In the internet age, great copywriters are a brand’s most effective sales force. Most prospective customers don’t interact with a salesperson when purchasing a product or booking a service anymore, meaning that web copy is often the only direct sales pitch they are exposed to during the buying cycle.
Many of our clients are service providers, startups and ecommerce sites. We work with companies of all sizes and in several industries to reinforce the value of their brand through effective copywriting. In some cases, companies need to engage their customers without ever speaking to them. It’s our job to explain the offering in a way that leads directly to a conversion.
Copywriters should be thinking more like salespeople than ever before, applying sales theory to almost every job in their task list. This includes handling customer objections without being able to ask customers what these reservations are.
What is objection handling?
Even the greatest product in the world will be met with customer objections, or reasons why prospective buyers might back out. Objection handling is the art of managing or responding to these complaints.
This used to mean negotiating with customers over the phone with lots of sentences that began with “ah yes, but…”. However, due to the increasingly limited interaction between salespeople and buyers, it’s now the copywriters’ job to stay one step ahead by identifying and addressing them in web content.
What are some common objections?
Thankfully, these follow somewhat of a pattern. Most buyers have similar priorities, which means that their reasons for not spending money on a product or service can, to a certain extent, be predicted. Some of the most common objections copywriters should be addressing are:
- Price: Unsurprisingly, this is the most common. Buyers will always try to get the lowest possible price for a product or service they’re interested in. However, competing on price is a one-way route to the bottom. Instead, brands can use product copy to emphasise value and justify their costs.
- Necessity: The final question people usually ask before booking a service or purchasing a product is: do I really need this or is it money down the drain? Illustrating the essential worth of a product or service can be the difference between sealing the deal, or the customer backing out and forgetting about you altogether.
- Reliability: For customers, the decision to buy comes down to their trust in the efficacy of the product or service. Why should your customer choose you over a more reputable competitor? Does the product even work? If you’re not guaranteeing the trustworthiness of your brand in the copy, you’re going to lose business unnecessarily.
How do I handle objections in sales copy?
Once potential customer objections have been identified, how do we go about addressing them in the copy? Objection handling in sales copy is broad, as your strategy will—and always should—depend on your client and their target audience. However, there are a few golden rules we implement that tackle a wide range of customer concerns.
Visitors to your website will most likely be shopping around for the right product or service. Give them a clear incentive to purchase from you instead of a competitor by letting them know exactly what you can offer.
Don’t focus on vague assurances like “incredible results”—every website under the sun will be promising this. What is it specifically about your client’s product or service that makes them different from any other company?
Prospective customers like to know what they’re getting into when purchasing from a company. Vague descriptions of a company’s services, products or experience could discourage the all-important trust we mentioned earlier and send prospective customers heading straight for a competitor.
Offer web visitors as much information as possible about the client’s experience, the methodology behind products and services and what results they can expect to demonstrate credibility. The value of a customer having confidence in a brand cannot be understated, and encourages loyalty further down the line.
The unique thing about trying to achieve sales through copywriting is that you don’t know who you’re pitching to. You can’t ask them questions or figure out what their needs are before you go in for the kill. For this reason, it’s important to demonstrate that your product or service has broad appeal.
Again, be as specific as possible. While name-dropping sectors you’re targeting may be enough to reassure prospective customers, description is king. If you have testimonials or case studies from a wide array of clients, these are golden.
When it comes to converting site visits into sales for clients, objection handling is one of the most powerful tools in the copywriter’s arsenal. The relevance of this skill is only growing as service providers and brands prioritise their website as a means of reaching their target audience and generating additional revenue.