A splendid example of credibility-building marketing

PerryMarketing Blog26 Comments

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In phone consultations I often advise clients to create a “shock and awe package” or credibility-builder to mail to their prospects. Preferably something with weight and heft. Especially in service businesses where the potential value of a new customer is in the thousands of dollars.

So here’s my example: we’ve got water in our basement and Laura contacts a few waterproofing companies. Just yesterday, in the mail, we got a VERY clever package.

What’s clever about it is not how “heavy” the book is, but how very professional it was. It instantly put them at “the front of the line.”

"What should I do next to grow my business this year?" Take my 2-minute quiz and I'll show you where you'll get the most bang for your buck.

I shot a quick 7 minute video where I show you the book and talk about the ingeniousness of the company that mailed it; the author who wrote it; the instant edge over the competition; and how both service providers and authors can create a very nice business from this idea.

Perry Marshall

P.S.: If this idea is even remotely interesting to you, you ought to pick up a copy of this book on Amazon. It really is a superb example of how to do this sort of thing.

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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

26 Comments on “A splendid example of credibility-building marketing”

  1. Aw, thіs waѕ аn incгedіbly good post.
    Finding the timе anԁ аctuаl еffoгt tο gеnеrate a veгy goоd
    аrtiсle… but whаt can I say… I proсrаstinаte а lot and neѵer manage to gеt аnything dοne.

  2. I think that usually the more info you provide the more you have to prove your point. I personally crafted a formula for myself, if I mention my strong side I have to prove it with at least two points so that the reader can see an example and my ability to deliver.

  3. Hi Perry,

    Thanks for the kudos on our pre-mailer package. As you can see we work very hard at Perma-Seal to not only attract our customers but also to provide top-quality customer service, which we have found to be an anomaly in our industry. The book that you are referring to was customized by Perma-Seal, which makes it specific to our geographic area and our customer’s needs. We have taken advantage of what Basement Systems’ network provides and enhanced it to fit our our market. If I can be of assistance to you, or your members, please feel free to contact me. Hope we were able to help with the basement!

  4. I used to be a home improvement contractor and have solved a bunch of wet basement problems at very low cost…to me. If you know what to look for, the solution[s] might surprise you.

    The key point here is the age old practice of distancing yourself from your competition. What better place is there to do that than the Internet? “Do Not Hire Your Next House Painter Unless She Can Answer These Ten Questions”, “What Five Questions Must You Ask A Plumber About Your Clogged Drain?” Often times just pointing out what a consumer should know to protect themselves from the ‘foolish factor’ can narrow their decision to a field of one, you.

    If you Google ‘Miracle of Dental Implants’ you will find the clients of a service that practices Perry’s lesson here to a high degree of efficiency using a booklet, CD and walk-on spokes person on the websites.

    Happy birthday Perry! Dang, I have twenty years on you. Hope you get here too.

    Best wishes for your success,


  5. Hi Perry,

    I work at Basement Systems Inc. and it’s great to see a marketer as yourself talk about our book and information packet that we send out.

    As a fellow marketer I just want to inform your customers that we are a national network of the best basement waterproofing, crawl space, basement finishing and foundation repair contractors. Visit us at http://www.basementsystems.com.


  6. I took a quick look at the basement book on Amazon. I saw there’s a hard and softcover version and they were much longer than I expected. Full color is still expensive compared to b/w so figuring he is already connected to all those dealerships, he was probably able to go the volume route.

    However, it is possible to do a shorter book, in color on a smaller print run/print-on-demand basis. So for anyone who might have looked at these books and thought “no way”, know you do have options within the realm of digital printing.

    And btw, Happy Birthday Perry & welcome to the 40 & Fabulous Club!

    Cheryl Pickett

  7. i’m producing my book for important clients on wednesday. i used to work in a print shop and my genre is high end artsy, so i’m taking an “art book” ish type of approach.

    i’m surprised (maybe not…) by the comments about production values, i look at it as if perry stopped by my house and told me this great insight. i wouldn’t be all “uhh, could you enunciate your words more clearly”.

    that said, i’m a videographer… i see some opportunity on the internet for these types of videos… quick turn around, spice and spruce…


  8. Somebody dared to criticize Perry’s delivery (which Perry probably actually appreciates, and his perfectionist tendencies may try to work on it).
    Actually, (especially with Perry) I was listening for CONTENT. And how to USE it. I was totally oblivious to any Uhs or Ers. I want to get what Perry has to say, Perry’s way. Not a polished teleprompter presentation where the information would be disastrous if used. Know thyself— and BE thyself. Keep it up, Perry. Thank you.

  9. All the people that spend more time suggesting to Perry how he can make a “better” video, miss the point of the message. It is another reminder how 10 people can sit in a room, listen to the same message and walk away with different experiences. I guess some will always see the glass half empty. I thought this was a great video until I read some of the comments. Good job Perry. Thanks!

  10. Perry, thanks for all the value you give.

    Your insight regarding this book give-a-way was great. I thought about a few ideas of my own on how a similar campaign could be launched for some of my existing and prospective clients. The suggestions you made, also gave me a few ideas of products I could create and pitch/sell to struggling companies looking for wasy to set themselves apart from the competition. What a great way to develop and promote a USP.

    This was a very helpful video. Thanks! Another way to position yourself as an expert in your field.

  11. I just saw this video at about the same time I was trying to come up with a program on how to get small businesses to use info products. Brilliant example, and it obviously works. The thing i like best, actually, is the fact that the people who sent the book did NOT write it. I like that because it is a good example that can break down the barrier of “I am not a writer”. No problem, you don’t have to be. You just have to be the sender of good material, not the writer. Thanks Perry.

  12. I love how people like to offer their advice and suggestions to Perry to “improve”…stop it!

    Great video, content rich and makes us think about the Shock and Awe package.

  13. Hi Perry,
    That was a great example of increasing your credibility ranking by offering someone an information product even if you didn’t write it. Thanks for video.

    Cheers! C Doug Mah

  14. Nick,

    Credibility over promises:

    When you know the person is going to spend the money, and you’re not inclined to believe promises. We know we HAVE to do something about our leaky basement.

    Everybody who’s ever hired a contractor knows about promises that sound good but can’t be believed.

    This example exists in a profession where there are a lot of carpetbaggers and few people put out credible looking information.

    One might criticize this book for lacking a call to action or something, but I don’t think that’s particularly relevant.


  15. Very inspiring. What a refreshing contrast from watching the news on TV. Makes you realize just what kind of possibilities there are out there if only you get out of your comfort zone and open your eyes. The closing remarks were particularly encouraging!

  16. Some of Perry’s stuff is helpful, and I appreciate his use of metaphor, analogy and example. This dry basement video, though, is an interesting contradiction to the very message he’s trying to send. If you can get past the non-words, you may stick around long enough to get the point.

    For Perry, I’d offer this advice: I’ve worked with too many people who have reminded me not to bury the headline to ever forget it. Start with your point, back it up, and wrap it up. To complement pumping up you message by leading with it, please be cognizant of “you knows,” “uh’s,” a plethora of unnecessary “and’s” and a sprinkling of “so’s.” That alone would knock a minute off the video and keep the listeners’ ears open to what you are trying to convey specifically as well as the much more positive general impression a clean and cleanly-delivered message will make.

  17. I like how you ended your video “Be a strong one”.

    Nice positive message…in an economic time when there is so much negativity around.

    Well done Perry!

    ciao from Ireland

  18. Perry,

    I don’t think I’ve ever made the direct connection with the “shock & awe” package being “credibility” driven.

    Usually the one’s I get are much more “opportunity” driven. Sure, there’s all types of social proof, but it’s doesn’t seem to be the main point. Probably because most of the one’s I get are from marketing/finance/make money type pitches.

    But, this was a great example of a totally different niche – and a totally different market that is making decisions on different planes.

    I’m re-reading “Breakthrough Advertising” by Eugene Schwartz for the 3rd time. I think this is a great illustration of a market that is in what he calls the 4th level of awareness.

    From the book:

    “The prospect has – not a desire – but a need. He recognizes the need immediately. But he doesn’t yet realize the connection between fulfillment of that need and your product.

    Here you start by naming the need and/or solution in your headline. Then dramatize the need so vividly that the prospect realizes just how badly he needs the solution. And then present your product as the inevitable solution.”

    I think the words “vividly” and “inevitable” are both present in the Dry Basement Science package.

    In your experience, what are the triggers to look for that suggest “credibility” should take the lead over promises, direct benefits, guarantees?

    From Breakthrough Advertising, the answer seems to be the Market’s Level of Awareness of your product.

  19. I’m guessing that the decision maker for Permaseal’s sale is often the man of the house. And spring in Chicago means rain, rain, rain.

    So, guess who’s advertising like crazy right now on Chicago sports radio?

    Yep, Permaseal. And from what I can recall, their ads are very “info” oriented with a clear call to action.

    And Perry says they’re booked for months in advance, even “in this economy”.

    No surprise.

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