“If you really want something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn

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You don’t have to beat your competition; you just invalidate them.

One highly effective method is to create a blog or sales letter, starting with the payoff … then make everything else sound like scurrilous gossip, dark humor, or irreverent tongue-in-cheek sarcasm.

People love to be entertained, and we also love an entertaining story. In fact, if you can turn your sales and marketing efforts into entertaining short stories, your marketing and sales content will become addicting.

Just remember that your message must entertain AND educate. Be controversial. Demonstrate your expertise. Make it humorous; make it sound like gossip. Because “gossip” and “humor” are not only addicting … people can’t wait to share them. (think TMZ, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, PBS, and SNL)

The secret is knowing how to build your message so that it contains a premise, highlights a problem or issue your customers understand, and then “hits” them with the payoff. Within the entertainment industry, this is known as the 3P Formula.

Want to know more about the use of humor, gossip, and sarcasm and how they can significantly increase your web presence and website ranking? Simply click on the button below … and let’s talk. 

“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” – Mark Twain

 

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“Comedians are nothing more than highly paid purveyors of amusing truth and outlandish gossip.”

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Growing up (and all the way through my undergraduate degree), I was socially inept and severely introverted. I was deathly afraid of standing up in front of people or having to speak in public.

My hands would sweat, I’d suddenly get cotton-mouth, my stomach would churn, I’d stutter and stammer, and my mind would go blank. I’d become a total PANIC-ATTACK train wreck.

Maybe this sounds familiar? If so, you know it’s terrifying, humiliating, and debilitating!

Being “funny” and learning how to make others laugh was the furthest thing from my mind. But I was lucky – because this is something I “accidentally” learned to do.

Through an incredible series of events, I found myself in front of some of the best stand-up comedians in the business. They took me under their wings and taught me their amazing secrets … the science of humor and the art of “funny”.

And now this is something I’m able to teach others. (In fact, this is my #1 requested course.)

Once you learn the secrets of humor and “funny”, your whole life will change. Mine sure did!

So why am I writing about “funny” and learning the secrets of humor? What does this have to do with New Home Sales?

Here’s a little tip I share with my New Home Sales clients. If you want to substantially (and quickly) increase your sales closure rates, if you want to reduce your CAN rates, and if you want to quickly gain an unfair advantage over your competitors, you’ll want to develop your “improv” skills and your ability to use “scripted” humor.

Before we go any further, it’s important to grasp the difference between:

  1. Attempting to be a stand-up comedian during the sales process (BAD) and
  2. Knowing how and when to interject humor to advance the buying process (GOOD)

One of the cardinal rules every successful comedian understands is, “You can’t make people laugh, you can only make them want to laugh.”

The same concept applies to YOU as a new home sales agent. You can’t make people buy, you can only make them want to buy a new home (hopefully within your community).

FACT #1: Social psychologists tell us that it is virtually impossible to dislike or distrust a person who can make us laugh.

FACT #2: We also know that those who make us laugh are more fun to be around (as opposed to a hard-nosed, hard-core, feature dumping sales person who is constantly trying the ABC/Always-Be-Closing routine).

Just think about your group of friends. Chances are, the ones that are the most fun to be around are the ones who tell great stories and make us laugh.

If you want your potential buyers to quickly see you as a Trusted Advisor instead of a typical salesperson, start using the art of subtle humor. A little laughter will disarm them, it will help eliminate “push-back” and buyer resistance, and the buyer will be more apt to interact with you without developing the typical “us vs. them” attitude we sometimes have to deal with.

One of my favorite “adlibs” is to let the prospect know I was a former stand-up comedian. This fact has nothing to do with showing/selling a home – it simply disrupts the typical sales presentation for a few moments and gives me an unfair advantage to “take-over” the sales presentation.

First comes the obligatory greeting of:

“Hi, thank you for coming in …” or “Hello, thanks for stopping in to see our community … BLAH, BLAH, BLAH”.

After I get their name and where they’re from (a separate “funny” mini-script I use), I change directions and say,

“Before I started working with [insert builder’s name], I was a professional stand-up comedian for over 10 years … and one of the most important things I learned was this … you can’t make people laugh, you can only make them want to laugh.”

“You know, the same thing is true about this job. I’m not here to sell you a new home. [SHORT PAUSE]

“I’m here to help you find a new home you cannot live without.” [PAUSE, then followed with a little laugh and a “yes” head-nod]

Does this technique work? Virtually every single time.

I can hear your skepticism as you ask, “Well Matt, what if the prospect doesn’t laugh?”

NOTHING! No harm, no foul! I’ve just learned they may be one of the few prospects who are more interested in “just the facts” – or – I’ll try to get them to laugh a little later when I’m pointing out one of the model home’s key features.

Why does this work?

First, if you’re able to make prospects laugh, they are more likely to trust you, they will become more open to what you are saying, and you become memorable (laughter tends to “lock-in” memories).

As a new home sales agent, you need to immediately establish trust and knowledge, and you need to stand-out from your competitors. When prospects first meet you, they have two questions they ask themselves about you.

  1. Can I trust you?
  2. Can I respect you?

Remember what I said earlier? It is virtually impossible to dislike or distrust a person who can make us laugh.

Start working on your greeting scripts … add a touch of “scripted” humor. Allow your prospects to enjoy your personality and your sales presentation.

PLUS – If you can get them to laugh, even just a little, you’ll gain a HUGE advantage over your competitors! And honestly, isn’t that what we really want – to crush our competition AND increase our take-home pay?

Take it from me, a previous introvert and social outsider. I’m living proof that with a little professional coaching and practice, humor and “funny” can become a valuable tool within your social life and for your career advancement.

Now, go out there and make me PROUD!

“Don’t cling to a stupid idea just because you spent a lot of time coming up with it.”

 

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“If your presence doesn’t make an impact … if your content isn’t memorable … your absence won’t make a difference.”

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One of the most valuable lessons I learned as a professional comedian was, “You can’t make people laugh – you can only make them WANT to laugh.”

Today, the same concept holds true for websites, emails, marketing campaigns, and sales conversions.

“You can’t MAKE people buy – you can only make them WANT TO BUY!”

Persuasive web content will ultimately drive more traffic to your website while increasing conversions into leads and repeat sales.

In fact, if done well, buyers will decide they cannot live WITHOUT your product or service. (We also call this “The Curse of Knowledge”)

Once you learn of a product or service (and if the information is presented in a compelling manner) you quickly discover you need “it” (not to be confused with I.T. or Information Technology). This new knowledge creates a psychological itch you need to scratch. Your life will never be the same without having the “it” you just discovered.

And this, my dear Watson, is “The Curse of Knowledge”!

Highly successful web content MUST include specific “triggers” to create a desired emotional response (the itch) within your potential clients.

Your web pages and web-linked videos MUST contain persuasive content that is clear and compelling … and most of the time humor, sarcasm, satire and The Curse of Knowledge can be a very effective SECRET INGREDIENTS.

You can substantially increase your website visibility, your landing page capture ratios, and your sales conversion rates by using Emotional Persuasion Triggers, Creative Content Development, and The Curse of Knowledge.

“If your emails, newsletters, or videos aren’t controversial, amusing, or educational … you’re wasting your time … and mine!”

 

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“Objections are simply unanswered questions in the minds of your prospects.”

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SUMMARY: Increasing closing rates (while reducing canceled contracts or “CANS”) within the New Home market is the Holy Grail for all home builder’s sales agents. Here’s a script that can make this happen for you … and all it takes is asking your prospects two simple questions.

As a national sales trainer for new home builders, I’m continually amazed when the builder’s sales agents blindly adopt the role of a mundane salesperson instead of a trusted advisor.

Research shows that people decide within seconds of meeting someone whether they’re trustworthy or not.

In fact, social psychologists studying first impressions tell us that people immediately ask themselves two questions when meeting someone new:

  1. Can I trust this person?
  2. Can I respect this person?

One of the techniques I share with my clients is the “2-Question Interview” … and when I started using it, I increased my close rate by over 200%!

After the initial “Meet and Greet” sequence, most sales reps slide into a sales pitch which generally begins with the same lame phrases “So, what brought you here today?”, or “So, ya’ out looking to buy a new home?”

Instead, why not be seen as their trusted advisor? Trust goes deeper than product knowledge, sales banter, and formal niceties.

Tell the prospect the “WHY” behind your role and what you are trying to do. Otherwise, prospects will ascribe your intentions based on their fear of being sold.

Here’s the basic 2-Question Interview Script

THE OPENING – “To help me better understand what you are looking for and what is important to you, would you be offended if I ask you two simple questions?”

No one is going to respond with, “Yes, I would be offended” because prospects expect you to ask them questions!

THE QUESTIONS – Next comes the questions (ask them in this order – and LISTEN to their response):

  1. What is the one thing you really love about where you currently live? [prompt them to explain in detail why they LOVE this feature/benefit – and you’ll be surprised at some of the answers you hear]
  2. OK, now what is the one (or two things) you really dislike about where you are living? [again, prompt them to go into detail why they HATE this feature – the more emotional the answer, the better it is for you!]

The answers will give you an amazing insight into their motivation. They allow you to quickly drill-down into your available models, floor plans, and specific locations that better fit the needs of your buyer. This can be very useful when you transition into your DEMONSTRATION phase and then again into your CLOSE.

With a little practice, you can easily customize this script to fit the personality of your buyers (based on a simple 30-second DISC assessment of the prospects) while eliminating any initial anti-sales-pitch pushback.

P.S. – Remember, you need to ask these two questions in this specific order and write down the answers. In a later newsletter, I’ll explain how to include this information within a killer closing script.

“You must become the only VIABLE CHOICE in your market” – Jay Abraham

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“Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.” – Robert Collier

Is there a difference between writing content versus content marketing?

YES – A HUGE difference!

Most copywriters just write content. They do not understand content marketing … the planning … the strategy … how emotional urgency primes sales … or what type of content works best for different types of buyers, products or services.

All of these things are key components to successful content marketing.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Imagine you get to choose between:

  • A writer who can write a blog post, or
  • A writer who can craft an article or blog … PLUS
    • Help their clients come up with an integrated content marketing plan that is audience specific, and
    • Creates Emotional Urgency within the potential buyer

OK – of the two choices, which one would you choose?

So, you might be wondering, “What is a Content Marketing Concept Consultant?”

Content marketing concept consultants create written advertising and marketing designed to create emotional urgency. The writing they create is called “copy.”

Why do many Fortune 500 companies hire former comedians when they need direct response sales letters, case studies,  and outstanding sales presentations?

As it turns out, stand-up comedians are the acclaimed experts in creating unique and memorable copy, story-telling concepts, and memorable presentations.

More to the point, they are creative, they understand the subliminal power of humor … they not only think out-of-the-box, they live outside of the box.

Actually, they live on the edge, but that’s another story … and that is good news for you.

Do you always recommend the use of humor in direct response content or sales copy?

NO! In some cases, humor can be distracting or misinterpreted as offensive! It depends on the target audience.

The problem is this:

  • Most copywriters are not funny, because
  • Most copywriters do not understand the science of humor

So, when you need humor (or sarcasm or irony), it only makes sense to seek out someone who understands the art and science of humor (and as the saying goes, “humor is harder than it looks”).

The demand for intentionally humorous copywriting has grown alongside viral marketing; truly funny content is more likely to be virally passed along than almost anything else.

Old-school copywriters warned against any attempt to use humor within their copy. In their words, the ONLY job a professional copywriter had was to “get people to buy … as soon as possible”.

These old-school writers were experts (in their day) using the specific tools within their copywriter’s toolbox.

However, a valuable tool they did not own, did not grasp, and consistently underestimated, was humor (and to a greater degree, comparative sarcasm).

When was the last time you saw a segment of 60-Minutes “go viral” … as opposed to YouTube videos with humorous content?

The most important concept I learned during my years as a stand-up comedian was … “You can’t MAKE people laugh; you can only make them WANT to laugh.”

The same idea holds true for sales.

“You can’t make people buy – you can only make them WANT to buy.”

Writing Content versus Content Marketing

A professional Content Marketing Concept Consultant is a person who is a master of the triggers of persuasion, the science of humor, the art of making your message UNFORGETTABLE, and who knows how to create Emotional Urgency … by design.

Persuasion isn’t about getting people to take an action … it’s about getting people to believe the action you want them to take is their own idea!

I work with people who want to build “Know, Like, Trust” relationships with their customers.

If you would like to know more, click on the button below … and let’s chat.

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“Good judgment comes from experience.  And experience?  That comes from poor judgment.” – Dean Martin

 

“People don’t change behavior or positions based on what they know. They change based on what they feel.” – Oprah Winfrey

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Shaping – Emotional Triggers and Subliminal Embedding

What if there were ways to subtly influence people (and increase the odds of getting what you want) by embedding subliminal suggestions and ideas into their memory?

In this newsletter, I will share some amazing information on one particular type of Sublim Embed (short for subliminal embedding) technique called Shaping.

Within top-level sales and marketing groups, there is a saying, “The mind, once pointed in a specific direction, is unlikely to reverse course without much further thought and consideration.”

Shaping

DISCLAIMER: The information I am sharing with you is very powerful, and with this power comes an ethical and moral decision that you, the reader, must make for yourself. As in all powerful information, you have an obligation to NEVER misuse these techniques.

Much like a loaded gun, it is neither good nor bad … it’s the person wielding the gun that determines how the gun is to be used. That being said, we can proceed!

Fact #1 – Normally, questions are used to help extract useful information from others – but shaping questions will help people create connections between concepts, past experiences, and emotions.

As Kevin Hogan Ph.D., a leader in the field of social psychology explains, “Shaping is asking a question in such a way as to shape or highly influence the answer – immediate input to get an immediate and influenced response.”

MATTRIXX Tip: Shaping provides a process that allows you to subliminally introduce an idea into a person’s subconscious … an idea they will eventually come to think of as their own … all through the use of questions!

Shaping can increase awareness of specific issues, it can aid in the thinking process, and it can force a person to explore deeper levels of understanding about a particular subject.

When we understand how the brain processes information and stores memory, we gain an insight into certain forms of instantaneous subconscious memory formation, such as in certain types of Déjà Vu.

Fact #2 – There are many ways to construct a question; in fact, there are five distinct categories of questions that can be utilized in the shaping process. These are Factual, Convergent, Divergent, Evaluative, and Combination.

For example, a divergent question is a question with no specific answer, so it can force a person to explore different scenarios and possible outcomes at virtually the same time.

Divergent questions are VERY effective if you supply key information to the reader or listener immediately before or after posing the divergent question. This is because of two related factors:

  1. People make their decisions emotionally when the answer to a question isn’t obvious, and
  2. People rationalize their emotional decisions instead of making rational decisions.

Fact #3 – Divergent questions can also be directional, meaning that while your question may not offer the correct answer, it will block or eliminate other less desirable alternatives and push the person toward the desired conclusion. Rhetorical questions can be very influential in shaping a person’s opinion, especially when critical information has been introduced within several minutes of asking the question.

A great example of a divergent question would be, “Where do you think we would be today if our country’s Founding Fathers and the signers of the Declaration of Independence had been as self-absorbed, greedy, and morally corrupt as today’s politicians seem to be?”

This is a divergent question followed by an inferred statement that today’s political figures are corrupt, greedy, and self-absorbed. I offer no supporting information other than a simple declarative statement; yet, this statement cannot help but shape and narrow the response to the question.

Very few people will spend the time to consider that some of our politicians may not be corrupt, greedy, or self-absorbed, even though I have offered no proof one way or the other.

In short, I have narrowed and SHAPED the reader’s (or listener’s) response to my seemingly rhetorical question. Additionally, I have embedded a subliminal thought of “self-absorbed, greedy, and morally corrupt”, which will be reinforced each time the reader (or listener) encounters this issue.

MATTRIXX Tip: Highly successful evangelical preachers, comedians, TV infomercial hosts, and trial lawyers are very good at using divergent, rhetorical questions. When shaping is used, some of the best questions are presented in such as way as to appear to be a statement rather than a question.

One of the primary sectors I work in is the Assisted Living and Continuous Care Retirement Communities (or AL/CCRC) market. During a recent corporate workshop, I helped a large multi-state corporation create a collection of signature stories to use within their “Story-Selling” campaign.

Divergent questions were purposely embedded within these stories to help trigger a desired (and very predictable) response within the reader and prospective client. These questions will shape specific answers (and emotional responses) based on the information embedded within the Signature Story.

MATTRIXX Tip: When you can make the person consider alternate scenarios, some of which are painful or emotionally uncomfortable, you can then offer unique and unforgettable solutions.

MATTRIXX Tip: One additional bonus of learning about Sublim Embeds is that once you know about them and understand how and why they work, you will become less susceptible to them when others try to use them on you.

The beauty of a divergent question is that it can appear spontaneous while virtually eliminating any answer but the one you want your client to come up with.

In the end, our goal is not to simply offer products or services – our goal is to offer unique solutions to our client’s problems … solutions that, once the client becomes aware of them, they find they cannot live without.

“You must become the only viable choice in your market.” – Jay Abraham

 

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You Don’t Have to Beat Your Competition – Just Invalidate Them!

Or, to put it another way, is your website working for you … or against you?

You would be surprised how many business owners or managers can’t answer the following simple question:

“If I conduct a web search for your products or services, will your website show up above or below your competitors’ sites?”

Search results are generally presented in a line of results often referred to as search engine results pages (SERPs).

 According to a recent blog in Leverage Marketing, 67% of all clicks on SERPs go to the top five listings.

Things start to get grim when you look past those first few results. Research shows that websites on the first SERPs receive almost 95% of web traffic95%!

This leaves only 5% for the remaining search results pages. If you show up on the 2nd SERP, you might ask yourself why you have a website? You’d be better served with a simple Facebook page or sporadic tweets.

Now, let’s get real. If your competitor’s website consistently shows up (or is ranked) above yours, your competitors love your website! This means your website is working against you … in other words, your website is working FOR YOUR COMPETITORS.

If your website isn’t optimized for web searches, it is not capable of capturing the traffic and attention you need to be successful. LOST OPPORTUNITIES equals LOST INCOME!

Experts agree you should conduct a website SEO review of your key web pages to make sure your meta tags, meta titles, keywords, and content are consistent with current SEO and web content practices.

One of the most important things to do before you review your website SEO is to ensure that search engines can successfully “crawl” your site. If you’ve never performed an SEO audit of your website, then you’re missing out on the rankings (and traffic) you deserve.

To learn more about a simple Website Review

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Never lose sight of the fact that your website is first and foremost a MARKETING and SALES campaign … and it is your company’s FIRST IMPRESSION!

“It becomes increasingly easy, as you get older, to drown in nostalgia.” – Ted Koppel

The word “nostalgia” is a Greek derivation of two root words: “nostos” that means to “return home” or “go back to one’s local land” and “algos” referring to “pain, suffering, or grief”.

MATTRIXX Tip: Nostalgia has been exploited by clever marketing and advertising professionals (as well as highly successful leaders) for as long as there has been a need to “Get What We Want Without Negotiating”.

Johannes Hofer first mentioned this condition in 1688. Today, we think of it as a desire to return to a former time in our life or to our home or homeland (homesickness).

Nostalgia is a very effective emotional urgency trigger of influence because it focuses on our inner feelings and emotions.

“People seek pleasure”, wrote Aristotle, “and they seek to avoid pain.”

We find pleasure in nostalgia because it allows us to mentally relive our past feelings of friendships, status, safety, security, freedom, or love.

Ironically, when people become nostalgic, they typically become happier. This allows us to increase sales conversion rates or more easily motivate and persuade others. For example, President Ronald Reagan was a master of applying nostalgia as an emotional trigger within his speeches, and his ability to move people to action was legendary.

Studies indicate that when people are asked to think back on experiences, objects, or songs from the past, their positive feelings increase. In some cases, nostalgia can also be bittersweet since our feelings of happiness can be mixed with feelings of sadness or loss.

However, in most cases, the net result is positive. In short, nostalgia simply makes people happy … and nostalgic people are more receptive to subliminal influence and persuasive presentation techniques.

MATTRIXX Tip: Many of the homes I sold as a New Home Sales Agent were due to the use of well-timed nostalgic phrases and comparisons. During showings or model demonstrations, I would use phrases such as “This neighborhood reminds me of …” or “I don’t know about you, but doesn’t this take you back to your childhood when …”. These comparisons were always factual, yet they were customized to create an emotional trigger based on the warmth of childhood memories.

Amazingly, people have a tendency to view the past as certain and safe. Even younger generations of people who have not lived through a specific time period are prone to becoming nostalgic about it.

This helps explain the popularity of television shows such as Antiques Roadshow, the craze in collecting Barbie Dolls, and the American auto maker’s retro versions of the Ford Mustang, the Chevy Camaro, and the Dodge Charger.

While scientific research is trying to understand the neurological causes of nostalgia, social psychology studies point to nostalgic emotional urgency triggers that may be utilized to create favorable attitudes about products and services.

As we age, we appear to become more receptive to the use of what researchers call “a longing for positive memories from the past.”

Using the trigger of nostalgia to associate positive feelings with your product or service also increases the effectiveness of other subliminal triggers including scarcity, association, reciprocity, and contrast.

MATTRIXX Tip: Time tends to smooth out and erase the bad while enhancing and magnifying the good. When developing an advertising campaign or a sales presentation, make sure the nostalgic emotional urgency triggers you plan to use fit the demographics of your target market while avoiding any real or perceived negative connotations.

For marketing professionals, the key is to find the right music and images that have a way of relating to their specific products or services. For leaders and sales professionals, past memories provide the context for nostalgic feelings, and you can use them to guide people’s decision-making process.

It is the emotion generated from the Emotional Urgency Trigger, nostalgia, that will influence people’s perception of your products or services.

MATTRIXX Tip: When used correctly, nostalgia can also make us feel younger (at least for a short period of time) because it can compress time within our mind … we feel young when we recall pleasant memories. When we “relive” our nostalgic memories, they become mental images. This is an extremely powerful trigger when you know how to use it. As I tell my clients, “The soul never stirs without first creating a mental picture!”

MATTRIXX Tip: Case in Point: Valentine’s Day – Our memories become especially potent during holidays like Valentine’s Day. Cards, flowers, and candy are powerful triggers that allow us to recall past experiences. Through annual rituals, we play mental tricks on ourselves … and when the ritual works, we feel happy combining past memories with a new pleasant experience.

In today’s environment of a troubled economy, global unrest, and an aging population base conjuring up past experiences that engender hope is a great strategy to produce your desired outcome. A nostalgic approach might just help your employees or clients see a clearer vision of what you have to offer.

It reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw on an old pick-up truck in Montana. The sticker said, “It’s hard to be nostalgic when you can’t remember anything.”

Oh, how we long for the “Good Old Days” when our lives were simpler, our neighborhoods were safer, and we felt more secure. Yes, nostalgia really kicks-in when we listen to our favorite old songs while sitting in a retro-style diner, eating a good old juicy hamburger with hot crispy French fries on the side while sipping on an old-fashioned chocolate milkshake or cherry coke … complete with hot-rods, hard-tails, and muscle cars cruising around the parking lot!

If you want to increase your ability to influence others; if you want 3X to 10X ROI on your sales and marketing efforts; if you want to boost your sales closure rates, or if you want to become a persuasive salesperson, start using nostalgia, one of the more powerful Emotional Urgency Triggers.

You will be amazed at the results … and how good it makes others feel!

You don’t have to beat your competitors, you just have to invalidate them.

 

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