In B2B sales, you’ll often hear the phrase “People buy with their emotions and then use logic to justify it.” This saying holds true because emotions play a crucial role in modern sales.
Daniel Ariely’s book, “Predictably Irrational,” delves into the influence of human emotions on decision-making, sometimes leading to irrational choices. For instance, emotions can affect how buyers perceive value and their willingness to take risks.
To close a deal in B2B sales, your buyers must recognize the value of your product or service. You’ll also deal with multiple stakeholders who must be willing to take a risk, as they’ll be accountable for the company’s investment. This involves tapping into both their professional and personal emotions.
In this blog, we’ll explore how emotions play a powerful role in boosting your B2B marketing efforts.
Simply feeling a connection with a buyer isn’t enough. You need a deliberate strategy to reach the deeper emotions guiding your choices.
Being deliberate means knowing the steps and consistently applying them. These steps will help emotions become a part of your sales conversations.
But remember, these steps aren’t just for the beginning of a sale. Learn them, practice them, and use them in every meaningful interaction with your buyers. When you can connect with your buyers emotionally consistently, you’ll not only close the current deal but also gain a customer for life.
Boosting Sales with Emotions: 4 Steps You Need to Know
Step 1: Asking Powerful Questions
Asking powerful questions is very crucial for sales. But not all questions are equal. There are standard ones that give you facts, data, and information – they’re important. But to tap into emotions, you need something more. You need high-impact questions that open up the emotional side of buyers. These questions are broad and objective, inviting buyers to share their beliefs, challenges, and goals.
They start with phrases like:
- “Help me understand how you…”
- “What are your thoughts about…”
- “How does that affect your team?”
- “What would happen if you…”
High-impact questions go beyond business; they delve into the personal world of the buyer. This is where emotions come into play, making your sales conversations more powerful.
Step 2: The Power of Listening
Listening is a potent tool for gaining influence. When someone talks, truly listen. People love talking about themselves, but what they love even more is feeling heard.
When was the last time you felt 100% heard? In today’s distracted world, it’s rare for someone to truly listen.
When someone feels heard, they open up, feel safe, and know they matter. These emotions can impact your marketing. Here’s how to show you’re listening:
- After they speak, paraphrase and ask, “Did I understand correctly?” or “What did I miss?”
- Ask follow-up questions based on what they say, and explain why you’re asking.
- Use thoughtful nods and facial expressions to react to their words.
- Take notes as they speak.
You can find many books and online resources on active listening to help your buyers feel truly heard.
Step 3: Connect Emotions with Context:
In today’s sales landscape, it’s common for buyers to be well-informed about your product, company, and competitors. Sometimes, they even know more than the seller! Most of this information is objective and lacks emotion.
It’s your responsibility as a sales professional to infuse emotion into the conversation by contextualizing. This means showing the buyer how your product or service fits into their business environment.
Use the insights you’ve gathered from questions and listening to demonstrate what changes will occur in their business once they choose your offering.
The key to evoking emotions is not only showing how your product fits into their business but also how it will impact the buyer personally. This involves addressing the challenges the buyer has shared with you during previous interactions.
Here’s an example:
When you install this product, it eliminates the need for on-site visits, allowing you to address issues remotely. You won’t have to keep people on call, and issue resolution will be much quicker.
You mentioned missing your daughter’s soccer games due to office commitments. With XYZ product, you’ll be at the game, and if there’s an issue, you can handle it quickly on your phone.”
In this example, the sales professional places the product in both the business and personal context of the buyer.
When contextualization is done effectively, it triggers positive emotions like relief, confidence, and optimism. These emotions can influence the buyer’s decision in your favor.
Step 4: Use the Power of Stories
As a sales professional, stories are your secret weapon to tap into a buyer’s emotions and motivations. There are different story types to use at different sales stages, but the key is to tell stories that your buyer can easily relate to.
The best ones resonate the most. To consistently achieve this, tell stories where the hero is just like your buyer in ways that matter for your deal. This helps them see themselves as the hero and connect.
For instance, share a story about a past client who had a similar role and faced similar challenges as your current buyer. In this story, the hero overcame a challenge thanks to your product. For example:
“Six months ago, I worked with a client just like you. Their employee engagement was at an all-time low, and they struggled to boost it. After using our platform and some additional services, their employee engagement increased by 7% in a few months. She’s even getting a promotion to the COO role now. It’s a fantastic success story.”
This story stirs emotions in your buyers because they can see themselves in it. It brings out feelings of confidence, hope, and optimism, which are essential to guide your buyer towards choosing your product.
In today’s sales landscape, emotions are a game-changer. Studies confirm that emotions significantly influence B2B purchasing decisions. Unless your product is truly one-of-a-kind, emotions can set you apart.
To succeed in modern sales, sales professionals must uncover and understand buyer emotions and tailor their product pitch accordingly.
Remember, when you’re selling to people, your value proposition needs to address both objective and subjective criteria. The subjective aspect carries more weight.
This post outlines four steps to infuse emotions into your sales conversations, helping you craft a winning value proposition. Master these steps, put them into practice, and use them in every meaningful interaction with your buyers.