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Why can´t selling be more logical?

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Why can´t selling be more logical?

Postby jsawvel » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:34 pm

I was going to label this post, "Is selling just BS?" but I thought that might be a little too controversial.

Basically, here is my situation, I am just getting into Copywriting and selling and negotiating and telling stories.

I have been listening to books on tape, reading ebooks on selling, writing direct sales letters, how to get people to like you, negotiate, tell a story.

And the thing is, so much of selling seems to me like deception or saying something that is totally unrelated to the actual product.

I was listening to a sales tape, I think the guys name is John Hopkins.

The techniques he advises for selling are something akin to hyptmotism. He says that YOU as the seller should CHOOSE the ideal product for your customer and them MAKE SURE that they buy it.

It just seems like lousy way of dealing with people, to think of them all as individuals that can be mezmorized and fed into an emotional slide to make a decision, and then YOU as the seller or copywriter play God and choose which products your brain dead audience should buy.

When I read the info on selling it is like the process of selling is almost totally unrelated to the product you are selling.

So, it feels more like a process of manipulation than of guiding the person to a decision that will benefit them.

I would like to be able to find products that will actually help people and then tell people, "here is product that will do this and this and this for you. And the reason that this matter is, this and this."

So, there is a bit of a black box when it comes to WHY people buy things. Its almost seems like when you read sales techniques, it makes it seem like people are completely irrational, easy to mislead and basically have no control over what decisions they make.

So, if possible, I would like to hear from some copywriter that don´t feel like they are taking people for a ride. Or, how they rationalize the ART of selling and still have respect for their customers.

The way that "John Hopkins" that I mentioned earlier, rationalized it is by choosing products that he KNEW his customers needed, so he didn´t really care HOW he got them to buy, because he knew he was doing something GOOD for them. However, he commented that someone using the same SELLING techniques to get people to buy crap would be considered a con artist.

***********
Hope this post doesn´t sound like I am trying to start a debate. I am actually just a bit confused about what I am reading in literature about copying headlines and structures and telling people what they want to hear and whatnot just to get a POSITIVE output or money in your bank.

It kind of feels like, "How do I need to shake the monkey to get him to do the trick again?" :?
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Postby moomal » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:35 pm

I've often had the same concerns about copywriting - that's probably why I'm so bad at it :P

I recently got a recommendation to read a book by Harry Browne called "The Secret of Selling Anything", which is supposed to be a low-pressure, low-aggression, manipulation-free way to sell a product. Haven't had a chance to look at it yet, but I do plan to buy it.

Here's the link (non-aff), it's only $10.

Gary Bencivenga (a highly respected copywriter) recommended it here, I think he does a good job of explaining the basic premise behind it. Feels much more ethical and "comfortable" to me. :)
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Thanks Moomal, glad to hear someone feels the same..

Postby jsawvel » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:06 pm

I took a look at the link. The book seems to be right on target with how I feel. I think selling needs to be professional and quality ideally. You can get people to buy things on hype, but how can you respect your customers if you are treating them like morons.

And it seems to me if you want to have a long term business then you are going to have to be a quality sales person.

If you just want to make money overnight on affiliate products or something like that, then maybe you can afford to sell in a scammy way, but most people will grow wise to this pretty quick.

I will definitely give this book a read. :wink:
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Half way finished with the book...

Postby jsawvel » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:40 pm

I got the book.

I really like the info so far.

I actually read one of Harry Browne´s books a few years ago about FREEDOM that I really enjoyed. He seems to be an all around good thinker.

The book is 141 pages long and the premise of the book is that people don´t do anything that they dont WANT to do. So, you aren´t going to get them to do something they don´t want. And people are always trying to make their life easier, less painful and more happy, but each person goes about it in different ways. What makes one person happy may not make another person happy.

So, the idea is that you have to find out what makes another person happy and then show them how you can offer them greater comfort, happiness, problems solved.

To me, this makes a lot of sense. In terms of an online business, it makes sense that people spend time where they WANT to spend time and they don´t HAVE to spend time on your website or using whatever it is that you offer.

So, the idea that people basically do what they want and what makes them personally happy was a valuable point I took away from the book.
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Postby magicoffer » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:50 pm

Selling can't be an exercise in logic because people, quite frankly, don't make decisions purely on the basis of logic.

That doesn't, however, mean that copywriters should check their ethics at the door when they start working on a project.

There are ways to make an honest, yet persuasive, presentation in support of a quality product or service and I think that's what we should strive hours.
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Giving People What Will Make Them Happy?

Postby jsawvel » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:48 pm

I just got done with Harry Browne´s book and he says that people buy things that will improve their situation or make them happier.

His idea is that PEOPLE already know what they want. Sure, they may want things for EMOTIONAL reasons.

Maybe I want a new "crop of hair" or a nice green front lawn. I want them for emotional reasons, but having these things really does make me happier and improves my state of mind and happiness.

If someone shows me how I truly can have a new crop of hair or a green lawn, then I have found a way to solve my worry or my problem and make myself happier.

And ultimately, probably, the problem I am trying to solve is not my hair or the lawn, but how other people percieve me (hair) and what my neighbors or friends think of my yard.

But, if someone can show me HOW to improve my image, then that IS the problem I am trying to solve. I want to solve it for emotional reasons, but there is a clear problem that I have in my mind that I am motivated to find a solution to.

So, it seems like the idea is not to MOTIVATE the person to buy, but to understand the motivation they already have and show them how you can solve their problem. To do this, I think you need to know what frustration your product is going to solve for the person you are selling to. Or, what pleasure or happiness it will add to their life and WHAT makes them happy.

The Harry Browne book basically stated that the Rockefellers and the very rich men in the world have just made a lot of people happy. I think this is a great way of thinking about sales.

"How is my product going to make my prospect happier or their life easier?"

It makes a lot of sense why movie makers and music artists are so rich, because they provide lots of people with lots of pleasure. And there aren´t very many people that can make products that give people pleasure or actually make their life easier or make them happier.
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Postby Bensettle » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:09 pm

That Harry Browne book sounds like really good stuff

Too many people are in "convincing" mode -- always trying to "persuade" people to want something, instead of just tapping into their already-existing wants.

Ben
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Postby Paul Wilson » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:57 am

Selling will never be logical? It's always emotional. People act based upon emotion. Logical stuff is based upon common sense. Emotions are prevalent and common sense goes out the window. If selling was logical, then it everybody would get an A+ in copywriting and you wouldn't hear so much about the top copywriters in the Internet Marketing field.
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Postby Paul Wilson » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:59 am

Bensettle wrote:That Harry Browne book sounds like really good stuff

Too many people are in "convincing" mode -- always trying to "persuade" people to want something, instead of just tapping into their already-existing wants.

Ben


It sounds like you have a good point Ben. If you tap into peoples existing wants and put your visitors in an emotional frenzy, sales will pile up!
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Postby Bensettle » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:09 pm

It sounds like you have a good point Ben. If you tap into peoples existing wants and put your visitors in an emotional frenzy, sales will pile up!


Hey Paul, I was paraphrasing the introduction to Gene Schwartz's copywriting masterpiece "Breakthrough Advertising."

Easily the most important sales lesson I've ever seen.

"Don't try to create demand, channel existing demand"

Ben
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Postby Paul Wilson » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:17 pm

Ben,

I like your point of view because it throws out the hard work concept. Lifes too short to work hard! Some marketers do have a good talent for creating demand out of thin air and turning that into cash but why create it when you can legally transfer some of that cash into your own pocket. It's financially intelligent. Good thinking Ben
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Postby Bensettle » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:34 pm

I like Gary Halbert's "starving crowd" teaching:

Find a hungry crowd first... and then selling 'em your "food" is like shooting fish in a barrel 8)

Much easier than going to people who are already full or not hungry and trying to sell 'em food.

Ben
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Postby Paul Wilson » Sat May 23, 2009 11:05 am

Joe Vitale has been quoting this quote by Eugene Schwartz "A Copywriter is the scriptwriter of your customers dreams."
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