Joe Sugarman: Triggers

This is one of my favourite marketing books written by a direct response marketing legend behind the BluBlocker sunglasses and many more products. The sub-title is “30 Sales Tools You Can Use To Control The Mind of Your Prospect to Motivate, Influence and Persuade”.

Unfortunately it’s out of print at the moment but I heard from Joe that he hopes to bring it out again.

Another of your bonuses for joining Your Profit Club as a silver member is a copy of the interview between Joe Sugarman and Joe Polish on Triggers which they were kind enough to authorise me to give you.

1. Consistency – once a decision is made, a person will want to continue to act in a way that is consistent with that decision or action. In a buying situation, the buyer has gone from sceptic to believer and may be eager to buy an upsell or cross-sell.

2. Product Nature – look for your product’s unique personality which can make a connection with your prospective customer, either emotionally or logically. Then cover these in your sales presentation.

3. Prospect Nature – find common emotional and logical reasons why your prospect wants to buy your product or service. Go back to customers who bought and find out why – their reasons may surprise you. Ask your prospects and find out what is important to them.

4. Objection Raising – just about every product or service has a flaw which your prospect might see as a negative. Raise it yourself before your potential customer can mention it. This tactic gives credibility and believability to the positive benefits in your presentation.

5. Objection Resolution – having raised a concern, you need to deal with it either by

* showing how the potential problem is an advantage: We are a small firm which is why you can be sure of our personal service and attention. Your business is important to us.

* showing that this minor flaw is so overwhelmed by all the good features and benefits, it becomes insignificant

6. Involvement and Ownership – involve your prospect in the selling process by touching and using the product. This is why car dealers are so keen to get you to test drive a car. Help them imagine what it’s like to own the product and to be receiving the benefits.

7. Integrity – you want to be trusted when selling and that means building a reputation for telling the truth and doing what you say you will.

8. Storytelling – since childhood, we’ve been conditioned to listen to stories. A good story gets and keeps attention and creates a bond with your prospect. Stories can also contain messages which sneak under the hype detecting radar so things in stories will be believed when they would otherwise be dismissed. Interestingly the way Joe Sugarman wrote Triggers was through telling a story to illustrate each of these points.

9. Authority – a repeat of one of the Robert Cialdini factors as we believe experts and authority figures.

10. Proof of Value – everyone hates to be ripped off so stablish the financial case for buying. Show the money that can be made or saved. Make comparisons with similar products and do it honestly.

11. Emotion – take advantage of emotion to fire up wants and desires (these are emotional conditions). Use evocative words that excite and create passion or show your own passion for what you sell.

12. Justify with Logic – if using emotion makes your prospects want your product, use logic to help them rationally their purchase to themselves and justify it to others.

13. Greed – a huge basic driver of action. The bigger the gap between perceived value and the price, the stronger the motivation to buy.

14. Credibility – don’t exaggerate and make your promotion unbelievable. Be accurate. It’s even be shown that big claims can be more powerful if scaled back.

15. Satisfaction Conviction – show your belief in a product with such a strong guarantee, that your prospect believes if it wasn’t great, you’d have to be crazy eg a “double your money back” guarantee

16. Linking – make your product easy to understand by linking it to something the prospect already knows so you create a bridge in the mind from old to new.

17. Desire to Belong – people express who they are and who they want to be through their purchases. Prestige brands like Rolex because people want to be like the other people who own and wear Rolex watches.

18. Desire to Collect – some people collect stamps or coins, others like Jay Leno collect expensive cars. The desire to collect is strong and it keeps someone buying long after any rational need is met.

19. Sense of Urgency – another Robert Cialdini factor although he called it scarcity. It triggers a fear of loss of opportunity if you don’t take immediate action.

20. Exclusivity – again linked to scarcity, the power of the limited edition to enhance value, push up prices and to create action is well known.

21. Simplicity – keep your offer simple. Complexity scares customers away and creates uncertainty about which is the best way to go.

22. Guilt – this links back to Robert Cialdini’s reciprocation based on an uneasy feeling that you’ve had something of value and given nothing in return.

23. Specificity – general claims are easily dismissed but specific claims are believable – this new golf driver adds 52.3 yards to the drives of novice golfers has a much bigger impact than 50 yards.

24. Familiarity – people buy brands they know. Name recognition increases trust in your claims.

25. Patterning – look at how your successful competitors work and then use that pattern with a special twist.

26. Hope – people buy to solve problems and even being given hope can create its own positive rush of emotions. Link your product to something your prospect is hoping to do or have.

27. Curiosity – will hook a reader and get them to want to learn more. You can bait your hook and promises to reveal more details later to get more of your sales message read. Make sure you deliver on your promise.

28. Harmonize – you want to create positive momentum in your marketing and get your prospect saying or thinking Yes and nodding their heads. Beware of No’s and especially near the close.

29. Mental Engagement – get your prospect’s mind thinking and active. he has to reach his own conclusion that he wants to buy.

30. Honesty – be truthful. Any sense that what you say is untrue will kill the sale.

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