Give People a Reason to Take Action

March 19, 2007

The Mousetrap Series…by Matt Michel

The Mousetrap Series is about helping you sell more mousetraps, no matter what the mousetrap is that you sell. I don’t care how good your mousetrap is, few people will buy it if you do not market it well.

6. Give People a Reason to Take Action

A sale cannot be made until an affordable solution meets a need or desire. The need or desire can exist for years and an array of affordable solutions can also exist, but the sale will not be made until the former smashed headlong into the latter. Even then, the sale is uncertain. The problem is inertia.

Life is not as simple as it once was. People are busy. They have a lot going on. It’s getting rarer for people to take the initiative to find solutions unless they have no choice. The marketer’s job is to bring the solution to the prospect and then, to give the prospect a reason to act now. This is the premise behind many, if not most promotions.

People need clothes. During the year, they buy them. Yet, some people are too busy to mess with it. Rather, they do not make time for clothes shopping. They’re busy. They find clothes shopping distasteful. They would rather do other things. So stores hold sales.

Save 20% if you buy this weekend, the marketing screams. The marketer is attempting to give the prospect a reason to act. Sooner or later the prospect knows he has to buy clothes. He might as well do it now when he can save a little. Thus, the sale provides him with a reason to act.

Sales aren’t the only motive to act. The Service Roundtable put together a direct mail letter explaining why August was a great time to replace an air conditioner. Normally, August is a terrible month for discretionary air conditioner sales. If you’ve made it to August, you’re going to try and make it through the rest of the season. The letter was an attempt to change that. The reasons cited in the letter for replacing in August included the fact that the installation crews were still available and working at the top of their game, the selection was still good but would start to thin in the fall as the industry geared up for heating season, and the seasonal price increases would not taken effect until the end of the year. The letter offered up a series of reasons. Roger Costner with Brothers Air and Heat took the letter and turned it into a newspaper ad that he ran in late August and September. The phone immediately started ringing as soon as the ad hit. Costner gave people with a need to buy in the next year or two a reas on to buy now. He turned a time of the year with few discretionary sales into a sales rich environment.

What reasons can you give for people to buy now?

Source: Comanche Marketing. Reprinted by permission.
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Copyright © 2003 Matt Michel

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