O Prospect, Why Dost Thou Resist Me?

Sales resistance is the most frustrating thing in the world.

I mean, I know that the product or service I’m offering is the best option available.  I know that my customers’ lives will be improved immeasurably if they buy.  I believe 100% that the advice I’m giving is true and helpful.

So why don’t all of my prospects feel the same way?

I was driving down the highway last week when a interesting parallel struck me.  On the highway, each driver sits in his own little self-contained environment, and for the most part he only pays attention to what goes on in that little bubble.  His entire experience of driving exists within the confines of his car.

If anything happens to pull his attention outside of his little world — like someone else cutting him off — he gets impatient, or annoyed, or even angry.  He doesn’t want interruptions.  He wants to exist only in that bubble.

It’s the exact same thing with life.

People for the most part only pay attention to what is happening in their small view of the world.  The entertainment they want, the relationships they have, their financial situation, and so on.  It’s all about their own life circumstances.

People don’t go looking for ads.  Like it or not, we as advertisers must recognize that our messages are an interruption to people’s little bubble-worlds.

So naturally, we must expect that when we pitch a product that will take up space in their house… cost them money… maybe even take time and effort to learn how to use… people will react to our marketing message with irritation and resistance.

The answer?  Be the solution to one of their problems.

Within a person’s bubble, not everything is all sunshine and happy flowers.  People have issues.  They have challenges in work… finance… their love life.  Some parts of the bubble make them unhappy.

People don’t go looking for ads.  But they do go looking for answers to their life’s problems.

We all know to emphasize benefits instead of features in our ad copy.  But it pays big dividends to go beyond that and express benefits in a way that they become solutions.

For example, a benefit of an herbal dietary supplement might be that it boosts energy levels.  So your benefit might be “it gives you energy all day long — naturally!”

That’s good.

But this is better: “You’ll have the energy and stamina of a 20-year-old — naturally — with no side-effects!”

You see, there are many different ways that second sentence can be construed.

Maybe your prospect is a middle-aged man who is concerned over his appearance or sexual prowess.  Or maybe your prospect is health-conscious and wants to break a coffee addiction.  Perhaps he or she was just passed over for a promotion at work, in favor of a young hot-shot only two years out of college.

It all depends on what the prospect’s own personal challenges are.

The only way to get a prospect to do what you want — buy! — is to put the benefits in terms of what they want.  (Thank you, Dale Carnegie!)

So don’t try to wear your prospect down with 16 pages of copy.  Don’t try to pressure them with time or fear or by throwing bonus after bonus after bonus at them.  These things only raise the prospect’s sales resistance.

Just give your prospect what he or she wants.  Solutions.  A happier life.  More comfort and security inside that little bubble.

It’s the only way they’ll lower their defenses.

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