Why do people buy from you?
This is one of the questions we often ask at a client-getting strategy session. And the first answers we get usually look something like this:
- Because we’re the most affordable
- Because we offer the best service
- Because our product offers the best value
- Because we have a superior reputation in the marketplace
What do you think of these answers? All of these reasons are putting the cart before the horse, don’t you think?
They can afford it. Great! They’ll never think of whether they can afford it or not until you get them emotionally involved in wanting it!
And who cares if you offer the best service, or the best value, or if your firm has the best reputation, if they don’t want it?
Most often we’ll get several logical reasons why people buy, before we get a single reason that even smells remotely like an emotional one. But that’s not what I’m getting at here …
Today’s post goes beyond the idea that people buy for emotional reasons, and then back up their decisions with logic.
It cuts straight to the core of what gets those emotional wheels turning between your prospect’s ears in the first place. It reveals the real reason people buy.
Your prospects buy from you, when they sense doing so will extend or enhance their self-image in some way…
Your product or service is a vehicle through which they envision a greater self.
The more you can help your prospects to visualize and savor that expanded sense of self-worth, in your ads and your landing pages and your lead generation magnets and when you speak with them, the more sales you’ll make. It’s that simple.
All of the sound, logical reasons why your product is better, and unique, are only important in context to that golden defining moment.
You see, while we may not realize it, all of us cart around a mental blueprint, or picture of ourselves in our mind’s eye. It may be hazy and non-descript when we try to become aware of it. We may in fact remain totally oblivious to it our entire lives. But it is there, in living color, right down to the last detail.
This “self-image” is our opinion of the kind of person we are. It has been built up from our own beliefs about ourselves. Most of these beliefs have been formed from past experiences… our successes and failures, our triumphs and humiliations … but most of all, by how other people have reacted to us, especially in early childhood.
All this mental goulash comes together to form a “picture of self”. And once an idea or belief connects itself to this picture, it becomes true, as far we’re concerned. From that point forward, we ACT in a fashion that is consistent with that picture until something comes along to change it.
The prime purpose of your sales funnel…
Its prime function is to create vivid images of your prospect enjoying the expanded sense of self-worth he or she can acquire through ownership of your product or service. These mental images are like seeds that lead the prospect to create more images that are far more powerful than any you can create.
Pictures are great for setting this critical process in motion. I like to use images that are unusual, and symbolic. I got this idea of using fantasy-laden imagery from David Ogilvy.
One of his most famous ads was for Hathaway shirts. The headline read “The man with the Hathaway shirt”. The picture over the headline was, as you’d expect, a man wearing a white shirt and tie. But there was something unusual about him.
Over his right eye, the man with the Hathaway shirt wore an eye patch. The ads appeared in magazines and newspapers and the patch grabbed people’s attention. It made them curious to know the story behind the man.
But even more importantly, these remarkable ads created a new development in the self-image of many of the men who saw them.
The patch symbolized adventure and worldliness, and a certain suave sophistication. Even a little bit of a bad boy pirate image, the kind women find attractive. As a result, these ads sold Hathaway shirts by the boxcar load for years. Despite the fact the only people who wore eye patches in the 1950s, were people with facial disfigurements.
The patch had nothing to do with shirts, but this kind of dissonant imagery instantly grabs attention and generates curiosity. Even more importantly, it creates an unconscious self-image extending fantasy in the prospect’s mind, which you can then carry forward as a theme throughout your sales funnel.
How your own self-image is both your secret client-getting weapon, and your marketing Achilles’ Heel…
One of the pioneers of self-image psychology was a plastic surgeon by the name of Maxwell Maltz. (Maltz recorded his incredible observations in the 1960 classic “Psycho-Cybernetics”, which I recommend you read.) When Maltz first began the practice of plastic surgery, he was amazed by the sudden and dramatic changes in personality that often resulted when a facial defect was corrected.
Changing the physical image in many cases seemed to create an entirely new person. In case after case, Dr. Maltz’ scalpel became a magic wand that not only transformed his patient’s appearance, but their entire lives. The shy and retiring became bold and courageous.
A “stupid”, “moronic” boy changed into an alert, bright youngster who went on in life to become a prominent executive. A salesman who had lost his touch… and his faith in himself… became a consummate closer. Literally dozens of remarkable life transformations were recorded.
It’s relatively easy to understand how the correction of a facial disfigurement could alter a person’s entire outlook and attitude toward life, their feelings about themselves, and their ability to function successfully in society. But what about the exceptions who did not change?
What about the duchess who all her life had been terribly shy and self-conscious because of a tremendous hump on her nose? Maltz gave her a classic schnoz and made her drop dead gorgeous, but still she behaved like the ugly duckling.
If the scalpel was magic, why didn’t it give the now beautiful duchess a befitting poise and confidence? And what about the others who acquired new faces but went on wearing the same old wounded personalities?
The answer to this question holds the key to client-getting…
One of the earliest and most convincing experiments Maltz draws upon in Psycho Cybernetics was conducted by Prescott Lecky, one of the pioneers of self-image psychology. Lecky defined the personality as a “system of ideas”, all of which must seem to be consistent with one another.
Ideas that are inconsistent with this system, are “not believed”, and not ACTED UPON. Ideas which seem consistent with the system are acted upon. At the very center of this system of ideas is the “ego ideal”, or “self-image”, on which all the ideas within the system hinge.
Lecky was a schoolteacher and tested his ideas on thousands of children. He discovered that if a child was having difficulty performing a particular task, it was often because (from the child’s point of view) it was simply inconsistent with his or her self-image. The child simply couldn’t imagine successfully completing the task.
Lecky’s response was to fortify his instruction with a healthy regimen of encouragement and praise, thereby changing the child’s self-concept. And as soon as the child’s “self-image” became consistent with the performance of the task at hand, the difficulty mysteriously vanished.
The lesson here is deceptively simple. Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right!
The same selling psychology you use to build up the self-image of your prospects, through the words and images used in your sales funnel and enrollment calls, applies to YOU as you plan, build, and scale your business.
The juice that gets things done is exactly the same juice that gets people to take action and enroll in your programs. You are motivated by exactly the same principle.
You desperately crave, want, and need to expand your own self-image. When you believe that’s what you’re doing, you’re empowered, and you ACT! When you don’t, you’re a blubbering blob of weakness and indecision.
How to supercharge your mind and make more progress in the next 60 days than you’ve made all year…
Did you know that on average, you speak 5,000 words a day, and 4,000 of them are to yourself? The funny thing is, you’re unaware of the vast majority of it. If you take the time to become aware of this self-talk, you might be surprised by what you hear.
If you find yourself creatively blocked… if you’re procrastinating… if you’re frustrated with what you’re able to accomplish… there’s a good chance you’re running your brain on low octane fuel. The images you’re creating in your mind are inconsistent with your desires, and they’re stifling you.
From here on in, here’s what I want you to do. Take Lecky’s lead. When you’re working on your business … take conscious control of the images that run through your head. Crowd out the negative, self-defeating ones with empowering, positive ones.
It’s one of the things we help you do at our free strategy session. Because the greatest achievement starts there, in the theatre of your mind.
So go ahead and fantasize about how you’ll feel when your new offer and sales funnel hits the streets and starts slamming money directly into your merchant account.
Then book a call and we’ll give you the practical steps and 60-day plan for building a client-getting machine that makes it happen.
Picture the elation on your client’s faces, and the wealth they shower you with.
Visualize the positive impact your words will have on them… empowering them to act on their dreams by enrolling in your program.
Revel in these feelings while you craft your campaigns, and before long you’ll be amazed at how much more creative, productive, and wealthy you become.
Until next time, Good Selling!