Have you seen Part 1 of this 2-part post? Read it here.

Appealing to the Mind

When planning a company website, we typically have some ideas of what we want to include. That’s a good time to stop, step back, and put ourselves in the shoes of the buyer. Because from their POV, this isn’t just about our company.

Your prospect is looking ahead to the achievement or problem resolution that motivated them to research vendors and solutions in the first place. They’re also wrestling with the obstacles they’re encountering in that mission, including cost, effort, and the various drawbacks of the various options.

So start there, if you truly want to connect with them. Acknowledge those challenges before showing how well your company’s solutions address them. Instead, too many businesses begin with a lot of self-centered boasting – a ham-fisted, inward-focused approach that lacks the deeper persuasive powers of strategic communication.

In other words, keep the customer in the middle of their own story. It’s not about what you can do for them. It’s about what they are now empowered to do … with your help. If you’re selling an app, for example, instead sell folks on a uniquely beneficial experience; they just need your app to achieve it.

Try re-writing your web copy using mostly the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ instead of the words ‘we’ and ‘our.’ This will force you to recalibrate your approach in the right direction.

Also, be sure to focus on one strong, unique benefit or advantage that helps your company stand out from the competition. Repeat it over and over, and be sure it ties into most of the other points on your website. One big, meaningful thing is always going to be more impactful and memorable than a half dozen so-so “Why Choose Us” bullet points.

Next, resist the temptation to blurt out what your company is ‘proud of’ or ‘committed to.’ Instead, figure out what your customer is proud of or committed to, then explain how your offerings support that. And for heaven’s sake, don’t blab about your ‘experience.’ Everyone has experience, and focusing on that makes you blend in, rather than stand out.

Finally, people will open up more to a company that they see as a genuinely helpful resource, rather than one that’s just trying to sell them something. Many business sites have blogs with useful info on relevant topics. But buyers looking to buy are more likely to go to your product or service pages, where it makes sense to offer some brief objective tips and helpful insights for people just like them.

Appealing to the Heart

As suggested above, I’m more likely to trust a vendor who seems to ‘get’ me, and the circumstances and pressures I’m dealing with. So don’t be afraid to validate your prospect’s concerns, frustrations, or their noble efforts to search out just the right solution for their companies or their families. This kind of empathetic understanding is what builds trust, and ain’t nobody buyin’ nothin’ without trust.

You can’t force anyone to buy from you, but you can plant the right emotional and logical seeds to grow in their own minds, so they come to their own conclusion that your offerings are their best choice.

As mentioned earlier, the emotional aspects of a buying decision can affect and inform the logical ones. Let’s say I’ve always wanted a red Ferrari. If Ferrari advertises its multiple safety features, well, I must now go out and buy one, because who wants to drive an unsafe car, right?

Or maybe I’ve been thinking about doing a kitchen renovation, but have been delaying that project due to cost, and anticipation of all the hassles. But then I come across a bank ad for home renovation loans that says, “Stop putting it off and start showing it off.” So I float into a daydream about the oohs-and-aahs of friends and family invited to my new kitchen. A discounted loan rate in the ad makes me feel smart for finding a good deal.

Remember that people are more likely to pay attention, take action, and work through obstacles when they’ve been put into an emotional state.

Nike’s famous tagline, “Just Do It,” isn’t about the quality of their product’s materials or workmanship. It’s about the higher values of athleticism and achievement that they share with their buyers. That creates a bond, and that bond, in the marketing world, is golden.

Even most B2B purchases have an emotional component. A corporate buyer feels good after making a cost-effective, analytics-based purchase. A middle manager worries that making the wrong outsourcing decision will make them look bad to their boss.

Do you remember the term ‘cognitive dissonance’ from freshman psych? It refers to harboring two thoughts that are in conflict with each other, thereby creating stress. For example, “my personal info is online” and “hackers are out there.” Identity theft services offer to reduce the external (logical) threat, and by extension, the internal (emotional) dissonance and anxiety.

In Conclusion

If you work diligently at appealing to the eye, the mind, and the heart separately, you may eventually come to realize that they are all part of the same organic approach.

Also, I know that we’ve been talking about buyers and sellers as if they were two different species. But of course, we are all buyers, and we are all sellers, and awareness and integration of both mindsets can be particularly revealing and helpful.

The most important insight of all, I’ve found, is that in one way or another … we are all in the persuasion business.


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Tom TortoriciAbout the Author: Tom Tortorici is an Atlanta copywriter and web content writer who helps companies make a genuine connection with their audience. His classes and conference presentations have focused on how writing, strategy and design can work together to grab attention and interest even among readers with short attention spans. In addition to working directly with businesses, Tom regularly partners with web designers and marketing agencies.

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