Hey it’s your main man 7-figure Sam,
Today, I want to share with you the BIGGEST business lesson that I’ve learned so far in my business life.
The lesson I am about to share will be the difference between staying in business and going out of business.
This is a story about a guy I know “Pete” who had the potential to build a massive business.
When “Pete” Started his business he was very humble and was all about delivering value to his customers.
“Pet’s” business was thriving and massive success was inevitable.
“Pete” started shifting his focus from serving his customers to driving sales, sales and more sales.
Unfortunately when a company is only sales driven manipulation will shortly follow.
There is a fine line between Marketing and Manipulation.
According to Wikipedia: Manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics.
According to Wikipedia: Marketing is “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
I cannot dispute that manipulations work. Every one of them can indeed help influence behavior and help a company drive sales. But there are serious trade-offs.
Not a single one of them breeds loyalty
Over the course of time, they cost more and more. The gains are only short-term.
If you have exceptionally deep pockets or looking to only achieve a short term gain with no consideration to long term, then these strategies and tactics are perfect.
A loyal client stays a client through thick and thin. A loyal customer stays with you for years.
If manipulation is the only strategy, what happens the next time a purchase decision is required?
There is a BIG difference between making a transaction once and loyalty.
Loyalty is when people are willing to turn down a better product or a better price to continue doing business with you.
Loyal customers don’t even bother to research the competition or entertain other options.
Loyalty is not easily won. New sales, however is. All it takes is more manipulations.
Manipulative techniques have become such a mainstay in fitness business today that it has become virtually impossible for some to kick the habit.
Like any addiction, the drive is not to get sober, but to find the next fix faster and more frequently.
Manipulations are a perfectly valid strategy for driving a transaction, or for any behavior that is only required once or on rare occasions.
But if a person or organization wants more than a single transaction (like our fitness businesses) , manipulations and sleazy sales tactics (like using someone’s testimonials without their permission) is a kiss of death for any business.
Last I heard, “Pete” wasn’t doing too well.
* He lost all his loyal customers and started spending $20-$30K per month on dead end Facebook ads in desperate need to get new customers. (big lesson here is that it’s much, much cheaper to keep clients than to get new ones)
* His “franchisees” were dropping out like flies.
* His best friend is no longer working with him and left their co-owned franchise.
* None of his peers endorse him or his products.
1. Never lose your “WHY”.
2. Don’t be sales driven (transactional)
3. Focus on building customer loyalty (relational)
4. Do Market, Don’t Manipulate
5. Never lose a customer if you can help it
6. It’s much cheaper to keep a customer happy than to get a new one.
7. Don’t be a Pete
Your boy Sam,
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Excellent post Sam. Yes, with the drive on sales, marketing, and influence, we get close to the line of manipulation. Thanks for the reminder to stay grounded and keep your integrity. With the internet so social these days, having a virtual or coaching business is becoming more like have a local small town business like us fit-biz owners have. If you burn your bridges, piss off your customers, overtly manipulate, and price gouge, word will eventually get out and you’ll be fucked.