Introducing the Three-Step Marketing System

Introducing the Three-Step Marketing System

Introducing the Three-Step Marketing System
By TJ Rohleder

I discussed the Two-Step Marketing System in an earlier article, but here’s something rather different. The Three-Step Marketing System will get even more people to give you more money, more often, for greater profits. This system is so simple that a child can understand it, even though few people are using it. But that’s good for you, because when you implement and master the Three-Step Marketing System, you’ll end up a big jump ahead of your competitors.

As the name implies, it requires only three steps.

  • Attract the right people and repel everyone else.
  • Build the trust of those who respond.
  • Prove that you alone can give them what they want the most.

Let’s break it down a little more, starting with Step #1. That’s a basic element of all marketing; even as you’re drawing in the people you want to do business with, you have to push others away. Never try to appeal to everyone, because in the end you’ll appeal to no one. Your marketing should deliberately turn some people off while turning others on; the strategies go hand-in-hand. If you’re not doing a good job of repelling the wrong people, you’re probably not doing a good enough job of attracting the right people. That can be difficult, of course, but you can achieve it through specialization, certain copywriting tactics, by directly approaching only those prospects most likely to become your best customers, and by using a few other strategies.

However you go about, really put some effort into it. Experiment until you discover what best filters out the tire-kickers and undesirables. Too often, businesspeople decide that they want as many customers as possible — but usually, that’s neither feasible nor practical. So you have to develop your message in such a way that the people for whom it’s not specifically targeted simply have no interest in it. That way, you don’t waste time and money on people who aren’t interested in becoming your customers in the first place.

Step #2 is building their trust, so they’ll honestly believe that you can deliver the goods. Trust isn’t automatic in the business world; it must be earned. You have to do things to overcome the natural resistance people have to your marketing, the result of years of empty promises and bad experiences. No one except an idiot hands money to someone they don’t already know or understand.

Step #3 involves proving you can provide your best prospects with the things they want the most. You’ve attracted the right people and built a relationship with them; now finish it off by demonstrating that you can deliver on your promises.

If you can do these three things correctly, the sky’s the limit.

It all boils down to having a solid sense of what the marketplace is, how the world is affecting it, and developing an intimate understand of the people who comprise it. I’m reminded of a fellow I know who owns a company that makes steel cacti. When I first learned about his business, I thought, “What in the world?” I couldn’t wrap my mind around why anyone would want to make steel cacti. It’s a family business that he inherited, incidentally.

Then I started thinking about it from the prospective buyer’s mindset. Once I realized who they were, I began to understand why some people might be interested in buying such things. For example, some people might buy them as works of art; some might use them for landscaping purposes, or as a kind of trellis. And that’s where I should have started: with the customers — because it makes more sense than starting with the actual products.

Here’s another quick example. A piece of land became available not far from our HQ. I think it has good potential as a business location, though it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere. But there’s constant traffic past it on a major highway that stretches from southern to northern Kansas. There are college towns north of us, so this road gets a lot of traffic, especially during certain times of the year. I think of that land in relationship to the marketplace of people who drive past it, not in terms of any kind of specific business a person might put there. It would succeed best by serving the prospects who pass on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

So again: it all starts with thinking about the prospect, then moves on to figuring out what they want, then finding ways to deliver that to them at good value, proving to them along the way that you and you alone can provide the benefits and deliver what they’re seeking.

Now, I’ll admit that there are a few businesses that just want all the customers they can get, because the direct marketplace is tiny — either because they’re limited in their extent (like a mom-and-pop grocery store in a small town) or because they serve a special niche. But those businesses are relatively rare. The rest of us have to find a way to pull in the people we need while repelling the rest.

It’s not always easy. About 25 years ago, my mentor ran business opportunity ads in supermarket tabloids like the National Enquirer. These are considered secondary markets, but he thought, “Hey, it’s worth a shot!” Well, he did a little legitimate business… but mostly he had to deal with the kooks that came out of the woodwork. People started sending him stuff about alien abduction, and asking him silly questions about flying saucers and the Mayan connection to the end of the world (we all know how that worked out now, don’t we?), and so on. It’s a lively, unorthodox marketplace, and for some types of advertising it can be a very good one — but not for our kind.

One area where I think the tabloids excel is with their headlines. Every marketer should study tabloid headlines, because they really grab your interest and get the blood pumping. You can use them as models for your own marketing, even if your products and services are completely different from anything you see in such publications.

The chief reason Three-Step Marketing works is because it’s such a simple formula. As I’ve pointed out in other articles, marketing can get too complicated if you let it; so the more you can focus on the basics, the better. That’s one reason I myself pulled out of advertising in the tabloids — because, like my mentor, I couldn’t attract the people I wanted without attracting the ones I didn’t, some of whom were absolutely insane. You’ve got to be able to attract the right folks while filtering out the wrong ones; ultimately, it’s not so much, “Can I make money?” that you should ask yourself, it’s “Can I make money in the right market by attracting only the right people?

As for trust, I’ll never forget our very first expensive seminar, for which we charged over $5,000. I was incredibly nervous, so imagine how I felt when one customer grabbed my hand and wouldn’t let go. He looked me in the eye and kept asking, “Are you for real? Are you for real?” Back then, I was so scared I didn’t understand what he meant. Now I do. What he was trying to say was, “Can I trust you? Can I really trust you?”

People in every market are looking for businesses they can trust, and it’s up to you to prove to them beyond any doubt that they can trust you.

You can get 1,000 pages of Mr. Rohleder’s greatest marketing and success secrets absolutely free, just by going to

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