If you’re a seasoned direct-response marketer, you already know how to treat your ideal prospect. And, you know it’s more of an art than a science.
That’s why marketing communications are considered a “creative” effort. Business owners understand how they “talk” to their readers directly determines whether they’re perceived as credible or not. And, whether they make sales—including repeat sales—or not.
Of course, doesn’t mean smart marketers dismiss science permanently. Instead, they use it to gauge how effective their efforts are at spreading the word, gaining buy-in, and getting feedback on their brand.
But when it comes to effective marketing, treating prospects respectfully is where most marketers start…and where they gain the most value in their sales messages.
I’ve written before on how to treat your ideal prospect if they’re new to you. Only then can you begin to build credibility with them. With that, here are an additional 5 ways on how to treat your ideal prospect so they love your brand.
Step 1. Build a relationship first. This is the marketing industry’s most critical method for selling prospects more stuff, more often, and at higher prices.
Look at it this way…your number one objective when you first meet a prospect is NOT to sell them something. Because simply…they don’t want to be sold to.
No, I didn’t say they don’t want to buy. That’s just not their idea of a first step. And selling them shouldn’t be yours.
What they do want is to know they can trust you. Because their problem is big…painful…and persistent, they understand they’re in it for the long haul.
So, they want to find a solutions partner who’s also in it for the long haul.
Hey, all breakups are painful, right? And the more often they happen, the more hopeless your prospect becomes about finding a solutions provider they can be in a good relationship with.
If you REALLY want to help your prospect, think long-term. Do those things that build a relationship first, then you’ll have a customer for life.
Step 2. Make it easy for your prospect to take action. Your prospect has a problem. More than likely, it indicates she’s “stuck”. And has been for some time now. Which means she’s not likely to self-motivate to get unstuck.
So, she’ll need your help to get out of her rut. How do you do that? Go and meet her where she’s at. Meet her in a place that she’s already familiar with. One that feels comfortable to her—even though she knows and you know she really doesn’t want to be there anymore.
The reason is…you don’t want to give her one more reason to object to your solution. Or worse, to tune it out before she’s even had a chance to hear about it.
It starts with having some idea of how familiar your prospect is with you and your solution. I talked previously about how you can use prospect awareness to help walk your prospect through the buyer’s journey—that place where the prospect travels from unfamiliarity to consideration to decision.
For example, if your prospect is already familiar with you or your product, it won’t be that big of a stretch to meet her where she’s at. But if she’s completely unaware of you or your solution, you’ll need to dig deep to better understand what’s keeping her up at night.
Truth is…this is one of the most powerful tips on how to treat your ideal prospect. Once you figure it out, you can meet her where she’s at…and, successfully motivate her to act.
Step 3. Help her solve problems. When it comes to earning your prospect’s trust and business, it’s all about whether you can help her solve her most pressing problem. Or, help satisfy her most intense desire.
Because frankly, your product will either help…or it won’t. So be fair to your prospect and tell her about the possibilities, but don’t exaggerate for effect. Share some simple truths and real testimonials…but don’t fabricate results.
Only then she can decide if you’re on the up and up, and give your solutions a try.
That said, there’s one VERY easy way for any marketer—one used exclusively by today’s most successful online and direct-mail business owners—to help their ideal prospect solve problems. You can read all about it here.
Step 4. “Talk” respectfully to your prospect. Some marketers appear to “force” their solutions on their prospects by shaming them, intentionally or not. Yet, no wants to hear they’re exaggerating a symptom…too lazy to help themselves…mentally incompetent…unmotivated…or aren’t doing everything they can to change their outcomes. They want sympathy, and understanding.
So, if your prospect feels like you are scolding her, she won’t believe she can trust you to solve her problems. Or even if she thought you could, she won’t trust you could make the buying experience “easy” and pain-free.
To gain credibility, you need to tone it down and talk sensitively to your ideal prospect.
At a minimum, you’ll want to be respectful. The Golden Rule applies in personal life and it applies here in business too. The friendlier you are…the more empathetic you are…the more approachable you are, the more likely it is your prospect will be eager to follow and communicate with you…and eventually buy from you.
Step 5. Give her a powerful guarantee. There’s a lot written about how longer, stronger guarantees actually work better to convert otherwise hesitant prospects than weaker ones.
And it’s true. Strong guarantees add an extra layer of persuasion to an already great offer. In fact, it’s usually your last chance to establish credibility with your prospect…right when doubt looms largest in their mind.
You see, by the end of your sales message, your prospect is nearly ready to buy. Just a bit more convincing is needed to relieve her anxiety about being ripped off or ridiculed. The final thought you want is, “If they didn’t think the product worked, they wouldn’t be offering my money back.”
The stronger the “guarantee”, the stronger she feels this way. And the more control she feels she has over the buying experience.
Remember, give your guarantee the time and space it deserves. Your prospect should not walk away thinking “whoever wrote this letter felt they had to put a guarantee in.”
So what’s a strong guarantee look like?
Always introduce it with a subhead. Be proactive about wanting to accept all the risk so they don’t have to. Use language that’s convincing and definitive. Use a “seal” whenever possible. The longer the refund period, the better…ALWAYS! Include benefits “inside” the guarantee copy. And for Heaven’s sake…let them keep any bonus items you included with the offer.
Check out this example…
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Just make sure your guarantee is easy to spot in your marketing communication. Why?
Most readers only skim sales messages. If they don’t see a guarantee, they almost always bolt. Even more compelling, if they easily spot a guarantee, and they see it is strong, they are almost always persuaded to give the solution a try. After all, they can always get their money back, right?
Look, you’ll never persuade your prospect buy something they don’t want. But by following these 5 tips on how to treat your ideal prospect so they love your brand, you can be sure they will buy your stuff…more of it…and more often—and share the good news about your brand with others.
Got any other ways you’ve used on how to treat your ideal prospect so they love you? Please share them with us in the comment section below.
About Jerry Bures
Jerry Bures is a direct-response web copywriter and marketing consultant. Since 2010, he has helped natural health, self-help and business opportunity clients—as well as local small businesses—become more visible, credible and profitable online.