Let’s start by assuming everyone wants to make the best decision possible. In marketing terms, this means they want to get a good deal. Now when we say they want a good deal it doesn’t mean they want the lowest price, it’s been proven over and over that price is typically NOT the number one decision-making criteria. If we agree on that, then I think we can also agree that it’s our job as marketers to get the buyer’s and show them how our company, product, or service is the best choice. To do this, we need to facilitate their decision-making process, which means lowering the risk of taking the next step in the selling process. To do that, we use the Persuasion Equation.
Interrupt + Engage + Educate + Offer = RESULTS
We promised that it’s straight forward and it produces results.
Interrupt Your Prospect’s Brain
Anyone who knows our CEO (Razz Khan) has heard him talk about the science of the brain and its Alpha and Beta modes.
In keeping a long story short here, the brain has two fundamental states of awareness; Alpha = a state of autopilot, and Beta = a state of alertness.
The Reticular Activator (RA) controls what wakes up the brain and moves it from Alpha to Beta. The RA is constantly on the lookout for things that are familiar, problematic or unusual. When it observes anything of that nature, it will snap your brain from Alpha to Beta.
Your first job as a marketer is to understand what will snap your prospect’s brain from Alpha to Beta.
Basically take them out of their autopilot stupor and put them into a state of alertness, so they will pay attention to you. You do this by having a keen sense of their emotional hot buttons and leveraging your headlines, subject lines and creative to tap into their emotional hot button.
Now don’t make the biggest mistake marketers make and stop there. The next part of the equation is critical if you really want to communicate with your prospects.
Engage Your Prospect by Giving Them a Reason to Believe
You’ve likely all heard that we now have less attention span than a goldfish. It appears that our attention spans have shrunk from 12 seconds to 8 seconds while the seemingly lowly gold fish has an attention span of 9 seconds. Wow, we humans were barely beating goldfish in the first place, but now we’re losing to them.
But do you see why this happens? Look at the onslaught of information that comes at you every single day. Again there are many studies that talk about the amount of commercial media that is attacking all of us every day, whether the number is 500 or 5,000 it doesn’t matter, IT’S A LOT.
This brings us back to brain science. I would submit that advertisers are pretty good at flipping us from Alpha to Beta, but they are lousy at engagement.
They are so worried about talking about their brand that they forget the number one tenant in marketing WIIFM: (What’s in it for ME).
The engage part of the Persuasion Equation simply lets the prospect know that you are going to give them something valuable for their time. It can, and should use the same constructs as your Interrupt by leveraging headlines and creative to engage the prospect to spend time with your marketing communication.
Educate Your Prospect to Buy What You Sell
Now that you have your prospects attention, it’s time to facilitate their decision making process. How do you do that? Should you start screaming about your product or service? Probably not.
The educate phase of the Persuasion Equation means you need to educate your prospect on how to buy what you’re selling. You need to give them all of the relevant information that is necessary to make an informed decision. Of course you want to persuade them to buy your product or service, but always look at the situation through their lens first.
As we mentioned, consumers today are seeking information. Provide them with the information they’re seeking. Start by identifying their important issues and demonstrate how you fulfil their wants and needs. In other words, build a case for your business!
Offer Your Prospect a Low Risk Way to Continue the Sales Process
You really have to understand your prospect and get a perspective of where they are in their buying process to have an effective offer. Here’s the thing about buyers, they don’t want to be sold but they do want to buy. This is why we need to persuade them to take the next step.
Often we have a knee jerk reaction to either provide a discount or have the prospect “contact us”. Now we’re not saying those are bad ideas, they often are excellent offers. What we are saying is to think about where they are in the buying process and give them an offer that advances your chances of making the sale.
Maybe that’s additional educational information, maybe it’s a checklist, maybe it’s a guide on how to do what you do, maybe it is a promotion or a contact us.
The goal of this information is to allow prospects to feel in control of their decision-making process.
One more thing, you need to use the same thinking in your offer copy as you do for your headlines and sub-headlines. Don’t get them all the way to the offer and say something like “click here”.
Marketing as a well oiled machine
When you perform the Persuasion Equation correctly it gets what every marketers desires, measurable results.
The Persuasion Equation works when all components are present. That means, you must Interrupt + Engage + Educate + Offer in order to receive results.
When all components come together, not only is it a thing of beauty, but you have greater success and business growth!
Remember my bold assumption. Consumers want to make the best decision possible. It’s our job to facilitate that decision-making process. As long as you have each of the 4 components of the Persuasion Equation as part of your strategy, your ads and campaigns will be successful.