top of page

Sales & Marketing in Hard Times

In hard times, money is scarce, time is precious, and knowledge is king.  Small businesses need sales and marketing strategies that cost little and can be done quickly.  The recommendations here have one thing in common:  They require thinking and talking to others but cost little to nothing to implement.  And they can all improve your business.


This isn’t an academic or theory book, although it is based on psychological and marketing research.  It is a set of “How-To” Guidelines for small businesses.  As you go about trying to implement these ideas, I recommend that you include your employees in the discussion.  It will not only make most of them feel more a part of your team, but you will also benefit from new ideas you hadn’t considered.  Everyone can have a helpful idea, even if it’s just the springboard for a greater idea. So not only include everyone but encourage everyone to participate.

Here is what you will get from this book:

Introduction:  How to Use This Book for Best Results

BONUS:       The 12 Rules of Marketing Psychology    

Chapter 1:    Marketing in Hard Times        

Chapter 2:    When the Economy Turns . . . Get Personal  

Chapter 3:    12 Steps To Creative Marketing Solutions

Chapter 4:    Planning Your Marketing Strategy

Chapter 5:    6 Common Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them             

Chapter 6:    The Sandwich Lesson:  Perceived Value

Chapter 7:    Selling the Experience           

Chapter 8:    How To Discover What Customers Are Really Buying

Chapter 9:    Positioning: How to Take Market Share by Creating Fear and Doubt                       

Chapter 10:  5 Steps to Eliminate Buyer Doubts and Make the Sale

Chapter 11:  How Watermelons Can Teach You a Valuable Marketing Lesson                             

Chapter 12:  24 Questions to Ask when Developing a Crisis Public Relations Strategy           
Chapter 13:  How to Do a Buyer Satisfactions Analysis -- A 12 Step Guide

Appendix:     Suggested Books, Articles and Videos      (don’t miss this!)



                                    THE 12 RULES OF MARKETING PSYCHOLOGY

  1. People do not want what you are selling, so don’t try to sell* it to them.  This includes company buyers, too.  If you are pitching features, that is what you are doing.

  2. People want to buy personal satisfactions, so that is what you should promise to sell them.  Company buyers want both personal and corporate satisfactions, so promise both.

  3. Buying decisions are based on both logic and emotion, a decision is seldom one or the other, so the most effective message promises both types of satisfactions.  A Buyer Satisfaction Analysis is needed to discover all of these logical and emotional satisfactions.

  4. Generally, logic has more power in assembling the short list of possible choices, but emotion has more power in making the final buying decision.  People make their buying decision based on emotion and justify it with logic. Sometimes we call that behavior rationalization. Companies do this, too. The reason? Logically, all the finalists are seen as about the same.

  5. People do not want others to think they make emotional decisions, so always give the buyer a logical reason to buy.  It helps them justify the purchase to others, and to themselves.  Any pitch should include at least two or three logical reasons to buy, based on features.

  6. Logical satisfactions are either Needs or Wants.  Needs are deal-breakers.  Wants are not.

  7. Emotional satisfactions are either Fears or Desires.  There are two types of Fears:  Fears of Omission are what the buyer fears if he recognizes a problem and does nothing about it (example: discovering termites.)  Fears of Commission are what the buyer fears if she makes the wrong choice in how to fix a problem (example: which plumber to call.)

  8. Fears are the marketer’s best friend. One of the most potent fears is embarrassment, so use it.  From childhood we have feared making the wrong choice or doing the wrong thing in front of others.  We especially worry about the embarrassment of giving accidental offense to others -- body odors, bad breath, dandruff, etc. Billions are made each year exploiting fears.

  9. Desires are daydreams, they rest on the emotion of hope, like winning the lottery -- so promise to sell them hope. Perfume is sold totally on the basis of hope, just analyze the photo in any ad – the picture makes the promise of the desired satisfaction, no text needed. So are lottery tickets and Viagra.

  10. Do not use features to sell that is not their purpose!  Sell Satisfactions; use features to prove you can deliver on your promise.  If you sell features, you force buyers to figure out the satisfactions themselves.  Often they won’t take the time and just move on.

  11. Satisfactions are not benefits.  Benefits are what buyers get from using the product or service.  Satisfactions are the psychological rewards they get from those benefits.  That’s what they really want.  Example:

    • Product:  A dollhouses with many features.

    • Benefit: buyer gets a great present for her daughter, a beautiful dollhouse, with many rooms of furniture, which is easy to put together.

    • Logical satisfactions:  Time and frustration saved thanks to the ease of assembly; time and money saved by not having to shop separately for furniture.

    • Emotional satisfactions:  The look on her daughter’s face when she sees her new dollhouse; mom’s happiness while playing dollhouse games with her daughter. That’s the big payoff!

  12. There is a simple 4-step order to good marketing messages:

  1. Remind buyers of the most important logical and emotional satisfactions they want from your product category.  Use the results of your psychological Buyer Satisfaction Analysis for each target market to identify the satisfactions they really want to buy. **

  2. Promise them your product/service is the best way to deliver those satisfactions.

  3. Use key features to prove you can deliver on that promise.

  4. Tell them what to do next, the very next step you want them to take, such as going to your website, to move them down the buying funnel. This is your “call to action.”

Professionals know that Marketing and Sales are different. I use the word “sell” here in reference to persuading, or “selling,” buyers on a marketing message.

DON'T MISS THIS: In Chapter 13 you will find a detailed Guide on how to do your own Buyer Satisfaction Analysis. You'll learn even more and be entertained while you learn in my new book Sex & Marketing.

cover 2_edited.jpg
bottom of page