Originally published in MarketingProfs on 4/8/20

What is a Compelling Reason to Buy

A Compelling Reason to Buy is NOT an elevator pitch (although it should be). Sales knows an elevator pitch as explaining what the product does. A Compelling Reason to Buy explains the benefit to the target audience that they will realize with your product. And just as the name implies, it is a much more compelling way to capture interest.

The concepts behind a Compelling Reason to Buy can be found in Geoffrey Moore’s product development and marketing standard, Crossing the Chasm. In working with companies from startups that need go-to-market messaging to enterprises that have lost their focus, I’ve simplified the concepts to create an easy exercise that I use with clients. This exercise ensures that any messaging I create is going to help capture the attention of the target audience.

Why you need a Compelling Reason to Buy

Without a Compelling Reason to Buy, a potential buyer is left having to try to make sense of what your product does and how it can help solve their problems. In our busy world, this takes too much work and will often result in missed opportunities because the prospect doesn’t have the time, nor the right information to connect the dots. You need to do the work for them and make it crystal clear how your solution can make a positive impact on their day-to-day life.

For many companies, this is a matter of putting themselves in the shoes of the buyer, figuring out their burning problems and matching up your solution to how it solves those pains. For some startups, this is a much more critical exercise in determining if your product can sell. You can’t make a business a success if your solution is a “nice to have”. If you are a startup founder or someone looking to work at a startup, make sure there is a Compelling Reason to Buy that matches up to a burning pain that makes companies reallocate their budgets.

How to create a Compelling Reason to Buy

To determine the Compelling Reason to Buy answer the following seven questions with sales and subject matter experts. Better yet, talk to some target buyers first to make sure you understand their pains. Next, discuss and come to agreement on the answers, keeping them as precise as possible.

  1. Who are your target buying personas? (see example
  2. What is their pain?
  3. What is your solution to solve that pain?
  4. What value does it bring to the buyer?
  5. What is the status quo?
  6. What does your solution do to change the status quo?
  7. What are the results?

Once you have your answers, put it all together in a few powerful sentences to make a compelling case for your product. Here is an example of how this can come together:

  • For [insert target buyer title]
  • Who have [insert key pain/problem]
  • Our solution is [say what solution does – NOT product names]
  • That [say benefits of how it solves pain – significantly reduces X, eliminates Y, provides Z].
  • Unlike the status quo which is [list problems with current solution],
  • We provide [list how your solution is different from the status quo]
  • That results in [state ROI, cost savings, time savings – give quantities where possible!].

Can I have more than one Compelling Reason to Buy?

If you are a small company, one Compelling Reason to Buy will likely be your narrow focus. Whereas a larger company may have multiple target buyers and Compelling Reasons to Buy for each product line. The key here is to only utilize those Compelling Reasons to Buy that are actually compelling. Test them out with sales and prospects and make sure they lead to opportunities before utilizing them for go-to-market messaging. 

Come on content marketers, get compelling!

As content marketers, our goal is to create compelling content that captures the attention of target buyers and helps move them to purchase. The Compelling Reason to Buy is a great foundation for content because it keeps you focused on your target audience, their pains and how you bring them value. This is what they care about. Unless you are in an established product category, prospects aren’t looking for you. So you need to get out front and let them know how you can ease their burdens. 

I promise this works! I’ve used it with almost all of my B2B clients — both to get content projects started or to reject working with them because they lacked a Compelling Reason to Buy. Because let’s face it, content shouldn’t be created unless it can drive revenue. So take a little time and find your Compelling Reason to Buy, then go create some incredibly effective content!