You’ll never convince your prospect to buy your product, subscribe to your service, contribute to your cause, or vote for your candidate by using logic.
Your prospect buys because you have hit on some very strong emotion he already feels. Fail to understand this and you’re not going to make any sales anytime soon. That’s why the marketing experts at AWAI (American Writers & Artists Inc.) recommend opening any sales pitch – written or face-to-face – with a bold, believable promise that touches your prospect … not with logical reasons to convince him your product is great.
You continue the appeal to your prospect’s emotions by making a compelling word picture that builds on your promise. This picture lets him see himself as richer, stronger, sexier, more successful, more respected … and so on.
By appealing to his emotions, it may seem like you’re manipulating your prospect to do something he doesn’t want to do. You aren’t. When done right, you’re fulfilling a need he already has. By appealing to that pre-existing desire, you’re really helping your prospect solve problems that are worrying him.
But, here’s the rub about appealing to your prospect’s emotions. If you rely solely on doing that to make your sale, you’ll fail as often as if you appealed solely to reason. You see, few people take the final step to buy based solely on their emotions. Why? Because doing so makes them feel guilty.
Here’s an example:
Why does a person make the decision to buy a very expensive, high-end, surround-sound stereo system? Maybe because the system sets him apart from his neighbors who aren’t savvy about sound systems. Or because it’s an excellent indicator of his fine taste. And because he can afford it, it shows the world how successful he is.
All emotion-based reasons.
But if you asked him why he bought the system, you wouldn’t expect to hear any of those reasons. What he’ll tell you is that the system allows him to hear the highest notes clearly and without distortion. That the bass is tuned to excite listeners subconsciously. That the wave profile is so realistic, it’s indistinguishable from … etc.
All logical reasons.
Your prospect needs these logical reasons to take the final step to buy what you’re selling. He needs reasons he can tell others to justify the purchase. More importantly, he needs a rationale to justify it to himself.
It’s your job as a marketer or salesperson to provide those reasons.
You can weave some of them in when you’re discussing your product’s specific features.
For instance, if you’re selling that high-end stereo system, tell your prospect how it handles the high notes. Give him charts comparing the system’s sound profile to that of a real concert hall. When you do this, though, be sure to also keep coming back to his emotion-based reasons for buying. (“Won’t your friends be impressed when the sound they hear is just like being in a Symphony Hall!”)
There’s another, very powerful, type of rationale to present to your prospect – one that’s neither solely logical nor emotional. It’s both. With this one, you provide reasons based on another person’s emotional or physical needs.
For a “male enhancement” product, for example, you might capture your prospect’s interest and convince him to make the purchase by appealing to his vanity, his ego, and his desire to recapture the sexual prowess of his youth. But then seal the deal by reminding him of the pleasure he’ll give that special woman in his life.
(This type of rationale also makes a heck of a strong P.S. in an email or written sales letter.)
Never forget: You convince your prospect to make the decision to buy by appealing to his emotions. But then you have to lead him to that important final step of actually making the purchase. Give him a logical reason to do it, so he can say, “I bought it because …”