How to Use Science Friction to Increase Sales. And Email, Too

I read a fascinating article last year, just found back the link.

Here’s the deal: Have you ever wondered why sometimes an object like a sofa or a cupboard seems impossible to move?

When you clearly remember that last year when you put it there, you were perfectly able to shift the object without much trouble?

Things don’t get heavier by themselves, in this universe, so what’s the deal?

How come a piano that last year you could pull away from the wall, now seems glued to the floor?

In a way, because it is glued to the floor.

Science says so.

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The One Profession That Does Well No Matter What, and How You Can Benefit From It

 

It’s common knowledge in the world of marketing and sales that the last guy who needs to worry about his job is…

… the salesman.

The theory goes that there will always be a need for people who can sell something for others.

Makes sense, too.

And, it’s true.

Salespeople generally continue to do well, regardless of what an economy or an industry is doing.

For me, that’s good news: I’m a copywriter, which is just another word for ‘written-word salesman’.

But if you’re not ‘in sales’ – if you’re a coder, designer, artist, artisan, novelist or anything other than sales person – what do you do when sales are low?

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The Most Dangerous Thing, the Biggest Threat to Your Business…

…is you.

This takes us all the way back to the very basics of being in business: it’s never about you.

It’s about your buyer, and how well their problem will be solved after they buy from you.

And yet, the majority of websites don’t take this approach in their messaging.

That’s a big problem, because unless you talk to your customer about them, your offer isn’t going to interest them much.

Here’s what most site copy looks like:

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How Not to Write an Article or Blog Post

Sauntered over to Twitter just now.

Saw a link by someone who usually shares good stuff, so I clicked.

Landed on a blog post.

It opened thusly:

“It’s like this, you see”.

Now, I’m all for conversational writing.

I commend personal style.

But if you’re going to write something, do it in a way that makes people actually read the stuff.

 

How do you get people to read you?

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Guess the Quote: Everyone is Always Selling Something

 

Who do you think might have said that?

You’d expect someone from the business world, right?

A marketer or maybe a coach. An author.

But you’d be wrong.

This little nugget came to us through Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island.

And, there’s a lot of truth in it.

Actually, it’s a fact of life.

It’s a notion that can make or break your business.

That is, IF you’re prepared to accept it as true.

Everyone is always selling something.

When you tell a co-worker: “Would you mind grabbing me a cup of coffee on your way back?” – you’re selling her on the idea of doing you a small favour.

If you’re telling your kid: ‘Eat your veggies”, you’re selling them vegetables (hard sale, too)

Asking your spouse to take out the trash? Same thing.

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Sales and Psychology: We're All Automatons. Plus, Don't Bark at Your Customers

Saw a fantastic piece of automatic psychology happen the other day.

It reminded me of how easy it is to persuade people.

You push a button, you get a reaction.

You tell someone a certain thing; they react in a predictable way.

It’s part of our ancient lizard brain, the part that reacts instinctively, before you even have time to think.

 

I’d been shopping for groceries and was walking up into the old town.

Some 50 metres ahead of me there was a young black guy. Probably no more than 18 years old.

He’s from Senegal, from some dusty village where there’s only one phone, and he came here across from Africa, looking for a better life.

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You Too Can Get Lots of Sales, Despite the Recession. Here's How

I have a pretty odd collection of friends.

One of them is Dick (his real name – it’s short for Richard).

Dick is a real estate agent in England.

Now, we all know the terrible reputation that most real estate agents have.

Dick is different though, as you’ll see in a minute. He doesn’t have a bad reputation at all – in fact he’s got a 5-star reputation.

He and his wife are over on holidays at the moment, and while chatting he told me that in the seven days he had been away, 3 properties had been sold.

Big ones too. And, two more sales are lined up to close.

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Of Course You Wouldn't Say "I Wrote a Newspaper"

So then why do so many people say ‘I wrote a blog’?

It makes no sense – and what’s worse, incorrect usage of words is devastating for your sales.

I’m a wordguy.

I just love languages, especially English.

And as you would expect, I’m a bit of a puritan.

Still, language is a living thing, which means it evolves.Continue Reading

5 Simple Copywriting Principles That Help You Land Your Ideal Customer

People like to make a big spiel out of copywriting.

Truth is, it ain’t all that hard.

What’s hard is figuring out why people want what you do, make or sell.

That goes back to that old fave of mine: psychology.

In other words: you need to know who your customer is. You need to know them to a T.

Their problem, their worries, their struggles, everything.

Start here: If you make something valuable, there are people who want it.

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Cialdini, Marketing, Persuasion and… the Strange Power of Belief?

Last week I mentioned the new fad: touting psychology as a new thing in sales and marketing.

In reality, there is quite some research available – mostly not online but in print instead.

One of the most famous books on the topic is Robert Cialdini’s Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion (recommended read!).

In one section, he describes how our psyche works when we believe things.

Specifically, how we can be persuaded to perform specific actions, if only we believe that those actions are natural for us.Continue Reading

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