If you want to build a solid foundation for marketing and selling, the book Ca$hvertising by Drew Eric Whitman is a great place to get started.
It’s even been called a “virtual blueprint” for persuading the consumer mind (the full title is CaShvertising: How to Use More than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone). It covers all kinds of proven, psychology-based techniques for marketing, selling, and really getting into the hearts and minds of your customers.
And at its foundation is what Drew Eric Whitman labels the “Life Force 8”. The Life Force 8 are the eight basic human instincts hardwired into every person:
- Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension
- Enjoyment of food and beverages
- Freedom from fear, pain, and danger
- Sexual companionship
- Comfortable living conditions
- To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses
- Care and protection of loved ones
- Social approval
In other words, these are the eight things that people really want…more than anything else. We’re literally biologically programmed to follow these eight desires.
So, how do you apply them for better selling?
So, how do you apply them for better selling?
Well, it starts with internalizing them. Read them over, hand copy them a few times, and really let them sink into your memory.
Because if you can hit on one of these desires at the right time, they can change everything in a sales call.
But you shouldn’t just internalize them – you should also mold them into your sale message and pitch.
Let’s illustrate with an example…
One of my former colleagues was a door-to-door marketer for a windows and roofing company when he was younger, and he told me all about how his “pitch” aligned with many desires in the “Life Force 8”.
Once the homeowner opened their door and he greeted them, he started his pitch. Let’s see if you can point out the different “Life Force 8” desires in action.
“I’m John with XYZ company. We just finished up a roofing project down the street, and as I was walking by, I noticed you have some wear and tear on the roof. While we’re in the neighborhood, we’re giving you and a lot of the neighbors free estimates on roofing. We’ll be around all day today and tomorrow if that works better for you?”
Could you point them out? There are a few packed in there. Let’s look again.
“I’m John with XYZ company. We just finished up a roofing project down the street [Keeping up with the Joneses, social approval], and as I was walking by, I noticed you have some wear and tear on the roof [Comfortable living conditions]. While we’re in the neighborhood, we’re giving you and a lot of the neighbors free estimates on roofing [Keeping up with the Joneses]. We’ll be around all day today and tomorrow if that works better for you?”
As you can see, the “Life Force 8” really is threaded into the pitch – the main desires being social approval and the “Jones effect”.
To make his pitch even stronger, when homeowners seemed uncertain about signing up for an estimate, he’d point to some of the houses where he’d already talked with homeowners.
“We’ll be meeting with John and Cindy across the street at 6pm, we can swing by right after that if that works for you.”
This just made the Jones effect even stronger. If everybody else in the neighborhood was getting a free estimate, even their friends, than they’d be left out if they didn’t get one…at least, that’s how they might feel.
You can test different desires to see which have the biggest impact for your product. For example, maybe the weather forecasters were predicting an active hurricane season, or harsh winter. My friend could have changed his pitch to include this forecast, and thereby appeal more to the care and protection of loved ones.
You never know what will resonate more with one prospect over another, so having multiple Life Force 8 appeals in your arsenal can be quite powerful.
So now, let’s ask an important question…
How can you incorporate “Life Force 8” desires into your sales pitch?
Keep in mind, you don’t need to hit on all of them. That’d be pretty difficult to do. But even just hitting on one or two of the desires can make a big difference. Go through the list and see what you can come up with.
The Jones effect worked well for the window and roofing company, and maybe it can work well for you too. Perhaps you sell B2B and you can talk about how all the businesses in the industry are updating to a particular software (like yours).
Or maybe you sell life insurance B2C. In that case, think about the best ways to hit on the “care and protection of loved ones” desire or "survival, enjoyment of life."
No matter what you sell, there’s always some sort of “Life Force 8” desire that you can hit on. So, figure out which desire (or desires) it is, and start crafting it in into your pitch.
What do you think are the most prevalent “Life Force 8” desires in your industry? How can you apply them for better selling? Let us know in the comments below...