Friday, October 4, 2013

Threaten Shoppers Craftily

Researchers at Victoria University of Wellington, University of Western England, and American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates sent threatening messages to students whom the researchers had identified as already scared. Not messages threatening to harm the students, you understand, but instead pointing out the possibly dire consequences of failing to seek help at the university counseling center to ease their anxiety.
     The threats didn’t convince the students to seek counseling nearly as well as playing to positive emotions. In certain circumstances, we can make a sale more likely by arousing in the customer a sense of fear—fear about the consequences of not making the purchase or buying into the course of action we’re proposing. But unless the fear appeal is crafted well, it could end up doing damage to your business.
  • Research at Universidad PĆ¹blica de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain concludes that for certain shoppers in the world, fear sells, but for others, it’s a turnoff. How to tell which is which? Monitor the extent to which your shopper uses fear words themself. 
  • Raise enough fear of a real danger to win the customer’s attention and motivate action, but only to the degree that you’ve a guaranteed way to substantially reduce the risk. Don’t oversell. Researchers at Auburn University find that if the fear becomes too intense or if they don’t see a way out, shoppers becomes defensive and start thinking about why they don’t need the item you’re wanting to sell them. Or if they do end up making the purchase, chances are they’ll associate negative feelings with your store, making it less likely they’ll come back again. 
  • Pair the fear with regret (“I can understand why you’re sorry you didn’t make a purchase like this before the accident”), guilt (“I’m sure you want to do all you can to protect your family”), and/or challenge (“I realize the price is high”). Research at Tulane University regarding health behaviors like using sunscreen and eating high fiber foods concluded that regret, guilt, and challenge increase the rate at which the consumer buys into compliance. 
  • Use legitimate fear appeals with older consumers. Seniors respond better to fear-laden sales messages than to purely rational sales messages, especially if the fear appeal is combined with appeals to positive emotions, like comfort, contentment, and relief. Emotional appeals also help elderly shoppers remember details about sources of sales messages more accurately. 
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Craft Fear Appeals 
Tamp Down Fear Points If Selling to Suppliers

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