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Romancing Your Business

Why do people buy anything?

If you're in business, you'd better understand what the answer to that question is if you hope to sell your products or services. Because your company needs to sell to survive.

So back to the question at hand.

People buy because they either: 1) need something, 2) want something, or 3) fear something.

I have seen much longer lists from academics that want to impress the world with their knowledge, but everything in those lists are easily broken down into these three categories. Good thing too, because it is easier for me to talk about 'the three motivators' than 'the fifty motivators'!

Needs are pretty self explanatory, so we won't spend time there; except to say that we will classify basic needs as nutritious food, clean water, suitable clothing for the climate in which you live and adequate shelter.

Fears are a pretty powerful motivator. Consider the multi-billion dollar anti-virus and spyware industry, one that is built on fear. Fear that our privacy will be compromised and the danger of losing important information. It is our own dread that stuffs the pockets of companies like Norton and McAfee.

But the most powerful reason people buy is desire. If someone wants something bad enough, they will do whatever it takes to get it. For proof of this fact, you need to look no farther than the BusinessWeek list of Best Global Brands. The world's top brands have little or nothing to do with needs, and everything to do with desires. Desires cultivated by good marketing! ()

The reason these brands are so successful is because they have gotten really good at appealing to emotions. As much as we think that we as a human race are rational beings, nothing is further from the truth. When it comes to a battle between the head and the heart, the heart will win every time.

Do you really need a $1000 handbag? Although arguably one of the finest-made accessories in the world, Louis Vuitton has created an aura of romance and exclusivity around their product.

So how do you romance your product?

By approaching the doors of the senses with something tantalizing, people will open those portals to you if they feel your offering will provide them with something even more fulfilling on a deeper level. Their conscience, memory, imagination, affections and reasoning need to be gratified; and of those five things, only reasoning has any power to bring logic into the scenario. Which is why logic does come into play and can indeed be a deciding factor in consumer choice, but cannot compete when the other four emotional aspects become involved.

Appeal to the emotions of your clients. Make your brand, product, service, and the representation of it all, attractive. If you send me a fax with a list of fifteen travel deals, you are never going to get my business (so whoever is doing that, would you quit already!).

But if you email me a newsletter or hand me a nice glossy brochure with a picture of a white sandy beach, azure blue sky reflected on the water, and a hammock strung between two palm trees, you will get my attention. There may be no way on earth I could take advantage of the offer. But I will look and long for it. I can picture myself swinging on that hammock!

And maybe, just maybe, I will invite you in to my world by subscribing to your newsletter so that when the next offer comes along I can take advantage of fulfilling my desire for relaxation and warm sun on my face.

If that happens, you'll know I have been romanced.