In selling, many sales are won by emotional buying decisions made by your prospects. Let’s use a simple example…Susan just made a large sale to Bob who is the CEO of a software company. When we asked Bob why he bought from Susan instead of from the other competitors, his response included, “I liked her…I trusted her…she seemed to care about me…she was sincere and she seemed like a good person with whom to work.” Not once did Bob mention that she had the best product knowledge or even the lowest price. Bob bought emotionally from Susan. Bob bought from his heart.
In sales, there are two concepts that are called “soft knowledge” and “hard knowledge.” Soft knowledge is the person, their character, their body language, their style, the distinct impression that they give. On the other hand, there is the hard knowledge that the salesperson has called product knowledge. In most sales processes, the soft knowledge always precedes the hard knowledge. As someone once said, “they want to know how much you care, before they care how much you know.”
In the case of Susan and her competition, as in many sales situations, Bob bought from Susan emotionally. Make no mistake, product knowledge is extremely important, but in most cases the softer side of the salesperson will be the dominant factor in making the sale. Emotions often dominate reason in life as well as in sales. Your prospects don’t really buy your services or products…they buy how they perceive using them will make them feel.
In reality, we all have two different minds…emotional and rational. This dichotomy can be called heart and head. The more intense the feeling about something the more dominant the emotional mind becomes and the less effective the rational mind. Did you ever think and analyze that the billions of dollars spent on national advertising are designed to trigger our emotions to buy a specific product or service, not our logical reasoning?
The emotional mind is much quicker than the rational mind in making instant decisions without any type of rational discernment. Emotions create either a good impression or a bad impression of a person. Emotions create what people often call a “gut feeling” about them. In other words, based upon past situations, the emotional drivers stored in the subconscious mind will cause a person to make an intuitive judgment about that specific decision. Logic and rational thinking appears secondary in many cases.
In a survey of 10,000 people who were asked why they buy from salespeople, their responses included:
As you can see, the confidence that you instill in your prospects represents the number one reason why they will buy from you.
One of the best books ever written about sales is How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Although published in 1937, this book is still considered to be the bible of human interaction. In the book, Mr. Carnegie discusses specific principles for life and, as a salesperson, how to enjoy the success that you need and deserve. These principles, as described by Dale Carnegie, are practical and emotionally-driven…
- Compliment: give people sincere compliments about themselves
- Appreciation: show people appreciation…the two most important words in the English language are “thank you”
- Interest: show genuine interest in the other person…they really like to know that you care about them
- Smile: a smile is the greatest form of non-verbal communication that we have
- Name: use the person’s name because using a person’s name is one of the best things that we all like to hear
- Acknowledgment: give sincere recognition for a person’s and their company’s accomplishments
- Yes: concentrate on getting your prospect to agree with you and say “yes” as many times as they possibly can
- Listen: strive to get the person to talk as much as possible rather than you dominating the conversation
- Empathy: communicate real feelings and understanding from the person’s point of view
- Humility: show an element of humility…no one is good at everything
- Permission: instead of commanding or controlling the interaction, ask permission to do something for them
- Optimistic: be happy and talk in a positive manner…eliminate all negative thinking and phrases from your conversation
As you can see, selling emotionally is a major key in achieving the sales success you desire. Using these emotional triggers will help you with developing trust and confidence for you and your company. The result will be new customers, repeat sales, and a greater sense of personal achievement.