Value Propositions: The Secret To The Art Of Persuasion

Episode Notes Transcript

Essentially when you’re selling anything, when you are making any sort of pitch, when you are trying to drive some value, some persuasion, some…you know, you’re essentially trying to deliver on something that someone else will deem valuable. The trick to that is, and you guessed [00:01:00] it, is understanding what they think is valuable.

So, we kind of are already touching on that when we say things like, “Well, this is the present value. Let’s try to get this as convincing as possible.” That’s all really persuasion is, is trying to talk someone into something.

Now, you think about it like at a bar. If you meet a girl at a bar, imagine, and this is the most…the creepiest thing we’ll say all podcast but, imagine knowing what that girl wanted, what that girl thought was good, what that girl thought was a quality [00:01:30] guy, what that girl thought was some redeemable trait, what that girl thought or what that person thought depending on whatever you’re looking for, this person finds this attractive, finds this unattractive, thinks this is important, and you knew all this information going in.

Well, if you knew all that information, your ability to convince them that you meet those qualities, even if you’re gaming the system, right? A first impression’s everything for this exact reason. You don’t just go in and kind of do [00:02:00] what you want. I mean, you can but there’s a certain aesthetic to just being a gentleman.

It’s because, in its most…in the most fundamental way, being a gentleman you can probably… Basically every Western society notion and idea of, you’re just doing what’s as pleasant as possible to the popular norm. And when you do that and you’re inoffensive, if anything you’re a gentleman, you’re chivalrous.

This [00:02:30] idea of being a…chivalry comes from it’s to just about any audience, you seem like someone that’s kind, is looking out for other people. Now, the point of that is, because you don’t know a lot about that person, you’d rather assume that because I mean, there are people out there who might seem like that’s unattractive.

I, myself think that’s… I’m just not by nature, I’m not an incredibly pleasant person in terms of, “Oh, how are you?” I think [00:03:00] that just comes with the…you know, as it perceived to the outside eye that is. So, to the layman, to someone who doesn’t know me, to a stranger, I’m almost cold, I’m standoffish. In fact, I’m really just introverted and that takes a lot of energy and that drains me to perform at that level socially.

And, to the people that know me, I don’t need to try, it’s not exhausting, I can be myself. And so, this idea of persuasion, it’s all rooted in the fact of what [00:03:30] someone’s gonna perceive about you. There’s gonna be some…you know, there’s gonna be a level of some things that are beyond your control.

You just have no idea, but you should assume every sale, every marketing message is gonna…it’s basically going to be that. You don’t know what your consumer really wants unless you’ve targeted your consumer, which gets us to the important things. In order to really speak, and convert, and persuade, you need to know your customer. And that doesn’t mean you need to know every single person at a one-to-one level, you just need to know in the aggregate, what does this segment of customer really [00:04:00] like? What do they not like? What do they think are important? And if you can develop that, that’s one pillar.

And one of the other major pillars is, you need to basically be able to identify those types of people in a very standard way across platforms. And what I mean by that is, if segment one is the kind of person who owns a house, they make this much money, they find…you’re basically hitting all the tangible things to be able to grab them, [00:04:30] and segment them, and position them accordingly.

And then once you do that, you kind of know, “Well, these people find…you know, the barriers to their entry…people who have a house and two kids and make so much money, the barrier to entry here is really the upfront cost.” And so you can tailor a message around that so that way you can really scale your persuasion sequences.

Now, if you have someone…if a part of your message or your new launch is about conspicuous consumer behavior, and it’s about prestige buying, [00:05:00] and you’ve got a brand that’s trying to upsell a premium product, well, you’re gonna be targeting a certain kind of person with a certain amount of money, because that person does not find price as a barrier.

And so that’s where the difference of…you have these things like customer profiles and customer personas, and there’s a big difference to me. A profile was something that just gives you ballpark stats. They’re basically baseball cards, the back of a baseball card. Whereas a persona gets to the motivation, the intentions, the desires, and the barriers as to why [00:05:30] people make purchases the way they do.

Now, if you understand the persona at a deep level, your ability to convert that person based on those qualities is massively increased. So, if you’re able to do your market research correctly, and you should be going after someone who does this for a living, at DeepBridge Consulting, this is exactly what we do. This is exactly what we’re designed to do. Our proprietary models get to motivations of why people buy. [00:06:00] A lot of people will tell things like purchase intent, but you don’t necessarily know that unless you have some system in place.

And if anyone ever sells you that, ask for how they’re sure that that is purchase intent. And if they can’t answer the question, run away. But at the end of the day, you really should be working with someone who does this professionally. Now, if you can’t do that, there’s a couple things that you can actually do that get to some of these questions that are important for you to actually be able to answer, segment, and market.

One of the main [00:06:30] things is, if you can set up your market research… As you know, not every script’s gonna be the exact same. And this doesn’t need to be something official. You know you really need to document but there are a couple market researchers out there who I think do this correctly. Let me see if I can get one of the actual names of the…she’s a veteran in this space. [00:07:00] All right. So, as I look this up, I’m just gonna keep going.

So, if you’re able to actually set up your questions and you’re able to go through what it is that that person wants… And when you’re asking these questions, the one thing to remember is that the consumer will always sense that you’re asking them a question. And if someone can understand that, “Okay, this person’s looking for something specific,” they’re almost always gonna tailor their response accordingly. [00:07:30]

And I think of the movie, “Inception,” you have to basically help the consumer answer your question without knowing they’re answering your question. And the way to do that is not go down the middle with that question. Okay. Well, I’ll typically start with a…you typically start your interview with, go back to the real time that, you know, what was really the trigger?

You know, I typically would stay away from the word “trigger” because that typically will denote to the person who’s listening, I’m interviewing, [00:08:00] that I’m looking for the cause. And if they start to basically…if they start to understand that I’m trying to find a cause, they’re going to try to position and paint themself in a light that’s favorable to them.

That’s what people always do. They’re always gonna be sensitive to how they’re being perceived. And if they know you’re looking for a way that perceives them and that you’re trying to put them in a box, they’re gonna go in the box that they want rather than…in fact, most of the time, they’re not in the box that they want at all. And [00:08:30] so what you’re doing here is, you know, “Take me back to the time…well, take me back to the first time that you realized this was…this product was something you needed to do.”

So, if you’re talking to someone, you’re a software company, and you’re trying to sell your software, and you’re talking to an end user, you’d go to this user, and this is someone who habitually uses your product. You say, “Look, when was the day…” And…yeah, pro-tip if you’re the one selling the product, never be the researcher. People will tailor their responses, again, accordingly. They don’t wanna upset people. They’ll never actually give you the honest feedback unless you’re somehow [00:09:00] able to…you’re a longtime friend or something of that nature. But, beyond that, you wanna get them to go back to the time.

And, what you’ll notice is, if I had a dollar for every time this happened, the person will start to tell the story and they’ll breeze past it, because to them, these decisions are autonomous. They’re almost like autopilot. They have a choice in their head and they just go for it, and they think that’s the choice when in reality, we all know that that’s not the choice. And a good researcher knows that’s [00:09:30] where the meat is.

So, really, it’s “Take me back to time,” and make sure it’s very…you know, don’t let them breeze past things. Let them tell their story, but always go back to it. “Well, for instance, I was having an issue with this, and I decided that I wanted to change.” And they’ll be that vague. And it’s like, “Wait, hold on. So, was there a day, was there a specific issue that it was too much?” And then you can start to get to things, was what really was the trigger? Was it something highly negative? Was it some customer that they lost? Was it a customer that demanded a refund? Was it, [00:10:00] you know, they couldn’t actually deliver for a customer and lost a client, and lost that contract?

Think about all those things because that, what happened is gonna be…that necessarily isn’t going to be verbatim your marketing message, but when you start thinking about your value proposition that is the value that the customer finds in your product. The very reason that they chose to do something is the reason that you’re…that’s basically what you’re gonna pitch as your sell. [00:10:30] Avoid doing this. Avoid doing that. The aversion to loss is greater than the value they see in gaining things. That’s just consumer psych 101.

So, if you can speak to things, it may do it at both levels, but if you can speak to things and say, “Look, I’ll save you this pain,” and really understanding your customers’ pains, at the end of the day, that’s gonna be the most valuable thing because you can speak to what they will lose and what they won’t lose with your product.

And once you sell them on that then you can start touting the things you’re gonna gain. [00:11:00] And so, as you go through this research, try to figure out, go back to this specific moment. And then once you get the moment, go back to the exact feelings, go back to, what were those emotions? What did that feel like?

You need to start understanding, what would it be like if you didn’t fix it? Again, that’s more of your messaging. “Well, if I didn’t fix it, I wouldn’t have a company.” “Well, why wouldn’t you have a company?” “Well, I’d lose so much money in overhead.” Or, “My sales cycle would be way too long. My cost of acquisition per client [00:11:30] is way too much.”

And so start speaking to those things because that’s the value they found in your product. Now, they’re never…no, rewind all the way. If you ask them why they bought you, they’re gonna say, “Oh, well, because you helped me make more money.” Cool. You hope so, but that’s not gonna help your value. That’s not gonna help you segment to your audiences.

Now, if you talk to one of your clients and they say things like we just talked about, like the cost of acquisition, the sales [00:12:00] funnel, and you basically can now talk about that in the aggregate in terms of who your customers are. So there’s gonna be people that look like this customer. Now, you’re gonna have a whole other type of customer that your product could be good for. You could have a giant enterprise. You could have a place like Johnson & Johnson and you’re selling your software, your SaaS program. That person is not necessarily gonna be so worried about losing contracts or the sales funnel because they have so many different revenue streams that [00:12:30] being insolvent because you couldn’t close a couple people is not necessarily an issue.

But we’ve got 30 people in this one department that need to get up to speed on this quickly, how the speed you deploy and ease of use is gonna be a giant thing for someone like Johnson & Johnson, whereas it’s not gonna be with a smaller customer. Because, you know, while there’s gonna be…potentially someone at Johnson & Johnson has got a Harvard MBA, like, the sophistication in terms of the end user may be different, but at the end of the day, [00:12:59] they’ve got to have…you know, that person may not actually be implementing that system, they’ve also got to lead an entire organization through the onboarding of this kind of software.

So, there’s just different things at play. And so, when you talk to them, they could say things like, “Ease of use was…I was just onboarding people and they couldn’t use the product. I’m wasting so much of my time and resources, and it’s eating into my budget to do other things so I had to take some TV copy off air. I had to pull some salesperson out of the field [00:13:30] to come teach people internally. That hurts my business. That hurts my contracts. That hurts my distribution.” That’s a whole different subset of problems, that’s a whole different subset of barriers, and that’s a whole different subset of pains.

Your ability to tell a marketing message to an enterprise like Johnson & Johnson and big companies, and not every company’s gonna have the same problems as Johnson & Johnson, but they’re definitely gonna look a lot more like Johnson & Johnson’s than they are gonna look like that other smaller client who was talking about things like, “I couldn’t close a contract.” [00:14:00]

So, now, you can take this marketing message that you segmented out, and then you can apply it to other people that look, act, smell, sound like Johnson & Johnson. So, as we’ve even just pointed out right now, look at where we’re we are at: two different channels with two different markets, two different client types.

That right there, that is enough to go tangibly target, “Okay. I’m gonna get companies [00:14:30] that let’s call it over 1,000 employees, then I’m going to get companies that are under 250 employees.” There is a chasm in the middle that you can now speak to if you wanna get a little bit more sophisticated depending on your product and may not exactly be for that person.

Now, that doesn’t mean don’t go after those people, but you know if you over index in use in terms of the small client and then the really big client that you’re set. Everything should be a little bit more like arbitrage in terms of your marketing spend, and that’s us as DeepBridge Consulting, that’s what we’re saying, is [00:15:00] you can’t go after everyone at all time.

A jack of all trades is a master of none. If you can go out and grab specific audiences…and typically, you wanna just go after one. If you can win small…and the best companies in the world do it, they start small and then they expand. And so, if you can go out and grab specific audiences and that’s your niche, that’s where you win. Well, then you take that, build up that business [00:15:30] model, show the success, you got your proof of concept, and then you go after your new segment. And they’re…like I said, there’s times when you can do both.

If you can tell a specific campaign and message and not muddy up your brand, do it. Do it. If it’s appropriate then it makes sense where you’d do something like that. But otherwise, you need to focus in one spot, in one area, go win. And then take that, and you can play it out across different industries. [00:16:00] You can do whatever you need to do, you can go work on your arbitrage, and say, “Look, this is the next thing we need to do. It’s got the highest ROI, 80 for the 20. This is what we need to do to grow our penetration in the software and the SaaS business.We can start going after competitors. We can start doing geo-targeting. We can build an entirely new revenue stream. We can build out an entirely new capability for our platform.” So, there’s a lot of things you could do. But at the end of the day, if you had one message, it’s segment and arbitrage. [00:16:30]

You really need to understand your customer segmentation, and you really need to be able to tell a message that’s just hyperfocused, laser focused. You don’t wanna think about buckshot. You wanna think about being a sniper. If you can go out there and just absolutely crush it on one specific target, well, then at the end of the day, you can corner that entire market, and being a specialist, being that person that’s deployed in and does exactly what they’re designed to do specifically tailor-making a message and delivering [00:17:00] a result that is exactly what the client wants, that’s better than trying to hit a bunch of people and getting no one.

Because if you become known for something…and consultants for some reason, and marketers for some reason, and a lot of brands for some reason are afraid to be specific because they think being specific limits their profit, when in fact that’s a very nearsighted view. It maximizes your profit if you arbitrage correctly. If you look at your size or price and you grab a customer segmentation, [00:17:30] and you grab a group of people that’s a very large opportunity, well, then winning in somewhere that’s…cornering the market on something with a very large opportunity, you are growing your profit. And at the end of the day, once you win there, you can roll that out and you are associated, your brand equity may be associated with one thing. But, as you expand, all the elements that apply to that are now gonna extend [00:18:00] to these other lines you get in.

A Rolls Royce airplane engine, you associate that with very high quality. If it’s in airplanes, it must be good engineering. So if you got a car, it’s just a, basically, a mini airplane. I don’t know anything about Rolls Royces, but as an example of you don’t have to. If you’re the layman, if you’re the consumer now you’ve got to assume that the consumer who’s interested in space is gonna be a little bit more sophisticated than Joe Blow sitting here pretending they know anything about Rolls Royces.

But at the end of [00:18:30] the day, that’s exactly that first impression, the perception of the customer is really associated with, “Well, I mean, I don’t know much about cars, but I know Rolls Royce is a good car, it’s expensive, it’s made an airplane,” so, you know, that is how your customer thinks. You got to meet them where they are, and all your customers are gonna think differently, but you’ll understand your segments. You’ll understand your customer channels so well that you’ll know what they’re thinking. You’ll know what they deem valuable. [00:19:00]

If performance of an engine is not necessarily valuable to your customer base, you’re actually looking at the lower middle class, the lower middle class segment that is just looking for a car for their kid who’s just turned 16, you know that you’re not gonna sell a Rolls Royce because you know that’s not where they’re gonna find value. There’s gonna be too many barriers. That’s not necessarily what they’re looking for in a car. So, understanding your segment, understanding your audience helps you to deliver value, helps you to maximize your persuasion, and then helps you to [00:19:30] grow your profit.

So, to wrap up, what you’re really gonna be thinking about, the big things you’re gonna be thinking about is, do you know the person you’re selling to? Do you know your marketing, whoever this marketing channel’s for? It’s gonna be…hopefully, if you’re doing this the right way…something we do at DeepBridge is, look, we’re gonna say, “Here’s who we’re targeting. Here’s who they are, here’s what they like, here’s what they hate. Here’s what the motivations are, here are their barriers to entry. [00:20:00] Here are all the things you need to know to persuade them to do what you want them to do.”

Now that you’ve got that, we’ll go find them, cross-platform. We know where they are. We know what they do. We know what they consume. We know what they listen to. We know what they read. Now that we’ve identified the things about that customer we need to know in order to persuade them. Now that we know where they’re at, we can find them. Then we’re gonna hit them with copy, with a very powerful, [00:20:30] persuasive value sequence that includes relevant features, key benefits, and high value to the customer, to the end user.

Having those three things and basically in lockstep, in sync, that is how you deliver the highest chance of persuasion. The shortest sales cycle, the highest lifetime value. So, again, that’s gonna be the relevant features, [00:21:00] the key benefits and the highest value. And these are all things from the customer standpoint, not from yours. And that is the power of research.

That is the power of real qualitative, that’s the power of DeepBridge proprietary models. We can get to the motivations behind a consumer. Then we can get to, “What is the sales copy really gonna be?” Bring that marketing message to life, and then that’s how we deliver the returns we’ve been able to deliver for [00:21:30] our clients.

It’s almost unfair. We know everything about your customer before you even say a word to them. So by the time they read it, they’re head nodding, “Oh, yeah, that makes perfect sense. I’ve been there.” That’s what we want and that’s what we get to do. We make you look like the genius in the room, and that’s all our job is.

So, if this is something that’s interesting to you just give us a ring. You can email me at nickwilliams@deepbridgeconsulting.com. Just check out our website, www.deepbridgeconsulting.com, and we got a lot information. Subscribe [00:22:00] to the podcast and we’ll put out some more information like this. We’ll be doing some interviews. We’ll do some live research and we’ll basically get you to understand why your consumers buy so at the end of the day we can equip you with the tools, teach you to fish.

But if you wanna get in there and get something highly specialized done for you, out of the box, and basically just delivered in a very short time, give me a call. Contact us and we’ll come to you. We’ll map it out, we’ll draw it up, we’ll deliver, execute, and make sure [00:22:30] you’re growing your profits, growing your penetration and becoming the brand that you’ve always wanted to be. So, appreciate it. Until next time.

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