Yeah, selling lots of your product and/or being fully booked is nice…
… but what if you want to keep all your stock to yourself?
… And instead of helping people, you’d rather sit and watch Netflix all day?
You follow my top ten tips to guarantee nobody buys your stuff.
Let’s kick things off.
1. Talk about yourself
Speaking directly to your audience is an easy way to capture and keep their attention.
By using ‘you’ and ‘your’ more than ‘us’, ‘we’, and ‘our’, the reader feels like they’re in the centre of the action. The hero of the story.
And when they think this, they’re far more likely to listen to what you’re saying and (heaven forbid) want what you’re selling.
We can’t be having that, so you’re going to talk about yourself non-stop in your copy.
Tell everyone about your values, your vision, your favourite quotes, your childhood and how many years you’ve been in business.
Pro tip / Anti-growth hack – To really turn people off, start sentences with: ‘we are proud to announce’.
2. Ignore customer research
What better way is there to understand what your customers are looking for than by asking them straight? None.
And since we want to make sure nobody buys any of our stuff, we need to know what not to say.
The best questions to better understand your customers are:
- What did you try before finding my service/product?
- What was the one thing that made you say I was for you?
- How did you feel before as opposed to now?
Now, if we wanted people to buy our things, what we’d do is use the answers to plan and write our copy. Since that’s not what we want, we’ll do the opposite!
Do your customers value your late opening hours? F*ck them! Talk about the new coffee machine you just bought instead.
Find out your USP isn’t actually the rubber handles on your ballpoint pens, but rather the fact the ink doesn’t smudge? F*ck them! You spent months sourcing that special Nasa-grade rubber – people should know about it.
Were your customers impressed with the amount of video testimonials on your website? Nice. Now take them all off.
You get the idea.
Speaking of testimonials …
3. Keep your best testimonials to yourself
Hide them all!
Especially the short and snappy ones that focus on one benefit.
If you must post your testimonials, whatever you do, do not include a full name, company, position and photo with it! Doing so will make them far easier to trust and so the likelihood someone will want what you’re selling will go through the roof.
4. Talk in really long sentences
Short sentences and paragraphs make it much easier for your reader to understand what you’re saying.
This isn’t what we want. So go long or go … longer.
Besides, talking in long sentences makes you sound far superior to other folk and as for all this ‘we can’t concentrate on something for long enough’ well that’s a load of tosh if you ask me especially since we can sit and binge watch Netflix for hours on end and then there’s not even mentioning Prime or the other streaming services because as humans we’re actually conditioned, in my opinion, to be able to keep our mind ticking over and engaged for much much much longer than most of these so-called ‘experts’ would have you believe but I must admit that speaking and reading like this does feel like you’re almost out of breath at times (parenthesis do give you some slight relief) but still the post-parenthesis clause feels like when you exhale and have a tiny bit extra to push out before you’ve got nothing left and must stop.
And breeeaaaathhheeeee. That’s better.
That was horrible – perfect for making nobody want to buy your stuff.
5. Use really long, complicated words
The bigger your words, the bigger your brain.
Every big word alienates a % of your audience, so go for big on the big words! The less they understand, the less chance they’ll want to buy your stuff.
Pro sales tip – Using big words that nobody knows is a great way to bullshit your way out of objections. Bamboozle people with your sophisticated vocabulary and run!
6. Give your reader lots of different options
There’s this thing in marketing called the ‘rule of one’:
- One message
- One clear benefit
- One option
- One call to action
Lots of people think giving your reader lots of different options means they’re more likely to pick one of them. In reality, the opposite is true.
The less options your reader has, the more likely they are to act.
If we wanted our readers to buy our stuff, we’d make sure each web page, email and blog had one primary goal and one call to action.
Since that’s not what we want, we’re going to overwhelm our readers with as many options as we can.
- Emails with lots of different links to lots of different products and services
- Landing pages with lots of different call to actions for different things
- Blogs with more than one ‘theme’
- And lists of bullet points that
- Go on
More is better. Got that? Good.
Actually, more is good but nothing is better.
Bear with me a sec.
7. Or don’t give your reader any options at all
The best way to make sure your readers can’t buy your stuff is not to ask them to.
This trick is so simple and so effective.
See, if we wanted people to buy our things, we’d tell them exactly what to do in very clear and direct language.
We’d make the call to actions stand out, too. By using things like hyperlinks and buttons, dotted throughout our copy so that when someone was ready to act, they had an easy way to do it right then and there.
But that’s not what we want. So don’t ever tell your customers to do anything.
No ‘click here’, no ‘buy your ticket here now’, nothing like that.
Let them read over everything and find their own way out.
8. Keep things chilled
One thing we absolutely want to avoid doing is to create any sense of urgency.
People are far more likely to act if they think they’ll miss out on something. FOMO is real and if we wanted to sell our stuff to lots of people, we’d leverage this.
Instead, we want to make it very clear to our reader that there’s no rush. Invite them to go away and think about things for a while.
Encourage them to sleep on it.
That way, life will get in the way and they’ll forget all about wanting to buy your product/service! Perfect! More for us.
9. Break trust
Like I’m about to do right now.
How? I promised you ten top tips, but you’re only getting nine.
Deal with it.
What this’ll make you do is trust me a little less, which is exactly what I want!
You only buy something from someone you trust, so make sure you do everything you can to break any kind of legitimacy.
Here’s another few quick ways to do that:
- Make vague claims
- Exaggerate everything
- When giving figures, make them nice round numbers
- Hide any helpful explainer videos you have
- Don’t show any personality in your writing
- Thinking about giving a guarantee? Forget about it
They’re all really easy ways to make sure your customer doesn’t trust a word you say – an essential ingredient when cooking up a plan to make sure nobody ever buys your stuff.
And that’s it
Following all the above advice will surely mean nobody will buy your stuff.
Doing the exact opposite will have the opposite effect. So if you ever have a change of heart and want a fully booked diary / sold out of stock, come back to this list and contradict everything we’ve went through.
This is the point in the blog where I’d usually ask you to sign up to my mailing list. I’d say pop your email in the box below, but we won’t do that.
No ask = No action.