Why Customers Think You’re Full Of Crap (And How To Improve Your Direct Marketing Offer)


Hello everyone, my name is Clay Collins and welcome to this episode of The Marketing Show. Today, I’m going to talk about something that a lot of people miss. In fact, a lot of the pros miss this. One of my high-end clients that brings in six figures a year, is about to bring in multiple six figures a year, and I were talking about this the other day and he had missed something.

And he, in fact, missed something that a lot of people miss. And so today, I want to talk to you about why your customers think you’re full of crap. I’m not saying you are a full of crap, I’m just saying that when they think you’re full of crap; this is probably the reason why.

So, when it comes to their money most people and most of your customers are incredibly, incredibly smart. People inherently grasp things that they normally do not grasp when it comes to their money. For example, most people know that if they are buying something that purportedly creates an internal change, that it’s going to change them on some emotional level in terms of their confidence or level of freedom or something spiritual. Most people know that if they buy something that creates an internal change and it doesn’t create an external change, a very real external change, that the internal change was bogus. Most people grasp the mind-body connection; most people grasp the connection between the spiritual and the physical.

So, if you sell something that purportedly creates an internal change and you do not spell out how it’s going to help them on the external claim, they’re going to think you’re crap. Likewise, if you say something to help someone with an external issue, let’s say money, but you don’t describe the internal shifts that will happen, they’ll probably think you’re full of crap. And I’ve tested the hell out of this. You need to sell both especially if you sell information products or courses or consulting or coaching or expertise or advice or anything like that.

If you are selling a transformational experience, if you just focus on the external, people are going to wonder why it doesn’t produce an internal result. If you just sell a change in mind and it does not affect the body, people will not believe you. So, let me give you some examples here, and I’m sorry about the lighting situation. My studio is in transition and this is actually some natural light that’s coming in through the sunroof.

So, if you are selling freedom and control, okay? You are selling an internal sense of freedom and control but you don’t spell out that it’s going to produce some sort of external change and this is going to vary from market to market and from customer base to customer base.

But if you say that you are selling freedom and control and that you are going to create an internal shift in them thru meditation or thru whatever you do and that does not produce an external outcome, again, people grasp the mind-body connection, people grasp the connection between the spiritual and the physical and the non-physical and the physical. So if you are selling freedom and control thru meditation or whatever, some kind of internal shift, and you are not saying that it’s going to produce something external, let’s say for example, enough money to do whatever you want, right? You’re not selling a path to that while you’re selling freedom and control, then people are going to know you’re bogus. Now, it doesn’t have to be, you know, anything on this side, I’m just saying if you’re selling an internal you need to know what an external component your customer base wants, okay.

So, let’s say it also goes the other way around. So if you’re selling enough money to do whatever they want and you’re not talking about how it’s going to create an internal shift for them when they go through your course or your program or whatever you’re doing. People are also going to know it’s bogus. It’s not possible to make a whole lot of money from nowhere, from poverty, without some internal shifts happening. And, yes, there are people who are successful and just selling the spiritual without the physical and there are people who are successful at just selling the physical without the spiritual.

But the people who sell the most are people who sell both because, again, the human brain gets that connection.

Let’s say you sell confidence around women. So you sell to the guys who want to be more confident around women. If you don’t claim that this is going to help them get a girlfriend and help them get, maybe, more sex in their life or whatever you’re selling, I mean, this is a biggie for guys, the whole sex thing. If you don’t claim that, then people are going to go, “Well, is the confidence around women really real?”

Is this internal state really real if it doesn’t produce an external outcome? Likewise, if you just go around selling sex, like, “Hey, you know, this course will help you get laid 10 times a day,” but you don’t talk about how the course will also help people create an internal shift, they’re not going to believe that the external is real. Or they’re going to see the whole thing as just a meaningless exercise, because they know that the external without the internal is likely to just pass away. So why don’t people sell both?

Why is it that so many people just sell the external and don’t sell the internal while other people just sell the internal but don’t sell the external? I believe that it’s because of confidence. People who sell meditation courses and internal changes often are too scared to claim that this is going to produce an external result.

And I do not believe that it’s because what they do does not produce an external result, I believe that it’s because they are so narrowly focused on what they teach and what they provide that they are often blind to the real world effects of what they do.

So I challenge you to think hard about what you generally sell. Are you selling the internal or the external? If you are providing the internal, I challenge you to figure out in a very specific, real way, the external result it produces; the specific external result it produces. And if you sell the external, then I challenge you to figure out internally the shift that people make once they’ve mastered the external that you teach.

My name is Clay Collins and thank you so much for watching The Marketing Show. I’ll talk to you next week. Bye.

  • Bam! How’s your evening going?

  • I just love your thoughtful videos, Clay! 
    This one really made a lot of sense to me. I realize that I need to pay much more attention to this when I market programs and courses. My problem is that I ASSUME that what I offer people will not only create new skills – but also facilitate an inner transformation. But I don’t spell it out – although it’s true.It’s kind of a hidden assumption …. duh!

    • Yeah, I think most of us focus exclusively on the internal or the external.  It’s rare to see people doing both.  I’m glad this made an impact, Mary!

  • This is awesome content Clay. I love it. Thanks for sharing. Makes a lot of sense. 

  • More sex. Got it.

  • geoffwelch

    Brilliant. Showing this to a group from my church. Yes. Really.

    • I love it, Geoff.  And I can totally see how this would apply

  • Evan

    My problem isn’t confidence it is what I can genuinely promise.  I can’t genuinely promise that someone’s life will become wonderful.  Firstly because it has to do with them and secondly because it has to do with stuff beyond their control.

    So it is tricky getting the promise right if you sell something like I do (self development).  

    I do agree with the internal and external.  Describing the external can also make the internal change more vivid and real.

    • Yeah, some markets can be tricky.  Can you promise that if people do what you actually tell them to do . . . and they do it, that they’ll experience change?

      • Evan

        Yes, it’s tricky.  Finding words about what is realistic and doesn’t sound like ‘you pay me, but it is all up to you’ if you see what I mean.

        • So, just to clarify, you can’t do this about the externals OR the internals, right?  A lot of people promise things left and right when it comes to the internals, but stop when it comes to the externals, because it all just seems too specific at that point.

          In many cases, it’s fair to map out an action plan, and guarantee results IF people do it thoroughly.

          • Evan

            Hi Clay, yes.  It needs both the internals and externals.  One way to guarantee the externals as you say is by giving the plan and then giving a money back guarantee.  I’m not sure exactly which externals to guarantee, though I’m sure I could come up with some.  Maybe I could set it up so that people chose the outcome they wanted (with the space for it to be modified – learning can occur!).

            The externals in self development can be broad and tricky (when I don’t want to resort to just talking about making money).I very much appreciate you engaging with me about this.  Many thanks, Evan.

  • Susan Minarik

    Wow!  Thanks for this, Clay.  Big Light Bulb moment for me as I nodded, “Of course! Of course!”
    So appreciate your wisdom and sound advice!

    • Thanks for your kind words, Susan.  I’m glad this is making the light bulb go off.

  • Mark

    Hi Clay, Love your vids. How could you best apply this to a charity/non-profit situation?

    • Hi Mark! If you can give me a specific question about a specific case at a real organization or non-profit, and be very succinct, then I’ll do my best to answer your question.