I’ve been looking at whether using “fear” has a role in your sales message? If it does, there are two approaches:
The first is creating a “fear of missing out”; something is so good, others are doing it, and unless you catch up, you’ll miss out.
The second is “fear of a villain”. In this case, the bad guy is seen as a real threat, nasty and harmful to your prospects future. Getting that clear in your prospect’s mind is up to you in your sales message. Regardless of what you sell (product, service, fundraising, etc., doesn't matter) or whom you sell to, your product is the hero, riding in on his noble steed and slaying the bad guy.
You then need to demonstrate, and provide proof, that your product will be an effective solution to your prospect’s problem.
So following on from the last blog, let’s take apart how your sales message might convey either of these “fears”.
Don’t you just hate it – you write your sales proposal, submit it, and wait for a response, and wait, and wait, only to get a NO.
It’s simple really; a Sales Proposal that doesn’t lead to action is ineffective. And being ineffective is a waste of your time, effort, and money.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Avoid the simple mistakes that so many make. Fear may be part of the solution, but you will also need more.
My last blog examined the first three of seven common mistakes. Here are four more actions you can take to make your Sales Proposal more effective. And there’s an offer at the end.
The prospect is uncertain, she has doubts in her mind. It all sounds very good, but …… How can she be sure?
There are two things you can do to remove the risk; provide “Social Proof”, and a Guarantee.
As master copywriter John Forde wrote “Used right (morally as well as strategically), it [social proof] is a powerful tool for selling.”
Social proof is more than just word-of-mouth over the backyard fence in today’s on-line world. In fact, there are four types of social proof you can use to strengthen your marketing, and you can use them whether you are writing sales letters, emails content for your website or advertisements.
I’ve written about Social Proof in an earlier blog “How to Use Social Proof to Increase Sales”.
(Comment - Use Social Proof to demonstrate either Fear 1 – using your product/service they assuredly won’t miss out, in fact they’ll be ahead of the pack!
Use Fear 2 and demonstrate/prove that if they don’t use your product or service, the villain will win. Use social proof to demonstrate how your clients have used your product, and triumphed!)
Somewhere, either just before the offer, or just after, when the prospect is hesitating, “Will I or won’t I”, remove the doubt that your product or service might not deliver what it promises by offering a guarantee. This backs up the earlier social proof.
It might be a money back if not satisfied, or if it doesn’t do what it is supposed to do guarantee. The important thing is that, while your guarantee could possibly be called on, you are much more likely to get increased sales.
(Comment – applies to both Fear 1 and Fear 2 in removing the risk.)
You know your reaction when you get a badly written document – your thoughts are negative from the start.
(Comment – think really hard about this one. Show through your presentation that you are ahead of the pack – Fear 1 – and your words, fonts, headers and images are confident, show leadership, and inspire confidence – see ‘Benefits’, and ‘Word Graphics’ below. Leave people felling inspired.)
What will your proposal look like, visually that is? Presentation is important. And how will it read.
A good presentation will make you look so much more professional, and the buyer feel more comfortable about dealing with you. If the way your industry does things is a simple “price, quality, delivery” quotation here is your chance to make yourself different, and stand out.
o Instead of...Moving your money now will help you avoid major losses.
o Try...You can avoid major losses IF you move your money now!
o Don’t forget the Captions – tell them what the photo is. More risk reduction.
Just remember - as Dr. Johnson remarked over 200 years ago - "That which is written to please the writer rarely pleases the reader." You're not writing for yourself but for the prospect. Make it easy for them!
Let it rest for a day and re-read it. Does it still make sense?
You need to explicitly tell them to do it, and why. Don’t finish with a general “If you have any questions ….” I used to do that. It’s horrible.
You may tell you will contact them; date and time. Or create urgency by limiting the time of the offer. Be specific.
PSs are very powerful. They can be used to summarise the benefits of your proposal, reinforce the proof, or the urgency or scarcity.
Here are several reasons you need to add a P.S. in virtually everything you do, print, online, and email:
(Comment - The PS is a great spot to reinforce your “Overcoming Fear” message.)
There’s nothing like an outside view, a second opinion. Very often when we read something we’ve written, we read what we expect to see. And miss the mistakes, or lack of logic, or lack of persuasiveness.
If you would like to discuss how you could improve your sales letters of proposals, contact me before the end of February. There’s no cost for a consultation. It is my gift to you.
Or buy "Small Change, Big Result", my manual on how to increase your success rate with proposals and quotations; make a few small changes, and reap the rewards.
© Copyright 2016 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective
Some profit losses are pretty obvious - so you fix them.
BUT, what if you don't know profits are leaking, cash out the door?
Possible leaks could be anywhere.
Are there some clues or symptoms that are tell-tales?