Communication that sells

If you have ever wondered why some communications and communication channels work better than others at generating sales and whether it’s inherent in the nature of those channels or just the way you use them, I would like to share two thoughts with you. They aren’t my ideas, they are pretty well universally accepted concepts, borne out of significant quantities of research over many years.
Words vs. tonality and physiology. The words we use account for only 7% of the communication; tonality adds a further 38% and a massive 55% is down to physiology (sometimes referred to as body language)
People buy emotionally and then rationalise their decision intellectually
So what impact does this have on our marketing communications?
Well, tonality is difficult in some channels; e-mail, printed flyers and websites tend to be just words. Phone calls can add tonality, but there’s still no body language. Face to face brings all three to bear, so is likely to be the most effective communication.
Also, thinking about words, tonality and physiology, it seems clear to me that tonality and physiology is where the emotional connections are made, so again channels that communicate these well are more likely to win buying decisions.
Of course, there are ways to use this information to make channels more effective. The growth in recent years of podcasts and video in websites isn’t just because of technology and bandwidth improvements – it’s because the addition of tonality and physiology improves the communication. It’s still not the same as face to face though as there is no interaction and feedback.
This doesn’t mean e-mail and flyers are bad, it doesn’t mean we should get off the phone, jump in the car and visit everyone, but it probably does mean we should be realistic about what we can expect different channels to do for us when we use them to communicate.