Are You Missing These Three Psychological Triggers in Your Sales Message?
Whether you’re an individual who sells to corporations or a corporation that sells to individuals, at some point, you have to COMMUNICATE YOUR CORE VALUE TO A SPECIFIC PERSON.
It could be done via a print ad, online via web pages, social media posts, or advertising, or via a television commercial or a cold call—or at a networking event etc.
The last thing you need is a description of your business that falls flat in front of the customer and takes your marketing budget down with it. The good news is that you don’t have to be a copywriter or a professional speaker to develop a hugely effective essential message.
You simply need to make sure that your essential message includes three psychological triggers. When you use them, they work like magic.
Psychological Trigger No. 1: Interrupt a Brain Pattern
Do you make these mistakes in English? Do you know where you fail in your marketing strategy? Ask your current adviser if he or she has found the tax loophole yet in the last budget. A fat lady killed her accountant last year by sitting on him…
Questions, challenges, disturbing facts: they all irritate the brain and cause your grey cells to do a neurological dance. They break the expected pattern and command attention. Questions work especially well, because your brain is conditioned to answer—just like you’re conditioned to answer when people ask you what you do for a living.
Now that you know Psychological Trigger No. 1, you can jolt their brains so they actually pay attention to what you’re about to say.
Psychological Trigger No. 2: Relate to the Problem
Do you use “solution selling” as the basis for your sales conversations? Well, that’s what happens when you hear just enough about a marketing fad to hurt yourself. And you’re not alone. Look at the advertising around you.
‘Summer Clear-Out Event…’
‘Several of the world’s largest data centers are automating operations (and you can too)…’
‘Custom-design your own easy-to-use accounting system…’
Blah. Blah. And blah.
There’s only one drawback to focusing on the solution, but it’s a big drawback. And it’s just as true for print and online advertising as it is for your verbal ‘core value’ message. People don’t care about your solution—until they acknowledge that they have the problem your solution solves.
All I’m saying is that instead of immediately launching into your solution, make sure that the person you’re speaking with recognizes and relates to the problem. This is copywriting 101. The first thing you want to do is hit a few hot buttons.
Only after your audience or prospect starts nodding in agreement with you about the problem can you move to the next step of selling your solution.
Psychological Trigger No. 3: Get the Customer to Visualise
A hat designer once asked me what she could possibly say to introduce herself in a networking event other than “I design women’s hats.” For about 30 seconds I thought that I was going to be stumped. After all, there’s no fundamental problem that she solves. And nothing makes you sound more boring than a formula like “I design hats that are distributed across the country through upscale women’s fashion stores.”
The answer lay in getting people to visualise. I told her to start by asking people if they remembered the hat that Kate Middleton wore to Ladies Day at Ascot. Even if you can’t remember the specific picture I am referring to, an image still popped into your head, right?
If too few people nod their heads in agreement, I told her, keep going and get people to think of Princess Dianna or Audrey Hepburn. Remember the fancy hats they wore in public or in the movies?
Then I told her that when she could see that most of the people around her had formulated a mental picture, she could say, “Well, those are the kinds of hats I design.”
And it’s the same idea whether you run a one-woman operation or multinational conglomerate.
People think in pictures. Say Nike and people “see” the swoosh. Say Energizer and people “see” the bunny. Say (your name here), and what do people see? That’s why logos and other graphical elements are so important.
Tapping into the visualisation part of the brain is probably the most powerful way to communicate with anyone. Use Triggers No. 2 and No. 3 together to get people to visualise the problem, and then… stand back.
You’re going to need a lot of business cards.
Do You Need to Use All Three Psychological Triggers?
No, you don’t. A message can work well with one or two of the psychological triggers. In fact, one of the triggers may not even be appropriate for the specific thing you need to communicate and the reaction you want to get.
Besides, these aren’t the only psychological triggers you can use. In future articles, I’ll talk about using specifics, intrigue, teasing and others. But these are these three are the easiest to use for maximum effect. Think of them as VIP—Visualise, Interrupt and Problem. If you can use all three, you’ll make your message all the more powerful.
Look at how I organised this article, and imagine I were addressing a crowd for a keynote speech on sales and marketing at a conference in your industry. I skip the expected introductory pleasantries and I launch right into: “Are you missing these three psychological triggers in your core sales message?”
I’d have your attention, wouldn’t I?
That’s the effect you can have with everyone you speak to. And you can use these triggers not only in your verbal communication but also in your ads, your emails, your Web site and anywhere else you have an opportunity to get a new client or a referral.