Emotion Sells

As salespeople, we tend to think that we are going to sell more through our expertise or having lots of information about the product (obviously product knowledge is important though it cannot stand alone) and by providing top-notch customer service. All these things are important. However, the real key is to appeal to the customers’ emotions.

While scientists used to believe the decision to make a purchase was made from the rational mind, it turns out that emotions are in charge throughout the decision-making process. Throughout our lives we make decisions emotionally. Only after the emotional decision has been made does the customer then justify that decision with rational reasoning.  This is when the good sales person re-affirms the rational reasons why the product or service is a good buy.

According to marketing professor, Raj Raghunathan, even people who believe that emotional decisions are not the main reason they buy, those who consider themselves to be very rational are more prone to fall into this trap.

When you work with customers in any capacity you will sell more when you engage emotions and when you start the interaction with the idea that these people are going to buy from you. The earlier you make the emotional connection the better off you are. Once your customers have made the decision that they like what you have to offer they are less likely to back out of the transaction, according to the researchers.

Be cheerful, complimentary and engage the customers’ emotions. While the facts about the product or service are important, first you have to engage the emotions if you really want to make the sale, as the rational part of the brain will only be used to justify their emotional choices.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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Using Emotion to Promote Products

Many times the ads that we see on television, in magazines or on websites or social media focus too much on the features of the product rather than on the emotional components of the benefits of the products.

When you are advertising your products, are you reminding your customers and potential customers of the positive emotional benefits? For example, will buying the product bring your audience pleasure? Will it help them in any way or make their lives easier?

Advertising or marketing to consumers’ emotions can be powerful and effective. The audience becomes more motivated to purchase when their emotions are involved in the process. As human beings we buy because we feel, rather than because we think. Though the intellectual part of the brain has to be engaged, it only comes into play after you have involved the part of the brain that controls the emotions.

Understand what it is that your customers and potential customers want, need and desire and how using your product can meet these needs and desires. Make a list of how your products can make customers look better, feel better, be more sophisticated, give them more confidence or fulfill any other wish they may have.

Consumers buying wine, for example, may want to know how to pair wine and food in order to put together a successful dinner party for their friends. They may wish to know some less well-known facts in order to impress their friends with their knowledge. It has been proved through research that restaurants that play classical music are likely to sell more wine as the combination of the music and the wine make consumers feel more sophisticated or worldly. While you may be giving them facts, the reason behind the need for the facts is emotional.

So before you plan your next social media post, print advertisement or email for your customers and potential customers thing about how you can attract emotionally, as people may not remember what you said but will remember how you made them feel.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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Make A Choice: Let Negativity Go in 90 Seconds

I was on my way home, the other night, and was listening to the car radio. The host of this radio program was interviewing Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist who, at 37 years old and working at Harvard researching the brain, suffered a very serious and debilitating stroke. She made a full recovered and wrote a book My Stroke of Insight; A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, which was published in 2008.

I had heard of Dr. Taylor before, but was intrigued by some of the things she had to say, both in the radio interview and in the subsequent article I read online when I got home.

There were two things that made the most impact on me, one of which reconfirmed what I talk about in many of my seminars regarding emotion. On the radio she was talking about the role of emotions and the fact that we like to think that we, as human beings, are thinking people who have emotions. However, we are actually emotional people who think.

So please, when you or your hospitality employees are in the tasting room, access emotions first and then go for the thinking part of the brain. You will sell more wine.

The second thing, that really made an impression, I found in an online article talking about her book. The excerpt from the article read:

“…Taylor explains that she learned when her judgmental left brain was silenced that physiologically, negative emotions run their course in 90 seconds. Any bitterness, anger, pessimism or other such negativity after that time was a choice or habit, not an incontrovertible fact.”

Imagine what a difference it would make to the work environment, interactions with co-workers, employees and customers if we each made the choice not to hold on to any negativity for more than the 90 seconds. It would seem, from what Dr. Taylor experienced that holding onto negative emotions is a choice, or (and to me this is more likely) a habit. It’s a habit we need to break and a choice we need not to make.

I have not yet read Dr. Bolte Taylor’s book, though I will be getting it on my Kindle tomorrow.

A tip of the glass from me to you!


Using All The Senses

As most of us know there is a lot to be aware of these days. We are constantly being bombarded with things to look at. In fact, there is more visual stimulation than ever. Naturally there has been a lot of research done on this topic, and it has been discovered (not surprisingly) that more there is for people to pay attention to, the harder it is to get people’s attention.

Think about how much you remember of what you see in one day, today. Or how many things on television, on your phone and internet, in newspapers and magazines, on billboards and the sides of buses that you are not even conscious of. How much of it do you remember at the end of the day – and more importantly, why do you remember the things you do? Take a few minutes to think about what made an impression on you and why.

As we are so visually stimulated, it’s important to bring the other senses into play. The sense of smell is very evocative (which is good for the wine business) and brings back memories of the whole experience. Research has shown (according to the book, “Buyology”) that when people get both smells and images that seem to go together the olfactory parts of the brain those encoding emotional relevance are activated. So people perceive the product as more appealing, and are more likely to remember it. If the two don’t match, it will disappear from people’s memories.

Sound is another sense that plays a big part in how and why we remember things. Sound is recorded in another part of the brain, so by combining sight, smell and sound you are recording information about your product in many different areas of the brain. In the past, I have encouraged you to clink glasses with visitors to your winery.  Especially as the clinking of glasses is a sign of friendship, fellowship and celebration, so once again it gives the whole experience emotional relevance.

With all we have to remember these days, you need to do everything you can to firmly embed memories of your wines, brand and winery in the minds of visitors. So be more conscious of how you are combining experiences for all the senses.

A tip of the glass from me to you!