A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to talk to three female friends of mine. Most of the conversations centered on typical life updates, but we eventually landed on relationships. As soon as we hit the topic, all three asked me about my “love language.”
I had no idea what they were talking about, but given the trend in our conversations, I decided to Google it.
In case you didn’t know either, let me enlighten you…
The 5 Love Languages are specific ways a person needs to be communicated with in order to feel loved. Author Gary Chapman enumerates them as:
- Quality time
- Acts of service
Which ones make you feel loved? (If you’re not receiving any of the five from your partner, consider showing them this article or perhaps serving divorce papers.)
Now consider that your partner might prefer “speaking” a completely different kind of love language. You might be giving her gifts when she wants more deep conversations. Or, you might be talking to him when he wants to be touched.
As happy as I am to save a few marriages and possibly end a couple, my real reason for sharing this is money.
Yep, the 5 Love Languages have application in the business world, too. You see, all of your customers have a “Buy Language.” Your sales suffer when you don’t use it.
When you speak the right language to your customers, they feel understood. They believe that you have the answers to their problems and are aligned with their preferences. You protect your business against competition because your customers feel like you’re the only one that “gets” them and, therefore, can help them.
When you fail to speak their “Buy Language,” your potential customers automatically “de-register” you from their minds. They don’t ignore you because they don’t need to. You simply cease to exist for them. And you don’t get a penny of their money.
Now that you know the stakes, here’s how to discover and speak your customers’ “Buy Language.”
Research their pain
All purchases are meant to resolve some sort of pain, even if it’s boredom. Do not make assumptions as to what that pain is.
Case in point: Many marketers in the bodybuilding niche went broke because they assumed lack of health was a pain point for would-be bodybuilders. Not so. Instead, the pain—and we’re not making a judgment here—is a fear of rejection by women and self-hate of their own bodies.
In fact, customers in the bodybuilding niche will joyfully sacrifice their health to add another inch to their biceps. Ask any of the guys who’ve injected Synthol into their arms to blow them up like water balloons. They’re running away from some serious pain.
So address it. Don’t shy away from it.
Research their biases
I’ve had many conversations over the years with a man who’s taken a nutritional supplement company from around $15,000,000 a year to $40,000,000 a year in 24 months. That upward trajectory is still going strong.
Now, it’s important to know that this business’s average customer is aged 50 or older—a demographic that values organic and natural products far less than Millennials. Still, you’d think anyone who purchases a nutritional supplement wants a natural remedy, right? Wrong. When it comes to certain categories of product (and a certain demographic), your sales increase when your marketing emphasizes that your product is anything but natural. Counterintuitive? Yes… if you’re stuck speaking your “Buy Language” and not your customer’s.
Discover their biases. What are their unshakable beliefs about your product category? That faster is better? That only an older spokesperson is trustworthy? Don’t fight or ignore these biases. Roll with them. Harness them.
Use the form of media they prefer to buy from
The key word is “buy.” People may waste their lives on Facebook, but that doesn’t justify you doing the same. Use a form of media only if it’s proven to get your ideal customer to purchase your product. You might be surprised what these media turn out to be.
While your competitors send boring, chirpy emails to their customers, you might send a printed letter—and get 10X more response.
Pay attention to the medium. It matters.
Watch your competition
If your competitor down the street is constantly running radio ads and their lobby is packed with customers, make a note. If they use down-to-earth language and you appear stuffy and clinical, consider changing your copy. Be aware of what works, and don’t be afraid of using it—you don’t have to be 100% unique.
Spend time with your customers
This is, by far, the most powerful strategy you can use to learn your customers’ “Buy Language.” It’s also the one you’re least likely to use.
Why? Well, it’s not the easiest thing for a shy introvert (like me). Reading data behind your computer screen is easier than hitting the street. And it’s easy to justify your distance: Your customer base probably doesn’t have much in common with you, you’re too busy, your job is copywriting not schmoozing, etc.
But this “chasm of personality difference” is exactly why you need to listen to your customers. You’ll pick things up that surprise you. You’ll relate to them more, which is how you can forge a relationship.
Several weeks ago, my therapist told me, “Relationships live or die based on subtleties.” Those subtleties are so often revealed through in-person engagement.
Whatever your product or service, you won’t get anywhere with customers until you learn to speak their “Buy Language.” Get to know them, recognize their pain points, and become a trusted friend—someone they can come to in need.
If you manage this relationship well, their loyalty will mean big dollars for you and a rolling flow of referrals in a booming business.
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