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Story From Jay Abraham's Book - "Joint Ventures: From Mediocrity to Millions" Case Study #51
Once I made a small fortune for a client just by getting them to make a distinction – that their competitor was not their enemy, but their greatest friend. This client sold office products – copiers, shredders, fax machines, and the like. He obtained customers by sending letters out to prospective businesses all around the marketplace. The letters cost $1,000 per 1,000 letters for his company to mail or $1 apiece. When he mailed to 1,000 people, the mailing would produce a 5% response, or 50 prospects, leads or inquiries. Of the 50 leads, approximately 10%, or five people, turned into customers.
That meant that 45 did not. 45 out of 50, or 90% of the investment my client made in his mailings was a waste because 45 out of the 50 people who inquired didn’t buy. All my client was doing when I met him was throwing away the 45 non-converted leads every month. I asked why. He said, “Well, because they didn’t buy.” I said, “Well, did it ever dawn on you that they didn’t inquire, follow through and ask for information because they weren’t interested? After all, they did respond, and probably because they had some level of abiding interest in either getting a copier, or a fax machine or a shredder.
But they probably didn’t buy from your company because of one of a number of reasons. Either your company’s product didn’t represent the attributes, the performance characteristics, the benefits that they were looking for; or perhaps it offered far more benefits than they needed; or perhaps it was priced higher, or your company’s payment structure was too rigid for their budget; or perhaps you as a salesperson simply did not get along with that prospect. Maybe the prospect grated negatively on you. Probably not, but it happens. “The point is, your company invested $900 of the $1,000 in the 45 non-converted leads that you’re throwing away. Don’t you think you owe it to yourself and your company to get a greater yield, to get greater salvage value out of that action?”
He looked at me, bewildered, and said, “Yes, I guess.” So I said, “I want you to give me a vote of confidence and take a leap of faith. Trust me blindly for about 30 days. Let me take all the unconverted leads that you throw away, and let me offer them (are you ready for this?) to your company’s competitors – to those companies that may have products or services, or financial terms, or payment plans, or pricing, or salespeople that are more appealing or appropriate for the people who turned your approach down.” He was very shocked but grudgingly allowed me to prove a point. Without belaboring the issue, I will just tell you this: I negotiated a deal with all kinds of competitors where his company got 50% of the profits those competitors realized from the leads they had generated but not sold, and that his company shared with them. They ended up making more money from the people they didn’t sell than from the ones they did.
The point is that your company’s competition can be your greatest ally—if you understand the opportunity. The whole premise, the whole basis, the whole essence is understanding where possibilities lie and where others see impossibilities. This is a great philosophical example to get you to open your mind. You have joint venture opportunities all around you. You must only recognize them and take advantage. And that’s so easy. All you have to do is identify, realize and respect the incredible value your contribution represents and make it available to other people. It’s that simple.