Friday, August 6, 2010

In Sales, Tell Customers What you Want Them to Do

An understood "rule" of sales is that if you want the customer to do something, you first need to tell them.  For example, if you want customers to call your phone number after seeing it in a yellow pages ad, you should say, "Call Now," next to the phone number.  If you want customers to order 3 or more of something, you should tell them that the price is discounted if they buy more than 3 items.  It you want customer referrals, you ask for the referral and if you want customers to visit your website, you say something like, "visit us online at www.whatever.com."  You should never take it for granted that customers know what they're supposed to do next.  Some people will see your ad and automatically connect the dots and call you or visit your website.  Those people will get to your website and make a purchase.  Others may need a little help connecting the dots with some friendly persuasion.  For those people, you say things like, "call now" or "visit us online at. . .".  If you want something, ask for it.  If you want someone to do something, tell them what you want.  This works and for that reason, it is a well understood sales principle.

HOWEVER, this is not the case with google ads.  I learned recently that you CAN NOT tell your prospective customers to "click the ads".  You can not say this in anyway whatsoever.  Those ads basically have to sell themselves.  I received a friendly message from google and the majority of it is below.  Take a look.

Publishers are not permitted to encourage users to click on Google ads or bring excessive attention to ad units. For example, your site cannot contain phrases such as "click the ads," "support our sponsors," "visit these recommended links," or other similar language that could refer to the Google ads on your site. Please make any necessary changes to your web pages in the next 72 hours. . . If you choose not to make the changes to your account within the next three days, your account will remain active but you will no longer be able to display ads on the site. Please note, however, that we may disable your account if further violations are found in the future.

So basically, advertisers want you to click on the ads.  They are willing to pay  me when you click on the ads.  But, they do not want me to tell you to click on the ads.  You just need to figure that out on your own.  I understand the rationale for not wanting me to tell you to click on the ads.  They want people who are genuinely interested in what is offered in the web sites that you click on.  These advertisers have another huge responsibility once you click on the ads however.  THEY HAVE TO SELL YOU ON THEIR PRODUCT OR SERVICE.  They have to close the deal.  My job is to provide a way for you to get to their site and their job is to make a compelling offer to you that you will find hard to refuse.  They're already qualifying you as a potential buyer by placing ads on my site that are somewhat relevant to my blog's topics.  That's a great idea!  Knowing that I have qualified viewers on the blog page where I'm advertising, I would want me to tell you to click on the ads because I would want the opportunity to make you an offer that you can't refuse.

With all of that said, Google's ad policies are what they are and bloggers like myself must adhere to them.  So, in the future, I won't be telling you to click on the ads.  Instead, you'll just have to see them and do whatever you feel compelled to do.  Regardless, don't forget the very well understood principle in sales:  tell customers what you want them to do if you want them to do what you want.

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