You need to know how to sell, no matter what you do, online or offline. The quickest way I can explain sales is “it is the process by which a company learns the needs of a prospective customer, presents its offering in such a way as to clearly satisfy the needs of that prospective customer in a cost effective way, then move that prospect to make a decision and take action by making a purchase”. Of course this must be done within the context of the prospect’s buying process. In most sales training, the customer’s buying process is called AIDA. As Dave Kurlan explains it in his book Baseline Selling:)
In the offline world, this can be as simple as the people working at the kiosks in the mall saying “here, try this”. If you are making cold telephone calls, it might be the way you introduce yourself “I help business owners improve their financial performance, may I ask you a question? game pc offline“. It is also the headline of the advertisements you see in magazines. You really need to think of it this way – Headlines are there to grab attention. Conversely, you need to remember that in order for you to get a prospect’s attention, you must have a compelling headline.
Go to a news stand and look at the front page of 3 newspapers and look at the headline. It is the biggest printing on the top of that page. It introduces you to some information that they have elsewhere in the paper. IF it grabs your attention, and IF it is something you care about, then you will buy the newspaper so you can read about it. They have your attention.
Offline, on television, in a commercial, the opening scene or the initial dialogue will be something designed to grab your attention. A windshield view of a car driving through the mountains (do you want to drive fast through the mountains?). A table full of happy kids eating some snack (do you want your kids to be happy?). A young, hip-looking professional smiling as they walk into a building, briefcase in hand (do you want to be a happy, hip-looking young professional?) A confident executive presenting information to other executives who are hanging on their every word (do you want to be an executive who is confident and able to hold the interest of your peers?). These images are the headline of the commercial. If you are interested, you will stop what you are doing and watch the rest of the commercial. They have your attention.
Online, you go through your inbox marking emails for deletion before you start reading the ones you are interested in. You are looking at headlines. The person who sent it, and its subject line together are the headline. For most people, if you can see that the message is from someone you already know and like, that is enough to capture your interest. Your real world friends, and online folks that you already have a relationship with (for myself, anything in my inbox from Frank Kern, Russell Brunson, Dave Kurlan or Rick Roberge) will be read, in their entirety, regardless of what the subject line says. You are looking for people you don’t know, so that you can delete their messages. Once you see an unknown address, you naturally look at the subject line through the filter of your existing interests. If you are interested, you will read it. If you are in to Highland Games, and the subject line says “new running shoe” you will likely delete it, but if it says “throw the sheaf higher” you are most definitely going to read it. If you are a marketer and the subject line is “throw the sheaf higher” you will delete it, but if it says “improve your conversion 200%” you are definitely going to read it. And here is the important part – you will read it regardless of what the address says. It has your attention.
Online, in the blogosphere, there are 2 kinds of blogs – the ones you read, and all the other ones. On the ones you read, you will read them regardless of the post title. However, on a blog that you don’t regularly read, you will read a post if the title grabs your interest. The title of the blog, and the title of each individual post, are headlines. For myself, if I saw a blog title “Cabers ripped my flesh” (highland games reference) I am reading it, and you probably will not. However, if you are a marketer, and you see a post titled “I just figured out how to double my click-through rate”, you will probably read it regardless of the name of the blogger. It has your attention.
The headline/attention relationship is the same in the search engines. If I search “highland games” all manner of things come up. There will be responses for Scotch Whiskey. I will not click on those links because I drink Rye, and Scotch does not get my attention. If I search for sales tools, and an ad for CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software comes up, it does not get my attention because I really like what I already use. But if there is an ad that says “communicate more easily with your prospects”, that will always get my attention, because it is something that I always seek to improve.
Conclusion: gaining the prospect’s attention is the very first step to making a sale, because it is the first step in the prospect’s buying process. Your headline, whether spoken or written or captured in images, is the way that you get the prospect’s attention. Therefore, you should always think of the first thing you say, your email subject line, and your blog post titles as headlines. Headlines should always be created so the they get the attention of the people that you want to talk to. This is very important. In person or online, your first words must compel the prospect to listen.