It really depends on who you ask whether selling with pleasure or fear is better, but there is a correct answer. Selling with pleasure is a sales technique to excite the prospect with joy, envy, happiness and pleasure to buying your product or service. Selling with fear is a sales technique of protection from fear of loss with your product or service. Both can be effective, but which is most effective pleasure or fear?
Psychologists who have studied our brains in depth understand this phenomenon of pleasure or fear. Fear is deep rooted in the reptilian brain. It is our basic need for survival. Even though our brains have evolved with other layers, the limbic primitive brain is still activated and used daily. We feel the need to act instinctively to immediate and aggressively to protect ourselves from danger whether real or imagined. The fear of loss, be it loss of money, loss of life or loss of property is very real in our minds. No matter how smart or developed brain a prospect has, they cannot overcome this instinct.
The evolved pleasure region of the brain is much younger in our evolution to experience pleasure. This is known as the service portion of our brains. This is where we store knowledge, support, material and emotional assets to make rational decisions. This area of the brain can only be activated when we have met the criteria of survival. In other words, we have to be OK and feel OK to use the service area of our brains. The lower the threat of fear the higher level of sharing or service will be realized.
Knowing these two facts about our brain development helps the salesperson to understand which sales technique to develop. Certainly, people will move away from pain much faster than they will move towards pleasure. Instinct is always stronger then rationalization. Selling with the pleasure of owning a product is tougher because the prospect will rationalize the process. Selling a protection from a fear of loss by not owning your product is instinctive and does not need to be rationalized.
No matter what you sell if you find a way to sell the fear of loss versus the pleasure of owning you will see an increase in your close ratio. Any product can be sold either way. If you wish to increase sales sell with a fear based technique rather than a pleasure based technique. Which do you sell pleasure or fear?
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear”.—Mark Twain
Image by Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 2, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 30 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.