A Consumer’s Guide is a publication (paper or electronic) which gives the potential user of a product or service all the information needed to make the best decision about purchasing that product or service.
So, how do you create one for your product or service? In this post we will discuss the skeleton of an AWESOME Consumer’s Guide…
What is the first question a potential client almost always asks? If your experience is anything like mine (and most people who sell any kind of product or service) it is: “How much does it cost?”
As a consumer myself, I totally understand the question about price, but do you know why that is inevitably the first question? It is the first question because they don’t know anything else to ask.
The potential client has not done enough research to know what the right questions are in order to be able to make an informed decision. They are likely insecure or even scared that they will be taken advantage of or made to look stupid. It is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to give clients the education they need in order to make an informed decision!
Through the process laid out in this guide, your future clients will have all of the necessary education in order to make an informed decision about buying your product and/or service.
In the introduction you want to enter the conversation that the prospective clients are already having in their own head about the product/service you are offering. You want to use this paragraph to grab their attention and compel them to continue reading.
Tell them what you are going to tell them. Use words like reveal, discover, easy, free, new, proven, introducing, guarantee, last chance, etc. Your goal should be to create urgency as well as keep them reading… Also, give them an outline of what is in the guide. If you do a good job on each section, the headline copy will work for itself…
Every industry have common frauds that the ‘bad guys use’ to lure un-expecting people to be tricked. The number doesn’t matter as long as they actually apply to the product/service you are writing about. Don’t include things just to make your guide longer. Remember, you want this guide to be THE go to resource for your potential clients.
A good way to find some frauds and myths in your industry is to check BBB reports, website reviews, and other consumer report agencies with complaints from customers about other companies who also do work in your industry.
Be sure to explain the details of each fraud and what to look out for. Then tell the reader how your company separates itself from others who sell similar products/services.
Just like in the fraud category, the number doesn’t matter. If you have one, make sure it is good. If you have 15, if they are true and interesting, clients will read on…
Obviously myths are untrue. A lot of times, they were true at one point or they have just been passed down as truth even though they have never been true. Explain why it is only a myth. Give examples from your experience where a myth was disproved.
Which Product/Method/Service/Experience is the best for you?
Include different options that exist in your industry to accomplish some of the same benefits as your product/service and tell why you think they are/are not beneficial options.
Remember, since you believe your method is the best, you are steering the reader to agree with you that you are the ONLY person who can give them everything they need.
But be honest. If you do not offer a product/service for a specific instance, tell the client up front. They will respect your honesty and will likely do business with you anyway and will be much more likely to refer you!
Common Mistakes to avoid when choosing…
These mistakes are a compilation of this reasons why people choose to buy a product/service from a particular company. While the reasons may be valid sometimes, they will most likely not take all of the pertinent information into account. Make sure your prospective client understands that they need to use all of the information provided to them to make the best decision possible.
Mistake decisions may be based on equipment only, price only, how good the guarantee it, or not taking testimonials into account.
Value vs Price
In this section it should be your goal to help your prospective client discover that while price is important, it is more important to receive more value than what they are paying for.
Remember that even if “everyone” in the industry uses a particular process, it is likely new to your client because they have never seen or experienced it before. For example, an apple orchard may say that each of their apples is hand picked! Now, to those in the apple orchard industry, you know that all apples are hand picked. There has not been an effective way to mechanize the picking of apples. However, by stating that they are hand picked it speaks to the quality of the process that goes into making sure the client receives only the best apples from the orchard. NEVER take for granted what you know! Just because it is common knowledge to you, does not mean that it is common knowledge to your client.
Call to Action
In this section you want to guide the prospective client toward the experience they desire through the education that you have provided thus far in your Consumer’s Guide. It is important to really think about which path the client needs to take after reading this information to get them to purchase from your company.
If you have been able to display the information in a way that has truly positioned yourself as THE expert, just tell them what to do. They will know that you know what you are doing. And people want to be led.
Have a section in the call to action that reads something like, “7 Questions to Ask Your (Insert Product/Service) Professional BEFORE Purchasing Your Solution”. Of course, your company may be the ONLY company that will answer all of those questions correctly
A great way to conclude your Consumer is to provide testimonials from your clients, which reveal that your company provides the products and/or services required to achieve the reader’s goals. If at all possible include the contact information for the people who have provided these testimonials.
The Components of a great testimonial:
- Client’s Name, phone number, email address. This will ensure that you have not just included a testimonial that was made up. It will build a lot of credibility for you company if the client who gave the testimonial is willing to talk personally to other prospective clients.
- Reveals the benefits that the client received from purchasing from your company. Sometimes people confuse benefits with features. Features are things that the company does, while benefits are what the client gets as a result of the features. What is ONE thing that your company absolutely does better than everyone else!
- Relates the clients desire to continue a relationship with your company.
Be sure to include your contact information, because now YOU ARE THE EXPERT the reader trusts!