Do people want what you sell?

Do people want what you sell?

If you read my previous article, Is your brand killing your sales growth?, you may, or may not, have noticed that I referred to people wanting what you sell instead of needing what you sell.

This was done on purpose because people may, or may not buy what they need. However, they will usually find a way to buy what they really want.

Even if they buy something they need, they will buy it from the vendor they want.

If you want your website and advertising to be successful, you must make prospects want what you sell.

What’s going on inside the buyer’s mind?

Every buyer has a conversation going on inside their mind that revolves around two related issues.

  1. There’s a problem they have that they don’t want.
  2. There’s a solution they want that they don’t have.

Less than 8 seconds

According to a number of studies, that’s all the time you have to capture someone’s attention with you website, ad or any other marketing material. If you haven’t grabbed them in eight seconds, they are hitting the back button or turning the page—and they are gone.

Between the Internet, TV, radio, billboards, social media and other sources, the average U.S. adult is bombarded with over 117,000 messages a week. We generally tune out the vast majority unless something speaks directly to us on a personal level.

How do you make it personal?

First, you must know exactly who your ideal customer is. Without knowing that, you cannot personalize your message. You can find more detail on determining your ideal customer in my previous article on branding.

Second, you must focus your headline on the specific problem your product addresses in a way that immediately grabs the attention of your targeted audience. Let them know you understand their issue.

Third, you must let them know in your subhead that you have the solution they’ve been seeking. If you make it immediately obvious that you can solve their problem with your solution, you will capture their attention—at least for a moment. What you do with their attention will determine whether you have a new customer or just a near miss.

Educate and liberate

Your content must educate your audience to show them how you heal their pain and why your solution is the best way to free them from their problem.

Here’s where most companies fall down. They assume they are selling a laundry list of features that their customers need. They fill their advertising, website, brochures and conversations with all the details that describe what their product is instead of how it solves the buyer’s problem—what their customers want.

Features vs Benefits

A feature is an aspect of your product. Features appeal to the logical side of the brain.

A benefit is how that feature, or a set of features, removes the pain your customer is experiencing. Benefits appeal to the emotional side of the brain and create a much more powerful connection and desire.

For example, an eight-core 3.0 Ghz processor and 64GB of high-speed RAM are both features for a high-end computer targeting video editing professionals. The benefit is you can run multiple 4K video source files and special effects simultaneously to composite your final scene in real-time, without aggravating lag.

Granted, most of us don’t need this type of horsepower, or want to pay that high price tag for our everyday computer. However, if you are editing professional videos day after day, you want this monster power at your fingertips to make your work faster, easier and more enjoyable.

Never Assume

Regardless of how knowledgeable your target audience is, they most likely don’t know as much about your product as you do. In addition, they have busy lives with lots of priorities.

You can include the features of your product as long as you directly tie each one to a benefit. Your audience isn’t going to take the time to connect the dots on how the features of your product are going to benefit them by removing their issue.

Even in the rare case where your ideal customer may understand how a feature may benefit them, painting a clear picture of how they will be better off by using your product will reinforce that relationship in their mind and create an emotional bond that leads to them wanting what you sell.

Make them an offer they can’t refuse

You’ve grabbed their attention by bolding addressing their problem.

You’ve promised them the solution they’ve been wanting.

You’ve shown them why they want what you’re selling.

Now what?

Unfortunately, far too many companies stop there without offering a strong call to action—or at best simply provide a generic “Call for more information”, “Call for a free consultation” or “Call for a free quote”.

In today’s world, we have become conditioned to know that if we call, we will get a sales pitch—and we don’t like being SOLD before we are ready to buy. While there will be some in your target group who are ready to buy right now, the vast majority are still in the process of gathering information.

Depending on the product or service you sell, this information gathering could take as little as an hour all the way to weeks, or even months, to reach the buy now phase.

If the only choice you give them is “call now”, you will lose most of the information gatherers.

Provide them with a low-risk/no-risk offer to continue their buyer’s journey and begin establishing a relationship with you. This can be in the form of a report, case study, guide or checklist.

For example, a kitchen remodeler might offer “Seven Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Kitchen Remodeler to Avoid a Nightmare”. This would include questions such as:

  • Are their workers fully insured?
  • What guarantees and warrantees are provided for materials and workmanship?
  • What condition will the work site be left in at the end of each day?
  • Is there an inspection process in place before the workers leave each day?

Of course, make sure you include how you answer all of these questions positively. There should be areas that benefit your customer where you outperform your competitors.

Low risk/no risk

All they have to do is give you their first name and best email address to receive your valuable free offer. That’s all you really need to begin a dialog with them by following up with them through email, feeding them more valuable information and nurturing your relationship with them.

Every additional piece of information you require them to enter will reduce the number of requests for your offer. You can get additional information from them later in the process.

Putting it all together

Making people want what you sell is a simple step-by-step process. It will require work to optimize each step, but follow the formula, and you will be successful.

  1. Know your ideal customer and the problem that’s plaguing them.
  2. Boldly address their pain in your headline.
  3. Promise you have the solution in your subhead.
  4. Educate them how what you sell is the best way to conquer their problem, using benefits to paint a compelling picture of how their life will be better with your product.
  5. Use a strong call to action that offers them a low risk/no risk way to continue their journey to the final purchase decision.
  6. Nurture the relationship by following up with more valuable benefits your product provides. Follow these six steps, and you will build desire in your prospect to the point where they want what you sell.

Remember, people buy what they want.

Here’s to your success!

Phil Drake

P.S. If you’re not seeing the returns you want from your advertising or website, I’d be happy to answer any questions.

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