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What Are Your Customers In This Internet-Exploding World Really Looking For?

Apr 18, 2008
I do not know exactly what your customers are looking for. But you better know. No room for guesswork or generalizations here. No need to go into a philosophical discussion on needs vs. wants.

In order to effectively grow your business and create ads that get acted upon (not just seen!), you must understand that almost all customers buy mostly on emotion and rarely on logic.

Logic is rack and pinion steering. 95 out of 100 consumers do not know exactly what that is or what it does for them. Emotion is guaranteed to go through ice, mud or snow or we pay the tow.

If all you do is state what your product or service is or what it does and fail to tell what is in it for me to buy from you, your ad dollars have been virtually wasted.

Memorize these 4 words: Gain, Be, Do and Save. Write them on a blank card and pin them above your desk or on the visor of your vehicle. These four words will get you involved in the emotions of your prospects. They will get people off the schneid to see you about your product or service. Here is a partial list of emotional hot buttons:

GAIN health, time, money, popularity, improved looks, security, praise from others, comfort, leisure, advancement, enjoyment, self-confidence or prestige.

BE good parents, sociable, up to date, creative, proud of what you own, influential, gregarious, efficient, first or recognized.

DO express yourself, resist domination, satisfy your curiosity, emulate success, acquire possessions, win affection or improve yourself or you lifestyle.

SAVE time, money, discomfort or pain, work, worry, doubts, embarrassment or risk.

Do not assume that you know what anyone in your prospective market feels, thinks, is anxious about or believes. You must know! If you do not know, you have no shot at creating effective ads.

How do you obtain this valuable, crucial information? You ask. You listen. You set up your own data base. You make a habit of constantly collecting data about your own target market. You make this project a work in progress.

What do your customers want to gain, be, do or save? Recreational Equipment has a target market that probably has different emotional hot buttons than consumers who buy their outdoor gear from WalMart.

Define your market right down to the last detail. Know what your market wants. Once you know, advertise honestly. Give the details. Skip the cliches. Tell it like it is. Cut the hype or fluff.

If you want people to buy, you must tell them why. Anybody can shout OVERSTOCK! State the facts and make your case: You can own this one-of-a-kind widget for $194 while 137 last. That is 35% off the regular price of $299. We simply bought too many widgets and now we need the space for newly arriving widgets. Our mistake, your gain! We open at 9 a.m. Tuesday. We will most likely be sold out within a few hours. Be here early.

Whether you are selling at a discount or above the market, say why in honest detailmake your case. Your ads will get noticed and will produce results. Remember: for a small business, any paid ad that does not draw immediate inquiries or sales is a virtual waste of money.
About the Author
Bob Schumacher books and articles give entrepreneurs a clear coffee-shop English perspective on how to steer their business or profession into the top 20% who achieve 80% of the business and profits. Visit http://www.20do80.com for a complete directory of his articles and books.
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