The other night an entrepreneurial friend was drunkenly extolling the virtues of his latest scheme. A kind of mini-survival kit with several unique twists. This product would potentially help hundreds of stranded drivers every year. His problem was while most people saw the sense of it, nobody was interested in developing it with him. He couldn’t get his business idea off the ground.
We all know that feeling. Lots of nods and general agreement but no action.
Your reader really should read your advice but many won’t. Some products fail even though millions of people need them right now. There are services that are essential and executed brilliantly but nobody signs up.
Most people would agree a pension is a good idea, and the earlier you sign up the more beneficial it will work out. So why am I sitting here, knowing this, in my thirties, with no pension plan?
Any computer technician could tell you of a time they have deleted important data only to find they lacked a sufficient disaster recovery plan. On the other hand, any computer technician could advise you on your own disaster recovery plan.
What is at work here?
I will give you a clue. I’m in my thirties, not my sixties. The people my friend spoke to are sitting in cozy offices, not freezing in their broken-down cars on a sub-zero highway. Our technical friends will get around to bringing the backup procedures up to date … eventually.
It all adds up to prospect procrastination.
The “yes, yes, but not now” factor. Retail salespeople recognize this; “we’ll think about it”.
Don’t be misled though; the problem is not with your prospect but with your copy. Your offer is not compelling enough because it is not hitting the right spot. Where it hurts. Most. Right now.
So, what is the solution?
You have two choices:
- Address a more pressing need – by far the easiest choice but not one that is always available to you. Where are they hurting right now, what is their pressing need? Rather than target computer technicians who have no backup solution you could aim your article at people dissatisfied with their existing solution by emphasizing how your advice saves time and effort by automating laborious manual tasks.
- Try to bring their potential future pain into the here and now – harder than it sounds but doable with some creativity. The usual tactic with insurance and pensions is to shift the benefit to your spouse and offspring. Picturing your loved-ones suffering causes far more emotional motivation than when aimed at yourself.
There is no avoiding this psychological issue. It is no use keeping your strategy and throwing more time, money and effort at it. You can’t change peoples priorities.
Rather than try ever more forcefully to push what you have to offer you have to truly address the wants, needs and desires of your target audience. The only alternative is failure.
Read more from Chris Garrett at his blog chrisg.com.