Back to Business – Post COVID – Marketing
One of the critical elements in business is sales or marketing efforts leading to sales. I’m often asked by business owners to help them with improving their sales. Whilst marketing is, by and large, mechanical, the sales process or the sale itself is a little more complicated.
Our conscious state of mind can only process three to four new pieces of information at any time. So, our conscious working memory has limitations. It’s no surprise then that 95% of our purchasing decisions are taking place in your subconscious.
The research work conducted by Professor Nelson Cowan shows that our reflective state, that is, when we look back at the decisions we have made, we do so or identify with our conscious, rational state of mind. That is to say, we will always justify our unconscious decisions on a conscious, rational basis.
Your history of rational decision making is an illusion
On the other hand, our unconscious mind has a logic, it can effortlessly process, deeply, millions and millions of bits of data. No stress. No sweat. This unconscious skill set has been developed from the history of our learnings and experience, both good and bad.
Shifting from science to philosophy. It is generally understood Plato promotes the concept of the so-called rational person theory. What Plato actually tells us is a little more complicated. Using the metaphor of a chariot driver, trying to control two horses, one horse is obedient – rational, the other unruly, driven by impulses, the emotional, pulling away, taking us into different directions.
Avoid the suspicious forms of art such as poetry which, Plato says, excites the emotion
It’s emotion which joins, connects or enables the unconscious mind to communicate with the conscious mind.
What does any of this have to do with business?
Buyers buy on emotion and justify this emotional decision with logic.
If you don’t agree, answer this: Have you ever lost a sale or a project to a competitor who had an inferior solution? If you answered yes, the chances are the unruly horse, emotion, took control of that customer’s decision.
Using Plato’s Clues in Marketing
Let’s be honest, most of us sell using logic. Plato, in his metaphor, doesn’t suggest for a minute that we untie the unruly emotional horse and let it gallop away, leaving the chariot driver to be pulled solely by the rational, obedient horse. In fact, the upshot of cutting loose the unruly horse is that the rational horse works harder, and we get to our end point a lot slower. Rather, Plato tells us we need to manage both and if we want to speed up a little bit, excite our audience with some suspicious forms of art, such as poetry.
And this is another tip. We should use Plato’s clues in our marketing efforts. In business, particularly sales, we should always combine emotion and logic when we engage with our customers. It’s easy to do and you should be practicing this at every possible opportunity.
Here are four ways you can do this
- Use Plato’s example of metaphors. How easy was it to understand the interaction of emotion and logic through the use of Plato’s chariot driver metaphor! You will light up minds and excite imagination. Create visions such as the Rolls Royce of push bikes or hiring Janice because she is the walking encyclopedia on this topic.
- Engage customers with a story, just like Plato, with a little bit of poetry. Stories are engaging and evidence of social proof. When you do use stories, you are likely to learn more about your client or customer. How many times have you heard people say in conversation, oh I’m a bit like that or if that was me I’d…. Yes?
- Make it personal, put yourself in the shoes of your clients, engage and understand from their perspective. If you’re combining cardio with your strength work, I bet you’re feeling tight with some muscle soreness. My more successful clients incorporate yoga and some mild vitamin supplements and that seems to do the trick.
- Give meaning to statistics or data that you’re selling to your clients. Consider the following exchange:
Adviser 1: You need to increase revenue by 10% so that you can employ that extra staff member and hold the same level of profit. Compared to:
Adviser 2: An increase in revenue by 10% will enable you to employ that extra staff member and hold the same level of profit. This will reduce the time you personally invest in your business; but it will get you what you really want; more personal time. I can assist you in managing this growth to help you get more of this personal time you’re craving.
Who would you buy from?
Emotion or logic. Use both! Give it a go.