All buying is emotional. Even if you’re selling microchips to engineers, there’s still an emotional component to the transaction. Because as human beings, we feel more often, more easily, more quickly, and more deeply than we think. And those emotions play a huge role in all our decision-making. Often unconsciously.
So whenever you encounter a prospect, it’s critical to remember that they’re bringing a complex assortment of emotions along with them. And many of those emotions can be an obstacle on the way to the sale.
When your potential buyer walks into your store, calls you on the phone, or meets with you in their office, they may be burdened by any—or any combination—of these negative emotions:
And that can be a problem for you. Because being in a negative emotional state can prevent a person from hearing what you say, considering relevant facts, and making a buying decision.
Which means you need to address their feelings before you address your product.
Depending on the emotions they’re experiencing, you may need to:
• Let them vent
• Empathize with them
• Validate them
• Encourage them
• Make them laugh
• Ask them questions
• Reassure them
• Offer them something to eat or drink
• Give them ideas for dealing with their problem
You don’t need to be a therapist. And you don’t need to have the answers to all their problems. Often, just listening is the most powerful, most helpful thing you can do.
Once you’ve alleviated your prospect’s negative emotional state, then you can transition to discussing their wants and needs, and your products and services. Because now you’ll have their full attention and interest. And because you’ve helped them replace their negative emotions with positive ones—such as relief, hope, pride, confidence, anticipation, gratitude, and possibly even excitement—they’re now in a buying state of mind.
By the way, everything above also applies to every customer service situation you and your company will ever encounter. (Just sayin’.)
Managing your prospect’s emotions is a vital part of the sales process. If your buyer’s hands are full of emotional baggage, they can’t sign on the dotted line. Relieve them of their burden and they’ll be free to embrace your product.