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Article Archive >> Business

Manager's Corner: Smooth and Easy Sells

Manager's Corner
Smooth and Easy Sells

This is going to sound a bit "touchy-feely", but one of the tricks in writing marketing copy and designing marketing pieces is to ensure the "subtle" side is addressed as well as the overt message. To help your prospective customers not only "understand" what you're selling, the prospects also need to FEEL good about what you're selling and about you. When they do, you take away a number of their hesitations to buying. If they understand what you're selling, but something feels "off" to them, you're giving them an excuse to say, "No thanks, I think I'll keep looking."
To counter this and to help ensure they FEEL good, you need to create a nice, smooth rhythm and flow to the design and content. To do this, just follow a couple of basic marketing copy tricks:
1. Design- Ensure that whatever your final design, you're creating a design that "pulls" the reader's eyes to the places you want the reader to look--and in the right order. Keep in mind, that we read from left to right and from the top of the page to the bottom. Also, we expect the most important information to be placed at the top as well as the bottom of whatever item we're looking at. Everything in the middle, we tend to just skim over. Given that, design your pieces so the prospective buyer's eyes will immediately be drawn to key items at the top of your marketing piece. Then, the prospect's eyes will automatically track down through your item to the bottom--where you'll list other "must know" information such as your slogan and contact info. If you place and highlight your key info in the middle or just at the bottom of the item, many prospective customers' eyes will just focus on that. By nature, we're all lazy readers, and it's unlikely that most prospects will read back up through your marketing piece. Place key pieces of information where you prospects' eyes will see them and flow with them.
2. Content- When you have lists or bulleted items you're trying to highlight, list your items so they are parallel in structure, value, and theme. By doing this, you automatically create a smooth rhythm in your items so as the prospective buyer reads your list of products, services, or features, the buyer feels the "smoothness" in your ideas. This smooth rhythm then allows him or her to feel better about you and your products. As an example, let's say I want to market a new, luxurious, fuel-efficient car that has just been released. If I list a few of its features as:
* Quiet, spacious, and luxurious
* Good gas mileage (39 mpg/city; 42 mpg/hwy)
* Offering new interior color options!
As you read that, could you feel the rhythm was "off"? Even though these features sound great, because it feels "jerky", a prospective car buyer may feel better about looking elsewhere. To create a smooth rhythm, just create parallel structure in the items:
* Fuel efficient (39 mpg/city; 42 mpg/hwy)
* Quiet, spacious, and luxurious
* New interior color options available
Can you feel the difference as you read this revised version? It's smoother, yet it shares the same information. Also, if you notice, I changed the order of the information listed. I moved, what I anticipate will be of greatest interest to the prospective buyer, to the top. I want them to easily find the information they're looking for. I want to make it easy for them to feel better about this car and what it has to offer. If I make them hunt for the information, they may feel this car is "too much work".
Finally, if you intentionally want to change the rhythm, which is a good strategy for getting people to focus on the "off" item, make sure that the item you're having them focus on is the one you want them to. In my first example, if the last thing a potential customer reads that strikes him or her as "off" is: "Offering new interior color options!" we're forcing the prospect to focus on the interior and not on the other--more powerful--benefits.
If your marketing piece design or rhythm is "off", a prospective customer will feel it--only it won't register to them as the rhythm being off--they'll register it as "Welllllll, let me think about this some more...," and they won't take action and call you or buy from you. They'll continue to look elsewhere. Make it easy for prospects to choose you versus the competition. Remember, smooth and easy sells.

Liz Weber of Weber Business Services, LLC. WBS specializes in Strategic, Business, and Succession Planning, as well as employee and leadership training. Contact: liz@wbsllc.com or 717-597-8890.

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