Nabokov (Part Two)

Then came Lolita. At the end of the story, Lolita is older, has a child of her own and is not lovable.  She is used up, ugly and hard.  Yet it is at this point that Humbert Humbert, the older man, falls truly in love with her, and comes to appreciate love for the wonderful […]

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Jack Vance: Interview (Part 1)

Part one of a lengthy interview with Jack Vance.  Vance is one of my favorite authors, ranking in my top five.  Vance passed away just over one year ago.  He lived and wrote in Oakland, California, where he enjoyed sailing when he wasn’t working.  The remarkable thing about Vance was his use of the English […]

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A Feel for the Deal

By Christopher Zoukis

From effective language, the book segues logically to evoking emotions.  Sellers are advised to “create not simply a logical but a gut response” from buyers.  Research proves that most people make decisions to buy based on emotion first, followed by logical reasoning.  The illustration provided is BMW’s automobile commercial that declares:  “We don’t just make cars, we make joy!”  The seller’s job is to develop and ask questions that generate emotions appropriate to the buyer’s decision-making process.  Doing so, allows the seller to bond with the buyer during the sales process.   Image courtesy

Seidman supplies a number of sample questions designed to evoke emotions in each stage of the selling process.  The author advises sellers to remember that gestures, tone of voice, and facial expressions “must support the emotion you are emphasizing.”  In addition, two primary points about evoking emotions are related and re-emphasized:  first, since buying decisions are based on emotions, word choices are important; second, sellers need to “find their voice” by making certain to use their own vocabulary and personality. 

Another powerful selling tool is the power of storytelling.  A specific methodology for using and applying the persuasive power of storytelling is explained in detail.  Seidman’s model is called PET:  P is for personal.  E is for emotional.  And T is for teachable or trainable. 

The stories should be personal, linking experiences common to most people.  First experiences, such as school, kissing, jobs, paychecks, and bad blunders, such as foot-in-mouth comments and accidents or funny mistakes are good sources for story content.

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Speaking of mayhem, lately I’ve been seeing an advertisement on television for insurance.  The commercial personifies ‘mayhem’ as tall, dark, and handsome.  But not too handsome.  There’s a malicious element to ‘mayhem’s’ good looks which lets us – the faithful television viewers – know that he’s one of the bad guys. 

The intent of the commercial is to alert the viewing public that mayhem can thrust his invidious face into anyone’s life at anytime, thus thoroughly destroying any tranquility in our lives.  Mayhem is responsible for all sorts of mishap, calamities and disasters.  And mayhem delights in bringing catastrophes into unsuspecting lives, as often as possible.  The barely disguised idea is that everyone needs protection against mayhem.  In other words, peace of mind may be purchased from your friendly insurance company. 

Exactly which insurance company paid for the commercial escapes me, which, when you think about it, means that the ad agency that put the commercial together and made a lot of money by so doing, failed.  Because the whole point of television commercials is to make darn sure the viewers know what is being sold and who makes it.  That way, they (the viewers) can go down to their local store and buy what is being sold, thus avoiding the embarrassment of purchasing some inferior product. 

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