As your job as a sales professional, you have to communicate with the written word often. You write presentations, proposals, emails, and more. Writing to sell isn’t always easy and many reps fail to do so effectively or persuasively. They just can’t seem to grab their recipients’ attention or increase conversions through their words. Their emails get deleted, their proposals fall short, and they don’t get the sale.
If this sounds all too familiar to you, then you could probably benefit from using the secret to writing persuasively…
The Best Way to Sell through Writing
You’ve likely learned some persuasive writing tips throughout your career—write in blocks, write at a lower education level, have a clear objective, be specific, write the ideal email length, use a conversational style, add photos, etc. Although all of these tips will certainly help you to improve clarity, the number one way to write persuasively to sell is to evoke empathy.
Most buyers believe that their purchasing decisions are made purely through rational analysis, that their feelings aren’t connected to their decisions—they think they’re unbiased and sensible in their decision making. But the fact is emotion actually plays a big part in what we buy, whether we realize it or not.
To write persuasively, you need to maximize on this by taking an emotional angle to your content. Tap into the emotions of your recipients. You know their pain points, desires, and needs, so use them to write convincingly. By taking an emotional angle and using their emotions of happiness, frustration, sadness, or whatever else they’re feeling, you can evoke an emotional response—one that suits your objective.
It's All about Neuroscience
The reason why using empathy works in sales writing is because it impacts the reader’s intent to purchase. It primes you for the sales pitch by making the reader more receptive to what you’re selling. In fact it’s about three times more effective than other types of writing.
And it all comes down to neuroscience. In the 1980s, neuroscientists discovered mirror neurons in macaque monkeys, which were activated not only when the monkeys performed an activity but also when they watched the same activity being performed. Many believe that the same mirror neurons are present in human brains. This theory states that these neurons are associated with our propensity to react, even when something isn’t actually happening to us personally. It explains why we become fearful during a horror movie or cry during a sad film. We empathize with what’s happening, with other people’s feelings, even though we’re not personally experiencing it ourselves.
Using the Theory for Sales and Marketing
So now you know how others’ emotions make us react. How do you use that in the context of selling? Use the problem-agitator-solution (PAS) approach to your writing. It’s a very common and effective way to write to your prospects that marketers have been using for years.
In the first step, you identify a problem that the prospect has and make him realize this pain point in his own life. In the second step, you agitate the problem—you remind the prospect why the problem is so frustrating, you point out challenges it leads to, and you stir up the associated emotions that come with the problem. Then finally, in the third step, you present a solution—a way to make the problem and all the challenges go away in order to end the agitation. If the prospect buys what you’re selling, all his problems will be solved.
By using empathy in your writing, you can put your prospects brains in the right frame of mind to be sold to. Try it out the next time you have to write a sales email or proposal. Try to activate your prospect’s mirror neurons by making them feel empathy.
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.