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Letters from the CEO

Making Your Message Stick With Consumers

Right about now, you are probably focusing your sights on upcoming goals and achieving success in the new year. Sales and marketing teams are working on the acquisition of new clients and upselling existing clients. This challenge to sell more isn’t unique — in fact, every business faces it.

And at its core, selling is about convincing the right client that you have the right product or service that they need at the right price. Sometimes they don’t actually need what you’re selling — but they still have to believe they could benefit from it before they decide to make a purchase.

What Are Buyers Looking for This Year?

There are more options in our world now than ever before. We have so many choices when it comes to buying just about anything. Maybe that’s why I’m a sucker for Instagram shopping. I get served one product at a time versus having to tax my brain and mull over other choices. I basically get served a compelling ad for one (perceivably) high-quality product that I really need to solve a problem.

I’m not a compulsive shopper, but I have bought a “two-in-one-step hair dryer and volumizer brush straightening curling iron comb” that promised to give me full, bouncy, coiffed hair that wasn’t frizzy — all through a one-step process. Although my hair doesn’t look that much better to others, I’ve definitely reduced the time I spend styling my hair in the mornings with a new belief that it is a bit fuller.

I’m also now the proud owner of Bombas socks, “the most comfortable socks in the history of feet.” Never in my life did I believe I would pay almost $50 for three pairs of socks, but I did and they are uber comfortable. And for that, I’d say they have successfully lived up to their promise.

The simplicity of being served one solution with a clear promise of differentiation (and having those ultimate expectations met) leaves me one satisfied customer. And now, I am not only a repeat customer, but also a brand loyalist and advocate.

What Are Most Buyers’ Pre-Purchase Concerns?

Before buying, shoppers tend to have three major concerns:

  • What’s the risk? 
  • Is it worth it? 
  • Who or what is the best choice?

The first concern is buyer risk. How do I make sure the seller can do what they say they can do? I want to reduce my risk of failure — reduce the risk of the seller not living up to the promise. The primary way I can be convinced of this is reassurance that others have bought this product or service, and it has been good for them. I need reassurance that it worked — reassurance in the way of case studies, testimonials and proof of benefit.

The second concern is return on investment. Is this product worth it? What type of return will it yield? Will it improve my comfort? My lifestyle? My looks? My financial position? Understanding what they have to gain by purchasing a product or service is a huge factor that can help push potential customers off the fence.

Last is determining which seller is the best choice. That is where differentiation descriptors come into play. Why should a buyer choose us? What do we do extremely well? What are our key benefits? What are our sustainable advantages? These small details can sometimes be the only things that separate you from good competitors, so make sure you communicate them well.

The Point Is This: Messaging Matters. 

When it comes down to it, all of your brand’s power is in its message. The promise matters. The way you say it matters. Sure, the product has to live up to the promise, but the two have to be working in tandem. Without the promise, there is no differentiation — or at least not enough to separate the brand from competitors and overcome the buyer risk.

So my message for 2020 is this: Create a brand promise for your business or product that best represents your brand. Do the work it takes to distinguish your product or brand so that you are uniquely positioned and provide value to your customer. These are the first steps in growing new customers and increasing sales in the future. You can do this.

And remember: You’re creative, too.