Street Smart Marketing Persuasion Secrets

Philip Douthett - Street Smart Marketing Techniques

An MRI test performed by Willward Brown revealed their findings of how people reacted and what parts of the human brain lit up while reading, hearing, and seeing marketing messages.

The part of the brain that lit up the most on their MRI scans is called the “amygdala” which is responsible for emotions, decision making, and memory.  Simply put, people have emotions attached to memories and based on those memories, they make [emotional] decisions.


Why does this matter to you?

Well, there are certain human emotions that you must elicit (form a reaction) when writing offers, capture pages, and/or any type of sales presentation.  Doing so gets the reader to react in a way that we want (click the link, purchase a product, watch a video, etc.).

And when it comes right down to it, you have to sell something in order to stay in business and to be considered a business.  Otherwise, it’s just a fruitless hobby.

No shit!

Therefore, you must learn to sell and become a salesperson.  And as a salesperson, you must elicit an emotional reaction from your prospect in order to get them to react in a way that you want.

With that said, realize that there is literally no reason for Lamborghini to exist.  All we really need for transportation is a small engine, a wooden seat, and 4 wheels.  Buying a Lamborghini is purely a purchase based on emotion in an effort to satisfy an emotional want or void…but the cars themselves are not a necessity.

But that necessity is what you want to highlight.

Your product/service is necessary for your prospect to accomplish or obtain whatever it is they want to accomplish.

Keep in mind that there is a fine line between need and want.

People may need a car but they want a Lamborghini.  Wanting something is tapping into the amygdala and affecting your prospect’s buying habits.

Now let’s shift gears…The thought of selling something to someone is often a thought filled with uncertainty and fueled by fear.  I don’t understand this thought process, although it seems to be rampant and commonplace.


Because selling, or sales in general, is what makes the world work.  We need to buy and sell things, ANYTHING, in order to survive.

Look at this from the POV of the seller. The seller must sell products and make money in order to purchase what they need/want for their lifestyle. And the buyer wants/needs to buy things, ANYTHING, in order to support their lifestyle.

It’s literally a continuous loop…yet so many people miss this idea and have a misunderstanding and fear of sales…even though buying and selling is the basis for any economy at every level.

When you buy something, you’re flowing money through the economy and keeping it afloat.  If everyone stopped doing that, the entire marketplace/economy would implode.  So, your duty is to hop aboard the money-flow train, insert yourself into the ‘system’ and ride it for all it’s worth.

Now, let’s clear the air on how people think about selling.  What word, that starts with the letter “P” do you think of when thinking about selling?

I would venture a guess that it’s “pressure.”

Most people think about pressuring someone into making a buying decision and that thought makes them despise anything having to do with sales.

However, if you’re going to selling something, you need to change your thinking from pressuring people to persuading them into making an informed purchasing decision.  These are two very different mindsets.

Look at it this way:

Pressure – often leaves you and the prospect feeling uneasy and unsure about one another, the situation, and the product/service.  The prospect is frequently scared away.

Persuade – both parties have an agreed upon mutual understanding and respect through a moral exchange.  The prospect leaves feeling confident in their decision whether they purchased or not.

So, your goal as a marketer, entrepreneur, and/or business owner is to persuade people to purchase from you.  It’s NOT to pressure them and make people feel dirty when they walk away. You must encourage them to pull out their money and hand it over to you…in exchange for something of value of course.

And the best way to persuade people to purchase from you is to prompt a wanted reaction out of them by [figuratively] taking a hot knife and shoving it deep into your prospects pain points.

Something about the human psyche has proven that fear is a bigger motivator for people to react than the potential for gain.  For example, if a boss threatens his employees that he will fire them if they don’t stay an hour later each day for the next month, that is more motivating than the potential for gain by offering them all a bonus for staying that extra hour each day for the next month.

Doing so stimulates the amygdala and prompts the emotional response of fear (fear of losing their jobs) in this case.

Those emotions are what you want from your prospect…

Listed below are the emotions that you can target to provoke your prospect to take the next step in your sales process.

Those emotions include (but in no particular order):

  • Greed
  • Fear
    • Fear of missing out
    • Fear of not accomplishing goals
    • Fear that something terrible will happen if the prospect doesn’t take action
  • Acceptance (need to fit in)
  • Stand out (the feeling that one needs to be noticed)
  • Love
  • Competition (internally or externally)
  • Prove someone wrong or to prove yourself correct
  • Revenge (“I told you so” or “I’ll prove you wrong”)
  • To gain respect
  • Deep in debt
  • Facing bankruptcy
  • Want for wealth
  • Immortality (leaving a legacy)
  • Grieving
  • Want for power / influence
  • Scarcity (limited supply or short on time)
  • Being able to give to those less fortunate
  • Security (personal and family)
  • Close to losing their job
  • Safety
  • Facing eviction
  • Providing for family / loved ones
  • Guilt
  • Pride
  • Urgency
    • Getting older
    • Baby is on the way

You can often elicit an emotion (listed above) through the headline of your capture page in an effort to get your reader to enter their contact info and then do your persuading on the bridge and/or sales page that follows.

Don’t feel that you must hit every single one of these emotions in your marketing message.  It’s best to stick to only one or two of them per message.  Now, that all depends on the length of your message, your industry, and your audience.

For example, if you have a capture page selling beauty products, I would suggest sticking to only a few of the above listed emotions.  Having too many can cause confusion and become cluttered.  You don’t want your prospect to feel overwhelmed.  Doing so will make them leave.

Also, some of the emotions above don’t apply to certain markets.  For example, you’re not going to talk about someone being close to foreclosure and facing eviction when selling beauty products. Your message must be congruent.

Now, after you have triggered an emotional response, you must give your prospect the proper reasoning so they can justify their action in a logical way.

This is the point where you literally are giving your prospect the logical ammo they need to justify their choice of buying from you.  Skipping this step will later make them feel as though they bought your product/service strictly on emotion, without any concrete reason, and they may later come to regret it…kind of like that Snickers candy bar in the check line.  There’s no rational reason to buy it, but it’s there, you buy it out of impulse, and then you feel regretful that you ate it.

There’s no legitimate reason for the purchase of the Snickers and you’re left feeling that you wasted your money.  That’s the same emotional withdraw your prospect has unless you give them that logical motive so they feel validated in their purchase.

Let’s dive into this mindset a bit deeper…

Logic is the reason that people will keep your product without demanding a refund and why they will have no problem informing their spouse of their purchase.  This isn’t always the case, where one may need to justify their purchase to their spouse, but it is quite common.  Having a tangible, foreseeable, justifiable reason for spending their money outweighs their emotional reaction that they used during the purchase, securing the sale and generating a happy customer.

Giving someone that a tangible, foreseeable, justifiable reason for spending their money is simple.  At some point within your message, usually in the middle and/or the end of it, you tell them what they can expect once they purchase your product/service.

Your prospect’s emotion (that figuratively hot knife that you shoved deep into your prospects pain points) is driving their attention to you and the benefit of your services is used as their logical justification for the purchase.

Just to reiterate, don’t pressure your prospective reader on what to do, persuade them through the elicitation of emotions.  Once you have triggered a painful point in their lives, inform them on their next course of action.  Use pain points (not always necessary but is the most powerful and effective) to elicit an emotional response and give your prospect the justification they need so they don’t regret their purchase.

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