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A Tip from
David Letterman and Jay Leno
About Growing Your Sales
by Joe Gracia

You're probably wondering what David Letterman and Jay Leno have in common with your business. The answer is quite a bit!

The Late Show with David Letterman and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno are businesses. They need to attract prospects and then convert them into customers--loyal viewers--just as you must attract prospects and turn them into loyal customers.

There are many similarities between these TV entertainment shows and your business, but in this article we want to focus on one of the most important.

It's a concept that we focus on throughout our Web site and it can mean the difference between phenomenal success or mediocrity for your business.

Letterman and Leno are masters of the Give to Get Marketing philosophy!

First of all, the only reason these shows exist is so that the sponsors of the shows can promote their products and services to the viewers during the commercial breaks.

This is the basis of almost all media programs and publications. Media programs/publications GIVE entertainment or information and the sponsors GET the opportunity to promote their products and services to the viewers/listeners/readers. It's a perfect GIVE to GET approach.

Commercials without entertaining programming is a doomed strategy

It wouldn't work if the sponsors just tried to promote their products/services without giving you entertainment first.

How many people would sit in front of their television sets if there were no entertainment programs, but only an infinite series of commercials? I'm sure you'll agree that very, very few people would do that.

Okay, okay. I know that the Home Shopping Network is just one long series of commercials, but that is a form of entertainment in and of itself.

The same applies to infomercials. They are designed as entertainment as well as product promotions. It takes millions of dollars and a lot of marketing know-how to make a format like that profitable, and most of us don't have budgets or talents like that.

I'm talking about straight forward, everyday commercials or ads.

Imagine how magnetic this line-up would be:

8:00pm -- Don't miss the Ford Motor Company's exciting commercial featuring its newest line of 4-wheel drive vehicles. There'll be lots of winding, rocky roads, splashing mud and a beautiful closing shot of a truck at the top of a towering mountain peak!

8:01pm -- It's laughs galore with those goofy folks at Disney, Inc. as they offer you the vacation of a lifetime in this splenderific Disney Cruise Line promo.

8:02pm -- We'll slow things down with a sleepy little promo for Serta Mattresses, featuring those cute and cuddly, out-of-work sheep.

Yes, it's true, Madison Avenue does try to entertain us with funny, exciting, sexy, or dramatically produced commercials to get and keep our attention, but that's just another form of Give to Get--who wants boring commercials?

The businesses that want to promote their products and services know that, for the most part, people are not very interested in their promotions. So they apply the powerful Give to Get philosophy and give them exactly what they want.

They want entertainment and/or information, and that's exactly what David Letterman and Jay Leno provide. By providing this entertainment, millions of people are attracted like a magnet to their shows, and are then exposed to the sponsors commercials during the sponsor breaks.

And the sponsors pay millions for this privilege.

Why do the sponsors do this? Because they know through research that a certain percentage of the viewers will actually have an interest in their products or services and will be positively influenced towards a buying action by the exposure to those repeated promotions.

Here's the simple, Two-Step formula

1) attract potential customers by offering them something they really want -- in this case entertainment, and

2) then expose them to your product or service promotions along with the entertainment.

Sounds like the Two-Step marketing approach you've heard us talk about so often, doesn't it?

GIVE people what they want and you'll attract them like a magnet, then you will GET the opportunity to expose them to your marketing offers. Give to Get works like a charm.

If you eliminate that first step, you will eliminate nearly all of your opportunity to sell.

The same Give to Get strategy applies to the guests on these shows

Now let's move on to the Lettermen and Leno shows' content for another perfect example of the Give to Get Marketing approach in action.

When you tune in to one of these shows, you're bound to see a combination of the following: Hollywood actors/actresses, established or up-and-coming musicians, famous writers, sports personalities or political figures in the news.

This is one of the primary reasons you tuned in; to be entertained by these people.

The Hollywood actor or actress is going to joke with the host a bit, and reveal some interesting tidbits about their personal or professional lives, etc.

But -- and this is the key -- they are also going to expose you to a PROMOTION of their latest movie or Broadway show. In fact, that is their primary reason they are on the show.

They are willing to GIVE you a few minutes of entertaining chatter so that they will then GET the opportunity to promote their product to you. They often bring a sample with them in the form of a clip from the movie.

It's the same with the guest singer or musical group. They perform one of their latest songs for you, and then, after the song, the host holds up their newest music CD and promotes it to you.

Give to Get. First GIVE people what they want, and then GET the opportunity to promote your product or service.

It wouldn't work if they eliminated the first part; the GIVE part. No entertainment; no viewers; no promotion opportunities.

David Letterman and Jay Leno have the Give to Get philosophy down pat. They know exactly how to attract millions of prospective customers for their sponsors' commercial messages by giving what their viewers want.

Notice also that they focus about 70-80% on what their viewers want--entertainment --and 20-30% on what their sponsors want--commercials.

Our two Web sites, and, devote 90% of their space to GIVING free information to our visitors, and only 10% of our space is used for describing and promoting our products. And this strategy consistently generates from hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales and profits each year, just from our Web sites.

This Give to Get strategy is not only used by Letterman and Leno, but by all successful businesses.

Just as you wouldn't want to tune in to watch a straight series of ads and commercials without the entertainment, your prospects won't respond to a marketing approach that is 100% focused on your promotions for your products or services. They will just ignore them and look for a more Give to Get approach.

We are all inundated with ads, commercials, billboards, direct mail offers, telemarketing, etc. The most powerful way to break through all of that marketing clutter to get your prospective customers to pay attention to your product and service offers is by focusing on what they want first.

If you're a professional organizer, you could offer free organizing tips to attract potential clients. This is the GIVE part. Then, in step two, you would expose your prospect list to your sales offers. You should then get a percentage of those prospects that are very interested in your services. That is the GET part.

A dentist might offer a free Guide to Whiter Teeth. That's the GIVE part. And then included with the Guide would be information about the dentist's teeth whitening service and a special offer on that service.

An insurance agent might team up with a banker and offer a free home buying workshop. That's the GIVE part. Then he would follow up with the attendees to offer his/her services for home owner's insurance.

Writers could offer a free chapter of their latest book, and then promote the entire book in the follow-up.

A music instructor could offer a free tips pak on how to succeed in the music profession, or offer a free recital or a free lesson, and then offer her services on the back end.

The opportunities for applying the Give to Get marketing strategy are unlimited. Look around you and see how many examples you can find of this Give to Get approach. Then determine how you can apply it to your business. Just ask yourself, "What would my prospective customers want before they would give me the opportunity to promote my products or services to them."

It's a strategy that has worked wonders for David Letterman and Jay Leno, and it can work wonders for your business too.

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