This is Part Four of the “Conversion Crushing Secrets” article series. To read the previous articles, go to…
We’re almost there! We’ve come to the culmination of the Conversion Crushing series! So far, we’ve talked about:
- The Muse
- The Possession
- The Fourth Dimension
- And today we hit…. Tales of the Unexpected
Before I go any further, I need to tell you that leading your customers on a journey of surprise and adventurous wonderment is, well, a really bad idea. Your goal in all things is make their journey risk free. But before we talk about why, let me digress, just a bit….
Words are powerful. Life altering powerful.
The right combinations of letters and punctuation can spark revolution, ignite the imagination, foster discovery, and echo for millennia.
For the modern Business Person, words are the marketer’s most potent tool.
If you can find the right syntax for your sales pitch, Conversion Crushing success is within your grasp.
We’ve covered three Conversion Crushing Secrets, thus far. And while they’re all effective in isolation, they’ve been building up to a cumulative strategy completed with this final mystery.
Tales of the Unexpected
Roald Dahl, although best known for his darkly comic children’s books, also wrote adult fiction, most notably a book of short stories called, Tales of the Unexpected.
Each story had a stinger – a dark or ironic outcome that, for its time, was considered quite inflammatory. Part of the fun of reading was looking for the twist and trying to figure out how the rug was going to be pulled out from under you.
CAN we transfer this strategy to marketing?
Yes – absolutely.
SHOULD we transfer this strategy to marketing?
Most definitely NOT!
No More Heroes
In the early days of cinema, the story had to feature a virtuous hero who triumphs over evil by the film’s end.
Good for the feels, sure, but not particularly engaging for the brain.
These days, anti-heroes, historical tragedies, and dark comedies are hugely popular. Breaking Bad, Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead – to name just a recent few – are all catastrophically bleak, and yet are lauded by viewers and critics alike.
Why do we enjoy watching such frankly miserable story lines?
The unknown keeps our interest and the payoff is finding out if the ending is happy or sad. Either way, we get some kind of satisfaction because the journey was every bit as, if not more, important as the final destination.
So, what does that mean to us business owners? As fun as this discussion is, what does it teach us about the stories we tell as marketers? Hint: The urge to create a story that involves Unknown or Unexpected endings should be fought, KO’ed, squashed with a force never before seen.
The Ownership Journeys
All sales pitches, if viewed as a story, tend to follow the same beats.
- The customer has a problem or a need.
- The product or service fills the gap.
- Everyone lives happily ever after.
And this is a HUGE error in judgment.
The business owner who doesn’t know better thinks the story ends when a purchase is made because that’s his happy ending – profit has been made!
But for the customer the story keeps going into another chapter where they wind up either HAPPY with their purchase…
Unhappy customer = Hulk Sad.
The business owner is telling a feel-good story with a happy ending, but the customer is hearing (always) a Tale of the Unexpected.
When you “possess” your prospect (See Part Two in this article series) you take them on a journey where they see the product being used and they get to vicariously enjoy the ownership experience. You then forecast the results by getting them to imagine the benefit, and the benefit of the benefit, the long term happiness that comes with use.
You’re implanting this idea in their psyche that, if they make the purchase, they could be playing the lead role in their own ownership story.
But the ownership experience is only part of the journey. What about the rest of the trip?
When you ask your customer to make a purchase, you’re asking them to take many different journeys.
There’s the “Checkout Journey” where they have to make decisions about upsells and credit choices. Did you know that most people have an 80% cart abandon rate? Why not add a video that takes your customer through the exact checkout process so that they don’t feel fear or risk?
There’s the “Shipping and Delivery Journey” where they discover how the purchase is fulfilled and how long they have to wait.
There’s the “Set up and Assembly Journey” in which the manual may or may not be written in a language they can understand.
And let’s not forget the “Customer Support Journey” where the customer has a problem and will seek to discover how accessible and friendly the helpdesk really is.
Here’s where all the rhetoric about story telling comes into full perspective….
When it comes to your marketing story, your goal is NOT to create a Tale of the Unexpected. No.
Every marketing story already starts out that way.
Your goal is to turn a Tale of the Unexpected into a good old-fashioned, feel-good family movie, where everyone is fulfilled and The Mighty Ducks win.
NO Surprise Endings
If you’ve been following this article series, by now you should be talking to your muse, possessing your clients with demonstrations and forecasting, and breaking the fourth dimension by sharing your imperfections and letting people peek behind the curtains of your production methods.
All of this climaxes with the journeys on which you take your audience.
Closing the sale and, consequently, increasing your conversion rates often comes down to reducing risk. If you’ve got a good product that you believe in (and if you don’t you’ve no business being in business), and you’re pitching to the right audience, the buying decision, in the minds of your customers all boils down to a belief that the risk factor is as close to zero as possible.
Purchasing your product should NOT be a high stakes decision.
The Customer’s Happy Ending
This can and should include videos… Take them on vicarious ownership journeys of successful customers that came before them. Give them Quick Start Guides, Advanced Use Guides, talk to them about the competitive advantages of using the product, make videos comparing your system/strategy/product to others already well known in the marketplace. Put it all out there, both before they purchase and after, so they feel cared for, wrapped in the warm arms of being one of your customers.
In your videos and on your webinars, take your customers on a journey that includes the checkout process, the delivery experience, the after-sales support, and any other expedition you can think of that will be part of the customers’ experience.
Show them the best-case scenario, naturally. But also, be brave and show them the worst-case scenario. Show them what amazing infrastructure you have in place to help them in the unlikely event that problems occur.
Because even if you don’t TALK about the worst-case scenario, your audience will most definitely be THINKING about it.
Unexpected twists are great on the screen or the pages of a book. But in business, the last thing your customer wants is a twist in the tale. The happy ending you have planned for them should always, ALWAYS, be explicitly detailed.
Have you started to implement any of these strategies? If yes, comment below and let us know how you’re doing!