I found out the hard way that. . .
People are skeptical !
One of the main reasons many readers don't buy is because they have many objections, concerns and questions that go unanswered, well after they have finished reading the sales letter.
"Unanswered questions and unresolved concerns sabotage sales letters!" - Dan Kennedy
The purpose of a sales letter is simple: to get the reader to take action! And while listing all the juicy benefits of your offer is an absolute must in creating a powerful sales letter, sometimes benefits alone are not enough!
People are generally very skeptical, and for good reason. They've been disappointed, lied to, and even ripped off in the past. If there is anything at all about your offer or product that could cause the reader to be skeptical, hesitant, or concerned in any way, it will get in the way of your sales.
An easy and effective way to dramatically increase your sales is to air those concerns/questions out and address them directly. Including any flaws or limitations that your offer/product may have (and most products do. )
If you're wondering why you should bring up something “negative" about your offer/product when there is a chance that the customer may not ever think about them, let me just say this. . .
If an objection or flaw exists, your readers will find it! If there's an unanswered question, they will most definitely think of it. It is better to address these negatives and use that opportunity to turn those negatives into benefits . . .instead of hoping that the readers will not think of them. Buyers are becoming more and more skeptical every day, and for good reason.
In fact, customers will often times think of the negatives even if you haven't thought of them yet! For this reason, it's a good idea to have a few people read your sales copy before you start using it. It's an effective way to spot those negatives that you may have missed. Find the most skeptical person you can and ask him/her to point out anything in your sales letter that may cause concern, doubt, and/or skepticism.
Once you find out what they are, address them in the sales letter. . . and turn them into benefits! Provided you are still being honest. In the marketing business, this is called a “damaging admission. "
Here are a few examples of how to use the above strategy. . .
If the product is expensive, the letter could simply say. . .
"Don't be fooled by cheap imitations! At our store, we only offer the best!"
. . OR. . .
"I realize that our calculators costs more than other brands. But let's face it, you get what you pay for. "
Simple and effective!
If the product is unbelievably inexpensive (and may cause the reader to question the quality of the product), the letter could say. . .
"Why pay twice as much at an expensive restaurant, when you can get the same great meal - without the snobby waiters - at our family-owned establishment, at half the cost?"
. . OR. . . (if it's a digital product). . .
"You may be wondering why I'm giving away so many amazing ebooks for just $19.95. Well, since you're getting them in digital/downloadable format, I'm able to keep my delivery costs very low. So, I figured, why not pass those savings on to you and give you a lot more value for your money!"
If your product has any minor flaws or limitations (and most products do), you absolutely need to address those as well. If you spend a few minutes on it, you will find a way to turn those flaws/limitations into powerful selling points!
For example, if you're selling a video that doesn't have the best audio/visual quality (despite your best efforts), you had better address that in the sales letter. Don't wait for the customers to find that out after he pays for the product. That will either cause a hoard of refunds or just convince the customers to not buy from you again. Either way, you lose.
Instead, be upfront and honest with the customers by addressing the issue (and turning it into a benefit) by saying something like this. . .
"While the quality of the video recording is not excellent, it's still pretty darned good. However. . . to make it up to you, I've still decided to shave an extra 10% off the price. Because I want you to get your money's worth here. I think you'll find that to be a very fair deal, especially after you discover all the secrets we will be revealing in this kick-butt, one-of-a-kind video course! If you don't find it to be as good as we say it is, just send it back and we'll refund every penny of your purchase price. "
Address the flaw and then turn it into a benefit for them! They will appreciate your candor and honesty, and you will earn a loyal customer. Not a bad deal, eh? Also, notice how you can make the benefit even stronger by taking away the risk (offering a moneyback guarantee, just in case. )
Here's an example of a limitation, turned into a benefit. . .
"I realize that our flashlights do not come in 5 different colors, as do those made by some of our competitors. The fact of the matter is, by offering ours in only one color (metallic black), we are able to keep our production costs down. The money we save is spent on creating a better quality flashlight than what our competitors offer. We figured that if you ever got caught in an unfortunate situation where a flashlight was desperately needed, we would much rather you have a quality flashlight that would get you out of the bad situation than one that just had a pretty-colored exterior. "
Do you see how a possible limitation got turned it into a powerful, emotionally-charged benefit?
You're addressing objections and concerns that your reader may already be thinking about! Sometimes, you may even address these concerns and get them out of the way before the reader gets a chance to think of them. Definitely a good thing.
By openly discussing any flaws that your product may have, you will also begin to establish credibility and trust in the eyes of your readers. Both are very important in getting the sale. . . and creating a positive ongoing relationship with your customers.
When you say something like “I realize that our calculators costs more than other brands. . . ", your readers can't argue with that. They may even nod their heads in agreement as they read that sentence. In the process, you have just gotten them to agree with you on an unconscious level. (Read that last part again!)
There are also times when your sales letter may be making claims that sound unrealistic, too good to be true, or just plain impossible. You would definitely want to address those if you would like that sales letter to get orders.
For example, I recently finished a self-defense report that promised to turn anyone into “a lethal weapon in just two weeks!" And while I personally know for a fact that the claim I make is honest, factual and very possible to attain, many people reading that letter would be skeptical of my claims. And rightly so. It's a bold statement that I would definitely have to address if I hoped to sell any copies of that report at all.
What I know to be possible may not necessarily be true for my customer in the way he sees the world. His beliefs and experiences may give him a different picture of what's possible. And, until I can convince him otherwise (by backing up my claim with facts, examples, testimonials, etc. ), he won't buy from me.
Address the questions, concerns and doubts. . . or else, they won't buy!
Lastly, you may have heard before that if your offer sounds too good to be true, you should water it down somewhat, to make it more believable. And while that strategy can work, I have found that instead of watering it down and losing some of the firepower from the sales letters, it's much more effective to address the objections, concerns, and flaws. . . and then turn them into powerful benefits . . . maybe even use them to establish your uniqueness!
By addressing any questions, concerns, flaws or limitations that could come up, you will put the reader's mind to ease, send the credibility and trust factors soaring, and dramatically increase your sales in the process! Yet more reasons to be honest and upfront with your customers!
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