Appreciate one solitary straightforward fact: prospects and clients buy for their personal reasons and not your reasons. They really don’t care about your firm, your mission statement or the elongated catalogue of product features you have so adeptly articulated to them. They really only concern themselves with what benefits your proposal will bring.
They crave that benefit, the impact, the enhancement, the reassurance and the protection it will bring. A good number of small business marketing efforts fails to deal with these essential client requirements straightforwardly. Instead, they centre on the importance of their product or service and neglect what is really important!
Small business marketers are regularly their own nastiest enemies! They are repeatedly not communicating at the buyer’s level. They are too busy devising ways of how to “sell”, rather than discovering the reasons why the client “buys”.
Direct Mail Marketing Whilst trying to generate customers, Marketers frequently endeavour to reach the populace via Direct Mail. But how do they demonstrate their differences from their competition? How does their message stand out? Seldom do they ever adopt the professional approach.
Regrettably, we are ever likely to see this sort of approach…
- “Time Sensitive Material Inside!”
- “Savings inside!”
- “Important Notification!”
Marketers must find a way to make a clear-cut characteristic difference between their products and their firm. But with advertising – even on television, there needs to be a convincing communication – that compelling message which will place the company and its products in the forefront. But what can they say to be that compelling? How do they get this message across especially using the Internet?
The problem is the type of marketing strategy which is utilised. Are you pushing your product or are you pulling the client? There is an essential difference here. Why should buyers pay attention to why you think your product is so great?… Buyers only care about their needs and take action for their own personal reasons. True… very true indeed!
The 7%-38%-55% Rule of Communication. Plentiful studies have been completed over the years on how people respond, become motivated, take action and buy. There are certain ways of persuading people to make their purchase… but moving them to feel like buying is quite an additional thing.
The rule quite simply states that…
- 55% of communication is attributable to non-verbal behaviours like body language and facial expressions
- 38% of communication is attributable to voice intonations including volume, tone, pitch, tempo, and quality
- 7% of communication is attributable to the words which are used.
Notwithstanding this credible substantiation, companies seem to stay with piling on profuse amounts of text, in a futile expectation that search engines will index it and that someone might actually read it, even though… around 70% of website visitors simply scan for headlines, bulleted points and captions!
The Push – Pull effect When you push your products, you are, fundamentally, telling the client that they should buy from you because of your reasons. With this self-centred approach you repeatedly run into a wall of objections and delays. Pushing the product forces them out of their comfort zone and places pointless demands on their decision making process. An inexorable battering of closing techniques pushes them away from a purchasing decision on their terms.
Conversely, pulling a buyer through the purchasing procedure is much more efficient. When you pull you are leading them to their acquisition rather like leading a horse to water. You smoothly guide them through your features and benefits and they come to a decision on their terms. If they resist, you have obviously not educated them enough with information to motivate them, or you haven’t addressed their objections satisfactorily.
How to put customers off completely I’m not suggesting that we even attempt to try the cliché method of web sales page layout, which quite often includes…
- Overly large bold headlines
- Massive amounts of text
- Yellow highlighted words
- Photos of smiling ugly “customers”
- Photos of smiling nonexistent staff (models)
- Lots of useless free rubbish
- Bulleted points with large red ticks
- Too many “testimonials” and quotations with more dreadful photographs
- Bold, underlined, bright red text
- The phrase ‘But Wait, There’s More’ offering a collection of useless free e-books you’ll never read and special bonus gifts you don’t want
- A plethora of ‘Click Here To Order” buttons at every turn
These sorts of presentations could be made in a matter of minutes using a professional copywriter / advertising firm, who would place everything on one short page… which says it all… quickly.
Web Marketing Formulae On the Web, there are a large number of disheartening direct marketing formulae that you see in such things as sales pitches for magazine subscriptions. Can you really expect people to take you seriously when you adopt this ridiculous approach to marketing? It is a formula that mocks all the careful research and every other usability study that has been carried out, warning against overloading website visitors with excessive quantities of text. People may think it’s ideal for driving traffic to your site, but if you check your reports, 50% of that traffic disappears in a few seconds, because people don’t want to see this approach anymore!
This format is an outdated sales technique that doesn’t work in a Web environment where people find it difficult to read (and really don’t want to read) large amounts of text. It is also an approach that insults the intelligence of your potential customers!
Meet the requirements of the Customer… not you The buyer will only make a decision when they are comfortably contented that your offer has met all of their purchasing criteria. As a seller, you must pull them through the process and always let them stay within the limits of their comfort zone. It’s by staying within these boundaries that trust is established and a long-term rapport is built with the client.
The purchasing process is entirely rooted in the perceptions of the buyer. They have ultimate control over the process, you don’t. Your ultimate job as a marketer is to properly develop all your communications to make the client feel at ease and lead them to the best outcome…that is… ultimately purchasing your product or service.
No Motivation… No Customer Two things motivate all potential customers: 1) a feeling of dissatisfaction and 2) a desire for change. All first-rate advertising creates a focused storyline with an outstanding message that stirs the emotional discontent in the audience and offers a way out that will initiate change.
“Motivation” is a very misunderstood word in sales and marketing, despite its multiple synonyms: induce – activate – propel – stir – move – instigate – stimulate – arouse – impel – provoke – hearten -influence – persuade – goad.
For the Marketer, motivating a Buyer is getting that Buyer to take “The Next Steps.” That means that they must know what drives today’s Buyers to take action.
Thank goodness people have an insatiable desire for what’s new and improved! We are a species motivated to constantly strive for more: more money, more control, more achievement, more success; and when we have more things, we want better things. We are in a continuous condition of desire.
The advertiser’s work is to access that craving and push that motivational button so that the visitor takes action. Motivation is the “silver bullet” that will eliminate the “Information Overload Werewolf”.
Create Dissatisfaction The work of advertisers is to create a degree of dissatisfaction in its target market. If people are contented with how they look or come across, they are not going to buy that special skin cream or those diet books. If people are contented with their old Television they are not going to buy that huge LCD flat screen TV with surround sound and built in gaming machine. If people are contented with who they are, where they are in life, and what they have, they are just not customer-potential, that is, unless you create that dissatisfaction within them.
Most cosmetic advertisements feature a stunning looking girl promising that you too can look like them, if only you use their product. This approach is based on showing a principle that the audience will indisputably be unable to argue with. After seeing what they could look like, they are no longer content with what they do look like at the moment, and are now motivated to buy into that promise of being changed for the better.
Creating Successful Dissatisfaction You must first decide to whom the campaign is aimed. We each have a self-image; in fact we each have four self-images. In order to employ a marketing campaign that motivates action, you must access the emotional and psychological realms of desire.
We must also work out which “self” our product or service serves.
1. The Outer-Self This is the one we present to the rest of the world. If we sell high priced luxury goods or services that appeal to status, we are probably aiming our presentation at the outer-self, the one we display to other people.
2. The Private SelfThis is the self we hide from the rest of the world. If we sell a hidden pleasure product or service we should probably direct our presentation to the private-self, the one we keep locked away and hidden.
3. The Ideal Self This defines who we wish we could be. If we sell a self-improvement or motivational product or service, we want to access the ideal-self, the self we urgently wish to become.
4. The Actual SelfThis defines who we really are. If we sell a product or service that justifies our real behaviour, then it’s the actual-self we want to target.
Accessing the right sort of dissatisfaction
- The dissatisfaction we are accessing may be active or inactive. Active dissatisfaction like having acne or being overweight is a concern that the audience is aware of. Inactive dissatisfaction like halitosis or body odour, is a problem that the audience is unaware of.
- To what degrees is our audience able to recognise that a problem exists even after we make it active? Does our audience concede they are overweight, have halitosis, or need a new promotional strategy or do they deny or fail to recognise the existence of any problem
- Next we need to decide whether the real meaning of dissatisfaction is general or specific. Will our audience be happy with any solution that comes along or does satisfaction depend on fulfilling a specific requirement?
- Lastly we must determine if the dissatisfaction is based on a desire for something or on the avoidance of something. We may desire an glamorous sports car to show-off our wealth and status to friends and colleagues, or we may avoid driving a flashy car, no matter how rich we are, to avoid showing-up our friends and colleagues.
- Once we have analysed the nature of our audience’s dissatisfaction and the ability of our product or service to achieve change, we can create an effective marketing campaign. If your website content doesn’t connect with your audience’s desire for change, if you’re website traffic is not motivated by dissatisfaction, then that traffic is just plain old congestion, with no intrinsic value whatsoever.