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The truth is, people buy for emotional reasons…

No matter how logical or analytical you might be… No matter how hard you pour over the numbers and figures of consumer trends and marketing test results, there will always be an element to this industry that logic and formulaic thinking just won’t solve…

And no amount of analytical, statistical figuring is going to bring you closer to the way those emotions operate.

So what can you do?

Well, the only logical thing to do… is to get emotional!

Here are a few ways to do just that:

1. Sell The Sizzle

The benefits of a product or service are more important than the features.

Consumers want to know that it’s going to solve their problems, and don’t really care about the nuts and bolts of how that’s going to be accomplished…

This is that emotional reasoning at work…

Chances are, your consumer doesn’t care whether or not the TV has a vertical resolution of 2160 pixels or a screen refresh rate of 240Hz – it could be that he just wants to have a kick-ass TV to watch the Super Bowl with his friends, or so he doesn’t look like the last guy on the block with a big ol’ tube TV.

Plain and simple, they want to know: “what’s in it for me?”

Tell prospects that you’re going to solve the emotional problem they’re muddling over, and you’ve grabbed their attention. This is summed up nicely by the phrase “sell the sizzle, not the steak.”

You see, the “steak” is the product, with all of its details and specifics… and the “sizzle” is how good it tastes, how it will make hunger go away…

Appeal to that emotional side, and fill in the details once you’ve got them interested!

2. Invite Customers to The Tribe

When a customer chooses one brand over another, they’ve also made a social decision…

iPhone or Android? Chrome or Firefox?

When you align yourself with a brand or style, it let’s others assume certain things about you… so as an entrepreneur, you want your brand to be associated with that same sense of belonging or social status.

For teens, choices in clothing brands are enormous! For musicians, the brand of gear says a ton about their experience and what the listener can expect… In my own life, there’s a social aspect to being a Crossfitter that doesn’t exist (or is very different) in other gyms.

Making the social and cultural elements of your brand apparent from the start (and ideally, reinforced by the people who are already loyal to your business) further appeals to your prospects’ emotional decision making…

They want to be part of the club, so extend an invitation!

3. Establish The Common Enemy

One of the ways that people come together is, well… opposition.

People tend to band together when they have a common “enemy,” because it feels like there’s a shared sense of resistance, something bigger to fight against… An emotional and powerful response.

And I’m not talking about a specific person, political party, or company here…

The “enemy” could be what your product or service solves… Or a personality type that goes against everything you stand for.

For example, the popular fitness program P90x is an intense workout regime requiring a lot of hard work and discipline – the common enemy is people who sit on their asses expecting to take a magic pill to lose weight instead of working for it!

For a nutritionist, the enemy could be poor health, obesity, diabetes, etc. For Amazon, the enemy is anxiously waiting for packages that take too long. For Zappos and Nordstrom, it’s stodgy return policies that don’t put the customer first (among other things).

For members of our Insiders’ Club, we share several common enemies:

  • People who make excuses for not being where they want to be
  • “In the box” corporate executives
  • Get rich quick schemes
  • People wanting to take their money (i.e. more taxes, Obamacare)
  • Mediocrity
  • Entrepreneurs just in it for the money, with no interest in delivering value
  • Conformity and a lack of differentiation

See where this is going?

When you have a shared enemy with your target audience, a problem that your company is working diligently to solve, prospects and customers will find it easier to identify with your mission, and put their trust in you to help them in the fight!

4. Pain vs. Gain

One of the most basic pieces of human psychology is basing decisions on seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. Psychologist have found, however, that people give preference to “pain avoiding” decisions over “pleasure seeking” decisions about 2.5 to 1.

Kevin Hoglan, author of The Science of Influence, says:

 “…most people react to the fear of loss and the threat of pain in a much more profound way than they do for gain.”

For marketers, this means that customers and prospects are more concerned about avoiding the painful (or frustrating, annoying, whatever…) components of a buying process than they are about gaining the pleasures of having a new product or service…

So… remove the pain!

Try to find all of the potential pain points and hang ups a prospective customer might run into, and do everything in your power to get rid of them!

5. Tap Into The Conversation

What are your prospects talking about at dinner? What problems are they confiding to their friends?

When you know what’s bothering your prospects on an emotional level, when you know what needs and wants are unfulfilled, you’ve got your finger right on the pulse of how you can help them…

And really, that’s the key. When you can offer a prospect exactly what they need to solve a problem, when you can articulate that problem in a way they haven’t been able to, and show yourself as a trusted source for the solution…

They’ll flock to you in droves!
Relevancy is huge… It’s the difference between being the go-to source for a product or service and getting lost in the fray.

In your corner,


what now?

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