Are You Helping Your Prospects Gain These Seven Things?
In the last post, you learned about the four most important things your prospects want, identified by Charles Schwab (*one of the greatest copywriters ever).
People want products that:
Help them gain something
Help them be something
Help them do something, or
Help them save something
If you’ve included just a single item from the above do list, you’ve already greatly increased your chances of a sale.
But don’t stop there.
Can you help someone gain something, too?
What your reader wants to know right away—and whether or not you tell them might sway them to keep on reading—is what your product or service can do for them.
Can you state right off the bat what your prospect will gain by making a purchase? How will your product or service help them gain one of the following seven things from the purchase?
Including at least one in your copy is easy and so worth it.
They’re proven winners.
Health permeates so much of life.
You ask anyone, “How are you?” and there’s bound to be at least some talk about health.
Health, as well as money and relationships, which we’ll get to later, is one of the most lucrative niches for just about anyone.
But promising health as what your product or service can do for people puts you into a wide-open minefield.
First, there are regulations, such as not being able to legally name a disease if your product is not specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration for that disease.
And if it's approved by the FDA, it usually means it's a prescription drug...
It pays to go out of your way and invest the money to learn what you can and can't say and how you need to document it in case you get challenged.
Second, even if you get past regulatory hurdles, it's important to remember that different people have different responses to the same thing. You want to be careful about how definitively and specifically you promise results.
Third, there are two aspects to health.
One is recovery from something wrong, like a disease. The other is wellness, something that doesn't fix an ailment but improves overall health.
If a person is in good enough shape but wants to get a much better muscle tone, there's more wellness in that than fixing something wrong. Supplement promotions are a significant sector of health as a benefit.
The shocker is that people are more likely to buy a cure than to invest in preventative measures for something.
You’re not really shocked.
People will wait until they have to solve a problem instead of preventing the problem from occurring.
If you’re in the preventative niche, you’re selling a preventative measure rather than a cure.
You’re solving a problem months or years in advance versus somebody who's solving it because it's a giant red flag on their front door—ringing the doorbell and not leaving them alone.
Insurance salespeople have to back up the hearse to your front door to scare you into buying life insurance.
That’s one approach.
The other is to stay away from selling preventative stuff because it’s hard.
It’s just easier to sell a cure than preventative stuff.
If your product or service can help your prospect gain time—nobody has enough time these days, it seems—and you can promise a legitimate beneficial way to get more time in your prospect’s life, you're definitely off to a good start.
Why does nobody seem to have any time?
We all have our reasons and I certainly don't know the answer.
However, I do know people spend a lot of money on productivity and time management systems.
Do they work?
Or is everyone just hoping they would?
Being able to get a job done faster without a loss in quality is a great sales appeal. Methods that promise effectiveness and efficiency in the automation of repetitive tasks are big sellers.
Maybe they work—maybe they don't.
But the promise of helping an overworked, overbooked person is always nearly irresistible.
Everybody needs money.
Money is the other enormous category, besides health, that includes all kinds of results people want.
Sometimes enthusiastically and sometimes desperately.
Promotions promising money are also something regulators love to inspect. You need to be careful about the promises you make and how you make them—you could get hauled into court.
That said, there are plenty of ways to promise financial gain without getting in trouble and I'll leave it to you and your lawyer to find the safest way to do that.
If you can show someone how to turn a hobby into a profitable business—that can become a very successful promotion and marketing instruction services are in perpetual demand.
Just be careful about claiming specific amounts or making time-based promises.
The human desire for popularity does not evaporate after high school graduation—people don’t grow up and grow out of it.
That’s just how life is.
We’re social at 16 and 60.
Just look on Twitter how many souls have a goal of having a thousand followers by the end of this month—and beg everyone else to help them get there.
That’s just wanting increased popularity.
Can your product or service offer popularity bluntly, or at least in a subtle way?
Blunt is asking people to like and follow you.
Subtle is when you write a book and offer a training course as a companion to help students become better at what you’re offering.
John Capel’s famous ad, “They laughed when I sat down at the piano,” is a subtle approach to promising popularity.
The course in question is not just about learning to play the piano.
It’s becoming someone everyone wants to invite to the party.
Popularity is huge.
If you can offer it, you’ll make your prospect more valuable to their tribe. The more popular they are, the more status they’ll have, and thus, they’ll feel more secure.
5. Pride of accomplishment
This is really powerful.
So powerful that children's sports authorities invented the participation trophy.
They believed the pride of accomplishment of the team members who won the game would crush the spirits of the team members who lost, so they gave the losers a trophy too.
For course creators, any course that helps someone develop a skill is a) likely to gain popularity and b) become a candidate for the pride of accomplishment because of what the product or course does for them.
Let’s pretend I have a course to help you learn to play guitar.
Should I be emphasizing the skill side? You know, how to play the same chord in five different positions on the fretboard?
Or would I be better off focusing on how the prospect would feel having learned to play guitar and playing impressively in front of others?
I think I’d focus on the second approach and touch on the skills only as much as necessary.
That’s why course creators offer all kinds of badges and plaques for reaching certain milestones.
A college diploma, especially for a fancy school, is a token of pride of accomplishment. You spent four years and a couple of hundred thousand to get that paper. You’re proud of your accomplishment.
Remember pride of accomplishment when you're brainstorming a hook for your copy.
6. Increased enjoyment
Humans are pleasure-seeking beings. Liquor, food, amusement parks, movies, music, sports… and that’s just scratching the surface.
When you’re writing copy, you may have to put away your academic training and focus instead on what people actually do with their time and their money.
Sometimes enjoyment is more of a mental or emotional experience than an outright physical one.
The joy of being able to do something you never thought you could do, even if doing the thing isn't particularly physically pleasurable, can be a case of increased enjoyment.
Not my favorite pastime but millions do it.
But learning it can be frustrating and difficult and if you can give people a technique or a device that makes the process easier and better, then you've increased their enjoyment, even if they're not feeling thrills coursing through their body when they knit.
Too many times, we try to sell something as “you need to get this.”
The problem is, selling needs puts your offer into a commodities area. Selling to wants is selling to people's enjoyment, and it’s a lot easier than selling to people’s necessities.
People buy what they need when they're in great pain—the roof about to collapse, or a subpoena, essentially.
Everything else is pretty much what they want unless you're selling to one of those painful categories, which can't be a lot of fun.
7. Personal prestige
This is a close cousin to the pride of accomplishment, and it's powerful too.
Why does someone belong to an expensive country club? Why do they wear a $100,000 Rolex? Why do they drive a $274,000 Ferrari F8 Spider?
People who do can give you various reasons, but there's no doubt in my mind that one additional reason they all have in common is the prestige that comes along with all those things.
As herd animals, we like to establish a pecking order, and the ones at the top like to let everyone else know where they stand.
Personal prestige is an established way to do that.
(And I’m not talking about the people who use symbols like country clubs, watches, and cars to fake a status they don't have. Like all the Instagram pictures of dead broke guys posing with a borrowed Lambo).
But if you own a luxury brand, or if you have a plausible way of getting people to believe that buying your product will add to their prestige, then go for it.
Celebrity endorsements can be useful. Getting a famous person to show up in your ad with your product can boost sales, especially when you are claiming or, more likely, strongly implying that your product will raise your prospect’s position in the pecking order.
We don’t all own or operate a luxury brand.
Even something like career counseling can tap into the endless human desire for personal prestige.
A better job with a more impressive job title spells prestige for prospects looking to get ahead in the world of work.
Use any of these seven ways in your copy
Health, time, money, popularity, pride of accomplishment, increased enjoyment, and personal prestige.
Spell it out for your prospects and you’ll increase sales.
Check back soon for the remaining two categories and how you can use them to convince your prospects to say an enthusiastic yes.