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What did you think when you saw “ESP”? Extra-sensory perception? That’s certainly the common use of the abbreviation. Or did you wonder if I meant “USP” – unique selling proposition?
What I’m going to talk about has nothing to do with the supernatural (well, maybe just a little) – and it’s definitely related to your USP – but with a clever twist.
ESP = Emotional Selling Proposition. What on earth does that mean?
Marketing – it’s all about emotion.
Every business needs clients, customers or whatever you prefer to call them – the people that buy your products or services. These people don’t care what you do. All they care about is how you will solve their problems.
I’m a scientist, so I like scientific explanations – here you go:
There are three sections to the brain: outer (new), middle, and reptilian.
The youngest part of the brain is the outer layer. It is responsible for such things as processing the written language, complex thinking, calculating, and rationalizing your decision.
The middle section of the brain processes emotional responses. It gives you a gut feeling on your decision.
The oldest part of the human brain is the reptilian area (known as the amygdala)
The amygdala is responsible for instinct and survival. Its main focus is to avoid pain – you’ve heard of “fight or flight”. This area makes our decisions.
The brain accounts for only 2% of our body weight, but uses 20% of the body’s energy. Our bodies are optimised to conserve energy – hence the brain will only activate all its regions when it’s a case of survival – and avoiding pain…
When writing marketing copy, creating graphics or videos, we need to think about what drives a customer to buy – and crucially, what initially attracts their attention. We need to get the reptilian brain activated!
Accentuate the…. negative??
You’d think focussing on the positive aspects of your product or service would be the best place to start, wouldn’t you?
You certainly need to do that, but NOT at the beginning of your marketing piece. Remember “fight or flight” and the reptilian brain?
Start with a negative. Focus on the pain – not necessarily physical pain, but the bad feelings someone might have when they NEED what you offer.
Start by asking a question like “Are you struggling with xxxxx?”
Then; “When you work with us, you’ll feel relieved because xxxxx” (that’s the simplified version, you’d want to flesh it out a bit!)
Negative emotions are the most powerful trigger to the reptilian brain.
Your Ideal Client
I’m sure you’ll know what I mean – you’ve probably heard countless times that you can’t market to everyone. Try to do that, and you end up attracting no-one.
Looking at this from an emotional standpoint, it becomes a bit more straightforward than the usual method of researching and creating a very specific “avatar” – although it’s definitely still a good idea to do that.
When you think about your prospects (potential clients), what are they struggling with right now? What would they do anything to fix? Crucially, what EMOTIONS are they experiencing in their current situation?
Worry? Fear? Panic? Stress? Frustration?
Identify the problem and demonstrate the solution.
Almost certainly they will be feeling one of those negative emotions – which is why they are looking for a solution. Your job is to identify this and describe exactly why your product or service is the answer.
The way you do this is to start by portraying the negative emotions. Think about the questions you’re most commonly asked, and imagine the emotions that prompt those questions. As an example, an accountant might say “Are you feeling frustrated because you’re paying too much tax?” or “Are you confused over who you can claim as a dependent for tax purposes?”
Now, offer a bit of reassurance – show them you understand their problem completely. And then demonstrate how the problem will be solved when they buy your product or service, by portraying the positive emotions that will result: relief, peace of mind, sleeping better – and so on.
Finally, tell them what to do next (the all-important Call To Action that is so often forgotten).
When you follow this process, you’ll find marketing a whole lot easier because you’ve identified your ESP!
Your prospects will feel able to trust you – you’ve demonstrated that you understand exactly what their problem is and shown them a simple solution. Now it’s your responsibility to follow up and close the sale.
Putting it into practice…
Here’s another thing about the amygdala… because it’s the most primitive area of the brain, it responds in a primitive way. Our ancestors were hunters – their survival depended on quick response to any threat (that fight or flight thing again!) Threats tend to move – think sabre-toothed tigers…
What I’m getting to is that the human brain is hard-wired to respond to movement. What moves and can be used in our marketing? Video of course – and let’s not forget gif images. There’s a lot more to gifs than those silly ones you see on social media – they can be a great promotional tool for your business.
I hope this has given you a few ideas and ways to improve your marketing strategy. As always, I welcome feedback so please feel free to leave a comment below.
Want a bit of help identifying your ESP? Book a 15 minute free, no-obligation call with me HERE. We’ll explore the emotions your potential clients might be feeling, and discuss your solutions.
Or ask me about a bespoke whiteboard explainer video for your business that focuses on situations and emotions, ideal for getting your prospects excited about working with you.
Here’s an example:
Did you know that gifs could be used to promote your business? They are image files, so they’re really easy to share on social media, embed in emails or even add to your website.
Ask me about having one created for your business.
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