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Emotional Selling

Pre-WWI Sales Strategies

Prior to the First World War selling was a very different process than it is today.

Back in the early 1920s when a vendor wished to sell his/her products or services they simply offered them to potential clients and customers who needed them.

Sales were based on the desire for satisfying a practical need.

A group of shrewd retailers led by Montgomery Ward were not satisfied with their current sales processes and so invested in the services of Edward Bernays, the Nephew of the world famous psychologist Sigmund Freud.

In 1923 Edward Bernays was about to change how people bought and sold forever. In many ways Bernays was the father of modern marketing.

Advert From 1919 With No Emotional Linking

Advert From 1919 With No Emotional Linking


The Emotional Sale

Bernays used his extensive knowledge of human psychology to formulate a plan for increasing sales across all retail vectors.

Edward Bernays set about teaching these shrewd retailers how to form a deep psychological connection between their products are strong positive emotional states.

In other words, Bernays taught them how to link their products to potential customer’s ego needs. Connecting the deep seated feelings of sexual arousal, high value status, prestige and a host of other ego-based feelings to specific products these retails exploded the sales of their products and transformed marketing forever.

We all see this on television adverts and in glossy magazines how products and services are twinned with feelings of self-worth and increased pleasure.

This shows the importance of branding. Branding is really about linking your product or service to a result but not just a physical result you must link what you offer to an emotional results.

You see people do not want to buy products or services they want to buy results. But more than this they want to buy the feelings that those those result swill give them.

Many of the best marketers in the world know that by supplying a customer with the feeling, through psychologically linking their products to those feelings, they do not even need to produce the result!



Modern Marketing

As the new marketing tactics took hold the retail industry experienced a boom in the 1920s.

These days the tactics used in marketing are much more subtle than they were back in Bernays time but they are completely transparent once you understand what the advertising agency is actually doing and see the “real” message being portrayed by the advertisement.

Not All Emotionally Based Advertisements Are This Obvious

Not All Emotionally Based Advertisements Are This Obvious

We are all aware of the more direct emotional sales techniques used in many advertisements:

  • Buy this car and instantly raise your social status.
  • Wear this fragrance and attract women.
  • Buy this diet product and look like a supermodel

However, emotional marketing is such big business that it can be extremely subtle.

Watch this analysis of how Fed Ex use it expertly.

Subtle use of emotional marketing can be a powerful process for boosting your sales and it is well worth the time investment it takes to learn some of these deeper strategies.

However, you should at least be using basic emotional sales techniques in your sales pitch as consumers have become accustomed to this type of selling and logic-based sales approaches just appear boring and quickly lose the interest of your prospects.


Once Your Product/Service is Emotionally Linked Close the Sale!

Once you have linked your product or service to a desired emotional state then you need to literally tell your prospect what you want them to do. You would be surprised how often this vital and seemingly obvious step is overlooked. You need a “Call to Action” that is clear, easy to follow and equates to the emotional result you have so carefully crafted within your prospect.

Call To Action