When Making a Sale Might Not Be Logical

August 15, 2013
BY Jon Goldman

Which triggers more sales, emotion or logic?

Conventional marketing wisdom would lead us to believe that more customers make purchases based on emotion. But according to a study of 311,000 people, conventional marketing wisdom is wrong. This study, illustrated in Doug Hall’s “Meaningful Marketing,” shows that 44 percent of people are actually left-brained and follow logic and reason in their decision-making. Only 28 percent are right-brained and guided by emotion. The remaining 28 percent are whole-brained and use both logic and emotion to guide them.

Knowing this, sales can be approached from three vantage points:

•To left-brained individuals through logic and reason

•To right-brained individuals by building relationships

•To whole-brained individuals with a hybrid solution encompassing a little of both.

You won’t know immediately whether logic or emotions will guide your customer’s buying decisions. Unfortunately, there is no left/right/ whole brain scanner for customers.

It’s up to you to determine with whom you’re dealing by listening closely to potential customers.

Tips for selling to left-brained customers:

• Use Comparisons: Make side-by-side comparisons between your products and services and those of your competitors.

• Recognize how smart the customer is: They’ve done their homework and deserve acknowledgement.

• Don’t duck a punch: Left-brainers can usually see through a smoke screen.

• Be prepared and on time: Think old-school sales. Dress appropriately, stay on topic, and be ready to answer tough questions.

Tips for selling to right-brained customers:

• Build a relationship first: The hard no-nonsense sell won’t work.

• Be passionate, energetic and enthusiastic: Regardless of what you’re selling, how you sell it is important.

• Know their personal likes and dislikes: Right-brainers like to share their thoughts and their stories. Pay attention.

• Use emotional hot buttons: Appeal to their desire to look good, save time and money.

Whole-brained individuals are people who can see both the logical and rational side, as well as feel the emotional aspects of a situation. They can quote the specs, but then decide they simply don’t feel right about the color. You need to be able to appease both sides of the brain to these folks.

Tips for selling to whole-brained customers:

• Show both the rational and the emotional: Provide the facts while also relating on an emotional level. Be flexible.

•  Follow their lead: Whole-brainers look at how a product works, but they also envision how it will make them feel in the future. Give them your feedback.

• Be honest: Stand behind what you know, and be open about what you do not know. Whole-brainers can see through false promises and sales pitches.

• Use testimonials: People buy for all sorts of reasons, which will show up in testimonials. Some buy for logical reasons, some for emotional reasons and some for both. Testimonials can lend credence to all sales decisions.

If you know how your customer’s mind works, you’ll vastly improve your chances of making a sale.

Jon Goldman is president of Brand Launcher and a board member of Jewish Entrepreneurial Trust (JET). To learn more about JET or to get involved, contact info@jetbaltimore.org.

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