You might recall the old saying “It's not what you say, it's how you say it.” I'm not sure that holds true for everything, but I do know that it's the truth when it comes to crafting your sales offer. Many different studies using split testing have proven that changing the marketing message changes the number of sales. So what's the secret to crafting sales offers that work easily and often?
The biggest mistake that I see business owners make is trying to sell on logic rather than emotion. Logic tells but emotion sells. When people say they buy on logic they are almost always mistaken. We buy based on our emotions, and then we proceed to justify what we've just bought based on logic.
I saw a great example of this just recently when I was in Mexico with some friends. They have long held negative feelings about the many timeshare offers proffered along Mexico's beaches, stating over and over again that they would absolutely never do a timeshare deal. For at least 4 years now they have visited Mexico's beautiful beaches and attended numerous timeshare presentations, taking the free gifts offered but never biting on the presentation. But this time around, they bought! I was shocked at first, but then I began to apply what I know about sales offers to what happened with them. Why they bought then became crystal clear.
The couple attended a presentation and were asked a question they'd never been asked before. “How do you feel about the hotel you normally stay in when you are here?” That simple question unleashed a torrent of frustrations and complaints from the couple, who had seen their favorite hotel at the beach change from a great resort to an ill-maintained and understaffed property. The crowning blow was the outdoor hot tub, which had been broken the entire two weeks of their stay.
What did the sales agent's question do? It brought up the couple's emotions. All he did was sit and listen – and then he led the couple to a five-star, brand-new timeshare unit. Talking to them about the property's seven-year maintenance program while he showed them brand-new pools, and gorgeous two-bedroom units with big closets and full kitchens, he only had to structure a price and payment schedule that met their financial circumstances to do the deal.
What I noticed, though, was that once our friends came back to the hotel to join us, they didn't quite know how to explain what they'd done. After all, they'd adamantly told us for many years that no one in their right mind would purchase a timeshare. So, they started telling us all the logical reasons they bought, which to me was comical. This couple did not buy based on logic. They bought on emotion and then tried to justify with logic what they had done. Of course, there's nothing wrong with buying a timeshare (or anything else) if that's what one wants and what one can afford. The point is, this was an emotional purchase – and almost all purchases are exactly that.
A second mistake I see business owners make is related to the first. I so often see business owners talk about what they have to offer from a logical standpoint, trying to be professional and without emotion. It just won't work! You want to make an offer that does one of two things. It either helps the person get what he is passionate about, or it solves what the person is in pain over. Simply, your offer must do one or the other. The most compelling offers do both. An example? Think of a parent whose child is sick. The parent is passionate in their love for their child, and is in a great deal of emotional pain that the child is hurting. Whatever that parent is offered that will feed their passion and cure their pain will be a winning offer!
Often, a business owner can talk about passion or pain from their own perspective, telling their own story and how they came to be offering what they do. “I once had an Internet business that made no money at all, and I was determined to figure out what I was not doing right. I've studied, gone to workshops, and spent hours changing things around. I can quickly and easily tell you what you need to know so that your website makes money, too.” That's an example of a story that evokes pain.
A third mistake I see business owners make is creating vastly different copy (or script) for their offers depending on how the offer is made. But if you stop to think about it, you want to make your offers fit what the prospect wants or needs (their passion or pain) more than you want to change it around based on how you make your offer. If your sales copy “bones” are good, they will work no matter if you are selling one-on-one, from the platform, in a teleclass or teleseminar, or from an Internet sales page. You might change the length of the offer, but the sales copy can remain much the same. If you make the mistake of writing completely different copy for each type of sell, you run the risk of making the simple hard and losing sight of what your prospect's passion or pain is. It's important for all your sales methods to showcase a consistent message.
Here's an easy way to get started writing (or speaking) sales copy. I owe this to John Carlton, who taught me this in a sales copy workshop. Begin by filling in the blanks of this sentence:
I help _____________ to do _________________ even though _______________________.
For example, I help solo professionals build six-figure businesses, even though they have been in business a while and not been profitable yet. Or, I help bald men grow more hair, even if they have been bald for a long time. Or, I help overweight women get fit, even though they may never have exercised before in their lives. The beauty of this sentence is that you already highlight what a prospect may have in his head as an objection, and take it away. Additionally, you begin to evoke emotion! Emotion sells, remember?
Sometimes I work with clients who insist they cannot find any emotional triggers that apply to the product or service they are offering. This tells me one of three things:
1) You don't have something that is saleable.
2) You are looking at what you have to offer from the wrong angle, and need to change your perspective completely to come at it from the prospect's point of view.
3) You need help in understanding what you offer and the problem it solves, quickly!
If you are using the right emotional triggers for what you have to offer, sales will move right along. You can check this by thinking about why your most recent customers bought. If they've done testimonials for you, review them and make a list of the underlying emotions . Change your sales copy to reflect these emotions and test it out – you will probably increase your sales! Remember to talk about the problem you solve in terms of passion or pain relief, and you are on your way to frequent and easy sales.
(c) Sue Painter