No B.S. Direct Marketing by Dan Kennedy – Book Review

I’m a big fan of Dan Kennedy.  His training has helped me immensely.  One of my favorite Dan Kennedy books is “No B.S. Direct Marketing: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-Direct Marketing Businesses.” This is really an EPIC book about how to get more leads and more sales in YOUR business.

In case you’ve never heard of Dan Kennedy, he is one of the foremost and most respected direct marketers in the world.  Take any “guru” or ultra-successful person in the direct marketing industry and there is a good chance that they were personally trained and mentored by Dan Kennedy.

Direct marketing or direct response marketing is nothing more than marketing directly to your target market and getting them to respond to your offer in a certain way (lead or sale).  It’s not mass marketing and it’s not branding.

What I want to do in the paragraphs below is share some of my favorite quotes and lessons from the book.  What makes the book so unique is that each chapter features one of his successful students.  So some of the quotes listed below might not be from Dan himself, but they are from the book.

Each quote is in bold and italics.  After each quote I share my own thoughts about it.  Let’s get started.

# 1 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 really 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.  Ultimately, you need to learn about sales and marketing if you want to succeed.

# 2 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, request a free report, visit your store, or make a purchase.

# 3 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 ever take action.  You can’t send one letter or place one ad and expect much too happen.  Basically, you want to keep contacting people until they die, buy or tell you not to contact them anymore.

# 4 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.  You get no vote because you don’t put money into your cash register.  Your customers do.  The only opinion that matters is that of your customer.  It doesn’t matter what your wife, 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.

# 5 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, you 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.

# 6 You are in the marketing business. Your business is 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?

# 7 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 the 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 make a lot more money.

# 8 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.

# 9 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.  

# 10 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 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.    

# 11 Nothing happens in any business unless a sale is made.  As a business owner, you are in the selling business.  You have to learn how to sell or hire people that know how to do it.  Without sales you won’t be in business very long.

# 12 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.

# 13 To the surprise of most business owners, mass media advertising is usually the least profitable thing they can do to build their business. Focus in on your target market.  Only advertise in places where people in your target market are most likely to see it.

# 14 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.

# 15 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.

# 16 When your marketing is good enough, price is almost a nonfactor.  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.

# 17 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 salesman yourself.

# 18 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.  Don’t try to appeal to everyone.  Appeal to your target market.

# 19 What others say about you is 1,000 times more believable than what you say.  Use testimonials in all of your advertising, marketing, and follow-up.  A good testimonial is worth its weight in gold.

# 20 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.

no bs direct marketing# 21 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.

# 22 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 5 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.

# 23 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.

# 24 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. This is a great point.  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 life time value. Don’t be so focused on acquiring new customers that you forget about your old customers.

# 25 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.

Final Thoughts

In summary, these are my top 25 quotes from Dan Kennedy’s book, “No B.S. Direct Marketing: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-Direct Marketing Businesses.”

The bottom line is that you should take some time to study direct response marketing. Marketing really is the most important activity in your business.  Without good marketing, you won’t have any new leads or customers or sales.  And without good sales you won’t be in business very long.

I highly suggest you order a copy of this book and study it.  Dan charges more than $10k per day to consult with.  You can get access to his information and best tips at a fraction of that price by buying this book for less than $15.

What are your thoughts?  Have you read this book before?  Have you studied Dan Kennedy?  If so, leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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