The top three selling emotions – and how to use them

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


The three keys to emotional selling

Emotions are powerful motivators. They influence every purchase decision we make. Every day we buy based on feelings of love, fear, greed, guilt, anger, frustration, happiness, hope, and curiosity and then justify our purchases logically.

While we can try to avoid using them, the truth is if you want to persuade people to buy your products and services you need to appeal to their emotions. Your potential customers are not as interested in the features of your product or service as much as what it will do for them, give them, save them, make them feel or help them become.

So to help you get greater results from your marketing, advertising and sales meetings, here are the three keys to emotional selling.

1. Understand key emotional drivers

There are a number of key emotional drivers that motivate each of us. But the catch is they don’t affect us all, in the same way. Your job is to work out the drivers that will appeal to your customers the most. Here are just a few: 

▪    To love and be loved 
▪    To feel secure and have stability
▪    To feel important and receive praise
▪    To have pride in who we are and what we do
▪    To feel like we are making a difference 

2. Know your audience

In order to appeal to your potential customer’s key emotional drivers you need to have an intimate knowledge of your target audience. You get this by looking at your past and current customers, what they needed, what they bought and why they bought it. You also get it by putting yourself in your potential customers shoes. 

▪    What are their greatest needs and wants?
▪    What are their most pressing frustrations?
▪    What is their deepest fear?
▪    What keeps them up at night?

Once you begin to understand your potential customer and what they want and need from your industry and business, you can then identify which emotions you need to appeal to in order to push their buy buttons.

3. Tell the story

As you begin to talk or write to your potential customer, paint the picture of their current situation particularly the pain and frustration, they are experiencing. Once you’ve made them uncomfortable, give them hope, explaining what it could be like once they have your product or service. 

By doing this, you are allowing them to have an emotional experience with your product or service before they even try it. 
 
So the next time you are in a sales meeting or preparing your marketing material, remember words tell but emotion sells.

Amanda


Four headlines that engage and convert customers

Whether you need to capture the attention of a potential customer on your website, convince a journalist to publish your story, increase your mailing list with your website opt-in, generate leads from an advertisement or boost your hits with a blog post, learning to write good headlines is perhaps one of the greatest time investments you can make in your business.

To help you make a start, and get more results from your marketing and advertising here are four types of headlines that can help you connect with potential customers and convert more sales.

1. The threat

One of the most powerful buying motivators is fear and pain. Generally speaking we move faster away from pain and potential threat than we do towards pleasure, so if you can pinpoint something your target market is afraid of losing or afraid of happening, you can really get inside their head and create a headline that is impossible to ignore.

Examples of a threat headline are “The shocking truth about what your child is really eating”, “the [x] lies your [person/brand] is telling you”, “The information/advice your [trusted person] should give you, but won’t”, “If worse came to worse and [specific scenario], would you/your family/your business be protected? Or “Did you know you could be personally liable/held accountable/at risk of/ for [threat], even if you [protective measure]?”

To craft a powerful threat headline ask yourself:

  • What are my target markets frustrations?
  • What problems do they have that my product or service solves?
  • What are their pain points and worries?
  • What is keeping them up at night?
  • What do they fear most?
  • What are the greatest threats to them, their family and their livelihood?

2. The benefit

The benefit headline, as its name suggests is driven by a benefit. The benefit can be positive, drawing your target market towards pleasure like “How you can generate more leads for your business without spending more time, money or effort”, or a negative benefit, drawing them away from pain, frustration or consequence like “Stop paying too much tax”.

Whichever way you go, when mastered, the benefit headline can be incredibly powerful.  The key to its success though, depends on how well you know your target market and what they need or desire, in order to appeal to their buy buttons. It can’t just be any benefit that your product or service provides though, it has to be a benefit your target market can’t ignore or must-have in order to incite action.

When crafting a benefit headline ask yourself:

  • What does my target market want most?
  • What are their dreams and aspirations?
  • What do they value?
  • Who do they look up to or want to be like?
  • What are their frustrations?
  • What do they want to avoid most?
  • What can my products or services give them, save them, help them become or achieve that will help them get what they want or avoid what they want to avoid?

3. The promise

The promise headline is like the benefit headline only more powerful because it comes with a promise of results. It could be that you can provide the desired results within a desired timeframe, or the desired result with a guarantee. Of course you MUST deliver what you have promised, so handle this headline with care.

When crafting a promise headline ask yourself:

  • What results have I generated for past customers?
  • What results will motivate potential customers?
  • Can I deliver results in an assured timeframe?
  • Can I offer a money back guarantee?
  • How can I eliminate the perceived risk people have when buying from me?

4. The testimonial

The testimonial headline is one of the most powerful headlines because it uses a customer success story and their own words to sell your products and services. It gives you credibility and proves your value long before you’ve tried to establish it.

The testimonial could be outstanding results you’ve delivered, a relatable situation you helped a customer through, a common problem you solved, a testimonial that addresses common objections people have or even a celebrity or notable person who uses your products or services.

The key to a good testimonial headline is that it needs to be specific, have high impact, connect with or be relatable to your potential customer and prove your value. To do this you may need to give the customer who is endorsing you specific boundaries and prompts of what you are looking for from their testimonial.

Have you found a particular type of headline has worked well for you?

Amanda


Marketing words that boost engagement and conversions

Words are powerful. They can move us, engage our emotions in ways we don’t even realise and persuade us to take a course of action we may not have ordinarily taken.

That is why the words you use to help you tell the story of your products and services are so important. They can be the difference between telling and selling, and someone browsing or buying.

Fortunately, there are some words and phrases that have been tried and tested to help boost engagement and conversions regardless of your industry. So to help you, here are seven words I’ve found as a copywriter to be extremely effective, regardless of who or what I’m writing about.

1. “You”

No word in marketing is, or ever will be, as powerful as the word “you”. The more you can make your marketing about your target audience, and their needs, their problems, their desires and their frustrations the more effective it will be.

Remember your potential customer doesn’t care about you – at first anyway, they want to know what is in it for them and how you can solve their challenges and meet their needs like no-one else can.

With this in mind, one of your main objectives when writing your marketing material should be to use the word “you” as many times as possible. Customer focused words like “you” should appear at least twice as many times as self-focused words like your business name, “we”, “us”, “ours”, “me” or “I”. 

2. “Guarantee”

When you are willing to back your own product or service with a guarantee, particularly a 100% money back guarantee, you minimise the risk for your customer and give them a sense of safety and security at the time of purchase.

Offering a guarantee can also help you persuade your potential customer into feeling like they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by buying from you.

3. “Free”

While some marketers over the years have questioned whether the word “free” is still effective in marketing, the fact remains that we all love freebies. The impact of the word, however, depends greatly on what it is linked to.

“A free quote” for instance, isn’t a good “free” incentive. Let’s be honest, would you pay someone to come and give you a quote for a job if a quote was all they were giving? I know I wouldn’t, it’s just something we do in order to generate business.

The key is to offer something that is relevant and of value to your audience. So if you were looking at offering the ever popular “free consultation”, instead of leaving it at that, articulate what value they will receive in a consultation with you (and FYI a sales presentation or the opportunity to come and “find out how we can help you” isn’t value). What will you give them, or talk about in the consultation? What will they have or be able to do by the end of it?

When you start approaching your free offers like this, you will start to see just how powerful the word “free” can be in your marketing.

4. “Instant”

Let’s face it; given our lifestyle, most people you market to will have a short attention span, little patience and a growing desire for instant gratification. You only need to look at the growing credit card debt to see this is true. We don’t want to wait, we want it now and, while some of us may meet it with some scepticism, we are, generally speaking, intrigued by anything and anyone who can deliver us the instant results or changes we are looking for.

If you can build an instant element into your offering and marketing, whether it is instant access, download, delivery, implementation, value or results, it can be incredibly rewarding.

A word of warning though, when you build up a customer’s expectations like this you need to be 100% confident that you can deliver on it. If there is one shadow of a doubt – or you have to rely on someone else to fulfil your “instant” promise (like a third party or supplier) think about what else you could do instead.

5. “Easy”, “Quick” or “Shortcut”

We all want to know the easiest option or the quickest way, it forms part of our desire for instant gratification. We’re willing to look at whatever will speed up the process of being, doing or having what we want, or make the process that much easier.

Perhaps your product or service is easy to buy, easy to use or implement or has the potential to make your customer’s life easier (be specific with how). Or maybe it’s the shortcut they’re looking for that will deliver what they want in record time. The easier and quicker something is, the more desirable it becomes in the mind of your customer.

6. “Never”

The word “never” can be incredibly powerful when you are pointing out the negative benefits of your product or service. If you’re wondering what a negative benefit is, it’s something your customer will avoid (and want to avoid) by buying and using your product or service. Essentially it demonstrates how you can help them avoid pain.

Obviously how you use it depends on your business and what you sell, though some examples are “never miss a payment again”, “never worry about a deadline again” or “never pay too much in tax again”. The key is to make the negative benefit realistic, of high importance to your customers and for ultimate impact something that is weighing heavy on their mind or keeping them up at night.

7. “Proven”

By having a proven system, formula, methodology or product, or a strong track record of generating results, you take the risk and fear out of buying from you. It’s one thing to say that you are great, it’s quite another to be able to back your claims up. The effectiveness and credibility of your message amplifies when you prove you can do what you say you can.

Don’t just make “proven results” or a “proven formula” another claim though, say how and why it is proven or draw on testimonials and case studies to show that it is proven.

So there you have it, seven words that when used right can generate great results in marketing. The next challenge is to find which words will work best for you and your business.

Have you found certain words work wonders in your marketing?

Amanda


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