The more you study the communication process, the more you realize that successful communications... be they ads, sales letters, brochures or proposals... tap into key characteristics of human behavior.
The more you are aware of these patently obvious, "commonsense", basic attributes, the more powerful and effective your communication will be.
1. People follow leaders who have their confidence. In a business sense, people will support the company whom they consider to be a leader. The interesting thing is that these images may be real, or simply well constructed perceptions. What this means to you is this ... if you excel in something, make certain you communicate that attribute effectively and OFTEN to harness your leadership status.
2. People seek unity by group action. The "Bandwagon" Phenomenon. That of course translates to you in the testimonials you receive. Use them in your communications. They are an effective marketing tool to boost the advocacy of your cause.
3. People react best under pressure of deadlines. Maybe one in ten sales letters, maybe one in fifty ads ha ness this fact. Yet putting GENUINE deadlines with GENUINE reasons dramatically increases your response.
4. People easily lose their sense of identity. Mobility separates people frequently from past interests and exposes them to new ones. This is a great opportunity for you!
If you are the only company who writes to them, even simply to say that you appreciate them, you'll gain immense loyalty. Interestingly, clients of ours (in retail, business-to-business and professional practices) who've tapped this powerful opportunity typically report that they are disappointed by the fact that they get virtually NO reaction to their letters ... at first. But that the sales that follow long term prove the power of this loyalty-building program.
5. People give incomplete attention. You know, we all do it. We are so focused on what WE'RE about, we are guilty of thinking everyone else should be too. Not only focused on us, but excited about what we've got. The fact is, they're totally distracted by their own life. They don't give a damn about us until we put it in terms of what it'll do for them.
W-I-I-F-M! What's-in it-for-me.
You literally have to break into their awareness, and work hard at holding it And then, follow the old preacher's advice:
"Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em, tell 'em, and tell 'em what you told 'em".
6. People glance instead of read. Many people are poor readers. Or lazy readers. Make your message short and sweet. That doesn't mean short copy is better than long... it means don't write a word MORE (or less) than you have to to achieve your objective.
If you're "selling off the page", that will require a fuller and longer argument than if you're merely selling the idea of putting a coupon in the mail. COMPELLING HEADLINES, and powerful opening paragraphs, short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs are the key to getting people to glance, and then to get interested enough to keep reading.
7. People are suspect of perfection. In a nutshell, tell your prospects about your "warts" as well as all the good things about you. That honest and open approach will win you many friends and many more sales.
8. People identify with generalizations. Most people are begging to be led. What's more, they'll identify with parables, testimonials, examples and case histories. This is not to sound manipulative ... simply an effective key in the art of persuasion.
One of the most famous sales letters of all time began:
Dear friend, an ancient Persian Poet said, "If thou hast two pennies, spend one for bread. With the other, buy hyacinths for thy soul."
Attached to the top of the letter was a one cent coin. You may know the letter ... it sold Readers Digest subscriptions ... and so successful was it, literally hundreds of millions of "pennies" have been mailed worldwide over the years with that theme.
9. People go for "grooves" and easy formulae. Think about it. Ever since The Ten Commandments, we've been given the easy way to do things with formulae ... the five point plan, three easy steps ... 4 important reasons ...
Years ago, I worked at a delicatessen. We had a vast selection of fine foods. People would phone up and ask if we did picnic baskets. "No", we'd say, "but we have salads, meats, pates, deserts ..." We'd list off a whole host of mouth watering things. What would the caller say? "Thanks, I'll call you back." Eventually the sales dropped!
People didn't WANT to make the decisions, they wanted it made for them ... and I guess they wanted a surprise element too. So thereafter, when someone would phone to ask if we had picnic baskets, we'd say, "Yes, and they're $30 for two people (or whatever)." Inevitably the caller would respond, "Fine, I'll be in tomorrow morning to pick one up." By picking up on that simple point, we dramatically increased our profits.
10. Most people like the feeling of power. People resist making the decision to buy because it would end a pleasant courtship. The key is to stress the attention that will come AFTER the purchase.
Jay Abraham is the founder of Abraham Group and has spent the last 25 years significantly increasing the bottom lines of over 10,000 clients in more than 400 industries worldwide. Visit Jay Abraham China to listen to a free teleconference recording by Jay.