October 2015 Featured Article
Join the Conversation in Your Prospect's Head
As an ExpertPreneur®, you understand the importance of knowing your target market inside and out. You know where your Ideal Clients hang out, their hopes, dreams, fears, problems and frustrations, as well as how best to reach them and help transform their lives.
Because you have done your research.
Now, with the advent of social media, the new wave of marketing gurus encourage us to “join in our prospect's conversation.” Get in the trenches, and meet them on their level. Speak to them in their words.
However, contrary to what you might believe, this concept was introduced way back in the 1930's. Long before computers were even invented. (To be honest, almost every good marketing concept you hear “gurus” pass off as their own has a foundation in the early days of Direct Response Marketing.)
Anyway, joining the conversation in your prospect's head is an age old Direct Marketing strategy introduced by Robert Collier in his book The Robert Collier Letter Book. It's a powerful way to guarantee you reach your prospects and get them to listen to what you have to say. Ultimately earning you more sales.
That's why today I'm sharing with you the foundation of this powerful marketing technique, and how you can implement that in your business.
You'll find out about Robert Collier and his incredible legacy…
The secrets to this marketing technique you must know before implementing it…
And tactics to tackle challenges like your prospect's “sophistication”…
The Early Days of Direct Response Marketing
Truly, Direct Response has been a large source of businesses' success since the late 1800s. In fact, many of the techniques we use today are largely unchanged from what worked then. Any shift in the industry has primarily been due to new means of communications.
Robert Collier was born in 1885, and was on course at a young age to become a priest. However, before taking his vows, he decided to move away from home to seek fortune.
After an 8-year stint in West Virginia working as a mining engineer, he moved to NYC where he joined the advertising department of the P.F. Collier Publishing Company. There he developed his skills in writing sales copy and created incredibly successful letters selling thousands of products.
Eventually, after suffering through and recovering from a serious illness, he started to research New Thought metaphysics and ideas around success being possible when you envision it. You’ve probably been exposed to some of these philosophies, made popular in the book called The Secret. In doing so, he became a big proponent of abundance, visualization, and becoming the best you can be.
He developed many books and courses on the topic, teaching people how to transform their lives for the better (much like you do!). Within six months after his publishing his first book set, he received over one million dollars in orders. All due to his incredible and focused sales copy.
Collier is considered one of the greatest marketing minds of our time. And his most famous book among marketers, The Robert Collier Letter Book, is a true gem. In fact, for a long time it was out of print, and you couldn't find a print copy for less than $1000.
What His Success Can Teach You
Any good copywriter will tell you that understanding the “conversation” your prospects are having in their own heads is vital to the success of your marketing.
Imagine if you were having a deep chat with a friend when all of a sudden a salesman loudly interrupts you trying to sell you a book. You probably wouldn't be too thrilled with that, right?
That's exactly how your prospects will feel if your communications don’t relate to their needs or their hopes and aspirations. Your marketing must take into consideration what is on their mind.
That's not to say you need supernatural powers to understand what they're thinking about exactly at any given moment. You just need to understand their overall deepest fears, problems, frustrations, hopes and dreams. So you can tap into those feelings right away with your marketing communications, and compel them to listen to you.
Basically, you have to put yourself in their shoes. If you were your Ideal Client, what would you want to read about? What would make you want to read more? What is the conversation going on in your head?
I've written a blog series about A.I.D.A. (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action), the fundamental formula for good copywriting. Successfully getting your prospect's attention requires you to immediately tap into what they are thinking. What is nagging them in the back of their minds. What they are thinking to themselves as they read your sales copy.
Do it effectively, and you'll be well on your way to making the sale. Ignore it, and they will ignore your communications.
Specific Ways to Implement This
Part of joining their conversation in their head is considering how “sophisticated” your prospect is. Sophistication is essentially the amount of exposure they've had to marketing and messaging from companies like yours.
If they are consistently bombarded with big claims in your industry (a plague in the health and wellness niche), you should avoid doing the same. Approach your prospect in a personal way, showing you understand their deeper needs. Prove you can get them to where they want to be.
Another huge element to consider is what they are thinking while they are reading your sales letter. “Is this even doable? Can I be successful with this? Why can't I wait until tomorrow?” It's up to you to strategically counter these questions through your sales materials with social proof, demonstrations, etc…
For example, as your prospect gets close to the end of your letter, they will probably become anxious. In order to counter those feelings, you would have to address head on the danger of putting things on hold.
If you are a personal finance coach, you might say, “you may be thinking that you want to wait. That you'll have time tomorrow, next week, or next year to get out of debt. You just have to get through this wedding, or that vacation, or this family affair.
Well, I want you to know that if you wait… tomorrow will never come. There will always be something in the way. An excuse not to turn your life around. You'll always carry around a burden, wondering when it will ever go away. Even worse, you'll be paying more and more in interest each and every month. Digging a hole so deep, you don't know if you'll ever get out.
But if you let me help you right now you will finally lose that heavy burden on your shoulders. You'll be free from the shackles of debt and the fear and worry for your family. You'll finally be able to live the life you've dreamed of.”
Attacking it head on like that effectively addresses the issue, while keeping your prospect engaged in how you can help them.
Another side of this coin is addressing issues before your prospect can think of them. Perhaps they've seen a lot of products like yours. Or there's an obvious misgiving with your product – perhaps it's expensive, lengthy, or a huge time commitment.
To address this potential problem, you'd want to bring up the objection right away and deal with it. Lay everything right out on the table and explain why it’s not as big an issue as not taking action to solve their problem, with of course, your solution.
Raising objections will be disarming because it will be unexpected. People aren’t used to having objections raised for them, so you will build trust and when you give solid rational as to why it's still a good idea to go ahead. They will be open to the idea of making the purchase. They can't help but listen to what you have to say because you’ve overcome all their objections.
Converse Your Way to Success
While social media has opened a world of possibilities for communications, you shouldn't allow yourself to be solely swept up with what's “new and trendy” in marketing.
Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms are valid means of marketing your business. However, standard direct response marketing is still the best option for you to experience the success you dream of. You'll spend less money, get better results, and earn more in the process.
Plus, you'll know exactly what works and what doesn't.
“Joining the conversation in your prospect's head” is just one of many direct response elements you can incorporate into your marketing. So, in the interest of embracing the old along with the new, try following what your Ideal Clients are saying on social media, and then utilize that intelligence to make an effective sales page for an info product, to use it in a webinar, or incorporate it in a sales presentation from stage. When you speak about what your Ideal Clients are already thinking, they will feel that you understand them better than any of your competitors, and in some cases better than they understand themselves.
You will be amazed by the results. And if you are really fascinated by the Direct Response Marketing world, I highly recommend you give The Robert Collier Letter Book a read. It is fantastic (and now it's available at a very reasonable price on Amazon.com).