In Sales, Focus on Feelings Not Facts

Do you remember the first time (or last time) you bought a new car? Do you remember how importantly you weighed your options? You created a spreadsheet of the different features of the vehicles you were considering. You spent days poring through reports and evaluating safety estimates until finally, you chose the most sensible, safe and economical car – never once considering what the car looked like or how it will make you feel when all your friends see you pull into the office parking lot tomorrow.

What? That’s not what you did?

It’s very likely you didn’t. The truth is, we generally know what car we want before we start shopping. The research is simply an effort on our part to feel rational when, in fact, almost every purchase we make (personally and in business) is an emotional decision. I know that you don’t make emotional purchasing decisions – only rational ones based on fact. That’s why you’ve never experience buyer’s remorse, right?

Understanding that your customers’ decision to purchase your product or service is an emotional one can enable you to grow your business substantially. First, we need to create the necessary emotions to cause people to buy our products or services.

Playing with People’s Emotions?

If this sounds like manipulation to you, take a moment to think about this: your potential clients are going to feel something when they encounter your company – shouldn’t you be the one in control of what they feel? After all, if you don’t know what emotions you are creating right now, you’re likely losing business since people will trust feelings over facts. If they don’t feel right about your company, they generally won’t give you their money, time and trust. We have a phrase for that: gut instinct.

It sounds counter-intuitive to focus on how people are feeling while they’re evaluating our company’s product or service. That’s why we focus on the facts of what we do. “Our product is 5X faster. Yet it’s only half the price.” “We’ve worked with companies like PepsiCo, A&E TV, and Google.” “We are able to save your organization 5 man hours each week per employee.”

The Pressure to be Rational

While facts may be both important and relative to the prospect, such information will almost never be the reason they buy. Instead, these will be the reasons they tell others that they bought. You see, we don’t like to admit that we’re often emotionally motivated. Few of us will say to our friends, “I chose to go with Company X because they made me feel comfortable and safe – like coming home after a hard day at work.” Even though that’s exactly why we made the purchase, we quote whatever facts we can remember in order to sound like we actually made a rational decision.

We need to free our customers up to make emotional decisions while understanding their need to feel rational after the purchase.

Facts Support Emotions

The goal then is to engage the person through their emotions then give them the facts they need to justify how they feel. But to do this, you need to understand which emotions will cause your clients to buy. If you sell home security, fear and safety are two emotions your clients probably need to feel. Fear of not using your product and the safety they are beginning to feel as they arrive at the decision to make the purchase.

Facts support emotions – they don’t create them.

In a future post, we’ll look at ways to create the right emotions and the wrong emotions. In the meantime…

Questions: Do you know the emotions you need to create to sell your product or service? How do you go about creating them in your prospects?

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