Dan Kennedy: 143 Quotes, Wisdom, & Ideas from the Marketing Legend

Dan Kennedy…

Write that name down. If you’ve never heard of this guy before, you are really missing out. If you already know who Dan Kennedy is, you will appreciate this post.

Every successful entrepreneur can credit someone for helping them have a big breakthrough in their business. For me, that person is Dan Kennedy. Dan is the KING of direct response marketing. He is the king of MARKETING. He has personally mentored tens of thousands of people like myself, helping them achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.

Dan taught me many valuable lessons through the years. In a nutshell he taught me how to “stand out” in the marketplace and “to get interested prospects to contact me first.” He taught me how to leverage myself through “sound marketing and systems” and create a business that does not revolve 100% around my personal efforts. For that I am grateful.

Many of the marketers you see online were trained by Dan Kennedy personally, or by one of his proteges. I aim to be one of the people who continues his legacy, long after he is gone.

Although I have never met Dan Kennedy personally, I have read most of his books, read his newsletter, purchased some of his training courses, and listened to hundreds of hours of his recorded seminars and training.

dan kennedy quotes

Top Dan Kennedy Quotes

What I want to do in the paragraphs below is share some of my favorite Dan Kennedy quotes from his popular books. I have the quotes sorted by which book they came from. Each quote is in bold and italics. After each quote I will share my own two cents on the topic. Enjoy.

Trust Based Marketing Tips

# 1: You can get laid with lust. But you get married and stay married with trust.

Lust is fun, but it doesn’t last forever. Long-term, functional relationships (either personal or business) require trust, hard work, and commitment.

# 2: I’ve long believed in business that, rather than get customers to make sales, it is smarter to make sales to get customers.

It’s expensive to find new customers. Most businesses lose money on the initial sale. Their real profits come from repeat purchases from the same customers.

# 3: Income tends to get spent. Equity accumulates and converts to wealth.

Income comes and goes. The real measure of wealth is the number of months you can maintain your current standard of living without working. The real purpose of building a business is to sell it one day for a large profit. Or, have a business that continues to generate revenue and income, even if you stop working.

# 4: Most businesspeople are often tactical, rarely strategic.

As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to do the strategic work. You must focus on the big picture. You must be the visionary. You can hire other people to do the tactical work. It’s your job to work on your business, not in it.

# 5: Most people are quietly, privately frightened by just about everything in their lives and every decision they make. Don’t take it personally. People have shockingly little confidence in themselves.

Most people have worthiness and self-confidence issues. It’s your job to help build up their confidence in you, your product, and your company.

# 6: Success hardly ever comes via entitlement.

There are no successful victims. Until you take 100% responsibility and ownership of your own life, you will never develop your full potential.

# 7: I can’t think of a bigger handicap in selling than to be seen as, perceived as, thought of, or felt as another salesman.

Your job is to be an advisor or coach, not a salesperson. As Dan says, “you want to be the welcomed guest, not the uninvited pest.” This is where good marketing helps. Your job is to generate tons of leads and prospects and have a good marketing system that sifts and sort them for you (automatically) so you can simply deal with the people who are interested in your offer and contact you first.

# 8: A salesman has products. The consultant has solutions. 

You are really in the solution business. It’s your job to find out what your prospect wants and then show them how your product or service helps them solve that problem. People buy what they want not what they need. People buy a drill because they want a hole, not because they want a drill.

# 9: But the customer doesn’t really want to be the king. The customer wants to find the person who is the best at what they do and hire them to be their king.

Everyone wants to do business with the person who is best at what they do. To give you an example, let me ask you this question. If you were going to sell your home tomorrow, would you rather list it with the brand-new agent who has never sold a home before or list it with the top producing realtor in your area? Exactly.

# 10: There is no more essential a tool of authority than authorship.

The quickest way to become an expert at something is to write and publish a book about it. This gives you instantly credibility.

# 11: You choose only based on what works best in meeting your objectives.

It doesn’t matter what you like or don’t like. It’s about what works and what your prospect wants. Figure out what works. Test, test, test. And then do more of it!

# 12: You need to be very clear about the kind of client you want, in mind-set terms, not just in factual or statistical terms. You then need to create your trust relationship with that client in the ways that are preferred and valued by that client, and that serve your own interests most productively. 

If everyone is a potential customer, no one is a potential customer. To work smart, you must determine your ideal prospect and then focus your marketing efforts on reaching people in that demographic.

being perceived as a salesman

# 13: The more we’re exposed to something or to someone, the more we trust it or them.

Good marketing provides multiple exposures until the message is embedded into the prospect’s subconscious mind and they accept it as their own or believe in it. Remember, the average person needs to see something at least 7 to 20 times BEFORE they make a buying decision. This is why big brands keep their marketing message in front of you constantly.

# 14: Everybody is unconsciously looking for the like-minded or comfortably similar folks to huddle with.

We all like to belong to tribes of people who are like us. We like to do business with people who are like us.

# 15: Establishing your authority is something that should be done in each sales presentation – regardless of how big or little you are.

Establish your credibility and expertise and show people WHY they should do business with you and not someone else. Find and develop ways to be different and stand out in the crowd. This is one of the most important trust-based marketing tips.

# 16: The higher up the income ladder you climb, the more you find the people there are being paid more for who they are, not for what they do.

People buy YOU, not what you are selling. Successful people understand that, and they do everything they can to increase their value. Be the type of person you want to attract.

# 17: Hearing something said one thousand times in not as convincing as seeing it once.

Most people are visual learners. Whenever you can do a demonstration, it will be much more effective than just talking to the prospect or explaining it. Incorporate live presentations or video presentations into your selling process.

# 18: I have noticed, by the way, that every great salesperson I’ve had to make presentations to me at some point gets a legal pad, sheet of paper, or even a napkin and creates information for me.  

Great salespeople keep it simple. They add the personal touch.

# 19: Nothing is more fascinating to most people than themselves.

Get people talking about themselves. It’s the quickest way to win a friend. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Use them in that proportion. The top salespeople are great at asking questions and listening.

# 20: No human desire exceeds the desire to be understood.

Listen to people. Show a genuine interest in others. Try to see things from their point of view whenever possible.

# 21: Referrals are always strongest when they come from a person of power or influence.

When someone with influence and credibility gives you a referral, it is much better than just getting one from an ordinary person. Ask for referrals from everyone you talk with.

No B.S. Time Management

# 22: I make a lot of money each day just by not commuting.

Most people spend at least an hour a day commuting (round trip). If you multiply that by five days a week for 50 weeks a year, that is 250 hours per year of wasted time. By working from home, you could save yourself that time and be more productive, or have more time for yourself.

# 23: Leadership is not about outworking everybody.

You must learn how to work smart. Yes, there are times when you must put in long hours to make deadlines and get stuff done, but at the end of the day you need to be smart about how you spend your time in your business. Time management is a top skill of successful entrepreneurs. Anyone can work hard and put in long hours but being productive is something different.

# 24: Good enough is good enough.  

There is no such thing as perfection. If you are a perfectionist, you need to get over it. It’s better to get something done today than take a week so you can make it perfect.

# 25: Marketing is the highest paid profession and most valuable part of a business.

The entrepreneur’s real job is MARKETING the product or service that their business offers. The guys and gals who master marketing are the ones who make the cash register ring and live a good life. Once again, your products are not your business. Marketing your products is your real business.

# 26: Most salespeople are much too product – and process-oriented – not sufficiently prospect oriented.  

Say less to more people. You do not need to be a product expert to be successful with your business. Instead, you need to be a people expert. Work on your people skills and always keep your pipeline full.

# 27: But there’s not a soul on the planet who gets in eight productive hours a day.

Most people, regardless of how many hours per day they work end up wasting a lot of time on non-productive stuff. I encourage you to track your productivity for a day and see how much time you waste. It will surprise you.

# 28: If they can’t find you, they can’t interrupt you.  

Sometimes you need to turn off your phone, shut down Facebook, and lock your office door so you can focus and get things done. Do that for even an hour or two a day and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

# 29: Most people will suck up about as much time as you let them.

Folks will waste your time if you let them. Keep your conversations short and on point. Try to do most correspondence by email since it is quicker and more efficient than talking on the phone. Keep phone calls to a minimum.

consultant has solutions

No B.S. Direct Marketing

# 30: Most business owners are just about clueless when it comes to advertising and marketing. 

Most business owners are technicians. They are good at the technical work of their business, but they are clueless when it comes to finding new customers, generating leads, and making sales. Learning direct response marketing is without a doubt the single greatest thing you could focus on to make more money in your business. Being good at the technical work in your business is important, but it is not enough. You need to learn about sales and marketing if you want to succeed.

# 31: Focus on response and sales.

Your ONLY objective with your advertising is either to generate a lead or make a sale. You don’t want to do what the big businesses do and try to brand yourself. In every ad you do, you want to focus on your target market and get them to request more information, call a toll-free number, visit your website, mail in a coupon, request a free report, visit your store, or make a purchase.

# 32: From now on, nothing you do will be just one thing. There will be a planned sequence of things completed.

The money is in the follow-up. Your prospect will need to see your message MULTIPLE times before they act. You can’t send one letter or place one ad and expect much to happen. You want to keep contacting people until they die, buy, or tell you not to contact them anymore.

# 33: Regardless of your experience in your business or even your expertise as a direct marketer, your opinions and feelings about your marketing don’t count.  

The only opinion that matters is that of your customer. It doesn’t matter what your spouse, partner, co-workers, or even what you think about your advertising. The only thing that matters is that it works and gives you a positive Return on Investment.

# 34: Most businesses get poor results for their advertising and marketing because they put out no bait, lousy bait, or the wrong bait for the critters they hope to attract.

If you want to catch fish, use worms not Doritos! Make sure that your marketing and your “offer” are designed for your target market. Use bait that interests them, and you will generate more leads and make more sales.

# 35: You are in the marketing business.

Your products or services are not your business. Your real business is MARKETING, ADVERTISING and SELLING your business, products and services. If you have a barbershop, for example, your job is not cutting hair. Instead, it’s marketing and advertising to find new clients who want their hair cut. Does that make sense?

# 36: The very best, most profitable, most life-changing program you could put yourself on for the next 6 to 12 months is devoting one solid, uninterrupted, inviolate hour each and every day to mastering direct marketing.

As a business owner, you need to MAKE time to learn direct response marketing. Spend 30 to 60-minutes a day for a couple of years and learn everything you can about sales and marketing.  This is the best use of your time, if you want to grow your business and increase your revenue and profits.

# 37: We don’t communicate much as a company. I communicate as a person.

When you do your marketing and advertising, make it conversational in tone. Make it sound like you are having a friendly conversation with the person. You don’t want to come across as a big business, or even a business. Instead, you want to sound like a friend having a natural conversation with someone, sitting across the kitchen table from you.

# 38: Offer services people want, not what they need.

Trying to sell people what they need is a waste of time and money. Focus your efforts on selling people what they want to buy.  

# 39: The business owner should always use multiple forms of direct response marketing.

Never rely on only one source of advertising. That way, if it dries up or stops working you don’t lose your only lead generation source. Instead, try to find several sources of advertising, preferably three to five different ways to reach your target market and generate more leads.    

# 40: Nothing happens in any business unless a sale is made. 

As a business owner, you are in the selling business. You must learn how to sell or hire people who know how to do it. Without sales you won’t be in business long.

# 41: Go against the grain. Do the opposite of what the norm is in your industry. If you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll never get ahead and be at the top of your industry. 

Don’t do what your competition does. Instead, find ways to be unique and stand out. Study successful businesses in other industries and learn from them whenever possible. Look at your competitors and do the exact opposite.

# 42: To the surprise of most business owners, mass media advertising is usually the least profitable thing they can do to build their business.

Focus on your target market. Only advertise in places where people in your target market are most likely to see it.

# 43: You can’t make $100,000 doing $10 per hour work.

Spend your time wisely. Focus your time and money on the money producing activities. Don’t spend your time cleaning your office, answering the phone, sorting files, etc. Delegate those tasks and focus your time and money on the sales, advertising, and marketing.

# 44: You will always make more money from a continuing relationship than from a one-time transaction. 

The real profits come from having satisfied, repeat customers.

# 45: When your marketing is good enough, price is almost a non-factor. 

Develop good marketing and you will find plenty of people who want to do business with you, even if you are the most expensive business in town. Just make sure that your marketing clearly explains the benefits and value that you offer.

# 46: Marketing done well does the majority of selling for you. 

If you do your marketing right, the only people you will talk to are the ones that are ready to buy right now, or the folks who simply need a few questions answered before they make the decision to buy. If you have good marketing, you don’t have to be a great salesperson yourself.

# 47: If you try to be everything to everybody, you aren’t anything to anyone! 

Develop a crystal-clear unique selling proposition. Know who your target market is and focus on them exclusively. Don’t try to appeal to everyone. Appeal to your target market.

# 48: What others say about you is 1,000 times more believable than what you say. 

Use testimonials in your advertising, marketing, and follow-up. A good testimonial is worth its weight in gold. People won’t believe what you tell them, but they will believe what your other customers tell them.

# 49: Making a sale is a multi-step process. 

In most cases, you don’t just place an ad and make a sale. You need a process of multiple exposures before most people will buy. You need a good follow-up process.

# 50: Nothing can happen in your business unless you are getting a steady stream of leads, have a good system that will sift, sort and prequalify those leads so you only get qualified prospects and have an excellent follow-up system that converts your prospects to customers…. who become repeat customers because you stay in touch with them, building relationships of trust and confidence. 

This is the recipe for success in business.  Leads really are the lifeblood of your business. Combine that with good marketing and a good follow-up system and you have a winning 1-2-3 combination.

# 51: If you advertise in a manner that only appeals to people at the end of the buying process, you waste the majority of your ad dollars. You may get some immediate buyers, but you leave behind lots of other prospects who could be developed into buyers through follow-up if first captures ad leads. Look at it this way, if all you do is advertise for immediate buyers, you may be getting five cents of value for every $1.00 you spend on advertising.

Most people who see your ads are not ready to buy what you have right now. Just focusing on the people ready to buy right now is a bad move. Instead, focus on generating leads and then following up with those folks until they are ready to buy what you have.

# 52: One of the cheapest ways to get more sales is to call your customers.

It’s easier to sell something new to someone who has done business with you in the past than it is to go out and find a new customer.

# 53: If you can’t or won’t invest about $25 to $30 a year per customer in keeping your fence in tip-top shape, I suggest getting out of the ranching business altogether.

You must be willing to spend some time and money to take care of your existing customers. Your customers are worth a lot of money to you, when you think of their lifetime value. Don’t be so focused on acquiring new customers that you forget about your old customers.

# 54: If you leave your customers alone for very long, if they feel ignored or under-appreciated, they are more easily lured away.

People are bombarded with sales and marketing messages every single day. If you don’t stay in touch with your customers once or twice a month, another business will snatch them up from under you. Most people who stop doing business with you will stop because they don’t feel appreciated. Do the little things your competitors don’t do, and it will make a big difference.

entrepreneurship is about opportunism

No B.S. Wealth Attraction

# 55: The queasiness about price, about who somebody is selling to, about their ability to pay, and about their ability to afford it is deadly. And the truth is, anytime you start to make those decisions for other people, it really reflects more about what’s going on internally with you than it does about anything else.

Don’t pre-judge people. Let each person you talk to decide what is best for them.

# 56: It is a huge, huge mistake for you to accept any part of the suggestion that money’s tight or hard to get, that your customers don’t have money or won’t spend it.

People have money for the things they want to spend money on.

# 57: I am also absolutely convinced that if you don’t do well financially in America today, it is either due to utter ignorance of opportunity or choice. It is definitely NOT due to lack of opportunity.

There is plenty of opportunity out there in the real world if you go out and seize it.

# 58: You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate.

You get what you earn! The more value you bring to the marketplace the more money you make.

# 59: You get what you deliberately and intentionally attract, by who you are but also by what you think, say and do, and get others to do.

This is the law of attraction at its finest.

# 60: Money has no moral conscience.

Money is neither good nor bad. It’s what we do with it that counts.

# 61: If you think that you should be financially rewarded because you are honest, hard-working, and kind to old people and pets, you’re in for a very disappointing life.

To make money, and lots of it, you must PRODUCE results and you must bring value to the marketplace.

# 62: Too often, achievement, accomplishment, and ambition are defined as greed.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting more out of life. It’s okay to be selfish and worry about your own success.

# 63: Greed is attempting to get something for nothing, to take without exchange.

All deals should be mutually beneficial for both parties so it can be a win-win transaction.

# 64: You have a legal responsibility to pay the minimum taxes required of you.

Study the tax law and deduct everything that you LEGALLY can. Pay what you owe, but not a penny more.

# 65: If you can arrange your business structure or affairs differently or relocate your business in order to pay less taxes, it is your sworn responsibility to do so.

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to look out for the stakeholders (you) and do what is best for you.

# 66: The entrepreneur’s responsibility is this: maximum profit and wealth to his shareholders.

I couldn’t say it better myself.

# 67: Every man’s tragedy is somebody else’s opportunity. That’s commerce.

One person’s failure is another person’s opportunity.

# 68: Entrepreneurship is all about opportunism.

If you can’t find an opportunity, create one.

hearing vs seeing

# 69: The incredible commonality among successful entrepreneurs is having been broke or formerly gone through bankruptcy.

Most entrepreneurs have failed several times, or more, before they became successful.

# 70: Entrepreneurial success and wealth creation, as well as wealth attraction, require a willingness to risk and experience failure and the emotional resiliency to recover from it quickly, decisively, passionately, and persistently. Hardly anybody gets to success through a straight line.

Success as an entrepreneur is about having a vision, learning as you go, adjusting as needed and sticking with it. If you’re scared to fail, you will never succeed.

# 71: Every client I’ve ever had who has made a fear-based business decision has later regretted it.

Don’t let your fears get the best of you.

# 72: Few people are attracted to whiners, complainers, excuse-makers, or wimps. Hanging out with a victim is not appealing to most reasonably sane people.

There is no such thing as a successful victim. Be careful who you spend time together with. You might end up just like them.

# 73: Power is derived from taking responsibility, weakness from disavowing it.

You must take 100% responsibility of your own life if you want to be successful.

# 74: Most people speak lack, poverty, inadequacy, doubt, and fear.

We become what we think about. Thoughts are things. Program your mind with positive thoughts if you want success.

# 75: Experienced sales pros know it is infinitely harder to make the sale you desperately feel you must make than the sale that doesn’t matter one way or the other.

When you don’t care whether people buy or join, you will make more sales.

# 76: If you know more about x than your intended clientele, you ARE an expert. It doesn’t take much to be an expert.  

You simply need to know more about something than the person you are talking to knows about it.

# 77: Wealth won’t find you if you are at home slouched on – or hiding under- the couch.

Wealth and making money are often disguised as hard work.

# 78: Just about the only reason for their meteoric success was simply getting into motion, before they were ready.

If you wait for the perfect moment to do something it will never happen. There is no perfect time to get started. The time is now.

# 79: If poor people knew how shockingly ordinary millionaires were, there’d be a lot more millionaires.

There isn’t much difference in ability, talent, or skill from a broke person and a millionaire. The major difference is the way they think.

# 80: Everybody has ideas. Everybody has latent talents. Everybody has ability. Few act on them.

An idea is useless if it isn’t acted upon.

# 81: Businesses must be market driven; not personal joy driven.

For a business to be viable and profitable, there must be a legitimate demand in the marketplace.

# 82: Bigger is not necessarily better. More gross may produce less net but also may move you from master to slave before you realize it.

The NET profit is what really matters. Sometimes, bigger is better, but not always. There is true beauty in small but profitable.

# 83: Time on a job, years doing a job, does not increase the inherent value of the job being done.

Experience is overrated. It’s your competence and performance that matters.

# 84: Owning your business for ten years does not entitle you to anything more than your newest competitor of one year. What you get comes from the value you create and deliver.

Just because you’ve been around longer than another business doesn’t make you entitled to anything.

# 85: Income is temporary and perishable. Value and equity can be built to last.

Your real objective is to convert your income into wealth.

# 86: If you know marketing, you are in the ultimate power position.

Your product or service is not your business. It’s your ability to effectively market your product or service that matters most.

# 87: The quicker you align your present behavior with the behavior of people who already have, are achieving, and are experiencing the results you aspire to, the faster you get those results.  

Surround yourself with people who have what you want and inspire you to greatness.

# 88: Wealth is not about income.

Wealth is the number of months you can maintain your current standard of living without working.

# 89: It is not about following the masses.

Look at what the masses do and do the opposite if you want to succeed in life and business.

# 90: All businesses succeed or die on effective marketing systems.

Marketing is the most important activity in any business.

# 91: It’s vitally important to mentally and physically move away from being the doer of the activity of your business as rapidly as possible.

If you are the business, you don’t own a business, you own a job.

# 92: A far more valuable employee is the one who can “sell” our product, not the technician.

It’s easy to find people to do the technical work of a business. Sales is the most important job in any business. Without sales there will be no technical work.

# 93: As a business owner, your most highly compensated role is the ability to lead, inspire, and teach others to complete the day-to-day operations of your business.

As an entrepreneur, you must be the visionary and system developer, not the doer doing the technical work.

# 94: It’s the person who can implement systems that can be taught to many and inspire them to high accomplishment who income has unlimited ceiling.

The people who do well in any industry, especially network marketing, are people who can develop systems that anyone can follow.

# 95: Most entrepreneurs operate by the seat of their pants, without well-thought-out, proven, step-by-step systems for every aspect of their businesses. I believe the amount of wealth you are able to accumulate as an entrepreneur is directly linked to how systemized your business is.

Without a system, it isn’t a business. If everything relies on you it is not a business.

# 96: This trend of wanting “results” without doing anything has become huge.

We live in a society where people want it and they want it now, without having to do the work. Success does not work that way. You must put in the work and fail your way to success.

# 97: Income is NOT an asset. You need to convert income into wealth deliberately and systematically.

An asset is something that provides ongoing income. As an entrepreneur you do not want to trade hours for dollars. Instead, you want to build an asset that generates cash flow with or without you. Otherwise, your business isn’t a business, but a glorified job.

millionaires are ordinary

Grass Roots Marketing

# 98: The strongest, most profitable small businesses are owned and operated and promoted by people who rely predominately on what Jeff calls “grassroots” marketing done at the street level, by direct connection, integrated with the customers, their community, and their daily activity.

Smart business owners get creative; use their initiative and creativity to build their business locally, without wasting unnecessary money on unproven marketing techniques.

# 99: Get up every morning and act as if and organize as if you were running for mayor.  

Wake up every day and ask yourself the following question: “Is what I am doing right now the best use of my time?”  Get organized, have a game plan, and work smart. Treat your business as seriously as you would if you were running for public office.

# 100: While most business owners get a customer in order to make a sale, we make a sale to get and keep a customer.  

The single greatest cost for most businesses is to acquire a new customer. Rather than look at customers as a single transaction, do what you can to make them a long-term, life-long customer. The real profit comes from repeat business.

# 101: Nearly every form of advertising can be effective, and every form of advertising can be a total waste of your money.  

Make sure you test your advertising so you can find out what works and what doesn’t work. Keep the winners and ditch the losers.

# 102: Advertising is just one part of marketing.  

Marketing is everything you do to get people to buy from you. It’s how you answer your phone, how you dress, how you talk to people, etc.

# 103: Most advertising and marketing has become less effective because the customer has become increasingly immune to it.  

Most people are bombarded with marketing messages, so they tune it out. It’s getting harder and harder to reach your prospects.

# 104: Before you even begin to consider how to advertise, you need to determine the message you want to share with the consumer.  

Your message is the most important part of your marketing strategy. Next comes your market and then comes the medium you choose.

# 105: Regardless of the difficulties, some form of telephone marketing is usually an efficient way of beefing up your marketing.  

Use the telephone as part of your marketing process.

# 106: You have one shot at a potential customer when that person calls your business. This first point of contact is critical, yet it is often the weakest link in the marketing chain for most businesses, large or small.  

Make sure that you have a solid game plan to handle all incoming calls. You don’t want to blow a sale due to poor telephone skills.

# 107: The biggest advantage of getting a story is that it is more credible than advertising.

When someone writes about your business, does a video about you, or gives a testimonial, it is much more effective than any type of paid advertising you could do.

# 108: The more the prospects know about the person they are contemplating buying from, the more likely they are to buy.

People like to do business with people they like, know, and trust.

# 109: In every adversity lies the seed of equal or greater opportunity.

Whenever things get tough, and they will from time-to-time, look for the positive and the opportunity that is presented.

# 110: The cost of retaining a customer and even expanding a customer’s value is much less than getting a new customer.

It’s cheaper to keep a customer than find a new one.

# 111: To determine what you’re willing to invest in marketing, first discover what an average new customer is worth to you. 

Every business owner needs to know the lifetime value of a customer, so they can determine how much they can afford to spend to find more customers.

# 112: It’s always good when your marketing shows an immediate profit.

It’s good, but it doesn’t always happen. Typically speaking, you will lose money initially to acquire a new customer and then earn the money back from repeat business.

# 113: In your advertising, ask your consumers to take a specific course of action.

Always have a strong call to action in each marketing message. Tell your prospect exactly what you want them to do next.

# 114: If you can’t track it don’t do it. 

If you can’t track it, you are wasting money, because you have no way to know if it works. Make sure that you test all of your advertising.

# 115: Not everyone has your best interests in mind.

No one cares about your business as much as you do.

# 116: With limited budgets you can’t afford to guess what works and what doesn’t.

You must test and track everything you do so you can work smart and get a positive ROI.

# 117: The ROI from mass advertising media have been eroding.  

People tend to hang out in niche markets now. That’s why you really need to target your advertising efforts on a specific group of people.

# 118: Before buying any kind of mass media you must first really understand who your customers are.

Take the time to determine your ideal customer before you spend even one penny on advertising.

# 119: The largest audience isn’t always the best audience for you.

Only you can determine what segment of people is the best group of people to focus your advertising on.

# 12o: Advertising when people are not in the market to buy is a waste of money.  

You need to focus on a group of people who have the money and desire to buy what you are offering.

# 121: Commitment is more important than creativity. 

Don’t do any form of advertising just one time. You must stick with it to give it a fair chance to succeed.

# 122: The more you know about your own customers, the more opportunities you’ll have to promote.

As you study your customers you can find creative ways to reach other people within the same demographics.

# 123: One of the biggest problems facing businesses today is discounting, because your customers become addicted to the discount and then refuse to pay full price ever again.

If you are only competing on price, you won’t make it very long in business.

# 124: All the new media is obviously powerful, but none of it can replace a handshake, a look straight in someone’s eye, a direct answer to a personal question.

Nothing will ever beat personal contact with a customer.

# 125: Every businessperson will tell you that referrals are the best form of advertising.

Referrals are vital to your business success. Nothing is more powerful or effective than a happy customer referring your business to a friend.

# 126: Nothing drives sales like the mail.  

The mail is still extremely effective and should not be overlooked. Direct mail should be part of your marketing strategy.

# 127: The thing about follow-up in general is: Most businesspeople fail at it miserably.

Most prospects need seven to twenty follow-ups before they will buy from you.

# 128: There’s just no substitute for the experience of receiving, opening, and having attention captured by good direct mail.  

People love to get the mail every day. When someone reads your mail, you have their undivided attention.

# 129: As a small business owner, it doesn’t often pay to be the pioneer.

Being a trendsetter can be advantageous, but it can also be very risky.

# 130: Driving around town can be one of the best forms of advertising.

Put signs on your vehicle to promote your business. It’s a simple and effective passive advertising strategy.

# 131: Consider using email in conjunction with regular mail and other messaging means.

Use multiple ways to communicate with your prospects whenever possible.

# 132: Make sure that every time you email someone that you provide real value in the message.

Don’t send spam emails. When you communicate with someone deliver value. You can include an offer at the end of the message, but make sure it isn’t just one big sales pitch.

# 133: Prospects are all different and they respond uniquely to all forms of communications.

Different strokes for different folks. That’s why you need to use different marketing mediums.

# 134: Getting local publicity is part of any grassroots marketing solution.

You want free publicity, but you will have to find creative ways to get it.

nothing happens until a sale is made

# 135: Reporters are not interested in giving you free exposure.

Don’t expect the media to give you free publicity. They’re in business to make money!

# 136: I am big fan of selling one to many, rather than one to one.

Sell in a group setting whenever you can. It’s much more efficient than selling one-on-one.

# 137: The number one marketing sin is being boring.  

Try to find ways to be unique and exciting and stand out in the crowd.

# 138: Sometimes it is net-cheaper to acquire customers by giving the product away free than by any other means.

Don’t be cheap with samples. Use them whenever possible.

# 139: Your database of customers is perhaps the most valuable asset you have in your business.

The money is in the list. Protect your list of customers and prospects like your life depends upon it.

# 140: Mass mailing is tremendously inefficient, which is why 98% of it is tossed out.  

What you want to do is clearly identify a target market and then focus on mailing to them exclusively.

# 141: Next to your own customer database, the most valuable database you can get is that of your competitor. The more you know about your competition, the better. 

Buy customer databases of people in your niche, who are already buying similar products and/or services from your competition.

# 142: Sometimes good business intelligence simply takes initiative.

You don’t have to know it all to get started.  Just take the initiative to get started and you will learn as you go.

# 143: To succeed in your business, you need to take advantage of every legal means possible to gather and use information about your customers, your competition, and their customers.

Be a student of your business and study your customers and competitors. Knowledge is power.

About Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is quite perhaps the world’s most respected direct response marketer. He is also a successful author, consultant, speaker, and trainer. He has personally mentored many of the world’s top marketers.

I have tremendous respect for Dan Kennedy. I’ve read most of his books and watched most of his videos. If you are trying to master direct response marketing, Dan Kennedy is the man you want to study and emulate. You can visit his website here.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these are my top Dan Kennedy quotes, wisdom, and lessons from some of my favorite Dan Kennedy books.  Which quote on this list was your favorite and why? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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4 thoughts on “Dan Kennedy: 143 Quotes, Wisdom, & Ideas from the Marketing Legend”

  1. This was such a wonderful piece, I feel so inspired right now. After reading this I think it is time for me to go and find more information about Dan Kennedy. The quotes that are here in this article are so good but I have a favorite that really moved me to write this. It was quote #132, this is because I been there done that, received mail adds and they are always well… to not use another word, they are boring. However, there was that one time that the mail was not shallow and actually made me go and buy whatever they were selling. Thank you!! Now I feel empowered to go and take my business to the next level!

  2. An inspiring man indeed. It’s amazing how I have never heard of him yet I have become his fan after reading this article. All these quotes are full of inspiration that actually makes you want to follow his directives. Though it was tough for me to choose, my favorite quotes would be quote number 5, 96 and 142 because it somehow feels really relatable to me. It takes a lot of confidence to decide something that would change your life, and the people who lack such confidence are mostly unable to move their life forward. Sometimes, to avoid building up the courage to do something, we tend to wish to get something without giving much effort, which is wrong in many ways. And off course we don’t begin something with full knowledge, we learn along the way. These quotes have definitely inspired me and have helped me build up my confidence level.

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