The Power of Negative Thinking


Show ’em the down side — and sell more

WE DON’T LIKE CHANGE

Most humans avoid change. We only change when we must. When we do change, we change as little as possible.
For example, let’s say you love pizza and wings. But every pair of pants you own is so tight you can tell if a dime in your back pocket is heads or tails. So you cut back to 12 wings instead of 24 and buy a size 38 with the “comfort-stretch waist.”

FEAR IS THE BEST MOTIVATOR

By “best,” I mean the most EFFECTIVE in moving us do something. Even though you cut back to 12 wings instead of 24, your doctor informs you that you’re a perfect candidate for a heart attack. Fearing that negative consequence, you suddenly realize you CAN be satisfied with soup and a salad.

DO NEGATIVE ADS WORK?

Negative ads have a bad rep. But that’s because they’re too often done the wrong way. As Bertram DeSouza pointed out in a recent column, when right-wingers tried to tie Obama to Bin Laden because of his Muslim-sounding middle name, it backfired. Why? Because few believed it.

THE BULL METER

Any claim, whether positive or negative, has to first be believable to work. It has to pass the bull meter. It also needs two other qualities. Positive or negative offers must a) be truthful — fact, not bragging; and b) be important to buyers.

COMPARISON SELLING

Aren’t negative ads really just “COMPARISON” marketing? You’re first showing the problem, and then the solution your product offers vs. your competitor’s — or no purchase at all.

WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO LOSE?

And that last factor needs to be emphasized. Too often we’re so busy talking about the benefits of buying our product that we forget to point out what customers have to lose if they don’t buy it.
Sounds funny I know, but your biggest competitor is not one of your competitors — it’s INACTION.

THE SILENT COMPETITOR

So sometimes you must show what could happen if things continue as is with no change. Show how life is without your product or service. Point out the consequences of NOT hiring you.
Just make sure your claim is true, important to prospects — and believable. Use the power of negative thinking the right way, and you could experience some very positive outcomes!

Stay tuned and stay smart!


About The Author

  • Author | George Farris
George Farris is CEO and Senior Brand Coach at Farris Marketing. Email questions and comments to GFF@FarrisMarketing.com and connect with George on LinkedIn using the icons above.

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