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The Three Psychological Sales

Dave Smith August 18, 2023

Now we will dive into some more tactical marketing strategies. We will begin with the three psychological sales.

This lesson is all about understanding the three psychological sales that, if nailed by you, will have people begging to work with you. They’ll see you as someone who understand their needs, and can get them to where they want to be (because you can). And once you learn these, you’ll be able to effortlessly implement them into your storytelling.

Let’s begin by looking at the pharmaceutical industry. Regardless of anyone’s moral precedence about that industry, one thing cannot be denied—the success of their marketing. Every time you turn on the TV and there is a pharmaceutical commercial, they nail the three psychological sales.

“Hi, I’m Melissa, and for years, I dealt with _______________ (insert debilitating disease here). Having __________ made it impossible for me to live my regular life. My marriage, my family, and my career were all put at risk by having ___________. It made it impossible for me to play with my dog, teach my little girl how to ride her bike, and give my husband the love he deserves… THEN I asked my doctor about Zybalto.” (Made up medication)… “With Zybalto, my family relationships have been restored, my marriage is as on fire as ever (As she strokes her husbands hair; sensory stimuli to help the consumer have an experience), I have more time to spend with my kids, and I’ve gotten 3 promotions. Ask your doctor if Zybalto is right for you.”

Let’s dissect this, and look at what we can learn about human psychology that will allow us to attract customers in an authentic, ethical and aligned way (bear with us, there are some powerful principles of psychology here!).

The truth is, there are thousands and thousands and thousands of people who are in your ideal customer position, and one of the only things holding you back is how well you tell stories. The sale is in the story, and by mastering storytelling you are able to achieve the reach and impact your offer deserves.

So what makes a story effective? When we look at effective storytelling, we will find three key principles—the three psychological sales. Let’s explore.

Here are the Three Psychological Sales:

1. You must sell (illuminate) the PAIN; In our medication case, the pain is the debilitating disease. In your marketing, you can do this by telling your own story of the pain you went through.

2. You must sell (illuminate) the PROBLEM; The problem is what happens as a RESULT of the PAIN. In the case above, it is struggling marriage, struggling family, and struggling career. In your marketing, you can do this by telling your own story of how the problem rippled throughout various aspects of your life.

3. You must sell (educate) the SOLUTION; The solution is the bridge that gets them from where they are to where they would like to be. In the case above, Zybalto was the solution… the bridge that got them from struggling to thriving. In your marketing, you can do this by telling the story of the epiphany you had that caused you to realize this is the best way to solve the problem.

Take a look at THIS youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTZvnAF7UsA

At :11, we hear about depression. This is the pain.

Further into it, we hear, “When you’re depressed, who do you want to see? No one.”

Loneliness is one of the PROBLEMS that are the result of the pain.

At the end, “Depression hurts. Cymbalta can help.” This is the solution.

This bridges from where they are to where the want to be. Notice how imagery is used to display the solution, i.e. love, bonding, etc.—this is what you create for the reader when you tell descriptive stories.

In your storytelling, if you can master these psychological sales, you will master the market. As you learned in the Storytelling lesson, TELLING someone they need something is MUCH less effective than guiding them to having the realization on their own. So, this is the basic structure of all stories you should tell.

Here are some questions to establish how you can speak to the specific points, and make the psychological sale.

1. What is the pain or frustration your ideal customer is experiencing?

2. What is the problem(s) that the client has because they are experiencing this pain?

3. What is YOUR solution, and how does it bridge the gap between the pain, the problem—where they are, and where they want to be?

4. What is your story that caused you to believe this solution was the most optimal way to solve your pain and problem?

So how does this all apply to actual content creation?

The All-Purpose Post Template

Here’s where this pain, problem, solution structure turns into a powerful post structure. Use this structure for any story-based or teaching-based content:

  1. Pain: Where your ideal customer currently is at. Select a thought currently going through their head. Can be in the form of a statement or a quote, so it’s read as if it’s a thought in someone’s head.
  2. Problem: How this ripples through various aspects of their life.
  3. Solution: What you discovered (could include a short story of how you discovered it) that solved this pain. This usually involves teaching the underlying issue that they likely don’t realize is causing this.
  4. Call to Action: A simple sign-off that tells the reader what to do next. You should always have one. It can be a free resource you are giving away, a link to your blog, or a direct offer to get on a call with you. Whatever it is, always give the opportunity to take a next step.

Here’s an example of this structure:

Practice applying this template to your own marketing. It works for any story-based marketing method (what you selected in your Marketing Map). As you practice, this format will become natural and automatic to you.