Zig Ziglar’s Five Pillars of Sales in the Age of eCommerce
Usually, when I mention Zig Ziglar, I’m referencing the heavy priority he placed on trust as a key factor in sales, but there is a total of five obstacles on which he based the bulk of his philosophy. If you’re not familiar with Zig Ziglar, he was one of the most successful and celebrated salesmen of his time. His theory was that if a salesperson could overcome these five obstacles, the deal was done, and that theory is still just as successful in today’s internet era. As you work to increase conversions across your website and marketing campaigns, check that you’re addressing each of these issues that could be preventing your success.
Start with a Design That Works
This isn’t one of Ziglar’s famous sales obstacles, but it would have been if he’d lived in this digital age. How you present your content is just as important as the content itself. You need to make sure your web design is ready to convert your audience. It needs to be pleasing to their eyes and easy to read. Generally speaking, you’ll want to keep it simple. Direct your visitors to the desired action by limiting distractions and providing clear CTAs. If you have a page, email, or ad with a high bounce rate, start here.
I don’t need it.
When a potential customer thinks “I don’t need this,” it’s either because you haven’t adequately explained the utility and benefits of the product or this person is not in your target audience. Identifying, locating, and reaching your target audience is an ongoing and vital process in achieving success as an eCommerce business.
Who buys your product? Who is it made for? Imagine the ideal specimen for your business and figure out where he or she spends time, gets his or her news and information, and what influences his or her decisions. Then direct your marketing accordingly.
How to Show Your Audience They Need Your Product.
Your content needs to address a pain point. Remind the reader of the problem he or she has that will be solved by your product or service. And remember that there are a million other people out there doing what you’re doing (usually). Don’t just answer the question “Why do I need this?” Answer the question “Why is this the best solution to my problem?”
I don’t want it.
If the language and visuals you’re using to promote your product don’t make your target audience want it, they’re not going to buy it. Pretty simple concept. People don’t buy what they don’t want. The standard approach to this problem is to use descriptive language to tell the reader how his or her life would be improved by your product. Help people visualize themselves being happier, healthier, wealthier, more attractive, more successful, etc.
How to Make People Want Your Product
Imagine your ideal customer again. Now imagine your ideal customer has purchased your product or service. He or she couldn’t be happier. It’s so perfect, it creates a ripple effect that influences other parts of your customer’s life. He’s got more money, more confidence, more comfort. She’s happier, healthier, and enjoying more free time. Benefits, boss. Don’t tell me what your product can do. Tell me why I want it to do that for me.
I’ll just get it later.
This one is tough. What’s stopping all of your visitors from putting off that purchase until tomorrow, next week, or never? A sense of urgency is often necessary to pull a conversion because once they decide to wait a week, you no longer have any influence on their decision. They’ve closed the page, walked away, went to bed, and now they’ve decided they don’t really need it or want it and there’s nothing you can do about it.
How to Create a Sense of Urgency
The easiest way to do this is to offer a limited-time discount or promotion. Order now and get free shipping! Offer good till midnight! If you don’t buy it right now, you’ll end up paying more for the same thing! Don’t pass up this amazing opportunity! Act now before it’s too late! Deals like this don’t come around every day! Sound familiar? I’m channeling every car dealership commercial I’ve ever heard.
Other ways to create a sense of urgency involve a bit more effort. If your product or service will save people money, the sooner they buy it, the more money they save. If your product or service will make people happier, they shouldn’t wait another day being miserable. Think about the benefits of your product and then explain why the benefits are even better if they hurry.
It’s too expensive.
Money. The biggest hurdle there is. This one can’t always be won with words because your reader might really just not have enough to spend on things like your product. That’s why it’s important to maintain fair pricing from the start. Three customers paying ten dollars are not better than ten customers paying five. Set a decent price and then explain to your readers why your product is worth that.
How to Convey Value to Your Readers
Value is the ultimate key to conversion. Does your product or service have value? Can you convey its value to your readers? Start by describing what makes your product better than the cheaper guys. Why should someone spend more money just to buy from you? If you are the cheaper guy, what product details might convince someone your product has value? Being too cheap can be just as detrimental as being too expensive. Are you using quality materials and reliable craftsmanship? Are you properly trained to provide your service? Are you experienced? Tell me why I should buy from you.
I don’t know about this seller.
The reason I talk about this one all the time is that the ability to evoke trust is the difference between crappy copywriting and effective copywriting. It’s my job to address each of these obstacles in a way that makes the reader feel comfortable and confident in the purchase because it just doesn’t work otherwise.
How to Get People to Trust Your Brand
When a visitor comes to your site, they’re generally looking for more information. Even if they know what they want already, they need to know if it fits, if it works, how long it will last, what color it is. They want to know about your company and whether there’s any evidence that you know what you’re doing. Should they choose you or the other guy? Why? The information they’re looking for has to be presented effectively and accurately. If it’s not there at all, you lose the sale and if it’s there with bad delivery, (drumroll) you’re going to lose the sale.
Check out some best practices for writing the pages on your website or your marketing campaigns. Make sure you have all the pages or sections you need to satisfy your readers. If you want to make it really simple, buy a template for the content you need. If you suck at writing, hire a copywriter to boost your conversion rates with content that’s backed by consumer psychology.
How to Fit All of This on the Page
There’s some debate about whether it’s better to have a high word count for the SEO machines or keep things short and sweet so your audience doesn’t get bored and wander off. My humble opinion is that it’s much more important to have original, quality content than to have any specific word count on web pages. Google is getting better every day at figuring out who is plugging keywords and who is delivering valuable information. They decide who is an authority in each domain based on how the content is received, not how many words it has. Minimize the fluff and use quality copy.
On sales letters, marketing emails, and ads, you really want to hit the selling points and back off. I still don’t set word limits, but you want to be concise. Draw them into the next level of the marketing campaign by getting straight to the point. When you proofread (please proofread), remove unnecessary words. Use Grammarly (it’s free) to check spelling, grammar, and concision. Make the material skimmable with bullet points and headings. Hit these five points with concise, well-written copy and you’ll see a measurable increase in your conversion rate.