It’s a fact.
Most home improvement sales copy is filled with nothing but generalities and platitudes. It gives no real reason why a prospect would want to take the next step. It’s usually cliché. It’s “filler”. In fact, more often than not, it does nothing to a prospect down the sales path.
To illustrate my point I randomly did a search for remodeling companies in my area.
Within minutes I had 3 prime examples of typical cliché phrases that are wasting your prospects time and killing the effectiveness of your marketing. (Actually I had 10 examples, but who has the time?) These were my favorites:
“The Area’s Most Trusted Remodeling Company”
Wow, that’s a pretty bold claim. The MOST Trusted. Okay, by whom…by what measure? Who says so, your mom?
Broad generalities like this carry absolutely no impact on your prospect because they are so general. Come on, do you really expect a prospect to believe that?
A better way to convey this point may be to add social proof to the claim: For ex:
253 Reston residents have trusted us with their projects –
we’ll be happy to give you the list.
Where did I get the 253 number? That’s from the actually # of projects you did in the area you’re targeting. Plus it’s specific. (The psychology of this is simple: Folks tend to believe specifics.)
The other element that makes this believable is that you can back up the claim with evidence. In other words, “we’re not making this up”.
“We Do It Right The First Time”
This is so common it’s laughable.
You want to know what a prospect is thinking when they see this beauty?
“Well, I would HOPE so!”
It’s like a carpet cleaning company saying: “Your rugs will be cleaner when we’re done.”
Something like this conveys the same idea and is much more powerful:
Our 113 step pre-project planning checklist documents all the details of your project before the first hammer swings with daily project inspections ensures that your project will be completed as planned.
(Again, note the use of a specific number.)
“A Proven Provider of Successful Home Improvement Projects”
Hand to God, I’m not making this up. It’s out there.
Okay, here’s my issue with this statement and statements like this: Who TALKS like this? Nobody. Certainly no one I know when they’re taking about a remodeling project.
This is what I call Marketing Speak and it usually comes from inexperienced or down right LAZY copy writers who are just trying to fill your webpage with words so they turn to over used clichés that mean nothing to a prospect.
Lesson Here: Write like people talk. Specifically; how your prospect talks. It adds a personal touch, sets you apart from most of your competitors and helps build your brand.
Again, here’s the psychology behind this. When someone is reading your copy, they’re hearing it their head, in their voice. Odd, cliché, out of place phrases break up their natural flow and the message gets lost.
Before you read further, I want you to open up your home page.
I can safely say that most of the marketing I see and review, for the most part, says or sounds just like everything else that’s out there.
We’ve all seen it and, to be honest, we’ve all been guilty of it. Some more than others, myself included.
- “Quality Service…”
- “Satisfaction Guaranteed…”
- “Excellent References…”
I could go on and on.
Okay, you have your home page up?
I call this the Scratch Out/Write-In Test. (I picked this up about 12 years ago and it really makes my point).
- Look at your home page.
- Now replace your company name with a competitor’s name and honestly ask yourself this one simple question: Is most of the information on that homepage still valid?
If you’re like a majority of the folks that take :30 seconds to do this simple test, you see that, yes, indeed, a lot, if not most of your message can apply to a competitor.
If you can honestly say “no”… well consider yourself in the top 1% and you probably have a boat docked in Aruba.
Today’s Lesson: You want to know why so many of your prospects default to price? You’re looking at it.
You probably spend a lot of time, effort, money, and frustration on driving people to your site or creating sales materials or developing other marketing.
Yet, once they find you, your marketing/sales messages give them no real compelling reason to pick your company from the next one. You’re pretty much giving the prospect the same, watered down, message so, in the prospect’s mind, you all must be pretty much the same.
You’ve given them no reason NOT to compare by price because, according to your own admission, what you’re telling them is really no different than what the other guy is telling them.
You’ve given them no real criteria to evaluate the value of your company.
My Two Cents
Patrick Walsh – The Contractor’s Copywriter.