Confessions of a Marketing Hitman
by Mike Sperduti

You never see me coming. You never thought you were going to purchase my product or service, today. The truth is you don’t even know who I am or that I was involved with your purchase. My name is Mike Sperduti, and I am here to confess I am a marketing hit man.

I am a business owner who extracts millions of dollars from health care manufactures, distributors, clinicians and patients all around the world. Chances are you have used a product or service that I have either directly sold or been part of creating the strategy to motivate you to choose my solution. The good news for you is that I have always represented game-changing technologies and services that make life easier and better. Today my intention is to teach you some of my key strategies so you can also sell smarter, faster and more profitably to meet your business goals and objectives.

Step 1: Get their attention and stand out above all the noise and clutter

Your customers are being bombarded by over 10,000 marketing messages every day. The amount of emails, direct mail, print ads, TV and radio spots, social media promotions, billboards, banner ads, search engine bumps and signage they are exposed to is simply staggering. This has led to a condition I personally refer to as, “marketing attention deficit disorder.” Each of us is so exhausted and our senses are so overwhelmed by companies trying to sell us things that we just shut it all out—we have become immune to mass marketing. We have put up a force field that blocks almost anyone from selling stuff to us because it’s not relevant to us or does not speak to our specific situation.

As a marketing hit man I know the secret to getting anyone’s attention, and getting their attention is the first step to selling anything. Most companies focus on turning up the frequency of messages, thinking the more marketing you do, the better results you get. The truth is that if all you do is crank out generic one-size-fits all messages, you create more noise that turns off all your potential buyers. To get them to notice you, you must get passed the reticular activating system (RAS) in each person’s brain. When you understand this basic concept in neuroscience you are going to see enormous interest in your products and services. (See “Neuro-Selling: Pushing the Brain's Buy Button,” HomeCare February 2016, for more on this topic.)

Using this knowledge of how the brain works, a marketing hit man must understand specifically what your market is looking for, speak in specific language and target the message so potential customers have to see, hear and feel that your message is different. The simple fact is your message is not about you, it’s about your customers and what is most important to them. No one cares about you, how great you are or how many people you have helped. Turn your words around and rephrase what you are saying so that you give the customer a reason to care. Speak to what is important or what dangers they are facing, and you will move right to the front of their brain and get the prize that every marketer wants—their valuable attention.

Step 2: Be the authority and have the best solution in your market or play in another game

As a marketing hit man I do not play by the rules—I create them. I will only represent excellent products and services that are game changing and are the best solution in their marketplace. No matter what business you are in, you have enormous competition. Your product and service has to be the best in its class. You have to be the authority in your industry, which means you understand your customers' problems as well as they do and have a solution that is measurably better than the competition.

No fancy sales and marketing manipulation strategy or tactic will produce long-term success. The truth is that if you lie or deceive your customers and they find out there is a better solution out there, you not only lose customers, you also lose your credibility forever. If you know you have the best solution, it’s your obligation to make sure you use everything in your power to close the sale and convert prospects into customers.

If you know you have an inferior solution, stop playing in that arena and find a game you can play, truly help people, and win not just today but forever. Here are the questions I ask myself when taking on a product to acquire or represent:

  • What makes this product or service different from all the others on the market?
  • What makes this product or service specifically and measurably better than all the other solutions?
  • Why would a consumer specifically switch from their current solution to yours and why?

Provide a detailed side-by-side comparison on how your product or service competes and performs against the competition in all critical areas.

Step into the customer’s shoes and be completely selfless so you can clearly understand and articulate why your solution makes 100 percent sense for the customer. This selfless energy and commitment to them will give power and feeling to your message that will look, sound and feel authentic to the customer because you are genuine and truly know that you can make their life better.

Step 3: Show me who your friends are and that will tell me who you are

When I make a sales presentation, write a marketing piece or produce a commercial, I know 99.9 percent of my audience has never heard of me or my product. I can tell you all day how great I am, how great my product or service is and that I have the best solution, but will you really believe me? Probably not. It is self-serving for me to say those things. As a marketing hit man I know that if I say it—you can doubt it—but whose words will you hear loud, clear and most importantly, believe other than your own?

Of course it’s someone you admire, respect and trust. To earn a stranger’s business who has never heard of you, it is essential to make them feel comfortable with you by association.

When I was a kid my grandma used to say, “Show me who your friends are, and that will tell me who you are.” In essence, if you are a good kid your friends will be good, smart kid your friends will be smart, etc. In a business context, find a current customer that you can reference that is highly credible and had the exact same problem as your prospective customer. This customer should have had a positive outcome after purchasing your solution and be able to tell a story that will connect immediately to your target customers. The more authentic and real people you use who can tell their story, the more your efforts will resonate with your target customer. This is so powerful and the final piece to our marketing message that will turn a stranger into a customer.

To wrap this article up, here are some of the key secrets of a marketing hit man and how you can start selling smarter and faster today:

  1. Be brief, be brilliant and be done. Every word matters.
  2. Get their attention quickly by getting past the reticular activating system with a topic that addresses their most important priority or something that will hurt them.
  3. Talk in emotional and factual language to make them see, hear and feel as if you genuinely care about them, understand them and have the best solution to help them.
  4. Use the power of testimonials and third party highly credible endorsements who will do the important work of building trust, respect and credibility to your claims.
  5. Take the risk away from the customer and put it on you. Be so confident that you are the best, you can do what you and others have said you can do and offer a money back guarantee so people will have no reason not to buy your product or try your service.

Of course there is much more to learn to be a true marketing hit man such as preferred communication style, transformation language patterns, embedded commands and neurolinguistics that you need to master but that’s for another time. For now use this powerful material that will make you just like the Godfather (yes a Mafia reference—just be nice!) and start making all your customers an offer they can’t refuse!