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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Get Customers to Say, "YES!"


get customers to say yes
Get Customers to Say "Yes!"
Most entrepreneurs spend time and money to produce communications that are not read or acted upon. Sometimes, the materials are poorly written, but more often, they are not customer focused. Here are some strategies you can use to create compelling communications that get customers to say “YES!”
Put the Customers Center Stage and Keep Them There
1.     Focus on what they get when they work with you or buy your products and services. For example, when someone works with me, they learn skills that maximize their potential—whether they are self-employed or work for an organization. That is what I focus on in everything I communicate.
2.     Your USP and VAP statements are features, not benefits. State your USP or VAP and ask, “So what does my client get as a result?” The answer is the benefit. It is what people gain by hiring you or buying what you offer.
3.     In fiction writing, the rule is, “Show, don’t tell.” It applies to business communications too. You do not want just to tell people how you can save them money on their taxes. Show them. For example, “When you work with me, we will go over your tax returns for the past five years to find out if you have any overlooked exemptions or deductions. Then we will prepare a tax-savings plan for you going forward to ensure you only pay what you owe and not a penny more.” That is showing, not just telling.
 Paint Pictures that Compel Readers to Buy Your Products and Services
1.     Paint pictures using case studies. A case study is a success story and is more credible than straight marketing. It states the problem the client had, the process and strategies you used to solve the problem, and the results the client achieved. Then you add a fourth section—a “How you can do this, too” section that turns your case study into free tips. People like free stuff, especially if it is something they can use. (Send me an e-mail at pat@patriciahaddock.com, and I’ll send you a free copy of my eBook Make Marketing Easy with Case Studies.)
2.     Use compelling words like imagine, you, miracle, wonder. For example, “Imagine how your business would thrive if you added five new income streams this year.” Or, “Do you wonder how some entrepreneurs stand out at networking events and meet all the right people? Here is how they do it and how you can, too.”
3.     Get testimonials, but make sure they are specific. You want the clients to describe how you worked with them to produce results or how your product or service made their lives or businesses better. Remember, focus on what the reader gets. Make sure you include each person’s name and occupation. Ruth S. will not do it. Ruth Sullivan, VP Operations, XYZ Company, carries more weight. If you can add Ruth’s photo, even better. 
Questions are powerful tools to get people thinking. You use them when you are speaking to clients and potential clients, so use them in your communications.
1.     “What if” questions focus the reader on the results you deliver. “What if you could save more than $1,000 in taxes this year working with me?” “What if you could add five new income streams this year?” “What if you stopped feeling like a wallflower and blossomed at networking events?”
2.     “Do you” questions focus the reader on gain and pain. “Do you want to stop bleeding money in interest payments?” “Do you want a bikini body in time for your vacation?” “Do you hate having to stand in long lines at the supermarket?” The answer is what you can for them.
3.     “How would you feel if” questions focus readers on the emotional payback they get from working with you. “How would you feel if you had five new income streams this year?” “How would you feel if you stopped acting like a wallflower and blossomed at networking events?” “How would you feel if you had a bikini body in time for your vacation?” 
Share information and tips in everything you do. In a marketing brochure, you can add a text box of three quick tips to do something. People are less likely to trash a marketing piece that actually has information they want.
1.     Create and give away free information products. For example, every quarter, I prepare an information product with tips to help readers be more productive or to get along better or to be better communicators. I send this to my employee development clients and let them distribute it to their staff, put it on their intranet or in the company newsletter. It is free; they value it and think of me when they want training. I stay top-of-mind.
2.     Be generous and available. Do not turn on the billing clock to answer every quick question or resent it when someone asks for your advice at a networking meeting. Do not give everything away; just enough to make them want more.

Visit my website for information about my Write to Persuade workshop.

Contact me for private consulting to create communications that get customers to say yes!


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