Many people think that they are good multi-taskers, but the human brain is only capable of really focusing on one task at a time. When we think we are multitasking, we are actually switching from one task to another, creating the illusion of doing more than one task at the same time. When we encounter someone or something, we may suspend one task and direct our attention to another task.
However, we often don’t. My wife complains that I have selective hearing, but in fact, my mind is often just preoccupied and I never hear her. Most of the time we are preoccupied and filter out the rest of the world. Our ability to filter out distractions is part of our evolutionary success to allow us to focus our attention on the face of distractions. That said, there is really only one way to break this preoccupation (without physical contact) and that is to appeal to a person’s emotions.
It has been said that 99 out of 100 words spoken in a normal conversation are never heard by the other party. The one word that is heard was triggered by an emotional appeal. This emotional appeal commands your attention and is as real as a slap in the head. These emotional appeals or triggers are hardwired into your brain through millions of years of evolution. While these emotional appeals are a common denominator in all people, some emotional triggers carry more weight in some people than in others. With an understanding of emotional triggers, you will discover the difference between struggling to communicate and successfully communicating. By using words and actions associated with emotional appeals, you will notice that people react instantly to you with predictable regularity.
In his groundbreaking book, “The Magic Power of Emotional Appeal,” Roy Garn explains that emotional appeals come in four irresistible flavors: money, self-protection, recognition, and romance. Yet, many emotional appeals crossover. For example, exercise could be about self-preservation. However, it may also be tied to romance because exercise can make you thinner and more fit, making you look more attractive at the opposite sex. It may also be tied to recognition if people notice your new physique. Exercise may even be tied to money because being healthier and having a better Body Mass Index (BMI) can lower life insurance and health care rates.
Have you ever considered using emotional appeals in your marketing efforts?
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