Emotional Selling: How to Do It to Inspire More Sales

BY Jessica Helinski
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Using emotional selling, which leverages prospects’ feelings, can be an effective technique to drive sales among today’s more mindful buyers. There are several ways that sellers can sway prospects’ emotions to tap into wants, pain points, urgency, etc. As Brian Cristano writes for bold​.ceo, “Emotional selling relies on proven human behavior to close sales. Emotions significantly impact decisions, so you should make the most of them.”

Practice emotional selling with these tips

There are certain emotions that are universally felt; all sellers can focus on these emotions when first meeting with a prospect. Jess Pingrey discusses six ways that you can leverage these to connect with the prospect on an emotional level. And while a few have a seemingly negative connotation, they can actually be positive in relation to sales. Below are a couple of her tips.

Explain the risk of not buying

Fear is a strong emotion. No, you don’t want to literally scare a buyer. But mentioning the risk of what might or might not happen if they don’t buy, does tap into fear. In this case, emotional selling isn’t use as a scare tactic but rather a motivator. It may even inspire FOMO in the prospect: “fear of missing out.” Consider tying in limited-​time opportunities or mention a time-​sensitive offer to inspire FOMO in the prospect.

Describe what they will get

You can also use emotional selling to tap into a prospect’s feelings of greed. “Although the word ‘greed’ is often perceived negatively, it’s important to understand it in the context of emotional selling,” explains Pingrey. To some extent, nearly everyone has a desire to gain more of something compared to what they already have…This is what is meant by greed.” 

In this case, you tap into a desire for something, whether it’s removing a challenge or driving their revenue. Pay attention to the difference between wants and needs. When a prospect truly wants a specific product or service, they'll be more likely to take action and to be susceptible to emotional selling strategies that target the strong emotion.

This strategy also aligns with customer-​first selling; you are appealing to a prospect’s desire by promoting value that is specific to them. “Buyer-​first selling places the interests and needs of the buyer at the core of the selling experience." Like with other aspects of buyer-​first selling, it’s vital you uncover those desires, wants and needs before engaging in a pitch.

The B2B Sales Setting and The Buyer's Motivation

Power and prestige remain key motivators for many buyers in a B2B sales setting. If the product they buy becomes a gamechanger for the organization, your prospect could be rewarded with a promotion. To understand your prospect's motivation and to use emotional selling to your advantage, spend extra time on your discovery process. Understand where they are on their career path and where they want to be. Have you determined how long they've been with their organization and in their current position? It's nerve-​racking to make a purchase decision, especially with a new vendor. The more time you take in your emotional selling efforts to appeal to the prospect's desire for power and prestige, the better your chances of closing the deal.

Emotional selling requires emotional intelligence

It’s hard to appeal to a buyer’s emotions if you aren’t clued into their feelings. While Pingrey’s tips tap into common emotions, you can personalize the buying experience by understanding each prospect’s own emotions and motivators. For this, you need to have emotional intelligence.

LinkedIn defines emotional intelligence as follows:

Emotional intelligence, or emotional quotient (EQ), refers to one’s fluency with the language of emotion. A person with a high EQ is adept at recognizing and assigning meaning to their own emotions as well as those of others.”

For more insight into how to build your EQ, check out these tips from SalesFuel.

If you haven’t already, consider emotional selling techniques to further motivate prospects to buy. As Pingrey explains, “The best way to leverage emotional selling is to focus on the feelings experienced when someone purchases (or fails to purchase) your product or service. This means instead of trying to communicate logical reasons to buy or the functional benefits of using your products, talk about how it will make your customer feel—and how it will impact their lives.

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