Stop Selling and Start Persuading!

DaleKingDaleKing Posts: 141subscriber
edited June 2007 in Sales
I`m constantly surfing the Internet checking out different websites. And the more I surf, the more I realize that most marketers don`t have a clue about the concept of effective copywriting.
I see the same silly mistakes over and over and over again...Salesletters and ads trying to sell me something!
But isn`t that what a salesletter is supposed to do?
No. A salesletter is supposed to persuade me. Heck, I don`t want to be sold anything. Nobody does.
Let me elaborate: A couple of years ago, I was in Sears shopping for a birthday present for my girlfriend. As I was walking through the store I happened to pass by the shoe department. I saw a sign that said "Timberland Boots On Sale Today Only...$69.95!
I have to admit that sign caught my attention for a brief moment. I happen to know that Timberland are high-quality boots and usually much more expensive than that. However, I kept walking because my mind was focused on finding a nice birthday present for my girlfriend.
Suddenly, a shoe salesman comes running up to me and asks, "Excuse me sir, I can see you`re in a hurry. Do you mind if I ask you a quick question?"
I replied, "Sure go ahead."
He continued by saying "You can relax sir. I`m not going to try to sell you anything. I just want to ask you a quick question."
I immediately dropped my guard.
"The salesman said, "Last winter my car got a flat tire out in the middle of nowhere in a blizzard. It was a terrible storm! Cars were slipping and sliding all over the road. It was cold and dark. The ground was slippery, wet and packed with snow.
Thank god, I had my Timberland boots on that night. They really saved my butt! They`re waterproof and insulated and the rubber lug outsoles gave me superior traction against slipping, so I was able to get my tire changed and get the heck out of there quick!
But you have a huge advantage over me. I paid $145 for my Timberland`s. Today, you can get the exact same boots that saved my life for only $69.95!"
I replied, "Do you have them in size 14?"
Yes, he had them in size 14, so I bought the boots. 
Why? I didn`t necessarily want or need the boots. I didn`t go to Sears looking to buy boots.
But the salesman offered a persuasive and compelling argument. He got to me emotionally, so I bought the boots.
And I can honestly say, I`m glad I purchased the boots. They`ve been everything the salesman said they were and more.
The point is, the salesman didn`t "sell" me anything. He "persuaded" me in such a compelling fashion, I felt like I would have been missing out on something really good, if I didn`t buy the boots right then and there.
And that`s exactly what your salesletter needs to do.
Most buying decisions are emotional. Your sales copy should be, too! Bring out the prospects fears, their anger, their desires, their greed. Whatever the situation calls for, use those emotions in your copy.
In closing, focus on the prospect in your sales copy. When you get inside the mind of your prospect and speak to their emotional needs, you will see greater results.
I guarantee it.
Dale King

Comments

  • olegoleg Posts: 13subscriber
    Suddenly, a shoe salesman comes running up to me and asks, "Excuse me sir, I can see you`re in a hurry. Do you mind if I ask you a quick question?"
    I replied, "Sure go ahead."
    He continued by saying "You can relax sir. I`m not going to try to sell you anything. I just want to ask you a quick question."
    I immediately dropped my guard.
    "The salesman said, "Last winter my car got a flat tire out in the middle of nowhere in a blizzard. It was a terrible storm! Cars were slipping and sliding all over the road. It was cold and dark. The ground was slippery, wet and packed with snow.
    Thank god, I had my Timberland boots on that night. They really saved my butt! They`re waterproof and insulated and the rubber lug outsoles gave me superior traction against slipping, so I was able to get my tire changed and get the heck out of there quick!
    But you have a huge advantage over me. I paid $145 for my Timberland`s. Today, you can get the exact same boots that saved my life for only $69.95!"
    If the salesman really started out by saying - "I`m not going to try to sell you anything. I just want to ask you a quick question." - and then followed up with the story about the storm, the boots, and the special today-only sale price; then he just lied to you.  As a matter of fact he lied to you twice:  He didn`t ask any questions, and he did try to sell you something.
     I just don`t see how lying to your customers is considered a good sales tactic (though I`m sure it is used all the time).  I won`t be buying any boots from this guy!
  • saxmanstevesaxmansteve Posts: 5subscriber
    Hi Dale

    I got the message.


    "But the salesman offered a persuasive and compelling argument. He got
    to me emotionally, so I bought the boots.

    And I can honestly say, I`m glad I purchased the boots. They`ve been
    everything the salesman said they were and more.

    The point is, the salesman didn`t "sell" me anything. He "persuaded" me in
    such a compelling fashion, I felt like I would have been missing out on
    something really good, if I didn`t buy the boots right then and there."

    The guy did you a favour. He had a great deal on offer and found an
    innovative way of engaging you so as you would take notice of it. That`s
    your message and in my view it`s absolutely relevant.

    In my experience, people always buy things based on emotion, and use
    intellect to explain why they did it.
  • drvagdrvag Posts: 5subscriber

    If the salesman really started out by saying - "I`m not going to try to sell you anything. I just want to ask you a quick question." - and then followed up with the story about the storm, the boots, and the special today-only sale price; then he just lied to you.  As a matter of fact he lied to you twice:  He didn`t ask any questions, and he did try to sell you something.

    I also agree with oleg.  He didn`t ask questions and he did try to sell!
  • DaleKingDaleKing Posts: 141subscriber
    Hello Steve:
    You GOT IT!!!
    Yes, the salesman did get my attention, and he did do me a huge favor.
    I love those boots. They`re everything the salesman said they were and more.
    Admittedly, like most, I made an emotional decision, but it`s a decision I`ve never regretted making.
    Color me a very satisfied customer.
    Thanks, Steve.
    Dale King
  • drvagdrvag Posts: 5subscriber
    Mr. King, I think we get the concept of making it emotional. 
    It`s the fact that the salesperson lied to you first.   Saying that he wanted to "ask", "not sell".  I myself, would have been angry and walked away after his story / sales pitch.
    Now, if he had said, "Sir, I see you are a little interested in the Timberland boots.  If you have just a minute, let me tell you about my experience with them and why you may want to consider buying a pair for yourself."
     
  • olegoleg Posts: 13subscriber
    Exactly drvag!  Since when is a lie considered an acceptable conversation opener, even in sales?
  • saxmanstevesaxmansteve Posts: 5subscriber
    Am I missing the point here, or this thread getting out of hand. The
    discussion has completely moved away from Dale`s main point and is
    focussing on whether the sales guy lied.

    From my perspective the guy didn`t lie, he didn`t try to sell Dale anything.
    What he did do is point out there was a great deal going and Dale quite
    rightly decided he wanted to take advantage of it. Either way this is all
    missing the point which is "if you want to combine sales success with great
    customer service it`s important to focus on the customer perspective and not
    the vendors."

    In my experience the top performing sales guys always guide the customer
    to a buying decision - not force it down his throat and hope he swallows
  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember Posts: 12subscriber
    Lying to a customer is a sign of disrespect. Even if you engage in relativism, i.e. the lie was just about a pair of boots, the larger point is still valid.
    Proposing dishonest tactics like "I`m not going to sell you something" to get someone to drop their guard is to engage in manipulation. Why bother? Instead of lying, tell the customer that it`s your job to sell them boots and to make sure they`re absolutely happy.
    This would be more attention getting, and even if it didn`t result in an immediate sale, the customer is far more likely to come back if treated with respect. Then you might actually get a customer to buy several pairs of boots over the long term. Effective sales is all about trust. Period. Ask any top performing salesman.
  • Victor363Victor363 Posts: 2subscriber
    Ya know; I`m not going to comment on the whole lying aspect. But I will say  it wasn`t the best way for Dale to illustrate his post .... and thats all I`m going to say about that.That aside - Dale, this was an excellent post. First off: there is a reason why more people are calling it `persuasion architecture` and moving away from the term `information architecture`. You can`t push people with internet marketing - you have to pull them. Second of all; buying is indeed an emotional act. To Quote Brian Eisenberg from FutureNow "People buy based on feelings, but use logic to rationalize a purchase" (okay, not an exact quote, but pretty close to what I remember him saying). When people don`t feel any emotional connection, when your copy doesn`t inspire an ascent in maslow`s hierarchy, they will tend to feel `undecided`.  That being said, you do want to get personal. Google adwords landing page algorithm looks for sites that use action verbs accompanied by words such as `you` and give them an SEO boost. Also, pictures can play a big part in making your selling point more personal.
  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember Posts: 12subscriber
    Your discussion of "Persuasion Architecture" is interesting except a "Persuasion Architecture" is Push Marketing. Pull Marketing is generating demand by providing excellent value for money, clear communication of value, and certainly NO LIES. Decades of lying to customers = why marketing is so difficult these days. This thread started with a proposal that included the idea that someone said it`s acceptable to lie to customers ... that a lie could be used to get someone to drop their guard. What is the adjective that describes this behavior? How about Predatory?
  • Victor363Victor363 Posts: 2subscriber
    Your discussion of "Persuasion Architecture" is interesting except a "Persuasion Architecture" is Push Marketing. Pull Marketing is generating demand by providing excellent value for money, clear communication of value, and certainly NO LIES. Decades of lying to customers = why marketing is so difficult these days. This thread started with a proposal that included the idea that someone said it`s acceptable to lie to customers ... that a lie could be used to get someone to drop their guard. What is the adjective that describes this behavior? How about Predatory?
    As I said, I`m not going to comment any more on the lying aspect beyond what I already have.CookieMonster, I think you have misunderstood my last post. Persuasion architecture is not a synonym, nor an antonym, for pull-based marketing. Indeed, persuasion architecture can either be pull-based, or push based - but it defines neither. I think Seth Godin described the definition of pull-based marketing in one of his video`s (if memory serves). An example of pull based marketing is if I typed in `Timberland Boots` on google; saw an ad on the right hand side saying `buy Timberland Boots`, and then clicked on it to arrive to a landing page with a bold headline saying `buy timberland boots`.The key concept here is that I was already interested in timberland boots - so their advertisement was relevant. This is pull based marketing.Push based marketing would be if you saw a commercial on TV advertising `Timberland Boots` for sale at shoe city. You weren`t interested in the least in any boots. Well, not as interested as someone typing in `Timberland Boots` on google. Understandably, pull based marketing is more effective than push based.Other examples of push based marketing are SPAM and most banner ads.So in essence, persuasion architecture can accomplish both pull-based and push-based marketing simultaneouslyWell, thats at least my take on the matter.For further reading on the matter, I recommend picking up a copy of the book `Waiting for your Cat to Bark`. Written by the people that coined the phrase "persuasion architecture".
  • Victor363Victor363 Posts: 2subscriber
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRuNxHqwazsOkay, you are right. Deception is bad for business.VictorPS: Anyone know how I can embed video`s on these forums - opposed to listing the URL????
    victor3632007-6-19 2:58:3
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