Human beings do not buy the best products and services. They buy the ones they can understand the fastest.
But because you’re an expert in your field, you might be making things sound more complicated than they need to be. Remember, customers like simplicity.
We make things sound complicated because of what communications expert Lee LeFever calls “the curse of knowledge.” We are so close to the nitty-gritty details of our products that we can’t “zoom out” enough to think about how our customers might encounter them for the first time.
As Lee explains it, “The more you know about something, the harder it is to imagine what it’s like not to know.”
In other words, we know too much, and that knowledge does two things: first, it causes us to make assumptions in our marketing. We never spot the language and terminology that confuse our customers because those things are second-nature to us.
Second, it causes us to give customers too much information too soon. Customers get overwhelmed and tap out. This has been proven, by the way. In a 2000 study, two researchers put out jars of jam at a grocery store. Some shoppers chose from six different kinds of jam. Other shoppers chose from 24 varieties.
Here’s what happened. People who were offered 24 choices only bought jam 3% of the time. But those who were offered only 6 choices bought 33% of the time.
See, your mom was right. More is NOT always better.
If you try to communicate too much too soon, here’s what will happen: your customers will tune out. They will lose confidence in what you’re saying. Worst of all, they may even feel insecure because they feel like they should understand.
The upshot for us? When we communicate to our customers, we can easily keep it simple and enjoy a competitive advantage. Let your competition share all the technical details while you speak in easily understood soundbites.
Can someone look at your website and know, within 5 seconds, exactly what you do?
Businesses immediately launch into long-winded product offerings and descriptions, forgetting that customers first need to understand how what you offer can make their lives better — repair small engines in so you don’t have to buy a new lawnmower, create branding for healthcare startups that will help them survive those first crucial years in business, etc.
To get the attention of prospective customers make sure your website can answer these questions quickly and clearly:
• What do we offer?
• How can it make our customer’s lives better?
• What do they need to do to buy it?
• Why does this matter?
Trying to communicate too much ends up leaving our customers paralyzed. When they are intimidated by too much information, they may forgo buying altogether or find a competitor with a simpler pitch. Remember, nobody likes to be confused.
So now you know the importance of keeping your messaging relevant to your customer (not yourself) and simple.
But there’s one more factor that will help you connect with customers and make more money. This next tip is a tried-and-true strategy in the copywriting world and it will do wonders for everything you write for your business. It’ll be a few days before I get it to you, but it’ll be worth the wait, I promise. Keep an eye out for my next email.