Saturday, March 3, 2007

Great salesmen, lousy brand image!

I have been investigating sales training recently and it absolutely floors me how these very successful people have such amateur brand images. I am left wondering - given the amount of success these folks have enjoyed - how much money are "they" leaving on the table due to their amateur presentations? Money on the table is one of their strategies after all.

Take for example Gerry Weinberg. He is very successful as a representative of the Sandler Sales Institute. Sandler on the other hand has a very professional brand presentation. I believe Mr. Weinburg is not inspiring confidence with such a tacky presentation. Sure they are making good money but I contend that they are also losing business due to their amateur brand image. I catch myself lingering at Sandler's site where as I exit Mr. Weinburg's site because it looks like snake oil.

Dan Kennedy is another example. This gentleman is wildly respected and perhaps this style of brand image is what Dan believes is the ticket to his success. I think he would be even more successful if he had an brand image that didn't remind me of late night medical miracle commercials.

Look at how Tony Robbins" handles it. He is selling also other products (like Kennedy) - lots of offers down the middle, lots of distraction - but a massively stronger brand image. I don't know for a fact but I believe from brand observation that Robbins is bigger than Kennedy. Even if you could prove that Kennedy is more successful, his brand does not convey that to me. Robbins has my confidence from what I observe. And to be honest I have not purchased the services of any of these gentleman. Given the 3 examples here in this post, who would you trust to help you make more money? Do you think Kennedy is short-changing himself?

I suppose you could say that Kennedy is differentiating himself from the others. Which is true if Mr. Haney is who you aspire to be. Do you trust the snake oil presentation or do you think I'm way off base?

4 comments:

Marcia said...

Ed,
I think you're right on, but then I'm "in the business." I've studied both Tony Robbins and Dan Kennedy for years and believe them both to be geniuses, and to tell the truth, I'm actually more drawn to Kennedy's processes -- but I did have to force myself to get past the "snake oil" feeling.

Kennedy teaches process, while I feel Robbins is a lot of hype and show, and that may be why Kennedy doesn't feel the need to "dress up" with a great looking brand. A lot of people love Robbins and are energized by him, he's just not for me, but I do admire his personal brand and his ability to influence people.

As much as we in the branding business hate to admit it, sometimes the message speaks louder than the first impression, and people somehow are influenced. These businesses make it more difficult on themselves with a poorly presented brand, though, and I agree that Dan Kennedy and Gerry Weinberg could definitely benefit from brand overhauls.

Marcia said...

P.S.
THANK YOU for taking your blog to black type on a white background. This makes it much easier for me to read, and probably for others as well.

Danielle Rodgers said...

Hi Ed,

Excellent point. It honestly amazes me how some businesses sell anything with the tacky image they offer - but I guess it proves that "copy" sells.

As a customer I personally am persuaded by good presentation, and generally steer clear of tacky looking 'images'. However, I'm also sometimes wary of anything that looks too slick. I'm not entirely sure why - perhaps I think it means I'm about to be ripped off! Not sure, but it makes me wary.

As for Dan & Tony, I'm not familiar with Dan's work, but I am a big fan of Tony Robbins. Apart from personally getting a great deal from his work, he comes across as a very genuine, truly decent person who lives his messages. And I really admire that.

btw... LOVE the white background. Heaven :)

Cheers, Danielle

Ed Roach said...

Danielle,

Marcia Hoeck and I happen to belong to a business group who met in Kentucky this past Friday and we discussed this issue. From the discussion emerged a recognition of the so called "million dollar" sales letter approach. You might recognize it as a never-ending scroll of bad design.

I think that the style and copy are certainly working together to break down the resistance in the sale. What I recognize is that it is essentially a classic retail approach with bursts, bullets, call-outs etc. I just think it could be designed more effectively.

I plan on selling a branding product soon and I am going to try the never-ending scroll with a retail sales approach - my style.

Check out Marcia's interpretation of this technique. It compliments her brand nicely.

Now, we all might be wrong, and crass, bad design is what the world needs to buy, but I hope not. I hold up the Tony Robbins approach - I would suspect he makes more loot than any of the others. He exudes trust in his brand with the help of good design.

 
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