Decisions Are Made Emotionally


If you have any real sales experience you know that buying decisions (like most decisions in life) are really made at the emotional level and then “rationalized” with logic to support their decision. If you doubt this, try and come up with some logical reasons for buying or driving a Maserati or even a Porsche that won’t bring forth a few chuckles — albeit subdued.

The point here is that people are going to be motivated to contract for your services for one or more of the following reasons:

They . . .

  • like you and respect you professionally.
  • enjoy playing golf with you.
  • wake up at 3:00 in the morning worried about what they don’t know.
  • are making a presentation at a seminar or convention and want to be sure they have all the latest information and facts.
  • are looking at a potential expansion and need help incorporating it in their business plan.
  • etc.

You can no doubt come up with a number of additional (even humorous) reasons.

Here’s a real life example.

It happened many years ago, but is so classic that it still resonates!

We were approached by two Sales Representatives that had obtained exclusive rights to a revolutionary product in the food processing industry. They wanted to advertise the product – but had no money. All they really had to work with was an article about the machinery that appeared in a 1983 article of Food Processing Digest magazine.

We took the information from the article and re-formatted it into a “Case History No. 83” and wrote a letter to all Plant Managers in their franchise area offering the case history.

(If we had sent the actual Case History, we would never have known who to follow up with. By making them respond to get it, we had a ready-made list of prospects to work with.)

The letter to Plant Managers described most of the benefits of the system, the automatic jump in profits, etc., and included a business reply card.

A fairly normal business lead-generating mailing . . . but it included a kicker.

In the P.S. it stated that, because of the benefits the company enjoyed as a result of installing the system, the Plant Manager had been promoted to General Manager.

The result of the mailing was over 8% response and every one of the responding Plant Managers was eager to talk to our clients about the possibilities for installing the system at their place of business. The subsequent sales (approximately $600,000 per installation) were so good that the momentum precluded our clients from having to do any additional advertising. They went on to build two full-size manufacturing plants in California alone!

What role did the lure of a promotion play in the Plant Managers’ decisions to respond to the mailing?

This is a classic example of “WIFM” (what’s in it for me) and the role of emotion in a business decision.

Joe Krueger




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