Finding needles in the haystack

Jan 10, 2008

IDENTIFYING prime prospects for your product, service or expertise can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. But that’s an easy challenge to overcome when you employ “Packaged information offers” in an effective manner.

Packaged information offers are one of my favourite low-risk/high-return strategies for generating an avalanche of high-quality leads at low cost. Essentially, it is the concept of offering information as an inducement to get your prime prospects to raise their hands and identify themselves to you.

This will typically be the same information that you give away every day of the week when prospects call you, contact you, interact with you in person or go to your website. It’s information that demonstrates that you know what you’re talking about and that you have expertise in your field. That information can easily be packaged into a booklet, audio CD, DVD, special report, bulletin, guide, white paper, e-book… or indeed many other forms.

The information is probably common currency in your business, which means that it costs you very little to package. At the same time it is likely to be very valuable to your prime prospects, who probably know little about your product, service or expertise.

When they’re in the market for what you offer, they’re seeking guidance to ensure that they make the right choice, deal with someone they can trust, who is competent and can deliver to them the outcomes they’re seeking.

Once you’ve packaged your information, you should advertise or promote it. This is a very effective way of generating qualified leads. Generally, the only people who will raise their hands and send for your information will be those who are in the market right now for what you are promoting.

In other words, they’re qualified prospects who are seeking answers right now to a problem or need that you can potentially satisfy. By responding to your packaged information offer, they’re communicating a keen interest in what you’re offering and that they’re ready to do business now or in the near future.

These are the very people you need to focus on right now to maximise your chances of success… and they’re raising their hands and identifying themselves to you. It doesn’t get much better than that.

One of my clients was a recruitment company specialising in finding jobs for the cream of the 16-24-year-old school and college leavers. They were short of good candidates, so rather than advertise each individual job, we persuaded them to offer a packaged information booklet titled ‘How to win at an interview’.

The headline of the ad was “School leavers guide to success” and the body of the ad explained why the booklet would be valuable to any school or college leaver who wanted success.

Instead of the normal three or four responses per ad, this ad pulled 160 enquiries in the first week it was placed and continued to generate similar respones each week it ran. Everyone who responded was a school or college leaver who wanted success.
When we promoted a packaged information offer by direct mail for the UK’s most successful financial adviser, we achieved more than 16 times his normal response. A single mailing achieved more than 1,200 responses, every one of them a prime prospect for his services.

The first step in creating your packaged information is to identify precisely who you want to target. Who has the capacity, desire and motivation to buy your product, service or expertise right now? Who already uses or is familiar with your type of product or service? These will be your prime prospects.

Next, identify what information these prime prospects are seeking. They want to make an informed decision, so they’re seeking hard honest facts that will give them unbiased answers to their fears, frustrations, concerns, issues and uncertainties about buying your product, service or expertise.

As such, your information should contain, in an easy-to-read style, the answers to all the questions a prime prospect would have – and all the thought provoking questions they may never have considered. It should be completely unbiased and packed with solid answers. It should explain how to avoid potential disappointments or disaster.

It should educate your prospects on the vital issues in their decision making process, and alert them to things they wouldn’t otherwise have known, thus positioning you as an authority in your field, and someone who is on the customer’s side.

Consider adding a key questions checklist so that your prime prospects can compare competitive offerings. Don’t lay it out as an ad for your product, service or expertise. People can see through a thinly veiled ad a mile off. When you give people an unbiased, factual, thought-provoking package of knowledge, they value it. It should be so useful to your prime prospects that they will want to keep it, use it and refer to it well into the future.

If someone offered you that information, wouldn’t you be much more drawn to them than you would be to their competitors? That’s why this is such an effective strategy.
While what you know may be everyday currency to you, it could be of immense value to your prime prospects. So even if you offer this information for free, I recommend that you put a monetary value on it. That will make the information even more desirable and stimulate even greater response.

The benefits of using packaged information correctly are immense. It is a terrific lead generation tool. You can use it to dramatically boost response to your ads, sales letters and email campaigns.
It qualifies and flushes your prime prospects out of the woodwork. It tends to produce better quality leads at a fraction of the normal cost. It rapidly builds a database of names, names of prime prospects who raise their hands because they want what you offer.

It also positions you as an authority in your field. It induces the law of reciprocity, which states that when you give something useful and valuable to people they feel obliged to reciprocate.

Correctly done and positioned, it can put your business ‘on the map’ as never before. The media can often be persuaded to share your knowledge and expertise as public service information. It can even result in you becoming an industry spokesperson, invited by the media to comment on issues related to your industry.

Packaged information is therefore one of the most powerful marketing tools you’ll ever use to create immediate results. We use it all the time with clients in every industry you can imagine. Done correctly, it always works.

For more information, visit

Robert Clay has been growing businesses since the age of 19. He started his first business with no capital, reaching no.3 in his field in the UK within seven years. His second business reached no.3 in Europe after three years.

After selling both businesses to one of the largest companies in Europe he was persuaded that his self-taught approach to marketing could be used to grow any business successfully.

He subsequently studied and mastered 116 of the world’s most successful business growth techniques, and since June 2000 he and his team at DSP Solutions have transformed the thinking of hundreds of smart successful business leaders by providing them with world-class knowledge of low-risk/high-return marketing strategies that really work in any business.

His new book and set of CDs, “Learn how to grow your business … in just two hours.” are available now for just £15 each plus £2.25 for post and packing. Order both together for just £25 plus P&P.

Call DSP now on 01908 357657 to order your copy or to arrange a free consultation”

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