The Unconscious Emotions that Make People Buy

Most people make up their minds very quickly about whether to buy your product or service.

These fast decisions are made unconsciously. So, if you want to influence them, you have to communicate at an unconscious level.

As the unconscious mind is the domain of the emotions, successful marketing always appeals to the emotions.

In his classic ‘Think and Grow Rich,’ Napoleon Hill identified a number of different emotions which he believed people could relate to. The positive emotions are:

  • Desire
  • Faith
  • Love
  • Sex
  • Enthusiasm
  • Romance
  • Hope

Of all the positive emotions, the most important one is hope. While there is hope, there’s always a chance for something else. Marketing which hits on those hot buttons, and particularly on the hot button of hope, is going to have more chance of being successful.

There’s also, of course, a negative aspect to emotions. Hill’s negative emotions are:

  • Jealousy
  • Hatred
  • Revenge
  • Greed
  • Superstition
  • Anger
  • Fear

Again, these often provide motivation for people to buy things. With jealousy, they want to buy something in order to make sure they’re seen as being better or having better results than somebody else.

Some of these emotions are quite strong, but you can often use them in your communication. Greed, for example, is very powerful but everybody wants the best for themselves and their families. If you can help people satisfy that, you have a very strong position.

Of all the negative emotions, the one that has the biggest power is fear. Sometimes it’s fear of making the wrong decision.

Hill also talked about the ‘ghosts’ of fear – poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of love, old age, and death – the things that people naturally fear. If you can offer a solution to help people to overcome those fears, you will have lots of buyers.

There’s nothing wrong with appealing to negative emotions if you’re offering people a solution. If you can move them from the negative into the positive, then you have a win-win situation. Your customer is happy because you’ve taken him away from the negative emotion. And you are happy because you are likely to have made a sale.

So, think about which positive and negative emotional hot buttons will work for your customers so that you can use them in your marketing.

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