Webmaster tips & trix   contact | privacylink partnersfree website content
Home » Articles » Create income

» Affiliate programs
» SE optimization
» Miscellaneous
» Newsletters & E-zines
» Promotion
» Web design
» Usability
» Domain names
» Create income
» Web writing
» Hosting
» Guerrilla marketing
» Accessibility
» Web credibility
» Data recovery

» Archive


Special articles

» Google tools/services
» Yahoo! tools/services

Slant your site to supercharge your sales

Do you know from which angle your visitors are coming?

In today's overpopulated, hypercompetitive Internet, narrowing your focus has become extremely important. Being "all things to all people" will never bring you as many sales as if you were to find a niche, fill it and then master it. It may be a paradox but it is probably the most important "secret" (if I dare call it so) in all of Internet marketing: "Less is more."

So if you have narrowed your focus, your target audience will therefore be very specific and well-defined, usually fitting into a precise set of demographics. Your demographics are the common traits, qualities and characteristics of the people who may be in need for your product (or solution to their problem) -- for example, they include income level, industry, location, occupation, sex, family size, hobbies, interests, etc.

As the saying goes, "People don't care about how much you know, they want to know how much you care." Those who feel appreciated will return the favor. If you think of them, they will think of you. It doesn't mean they will think of you in terms of immediate sales (not all the time, anyway).

But the more they think of you, the more likely they will buy from you as well as the more they will tell others about you. In truth, it's all about creating that important top-of-mind awareness I so often preach in my consulting and copywriting business.

But how do you show people how much you care?

Creating a Perfect Customer Profile

To accomplish this, you must first understand your audience. And to do that, you need to develop what is often referred as a "perfect customer profile," which includes demographics as well as psychographics. Your psychographics are the attitudes, behaviors and motives of your target market (i.e., the traits of those who may not only the need your product but also want it).

Stated differently, you should define your best customer (i.e., the one who buys from you the most, the most often or the most easily) by distinguishing not only their most common qualities but also their predominant buying personality style.

Behavioral psychologist, marketing consultant and motivational speaker, Dr. Tony Alessandra, calls this ability to appeal to specific personality styles as "The Platinum Rule." Unlike the well-known "golden rule," the platinum rule is to treat other people as *they* want to be treated. And the first step in doing so is to adapt your sales presentation in a way that meets, reflects or appeals to their specific personality. (To know yours, take Tony's test at http://www.platinumrule.com/. To know more about Tony, visit http://www.alessandra.com/.)

Many behavioral psychologists and marketing specialists have categorized buyer personality styles. While they have labeled them in different ways, the methodology is basically similar. The common goal is to separate personality styles into common assertiveness and responsiveness levels.

There are generally four of them. For example, Tony Alessandra labels these four as "directors," "socializers," "relaters" and "thinkers." Dan Kennedy, author of "No B.S. Sales Success," labels them as "analyticals," "amiables," "drivers" and "expressives." But I prefer the classifications used by Brian Tracy in "The Psychology of Selling." He labels them as:

  1. Impulsives and apathetics,
  2. Practicals,
  3. Analyticals
  4. And emotionals.

The first, both impulsive and apathetics, are part of the same category but are found at different ends of the spectrum. They are very rare and extreme cases. For example, the impulsive is a type of person who will usually buy immediately, on impulse, without asking any questions or giving it any second thought.

On the other hand, the apathetic buys very rarely or takes an exceptionally long time before doing so. This person typically asks a tremendous amount of questions (from the trivial to the nonsensical) or buys after a long period of time has elapsed.

The other three core personalities reflect the majority of the population -- and they are those you will encounter the most. But before I describe them to you, please remember that my descriptions here are generalized, and do not necessarily and precisely reflect these personality types.

The Four Behavioral Buying Personalities

My goal is to offer some insight into how people make buying decisions. Moreover, a person is not limited to one specific style. Keep in mind that the key word here is "predominant." A person will likely demonstrate one particular style more often than any other.

The practical buyer for instance is a person who usually buys based on RESULTS. What practicals want are bottom-lines. They are interested in the "how." For example, they want to know how long will it take to get your product, how will it benefit them and, of course, how much it costs. They usually consist of bankers, sales managers, purchasing agents, businesspeople, corporate executives and so on. They are focused on outcomes.

Analyticals don't care much about the "how" part. What they want are DETAILS. They're interested in the "what," "when" and "where," such as what are the specifications of your products, what is its exact size, where and of what is it made, what are the ingredients, what kind of guarantees do you offer with it and what, precisely, makes it work. Analyticals consist of scientists, developers, mathematicians, engineers, computer programmers, doctors and so on. They want specifications.

Emotional buyers are not interested in results or details but in FEELINGS. They are normally those who deal with the public and care mostly about the "why." Being relationship-oriented, these people want to know why they need a particular product, why it is important to them, why it is better than the others, and why other people have purchased it (or favored it over the competition).

They are also interested mostly in the feelings associated with the purchase, such as the esthetics of your product or the feelings one would receive when acquiring (or consuming) that product (e.g., prestige of ownership).

For example, artists, entertainers, teachers, office workers, salespeople, entrepreneurs, home-based business owners and so on are predominantly emotional. While emotionals constitute the largest demography of the population, keep in mind that practicals and analyticals are emotional too -- we first buy on emotion then justify our decision with logic. Nevertheless, depending on your type of industry or product, the style of your message should chiefly appeal to one specific style.

For instance, avoid lacing your copy with feelings when your audience, comprised mostly of analyticals, wants specifics. But don't drown your visitors with needless details when they consist of practicals -- while an analytical will never have enough information, be quick and straight to the point when dealing with practical buyers. However, be sensitive when pitching to emotionals -- offer them more testimonials from other people and give them ample opportunity to contact you.

Here's a real-life scenario. A patient visits a dentist for an initial consultation. During the meeting, the analytical will be preoccupied mostly with the details of dental work. Knowing precisely how much Lidocaine (freezing) will be applied, which teeth (and parts thereof) will be repaired and what kind of filling will be used are of enormous interest to him.

On the other hand, a practical will want to know how long will the procedure take, how fast can he return to work after the procedure and how much it will cost. But for the emotional, things such as how good will the teeth look (or make him look) and how painful will the procedure be are more important.

The Four Personalities Put In Perspective

In order to be better understood by your target market and increase your chances of making the sale, ensure that your website's message appeals to the predominant buying personality of your largest segment of visitors. You should discover at what angle from which your prospects are coming and then slant your website to meet that angle. The more you do, the more sales you will likely achieve.

If you have narrowed your focus, which you should undoubtedly do (see my earlier article at http://SuccessDoctor.com/article42.htm), your target market will therefore be specific, distinguishable and well-defined. If so, develop a perfect customer profile, which is an outline delineating the common qualities and characteristics of your best market segment, as well as its predominant buying personality style.

But a caveat: The following examples are general and do not necessarily reflect these personality types in an absolute fashion. Also, a person is not limited to one particular style but will typically demonstrate a personality style more often than any other -- hence, the use of the term "predominant."

The Practical Personality

Since the practical buyer usually wants RESULTS, they are mainly interested in how your product will affect (and especially improve) their bottom-lines. In other words, they are focused on outcomes. Practicals usually consist of bankers, managers, purchasing agents, business owners, executives and so on.

Here's an example. You sell widgets (say, accounting software) from your website. Your site's copy and style, if your market consists of practicals, could state something like this:

"Our widget will enhance your bottom-line and improve your overall accounting efficiency by as much as 60%. From sales to payroll, our widget gives you the ability to obtain and maintain important financial information, at the click of a mouse, thus putting you in control and saving you hours of your precious time. For a small investment of only $149.95, your ROI will pay for it in only 90 days of use -- in fact, we *guarantee* it. Once you purchase our widget, you will be given instant access to the download page and able to install it immediately. Setup normally takes 10 minutes."

Take a look at Quicken's site and the product descriptions at http://www.intuit.com/products_services/small_business.shtml for an example. Since the product is geared toward business owners, the site's copy is focused heavily on items like ease- of-use, savings potential and timeliness, among others. Words like "fast," "easy," "critical," "control," "value," "save," "affordable," "flexibility," etc are what practicals want.

The Analytical Personality

On the other hand, since analyticals want DETAILS, they're mostly interested in specifications. In other words, they don't care so much about outcomes as they do about the specifics of your product. Analyticals mostly consist of scientists, developers, mathematicians, engineers, computer programmers, doctors, etc.

Therefore, if your widget caters to analyticals, your copy and the style of your site could state something like this:

"Based on a survey conducted among 1374 widget owners in June of 2000, the widget could help improve your accounting efficiency by as much 61.48%. The widget can help you with: Financials, sales, purchasing, manufacturing, job costing, project accounting, human resources, payroll, front office sales and bar coding (click here to see a complete listing of the widget's features). Also, written in C++, the widget uses a SQL server as its underlying database. For $149.95 (which includes shipping and handling costs), you can also download the software immediately (file size is 1.43MB and will take approximately 12 minutes and 9 seconds on a 28.8K modem). Setup and deployment, for a single license (minimum requirements are Windows 98 or NT with 32MB of RAM), takes on average 10 to 27 minutes (installation technical support is available through our online knowledge base)."

Agreeably, the above may seem far-fetched. While accountants are somewhat analytical, they are often practicals -- so this example may not necessarily be appropriate. However, it is simply used here to illustrate the analytical buying style.

A better example can be found at http://www.2020software.com/ and especially at http://www.2020software.com/acct.htm -- this website sells multiple accounting programs, which are listed, described and compared in terms of features. (Analyticals love comparisons.) Another is a site selling mechanical engineering design software at http://engineers.com/ESEPTUM/eseptum.htm.

The Emotional Personality

Finally, emotional buyers, which constitute the largest demography of buyers are interested not in results or in details but in FEELINGS. Often, they are relationship-oriented people who tend to work with the public. For example, human resource personnel, teachers, entertainers, artists, office workers, salespeople and entrepreneurs are predominantly emotional.

Emotionals are also interested in the feelings associated with the purchase, such as the product's esthetics (e.g., vanity or public perception) as well as the feelings that stem from the acquisition of the product (e.g., prestige of ownership). So if your widget caters to emotionals, your copy could state:

"John Smith of ABC Corporation said: 'Because of my widget, I was able to enhance our accounting efficiency by 60%! It literally made our company shine!' Like John, with your widget you will gain a winning edge over your competitors, and offer your customers the quality in customer care they deserve and have come to expect from you, when you're able to remain on top of your finances. In fact, even your staff will love you for being efficient with their payroll! For an investment of only $149.95, the extra orders you will generate, and the time and money you will save (let alone the loyalty and appreciation you will gain from clients, staff and suppliers, which are priceless), will literally pay for your widget in less than 3 months! Get your widget now and download it immediately ... No waiting, no hassle! We'll even take you by the hand with our easy installation tutorial. You'll be fully up and running in no time!"

ACCPAC is a robust accounting software. While they primarily target practicals, ACCPAC's site also offers success stories, from a variety of businesses and industries, so that one can easily relate to one of them (emotionals love to relate). Take http://www.accpac.com/products/finance/accwin/success/ for example. The copy is laced with stories, testimonials, personal opinions, quotes and reactions: "ACCPAC has definitely met my expectations."

PAI Medical Group is a firm offering hair transplants. Visit http://www.paihair.com/, and take a look at their patient testimonials page. What's interesting here is that this page not only provides personal patient accounts but also shows before and after pictures, so that people can appreciate the people behind the words (and, of course, hair).

Nevertheless, once you've developed a profile of your perfect customer (and thoroughly understand from which angle she is coming), you can then slant your site (be it with your copy, style, layout, graphics, colors, message tone and so on) so to meet her at that angle. That way, you'll be better understood and you'll increase your chances of making the sale.

About the author
Michel Fortin is a direct response copywriter and consultant dedicated to turning sales messages into powerful magnets. Get a free copy of his book, "The 10 Commandments of Power Positioning," when you subscribe to his free monthly ezine, "The Profit Pill." See http://SuccessDoctor.com/ now!

Latest articles

» Change your mind about an eBay bid?
We have all made choices in life that two seconds later we know we should take back. Especially when there is money involved this can become a problem.

» A simple way to create 7 effective autoresponder messages
Email is the Net's most powerful marketing tool. And autoresponders are the best idea yet for marketing with email.

» 7 ways to drive laser-targeted traffic to your website
Getting people who matter to see one’s website is a difficult undertaking if he tries to consider the fact that there are rivals everywhere waiting to pin him down.

» Website valuation: Why standard website pricing methods will emerge
The market of buying and selling developed websites is becoming more and more liquid each day.

» One way links are better than reciprocal links
You probably know by now that where your website ranks in the search engine rankings dramatically affects how many visitors you have to your site. Did you also know that you can change where your site is ranked by being proactive and getting as many one way links to your site as possible?

» How to make visitors stay at your website
The very first thing which you should provide the visitors with is some free interesting reading material.

» How to make your visitors click your ads
Here is a simple solution; Convert your banner advertisement to look like a text advertisement!

» Offline advertising should be a part of your online strategy
Day by day, online business has become more & more complicated and competitive.

» How to sell traffic
Selling the traffic arriving at your site is a good method to increase profits from your portal.

» Make money from online auctions
Online auctions have the best benefit of a vast platform. Your product is viewed by loads of people & hence there is more possibility of finding a suitable bidder.

» Groupware explained in easy terms
Groupware is a term used frequently to describe collaborative software. Groupware is application software that integrates work on a single project by several concurrent users at separated random workstations.

» Timely back up can save you from disasters
Few things which people often back up are e-mail addresses, bank records, photographs, personal records, software’s, music etc.

» Why should one go for autoresponders
Autoresponders are programs which get automatically executed in particular situations.

» Become your own boss - Start your own online business today
A survey conducted by SBA states that two third of new business survives at least two year and about forty four percent survives at least four year.

» Express your thoughts - Creating your own blog!
What exactly is a blog? Technically speaking it is a journal or a newsletter which is regularly updated and can be used by any one.

» Pop-up ads - To be or not to be?
According to a study conducted by the Bunnyfoot University, “The Efficacy of Pop-ups and the Resulting Effect on Brands” Internet users feel harangues and harassed by pop-up ads.

» Why content is king on the Internet
The advantages that Internet holds over the rest of the other communication mediums should not wasted because of the inability to find a comprehensive plan that will bind all these faculties together.

» 10 niche marketing tips
In our increasingly driven consumer economies, the average customer is bombarded by choices. With increased saturation of the market, companies look towards niche marketing to search new, ever-evolving and sophisticated consumers.

» Using free traffic exchange
These days internet has emerged as both, a market and hub for marketing. Unlike the ‘brick and mortar’ world where large manufacturers manage to squeeze out the market bases of smaller companies, the internet provides haven like the free traffic exchange.

» Ten ways to drive traffic to your website
Developing a web site and then letting it grow is like planting a tree and then nurturing it.

» Marketing through keyword articles
One of the most effective tools of Internet marketing is the use of keyword articles.

» Want to make money online? Market a service to businesses
Don walked across the street from his house to mine to announce he had finally retired. "But I'm not ready for the golf course," he said. "I want to make a living on the Internet. What can I sell?"

» Web site design mistakes - Database parameters in URLs
Creating a web site takes thought, planning and execution. Unfortunately, many designs are dead in the water before they are even published as far as search engine optimization is concerned. Whatever you do, avoid these critical mistakes.

» Alexa Toolbar - The ultimate internet tool
There are numerous tools available on the Internet to assist online businesses. A valuable tool that you should use is the Alexa Toolbar. Even better, this tool is free.

» Web site design mistakes
Some wise human once said "Learn from the mistakes of others. There isn't nearly enough time to make them all yourself." Hence this article. Here are five of the most annoying and common web design mistakes.

» Abandonment - Why visitors don't turn into customers
Every good Internet business understands the value of conversions versus hits received. Far too often, businesses become fixated on the hits they are receiving instead of monitoring their hit to sale conversion rate.

» Creative search engine optimization - A case study
Search engine optimization this and search engine optimization that. You read and hear about it all day, but what about your site?

Tools & services to enhance your online business

» Site Build It!
Over 100,000 small businesses of all kinds outperform larger, well-financed competitors. Read about this all-in-one site-building-hosting-marketing system of tools that delivers results.

» Secrets To Their Success
Take a private tour of two "Mom & Pop" web sites every month that earn $100,000+ a year... and discover the exact step-by-step strategies they have personally used to generate these massive profits.