top of page

The Emotional Side of Selling

In order to talk about the emotional side of selling, one must first answer a few questions...

What is the definition of a successful sale?

A successful sale is one in which all parties agree to the value of the sale. It must be a win for the buyer, the seller, and the companies involved. It must also provide the groundwork for a mutually agreed-upon high-value relationship.

What are the ingredients of a successful sale?

The ingredients of a successful sale are varied, but they usually include the following: a product or service and how it relates to the business buying it; a group of people who have trust and respect for each other; and a value proposition that provides a winning solution for all parties involved.

What is the emotional side of selling?

Everyone has heard the axiom, “People buy from people they know, they like, and they trust, for personal reasons encapsulated in business reasons.” That is the foundation of the emotional side of selling. People (buyers) are human beings who want to be treated with respect and caring. They, in turn, will treat the person selling to them with respect and trust if they know that individual has their best interests at heart.

To solely focus on the technical side of selling (the features, functions, and benefits of a particular product or service) often kills the sale. Why? Because buyers are people with emotions and personal needs. They must get their needs met in order to complete the purchase of a product or service. A buyer who wants something may use whatever business reason they can find to “justify” their personal desire for the product or service. As a seller, it is extremely important to uncover what those personal needs are and align your products and/or services to them. These are the keys to the emotional side of selling.

Enthusiasm is the key emotional component in sales. That feeling is conveyed as confidence that the product or service will produce the desired result for the buyer. As the seller transfers their enthusiasm to the buyer, faith and hope enter into the equation. The seller creates a vision of the benefit of owning the product or service. Next they share that vision with the buyer and, lastly, they get the buyer to buy into the vision because it meets their personal needs and business objectives. Now the buyer has enthusiasm for owning the product or service. They can clearly see how it will help them personally as well as in their business. If the vision is not clear or is not tied to the personal needs of the buyer, the sales process is slowed down or stopped.

Buyers need to be right and they need approval for their decisions. Their actions during the decision cycle will be aimed at fulfilling these needs. Their environment may be stressful and filled with fear because “wrong” decisions are punished severely. If this is the case, look for a long sales cycle, defensive maneuvers geared to protect them, and waffling. If, however, the benefit to making the right decision is huge, expect haste and pressure to perform. If this project is the buyer’s springboard to a promotion, your sale will go more quickly. You must determine the environment and deal with it accordingly.

Another factor that drives the emotional side of selling is the personal style of the individuals involved.

If you have a dominant style buyer, they will be looking for bottom-line, net benefits in your selling efforts. They will want to be in control of the selling process. They are always right and will tell you that. They are obsessed with timeliness. These factors drive their emotional side of the sales process.

If you are dealing with talkative, social buyers (the influencing style), be sure to recognize them for a job well done. They thrive on recognition. In fact, they must be recognized and must talk about that recognition in order to be emotionally secure. They are also creative so using pictures, graphs, and illustrations will help in the sales.

There are many buyers who are steady, “stay the course” type of individuals. They are very concerned about the people in any buying decision. They usually do not volunteer for change and have trouble changing. They need to understand, in detail, how the change will be made, how the people will be cared for in the change, and how they can get out of the deal if something should go wrong. They need to have an implementation plan of the buying process and understand how to mitigate the risks associated with it.

Last we find the conscientious buyer. These are the people who are constantly asking for more information. They want the encyclopedia of your products and services. They need information as much as they need air to breathe. These people are the devil’s advocate, the analysis people, and the experts in the decision cycle. Treat them with a great deal of respect. Always be an expert when calling on them or bring an expert with you. Never try to guess at answers to questions, but learn to say I don’t know and get back to them with the facts. Information drives their emotional side.

The emotional side of selling is very real. Expert sales trainers suggest that the buy is predominantly emotional with a very small portion of logic required to “justify” the sale.

Make sure you consider the emotional side in your selling process. Ensure that you understand your client’s business needs and align to them. As you get to know the decision makers, influencers, and approvers in the decision cycle, make sure you understand what drives them personally and align your products and services to those personal needs. Be sleuth-like in your research. The more you know, the better prepared you are for success.

bottom of page