The Tao of Sales And Marketing: The Only Reason Anybody Buys Anything

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Here's the #1 secret to sales and marketing: No matter what veneer we put on it, there is only one reason in the whole world that anybody buys anything. Master that concept and rule the world. I'm working on it - join me.

So here it is: the only reason that anybody buys anything is to feel relatively good. It sounds almost too simple right? Read on. . .

I call this the Tao of sales and marketing because, like the Taoist model of the universe, first there is nothing, then the one thing, then two things, then 10,000 things. The one thing in my model is the idea of wanting to feel relatively good.

Wanting to feel relatively good gives rise to two things - seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. From those two impulses we get our 10,000 made-up reasons for buying stuff.

Every time I talk about this, I make some people uncomfortable. Some like to believe that all their purchases are rational. Of course they are frequently the ones buying cars and houses they can't afford. People are great at rationalizing everything. Rationalizing is another thing we do to make ourselves feel good.

Brain scan research shows us that every single decision we make starts out in the emotional center of the brain. Even very simple decisions start as a feeling. Then, we rationalize by moving through the logical centers of the brain. Honestly, if people made decisions rationally would we have wars, drug abuse, or karaoke? Probably not.

My wife and I bought a house right after we got married. The price was good, in a good neighborhood, and I knew that the equity would grow fast. But the real reasons we bought were more emotional. It made us feel like we were really married to own a house. I feel better paying mortgage than paying rent. I have a greater sense of ownership of my home than I ever did with an apartment. It may have made logical sense to buy the house, but logic is not enough to get somebody to buy.

A critical part of the Tao of sales and marketing is the phrase, “relatively good". You might just say, “better". We can't always make somebody feel truly good. However we might be able to take away some of their emotional pain. This is a gigantic motivator for people. Here's a Marketing Comet Principle: The cure to any ill will always outsell the prevention.

How much could you get for a carton of orange juice on a ship of people afflicted with scurvy? Probably you could become the richest person on the ship. However, I don't think you're going to increase the perceived value of orange juice at your grocery store by slapping up a sign that reads, “prevent scurvy!" Not too many people in America feel the pains of scurvy and would be willing to give up their life savings to get a carton of juice.

How to use this in your sales or marketing efforts:

There are many ways to use this principle, here are a few:

1. Make people happy when they do business with you.

2. Find out what people's most painful problem is and offer to solve it.

3. Persuade with emotion, and give them logic to rationalize with

4. Pay attention to the emotional impact of your marketing materials

5. Communicate with people in ways that make them more comfortable

Sales and marketing are ultimately about engineering emotion and state of mind - getting people emotionally ready to buy.

J D Moore - Marketing Comet

Copyright 2005 Marketing Comet

J D Moore - Marketing Comet Coaching to double or triple your small business profits - what will you do with all that extra money?


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