Employee benefits professional Mel Schlesinger believes in the power of four little words. Writing in Employee Benefit Advisor, Schlesinger recommends a simple technique: After a prospect or client has agreed to move forward with a purchase, adding an "Oh, by the way…" to describe an add-on service or product feature can make a big difference in sales.
As a professional ghost blogger and blog trainer, I’m always talking about focus. Each blog post needs to emphasize and illustrate one – and, ideally, only one – key concept. That said, can business bloggers use Schlesinger’s four little word idea? Make that a definite "yes".
- For a dental office blog post with information about veneers, an OBTW might say, "For a list of foods that can discolor new veneers, click here."
- For a travel agency blog post about packing smart, an OBTW might say "Don’t forget trip insurance."
You can lead to your By The Way item with a link to another page, an offer of a down-loadable white paper, or simply tell readers to watch for information on that other product or service in your next blog post.
The beauty of the OBTW technique, Schlesinger points out, is in its simplicity. "If you try to discuss the second product during the presentation of your proposal, you risk clouding the issue and having the entire proposal ignored…By adding an ‘Oh, by the way’ after the decision has been made to move forward with you, you make it a very simple decision for the prospect."
Keeping the primary focus is even more important in blogs, because online searchers tend to be scanners rather than readers. The truth is, many will not ever get far enough into your post to even notice the OBTW part.
For those who do, though, you can use the four little words to let them know you have lots more helpful information, products, and services to fill their needs.