HBR Article On When To Sell With Facts And Figures, And When To Appeal To Emotions

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HBR3I just had an article published in the HBR. It’s neuroscience meets sales, and it bursts the biggest misconception is sales (click here for HBR article).

The article looks at the sales expression that customers “Buy On Emotion, And Justify With Logic” and it turns out that neuroscientists claim it’s 95% correct.

Although salespeople have always intuitively known this to be true, they don’t act on it, because we feel emotional decisions are irrational. Serious executives don’t make important decisions emotionally, do they? So we continue to flood customers with facts and figures, and wonder why they get stuck in paralysis for analysis. With 70% of sales opportunities getting stuck in no decision, our inability to sell to the real star of decision making is stopping us from crossing the chasm.

What’s interesting is that neuroscience now shows us that our emotions/unconscious decisions are not bad or irrational, but that they are in fact based on a deeply empirical unconscious mental processing system. We learn that although we may buy on emotion, we don’t unconsciously decide on emotion.

If you want to influence how a customer feels about your complex product, don’t use emotions, but instead deliver an experience that created those emotions.Unconscious decision making is experiential, and one of the best ways for a customer to experience your complex product is by sharing a customer story.

This insight may liberate companies from reverting to selling almost exclusively to Mr. Rational, and instead start to also sell to Mr. Intuitive who neurosciences say is the real star of decision making.

I believe that this is a really important article, and deserves to be shared: So if you like it, please share (click here for HBR article).

-Michael

 

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