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October 8th, 2007

Are You Asking Readers to Take a Flying Leap?

You publish a newsletter to build trust. To convert your prospects into buyers and clients, right?

How well are you meeting that goal?

If you seem stuck–no matter what you try, people still aren’t buying at the rate you think they should–it may be because you’re asking readers to take a flying leap.

Consider this conversation I had recently with a new client who just couldn’t figure out what was preventing his readers from becoming buyers.

“I’ve tried everything,” John said. “Discounts, bonuses, gimmicks–you name it, I’ve tried it.”

John’s newsletter had him completely frustrated and befuddled. He thought he was doing everything right–he had a regular call to action, great testimonials throughout the newsletter, a personal note that was always informative, never too focused on him…

And yet, not a single reader had ever signed up for his service.

John was at the end of his rope.

Are you dangling, too? Then chances are, you’re ready to compare your experience to John’s.

So, what was John doing wrong?

He only offered one service and it was a high-ticket item ($50,000+). So, even though readers could get to know him through the newsletter, they didn’t necessarily feel they knew him well enough to invest that much money with him.

There was no step between free and $50,000.

That’s a huge leap for the average reader to take!

You offer a free newsletter. And it entices prospects to subscribe. But that’s only half the battle.

Next, you have to get them buying from you. And you do this in baby steps–leading them gently from free to small purchases to larger purchases to that final big purchase.

You’re great at what you do. You provide a huge value for your readers, clients, and customers. All that’s left is enticing readers into experiencing that for themselves.

Let Readers Choose their Ledge

Let’s pretend you really are trying to convince your readers to take a bungee jump for a moment.

Do you think all your readers are interested in jumping in the same setting? Or do you think perhaps some of your readers would prefer to jump with a waterfall as their backdrop, while others would rather jump as far away from water as possible?

Some might be ready for a full scale bungee jump, while others would prefer just a little hop to the ground below.

Each of your readers is an individual. Each has different needs. Let them choose what they need in this moment (the spot they’ll jump from) and you’ll find many more of them willing to take the plunge.

In newsletter terms, this means: offer readers a variety of solutions.

Create products that you can sell at different price points. Give prospects little bites of your product or service that they can sample at lower prices so they can see the quality you offer.

Think about your own experience. Chances are, you don’t hesitate to spend a couple dollars on an impulse, unknown product. But, as prices go higher, you eventually start to resist.

And it’s precisely this hesitation that keep your readers from jumping. Eliminate them by offering as many jumping locations
as possible and letting readers decide the height and location that’s best for their first jump.

Remember: not everyone wants to make the same jump. Let readers choose their jumping off point and you’ll have a lot more jumpers.

Never Make Readers Jump Alone

Purchasing from you is a brand new experience for your readers.

And they’re scared.

If you make them do it alone, they’re likely to back out. But, if you offer them plenty of support (a toll-free number to call, an office address where they can visit, lots of client testimonials, etc), they’re much more likely to face their
fear and make the jump.

How do you apply this to your newsletter? By building in plenty of hand-holding throughout the buying process.

Make sure every interaction a customer has with you is 100% positive. Ensure they never encounter a glitch with your
website. Prove to them your products are always first rate.

Offer them plenty of opportunities to ask questions. Volunteer information they may need, but haven’t thought of yet.

Clearly outline the process–and the procedure for getting out (quickly), should they change their minds.

By making each experience a prospect has with you positive, you’re building in a reward for your new customers. They enjoyed the experience, got what they needed, and they’ll be back again and again.

Pack Reluctant Readers a Picnic Lunch

One method of selling is to just assume you’ve made the sale and go from there. You jump straight over the close and start treating the prospect as if he’s already a buyer.

It’s sort of the way your parents may have tricked you into doing unpleasant things as a child (like getting you to clean
your room).

Instead of saying, “Today, you’re going to spend the ENTIRE day cleaning your room from top to bottom until it sparkles,” they assumed you were interested in cleaning your room and just needed guidance on what the first step was. They might
have said something like, “Let’s get this basket of toys put away.”

And so, little by little, they led you along until your room was spotless.

With reluctant buyers, a similar approach often works. Instead of offering them three options and inviting them to contact you when they’ve made a decision, just tell them what the next step is.

Get all the necessary groundwork in place for them (like gathering the jumping equipment and packing the lunch), hand it off to them and point them in the direction of the nearest jumping-off place.

Before you cringe at the idea of being a pushy salesperson in your newsletter, consider this: they’re on your newsletter list for a reason.

And, usually, that reason is they want to work with you. All they need are the tools and directions to the next step to get started.

Pack them a lunch and point them in the right direction. Assuming you’ve created plenty of assorted jumps for them to take, they’ll find the one that’s right for them.

And they’ll soon be back for another jump, exhilarated and ready to take that next leap.

Some people get overwhelmed just before making the final decision. Make it easier on them by recognizing that most of your newsletter subscribers are on your list because they *want* to buy from you.

With these three keys for convincing readers to jump, be prepared to watch your *profits* take a flying leap of their

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