Can you imagine telling customers not to buy your product? But don’t stop there. Give them reasons why they should buy from someone else instead of you.
That’s exactly what Sonlight Curriculum does on their web site. In fact, they list 27 reasons why customers would not want to buy their home schooling products.
Of course, the reasons not to buy are crafted to subtly (and sometimes not-so-subtly) point out the strengths of the products, and why their customers love them. For example, two of the reasons Sonlight says people should not buy from them are: (1) They want a program that provides the features of a classroom school, with regular quizzes, tests and grading services, and (2) They want their children to study what their peers study in a traditional school environment. (To view all 27 reasons, and the explanation for each, go to http://www.sonlight.com/not_to_buy.html.)
Clearly, some home schooling parents will want a program that has the features described in Sonlight’s 27 reasons not to buy, and they will go elsewhere. Those customers would not have been happy with their purchase from Sonlight, anyway. However, many others will be drawn to Sonlight specifically because of the reasons they say some people will not like them. These are the parents for whom they created their products.
Elsewhere on their web site, Sonlight offers 13 Reasons Why Families Love Sonlight, Key Reasons to Shop With Us and other information that supports why customers should buy from them. But by including the reasons why someone should not buy from them, they focus on the strengths and uniqueness of their programs in an unexpected way.
Your products and services should be positioned to meet the wants and needs of specific groups of people. By doing so, they will not appeal to others. Spelling out exactly who will want your products and why makes it clear to your best prospects why they should buy from you. That can also mean identifying who should not buy from you.
When done effectively, this type of marketing not only conveys the benefits of buying from your company, it makes customers feel as if they are part of an exclusive group. After all, these products are for just anyone. It takes a special customer to appreciate the qualities of what you offer.
Start by listing the features and benefits that make your products different from your competitors’ products. Don’t be afraid of listing things that may alienate some potential buyers. Next, frame those features and benefits in a way that will appeal to your perfect customers. These are the people you want to attract. Use language that shows they are special, phrases such as, “This isn’t for everyone,” or “This may not be for you.”
Although you may think it is best to make every possible sale, selling to customers who are not a good fit for your business can result is less satisfaction (both for them and you) and more time spent on customer service issues. Attract your perfect customers and everyone will be happier.