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Sales Strategy
Aug 1, 2009 | Bill Henthorn lock

In getting anyone to do anything, you have to ask them. The more times you ask, the better your odds of them saying "Yes."

In sales, it's called the "close." And in sales, you're taught to close, or ask for the order again and again, in order to increase your chances of your prospect buying. But, simple repetition often makes people bored, irritated, or even moves them to act by leaving (which is the wrong action you want them to take).

You can overcome this problem with mindless unappealing repetition by using themes. And in doing so, you build trust while tapping into your prospects' emotions and lead them to buy. How? Discover how here:

The short answer is: By repeating certain themes, while not mentioning their opposites.

You can do the "sales and marketing things" wrong - on purpose:

Whether you're selling a product or a service, look at what you don't have to do. As an easy example, we'll use a U.S. savings bond:

  • You don't need to mention the features: the interest rate, the time over which you get your money back
  • You don't need to mention the competitive advantages: how the interest rate is a good investment return and how their investment is safely backed by the power and creditworthiness of the United States government
  • You don't need to mention the benefits: how a sound investment helps you as a buyer stabilize your income with a new dependable source

Of course, you can and must use the "sales and marketing" call to action over and over and over. How?

Let's find out how, in a real case where one woman, asking her prospects to buy an astonishing 65 times in 18 hours, generated $480 million in today's dollars in sales during World War II . . .

She wove her overall theme into everything:

"Buying a bond is a sacred act"

This woman's used an overall theme: sacredness. Think of the higher purpose your contributions make when you donate money to a church or similar organization. That's sacredness. And you have a moral duty to contribute - otherwise, how do you feel when that contribution plate comes down the pew, it's your turn to put something in it, and you merely pass it on? That's how tremendously powerful using an overall theme (like sacredness) truly is: people end up with gnawing uncomfortable guilt and shame when they don't buy.

Here are some of the exact words Kate Smith used into appealing to restoring peace to the world and reuniting loving families:

  • "Buy a bond and bring the boys back."
  • "You can shorten this war you know. Each of you in your heart knows that you can."

This woman used variations of these throughout her 18 hours.

Importance of This Overall Sacredness Theme for You:

  1. She segmented the market, taking the high ground, while giving up sales in other segments (such as buyers interested in "bonds as a good investment")
  2. She consistently used the sacred theme in all messages
  3. She didn't need to give bonuses, discounts, specials, or premiums, which lowered her selling expenses
  4. Buyers never considered the price of the product. Buying became the fulfillment of a moral obligation
  5. She greased the sales slide with an emotional outlet. For Americans with guilt, pity, sympathy, fear, and anxiety about the war, the future, and their participation compared to others (such as neighbors or coworkers with sons overseas), they were able to reduce or eliminate these emotions by "doing the right thing," whatever that was to them. One product fulfilled all emotional needs.

By using an overall theme (e.g., sacredness, freedom, Heaven on Earth, The Promised Land, world peace, ending hunger, self-realization, wisdom), you can forget about lots of standard sales and marketing techniques and focus on giving your prospects a powerful emotional reason to buy: they create or support something much bigger than themselves.


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