We’re all emotional beings. Most of us react to situations with our emotions first, and use these emotions to make important decisions. You may have been told that business decisions should be free of emotion, and that acting on instinct as opposed to logic is unwise. But the truth is, if you aren’t in tune with your own emotions, and the emotions of your client or prospect, you’re missing a big opportunity to connect on a personal level—something that can make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to selling.
No matter what tactics you use in your sales pitch, if you’re doing your job right, your prospect will have an emotional response, be it positive or negative. The good thing is there are benefits to both, and a handful of ways to play it. And, when you make this emotional connection, the prospect is much more likely to become a dedicated client than if you don’t establish a relationship built on emotion.
Before you make a decision on which way to go, you’ll want to gauge the natural tendencies of your lead. Our positive emotions—happiness, excitement, nostalgia—are all potential outcomes a prospect can feel after your pitch, but it’s how you act on these emotions that counts. If your prospect seems to be more concerned about the past or the future rather than the here and now, they may be more likely to respond to a positive sales pitch. Meaning, they don’t necessarily want to hear about how they need to buy right now or else, but would prefer to hear about how your product or service will benefit them long-term.
Aside from the obvious positive emotions a prospect might experience during your pitch, some people also respond well when you tap into their pride. People love to feel that they’ve made the right decision, and that they’ve come to this successful conclusion on their own. If you can get them to the decision to work with you while making them think they got there with their own intellect, you’ll have them on the hook forever.
Some sales and marketing experts would argue that our negative emotions are the strongest when it comes to selling, and in some ways, they’re right. People are much more likely to remember a horrible service experience versus a good one—that’s just the unfortunate truth. The good thing is you can play on people’s negativity to your benefit. Anger and annoyance are some of the most common feelings prospects experience on a sales call. But when our anger is at a peak we are also more likely to make quick decisions, one way or the other.
Use your prospects’ heightened adrenaline to push them to make the decision in your favor. The sense of urgency they’ll feel in a moment of anger is much greater, and you shouldn’t have to work as hard to convince them of the immediacy of your offer. Ultimately, if it feels like a prospect is pulling away from you because of your persistence, you may actually be closer to closing the deal than you think.
The Long-term Effects of Selling on Emotion
Using emotion in your sales tactics lays the framework for a business relationship built on personal connection. A prospect is much more likely to remember your pitch if they can associate it with a particular emotion that they felt at the time, whether positive or negative.
Think about the most vivid memories you have. When you think of those memories, you don’t always remember all of the people involved or even how old you were or where they take place, initially. You remember how you felt at the time, and how that memory still makes you feel.
The same goes for our first impressions of people. If a prospect remembers how angry you made them the first time you got them on the phone or sat down for a meeting, they will never forget you. And despite this seemingly negative first experience, it’s much easier to stay in the front of their minds because they won’t be able to forget it. If you were able to make the prospect laugh or smile the first time you met, they’ll remember you because of how good you made them feel.
Don’t underestimate the importance of tapping into prospects’ emotions. The natural response to a sales pitch is the most critical card you can play, and you don’t want to neglect it.