Welcome to Episode 41 of Write with Influence. This week we’re looking at reasons why customers are not buying from you.
Unfortunately, humans have a knack for making excuses about why they shouldn’t do something – even when you present your customer with exactly what they need and show them step-by-step how you can change their lives, they will talk themselves out of buying. One way that people can do this is to assume that they’re facing some kind of disadvantage that is going to stop them from getting results from your product. So, in this episode I am going to tackle the five most commonly perceived disadvantages head on:
- Social disadvantage
- Environmental disadvantage
- Personality disadvantage
- Economic disadvantage
- Skill, knowledge, or experience disadvantage
If you are spending time marketing your product but not selling as much as you would like, it’s important to evaluate why and make adjustments. Persuading customers that your product is beneficial and worth the money is easier said than done so I’m going to show you how you can better market your product/service in a way that converts consumers into your customers.
I have also included a couple of sketches to make you chuckle:
- Hula Holidays – two wonderful weeks in the sun or a bug infested holiday from hell? We will never know!
- My Royal Variety Performance debut – why some dreams should be left alone!
I hope you enjoy this week’s tips and tricks and that I’ve given you some useful ideas to try out. Feel free to share this with someone if you like it and if you do, tag me on Twitter at HarrisonAmy, or Instagram @writewithinfluence. If it’s your first time listening, you can check out www.writewithinfluence.com to find more episodes, learn about the complete Write with Influence Copywriting Course and keep in touch via the weekly-ish newsletter.
The Write With Influence Course
HOW TO OVERCOME “IT WON’T WORK FOR ME” OBJECTIONS TO YOUR COPY
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Write with Influence, where we talk copywriting for 15 to 20 minutes and I give you some practical tips and tricks and the ideas to try.
One of the problems that you’ll face when selling anything to anyone is the uncanny ability customers have for talking themselves out of buying what it is that we have, even if you’ve shown them that what you have will lead to a wonderful transformation and a positive change in their lives. You may have used butterfly moments, for example, we looked at those in episode 11 and they are about creating a succinct and vivid description of how your customer’s life will be so much better because of your product. Or maybe you’ve shown your customer that if they don’t do anything, if they don’t buy what you have, then they face a risk, some consequences or pain or discomfort – we looked at how to use that in episode 12.
Now, if people were logical, rational beings then on hearing your pitch for what it is that you have, we’d expect them to say, “Wow, I’d really like to get me some of that! What do I have to do to pursue it?” Unfortunately, humans just have a knack for making excuses about why they shouldn’t do something, even if it might lead to something that they want. Now, this sounds crazy, but there are countless examples of people who regret not doing more, for example, pursuing a dream, but at the time had 1,000,001 reasons why it just wasn’t possible. And this isn’t a judgment, it’s just an observation of behavior that you have to be aware of when writing your marketing copy because sometimes, even when you present your customer with exactly what they need and you show them step-by-step how you can change their life, they can talk themselves out of it. One way that people can do this is to assume that they’re facing some kind of disadvantage that is going to stop them from getting results from your product. So, in this episode, I’m going to explore five common disadvantages that you’ll want to tackle head on so that your customers can’t use it as an excuse not to buy your product.
The first one is a social disadvantage. Think of the phrase, it’s not what you know, but who you know – how many times have you heard that? And you get this feeling that if you just knew the right people, doors would open, and success would happen. And yes, having a strong varied and engaged network can definitely help you in everything from business to finance to health, but some people can take this to the extreme and think that if they don’t have the right connections today then they will never get the success they want – they’ll never get that job or promotion, have a successful business, publish a book, et cetera, et cetera. So, something to think about is your customer thinking that they are at a social disadvantage and is that stopping them from getting what it is that they want. A really common one for this is if your customer wants to build an audience, gain exposure, or be chosen by others. By the very nature of needing some kind of validation from others, it does rely on impressing and being liked by a network of people. The temptation here though, and the potential objection that you face is that your customer may look at other people who are building a successful audience, whether that be on Instagram or just in their local community and they may think, “Well, yeah, it’s okay for them because they know all these people, they know the influences in the industry and if I could just get a retweet by Tony Robbins, I’d be set.” So, if building an audience or exposure is something that you do for your customer and it’s something that you want, one thing that you can do is either let them know that those connections may not be as important to their success as they think they are, or you can show them how to make those connections. But it’s not just about building an audience where a social disadvantage may stop people from buying, it’s anything where your customer feels they don’t have access to the right people and that’s what is holding them back. This could be a writer trying to find an agent, a sales person trying to get that first big account, or just a foot in the door, even just a local shop trying to get shoppers from the community. Can you show them that they’re not at a social disadvantage because they either don’t need the network they think they need in order to be successful or can you show them how to build that network?
The next one is an environmental disadvantage, and what I mean by this is, have you ever wanted to pursue something but felt you weren’t in the right place or in the right situation to do it? Maybe you’d like to go back to work, but you wanted to wait until the kids are in school or you’ve thought about traveling, but you want to pay off your credit card first. Some situations do prevent us from following what we want, but sometimes we can just use it as an excuse not to do something. So, think about your customer and whether they might find an excuse because, for example, they think that they don’t have enough time, they don’t have the right resources or equipment, they don’t live in the right location, they don’t have the right environment. Maybe they want to work from home, but they’re in a cramped apartment and feel like they can’t do it. If this is the kind of excuse you think your customer might rely on, can you show them that they don’t need the time, the resources, the money, whatever it is that they think that they need in order to see success from your product?
The third disadvantage is a personality disadvantage. Now, I think this is a really common one in life, because for some reason, a lot of people out there just don’t feel like they’re good enough on a core personality level to achieve what it is that they want. So, how many times have you heard someone say, oh, I’d love to do XYZ, but I couldn’t, I’m too shy/ I’m not brave enough/I’m too lazy/not focused enough/not funny enough, et cetera. And people can go on and on and on like this until they decide they simply don’t have the personality to pursue a desire. Now, in copywriting, you can pin this down with a neat little exercise, which is first of all to list all the qualities or the personality traits that you think your customer thinks that they need to have success but feels that they don’t have. So, as I said before, do they think that they need to be really outrageous or outgoing, but feel like they aren’t? Have a list of all those and then think about what qualities you’re confident that the majority of your customers do have that they actually need to succeed. Let me give you an example and that should bring it to life a little bit. Your customer might love the idea of having a really successful lifestyle blog or YouTube channel or Instagram account, whatever it is, but maybe she’s worried that she’s not interesting enough to consistently produce content that people will want to consume. So, we might think about some of the qualities that she thinks she needs versus what she actually needs, and we could write something like, “You don’t need to be able to think about an interesting, unique, original idea every time you produce content. If you have the knowledge of just five different topics that you can talk passionately about, we can show you how to turn that into a year’s worth of content.” So, this might tackle that potential objection of, I’m not spontaneous enough/I don’t have enough ideas/I’m not creative enough. and you’re saying, that’s not a disadvantage because you don’t need those things, instead, you need a solid content production plan, and we can show you how to put that together if you have passion and knowledge around a handful of subjects. So, this is a really useful exercise – list those personality facets that your customer thinks they need, but don’t have and then another list of traits that they actually do need and most likely already have or can learn and then just practice playing around with those phrases of “You don’t need to be X, as long as you are Y”. For example,
- You don’t need to be outrageous as long as you’re committed to turning up and learning our lessons.
- You don’t need to be a spontaneous speaker as long as you’re willing to learn a few lines to memory.
Now we’re already up to three potential disadvantages that your customer can use as excuses to not buy a product and it might sound like we’re having to give our customers a lot of encouragement to unpick these potential objections and we do – people are very good at talking themselves out of things, even when it’s something they really, really want
[SKETCH – Booking a family holiday]
Mum: I’m just popping to the travel agents to book that family holiday.
(Sound of front door shutting behind mum as she leaves)
Mum: (Thinking) Two weeks in the sun is just what we need. An all-inclusive, holiday club for the kids. The brochure looked wonderful. I hope it’s accurate. You hear these horror stories of fake listings and getting there to find a cramped room that’s miles from the beach and crawling with cockroaches. Oh, that would be awful. What if it happens to us? We’d have to upgrade to a nicer room and complain, and then how much is that going to cost? And then having to face the staff, knowing that we’ve complained, well, they’d probably scrimp on our portions at the all-you-can-eat buffet. Would they do that? That would be terrible. What if they restrict the number of crab legs you can have and it turns into one of those awful fights you see on Inside Edition, “everyone for themselves”, they said. Oh God, oh God, I hate confrontation and if the kids aren’t eating, they’re going to be cranky. I bet the kids club is run by ineffective teenagers that are just going to feed them junk food and sit them in front of a TV, which means they’re not going to sleep at night. But then, with the mosquitoes out there, are any of us going to get any sleep? Because if there’s cockroaches in the rooms and you can bet their bug screens are useless . . .
(Enters Hula Holiday Shop)
Hula Holiday Rep: Welcome to Hula Holidays!
Mum: You can keep your stinking nightmare of a holiday. We’ll be having a wet week in a caravan in Wales and be miserable there rather than starved half to death and eaten by bugs at your hellish resort. Good day to you.
Hula Holiday Rep: . . . can I help?
The next disadvantage is an economic disadvantage, and this might fall into that environmental disadvantage bracket, not having enough time on money, but it’s worth separating it out on its own in this example, because money is a common wedge used to separate the haves and have nots and it’s effective because yes, there are certain advantages to having money over not having money and because of this, money can be cited as a reason that things can’t be done. In this episode, I don’t want to look at reasons why your customer might think they can’t afford your product or service. Instead, I want to look at how customers may use a perceived economic disadvantage as a reason that they can’t get the results that you are promising them. An example of this is when someone is starting their business and they look at their competitor’s website and think, “Wow, that must have cost a fortune, I’d never be able to get something like that for my business.” But they don’t realize that actually there are other affordable ways to get a professional website without hiring an expensive firm – you only have to look at Wix or Squarespace, et cetera. Or there might be a customer who wants to have a style overhaul and they may be convinced that the only way to look fashionable is to spend lots of money on designer clothes, makeup, pampering and personal assistants, and then they think that that’s just for celebrities, but they may not know that you offer an affordable fashion conscious 10 day course that costs a fraction of the price of a super expensive Mulberry handbag. So, focus on whether or not there is a perceived economic barrier that your customer thinks is stopping them from getting the results that they want.
The final disadvantage that people might use is one of skill, knowledge, or experience, and this is a little bit similar to the personality advantage, but another common belief that holds us back is thinking, I’m not skilled enough/ I don’t know enough/I don’t have enough experience. What I think is that whilst skill and talent is definitely important, confidence in that skill is just as important, and the reason I say that is because I know many talented people who shy away from shining or putting themselves out there because of modesty or doubt, and this may be something that your customer also struggles with. Is there a chance that your customer may call into question whether or not they have the skill, knowledge, or experience they need in order to get the results that you’re promising? Now, you do need to be clear about any skill or any kind of basic level of experience that your customer needs to see results because you don’t want to make false promises about what’s possible – this is particularly apparent when your customer needs that baseline of expertise or skill in order to get results. So, for example, if you are teaching a content or a writing course, you’re probably assuming that your customer is a half decent writer. If you’re teaching a fitness class, you need to be clear as to what level of fitness someone needs in order to participate. Or if your customer is someone who wants to promote their service or knowledge or skills or if they want to become a consultant or a coach, and that’s something you can help them with, then you’ve got to make sure that they do have a valid level of expertise and experience in order to make that offering authentic. So, you wouldn’t want to promise someone that they can become a business coach overnight without knowing the first thing about business. That might sound crazy, but unfortunately the situation of business coaches who have zero experience building or running a business may be more prevalent than you actually think.
So, those are the five potential disadvantages that your customer thinks that they have, which will stop them from getting the results that you’re promising them and they are worth tackling head on. So, just to recap:
- Social disadvantage – not having the right network or knowing the right people in order to succeed.
- Environmental disadvantage – do they feel they’re not in the right place or time or have the right resources in order to get results?
- Personality disadvantage – do they feel they don’t have the traits that they need to succeed?
- Economic disadvantage – do they think that in order to get results, they need more financial resources at their disposal than they actually do?
- A skill, knowledge, or experience disadvantage – do they feel that they just don’t know enough/ aren’t good enough/ aren’t skilled enough in older to get what it is that they want?
That’s all for this week. Thanks again for joining me. Feel free to share this episode with someone if you like it and if you do, tag me on Twitter @HarrisonAmy, or I’m on Instagram, @writewithinfluence. And if it’s your first time listening, visit www.writewithinfluence.com where you can find more episodes, learn about the complete Write with Influence copywriting course and keep in touch via the weekly-ish newsletter.
I’ll see you next time and remember, while we don’t want our customers to discourage themselves from buying what you have, we’ve got to make sure the encouragement we offer is realistic and we’re not over promising what’s possible.
[SKETCH – Documentary trailer]
Voiceover: This is the story of a small-town dreamer.
Amy: I want to be on the Royal Variety Show and perform for the Queen.
Voiceover: Whose dream seemed a million miles away.
Small town person: You’ll never make it out of this small Yorkshire town to the bright lights of London. Stop this fanciful talk and get to the bus company you’re late for your shift.
Voiceover: Until one day, she found someone who believed all dreams deserve a chance.
Agent: Get you on the Royal Variety show – piece of piss. I’ll be taking 70% though.
Voiceover: This would set her on a journey that would change her life.
Amy: Morning everyone! Change of plan – we’re going to London!
Voiceover: Change the lives of those around her . . .
Amy’s mum: I’ve got a dental appointment in Cottingham!
Voiceover: And make her see that there are no shortcuts to living your dream.
Amy: Yeah, we’re stuck on the M25.
Agent: The show starts in three hours.
Producer: Amy, where the bloody hell are you? Where’s my bus? Where’s my passengers?
Voiceover: Based on a true story so modified for dramatic purposes that it has no basis of truth left in it.
Amy: Just in time!
Agent: Get out there, the Queen’s out there.
Voiceover: This is one girl’s eight-hour journey on the M1.
Amy: I don’t think I can do it.
Voiceover: To prove that any dream, no matter how crazy, can come true.
Agent: Course you can. They’ll sue me for breach of contract if you don’t.
Voiceover: But that some dreams should be left well alone.
Royal Variety Presenter: Introducing Amy Harrison . . .
Audience member: Oh god she is awful.
Audience member: One would like to make it stop.
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