Your customers and prospects worry about "stuff". A lot of the time they don't even tell you what they are worrying about. If you can address that "stuff" in your marketing, you can make more sales.
Let's take a page out of the books of many of the top sales people in the world. We call the reasons people don't buy stuff from us "objections". Simply enough, people object to something and they don't buy from you. Sometimes those objections are spoken, sometimes unspoken. Sometimes, people even lie (oh my) and hide their real objection with some other kind of objection.
A good salesperson knows all the common objections and has ways to deal with them. A GREAT salesperson knows what the most likely objections and addresses them first.
Let's say you are selling tractors to farmers and know the biggest objection is gas mileage. You can go into your pitch and wait for the farmer to raise the objection so you can deal with it. The problem is, he may have the objection in mind and never raise it. You can lose the sale and not know why.
A better tactic is to say something out front - "I know a lot of farmers are worried about the price of gas..." wait for acknowledgment, "let me show you some ways that the tractor-matic 4000 can reduce the time it takes to till, so that you save on gas."
By bringing it out in the open, you deal with it on your terms. You eliminate a potential land-mine that could destroy your selling opportunity.
Your marketing can be more effective when you use the same tactic. It starts with research. You need to find out what the top objections to buying your product or service are. You should talk to prospects, conduct informal surveys, talk to your sales people if you have them. Any data you can get is great.
Let's say you sell pools. Maybe a top objection to buying pools is the time involved in maintenance and cleaning. You may decide to offer free training to buyers to help them cut down on maintenance time. Your ads should educate people on why your pools will save them maintenance time - allowing them to enjoy more time in the pool.
Maybe you offer a free 15 minute maintenance demo to people thinking about buying a pool. You could run an ad such as, "Thinking about buying a pool and worried about the maintenance, come in on Saturday from 12-2 for a free, no sales-pressure demo on pool maintenance. Get all the facts before you make this major purchase."
I recently saw a promo for the Kennedy Center Honors. I think of the Kennedy Center as a very stuffy fine arts organization. The promo featured a performance by Tina Turner with a voice-over and text saying, "this is no stuffy event." It's a great pre-emptive marketing move, and totally congruent given the Tina Turner clip.
This is the key: you must be totally honest. People can smell spin a mile away. If the promo for the Kennedy Center Honors showed people in Tuxedos getting ribbons with a voice-over saying, "an exciting event..." we'd laugh and tune it out.
If you're more expensive than your competition, own up to it and have good reasons why. People want a good price, but don't automatically choose the cheapest alternative. Raise the objection first, "We're more expensive than the competition, for a good reason." Bulgari watches had a whole ad campaign based on the slogan, "expensive by design." Here's a secret, some people buy expensive stuff as a status symbol.
You'll sell a lot more when you take away people's reasons not to buy.
J D Moore - Marketing Comet