The Psychology of Buyers: Secret Words That Drive Sales

Are you Looking for a Powerful Headline for your ad…or a killer title for your book…so that sales can double or even triple?

IF yes…then try this Amazing Secret Source that the Master Copywriter Gary Halbert recommends to copywriters.

Look, you won’t believe what you’re about to discover. But if you take it seriously, you’ll see amazing results for yourself.

I know…

You’re probably expecting to find yet another compilation of the same old tired headlines of ads that sold well in the past. If so, I’m sorry to disappoint you.

Don’t also expect find a book by some copywriter about some supposed formulas for writing effective headlines.

So what’s this about?

“The First Hundred Million”

That’s the title of the book I want you to check out for yourself.

It’s a very special book…that Master Copywriter Gary Halbert himself recommended for marketers and copywriters before his death.

This book is about 80 years old, if not more. Mr. Julius Emmanuel Haldeman published it after intense “experimentation” with the reading public of America and other parts of the world. So this book contains the findings of a 9-year “experiment”.

It’s a book about what makes people buy…concluded from 9 years of testing.

So if you’re a copywriter looking for “ever-green” ideas and compelling headlines for your next blockbuster marketing campaign, then you should the take following advice to heart…

“Here’s a suggestion only the most dedicated (driven) among you will take to heart. Go read a copy of THE FIRST HUNDRED MILLION!…. It contains much more value than I can extract for you here… Nothing like it has ever been written. It is where I learned my magic words. The ones that make my copy sizzle and my headlines impossible to ignore…. I love this book!” – Gary Halbert (An American Marketing Genius)

But how can you get a copy of this book? You have three options. I’ll come to these options shortly. But let me first tell you something interesting.

You see, this book was published in the 1920s. a few years later the author passed away and his son took over the publishing business. But fire gutted the entire plant house where the books were produced. Unfortunately, the publishing business couldn’t survive this severe blow. And since then the book has been out of print. And because of that the book is now very rare to come by.

That said…here are the three ways you can get a copy of this book:

  • If you’re in the U.S.A, you may get a copy to read from the following libraries (according to Gary Halbert): the Library of Congress and the Metropolitan Library in Manhattan;
  • You can buy a used copy from Amazon for around $200. That was the price I saw a few weeks back.
  • And you can also obtain an ebook copy from me right here on this site.

So if you would like to see for yourself whether this book really has something meaningful to offer you as a writer…and you want this information right now…just click on the link below to get your ebook copy.

Click here: Get Your Ebook Now Without Risk Or Obligation.

Thanks.

Breakthrough Headline Formulas

If you often get stuck like me looking for a great headline for ad or a blog post, then you’ll find this list really helpful.

And where from this list?

I stole them from a master craftsman.

And who’s this craftsman?

He’s none other than the advertising genius Eugene M. Schwartz.

I’m reading his Breakthrough Advertising for the second time. The first time I didn’t finish it. But this time I’m determined to see the last page.

The book is quite instructive and revealing. It takes you through the planning stages of writing a winning ad. You get to know how to face any ad-writing challenge. How to start and how to finish your project. It teaches you how  to dig into your market to reveal what sells.

Right now, I wish to share with you thirty-eight headline formulas Eugene discussed in this book. Forget the excessive use of capital words and exclamation marks. Rather look for the gem of wisdom buried in each headline formula and see how you can use the lesson to write your next winner.

Here we go…

1. Measure the size of the claim:

“20,000 FILTER TRAPS IN VICEROY!”

“I AM 61 POUNDS LIGHTER…”

“WHO EVER HEARD OF 17,000 BLOOMS FROM A SINGLE PLANT?”

2. Measure the speed of the claim:

“FEEL BETTER FAST!”

“IN TWO SECONDS, BAYER ASPIRIN BEGINS TO DISSOLVE IN YOUR GLASS!”

3. Compare the claim:

“SIX TIMES WHITER WASHES!”

“COSTS UP TO $300 LESS THAN MANY MODELS OF THE LOW-PRICED THREE!”

4. Metaphorize the claim:

“BANISHES CORNS!”

“MELTS AWAY UGLY FAT!”

5. Sensitize the claim by making the prospect feel, smell, touch, see or hear it:

“TASTES LIKE YOU JUST PICKED IT!”

“THE SKIN YOU LOVE TO TOUCH!”

6. Demonstrate the claim by showing a prime example:

    “ JAKE LAMOTTA, 160 POUNDS FIGHTER, FAILS TO FLATTEN MONO PAPER CUP!”

 “AT 60 MILES AN HOUR, THE LOUDEST NOISE IN THIS ROLLS ROYCE IS THE ELECTRIC CLOCK!”

7. Dramatize the claim, or its results:

“HERE’S AN EXTRA $50, GRACE, I’M MAKING BIG MONEY NOW!”

“THEY LAUGH WHEN I SAT DOWN AT THE PIANO – BUT WHEN I STARTED TO PLAY…”

8. State the claim as a paradox:

“HOW A BALD-HEADED BARBER SAVED MY HAIR!”

“BEAT THE RACES BY PICKING LOSERS!”

9. Remove limitations from the claim:

“SHRINKS HEMORRHOIDS WITHOUT SURGERY!”

“YOU BREATHE NO DUSTY ODORS WHEN YOU DO IT WITH LEWYT!”

10. Associate the claim with values or people with whom the prospect wishes to be identified:

“MICKEY MANTLE SAYS: CAMELS NEVER BOTHER MY THROAT!”

“9 OUT 10 DECORATORS USE WUNDAWEAVE CARPETS FOR LONG LIFE AT LOW COST!”

11. Show how much work, in detail, the claim does:

“NOW! RELIEF FROM ALL 5 ACID-CAUSED STOMACH TROUBLES – IN 10 SECONDS!”

“RELIEVES CONGESTION IN ALL 7 NASAL CONGEST IN 10 SECONDS”

12. State the claim as a question:

“WHO ELSE WANTS A WHITER WASH – WITH NO HARD WORK?”

“COULD YOU USE $25 A WEEK EXTRA INCOME?”

13. Offer information about how to accomplish the claim:

“HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE!”

“HERE’S WHAT TO DO TO GET RID OF PIMPLES FAST!”

14. Tie authority into the claim:

“BOSS MECHANIC SHOWS HOW TO AVOID ENGINE REPAIR BILLS!”

“HERE’S WHAT DOCTORS DO WHEN THEY FEEL ROTTEN!”

15. Before-and-after the claim:

“BEFORE COLDENE A CHILD GOT OVER A COLD AFTER 5 DAYS OF ACHING, SNEEZING, WHEEZING, DRIPPING, SUFFERING, COUGHING, CRYING, GAGGING, SPITTING.’’

‘’WITH COLDENE A CHILD GETS OVER A COLD IN FIVE DAYS!”

16. Stress the news of the claim:

“ANNOUNCING! GUIDED MISSILE SPARK PLUGS!”

“NOW! CHROME PLATE WITHOUT HEAT, ELECTRICITY, MACHINERY!”

17. Stress the exclusivity of the claim:

“OURS ALONE! PERSIAN LAMB ORIGNINALS – $389.40!”

“ONLY GLEEM HAS GL-70 TO KEEP TEETH CLEAN ALL DAY LONG WITH ONE BRUSHING!”

18. Turn the claim into a challenge for the reader:

“WHICH TWIN HAS THE TONI? AND WHICH HAS THE $15 PERMANENT?”

“DOES SHE OR DOESN’T SHE? HAIR COLORING SO NATURAL ONLY HER HAIRDRESSER KNOWS FOR SURE!”

19. State the claim as a case-history quotation:

“LOOK, MOM – NO CAVITIES!”

“WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT – I HAVE A COLD!”

20. Condense the claim – interchange your product and the product it replaces:

“NOW! A RING AND PISTON JOB IN A TUBE!”

“POUR YOURSELF A NEW ENGINE!”

21. Symbolise the claim – replace the direct statement or measurement of the claim with a parallel reality:

“STARTING NEXT TUESDAY, THE ATLANTIC OCEAN BECOMES ONLY ONE-FIFTH AS LONG!”

22. Connect the mechanism to the claim in the headline:

“FLOATS FAT RIGHT OUT OF YOUR BODY!”

“FEEDS WASTE GAS FUMES BACK INTO YOUR ENGINE!”

23. Startle the reader by contradicting the way he thinks the mechanism should work:

“HIT HELL OUT OF THE BALL WITH YOUR RIGHT HAND,’ SAYS TOMMY ARMOUR!”

24. Connect the need and the claim in the headline:

“THERE IS ONLY ONE SOLUTION TO AN ADVERTISING PROBLEM: FIND THE MAN!”

25. Offer information in the ad itself:

“WHY MEN CRACK…”

“WHAT EVERYBODY OUGHT TO KNOW ABOUT THIS STOCK AND BOND BUSINESS!”

26. Turn the claim or the need into a case history:

      “AUNT MEG, WHO NEVER MARRIED…”

     “AGAIN SHE ORDERS – A CHICKEN SALAD, PLEASE”

 27. Give a name to the problem or need:

“WHEN YOU’RE WEARY WITH DAY-TIME FATIGUE, TAKE ALKA-SELTZER.”

28. Warn the reader about possible pitfalls if he doesn’t use the product:

“DON’T INVEST ONE CENT OF YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY UNTIL YOU CHECK THIS GUIDE!”

29. Emphasize the claim by its phraseology – by breaking it into two sentences, or repeating it, or a part of it:

“A MAN YOU CAN LEAN ON! THAT’S KLOPER-MAN!”

“NOBODY BUT NOBODY UNDERSELLS GIMBEL’S!”

30. Show how easy the claim is to accomplish by imposing a imiversally-overcome limitation:

“IF YOU CAN COUNT TO ELEVEN, YOU CAN INCREASE YOUR SPEED AND SKILL AT NUMBERS!”

31. State the difference in the headline:

“THE DIFFERENCE IN PREMIUM GASOLINE IS RIGHT IN THE ADDITIVES!”

32. Surprsie your reader into realizing that former limitations have now been overcome:

“SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CRUSH A HARTMAN DC-8? NOTHING!”

33. Address the people who can’t buy your product:

“IF YOU’VE ALREADY TAKEN YOUR VACATION, DON’T READ THIS. IT’LL BREAK YOUR HEART.”

34. Address your prospect directly:

“TO THE MAN WHO WILL SETTLE FOR NOTHING LESS THAN THE PRESIDENCY OF HIS FIRM.”

35. Dramatize how hard it was to produce the claim:

“WHEN JENS FINISHED DESIGNING THIS CANDLEHOLDER WE HAD TO INVENT A WHOLE NEW KIND OF CANDLE.”

36. Accuse the claim of being too good:

“IS IT IMMORAL TO MAKE MONEY THIS EASILY?”

37. Challenge the prospect present limiting beliefs:

“YOU ARE TWICE AS SMART AS YOU THINK.”

38. Turn the claim into a question and answer:

“YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S UNDER THE HOOD AND YOU COULDN’T CARE LESS AS LONG AS YOUR CAR RUNS SMOOTHLY. WHO SHOULD YOU SEE IF IT DOESN’T?…SOMEONE WHO CARES – UNTITED DELCO.”

Did you find anything you may use in writing your next killer ad or post? Share your thoughts.  I’d be combining two or three of these formulas to produce my winners. How about you?

 

Frustrations of a Writer

‘Am I fake?’

Dear Reader, have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question?

I’ve asked myself that question countless number of times.

Sometimes it feels like this whole enterprise of writing is a waste of time.

I have come a long way.

Back in 2011, I officially began my writing journey after dreaming about it for a while.

I began with a Comprehensive Writing Course with The Writers Bureau, Manchester, UK.

It happened like this..

I was browsing through the pages of one of the national dailies in my country, Ghana, when I saw an ad about

a freelance course offered at The Writers Bureau.

I gave them an email and got a reply.

It was then I realised  they offered a Comprehensive Writing Course for people who wanted

to have a taste of the different forms of writing that one could do to earn some money.

I wrote letters, articles, stories and others.

Their promise was that you qualify for first diploma once you’ve earned your fees back by selling your writing.

I had one huddle.

My biggest challenge was that I was living in a developing country. And market for freelance work was almost non-existent.

The few newspapers available didn’t accept freelance work. I couldn’t find magazines for my work either.

So I decided to try oversees.

And you know what?

I met some challenges there, too.

There’s one principle in freelance writing.

Here it is: Know your market before you pitch an idea to them.

Going by this rule, I had to study at least three consecutive issues of a magazine before pitching them an idea.

I scraped some money together and bought magazines from the UK.

Each time, I had to wait for about a month to receive my copies.

With time, I couldn’t sustain this practice. So decided to send ideas and finished articles to magazines

and newspapers on ‘spec’.

Some were gracious enough to give me a sorry-not-for-us-this-time reply slips.

My rejection pile grew huge – embarrassingly huge – despite countless praises from my writing tuitors.

Finally I got $26 from an article I wrote for a client on Elance.

Nothing again after that.

Then in 2012, one of my articles was accepted for publication in the US for a fee of $50.

I got six copies of the magazine without the $50. I was thrilled nonetheless.

And I crossed to the fiction side of my writing course.

My tuitor said my short stories improved after each assignment.

Again, I had to look beyond the shores of my country for market.

It was during this period I spent money in paying for short story competition fees.

I didn’t win any.

Then I stumbled into the American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI).

This was in 2012. They offered a test-drive of their popular copywritng course.

And I paid for the first month, but I couldn’t continue the subscription.

But the one month was enough to arouse my interest in copywriting.

So subscribed to various copywriting blogs and newsletters…including another one month with  Dan’s GKIC.

Meanwhile, I started saving various sales letters I laid hands on.

I followed the first advice to any student of copywriting: write good sales letters down by hand.

A new route of possibility was opening before my eyes.

I thought if I became a good copywriter I could easily write for businesses within Ghana.

This time no more newspapers and magazines.

My first ‘spec’ sales letter went to the marketing manager of a chiropractic centre.

He said he liked it. That was the end of it.

Further follow-ups by letters and phone proved futile.

I didn’t know where else to turn. So I continued to learn from scraps of information on copywriter.

At the same time, I continued to write my short stories.

After a while, my writing course with The Writers Bureau got challenging and challenging.

When I got to writing stories for radio, I lost all enthusiasm for the course.

I was left with four assignments to complete the course.

These included writing stage drama and TV scripts.

I didn’t see how I was going to surmount this challenge.

After trying other jobs for a while, I came to back to copywriting full time.

I gathered some small money and registered my business, Persuasive Advertising.

I then sold my fridge. I added that money to a little from my dad to run two

ads in two newspapers.

Today for Paper A and tomorrow for paper B; that was how it run.

I received about 10 calls from business owners.

They thought I was going to work some sales miracles for them.

But my concept was confusing to them.

Some wanted a meeting with me, but I was far from them. About 690km, 11 hours by bus.

They were in the capital, Accra, but I was in the farthest nortthern part of Ghana.

In addition to this, I had poor mobile phone reception.

The result?

Nothing happened. No business.

But I continued to send letters to the CEOs of companies in the capital.

The first call came from the CEO of a life insurance company.

I hopped onto a bus for Accra.

The meeting lasted for about 15 minutes. He promised to talk with his marketing team about me.

Upon follow-up, he said they had an agency that handled all their advertising.

Bottom line, they wouldn’t need my services.

Second call came from the CEO of a shoe manufacturing company.

He was thrilled. He’d get back to me ‘after discussions with his team’.

He never did.

Third call came from the CEO of the insurance man again.

He suggested I handle his wife’s costume jewellry business.

I was to be paid 15% of the amount sales I bring in. I was to handle collating the of calls and replies from

interested buyers. And I was to design my ad in exactly one week.

We had meetings and phone conversations back and forth. And I lost interest in the whole thing.

Now, my third call has come from one of the major foreign banks in Ghana.

They want me to write a sales email for their specialised MasterCard for them ‘to see.’

After a deep thought, I decided to advise them to use a sales letter instead.

The advertising market is still green. I doubt if 20 people even know what copywriting is all about.

And what’s more, the Ghanaians are yet to fully trust and embrace internet transactions.

We still have people who read their emails monthly. How can you market to such people using emails?

So I sent them a four-paged sales letter and advised we use the email as lead to the sales letter.

I posted the drift letter today. You imagine that. Why not email it?

Because it might never be read.

The story continues…

 

 

The Only Marketing Advice Gary Bencivenga Says He May Give on His Deathbed

“If I were on my deathbed about to wheeze my last breath,” says Gary, “and you asked me to

sum up in a single sentence the most important marketing secret I could bequeath to

you before I kick the bucket (or bedpan), here is what I would whisper in your ear,

hopefully without giving you anything contagious.

It’s a 9-word sentence I first read in the book Reality in Advertising by

copywriting genius Rosser Reeves. This one sentence made fortunes for Reeves’

clients, as well as my own, and for scores of other marketers wise enough to apply it

rigorously…”

This was how Gary Bencivenga, one of the top-three copywriters still alive today, began his controversial blog post.

And then dropped the bombshell…

“A gifted product is mightier than a gifted pen.”

Many marketers argue the customer should be the preoccupation of the copywriter. But Gary says it’s the product that determines whether the ad will be a winner or not. The product must engage your attention as a copywriter.

And when you look deep enough, the wisdom of his statement begins to emerge.

Also, in Ghana there’s this saying that…

“A good product sells itself.”

It implies, once a product has its own inherent qualities that customers want, then the marketer’s job is easy. It’s merely researching and telling the whole truth about the excellent product, how it solves customers’ problems.

It’s the secret that propels journey of any copywriter into stardom. He doesn’t have to fake qualities which don’t exist; he merely tells the facts as they are – creating a smooth transition from one benefit to another.

Above all, the copywriter makes those benefits the product offers come alive.

Gary, master of metaphors, illustrated his point with an equestrian metaphor in this fashion…

“You are a jockey. If you want to win more races, by all

means hone your craft. But even more important, learn how to spot and get yourself

assigned to faster horses. That’s a big part of building your reputation and career

success.

You want your name associated with winners, not losers! Cultivating a jockey’s

eye for winners and then campaigning to ride them is one of the most rewarding

skills you can develop…While you can’t carry a flawed product—or a slow horse—on your back to glory, great products, like champion race horses, will put you in the winner’s circle consistently.”

As marketers, our job is not to invent product qualities.

At best, we are to guide manufacturers into making great product, based on our understanding of the market; products that customers will crave for. Our main duty is to communicate the benefits of the product to customers…in plain and simple language.

Once you have selected your winning product, consider all angles of it. Saturate yourself with the product information.

If you can, strive to know the product more than its maker!

Gather at least three times more information than you need for creating your copy. The reserve material is a source of inspiration.

It will boost your confidence. It’ll ignite your creative powers.

But where should you start from?

Start by asking all possible questions about the product.

Here are 10 question Gary suggests copywriters should use to reveal all the benefits of a product.

These are the starting point of any assignment.

  1. Why is this product made the way it is?
  2. What consumer problems, desires, and needs is it designed for?
  3. What’s special about it—why does it fulfill a consumer’s needs better than the competition?
  1. Who says so besides you?
  2. What are your strongest proof elements to make your case believable?
  3. What are all the product’s best features and how does each translate into a consumer benefit?
  1. If you had unlimited funds, how would you improve this product?
  2. Who are its heavy users—the 20 percent who generate 80 percent of sales?
  3. What irresistible offers might trigger an explosion in sales?
  4. What premiums can be tossed into the mix to press your prospects’ hot

buttons?

If you have a great  product to market, then you will find that you copy almost writes itself.

It flows.

It’s like running water. You only need to direct its course to the desired destination.

And it will get there.

Never invent features and benefits for any product when they don’t exit. That’s not your job as a copywriter.

Instead, identify a winning product and sing its praises.

Why?

Because when you do, you’ll realise your yoke is easy and your burden is light.

 

 

 

5-Step Selling Strategy That Can Make You a Top Sales Professional….Your Crash Course in Face-to-Face Selling

Selling is easy, if only you know how to do it.

Harry Browne proves it by his five-step strategy for selling anything at all. There are all sorts of fallacies about selling. These are the very things that make it look extremely difficult. To be successful as a sales professional, you need to banish those wrong ideas from your mind.

What are some these fallacies about selling?
1. Selling is warfare between the seller and the buyer. No, it is no such thing. It’s rather a barter trade between the seller and the buyer. The seller gives the best possible thing the buyer desires. And the buyer too gives what the seller wants — that is money. If you view selling as offering value in exchange for money, it will never be warfare between you and the buyer. And you would never resort to aggression when selling anything.

2. You must never take ‘NO’ from the buyer. That is not true all. If you truly believe you offer value, then you needn’t bother when the buyer rejects it. Perhaps he doesn’t value the same thing you consider valuable. But why worry yourself over one person who doesn’t value what you offer? There are more prospects you can sell to. Remember that, unless both you the seller and the buyer agree that your exchange is profitable, there will be no sale.

3. You can always make people buy what they don’t want. That is not entirely correct. You may succeed a few times to do that, but only a few times. There are obvious dangers to this kind of mindset. First, you can’t get repeat customers and referrals that way. Second, people will soon know of you and try to avoid you or frustrate your efforts. And for ethical reasons, you wouldn’t want to be treated that way, so why treat others that way?

4. You must be a great talker to sell well. Not true. In fact, a good sales professional only leads the prospects to do much of the talking about their own problems. That is the basis of the sale. What you should have as a salesperson is a listening ear. A salesperson is one who listens to people’s problems and provides them with solutions for a fee. So if you keep talking without listening, how would you hear and know the prospect’s problems?

Going by Harry Browne’s selling philosophy; you find that selling is a natural process. You don’t need to be who you are not. You don’t need to be aggressive, or lie, or be dishonest for you to be successful as sales professional. You are a solution-provider. You simply give people what they want for themselves and they reward you with money for doing them a favour. Period. You shouldn’t expect to be able solve everybody’s problems with what you offer. You will be able to give some people what they want – those are your prospects.

To begin with, this 5-step strategy that is based on these points….
One, all human beings do things and buy things because they want to meet a desire that will make them happy.

Two, every human being has unique desires (motivations) he wants to satisfy.

Three, a happy eager customer is one who has seen how his inner desire (motivation) can be satisfied through buying a certain product.

So where do you come in as a salesperson? Your duty is to identify what the inner motivation of the customer is and show how your product satisfies that desire. If you can do this, there’s no reason why the customer won’t buy what you offer.

So the simple principle of all types of selling is…
‘Find out what a person wants and give him exactly that — through your offer.
Or as Harry Browne puts it… ‘Find the prospect’s motivation and appeal to it.’ And the secret to finding a person’s motivation towards what you offer is the problem he faces in relation to your type of service or product. So if someone hates delays in the banking hall, then your offer should be tailored towards quicker banking transactions. If your prospect doesn’t like the noise from his bed, then you should offer a solid bed which doesn’t make noise when he rolls on it. If a person values knowledge, show him how your books make him more knowledgeable in a particular subject.

Haven’t you ever experienced any of these ‘strange’ things before?
Have you ever seen your friend buy something you consider too expensive and of little value, but this friend of yours was so excited about the thing beyond reason? Your friend’s inner desire was different from yours. And she found that buying that thing would satisfy her desire. Simple as that.
Again, you may not understand why a man goes to a certain shop to buy items which cost double of what he could have bought them elsewhere. For all you know, he likes the attention he gets from the salesperson, or he simply admires the girl at the counter! That’s his motivation.
You can’t fight a person’s motivation. You can only use it in your favour. Always aim to satisfy that motivation when you’re selling.

Now here is the 5-step strategy that Harry Browne has used to boost his sales career. See how easy it is to use. Let’s briefly look at the process below…

Harry Browne’s 5-Step Sales Interview:
Step 1 – identifying the prospect’s inner desire and motivation
Everybody has a motivation for undertaking any project, for engaging in any activity and for buying anything. Your success of selling to this prospect what you offer is largely dependent on his motivation. If you appeal to the right motivation, then you can get the sale. You can guess what that motivation is. And if you are right, you get the sale. But why guess when you have the opportunity to know what his true motivation is. The prospect is before you – ask him. Yes, that’s the only way you can be sure about it. But don’t take it literally. You need to ask the right questions to get the right answers. You can’t simply ask a prospect, ‘what’s your motivation concerning x item?’ If you do, you won’t get the right answer.

Here are some questions you can ask…
1. For Life Insurance, ‘What’s your greatest concern about your family’s wellbeing in the future?’ or ‘What would like to put in place to secure the future of family from the uncertainties of life?’ Such questions will trigger some wonderful answers. Just listen and take note of them. No answer is correct or wrong and none is too stupid. They set the basis for you to make the sale. So listen. And ask questions to know more.

2. For a car salesman, ‘What’s the most important feature of a car to you?’ or ‘What do expect from your dream car?’

3. For real estate, ‘What type of house do you consider a perfect home?’ ‘How should a house look like to suit your taste?’

4. For a career advancement programme, ‘What makes an ideal/perfect job to you?…and what obstacles must you remove to get it?’
Your introduction may be something like this…
‘My name is Cyril from Persuasive Advertising. And you are? I’d like us talk about how you can get the ideal job you want. Do you have some time for this? Okay, thank you. I’ll make it brief.
But before we begin, may I ask what you consider your perfect job? And what is standing between you and that job right now?’

Step 2 – Confirm What You Thought You Heard.

How easy it is for us human beings to misunderstand each other! As a salesperson, misunderstanding your prospect only frustrates your selling. So you must confirm what you thought the prospect said about his motivation…his inner desires. Mr. Browne says this where you summarise the terms of your sale. This is the step you confirm whether you can solve the prospect’s problem with your offer. If you realize from this stage that your solutions can’t meet his desires, then excuse yourself and move to the next prospect. But if you realize that what you have will solve his problem, then move to step 3.

For example…
In the case of a car, you may say, ‘From what you’ve told me so far, I gather you want a car that is sleek and has a terrific speed on the road. Is that right?’ If the prospect doesn’t agree with you, then you go back to Step 1. Probably you got his motivations wrong. Find out his motivations again. But if he agrees with you, then proceed to Step 3.

Step 3 – Introduce your product
This is where you now begin to talk about what you have to offer, because you know what solution the prospect is looking for. At this point, you must discuss only the benefits of your product/service that will meet the prospect’s desires. Present the product or service in terms of what the prospect values. Tell him the part of your product/service that will make him happy. Resist the temptation to talk about other irrelevant features. Instead concentrate on what matters to this prospect. Discuss all the angles of what the product / service can do for the prospect to make him happy. If your product offers twenty benefits, but your prospect cares about only three of them, then deal with those three important ones. Leave the rest out unless the prospect asks you about them. Don’t dilute an effective sales interview with so many benefits. Sometimes, many features/benefits reduce the credibility of the claims you make about a product.

How to do it in practice…
Still for the car, you may say, ‘I’d like you to have a look at this brand new Mercedes Benz. It has just what you expect from your dream car. Consider its sleek style. Isn’t it splendid? And it can accelerate to 250 miles per hour in one minute. No ordinary car comes close to this feat. Just what you said you wanted.’

Step 4 – Handle Objections and Concerns about Your Product/Service
An interested prospect may have a few concerns about your offer. Don’t panic when he questions about your product/service. Answer them as honestly as you can. Don’t lie about the ability of your product. Be honest and open. Don’t dismiss any question as irrelevant. If it was irrelevant, the prospect wouldn’t raise it.

Mr. Browne’s proven formula for handling such concerns is…
Listen…Agree…Suggest.

He says you must first of all listen to what the prospect is saying. Don’t judge his answer as stupid or unreasonable. Just listen and understand it. After you have listened and understood the answer, agree with the prospect. Tell him he has raised a valid point. When you agree with anybody, the person sees you as a friend and then he willing listens to you too. When you are sure you have his attention, suggest a way that concern can be handled. Use the opportunity to alley all fears about your product. Go out of your way to solve his concern. Show him that you genuinely care about his total satisfaction. You’re not just there to take his money. You want to solve his problem. When all the prospect’s concerns have been addressed, you move to the final step.

Step 5 – Ask for the Sale
You’ve gone through all this trouble for one thing — to get the sale. If you clearly showed your prospect how your product/service was going to solve his problem, then your closing of the sale will be easy. You don’t need to talk volumes, because the prospect himself wants what you’re offering him. Some prospects may just ask you how much your product costs, in a bit to hurry the process. But if your prospect doesn’t ask for the product at this stage, ask him to do it. Your question should be framed as a logical conclusion of your discussion.

Some questions for closing sales are:
‘From our discussion, I can conclude you would want to open a current account with our bank right now. Is that correct?’
‘From your responses, I gather you want to place an order for a new mattress right away. Should I then proceed with the order?’
‘Is it okay with you if I go ahead and process your order for the brand new Mercedes Benz car, black colour, four-wheel drive, and auto-steering, right now?’

Expect these peculiar situations occasionally
How do you handle a situation, where a prospect tells you to present what you have, without listening to you? Simply explain that your product can do a number of things, but you want to save time by dealing with what may be relevant to him. So now you’d like to first know what his current situation is. Could he take a few minutes to explain that to you? Then quickly start with Step 1 of the sales interview.
Sometimes, the prospect may be busy, or he may be in a hurry for a meeting. In that case, tell him you’d like to schedule another meeting with him at a more convenient time to explain things well. Ask him what time he’d like you to come back. Never be in a hurry to talk about your offer. Get to know the prospect’s motivation before you offer anything.

The mark of great salesmanship is not your swiftness at selling people oranges when they want bananas. It’s rather your ability to discover the wants of people and satisfy them through what you offer.

It’s time for you to discover wants and sell to those wants. Do just that and watch your sales figures explode.

Have a fulfilling sales career!

(Sorry for the rather long blog post. I didn’t have time to write a short one!)

 

 

How to Building Trust in Your Marketing Message

Trust is a central point  in marketing. Without trust in your message and your product, the whole exercise of marketing is fruitless. But the question is:

How do you build trust in marketing?

You can do that in so many ways. But for purposes of this article, let’s look at these areas:

*Use testimonials – yes, this is an old technique and yet it still works. These testimonials are praises from past satisfied customers. Your word against a customer’s word, who do you think people will trust? Of course, the past customer. After all, he is the one who has tried your product or service before. Nearly all human beings depend on the experience of other people to make their decisions. This includes their buying decisions. We all want to experience the good things other people have experienced and avoid the unpleasant ones. So there’s no doubt testimonials carry tons of persuasive weight in marketing. But is it all testimonials that will do? Of course not. Any testimonial that stinks of manipulation and hints of insincerity is counterproductive. Testimonials should come from the heart of the customer and be sincere. They should not leak traces of ulterior motive.

So how do you make testimonials really solid marketing pieces, ones that are credible? Here are a few things that will be helpful:

  1. Use full names of customers for testimonials – with their permission.
  2. Give location of customers and contact details, if possible. The chief aim of testimonials is to show proof that real human beings have benefited from your service or product. This why you should consider including some details so that past customers can be contacted to confirm their experience with your product or service.
  3. Provide their job descriptions and titles. Authority carries marketing weight. Titles such as Doctor, Engineer, Professor etc. all add a lot of weight to your claims. Don’t forget that.
  4. Use specific testimonials, but not general ones. A good testimonial should spell out clearly how your product or service helped the customer achieve a particular thing. Achievement must be shown in terms of real figures and percentages and within a particular time frame.

*Show measurement – tell customers how they can measure the effectiveness of your product/service. What instrument can they use and what’s the scale of measurement? How does it compare with the standard in the industry? Show, don’t tell.

* Get and display the endorsement of experts and authorities on your product/service. It’s needless to say that these people should be seen as people who have no ties with you – no family, social or business relations. Any hint of some relationship with you reduces the credibility of their claims.

*Throw a challenge – Invite customers to put your claims to the test. Tell them your integrity is on the line. If it fails your trust is lost. And you don’t want that to happen.

*Include a good guarantee policy. Tell the customer what you stand to lose if they’re not satisfied with your product/service. Absorb any risks from their side. Make it easy for them to trust you.

*Seal it with your name and signature, if possible. No one wants to be identified with an inferior thing. So by giving the product your name or embossing the label with your signature, you demonstrate your trust in it. You trust it so much to lend it your identity. You aren’t ashamed of it.

There you have them – some common ways you can build trust in your marketing efforts. On the pitch of  selling, trust is everything. Once you lose it, you can forget about great sales figures.

 

 

Sales Strategies You Can Easily Apply to Make Your Business Sell More

 

In business, as in other things, it’s the little things that matter. It’s these little things, which will either make or break your marketing efforts. Below is a checklist of eight little things that you can do to make your business sell more…

  • What name should you give to business or product? Your marketing efforts start from your choice of name. Business or product names that suggest some benefit to the customer are the ones that attract customers naturally. Take your time. Don’t rush into choosing a company or service name. Choose a name that best sells your business.
  •  How should your position your product or service? Usually a product or service has so many ways of looking at it. For example, while other restaurants may just be happy to sell food, you can choose to sell something unique – say a romantic experience between couple. This one idea can separate you from the masses, which sell identical things. Always ask this question, ‘What am I really selling?’ This one question forces you to look beyond the obvious to see your business in a new light.
  • What’s your Unique Selling Proposition (UPS)? On a certain school campus, there were a number of pizza sellers. Some claimed theirs was ‘the cheapest’ and others said theirs was ‘the most delicious.’ Someone offered something different – and more specific. He said, ‘fresh, hot pizza in 30 minutes or less.’ It caught the market hands down. ‘Fresh, hot pizza in 30 minutes or less’ was his USP. This one statement promised the customer something specific – fresh, hot pizza in 30 minutes or less. In other words, order a pizza, and you’ll get it fresh and hot in a time of 30 minutes, or even less. He made sure he delivered on his promise, and his customers loved him for that.
  • Let your marketing message be one. Don’t confuse your customers with multiple marketing messages. Your adverts and other forms of marketing material must sing one marketing message. This way, old and new customers will know what your business stands for. It builds trust. And trust brings sales.
  • Be brutally honest with your customers. You can’t cheat the customer forever. She isn’t a moron. She’ll soon detect your dishonest schemes and cease doing business with you. Find a way to tell your customer the unpleasant truth. The following story will illustrate my point. I heard it from an online marketer. Here it goes…

An advertising executive bought an apple orchard by a mountain side. He sold his apples by mail order. He sold them with the name, ‘Uncle Jim’s Mountain Grown Apples.’ He also gave an unconditional guarantee…

‘If, for any reason, you find the apples unacceptable, just let me know and I’ll return your money with no questions asked.’

One year, hail storm blemished the apples. Yet they were tastier. Uncle Jim had more orders that year ever before. What was he to do? Send the blemished apples and hope his customer wouldn’t find out, or decline to supply the orders? This was what he did…he dispatched the apples to his customers with a note that read,

‘Notice the hail marks on the apples. These are proof of their growth at a high mountain altitude where sudden chills from hail storms help stimulate the natural fruit flavours which give Uncle Jim’s apples their incomparable taste.’

He was honest and yet turned his adversity into an advantage. As a result, he had fewer money-back requests than ever. Subsequent orders came with the inscription, ‘Hail-marked apples, if available. Otherwise, the regular kind.’

  • Create ads that sell. We have discussed these sort of ads in a previous article. You need to craft your ads like David Ogilvy, Claude Hopkins, John Caples, Mel Martin and other best ad writers. Hire a good copywriter to write the ads for you, if can’t do it yourself.
  • Sell your business through direct mail. Send good sales letters to your prospective customers. Here again, you should consider hiring a copywriter to craft these letters for you. It’s their job to persuade people to take action, through written messages.
  • Ask your clients for feedback. Display those that speak well of your business at vantage points as testimonials. But first ask your clients for their permission to use them as testimonials. Include client’s full name and address in the testimonial. Show these testimonials on your complimentary cards, brochures, stickers, web pages and other marketing material. Testimonials give credibility to your business. And credibility brings more sales. Never forget to use them.

You’d agree that these eight little things are not burdensome. Consider them in the light of the 80/20 rule, which says 20 percent of the things you do are responsible for 80 percent of your success. Follow this checklist and you’ll live to give your testimony later.

Any thoughts? I invite you to share your thoughts about the blog post with millions out there.