“Clarity Trumps Persuasion”
It's a phrase much beloved of marketing and conversion expert Dr Flint McGlaughlin of MarketingExperiments.com.
And it's really been brought home to me recently as I've been reviewing a number of websites from consultants, coaches and professional speakers.
One of the things I see so often is sites that jump too fast to persuading. Here's what I mean by that…
Put yourself in the mind of a potential client visiting your site. Not one who's already 90% made up their mind, but one who's researching who to hire. Let's say you're a professional speaker.
Here's what goes on in your potential client's mind…
They're searching for someone to speak at their event. They've had a handful of names recommended and they're googling to find some others. They click on to your site. What are they thinking right now?
The question most people have in their mind when they first visit a site is “Am I in the right place? Am I going to find something useful for me here?”
In the context of someone looking for a speaker for their event – that translates into “Do they speak to audiences like mine? Do they speak on the topic I'm looking for and/or my audience will find interesting?”
And that's where most sites go wrong. They jump straight into persuading.
They lead with their testimonials and differentiatiors. Great stuff, and very important. But too early. Or worse, they try to say something clever or funny but really don't say anything at all.
The question your potential buyer is asking is “am I in the right place?” remember. Until he knows that you speak (or consult or train or whatever you do) to people like him on subjects that are important to him then he doesn't care how great you are or how you're different to your competitors.
He needs to know you're relevant to him first.
That's where clarity trumps persuasion. Don't try to convince people how great you are until you've made it clear whether you work with people like them on the sort of goals or problems they have.
To a busy buyer with a pile of research to get through, if it's not clear the second he arrives on your site whether you're a fit then he's going to click that back button pretty instantly.
No matter how persuasive your site is; if it's not clear, he's gone.
Clarity trumps persuasion.