7 Emotional Sales Triggers That Make People Buy

By Anthony Chambers

Do not let anyone tell you otherwise! When it really comes down to getting your prospect to pull out his credit card and buy from you, there are very specific emotional sales triggers that will work every time. Learn them, implement them, and watch your sales soar. Neglect them, and you will be leaving a fortune at on the table for someone else to take.

So what are these sales triggers? Let us take a quick look at just seven of them. You may be in for a surprise here.

1. People want to make more money. This should be quite obvious of course. For some people, they need more money to start a business, or get a qualification to get a higher paying job. You would think that people will want to find the quickest way to make more money. Not so. Your prospect probably has very specific plans and getting more money right now is just a means to an end. Help him do it and prosper in the process.

2. People want to save money. If your prospect is looking to save money, then by golly give him what he wants. Finding a way to save money is the same as earning extra money. Either way, if you can tap into your prospects need to save money, you can be successful in business. State this point very clearly in your sales copy and you can cash in more sales.

3. People want to save time. You must make your offer to save time meaningful in order for it to be effective as a sales trigger. Your prospect must see how an extra hour or two saved each day will translate into more money, more free time, or more goals accomplished. This is a very important point and is usually most applicable to people who already have enough money but not enough time to enjoy it.

4. People want to look more attractive. As your prospects lifestyles improve, they want to accomplish several things. They want to earn more money but they also want to look more attractive. In some culture, folks will literally kill to look good. This may sound vain but it is a real need and a huge sales trigger for you. Someone will sell them the right product to help them look attractive. It might as well be you.

5. People want to learn new skills. They may want to learn how to change their car oil or build a deck. This will make them feel more intelligent. This is also the kind of prospect who may have more disposable income. Connecting with this person through the right research will help you make the sale. Do not forget too, if this is a technically challenging field, there will be more opportunities to make other sales to the same person at a later date.

6. People want to live longer. At this time, there is a lot of talk about the aging baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965). They may want to get in shape, eat better or gain extra energy. This will make them feel healthier. Also, people are living longer, but they want a better quality of life than their parents had. Experts predict that certain products will create trillion dollar industries. Find out what these people need and sell them by using their quest for longevity as a sales trigger.

7. People want to be comfortable where ever they may be. They may want to relieve aches and pains, sleep better, and enjoy their lives; especially as they age. Do some quick research on your demographics. How old are they? How much money do they have. How can you improve their comfort levels? Somewhere in the mix, you are going to find sales triggers that I did not even mention. Use them to profit in your business, whether it be online or off-line.

4 Things A Manager Should Never Say


People listen to leaders. It’s one of the qualities that helps define them as leaders — and their followers as followers.

But because of this, leaders need to mind what they are saying, and avoid knee-jerk responses. “A leader’s brain must always work things out ahead of his mouth speaking them,” says Patrick Alain, author of The Leader Phrase Book: 3000+ Phrases That Put You In Command.

To help wannabe leaders cement their status, Alain has compiled a shortlist of four phrases that a good leader will never, ever say. Avoid these lines and people will be more likely to follow your lead.

‘That’s impossible’

This flip statement will hurt your credibility in two ways, says Alain. “It is inherently negative and makes the individual who uttered the statement or remark feel like they need  to justify it immediately. [Also] using this phrase in excess can expose the user as someone who wantonly trivializes others and their work, even if they don’t really mean to.”

A better choice, according to Alain? “I find that hard to believe.” Truthful, yet not dismissive.

‘[John Doe] is a jerk’

Randomly gossiping about or putting down others will kill confidence in you as a respectable leader. “Even just venting frustration near the coffee machine or in a chat window can prove disastrous. Anyone with an axe to grind can forward your vent simply by clicking [send],” says Alain.

If you need to discuss a problem employee with another colleague, discuss it with the appropriate person — privately and in a constructive way. For instance, “I have a tough time seeing eye to eye with [John Doe],” says Alain. John Doe may eventually hear your concerns, but through the right channels — not the grapevine.

‘My way or the highway’

Real leaders don’t give ultimatums. “Ultimatums like this one don’t usually solve anything. In fact, open threats often lead to grievances and even litigation,” says Alain.

If you really have a problem with an insubordinate direct report, use the proper steps (and guidance from HR) to work through the issues. You may still need to let someone go — but you’ll likely sleep better at night knowing you gave him official notice of his shortcomings and tried to help him improve. And others will likely notice how you handled this situation.

‘I’m always right’

Using this phrase is the equivalent of taping the word “narcissist” to your forehead. “Anyone tempted to use this phrase runs the danger of being perceived as distant, haughty and self-aggrandized,” say Alain.

That said, there are some situations, particularly if you are in a decision-making position, where you really need to take control. If you must leave no room for discussion, Alain suggests starting with, “I’m sure you can agree with me when I say …”

Creating Energy For Your Business

By Dr. Drew Stevens

I was a decent track athlete and I hurdled in both high school and college. I remember the first time that I attempted hurdling – I was scared to death. My coach – Box James told me to “plant” my leg to create enough force to power me over the hurdles. Once I grabbed the concept sprinting over them was nothing. I learned then that force creates energy and energy – power.

Bringing this forward I conduct an immense amount of coaching around the world. And there is a difference in those I assist. The reason – some burn energy and some well not so much. Take Phillip for instance. Phillip is the proprietor of a medium firm with 73 employees. They produce much and profits okay, but they can be better why because Phillip has stopped working the business, he has become complacent. He no longer is using energy.

There is a fundamental difference between successful people and those that want to be. Those that are successful continually work and burn energy all day long in order to achieve the levels of success they desire – those that don’t procrastinate.

To increase energy in your business success requires you to:

  1. Network aggressively. Those that are visible are known in their communities constantly meeting to increase their network. Success stems from the summation of those individuals in your network. Yes it has to do with no only the law of attraction but whom you are attracting.
  2. Good people are always getting referrals. Referrals are the backbone for any professional. Consumers today invest in those they know and trust. Advertising does not matter – your word and intellectual property do. How many cards and references are in your wallet?
  3. There is a new term known as thought leadership. Those with large communities are seen as thought leaders and many want to be around them. Those that are successful are well respected.
  4. Success is not about procrastination. Successful people do not think about the next moment they are deeply immersed in it. I am reminded of the quote from Gordon Gekko in the original Wall Street movie to Bud Fox, “This is your wake up call, pal. Go to work.” Success is already at work. When you have to think about it then success with not find you.
  5. Energetic people create mastermind and learning networks. Donald Trump the famous real estate mogul used his dad as a mentor. A quotation from his book reads, “When I worked with him in his office, it was definitely more formal. He told me to “know everything you can about what you’re doing”. He was extremely knowledgeable and could even help out the carpenters.” Learn from others and they will teach you more then you can ever read from any book. Others experiences will immeasurably help you.
  6. Finally those with energy use the moniker “Get ‘ er done.”

Whether you are in sales, own your own firm or professional practice you need energy to get through those hurdles. To quote again from Gekko, “You gonna tell me the difference between this guy and that guy is luck?” No it is not luck it is about energy, force and power. If you subsist in a small office with little revenue perhaps it is time to plant your lead leg and stop looking at the hurdles or creating hurdled but jumping over them.

© 2011. Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.

If Sigmund Freud Was Your Sales Manager

By Steve W. Martin

Here’s an excerpt from my book Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology: How to Penetrate the C-Level Executive Suite and Convince Company Leaders to Buy.

Sigmund Freud is the most famous figure in all of psychology. If he was your sales manager I think he would ask you one very important question, “Why are you in sales?” While your conscious mind might rationalize that you got into sales through a calculated career move or even happenstance, Freud would probably argue that your decision to become a salesperson was made many years ago. This is because your subconscious mind has had a plan for your entire life. You are simply fulfilling your destiny.

Your subconscious mind knows you better than yourself. It remembers how you sought acceptance and recognition since the earliest days of your childhood. Today, it understands you crave adventure and excitement and that you could never be happy working a routine nine-to-five desk job. It also recognizes that you work in sales not because you have to, but because you have to be free. And this fundamental drive is at the core of the human spirit.

Sigmund Freud would acknowledge that you are a very rare type of individual. Most people don’t have the capacity to intentionally endure the emotional and mental stress that is a daily part of a sales career. They don’t have the self-confidence to attempt to accomplish difficult goals or possess the inward drive and perseverance to reach the pinnacle of success. In reality, most people can’t deal with uncertainty and don’t have the propensity to take risks. They are satisfied living average lives working at ordinary jobs because they are afraid to know the truth about themselves. While they shirk from the limelight because they fear their lack of courage will be exposed, you are on a continual mission to prove to the world you’re right.

Sigmund Freud would say your subconscious mind is smarter than you think. It recognized way in advance that sales was the only profession that was right for you. It determined that you needed to be surrounded by people like yourself—modern-day warriors who embark on daily battles to vanquish evil archrivals. It also realized how important it is for you to have earned their respect and admiration.

Even though your conscious mind may occasionally daydream about doing some other profession, your subconscious knows that you are very fortunate to be in sales. While others have chosen life’s mundane path, sales provides you the opportunity to fulfill your deep-seated drives to leave your legacy and become the hero who was able to make the family’s dreams come true. You should be thankful it selected a career that increases your self-worth and net worth at the same time. Most importantly, your subconscious mind purposely chose this line of work so you could measure the significance of your life. And as your subconscious mind already knows, you are destined for great things.

The new rules on dressing for success

by Tom Searcy 

I have a number of super-successful Silicon Valley clients who dress in ripped denim, Vans shoes and t-shirts. They are worth hundreds of millions, even more, but it’s a status symbol to dress like you’re homeless to attend board meetings.Conversely, I have worked with trash-hauling company executives who dress in suits and ties every day of the week. And this contrast shows the dramatic shift that has occurred in business attire in recent years, as each industry has developed its own rules.

So how do you learn the rules? Back in the early 1990s, as a young exec, I read Dress for Success by John T. Molloy. It gave me a clear understanding of how to dress to impress. But the “business casual” dress movement has turned all of that book’s ideas into quaint nostalgia. But fair or not, dress still has an impact on how you’re seen. For sales people, especially, first impressions matter.

My daughters will confirm that I am not a fashion plate, but I do have some simple rules for successful dressing if you are in sales.

Know your prospect’s uniform.

Before you meet with a prospect, you should know that company’s dress code. “Business casual” has a lot of meanings. Call the front desk at the company and ask what the company’s dress code is and what the men and women wear. Or ask your contact. The point is, part of your responsibility is to understand that company’s culture, including its dress code. Ask for examples, especially of the senior most person who will be in your meeting.

Dress one step up.

If your prospect is in denim, you wear khaki. They wear sport coats without ties; you are in suits without ties. The point is that you always dress one step further up the clothing ladder than your prospect, but not two. One step says that you respect and value them. Two steps can send a loaded message.

It’s not just what you wear–but how you wear it.

Polished shoes, pressed shirts and well-fitted pants always.  At this point, some of you are thinking, “Does he really have to say this to people?” while others are saying, “Why do I have to tuck in my shirt?” But when your clothes are pressed, buttoned down and well-fitted, you convey that you are a person who pays attention to the details and are professional

Grooming trumps style.

Even if you’re wearing a great suit, if you’ve got a terrible haircut, you’ll give a bad impression. As crazy as it sounds, everything on the grooming punch lists – fingernails, facial hair, haircuts and oral hygiene–matter.

Know your company’s uniform.

One of my clients makes sure that when his sales reps are making their sales calls, they wear a very specific uniform. (His company’s clients accept this because they see it as an extension of the brand; the company sells safety products.) It doesn’t matter if the reps are presenting in a board room or on a manufacturing plant floor, they wear the sample simple uniform. Obviously, if you work at this company, you follow this dress code in order to fit in.

Remember, you can dress in a way where your attire is the only message people remember, or you can dress in a way that takes nothing away from the message of value your company brings to them.

Getting Through a Group Interview

Hamsa Ramesha | SalesHQ

Group interviews are relatively easy if you work well in a team and are able to make your ideas heard in a crowd. However, they can be challenging if you have a quieter personality and prefer to keep to yourself.

Regardless of how you feel about group interviews, there’s no reason you should treat them any different, in most respects, than a standard, one-on-one interview. The same basic principles apply: Research the company, arrive on time, dress appropriately, practice answering common interview questions, and remember to follow up after the interview.

What’s the Difference?

The key difference between individual interviews and group interviews is obvious: You’ll be questioned along with a bunch of other hopeful job seekers. Your objective isn’t just to show what a great employee you could be — you need to beat the competition face-to-face, too. The competition is in the room with you. Don’t worry — you can use this to your advantage.

The challenge is to find the right balance between getting your opinion across and dominating the conversation. You don’t want to be so close-mouthed that you’re perceived as being passive or shy either. Be confident and don’t let yourself be bullied by others into staying quiet. At the same time, encourage your fellow interviewees to speak up and let their ideas be heard. You’ve got nothing to worry about, right? Let your knowledge and confidence speak for themselves. Keep yourself focused and calm and you’ll blow away the competition.

Panel Interview vs. Project Interview

Group interviews can be conducted a few ways, depending on the quirks of the company. In a panel interview, a group of job seekers are asked several questions by a panel of people from the company. These people are usually from a variety of backgrounds, and can include someone from human resources, company executives, and/or employees you are most likely to work with should you get the job. The point of panel interviews is to make your voice heard without dominating the conversation. Are your responses memorable? Are you memorable? Be respectful, respond intelligently, and keep your cool to ace this kind of interview.

Project interviews are more hands-on. In these situations, a team of job seekers is given a group assignment which measures a variety of skills including teamwork, leadership, communication, interpersonal relationships, and project management. The interviewers want to see how well you work with each other and observe you in action — something that can’t be done in a passive, one-on-one interview. These types of interviews are difficult to prepare for, unless you’ve been told ahead of time what the assignment will be so that you can study up. In any case, turn the interview in your favor by showcasing your leadership ability. Don’t just take charge and manage the whole group — make sure everyone is heard and keep the peace!

What to Expect in a Group Interview

The challenge of any interview is to figure out specifically which kind of employee the company is looking to hire. You should have an idea of the skills the position requires, based on the job description and preliminary conversations with the company. Are you applying for a leadership position? Or will you be part of a team? If you know what skills the position requires of you, focus on emphasizing those traits in the group interview.

Follow Up After

Following up after the interview is especially important for group interviews. You want to do everything you can to set yourself apart from the crowd! Don’t forget to send a thank you note to every single person who interviewed you, so make sure you’ve got the right names and contact information of everyone you interviewed with. In the note, it might be a good idea to remind them of something specific you said that was memorable or impressive, so they can tie a face to your name.

Take it Easy

Still worried about the group interview? Don’t be — it sounds more daunting than it is! Just treat it with the same sense of precaution and preparedness you would with a one-on-one interview. Employers are still looking for the most qualified candidates who best fit their company. If you do your research, come prepared, look professional, and answer the questions well, you’ve done all you can. If you don’t get the position, ask for feedback. Find out where you could have improved and learn from your mistakes. At the very least, the employer will be impressed with your request, and they may just keep you in mind for the next position that opens up!

My Top 10 Sales Tips


My biggest sales lesson came from a good friend who is now our head of Canadian business development (a fancy term for sales), Robin Tator. Robin taught me that sales is not about what you are selling, but about making friends and about getting someone to see the world the way you do. If you do that, everything else will take care of itself.

Sales can be a melancholy job. On one hand, many people (especially nonsales people) feel that it’s sleazy and lowbrow. On the other hand, it can be the most important function of a business. Until there’s a sale, there is no business. Personally, I’ve gone from thinking the former to believing the latter and honing my skills over a decade to where today I am effectively the chief sales officer of TerraCycle. I don’t know exactly when this transition happened, but it took me a few years to embrace the power of sales the way I do today.

I recently wrote a friend who is starting a nonprofit and suggested that the role of a company leader is to become the chief convincing officer. In the end these two titles are synonymous, because selling is really the art of convincing someone to believe and buy into your concept, whether by buying your product or service or by investing in your company or by working for your company.

Here are my top 10 sales tips, all of which have served me and our staff — including Jo Opot, pictured above — for years:

  1. You can sell only if you yourself are convinced: If you are not sold on the product or service, it will be an uphill battle to sell someone on else. Your lack of conviction will scream through.
  2. Be clear and direct: When pitching do not use complicated diction. Pride yourself instead on being able to explain the concept as quickly, clearly and simply as possible. This is important because the biggest problem in sales is client confusion. Confusion does not lead to a Yes.
  3. Pressure is an art: Creating FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) in your client’s mind can be a good thing because it will lead to serious consideration of your concept. In the TerraCycle world, we award brand exclusivity by country and by category. I often need to tell potential clients that their competition is also talking with us. The trick is to mention this once and to NOT rub it in, which is likely to anger them. No one who is angered into saying Yes.
  4. Know your client: Make sure to research your potential clients, know their challenges and their needs. One size hardly ever fits all, and you look much stronger if you care about the business enough to invest in the research. I can’t tell you how many times I get cold calls from sales people who don’t even know what TerraCycle does.
  5. It’s all about the presentation: Building an amazing deck is critical to the sales process. Practice it, memorize it and be prepared to shift your emphasis based on how the energy changes when you give the presentation. Internally, we always ask ourselves: “Is the flow of this deck right? Will it convince?”
  6. Be passionate and exciting: Most presentations are BORING! So create a show and make it exciting. Excitement is contagious – just like a yawn.
  7. If you don’t know the answer, do not guess: People will ask you tough questions, and you may not always know the answer. The person asking you may be testing you, knowing the answer full well. And if you fumble, it’s very hard to rebuild credibility. Do not guess.
  8. Answer questions directly and clearly: If you are asked a question and you give a “politician’s answer” – in other words, if you don’t answer the question – your credibility will decline, and you will hurt your chances of making the sale.
  9. Humor is a great lubricator: Funny stories always break the ice. Instead of using business cards, everyone in our company uses stamps (see right) to leave our contact info. It’s eco-friendly, it never runs out and it makes for a nice ice-breaker at the beginning of every meeting.
  10. You can always be better: Sales is an art, not a science. Which means it’s never perfect and can always improve. TerraCycle has a standard sales deck most of our associates use. We’ve gone through 94 versions in the last three years and version 95 is around the corner.

Bottom line: sales is a critical function that is more art than science, so hone your art. And please share any of the sales tips you’ve learned.

Tom Szaky is the chief executive of TerraCycle, which is based in Trenton.