The key to  building a successful lead generation system is meeting your prospects where they are at. 

  • What is the conversation going on in their heads when they come to consider what you are offering?
  • Do you know how your product/service relates to the emotional buying triggers that make people buy what you are offering.    

You should always be listening to how your prospects react and feeding that back into your working knowledge .  You can easily miss something, for example, what you read or understand is a “necessity” buy might actually be more frivolous buy for your customer.

Is one emotional trigger more important than other? 

All that is important is if it is relevant to your product/service and that you can identify it, understand it and communicate it! 

It is not necessarily an easier task to trigger a more “common” emotion than a “rare” one.   We do  build immunity to many messages  so where it is a “common” trigger like “saving money’ you may need to keep digging for some deeper triggers so that you can stand out and find that remarkable reason why they connect to you.   

Don’t ignore an obvious emotional trigger go with what works for you and more importantly for your prospects.

Finding the Why

I would suggest to get your marketing muscles going and start thinking about the buying psychology of your customers follow this simple process:

  1. Start with the question “why will XXX want to pay for my product and service” and list all the triggers you can, don’t stop. 
  2. So now ask the question of each of those triggers with the same question.  You will find another trigger below the initial trigger that you identified.   For instance if you have  a weight loss product  the immediate emotion is “to lose weight” but underneath this will be lots more drivers “to look better in jeans” “to wear a bikini” “to be able to train for a marathon”, “ to feel more attractive” “better about myself” etc..   Can you see how this is deeper than just losing weight and will resonate with those who have that trigger.   Keep asking the question and see how deep you can take the trigger.  The deeper the connection the deeper the why and the stronger the connection.
  3. Leave your work/scribblings open ended so you can go back to them.  Once you have stirred your own brain to find the triggers it will go to work so you will forever have a lightbulb moments.

Why Do People Buy?

Fundamentally a purchase is doing one of 2 things, either it is  going to decrease pain or increase joy and pleasure.  It is a proven fact that we are more stimulated to move away from pain than we are to move towards pleasure (check the huge competitive space of the headache solution shelf in the chemist or supermarket). 

 There are  many axis of extremes that you can plot out and gauge for yourself.  Where you find a trigger think what the opposite is as homing in on the pain/fear and the cost of not having your something in their life might be very powerful for you.  We all have felt the power of FOMO (fear of missing out).

To make money, To save money, To save time are probably the most common across life. Time is the one thing we all know we cannot buy so look at your own life and all the purchases that have some part of saving you time in their promise.  Beware though often if they are popular reasons then it can be quite hard to generate the buyer trigger as we are all purchasers too and we  are accustomed and almost immune to many claims now.   

Whatever triggers you come up with, however obvious you think it is put it on the list and deal with it.  Part of the job of marketing is to remove any doubt, we don’t leave anything to chance. 

I think the biggest issue here is if you are the cheapest.  It is  only ok if that is the position you want to be in, if it is  not a position you want to be in then you need to look at adding value to bring in stronger and more profitable triggers. 

“To achieve greater cleanliness”, “To attain better health”, “To be sexually attractive” are all busy,  popular triggers so go deep and find your uniqueness to these common and often over used claims.

Finding the trigger

You want your trigger to stick and gain traction so put the work in and make it real and attractive.  If you know the deep buying triggers towards what you offer it will also lead you to your target market.

  • Safety to adventure and triggering the inner rebel.  Do you touch on “making them safe”, “conserve possessions”, “ protecting reputation”??
  • The need to protect ourselves and our loved ones is primal, the brain is hard wired to do just that.  Look at the hugely lucrative housing, insurance and financial markets.  Our countries defence budget is one of our largest expenses so no surprise here on the strength of this trigger. 
  • At the opposite end of the scale  the need for” excitement and adventure “  is definitely a great and profitable angle and you might link with others for extra kerb appeal, I  am thinking how can you bring in “forgetting our problems” and “increasing enjoyment”, the extremes you can go to will be dependent on what you are offering and to who.  “Avoiding trouble” and “criticism” might also have  look in here.
  • “To be popular, fit in and belong to the gang” is a real kicker in our social media orientated society with the almost craving desire and  need for likes, recognition and popularity and even fame.  There seems to be a bit of wannebe tv star that can be tapped into within most of us so its well worth a look at all the triggers in this area alongside the need “to be in style” an “emulate others”.   
  • We have “the search for approval”, “to gain praise/be appreciated” “To feel important, better about ourselves”.  If poccession of your product or use of your service can help people “gain admiration and be admired” you might just take things to another level. 
  • We are in a 1st world society so “rewarding ourselves” and leading on “you deserve it” are all well used and known to have pulling power.
  • Really know your market and be clear on what they see as a “reward” and “treat” as it will change dependent on the niche you are working in.
  • You might be able to trigger the inner rebel and attract those  who want to be “individual and defiant” and if its not quite out there on that extreme axis then take a look at those feelings around “satisfy an appetite for xxxx” or “feed a curiosity”.
  • To avoid effort,  make work/life easier – both   can be tough so if what you offer make their working life easier, it might be an app, software or specialist services.
  • Do  you have a controversial/marmite attraction?  This could be a winning one to go deep as there is great opportunity to grow a following – which is so much more powerful than just getting a transaction.
  • And one of my favourites as it’s a bit of a curved ball amongst all this psychology is – might they buy what you are offering simply “because its easy”?
  • Take a good look at how difficult is it to buy your products/services.  Do you have a strong call to action, one click card payment.  When you are attracting ready to buy leads, make sure that it is easy for them to buy.
  • “To take advantage of opportunities~  is a great one as you can really work on the FOMO with this and perhaps take advantage of creating abit of scarcity using early bird offer cut off dates etc…

Have fun plotting and exploring your key emotional drivers to buy your product and keep curious, ask people why they bought – you might be missing a blinding flash of the bleeding obvious. 

Humans buy so be human, understand and create empathy and show them how and why they need you in their life, that is your job, the only job of your customer is to show up with a problem.

I thank Robert W Bly and his book The Copywriters Handbook and Persuasive Psychology for their list of human motivators that has kick started my conversation with this and I hope makes you curious to find what your motivators are for your products and services.


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