Promise, LARGE promise is the SOUL of any advertisement

Two hundred fifty years ago, essayist, poet and author Dr. Samuel Johnson said, “Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.” And Ogilvy agreed.

When you get the promise right…by identifying, reinforcing, and emphasizing the strongest benefit… your product will practically sell itself.

It ain’t matter if you express yourself in perfect English.

The ONLY thing that will matter is that YOUR ideas are clear and easy to understand.


The concept of the prospect pyramid

Inside any group of prospects you might be pursuing it is vital to understand how literally any group you might be pursuing breaks down.

1% are rich

4% are affluent

15% are not only price-sensitive buyers, but they also have very little disposable income available to invest in what you have to offer.

80% of them are living on the edge financially and even thought they might have a dire need for what you have to offer, they simply can’t afford it.

Likely, it will seem obvious to you now that the success of your business lies in effectively reaching the top 5%. The folks in this category can easily afford your product or service and can easily afford to buy from you again and again.

Crafting a reliable and effective marketing and sales system that allows you to reach the top 5% effectively is at the heart of your ability to run a successful business, be profitable, and build wealth.

Do you have one?

Most business, especially small businesses do NOT. Instead, the live on hope, sweat, and far too much elbow grease in order to eak out a living. That’s not way to live, let alone run a business.

…it might be time to get to work.

Need help?

Subscribe to the Ash Flash OR take advantage of my free expert direct marketing consultation. You’ll be shocked at what I might be able to help you do in just one 30-minute phone call.

Click here for details

The democratization of your marketing dollars is a mistake. The most effective way to build a business, especially a small business, is by spending MORE on HIGHER VALUE prospects than you spend to attract the less valuable ones.

Stop ignoring this. You’re wasting a lot of money.


PS Here’s the proof of this concept…I know this was true when I was running my fitness business.

The customers or clients that made you into the successful, profitable company you are today did not come from SEO, clicks, or social media. Either accidentally or on purpose, they came from connecting with and building relationships with people who for whatever reason decided they knew you, liked you and trusted you to take care of them.

The Rewards of Being a Salesman

expert car buyer john c ashworth

Here’s what being a salesman means to me – Part 2

Click here for part 1 of this series

written by john c ashworth

One of the things I really love about being a salesperson is all the people time. All the connection. All of the potential that each new contact holds. For sales. For learning. For inspiration. For Friendship. And for that special blend of human connection that comes when two people meet, discuss their goals, their businesses, and the potential to help each other, and then decide to make a deal that is serendipitous for both.

This potential for connection and friendship is one of the things I miss most about my personal training and coaching business. Traveling to people’s homes for an intimate hour of focus on self-improvement is a terrific way to spend your days. A terrific way to build a really good life.

Of course, I approach all of my work as a salesman in this manner. It is just that some situations lend themselves a little more seductively to those deeper and more meaningful relationships. In addition, you can do things your own way when you’re running your own business. I’ve since moved on from my own business and if there’s one thing I really miss about it’s the ability to do exactly what needs to be done right now in order to build these kind of powerful, meaningful, and hyper-connected relationships with people.

This morning, I was up reading early as I almost always am and I came across something that touched this topic and this idea in a way that both inspired me, and reinforced this idea. I wanted to make sure and share it with you.

When you don’t invest in your prospect and customer relationships in this manner, over time, you become commoditized. You become the same as every other salesman and business out there. You are boring. You are uninteresting. You are lame. You are not interesting enough for anyone to really want to know more about you, why you do what you do, and how that can help and serve both your potential and current customers.

When you choose not to invest in these relationships in this way, you will find that over time, especially when it comes to your customers, positive feelings begin to erode, and they begin to look elsewhere for other solutions to their problems. In addition, even if they are not looking yet, they absolutely will and you will begin to find them poached by other, cheaper, and more interesting (primarily as a funciton of being newer to them) options. You will lose them. And if you let this go on too long, you will suddenly find yourself in a dire predicament and wondering what in the heck is happening to your business.

Eventually you will discover that you either stopped connecting or you never really connected in the first place. Either way, It won’t matter. You’ll be running in the thick sand down the beach toward that last jetty. Hoping to get around it and back to safety before the tide comes in.

Most businesses and business owners are much more willing to invest much more in their new customers than they are in the cultivation and strength of existing ones. This is a big mistake. This is silly math. Ignorant. Foolish. Lazy. Bad business.

Direct-response marketing, a system of sales and marketing that I’ve studied for more than two decades and which I continue to work toward mastery, lends itself perfectly to building this kind of relationship with your customers and prospects. The problem is that most don’t understand it at all. Most only see it only as a graceless, unfeeling, annoying and efficient way to make a sale. Worse, they might not even know what it is.

The truth is that it is in fact a very efficient way to make a sale; and to build incredibly strong bonds with your customers and prospects. Dig down just a little deeper and you’ll discover that it’s a whole lot more than that, and that it holds far more potential for your career, your business and your life than almost any other strategy you have the opportunity to implement in your small business.

Need an example or an idea that will help you understand this idea?

Dig down a even deeper into your products and services and reveal to me what business are you really in? What emotional triggers create your sales? What important problems are you solving with your products and services and how does your passion for this feed your desire to find potential customers, make a sale, and build a powerful relationship that can last a lifetime?

When you begin to think about your business in this way, you should also begin to see how many real opportunities you have each and every day to cultivate these connections and sales through your on-going and prolific communication with prospects and customers. And once you begin to make this connection, and you have happy customers with whom to build those relationships, you will also begin to see how powerful a regular printed newsletter could be, for example. Delivered personally to your customers’ mailbox and full of stories, expertise, and life-altering information that builds a stronger and stronger affinity to you, your products and services, and your brand.

The printed newsletter is just one of so many examples. I use it here because so few are committed to producing one. Or at the very least, producing a regular blog or email newsletter that will begin to help you accomplish the same things.

So why do so few understand this? Why are so few unaware of this method? Why do so few implement such a powerful business changing philosophy?

Direct-response marketing is the gritty blue collar factory worker with dirt under his finger nails, a little grease on his collar, and a lunch pale that looks like an old mailbox that he carries with him every day religiously because he’s devoted not only to his work, no matter how brutal, physical and demanding, but also to the nourishment he needs to feed himself so that he can feed his employer, his family, his loyal co-workers, and the American Dream.

Direct-response is NOT Madison Avenue. It is Main Street downtown. Where you eat breakfast at the same place every morning, not because the food is spectacular. You can get scrambeled eggs, toast, and a mediocre cup of coffee anywhere. What you can’t get anywhere is the true and lasting connections you build with the waitress, the cook and the owner who is committed to taking care of you because he loves you and makes you feel loved and earnestly does everything he can to ensure that he never loses touch with you.

I don’t go looking for customers to make sales. I work to make sales to get a customer, because once I make that sale, I’m fully aware and extremely grateful for how powerful and important that relationship, that friendship and that connection can become for both of us over time.

I look forward to our next conversation. Who knows what amazing places it might lead us 🙂


The Rewards of Being a Salesman – Part 1

john ashworth

Here’s what being a salesman means to me – Click here for Part 2

written by john c ashworth

I have often felt stymied by that question, “what would you do, John, if you no longer needed to earn a living anymore?” What would you do with your time and your days if money was not a concern and you had no other responsibilities clamoring for your attention? What would be next?

Just this morning, as I hung up the phone following a very productive online showcase of the products I’m currently selling I realized something profound.

“There’s actually no place I would rather be on a daily basis than selling and connecting with prospects and customers. Connecting with people.”

Really, it’s true.

I know it might sound a little corny and maybe even a little naive, but it’s true. Of course, I would spend a lot more time here on The Ash Flash too and with a few of my other hobbies, but overall? This is where I love to be.


First, it’s where the money is made in any business. And that’s the game I’ve been playing for many years now. A game that feels quite familiar to the mission of my youth. Trying to put the soccer ball into the back of the net. It’s always fun to be a part of the business development team and at the heart of helping to drive growth for any company. My own or otherwise. It’s always fun to score. This is important work. After all, the primary reason anyone goes into business is to make money. Serving customers is essential, but you need to make money too. Don’t ever forget that.

What I’m discovering as I get a little older, wiser, and exponentially better at my craft as a salesperson is someting much more profound and important for the health and success of your own sales team and your business as a whole. Your salsespeople are the people inside your company that most often possess the strongest relationships with your customers. They are the ambassadors of YOU and YOUR brand. The focal points of most of your initial and extremely important touchpoints inside your business and the system that serves them.

Sales is where the lasting and important connections with customers and prospects are started and very often solidified over the years when you have the right salespeople committed to their part in cultivating these relationships.

Notice that I still included prospects in that last sentence. Because even though I always hate to admit it, the reality is that at least initially, most people will NOT buy from you. Yet, there is still tremendous value in these interractions. For one, people often come back and buy later. Second, every interraction is a catalyst for sales expertise built over time and for the on-going goodwill you need to build inside your company’s structures and systems. Much of that good will is cultivated through the interactions your salespeople have with your customers and prospects every day.

But there is something else I’m realizing about this process that gets to the core of why I would keep doing it whether I needed to or not. The part that I truly cherrish and that lives at the heart of what I do every day. The connection it creates with another human being.

A connection that, once established, can literally last a lifetime and that which is at the heart of all human interaction. Sales puts me in front of people with whom I would have never had the opportunity to interact and very often leads to new thoughts, new ideas, new relationships, and sometimes even new friendships.

In addition, when you’re selling a good product, one that you believe in and that is truly designed to solve problems, these relationships and conversations and interactions solve problems for people and improve their business and their lives as a whole. When you’re lucky enough to find yourself in such a role you have an extremely unique opportunity to serve those you come in contact day to day in rewarding ways. You have a unique opportunity to connect.

I look forward to working with you for years to come.

Now, I gotta get back on the telephone.


It’s a mistake to become too predictable…

My family thinks I’m a little weird and that’s OK. They love me anyway. My customers? Prospects? The people I work with every day?

Well, you’d have to ask them personally, but I believe they get the sense I’m a little different too.

Why is this important?

Because it makes you more memorable. It makes you more interesting. It makes people want to pay a little closer attention to what you may or may not do next.

It takes a little courage to be this unique. When you put yourself out there like this, you won’t always impress everyone.

That’s the idea, you see…

To NOT impress and resonate with EVERYONE all the time. If that’s what you’re trying to do right now you really need to stop, because in reality, you’ll impress no one this way. You’ll get lost in the middle.  The idea is to impress, attract and build stronger and stronger bonds with those who will love you anyway.  Those who will love you because you are weird, different, and interesting and a real expert at what you do. An invaluable resource to your customers; and the people you serve.

The number one rule in marketing is NEVER to be boring.

Pay close attention…

Businesses break this rule every single day!