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Today I’m going to teach you how to sell anything to anyone, anytime. When it comes to selling and when it comes to closing, there’s so many techniques and so many ways to do it. But what techniques actually work? How do you sell your product or service in such a noisy, saturated and competitive marketplace? Today I’m going to share with you three powerful secrets that you can use to sell anything to anyone.
Table of Contents:
- People Buy Because of Emotion
- Customers Don’t Buy Their Way Into Something, They Buy Their Way Out Of Something
- People Don’t Buy Products and Services – They Buy Stories
At a quick glance, selling to a market interested in buying shouldn’t be difficult, considering that people already have the desire to buy. Americans spend an average of about $165 a day in 2019. That number has gone up from spending in the past. According to research by The Pew Charitable Trusts, “household spending has risen 25 percent or more in the past two decades, even adjusting for inflation — yet incomes have not kept pace.”
People love to buy. The average American household spends 73 percent of their annual income, with $3,365 spent on eating out and $3,203 a year on entertainment. The highest 20 percent of income earners spend just over half (53 percent) of their total income. They spend $6,402 a year dining out and $6,889 on entertainment. The lowest 20 percent of income earners spend 100 percent of their annual income, with about $1,488 going to eating out and $1,270 a year on entertainment.
Just considering those statistics alone, it’s clear that people, no matter their income level, will find something worth spending their money on. One reason is people are influenced by psychological marketing triggers. It’s difficult to remain rational when emotional psychology is used and feelings are involved.
Secret #1: People Buy Because of Emotion
The first secret is this: People don’t buy because of logic; people buy because of emotion. Their decision to buy is based on their emotions, and they justify it with logic. I want you to think of something that you want to buy. It could be a car, a house. Or it could be anything. Once you’ve pictured it in your mind, I want you to ask yourself this question: Why do you want to buy it? Why do you want that particular item? What’s your reason for wanting to own that item?
Maybe it’s a new suit that looks great on you. Or maybe it’s a new dress. Maybe it’s a new car, a new house, or a dream vacation. But why do you want to buy it? Now I want you to dig a little bit deeper. I think if you peel back the layers, you will realize that you are buying emotions. You will realize that emotions drive your purchases.
Some people buy because of shame. They think if they don’t own a particular item, they’ll look foolish. People even buy because of fear. They fear if they don’t buy the item, they’ll miss out on something.
Maybe you’ll buy the item due to greed, because owning this item will help you make more money. Or maybe, you’re buying it because of generosity. Maybe buying this item will help other people. Have you noticed that some companies actually donate a certain amount to charities if you buy their product?
It’s also quite common to buy because of depression or boredom. Many people are depressed or bored at their dead-end 9 to 5 job and they buy that vacation as an escape.
As you can see, the reason we buy things is often for an emotional reason. We’ll buy because of emotion and we’ll justify it with logic.
Watch this video about how you can sell anything to anyone at anytime.
Sell Features and Benefits or Emotions and Memories?
So, think about when you’re selling something to somebody. Are you just talking about features and benefits? Or, are you pushing those emotional heart buttons? I remember one time, I was in Harry Rosen which is a very well-known, high-end menswear store in Vancouver. I was walking past the Tom Ford section and the salesman approached me and said, “Sir. Is there anything I can help you with?” I responded with, “No, I’m just browsing.” The salesman then said to me, “Do me a favor, put this suit on.”
Now, at the time, I had never owned a Tom Ford suit before. I had a lot of suits, but I didn’t have a Tom Ford suit. So, when he suggested that I put it on, I said “alright” and I put it on. The salesman said, “How do you feel?” I had to be honest, so I responded with, “Well, it feels pretty good.”
The salesman then brought a tuxedo over, and suggested I try on the tuxedo as well. I tried it on and said, “Okay, this is pretty cool.” The salesman said “Oh, it looks great” followed by “Sir, are you a fan of James Bond?” I told him that I am of course a fan of James Bond. Who isn’t?
The salesman said “Well, this tuxedo is the exact same design and cut as the one that James Bond wears in Casino Royale.” I immediately remembered the scene in Casino Royale where James Bond is gambling, wearing an exquisite tuxedo that looks exactly like the one I have on. Damn, I look good, I thought to myself. I felt like James Bond. The next thing I know, I’m buying the tuxedo. And it cost a lot of money.
When you think about that story, what was I actually buying? I was buying emotions. When I wore that tuxedo, I felt good. As a James Bond fan, I liked feeling like James Bond. Even though logically, I know that I’m not James Bond, the tuxedo takes me there emotionally.
So, don’t just talk about the features and benefits of your product or service from a practical or logical point of view. Figure out a way to appeal to people on an emotional level. Figure out what emotional buttons can be pushed with your product.
The Power of Emotional Selling Online
E-commerce stores are masters of the power of selling using emotions. One tactic is through the use of familiarity. Have you noticed that you’re more likely to fall in love with someone the more often you see them?
Familiarity and fondness has a powerful role in selling. Just think of how often you order the same meal each time you go to your favorite restaurant. Or why you’re attached to the neighborhood you live in, and you’re uncomfortable when there’s a significant change to it.
If you understand what’s familiar in your prospect’s world – what language they use and what experiences they’ve had – you will have an easier time with increasing online conversions. This fondness is why you’ll often find the cart in the top right-hand corner of Amazon, eBay, and other online stores. It’s what’s familiar in the prospect’s world.
Another persuasive sales tactic that online marketers use is emotional stimulation. Remember how riveted you were to the TV screen when you were watching an intensely emotional scene? Emotions persuade. For example, a Sarah McLachlan commercial about 7 years ago used provoking visuals of animal cruelty while the singer’s music played in the background. The ads have generated $30 million for the ASPCA, but the ads are so “gut wrenching” that the singer herself admits she refuses to watch them.
There’s a reason why fear sells and sex sells. Emotions play a strong part in selling anything to anyone.
Secret #2: People Don’t Buy Their Way Into Something, They Buy Their Way Out Of Something.
People often buy something because they think it will solve a problem they’re having. They have a problem they want solved, and you must convince them why your product or service will solve that problem for them. When selling something to a prospect, ask yourself, what problem are they buying their way out of, and what problem you are helping people to solve?
People will afford what they want to afford. I’ve seen people who struggle financially say No to taking a course that could increase their earning capability, and Yes to an expensive phone or TV.
According to researchers, shopping helps people feel better. “Retail therapy” helps them escape from feeling helpless or sad about the situation they are in. Having choices when shopping gives them back their sense of personal control. Like overeating or drinking alcohol, shopping regulates distress.
Have you tried selling a product or service to a prospect who you felt really needed it, but you were surprised when they gave an excuse not to buy? When it came to getting a commitment from them, they had an excuse, like, “Let me think about it,” during a sales call, or they say, “Does it come with a guarantee?” when you think they’ll commit to the sale. You’re wondering, is the excuse genuine? Or is it smoke and mirrors to hide the real reason why they aren’t buying?
If you want to close the sale, you need to understand your prospect. You can use effective techniques to convince customers to buy from you.
How Well Do You Understand Your Prospect?
The amount of money you make from a sale is in direct proportion to how deep you understand your target market’s pain. You have to have a deep understanding of the problems people have, and figure out how you can relieve them of some of their pain by magnifying it. Ask questions to make the pain real.
Questions such as, “”What happens if you don’t deal with this and find a solution?” makes the prospect think about unwelcome consequences. And a question like, “And what is that going to cost you?” brings out the heartache.
Maybe if they don’t invest in the relationship coaching now, they’re going to lose their spouse. Or maybe this is their last chance to change their career path… or sell their house because they can’t find a job with their current job skills.
If your product or service can offer the perfect solution to a prospect’s problem, then that will put you in a position of power. For example, the prospect lacks confidence when dating. You’re selling him to invest in a dating coaching program for $2495. Is that expensive?
It depends on how you approach the prospect. Cold calling a prospect is the least likely to get you results if you’re selling high ticket offers. They’re not ready to invest when you call. To increase your chance of getting a sale, you want to follow the 5 steps that improve your sales process. You want to show them the value of your service. You want the prospect to see what his life would be like when he can confidently go on dates, and how that new confidence will improve other areas of his life, including career advancement.
When the prospect can see the solution to his current, unbearable situation, and he sees your offer as the surefire solution to that problem, you will have an easier time closing him on a high priced offer. When you invest more time and money, you expect better results. And you expect to buy your way out of your current situation.
Secret #3: People Don’t Buy Products and Services – They Buy Stories
When there are infinite choices out there in the marketplace and online, buyers often have hundreds of options to choose from. So, how do you stand out? Why should they buy from you if there are hundreds of similar competitors? How could you possibly add some sort of emotional pull if you’re selling a regular commodity such as a pen? What’s the difference between a $2 pen and an $800 Mont Blanc, limited edition, John F. Kennedy pen?
It’s the same pen. The $800 pen has the same functions as the $2 pen. So, it must sell because of the story.
When you add a good story to an item, it sells better. Suddenly, when you attach the President’s story to a brand or logo, it is 100 times more valuable, all because of the story. You can write the same with a $2 pen, so that shows you how powerful a great story is.
Think about what your brand’s story is. How can you inject stories into everything that you sell? Maybe you have a great origin story of how your brand got started. Or, perhaps your customers have great stories about how your product or service affected them.
Selling Products Through Story
Online real estate database company Zillow found a way to pull at heartstrings by combining real estate data with a popular occasion. In 2016, the company ran a blog post titled “20 Best Cities for Trick or Treating” based on data on home values, proximity of homes to each other, crime rate, and the population of children under 10 years old. There was also an infographic to illustrate Philadelphia, San Jose, San Francisco, Milwaukee and Los Angeles as the top five cities.
This method of presenting real estate data was an example of how impactful storytelling could be used to sell to customers. Instead of presenting real estate content on home values and crime rates, which is no different than selling features and benefits, that same data was tied together with a popular event, Halloween, and parents’ concerns about neighborhood safety, which evokes emotions.
Customer testimonials are another source of stories. I have a new YouTube channel for the Dan Lok Global Community, which contains testimonials from my students. They tell the story of their background, what they have learned and how they have grown. It has nothing to do with the program that I teach. It has everything to do with my students’ stories. This channel is full of other people’s success stories, and that’s great marketing – simply using stories. Stories sell.
Persuading Through Story
In today’s saturated marketplace, having these strategies to close the deal are what will put you ahead of the competition. More people are becoming a piece of the gig economy by freelancing to make extra money on the side, or starting an online business to supplement their income.
As the competition becomes more fierce, how can you stand out from all the other freelancers offering their services? How do you negotiate higher rates for what you do? Or, if you’re selling on Amazon or eBay, how do you persuade people to buy from you?
In the Wolf Of Wallstreet movie, Jordan Belfort asks his stockbrokers to “sell me this pen”. One of them takes his pen, then asks Jordan to write something. He can’t because he doesn’t have a pen anymore, so the stockbroker calls it “supply and demand”. If your prospect doesn’t have what you’re selling, then they will buy from you.
But what if your prospect doesn’t need a pen? These days, people take notes or leave voice messages on their smartphones. That’s what’s missing in the sales pitch. The prospect’s story. What brought them to you? Do you know if they need a pen? If the answer is yes, what’s their reason for needing a pen?
What Is Your Prospect’s “Why”?
Find out what is your prospect’s “why”. What are they looking for and what brought them to you? When you learn their story, it becomes much easier to sell to them. If you know their dream is to sign an important, once-in-a-lifetime contract on a special day using their special pen, you will have an easier time closing them on a high priced pen. You will also meet less resistance.
They say “90% of objections are just stall tactics”. If they object to the price or to the quality of the pen, then you haven’t asked enough questions to find your prospect’s story.
When you understand your prospect’s needs, pains, and dreams, you will have an easier time closing your prospect. If your product and the prospect’s needs are a fit, then it’s easier to convince the prospect to invest in your offer.
These sales skills don’t just apply to selling products and services to customers in any industry. You can use these same skills on other areas of your life to sell anything to anyone. If you understand your employer’s needs, you can use that information to negotiate a raise for yourself. If you and your spouse are disagreeing on an issue, ask questions. Find out your spouse’s hopes and dreams for this issue. Are they upset that the housework isn’t divided fairly, or is there something else going on? How would your spouse feel if the housework situation changes to their satisfaction? Then, when you get to the bottom of the issue, close your spouse on a solution.
Selling Products for 10x the Price
Is it possible to sell anything for any price if you have a good story behind it? Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn did this successfully with their Significant Objects project. After spending $129 on knick-knacks, they auctioned them off at a higher price. Their secret was creating short stories for each object instead of using the typical product descriptions.
When their project finished, they had sold their knick-knacks for $3,600 – a profit of about 2,800 percent! An ordinary salt shaker that cost them less than a dollar sold for $49. It’s no surprise that “65% of our daily communication” involves stories. A story is always more intriguing than a list of facts.
The Significant Objects project is proof that with the right touch of storytelling, you can sell an offer at a much higher price. It’s like the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” A cheap salt shaker to you will have more value to someone else… if they perceive that value.
Is it possible to sell anything to anyone at anytime? If you apply three secret strategies, you will be able to tug at heartstrings and use these psychological tactics to close a sale.
First, people buy because of emotions. Emotional selling has the power to spark a desire in your prospect to buy something just so they can relive a memory, or feel like a fantasy is coming true. For example, wearing a suit that looks just like the one James Bond wore.
People buy their way out of something. If their pain is deep enough, and your product or service is the solution to escape their pain, they will buy. It’s the reason people who can barely afford luxuries will buy expensive things – to get that control back in their life.
And finally, people buy stories. They will pay for something at twice the value if they love the story. The secret to selling is in the psychology – persuading your prospect to buy – and the emotions that your offer makes them feel.
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