Sunday, January 30, 2011

How To Get Johnny To Sell His Liver

G'day friend,

This one today is deep.

Before I begin, let me just say... sorry for the delay. Been a while - I've been very, very busy. But I was reading recently, and was just inspired to make this post when I realized I had a few spare minutes.

OK, let me tell you about myself: I am an ardent student of Austrian Economics. By consequence, I'm really a student of human action and behavior. And pretty much, anyone who studies marketing is an amateur behavioral psychologist, or praxeology (the study of human action).

Anyway, there's a reason this is so important to learn: because to sell anybody ANYTHING, you have to understand how their mind works. You have to grasp what kinds of emotions they experience with your product... when they think of buying it... why would they want to buy it...

In the end, what motivates them to ACTION.

Not thought. Not consideration.

What moves them from the thinking to the doing.

You can't make money on people thinking about your product or service.

Sounds simple, right?

Now how do we do it.

Well, the BEST explanation I've discovered was not in a marketing book. Or a course on selling. Or anything actually geared towards instruction of marketing. (Though, those books are all great).

The best definition I found was actually in a book about austrian economics.

"Human beings can only be motivated to do something - to cure a discomfort or satisfy a need - when the SATISFACTION granted is greater than the effort involved to acquire it."

Here is an example:

Suppose we have Johnny. He's got a liver, like most people. He's also flat broke.

Johnny gets approached by a strange man - his name's Frank.

Frank says, "Hey Johnny. I need a liver. You have a liver. You need money. I have money. Want to work something out?"

We're going to imagine there are no organ donors who are just out there, willing to do this. For the sake of the example.

Now, unless Johnny just LOVES donating his liver... chances are, he won't be interested. Not unless it is, in his mind, worth the time and effort associated with selling his liver (we'll say PART of his liver, since you can't live very long without one. A lesson in itself).

Anyway, Frank says, "Johnny, I'll give you $100 for your liver."

Johnny thinks about it. The surgery, the time off work, the testing and preparation, the recovery from the transplant.

"Sorry, Franky. No go. You'll have to do better than that."

"How about $1,000?"

Same story.


Now Johnny's appetite has been whet. $10,000 smackaroos... He could pay off his debts and get ahead on rent. But wait... how long would he be out of work, and what about the medical bills for his post-surgery pains?

With some hesitation, Johnny says no again.

Now Frank... he needs that liver. We'll say he is having liver failure, or a close friend. Someone he is willing to drop big wads of cash to help. So you see, Frank is also in the middle of selling... of human action. How much money is he willing to spend to save his or someone else's life?

Ah, you see the intricacies here, right?

So Frank takes a deep breath and says...

"Johnny, I'll give you $25,000 AND I'll cover all your medical expenses. Plus... I'll pay off your $3,000 debt."

Johnny just made his decision. He is getting a lot of financial help that he needs, he's able to help somebody out, so on and so forth.

Listen, this may offend some people or be irrational... But that's EXACTLY how human action and psychology works.

If you want to motivate your customers into buying your product... next time sell like you're trying to buy their liver.

You've got to make the money they spend - the time used - every NEGATIVE seem negligible in comparison to the outcome.

Make them feel like there is really no way they won't come out on top.

And you'll have a winner.

Over and Out,