Email Persuasion Series Part 4: Liking

By Jack | email strategy

May 04

Imagine that you’re picking out some ripe avocados at your grocery store.

And just before you wheel your cart into the check-out line, a total stranger walks up to you and says, “Excuse me, but would you mind dropping me off at the airport next week? I really don’t want to pay for parking.”

If you’re like me, you’d say something like, “Sorry, but I can’t” and you’d power walk outta there. You might even drive home thinking about “the nerve” that stranger had to ask for a free ride.

But what if you’re best friend asked you the exact same question? You’d say “yes” in a heartbeat, right?

What’s my point? As a rule, we prefer to say yes to the requests of someone we know and like.

But strangers can use this simple “liking” rule in hundreds of ways to get you to comply to their requests.

That’s why Robert Cialdini calls Liking the “friendly thief.”

So how do perfect strangers use liking to get us to say yes? Let’s look at the infamous Tupperware Party to find out.

How Tupperware Parties Use ‘Liking’ to Sell

Tupperware parties have sold 4 billion dollars of containers because of the selling power of Liking.

The entire Tupperware party has Liking built into the sale. Think about it…

The sale does not come from the Tupperware rep. It comes from your friend who invited you to the party because everyone knows that the % of sales goes to your friend.

And we’re more likely to agree to requests made by people we already like. Even if that request is to buy more of something we don’t need.

I hate to be invited to Tupperware parties… I’ve got all the Tupperware containers I need. But when a friend invites me to one, I feel like I need to be there. And when I get there, I feel like I need to buy something.

The “endless-chain” sales method

Watch how this door-to-door salesman uses liking to increase his sales by 50%.

First, a salesman presents a product for sale.

As soon as the homeowner is interested in the product, the salesman says, “You seem to be enjoying the [name of product]. Who else do you know that would also appreciate learning about it?”

The salesman makes a list of the new prospects and the friend who referred them.

The key to success with this method is that each new prospect is visited by a sales person armed the with the name of a friend who “suggested I call on you.”

Sales increase (by 50% on average) because turning that sales person away after that is now harder to do. Why? It’s almost like rejecting a friend.

Liking Tips From The World’s Greatest Car Salesman

Getting friends to recommend a sale works great for Tupperware parties and door-to-door salesmen, but what if you don’t have a friend recommended you or ask for the sale for you?

Take a lesson from the best car salesman on earth and get your prospects to like you.

Joe Girard was named the “world’s greatest car salesman” by the Guiness Book of World Records.

He sold 5 cars and trucks everyday he worked!

How did he do it? He had a simple strategy: A fair price & someone they liked buying from.

How To Get People To Like You

Here’s what science has told us on getting people to like us…

1) Physical attractiveness matters. Research shows that we automatically assign traits like talent, honesty, kindness and intelligence to the good lookin’ ones.

In fact, in U.S. courts, attractive defendants are twice as likely to avoid jail as unattractive ones.

2) We like people who are similar to us.

Do you have similar backgrounds/struggles/interests with your readers? If yes, don’t hide it! The more you can relate to your target audience, the more similar you will be seen as. And studies show that we are more likely to befriend and buy from people who are similar to us.

3) Give complements (I like you)

Joe the cars sales man, every month, sent his 13,000 former customers a holiday card with one sentence, “I like you” There was Nothing else on the card besides his name

Why does this work? We are phenominal suckers for flattery. It works even from a car sales man. Even when we know it’s tied to a sale.

See how Noah Kagan uses the same, powerful “I like you” phrase to collect leads? Try testing this with your optin-box.

4) We like things that are familiar to us

According to the psychology of attraction, the more familiar something is, the more we’ll like it.

Familiarity definitely plays a huge role. The mere exposure effect states that “people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them.”

Email Marketing Takeaways

Get Your List To Like You

Holy Grail of Marketing

This is truly the holy grail of marketing. Why? Because if you’re list likes your emails (and you as a person) you’re sales will come in much easier because psychology has found that we are more likely to buy from people we like.

So if you’ve been using your email marketing to get the one time sale, focus on building a relationship with your readers. The sales will follow.

Create An Email Referral Program

Just like the Tupperware parties and door-to-door salesman used friends to find new leads and sell their products, create a referral program where your customers do the same. Then tell your customers about your referral program in your emails.

Get inspired with this list of 47 awesome referral programs.

Here’s a great resource on implementing your customer referral program with your website and emails. 

Relate To Your Readers

If you want to sell more, get your list to like you. And one of the fastest ways to do that is to relate to your readers and show them that you are similar to them.

So ask your readers to see what they struggle with. Then tell them a story about when you used to struggle with the same thing.

For example, I used to struggle with Email Marketing. Really. I tired everything and got zero results. But I knew how important it was. Then I realized it was all about building a relationship with readers then asking for the sale in the right way. (Plus, writing awesome email copy.)

So if you’re struggling with email marketing, I feel your pain. Let me help you.

Show Off Your Good Looks

So if you look good, let your audience know. Seriously. Studies shows it increases sales. So add a nice headshot on your bio and/or make video part of your content marketing strategy.

Flatter Your Readers

When a new subscriber signs up give them a compliment. It’s a sure-fire way to get someone to start liking you (and looking forward to your emails.)

Tell them they’re smart for signing up for your list. Tell them they must care about their future and they’re doing the right thing because they signed up for your list. Say that you’re honored/proud to have them on your list.

Email More Frequently

Get your readers used to seeing and reading your emails for better results. Thanks to the Mere Exposure effect, the more you see someone, the more they will like them.

This could explain why messages that get sent 4 times a month have a higher open rate than emails sent once a month.

Screenshot 2015-01-27 09.00.13

About the Author

Jack Reamer is a B2B SaaS lead generation expert who focuses on growing his client's MRR via powerful cold email campaigns. He lives (and surfs) in San Diego, California.

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