Most people do not take decisions that make sense. It is said that 95% of any group will take decisions because it sounds nice, it feels right or the outcome that may come out of that decision looks good. All are emotional estimations. On a more technical level, it is about the tone of voice your self-talk (inner voice) is using when thinking about this / the feelings it triggers in your body based on your map of beliefs or the pictures you imagine in your mind.
The other 5% are said to be overly analytical type that take data driven decisions, similar to how an accountant would balance a budget.
So while this is not the entire story, 95% of all people don’t take decisions because they make any rational sense but because it makes subjective, emotional sense. Yet, nine out of ten copywriters will write a piece that makes perfect rational sense on why one should buy the product and doesn’t take into account the subjective inner world of the prospect.
A good example of this is sex. Sex doesn’t make a lot of rational decisions. It doesn’t make sense to have sex without a condom with a partner you don’t know as you risk a lot – pregnancy and STDs. Yet, surveys show that over 50% of sexually active people do have sex with a new partner without a condom is he asks this. From a rational point of view, sex is a lot of work for very little reward. This can range from persuading to buying gifts to paying $150 for a hotel room so your wife home doesn’t find out. The real cost of sex is high for most people.
There are some people who will even go to jail in order to have sex (rape) or who ruin their future (cheating while married). There’s no possible way to say that you gain a net profit in most of these situations. Yet, we do it. I’ll be the first to admit it. Put a naked, beautiful interesting girl in front of me and I’ll forget about my plans and priorities quite fast.
As an example of how human I am, with all the idiosyncrasies that come with this – I’ve went to meet a girl at her home, in the worst part of the city, without anyone knowing where I am. I knew that her boyfriend can come home and I’ll be in a world of hurt, I knew that I have to take a 30 minute cab ride, that dogs may bite me and to be honest, I had zero chemistry with her. Yet, the promise of good sex got me there.
That’s being said, if we are so human that we take decisions that make no rational sense, why do you insist on selling on a rational level to your prospect? Why do you expect him to buy just because your copy makes sense? When was the last time you’ve done something because it just makes sense? Maybe as an entrepreneur or manager or self-employed, you are used to take data driven decisions because you are responsible for the outcomes. You’ve learned that numbers tell a better story than emotions. But most people are not in that position. As I said, most will take decisions because it sounds good, feels good or looks good. Few if any sit down with a piece of paper to write the cons and pros of doing something. I definitely don’t even if I know I should.
If there’s something life taught me, long before copywriting manuals is that you can spend hours trying to convince someone of why something makes sense. They may even agree. But they’ll still act driven by their emotions.
Maybe this is for the best. I’m not here to discuss the philosophical implications of emotions. It’s what makes us human. If we would be as rational as an AI, maybe nothing that brings us joy would exist. Happiness exists because we know pain and love is so valuable because we know how painful is feeling lonely. Emotions lead to value judgements through contrasts and that’s great. But if you want to sell, tap into those emotions.
Pour emotions into his soul, not facts. Give beautiful pictures of triumph and joy, not charts. Tell stories of pain and sorrow, not baselines for life. Make them feel hope. Make their heart race. Talk to the heart, to the solar plexus, to their ears and eyes but don’t talk to their mind. In most cases, you can’t convince someone to rationally do something.
Do this and you’ll have the entire world supporting you. Yes, it’s true that civilization advances through logic but that’s on a large, organizational level. On an individual one, you, me, your best friend, the hot dog seller from the corner are driven by emotions. And even if you’re amongst the 5% that’s considered purely rational, you should learn the language of emotion in order to influence others.
Are you interested in discovering how I can help your business or how we can apply these concepts to your own venture? Then let’s have a talk. For a limited time, I’m giving away complementary 30 minute calls. In these sessions, we’ll discuss ways in which we can maximize your customer value, boost your conversion, achieve more sales and increase any other relevant metrics in your business.
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The Business & Self-Improvement Copywriter