Your copy should be qualifying people as well as disqualifying them.
This isn’t a new concept within the sales profession. Many account executives, business development managers and others know they need to target their buyer.
However, just as it’s important to know who you want to target, you want to know who you don’t want to target with your copy.
#1 – Can your buyer afford your solution?
We live in a commoditized world, for better or worse. If a buyer is first using price to determine whether they want to do business with you, it’s good to discover that as soon as possible so you don’t waste time nurturing the relationship.
I’ve known sales professionals who have spent months and even a year (or more) to build a relationship with a prospect, all to have it evaporate into thin air because a competitor swooped in with a lower price point.
Smarter people than me have put together strategies for avoiding such a scenario. Check out Art Sobczak, Jeffrey Gitomer, Zig Zigler, Brian Tracy, S. Anthony Iannarino, Jill Konrath, Tom Hopkins and other sales trainers to learn how to define value. That is key for demonstrating why your solution is worth your asking price.
If you don’t have the kind of business where posting your pricing is possible, then using comparisons may help filter those who can’t afford your service or product.
For instance: “We’re considered ‘the gold standard’ in our industry. Our [product/solution] comes with a [guarantee/warranty/extended service] that gives you outstanding value. 78% of our clients have been with us for longer than five years and every one of them has said we’re worth it.”
Or dimensionalize the benefits of your solution with hard numbers, such as specific cost savings or an increase in lead generation. The more you can prove specific and measurable results within your copy, the better. It will then help the buyer make a decision of whether to pursue you as a possible service provider, or not.
#2 – Does your buyer have an urgent need?
We’re still in a soft economy, which means any purchasing is usually predicated upon an urgent need. Urgent needs include: cutting costs, increasing market share, revitalizing productivity, maximizing customer lifetime value, increasing revenue, etc. Anything that either decreases costs, increases profit and improves customer satisfaction will fall within the “urgent” category.
Your copy needs to hammer first the pain of a buyer’s current situation.
“Sales numbers down for the third straight quarter? Tired of losing sleep over figuring out how to generate leads with your website? Frustrated with unreturned email messages and phone calls? Then you’re going to be very happy you discovered us. Let’s talk…”
After leaning on your prospective buyer’s sore spots, then you swing around with your first-aid kit, delivering relief with your quality solution.
#3 – Does your buyer ‘get’ your value differentiators?
Why is your solution different from your competition? What makes you so special?
Your copy should make it very clear why your solution is superior to your competitor’s. There is a difference between your product and your competition. Identify those unique features in a way that makes it clear your solution is the best one available.
You want your buyer to understand that in order to solve their problem, they need your solution and it’s worth every penny. Any guarantee you can make will be taken seriously if your competition can’t or won’t make the same guarantee. A local retail chain in Cincinnati thrived for years for their “no hassle” return policy.
You have the opportunity to position your business as the preferred choice when you’re able to communicate clearly why you’re better than everyone else out there doing the same thing.
#4 – Is your buyer the one with the authority to buy?
This is a tricky one. Your copy should be targeting specific roles within an organization. Not everyone has the authority to make a purchase.
It also is why buyer personas are so valuable. A buyer persona identifies a specific role that has specific needs, motivations, and pain points. When you have them, you’re able to craft your copy to appeal to that person.
Although it’s difficult to implement several buyer personas within website copy, you can use those personas to create white papers, case studies, or special reports targeting those individuals. Using that targeted information with your email copy or better, a “snail mail” sales letter, will help immensely with the sales process.
#5 – Is your solution attractive enough to make the buyer want to change?
It is said that no one changes until the risk of change is lower than the remaining with the status quo.
In other words, if your buyer isn’t completely happy with their situation, but it’s perceived as preferable to making a major change, the buyer isn’t going to budge.
This is why every copywriter worth their salt will hammer on the pain points consistently throughout the copy. However, not only does the immediate pain need to be triggered, but the consequences of not changing needs to be emphasized, too.
Let me put it another way: your buyer needs to understand clearly the threats that exist if he doesn’t make the change.
So if it’s a company that’s bleeding money because of an inefficient document process, then your copy needs to show exactly what will happen if this problem is not addressed. Yes, some marketers knock the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) approach but often it is very effective.
Greed is also works well and it’s not just about the money. Your buyer wants “more” of many things: time, recognition, control, influence, just to name a few. Include some of that in your copy to emphasize what’s at stake if the buyer doesn’t take action.
Ultimately, you want your copy to persuade your buyer that you’re the right choice. But you also want to disqualify those who are looking for a “me too” solution provider, seeking the cheapest vendor on the block. If you’ve invested in creating a quality product or service, then it deserves respect. Follow these tips to create copy that essentially says, “Only Serious Buyers Need Apply.”