Getting that “yes” doesn’t require arm twisting or sleazy used car salesman tactics. Sometimes, all it takes is the proper framework.
I recently discovered a surefire way to lose business. When I visited my apartment leasing office to give notice for vacating my apartment, I was virtually pushed out the door.
My lease was soon to expire, and my husband and I had decided to move to a brand new apartment complex a few miles down the road.
When I told the apartment manager of our plans to move, she gave me a half annoyed glance and inquired in an indifferent tone: “Well, have you guys thought about staying here and moving into a different unit?” When I mentioned that I didn’t think any of the floor plans would meet our needs, she gave a halfhearted “oh,ok” and proceeded to fill out our paperwork.
There was no offer to show us additional floor plans, no questions about what our needs were, and no offer of a discount if we did chose to stay.
Two weeks later, my husband and I were grappling with the massive fees associated with moving into the new apartment complex as we prepared to begin the application process. As dog owners, we faced a stunning mountain of deposits and fees required to allow our pooches to live in the complex.
Out of sheer curiosity, we looked into floorplans at our current location and discovered: there was a floorplan that met virtually ALL of our needs and included a few features lacking in the other apartment. As we further looked into the matter, we discovered that we would not have to pay any fees if we remained in our same complex – even if we switched apartments!
First, let me say, do not do ANYTHING to follow in the footsteps of our leasing agent. Beyond that, here are a few ways to reel in a “yes” from your customers.
Had our leasing agent taken the time to explore our needs and pain points, she quickly could have discovered that she held the key (no pun intended) to our solution. Had she known we were facing massive deposits at the other location, she could have offered us a solution on the spot.
How many times have you missed an opportunity purely because you didn’t take the time to know what your customer needed or wanted?
Begin by finding out why those who didn’t go with your brand chose not to. Are you missing a feature that could benefit a large number of people? Do potential clients even know what benefits your product offers?
If our leasing agent had explained why we should stay in our current location from the outset we would have signed papers for our next apartment in a heartbeat.
The very words “no new deposits” would have been enough to cause us to whip out our checkbooks on the spot and reserve a unit for the coming year.
Whether you’re writing an email or creating a landing page, tell people why they should be your client. Do you offer services no one else does? Do you require a higher level of training for your customer service representatives before they work with your clients?
People aren’t as interested in what you do as what they can get from you.
Potential customers won’t care if you’re a Fortune 500 company, if you have the best employee retention rate in the US, or if you have a beautiful modern office with a great view of San Francisco. Rather, they want to know that they can trust you, that they’ll receive value from your product, and that you’ll give them a better experience than your competitors.
What do you want your audience to do after reading a piece of content? Do you want them to visit your website, purchase that sweater, or tell their friends about you?
Decide what you want them to do, and tell them to do it, it’s just that simple. This can be as straightforward as “Like our brand? Share this on Facebook!”, “To learn more about our products, visit our website”, or, “Ready for fresh fall looks, click here to purchase this sweater.”
Copy that tells a reader what to do has consistently been proven to outperform copy that gives readers no direction at all. It’s not that your audience is stupid – they aren’t – but they can’t read your mind .Tell them what to do, and you’ll be surprised at how often they’ll do it.
If our leasing manager had handed me a brochure as I was waiting to terminate my lease, I likely would have looked through it and noticed the appealing floor plan. Since I was given no direction, it was through a pure fluke, that I managed to find the ideal floor plan at the same complex.
You have too much on the line to leave potential customers up to fluke chances. Go ahead and provide some gentle direction when sharing content with them – you both may be surprised by the results!
Think of the initiatives that retail stores occasionally take on – like fundraisers for the Ronald McDonald House or Make a Wish Foundation. While in line at such a retail store recently, I noticed banners announcing a fundraising initiative for the Ronald McDonald house. I was mentally praising the company and thinking about how my family once benefited from staying in a similar home while a sibling had medical testing at an out of state hospital. However, by the time I made it to the register, I had forgotten about my intention of donating – until the cashier offered to let me make a donation at the end of my purchase. Of course I said yes, as did my shopping buddy.
If we hadn’t been asked, I doubt either of us would have made a donation (even though well intentioned) but, with just the gentlest of guidance, we were more than willing to take part in the fundraiser. Never underestimate the power of a direct request or question.
Which of these steps do you need to implement in your business? Where will you begin? Let us know in the comments below!