Empathy And The Two Great Motivators

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“The fear of loss is a greater motivator than the prospect of potential gain.”

–     theory of emotional direct response copy writing

Continuing our “change” theme — and considering empathy’s role in professional selling…

 

Scenario #1:

It’s 2:30 AM and you’re in deep REM sleep.

Your phone rings.  It’s me.  “Hey!” I exclaim, excitedly,  “I just found a $20 bill on the sidewalk outside your house!  I am coming in to give it to you!”

“Are you kidding me, Heston!?” you almost scream.  “Just let me sleep, dammit!”

Scenario #2:

It’s 2:30 AM.  On your bedside table is a $20 bill.  YOUR $20 bill.  I creep through the window, and just as I’m taking the $20 and heading back for the window, you awaken.  You spring from your bed and you fight like crazy for YOUR $20.

That’s the way the two motivators work.  Fear of loss is a more powerful motivator than potential gain.  Said differently, we’ll all fight harder to keep something that is already ours than we will to get something that we might want, but don’t yet have.

If professional selling is the “passionate transference of belief,” which involves both the art and science of bringing about change, then empathy becomes a key ingredient.  And until we understand that folks will fight to the death to save their $20 bill from their night stand, but not even roll over in bed for the $20 we’re offering to bring inside, we’ll struggle to be successful.

 

 


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