Have you ever suspected that you should be making more sales than you are?
If so, you may need to look at your product, service, or offer in a different light. Look at all these from the buyer’s viewpoint rather than from your viewpoint as the seller.
Buyers act in their own self interest. They make purchases based on what a product or service will do for them. Some have termed this behavior “WIIFM” (what’s in it for me?). Often buyers could care less about product features, bells and whistles, and even price (at times). They are most concerned with how the product will impact them.
Will it solve a problem they have been struggling with? Will it make their life easier, simpler, or more fulfilling? Will it enhance their self perception or confidence or esteem? Will it give them pleasure, or reduce their pain?
Most products being sold are solutions to customer problems. The customers don’t really quibble over how a product will solve their problem. They don’t care so much about the technical aspects of what the product does. They just want it to fix their problem once and for all.
Every marketer devising an offer would do well to remember that buyers don’t give a horse’s behind about you the product creator, the marketer trying to make the sale, or the affiliate presenting the offer.
The buyer pulls out her a credit card because she envisions herself enjoying the utility, benefit, savings, or fun that this purchase will create. She sees herself 25 lbs. thinner, $3,000/month richer, or dancing the night away with Mr. Right that she hopes to meet!
The light bulb turned on for me when I finally realized that very often buyers don’t discover or recognize the benefit of a product on their own. If that benefit is not brought dramatically to their attention in the offer, they may never pull the trigger on the purchase. It’s why story telling, dream enforcing, and painting the ultimate outcome of the benefit to the buyer right into your sales copy always seems to work so well!
Here are ten simple ideas to consider when your offer seems to be falling on deaf ears:
1. Long lists of product specifications and technical features don’t motivate prospects. This has been proven over and over again in split testing. Tell about the product benefits to the buyer. WIIFM (“what’s in it for me”) should always be clearly answered.
2. Low price alone is rarely the tipping point in making a sale. It’s very difficult to compete successfully on the pricing alone because there are always marketers that will take pride on undercutting your price. The vendors in every niche can outsource to emerging countries and cut their costs to the bone. Besides, the cheapest product in the comparison is typically not the highest quality, for obvious reasons. How can you claim to have rock-bottom prices and, at the same time, claim your product quality is the best there is.
3. Copy that helps the prospect visualize herself deriving benefit is a critical element. We’ve already mentioned that painting a picture of the buyer and how happy she is after your solution works for her is a great component of your sales offer.
4. Testimonials work because they lead prospects toward the conclusion that if others derived benefit from the product, there’s no reason why they can’t benefit as well. Testimonials help to build trust in the buyer’s mind … that the product really did produce as claimed. Plus, consumers tend to trust other 3rd parties (even if they don’t personally know them) more than they trust the seller (at least on the initial purchase) who obviously has a biased opinion about the product he’s selling.
5. Explain the “reason why” your product gives the benefit you are portraying so the prospect convinces herself that she is making the smart buying decision she is about to initiate.
6. Boring sales copy either repels prospects or it puts potential buyers to sleep so that they are oblivious to your product benefits. Viewers are always anxious to move to the next thing on their list (even if they show interest in what you offer) and if you bore them, they will never see your offer beyond the first few sentences or paragraphs of the sales letter.
7. The use of the word “because” is a powerful selling principle – “this product is better than the competition because . . .” or “buy XYZ before midnight Friday because . . .” Reasons “why” always make your sales copy in the offer more plausible and less suspect of hype.
8. Images that paint a picture of a happy/satisfied buyer help to open the prospect’s mind. Subconsciously, the buyer inserts her/himself into that picture and imagines (dreams) what it would be like to ___________. Some marketing experts call this dream reinforcement.
9. Buyers quickly lose their mental picture and excitement over the product benefit if the sales transaction is too complicated, interrupted, onerous, or not imagined to be safe and secure. Trust of you and your financial system by the prospect is always crucial to the sale! It reduces the risk involved in transferring the buyer’s hard earned money to the vendor.
10. It’s always a good idea to reinforce the product benefits showcased in the offer again in the product and in the follow-up so the buyer isn’t left wondering why he bought the product in the first place. You need to leave the door to additional sales wide open!
If you get lots of traffic to your offer but you’re not making sales, you might want to scrutinize your sales letter with the thought that maybe your prospects just aren’t seeing themselves enjoying the benefits that can result from buying and using your product or service.
Remember this principle when you’re creating your next product or service. Ho-hum products with little to no actual benefit to the user are going to be very difficult to sell – don’t even begin to create something without the customer benefit foremost in your mind.
If you struggle to come up with a great offer, for whatever reason, you the copywriter haven’t yet painted a compelling enough personal image in the buyer’s mind so that she/he pictures himself enjoying the benefits of his purchase.
To your online business success!