The Self-Qualifying “Widget”

“Every sale has 5 basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust”

~Zig Zigler

Every great marketing system includes some kind of “widget” that your prospects can send for on the front end. This gets prospects to raise their hands and qualify themselves. It breaks the ice and warms them up for the sale. As any salesman can tell you, cold calling sucks. The job of the widget is to take away the prospect’s fear, to loosen them up and get them ready to buy.

Here’s a powerful example of how one company uses the concept of the widget.

I once heard a story about a chain of furniture stores that gets its prospects to request and then answer a 20-question questionnaire they call their Decorating Personality Profile. In response, the company sends them a little personality profile based on their answers.

This Profile breaks the ice with the prospects and prepares them for the next step. It makes the process fun for them, giving them a reason to take action and qualify themselves as interested parties (because those who aren’t interested won’t fill out the survey). This begins the relationship-building process that leads to the initial sale. The company then stays in touch with those people and does everything possible to get them to take the next step.

Another example is the Sleep Number Bed stores in the USA. They are known for getting people into their stores to find their perfect sleep setting, and prospects walk out of the store with a profile of the best type of mattress firmness for their perfect night of sleep.

Your widget needs to be simple, and it needs to be altruistic in nature. Although the goal is to attract people to spend money with you, there’s no obligation. It must be cheap or free, something your best prospects will find appealing and valuable. Your goal with the widget is to attract prospective customers, so you can build your list and gain first-time customers.

Once you’ve distributed your widget and your prospects have responded positively, all you have to do is aggressively follow up with them. Get them to take the next small action. Don’t make the mistake of trying to get them to take too big a step. Small steps offer less risk to your prospects. Using a little widget to get people on your list is the best kind of small step, because there’s no risk for them.

After the widget has attracted them, get them to take an initial low-cost purchase. And back it up with a strong guarantee. If they’re happy, great. You’ve moved them onto your client list, where you can make them additional offers and continue to do business with them.

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