Using The 7 Basic Human Emotions in Your Sales Funnel: Anger

There are 7 basic human emotions: Anger, Fear, Disgust, Contempt, Joy, Sadness, Surprise.

These are root emotions from which all other emotions spring. (Read more about them here). These 7 emotions are at the core of what drives our decision-making.

If you understand these emotions and build your sales funnel around them, you can sell more.


Anger is a great sales-inducing emotion when you align your marketing and sales copy WITH your target market AGAINST some cause or position. Your copy will include a lot of “us-versus-them” content and will need to highlight the discrepancy between your target market’s current position and where they want to be. And, of course, the product or service you sell should erase the discrepancy and establish the buyer in the superior position over the antagonist.

Some good examples of using anger in your marketing can be seen by looking at the grassroots groundswell of support during the “Occupy” protests. Even though this was a grassroots movement, its messages were still “marketing” and they had a very clear us-versus-them language against a common “enemy”. I’ve also seen this anger approach used effectively in non-profit copywriting against things like cancer, poverty, racism, and sexism.

Here are some tips if you want to effectively use anger in your sales funnel:

  • Align yourself with your audience. Don’t be angry at them and don’t make them angry at you.
  • It’s easiest to generate anger against an antagonist that cannot defend itself (i.e. cancer) instead of an antagonist that can defend itself (such as a specific person or institution). You’ll also avoid any issues of libel this way! Avoid stirring up anger about a competitor.
  • Your sale doesn’t have to eliminate the anger but it should have a cathartic effect in the buyer — a sort of “I’ll show them” impact.
  • Don’t pull your punches! Don’t be afraid to use the strongest possible language. Your most likely-to-buy audience will feel the strongest about the issue and your strong language will make you an ally.
  • A manifesto or a blog-based “rant” is a very effective way to express your anger.
  • With emotions, it is easy to create a call to action but be careful that your call to action doesn’t come across as too salesy. People don’t want to buy; they want to get back at the target of their anger.
  • If you are a business, you can help the cathartic effect by contributing a portion of all proceeds to some charitable group whose work is counter to the target of anger.

Anger is not an emotion you see in sales funnels very often but it can be a useful tool if used correctly. Take a look at your sales funnel and see if there’s a way that you can use it.

Your sales funnel is the most important part of your business

Your sales funnel is the relationship your business has with potential buyers.

Most people think of a sales funnel as a “nice-to-know” concept that doesn’t really have an impact on their day-to-day operations.

sales funnel tree pictureBut I think a sales funnel is a strategic tool that every business needs to focus on and optimize. It’s like the foundation of a building or the trunk of a tree — it’s the main part from which every other part of the business grows.


Every business has a sales funnel (whether or not you choose to focus on it).

And businesses that DO focus on their sales funnel — making it run faster and smoother and with more people flowing through — will operate a more profitable, growing business than those who do not focus on it.

  • Are you focusing on your sales funnel? (Download this Sales Funnel Quick Reference PDF to get a fast start on your sales funnel)
  • Can you draw your sales funnel? (Download this Sales Funnel Worksheet PDF to help you)
  • Do you know how much each part of your sales funnel costs you to operate?
  • Do you have a list of opportunities that you intend to pursue this year to grow your sales funnel?

[Image credit: Jan-Willem]

The Sales Funnel Bible – An introduction

I’m writing a book. I’ve been working on it off and on for a while (more “off” than “on” if I were being honest with myself).

I need to actually get some traction on it. Rather than writing it piece by piece and then finally revealing it at the end, I might benefit from some feedback from you… so I’m going to start writing it publicly and sharing it as I go. So as often as humanly possible (hopefully every 2 weeks or so), I’m going to publish another chapter on my blog.

The book is called The Sales Funnel Bible and it’s about how businesses can grow by focusing on their sales funnel.

A brief history of the Sales Funnel Bible

In case you’re curious, my interest in sales funnels started back during my MBA. I wrote my dissertation on a business strategy tool I’d developed called the Business Diamond Framework — a tool businesses could use to develop strategy throughout their business and make sure it was aligned with their organizational hierarchy as well as their value chain. (Okay, the full description is way more complicated but you get the idea).

That dissertation sparked an interest in building a framework for businesses that would ultimately increase success. And although my Business Diamond Framework was useful for larger businesses and higher level strategy, I found the simple sales funnel to be the most immediately beneficial for the financial entrepreneurs and real estate entrepreneurs I work with every day. What’s more, sales funnels are pretty well known as a concept but not a tool, so I think there is a lot of opportunity for any business that is armed with some sales funnel knowledge to really grow.

If you want to read more about sales funnels, check out the following blog posts…

And be sure to come back and visit my blog to read the The Sales Funnel Bible chapters as I write them!

Are you undermining your success with this real estate investor marketing mistake?

If you are a real estate investor, your business has one significant difference compared to other types of businesses. Unfortunately, many real estate investors don’t realize this and they market their real estate investing business just like any other business. But it’s a HUGE mistake that could undermine your success.

In the video below, find out if you are making this critical real estate investor marketing mistake (and what you can do about it).

Sales funnel terminology – Why I prefer the term ‘sales funnel’ to ‘marketing funnel’, ‘marketing pipeline’, ‘sales pipeline’, and ‘sales process’

There are a lot of terms for sales funnels. This brief post explains why I prefer the term sales funnel instead of the many other terms that people use to describe the relationship between a potential buyer and potential seller.

When people search online to find information about the relationship between a potential buyer and potential seller, they use some of the following popular terms to find the information that I define as a sales funnel:

  • Marketing funnel
  • Marketing pipeline
  • Sales funnel (plus two common misspellings: sale funnel, sales funnell)
  • Sales pipeline
  • Sales process


Why I prefer sales funnel over marketing funnel or marketing pipeline: Ultimately your business exists to earn money and you do that by making a sale. What actually makes up a sale may be different in your business than it is in other businesses, but it’s the sale that counts in your sales funnel, not the marketing. Marketing is a means to an end. By calling it a sales funnel instead of a marketing funnel, the emphasis is placed on the desired goal.

Why I prefer sales funnel over sales pipeline: In my opinion, sales funnel is a strategic term that describes the relationship you have with various stages of potential buyers – you’re not only building a relationship, you’re also qualifying and filtering. Therefore, the number of people you meet earlier in the relationship is quite high compared to the number who actually buy from you. Sales pipeline (again, in my opinion) is a tactical term. It’s a way sales people describe the group of potential buyers who are somewhere in their sales funnel. I’d say that these terms are relatively interchangeable but I prefer sales funnel over sales pipeline because the relationships you have with your prospective buyers is best represented and planned through a funnel shape.

Why I prefer sales funnel over sales process: You’ll find that I do use the word sales process frequently in my blog. However, when I say sales process, I’m referring to the actual interaction a salesperson has with a potential buyer in the Prospect stage: A sales person will build rapport, fact-find, present a solution, handle objections, and ask for the order. That’s the sales process, in my opinion. The sales funnel is a graphical depiction of the relationship that the buyer and seller have from the earliest stages through the sale itself and well past the sale.

So, if you’re looking for information on marketing funnels, marketing pipelines, sales pipelines, and sales processes you’ll probably find it on this blog. But I call it a sales funnel.