Use Emotion in Your Sales Copy, Even for B2B

By Bill Grover – June 2016

Have you ever bought a shirt or dress that you don’t need? I think we all have. Why did you buy something on impulse?  Emotions! You are being influenced by your emotions. In this case, vanity, the desire to look good. Perhaps the fear of loss because the sales price will go up, or the item will sell out. Admit it or not, emotions play a critical role in any buying decision whether personal or B2B.

According to Bankrate.com – Real estate agents say emotional mistakes are common among homebuyers, who overpay for their “dream homes” because they let feelings cloud their judgment.

If you arouse the right emotion, your sales copy or promotional material will produce a positive impact on your sales.

Everyone Has Emotions

Writing without emotion is just like being stuck in a loveless marriage, a dull coexistence. It’s lifeless, boring, uninspiring and going nowhere. If your sales copywriting is robotic and emotionless, you are wasting your time, money and effort. Leave out the emotion in the content and miss the connection to your prospect.

Emotionless Sales Copy Loses Sales

If your sales copy does not tap into your prospect’s emotions, you fail to keep your prospect interested in your product or service. If they aren’t interested, they will never buy. Look at how your sales copy is written. Is it easily understood or does it create confusion? Is the content robotic and technical like a manual or is it conversational with a human touch?

Business purchases can involve huge amounts of risk: Responsibility for a multi-million-dollar software acquisition that goes bad can lead to poor business performance and even the loss of a job. The business customer won’t buy unless there is a substantial emotional connection to help overcome this risk. – Think With Google

How to Use Emotions to Market Non-Sexy Items

You may be thinking, “Sure, emotion is great if you are selling something sexy like a sports car. But I’m B2B, selling restaurant equipment.” OK. Fair enough. Let’s say you are selling a meat slicer. Not very sexy to write about but it is a critical item for just about every restaurant.

Restaurant owners and managers have all the stress they can handle in their daily routine.

What if your slicer was “The easiest to clean”? Now your slicer saves them time, getting them home to their kids sooner. Maybe it is the “safest to use.” It lowers the liability and the risk of Tommy Teenager adding a slice of his palm to the roast beef sub. The safety factor reduces worry, stress and possibly insurance costs. These are valid emotions that should be included in your copy.

Everybody loves a deal. Tap into the greed emotion by adding a bonus and fear of loss by limiting the time. “Order before the end of the month and we will include a $100 stainless steel mesh glove at no charge.”

Find out how your non-sexy machine or software will positively impact your prospect on a personal level, then leverage the emotion in your sales copy.

“In a recent study performed by the CEB, which examined the impact of personal emotions on B2B purchases, it was found that 71% of buyers who see a personal value in a B2B purchase will end up buying the product or service.”- Forbes.com

Emotions invluences B2B buying

Infographic courtesy of business2community.com.

The Balancing Act – Emotion Without the Hype

Your sales copy can have emotions without looking like a going out of business furniture sale. You need a balance between facts and emotions.

Utilize some powerful words that trigger emotional hot buttons. For example, Free, Save, Results, Proven, Easy, Money, Safety, Guaranteed or Discovery are words used to hook your readers. Be very clear on what problem your product will solve and how it will affect your buyer on a personal level. Even a technical sales brochure can have elements written in a conversational tone.

Asking Why and How When Writing About “Them”

An experienced copywriter will arouse emotion by talking more about their prospect than about the product. By this I mean you need to answer why do prospects need your product. For example:

  1. Features adjustable cutting thickness from deli thin up to 1/2″ thick. Removable 9″ stainless steel blade offers easy cleaning. Built-in blade sharpener.
  2. Features adjustable cutting thickness from deli thin up to 1/2″ thick maximizing your portion control and cost savings. Removable 9″ stainless steel blade offers easy cleaning, saving you time and labor. Built-in blade sharpener dramatically reduces accidental injury.

Concentrate your message on “You” and your sales copy will naturally highlight the benefits to your prospects.

Every Benefit Relates to One or More Emotions.

Here are some examples.

Benefit Emotion
  • Faster
  • Pride (We’re better..)
  • Greed (Make more widgets)
  • Highest Quality
  • Fear of failure or embarrassment from buying an inferior product.
  • Vanity – Wanting the best
  • Better ROI
  • Pride /Greed

Your copywriter needs a clear understanding of your target market before he can find the right emotional triggers.

Push on the Right Emotion Button

Emotion plays a big part in the content of your sales copy. The majority of B2C purchases are based on emotion over logic. In B2B even though most decisions are made using cold hard facts and logic, without touching the right emotion with the decision maker, you might lose the sale.

We all have emotions and know how they can affect our moods and decisions. If your sales content can resonate with the right emotions, you have a better chance of closing the deal. There are 30 known psychological triggers and ten fears that all people have. When they are used appropriately, emotions increase sales, but we will leave that for another post.

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