A guest post by Dennis Yu, CEO of BlitzLocal– providing local online advertising for professional service firms.
Did you know you can have a personalized high-converting soft-sales campaign that is completely automatic? That’s right—you can make money on auto pilot!
In this post we’ll show you how to reel the customer in with semi-personalized message and then upsell them over a period of time with auto responder messages.
Here’s how the system functions.
There are several types of content that can be used here to “soften up” the customer:
- eBooks (can be used to educated and sell, or sometimes can even be what is sold as the solution)
- Automated emails (usually the primary upsell method after the potential customer is sucked into the system through a landing page). These emails should seem personal and should be sent out at regular intervals. Some variations might have an additional “exclusive” email series as the sold solution.
Of course, the goal of these ebooks or emails is to do some light education around a thorny problem, then show how the product for sale is perfect solution to the problem just described.
Here’s the model for using this method spelled out. First, you need to establish pain, then you create rapport, after that move on to framing the issue. Now, you’re ready to provide the solution. This is completely different than the direct sales model of sell, sell, sell:
- Establish pain: People won't buy unless they are in pain. At Blitz, we do this right from the start by showing how the prospect doesn't show up in search results when people are actively looking for the very service they offer. Jealousy also plays into this, since they can see what competitors are doing. Some of the tools we are building appear to be rank checkers, but are really pain generation tools—they point out what is wrong with your site.
- Creating rapport: Rapport is a fancy way of saying identification and comfort being around you, which is a low level of trust. The casual, conversational tone and revealing of semi-personal details and emotions humanizes the seller. They still wield an iron fist, but it's covered with a velvet glove. In other words, they're still trying to sell you, but are doing it an apparently gentle way. People buy from their friends, people they like. Do you feel empathy for the seller while reading? Good—his techniques are working on you. Often times the email series or ebooks will be written from the first person and appear to be from the CEO himself, sent apparently from his own email address. It’s a nice personal touch, and one that is fairly easy to mimic (if you want to adopt this strategy for yourself).
- Framing the issue: When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The recent Borrell Research report on local framed the high churn issue among local resellers as one of insufficient PPC management software. Therefore, the solution is more PPC software, provided by Clickable, who just so happens to be the sponsor of the report (imagine that). A recent piece by a software company takes 30 pages to basically say one thing—that email autoresponders are the key to selling, since it's automated, warms up the prospect over many touches, and allows them to respond when they are interested (not when you want to sell them). There, in one sentence and I've perhaps saved you 57 pages of reading. But look at how clever that formula is.
- Providing the solution: Now that he has you all worked up-- you've intensely felt the pain of not having enough revenue, you identify with him as a friend, and he's described the problem in a way most favorable to his solution-- he mentions the answer. At first in passing and then more strongly as you get to the last few pages. Of course, he's been talking about his product the whole time, you just didn't realize how this trap was being set. He's got you right where he wants you. And he didn't have to spend a millisecond of his own personal time to get you there, the whole thing was automated. You perhaps watched a 2 minute video of him talking to you-- like a good friend would chat with you. He's been talking about your needs and you feel like you kind of know him. Time to buy!
And he, meaning the system, will continue to send out automated emails until you cry "mercy" and sign up for his software. Meanwhile, he's sitting back, letting the automation software run, and the sales come rolling in.
But after reading through all the material, consider how you feel emotionally (I'd like to buy this software and I like this guy) versus what you've actually learned about what type of industry the product addresses (what specific steps and techniques can you implement?). If you've gone to a Baptist church, you may know what I'm talking about—call to action at the end, where people come up and confess. Probably not rationally-based, but one of emotion. The music is playing and you're feeling spiritual. Ever seen "Leap of Faith", the Steve Martin movie where he plays a huckster preacher, faith healer, caster outer of demons, and revenue generator extraordinaire under the big tent?
There really is little difference—think about it.
The "smarter" people think they are, the more easily they will fall for these sales techniques, since they're thinking with the left side of their brain (rational), while really this system hammers them on the right side (emotional). This is how you can sell to anyone, no matter how "logical" they are.