Today I would like to look at the matter of persuasion. How do you get your prospects to take action?
I remember as a door-to-door salesman. My instructor often said that you must understand ‘why people buy.’ It has a certain ring to it. If you know why people buy, you can gear your ads towards these ‘psychological buttons.’
Before I go any further, I would like to mention that this is in no way ‘manipulation.’ It’s just common sense that you don’t approach someone about an important decision when they’re angry. Every wise wife knows how to place their husband in that ‘mood’ before they spring their special request on him!
Even kids wait until their parents are in a good mood before they tell them the cost of the special outfit that they MUST have.
Having cleared the air, let’s look at these important principles.
1. Scarcity — People go after those opportunities or products that are limited in availability. That’s why you must show in your ad that your offer is for a limited time or in limited quantities. Field tests have shown that limited-quantity ads pull much better than limited-time ads. Procrastination is still a large part of human nature, so they’re always those who would wait until the last minute to act. If the prospect knows that the item is in limited quantity, there’s no way of determining when they’d be all sold out.
2. Herding Instinct — Your prospects will better respond to your ad if you can show that people JUST LIKE them respond. A high school senior recently knocked on my door selling a magazine subscription for a college scholarship program. She used that number on me — she was sure to let me know that my neighbors had bought subscriptions! We all want to keep up with our neighbors. Needless to say, I fell for it. Whether I would read the magazine is another story.
I often point this out to my wife, and you can try looking for this pattern as well. You would seldom find a satellite dish on a single home on a block. You often find dish receivers in pairs or more. One neighbor gets that service, and the other follows. The same goes for gardens and lawns. Nobody wants to be the sore thumb! This is where the use of testimonials comes in. Your testimonials say, “See, a lot of people like you are making this decision.” Use lots of testimonials.
3. The desire to pay back a good deed — If someone thinks that you’ve given him or her something of value, then there is a strong desire to pay you back the favor. One example is that of AOL that marketed their service by giving away those floppy disks. They literally blanketed the USA with these floppy disks. They still do but now with CDs and 1000 hrs free, etc. Do you think this is working for AOL?
In your marketing efforts, you must give something of value FIRST — this builds loyalty and results. Always show the value of what your ‘free’ service is — never say ‘FREE.’ Show the value of the gift, then say that it is free. This is important because you want the person to place value on your bonus. (You’ll notice that in all the bonus ebooks that I’ve given through these articles that I first tell you the value of them -and even go out of my way to prove the value sometimes.)
4. Authority — People will listen to you if they see that you have authority on your subject. A TV commercial used this line — “My son-in-law recommended that I take _____ for my heartburn. Why should I listen to him you say? He’s a doctor”. You may think that you do not have authority over what you are advertising. In this case, appeal to authority figures — quote from a respected journal, expert … you get the idea.
5. Commitment — If someone has made a PUBLIC commitment to something, they are more likely to follow through. Find some way of getting someone to commit, and he or she’s more likely to follow through than if they did not. That’s why any motivational trainer would tell you that it’s important to WRITE your goals down -you are more likely to complete them!
Just today I received a sales letter in the mail for which I had to send for free information. My physical act of commitment was to peel a nice red label marked “free” and place it in a designated spot on the mail back card. Now you know why they make you do this little silly stuff.
Only if weddings worked the same way!
6. Your ‘likability’ — People would respond to your offer if they like you. It’s hard to sell to someone you have no relationship even if it’s just a ‘perceived’ relationship. This is one of the most overlooked areas of marketing on the Internet.
The Internet can seem a little cold sometimes. Even after making email contact with my prospect, I’ve found that I still have to make voice contact before signing up for my offers. Simultaneously, the Internet is a wonderful tool to build relationships through emails, message boards, instant messages … the list goes on. It’s a known fact that someone would buy from you if THEY think that YOU like them. Give people value, more than they expect, and you have a customer for life!
7. The eternal “what’s in it for me?” principle — As your prospect read your ad, this is the question they are seeking an answer to. Make sure that you give them plenty of answers. Appeal to their desire for recognition, wealth, better health, and security -yes, all those nice things on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs — all the way up to self-actualization. (Check out a Psychology 101 textbook if you are not familiar with Maslow -you will glad you did.) But do not forget to appeal to their FEAR of pain and loss.
Field research has shown that people are more responsive to lose than gain. Be sure to show them what they would LOSE if they don’t get your product.
Read through your sales letters again and see if these buttons.
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