Sell More By Showing Consequences

by : Ray L. Edwards

It's a well established fact that customers buy solutions to their problems or what they perceive will add value to their lives. The marketer must therefore go beyond the usual feature listing for their product or service to show what will be the final consequences to the customer.

For example, knowing that buyers would rather not suffer loss than gain more you must show what will happen if the customer refuses to buy your product. It's all about consequences.

Now here is the point at which most businesses fail in their marketing efforts. Let's say that you are trying to sell a garden tool. This tool will cut a hedge fence much faster and easier than any other tool on the market. Along with listing all the new features of this tool and how effective it is at cutting hedges, the smart marketer must take this to the logical conclusion.

I mean, what is the customer really buying? It's not the garden tool at all. It's not well manicured fences either. If there were no neighbors to admire that fence your customer wouldn't care less about your garden tool innovation. Your customer is really buying admiration from others.

Knowing this then you must promise what they are really buying. You must make every effort to show how your new garden tool will cause your customer to be the "envy of the neighborhood" because of the immaculate hedge fences.

The same applies to any product that claims to make the prospect more money. Nobody is interested in money. People want what money can bring-power, security, influence and the things money buy. So the marketer should show the consequences of the increased income by showcasing the lifestyle that the money brings. Such as vacations, luxury cars, dream home, relief from the calls of debt collectors.

After studying several online sales letters I observed that such websites that showed the owners enjoying the good life because of their increased income had high conversion rates. Do you get it? Even if you are selling a product that has nothing to do with lifestyle you must show that your product will somehow allow the customer to enjoy an improved lifestyle.

It's all a matter of how far you go in showing consequences.

Your sales material must pass the common "So what? test. This is a little tool used by copywriters to determine whether something should be mentioned or not in a sales letter. It is also used to show consequences as well.

Let us return to our garden tool example and apply the "So what?" test to force us into showing consequences.

Copy: "The Maxpro garden tool will cut your hedges in half the time of the leading garden tool." [So What?] You will spend less time cutting your hedges. [So what?] Now you'll have more time admiring your hedge fences rather than cutting them. [So what?] That's less time working in the garden and more time to spend with your family. [So what?] Sharper hedges and a happier family.

You can see when we apply the "So what?" rule then it forces us to follow through to showing the real benefit that the customer is after-a happier home life.

You cannot assume that your customer will make the connection either. Of course everybody wants more money but not many people can connect that money to the deepest needs of their soul. That's your job as the marketer. There are many people with lots of money who still live unfulfilled lives.

Now we started this article by saying that people are more motivated by fear of loss than the desire for gain. This means that we have to also show the consequences of not getting our product.

Returning to our fictitious garden tool we can show how the prospect who refuses to buy our tool will continue to cut hedges the 'old way', spending a lot of time in the hot sun and still not getting the sharp edges that our new tool will bring. We can show how much more hours they'll spend per year cutting hedges compared to using the Maxpro hedger. And this brings us to another point of quantifying consequences.

There are few marketers today who uses this powerful tool; that of quantifying their product benefits. Using this simple strategy will help the prospect to visualize what your product can do for them.

For example, we could show that a well-kept hedge may require cutting 3 times per month or 12 X 3 = 36 times per year. If the Maxpro hedger saved you 1 hour per cut then that's 36 hours per year. Now if your time is worth $20 per hour to you then that's $720 per year. Compare to the cost to the Maxpro which is only $199, using any other hedger will be really throwing your money away.

Notice that instead of showing the money they will save by using the Maxpro we are now showing what they will lose if they don't get it!

If you try to show final consequences and show not only what is gained by having your product or service but what is lost by not making the purchase you'll make more sales.

And more sales in your business means … [consequences go here!]

Always show final consequences if you want to make more sales.