When it comes to selling, the game is always afoot. Nerd alert: More than $1 billion has been spent on the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons since its debut in 1974. An estimated 20 million people have played the game known as D&D. With all this success, the makers of the game are intensely interested in continued selling success. There is a lesson for all sales people here.
Wizards of the West Coast, the Hasbro subsidiary that owns the game, has announced a new edition is under development, the first overhaul since 2008. Industry analysts and gaming experts agree that sales of all tabletop role-playing games are dwindling.
What are you doing to win the re-branding game? The time has come to communicate that your business is a game worth playing. Consider the following steps:
1. Play the name game. Create a business name or a website name that gives potential clients a hint at the results you can produce for them. The worst possible business name or website name is your name. I know, I know, McKinsey, Ford and Marriott are all named after the founders. But you are not them. Sorry to say, clients don't want us, they want our results.
2. State the object of the game. Write a headline for your website and marketing materials that describes your audience and the results you produce for them. Do this in no more than 10 words.
3. Try the pain game. Name your client's pain. What are your client's worries, frustrations and concerns that you help solve? This is also called the FUD factor: Fear, uncertainty and doubt.
4. Describe how to win the game. Describe your packaged solution or methodology for solving these pains. What process do you follow to produce results? Offering a proprietary problem-solving process that you name and trademark is best. This answers the all-important question in their minds: "Why should I do business with you instead of one of your competitors?"
5. Say how to lose the game. State the common misperception that holds many back from getting results. Why doesn't everybody do what you named in step 4?
6. Include the rules of the game. Tell your prospects what they need to do in general to solve their problem. Pretend they weren't choosing you and you had to describe the steps they should take for success.
7. Have fun with the game. Go on, have some fun making a list of any other benefits they get from following your methods. What other good things do people get when they do what you advise?
8. Score the game. Elaborate on your track record of providing measurable results for customers. Be specific as much as possible. Use numbers, percentages and time factors.
9. Win the tips game. Create a website with free tips articles on how to solve these pains. Each article should be about 300 to 600 words. What's a good format? onsider the numbered tips approach you are reading right now (easy to write, easy to read).
10. Award prizes for playing the game. Make prospects an offer of a free special report on your website. You are offering to trade them a valuable piece of information for their email address. Tell them they will also receive a tips eBook from you. Assure them you will maintain their privacy and they can easily opt off your list any time they want.
The main re-branding strategy D&D is using is research. The company is asking gamers what they want to see in the versions of the game. That is a great strategy for any company that wants to win the sales game.
(image courtesy of flickr user kennymatic cc)