Hooking buyers, making sales, with love and grace

What makes people buy a perfume? What would make people buy your perfume? There has to be something about it, or something about you, that makes people want your perfume badly enough to spend the money.

People in general are slow to spend their money unless something makes them jump. A hook is that something that makes a buyer jump.

A good hook captures people on an emotional level. It makes them suddenly forget all the reasons they had for not buying your perfume today and instead feel compelled to make the purchase.

In a face-to-face dialogue between a master salesperson and a casual browser, the hook can be the rapport that salesperson, in a few short words, develops with the soon-to-be buyer. How often have you bought something that you didn't intend to buy (at least not on that particular day!) simply because the salesperson made you feel good and more comfortable making the purchase than by walking away? And how often, later, did you realize it was the salesperson who got you to buy, not your desire for the product, but instead of feeling annoyed, you continue to feel good, and you now feel a bond of friendship with that salesperson and would be delighted to buy from them again?

Just as some salespeople are better than others at closing sales, so too are some promotional messages much better than others at closing sales. They are better because they hook the casual viewer and lead that person to a purchase, even if that person never felt a strong desire for the product up to that point.

Just as the master salesperson gets the prospect started down the road to a purchase with just a few rapport-building words, so too a good promotional message can get the prospect hooked quickly and then lead the way gently but steadily, to the sale.

Notice how that moment of reaching for the wallet and credit card has nothing to do with the product. The selling message has hooked the buyer on an emotional level that compels the purchase. Reason, budget, comparison shopping all go out the window. Something in the promotion has rung the right bell and created a strong emotional bond with the consumer who won't be stopped until he or she has obtained the product. That's what you want for your perfume.

How would you create a hook for your perfume?

Watch face-to-face sellers. Observe how the good ones quickly build rapport with buyers. Listen to their words. Study their approach. Watch how quickly they can take the buyer from indifference to happiness through a purchase. Watch the direct sales ads on TV.

Then work on applying the techniques to your own printed or visual promotion.

Work on it. You can learn. And as you learn, your sales will improve.


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Philip Goutell
Lightyears, Inc.


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