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Before Telling Them Why They Should Buy ...
Find Out Why They Shouldn't

by Chris Ayers © 1999.  Reprinted by permission.

Everyone has their arms around all of the reasons that customers should purchase their product. Some things that you might not have considered are the reasons that MOST will not.

By now .... we all know that a good offer grabs the reader's attention, stresses benefits and not features, includes a strong guarantee and a call to action.

But have you ever thought about why some will still not purchase?

In fact, unless you have a 50% closing rate (if you do call me so we can talk about investments), more people will decline than will accept. What are their reasons for passing on your offer?

This is a question that can pay BIG DIVIDENDS when creating your sales offer and any follow-up messages. Here's how you can use this question to generate more sales.

Start by asking yourself , "What are the reasons people will give for not purchasing my product?"

Maybe they'll say its too expensive. Maybe they're not sold that it will work. Perhaps it appears too good to be true or seems too complex for them to make it work. They might think that everyone is already doing that and there is no room for them.

Just brainstorm a list of things that people might come up with. You could even involve some friends or partners to really come up with a great list. It will help if you have given each participant a copy of your offer in advance.

And if you'll make the offer via e-mail to your customers, I would encourage you to deliver that same e-mail message to those helping you brainstorm objections.

Then I suggest that you put each of these responses on a 3x5 card (or its electronic equivalent :-) Save room either on the front or the back for your notes.

Now, the most obvious close to this exercise is to come up with responses to each of these objections. That is a great sales technique. It can help you respond to customer objections when they pop up.

But the problem with selling on the Internet (just like with Direct Mail) is that more often than not, people will not send you a message that says ... "Got your offer. I have decided not to buy and here's why."

So what can you do with this information?

Here are a couple of creative ways that you can utilize this information in your offer. That's right .... you can take care of objections even before they are expressed!

1. Compare your product to others

You can compare the value and benefits of your product to a competitor's. You might see this as a table that compares the features of your product to theirs. But here's one way you might not have seen ... a way that I have used effectively in many sales letters.

Let's say that you sell a search engine placement package on the web. Some of the reasons that you have come up with that people might pass on your offer include too expensive, no name recognition, and they might be skeptical that it works.

Here's how you might craft a little story that compares your product to a "mythical" competitor, using the reasons that people might not buy.

"If you want your website blindly submitted to a thousand search engines at the touch of a button for only $29 with no promise of results ... we're not the right choice. But if you are looking for a company that works individually with each customer and GUARANTEES placement results, then we are the company for you."

What we've done here is to diffuse some of their concerns by highlighting our differences from other companies that are offering similar products.

2. By the numbers

Another way that you can do kinda the same thing is something that I call "By the Numbers."

The way this works is you admit to your reader that most people WILL NOT purchase your product. Then you go one step further by telling them why. Here's how "By the Numbers" might look for our example:

"The sad thing is that MOST people will choose not to purchase our package. In fact, here's what our research has shown: Out of every 100 people ...

  • 58 will not buy because they think our price is too high. They will either continue with minimal traffic to their site or get suckered by someone offering to submit their site to hundreds of search engines for $29 (in which case, they will still end up with minimal traffic).
  • 32 will not invest in our package, because they don't think that our service works. They quickly skim our offer and miss the most important part - our 100% MONEY BACK SATISFACTION GUARANTEE.
  • Another 5 will not buy because they've never heard of Acme Consulting. This could be our own fault. You see, we don't spend a lot of money on advertising. We put most of our money into what we know best ... getting your web site listed at the top! (Do a quick check to test us ... look up "search engine placement" at your favorite search engine and see who turns up)
  • That leaves 5 who do decide to buy. Five more added to the hundreds of satisfied customers that have used Acme Consulting. And that's the best form of advertising that we know of."

3. Point - counterpoint

This is the most direct method of dealing with their possible objections in advance. You lead with an introduction and then list some of the major objections followed by your response.

One word of caution here ... do not be confrontational. In fact, one thing that you can do is agree with them on the point they are making BEFORE you change their mind ;-) Continuing our example, it might go something like this:

"Our research shows that 95 out of every 100 people reading this message WILL NOT purchase our package. From readers we've talked with, here are some of their major hesitations and how we helped them make a better decision."


It is not cheap. But we don't think it's expensive, either. You could always use one of the "other guys" that will submit your site to a zillion search engines for only $29 ... but you won't even get $29 in results! There's a big difference in submitting your site and optimizing it so it get results. If they submit it, there's a good chance that your site might show up in one or more of the major search engines. But our focus is not limited to you "showing up." If you end up 428th in a search list of 500, what do you think your chances are of getting traffic from that listing. Have you ever paged down that far in a search list?


We understand your concern in this area. That's why we invite you to look at some of the work we've done for others and actually see where their sites are placed with search engines. But even better than that, not only do we get results for you ... we GUARANTEE IT! If we do not get you a Top 20 placement with at least 3 of the Top 10 Search Engines, we'll refund your money .... NO QUESTIONS ASKED!!"

See how that works.

Now I am not implying that you shouldn't spend time with those who do purchase your product to find out why they chose to do so. But if you think about the fact that far more will choose not to purchase, it makes sense to put some good thought into why they won't respond and what you can do to change that response.

Hope these ideas help you formulate better product offers and generate more sales.

Chris Ayers is an Internet Marketer and publisher of the FREE newsletter, "Unlimited Traffic!" Put his 10 plus years of experience in Direct Marketing and on the Web to work for you. Visit his site at or subscribe to his newsletter with message to