I saw recently a television show called “Platinum Hit” that was hosted by singer and songwriter, Jewel. The show is a competition of not yet discovered songwriters who are required to write a “hook,” i.e. an idea or phrase that makes a song so attractive that it grabs the ear of the listener. The top three participants with the winning hooks then must write an entire song with fellow team members in a matter of hours and days in hopes of getting a record deal with a few of the top producers in the industry.
So, this made me think about how this can help a small business owner. I thought what is a small business owner’s hook? How do you grab the ear or even the eye of a buyer? What makes your business attractive to a prospect to make a sale? The answer is advertising.
Today, we all know there are countless ways in which to advertise. For instance, a small business owner can advertise with print media in newspapers and magazines, and with broadcast media such as radio and television. Also, you can promote your business through online advertising with banner ads, pop up ads, or pay per click campaigns, in addition to offline advertising with direct mail, brochures, flyers, and postcards. The different modes of advertising are numerous, to say the least.
Principle 1: Capture Your Buyer’s Attention
Any great advertising must grab your buyer’s attention within seconds. You literally only have a few seconds to spark your buyer’s interest to entice them to take action, whether they look at your web site, listen to your ad on the radio, or read a brochure that you sent to them. You must hook them instantaneously.
A headline is the hook. The headline is the first, and sometimes the only impression you may ever make with a buyer. So, it is extremely important that the hook intrigues, excites, or even shocks the buyer so that he will make the purchase.
Numerous ways to start a good headline exist. This is usually done with key phrases where you are left craving to learn more. For example, have you ever heard or seen a headline that reads “Who Else Wants A Higher Paying Job,” “The Secrets Of Getting Your Home Loan Approved,” or even “Here’s A Quick Way To Get Over a Cold”?
All of these headlines are attention grabbers but don’t really give enough information away without reading further. You have peaked an interest. But does this automatically mean that a sale will occur? Sometimes, yes, but often times no, unless your product resonates with the buyer.
Principle 2: Bond With Your Buyer
So now you have your buyer’s attention, but does your product resonate with what the buyer wants? If the buyer doesn’t understand what you’re offering, then he/she simply won’t buy. Your product must relate to what the buyer needs. This can be done by showing the buyer the benefit he/she will get from your product or the problem you will be solving for him/her.
Take as an example, if a car manufacturer finds that a certain brand of vehicle does better on safety tests, then that manufacturer would push a safety message over vehicle price, features or fuel economy. By doing this, the manufacturer will resonate with the buyer.
When you resonate with your buyer, the buyer automatically perceives value in what you are offering. Strike a chord with your buyer by showing the buyer the benefits of your product or by helping the buyer resolve a problem. You can quickly resonate with your buyer this way. You can also quickly resonate with your buyer by always being honest and credible.
Principle 3: Build Rapport With Your Buyer
By grabbing your buyer’s attention and resonating with him/her, you will always build rapport. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is to be honest in your advertising. Buyers are very smart – smarter than you think and smarter collectively than any single one of us. It’s like they have a smart meter that goes off when you are not being truthful. Buyers really appreciate the truth.
Be credible. If you convey honesty in your message, chances are you’ve gone a long way toward establishing your credibility. However, credibility is not just being honest; it is also about being believable. If you offer an exceptionally low price for your product, you’ve got to convey that the offer you are making is as great as it seems and that indeed it is a valid offer. You’ve heard that old saying, “sometimes it is too good to be true.” So, be sure that you can overcome this potential obstacle.
For example, if you are offering something for $10 that normally sells for $39.95, your job is to establish credibility for your price. You can do this by explaining why you are offering it at such a low price. Maybe it is because you bought the product in large volume and you are offering the price discount, maybe it is because you are having an inventory sell and clearing out remaining stock, or maybe you have created a new version so want to get rid of the prior version. Whatever the case, building credibility, as well as being honest, are key in building rapport with your buyer.
But what else can you do to make your buyer believe that you or your products are the real deal? It’s called value.
Principle 4: Demonstrate The Value Of Your Product/Service
After you have built rapport with your buyer, don’t forget to explain the value that your buyer will get with your product. A great way to demonstrate this is by comparing your product to another product with similar features and pointing out why your product is a better value.
By positioning your product this way, you are allowing the buyer to justify why he should purchase your product over a competitor’s product. This is especially true if the purchase was done on the spur of the moment, even if the buyer knows nothing about your business or even you.
So, how can you still be a hit with the buyer if he isn’t familiar with your product or your business? You simply just establish authority.
Principle 5: Establish Authority
Consumers love to do business with people they not only feel they can trust but with those who are experts in a particular area. For example, if you are trying to learn how to play golf, wouldn’t you take golf lessons from a golf pro instructor? If you wanted to learn the fast and easy ways to building a seven-figure business, wouldn’t you look to those who have done it?
Well, the same is true from your buyer’s perspective. The buyer wants to know that you are an expert or that the history behind a product that you are advertising makes you credible. Examine your business to find what you can say to establish your authority or expertise in what you are advertising.
So, there you have it. By implementing these basic advertising principles, you will hook your buyer and be a hit!