How Prospects Need to Feel

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All buying is emotional. Always. Whether you’re selling to businesses or consumers, the buying process is emotional from beginning to end.

And that can be a challenge for us as salespeople, because when we first encounter a prospect, their emotional state is frequently a negative one.

At the beginning of—and often throughout—the buying process, prospects can be in any or all of these emotional states:

• Scared
• Confused
• Anxious
• Pressured
• Frustrated
• Wary
• Annoyed
• Overwhelmed

The problem that creates is that as long as a prospect is feeling any of those ways, they’re not going to buy. In order for them to part with their hare-earned money, they need to feel:

• Comfortable
• Confident
• Relaxed
• Relieved
• Smart
• Secure
• Excited
• Happy
• Proud

Which means you need to change their emotional state. That’s actually a huge part of professional selling. It’s not just regurgitating features and benefits. It’s understanding the buyer’s emotional situation, discovering the reasons causing the buyer to be in that situation, and then helping them to move out of it and into a different, more positive state.

How can you accomplish that?

• Ask questions
• Listen attentively
• Empathize with them
• Respect their thoughts and opinions
• Educate them
• Provide proof—testimonials, case studies, before-and-after photos
• Emphasize your warranty/guarantee/return policy
• Don’t pressure them
• Give them choices
• Discover and answer their objections

The process of changing a prospect’s emotional state takes longer in some cases than others, depending on the degree of the emotions any given prospect is experiencing. But it is an essential aspect of selling, and the better you get at it, the better your sales will be. And the better you’ll feel.

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