Creating an emotional appeal for your business

It is well-known that to influence people to change their behaviour, you need to appeal to them on an emotional level or apply the “what’s in it for me” principle. In other words, people need to work with both intellect and emotions. Either one on its own is like rowing a boat with only one oar.

You can see this outworked in organisations that do not engage their staff by discovering what personally motivates them, and by workplaces that are devoid of empathy. The result not only seen in the quality of work, but in the level of absenteeism, tension and disruption.

Similarly, your marketing – even the way you communicate the pricing of your products or services – must combine the intellect and emotions. Since you have a desired action in response to your marketing, you must tap into what motivates and interests them as well as providing them the information that they might seek.

An area that small businesses often get this wrong is when putting together new business proposals or quotations. When a business is asked to submit pricing details or information about their organisation, this should not merely be prices or facts. It must be compelling and appeal to the reader’s emotional level. Otherwise you risk missing out on the opportunity of winning over a new customer.

Try having a look at your marketing collateral including your website and quotation templates with fresh eyes, or have someone independent of your business analyse them for you. Ask yourself if it:

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  • quickly give a good understanding of your organisation and offering
  • compels you to feel an association with or likeability toward the organisation
  • creates a positive response
  • relates to the reader and answers their questions, pain points and needs
  • answers “what’s in it for me”.

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By engaging both the intellect and emotions, small businesses can join the ranks of the greatest teachers, businesses, political leaders, salesmen and documentary makers. What do all of these have in common? The ability to compel, inspire, motivate and inform.


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