Posted Monday, January 31, 2005
Selling is just a whole lot easier when you know what people really want.
But unless you’re psychic, or know how to do the Vulcan mind meld, “getting into their brains” is HUGE!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve racked my brain trying to make sense of consumer opinion, & up until this point, I have to confess. Ain’t got no voodoo.
But here’s what I know.
Having the right product is certainly important, but it’s not nearly enough. What people really purchase are positive feelings that they associate with ownership, and they rarely express the connection between those feelings & product ownership plainly in consumer opinion polls. You must read between the lines.
People will look at the same identical product in a variety of ways. Is each one really searching for something different?
Actually, there are usually four or five common things that the majority of people in your market are looking for, and statistically speaking, those things are more or less important to them. On the surface, these things seem infinitely varied. But there’s always a common theme lurking under the surface. People at the very core of their being, are driven by human nature, instinct, and emotion. Show me a marketing campaign that doesn’t stir up these things at some level, and I’ll show you one that probably doesn’t work.
It’s easy to sell people what they want. The tough part is mining & gauging consumer opinion to find out what that really is.
A couple of suggestions,
Method One - Testing
Here’s a story from Elmer Wheeler’s “Field Word Laboratory”.
Elmer was asked by the Barbasol Company to come up with some effective sales talk to be used in selling shaving cream at retail counters. Were men at the Sears Roebuck toiletry counter looking for a clean shave, a quick shave, a cheap shave, a safe shave, a shave that didn’t bother their skin, a precise shave to detail their designer mustachios?
Out of 146 sentences tested, it turned out that sales increased an astounding 102% when the clerks approached the customer with “How would you like to save 6 minutes shaving?” Sales increased still further, with “How Would You Like to Cut Your Shaving Time in Half?”
Testing is one way to find out what your customers are after, and how best to dangle it like a carrot in front of their noses. What you’re really looking to determine is a hierarchy of wants. The top want should go in the headline. The second one in the opening lines. The third in further into the piece, and so on. Powerful stuff!
Of course testing is a process of elimination, so it’s a painstaking process. Here’s a tip. Start out with benefits that appeal to one of these three most basic & powerful of all human motives. Self Preservation, the desire for romance, & the desire for money. Can you think of ways to tie a quick shave to these? I’ll leave that to your imagination.
The order of the benefits you’re presenting is also extremely important. If you’ve got it wrong, you’re loosing too many potentially interested prospects. You need to grab them by the lapel with the most statistically relevant top benefit! And then send them careening down a slippery slope to your order form, with the rest.
Method Two - Just Ask
Have you heard of Socrates, and the Socratic method? Here’s a guy who figured out how to answer a question with a question with a question, until the cows came home.
Unfortunately, people no longer have time to hang out under olive trees, and they only accept interrogation from their analyst.
So what you need is a little quid pro quo (One thing for another).
Consumer opinion is gold! What can you offer your prospects, or clients in return for it?
“Two Little Words That Never Go Out Of Style!”
Of all the conversations going on inside people’s heads right now, I can tell you with certainty that “How To” is dead front & center. At the time of this writing, 68.8% of the questions received at “Selling to Human Nature”, contain this phrase.
So here’s my advice on collecting consumer opinion. Trade information about “How To” solve problems with your product or service, for consumer opinion from your customers. If you want to know exactly “how to” do this for maximum response, I strongly recommend you look at the work of Robert Collier.
Chapters 1 & 9 of my new ebook, which studies his technique, show you how to not only elicit the opinions & preferences of your market, but also make sales doing it. He did this time & time again with amazing result!
About the Author
Daniel Levis is a top marketing consultant & direct response copywriter based in Toronto Canada. Recently, Daniel & world-renowned publicist & copywriter Joe Vitale teamed up to co author “Million Dollar Online Advertising Strategies – From The Greatest Letter Writer Of The 20th Century!”, a tribute to the late, great Robert Collier.
Let the legendary Robert Collier show you how to write words that sell...Visit the below site & get 3 FREE Chapters!