Posted by Danielle LaVigne ● Fri, Mar 4, 2011 @ 08:03 AM

Sales Advice From Mr. Spock - Use Emotion Not Logic

"Seems logical to me captain" - Mr. SpockSales people who use logic to convince their prospects make selling a lot harder than it needs to be.  Mr. Spock might have struggled to make quota had he gone into sales rather than joining Starfleet because he would have been challenged to access emotions to move the sales conversation forward.  So unless your sales territory includes a lot of Vulcan clients and prospects, stop using logic and start using emotion.  You'll sell more.
  • Buyers generally make their decisions at an emotional level and then use logic to rationalize and justify their choice.
  • People buy from people they like and people who make them feel comfortable.
  • When you start spewing facts and figures, most buyers will tune you out and stop listening.  Some will just get annoyed.
  • If you can connect your product or service to your buyer's situtation at an emotional level (think pain, fear or pleasure) your conversation will get a lot easier.
  • When your questions and statements lead toward features and benefits, buyers will see you as just another sales person trying to make a sale.
  • When your questions and statements lead toward emotions and feelings, buyers will see you as a helpful problem solver.
How to Help Prospects Discover Their Emotions

To illustrate the point let's use an example where you find out your prospect is still considering your product or service but is leaning toward a competitor.  At this point in the process many salespeople would start to make their case by highlighting the features and benefits that make their product or service better.  It might sound something like:

"I understand, XYZ Corp. has many strong features.  One thing you may want to keep in mind is that our service also provides Benefit A, Feature B, and Benefit C.  They don't have these things." 

And when you start to list these items a couple things happen:
  1. First, you may be insulting your prospect.  You can say it as kindly as you like, but in many cases what your prospct hears is "You're stupid, how could you even consider a service that doesn't have A, B and C?"
  2. Second, the prospect's sales defense shield will go up because they'll see you as a sales person trying to make a sale.  This makes them stop listening to you and starting planning how they're going to escape from the conversation.
Even when you know you're right and that features A, B, and C make your product or service a MUCH better choice (seems logical to me captain), you will have more sales success if you ask questions that help the prospective customer discover these things on their own.  It might sound like this:

"That's great, XYZ Corp. really offers a nice service.  I know many people who have been happy using them.  Can I ask you a question?  When they told you they don't offer Benefit A, what did you say?  When you asked them about Feature B, how did they respond?  How did you feel when they told you their service doesn't include Benefit C?"

Asking these types of questions:
  • When they told you.....
  • When you asked them about....
  • How did you feel when they told you....
  • When you explained that feature C was important to you....
....will help your prospects discover the advantages of working with you on their own.  And when you help them reach these conclusions on their own - rather than having a sales person tell them the logical facts - they will be more comfortable with you and will perceive you as being helpful not pushy.

Topics: Prospecting, Closing, Listening Skills, sales process, qualifying

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