Copywriting legend, Gary Halbert used to say: “Nothing in business (or life) is more expensive than bad information.”
That’s not only true when you’re doing research for your copywriting communications, but it’s also true in your list building and database marketing activities.
“The only thing worse than no information is bad information,” reports Denny Hatch, founder of Who’s Mailing What?
As it relates to database marketing, “at least with no information you know exactly where you stand. Bad information will always destroy a program,” Denny adds.
Bad advice typically leads to bad information. And bad information cripples your marketing power because you enter the mindset of of UI or Unconcious Incompetence – the state of mind of “not knowing that you don’t know.”
One of the most disappointing marketing experiences I’ve ever had in my life was following the bad advice of my onced “trusted” advisor.
That was back in 1988 when I was twenty-four and I ended up losing $242,000! Most of it wasn’t even my own money (it belonged to my parents and grandparents), so the loss was more humiliating (and humbling) than you can imagine.
But it was mostly my fault because I never bothered to question my advisor’s marketing assumptions and biases.
All I had to ask is, “How do you know?” Or, “Where’s your proof?” Or even, “Who else has experienced similar results from you?”
Unfortunately, I was over-intoxicated with optimism and the net result was 5 years or bad credit, bad debt and bad feelings … all due to crippling effects of bad information.
But those experiences don’t preclude me from asking Raymond’s Team candid questions about their marketing ability.
And so I did.
The true is, I grilled Raymond’s team (Ashar, Randy, Wendy and Geoff) about their marketing execution ability, web development skills, affiliate network, list responsiveness and deadline sensitivity.
After doing my due diligence, I negotiated a winning JV structure with Raymond’s business partner, Geoff Taylor. If bad information cripples your marketing ability, then good information accelerates it.
Accelerate sales and marketing growth was the end result of my first formal JV experience with Raymond Aaron.
We launched our very first Study Group Tele-Series together (a.k.a. “bookinar”) on November 6th in 2008 for Raymond’s masterpiece book Double Your Income Doing What You Love which is published by John Wiley & Sons.
Listen, it really doesn’t matter how well you think you know your “trusted advisors” or business colleagues. I encourage you to question their assumptions. Case closed.
The next time you want to avoid bad information, remember the famous words of Michael Corleone in that scene in Godfather 1: “It’s not personal Sonny, it’s strictly business.”
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