When selling through the written word many writers are tempted to only talk about everything that’s great with their product.
Which makes sense at one level, because if we only talk about the good stuff it will cause our reader to only think about the good stuff, and they’ll be more likely to want it… right?
At least that’s the theory… But the reality is quite different…
The truth is… People are skeptical of marketing and sales pitches in general. And everyone knows that even the best products aren’t perfect.
So when we only talk about the good stuff, there’s a little voice in the back of your readers mind (sometimes it’s a big voice in the front of their mind) that’s wondering “What’s the catch? There’s always a catch! Because if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true”.
That’s why when we dismiss or ignore objections, and try to hide all the flaws in our offer, many people become even more skeptical. And they start to think of all the things that could be wrong with your product, and all the reasons they shouldn’t buy what you’re selling.
It’s not that they don’t want to trust you. But they’ve been burned before, or they heard about someone else who got burned, and so they naturally resist being marketed and sold to.
If your product isn’t perfect, never believe for a second that if you only highlight the good qualities, that the bad qualities won’t be noticed.
Consumers are very sophisticated these days, and online shopping has made it relatively easy for them to comparison shop without having to leave their homes or visit multiple stores.
On top of that, some sites even have reviews of products that tell consumers what they can expect from a product and what makes one different from another.
Quite frankly, it’s a bit foolish and naive to think that in this day and age you’ll have a totally uninformed consumer show up at your store.
So what do we do about the natural skepticism of today’s consumer?
One of the best ways I’ve found to remove the skepticism, and open the doors of trust, is to admit some small flaw up front.
That doesn’t mean you should trash talk your own product. But you can bring some small flaw up and either make it a positive feature, or find a way to resolve that objection in a way that satisfies your reader as being fair.
Of course when we’re selling face-to-face we can ask questions and answer objections in real time.
But when selling through the written word, our reader has all the power to dismiss our offer without us even knowing why it happened.
That’s why we need to anticipate those objections as best as we can, call them out, and answer them in a way that seems fair and reasonable (fair and reasonable to our reader not just to us).
How do we neutralize objections in written copy?
For starters we don’t dismiss obvious objections or try to pretend they don’t exist. Instead, through researching our market we learn what the most common objections are to our type of offer.
One note of caution: We don’t want to mention every flaw in our product or we run the risk of bringing up something that the customer didn’t even know was a negative. If that happens the customer may start thinking “Oh, I didn’t even think of that. What else don’t I know about this product?”.
In other words… we might kill a sale that otherwise would have been made. So we should only bring up the obvious objections that are the most common ones for our market.
Then we confront them head on, and either turn them into a benefit, or we bring them up and explain why they don’t outweigh the positive benefits of our offer.
- If your product is more expensive than your competitors, you could admit it up front and say “Our product costs a bit more because it’s better quality than the competition. And that’s why we can offer you our double guarantee on each and every purchase”.
- If your service doesn’t offer as many benefits as your competitor, you can reframe it as “We cut out the unnecessary bloat and fluff so you only pay for what you need to get the job done right, the first time… every time”.
- If you don’t offer a wide variety of options with your product, it’s not because you’re lacking… It’s because “We let you accessorize and customize your purchase – for that personalized touch that’s uniquely you”.
This type of open objection handling serves two purposes (both are important)…
1. It makes the flaw seem less bad. And can even make it seem like a good thing in some cases.
2. When we admit a flaw up front it makes us seem more honest, because it doesn’t look like we’re trying to hide anything. And when our customers see us as being honest, they’re more likely to let down their guard and trust us about the good things we talk about in our offer.
The bottom line here is this… if your product has any obvious flaws or disadvantages that could be raised as an objection, don’t wait for the customer to raise it in their own minds. Because unanswered objections will lead to them clicking away from your site.
Instead, you bring it up so you can justify it and turn it into a benefit before it becomes a deal breaker.
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