I hate selling. I just want to tell people what I do and then let them make up their minds.

If you’ve ever felt that way, (and fess up, most entrepreneurs and business owners DO feel this way), then the idea of “controlling” the customer experience probably feels cheap, sleazy, and dishonest. Nobody wants to be the “used car salesman” that tricks people into thinking they’re getting something they’re not, but on the other hand, if you’re not actually BEING dishonest, then maybe there’s still something to the idea that for people to make the best decision, they need the most information you can give them.

I mean, do you make the best decisions when you have the most information? Or when you have the least?

Obviously, the answer is when you have the most.  But a lot of the information isn’t just the technical specs of the product you are selling. Most consumers don’t even understand what that data might mean to them, and you have an obligation to convey that information in the way that can give them the best understanding of the data, so they can make the best decision. This is where you use your experience with the product and your previous customers to help people understand what’s truly important about their next purchase, so they can benefit from having asked you to help them.

Explaining things in the right sequence

One of the first things you have to do is move your customer from where he is, to where he needs to be in order to make the best informed decision. Think of it like holding someone’s hand while walking down the railroad tracks.  You’re on one track, and you are helping them stay balanced and understand where they are going on the other track.

Your primary goal is to make sure they arrive at their destination without getting hit by a train. The best way to do that is to understand their emotional journey as the make their purchase, and help them navigate the information that is being thrown at them, by using your experiences as a guide.

Where you differ from the iconic used car salesman is that you are using your understanding of their emotions to help them, rather than to push them in a potentially wrong direction.

Nobody wants to be accused of emotional manipulation, but there’s also an obligation to be honest with your customers about what you do, the impact it may have on their lives, and how they can achieve their best results with your help.

It’s not being manipulative. It’s being honest.

Perhaps the best way to deal with this idea you may have that “selling” people into your product is wrong is by thinking about the times you’ve met people who did NOT use your goods or services, and have paid a high price for it. Have you met someone who was sold a substandard product? Ever met a customer who thought they were getting one thing from your competitor but actually it was another? And now that they’ve lost their money, they can’t afford YOU and YOUR services, so they are stuck? Suddenly, your fear turns into an obligation, as you now might feel a duty to make sure people know all the best reasons they should choose to do business with you, and the consequences they might endure if they don’t.

So if we can put that objection aside, we can start to craft your online business messaging around the idea of controlling your customer experience. Here’s a quick list of items that you should keep in mind when creating your landing page:

  1. Decide in advance what is the DSO: the Desired Site Outcome, for your website visitors. Do you want them to buy a product? Schedule an appointment? Request a sales call? Whatever the DSO is, you have to create your landing page to ONLY do that ONE thing. Don’t give people opportunities to deviate. They will always take them. Always.
  2. Don’t confuse your customers. If you step back and look at your landing page, is there any doubt in your mind about what you are selling? If so, then you can multiply that doubt by about a thousand for the typical web visitor. Perhaps one of the best ways to make sure you are on track is to just ask people who are not directly involved in your business what they think is being “sold” on your website. If they don’t give you a set of uniformly correct answers, it’s time for a redesign.
  3. Show them you understand. In a recent analysis of an Apple ad for its new iPhone 12, the ad contained the word “New” just 17 times. The most common words used were “You” and “Your”, which appeared 90 times. That’s key. Letting people know you are thinking about them, that you understand them, and that you can help them, will get you a lot more sales than talking about the features or details of your product or service. People buy on emotion and back it up with logic. Never lead with logic. Save that for the User Agreement page, in case they still have any doubts.
  4. Make it easy to buy. If it takes more than three clicks to get to your “Do it Now” page, then you’ve told your customers you don’t want their business.  Seriously. Why make it hard to win?

That’s about it. Follow those rules, and you’ll find yourself doing a lot better in your marketing program.