This is part of a chapter from my book: “The 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay Marketing.” (McGraw-Hill, 2005)
It applies equally to any Web venture, and to retail dealings, as well. Just ignore the eBay context below, and think about how you can use FAQs to educate customers and close business..
Write FAQs to Improve Your Marketing
eBay item descriptions serve multiple purposes, one of which is to act as a retail sales person. In a traditional retail environment an effective salesperson takes the opportunity to present the product in the most favorable light possible. She calls attention to details, recommends uses for the object and answers questions. On eBay, a Frequently Asked Question section (FAQ) serves the same purpose.
* Dispel fears
* Overcome common objections
* Communicate benefits in the Q&A format
* Clear up nagging questions that don’t fit into selling copy
* Educate less experienced prospects
* Clear up technical concepts
Let’s say you sell those new mini-bikes, the tiny little motorcycles that you see buzzing around suburban neighborhoods.
Buyers have lots of questions about these bikes that need answering before they move forward with bids. Here are just a few:
* Do I need a motorcycle license to drive one of these?
* Are they safe?
* Are riders required to wear a helmet?
* Can a regular motorcycle mechanic work on them?
Imagine how long it would take to answer every question of every prospect via email. An FAQ solves the problem and gives you a new opportunity to stress benefits and reduce resistance. You also spare yourself the loss of a customer who goes to a competitor’s listing to find the answer to their question.
Hint: Only one out of 10 people with a question will take the time to actually email you. So, nine others had the same question but didn’t bother. If you don’t address details and FAQs up front, you’ll most likely lose those nine “invisible” customers.
Many sellers find that FAQs are much easier to write than prose-style text. The whole Q&A process really gets the creative juices flowing.
Once you’ve put together a compelling description for one of your products, you’ve got a boilerplate for other products. Click the “Sell Similar” button (Figure 1) to reuse that description wherever you need it and adjust as necessary.
Figure 1: Sell Similar allows you to easily re-use boilerplate description information
The whole process is not all that daunting – especially when you have so many ways to dive in and so many techniques at your disposal to get the process going. You can:
* Write FAQs
* Estimate value
* Use the bucket brigade
* Link features and benefits
* Zero in on positive factual information
We’ll have more tips and tricks in the Fine Tuning Your Descriptions section ahead, and Chapter 5 goes even deeper into the persuasive approaches that work best on eBay.