What can Mother Theresa and Charles Schwab teach you about marketing online.
Certainly these two historical figures saw two vastly different worlds in their lifetimes. Mother Theresa spent hers with the poorest of the poor, while Charles Schwab spent his with the richest of the rich.
But look at these two famous quotes.
"There is more hunger in this world for love and appreciation than for bread" Mother Teresa
"I have yet to find a man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism." Charles Schwab
Do you see the underlying thread?
Regardless of who you are selling to, from one end of the social spectrum to the other, and everywhere in between, human beings are looking for appreciation, and approval, above all else.
Show your customers how the use of your product yields a sense of importance, and recognition, or how it helps them avoid embarrassment and indifference, and you will make many more sales than if you simply describe the qualities of your product.
But it takes a certain kind of selling to pull this off.
While your advertising can speak directly about the features of your product, and explain what those features do for your customer, it is much more difficult to transfer emotional meaning with the same directness.
Yet it is the emotions that trigger desire in the buyer. As an advertiser, it is your job to bring those desires that already exist in the buyers mind to the fore. To stir them to life, so to speak. And the best way to do that is through indirection.
By wrapping your sales message up in a story, you give your prospect permission to imagine. You're not telling them how they should feel. They instinctively project themselves into the tale. They can't help themselves. It's what we all learnt to do as little children.
Remember this. Without imagination, there is no desire, and without desire, there is no action.
When someone comes to your website and reads your copy, do they see themselves using your product? Do they see themselves living the results of using it? Even more importantly, do they see others approving of them, and appreciating them for having done so?
That may sound like a strange way of thinking about a product, but let me give you an example of what I'm talking about.
Let's say you're selling a diet plan. How do you use indirection and storytelling to trigger your prospect's desire for it?
You might talk to your overweight potential client like this …
Imagine yourself walking briskly along a hot, sandy, sun drenched beach. An azure haze hangs over the skyline as the warm wind caresses your bare skin.
As you stride confidently to your favorite spot, your breathing is normal, and your body relaxed. You smile to yourself, knowing you could walk for miles like this without becoming fatigued.
The beach is busy, and as you glance around you catch the eye of someone of the opposite sex. They smile at you, and you smile back.
You walk assuredly into the water, and swim a couple of hundred yards out and back with ease. Lying back on your towel you can't help but think …
'Life Has Never Been So Good'
OK, now stop dreaming, and answer this question. Did you have a little trouble seeing yourself in that picture? If so, then take heart.
A slim, sexy figure and abundant self-esteem can now be yours, thanks to the amazingly simple and easy to follow …
Do you see how indirection works? You don't have to come right out and tell your potential client people will appreciate them, and approve of them as a result of what your product can do. You don't have to tell them they'll no longer feel embarrassed by their weight in social situations.
The story does it for you. Now you've got their undivided attention, and a real chance to prove your product is unique and that it works.
Copyright 2005 Daniel Levis