Did you know fear is a sell-tactic used by many in today’s marketplace?
Don’t believe me? Google phrases like “use fear to sell” or “how many people use fear to sell,” and you’ll see between 400-600 million options appear quickly. Thankfully, several of the results seem to focus on the “ethical way to do it.”
One headline from Inc. Magazine reads: “How to Effectively Sell Through Fear Without Going to Far.” (Sounds a little manipulative, don’t you think?)
The topic of fear has been on my mind a lot lately because there is a constant thread of fear that seems to appear everywhere—on the news, on social media, in emails, etc. Sometimes fear is shoved in our faces without apology. Others use the scare tactic more subtly.
Fear wields great power because it repels us and draws us in. WHY? Because it can cause people to freeze, cower, and not get things done. Fear can also get people to take action and buy something, whether they need it or not. (Haven’t you experienced both reactions yourself?! I know I have.)
Does using fear to get others to do something make you uncomfortable? Me, too.
The other day, a Done-WITH-You coaching client spent 10-15 minutes of our call describing her fear about writing some content we planned for a lead magnet and email series. (We’d already drafted the flow for each piece, so she had nothing to fear. It was just a mindset she needed to overcome.)
As she talked, several FEAR acronyms came to mind:
While we unpacked each one, the acronym for love surfaced to balance our conversation: LOVE = Living Our Values Everyday.
Our conversation comparing FEAR and LOVE was rich, deep, and equipped her to move forward by overcoming her fear and keeping her eyes focused on LOVE.
The good news is that none of us entered this world with a spirit of fear because we were all created with a spirit of love, power, and self-control. (See 2 Tim. 1:7)
So, what about the things you fear doing? Know this: Fear is a learned behavior. For example, you aren’t born afraid of snakes or spiders. You are taught to fear them.
Sadly, many entrepreneurs leverage our fears to get us to do whatever they want by weaving it into their marketing and copywriting. In fact, one of the easiest psychological “tricks” to get someone to click buy is by pushing on the thing they fear.
Fear comes in many shapes and sizes. It could be the fear of missing out (FOMO), fear of the unknown, fear of health problems (e.g., death, infection, gaining weight), etc. The options for fear-based selling are numerous.
Are these techniques effective and memorable? Absolutely. WHY? Because fear is a basic human emotion that emphasizes negative consequences.
While every business owner needs to understand and address what their customers fear, some people intentionally use that knowledge to manipulate customers to take action. (Talk about smarmy used car salesman tactics.)
What if you flipped the fear-script by using love throughout your marketing, copywriting, and mindset?
[PRO TIP] Instead of pulling on the thread of fear, shame, or guilt—connect with customers by offering a choice between transformation and keeping the status quo.
Both fear and love are emotional motivators that get people to take action. Fear leverages worry and stress while love energizes and supports.
As a values-based entrepreneur, your choice seems pretty clear.
[PRO TIP] When you use love to persuade, the words you say and write will:
Remember: fear punishes while love liberates.
As you write about your business, let me encourage you to take a stand and practice LOVE by living your values everyday.
Here’s to pulling on a thread of love.
I'm curious to learn which of the two techniques you plan to use in your business. Send me an email to let me know. I'd love to hear from you.