There is no force out there quite as powerful as words. And while you might think that hurricanes or forest fires and tsunamis are much more powerful, none of them have quite as much impact on us and the way we go about our lives as words. Words have started world-wide wars, and ended them as well. They have the power to inspire action, to break down our defences and forge life long bonds. So it’s no surprise that the words you use when promoting yourself and your business will have a huge impact on your success.
WORDS INSPIRE EMOTION
Words inspire emotions in those who hear them, whether they want them to or not. Our brains are hard wired to find meaning in everything around us, which makes us very good at identifying patterns, but also great at attributing meaning to everything we interact with. For example – if it’s a rainy day, most people will say ‘it’s miserable outside’. Is the rain miserable? Is the day itself (say a Saturday) filled with miserable emotions? Of course not, it’s simply an emotion our minds have attached to the rain. Rain=miserable, sad and thoroughly depressed. In literature and TV this is called ‘pathetic fallacy’ – when the weather reflects a character’s mood. It’s something human beings are very good at doing.
Let’s take a look at a famous example of the power of words. Since as far back as 1910, there has been a challenge among writers to create what is called ‘the six-word novel.’ This is pretty much what it says – an entire story told with 6 words. The most famous example of this is thought to have been written by Earnest Hemmingway – though there has been some debate about whether he actually wrote it, or whether it has simply been attributed to him. It reads:
“FOR SALE: BABY SHOES, NEVER WORN”
Chilling, isn’t it? Now imagine you could harness that same power and raw emotion and apply it to your business. The good news is, you can – you just need to find the right words.
LEAD WITH THE HEART
There is a wonderful rule of thumb out there that I’ve heard copywriters and sales gurus say many times, and I think it’s very appropriate for selling your services, or yourself. It’s “lead with the heart, follow with the head.” The idea behind this is that as human beings, we tend to make our initial decisions in life based on an emotional impulse, and then use logic and emotion to evaluate and cement that decision.
So how does this relate to your business? Because finding the right way to connect with your customers is key to selling to them, and that requires some research. Before you can start picking the right words to inspire that emotional buying impulse, you need to know what drives them to buy in the first place. So take a look at your past and present customers, ask them questions and find out what it was that motivated them to buy from you. You will quickly see a pattern forming, and often it’s not what you expect. By finding out the real reasons your customers bought and continue to buy from you, you can start to put together a marketing campaign and sales pitch that taps into that in an emotional way. So if your clients love your personality, you can inject more of it into your sales activities. If they buy because you save them time at the office so they can see more of their family, that is the perfect way to sell your services. Take that emotional need and make it the heart of your sales pitch, your literature and your service, backed up by all of your benefits and advantages, and you have yourself a winning business.
Now it might seem like I’ve gone a bit off topic here, but by understanding the emotional drivers behind your customers you are allowing yourself to choose the right words to sell yourself successfully. After all, the words we use say a lot about ourselves, and we want to make sure we always chose the right ones to create a good impression and a positive experience. If you’ve found this post interesting and would like to know more about how words can affect your business, just get in touch with me today to arrange your consultation.