Safety - Easy - New - Health - Discovery - Free?  ___Yes ___ No

3. Since “you” is the subject of every sales effort, is your promotion about “you”—as opposed to "we," "us" or "our"?  ___Yes ___ No

4. "The prospect doesn't give a damn about you, your company or your product. All that matters is, 'What's in it for me?'" —Bob Hacker
Are you emphasizing your product and what it will do for the prospect rather than yourself and your company?   ___Yes ___ No

5. “Probably well over half our buying choices are based on emotion.” —Jack Maxson
“When emotion and reason come into conflict, emotion always wins.” —John J. Flieder
Is your sales pitch emotional (rather than analytical and rational)?  ___Yes ___ No

6. "People want quarter-inch holes, not quarter-inch drills." —MBA Magazine
Does your sales pitch highlight benefits (e.g., you get quarter-inch holes)—as opposed to features (e.g., buy a drill)?  ___Yes ___ No

7. "Your job is to sell, not entertain." —Jack Maxson
"Cute and clever simply don't work." —Nigel Rowe
Is your presentation cute, clever and entertaining?   ___Yes ___ No

8. Do you make an offer?   ___Yes ___ No

9. "You cannot sell two things at once." —Dick Benson
Are you giving the prospect too many choices?  ___Yes ___ No

10. “The right offer should be so attractive that only a lunatic would say, 'No.’" —Claude Hopkins
“If you want to dramatically increase your results, dramatically improve your offer.” —Axel Andersson

Is your offer the very strongest one you can field?  ___Yes ___ No

11. Do you include testimonials from happy customers?   ___Yes ___ No

12. Is your offer so simple an idiot can understand it?   ___Yes ___ No

Thanks Denny, there are some very useful, and practical, tips there.  Try running one of your recent promotions against it, and let me know how you went.

Fast Track to Cash

When clients approach me for coaching, clients with businesses that are underperforming despite the crippling hours and effort the owner is putting into them, it is not just marketing that is holding them back.  They so often lack a management mindset, and lack control over their business.  Eight times out of ten that lack of control comes down to a lack of knowledge of what is happening in the business.

For more than 28 years I’ve been helping small business owners plug the profit leaks in their business and restoring their cash flows by assisting them understand:

•    The strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats of their business

•    Determine where they want to be – clear, achievable goals, and

•    How they are going to get there – their strategies to achieve their goals

This is sometimes known as the NOW – WHERE – HOW model.

If you would like to discuss with me how you might do that, book a Strategy Consult here

© Copyright 2016 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective 

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