Cynicism abounds today.
After decades of mass marketing, sales claims and undelivered customer service promises, people don’t trust much of what they read. So try handling the objections up front. In the headline.
By doing this, you can help overcome those niggling (or obvious) objections really early. You’re then anticipating the readers’ concerns, what-ifs and cynical nay-saying thoughts before they take hold …
And yes, you need to do this in business writing as well, not just advertising copy. If your reader doesn’t believe you because they have nagging, background negative thoughts about what you’re saying, then they’re very unlikely to complete the action you want them to – be it approve, promote, buy, email, like, respond or follow.
That means you need to write about what’s stopping them, their issues, objections and motivations. If you head it off early, then the persuasion can commence immediately.
But why wouldn’t they believe you? Well, they may not trust you. Or they might not want to buy from you.
So here’s what you do.
Think of all those “Yes, but….” questions that are floating around in their head. They’re the important ones that you need to:
- Find out
Then you convert your arguement points or product/serve benefits into answers for all those questions. For your headline, you explain to them with a compelling narrative (it may take more words, but it will be stronger) how you can solve their issues; so they can identify with what you’re saying. Here’s an example headline:
eg. Run a Marathon easily
vs. How to run a marathon in 8 weeks and keep your job, sanity and lifestyle.
There is a catch to this strategy though. You need to first find out not only what will make someone buy from you, but what’s stopping them from saying “yes.”
And that means lots of thinking, questions and looking at it from their viewpoint.
One other thing. Yes, you not only have to cover why they may not believe you in the headline, but you also need to weave that through the copy.
Hmmm yes, when you’re writing that copy to support your headline, you can’t solely focus on benefits (“What!” you cry). You also have to cover why they may not believe you through the copy.
Three of the most common objections to overcome, in the headline and copy are:
- It’s too expensive
- I need to talk to someone else
- I’m not sure I really need this
Remember, you can’t make a sale or inspire action or a change of behaviour if you’ve left even a single objection unresolved:
- Price: is rarely the real reason, it’s normally a smokescreen for something deeper that’s holding them back. That’s’ what you need to find out, understand and overcome.
- Talk further: needing to talk to someone else is a classic delaying tactic. I’ve used it many times myself. So your writing needs to somehow show them what they lose by hang back…that time is of the essence. Time is money, right? Testimonials also help here.
- No need: this one is a red-flag that you’ve got lots of work to do. It means you haven’t convinced them that they’d be better off with your product or service than they would be without it. Have you made sure you’ve covered the benefits and not just listed features? Did you use story-telling techniques to show how life would be better with it? Show what it does for your reader and the objections should fade away.
No matter how trivial, objections are the death-knell to action and change.
If you answer those nagging doubts systematically and thoroughly in both your headline and copy, then you will definitely be closer to a conversion.
Would this be a challenge for you? Does handling objections up front sound the opposite of what you think you should do? Let us know how you handle them, in the comments.
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