Many business owners understand the importance of written communication. However, quite a few believe that you just need to write about your product and service in a compelling way and BOOM! Done.
Except this isn’t exactly true.
Major In Customer Knowledge
In order to persuade someone, to motivate them, and to sell them something – you need to understand the person you want to reach.
This is why market research is so important. Larger companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on market research, asking research participants to test and compare the taste, smell, and appearance of many different types of products.
I’ve been in such research groups. I’ve taste-tested hamburgers, coffee, diet shakes, and cough syrup. (Thankfully, not all at once!) All asked similar questions: What did you like? What didn’t you like? Was the after-taste bitter? Did the hamburger bun look good or did it lack something in appearance?
Understanding your potential customer’s perspective is vital to the success of your business. And the only way you can often discover it is either by research or asking them.
Here are a few questions you can ask:
- What keeps her awake at night?
- What makes him angry?
- What makes her afraid?
- What are his frustrations?
- What are the trends that may be affecting her life?
- What does he secretly desire the most?
- Does your target market have their own language? (i.e. surfers have surfer lingo. Does your market have its own lingo?)
Research the Internet. Look for discussion boards and posted reviews about your type of product or service. Very often, you’ll find that your “perfect customer” is very vocal about what they like and don’t like.
I’ve mentioned before that my father was a highly successful manufacturers sales rep. He sold casters, which were a part of a manufactured product (usually chairs, carts, trolleys, etc.). My dad’s ultimate customer was actually the product engineer. But he couldn’t talk directly to the engineer. He first had to speak with the purchasing agent.
If my father tried to go straight to the engineer, the purchasing agent would feel miffed and as a result, block any further attempts to do business with the company. So my father had to appeal first to the agent.
Know Thy Customer
Because my father learned quickly the purchasing agent would feel frustrated if sales people did an end-run to reach their prospect, he did something very smart.
He lavished attention upon purchasing agents. He made them feel important.
The act of making someone feel important is enormously effective in the buying cycle. If someone feels valued, there is almost no limit to what they will do to help you.
My father understood that purchasing agents wanted respect just like any other employee. So he gave it to them. And as a result, he got introduced to more and more engineers and made bigger sales.
Know What Your Customer Wants
What your customer wants is often very simple. They want a solution to whatever problem they’re facing.
If you’re selling a room fan, you can talk about all the features you want but your customer is only interested in one thing: will the fan keep their room cool?
If you’re selling trendy items like shoes or scarves, your customer may want comfort but also style.
The point is, you need to discover what motivates your customer (anger, fear, greed, love, etc.) and use it in your copywriting.
So try talking to people in your target demographic as much as possible. Start conversations and ask questions. Whenever you can, become the investigative reporter for your customer.
Because the more you know your customer and his wants, dreams, desires, fears, and so on – the more you’ll know what to say to him to get him to buy.