If you want to make sales, you need to get your reader to agree with you. That way, when it comes to popping the big question (“wanna buy our stuff?”) the only answer they can think of is “Yes!” Here are five simple steps to walk your reader through to make them feel generous come crunch time.
1. Secure a ‘micro yes’ first
Start your reader off with a small and easy ‘yes’. For example, ‘Want to save money on your health insurance?” or ‘Ready for your next adventure?” This method gets your reader into the subconscious habit of saying ‘yes’ before you’ve even officially begun selling to them. By starting with a little ‘yes’, you make them more susceptible to your big ‘yes’ later on – which usually involves a bigger ask and them parting with their money!
2. Benefits vs. Features
The best way to get a ‘yes, I want that’ response is to translate the features into the benefits. Think how it will change your consumer’s life. For example, a brand new sports car can go 0-60 in three seconds. That’s the feature. So what’s the benefit? Well, it can make you quicker – you can shoot ahead of everyone else at the traffic lights. That can make you feel great – the emotional benefit. Not digits on a speedometer, but wind in their hair. Make the reader feel like the product is already in their life, and they’ll start to miss it before they even own it.
3. Evidence the claim
Empty claims don’t get results (unless you’re a politician with floppy blonde hair). Once you’ve grabbed your consumer’s interest with a juicy benefit, provide evidence for a said benefit immediately. This evidence could take the form of research results or a product feature. For example, ‘Our new dishwasher saves you time and energy, thanks to our new, super-fast, eco-friendly spin cycle. Eco-Spin is proven to reduce water usage by up to three liters per wash.’ The benefit of saving you time and energy is immediately backed up with a feature and a supporting statistic.
4. Use techniques from the bestselling book on persuasion, ‘Yes!’
‘Yes!” by Psychology academic Robert B. Cialdini and others, is full of useful techniques to help you persuade your reader – along with Influence: Science and Practice. One of these techniques is social proof, a powerful psychological driver. Given the choice of two restaurants, where one is busy and the other is empty, you’ll probably choose the busy one. That’s social proof in action. It reduces the risk of buying your product by presenting evidence that others have chosen it and are delighted. That’s why many companies include testimonials in ads, sales literature and on van sides.
5. Know your audience, know your product
Studying your audience will reveal what motivates them. Find out what’s worked with them in the past and, importantly, what hasn’t worked and why. Learn about everything you can. It’ll help you get into their head and see the product from their point of view. Knowing your offer inside out will help you to then spot the thing that’s most likely to make them say, ‘Yes!’