No matter who they are, business person or consumer, everyone needs a reason to buy.
Direct marketers have known this for some time. The thinking goes that people are motivated to buy based on emotion (fear of loss being more powerful than a hope for gain), and then justify those purchases with logic after the fact. The “universal motivators” (what people really want) that are thought to drive all types of buying decisions include…
- To be weathy
- To be good looking
- To be healthy
- To be popular
- To have security
- To achieve inner piece
- To have free time
- To have fun
Whatever you sell, product or service, you’ll be even more successful if you position your company’s offerings so that the benefits meet one (or more) of these widely held motivations.
Taking this a bit further, you’ll find fascinating insight in Ed Roach’s Small Business Branding entryHow To Sell The Pain posted last week. The premise of the piece is that small business owners need to recognize a customer’s pain points and hit on as many as possible (in order of priority) in all their marketing efforts. Show your customers (or potential ones) that you understand their pain and are ready with the solution,
You always want to answer the age-old question,
“What’s in it for me?”
When your promotional efforts hit on people’s pain points, your message resonates and gets remembered. Speak as the customer speaks… use visuals they know… show them you truly know the problem; then be there to offer the solution.
What exactly is a pain point? A pain point is what a customer goes through because they don’t yet have a solution to their problem. If you haven’t already, look for opportunities where a potential customer would be thrilled to throw money at a company to solve the problem. The pain has to be such that enough people are willing to pay for a solution, your solution.
With this in mind, rethink your next promotional piece. Be sure the focus is not on you, your company or your products — instead focus on the customer and what your products (or service) can do to relieve their pain point. Your pieces don’t need to be especially flashy or expensive… have catchy slogans or fancy folds and die cuts — they need only to be professional, appealing and show plainly you (and you alone) understand and can ease the pain.
- talking to your own service people, executives or those in other functional areas of your buisness
- evaluating customer requests, especially if they’re reasonable and you’ve gotten the request before
- conducting one on one interviews with customers, anything from an informal chat over lunch to a formal interview with scripted questions
- hold customer focus groups or user group meetings
- review support calls or warranty claims
- assess competitor offerings
To put the idea in practice… take some time to think about your marketing efforts. if you run a service business, look at your offering from the customer’s point of view. What’s their greatest fear? How can your service protect them from this? When it comes to selling a product… consider how your product relieves the most acute pain of your buyer. Make it a good value and back it with a solid guarantee and you’ll have something no other business can match.