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Small Business Marketing: These Words Keep Customers from Buying

Graphic of a cat holding a sign that says meow. Dog holding sign that says woof.

It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

You’re trying to tell the customer service rep about the problem you want solved, but she starts speaking in jargon and geek speak. As a result, it takes way too long to get the problem resolved. Your blood pressure went up 20 points and you’ll have to do extra laps around the gym just to get it down.

When the sales department becomes the sales prevention department, the bottom line for small business marketing takes a hit. But it’s not just customer service reps that like to impress customers with their knowledge, small business websites are just as guilty.

Small Business Marketing: Websites That Engage and Sell

The silent killer of sales is what your customer isn’t seeing on your website. Too often, small businesses treat their websites as a necessary evil. I’m not sure what it’s going to take to change that attitude given the plethora of evidence to the contrary.

Nevertheless, just like some in-store associates may bombard customers with their tech knowledge and expertise, small business websites seemed designed to do the same thing.

Jargon, geek speak, and vague, general taglines are all served up on a beautifully designed site that sits there. That’s as bad as an in-store associate who drives customers away with techy language.

What Should A Small Business Website Really Do?

The words Ideate.

First of all, give up the insider language and tech talk. If you’re in the business of selling, then find out what your customer most wants from your product and service. Uncover her obstacles to achieving that, and then show her what life would look like using your product or service.

Then show her what it would look like if she didn’t use it. The point is, use your site to connect by entering into your customer’s world. The more you understand her and meet her where she is, the more golden you become in her eyes.

There are two people who do this really well and they have very technical industries.

Neil Degrasse Tyson, the world’s leading physicist, doesn’t ever use insider language to discuss something as complicated as physics. He’s delightful, enthusiastic, and down-to-earth about his passion. All of that comes through when you hear him speak. And, you’ll find that, as a listener, you become excited about physics, too.

Why? Because his message is easy to understand. And it’s physics, for crying out loud!

Dr. Russell Blaylock, world renown neurosurgeon who spreads the message about health and nutrition, follows the same path as Tyson. He uses simple language to communicate a very tricky, thorny problem.

The result? He’s highly respected and people subscribe to his newsletter around the world because they know they can get information they will understand.

Both of these leaders keep their message clear, simple, and direct. It’s powerful.

Smart people steer clear of insider language, industry jargon, and so forth. In fact, they only share a fraction of what they know with the people they’re trying to reach. And what they do share is said with words their audience can relate to.

At the end of the day, the goal is to share their message so they can change people’s perceptions. They cannot do that if they are turning people off by impressing them with how smart they are.

As smart business people, we must do the same thing. We must make our products and services something people relate to. Instead of saying, “We deliver custom centric e-commerce solutions,” why not say, “ We get more people reading your emails”?

Simplicity in marketing always wins the day.

Do you want to take the road most traveled and say what’s easiest? Or, do you want to show your customer you understand what she needs, building a bridge of trust, and selling more? It all comes down to how you talk to people.

Small Business Marketing in 6 Seconds (That’s All the Time You’ve Got!)

On your website, you’ve got exactly 6 seconds to engage your target audience. If your visitor doesn’t find what she’s looking for in 6 seconds, she’ll click away.

So, make good use of your time. Always answer these three questions in your header.

  1. Who are you?

  2. How do you make my life better?

  3. How do I do business with you?

Then use the rest of your home page to show your visitor you understand:

  • Her problem—what are her pain points?

  • Her obstacles—what’s keeping her from getting what she wants?

  • Her aspirations—what transformation does she really desire?

Show her both sides of her story, what life would look like if she didn’t use your product or service as well as how much better her life would be if she did use your product or service.

The brain thinks in problem/solution. That’s how we connect with each other. Listen to your customer’s pain points and sell to that. All they want is a solution to their problem. Give it to them!


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