Here’s Why People Really Buy
Every online marketer has looked at the results of their funnel – and has felt pure disappointment. And if you hate that feeling, you’re right! What I explain in this article is a concept which was an absolute game changer for me in terms of writing sales copy that actually does its job – sell. I hope it will do the same for you. So keep reading and leave behind those low conversions.
Recently, I sent a piece of copy over to my friend Ben Byrne to get his thoughts on a piece of copy I was struggling with.
“I’ve put a lot of work into this…“ told him, “But I still hate it!“.
His reaction: “Yeah… that’s bad…“. Up until that point, I had some hope that I was just overly self-critical.
The sliver of hope was crushed under the weight of his words.
But luckily, that wasn’t the only message Ben sent me. I’ve pondered Ben’s subsequent message for much longer than most think about a message that brief.
But these few words opened my eyes back up and made the ad a winner.
He said: “I believe that in the end, marketing boils down to giving people what they want.“
And as simple as it is, this sentence returned to me the clarity I was missing. Why was this simple statement so profound for me?
Let me explain.
If you work in marketing, it’s easy to get confused.
In the thick marketing jungle, you sometimes need to cut through all the Deep Dive Surveys, Soap Opera Sequences, VSLs, Up-, Down- and Crosssells to see a clear path.
And that sentence handed me a sharp machete ready to chop down all the vines and see a clear way to converting copy.
Ok, now let’s see how „giving people what they want“ happens in real life.
Every single human being has desires. The same desires, as you’ll see.
Let me illustrate how desire builds up and gets channeled into a product.
Imagine you’re driving on the highway and you have the most basic human desire: You’re stomach-ache-hungry.
You might think about if you have any food in the car, but you realize the cookie box in the cup holder is empty.
What’s your reaction? You start looking for fast food restaurants at highway exits. Now, that simple „food desire“ has become another desire: The desire to find a fast food restaurant.
You keep driving, desperate for a snack.
Suddenly, your soon-to-be favorite highway sign appears: “FOOD – EXIT 132“ it says.
It lists a Wendy’s, a McDonald’s and a TacoBell.
TacoBell happens to be your favorite. Now that „fast food restaurant“ desire has become a “TacoBell“ desire.
You get into the right lane, drive off the highway, park in TacoBell’s parking lot and enter the restaurant.
You look at the menu and spot your favorite burrito.
That TacoBell desire has suddenly become a burrito desire. Let’s skip the next 60 seconds. Quickly after you feel your hands around that wrapped, warm, cheesy goodness, the burrito desire has become a „bite into that thing“ desire.
And then, you’ve satisfied that desire for the burrito, you’ve relieved your desire for TacoBell. Desire for a fast-food restaurant? Gone. And – most importantly – you’ve satisfied the initial desire for food.
Pretty much all human desires work this way (Want to learn more about this? Eugene Schwartz’s „market awareness“ theory is what most of this is based on).
The desire for prestige can be channeled onto a “make money online“ course. Or a sports car.
The desire for sex can turn into a desire for a dating book.
Let’s bring this back to Ben’s statement.
“Marketing boils down to giving people what they want.“
There are two components you need to giving people what they want:
- Having something people want. If you’re reading this, you likely have something people want, but you don’t know how to sell more of it.
- Knowing what it is people want. This is the hard part.
Luckily, human desire hasn’t changed since… well… ever.
There are 5 essential desires humans have had since the stone age:
Every product needs to satisfy some combination of these – else it won’t sell.
Now, these are intertwined, of course. Prestige, for example, can lead to you being more attractive, which lets you have more sex. Relieving yourself of a problem can bring wellness with it.
And so on.
So, if you want to sell something, forget about trying to create demand for it. The only thing you can do is channel the 5 desires I outlined above.
And this sounds simpler than it really is.
If you think back to the „hungry on the highway“ story, your hunger slowly morphed into different desires once an opportunity to relieve the desire arose. If that TacoBell hadn’t shown up, but if the food sign had three different restaurants on it, you would’ve picked your favorite out of those three instead.
The food desire might have been channeled onto a bacon cheeseburger instead of your favorite burrito.
Let me illustrate with two other examples.
In the same way, a lonely guy looking for a girlfriend has the desire for a girlfriend (which is an evolved version of the sex desire). Not necessarily for a book or an online course. So an ad which grabs him might promise success in dating in the headline.
It doesn’t matter if it is for a book, a seminar or an online course at that point.
Let’s assume he reads an ad for a book.
Here’s a flowchart of how his desire might transform throughout the buying process:
Desire for sex -> Desire for a girlfriend -> Desire to read ad -> Desire for promised solution -> Desire for book -> Desire to buy ->Initial desire fulfilled
Or let’s go through a potential buying process for a course on -let’s take something super niche- brewing Indian pale ale beer.
Desire for prestige -> Desire to impress friends -> Desire to be a leader -> Desire to show them something new -> Desire to start brewing beer -> Desire to read ad -> Desire for promised solution -> Desire for course -> Desire to buy -> Initial desire fulfilled.
Note that this is nowhere near a „hard science“. Without brain scans, you won’t be able to recreate these processes with any precision.
What I want to impart on you is the knowledge that there are different levels of desire – and that your prospect has to go through all of those to buy your product.
When you write copy, you need to evolve the desire your prospect has into a desire for your product – that much is clear.
What’s even better is that the further you channel desire, the more pressure you build up in your prospect – which they can only relieve by buying your product.
Do your research so you know exactly what desire your target market is at – and you’ll have an incredibly easy time persuading people to buy with your copy.
You’ll know the exact words you need to put in front of them that make them believe it’s just what they needed.
And you’ll be able to give people what they want – which they gladly pay for.
Still confused? Too much to do?
I’ll take that work off your shoulders…
You can just hire me to write you some sales copy to convert your traffic. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll talk about what we need to do to get your funnel to put money in your pocket on autopilot.