The Invisible Sale

I like to tell salespeople in our workshops that there are always two sales going on simultaneously . . . the intellectual sale and the emotional sale. Here is what I mean.

Let’s say a couple is thinking of buying a house. Yes, they are THINKING about its location, the school district, resale value, etc. At the same time, however, they are processing the possible transaction through an emotional filter. How the home makes them FEEL when they are standing in the living room imagining a party, if they are optimistic or somewhat afraid of taking the plunge, how happy they and their children will be in this particular place.

Great salespeople understand that people analyze with their minds, but they buy with their feelings. The emotional part of the mind works faster than the intellectual part and serves as the foundation for the entire conversation and transaction. That is why it is absolutely critical that a salesperson understands the buyer’s personality and emotional needs before launching into a discussion of intellectual features and benefits.

We all know that some people are very strong willed, some more easily swayed. Some are daring, others fearful. Whatever the case, if our intellectual conversation is not guided by the emotional needs of the client, our chances of connecting on either plane are greatly diminished. So we need to do a little detective work . . . to gently probe, look for personality clues and listen, listen, listen. People often wear their emotional cues on their sleeves.

If we stay alert and pay attention, we can usually figure out what is driving their decision to buy . . . or not to buy.