THE NODDING EFFECT

“A thought which does not result in action is nothing much,
and an action which does not proceed from a thought is nothing at all.”
— Georges Bernanos

Selling is accomplished when the buyer says “yes” to your offer.  While the ultimate “yes” is the one they say when they are ready to buy, in truth there are a whole series of “yesses” that precede the buying decision.  During the entire sales presentation, the Infomercial, you must get your potential customer to agree, over and over, with your power statements, (key selling messages), and to accept the offer made in a DRTV commercial.  This is what I call The Nodding Effect.  Can’t you see why this is important?  Wouldn’t you want your prospects to understand all the benefits and features of your products, so they were ready to buy?  Are you nodding in agreement?  If you are, you are experiencing first hand the nodding effect.  This is critical to an Infomercial.

When the prospective buyer sincerely believes that the benefits of your product or service will satisfy his or her needs, then a commitment is made by that person to purchase your product.  Isn’t this what you want?  You should be nodding, “yes”.

What exactly is the nodding effect?  It is the result of your target prospect answering  “yes” to any question asked, or any affirmative statement made, in your DRTV spot or Infomercial.  It is also the effect created when the statements made or the questions asked create an emotional response like, “that’s interesting, I want to know more about that”.  In other words,  the nodding effects desired result is first—keep the audience stay tuned, and second, identify and agree with the information presented, and finally, to agree to purchase the product.

HOW IT WORKS

For a DRTV campaign to be effective and successful, you must win the hearts and minds of your primary target audience.  In order to do this, you must motivate your viewer/prospect to respond positively to a series of questions and affirmative statements, thus the need for compelling copy and equally compelling testimonials.  Either the writer can script these questions and statements for a “talent” to perform or they can come directly from “real people” testimonials.

Here are some examples of the nodding effect in action:

Question:  If I could show you a way to make one million dollars in the next twelve months, without quitting your present job, you would be interested, wouldn’t you?

Question:  If there truly were a way to eliminate pain without the use of drugs, without doctor’s visits, without exercise, and without risk, you would want to try it, wouldn’t you?

Question:  Every woman likes to look younger and beautiful.  If this product actually makes you look and feel younger, you would be interested in knowing more about it, wouldn’t you?

Affirmative Statement:  You can’t get a guarantee from a hospital or doctor, but you do with Therapy Plus, the pain reliever. (This is a true statement that you would have to agree with based on the money-back guarantee that comes with the product)

Affirmative Statement:  With the money back guarantee, the only thing you’ve got to lose is your unwanted pounds.

Affirmative Statement:  I couldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.

One of the important aspects in the nodding effect is to only ask questions or make affirmative statements that are directed towards your primary target audience.  If you are producing a program to sell a new automobile, your focus should be directed towards that segment of the population that is looking for a new car.  Or if you are marketing a weight loss product, your program’s content should focus only for people who need or want to lose weight.  If you have a skin care product that is specifically created for “people of color”, then that is the primary audience you are addressing in the Infomercial.   This makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?  When the nodding effect is working, you are creating the stimulus for your target audience to stay tuned.  Each affirmative nod moves the prospective buyer to the ultimate goal—they buy the product.

PEOPLE CONVINCING PEOPLE

No question about it, testimonials can provide some of the most powerful nodding effects.  In our Infomercial, “Freedom From Pain”, we had dozens of wonderful endorsements from real people.  They had been using the Therapy Plus product for years and their credibility and sincerity was the driving force behind the Infomercial’s success. 

Let me give you an example:  There was one man who had knee pain, who was a physicist and an engineer (which we titled on the screen). He said, “I am a physicist and an engineer.  I don’t deal in theories.  I deal in facts and this thing (Therapy Plus) works.”  He added, “and you know, seeing is believing, and after seeing the results, you gotta believe this thing works”.  As soon as this man made that statement, he stimulated the nodding effect.  He went on to say, “You know, if you’ve got pain, you might as well try this, because with the warranty and guarantee they have, the only thing you can possibly lose is your pain.  You have nothing to lose but your pain!” Again, the nodding effect was created by an affirmative statement.

WINNING OVER THE SKEPTICS

The biggest challenge that we had in selling this product was to overcome people’s disbelief that Therapy Plus would actually work.  We had to overcome skepticism.  How did we handle that?  By using the testimonials statements that created a nodding effect around the concept of disbelief.  We literally had over two dozen real people testimonials, people the TV viewer could identify with, (our primary target market) who confirmed that it was natural to be skeptical, but the product actually worked for them.  Many of the people mentioned the fact that they too, had to be won over, and that the first time they saw the device they were skeptical.  They made statements such as, “It was the goofiest looking thing, and I didn’t really believe it would work— but it did.”  “I thought it looked like a hair curler—it just didn’t look like it would work, but it took my pain away, in just minutes.”  “I was very skeptical at first, but hey, this thing works.  It’s like magic”. 

The other important strategy that was used to overcome skepticism was to “credentialize” the product.  This occurred when we used credible “testimonials of authorities”, i.e. doctors, chiropractors, and documents from members of the American Pain Society.  Their expert opinion was invaluable in reinforcing the Unique Selling Proposition and the many benefits of such a pain relieving product. 

It’s the consistent use of copy (comments-visually or orally) that creates the nodding effect.  Use a character generator to make statements about the product or service that gets agreement from your primary target audience.

Tom Hopkins, author of the best-selling book,  “How to Master the Art of Selling”, teaches sales people how to ask questions that will always get a positive response, i.e. the nodding effect.  If you can get your prospect thinking positively about your product and its benefits, then all you have to do is ask for the order, isn’t that right?  Good salespeople never ask a question unless they know the answer.  And by asking questions, you control the selling process since you will only ask a question to which your prospective buyer will answer in the affirmative.  That makes sense, doesn’t it?  If it does, nod your head and say yes.

“Call Now 1-800 -  How to Profit from Direct Response Television Advertising”  Copyright 2006  Rodney H. Buchser

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