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Jay Rosenberg is a direct marketer, social scientist and creator of The Quant Method (TQM), the personality-based marketing discipline that influences how consumers decide to buy.
Jay is also president of JSR Advertising Corporation, a direct marketing agency he founded 24 years ago. Clients have included PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Chase Manhattan Bank, Sears, Metropolitan Life, Citicorp, Merrill Lynch, Dell Computer and GMAC.
The Quant Method (TQM) is a behavioral marketing strategy that identifies prospect and customer personality types, builds trust, enhances the user experience and influences how and when a person decides to buy.
MO: How did you come up with The Quant Method? What did the process involve and how long did it take to perfect?
Jay: Several years ago our agency lost a key client and we needed new business in a hurry. I couldn’t let any employees go because we had invested thousands training them and, frankly, they were a great group. We cut back to a four-day work week and I promised them our new business effort would restore a full work week as soon as possible.
I gave myself sixty days to create a new business strategy and get the agency back on track. It was intense. Agency competition is always fierce. I knew we had to come up with a solid advantage. We experimented. That’s when we learned how to “speed read” personality types over the phones while speaking with prospective clients. This gave us that edge because we were able to figure out exactly what each prospective client’s expectations were and what we needed to do to win their business.
For example, when we learn that a prospect is a “Thinker” personality type, then we know she loves details, is very serious and insists that we understand her business in depth. Another type, the “Olympian,” hates details and prefers to visit and have fun. When you know this about your prospects you can prepare the optimum office tour, find like-minded others for them to meet, “tune” the agency presentation and much more. We knew how to expect them to dress, how they took their coffee and pretty much what they’d like for lunch. We related to them, earned their trust and confidence, and often won their business. This was all based on figuring out and optimizing for their personality types.
At the end of 60 days we resumed a full work week without one employee casualty. And soon after, we began hiring again.
MO: How does TQM work? Is it possible to apply TQM in our personal lives as well as professional lives?
Jay: TQM works perfectly in our personal lives. In fact, we use it every time we meet someone though we don’t know we are subconsciously observing and evaluating them. For example, when we go to an event usually we gravitate towards people like ourselves (with our personality). On a date when we connect or try to connect it’s personality-based.
Sometimes it’s a case of “birds of a feather flock together” because it’s easier to get along with people like ourselves. Other times it’s a case of “opposites attract” because combined personalities have a broader world view and can solve problems better.
The objective of TQM is to build a relationship, even bond with a prospect or customer. The stronger the relationship the more likely they will buy from you when they are ready. An ad message is momentary. A bond gives you a kind of ownership of that person’s interest in your product. They will buy from you “when the moment is right” simply because they like you better.
MO: What were the most challenging aspects of developing TQM and how did you overcome them?
Jay: To determine personality types on a large scale requires many prospects to take a personality test. They generally are okay with that, but how many questions will they answer before their eyes glaze over? The answer is: Not very many.
The gold standard personality test has 70-plus questions. Way too many to ever ask. Our challenge was to create a test with just 14 questions that can be taken in a few minutes and has 100 percent correlation with the gold standard test. And we did that.
MO: Can you provide our readers with any tips for identifying different personality types in their prospective clients or customers?
Jay: A very good question. Your readers are going to need fundamentals and can find these and tips at our website, www.quantmethod.com . They can take the test there too. Everything is free for now. There are four personality types: Thinker, Mastermind, Olympian and Diplomat. The first thing to do is learn your own type.
Some types can be perceived as “out there.” And those out there types may see you the same way. Some types are more business oriented and would not be considered warm and super friendly. Some types are all about people and very friendly. These differences help us understand and relate to each other much better.
Each type has advantages and disadvantages, but type does not influence success in business or on a personal level. Type is a preference for how we view the world, how we make choices and decisions, how we may “feel” about something. It is not a lot different than being left-handed or right-handed.
MO: Do you believe that TQM has the ability to revolutionize how sales and marketing is done?
Jay: Several years ago I would not have said so. But the web has changed everything. Today we can market to each type in their own “language.” We can send graphics and content that is type specific. We can optimize websites for types. We can do partnerships with others and tell them how to market their products to our customer lists. For example, one type is an “early adopter” and almost certain to buy as soon as something new is out. That’s good to know. There is another type, the one that loves details, and sits on the fence making up their mind, that is likely to be among the last to buy. We can advise on how to handle this last-to-buy type so they buy sooner.
Finally, it’s a fact and marketers are starting to catch on: “Consumers view the world through a lens shaped by their personality types to guide their actions, choices and decisions — this is a powerful new way for marketers to influence behavior.”
MO: How were you able to conduct an online product launch that did 6 figures in the first 60 minutes ($100,000+)?
Jay: It was an awesome day. The launch was for a service in the healthcare category. There were two months of planning and preparation. Of course, it was intense and things went wrong, but once we began the 10-day run up to the launch the emails and videos were delivered with precision.
Timing and an overarching story helped to build excitement and anticipation, with teasing “peeks behind the curtain” and buzz planted in the community. We made the client into a “hero” giving back to colleagues after years of success. The service we offered had three levels of pricing, such as silver, gold, and platinum, because we knew that one of the personality types, the one who loves details and information, would spend more simply because they wanted more. We tuned our messages to this type. We knew also what the other types favored and tuned our messages to them.
At the moment of truth, Noon Eastern, it was real tense as we opened the cart. I mean, you never know what’s going to happen.
But they were waiting for us. We had prospects sitting in front of their computers hitting “refresh,” afraid they’d miss out because we introduced an element of scarcity. We knew we had limited capacity and could take just so many sign-ups. We let everyone know and that really pushed the sales volume. By the end of day one we did close to $200,000. On day three we changed the bonuses in the offer and said we might have to take down the program early because we were reaching capacity. That created a nice sales spike. At the end of the launch, day six, we had $400,000-plus sales.