How To Effectively Win Sales And Influence Customers
Most online marketers think that customers make their purchasing decisions only after carefully considering a set of great information about the products or services, but that’s not true. When customers make the decision to buy, it’s almost always as a result of their emotional state being altered.
Information helps in changing their feelings, but it’s the actual emotion that’s is important and not the information.
All your customers’ buying decisions are a result of the interaction of these 6 emotions:
- Fear – They feel that if they don’t make the decision at that moment, they will lose out
- Greed – They think that they will be rewarded for making the decision
- Altruism – They believe that making the decision will help others
- Pride – They are sure that making the decision will make them look smart
- Envy – They are convinced that if they don’t make the decision, their competition will win
- Shame – They think that if they don’t decide, then they will look stupid
All successful approaches to sales either create or augment at least one of these emotional states. Buying decisions become inevitable when there are enough of these emotions present inside a customer’s emotional state.
Understanding Your Customers’ Beliefs
That being said, it’s still vital for you to understand your customer’s beliefs and take them into account in order to accomplish the desired changes in their emotional states because it’s each customer’s belief system that determines the extent to which each of those emotions plays out.
If you are going to create all the necessary emotions to drive decision-making, then you not only need to know your audience’s current state of emotions but also their beliefs, because it’s the beliefs that they are going to use in evaluating your offer’s emotional weight.
There’s a lot of research that goes into learning all the things you need to know about your audience and their current emotions and their beliefs.
But, there are also some proven shortcuts which allow you to get started right now crafting powerful messages that have been shown to influence the buying decisions of all kinds of customers.
Use these in your business to get a head start on your competition and boost your sales and revenue.
Here are 6 Ways To Win Sales And Influence Customers
1. Use Stories In Your Marketing
Storytelling is a very powerful form of communication that dates back since the dawn of time.
If you think back to all the things you remember from TV, I’m willing to bet that it’s not facts from documentaries that you remember the most (however interesting they might have been), but stories or plots from movies and other shows.
That is the power stories hold.
Storytelling works so well in marketing because it allows the reader or viewer to become a participant in the tale. They’re able to not only put themselves in the characters’ minds but also to feel whatever it is that the character in the story is feeling.
Stories represent a pattern that we recognize from our lives, and we experience and participate in them which is why they are so much more compelling than a bunch of facts.
Another reason why stories are so effective in marketing is because your customers can easily observe, evaluate, and own the message or motto that you want to convey to them. Stories activate their senses and trigger their emotions because your customers are able to draw conclusions of their own and see things from their own viewpoint.
This is what makes stories such powerful conversion tools no matter what business you’re in.
To use this concept effectively in your own business, come up with stories that you can tell that would lead into your particular offer. When done right, your sales message won’t even seem like a sales message because it’s communicated through a story.
2. Make Things Simpler And Easier
Most people are like water in the sense that they flow downhill via whatever path has the least resistance.
If you present them with options, their first choice will always be the easiest one. This means that if you show your customers how your product or service is going to provide them with the way to achieve the results that they want with as little effort on their part as possible, then your sales battle is as good as won.
Your product needs to show them at a glance that they will be able to get exactly what they want without having to put in a lot of hard work. Just be careful not to take this too far (like we’ve seen some marketers do…)
Your offer shouldn’t rest outside the confines of reality.
For instance, ever seen those ads for products that promise to help you ‘Lose 20 Pounds In 1 Week!’, or the ones from the online marketing gurus claiming that if you ‘Press This Button, You Will Start Making Money On Autopilot – No Traffic Required!’.
Between me and you, we know those are blatant lies. So, obviously, don’t mislead people by lying or giving false impressions.
After all, that never works in the long term. To use the concept of simplifying things for your customers in your own business, think about the ways in which you can introduce ease and simplicity into your offers. Often times it’s more about the phrases that you use to make things sound simpler, as opposed to pretending like there isn’t any effort involved.
3. Find The Common Enemy
Much like the animals, we humans tend to hang around in packs. And one of the best ways to trigger sales in such situations where people are hanging out in groups is to unify the pack by giving them a common enemy. It’s the classic ‘us versus them’ conflict that has been used for centuries to unite groups of individuals and move them into action.
Here are a couple examples of this idea at work:
- Unifying people using patriotism during wartime
- Mobilizing people to vote because of ‘them’ (you know, the evil ones) on the other side …
- And so on
This type of marketing where you’re using the common enemy to get a group of people to take action is very popular and it’s used across the entire human spectrum whether it’s selling products, or for politics, wars, religion, sports – you name it.
The list goes on and on.
Some people use this in a way that is manipulative, particularly in politics, but it’s also a force that can be used for good. For example, an online marketer could use this concept to take a stand against scammers who peddle ‘get rich quick’ products.
Standing for something is important, but so is standing against something.
4. Use Curiosity In Your Marketing Messages
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it’s going to be very good for your sales.
Mystery, to the human mind, is like flypaper. As humans, we have a need to fill in any gaps between the things that we know, and those things that we yearn to know.
The mystery that lies within those gaps is one that draws and preoccupies individuals to such an extent that sometimes they even make stuff up just to fill the gaps in.
Mysteries are what gives power to those cliffhangers in movies and stories. It’s what excites kids before Christmas morning, and it’s also what drives the many conspiracy theories that abound these days.
But how can you harness this power to help move your business forward?
By creating information gaps in your marketing.
This is actually very easy to do. Simply tease your audience by letting them know what might be in there, but not telling them the entire story.
Here are some ways in which you can use this concept of curiosity in your business:
- Use curiosity in your email subject lines to make them wonder what is inside.
- Use bullet points on your opt-in pages that tease what is contained in the lead magnet so that your audience really wants to know what the answer is.
- Tease upcoming announcements, but make them wait for it.
These are just a few examples that show how powerful curiosity can be for triggering actions from your audience. So take the time to go through all your landing pages and opt-in forms. Review them to see if there are ways in which you can tweak them to tease your prospects.
Make sure that you are building curiosity about the contents of the lead magnet.
Also, when you announce your next blog post, tease your subscribers by creating an information gap so that the only way they will be able to sate their curiosity will be by clicking the link and reading your post.
5. Boost Your Audience’s Anticipation
If you can create curiosity and excitement for something, you build up potential energy in the minds of your prospects in much the same way that an archer does when they pull back on their bow without letting go.
This type of energy keeps building right up to the moment you finally let it discharge.
This is the way in which product pre-launches work. They build up massive anticipation which cannot be discharged before the launch time. Much of the power of anticipation lies not at the moment the energy is discharged, but actually in the anticipation itself.
So much of the excitement comes from the anticipation in a way that is similar to how a lot of the fun of Christmas has to do with the excitement and build up that precedes Christmas morning.
As you can see, curiosity and anticipation go well together.
One way to use both of them in your marketing to raise engagement and, ultimately, conversions is by teasing what’s coming next and building up anticipation in your emails.
Everyone wants to be respected and to impress the people around them.
We want them to think we’re amazing. Although that may seem a bit childish, it’s just the way most of us operate – and it’s a factor that influences a lot of industries. We want nicer clothes, more expensive cars, and brand-name fashion accessories either to keep up with others around us or to impress them.
Although a cheap watch from Walmart will tell the time just fine, someone would rather spend thousands of dollars on a Rolex because it’s a status symbol. In the same way, many fans of Apple iPhones will upgrade to the latest one just so that they are seen with it by their peers.
Airlines also use status to make some people who are frequent fliers feel better than the rest so that they continue to fly with them. You, too, can make use of this concept of status in your online business by positioning your product in the right way.
If you’re selling high-end products, then the status is assigned to it automatically most of the time.
If you run a membership site, then you could create levels within it. You could give special labels to certain members within the community.
By elevating their status, you make it more likely that they will stay longer.
There are a great many other tactics that you can use in influencing your customer’s decision to buy including the use of social proof on your opt-in pages, or using scarcity, deadlines or limited quantities on your sales pages, and so on.
There’s no limit to what you can do (ethically) when it comes to changing the emotional states of your customers to get them to take the desired action.
You can even use controversy to get people’s attention and divide them into teams (remember the common enemy?).
All that’s left now is for you to choose which of these techniques you’ll implement into your business to start predictably growing your revenue and sales.
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Updated: Originally published November 1st 2018