People in sales and marketing might occasionally forget or possibly not be able to say what they know as succinctly as ‘fear sells,’ but unfortunately fear does sell. Think about the nightly news where the leading stories are negative items designed to instill worry, catastrophe, disaster or concern into the minds of the viewers “if it bleeds, it leads.” Think about salespeople scaring you that should you not buy X you will lose your health/pay more later/fall behind, etc.
For instance, a security alarm company will never approach homeowners with information such as “99% of houses in your area were not burglarized.” Rather, the message will go something like this: “a house down your street was burglarized. You could be next!” Cue homeowner to order security monitoring for the house.
Another related psychological imperative is the need to avoid pain. People are compelled by the need to avoid pain more instantly over seeking or finding pleasure. Think about it. Does someone want to avoid or escape a predicament first or seek a new pleasure? Pain Avoidance is a prime technique for making pressing sales and accelerating sales velocity. This instinct is inherent in our genes.
In sales the formula for success is quantifying the pain and problem and demonstrating to the customer that the solution being offered costs less than the problem it displaces.
Similarly, the sales collateral, proposals and discussions should be fashioned in the same way.
Examples (with ‘better’ prompting more urgent action than ‘good’):
- Good: “you can sign our contract and get the product” Better: “Get the papers out of your hair”
- Good: “your solution will bear many years of results” Better: “Your problems are about to disappear”
- Good: “your promotion is likely” Better: “Your boss will immediately get off your back”
- Good: “people will enjoy the new menu and word will spread” Better: “No more bad reviews or food poisoning”
However, and very importantly, a salesperson needs to 1- have asked about the pain 2- understood the imperatives (listening skills) 3- quantified the challenge and 4- has calculated a Return On Investment (ROI) aligned to the solution offered. As such, the above