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         By Bob McElwain

The long and short of it is: Everything. Your business may succeed or fail depending upon this definition.

Your website is created with great care to fit the needs, hopes, and dreams of your Perfect Customer. Every word on every page is written for this person to read. As you prepare a newsletter, write an article, or put together a product comparison, every step is dictated by who your Perfect Customer is. By what he or she wants or needs.

Why So?

The answer is incredibly simple. You can't please everybody. It's flat impossible. The same holds for anything you write. Your copy will never satisfy all.

A sales person face-to-face with a customer, can adjust his or her thinking quickly in response to even a simple question. This isn't possible on the Web. Even though technologies are coming that provide an enormous degree of personalization through a website, they will not be able to provide the subtle changes of direction experienced sales people make routinely.

Our Only Hope

On the Web, the solution is to talk specifically, one-on-one with our Perfect Customer. He or she stands beside us as we develop material. We look up now and then and ask if that last point was clear. Ask if further explanation might help. And we "listen" to the answers. For this is the person we are selling to. Make this sale, and we'll make others. Strike out, and we may as well close up shop.

Why It Works

In a word, authenticity. If I speak on my website as I would speak to you face-to-face, every fiber of my being is devoted to communicating with you. Not to all of my visitors. Not even to most of them. Only to you, for you are the only one who matters.

In this I indirectly share my values and attitudes in all I say. The way I feel about my product shines through in positive fashion. You recognize that I believe in it, and that I believe it will work for you. As you read, you will nod with approval, and continue.

Everything said I believe is true. I can't lie in a face-to-face encounter and get away with it. Yes, I know many can, but I can't. And chances are you can't either.

If I do my part correctly, we will have communicated to precisely the depth you wanted. You will be content with the input received. Even though the buy decision is likely to be made emotionally, your position will prove reasonable for I have provided the information you need.

An Aside: Experienced sales people can wrap their minds around most any product, take a firm grip on who the Perfect Customer is for it, and sell it effectively. It is not a matter of lying or con. It's only a matter of understanding what is required to sell. For those new to selling, adapting the approach suggested above will be far more effective.

Authenticity Matters

Others who read my words are not you. But the magic in this
approach is that they will come away with much the same conclusion you did. Because my conversation with you resonates with authenticity. That is, it rings true. It will also ring true for others within my target.

Yet if I try to speak to the whole of my target, as a politician might in speaking to a crowd, I will satisfy the needs of only a few, if any. It will not be possible for my words to ring true for all or even most of the group. At least not with the clarity I can manage when speaking specifically to you.

While your Perfect Customer exists only in your mind, he or she is as representative of your target as possible. The one person who most typifies every individual within it.

Always talk specifically to this person. Invite he or she to
contribute as you develop material. Ask questions. "Listen" to the responses. And act accordingly.

    (Abstracted from "Your Path To Success" by Bob McElwain


Bob McElwain, Affordable, Personalized, Professional Support; Author of "Secrets To A Really Successful Website."
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