Let’s Get Emotional

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No, not that kind of emotion; but the emotion that exists when you ask a prospect to change his/her vendors, products and/or business processes.  You see, although the topic is frequently glossed over, I believe that natural human emotion is an inevitable component of virtually every sale.

For instance, I believe that your prospects are not interested in changing any aspect of their business until and unless they see some improvement in one or more of their business’ operating conditions.  When an operating condition is problematic, the customer wants to change rapidly.  But, when the operating circumstance is “okay”, the process of change must involve proactive work on the part of the sales professional to generate some level of dissatisfaction (a.k.a. emotion) with the status quo.

If you encounter a large number of sales opportunities that seem like they’re going along very well but, at the end of the day, they don’t close, then perhaps you’ve engaged in telling your prospect about your product or service accurately but never helping the prospect close the gap between intellectual understanding and emotional ownership.

Once emotional ownership has been transferred, the prospect will view your contract as nothing but a bit of administration that must be taken care of.  Without the transfer of emotional ownership and without the belief, on the part of the prospect, that your product or service will produce an improvement in one or more of their business operating conditions, you won’t get the customer to move forward and change.

The fastest way to find out whether or not you have tapped into the prospect’s emotion is to ask the important question, and make sure it gets answered, which is: What will it cost this prospect to turn down my offer to change vendors, products, procedures… (whatever you’re selling)?  If you can’t answer that question, then you haven’t gotten close to tapping into the emotion that your prospect will need to recognize prior to changing.

Keep in mind the cost, from the prospect’s point of view, of postponing a decision or terminating the opportunity to work with you.  As always, I wish you…

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