Look, you may have the most important solution in the world for your target buyer, that you just know in your heart…that if you could get their attention…you’d make their life easier and they’d be sure to buy from you.
Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. I’ve found that there’s often an inverse relationship between how badly you want to tell your story, and how likely it is that your target buyer will listen.
Why? Because I see – time and again – enthusiastic marketers who are blinded by the “clarity” of a solution. Whether it’s the perfect financial plan, the latest technology, award-winning design, or the key to competing with China…none of these “bests” matter, if your message isn’t meeting the buyer where they are in their decision-making process.
I cannot emphasize this point enough: it doesn’t matter how good your solution is, if your target audience isn’t ready to listen.
Let me explain. Buyers go through stages in their decision-making process. Just like you don’t start at “I’ll take it - no questions asked!” when considering a major purchase (or commitment), buyers for your solution are behaving the same way. There are lots of complicated models to help explain this, but the bottom line is: your buyer might not be ready to hear what you have to say. You have to match your message to their level of “readiness. ”
So how do you do this? First, you decide what stage your buyer is in their decision-making process. If you’ve read How to Earn the Right, you’re familiar with the Relationship Funnel, where buyers move from Stranger to Loyal Partner, based on where they are in the buying cycle. If you missed this article, read it now at: http://www.turningpointemarketing.com/Free_Resources/eArticles.html
Next, you create a benefits hierarchy. A benefits hierarchy is a list of WIIFM-oriented advantages, from the most compelling to the least, matched to your buyer, based on their decision-making stage. Not only do you match the WIIFM-oriented message to where the buyer is in your Relationship Funnel, you also decide which “hot button” messaging to use. The hot button categories are:
Product-related: communicates the immediate necessity of a product (or service). Hot buttons include state-of-the-art, paradigm shift, durability, reliability, integration compatibility, future-ready, successful testing, flexibility, customization, simplicity of design and use
Psychological: addresses the buyer’s most powerful feelings (which are often unconscious) such as survival, fear, power, prosperity, prestige, and love. Hot buttons include first-in-class, name brand, safety, security, the hip-factor, clean technology, social relevance
Economics and Transactional: speaks to the ROI in terms of money and effort. Hot buttons include cost-effective, low-cost financing, easy ways to buy (one-click, credit card, GSA), volume discounts, economies of scale Timing: emphasizes the advantage of buying within a given timeframe, based on season, current events/crises, or a limited promotion. Hot buttons include limited availability, seasonal needs, act now, industry trends, hot topics
For specific examples of this messaging in use, check out ASME’s online samples at http://www.professionalpractice. asme.org/business_functions/techmarketing/3b.htm
We’ve also created a worksheet to help you develop your own benefits hierarchy. You can download on our website at: http://www.turningpointemarketing.com/Free_Resources/eTools/ePackage.html
(c) 2004 TurningPointe Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved.
Marketing educator, Kelly O'Brien, is creator of the “Create a
TurningPointe!" Marketing Bootcamp. To learn more about this step-by-step
program, and to sign up for FREE how-to articles and 20-page marketing
guide, visit http://www.turningpointemarketing.com