The Art of Persuasive Writing: How to Attract More Customers
Persuading people to buy your service or product comes down to more than just saying “We’re great!” on your website or promo materials. If you want to attract your dream customers, you need to get them to like you as a company, trust you, and understand what you offer and why you’re better.
Here are some business writing tips to help persuade those people that you’re the only choice for them.
Be a human
Engaging, straightforward, human-sounding language is the way to go if you want to build respect, likeability and understanding – which all ultimately lead to sales. Stiff, corporate jargon is the route to nothing but confusion, misunderstanding and absolutely no rapport with your potential customers.
Basically, you don’t want to write like this:
“Our client-centric approach delivers seamlessly integrated relations ensuring a unique and amplified user experience.” (Taken from a real website of a real company – really.)
Here’s some advice on how to write like a human:
1. Use contractions (won’t, we’ll, I’ll, I’d, you’d, they’re…).
We use them all the time when we talk, and we should use them when we write, too. Otherwise everything just reads like an academic thesis.
2. Address your reader as “you”.
Not “the client” or (god forbid) “the stakeholder”. The reader should feel like they’re being talked to directly, as part of a one-on-one conversation.
3. You, meanwhile, are “we” (or “I”).
There are times when you’ll have no choice but to use the name of your business or “the company” in place of “I” or “we”, but they’re rare. Try substituting “I” or “we” for the company name wherever possible; it almost always works better and comes across as more personable.
4. Steer clear of business clichés and vagueness.
They’re for people who don’t know what they’re trying to say. If you have a tendency to write about “solutions” or “helping your business succeed” or “driving innovation” or “delivering measurable results”, stop right now and figure out what you’re really trying to say.
5. Bury dead verbs and nouns.
You don’t deliver change to your car; you just change your car. You don’t drive improvements in your fitness; you improve your fitness. So why do you “deliver change” to your business or “drive improvements” in your processes? If you get rid of all these dead words, you’ll instantly sound more like a human being.
Sell the sizzle
People don’t really want an accountant, or a jeweller, or a business consultant… they want an outcome that these people can help you with – such as freedom from worrying about HRMC, or a delighted fiancée, or a way to double their business.
You’ll be one step closer to getting them as a customer if you can connect the dots for them and explain how they’ll benefit from working with you or buying from you. They’ll recognise how their needs can be met, and you’ll find the entire selling process that much easier.
So ask yourself… what will people get out of choosing your company?
Create real feelings of trust
Writing like a human and explaining the benefits of working with you will certainly help to make you come across as trustworthy. But if you work in a competitive industry, or if your products/services are relatively expensive, or if your potential customers tend to ummm and ahhh a lot before buying, you need to go one step further. Here are two ways for how you can do it:
1. Include testimonials on your website
– video testimonials if at all possible. Any written testimonials should include the person’s real name and, ideally, a photo.
2. Show that you know what you’re talking about through content marketing.
Use blog posts, emails, presentations, books or anything else you can think of to disseminate your information.
Remember: this isn’t marketing material. It’s educational material. So if you sell engagement rings, don’t produce a video about the outstanding quality and value of your products; instead, create a blog post that tells hopeless husbands-to-be how to evaluate the quality of a diamond. This isn’t about you, it’s about them.
Why does this help to attract more customers? Because rather than expecting them to believe you’re an expert on the strength of a qualification or few lines of text about your brilliance, you can prove it beyond doubt by showing off everything you know (and providing genuinely useful information in the process).
Be a human, sell the sizzle, and create real feelings of trust in your business writing. You’ll be attracting your dream customers in no time.