The Most Common Customer Objections and How to Overcome Them
John E. Kennedy, a groundbreaking copywriter considered by many to be one of the forefathers of modern advertising, once described the art of advertising very simply:
“Advertising is nothing more than salesmanship in print.”
Kennedy believed that far too many advertisements tried to be intelligent instead of effective, and that a great piece of marketing didn’t necessarily need to be “charming or amusing or necessarily pleasing to the eye.”
Today, many marketers focus almost entirely on making their ads as pleasing to the eye or amusing as possible. At the same time, they ignore many of the most valuable lessons learned by salespeople.
One of these lessons is how to work out your target customer’s objections ahead of time and overcome them. In this blog post, we’ll share five objections your prospects likely have to your offer and the techniques you can use to neutralize them.
“Your offer is too good to be true.”
If you’re offering a freebie or significant discount, you’ll inevitably run into people who, despite being interested in your offer, simply can’t believe it’s possible to give them such a good deal.
Many people naturally associate low prices with low quality, or fear that a freebie offer is part of a negative option billing scheme. Because of this, you’ll need to tell customers why your offer is worth trusting.
Single sentences like “Yes, you read that right!” can go a surprising long way towards building trust. Likewise, explaining how you can offer such a great deal could be all it takes to turn an interested but skeptical prospect into a new customer.
Before you send your direct mail postcards to print, put yourself in the shoes of your audience and ask if your offer seems too good to be true. If you think people will respond with doubt instead of excitement, consider revising your copy to answer their objections.
“How are you different from your competitors?”
From cafés and restaurants to professional services, competition is intense in some industries and standing out from your competitors can be difficult. If you’re a new business in a competitive industry, you’ll inevitably be compared to competitors.
The best way to overcome this objection is by answering it directly in your copy and showing prospects how you’re different from your competitors.What unique selling propositions do you have that your biggest competitors don’t?
Nike has endless competition in the sports footwear industry, but it distances itself from its competitors by selling a brand, not just a product. Likewise, the Apple iPod stood out from the competition because of its great form factor and simple usability.
From your service to your product’s quality, find a point of contrast between your business and your competitors and drive it home in your subheadings and copy to overcome this common customer objection.
“Are there any hidden fees or surprise charges?”
Discounts, free trials and other enticing offers have been used and abused by many unethical marketers in the past, and people are (often quite rightly) suspicious that the free trial offer they received in the mail could be deceptive.
There are two ways to overcome this objection. The first is by presenting yourself (and your offer) as reputable, reliable and proven. This removes the doubt some of your target audience might have, especially if they’re unfamiliar with your brand.
The second is by directly addressing the concerns of your target audience in your copy. If you’re offering a discount or free trial, include a message stating that there are no hidden fees or surprise charges that customers need to worry about.
At the end of the day, direct mail marketing is all about building trust. Look at your offer from a critical perspective and see if there’s anything that could look suspicious to your target audience, then take steps in your copy to address those concerns.
“This looks great, but it isn’t something I need.”
Is your product or service something your audience wants or something it needs? In some cases, the line between wants and needs can become blurred by framing your offer as something that offers immense value for your target audience.
There are several ways to turn your target audience’s wants into needs. The first is by using a limited time or quantity offer. If prospects only have a limited amount of time to act, they’re more likely to purchase a product they want but don’t need.
The second is by focusing on your product or service’s quality. If you stand out from the crowd by offering a better product or service, differentiate yourself and offer the prospect reasons to choose you. If you really are the best around, they might act.
“This looks great, but it’s too expensive for me.”
Pricing is often a sore point for marketers. If you price your product or service too low you risk looking cheap and low quality. If you price it too high, you risk losing your audience by being out of their price range.
Overcoming a price objection is difficult, but it’s still possible. One of the best ways to turn a high price into a great deal for your audience is by making it feel like it’s an exclusive, limited time offer.
This technique matches the one we used above to overcome wants vs. needs. If your product or service won’t be available forever at its current price, your audience will feel more comfortable spending more than they normally would to secure it.
Does your direct mail campaign overcome these five objections?
You may not know it, but many of your prospects are thinking these five objections as they read your direct mail postcards. In fact, one of these objections could be the reason your campaign succeeds or fails.
Before you send your latest postcard marketing campaign to the printers, go back over the five objections listed above and see if your campaign fails to address any of them. Even a single missed objection can be enough to damage your campaign.
Remember, marketing is salesmanship in print. Think like a master salesperson and get inside the mind of your prospects. When you overcome their objections in your copy, your direct mail campaign has the potential to be massively effective.