Whether you’re writing an email, a white paper or a blog post, you NEED to avoid sounding too salesy. Why? Prospects are tired of everyone trying to sell them something. The key to getting their attention is not to seem like you’re only after their pockets. There’s a good chance you’ve heard this before, but you need to provide VALUE above everything else. Before you can start creating less salesy copy, you’ll need to know what constitutes that kind of copy in the first place?
Signs Your Copy is Too Salesy
It’s easy to cross the line between selling and shoving your product or service in the face of the prospect. If you think you’re doing it right, take a look at these signs below and you might see that you’re actually making a few mistakes:
Your pitches are too generic
That’s right, you’re giving empty promises if you only send a generic brochure when you tell them they’ll get a customised pitch. Avoid sticking to your one-track sales pitch if you want to be persuasive and not salesy.
Your claims are simply claims
Yes, salespeople are called out for making claims, but that’s part of what you have to do to do your job. However, you’re doing it wrong if your baseless claims are waived off by customers or don’t seem true to them. These include flamboyant presentations such as quotes and reviews from impressed clients.
You’re not telling a story
Maybe you’re trying to tell a story in your pitch, but your clients are unable to relate to it. Whether it’s a story about a customer who used your service/product or a story about the brand, clients need to be able to relate the humane part.
You’re not customer-centric
One mistake you could easily make is to be agenda-driven rather than focusing on the customer as you prepare your pitch. If your customer doesn’t convert when you keep sending lengthy emails and trying to entice them with free webinars or downloads, then you need to stop and ask if you’re doing any of this with the customer in mind. Do you actually know what the customer wants or likes?
You use words and phrases like “my team”, “our service” and “we” too much
It’s true that you need to talk about your brand, product or service, but when that’s all your pitch is about, customers will lose interest. Your goal should be to help the customer realise that they need what you have to offer.
How to Sell Better
Even if you don’t believe you make the mistakes above, you may find these tips on selling better useful:
Talk less, listen more
It may seem that selling has to do with a great deal of talking, but the truth is you have to do a lot more listening. When you listen to your customers, you’ll be in a better position to recommend the solution they actually need and personalise your messaging to suit them.
Stay away from hyperbole
As much as you’re passionate about your product, overusing flowery phrases and words can quickly backfire. There’s nothing wrong with using descriptive language, but be disciplined about it.
Ensure that your content is easy to scan
There’s too much information out there for anyone to spend too much time on a single piece of copy. Be sure to make your piece easy to scan by adding eye-catching elements such as italic texts, bullets, brilliant headlines and sub-headlines and bold fonts.
Write more creative calls to action
Buyers have seen all the cliché calls to action there are, so don’t make yours another one in the pile. Avoid sounding pushy or manipulative, but present what you have to say in with clarity and honesty, then allow them to make the decision to buy on their own.
Avoid selling yourself short
As tempting as it may be to assure your customers that you offer the “lowest prices” or your services are “super-cheap”, you need to be wary of sounding cheap. You don’t want your content to sound like a phony infomercial, so get the message across that your service is cost-effective without over flogging how cheap you are.
Tell a good story
Storytelling works brilliantly because it connects with the heart. People can’t help developing an emotional connection with the characters in an attention-grabbing story, so what you need to do is tell a believable one.
You need to know your audience if you intend to make any kind of connection with them. In order for that to happen, you must invest some time and effort in researching about them. As US based SEO copywriter Kathryn Aragon once said, if you can reflect people’s attitudes and thoughts, you’ll be able to break their sales resistance.
If you want to avoid turning your readers off, dump the boring corporate lines and write like you would talk if you were talking to them face-to-face.
Focus more on benefits than features
It’s important for your customers to know both the features and benefits of your product or service, but you should start with how the client will benefit from what you have to offer and then use the features of the product as a reference. For buyers, it’s more about usefulness than cool features.
Be earnest about solving client’s problems
Customers need to know that you’re genuinely interested in solving their problems. That means you have to pay closer attention to their requirements and be more sensitive to their needs. Be solution oriented such that you don’t simply send resources, but you provide tools that actually help them solve their problems.
Verifiable statistics work
What better way is there to prove the success of a product than with statistics? The same concept works with endorsements from influencers. Whether you choose product reviews, testimonials and case studies, the key is making them authentic, verifiable and relatable. Also, when you’re making claims, you have to be careful to back yourself up.