While Enlightenment-era thinkers would like you to believe otherwise, we are not as rational as we think we are.
Books like Irrational Exuberance, Emotional Intelligence, and Descartes’ Error teach us that even the most analytical among us make decisions with emotions. Furthermore, we learn that without emotions we can’t make a decision in the first place.
In the sales context, this means people buy based on desire.
Whether someone wants a promotion at work or a healthier lifestyle, they desire these things for emotional reasons like prestige, approval, sex appeal, or security.
However, those desire-based decisions are eventually justified with logic. That’s where “reason why” advertising comes in.
In essence, if you make an offer, state a claim, or ask a favor, expect your prospect to wonder why you are making that claim. Satisfy her curiosity. Sweep away her skepticism.
For example, explain why you are giving away a free sample of your book (because you know the advice in the first chapter will help them survive Manhattan traffic that very night).
Explain why you are throwing in a free 30-minute consultation with every contract (because this helps clients warm up to your strange coaching process).
Elizabeth Langer’s famous 1977 Copy Machine Study demonstrates we don’t need much. Your reason why could be as simple as “I’m just a generous person” or “because.”
P.S. Have you seen my new podcast Rough Draft?
This piece originally appeared as part of this Salesforce article (which I am told by a source close to the company is their most socially popular post).