Emotional Selling: How to Trigger a Buying Decision

When you are in sales, especially in tough times like these, you search for something to give you an edge. Perhaps you’ve heard about emotional selling, but you are not sure how the usual description (appealing to the buyer’s needs, wants and fears) applies to you. Still, you want to know more so you can get out front and kick-start the buying process.

Research tells us that potential buyers are more likely to make a buying decision when they feel an emotional connection with the seller. To you, that means making use of sales behaviors proven to trigger a positive emotional response in the buyer.

So how do you make an emotional connection with a complete stranger–quickly and surely and effectively? Here are six ways to connect emotionally and trigger a buying decision.

1. Talk to the buyer like a friend (and use lots of personal pronouns).

When researchers studied the determining factors that stimulate buying behaviors, they discovered that above all, buyers want “a friend in the business”. True, many buyers justify their purchases with facts and figures–but the reality is, they buy on emotion. What’s more, they prefer to buy from friends. It’s your job to be that friend.

Since friends use ordinary, everyday language when they talk to each other–I call it shirtsleeve English–you must do the same when you sell. Friends use lots of pronouns too, because pronouns are emotionally connecting. So eliminate jargon, business speak and marketing bumph. Use lots of “you” and “I” and “we” and “us” when you talk.

Be careful not to appear phony or too familiar or it can instantly fracture that new relationship you are just beginning to build.

2. Be a good listener.

People like people who speak their language. They feel immediately connected when they hear themselves reflected in another person. Psychologists call it “mirroring”.

Ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. Then use some of the very same words your buyer has used–so they’ll feel they have found a friend in the business. It’s a subliminal tactic that works amazingly well.

3. Use emotional words.

Use words that convey emotion to trigger a buying response. Let your enthusiasm show. Don’t let anyone tell you it is unprofessional to be passionate or enthusiastic. Emotional words make emotional connections.

4. Create a mental picture in the buyer’s mind. 

Help the buyer see the positive results they’ll get with your product or service by using language and images that create a mental picture. When a buyer can “picture” good results, you stimulate a buying mood.

5. Use stories and anecdotes.

Don Hewitt was the long-time producer of the successful TV show 60 Minutes. Hewitt was a visionary with a four-word business plan: tell me a story.  Hewitt knew that no matter their age or background, listeners are engaged by stories. Everyone loves a story and better yet, they connect emotionally with the story teller.

You can use that truth to your advantage. If you can tell an appropriate story that is interesting, moving or amusing, you can trigger an emotional response–which pays off in sales.

6. Convey warmth and energy–and smile often.

Warmth is contagious. Energy is engaging. Smiles beget smiles in response.

Inject warmth and energy into your conversation and watch buyers warm up and become enthusiastic too. They’ll be more interested in what you have to say and more eager to become your customer–and that’s precisely what you want.

Research tell us that when you know how to stimulate positive emotions, you have the power to trigger a buying response. That’s a fact.


When companies need a trainer or coach to improve their sales skills, polish their presentation or help them deliver a winning pitch, they call Fern Lebo–because it pays off big time. Lebo is President of FrontRunner Communications, author of multiple books, adjunct faculty at Auburn University and a frequent keynote speaker at conferences, retreats and meetings across North America.

For nearly 20 years, Lebo has helped Fortune 500 companies create and deploy star performers. In seminars, workshops and coaching sessions, participants master the skills they need to win more often. Find out more at http://FRcommunications.com

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