The “Jamie Oliver” Guide to Motivating Scientific Buyers: 5 Steps for Moving People Through Your Sales Cycle to a Buying Decision

I recently bought a Jamie Oliver cookbook, called “5 Ingredients.”

And I’ve been using it for the past few weeks to whip up some pretty decent meals (if I say so myself). 

As the title suggests, the whole point of the book is that each recipe only has 5 ingredients. Which makes it ideal for cooking newbs like myself. The last dish I made was a creamy mushroom chicken that tasted surprisingly delicious given that it was my first time making it.

But that’s what a great recipe is supposed to do, right? It’s supposed to help you create an enjoyable meal as easily and as quickly as possible. 


Well… you can motivate scientific buyers the same way

No, not with chicken. But with a great marketing “recipe”. 

An example of a great “recipe” is what’s known as “the motivating sequence” in some copywriting circles. And it can be used in any piece of marketing content you put out to guide people through that content to the end. And motivate them to take the next step in your sales cycle. This recipe grabs your prospect’s attention and entices them to keep reading so they take that next step. 

So what does this motivating sequence consist of?


It has five basic steps. 

These are:

-Gain attention

-Highlight the problem or need

-Position your solution

-Prove what you’re saying is true

-Ask your reader to take the next step (call-to-action).

Hmmm, it’s already starting to look like a delicious recipe… also with only five ingredients. So… let’s start with the first ingredient (er… step) in our motivating sequence. (I promise, no more food analogies from here on).


The first step is gaining attention

You gain attention through your headline… which can be the first few seconds of a video, the title of a white paper, an email subject line, the headline in an ad, etc.  

It goes without saying that your headline needs to entice people to read the rest of the copy. Otherwise you’ve just wasted your time. So you need to write good headlines. 


And the fastest way to write a great headline is to include a benefit 

This might be to save time, improve productivity, save money, get things done faster, comply with regulations more easily, improve sales, get published faster, etc. You could also highlight a problem in your headline. This works because the human brain is wired to respond to problems. 

Want an example of a “benefit-oriented” headline? How about this white paper title:

Increasing Solar Cell Conversion Efficiency using Silicon Thin Film Technology: A Resource Guide for Solar Quality Control Managers

Get it? Ok then… let’s move onto the second step.


…which is to highlight the problem 

The first two steps (headline and problem) often blend together. What I mean here is a well-written lead (the opening sentence or paragraph of your copy), like a great headline, will also gain the attention of your readers. 

And like the headline, you need to spend a lot of time writing the lead. One of the best ways to write a great lead is to focus on the main problem that your solution helps to solve. 


Of course, there are other ways to write a compelling lead

But my advice is to focus on the problem. This is the easiest way to do it and it’s guaranteed to get your reader nodding along and interested in learning more. And if you decide to open your copy with another technique, make sure you still highlight the problem after the opening paragraph.

Now what was step 3 again? Oh yeah..


Step 3 is positioning your solution

Now is the time to introduce your solution as the best way to solve your prospect’s problem (which you highlighted in step 2). Specifically, you want to tell your readers what your solution is, how it works, the features and benefits, and its advantages when compared to the competition. 

The best way to give the features and benefits is to provide a list of bullet points. Now, scientific buyers respond best to features… so it’s vital that you include all the features in your copy. Don’t leave anything out. 


But, here’s a big mistake that’s often made… 

That mistake is forgetting about the benefits. State the feature first and then state the benefit your reader gets because of this feature. Sometimes called the “what… so what” technique or the “cause and effect” technique, this ensures your reader gets all the info required. 


Ok nearly there… onto step 4

Scientific buyers are a skeptical bunch – more skeptical than your average buyer. It comes with the job. So you need to back up what you’re saying with proof… and lots of it. There are various ways of doing this through what some copywriters call ‘belief builders’. 

These might be testimonials, verifiable facts, hard specifics, case studies, customer quotations, product reviews from third parties, credentials, proven track record, academic papers etc.


Testimonials from previous customers are probably the best way to show proof 

But depending on what content type you’re writing, you can include other forms. In a white paper (where you have more room), you could include one or two case studies of how the technology solved a very specific problem for someone else.

And finally…


Step number 5 is telling them what to do next

A call-to-action tells your readers what they need to do after reading or watching your marketing content. You don’t want to go to the trouble of creating a marketing piece, only to have your readers do nothing at the end. 

Now, there are bad calls-to-action and good calls-to-action. An effective call-to-action is made up of 3 parts: the how, the why, and the what. Simply put, the call-to-action tells scientific buyers exactly what you want them to do, how they should do it, and why they should do it.


Here’s an example:

“Visit www.ABCSolar.com/solution right now for your FREE copy of the white paper:

Increasing Solar Cell Conversion Efficiency using Silicon Thin Film Technology: A Resource Guide for Solar Quality Control Managers

You’ll learn about a remarkably cost-effective solar-cell technology that is saving companies in your industry 10% on their annual energy costs.”


Let’s bring this all together with a quick example:

Your headline gains the attention of your prospects (step 1). After clicking on the headline, the prospect is taken to a landing page. This explains the problem and the difficulties it imposes.  This is highlighting the problem (step 2). 

The landing page then offers a free white paper explaining how a particular technology solves the problem. This is positioning a solution (step 3). The skepticism of the reader is overcome when they read the testimonials given by your previous customers. This is the proof (step 4). The end of the page asks the reader to fill out a form and download the white paper. This is the call-to-action (step 5) that has them take the next step.

And guess what? The white paper itself will follow the exact same sequence. 


You see how this whole thing works?

The five steps to writing any piece of persuasive content that moves your reader to take action are:

-Gain attention

-Highlight the problem

-Position your solution

-Proove what you’re saying is true

-Ask your reader to take the next step

The motivating sequence is just like a great recipe – guaranteed to give you a terrific result every time. Jamie Oliver would be proud.