What Are You Really Selling? A Framework for Successful Sales Pages

So, you’ve got an amazing product or service, but your sales are lagging. You can’t figure out what is going on.

This is probably a good time to ask yourself, “What are you REALLY selling?”

As a business owner or product manager, you are often so close to your product or service that you cannot clearly articulate what exactly it is that you are offering. Sure, you can spout off every feature off the top of your head, but that is the problem. You know too much. Your head is in the details. You are so enthralled with the incredible nuances of each and every feature and sub feature that you can’t clearly state the one main benefit that you are providing to your customers.

The question is “What do your customers really need to know about your product?”

Sell the Why, Not the What

Well, what they don’t need to know up front is every specific feature.

Instead, they need to know just one thing: how their lives will be better once they have your product or service.

Instead of selling a product, you are selling a dream, a new way of life. All dramatics aside, this is truly what will help your customers to your product. They need to be able to envision themselves using your product and feel how their lives will be better.

It’s like staging a house.

There is a reason real estate agents to this and it is for this same reason. If a potential customer walks into a potential new home and all he sees is blank white walls and empty spaces, it’s going to be a hard sell. There is no emotional connection to the house and the potential buyer can’t see himself living there: sitting around the dining room table with his wife and kids on a Thursday night or lounging on the couch with a beer watching the game. All he sees is an empty space that may or may not be the house of his dreams.

In this same way, you need to stage your product or service. Dress it up!

To clarify, this is not a way to trick your customers or pull the wool over their eyes. It’s a way to help them truly understand the benefits of your product, not just the features they can read on a data sheet.

When everything is boiled down to features, your product becomes a commodity. Individual features can be easily copied. Individual features aren’t why customers buy your product or service.

Customers attach to a promise, not to a set of features.

They are buying a solution to a pain point. How exactly you solve their pain point is secondary.

Knowing this, how should you describe your product or service on a sales page?

Benefits Over Features

Although many companies lump them together, features and benefits are not the same thing. Actually they are quite distinct. And on a sales page, it’s all about benefits. Ok, mostly about benefits. But it is absolutely what you should lead with.

For example, at Metacake, we sell our services like this:

“We help you quantifiably grow your business. We bring visibility to your marketing so that we know the ROI of every marketing activity and can effectively grow sales.”

What we don’t say is this:

“We do all of these things:
– custom ecommerce platform design
– web development
– mobile development
– experience design
– conversion rate optimization
– branding
– social media marketing
– PPC advertising
– ad campaign design
– analytics implementation and interpretation
– …”

And so on and so forth. It’s true that we do all of those things…but which company would you rather work with. The one that promises to quantifiably grow your business or the one that does all of those things (with no indication of efficacy)?

A Killer Sales Page

To focus your sales pages on your promise to your customers, not simply your features, ask yourself these questions:

1. Who is your ideal customer?

Your sales page should be specifically targeted to your ideal customer, not just any Joe Schmo that happens across your website. And in order to tailor your messaging to your target customers, you better know who they are: not just their key demographics, but their behaviors and most importantly you need to be able to answer the question…

2. What are their pain points?

And more specifically, the what is the pain point that you solve for these customers. You need to be speaking directly to this pain point, so again, you better make sure that you have it clear in your mind.

3. How will your customers lives be better once they have your product?

This is where you get into the benefits of your product. Back to our example as Metacake, for a client, the core benefit we provide is increased sales. Do not focus on how you solve the problem (ad campaign design and conversion rate optimization, for example), but the relief to the pain point that you bring.

4. How confident are you in solving these pains?

Can you guarantee your customer’s satisfaction? Do whatever you can to reassure your customers that you are confident in what you are selling, so they should be too.

5. How can you build trust?

Do you have case study examples of how your product has helped others? Can you provide social proof on your website?

6. How are you different?

Certainly there are others trying to solve the same pain point that you aim to solve. What makes you unique? Why do customers choose your solution over others?

7. How can you make it easy to start?

Lower the barriers for customers to try your product. Make it easy for them to say yes. Can you offer a free trial? Or make returns quick and easy? The worst case scenario is for a customer to get to the end of your sales page and want to buy, but then be deterred at the last minute by a difficult process or an exorbitant price. Make the process simple and the price reasonable (at least for a trial) so that your potential customer cannot say no.


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