Guest Post by Ling Wong
How do you feel when you come across pushy sales pages with big red headlines, yellow highlighters and blinking arrows pointing to the “buy now” buttons?
(You know what I’m talking about . . . the “if you don’t buy you’re an idiot” kind of energy.)
A one-way conversation? A trapped audience to a monologue by a narcissist? Being yelled at? Being talked down to? A 7-year-old who can’t make a sound decision on her own?
You wonder if these “persuasion mechanisms” are truly effective. You surely don’t like being talked to that way . . .
Then you look around and see all those “internet marketers” who gloat about 6 or 7-figure launches using these tactics. Hmm, they must be effective, right?
(What they didn’t tell you is the refund rate, and the burn and churn . . .)
We’ve been told to twist the knife, add salt, and make the pain more urgent than a tornado warning; to pull the triggers of fears and scarcity; to stir up a sense of inadequacy; to make the potential buyers feel like crap.
We’ve been told that people are indecisive. They don’t understand their problems. We need to push them into making a decision we *think* is the best for them. (What a big ego!)
Deploying some sneaky “persuasion” techniques may get you one sale, but it’s not going to win you friends.
How many “info products” are sitting on your hard drive collecting dust because you were pressured into purchasing by sales materials that pulled some fears and scarcity triggers?
How does that make you feel? If you didn’t use the product because it doesn’t resonate with you, then you didn’t get results. Would you go back to the same business to buy more stuff?
Moreover, if you had a bad experience with these high-pressure tactics, you probably don’t believe in them whole-heartedly.
If you don’t have 120% conviction in what you say and do, how can you expect others to be convinced?
Now you’re Tad’s peeps, I assume you’re not selling some once-and-done cantaloupe widget to make a quick buck.
“Selling” deep, transformational work requires that we build trust and credibility with our community. It’s about connection and relationship.
It’s a long game. Pushy burn-and-churn tactics won’t get you there.
On top of that, I want to think my peeps aren’t stupid.
I prefer to give my clients some credit and trust that they have the ability make a decision that best serve their interest.
Let’s start by changing the assumption:
What if indecisiveness is NOT our nature?
What if indecisiveness is our reaction to what’s presented to us?
What if indecisiveness is an indication of insufficient relevant information?
What if indecisiveness is just one way of saying “I’m not fully convinced about the value of the product or service, and its relevance to my circumstances”?
Would you make a major decision without first gathering information and educating yourself on the subject matter?
Imagine you’re a caveman and you want to grind up some mammoth meat… Someone tries to sell you a food processor without any context, explanation or demo. You scratch your head and continue to pound the meat with a stone.
Sure, the food processor is the right tool that’ll give you faster and better results. But if you couldn’t link the problem with the solution, the solution is not relevant from your perspective.
I know, we’re all complaining about “information overload” and you’d wonder if feeding people more information is going to make them buy.
The answer is, yes and no.
No – they don’t need more “raw data” that’ll further confuse the hell out of them and throw them into analysis-paralysis.
Yes – they need a curated, logically presented set of information that links their problem to a proposed solution, from a perspective that resonates with their worldview.
This is particularly important if you’re delivering “deep” benefits and profound transformations.
You’ve to connect the “symptoms” – what triggers your potential clients to look for a solution and therefore land on your materials – with your services.
There are probably some intermediate steps between their complaining about the problems, to understanding the cause of their challenges, to connecting their problems to your modality.
They may need to be “initiated” into your world, learn a few new terms or concepts to interpret and articulate their challenges, before they can fully grasp the value and transformation you deliver.
Bridging this “knowledge gap” can make your sales materials more convincing while winning hearts and minds without being “pushy.”
Essentially, you’re incorporating the premise of Inbound and content marketing into the sales materials with a laser focus on connecting the dots between the symptoms and the solution (aka what you’re selling.)
It doesn’t have to be complicated. A few paragraphs of “educational” content on your sales page can make a world of a difference.
While providing valuable information, your content should answer these questions:
What do your readers need to know about themselves/their problems/you/your approach etc. before they can decide, one way or the other, whether your products and services are of value to them?
Is there any misconception or disinformation you need to address, so they’d stop shooting in the dark and get support from an expert (you)?
Do you need to alleviate any fear about following a new process or around the changes working with you may cause?
How can you help them fill in the blanks and make a decision so everyone can move on? (Loose ends = energy drains, no bueno.
Remember, “decision” can mean a yes, or a no. We’re presenting one side of the story to trick people into saying yes. Our responsibility is to help them take the action that best serves them at this moment in time.
Here’re a few extra tips when writing this content:
- Keep it short, simple and focused. Don’t navel-gaze, don’t launch into your entire 6-years of Reiki training or turn it into a self-gratuitous spiel on gluten-free eating. Make sure everything contributes to helping the readers make an informed decision. (Informed decision = less buyers’ remorse = less refund + happier customers).
- Understand where your audience is in relation to your area of expertise. E.g. you don’t have to dumb down the content if your ideal audience already has some basic knowledge. They’d think your products or services are not for them if your content is too “basic.” Educational content doesn’t mean beginner level knowledge. You could be addressing misconception or highlighting what they don’t know, which leads to poor or inconsistent results.
- Incorporate your own point-of-view and convictions – they probably resonate with those of your ideal clients’. We all develop shorthand and make assumptions about the world based on our beliefs and experiences. If you could tap into them and use them as a common starting point, then you don’t have to start from zero and build more resonance right off the bat.
- Tap into your ideal audience’s identity and inkling. Speak to an identity they’re already aspired to. Affirm what they believe to be true (of course, only if it’s in alignment with your approach,) rather than trying to strong-arm them into being a different person in just a few paragraphs (hint: you’d lose.)
If you ever found transitioning from talking about the readers’ pain to talking about your products or services to be somewhat awkward, I’ve good news for you.
This piece of educational content is also great material to transition from the “I hear you and I identify with you” piece to “here is my stuff – benefits and features” portion of the sales copy.
It changes the energy behind the conversation to one of providing value. You’ll feel good about it. When you feel good about how you sell, you sell more because you’re putting the right energy behind the act of “selling.”
Contact Ling Wong at: ling (at) business-soulwork (dot) com
Ling Wong : Intuitive Brainiac | Copywriting Alchemist. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching/consulting with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, she helps the maverick-preneurs uncover, articulate & transform their WHY into content that connects, resonates and converts – by way of an intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years experience in the online marketing industry.
Get her brand new WEBSITE COPY ALCHEMY video here.