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Marketing: The Right Way To Use Benefits Now - Articles Surfing
It's no secret that direct response rates have fallen in recent years ' be it in the mail or anywhere else. Nor is the reason why all that surprising: people are simply inundated with advertising. They see hundreds ' in some cases thousands ' of marketing messages a day.
So what's a person to do when he runs into five hundred people a day, and every one of them have eyes for his wallet? He's going to resist them. He's going to start learning some of their tricks to better defend himself.
And what is the number one trick up the marketer's sleeve? You guessed it: The Benefit.
Everywhere your prospect looks, someone is shouting a benefit at him. They're telling him he can grow his hair back, get rich, cure joint pain ' all for the unbelievably low price of only $19.95!
Now, maybe he actually wants some of those things. But what he doesn't want is to be pushed or tricked into buying them. He doesn't want to feel like he's been 'sold.'
And there is the root of the problem. Because so much of advertising is (rightly) based on the benefit to the consumer, leading off your message with a big benefit headline is just like putting a neon sign at the top that says, 'Sales Message Below!'
So what's a good marketer to do? Do we stop selling benefits?
Goodness, NO! Your prospect hasn't changed THAT much ' he's still faithfully tuned in to radio station WIIFM ('What's In It For Me?'). He still needs to know what you're going to do for him. He just needs to hear it with a little more finesse.
Stop Being Obnoxious
Have you ever been minding your own business, innocently drinking your Latte in the Starbucks at Barnes & Noble, when some complete stranger walks up? Before you know them from Adam, they're telling you how you can get out of the 'rut' that is your job. Or that some supplement will help you lose weight.
Now, maybe what they're telling you is true, and maybe it's even something you'd be interested in ' IF they hadn't been so obnoxious about approaching you. As it is, you nod your head a few times, throw in an 'uh-huh' for good measure, and suddenly notice that you were supposed to meet someone 10 minutes ago.
That's how exaggerated benefit headlines sound to your prospect ' like a load of hype. But imagine how different your reaction would be if the same person started a natural conversation with you. You find out you have a few things in common ' perhaps a common irritation. Your new friend tells you how bad said irritation used to be in her life.
Well now, don't you want to know how she dealt with it? And as she tells you the story, she's also telling you all the benefits associated with what she used to fix it. Only this time, it doesn't sound like a sales pitch. It sounds like a story told by a friend.
Earning The Right To Sell
Your coffee buddy just did what all too many marketers aren't doing: She earned the right to sell to you. She met you where you were and made an emotional connection before she ever started the sales process.
Instead of just cramming benefits down your throat, she told you a story. And in doing so, she slipped every one of those benefits (and her sales message) right past your defenses to your open heart.
So how do you earn the right to sell to your prospect?
Well, the first thing you have to do is get to know him. Find out what he cares about. What's bothering him? What's keeping him awake at night? What are his dreams and ambitions? What kind of person does he really want to be?
Once you know these things, you'll know how to enter into the most important conversation there is. And it's not one you're going to initiate with him ' this conversation is way more powerful than that. You're going to enter the conversation your prospect is having with himself.
What is he already feeling about what you're trying to sell to him? Is he frustrated because he's tried other solutions to his problem that failed? Is he afraid of something? Is he excited about something new?
Meet your prospect where he is now ' not where you want him to be. Show him you feel the same way he does. Maybe you have a common enemy. Maybe you've been where he is. Suddenly, you're not a salesman, but a friend with a story to tell.
By establishing an emotional connection with your prospect, you can lead him to the sale instead of pushing him toward it. That does more than increase response. It turns prospects into loyal customers.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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