Customer persuasion is far more complicated than you may initially think. The obvious tactic is to really lay it on thick and try all the sales tactics in the book. You rewind the clock to the old door-to-door sales days of really pushing all the main points down the customer’s throat in the hope that they’ll like what they hear.
This has been adapted to the online world with web pages dedicated to trying to sell things to customers. You list all the features, all the great points, and really drive home a hard sell.
In reality, this spammy and pushy approach doesn’t work.
Well, it might earn you a few sales, but it’s not the most effective tactic.
The good news is that there are plenty of tactics you can use to persuade people to buy your product without being too in-your-face about it.
So, what’s the right approach for you to persuade customers – without the ick factor? Let’s explore some options…
Optimise the customer experience
The customer is at the centre of everything you do as a business. When it comes to persuasion tactics, your first thought should be to think about optimising the customer experience.
How annoying is it when someone continually calls your phone? You see some random number from a clearly outsourced customer service team, and you answer it to the sound of someone instantly trying to sell you something. Right away, you’re pretty ticked off, and you’re not having a great time. Your customer experience is poor, so you’re not even inclined to listen to what they have to say. You swiftly lie and pretend you’ve got to go, only to hang up the phone and return to scrolling through Instagram.
The point of that example is to show you the value of the customer experience. If you don’t provide people with a positive experience, then they’re less inclined to want what you’ve got to offer.
A positive experience, and the customer is engaged and listening, eager to hear what you have to say. With zero pushiness (or harassing phone calls!).
A positive experience leads to a positive perception of your business. People that see you in this positive light and enjoy their experience will be more inclined to listen to your offers and make a purchase.
So before you do anything, think about the customer experience and put it at the centre of your customer persuasion strategy.
Consider if your marketing and sales conversations making things better for the customer, or, are you being annoying, pushy or alienating in any way?
Good web design & UX is essential
Web design is a fundamental part of customer persuasion as it fuels the customer experience. The best way to illustrate this point is by looking at your own personal experiences.
What happens when you’re looking for a product and you end up on a website that takes ages to load or looks really outdated or just isn’t easy for you to navigate? Nine times out of ten you’ll close the tab or go back to the Google search and try a different site.
Why? Because we want our life to be as easy as possible.
We don’t want to waste time waiting for pages to load or clicking buttons ten times before they actually work. Not only that, but the overall look of a website tells you lots about a business. If no effort is put into making the site look good and function well, then it makes a company look unprofessional. Why would you want to buy anything from them?
But, what happens when you’re on a site that ticks all the web design boxes?
It’s fast, responsive, well laid out, looks modern & professional, and is easy for you to navigate. You stay on it for longer and have a better experience. So, you can be persuaded into buying from a company because of their web design.
Apply this to your own website; focus on achieving good design. The main thing to consider is the UX (user experience), and you can improve this with the following ideas:
- Make your site load up as quickly as possible
- Produce content that’s valuable for the user and actually gives them something
- Ensure all buttons and links work
- Make the site responsive so it can be used on mobile devices
- Less is more – use a minimalistic design to make it modern and attractive
- Include menus and a search bar so people can easily find what they’re after
All of these things will help you design a website that looks fantastic and provides a great user experience. This alone can be a powerful customer persuasion tactic.
Choose the correct copywriting style
Whether you’re writing emails, social media posts, or content for your website – think about the style of your copywriting.
This is where a lot of people go wrong as they fall into the trap of becoming a promotional robot with every sentence built around selling your product to the reader. The result is something very hard to read.
Hard to read, pushy, salesy …. People won’t even bother reading it! Instead, you have to establish a copywriting style that appeals to the customer. There are two main things to consider here…
An issue with very promotional copywriting is that you just sound like a spambot. It looks like text that doesn’t take the customer into account at all. There’s no personality to it, so people can’t really relate to what’s being said. It’s the equivalent of those annoying sales calls mentioned earlier, but in a written format.
Instead, by adding a dash of personality to your copywriting it makes it seem like an actual human being wrote it. Because they did!
Content with personality is so much easier for someone to digest and read. As a result, they’re far more likely to take everything in, which means you can subtly use the content to persuade them to take action – without the neverending push for people to buy.
This builds on the idea of making your content appeal to human emotions by adding personalised content, using relatable imagery, and building a brand personality.
The trick to this is to think about what the customer wants and inject those things into the marketing copy. Consider:
- What are their troubles?
- What do they need?
- Why do they need it?
- What do they want/desire?
- Why do they want it?
- How does your product or service address these points?
Writing or highlighting one or more of these points builds connection with the customer because they feel as though you have exactly what they’ve been searching for. It reduces the need to PUSH PUSH PUSH your message, as it connects without being spammy.
When you focus more on the customer and less on you, you instantly build connection with the reader. They feel as though you have their best interests at heart.
Nobody wants sales talk shoved down their throat, they want to enjoy copy with personality and a human feel – it creates a positive impression in the mind of the customer; which in turn leads to sales and referrals.
What content have you seen that’s helped persuade you to buy something?
Blog posts are big winners
On the topic of content, we have to talk about blog posts. It was mentioned that your website needs to have great content to provide a fantastic user experience. Well, blog posts are probably the best type of content out there – particularly where customer persuasion is involved.
The thing with a blog post is that you can talk about a topic at great length, providing the reader with lots of valuable information. Take this post you’re reading right now; it’s giving you so much info on customer persuasion, for free!
With a blog, you can show the customer the real value of your business and the knowledge you possess. Provide them with free advice, and this can persuade them to choose your business for a service they’re after.
The same goes for a company that sells products online; use your blog posts to discuss your products or create content that lets you link to the product pages.
The blog serves as a way of persuading them to come to you by displaying your skills for them to see. It’s subtle but way more effective than just creating an article about how excellent your consulting service is (Ain’t nobody got time to read that!).
As an example, pretend you run an online business that sells clothes. Now, create a blog post about the top fashion trends this summer. Here, you can talk about different items of clothing, providing images of your products and hyperlinks to their product pages. You’ve given the customer a helpful guide that shows them the trending fashion items, but you’ve also subtly advertised your products. The content persuades them to get their hands on these must-have items, and the links make it easy for them to comply!
You see, blog posts are excellent persuasion tactics that give the customer something to consume and enjoy without being salesy. As a benefit, it also provides your website with improved customer experience because you’re generating valuable content.
Being available and accessible
Next, you can persuade customers by being available and accessible whenever you need them. This is a critical aspect of customer service and provides a far better experience to the customer. If you’re always available to answer any questions or give advice, then it makes the customer like your company more than before.
Think about it, what’s worse than having an issue or needing to know something, but finding it impossible to contact the company?
You can offer your support by opening up numerous contact avenues. Email is obviously a big one, but social media and Live Chat are also excellent. With social media, people can find your account and send you a message; it’s simple. Live Chat is an extension on your site where customers can talk to an advisor without needing to leave. It’s great if they have a question about things like shipping costs, when things may come back in stock, and so on.
Being available and accessible persuades customers as they trust that they’re valued. It shows you offer exceptional customer support, so they’re confident they’re in the safest hands!
Consistency is key
Consistency refers to your content and the way to interact with customers. If you’re consistent, then it’s easy to persuade customers and influence them because they trust you.
For example, regular blog posts give the customer something to engage with and enjoy, which builds trust with your brand and makes them more likely to be interested in what you’ve got to offer.
The same goes for consistent social media posting; people are more likely to follow your accounts if you post on social platforms consistently, with valuable content. This builds a following that can help you generate leads and traffic for your site.
The last point for spam-free customer persuasion is to build authenticity and reliability around your brand. An authentic brand is a brand that can be trusted.
Let’s say you’re looking to buy a laptop and you’ve got two websites in your search results. One is for Apple, the other is for some brand you’ve never heard of. Obviously, you go to Apple’s site because you know the brand has an air of authenticity and you can trust them.
Customers are easily persuaded by professional and authentic brands, so it’s important to work on your authenticity across all of your customer touchpoints.
So, to wrap everything up, customer persuasion doesn’t have to be slimy and spammy. Use the advice in this guide, and you can influence buyer decisions in subtle ways that connect, convert, and build a trustworthy brand that drives customer loyalty and referrals.
What’s the spammiest sales technique you’ve experienced lately? Tell me about your experience in the comments!