I often put off buying decisions. Analysis paralysis and laziness fuel most of my inertia.
Read these next three paragraphs. Each one tells a brief story. They all share the same theme and teach the exact same persuasion lesson. Can you figure it out before I reveal it to you?
If you learn nothing else, this one lesson forces you to become a better persuader, marketer or salesperson.
Every spring I sign up my family for our community pool. They open up the sign up page in February. They offer an early bird rate until the first week of April. I refuse to sign up until a day before the early bird discount expires.
Three years ago we had a tree removed. When they took down the tree it left a bit of a ditch in our yard. I filled it up with dirt but the ditch still remains. Plus, the grass always dies by the end of the summer. One of these days I’ll get my landscaper to fix it.
Each January, before I receive all my tax statements, I estimate my refund. The bigger the refund, the earlier I file my taxes. We got our biggest refund in 2014. I filed our taxes the first week in February. This year I expect a smaller refund. I have yet to file.
What’s the key lesson here?
Action is likely to happen when we feel compelled. We avoid taking action when we feel we have a choice.
Compel – to force or drive, especially to a course of action.
I prefer to think of it as a formula:
Compelling = Insatiable Desire + Urgency
Sure, a fantastic salesman or copywriter can wield their magic and excite us to the point of taking action. A smart salesman or copywriter compels us to take action. When they do their job right we feel we have no choice but to act.
Let’s use one of my stories from above as an example.
Desire Plus Urgency
How could my community pool get everyone to sign up in the first week instead of waiting until the last minute?
First, turn the question around and ask: what would compel people to sign up in the first week?
What could make this offer sublimely nail-biting that customers disrupt their lives to take action?
Let’s use our formula. We’ll add urgency and desire . Here are two ideas:
Sign up in the first five days and get ten free guest passes
The early bird price set at $500 for five days. The price increases $25 per day until it reaches $750.
Each of these options makes signing up in the first five days more compelling.
Make your job of crafting a compelling message easy. Add desire plus urgency and your audience feels compelled to act.