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January 8, 2016
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The Army West Point Mascot mingles with the cadets during the 111th Army/Navy Game at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. Dec. 11, 2010. (U.S. Army Photo by Eboni L. Myart)

How to Get People to Care About Your Message

Read This Post if You Want:

An exact formula for creating high converting sales and marketing copy every time;
To save countless hours developing your emails, elevator pitch, newsletters, social media and other promotional materials and;
To learn techniques that the top marketers are using right now to attract the attention of their target market and make boatloads of cash.

About You:

This Information is  perfect for Self Employed Professionals, Solopreneurs, Business Owners, Event Organizers, Non-Profit Organizations or anyone who creates messages they want people to care about. 

 No matter who you are on that list there are two things that you need to be great at…

  1. Attracting the attention of your target market
  2. Converting them to customers or clients or whatever you call them.

What You will Learn in this Post

  1. What are 75% of all buying decisions based on?
  2. What is the HUGE mistake that many businesses make in their marketing?
  3. What is the single greatest challenge you must overcome to make this work for you?
  4. You will understand what the ladder of persuasion is and how to use it
  5. An exact formula that will save you hours of time and huge amounts of brain power,
  6. I will also show you real world examples of how leading businesses and marketers are using these techniques to propel their business to outstanding success

What Are Buying Decisions Based On?

So what are 75% of all buying decisions based on? A landmark 1990 study by Kahneman, Knetsch, and Thaler showed that people are much more motivated by the fear of loss then the promise of gain and since that time research has shown that up to 75% of all buying decisions are based on fear.  Sad, but true.

And the HUGE MISTAKE that so many marketers make is NOT using fear in their marketing. You may have had the same thought as me about using fear as a motivator. You don’t want to be a manipulative fear mongerer (not really a word) So don’t be that BUT…

Why do you think all those beer and car commercials show beautiful people who are living, what most people would consider, a great life? Yes, it taps into what we desire but it also subliminally taps into our fears that maybe we are missing out on fun times and great experiences.

And the reality is that there are dire consequences if your customers don’t buy your product or service, Isn’t there?  So if you could find a classy way of persuading your target market to buy from your company you would want to use it, wouldn’t you?

Marketing Basics

Let’s quickly review some marketing basics so we are all on the same page. If you have taken a marketing course you may have probably seen this in your textbook. 4 pillars of marketing are:





The very first part of that is AttentionYou must find a way to attract the Attention of your target market. So how do you do that?

Think about the last time you clicked on an ad, opened an email, or read an article, you probably did so because it was something that spoke to your current circumstances. The best ads speak directly to you, capture your attention and interest and persuade you to take action but unless you were actually in the buying process, I will bet that what grabbed your attention wasn’t “what” they were selling.

Consider this graphic based on a model that Chet Holmes uses in his book the Ultimate Sales Machine.

Who Is Buying Now?

  • Buying Now
  • Open To It
  • Not Thinking About It
  • Don't Think They Want It
  • Know They Don't Want It

Now he has tested this model with thousands of people over many different industries and he has found it to be accurate more times than not. 

What does this mean to you and your marketing?

It means that if you are just talking about the “what” of your product, you are only going to reach at best 10% of the market and at worst only 3%!

So if you want to reach more of the market you need to climb the ladder of persuasion. This may not be a new concept to many of you but it is easier said than done.

The reality is that our customers have very few needs but they have tons of Wants, Desires and Fears. Here is how I help my clients make a comprehensive list of their target market’s Needs, Wants Desires and both Short Term Fears and Long Term Fears. 

Improve All Your Marketing

I promise, if you take the time to make this list, and you do it well, it will provide you with an incredibly valuable resource to draw on that will improve the effectiveness of ALL of your marketing efforts and save you huge amounts of time when you are developing your marketing materials.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Business Owners and Self Employed Professionals never use the time or the brain power needed to make this list. Consider this quote from Bernard Shaw:

“Most people think but once a year, I have made quite a name for myself by thinking once a week.”

Bernard Shaw

Yes it’s a bit tongue in cheek but it is also true. 

The Challenge to Overcome

Creative thinking is hard. It is a skill that has been eroded by the wonderful computers that make our lives easier . It requires persistence when faced with the black hole of “no immediate answer to the question”. Like a computer that is showing that spinning wheel telling you that it is “working”, creative thinking requires your own internal wheel to spin even though nothing appears to be happening. Most people do not have the patience to spin their wheel with no immediate results.

So I will provide you with a way to make this process a way easier. It still requires a persistent effort on your part, yet, if you take the time to do this, it will provide dividends for as long as you are in business. In fact. It will add fuel for ALL of your marketing efforts.  If you want to improve your SEO, Build a Better Website, Take Advantage of Advanced Marketing Tools,  Launch a New Product, or Create a New Campaign, this is the work you need to do first.

So it Starts with Your Targets Needs.

This is completely creative. Simply ask: What are your targets base needs?

You just have to spend the time to figure it out but you will likely already know this. Here is an example from a company I worked with who sells to “litigation lawyers who are in electronic discovery”. Yes a very specific niche and their needs are very few.


Need an error free process for sifting through vast amounts of material quickly and easily

The data must have a clear chain of custody

The data must be trusted by the courts

Now climb the ladder and brain storm a list of Wants, ending up with something like this. Ask, What does our target market want? Here is a list that may provide some ideas for you. 


  1. Cost Effective
  2. Reduce costs
  3. Easy to use
  4. Easy to learn
  5. Easy to buy
  6. Easy to implement
  7. Well supported solution
  8. Good training available
  9. Good reputation in the marketplace
  10. Uses standardized methodology
  11. Save time
  12. Well designed interface
  13. Refined through user feedback
  14. Mimics same process you would use for paper documents
  15. They want the way to prove the chain of custody to be easy to prove
  16. They want to make sure that their is no missing information, they want to limit omissions
  17. Enjoy dealing with the company
  18. They want the users to enjoy using the product
  19. Storage system easy to understand
  20. Want it to be flexible for their specific circumstances
  21. Customizable solution
  22. They want to spend no time explaining why the courts can trust this information
  23. be compatible with all stakeholders in the case
  24. they want it to be risk free
  25. they want to work with a company who is committed to continuous improvement
  26. Minimized perceived opportunity cost
  27. Eliminates the fear of the unknown
  28. Want it to be intuitive
  29. Reduce frustration
  30. They want to feel more organized
  31. They want to quickly sift through

As you can see it is a much bigger list and it provides you with many more messaging opportunities. 

“The higher on the ladder you go the more universally appealing your message will be.”

Rnold Smith

Which means that it will appeal to a greater number of people and will expand the reach of your marketing beyond those people who are “Buying Now” or “Open To It”.

Which means your marketing message is reaching 70% of the market instead of 10%.


Now in order to get to the desires or pleasures you need to look at your list of wants and ask: Why do they want that?

i.e. The lawyers want the software to be “Easy to Use”. Why? So that They:

Waste less of their time…

Look good to their staff…

Feel good about their purchase…

Are admired for their decision and …

Are seen as a smart contributor to their firm which will support a case for professional advancement.

It may seem like a bit of a stretch but it also happens to be true. Making a smart buying decision that helps the firm and clients save time and money and keeps the hard working secretaries happy is no small feat.

So saying something like:

“This lawyer was mired in obscurity at his large law firm until he discovered this time and money saving software that got him noticed by the partners and set him up for advancement”

Is a headline that would appeal to a greater number of lawyers than the headline…

“Electronic discovery software saves law firms time and money”

Would only appeal to lawyers who are in electronic discovery. And even if the lawyers are not purchasing now you have set up the possibility of a future customer or possibly a referral because your message attracted the attention of more eyeballs. That was just for one “want”.  Now do this for all of them.

Which brings us to the highest rung on the ladder of persuasion, Fears. There are two types of fears we will deal with today. Long Term Fears and Short Term Fears. 

Long Term Fears

How you uncover your target’s Long Term Fears is ask…

What happens if they don’t get what they want?

I love the simplicity of this question.

For example:

What happens if the lawyers software product is NOT “Easy to Use”

They will waste a lot of potentially unpaid time learning a new system and make less money

The product will increase the frustration of those hardworking secretaries;

Which will make the lawyers life miserable;

It may make some of their best secretaries quit and;

Make it harder to find an retain good talented legal assistants.

These are legitimate fears that they may not even be thinking about when considering a purchase. So go through your wants and needs list and ask What happens if they don’t get what they want and need?

If you do that you will come up with a list of Long Term Fears. Imagine having a document that ensures you are speaking directly to your target market’s long term fears that provides you with an endless supply of words that grabs their attention. 

Short Term Fears

Now the next step is to create a list of your target’s Short Term Fears. And how you do that is ask the question 

Why hasn’t it happened already or why haven’t they purchased yet?

This will provide phrases like:

They are not sure you will be able to deliver the goods;

They are afraid they will waste money on a solution that won’t really help;

They don’t want to look foolish.

And many more. What is so great about this list is that you will uncover objections that your potential customers likely, will never share with you…and yet have a BIG influence on their buying decisions. With that list you can craft marketing and sales materials that overcome objections before they arise.

And create headlines like this: 

“Save your law firm huge amounts of time and money without risking your reputation”

This headline uses the first headline formula in the Million Dollar Headline Formula document. 

pleasure + without + fear

There are 7 great headline formula’s. Anyone who joins my weekly newsletter will get a copy and once you know the formula’s you will be able to spot them being used everywhere.

So if you use this simple formula you will be able to attract way more attention and interest to your marketing.

Take the time to develop your target market’s list of needs, wants, desires and fears and you will be surprised at the difference it will make.