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Nicola Ray
Nicola Ray 26 March 2013
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The Power of Emotion When it Comes to Selling

The power of emotion when it comes to selling is undeniable. There's no doubt that the decision making process can be complex.

The power of emotion when it comes to selling is undeniable. There’s no doubt that the decision making process can be complex.

Theoretically there are 5 key stages for both B2B and B2C purchase decision making – the length of each will depend, in part, upon the value of the purchase. The complex, involved or costly the purchase, the longer the stage. (The only exception to this rule is when you buy a house.)

The stages are:

1. Need
2. Information gathering / search
3. Evaluation of alternatives
4. Purchase
5. Post purchase evaluation

Each stage can be influenced by a number of factors such as organisational policies and PEST factors (political, economic, social, technological) however, despite the formalised procurement process that many organisations go through, ultimately all buying decisions can be attributed to a change in the customer’s emotional state.

While information may help change that emotional state, it’s the emotion that is most important.

According to business author Geoffrey James, the six emotions that will interplay during the buying decision process are

1. Greed – If I make a decision now, I will be rewarded
2. Fear – If I don’t make a decision now, I will lose my job
3. Altruism – If I make a decision now, I will help others
4. Envy – If I don’t make a decision now, my competition will win
5. Pride – If I make a decision now, I will get praised
6. Shame – If I don’t make a decision now, I will look stupid

The task for marketing communications and the corresponding sales team is therefore to decide which of the members of the buying centre (users, influencers, deciders, buyers, gatekeepers) have to be reached and with which type of emotional message.

Understanding the beliefs that lie beneath the emotions are important but as honest, legal, decent marketing practitioners we would prefer to focus on the pride and altruistic emotions rather than use fear to influence purchase decisions. Unfortunately, it’s the less pleasant emotions that drive a stronger response: fear, greed and envy.

At the end of the day, business success is all about understanding your technology buyer and we explore this within detailed buyer profile workshops to gain the insight to what triggers will be most influential in your particular market.

The result – powerful communications that get the action you want: a click, a data capture form submission, a demo or a purchase.

 

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED HERE 

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