- What motivates the Reassure Me buyer and how to answer their questions
- How to soothe the objections of the Reassure Me buyer
- How the Early Bird Mom speaks directly to the Reassure Me buyer
- Tapping into the emotional side of the Reassure Me buyer
The following is a true story.
Of all days, why did this have to happen again today?
“Honey, wake up. Can you help me find my glasses?”
(You know, it’s kinda hard to FIND your glasses when you CAN’T SEE WITHOUT YOUR GLASSES!)
I had already explored all the usual hideouts. The pile on the bed stand…check. The mess next to the bathroom sink…check. Under the mountainous clutter of paper on my desk in the den…check.
Then we searched again…and again. By the third time, I was groping every conceivable hiding place with my bare hands as I tripped from pile to pile throughout the house.
Still no glasses.
Oh wait. I did find my 35-year-old Army-issue glasses. Ugly. Horn rimmed like Clark Kent used to wear. We used to call them birth control glasses. No self-respecting soldier ever wore those things.
“They’ll just have to do for now,” I muttered
“I hope there’s no traffic on the road today,” I thought to myself. “And that all the lights are green. And that no cops are lurking. Otherwise, I’ll be late for my big job interview this morning.”
To most people, this scenario might seem ridiculous. But to millions of others, it simply illustrates the misery that excessive house clutter causes every day.
Sarah Mueller, the Early Bird Mom, is Here to Help
To save these people from the seemingly inescapable cycle of shame, embarrassment, and confusion caused by clutter in their lives, Sarah Mueller created the Early Bird Mom program.
Rest assured, she says, clutter does not have to be your reality. You can dig your way out of the morass, bit by bit. With a little help from me and your new friends.
The Early Bird Mom gives healing reassurance to those trapped in the cycle of clutter. And in so doing she reaches the Reassure Me Buyer.
Who is the Reassure Me Buyer?
At his core, the Reassure Me Buyer craves safety, security, and avoiding self-consciousness. In his spoken objections, this will manifest as worrisome questions such as: Can I afford this? Do I really need this? Or will this work for me?
Of course, price is always an issue in any buyer’s decision process, but here affordability is an excuse to justify the deeper, nagging doubtfulness and insecurity.
When marketing for this buyer, the seller has to dispel the buyer’s worries. Assure him that he is safe and supported; there is no reason for self-consciousness.
The marketer needs to address the buyer’s spoken objections logically by pointing out that the cost of doing nothing is greater than the cost of change. And that change is not just something you want, but something you need (and therefore the safe choice).
At the emotional level, surround the buyer with a sense of belonging.
“You are safe here. We will not abandon you. Our friendly, fun community is waiting here to help you, comfort you, reassure you.”
Why People Hold Onto Stuff They Don’t Need
The tendency to accumulate clutter has psychological roots.
People who hold onto “stuff” have an exaggerated sense of what things are worth.
They may accumulate bargains, or things that feel irreplaceable. Sometimes, things have rare financial or sentimental value that can’t be ignored. So, people experience panic and anxiety whenever they consider discarding something.
At its worst, this can feel like some combination of obsession/compulsion, attention deficit, depression, or hoarding symptoms.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, these are the basic symptoms and behavior associated with hoarding.
- Inability to throw away possessions
- Severe anxiety when attempting to discard items
- Great difficulty categorizing or organizing possessions
- Indecision about what to keep or where to put things
- Distress, such as feeling overwhelmed or embarrassed by possessions
- Suspicion of other people touching items
- Obsessive thoughts and actions: fear of running out of an item or of needing it in the future; checking the trash for accidentally discarded objects
- Functional impairments, including loss of living space, social isolation, family or marital discord, financial difficulties, health hazards
Notice bullets 2 and 5: Anxiety, distress, embarrassment, and feeling overwhelmed.
On top of a natural desire to hold onto things, the habit of accumulating and the clutter itself may get worse. Then, the mess feeds the embarrassment. And all this leaves the person feeling isolated, stuck in anxiety and depression, and more likely to accumulate clutter.
It’s a negative feedback loop.
To this person, breaking out of the cycle seems not just impossible, but inconceivable.
To break the cycle, the person needs a vision of how to do it, but most importantly, he needs hope, confidence, and a safe community that provides calming reassurance that it is doable.
As Sarah said at the end of her biography: “I’ve taught tens of thousands to declutter and organize their homes so they can live the lives they are dreaming about…I’d love to help you do the same.”
“I assure you,” she says. “We can do this together.”
How the Early Bird Mom Reassures Clutter Sufferers
Answering the key objection: Do I really need this?
When someone asks, “Do I really need this decluttering program?” He really means it. He has on some level become quite comfortable in his lifestyle. Clutter has become a safe space, and change can feel dangerous.
How does Sarah answer this question?
- She avoids placing guilt, shame or self-consciousness on the buyer.
- Instead, Sarah implants calm and reassuring, positive images of what an uncluttered, organized life would be like. She makes the peace and freedom of an uncluttered life conceivable again. And safe.
- Of course, it’s important to point out the suffering involved in living with clutter. But Sarah tries to be as non-judgemental as possible. It’s not that you’re bad, but you might be tired of being “embarrassed,” or “cramped.” We accept you where you are. We want to help you. You are safe.
The following are clips from the Early Bird Mom homepage that illustrate her approach to the objection, “Do I really need this?”
In this one, she helps the person understand why he has this problem.
Sarah does not identify her buyer as a hoarder…ever. You just have frugal habits, or you weren’t paying attention, or you like bargains. She doesn’t blame you for the problem or make you feel guilty about it. You didn’t “try“ to do it. It just is. This lowers the person’s anxiety level and makes him feel safe.
As one endorser says: “You never made me feel bad about the house being such a mess but you gave me hope that we could get it done.”
But the harsh white print in the clip above against a black background does impart a subliminal message: This state of being isn’t safe. This is not where you want to be.
Then, right away, next image, Sarah fills your mind with a peaceful, calming, reassuring, almost meditative vision of what life could be without clutter.
The words in this clip evoke potent images, some of them describing the life of clutter, and many more the beauty of life after declutter.
Let’s list all the “before” words in this clip.
Now let’s look at all the “after“ words.
Remember, the Reassure Me Buyer responds to need. So do I need this?
This description of life without clutter feels just like heaven. It even looks like heaven, with streams of light pouring through open windows into a sparkling, clean house. Compared to life before, who doesn’t need this?
Just tell me how to get it.
Answering the key objection: This won’t work for me.
For someone to understand how this program will help him overcome his problem, he first has to visualize a life free of the problem.
But that vision is not enough. Because to the typical clutterer, the task of decluttering is so monumental, so seemingly impossible, that it is not even worth trying. As one endorser says, “We had just got so overwhelmed that no one knew where to start.”
But Sarah doesn’t demand perfection, something she repeats often. She doesn’t expect the job to be done quickly or all at once. She has a process, a little-by-little process, that you can do.
Notice that her process is “gentle,” not “overwhelming.” In other words, it’s safe. You can do it.
You can do it because you only have to do a little bit at a time, one small area a week. No matter how bad your home is, “you won’t burn out.”
When you get on the email list, she gives you a few of the challenges just to prove how easy they are. The first challenge: take all the unnecessary, outdated stuff off your refrigerator door.
The third challenge: clean up your tupperware.
Anyone can do this. As one of her endorsements said:
One quibble I have with Sarah’s targeting of the Reassure Me Buyer. That phrase, you can do it, shouldn’t be hidden in an endorsement, but should be explicitly front and center of her campaign.
Those four words are almost everything her buyer needs to hear.
How Early Bird Mom Answers the Reassure Me Buyer’s Objections Logically
The Reassure Me Buyer has to be shown that the cost of standing still is greater than the need to change.
We’ve already seen this argument made repeatedly at the emotional level… how decluttering will reap benefits in terms of inner peace, relaxation, a sense of pride (an oft repeated claim).
But Sarah lays out the factual benefits of change quite clearly as well. For example:
For this buyer, stuck in a self-destructive cycle by anxiety, it is calming and reassuring to know that cold numbers prove that change is necessary and the benefits an indisputable reality.
How Early Bird Mom Answers the Reassure Me Buyer’s Objections Emotionally
The above clip already hints at this. Notice how Sarah addresses her customer as “friend,” and assures him “you’re not alone.”
Remember, one of the challenges in helping a person clear the clutter is convincing him that he can overcome the problem. Like all Reassure Me Buyers, he needs the comfort of belonging, of having a safe, friendly community that will support him in his goals. Sarah stresses this often.
So your success is not just because of the small bite, step-by-step approach of the course, but also due to the “safe and supportive community (you’ll never be alone)” and the encouragement from the community. It looks like this:
Sharing your progress with your new friends makes you so proud. Isn’t that so much better than the embarrassment you felt before?
And this is the result.
All because of Sarah’s reassuring teaching method. Despite years of failure before, “you have helped me not feel guilty.” “Thanks to you,” your motivation and support, and the “one step at a time” teaching method, I now know “I can and will get through it.”
As Sarah herself puts it.
In four words: YOU CAN DO IT.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Did the poor shlub in the story above ever get to replace his birth-control glasses?
Yeah, later, his wife found the real glasses. They had fallen off the nightstand into a tangle of electrical cords and wires. The glasses blended right in, like camouflage.
He got a speeding ticket, was late for his interview, and didn’t get the job.
And he decided to join Early Bird Mom. 🙂
- The Reassure Me Buyer is motivated by anxiety or worry. His hidden question is: Is this safe?
- His common objections are “Do I really need this?” or “Will this work for me?”
- The logical answer to these objections involves making change appear to be the safer and less costly choice.
- The Early Bird Mom does this by alleviating guilt, providing a clear vision of a better life without clutter, providing simple tips on how to succeed, and showing the costs of clutter, monetary and otherwise.
- The emotional answer to the Reassure Me Buyer’s objections is to provide a friendly support group that provides comfort and a sense of belonging and safety.
- The underlying feeling at Early Bird Mom is: You can do it.
This post was written by William Metzger
About the author:
William Metzger – MA History, teacher, writer, DJ, baseball fanatic, marketing analyst. Currently, lead writer and Managing Editor of the Crawfish Boxes, a Vox Media, and Houston Astros fan blog.