What’s going on in your prospect’s head?

By  •  Updated: 10/22/15 •  5 min read


Hi, this is Stephen Pratley, and this is the Automatic Business show.

Today I want to talk to you about something that’s going to help your copy, your landing page copy, your email writing, and any other communication that you’re doing with your customers. It’s about looking for words that these people have already got in their heads and that they’re looking for solutions.

Some of you might have heard of this in search marketing. The most effective adverts are the ones which contain the thing that somebody’s looking for.

So, if somebody’s looking for a men’s black suit, they’re the ones that are going to click on the paid search ads that say “men’s black suits”, and the rest of the copy is largely irrelevant. They’re looking for somebody that offers exactly what they’re looking for.

You can use this in other scenarios as well. The one I want to talk to you about today is using it at live events like trade shows.

A lot of time when I go to trade shows I’ve seen people from the stands stepping out in front of people saying things like “hi, how are you?”, “are you having a good day?”, “can I help you?”. All of these questions are nice and polite, but they don’t really help anybody get to what they’re doing. If you go to a trade show, you’ve taken time out, you’ve taken the time to travel, you’ve taken the time away from the office, you’re probably looking for something specific. Even if you’re not looking for something specific, if you’re looking just for what’s the next big thing, I’m trying to keep up with things that might be useful for my career, there’s still a reason for you being there.

So, this is one little tip that could really help you. We used it in all our trade show stands and it literally stopped 9 out of 10 people who were walking down the aisles in front of us with no feelings of pushiness or no feelings of being the guy that’s in their face all the time but just somebody that’s being helpful to them.

The magic sentence is what are you looking for at the show today. That’s it, what are you looking for at the show today. Everybody’s looking for something. It’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask. You’re not asking them to divulge any particularly confidential or uncomfortable facts. Everybody’s looking.

The reason why it works so well is that people tend to have that one thing up in their head already. They’re looking and trying to find a match between that and what’s on the trade show stand. Take an example. We used to exhibit at a lot of shows for ecommerce retailers. We would provide website design and marketing campaigns. People would tend to be looking for something very specific, for example, email marketing campaigns. They’d have the words email marketing, email marketing ticking over in their head. They’d look down each of the stands. They’d be looking for that. They weren’t looking for payment processes. They weren’t looking for Magento website developers. They were just looking for anything that had email marketing on it. We would have that on our stand as one of the services we offered, but quite often people would miss that in the morass of other stuff they would see all day long. When we said “what are you looking for at the show today?” those words would just pop out;

“email marketing stuff”,

…and then we would be able to help them.

Even if you can’t help them, you’ve got some kind of idea about what they’re looking for. There might be a related service you’re looking for or there might be some way you can help them. Otherwise, you might actually be able to refer them off to somebody else who you know, and that’s helpful in itself. You’re showing yourself as being a helpful and useful person that isn’t just there to sell them on your own solutions. We would do that a lot. We would get people coming over from other stands saying oh hey, thanks for sending those guys over, how come you sent them to us. We’d just say that’s cool, tell them what we did, and we’d have built up a set of referrals.

Those little words in that customer’s head. If you can find a question that will bring those out and get them to respond to you, they’re incredibly powerful.

That works in a live environment. That works in a trade show. Even though we managed to stop loads of the people going past our stand, the reality is that maybe 20% at best of those would be looking for things that we had. And the less focused the event you’re at, the smaller that number’s going to be.

What it will do is you’ll get to see the kind of words that people use when they’re describing your services.

I had somebody that said “I’m looking for EDM“.

I didn’t know what that was.

It turned out it meant Electronic Direct Mail, which in our world is “email marketing”.  So, that’s another word that we can use in a search ad. We can have a landing page for that. All those people are looking for this weird acronym of EDM and aren’t finding it somewhere else, {because to me it’s not a real thing}, all the sudden they can find us. It’s a really good way of finding out the language that people use to describe the kind of services that you’re involved in.

Just think about that.

“What are you looking for?”

How can I help you and what are you looking for will really help uncover and get those words out. They’re already in people’s heads. You just have to move them from their head to their mouth, and then you can help them.

Stephen Pratley

I build email lists, that grow into one-man businesses.