Keep messages short for real responsesWritten by Tom Richard | | email@example.com
There is no worse feeling than seeing a guy with prison tattoos walking up to your office door with a giant Tupperware container filled with children’s books. You know you are about to have an unpleasant sales experience and you begin to think of how you are going to get rid of this guy.
The problem is that most of our marketing pieces have the exact same effect on people. They are so blatantly littered with aggressive sales messages that they do not communicate who you are, why you are different and all of the other great things that only your best customers know.
John Patterson, founder of National Cash Registry, said about 100 years ago, “If the prospect understood the proposition, he would not have to be sold; he would come to buy.”
Take a moment and try and understand what that means. It means that if you were able to clearly communicate what it is that you truly do for people, you would not have to sell anybody; they would be showing up at your door ready to buy. Unfortunately, not enough businessmen and women understand this, and instead they resort to using all sorts of tricks to increase the response rates of their marketing pieces.
Your job as a marketer is to get your message clearly understood by those to whom you are marketing. If your message is clearly understood, and the person has a need for what it is you are offering, then a response is generated and a sale is made. Period. It is that simple.
The problem with direct-response marketing is that most messages are dead on arrival; they are received as warmly as the tattooed guy with the Tupperware container who shows up unexpectedly at your office. Instead of trying to get cute with your marketing, keep it real, keep it clean and keep it personal.
Test your marketing piece by placing it in a pile of mail that someone would typically receive. Does your piece look like all the other garbage? If so, it will be treated as such, joining the other pieces on a quick trip to the garbage can. Giving your message the fair chance it deserves has everything to do with how it is delivered. If you are sending a message in a hand-addressed envelope, the recipient will obviously be intrigued enough to open it without any preconceived notions.
Once your piece is opened, your message takes over and will either land your piece in the trash or will prompt the customer to take action. When constructing your message, first realize that your customers aren’t ignorant. Every so often, I receive notifications from a particular company that I just won a free trip to Florida. While you would think this offer is strong, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is something untrue and suspicious about the offer.
Free went the way of the disco, so stop with the free offers. Even if you are truly giving something away for free, the chance your customers will believe you is slim to none. So, when constructing your offer, stay honest, stay true and stay believable.
How are you supposed to know what message will truly connect best with your prospects? Ask the customers who love you. Talk to those who have done business with you and ask them what they would tell someone else about your company. Chances are they will have great things to say you haven’t even thought of.
Let’s say you host free seminars about something most people wouldn’t leave their house to hear more about. I guarantee that those who have attended these seminars learned a great deal. What was it they learned? What words would they use if they were telling a friend or a neighbor about your seminar? Their words are pure marketing gold for you to help develop a real message to use in your marketing piece.
Using real-life examples like this is the quickest and easiest way to communicate a message to a prospective customer. Instead of resorting to hype, you can keep it short and sweet.
When you combine a nice, clean message with a personal delivery method for your marketing piece, true understanding merges. By letting customers see and understand your offer, you will maximize your response rates.
Tom Richard is a Toledo-based sales trainer, gives seminars, runs sales meetings and provides coaching for salespeople. For more information, visit www.TomRichard.com, call (419) 441-1005 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.