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How to Present Products Persuasively

by Michel Fortin

When you meet people for the first time and introduce yourself, what do you usually say? If you're like most people, you might say: "Hi, my name is Michel Fortin and I'm a marketing consultant" or "my name is John Doe, I sell vitamins on the Internet" (or whatever it is you do). These are called elevator speeches. But if we examine these typical elevator speeches a little closer, you can see how such introductions will be easily forgotten if not ignored.

Think about it. How often do you easily forget the name of someone who has introduced him or herself to you? Therefore, if you are introducing yourself in that way, your statement will be easily forgotten because it will not create lasting top-of-mind awareness and, more important, interest in you or your business. As my mother used to say, such introductions will only go "in one ear and out the other." They don't stick. They don't say much. They don't offer compelling enough reasons -- specific pieces of information -- that generate desire.

Why is that? In memory management, they say that you should use mental association in order to memorize names. More important, they say that you should attach emotion to your mental associations, for emotions help to hook words into the mind. Psychologists often say that emotional events are the ones lodged most deeply in a person's consciousness. For example, if I asked you to tell me about your childhood you will most likely talk about the times when you felt happy, sad, or mad. These events are solidly etched in your mind.

Normally, a person's name and type of work are often not associated with emotions. On the other hand, those that are presented in such a way that emotions are tied to them will have made an impact and are easily remembered, even years later. They are laced with meaning. They mean something at a deeper level. There is some sort of personal significance behind them. As such, using emotion in your introduction or product presentation is the key.

Stick Like a Stain

In order to help you, ask yourself some key questions, like: "Why should people buy from me?" "Why should they even listen to what I have to say?" And better still, "Why should they even remember me at all?" Above all, the key question is: "What emotions does my business or product invoke in the minds of my site's visitors?" The answer to all of these is benefits.

On the Internet, benefits are vital, for the Internet lacks humaness let alone emotion. If I asked you to name the last ten web sites you visited, your mind will probably go blank -- unless those sites have communicated benefits that were important to you specifically in some way. Additionally, how many times have you stumbled onto a web site that was confusing, boring, inappropriate to your search, or lacking compelling reasons for you to stay? Many, I'm sure. You probably clicked out of these sites faster than you can say the word "click."

As the saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression!" Good introductions are not only meant to get acquainted but also to persuade let alone to have the people you've just met easily remember you, especially in a positive way. And this goes for the people who visited your web site for the first time. A web site that introduces your product or business in a way that communicates clear, specific, and cogent benefits will stick in the minds of visitors. Not only will your site be more successful but also will be visited more often.

Web sites that are remembered the most are usually the ones that made an impact at a deeper level, be it good or bad. In http://SuccessDoctor.com/article27.htm, you learned that people will remember the stain on your shirt more than your name, business, product, or presentation. People hate making bad decisions, so they are constantly on the lookout for key points that can help justify their rationale -- it's just human nature. On the other hand, however, you can use this to your advantage by stressing key benefits right from the start.

Humdrum to Humdinger
Don't just give a plain name and title introduction. Use your company name, tagline, and a short description of what your site is all about. More important, this description should include the benefits you provide and not just the activities you perform, the products you sell, or the services you offer. For example, get rid of that "Welcome to my homepage" or "this site is dedicated to (product name)." Give benefits right away, even in the title or headline. Not only will such an introduction arouse interest but it will also make your web site stick in the mind.

Visitors will stay on your site longer, respond to your offer more favorably, remember you when the need occurs, refer you to others when the opportunity presents itself, or talk about you openly especially when a related subject is discussed. Here are some examples. Instead of "My name is Dr. John Doe and I'm a certified plastic surgeon," say "Dr. John Doe, Lifestyle Enhancement Specialist, helps to profoundly impact the quality of people's lives through positive and lasting changes in their appearance." As you can see, the difference is obvious.

Here are some more. If you're a computer consultant specializing in network solutions, don't say: "My name is Elaine Wilson. This site is dedicated to computer network services." Instead, say: "Network Magic! This site is dedicated to helping corporations relieve their computer network headaches." Don't say: "Jack Vidoli, management consultant specializing in accounting." Rather, say: "Welcome to a 'Knack with Knumbers'. Jack Vidoli specializes in helping firms save time and money by drastically simplifying their accounting systems."

Go Benefits or Go Bust
Also, having a superior company or a better product will not work for you in the long run. Benefits will. People perceive a company as superior, not by its better qualities but by its benefits. People are astonishingly attracted to benefits, either consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, your most marketable competitive edge should be your main, core benefit. As Theodore Levitt said, "What people are buying are not quarter-inch drills but quarter-inch holes." Your site must immediately communicate the main benefit that you offer your visitors.

What the product brings to the customer specifically is more important than what it has or does, or even how it is better than the others. To help you differentiate between features, advantages and benefits, do the following: Take a series index cards and write down a feature of your site or product on each one (i.e., what it has). Below it, write down the feature's relative advantage (i.e., what it does). On the back of the card, write down the benefit (i.e., what it brings). When you describe your product online, refer to your cards. Remember that each and every feature you describe should be immediately followed by its equivalent benefit.

Here's an example. A site sells web hosting services. A feature is the fact that it uses multiple servers. A relative advantage would be that a customer's site will be up 99% of the time. The benefits would be added convenience, less time and hassle, more flexibility, increased peace of mind, greater control, etc. In short, benefits are emotions associated with the feature -- emotions that help to anchor the feature more profoundly in the mind.

Nevertheless, you can tell people what you do. However, don't tell them how you do it -- at least, not right away. Tell them why you do it and what that means to them specifically. Remember, people don't buy products. They buy what products do for them.

About the Author
Michel Fortin is a consultant dedicated to helping businesses turn into powerful magnets. Visit http://SuccessDoctor.com to receive a free copy of his book, "The 10 Commandments of Power Positioning." He is also the editor of the "Internet Marketing Chronicles" ezine delivered weekly to 90,000 subscribers -- subscribe free at http://SuccessDoctor.com/IMC/.

Tags: Sales and Marketing



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