And How to Use Them
One things is for sure, if you can’t sell your product or service, you don’t have a business. As the old saying goes “business is what, if you don’t have, you go out of!” Michael Masterson said in 'Ready, Fire Aim’ your primary concern has to be making sales. Even if you have a good product or service – one that is in demand – you can’t force people to buy from you.
Sales occur when you have a transaction. Marketing is getting them to that point.
Michael Masterson ties marketing to cash flow, and hence your bank balance, very well.
“The other functions are important, but without marketing you will not have sales and without sales you will not have cash flow and without cash flow you will not be able to pay for all the other functions (except by going into debt, which is simply borrowing against the cash flow of the future).”
You must continuously offer them new and better products. You must always make the value proposition of your sales seem good to them.
Here are 5 Tactics to get into the minds of your customers!
Sell Time Savings Instead of Money Savings
Emphasise how valuable your product or service is in terms of time and not just money.
We all know price is important, and your prospect won’t buy if they don’t see value in what you are offering. Lowering the price can change the prospects perception of your product; it becomes seen as a cheap, a commodity.
Beware the dangers of discounting, about which I have often posted.
- Why Pricing is a Profit Leaking Paradox
- The Anathema of Discounting
- What is the Right Price for Your Product or Service
- Are you Making these Pricing Mistakes?
In many cases, what sells is time. We all want more of it, to make the most of it, or to minimise wasting it. When you market a product as an experience, or a better way of doing something, a customer will be far more likely to spend some extra cash.
Think of the benefit your product provides the customer:
- What kind of experience, solution, or improvement are you offering?
- What differentiates your experience, solution, or improvement from what your competitor is offering?
Make People feel they are Part of a Group
We all like to feel part of a group, people with similar attitudes, beliefs and actions. Research suggests how we connect and relate to others and the world around us affects our buying decisions.
We act in accordance with the groups we commonly interact with like our family, friends, and business associates. They can make us feel part, or not part, of something. And to be part of that “something”, people buy accordingly.
You may recall how Apple pushed the concept of being “cool” to win over a younger market segment, and suggested IBM products old and stuffy.
Think about how you can use this:
- What reference group is your target customer a part of? How do they dress, where do they shop, what do they buy, even how do they talk?
- Is your product or service part of a comparative group – apple vs IBM? If so, how do you make your customer feel better by being partof your ‘tribe and not your competitor’s?
Utilise the “Foot in the Door” Technique
You may have noticed a lot of offers like this, but not necessarily understood why the tactic being used works.
Studies have found that people are much more likely to buy again once they’ve first made a small purchase. Once you have got a small “Yes” from the customer you are more likely to get a larger “Yes” the next time. That’s why you see the “Follow-Up” offers.
It is also why it makes sense to look after your customers, provide great service, and keep them, rather than continually churning through customers, looking for the next customer at the expense of the current customer.
Offer something small that your customer will find valuable, such as a free (or inexpensive) ebook, guide, free samples, or a trial membership. The customer will feel like you’ve already given them something of value, so they’re more likely to reciprocate in the future with larger requests.
I have read that you have to be careful not to offer the second, larger request too soon, though, as the second offer can backfire if made without delay. Having said that, I do note many offer an upgrade before you leave.
Master the Decoy Technique
Decoy marketing is when you highlight the offer you’d like the customer to purchase by offering other options look inferior in comparison.
The decoy technique works because consumer decisions are swayed by compromise on the options available. Consumers feel they’re getting the best deal when they have to rationalise against comparable options. This technique is employed almost everywhere you look, from food to electronics.
Here is the concept:
There are two wines for sale at dinner: $12 a bottle or $18 a bottle.
Which one do you order?
Now, imagine that there are three, and the third is $44.
Are you more likely to buy the $18 bottle now? Most people are.
The third bottle will undoubtedly be a better wine than Bottle1 or 2. However, unless someone is looking to really impress they’ll feel the Bottle 3 is excessive and will go for Bottle 2. If only the cheapest and most expensive options are presented, most consumers will choose the cheapest.
If someone does go for the most expensive decoy option, think of how you will provide added value to justify their decision.
Competition is almost always a good thing, and marketers can create it... or highlight it. To persuade people, change their frame of mind by giving them a different anchor point. And they’ll decide in your favour.
Emphasise the product or service option you would like customers to purchase by offering similar but less desirable options next to it.
Generate Positive Emotions Intentionally
Offering the same product or service in a positive light is a powerful tool. Studies have found that you are more confident in your buying decisions if you don’t perceive any drawbacks.
Likewise, if you have to think too hard about how something could benefit you, there’s much more cognitive dissonance when making a decision to buy or not. Essentially, the path of least resistance makes us happy.
A basic example would be giving two people $50. Participant 1 gets $20, but you give them an extra $30 for a total of $50. Participant 2 starts with $70 but you take $20 away.
Guess which participant would be happier?
When there is certainty that we have something to gain, the decision is made for us. We won’t gamble with the outcome. We see this tactic employed everywhere from the “buy 1, get 1 free” promos in supermarkets or 50%-off sales in clothing stores.
Similarly, if a proposition is framed in a negative light, we will risk certainty to gamble and hope for better odds. An example you may have seen is when an insurance company tries to get you to switch to their plan by framing it as wasting dollars with the other company.
Present your offer as a no-brainer option that will positively influence your customer.
Where are YOU?
Which of these tips will work best with your product or service? Are you consciously using such tactics in your marketing strategy? Let me know.
(Note: I have drawn in part on a blog at https://mirasee.com/blog for these concepts.)
Is Your Marketing Performing?
When clients approach me for coaching, so often, they are not getting the clients they need, the right clients, or the sales they need at the margins they need. Eight times out of ten this comes down to not knowing what is working, and how to develop compelling offers for their customers.
For more than 30 years I’ve been helping small business owners use the right tactics to plug the profit leaks in their business and restoring their cash flows by assisting them understand how to use the 80-20 rule to determine their most profitable customers, and to determine the offer to bring them on board.
If you would like to discuss with me how you might do that, book a Strategy Consult here.
© Copyright 2018 Adam Gordon, The Profits Leak Detective Except for those bits by Mirasee.