Six tips for more persuasive marketing

With customers bombarded with so many brands and advertisements each day, it is your job to make your marketing messages more persuasive and relevant to break through the noise.

But where do you start? Here are six tips to help you make your marketing messages more persuasive.

1. Know what your customers are buying

When your customers choose to buy from you, they are buying more than a product or service. They are buying the solution to their problem, the answer to their question, the feeling they’ve been missing or the convenience they’ve been wanting. 

When you uncover what your customers really want, you capture not only the attention of your customer but their heart as well.

2. Speak with authority

Every purchase requires your customer to trust you.  The higher the purchase price, the more trust your customer needs to have in you. 

To build trust, you need to speak with authority. Present yourself as the expert, share your knowledge, draw on your experiences, and tell stories about the value you have provided. Own your skills and expertise. Be confident in your abilities and bold in your belief that you can deliver. Confidence makes you more persuasive.

3. Leverage social proof

People follow people. People also want to be part of something – a movement, cause, group or community.  Social proof helps you to build this. 

When you share the experiences others have had with your products and services, you ease the concerns and minimise the risks for your customers. But more importantly, you create commonality among your customers, and that can be built into a sense of community.

4. Treat customers as ‘the one’

Do the unexpected. Go above and beyond. Be committed to doing the most you can do in your business. The more you can make your customers feel like they are the only one you are concerned about and the only one you are speaking to, the more powerful your message becomes. 

5. Keep it simple 

Our customers crave convenience, yet many of us have a tendency to overcomplicate our sales process. We give too many choices and price points, include too many steps and clicks and request too many details. 

Keep it simple. Don’t ask for every contact detail up front, make your website easy to navigate, ensure the next step is clear, and your calls to action are compelling and easy to follow. 

6. Create urgency

We are a competitive bunch. If we think we are going to miss out on something, we act faster.  So once you have established your value, create urgency through special edition products or services, time limited opportunities or bonuses open to limited people.

How can you be more persuasive in your marketing?

Amanda


Four questions you MUST ask to get to know your customers

Whether you are designing a product, developing a marketing strategy or writing a blog post having a thorough understanding of your target marketing is vital. 

But how do you get clear on who it is you are talking to and targeting? Here are four questions you MUST ask to get to know your customers – and why you need to ask them.

1. Who are my customers?

What types of people are your customers? Are they a business or consumer? Male or female? Older or younger? 

Do they have money, or are they buying on credit? Are they impulsive or considered? Are they well educated or uneducated? Are they fun or reserved? Daring or cautious? Kids or no kids? Happy or unhappy? Are they making ends meet or living the high life? Are they worried about what others think of them?

What is important to them? What do they value most? Who do they trust? What media do they consume? What social media do they use? 

By asking who your customers are, you will discover how to speak to them and where to find them.

2. What do my customers really want?

What does your customer want from you, do you know? 

While your customers may justify their purchases logically based on the features or inclusions you provide, they don’t tend to buy because of them. Your customers buy based on what your product or service will do for them, save them, make them feel, or make others think or feel about them. 

So again, I ask you, what do your customers really want from you?

Is it to save time or money? Is it to have a certain status or level of respect? Is it to be first and lead the way? Is it to make them feel more worthy, attractive or confident? Is it to alleviate guilt, stress or grief? Is it to live longer? Is it to be more successful, prosperous or influential? Is it to be a trendsetter or forward thinker? 

By identifying what your customers really want, you will uncover how to market to them and what you need to say.

3. How motivated are my customers?

How great are your customers’ needs, wants, frustrations or challenges? How motivated are your customers to buy from you? Do they need and want your product or service or just like the idea of it? Is your product or service an essential or luxury to them? Do your customers know and acknowledge they need your product or service? 

By asking how motivated your customers are you can determine if your product, service or market is viable. You will also be able to identify the level of education you will need to provide and what you will need to do to motivate them.

4. What is holding my customers back from buying?

What are the reasons your customers won’t buy from you? What are some of the reservations they have? 

Is it price or timing? Is it a lack of awareness or understanding? Is it a lack credibility or runs on the board? Is it that you are too new or too established? Is there too much risk involved? Do they need it but don’t want it? Is there not enough proof of your claims? Is there someone influencing their decision?

By finding out what is holding your customers back you can identify ways to build trust, and calm concerns, fears and objections through your marketing. You will also be able to uncover what influencers you need to market to and win over to get the sale.

Do you know your target market as well as you should?

Amanda


How to stay relevant in the mind of your customers

Few things can kill your business faster than becoming irrelevant to your customers. The hard fact of business is that change is inevitable, while you can be on trend and meeting needs and wants one day, there is no guarantee that it will be the same the next.

With greater competition, new technology and changing customer demands how do you ensure you stay relevant in the mind of your customers? 

1. Stay connected

When we start out in business, we are more open to input. In fact, we actively seek it to make sure we are on track and that our customers are happy. We value customer feedback, listen to concerns and promptly make changes to rectify problems. While some businesses continue this process, many others don’t.

It’s almost like there is a certain point in business where we know better. We have the experience and industry knowledge now, we know what is happening and what our customers want – so we no longer ask them. 

We detach and become so focused on growth and development that we lose that customer connection we so desperately need to stay relevant and meet growing needs. Our time becomes precious. We limit the calls and meetings we have and opt for an email – bulk email – to stay in touch and “save time”. 

We start to tell more than we ask, push more than we pull. But to weather the storm of changing needs and wants we need to connect with our customers. We need to understand their purchase decisions, why they make them and how we can make the experience better, and this comes from talking to them, not just looking at the numbers. 

2. Understand how your customers use your products and services 

When we developed our products and services we knew the problem they solved and how we thought they should be used. But that is only one perspective. Your customers may have a completely different idea or purpose for your products or services. 

They may even use them to solve problems you hadn’t thought of, or didn’t know they solved. By understanding how your customers use and want to use your products and services you can start to identify limitations and opportunities to make them even more relevant going forward.

3. Know why your customers do business with you

Do you know why your customers chose to do business with you over your competitors? What was special or different about you? What did you provide that no one else did or did as well? What got them over the line? 

Once you know the bigger reason of why they chose and valued your business you can ensure this is prioritised, communicated and maintained even when you need to change, adapt and expand to suit needs and wants. 

4. Sell the experience, not the product or service

The moment you start selling a product or service by its features and benefits you compete with everyone in your industry. But when you sell the experience, tell the story, share the vision or back the cause your customers are buying something else entirely. Your customers no longer compare you in the same way – you are in a different league. 

This shift creates loyalty not just at a product or service level; it creates loyalty at a company-wide level so when your customers do change, or when you introduce new products and services and try to upsell, cross-sell or resell customers, holding onto them and converting them is far easier.

How do you stay relevant in the mind of your customers?

Amanda


Four marketing lessons your customers can teach you

Your customers are one of your most valuable assets in business. They not only provide the necessary income through sales to help your business survive, but they also provide valuable insight into your products and services, and the best way to market them. 

If you want to find out how to be more strategic in your marketing, spend your budget more wisely and attract more of the customers you want to work with, the answer lies in your existing customers. Here are four marketing lessons your customers can teach you.

1. They can tell you what customers to target

One of the best lessons your customers can teach you is who you do and don’t want to work with. Make a list of your most challenging customers. What made them challenging? Why did you not like working with them? Do they have any characteristics in common that may help you qualify potential customers better?

Now make a list of your top customers. What did you love most about working with them? What made them a great customer? Do you see any commonalities or patterns that will help you find and identify your top customers easily?

2. They can tell you where to find more customers

Once you have identified your top customers, look at where you found them or how they found you. Are there any commonalities or patterns here?

Did a particular advertisement, message, referral source, marketing activity, incentive, product or service, attract your top customers to you? Is there a particular social media platform, publication, website or influencer they were influenced by? 

If you can, also compare how your most challenging customers found you. This will allow you to qualify your sales and marketing efforts and ensure you attract more of your top customers into your business.

3. They can tell you what customers will love most about you

Often in our marketing we will pick out the features, benefits and solutions that we think will appeal most to our customers. 

While we can often be right, a customer can give you a more practical example or application that you or a potential customer may not have thought of. They can also find additional benefits or prioritise benefits differently to how you would have imagined. 

4. They can get new customers to trust you

Your current customers play a major part in your marketing and sales process; they minimise the risk of your new customers purchase decision. While you can address the frustrations of potential customers, offer solutions and provide an incentive, your existing customers provide the ‘proof’ that what you say or do works.

Without their stories, testimonials, case studies or referrals your sales are hinged on how much trust and rapport you or your sales people can build, or how competitive your pricing is.

What marketing lessons have your customers taught you?

Amanda


Why you need customers to want you

One of our greatest strengths as entrepreneurs can also be one of our greatest marketing stumbling blocks – our vision. 

Our ability to disrupt industries and think up products and services that fill needs our target market doesn’t even know they have yet can make for some incredible businesses and profits. 

But for the very big picture disrupters and entrepreneurs with new and unique ideas, it can also lead to a lot of education to convince customers to buy from you. 

While you may have the next brilliant idea that people need, if your customer doesn’t want your product it won’t matter how good it is. Still not convinced? Here are three reasons why you need your customer to want you.

1. Want translates to need

I’m sure you’ve experienced it, where you have wanted something so badly you have convinced yourself you need it? It’s the main reason I have so many shoes and notebooks. 

While a customer may need your product or service, and even see the purpose or benefit in doing business with you, it doesn’t mean they will want to.  Want brings motivation. It is why great ideas that have met customer needs have still fallen flat – customers don’t want them or know why they should want them and fail to act.

2. Want creates urgency

Think about the last time you wanted something. If it was a larger purchase, it might have consumed your thoughts for a while, and if it was a smaller purchase, chances are you bought it immediately. 

When the want is strong enough, it doesn’t ease until it’s met. While a need can build interest, a want creates the urgency to act.

3. Want persuades 

When a customer wants your product or service they will often push past objections, justify concerns and persuade other decision makers to come on board. Want increases desire, creates excitement and builds anticipation. 

Building a customer’s want for your product or service will make them the best sales person, and if happy with your product or service, they’ll become the best advocate for your business.

Do your customers need and want you? How can you create more want for your products and services?

Amanda 


Three marketing time savers

While marketing is an essential part of business, it can also be one of the first areas we put on hold when we get busy. Sure it saves us time in the short term, but with consistent marketing being the key to consistent business, it can cost our cash flow in the long term.

To help you streamline your marketing efforts and stay consistent even when you are short on time, here are three marketing time savers you can implement without impacting your results.

1. Develop a promotional calendar

One of the fastest ways to waste time (and money for that matter) in marketing is to not have clarity. By mapping out your promotions for the next three to six months, you take the last minute panic out of your communications and ensure your social media, newsletter and promotional content are aligned for greater results.

To do this, firstly identify possible themes for each month. Your theme could be around the different products or services you provide or want to sell more of, the time of year it is (seasons, Father’s Day, Christmas etc.), or trending products, services or topics.

Once you have a theme in mind look at the products, services or packages you want to promote (or need to sell) and the promotions, calls to action and incentive you need to use to get people to act. 

2. Repurpose your content

Whenever you write content, whether it is for your website or a brochure, a blog or social media post you should be thinking of how else you could use the content. 

Could a social media post be expanded into a blog post? Could your blog post or speaking presentations be broken down into several social media tip updates or an image/infographic? Could you expand your blog post for a longer feature article to submit? Could your newly revised social media profile also form part of your About Us page and speaker introduction?

What about the past blog posts you have written could you provide an update, follow up or a ‘top blogs/tips on [topic]’ post to get more out of your existing content?

3. Leverage your time through tools and team members

One of the biggest hurdles for many business owners to get over is to realise you don’t have to do it all. If you don’t enjoy a particular area of marketing, aren’t good at it or are wasting too much time in it outsource it to another team member or professional. 

If you do enjoy it, and you are good at it look to simplify, streamline and leverage your time through technology. Chances are someone has had the foresight to develop a tool, website, app, program or process to help. Search around, get recommendations and experiment until you find your match.

How do you minimise your time in marketing? Do you have any favourite marketing tools you use?

Amanda


The top three selling emotions – and how to use them

As we are discovering “why?” is one of the most powerful questions we can ask. Not only in terms of problem solving, but also for motivating and influencing our customers and prospects. 

When we can convince our prospects as to why they should buy from us, and take them on an emotional journey to get there, we are in a far greater position to make the sale. 

But what emotions should you appeal to and where do you start? In my experience here are the top three selling emotions and how to use them. 

1. Discontentment

To move quickly, people need to experience discontentment with their current situation. As much as we want to move towards pleasure, we are far more motivated to move away from pain. Just think about it if we were all motivated by pleasure, we’d all have what we want, or be well on the way to getting what we want. 

The purpose of using discontentment is to create a need or desire in the mind of your prospect. Discomfort can come from many different emotions including frustration, envy, resentment, regret, guilt and even fear to name a few. You might find yourself appealing to current emotions or the possibility of them experiencing them in the future by taking prospects to the ‘worst case scenario’ (think life insurance for instance). 

When you can demonstrate their pain and frustration or potential or pain and frustration, you start to make your prospect discontent.  If you can make them uncomfortable and then show them a way to be more comfortable than they have ever been, you have increased your chances of making the sale. 

A word of warning: When you are appealing to emotions, particularly strong, negative emotions tread carefully and sensitively. You need to make sure the feeling is about one specific area that you can move your prospect out of quickly to not leave those feelings associated with your brand. 

2. Hope

Hope is a powerful emotion. It can motivate us to act completely out of our comfort zone and do some crazy things for the potential of a reward. 

Once your prospect is discontent, give them hope that there is a way out. If discontent is your ‘worst case scenario’ then hope is your ‘what if…’ scenario. 

A word of warning: Hope is where expectations are made. While you do need to build up your ‘what if…’ scenario, don’t build it up to a point where they could experience disappointment if they buy from you. 

3. Excitement

Now your prospect has hope it’s time to build excitement. Excitement motivates us to move forward, and it also ensures that whatever we are excited about stays at the forefront of our mind. 

To get your prospect excited though, they also need to see the value, incentive (“what’s in it for me?”) and urgency. You need to demonstrate to your prospect that they need and most importantly want to act now.

A word of warning: When someone is really excited they want to act immediately – and you want them to act immediately because the feeling can be fleeting. To cater for this make it easy for them to act by being clear on the next step. The fastest way to squash excitement is to make the process too hard or long.

Are you appealing to the right emotions in your marketing?

Amanda


Five reasons to call your customers regularly

The way to succeed in business is to be constantly in touch with your market. The moment you lose touch with them or start making business more about you than your customers is the time you risk becoming irrelevant. 

While business can get busy, and email can seem like a quicker option, nothing beats picking up the phone and engaging in conversation. Don’t think you have the time? Here are five reasons you should be making the time to call your customers regularly.

1. Uncover needs and trends

Businesses and people change over time. What they once valued or needed may no longer be valued or needed. The only way to prevent yourself from losing customers to competitors or becoming irrelevant in your industry is to be in contact with your customers and find out what is happening in their lives and businesses. 

The more you genuinely care and want to help, the more they will open up to you about their struggles, worries, frustrations and challenges. This gives you valuable insight into the minds and needs of your customers and helps you find or create the right solution for them. It can also help you identify trends, and market opportunities as similar struggles and needs appear through your discussions.

2. Upsell products and services

As you uncover needs you will also uncover opportunities to upsell (increase the amount they spend), cross-sell (get them buying more) and resell (keep them coming back). 

A customer won’t always think of you as their needs change and may not even be aware of the other products and services you provide. Talking to them over the phone gives you the opportunity to educate them on all of the different solutions you can provide.

3. Gain testimonials and case studies

Another key benefit of staying in touch with your customers is that you get to know the results they are achieving with your products and services. Customer testimonials and case studies are incredibly valuable in your sales process because they prove how you can help.  This proof reduces the risk felt by potential customers and gives you powerful marketing messages to use.

As you are talking to your customers, casually ask them how your product or service has helped them. More often than not your customers will be flattered you value their opinion and be happy to give you a testimonial.

4. Identify improvements

Some business owners fear their customers’ feedback, so much so that it prevents them from following up after purchases. But the feedback your customers share with you, whether it is positive or negative, is the key to building a better business. 

Your customers, who have experienced your products and services firsthand, will provide priceless insight into the quality, affordability, customer service and benefits you offer compared to what else is available in your industry. And if you choose to listen, help you create greater products and services that are more competitive and relevant to your market.

5. Build relationships

Never underestimate the power of a trusting business relationship. You have already invested time, money and energy into getting your customers; why not do everything in your power to keep them as well?

People want to be valued for who they are and not just how much they spend with you. A quick phone call to see how they are going is a great way to build a relationship with your customers and inspire loyalty and trust. 

These days so many businesses have an agenda when they contact their customers. However, you leave an indelible mark when you call just to see how they are going.

Amanda


Is the price right?

Nothing can cause confusion and doubt in a business like pricing your products and services. While you don’t want to charge less than you are worth, you also don’t want to price yourself out of the market, so how do you know if your price is right?

Whether you are starting out or starting over, here are five factors to consider when pricing your products and services.

1. Costs

First and foremost you need to be financially informed. Before you set your pricing work out the costs involved with running your business. These include your fixed costs (the expenses that will come in every month regardless of sales) and your direct costs (the expenses you incur by producing and delivering your products and services).

2. Customers

Know what your customers want from your products and services. Are they driven by the cheapest price or by the value they receive? What part does price play in their purchase decision? 

Also look at what you are selling, are your current customers buying high-end or low-end products and services? This information will help you determine if your price is right, what level of service or inclusions you should be offering and lastly if you are targeting the right market. It may be that you need to change your market to make your business more profitable.

3. Positioning

Once you understand your customer, you need to look at your positioning. Where do you want to be in the marketplace? Do you want to be the most expensive, luxurious, high-end brand in your industry, the cheapest, beat it by 10% brand or somewhere in the middle? Once you have decided, you will start to get an idea of your ideal pricing. 

4.  Competitors

This is one of the key times you can give yourself permission to do a little competitor snooping. What are they charging for different products and services? What inclusions and level of service are they offering for those prices? What customers are they attracting with their pricing? And how are they positioned in the marketplace? The answers to these questions will give you an industry benchmark for your pricing.

5. Profit

One of the most important questions business owners neglect to ask themselves is “How much profit do I want to make?” They tend to look at what others charge and then pull a figure out of the air to be competitive without giving consideration to how much profit the want and need.

While you may be in business for the passion and to add value to the lives of others, you also need to add value to your own. So give careful consideration to what your time is worth.

How do you determine your pricing?

Amanda


The three keys to emotional selling

Emotions are powerful motivators. They influence every purchase decision we make. Every day we buy based on feelings of love, fear, greed, guilt, anger, frustration, happiness, hope, and curiosity and then justify our purchases logically.

While we can try to avoid using them, the truth is if you want to persuade people to buy your products and services you need to appeal to their emotions. Your potential customers are not as interested in the features of your product or service as much as what it will do for them, give them, save them, make them feel or help them become.

So to help you get greater results from your marketing, advertising and sales meetings, here are the three keys to emotional selling.

1. Understand key emotional drivers

There are a number of key emotional drivers that motivate each of us. But the catch is they don’t affect us all, in the same way. Your job is to work out the drivers that will appeal to your customers the most. Here are just a few: 

▪    To love and be loved 
▪    To feel secure and have stability
▪    To feel important and receive praise
▪    To have pride in who we are and what we do
▪    To feel like we are making a difference 

2. Know your audience

In order to appeal to your potential customer’s key emotional drivers you need to have an intimate knowledge of your target audience. You get this by looking at your past and current customers, what they needed, what they bought and why they bought it. You also get it by putting yourself in your potential customers shoes. 

▪    What are their greatest needs and wants?
▪    What are their most pressing frustrations?
▪    What is their deepest fear?
▪    What keeps them up at night?

Once you begin to understand your potential customer and what they want and need from your industry and business, you can then identify which emotions you need to appeal to in order to push their buy buttons.

3. Tell the story

As you begin to talk or write to your potential customer, paint the picture of their current situation particularly the pain and frustration, they are experiencing. Once you’ve made them uncomfortable, give them hope, explaining what it could be like once they have your product or service. 

By doing this, you are allowing them to have an emotional experience with your product or service before they even try it. 
 
So the next time you are in a sales meeting or preparing your marketing material, remember words tell but emotion sells.

Amanda


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