Selling to the Sophisticated Buyer

Although most business owners know they need to keep a prospect’s attention before they can sell them anything, so few really understand how that’s accomplished.

Even when they succeed in getting the prospect to click on a video… open an envelope… listen to a sales pitch, etc. they quickly drop back into default mode.

Default mode is predictable… non-urgent… non-specific… and BORING. As it’s been said many times, you cannot BORE anyone into buying from you!

Of course, most prospects won’t wait around for you to make your pitch. They’ll bail as soon as they sense where you’re going… usually in a matter of seconds.

How do you bypass your prospects internal filters? You do that by surprising them… in a big or small way — immediately.

The thing is, you can only surprise a prospect if you have a reasonable understanding of what they’ve been exposed to. Todd Brown calls this their “maturity” level. For example, talking up Vitamin D’s benefits to a natural health crowd isn’t going to stop them in their tracks. They won’t lean in and listen to you because you’re repeating old news.

But talking up Vitamin D’s benefits to a crowd with little or no exposure to natural health information would be a completely different story. With them, you could dribble out the most basic information about the D vitamin and still completely BLOW their minds.

So, in a perfect marketing world, you would match your message exactly to the sophistication level of the audience you’re pitching.

I thought of this the other day when I received a fundraising letter. The organization while near-and-dear to my heart, STINKS at selling themselves. In fact, I was a little DEPRESSED after reading their letter. Depressed people don’t make for good donors!

Which leads me to another — tangential — point. Optimism converts better than pessimism for most products. Scary doomsday messages are great attention grabbers — think Clickbait headlines. But ultimately, whatever you’re selling has to give your prospect hope, that they didn’t miss the boat or that it’s not too late . If it doesn’t — like that fundraising letter I just mentioned — you’ll only succeed in depressing him.

Depressed prospects never end up buying.

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