Things to Know about People Part 2
Marketing, direct marketing, sales, advertising, merchandising, public
relations, sales promotion ... all these disciplines ... are about people.
Because it is people who make everything we do, happen. Everything we
have, happen. Without people you and I would not be having this exchange.
This is Part II of the series, Things to Know about People.
What people really do when they hear or see your message. How they
respond to your offer. Their reaction to your presentation.
The collection is based on my several decades in marketing - and a couple
more as a consumer. During my teen-age years my Dad said something to
me I've never forgotten. It was simple, it was direct, it was accurate.
Dad said "I've bought a lot of stuff". He was teaching me a
lesson about buying and selling - wanted to make certain I understood
his experience. Where he was coming from.
Ditto here. What follows, and what is in Part
I, is based on my "live" experiences with life. Let's get
People ask lots of questions
Most often the first question is about your offer.
We know an offer is over and above features and benefits - and your audience
wants to know all about it. Be prepared with answers.
One of the better ways to be prepared for questions is to "buy your
own product". Look it, and try to buy it. You'll quickly learn what's
important. Then go to your competition, and buy their product - the one
that competes head-to-head with you.
Think ahead what questions are most important - and be ready to provide
People ask questions about benefits
Two of the world's most listened to radio stations; WAM ... What About
Me. And WII-FM ... What's In It for Me.
Your prospect is asking, what am I going to gain from buying this from
you? What are the benefits to me, my family or friends, my staff at the
office, my company.
This is not a selfish act - it is an honest response to your presentation.
So, what do you do? Talk about what they will earn, save, make, enjoy,
learn. Talk benefits.
Features are fine. In fact, I like features ... for without them there
are far fewer benefits. Still, people do not ask if you have red buttons
- the do ask what happens when they push the red button!
People ask questions about a Guarantee of Satisfaction.
There are two parts to every guarantee:
... first is about the product, will it do what it is supposed to do.
and will you provide the service that goes with it. that much of the guarantee
... the second part of the guarantee is the personal part: "What
if I buy, and you provide, but I'm still not happy ... what will you do
to make me happy?". A Guarantee of Satisfaction is mandatory.
It is rare today when a guarantee is not offered. Still, you must talk
about it. You must tell your audience you have a guarantee - and what
People ask questions about facts and figures
Facts. Figures. Formulas. Numbers to prove your statements are vital
today in marketing.
People want to believe you ... they really do. Still, you must show your
marketplace that you have the proof at your finger tips. Hide nothing.
Prove your presentation with facts and figures and formulas.
Sometimes a case story or a testimonial, mixed with numbers, is the most
powerful way to get your message across. We are an interesting breed,
we humans. We are drawn to numbers. So, use that 'fact', and use numbers
in your marketing & sales campaigns.
People generalize from what they consider "acceptable fragments"
People draw conclusions based on incomplete information. Partly because
they have not read nor listened to your message. Partly because they want
to believe you - no matter what you say.
This means you must be crystal clear with your words. Your graphics must
support your message. Your offer must match with your product or service.
Everything you do must "make sense". To the customer!
Please realize that some times people make a decision they regret later
... and it will be YOUR responsibility. Know this about people.
People are suspect of perfection
If something is "perfect", people look immediately for the
Research has taught that people are most comfortable with an 85% level
of knowledge ... this is where things are most believable. This does not
mean people don't want the best ... it does mean you don't have to be
perfect to be successful with your marketing campaigns.
Surprised? I was, the first time I learned this. And then I got to looking
around. It isn't often "it couldn't be better". It is safe to
say whatever you do, it most certainly could be better. Maybe in a small
way - still better. It is not perfect.
So, adopt this concept from the Oakland Raiders professional football
team; Strive for Perfection, Settle for Excellence.
People prefer a little less information
More is less ... when it comes to details. Not so much information, not
so much knowledge.
Why? Because there is so much to know, many people have decided to be
selective. And because they want to make their own decisions.
They want to seek out what is important to them ... and ask for those
details alone. Not of everything - just what's important to them. So they
can come to their own conclusion ... so they will feel they are in charge
of the situation.
You must be prepared for a dialogue with your customers and prospects.
At whatever level they wish to communicate. Frequently that will be very
specific, very detailed, and very incomplete! Know that about the marketplace
People do want to trust you
Yes, they really do! People want to believe. Which puts the burden
of proof and believability on you.
In the world today, trust is a difficult issue to "prove".
Testimonials and references will help. Other people saying good things
about you is a good way to build trust. To become more believable. Doing
what you say, on time, without surprises helps, too.
Trust isn't for sales alone ... it applies to information gathering,
too. In the past you may have set the standard ... today your customer
does. Know what your audience expects - and provide it to her.
People want the heart, warmth, emotion and feel-good
of the sales process ... they want the touch
Reach out and touch your marketplace. Let them know you care. Be personal.
Communicate. And do it often. Hold their hand. Be their teddy bear. Be
their security blanket.
There was a time this was a "standard" way of doing business.
I remember my Mom getting very personal service. And then, in an efficiency
move, it all went away. Selling became impersonal, and so did marketing.
Well, it's back. People want to be with people. Things are nice, people
are better. Touch your customers.
People's responses are in direct proportion
to their personal identification with you,
your product or service, and your company
If you are known in your marketplace, you will gain more new business
and keep more current business, than if you are not.
This is just plain common sense. With the hundreds to thousands of messages
dumped into the marketplace every day, how will you be noticed? What will
you do to have an "identification" with your prime buyers?
Get active. Be seen. Get involved. Participate. Attend the prime, and
not so prime, events in your industry. Let your audience know who you
are. You don't have to become a spokesman or personality - you do have
to be visible.
People ask questions about the next step.
"Okay, I agree. What happens next? What do you do? What do I need
These questions are good - very good. As your prospect is asking about
becoming your customer. So, you must be ready! And prepared to take their
First, by answering their questions. People want to know the process
... you must make certain you do ... so you can share it with them. This
is an exciting time - take advantage of it.
People ask questions about timing
This is good, too. As timing is always an issue. If your prospect had
wanted to buy tomorrow, they would have talked with you tomorrow. They
want to make a decision now, and they want an answer now.
Plus, they want to know how long your process is going to take. They
say: "If I make this decision today, how long will it be before something
You must be over 100% ready to have a timetable in place. And to share
it with your audience.
And always, people still want to be sought after,
talked with -- they want you to A.F.T.O ... .Ask For The Order
Yes, most people do not like to be sold - still, they sure do like
Your marketing and sales assignment is to make certain they know you
want them to buy from you. As that is expected, and sought. Do
it your way, vs. mine. Ask in a way that reflects on you, your company,
your product, your service. Do it - that is what is key. Always A.F.T.O.
... always Ask For The Order.
This double collection of Things to know about People is timeless.
Oh, it may change, alter, grow, combine, or maybe go away. One at a time.
Just maybe. As it is truly timeless. Because it applies to people.
If you find "old fashioned" direct mail to be your marketing
tool of choice, the ideas here will work for you. If you're more into
the early 21st century, with web and E-mail marketing campaigns, these
ideas apply to you, too.
These are 26 important things to know as you successfully prepare each
of your marketing efforts. EnJoy!
If you missed Part I, here it is.