If you haven’t yet noticed, the internet has changed the selling environment. Prospects complete 57% of their research on a product or service before they engage in a conversation with a sales rep or vendor. And then what happens when they do talk with you prepared with the facts and data they gathered in their research? Too often we, as salespeople, then focus the conversation on logic to build on those facts.
This doesn’t sound like a bad approach, does it? But do prospects REALLY make their decision solely on facts and figures? No.
Though some prospects do revert to checking their facts and information carefully weighing out pros and cons, the vast majority of purchase decisions are made first with emotion and perception and then supported with logic. Think about your own purchases in the past month, how many were bought for an absolute need and how many because you wanted the item or service? As much as I believe I need my new Lexus RX350, having a luxury SUV is based on emotion.
Why then do sales conversations—and salespeople—focus on logic?
- It’s easier. “Just the facts.” Is much easier to gather and discern the facts than the motivations, emotions, and trigger points that really tell us the story.
- It’s safer. Plenty of salespeople do not think they are equipped to address emotions. And plenty more don’t want to. All their preparation, training, and marketing materials focus on logic and so do their conversations.
Yet focusing on logic alone may:
- Prolong the decision. If our value is not compelling enough, there is no urgency.
- Complicate getting a decision. Without all the information—logical and emotional—needed for decision making, the final decision is harder to secure.
- Reduce the quality and quantity of the sale. The product or service delivered is as important as the experience of the purchase for many prospects. When salespeople remove emotions from the experience, the experience is not as powerful. The size of the sale may also be less than ideal if the prospect is not emotionally attached.
- Cause buyer’s remorse and second-guessing after the sale. If they aren’t “feeling” it they may ask for a refund, or worse, follow through with the purchase and then never use your product or service.
The benefits of incorporating emotional factors into your sales conversations far outweigh the risks.
So then, what can salespeople do to sell with logic and emotion?
1. Ask different questions. In addition to collecting the logical facts and information needed to identify the problem, opportunity, want, or need, we should ask questions such as:
- What is the _________ creating for you right now?
- How does this impact ___________?
- How do you feel about _________ ?
2. Include emotional factors when describing your benefits.
Describe your solution with a focus on What’s in it for Them—the benefits they will reap by having your product or service for themselves. For example:
- Our service provides 24/7 support and that means you will get the support you need, when you need it. You won’t have to be concerned about getting in queue at 8 a.m. when the lines open.
- This system allows you to manage all your reports in one portal. This one-stop access allows you to save time throughout your work day so you can focus on more pressing matters.
3. Seek the emotional aspects of the objections, not just the logic.
After hearing an objection, paraphrase what you heard them say and then ask for clarity which will help you, and them, identify the emotions involved. Is it fear, frustration, concern, excitement, or other emotions driving the objection?
Ask for clarity with questions such as:
- How does the timing affect the outcome?
- Help me understand more about your concern with what we’ve suggested?
- How do you see this getting in the way?
Logic and emotion are both powerful aspects of buying decisions. When you match them in your sales conversations, you will get the decision more quickly, increase your close ratios, and easily get referrals from very happy buyers.