When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.
- Dale Carnegie
In an ideal world, business decisions would be made for purely logical reasons – ROI, technical fit, and product features would be the beginning and the end of a buyer’s decision.
However, selling is never that straightforward. Emotion is a huge factor in every life decision, even – or especially – those in the workplace. Sales reps must be aware of the psychological motivation behind buying new products, or else they’ll run into emotional barriers time and time again.
Instead of being blindsided by prospect’s emotions during the selling process, sales reps must learn to use emotional triggers to their advantage. Nearly every prospect goes through 5 emotional phases in the process of buying a new product. By tapping into these emotions and truly understanding a prospect’s feelings at each stage, you will be able to offer the right motivation at the right time, and close the deal.
Here is how you can tweak your sales tactics today to appeal to a prospect’s emotions and become a more effective salesperson.
Fear is a double-edged sword. Many people are frozen by the fear of making the wrong decision for their business, and so never want to make any huge changes at all. They’re afraid that if they push to buy a new product and it’s a failure, they will be blamed for the mistake. It seems safer to many prospects to make no decision, rather than make the wrong decision.
However, you can’t sit back and allow a prospect’s fear to maintain the status quo and kill the deal. Instead, you can transform the fear of failure into FOMO – fear of missing out. This fear is universal – people are often more afraid of loss than they are motivated by gain. You have to show a prospect that if they don’t make a decision, they will be losing out on huge benefits to their business. With this fear in their mind, they’ll be more willing to take a risk and step outside their comfort zone.
Once a prospect is afraid of missing a huge opportunity, sales reps should show prospects that they’re actually already missing out now. You should emphasize how other similar companies are already using your product successfully. These companies don’t even have to be direct competitors of your prospect, but should be in a similar industry or of a similar size. Send a case study that shows exactly how this current customer is using your product, with specific data that backs up the benefits you talked about. Hopefully, this case study will induce strong feelings of envy and jealousy in the prospect. When they clearly see that someone else like them is using your product to reap huge rewards, they’ll be eager to find out if they can get those same results for their company.
If you’ve gotten prospects to fear they’re missing out and envying other companies’ results, now it’s time to inspire a more positive feeling: hope. You want prospects to believe that they too can see huge benefits for their business by using your product. This is where you should show off a strong demo of your product, with a focus on the pain points for the prospect’s specific business needs. You often will have to overcome technical difficulties, budgetary concerns and many other worries before you will really inspire a prospect to believe in you. This is the turning point in the sale. If you can offer prospects a realistic picture of how you can help their business, they’ll start to hope that they can really achieve the results they need.
If you’ve done a great demo of your product and overcome all objections, your prospect will be excited, enthused and on the edge of making a purchase. Ideally, they will be so excited, they’ll decide to bring in other members of their team to get buy-in from the entire organization. They’ll want to show off your product as though it’s their own, proud of the capabilities and eager to convince others to go through the same emotional range that they’ve just experienced. If you’ve successfully reached the excitement phase, you have gained an internal sales champion, one who will make it much easier for you to close the deal. If you’re able to keep up the momentum and continue to create excitement across the prospect’s entire team, the deal is nearly in hand.
The end goal of every sales transaction should be customer happiness. You don’t want to trick a prospect into buying a product that can’t really help them or convince a prospect to buy for the wrong reasons. You want to sell a product that will actually improve the prospect’s business, and allow them to be more successful in their job. If you sell them the right product for their needs and never over-promise capabilities, then you will end up with a happy customer once they sign the deal. Luckily, happy customers are more likely to refer their friends, talk to colleagues about the product, and help you find your next prospective customer. The end goal of every sale should be the best possible emotion.
In a complex sales process, it’s possible for a prospect to return to fear, instead of moving on to excitement and happiness. This is often where sales reps lose the sale, because prospects simply aren’t convinced. It’s up to you to push a prospect not just through the sales process, but also through the 5 emotions every buyer experiences. If you’re able to get a prospect truly excited and happy to buy, you’ll win a valuable new customer for your business.