EPISODE 535: Seven Emotional Triggers That Get People to Buy with Debbie Allen

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Sales Game Changers virtual learning session sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales on May 21, 2022, featuring Debbie Allen, world-reknowned speaker and host of the Access to Experts Podcast.

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DEBBIE’S TIP: “Believe in yourself enough that you can achieve your goals, whatever sales goals they are. Because again, I was just selling one gig at a time, and it went from that to people running to the back of the room buying. I at first felt, Fred, “I can’t do this,” because I kept bombing. I would hire another coach and I would learn a little bit and a little bit until I hired somebody and paid a lot of money. Like, “Take me through this process and teach me how to do it,” because it is a system. You still put your emotions, your heart in with your education, but there’s a process to this, and I just hung on. I wouldn’t give up. Then I just kept believing, “I’m going to learn this. I’m going to learn it because I’m not going to quit.” If you’re stuck right now and you’re doubting yourself, just hang in there. Believe you can do it and don’t give up, because you can take your sales to the next level just learning another skill.”


Fred Diamond: Debbie Allen, I’m very excited to have you on here. You’re a very well-known speaker. You’ve been speaking all over the world for, I don’t want to say how many years, you could tell us how many years if you want [laughs]. Also, you’re well known. You have 10 bestselling books. Today, we’re going to be talking about seven emotional triggers that get people to buy. Debbie, we have sales professionals around the world, typically B2B, we have some business owners, but everyone is looking for angles. Everyone is looking to truly understand the customer, and let’s face it, it’s been an interesting two years. It’s still going on. Of course, I’m referring to the pandemic at some level. There’s obviously a lot of repercussions, but there’s still a lot of challenges. Today, seven emotional triggers that get people to buy. Let’s get started. Why are we talking about this today? Give us your insights on why this is the topic that you and I have chosen to do.

Debbie Allen: Well, I think a ton of time to what we’re going through and what we have been going through, Fred, was like it’s sometimes harder to make a sale because if you’re just doing it all online, if you’re not in a position of where you have been doing it, you’ve had to reinvent how you’re doing it. Some people in sales, like in real estate sales are knocking it out of the park. They don’t even think about marketing. My husband’s in real estate, he’s a home builder. I joke about he’s the non-marketer. He’s the non-salesperson too, because he just does his thing, he does it really well. He just makes sales without even marketing, which is not like most of us. Marketing goes hand in hand with sales.

Also, sales has become even more emotional I think with the connections that we have online. It’s like, “How do we reach out to the computer on a Zoom call if that’s the only way we’re going to make a message?” Or even getting together in our sales teams, having that same connection that we’ve had before. That’s the challenging thing. I think knowing the emotions people are going through and the triggers that will get them to say yes, because as we know, the two biggest excuses in sales, not investing in something, is time or money. You hear it over and over and over again, but it’s because you haven’t really hit the pain points or the triggers to really make those sales count. We want to get into this.

All right, Fred. Number one, what do you think it is? Number one thing that will trigger people to buy right away? They don’t question you.

Fred Diamond: Well, obviously they have some kind of desperate need. There’s something urgent that they need to fix.

Debbie Allen: What most people need is money. More money. That’s an easy thing. Money talks, in every language everywhere around the world. The number one trigger point is if you can be selling something that’s going to help people make money or save money, because that’s making money too. We know that there’s the limiters in sale, when you invest now, you’re going to save this. There’s all kinds of different ways. But that’s a number one, emotional trigger, is getting somebody to say, “Hey, if you invest now, you’re going to make money in this.” That would be something in the financial world. It’s like, “Okay. Invest in this stock or save.” Somebody in car sales, you’re going to save money. Somebody in real estate, “Hey, this is the time you’re going to save money because real estate, the mortgage rates are going to go up.” Find ways to put that in there, because it’s number one.

Number two is how to be more successful. People want to be successful in what they do. That’s what you do at the Institute for Excellence in Sales, Fred. It’s like, “Let me get some little extra thing to get that competitive edge in sales. Let me be at the top of my game.” When you go through that roller coaster in sales up and down, you got a great month, you got a not-so-great month, that you have built a community, a tribe let’s say, that says, “Hey, I keep motivated. I keep listening to the experts. I keep going to the next thing.” There’s one little thing that I hear today that I’m going to implement and make me more successful. Everybody wants to be more successful or more independent in their business.

I think salespeople are put on this earth to do a service. We’re always going to need salespeople. Salespeople are the go-to, the people that are going to make the best opportunities for you. There’s always going to be an opportunity to create endless income streams around that. That’s why sales is so intriguing, especially people that want to be challenged. The people that believe in what they sell so much that they’re like, “Hey, I can’t stop talking about it. I really want to make a difference in people’s lives.” Again, even in sales, you can have your choice of being as successful as you want and as independent as you want, but that’s a number two trigger that we want. We know that now just going through even independence of freedom, that we’ve been stuck down for two years, is like, “Let me get that independence. Let me have that freedom. Let me have that choice to be successful the way I want to do it.”

Number three is to find something that makes you stand out. Be the first at something. Let’s say you’re offering a new technology, be the first to learn it, you’re going to be the best at your game. Someone to give you some software program or a systemized program that’s going to help you stand out and be able to do your job easier. That could be number three, is be first at something, or a way to stand out. Let’s just tie this into car sales, for example.

Hey, you’re going to be the first to have this brand new 2022 Lucid car that’s electric and it’s the hottest new thing. It’s maybe 150 grand, but that’s okay. You’re going to be the first to stand out. You’re going to look successful, whatever it is, or a certain neighborhood that’s going to sell out for real estate. We can play this game with anywhere in sales that you’re doing.

Number four is being up to date. The latest trends. It could be, I’ve got the latest technology. I know the latest marketing. I’ve got the latest business strategies, I’ve got the hot car. Whatever it is, it’s be up to date. In business, we know if you’re talking to a businessperson, they want to be up to date. That gives you the competitive edge. Think about that too, whatever you’re selling, how can you tie that trigger into what you’re offering?

Number five is gain knowledge or experience. Maybe you’re selling me something into the Excellence in Sales, the Institute, it’s like, “I’m going to gain knowledge. I’m going to experience. I’m going to cut my learning curve. Why would I not invest in that?” The return on investment for that knowledge or the experience of working with somebody like yourself, Fred, or any of the other mentors that you have in it, is priceless. They’ve been there, they’ve done that, and they’re going to shorten that learning curve for you. You have to pay really good attention to what people are saying. You’ve heard this before, be a good listener in sales. But it’s different now, especially if you’re doing an online communication.

I would say not almost all, all of my sales are online now. I don’t have conversations with people. I have clients that sign up working with me personally, individually, pay me thousands of dollars, that live in the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, they’re all over the world. I don’t have that same connection that I used to. I used to go into a meeting room, do a presentation. You mentioned, I’ve been speaking a long time, over two decades. I would do a presentation, and then I would make an offer. I would sell. Because I learned first to sell my speaking business, to sell a speaking opportunity, a keynote. I realized even at the highest keynote fee, I can’t make as much money as if I learn to speak and sell. I use the skill of professional speaking to make an offer and then educate. I call it educate to sell. That’s all about the knowledge. Then you want more of that.

Then I put the pain points in. You can do it all on your own, but you really have told me that you’re not good at marketing, you’re not good at sales. You need help to position yourself as an expert to make more money. That’s how I weave in a conversation. Just knowing what the trigger points are, you learn them really good, and you tie them into that conversation they’re having. If they’re giving you obligations, choices of like, “I don’t know, should I really invest?” They’re trying to get you to make the decision for them. They’re trying to get you to trigger their emotions enough to say, “Hey, well, look at it.” It’s almost a no brainer here. The return on investment, all you have to do is show up, be coachable, do the work. You’re going to get a massive return on investment, especially looking at the results that I’ve gotten for other clients.

Having that confidence too, when you’re tying into that emotional triggers in those conversation, and touching in the pain points, because you’re going to hear, “I don’t have the money.” Have you ever heard that, Fred? Then they found money. Went into the company and they found it because you dug up enough of the pain or what the results were, and they couldn’t do it on their own. They had to invest with you and your organization to make it work.

Then number six is when we love the pain to go away, is freedom from worry or stress. Now, if I don’t have the money, I’m going to find the money if the pain is there too much. If I’m worried too much, I’m stressed out, maybe they’re stressed out because they’re not making money and you have a program that can help them make money. I always say this, you have two choices. You can stay where you’re at, frustrated, broke, worried, stressed out, or you could just do the DIY, try and figure it out on your own. But obviously, that hasn’t worked very well, because that’s why you’re here having a conversation with me. Or you can allow me to take away the worry and the stress, get it done.

I had a client this week, a good example of that. She’s known me for years. She’s invested with me on and off. She’s like, “Okay, I’m going to sign up for another VIP day with you. Let’s do more strategic planning. Let me get this going.” Then she’s like, “Okay, that’s it. Send me two different prices.” There was a proposal that came in. I always learned with proposals, you need to do an A, B, C, give people choices. I had somebody reach out recently this week about giving me a LinkedIn proposal from LinkedIn. I’m like, “Well, I don’t even know enough. I don’t want to throw my hat in the ring and go, ‘I don’t really know how much you want.’ I’ll give you some choices and maybe that fits, because are you just gathering information or you’re serious you’d have a conversation with me?”

Going back to the client that I’ve had, she said, “I want to do this.” Then she gets the proposal, she sends, “Well, I don’t think I want to do the VIP day now. I’m not really ready for that.” Well, the reason I know she’s not ready for it, and she even tells me in her messaging, it’s not just about the money. She has a block of moving forward with being successful in the business. Although she’s hiring me to be successful, there’s still a block that it may affect her existing business, which she’s in sales. She’s in sales with a big company. She’s been there many years and she’s afraid, “If I create a side hustle and they see me everywhere, I’m going to get fired.”

Then I said, “Okay, remember earlier in this conversation?” Because we got on the phone, because when she said, “No, I’m not ready.” I’m like, “Let’s get on the phone. I know you need help. Let’s figure out what it is and what’s keeping you.” I said, “You said earlier in the conversation that back in 2018, when everybody’s losing their jobs, the worst time ever, you said that was your best year ever. Just during that year, you also got fired. You lost your job.” She said, “Yeah, in one hour I had another job and it was a better job.” I’m like, “Did you hear yourself? Because I have this recorded. The worst case scenario here is you lose your job because you’re building another successful business. It gives you the success that you want, the financial freedom that you want, the independence you want.” All these triggers I’m talking about, I know that’s what she wants.

She was putting up all these blocks and excuses, and I just stopped and I said, “How can I help you? Tell me how I can help you.” Because I had gone through the whole circus of emotions and conversations. Especially when they come back and they tell you it’s not true, but then they’re just saying, “I’m not ready.” I’m like, “You’re ready.” She says, “Well, yeah, first of all, I want you to motivate me to do this. I want you to motivate me to invest with you. I know I need to do it. That’s what I thought we’d do on the call today, is that you would motivate me to say yes.”

I said, “Okay, all right, let’s start with the money part.” I said, “What’s your budget? How much money do you want to spend then? You obviously looked at that and there was something in there and you said, ‘I don’t want to do that much.’ You reconsidered.” “Well, we did my last VIP day, you put all that in the works for me and I didn’t do the work. You got it all ready for me and I just froze and I just stopped. We have a lot of the work done, but I need somebody to hold me accountable and also help me implement it.” I said, “Okay, you want me to write copy for you and actually get it done.” This is what I said, “You want to do the damn thing, right? You want to get it done and you can’t do it by yourself.”

She’s like, “Well, I was going to have my webmaster do that.” I said, “No, no, no. You can’t have a webmaster write copy for you that’s going to help you with your sales presentations to get you into speaking engagements around sales and everything else you want.” I said, “You need somebody that really knows how to write copy, and you know I do.” It’s like, “What are we messing around here for?”

She told me what her budget was and I said, “Okay, how about this? Let me take that budget, put it on a retainer. I don’t have a program that fits that perfectly. Let’s put it on a retainer.” Now I protect me. I may be able to cover it all in what her budget was, but if not, I at least left it open to say, “This is what’s included in the retainer. Then if we go overtime and you’re asking for additional things that need to get done,” or it goes too long and I’m working with her longer, I now say, “We’ve used up your retainer.” I don’t even know where that word came. I’ve never even used that in a sales presentation. But again, I was paying attention to what she was saying.

Again, number six was freedom from worry or stress. She’s already got a job, making a lot of money, but she wants to go full time into sales being a consultant, sales, and speaker. That’s where her passion is. It’s been there for years. I told her, “You have two choices. You can give up on your idea of being a speaker in sales and a consultant in sales, and you can keep this job. You can just be there. You’ve been there for years, and we can just leave it at that. Or you can fulfill that passion that you’ve been holding onto for absolutely years and let’s get the thing done.”

Of course, “Where do I send the money? How fast can I get it?” But it was like, I could have not followed up with her and accepted that my proposals didn’t work, but I had to dig into what she really wanted. Then when I went back into seeing what we had done before, it made sense. We didn’t need to do another day together, but there were things that needed to get done. How do we get things done?

Then number seven is work less and create more choices. That one’s my favorite, my absolute favorite. Because I believe that when you’re truly successful, you have an opportunity to say yes or no to the opportunities you want, and that’s on taking the kind of clients you want to. If you work personally one on one with the consulting that you’re selling, being able to spend more time with your family because you have the income from your business, your job, work less. We’ve got pretty spoiled working at home. I was already working at home, but before that I was traveling the world really. Now it’s like I’m speaking to people all over the world in my conference room on the other side of my house. We’ve gotten pretty used to that freedom and a lot of us don’t want to give that up.

If there’s something that you’re offering that could help people work less or create better choices through financial freedom, through positioning themselves in a better way, those are the things. Those are the seven. I went through them pretty quickly, but I wanted you to put yourself in that position of, “Where can I tie those in?” All seven of them may not work for you in what you’re selling, but knowing those and practicing those will definitely help you when you’re hearing the pain points or what people are going through.

Like the story I just told you of my client, it is like, I knew where to plug it in. I knew she already trusted me. That wasn’t even a question. I knew the timing was right. I just needed her to get past the block, but it was really funny. I’m like, “Okay. Well, how can I help you?” Then she’s like, “Well, I want you to motivate me. Motivate me to spend my money.” [Laughs] But it worked and it was good and I can help her. Just knowing where people are coming from when they’re trying to make those decisions is really important.

Fred Diamond: There’s a big push right now, Debbie Allen, on what’s called heartfelt selling. You told some great stories right there about how you were trying to feel for where your customer was. How did you get to this point? Again, you’ve been speaking around the world for over two decades. You’ve written 10 bestselling books. How did you find yourself at this moment in time? Again, we’re doing today’s interview in the middle of the spring of 2022. I’m just kind of curious, how do you think you got to this point to talk about this?

Debbie Allen: I got to this point by survival. The sales part of it, I would say, because I was always selling. You’re always selling yourself. You have to promote what you believe and everything, but I was selling speaking for the longest time. When 2008 happened, the financial crisis, I was one of the highest paid professional women speakers in the world. I thought, “Well, I got this all dialed in. This’ll be just my career for the rest of my life.” Then 2008 hit, and then everything got canceled. Worse than COVID, because it hung on. We know how long that hung on and there was nothing you could do. There was no pivot area. The pivot was traveling to the other side of the world. Like, “What countries are doing better than us in the US?”

At the time Australia was trading with Asia. Australasia was big. I was doing a lot of business in United Arab Emirates, Australia, Europe, everywhere. I just started traveling everywhere. I started selling my speaking engagements. I’d be like, “Okay, I’m in Sydney, Australia.” Then I would reach out to other people once I got that one booked and then say, “Hey, I’m going to be there so you can book me and then you don’t have travel expenses.” I started just getting booked and booked and I was just getting exhausted. Because I’d wake up one morning, Fred, and I’d be like, “I’m in Sydney, Australia. Then I’m in Singapore. Then I’m in Dubai.” I’m like, “Where am I at in the world? Okay, this can’t continue.”

When I was on that road, that tour, which I created myself, my own tour – it wasn’t a circuit or a thing I got on, it was my own show – I was seeing these people selling, that were speakers, and they weren’t speakers really. They were just experts who sold how to make money on YouTube or this or that, a lot of the internet marketing stuff back then. Make a million dollars doing this type of thing, and they’re running to the back of the room. I’m thinking, “Wait, you’re selling a $5,000 program. I’m counting the numbers. There must be 30 people standing back there.” I’m doing the math. I’m like, “There’s no way I can get paid speaking with this.” They are not even good speakers. I worked on my craft to be a good speaker. But they’re really good salespeople.

When they got to that sales offer, that they had it, I was intoxicated. They would only have 90 minutes. They were a pitch fest. Get on the stage, do your thing, 90 minutes, teach something, sell. Then that was a game changer for me. I was always a marketing expert. I didn’t really love selling. I got really good at marketing because marketing helped me sell. I would say I avoided it in a way that anytime I had to, it wasn’t my number one thing that I could say, “I can teach this. I can do this.” Now it’s the number one thing I teach, because when you can speak and you can make an offer, you can sell. That was a total game changer in my life because now I would never have another opportunity that it was going to be a one-trick pony with one income stream, in only sales. Combining sales with being a speaker or an influencer takes you to that expert level.

Fred Diamond: The next level. Debbie, thank you for the seven emotional triggers to get people to buy, help people make or save money, help them become more successful. Find something that makes them stand out, be up to date and have the latest, be up to date. Gain knowledge or expertise or experience, freedom from worry or stress, and find them ways to help them work less and make better choices.

Debbie, you’ve given us so many great ideas. Once again, congratulations to you on all the success that you’ve had. You mentioned you had achieved the level as, if not the top sales woman speaker on the planet, definitely in the top two or three. Congratulations to you on all that success. Give us an action step. You’ve given us so many great ideas, but give us one thing specifically that salespeople should do right now to take their sales career to the next level.

Debbie Allen: I think it would be believe in yourself enough that you can achieve your goals, whatever sales goals they are. Because again, I was just selling one gig at a time, and it went from that to people running to the back of the room buying. I at first felt, Fred, “I can’t do this,” because I kept bombing. I would hire another coach and I would learn a little bit and a little bit until I hired somebody and paid a lot of money. Like, “Take me through this process and teach me how to do it,” because it is a system.

You still put your emotions, your heart in with your education, but there’s a process to this, and I just hung on. I wouldn’t give up. Then I just kept believing, “I’m going to learn this. I’m going to learn it because I’m not going to quit.” If you’re stuck right now and you’re doubting yourself, just hang in there. Believe you can do it and don’t give up, because you can take your sales to the next level just learning another skill.

Fred Diamond: Once again, I want to thank Debbie Allen. I want to thank everybody who listened to today’s Sales Game Changers Podcast. My name is Fred Diamond.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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