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How to talk to the ego and get sales results immediately

How to talk to the ego and get sales results immediately

That age old battle - the ego vs the heart - is more relevant now than ever to us marketeers and anyone directly involved in business development. It dictates how you speak to the people you need to be speaking to; how you capture their attention and it applies to every communication you put out there – online, direct mail, posters, brochures, social media.

The thing is though, with everyone communicating to everyone else - shouting, pitching and bargaining for a share of the market - it can be hard, defeating and infuriating for those of us running ethical business operations to compete with ‘get rich quick’ and ‘lose 7kg in 7 days’.

If you thought I was about to start sharing insight on the importance of speaking to emotion – to the heart – think again. The reason the ‘get rich quick’s and ‘lose weight fasts’s of the world are so successful is because they speak to the ego of a profiled target market.

We all work hard. We all have limited time. We want to look great and we live in a society where front pagers only owe their success to having thrown up anything they’ve ever swallowed. Of course we want to lose 7kg in 7 days – where do we sign up!?

Speaking to the ego is a sure-fire way to stimulate your audience. It will spark things that haven’t been sparked before – from inspiration to excitement to passion. Ultimately, written the right way, you will get them hot hot hot.

Speaking to the ego is a crafty sport though and truth and transparency are advisable if morality is of any consequence to you and your business.

Controlling an ego is almost as achievable as fitting your entire workflow into 8 hours. Unless we’re talking to the Buddhists, Sufis and various other sects of the world committed to spiritual development and giving up their egos - we won’t get far.

We need to soothe the ego then talk to the heart. If you’re running an ethical business in an ethical way and don’t plan on taking peoples’ money for a product that doesn’t meet its guarantees and could possibly lead to premature hair loss because no real testing has been committed to, this approach works to promote longevity of business through respectable practice.

Soothing that ego can be achieved through empathy, identity and hope.

Empathy. How many times have you shared how f*cking p!ssed off you are with a co-worker you have to see and work with every single day? You don’t want your counterpart to tell you they understand and relate “because of that time they were bothered when a person walking down the street bumped into them”. Er… Irrelative. I said f*cking p!ssed off, not bothered and I’m talking about someone I have to deal with every day, not someone I’ll never see again.

Don’t be afraid to talk candidly to your target audience with sentiments relevant to their profile.

Identity. Convince your target audience that you know them well enough to tell them what’s best for them. Do you hold the same values as them? Can you prove your knowledge and success in areas important to them? Creating that identity as a trustworthy source will certainly convert to a productive outcome.

Hope. On a basic level, we all need hope to function. We start a business hoping it will succeed if we rollout planning as per research and strategy. Your target audience hopes you can get them where they need to be – whether it’s healthy, whether it’s improved, whether it’s retired at 35 – the ego wants to know it can get there. If that business longevity is of importance – it’s imperative to remember - only results are testament to your commitment.

So having addressed empathy, identity and hope, hit it home and speak to that heart.

Speaking to the ego can be difficult. How cheesy is too cheesy? To what degree do I need to compromise my own self-respect to formulate a catchy jingle? Answer is – you don’t. Use empathy, identity and hope to your advantage – make your target audience hot while giving them the respect they deserve.

Then watch the bank balance. (HIGH FIVE, ego!)

- Sofia Margelis

That age old battle - theego vs the heart - is more relevant now than ever to us marketeers and anyone directly involved in business development. It dictates how you speak to the people you need to be speaking to; how you capture their attention and it applies to every communication you put out there – online, direct mail, posters, brochures, social media.

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comments ( 11 )
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  • Amanda Flynn
    Amanda Flynn
    06 Mar 2013

    Certain words used in marketing can trigger emotional responses in consumers some are commonly used such as the word "free" "sale" or "special". These trigger words immediately engage the consumer in what their trying to sell, however they have been largely overused and rather than appealing to the consumer in hope, identity and empathy they are loud and bargaining. Using words or messages to appeal to consumers egos such as "lose 7kg in 7 days" is creating identity, hope and empathy in the consumer and could be more effective in motivating them to buy the product rather than shouting the message at them.

  • Melinda
    25 Feb 2013

    Despite all our logical reasoning and educational backgrounds, it never ceases to amaze me how these 'get rich quick' or 'lost 7 kgs in 7 days' campaigns are still generating money. Diet fads are the worst, just chuck in some B-list celebrity endorsements and you're bound to have people around the world thinking "maybe this time it will work", with disappointment slyly waiting just around the corner. However, on the topic of diets and losing weight, I personally am tempted to try one campaign in particular. The 'Ashy Bines Bikini Body Challenge' campaign is all over Facebook like a rash and I continuously get sucked into clicking on their page. Why? They have REAL before and after photos of REAL women with REAL heart-on-their-sleeves testimonials, singing the praises and wonders of Ashy Bines. Now, as skeptical as I am, I still can't help but feel lured into trying this health kick just because it actually encompasses all three 'hope', 'identity' and 'empathy'.

    Smart marketing or genuinely authentic? I have yet to know, but it definitely beats Dr Siegal's 'Cookie Diet' any day.

  • mina arsala
    mina arsala
    25 Feb 2013

    It's true, your prospect's ego is a huge factor in your sales success. Granted, as you are making a sale you want to come across as the expert in whatever you're selling. And naturally, your prospect does not know nearly as much as you do about what you sell. So right from the get-go, if you're not careful, you risk damaging your prospect's ego by making him or her feel at best naïve and at worst dumb. And this works against you in the sales process.

    Egos are fragile things; people who feel inadequate move away from the person who made them feel that way. As a salesperson, while you may think saying "Things should be working better around here, and I can help" is a good thing, this has the dire potential to immediately offend your prospect. When you put someone down—even if you are making a valid point—your selling effort can fail.

  • Arnaud Mariette
    Arnaud Mariette
    19 Feb 2013

    Thank you for sharing this interesting post.

    Nowadays I think people are more and more surrounded by ads for which they are not ever targeted. We can see more and more ads for products that are more and more similar in quality and quantity. Today brands need to differentiate themselves by emotions and not anymore by rational facts.

    So according to me talking to the customers' heart is the best way in order to increase their confidence to the brand and then, their loyalty.

    More than ever people have choice between a lot of product, services and they want to brand and marketeers to understand their real specific needs and be different from other brands. As Ms Walker wrote it above, I think friendly marketing is the best way to go. And as you said, marketeers must consider hope, identity and empathy to talk to customers' heart

  • Emma
    18 Feb 2013

    In today's society marketing is everywhere! Just walk down Swanston Street in Melbourne's CBD and thousands of marketing messages are screaming for our attention. It takes something different to consciously grab our attention amongst all the commotion. Customers want products ' now, now, now'. Patience has become a thing of the past. But by promoting a product by appealing to consumers sense of hope, empathy and identity will calm the ego as consumers feel like they don't have to prove themselves or defend their reputation and therefore will take time out of their busy schedule to give their attention. Being able to talk to the heart allows more possibilities for consumers to buy your product or service as the heart makes decisions based on emotions rather than rationale which is why it is so important to talk to the heart which is achieved by like you said soothing the ego first.

  • Allison Walker
    Allison Walker
    16 Feb 2013

    It seems that as customers generally become more and more distracted, marketeers are becoming less concerned with emotional content and more concerned with designing a short and snappy message. That’s why these ‘7kg in 7 days’ ads have become so prevalent.

    The above posting, however, has raised a very valuable point about the importance of thoughtful communications. Consumers need to be given more credit when it comes to how they interpret marketing. I can certainly testify for the fact that those ads that speak with with empathy, identity and hope assume much more of my attention than those that shout, pitch and bargain.

    It’s quite ironic when you consider that this shouty trend in marketing first arose because marketeers wanted their communications to stand out. The tables have now been turned and marketeers are more likely to have success with ads that are well though out and speak to the heart, rather than those that are painfully interruptive.

    One sentiment that I believe should be added to the above list is approachability. At a very basic level, consumers will not approach your brand if it is not approachable. Regardless of how trusting and hopeful customers are of a product, they need to feel confident with your brand. The ego can be soothed through approachability since it is an active step towards inviting consumption. Friendly marketing that incorporates hope, identity and empathy is the way to go.