Today’s title – “How to Make Your Marketing Create More Sales” – might seem a little ambitious for a blog post. But truthfully, it’s not.
The question of how marketing works is really quite simple. Even the answer is relatively simple – on the surface, at least.
But most people have never seen the answer. They haven’t even seen the right question.
If you’re focusing on an overcomplicated question, such as, “How can I make my marketing grow my business?” you’re likely to get overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options.
But, when you know the right question and its answer, you’ll know why your business isn’t as successful as you’d like it to be.
So, let’s redefine the question and find the answer, so you won’t lose sales just because no marketing pro, training, or book enabled you see the forest from the trees.
The Question You Should Be Asking
Q: “What does effective marketing actually do to create sales?”
A: “Effective marketing persuades people to buy your products and services.”
Reaching any goal is really difficult if you’re not clear about the goal.
Since the goal is to persuade people to buy (or at least to somehow get them “closer” to buying, by getting them to subscribe to your email list, for example), that’s all you should focus on.
- What colors should I use on my website?
- What’s the right price for my products?
- What marketing tactic is best for my business?
Those are all good questions. But if you’re focused on them, you’re probably having some trouble making your marketing create sales.
That’s because these questions miss the point. They miss the fact that your goal is to persuade people to buy, not to have “great colors on your website.”
So, the questions should actually be:
- What colors will help me persuade people to buy?
- What price will help me persuade people to buy?
- What marketing tactic is best for persuading people to buy?
The difference might seem trivial, but we (humans) aren’t as smart as we think. If we don’t focus on exactly the right questions, we usually won’t find the right answers.
What Makes Marketing Persuasive
Q: “What, then, makes marketing persuade people to buy my products and/or services?”
A: “Great, believable reasons to buy!”
Essentially, all marketing needs to do to be effective is give people great, believable reasons to buy.
When people have great reasons to do something, they usually do it. The reasons aren’t necessarily only logical; they can be – and often are – emotional, as well.
If your business isn’t as successful as you’d like it to be, it means you’re not giving people persuasive enough reasons to buy.
So, what makes a persuasive reason to buy?
The Most Persuasive Reasons to Buy Your Products/Services
Q: “What are the most persuasive reasons for people to buy my products and/or services?”
A: This takes a bit more explaining 🙂
In a nutshell, it comprises 3 things – your target, your offer and your angle. Let’s take a closer look.
Step 1: You Shouldn’t Target Everyone
Q: “How can I persuade everyone?”
A: “You shouldn’t even try to persuade everyone. If you target everyone, you don’t attract anyone.”
Realistically, you can’t be the best choice for everyone. You can’t even be a great choice for everyone. You might be a decent choice for everyone, but even that’s quite unusual.
If you try to persuade everyone, you make so many compromises from everyone’s perspective that you won’t persuade anyone.
So, you need to focus on finding the best reasons for a specific group of people to buy your products and services. That is, you have to focus on your target customer.
Your target customer in this context doesn’t mean the same thing you’ve probably read about elsewhere.
The usual idea is to paint a very specific picture of a person who’s like a “poster version” of all the people you’re trying to attract.
It includes their name, age, address, hobbies, family details, religion, political views, and even a picture. Pretty much everything you can possible think of about a person.
However, when you’re considering what the best reasons are for your target customers to buy from you, having too many details can be very misleading.
The people you want to attract don’t have the same kind of family, for example, so you shouldn’t base your marketing on the assumption that they do (unless you actually focus on helping people with specific kinds of families).
Instead, you should develop a target customer (description of the kinds of people you primarily want to attract to your business) that only includes the aspects of the people that almost all of them share.
Then you can start to understand what the best reasons are for all of those people in your target group to buy from you – not just one specific person.
Step 2: What Do You Give People?
Q: “What makes my target customers think my products are worth their money?”
A: “The benefits your products/services offer.”
Marketers always say, “Don’t talk about the features, talk about the benefits.” And at the very basic level, that’s what you need to do.
Figure out what positive results people get or experience when they use your product or service.
Maybe they’ll feel better. Maybe they’ll learn something. Maybe they’ll reach a goal. Maybe they’ll solve a problem. Maybe new opportunities become possible.
For example, if you help people grow their businesses, you provide quite a few positive results and positive emotions. They make more money. They can work less. They feel in control of their business. They can provide a better life for their family. They can spend more time with their hobbies. And much more.
Your help creates all those positive results. And your potential customers are likely happy to pay for them.
On the other hand, they’d be unlikely to get excited about the features. Forexample, the precise technology you use to deliver your products and services.
A positive result is a persuasive reason to buy what you sell. But it’s not enough to just point out some benefits – your competitors might say the same things.
Step 3: What Makes You Different
Q: “What makes people choose me over my competitors?”
A: “The aspects of your business that make you meaningfully different.”
Something has to make you different. Otherwise, your target customers might as well buy from one of your competitors.
Depending on what exactly you sell, the benefits of your product or service might be very similar to the ones offered by your competitors’ products and services.
So, you have to either find the unusual benefits you provide, or find another way to stand out from your competition.
Maybe you’re the only one in your field who offers a free trial of your service. Maybe you’re the only one to create a specific outcome or focus on a specific group. Maybe you use a different method to create results.
Something has to make you clearly different. But it only makes a real difference if it’s meaningful to your target customers. You can be different in countless ways, but if none of them is truly meaningful to people, why would they care?
Consider all the things that make you stand out from your competition and find the differences that your target customers care about.
Focus Your Marketing on The Most Persuasive Reasons
Your marketing leads to sales when it gives people good reasons to buy. So, focus your marketing on the most persuasive reasons. Why would you waste marketing on some mediocre reasons?
When you focus your marketing, you’re not only going to make more sales directly, you’re also going to be memorable. So, when people are ready to buy, they’ll remember what makes you different and better than your competitors.
Next time you catch yourself asking, “What colors shall I use on my website?” “What’s the right price for my product?” or “What’s the best marketing tactic?” – Stop!
Instead of those questions, ask, “What are the most persuasive reasons for my target customers to buy what I sell, and how I can get those reasons across?”
Those best reasons to buy from you make up your value proposition. If you’re not making the sales you’d like, then you’re not getting the ideas in your value proposition across clearly enough.
When you focus your marketing on your value proposition, people will understand why it makes sense for them to buy, and you’ll see the difference in your sales numbers.
Take a look at this exercise that helps you evaluate (with brutal honesty) the ideas you have, so you won’t waste any more of your marketing on ideas that don’t persuade people.
So, which of you old marketing questions are you going to stop asking, and which new questions will you be asking instead? Let me know in the comments below.