Do you like being sold to? Chances are your answer is no. No one enjoys being “sold” to, but most of us enjoy buying.
As a society, we love buying things. We buy things because they’re cool, they solve a problem we’re experiencing, they improve our quality of life, and the list goes on.
We also like taking our sweet time with buying decisions. We like to go through the phases of making a purchasing decision at our own pace from becoming aware of a problem, researching solutions, alternatives, and ultimately choosing what option we want to go with.
In short while we love buying, but we don’t like feeling pressure to buy. Once I feel like I’m being pressured into making a decision or that someone is trying to sell me something my brain shuts down and the only answer I have is “no”.
We have to keep this in mind when we’re writing sales copy for our websites. Obviously sales copy is designed to sell things, but if your prospect feels like they’re being sold to though the “noes” start flying.
Here are a few ways to dodge those noes in your copy.
1. Don’t open your copy with a series of questions.
Asking a lot of questions in copy is a personal pet peeve of mine and I could write a whole series just on this alone. I’m going to stick with one simple reason for this article though, if a prospect knows you’re trying to sell them something (and if they’re reading a sales page then that is the assumption) they don’t “want to want it”.
Prospects aren’t reading your copy with the intention of wanting to buy, they are reading your copy cautiously. They are still in the research stage. They are testing the waters, and seeing if this is the best solution for their problem.
When you open your copy with a series of questions, your intention is that a prospect will recognize themselves and be saying to themselves “yes, yes, and yes!” when in fact their cautious mind isn’t ready to say yes yet, so they automatically are saying “no, no, and no” to themselves. Your prospect begins justifying why those things don’t fit their situation and at that point you may have already lost them.
As an alternative if you begin to describe who your program is for and make statements about the results it provides then you’re allowing them to see if they relate on their own terms. You’re letting them ease into the idea and giving them the space to do their research.
2. Tell your prospect how and/or why.
We are curious beings and we want to know how and why things work. When you’re writing sales copy you’re making big promises about results your prospects will get if they purchase from you.
As a prospect my immediate question is “how” does it work? Or “why” do it this way? In your copy you want to demonstrate your approach or methodology and why you do things the way you do. When your approach makes sense it eases your prospect’s mind.
Your approach is also a big piece of your brand, it’s what makes you different from the competition who is offering the same results.
3. Answer objections.
Overcoming objections is a staple in old school sales, and when you try to “overcome” them you end up just turning the pressure up even higher. Even the word overcoming signifies that you are in a power struggle with your prospect. Two words: no bueno.
Objections are really just questions that need to be answered. If you answer those questions in your copy then you are again easing the prospect’s mind and the noes just float away.
When uncovering the questions that need to be answered you need to think like a buyer. Ask yourself questions like “what’s the catch?” and “what other problems might I be facing even if this program lives up to it’s promises?”.
For an example on that second one, think about websites. We offer a kick-butt website design program for our clients, and one of the most common questions we get during consultation calls is what type of help we provide with marketing once the website is launched.
Even before they’ve decided to create a new website they’re worrying about what happens once it’s finished, that fear if not answered can keep them saying no to our program even though they see the value of working with us. (and for the record, we do have stellar options for marketing after the website is finished for this very reason).
These are just 3 ways to help eliminate prospect’s noes and help them make the decision to buy from you on their own terms. And I know there are many more ways, so if you have any you’d like to share please put them in the comments!