For marketers and copywriters, there is a window into the hidden world of human decision making. When you are trying to sell something, you have to push your prospect out of their comfort zone. For most people, that area is a zombie state of almost comatose procrastination. You cannot close. You can get them to agree that, sure, what you have there looks like a great deal … but it won’t close the sale.
Think about this from a personal perspective: it can actually hurt your brain to make a decision that involves money. Unless … Unless you fall into that warm fuzzy irrational state where you can ignore fear, anxiety, and all those nagging doubts … and just say “what the heck” and throw your money on the table. Basically, as a marketer and copywriter, you are throwing a little party between you and your prospect. You are not literally fooling him with drinking … but you are creating an alternate state of consciousness in which the stubborn reluctance of a guy deep in his comfort zone gives way to the uninhibited decision maker hiding deep in its interior.
Now, I am NOT recommending that you immediately start a life hopping from bar to bar and drinking alcohol, hoping to become a better salesperson. You don’t even need a drop of alcohol to pass your lips to understand the lesson here. You just need to stop and consider how the human mind can fool a careless observer. If you spend all day surrounded by sober and rational people who never let their guard down, you will lull yourself into thinking that your sales message should appeal to our highest sense of reason and empirical data analysis. And it just isn’t so. The old rule of thumb (which I learned from incredibly smart street sales experts): It is based on reason, but closed on emotion.
Therefore, you need to pay attention to the emotional world that most people ignore, pretend does not exist, or hide. Let the rest of the corporate world fantasize about a career with reasonable, shrewd, and lucid prospects. Your inner clue: We are actually a tribe of unpredictable, erratic, and goofy emotional lunatics. Most of the time we keep it under control. Side note: learning these lessons about human nature does NOT make you a grumpy cynic. Quite the opposite. I find that the more I learn about my fellow travelers, the more I love them all.
We all share this incredible and wild journey … on a planet full of beauty, horror, pleasure and pain … and none of us has an advantage of living well that cannot be learned by everyone else. . The business owner who learns to sell and puts what he learns into practice is a little more awake and a little more involved in the realities of existence. It may be surprising, at first, to realize how weird we all are … but after that initial shock of consciousness, you really wouldn’t want it any other way.
Most of the world sleepwalks during the day. They are reactive, not proactive. (In other words, things happen to them. They don’t initiate much action.) As a marketer and copywriter, you need to wake up and take on more responsibilities. And the good guys live deep, play hard, and love without inhibitions. You can’t do all that while you sleep.
Again: I don’t recommend that you start drinking at dive bars to study human nature. Just start recording what you observe in your fellow man … in all the wonderful and terrifying variations we reveal. Ok? Well.