Thursday, July 4, 2013



Your marketing communications- web sites, newsletters, direct mail, sales letters, etc.- REALLY DO often make your company's first impression. Focus the content on the customer. Engage his thoughts. Appeal to his desire to solve a problem. Show empathy. Then, and only then, introduce your product/service as a solution. The secret to building better customer relationships is customer-centric marketing copy. It's your super secret customer handshake! 5 tips for writing customer-centric sales copy Whether you're writing web site copy, a newsletter, a press release, a sales letter or an email, the focus belongs on the reader, your potential or current customer. Put yourself in their shoes. Write down the features of your product or service. Then write down the benefits those features mean to your customers. The benefits list is where you're going to get the meat of your content. Not from your features, but from the benefits. 1) Walk a mile in your customers' shoes Make that 5 miles. Good marketing copy addresses a need, but great marketing copy goes the extra 4 miles to prove you understand their situation, you've been there too and you know exactly how to help. You know your business better than anyone so it isn't too far of a leap to guess when and why your customers buy from you. For example, 1800Flowers sends an email near the date you last ordered as a birthday or anniversary reminder. Sometimes, marketers are on the selling side for so long that they forget why customers buy. Before you communicate with your customers for any reason, get a refresher on what they want and need from you. Be sure you know: • Their problem or challenge and why it's a problem • If they are familiar with your company, product or service • Any "pain points" associated with their need/want • Changes in their view of your industry, your company or the world (think Exxon Valdez incident) • Who REALLY makes the purchase and who gets your marketing collateral (they're not always the same person) 1st Warning: Don't assume you know the answers already. Review them before each customer marketing contact and it just might be a light bulb moment that could change your marketing approach and the results. 2nd Warning: Don't think this customer-centric approach doesn't apply to your product/service or company. Whether you're family-oriented travel company, a software program vendor or a business consultant, customer-centric copy is key to building relationships and earning first and subsequent sales. 2) Don't be the "it's all about me" guy Customer-centric copy talks to the reader about the reader. This goes for online or offline marketing copywriting. It's one of the rules that remain the same for both mediums. Speak directly to the reader addressing him as "you", not "our customers." Write about the emotion involved. Remember, humans respond to empathy and it's their point of view that matters, not your company's. 3) Your customers have a problem; they just don't know it yet Pharmaceutical companies didn't invent this concept, but they perfected it. The drug companies started bypassing the doctor and marketing straight to the consumer. Patients made doctor appointments for prescriptions only. The frequency with which these ads appear has the power to create symptoms. The customer-centric copy comes full circle. Problem. Empathy. Solution. 4) Speak to customers in their language Pharmaceutical media and print ads are written and spoken in everyday English. Children understand them. But the package insert is another story. By the time the patient gets to the insert, the sale is made and now the lawyers take over. But talking to people in their language FIRST made the sale. Use their language as your keywords. If you're selling cow nectar but everyone calls it milk, you better call it milk too because people don't search for cow nectar, they search "milk." 5) You can't please everyone, so don't sell to everyone 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients. The 80/20 rule applies to marketing as well as sales. Get to know that 20% and market specifically to that 20%. Are they the decision makers? Are they the end users? Are they the ones who will directly benefit? Do they have other people to convince? Anything new about your product/industry they should know? It's not how well you know your product that is going to determine the level of your sales and your success; it's how well you know your customer. Where you go from here depends on how well your marketing content speaks to and engages him. And what should you do if you're just too close to your product/service to get a clear customer perspective? Hire a professional copywriter of course.


Lowering sales resistance is one of THE most important things you can try to tackle throughout your copy. You see, people LOVE buying, but they hate getting sold to. So if you want to make sales, you need to lower the sales resistance that person is already having. And if you're not exactly sure what sales resistance is, have you ever walked onto a car lot and had a car salesman walk up to you, trying to figure out what you want to buy? That feeling you get, you know, the feeling of wanting to punch them in the face and do your own what prospects are feeling as they're reading your copy. So before I get into these 5 steps for lowering sales resistance, let me explain the process your business goes through as you gain enough momentum to win the sales resistance war and turn your prospect into a customer. Losing The Sales Resistance Battle At First At first, you're going to start off losing the battle. You prospect is literally trying to find reasons to say no to whatever you're selling them. Think about it, the majority of people out there are trying to look for excuses for EVERYTHING. Want to lose weight? People will have excuses why they can't. Want to make more money? Same thing. This goes for everything, and there's no exception to the product you're selling. Your job at this point is to create trust in the prospect and at least get them to contemplate owning whatever you're selling them. And eventually when you get them interested enough you'll hit a... Sales Resistance Standstill At this point, they're still going to be leery about the product but you'll not only have their attention, they'll have read a considerable amount of your copy and be at least thinking about consuming the product or service you're writing about. Their will be a sort of battle going on inside the persons head. Essentially, they'll be unconsciously weighing the negatives against the positives and seeing which one comes out on top. The picture above represents the negatives and the positives (the money being the negative because they have to spend it, the arms-raised person representing the benefits). And eventually you'll (hopefully) come to a point where you can... Gain Momentum To Win The Sales Resistance War And finally, you'll be able to be like this little gold man above and win the war even when the odds are against you! This only happens successfully when you have a good product selling it to the right people and using the right sales process to do it. And although this seems like a hard thing to do, let me give you those 5 tips to lowering sales resistance so you can make this process MUCH easier - no matter what you're selling! Keep in mind, these are in no particular order: Show Credibility - Especially in today's super-resistant buying economy, showing credibility is absolutely essential. People are getting scammed by other companies all the time, so trust is at an all time low. Therefore, you must hit them hard and early with the credibility either of your product, the spokesperson for your product (i.e. the creator or person endorsing it), or the company.
Show Proof - Without proof, credibility doesn't matter. Just because you SAY someone did something doesn't mean they actually did. Just because you SAY someone made a certain amount of money in 30 days or lost a certain amount of weight in 30 days...doesn't mean they actually did.

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