Emotional Selling: Selling to Business AND Personal Drivers


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We all know the expression: “People buy from People.” And it’s definitely true unless the sale is purely transactional with no human interface – a web-based research and sales process, for example. However, uncovering the emotional drivers behind a business-to-business sales process coupled with the demonstration of clear business value yields bigger deals that close faster. 

In sales, we tend to start with Critical Technical Issues (CTIs) coupled with Critical Business Issues (CBIs) in the discovery process, especially in technology-based sales. This is the first part of the sales process that enables us to quickly illustrate a product fit to which we can sell.

Let’s take this to the next level with a sales approach that will take the same amount of time but will yield better discovery and bigger dollars. Again, getting to the CTI is the starting point that then leads us to the CBI. This process enables us to clearly articulate the impact the solution will have on the business. We call that “capturing the business value” and are requirements in order to make a sale. However, the real magic comes when we combine the demonstrated business value with the emotional driver(s) that lead to achievement of personal goals for the prospect/customer.

What do we mean by “emotional drivers”? It is the secret ingredient in the process and your customer is unlikely to share it without having trust in your discovery process. In order to really get to an understanding of the emotional drivers for your prospect, it’s critical to not only focus on the CTI and CBI but to understand what this purchase will mean for the prospect personally when you have successfully completed the implementation. Building trust and asking this question will enable you create a vision for your prospect: “When this is successfully implemented, how will this effect you personally at your company?” Please take note that I said “when” and not “if” which builds confidence with your prospect that you have done this before. 

Depending on your prospect’s level within their company, the emotional driver may be a promotion, a bonus or recognition. If you are calling lower within the organization, chances are your prospect wants to remain behind the scenes but on time, under budget with job security as the main driver. Discovering this early in the process enables you to be a more consultative and trusted sales advisor.  If you only capture CTIs and CBIs and never get to these emotional drivers you can certainly still make the sale but the truly great salesperson creates differentiation because people buy from people – there is always emotion involved.

What will the customer gain from your product? You can sell based on business value alone, but if you can make your decision maker look like a hero while also addressing the business value, you have found the best way to make them work hard with you to close the deal.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tim Haller
Tim Haller has over 25 years of sales and sales management experience. He has delivered training and consulting to Fortune 100 clients across a variety of industries, including technology, business services, travel/leisure and biotechnology. Tim has trained hundreds of sales professionals to close business through the use of effective sales prospecting, negotiation, and closing techniques.


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