WHAM! Jiu Jitsu Marketing

by Sarah on January 7, 2010


WHAM!  My husband, C, hit the floor with a resounding thump. 

Before he could even recover he found himself trapped between his assailant’s legs, his windpipe and the arteries to his brain only a few muscle clenches away from a deadly squeeze.  His face was contorted with the effort of resisting, his deep brown skin taking on a slightly maroon tone as the blood rushed to his head.

 And then with a tap of his hand, it was over. 

 Quickly disentangling her legs, his ruthless opponent leaped lightly to her feet and grinned down at him as he lay there recovering,

 “Dad . . . ” chortled my daughter as she took in the full extent of her victory.

 Now my husband is no pushover.  He’s a rock-solid 180 pounds.  He easily benches 350 and uses his 18-inch biceps to chop cords of wood, move feedbags and wrestle pigs on a regular basis. 

How could this 12-year-old girl – barely 100 pounds – topple her dad so easily and then with a few deft moves put him at her mercy?

Keep reading and I’ll tell you how.  But not only that, I’ll show you how this works in copywriting and marketing as well.

Jiu Jitsu and Marketing – It’s Not About Muscle

Okay, without question it takes some muscle to do these moves.  But if muscle were the deciding factor, my husband would never be in the position he was.  (He’s not one to placate – he never lets our kids win at cardgames!)

When my daughter brought him to the ground, she used moves from one of the most effect martial arts – jiu jitsu.  She did three things:

  1. She got close to him by stepping forward and pulling him into her . . .
  2. She angled him just the right way . . .
  3. And finally, the best of all, she called on gravity and used his weight against him.

 When she puts these three elements together, all of C’s mass, bulk, and power meant nothing – in fact they even worked against him.

To win your prospect over, you have to do the same thing in your copywriting and overall marketing plan.  Here’s how:

Marketing Jiu Jitsu Move #1: Get Them Close To You

The first thing you need to get from your prospects before they give you their money is their trust. 

Trust can be earned in a number of ways, from putting your house up as collateral to spitting on your palm and shaking hands.  However, a more practical alternative – and more socially acceptable than spitting – is simply by building familiarity.  Allow people to get to know you.

And for this, the recipe is simple:

1)      Communicate a lot and

2)      Communicate as a real person.

It’s why I’m trying to write to you more often.  Why I’m working on my blog and twittering (something I thought I’d never do!).

It’s the kind of marketing referred to in Copyblogger’s seminal blog The Harpoon and The Net about the difference between a one-time shot of a sales letter and the gradual build-up of relationship-marketing. 

Rather than coming out of nowhere, grabbing someone’s hand in a firm handshake and opening up your spiel about how you’d like to sell something to them, you start slow.  You start by introducing yourself and sharing your thoughts, stories from your life, some useful insights, etc.

You invite the other person to share as well: Ask them in your blog to comment, use surveys in your email campaigns or create a forum.

You get to know each other.

Even in a one-shot sales letter or landing page, you reveal yourself up front to build credibility.  Perhaps you refer to some vulnerabilities, let it get a little personal. 

Let your prospect get to know you.  Get close.

I can’t count the number of business transactions I do with a business simply because I’m familiar with them. 

People buy familiar brands.  You take your car to the guy you know down the road because he’s always done right by you.  And you know he’s a good guy because he coaches your kid in soccer. 

You buy your piglets each spring from your friend because you trust each other and you know the friendship insures that you’ll each do right be each other . . .

Okay, we’re not all buying piglets.  But you know what I mean. 

 Jiu Jitsu Marketing Move #2:  Angle Them Just The Right Way

Okay, as nice as the first part sounds, you’re still wearing the salesman jacket – even if it’s stuffed down beneath the fuzzy pink sweater of relationship-building you put on over it.

You need to have a plan with your relationship-building communication.  Because, sure, it would be nice to hang out and muse about the weather all day.  But you’ve got a business to run.  And truth be told, your prospects have needs, problems, desires that need to be taken care of.   Urgently.  They can’t stay and chat either.

So you angle the conversation – you direct it.  You talk about your prospects’ worries and desires and focus the discussion on solving that problem. 

You draw their attention to that wonderful solution you present.  Address their questions and doubts.  And keep them focused on how much your solution will help them.

You put the your finely honed jiu-jitsu skills to work.  You know just where to push and where to pull so that with the right move your prospect is ready to topple over into a sale.

Jiu Jitsu Marketing Move #3:  Use The Weight of Their Desire to Close the Sale

I had plenty of reservations about getting into marketing.  As a skinflint, I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of pushing people to buy stuff.

But then I realized I wasn’t going to be twisting people’s arms and manipulating them to buy something they’ll never use.

No, marketing a good product is making sure that the people who are desperately looking for a solution like the one you offer can find it. 

We all have problems.  And the desire to fix them can chew at your insides mercilessly. 

So when you build up that momentum to close a sale in your marketing process, you’re not pushing your prospect up a mountain as they’re flailing away at you and yelling, “Help!”.

Au contraire.  Once you’ve angled them right and established some trust – if you develop the rest of your sales process right – they’ll almost be pulling you along.  They will be so anxious to get this solution that will change their lives.

How do you do this?  Focus on the benefits of your product.  Focus in particular on the deeper benefits, the ones that really transform their lives. 

Not the way that a bone-health supplement will strengthen their bones.  No, talk about how they can keep biking and ice-skating without worrying about a fracture taking them out from out of nowhere.

With your supplement, they don’t have to worry and give up the activities they love to do.

Paint a vivid picture of the benefits.  Describe the scene of their problem solved so they can really envision a tangible reality in their future if they choose your project.

And make that picture even more real by providing ample evidence that your product can bring them there.

By the time you finish painting the picture of the benefits your product brings.  Once you make it feel realistic, close, possible by providing good support for your promise, your prospects’ desire for your product becomes a powerful force.

It is now their own hope for a solution to a problem combined with their own belief that you can provide it that brings them to order page.  You’ve just set it in motion.  But the weight of their desire drives that conversion.

My daughter didn’t have to struggle to lay my husband out flat.

And you shouldn’t be struggling with your prospects to get them to buy.

It’s a simple 1,2,3 move.  Performed right, you easily bring your prospect toppling over to the “Order Now” button.

  1. Get close.
  2. Angle.
  3. Use their weight against them.

Now –  for the marketing lesson in the windpipe-squeezing triangle hold that my daughter finished off with  –  hmm.  I’ll have to give that some more thought and get into that another time. 

So what do you think?  Any markeing jiu jitsu moves to share?


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ben Waugh January 7, 2010 at 11:27 AM

I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

Osvaldo Reise December 8, 2010 at 8:21 AM

Thank you for another fantastic blog. Where else could I get this kind of information written in such an incite full way? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I have been looking for such information… Regards…

admin December 8, 2010 at 9:31 AM


Thank you for the feedback – glad to help. Hope it helps you develop a “knock-out” promotion.

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