What do you see when you think of the concept of sales or selling? A pushy, manipulative or aggressive person who won’t stop talking long enough for you to say NO?
Unfortunately the profession and practice of sales has a well deserved reputation. But the fact is, if you’re in business you simply must sell to survive.
The Big Question Is
The question is, how can you sell (and market) in a way that meets your customer’s needs and wants, without compromising your values — or requiring a long shower?
The answer is what Ray Edwards, renowned copywriter and online marketer says is the “Master” sales strategy, “Get behind your customer’s eyes.”
Let’s break this idea down a little to see if we can find clues on how to apply the concept to your sales and marketing programs.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What are the three questions you’re constantly asking yourself when confronted by a marketing campaign or sales proposition?
1. Who are you?
2. Do you solve a problem I care about?
3. And what’s in it for me?
The fact is, your customer is totally self-centered, and for good reason. You and your “value proposition” represent a real risk. And if you don’t immediately answer these three questions your customers will simply ignore you.
The Hidden Motivators
Getting behind your customer’s eyes means doing the homework to understand what’s important, related to your product or service, to your ideal customers. And then to go deeper, to find the hidden emotional motivators that move your customers to action.
The core emotional motivators include:
According to Blair Warren, “People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies.”
Your Job as an ethical seller and marketer is to go beyond demographics and data-driven metrics. Behind the all the hype is the real reason your customers — even enterprise B2B buyers — really buy. (Hint, it’s not because your product is faster, smaller, less expensive. You’ve got to appeal to their emotional needs then justify with your features.)
How it Works
An example of this is Apple’s recent “Shot on iPhone” campaign. Stunning images of natural wonders, rattle snakes striking, and jaw dropping sunsets are flashed across the screen. Then the message — “Shot on iPhone” appeals to the aspiration of every creative genius with an iPhone. The thought Apple instills in the mind of their customer is, “maybe I can do that too!”
Another examples is Nike’s 2018 Just Do It Ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. Nike knew that the ad campaign would create controversy and that they would alienate some of their customer base. But what they also knew was that their most loyal customers were passionate about social justice and wanted to feel that they belonged to the movement. Nike helped them feel that belonging by tossing their full support — risking the brand in the process — behind the cause.
Chances are you don’t have the budget or brand presence of Nike and Apple. But you can certainly apply the strategy of getting behind your customer’s eyes to understand the hidden emotional motivators that move them to action.
When you do, who’s to say your brand can’t achieve similar market domination? At the very least you’ll dramatically improve your ability to connect with your customers. Which will inevitably translate to increased sales, happier customers and a sense that you can sell without losing your self respect.