Use Emotions to Sell

Joe Weinlick
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Humans are emotional creatures. Whether it is fear, the need for social acceptance or some other feeling, sales and emotions are intimately entwined. A successful salesperson appeals to the buyer's logic and intellect but focuses on triggering an emotional response that urges the customer to take action. Based on typical consumer behavior, an engaging, personal interaction results in a sale more often than a canned pitch.

Get to Know Your Customer

Triggering an emotional response requires insight into someone's personality and priorities. A successful salesperson develops a knack for reading others based on body language and observable clues within the environment. A well-dressed potential buyer standing in front of a wall filled with honors and award certificates probably values achievement and recognition. Plan a sales interaction that invokes feelings of leadership and positive self-image.

Engage Instead of Pitch

Consumers expect a genuine experience when they do business with a company. They want to feel mutual trust and understanding between themselves and company representatives. A successful salesperson achieves this by personalizing his interaction with potential buyers. Ask questions and engage customers to learn more about them and how their household or business could benefit from your product or service.

Listen to Everything the Customer Says

In the sales industry, excellent listening skills are just as important as eloquent speaking. A successful salesperson pays close attention to a potential buyer's questions and responses. Customers convey their emotions by voicing concerns, comments or questions, which allows a good salesperson to deepen the level of engagement and respond appropriately.

Tell a Story

Storytelling is a timeless tradition that has gained recognition in the business world. It is frequently used in marketing and can be an effective way to create emotionally engaging customer service experiences. Storytelling also has a place in the sales industry. Stories allow people to explore various scenarios without any real risk of their own. A successful salesperson tells stories about other customers in similar situations or with the same concerns to help potential buyers evaluate their options.

Understand the Most Common Triggers

Consumers are more likely to make purchases when they experience certain feelings. Fear is one of the most influential emotions in all types of decision-making and often underlies other emotional triggers. Fear of missing an opportunity is one example of how sales and emotions can quickly turn a potential buyer into a customer. Homeowners may purchase alarm systems because they fear for the safety of their family and possessions. Most people are also moved by greed, kindness, pride, envy and the need to fit in or keep up.

Consumer behavior is directly tied to human emotion. A successful salesperson creates an engaging, personal experience for potential buyers so they feel confident about making a purchase.

Photo courtesy of B Rosen at



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