Selling By Fear or Pursuasion By Pleasure?

When you first learn about creating sales pages you are told that you have to write to appeal to a buyers emotions and that the two strongest emotions are fear and love or avoidance of pain and seeking of pleasure, with the strongest being avoidance of pain. Have you ever stopped to consider the psychological effects your writing might be having on your potential buyer and how that might affect the long term relationship you have with them?

If you continually tell people that they must have your latest product, that they will definitely fail without it and they will spend the rest of their life in abject misery, you may very well make the sale you have been looking for, but chances are, that you will have upset the customer so much that they may never buy from you again. The idea of getting them onto your list is so that you can keep them as buyers, not to frighten the bejesus out of them.

Yes fear – of loss, of failure, is a powerful selling tool, but it should be used in moderation and with your audience in mind.

Better for their long term state of being is to let them know how good they can feel and how much better their life will be if they would just consider making you happy by just trying out this new widget software you just happened to have discovered for their benefit. You could make it sound like you’re doing mutual favours for each other rather than a buyer / seller relationship. There will be less buyer’s remorse and therefore far fewer refunds when you make your customer feel good about their purchase.

As in all things, and not just marketing, there is always a compromise to be struck, but use the fear factor sparingly. If you set a time based deadline that something must be bought by (using fear based motivation) then stick by that deadline so that you keep your credibility. A clock that resets on each visit also resets your reputation a bit lower (bit of fear there to make you see my point of view).

In the long term the pleasant approach will probably help you keep customers for longer and these customers will trust you more than if you had scared them into a quick sale.

Do you have different ideas? Does you list worry about NOT buying from you or are you sweetness and light itself in your dealings?

As always, I’d love to read your comments and I’ll reply to them and keep a debate or discussion going.