Why People Take Action?

Researchers tell us that there are only two core human emotions, FEAR and LOVE. All others… Happiness, Gratitude, Joy, Co-operation, and Forgiveness, follow Love. Anxiety, Anger, Aggression, Worry, Stress, and Manipulation follow fear. 

It therefore follows that everything we do is motivated by FEAR or LOVE. In sales, personal development, motivational speaking, and consulting (among other areas) these two motivators, if true, have a great impact on your success. 

We know that there are many others, but these provide needed focus. It follows that we can list specific reasons attributed to these emotions. They include:

  • Making money
  • Saving money
  • Saving time
  • Avoiding work or effort
  • Escaping pain
  • Becoming more comfortable
  • Maintaining cleanliness or order
  • Gaining praise or recognition
  • Feeling more love
  • Increasing popularity
  • Staying healthy
  • Gaining knowledge
  • Gaining prestige

 The key to translating these into success involves your ability to identify which reasons apply to a particular individual or situation. And to be able to communicate your ability to meet the need. 

The roots of this understanding are in the basic assumption that most people are only interested in themselves. It is a simple formula.

 Feature + Benefit + Meaning: ‘What’s in it for me?’ That simple question is typically what we think about when we see something new, or someone is trying to sell us something. 

As you’re thinking about convincing someone to take a particular action you can use this framework:  

Feature: What it is    +   Benefit: What it does    +   Meaning: What it means to the person (buyer / reader / prospect) = the approach you need to take! 

Here’s how you pull it together: It _______so you can __________ which means _________. 

How can you discover the products or services you may offer that best apply to their situation. It starts with what I call predictive observation

One of my favorite TV shows a few years back was Psych. A novice sleuth (Shawn Spencer) convinced the police that he has psychic powers, and he and his reluctant best friend were hired as consultants to help solve complicated cases. In truth he had only "heightened observational skills" and impressive eidetic memory allow him to convince people that he solves cases with psychic powers.   

By asking great questions and carefully observing the situation, you too might have psych powers to help your prospect to reveal how you can best help them with the Feature, Benefits, and Meaning you offer. 

In his book Copywriting Secrets, Jim Edwards presents five thought provoking questions to help uncover the needs: 

What terrifies you? What does it mean if that happens? 

What is your deepest desire for your life right now? 

If I could provide that for you, what would you have to see, or what would I have to say to motivate you to have a burning desire for what I have to sell? 

What other problems or concerns do you have that I may not be aware of? 

Too direct and obvious?  Perhaps? Most people do not like to be “sold.” They like to share and feel that they have control over the conversation.  

Perhaps a more direct question might be (that has no negative implications) is… 

“If you were to change one thing that you could change one thing in your life or business, what would it be?” 

The fact is that 84% buy off Fear; fear of losing money, wasting time, experiencing pain, feeling appreciation, etc. 

Questions such as this provide tremendous answers if you are disciplined enough to actively listen to them. They help you to solve problems and meet needs that your client does not even realize they have. You become a “Thought Leader” in predicting what might be coming and what you can do about it for them.