Webmaster tips & trix   contact | privacylink partnersfree website content
Home » Articles » Web writing

» 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

Prevent procrastination with "positive" pressure

My wife and I recently bought a house.

It's currently being built and moving day is slated for December. So we decided to buy some furniture in order to fill some of the "extra space." (Our new home is double the size of our current one.)

Now, something really interesting happened.

The story is a little long, and almost unbelievable, but let me cut to the heart of the matter. (I'll tell you the whole story some other time. You'll cringe!)

After shopping around a few stores, we came across a big chain department store that carried what we were looking for — a bed, a couch, a dinner table and chairs, all at reasonable prices.

(In fact, they were all on special. Hey, call me stingy.)

We walked in, spoke to a salesperson and asked if they had a layaway plan that extended beyond their normal wait (i.e., since we were in August, we're talking several months). Not that we needed it, but a layaway plan could help us temporarily store the furniture until we move into our new home.

And once we asked him about the layaway plan, he used the "good cop, bad cop" routine on us, a common sales tactic I'm all too familiar with.

"Let me check with my manager," he said. He left, spoke with someone in the electronics department who obviously didn't look like a "manager." And five minutes later, he returned. "Sure," he added, "but only if you buy today."

I used to be a salesperson. (I still am.) And I use urgency tactics in my copy all the time. But I hate pressure tactics when they are glaringly obvious.

We didn't care so much for the layaway plan as we did the special. So, realizing the salesperson's tactics, I looked at my wife, gave her a nonverbal cue, she nodded and we decided to leave in order to "think about it."

The salesperson made a valiant effort to get our money that day. But knowing he was deceitful, the pressure he used only pushed us away even more.

Needless to say, we never asked to see "Gerry" again. And we made several trips to the store, where each visit had its own remarkable story. If you only knew what we went through, you'll understand what I mean by "remarkable."

However, we finally did get our furniture after we met "Jim."

Jim was truly the epitome of great customer service.

He truly empathized with us. He was apologetic, never once mentioned anything about him or his product (the conversation was entirely focused on us), and even even asked us to pull out our floor plans so we can correctly measure the space and appropriate layout for the furniture.

He then extended the layaway without any so-called manager's approval, gave us free furniture shampoo, free polish, free installation and free delivery — all as a gesture of appreciation, according to Jim.

"Mr. Fortin, look at it as our way of saying 'thank you' for giving us a second chance... Other people would have never returned like you did. I'll extend your layaway without question since you're kind enough to give us that chance."

Thank you indeed.

The lesson? This situation says a lot about how to write good copy. Being empathetic, being concerned and, above all, being interested in the prospect.

But the greatest lesson, that I want to pull from this, is this:

When writing copy, use scarcity and add a sense of urgency. As Jim Rohn once said, "Without a sense of urgency, desire loses it value." But NEVER use underhanded tactics, and NEVER make it so blatantly obvious.

(For instance, how many times have you come across a salesletter where the offer had a deadline, which seemed to "magically" bump ahead each time you visited the website? That's what I mean. People are not stupid!)

Here's the lesson: never pressure people to PUSH them into purchasing...

Instead, use pressure to PREVENT them from procrastinating.

There is a fundamental difference between the two.

Of course, you can and should use pressure tactics in your copy. But not to pressure the prospect into buying but to prevent her from procrastinating, which is a typical, "knee-jerk" reaction to any offer... Money means security to most people, and they don't want to part with their security.

When you use pressure and scarcity tactics, be truthful. Make your offer quantity-bound or time-limited. Not your product or service. The offer. And always — always! — back it up with a real, genuine and logical explanation.

People are becoming more and more educated. So using obvious and deceitful tactics, such as a script that modifies the date, or a quantity that seems to remain the same for ages, is going to work against you. Hard.

Each time you use pressure in your copy, always back it up with a logical explanation as to why you're doing so. Tell your reader why you are limiting the offer. And don't just be genuine and truthful, but also be unique. Place a limit on your offer using a tactic that's not duplicated all over the Internet.

For example, say you add a bonus from a third party. You can explain that the bonus comes from another source and you only secured permission for a certain quantity. Or put a deadline on your offer — a real date! — and explain why. Then change the offer once that date has arrived.

Procrastination is the biggest killer of sales — particularly online where the chances of a prospect staying or returning to a website (in order to think about buying), in today's click-happy world, are scarce.

Takeaway selling is in fact based on the concept of supply and demand.

As the saying goes, "People don't know how much they want something until it's about to be taken away from them." Look at it this way: if you give a chance for your prospects to procrastinate, they will. Guaranteed.

So, add a deadline or some kind of constraint, since such limitations implore at some unconscious level, "You better read this and take action now!"

But always make sure to back up your limitation with an logical reason in order not to appear misleading or disingenuous. That's the REAL key. (In fact, what will push them will not be the limitation in itself but its justification.)

Adding a deadline or a cap on the number of new clients, or even making the offer something that's secretive, exclusive or otherwise unavailable to the general public, can arouse stronger motives in the psyche of your readers.

But give your added sense of urgency some level of credibility. For example:

  • "We were overshipped on these cassette tapes and, in order to clear out inventory, we are discounting them by [X] dollars... However, we only have 541 left in stock, so please act soon."

  • "One of the bonuses includes [X] hours of individualized coaching worth $[X]. But there are only so many hours in the day... So I must limit the number of coaching students to 50. Therefore, I urge you to act now."

  • Or, "During our recent move we slightly damaged 178 pieces of our stock — while the damage is hidden and insignificant, I can't sell them as new and must let them go at a one-of-a-kind discount."

It's all about customer service. Because, if you use pressure to prevent prospects from procrastinating, they will thank you for it. You reduce buyer's remorse, get less refunds and returns, and increase repeat sales.

Plus, they will believe more in you and your product, they will feel happy with their purchase and they will even use the logical explanations you gave them to justify THEIR own decisions to buy.

As you know, customers like to buy. They don't like to be sold.

Remember, people buy on emotion first and then justify their decisions with logic. If you give them logical explanations, many will in fact use your suggestions as a way to back up their purchasing decisions.

As Brian Tracy once noted.

"A man convinced against his will
is of the same opinion still."

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.