One of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur is getting sales. Often, we focus so hard on creating the best products that we don't have any effort left to find and convert customers.

This leads to more money spent to acquire customers and more frustration in the long run. Often, companies end up failing for just the simple reason: they can't convert sales.

There are multiple factors that come together to determine what type of information someone needs to understand something. Additionally, there are other, completely different factors that determine how a person can be convinced to purchase your product.

A person can either be convinced by seeing, hearing, reading or doing. In addition to these four patterns, people are either convinced in one of the following ways:

  1. Automatically (right away)
  2. After a Period of Time (different for every person, can be measured in minutes, years, or in between.)
  3. After a Number of Times (a finite number, such as the classic seven touchpoints to close a customer.)
  4. Constantly - (in other words, these people always need new proof to be convinced.)

While people may have dominant learning styles, their convincing patterns are not necessarily connected.  An experiential learner might need to read about someone else's experience before going out on their own.

If you're working as a traditional sales person with one-on-one interactions, it's easy enough to identify your customer's convincing pattern - you can simply ask them questions and then change the conversation appropriately.

However, when doing online marketing, you're going to have to have a multi-pronged approach that can check all the boxes.

The first step to understanding what type of materials to create for your product is to understand the behaviors of people with these patterns.

1. Convinced by Seeing

Have you ever heard the phrase: "I'll believe it when I see it?" Someone who is convinced by seeing will use "visual" language when they speak. They will say things like "We need to see this through" or "Can you picture this?" This type of person will want instructional videos, infographics, and visual representation of your product that they can physically see in order to be convinced to buy it. 

The Dollar Shave Club ad is a good example of showing product in an engaging way.

2. Convinced by Hearing

People who are convinced in this way are looking for the quality of someone's voice and the authority provided by it. They say things like "Sounds good!" and "You hear what I'm saying?" and they look for support in the words that people say out loud.

Using testimonial videos and other social proof is a great way to convince people by "hearing."

3. Convinced by Doing

For some people, the only way to convince them is to let them try things for themselves. By accomplishing a task, they'll be able to come to their own conclusion. The only thing you will be able to do is give them the task and let them go. 

Steve Jobs famously asked Mark Zuckerberg to go to India to learn about community - which then helped shape the future of Facebook.

4. Convinced by Reading

This type of person wants to scan information in written form. They will be convinced by having documentation, either summarized or long-form, but they want to consume it themselves. 

Reportedly, Director Rian Johnson was only convinced to take on directing Star Wars: The Last Jedi after reading the script.

    As an entrepreneur, you should aim to sell to people who are relatively easy to convince. Avoid those who require you to consistently try to advertise to them, as the cost is too high to convert them. 

    For online sales, people who are convinced automatically and after a number of times are the easiest to tackle, and depending on the phase of your product the easiest way to go is via "Hearing", through social/viral content. The second easiest is a combination of "Seeing" and "Reading", with content in video and written channels.

    For scaling purposes, avoid anything that requires you to target "Doing" types, as well as people convinced "after a period of time" or "constantly", as those both represent high effort and low return.

    That said, in today's internet, be cautious.  While there can be some funny side effects of these convincing patterns, such as the "conspiracy" surrounding a non-existent movie in the '90s (that often affect people who are Automatically Convinced by Reading) these can also have dangerous consequences. Ensure that you are clear on your purpose and intent when publishing any content.

    By understanding these simple patterns, you should be able to convert the maximum number of people to your product.

    Published on: Dec 19, 2017
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