I never felt like less of a man than I did in that moment.
I was the "proud" new owner of a minivan.
I'd just spent $35,000 to discard any remaining vestiges of my manhood.
Now, what I really wanted was a gigantic, gas-guzzling, completely impractical SUV.
The reason was simple:
When I drove that monstrosity down the road, I felt like a man again.
The SUV "only" cost $65,000.
The minivan was far more practical and a much better fit for what our young family needed at the time.
It also cost $30,000 less than the SUV and got twice as good of gas mileage.
And yet, I've never been more miserable making a purchase in my life!
The 1 Sentence Behind All Successful Sales and Marketing
Therein lies the lesson of this post: We buy based on emotion.
We buy, to quote Seth Godin, based on how the process makes us feel:
We later go back and justify our purchase with facts, figures and stats, but we never buy because of those things.
(We might tell ourselves we do, but in reality, we're using those stats and figures to make ourselves feel like we're getting an amazing deal.)
Selling Online? Make People Feel Something!
If, like me, you sell products or services online for a living, you must make someone feel something as part of the process.
That's why, on my LinkedIn training for business webinars, I use video clips of people frolicking on the beach, playing with children, scaling mountaintops and other emotional imagery.
When I put together my Webinars That Work webinar training that shows you how to sell your products and services using webinars, I include emotional imagery and even ask the audience questions designed to provoke an internal, emotional response.
Features Tell, Benefits Sell
For instance, one of the biggest benefits of how to do a webinar is discovering that you get to stop trading hours for dollars.
To really emphasize that point, to really help my audience feel that benefit emotionally, I ask them these questions:
"What would you do if you had more time in the day? Would you travel? If so, where would you go? Would it be more time with your kids? Would it be taking on that passion project or hobby you've always wanted to do?"
If I'm doing a live or hybrid webinar, I also ask the audience to share their answer in the comments. I then riff and engage around those answers, getting people even more fired up as they share an emotional dream or goal they have.
Feeling Something = Focusing on the Solution
Now, this technique is not meant to manipulate or deceive.
Rather, it's meant to help people feel the massive benefit of how webinars help them stop trading hours for dollars.
And, once they do, they get excited, and they want the tool (my Webinars That Work online course) that will help them achieve that feeling.
See how this works?
Take a look at your own life, your last few purchases, and tell me it's not true!
Minivans and Manhood
Back to the minivan for a minute.
The lesson was driven (no pun intended) home the other night when a good buddy of mine, Mark Ehling, came over to jam on guitars.
Back in our early 20s, Mark and I would get together and jam for hours, even to the point of doing air guitar jams at my wedding reception:
The other night, Mark pulled up to my house ... in a bright green minivan.
With two young boys of his own, a minivan is the "practical" and "smart" purchase for Mark as well.
However, I knew he could relate to my own experience, and how purchasing a minivan made me feel.
So, if you want to sell more of your products and services online, make your audience feel something.
Preferably something positive, exciting and tied directly to their biggest dreams and ambitions.
Do that, and you'll never be short on sales.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go outside and gaze longingly at my neighbor's new SUV!