How do consumers think? How do they make decisions?
And more importantly, how does your ideal customer make decisions? What are his triggers? What emotions are necessary for her to say yes?
These are all questions you've got to answer in order to make conversions that count (i.e. conversions that will lead to loyalty, more sales and better referrals).
If you've been thinking like an economist, you're making branding and marketing decisions based on what your ideal customer should be doing, common-sense style. That rarely works. Why? Because human beings don't use rationality to make buying decisions.
Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio studied the decision-making abilities of people who had suffered brain injuries that disabled the emotional centres of their brains. Even the simplest of decisions, like what to eat for dinner, seemed utterly impossible for those people, proving that although a decision seems rational, it's still heavily influenced (even supported) by emotion.
Similarly, your customers are making emotional decisions every time they make a purchase, even if they claim those decisions are purely rational. Understanding and accepting this fact will help you to make great strides in increasing conversions…and in increasing your competitive lead.
Think Like a Human, to Sell to Humans
As you work to make deep, lasting connections with your ideal customers, it's important to fully understand why they do what they do and why they make the decisions they make.
Once you have that information, apply these tips to all your campaigns and communications:
- Make Sure Your Brand Promise is Something They Want. Your ideal customer has a specific problem, and that problem causes a specific emotional condition. Identify that feeling, talk about how it negatively affects your customers and align your brand promise with how they'll feel once you solve that problem.
- Know That They Will Buy a Result, not a Product. If you're selling a lamp, you're really selling the ability to see better. If you're selling a power saw, you're actually selling a finished project with straight, clean lines and joints. So what are you really selling? What result will they enjoy after purchasing the product or service? That's what you should be communicating.
- Understand that Psychology Plays a Part in B2B Transactions, Too. Just because someone is acting as a purchasing agent, or just because they're spending someone else's money to solve what is essentially someone else's problem…doesn't mean they won't make decisions based on emotion. Remember, no matter what they're buying, they still buy from people.
- Simplicity Applies to Every Campaign. It doesn't matter what you're selling. It doesn't matter to whom you're selling. And it doesn't matter how intelligent, well-versed or complicated your ideal customer is. A message with a simple promise is always more effective. You have a finite amount of attention to work with. Fluff and unnecessary words take away from the attention your core message receives.
- Demonstrate that You're Sensitive to Your Ideal Customer's Sensitivities. What is going on in the world that has affected your audience's state of mind? How have current events exaggerated the problems they were already having? And what emotions are more intense now than they were last month? Knowing the answers to these questions is crucial to showing your audience how in-tune you are with their needs. And to be clear: bluntly stating your awareness is not enough (nor is it effective). You've got to show them in everything you say and do.
You can crunch numbers all day long. You can determine that your customer has more than enough money to afford your product. You can know for sure that they need your product to improve their lives. You can negotiate, make rational arguments and fully expect others to come around based on common sense. However, if you fail to connect on a human level, none of that matters.
Along with this comes the idea that you cannot strong-arm your potential customers into buying your product, either. They must feel that they have made the ultimate decision, and they must do that in the method they prefer…the natural, human, emotional way.
Want to talk more about how to make the highest-quality conversions by appealing to emotions and human nature? We have world-renowned experts speaking regularly on this subject in the Brand Builders Club. We don't admit everyone to the club—only those with the vision and the motivation to build their brands whilst being accountable to a team, as well as those whose own networks will add to the value of the club. Email me at [email protected] to find out if the Brand Builders Club is right for you.