Do You Know What Your Prospects Are Really Thinking?
Want to know a secret?
When prospective buyers visit your website, they are looking for more than just their desired product or service.
The secret is; they’re looking for reasons to NOT buy from you.
Yes, that’s right. Your prospects – no matter how motivated they are – are coming to the virtual table with a chip on their shoulder. Like the person burned by too many bad dates (you dated that person too?), they want you to prove to them how you’re not just like all the others.
But the problem is, just like in the dating example, you have no idea what the “others” did to your prospect. She’s not coming to you and saying, “Here’s what happened to me – and I’m expecting you to pull the same stuff.”
Here’s what a prospect may be thinking…
…The last PR company I worked with took my 10K and didn’t generate a dime in buzz. How can you help me?
…The last time I bought something online, the package arrived late, and the company overcharged me for shipping. Will you do the same thing?
…The last time I hired a writer, he copied an article from Wikipedia and tried to pass it off as original content. How do I know that I’ll get what I’m promised?
…These prices seem high. Are your services worth it, or are you overpriced?
Think about your buying behavior. Do you jump into a new purchase willy-nilly, buying from the first vendor in the search results? Or do you carefully compare sites, send exploratory emails and check reviews so you can work with the right company?
(As a side note, that’s why well-written persuasive content is so important, It’s more than just “getting a good ranking.” It’s providing a fantastic customer experience through the power of the written word.)
The importance of overcoming sales objections in your web writing
Now that you know that your prospects have sales objections, it’s important to overcome them within your copy. Rather than waiting for your prospect to bring up every objection they have (guess what – they won’t,) you have to face the known issues head-on, showcase your value and create an active need.
That means knowing what freaks your prospects out about working with you.
Plus, if you don’t overcome these objections immediately in your copy, you may not get a second chance.
For instance, Domino Pizza’s old campaign of “Pizza in 30 minutes or less” was perfect for thousands of hungry pizza-lovers anxious for immediate-gratification food.
The U.S. Post Office’s campaign of “Celebrating a simpler way to ship” accomplishes a couple goals. It helps promote their online services, plus, overcomes the objection of “Will I have to stand in line for hours at the Post Office?”
Or FedEx’s, “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight…guaranteed” – which is important for businesses who need on-time, trackable shipping.
How do you “figure out the known issues” if you can’t crawl inside your prospect’s brain and determine what she’s thinking? Simple. Do your homework.
Talk to the sales team
Your sales team are the folks “in the trenches” who hear what’s going on – and who overcome objections every time they talk to a new prospect. Ask them what their clients are worried about and any common questions they hear.
Chat with your new customers
New customers are a fantastic source of information. Task someone with calling selected folks who sign up. This is a smart strategy for a couple reasons:
- Your new customer will be impressed that someone has called to check in – so your company gets some great customer service bonus points.
- During the call, you can ask your customer questions about their past experiences, why they chose your company, why they love your product or service and more. In fact, you may even be able to ask them to provide a testimonial.
Read your testimonials
Testimonials provide great (yet, often ignored) information. Companies are often so focused on posting new testimonials to the site that they forget to mine the data.
And testimonials provide yummy data.
For instance, customers will tell stories like, “When I worked with XYZ company, it took one or two days before they would answer my email. When I work with you, I get an immediate response.”
Bingo! Now you know that a fast response rate is an important benefit. A sentence like, “We’ll return your email within one business day, guaranteed” perfectly overcomes the objection.
Additionally, if there’s something your company does really well, testimonials will often reflect that fact. Maybe it’s your cutting-edge knowledge. Or your great customer service. Those testimonial themes are marketing gold!
Review competing sites
Sometimes, your competition really does get it right. Comb through their copy and see if they’ve overcome objections your site doesn’t address. Does your competition talk about how many years of experience their consultants have? Does your competition mention a “no hassle money back guarantee?” Do they include customer reviews touting their superior service?
Although it’s not a smart idea to copy your competition (after all, you can do better,) you can learn from them.
What’s the best way research the objections you should overcome?
Easy. Just start.
If you have an in-house marketing manager, he can get the ball rolling and start gathering data. Although this process isn’t hard to do, it is time-consuming – so your marketing manager will want to set aside time to do it right. Otherwise, it will sit on the back burner and never get done.
Some companies choose to work with an SEO content strategist who can do the heavy lifting for them. This tactic is especially smart if your team members are time-crunched – or if you want a fresh perspective. It’s amazing how often an outside expert can find opportunities that were missed in-house.
The important thing is to get moving, especially if your site’s conversion goals are sluggish and you’re leaving money on the table.
Once you have the data, you’ll want to rewrite the content and incorporate the messaging changes. Depending on your existing content, this could be a simple tweak – or a more major undertaking. Consider A/B testing the new copy to further refine your pages.
Just imagine: After a few hours of research and some copy tweaking, you can gently move that chip off your prospects’ shoulder and drive more sales.
It’s that simple.
Great article, Heather. A company’s sales force is a great resource for getting lists of objections. Their job mostly entails handling objections. They know all the reasons why customers say they’re not ready to buy. And salespeople can tell you how they overcome those objections.
Great points Heather. I especially like what you said about talking to sales teams to find out what the customers’ everyday objections are. Even better is talking to the customers themselves and taking careful note of the language they use so it can be re-used in sales/marketing messages!