Bullet 13

How to Be Lucky

Dear Marketing Top Gun,

There are some secrets so important, I call them Silver Bullets, because they greatly enhance your success in all areas of life, including marketing. Such is Bullet #13.

Many people associate the number 13 with luck, which is why I saved this message for now.

Personally, I don’t believe that numbers, in and of themselves, influence your luck.

What will? I believe three factors are paramount.

But first, please understand that I’m not talking here about winning-the-lottery luck. The odds of such occurrences are so remote, they’re not worth investing much of your time or money.

You’ll be far more successful—and a lot luckier in life—if you seek good fortune in areas much more likely to pay off, such as seizing opportunities, having an edge in your business dealings, and developing a reputation as someone whose campaigns are consistently successful—often record-breakers.

What are the factors that make such good luck strike repeatedly in your life?

Three Factors That Make You Luckier

  1. Build up your “risk muscle.” In most people, the fear of loss is a much stronger motivator than the desire for gain. Knowing this can be quite useful in boosting your advertising response, as it can be very persuasive to spell out what your prospects will lose by not taking action.For example, Alan Rosenspan reports that in one study, people who were interested in saving home energy costs were asked one of two questions:”Did you know you can save an extra 75 cents a day by implementing our recommendations?”Or….”Did you know it costs you an extra 75 cents a day if you don’t implement these recommendations?”

    Question #2 won by a wide margin because it more directly tapped into our universal fear of loss.

    Of course, this fear, unfortunately, stunts our good luck if we live by it too rigidly. Most of the time we tiptoe through life too timidly. Like small children, we cling to the pole of our carousel pony tightly with both hands, afraid we may fall off if we stretch for the brass ring. Is it any wonder we keep going in boring circles, without a big dream to energize our souls each morning?

    Those who work with the elderly report that at the end of life, the most common regret is not over what we did, but what we failed to do: the chance not taken, the business not started, the invention not patented, the dream not followed, the talent not nourished, the novel not written, the product not tested, the trip not taken, the apology not offered—so much music that died, bottled up inside us, because we were too timid to let it out. Don’t let this happen to you!

    Jim Rohn has said, “If you don’t push timidity into a corner, it will push you into a corner.”

    The remedy: build your risk muscle, like any other, by using it more often, even in small things. A little more risk adds spice and adventure to life, and can greatly increase your good luck. Fortune favors the bold. A perfect example in marketing: make an offer to your prospects so outrageously generous, only a fool would refuse it. In one daring stroke, you can have a blast, electrify your marketing team, outflank your competitors, seize momentum, wow your prospects, trigger fantastic word-of-mouth, spark some media buzz, and uncork a geyser of new business.

    I wish I had learned many years ago this sensible rule from psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers, for whom I once test-marketed a newsletter on successful living: “If you can take the worst, take the risk.”

  2. Make “persistence” your job description. President Calvin Coolidge once said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.“One of my most successful clients, a top producer for Merrill Lynch, kept this sign over his desk: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”Other brokers would marvel at how “lucky” he was, because he so often “bagged the elephant” (signed up a super-wealthy client). The secret of his luck? He was more persistent than anyone else. He told me that most brokers give up on a prospect after calling two, three or, at most, four times and getting the brush off. He developed what he called his “rule of nine.” He would call on affluent prospects at least nine times.Why nine? On average, it would take him nine calls to strike gold—yet most other brokers threw in the towel after just three or four! When telemarketing fell out of favor, he switched to personalized direct mail (which is how he came to retain me), and found that his persistence paid off even better in direct mail.Want to bag more elephants in your business? Apply your own rule of nine contacts—through an e-zine to your industry, a free online e-course to your best prospects, a personal direct mail campaign, free offline newsletter, simple follow-up calls, anything proven to work in your industry and that offers something of value repeatedly to your best prospects. Nine hooks dangling in the water—or 25—will catch more fish than one.

The Single Most Important Factor In Boosting Your Good Luck

  1. To reach a destination, you must first have one. In my experience, the most important ingredient in filling your life with good luck isclarity— clarity about what you want.Put simply, when you are clear about what you want, you are much more likely to get it.As the Zen master said to his archery student, “If you aspire to hit a target, you must first see it.” Before you can arrive at a destination, you must first have one.This is so obvious, it seems almost simple-minded. Yet how often do we rush into activities, relationships, and projects—sometimes wasting months if not years—without first investing just sixty seconds to ask ourselves, “Why am I doing this? What is my goal here? What outcome do I hope to experience?”You’ll be so much luckier in life—and in marketing—if you define and then picture your successful outcome before plunging in.

    For example, before you invest days or weeks writing your next ad, take just sixty seconds to picture it being a smashing success and how good that makes you feel. Then review your clear image of success before every new work session, to keep yourself heading straight for the target you’ve now envisioned.

    Likewise, before you hurry into your next three-hour marketing meeting, picture clearly what you want to see as the successful outcome of this meeting. Your clear vision beforehand will keep bringing the meeting back into sharp focus when people wander, and you’ll accomplish a lot more.

    And before you give anyone on your marketing team an assignment—whether to find a new list universe or develop a breakthrough new product—clearly define for them your vision of a successful outcome, so it can guide them at every step.

    As the military genius Sun Tzu said, “The battle is won before it is engaged.” The architect sees her majestic skyscraper long before the first shovel breaks earth.

    In every major activity, first devote a few moments to clarify and clearly picture your objective. When you are crystal clear about what you want, and then envision success vividly and repeatedly, all the universe conspires to help you.

    This is because your mind is like a powerful radio transmitter, and when you mentally broadcast with clarity, regularity and vivid mental imagery exactly what you want to experience, the whole universe is listening. Forces seen and unseen respond to your call. Allies assemble. Assistance arrives, opportunities materialize, often from the most unexpected sources. Sure it’s good luck, but good luck that you’ve attracted to yourself by broadcasting a clear message of your desired outcome.

    Psychologists say the reverse is also true. When you broadcast worry and fear, or images of hate, hostility and anger, you will attract these to yourself as well.

    The key is to realize that you have been given by your divine creator the free will to broadcast whatever signals you wish and, in so doing, attract into your life exactly what you broadcast.

    Every day, before each major activity you undertake, remember to imagine with clarity exactly what you’d like to experience, and you will be astonished at how lucky you become.

    Sincere wishes for a good life
    and (always!) higher response,
    Gary Bencivenga Signature

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