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Would you prefer to see it, feel it, smell it, taste it, or hear it?

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

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

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?’

Auditory people

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’.

Gustatory people

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.

Olfactory people

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?

Quick wins can give you long term gains

Feeling frustrated? Trying to get your work done, but feel that you are getting nowhere fast?

What you may need is a quick win – something fast and easy to implement that has a big bang for buck.

Take this scenario for instance…

Imagine you are a web manager trying to convince senior management that extra resourcing for metrics analysis is needed to help support the goals of the corporate site. Unfortunately, senior management don’t see the benefit of metrics – they barely understand the reports that are generated every month – and can’t see the value of allocating any extra resourcing. What do you do?

Find a quick win.

Find a small but high impact change (using the metrics) that generates interest in what you are trying to. Everyone likes success, everyone likes being associated with success, and people are more likely to support ideas or projects that will be successful in the future.

Quick wins are good when:

  • You are working on a long term project and management are beginning to lose interest in what you are trying to do.
  • Your team needs a morale boost through some easy success stories.
  • You need to win over business areas/clients.
  • You want to implement a large change to your site, but are finding it hard to convince management that it’s the right thing to do.

What quick wins have you used to your benefit?