Hot Selling Online in a Cold Economy


When it comes to stimulating sales, there are several “hot buttons” or motivators that influence how successful your business is at selling your goods and/or services online. Identifying and using them in this difficult economy will lead to business success.

Presumably, at this point, you have a well-established marketing strategy, which should include at least some of those hot buttons. Those hot buttons will ultimately be responsible for your success. They will be the element that brings your clients and prospective clients to the point of making a decision about whether to buy from you or not this time around. If you should happen to employ more than one hot button at  a time as part of your marketing campaign, you may be in danger of not making a sale online. It is critical that you use the motivators effectively and with the correct intensity. The balance is extremely important. The last thing that you want to do is overwhelm or confuse your clients by offering them too much at once. Now, it is time to consider which motivators work best in an economy such as the one that we are experiencing currently. First of all, it is time to identify all of the motivators (or hot buttons). Your online interactions are critical to your business’s success and your understanding of other people as well as your approach to them are essential.  After discussing the hot buttons, the correct way to use them will be discussed.

  • Greed: The concept of your wanting more and more no matter how much you attain. The funny thing about greed is that it often takes on a momentum that is hard to control. It is the motivator for a large number of people in business.
  • Fear: Fear motivates a lot of people to behave in ways that are often questionable. Many people fear that they have opportunities that they allowed to slip through their fingers. Another common motivating fear is losing some possession that they feel is important to them.
  • Lust: There is absolutely no doubt that sex is a big seller.
  • Vanity: Vanity is one of the most common hot buttons when it comes to selling. If people think that a product and/or service will make them look better in some way, they will move heaven and earth to possess it.
  • Jealousy: Human beings want what other human beings have. It is a natural feeling and it is a huge motivator for buying.
  • Laziness: Believe it or not, laziness is a significant motivator when it comes to people making a decision about whether to buy a particular product and/or service. Why would a person want to do more work in order to obtain something when they can do less work and achieve the same goal? In fact, why would they want to work at all if they can get someone else to do the work for them?
  • Pride: Another basic human desire is the feeling of being valued. Everyone wants to feel that they matter to other people. It gives them a strong feeling of pride.
  • Charity: Human beings feel very good about themselves when they are able to help others who are less fortunate.
  • Anger: Nobody wants to feel as though they have been taken advantage of by someone else. In fact, if the situation is extreme enough, they may want to get back at the person who took advantage of them.
  • Strength: Humans pride themselves on being strong and independent. Weakness is not an option for most people.
  • Justice: Justice basically means that revenge has been obtained.
  • Prejudice: Every human being has some prejudice. The issue is not that they exist within people. The issue is what people do about them.

Now that the hot buttons have been identified, it is important to understand which ones should be used for maximum results in business online. Of course, along with the hot buttons are desires (things that we want). It is important to bear in mind that not all of the desires can be satisfied at the same time.

They are:

  • Aesthetic beauty
  • Money
  • Time
  • Being comfortable
  • Being popular
  • Wanting compliments
  • Leisure time
  • Self-esteem
  • Pleasure
  • Health
  • Success
  • Lasting security

When the economy is in particularly bad shape, it seems as though the desires that were just mentioned are the strongest. Each of those desires are a distinct part of human nature and, in truth, they will always be a part of everyone. However, in an economy that is more of a challenge, getting what people want on a small scale will see them through to the point where things start to improve enough. From the business owner’s perspective, it is important for you to understand which motivators to use for the most effective results for your business.

All of the hot buttons will work; however, some will work better than others. For example, lust works great (any time you use it). No matter what, people will always lust after something and that certainly sells. Fear is an effective hot button but should be used discretely. You should use it to get the attention of your target audience and then abandon it after that. Fear will not ultimately sell your products and/or services. It merely acts as a catalyst. Another hot button that can be extremely effective is anger. A difficult economy makes people very angry and giving people a feeling that their anger is justified will make them bond with you on a significant level.


Human beings are very resourceful. Even in an economy such as the one that we are still experiencing now, there are ways to feel good and to motivate and be motivated. A great deal of it has to do with the attitude. Metrics, as one of the important tools, are important as a way to measure your business’s success online and knowing where you stand at all times is extremely helpful. If you and other people feel that there is hope and that the light at the end of the tunnel is within reach, they will keep striving to reach it.

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Marco Giunta

Senior Business Development Executive at

Marco Giunta is a Senior Business Development Executive and the author of the book: Rethinking Sales.

He is a leading expert in Global Outsourcing with a focus on banking, financial services and other Industry sectors and has a long list of clients. Mr. Giunta is a speaker and presenter. He has led start-ups, business strategy groups, technology think tanks and has experience as a career coach. Visit Marco’s website at

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