Yes, “fear of pain” does sell the best. People tend to spend a lot of time, money and energy avoiding pain. The smart marketer understands this and is willing to “peel back a scab and rub salt in it” to motivate someone to action.
A savvy tax business owner who understands the emotional side of getting taxpayers to use their tax services knows using the “fear of pain” to his or her advantage (every place they can) will help increase the effectiveness of their marketing.
The bottom line: If you can whip up this insecurity and fear, you will sell more.
Now don’t get me wrong. You want to benefit sell, too! What I’m saying is you need to do BOTH with a little more of the weight leaning on the “fear of pain” side.
You see, once you make taxpayers feel miserable about their current tax situation, you can then liberate them by being the best solution to their tax problems (or POTENTIAL problems). That’s why you need to do both FEAR and BENEFIT selling, spending more time in the beginning scaring them to death and then selling them on you being the best solution to their possible problems. (Remember the “selling formula”: Problem, Agitate, Solution.)
What is PAINFUL (or at least feared as painful) to your target market?
How about an IRS agent walking into your business?
“... the last thing you need is to make a simple mistake on your tax return that triggers an IRS ‘red flag’ and the next thing you know you’ve got some pesky IRS agent coming into your office on a Monday morning wanting to see your records.”
How about an IRS audit of your personal tax return?
“... regular ol’ folks that keep paying more than they are supposed to in taxes, believing it will ‘shield’ them from ever getting one of those nasty IRS letters in the mail, are in denial. IRS audits are real and can be very painful, costly, time-consuming and even embarrassing!”
So the main question going through your head right now should be, “What is my target market’s biggest fear or frustration as it relates to taxes?”
When you start getting a handle on what makes your target market “tick” and understanding what their main “hot buttons” are, I guarantee somewhere in the mix you’ll be able to point to some fear or “possibility of pain” they want to avoid as being a key factor in what actually motivates them to action.
It might be a phone call. It might be a person showing up at your office unannounced one day. But what got that prospect to USE you instead of someone else can be traced back to you helping them avoid the possibility of pain.
And as Barretta used to say. “You can take that one to the bank!”
Do me a favor. Keep some of the “logical” stuff you already have in your ads because you ultimately need both to complete the sales message. I’m just saying add more emotional copy (even on the heavy side) because that’s what helps make the phone ring!