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Appealing Emotionally In Business

Jan 22, 2008
This might, on the surface, sound a little out there, but here's something I find overrated: Rationality. Sure, sure, it's important to have a solid foundation, a base from which to work, feet planted firmly on the ground, and all that, but in business the idea of rationality has won out exclusively over all else. In my opinion, we've lost something in the transition from 'mom and pop' businesses to faceless corporations. An integral part of selling our products or services, especially when dealing with an affluent clientle, is our ability to reach them on an emotional level.

I've discussed in previous articles how to access our clients' and prospect's emotions. Here I'd like to discuss why we should do this. Their emotions and other-than-conscious minds are conduits and our viability as sales people are linked to these conduits.

Emotions drive us. They, along with our DNA, make us take action. We are ruled by the same dives our primitive ancestors were ruled by--food, shelter, sex, fight or flight. . . they didn't have to think about traffic, they weren't worried about receding hairlines or expanding waists, they had no concept of choice, luxury or affluence.

This is what we need to hold foremost in our thoughts when we interact with a prospect. It's all about appealing to their core. Our gut instincts and impressions are far more powerful than the rational thought processes. The balance, and what we should seek to attain, is the balance between the rational and the core emotions.

In an instant, our gut instincts kick into action. In the book 'Blink', Malcolm Gladwell writes about thinking without thinking, that rapid cognition that happens in the blink of an eye. Our rational brains take five times longer to assimilate than do our emotional processes.

Think of this through the frame of how sales used to be and how they are now. At our core we are like cavemen, and on the surface we are incredibly sophisticated. In the last thirty to sixty years, we've seen the 'features and benefits' style of sales and the Dale Carnegie method of sales, both of which were passable for their time. As competition has increased and the marketplace has grown, so has our ability to detect B.S.

The ability to elicit the emotions that feel best--being understood, feeling at ease. . . these are responses we want to duplicate in our clients over and over. By accessing their values, eliciting their criteria, infusing everything we do with honesty, integrity and sincerity, and having a product or service we believe in to combine that with, this creates an emotional alchemy that is easy to sell.

In our advanced state of civilization (depending on your perspective) we are given amazing choices and opportunities. There are products and services available to us that even a generation ago, wouldn't have been dreamed up. In this ever expanding atmosphere it seems likely that those of us who know how to access the core and our prospect's emotions are going to be the ones capable of rising to the top in our given fields. By elevating emotions and partially bypassing rationality, we find ourselves with incredible persuasion power.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches strategies to earn the business of affluent prospects using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion strategies.
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