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Donnie Bryant: Secret Ingredient You Need Before Closing Any Sale

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When you’re studying salesmanship, marketing or copywriting, what is the one element that always gets mentioned?

Here’s a hint. You are trained to believe that you can’t close a sale without it.

It’s the part that squeamish salespeople would love to skip over.

We’re talking about the call to action. Asking for the sale.

There are two reasons, I think, why salespeople of every stripe hate to ask people to buy what they’re offering. First, very few people enjoy putting pressure on someone else (at least not overtly). It makes you feel like a jerk. Second, many people are scared of rejection. And let’s face it, even good salespeople hear “no” pretty frequently.

We won’t go into all the different methods that can be utilized to reduce rejection and increase sales here.

What I’d like to do is talk about the most powerful precursor to an effective call to action. A basic principle that so many of us miss…

“Action is basically a reaction against loss of balance … To dispose a soul to action we must upset its equilibrium.” ~ Eric Hoffer (author of The True Believer)

If you want to get a prospect to take action and purchase your product or hire your services, you’re going to have to upset his or her equilibrium, his general sense of well-being. That’s the job of the sales pitch, whether in person, in print or online.

Your product or service accomplishes something for whoever buys it. It helps make their lives better in some way. So how do you shake your would-be customer up in a way that shows him that he needs your product? You have to agitate the problem that your product alleviates.

This can take many forms, but the basic structure is this:

  • paint a picture of one of the prospect’s most painful problems. The problem should be one he’s already aware of. It’s tough to sell someone a solution to a problem he doesn’t know he has
  • Show him a world where the problem has been eliminated
  • Tell him how to get your product, which will makes that dream world his new reality

Most sales pitches sound like this: “feature, feature, feature, buy, buy, buy.” Some replace features with benefits, which is a better approach. But even piling on benefits isn’t the best way to channel desire toward your offer.

With his equilibrium intact, your potential customer may not feel the need to change

Remember, people don’t move until their “balance” is interrupted. As a salesperson, marketer or copywriter, the best way to upset equilibrium is to point out a known pain that your listener/reader is experiencing.

If you uncover a pain that hurts badly enough, there will be plenty of customers begging you to take their money and make it go away. No high-pressure tactics or hard selling necessary.

At that point, your call to action is like offering a glass of ice water to a tourist whose car broke down in the middle of the desert.

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