One of the key factors in getting a customer to buy (literally) into what you’re selling is engagement. You must engage their minds, engage their desires, engage their dreams, and engage their hearts. That being said, the next and most obvious question is “how?”

Part of any sales process is how the potential customer learns about your product and how valuable it can be to them. People learn in a variety of ways, and approaching the wrong person with the wrong delivery method equals zero results. Think back to a time when you dealt with a good sales person. Do you remember his body language? His facial expressions? The volume and tone of his voice? A good sales person understands that to keep you focused on what she’s selling, she also needs to use visual expressions, hand gestures, a positive tone, and eye contact. Any distraction can mean the end of the sales process.

For customers to get the most out of your Web site, e-book, or software, you need to deliver the information to them in the most engaging possible way. Multiple forms of information delivery give you the best possible chance of appealing to the widest audience.

So how do people learn and how can this benefit you and your business? There are three different types of learning:

• Auditory. People with an auditory learning style have a strong appreciation of words and remember details easily. Emotive language and words that paint pictures and bring out the passion in your product will be most effective with this type of person. Both audio and video are very effective for auditory learners, as is reading the material aloud.

• Visual. Presentation is critical to visual learners. Shabbily presented text, typos, bad grammar, bad graphics, or anything moderately confusing to look at will cause the visual learner to lose interest almost immediately. Charts and diagrams will be remembered before reams of plain text. Watching somebody actually perform the steps involved can be very beneficial. Words can be used to paint a picture in the minds of a visual learner quite easily. If a visual learner were to read the words “pink elephant,” he’d instantly picture a pink elephant in his mind. Some of you reading this have just experienced this.

• Tactile/Kinesthetic. These types learn by practicing what they’ve just been shown. You can spot kinesthetic learners from their tendency to tap their feet or exhibit similar movement while thinking or in learning mode. A kinesthetic learner is a hands-on learner, so spreading practical demonstrations or exercises around your e-book or software product will really grab this type of learner. Kinesthetic or tactile learners need to be involved in the process for it to have any meaning to them.

What does this all mean? It means online businesses are missing 66.6 percent of their potential market every time they produce a product that only targets one learning style. Auditory learners can’t wade through 300 pages of an e-book but would gladly listen to a six-hour audio transcription of the same e-book. Visual learners need colorful charts, diagrams, and pictures properly displayed to benefit from the experience.Kinesthetic learners need to be engaged quickly with practical exercises—the “put the e-book down and go and do this” type of activity. If not, they’ll grow bored and move onto something else.

Is it possible to combine all these learning styles into one single product? Of course. You don’t need to develop an entirely different product for each learning style. Combining your e-book or software with some audio and video instruction modules or beginners guides would cover all the learning style bases. Variety of information delivery is the key.

As a last incentive to encourage you to take action, ask yourself one question: what would a 66.6 percent increase in customer response do for your business? IBI