Appealing to the two voices inside your head. Why effective selling messages must communicate on multiple levels.

Remember the cartoons you used to watch when you were a kid? A character would need to make a decision. Suddenly a little devil would pop up on one shoulder saying, “Come on! Do it! You know you want to!” A moment later, a little angel would pop up on the other shoulder saying, “Oh no! You shouldn’t!”

Similar voices pop up in the minds of your prospects every time they have to make a buying decision. Knowing how to get both voices in agreement is a skill that can make a dramatic difference in your marketing efforts.

Here is the basic principle: People decide to buy things emotionally. But they also need to justify the decision analytically.

You can see this in automobile advertising. The images in the television commercial show sleek contours as they pan across the front grille. There are shots of the car power sliding around turns and on stretches of glossy highway. There are slightly blurred images as the car goes past so you know it is very, very, fast.

I know, this is all guy appeal. It probably has to do with watching too many action movies and having testosterone in our systems. But it does make the pulse quicken. It is designed to make a man think, “Oh baby, I want that!”

(In the name of full disclosure, I will confess that I’m not immune to this, even if I do understand the techniques being used. There is a new Jaguar out that shows up regularly in my dreams.)

So that’s the first buying trigger. It’s emotional. It’s “I want it.”

Don’t think this only applies to guys and cars. It applies to virtually all purchases. All effective advertising taps into an emotional need first.

Life insurance buying decisions tap into the emotional desire to protect the family and their future.

Computer network buying decisions tap into the desire to have the organization doing better because a smart decision was made.

Diamond buying decisions tap into the desire to demonstrate love, affection, and worth.

And, if you don’t think that women’s shoes can elicit an emotional response, spend some time in the shoe department of a large, high-end department store with really good designer shoes.

Once the “I want that” trigger has been tripped, the second selling job begins.

The second selling phase consists of giving the prospect enough information to be able to justify why buying the product or service is a good idea.

Here’s where facts and figures come in. It’s why certain cars claim they are “the best engineered car in the world,” or they “have the highest resale value of any car in its class.”

These facts don’t make you want the car if you don’t already want it. But it does an important job of giving you the justification necessary to sell what is basically an emotional decision for buying the car to someone else, or even yourself.

Just about everyone “reports” to someone. It may be a business partner or a boss. It almost always includes a spouse.

There are not many men who would say, “Honey…I just spent $90,000 on a car so I can speed around corners sideways and pretend I’m 25 years old again.”

Or, there are not many employees who would say, “I decided to go with this printing company because I like the sales person much better and they treat me nicely.”

Ask any good realtor, and they will tell you there is a moment when a potential buyer decides “I love this house!” After that, all the logical, analytical information must be sorted out to support the decision that has already been made.

If the first trigger of “I want it” is not tripped, there will be no sale no matter what you do or say.

If this isn’t followed with enough solid buying information to justify the decision, the sale doesn’t happen.

I recall a friend of ours who stopped by after a shopping spree to show off some new clothes and accessories. (This was a result of seeing that the department store was having a sale.) I remember her saying, “Aren’t these great? I saved $450 by buying everything today!”

I didn’t bother pointing out that if she had stayed home, she would have saved even more. For her, the justification of getting a deal was all that was needed to support her desire to get new clothes.

So, how does this apply to your own marketing? Realize that you must include both levels of appeal in your sales messages. First, develop the emotional side to trigger the “I want it” desire. Then provide the analytical reasons to support why buying now is a good idea.

Realize that this is true if you are selling to individuals. It is also true when you are selling to businesses. Both steps need to occur to a get a response.

Certain advertising writers can consistently get a higher response in their promotions. It’s because they know the techniques for creating pieces that appeal to both sides of any buying decision. It’s a hard-won skill that’s worth mastering.

Take a look at your current marketing. Does it communicate on both of these levels? If not, call Sentium to arrange for a free, no-obligation, one hour telephone consultation. (800) 595-1288. We’ll explore how you can integrate this approach into your marketing and give you better responses from your marketing budgets.

To your success,


Click here to get your own Free subscription to Marketing Rocket Fuel.


Richard Wilson is the Founder/Chief Marketing Strategist for Sentium Strategic Communications which helps companies craft the right message for extraordinary results. Over the past 32 years, his clients have ranged from start-ups to major technology companies.
© 2010 All Rights Reserved. All people who are looking to dramatically boost their business should read this e-zine. Don’t even think about reproducing this document or its contents without written permission from Richard Wilson. But feel free to forward this to all of your friends. For reprint permission, please call 800-595-1288.