Before buying, a customer’s brain goes through seven systematic steps. Failing to address any one of them will short circuit the sale.
By auditing your communications – from Web site to brochure to presentation – for these seven steps, you can be sure you’ve taken a prospect through all of them, giving them the comfort they require to make a purchase, from a full remodel to a simple product replacement.
That is the premise of the book The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (And Why They Don’t) by Sean D’Souza. In my experience, kitchen and bath professionals do some of these steps very well, but often fumble or leave out others altogether. So let’s review them and suggest ways you can apply them to your business.
D’Souza’s seven steps are:
- The Problem
- The Solution
- The Target Profile
- The Objections
- The Testimonials
- The Risk Reversal
- The Uniqueness
PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS
Too often we jump right over the prospect’s Problem and offer up solutions. But that’s ineffective, because problems activate the brain. If prospects aren’t aware of their problems, they won’t be interested in your solutions. Studies show the brain reacts most strongly to problems with an increase in cerebral cortex activity.
So take the time to think through the kitchen or bath problems your prospects might be facing.
Has a neighbor or family member just redone their kitchen or bath, so theirs isn’t as nice by comparison? Will the baby be walking soon, but the client can’t keep an eye on him from the kitchen? Do the clients love to entertain, but there’s no place for guests to sit in the kitchen?
Is the toilet slow to flush? A blockage could be building up. Is the faucet dripping? It could be ready to spring a leak.
But won’t talking about problems be negative and turn off the customer? “The problem exists, you aren’t making it up or being negative, you are educating your audience,” D’Souza explains. “Because people have a million things to worry about already, you have to elevate your problem so that you become a priority,” he adds.
What’s important is to isolate a single problem and focus on that. There can obviously be numerous problems associated with an outdated kitchen or bath: looks, function, etc. But you have to start by isolating only one and addressing it. This is the only way to connect with a prospect. Too many problems confuse. Connect first with one problem, then you can move on to others.
Phrase problems in ways like, “Are you sick and tired of having to bend over to bathe the kids, or cookies coming out burned on one side and raw on the other?” Or “Do you find you have trouble stepping over the tub into the shower, or reaching into the corners of your cabinets?”
The Solution comes after isolating the problem. And D’Souza says it should be a mirror image of the problem.
Cookies bake unevenly? Our convection ovens prevent unevenly baked cookies and cakes. Toilet clogging frequently? Our new toilets prevent clogs. Kitchen too small? We find creative ways to make it bigger.
“Solutions,” he points out, “are pain relievers.”
YOUR TARGET PROFILE
Step three is to define your Target Profile. This stumps a lot of kitchen and bath marketers. The Target Profile, D’Souza emphasizes, is not a target audience. Rather, “you choose one person and craft your message for that one person,” he explains.
The argument I hear all the time is, “but I have so many different customers!”
D’Souza’s response is: “Yes, you’ll have to exclude people. But the more niche you make your product/service seem, the more you’ll find people attracted to it.
“Every product will solve multiple problems,” he adds. “If you base your marketing on individual profiles, each message will be far more powerful.” And, in this digital age, you can create multiple landing pages for a Web site, multiple brochures, videos, audio files, etc. to address multiple Target Profiles.
Here’s an example of how that might work.