As we are discovering "why?" is one of the most powerful questions we can ask. Not only in terms of problem solving, but also for motivating and influencing our customers and prospects. 

When we can convince our prospects as to why they should buy from us, and take them on an emotional journey to get there, we are in a far greater position to make the sale. 

But what emotions should you appeal to and where do you start? In my experience here are the top three selling emotions and how to use them. 

1. Discontentment

To move quickly, people need to experience discontentment with their current situation. As much as we want to move towards pleasure, we are far more motivated to move away from pain. Just think about it if we were all motivated by pleasure, we'd all have what we want, or be well on the way to getting what we want. 

The purpose of using discontentment is to create a need or desire in the mind of your prospect. Discomfort can come from many different emotions including frustration, envy, resentment, regret, guilt and even fear to name a few. You might find yourself appealing to current emotions or the possibility of them experiencing them in the future by taking prospects to the 'worst case scenario' (think life insurance for instance). 

When you can demonstrate their pain and frustration or potential or pain and frustration, you start to make your prospect discontent.  If you can make them uncomfortable and then show them a way to be more comfortable than they have ever been, you have increased your chances of making the sale. 

A word of warning: When you are appealing to emotions, particularly strong, negative emotions tread carefully and sensitively. You need to make sure the feeling is about one specific area that you can move your prospect out of quickly to not leave those feelings associated with your brand. 

2. Hope

Hope is a powerful emotion. It can motivate us to act completely out of our comfort zone and do some crazy things for the potential of a reward. 

Once your prospect is discontent, give them hope that there is a way out. If discontent is your 'worst case scenario' then hope is your 'what if...' scenario. 

A word of warning: Hope is where expectations are made. While you do need to build up your 'what if...' scenario, don't build it up to a point where they could experience disappointment if they buy from you. 

3. Excitement

Now your prospect has hope it's time to build excitement. Excitement motivates us to move forward, and it also ensures that whatever we are excited about stays at the forefront of our mind. 

To get your prospect excited though, they also need to see the value, incentive ("what's in it for me?") and urgency. You need to demonstrate to your prospect that they need and most importantly want to act now.

A word of warning: When someone is really excited they want to act immediately - and you want them to act immediately because the feeling can be fleeting. To cater for this make it easy for them to act by being clear on the next step. The fastest way to squash excitement is to make the process too hard or long.

Are you appealing to the right emotions in your marketing?

Amanda

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