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Customers are Not Thinking Machines: They are Feeling Machines that Think

You cannot sell someone strategically with cold facts and figures. Truly the only person at the selling event who is impressed and sold in this manner is the dispenser (sales person).

The act of selling with information, logic, facts and figures, and reason is like email. It is a great tool to transmit information, and a lousy tool for true personal communication and influence.

"People buy based on feelings (emotions). Look at successful ad campaigns. They are effective because they tap into the feelings that make people want to buy. Advertisers know how to do this very well, it is the guiding principle of their business. Same goes for politicians, just about everything they do and say in public is designed to evoke the feelings they believe their constituents need to vote for them. The same is with sales people. They may not be doing it consciously, but is a big part of what makes them successful," says Larry Pinci.

Even overly analytical customers who do their due diligence and pour over all the data base their final decisions on how they feel about the sales person and what they feel is best for their requirements. Customers are not thinking machines, they are feeling machines that think.

"Customers use the emotional part of their brain to make what they had always thought were rational decisions. Customers cannot make decisions without emotion," says Richard Restak. Customer's brains are not like a computer. Their brains are not logical machines. Their emotions and feelings will always be initially triggered about the sales person and their offering before any attempt can be made for a logical evaluation.

"The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action and reason leads to conclusions," says Don Calne. Customers buy emotionally and justify their decisions logically and rationally. However, because customers rarely have a chance to vocalize their emotions, sales people assume they buy logically and so they try to influence them accordingly. This is why there is a huge communication gap in the profession of sales.

Mainstream sales people too often are so desperate or needy in their selling posture that they do not know they are selling "the wrong thing." Do not tell customers you can help them! Do not tell customers about your product or service! Do not tell customers why your offering is superior! Simply create a selling proposition that triggers the emotions of why customers change or buy. This works because you spend time describing them, instead of describing you. They do not care about you! This is best accomplished by describing to customers not what you do, but the problems you solve. These are the triggers that will help you build an emotional business case for change, instead of a traditional logical business case for change.

"The unconscious mind evaluates and processes information. It asks and answers questions as to whether this is a good deal, can I take this on now, or is this offering consistent with my goals. The unconscious mind deals with feelings like motivation, trust, desire and confidence. The unconscious mind exerts a much greater influence than the conscious mind when it comes to making buying decisions. In simple terms, the unconscious mind provides the emotional juice that motivates people to buy. People buy in order to experience the feelings they get from having their needs met. When you sell the feeling you get the juices flowing so people want to buy from you," says Phil Glasserman.

Your customer's perceptions and feelings are not only influenced by your offering, but also by there emotional responses to you as a sales person. If you position your offering in a way that is aligned to how they buy, you increase your percentages of how well they will respond to you. This is exemplified very well by a hypothetical conversation between a young sales person and their mentor in Larry Pinci's book, Sell the Feeling; "Your planning process may be analytical, but the buying of your service isn't. I'd be willing to bet your prospects and clients frequently talk about what they want to feel as a result of working with you, and you simply haven't noticed. You've been too focused on yourself and what you want, rather than on what your prospects want and need to feel. Like so many other sellers, you've been trying to convince people to buy based on your reasons, not theirs. And while you're at it, reasons frequently lead to conclusions that inhibit action, where as feelings lead to action."

So before you try to sell a positive future outcome, you first have to tap into the past negative experiences (problems) of your customers. Customers buy intuitively, but will justify their decisions analytically. "People buy based on feelings and justify their decisions based on reasons, in order to feel good about their choice," says Pil Glasserman. Too often sales people do not like to sell this way because it seems too "touchy-feely" for their own rational comfort zone. However, any astute student and keen observer of people and human psychology will immediately recognize the fatal flaw in that line of reasoning.

Richard Farrell is President of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a national sales development and training firm based in Chicago. He is the author of the upcoming book Selling has Nothing to do with Selling. He trains and speaks around the world and has authored many articles on his unique non-selling sales posture.

Phone: 773-404-7915
EMail: rfarrell@tangentknowledge.com
Web: http://www.tangentknowledge.com