We need to spend less time telling our customer the product is amazing, and more time elevating our offer until he or she thinks it’s amazing (regardless of the words we choose for the ad).
If you improve the copy (words) you may improve the ad. But when you improve the offer you advance the business, because a superior offer is easier to sell in ads, emails, on the phone, and in person.
I use these 4 questions to make the customer an offer so good the words don’t even matter…
1. What would it take to sell out?
If you absolutely had to sell out your entire inventory of products or bookings in 24 hours what would you do?
It’s clear you can’t just rave about your product. You need to open a limited window of opportunity for your customers. Urgent news that temporarily makes a better-than-usual deal (or something unique) available. That’s the formula for a rush of sales. Think about those times you see people lining up (or camping out) for a product – whether it’s getting the first new iPhone or buying tickets to a big event, the offer is always a time-sensitive, limited opportunity.
How well it works depends on how real you can make the opportunity. Look for real situations in the business that make a deal great news for both parties (flood damage, a slow month, closing down).
2. How would you offer it to your brother?
Switch from an accounting mindset (e.g. what’s a fair market value for X amount of product/work/experience), to a “what if I really cared” mindset. Would you offer him free assembly? Extra support? A generous return policy?
Every customer is an opportunity to treat someone like family and make them feel well looked after. Your ad is an opportunity to let them know how.
3. Let the customer write the ad (stack the deck in their favour)
Become a hard-driving advisor or advocate for the buyer, and pen an unreasonably good deal for them. Not just the core deal, any terms and conditions that will make life easier for them.
This exercise will help you to see (and remove) the self-interest in your original offer.
4. How would you like to buy it?
Design an ideal buying experience that removes the frustrating parts that are no good for the buyer. Draw on your own experiences trying to buy, find, research, return, try, understand, compare, assemble, use, repair, service, or access a product.
This classic car ad offers an ideal buying experience, and uses this as the focus of the ad (not the car itself). In this case he may be selling the same product (car) as a hundred other people, but his offer is far superior. As a result, all the seller has to do is present the offer – this makes advertising easy.
What’s the cost of giving a better deal?
Some companies think they can’t afford to be more generous. But here’s the trick…
Look at the entire offer to find ways to be generous. You’ll see that most of the opportunities (the elements of an offer) are non-financial, and big-earning companies find ways to give more and more without giving up profitability. In doing so they create a real competitive advantage that gives a real advertising advantage before you even put pen to paper.
Here are some ways that Amazon has found to give a better deal.
- Faster delivery
- Free delivery
- Bigger range
- More book formats
- Instant downloads
- 1-click ordering
- Better book recommendations
- Extensive reviews for virtually any book in the world
They’ve found a way to give more than other companies. Notice that their offer extends from the shopping experience, to ordering, to payment, to delivery, to the way you collect, access, and use the products. They’ve taken away many barriers to help customers find, buy, and read more books.
There are so many ways to give more to a customer that you don’t have to slash your prices or cut your margins to build a better deal.