When I was at university (many years ago now…), I used to work at an internationally successful beauty retail company. I loved it. I got to try delicious products, give other gals make overs, and generally had a great time.
One of the interesting things this company did was to send all employees to sales mastery classes. Yes that’s right: Sales mastery. They took it very seriously. They felt that if you could correctly pick how someone processes information, then you could tailor a sales pitch so they were more likely to buy something. Believe me, it worked.
In a nut shell, everyone processes information in one of five different ways:
Visual people take care of their appearance, are usually well groomed, and like beautiful looking things. When they talk, they express what they want by describing what something should look like. For instance ‘I want a body lotion that makes my skin look shimmery’. Selling to these types of people is easy – focus on the aesthetics, ‘Look at how this eyeshadow picks up on the blue in your eyes’. Funky or unusual packaging and gift wrapping are also winners.
Kinetic people rely on touch and feel. They are likely to say ‘My hair feels dry and brittle, do you have a conditioner that makes it nice and smooth?’ Again, they are pretty easy to sell to (especially in the world of beauty products): ‘Can you feel how plumped up your skin is after applying the moisturiser?’
As you can guess, theses guys love how things sound. A bit tricky to identify, and not as common as visual and kinetic people, but the key is in how they speak – they may even comment on the type of music you have playing. Selling to auditory people can be challenging, but focus on the words you use. They love alliteration (repetition of sounds in words and sentences), so be creative and give a lot of ‘sizzling summer scents’.
Ruled by their stomach they cry ‘that looks good enough to eat!’ To appeal to gustatory people, translate everything into a meal. Chocolaty cocoa butter, sweet honey, tangy citrus and spicy cinnamon are all included in the feast.
Last but by no means least are the olfactory people – those who follow their nose. Perfect if you are selling perfume, harder if you are selling clothes. If you product is one that doesn’t smell (or has an unpleasant smell god forbid), try using imagery to transport them to a another place. For instance ‘With this lawn mower, you can almost smell the freshly cut grass’.
As writers, whether online or traditional, we are often trying to sell something. Sometimes it’s a physical product, other times it’s something intangible.
But, if you keep what I’ve just outlined in mind, hopefully you will be able to write in a way that communicates to a wide range of people. Everyone processes information differently, so don’t lose sales (or sponsors, or members, or investors), just because you are focusing heavily on one type of person. Make sense?