What is your greatest emotional need

Success through emotional selling


According to the neuro-psychologist Hans-Georg Häusel, products and services that do not trigger emotions are worthless for our brain. And what is worthless for our brain is not bought either! Selling is therefore primarily emotion management. That means: developing a good feeling for the needs, the wishes and the often unspoken or well camouflaged worries, fears, needs, longings, hopes and dreams of your customers - and having the appropriate offers ready. Not who has the cheapest prices, but who has an emotional box seat in the customer's brain, wins the race. So what is your emotional business card, what is your emotional design?

Emotions have priority

Anyone who takes a closer look at our brain functions from a sales-relevant point of view can no longer stop being amazed. More and more studies prove what intuitively gifted salespeople with a good gut feeling have always suspected: Thinking, feeling, deciding and acting are emotionally connected to one another and are essentially unconscious.

Emotions are the main drivers of human behavior. For what happens behind the more or less closed doors of the subconscious at lightning speed and without any action on our part, we only look for the reasons that seem plausible to ourselves and to others after a while. People make decisions emotionally - and justify these decisions rationally.

No reasonable action is possible without feelings. And what's more: emotions have priority in every decision. That means: no matter how proud we are of our brain: there is no purely factual decision. The "Homo oeconomicus", who makes his decisions completely rationally and is only concerned with his benefits, never existed. Neither in the consumer business nor in the business-to-business area.

Even the apparently sober strategic decisions made in the male-dominated management levels have to do with emotions to a large extent: with prestige, with power, with territorial behavior, with struggles for position - and with professional survival. Top decision-makers in particular are far less intellect-driven than it initially appears. Even if you want to hide it that way.

Even pure money decisions are actually emotional decisions - because money is a highly emotional thing. Bargain purchases are nothing more than forays into the bargain. Even an apparently factual statement such as: "I chose offer A because it was the cheapest" is embedded in a wealth of emotional evaluations. Because purchase decisions are nothing more than an emotionally driven benefit calculation. As proof: Avarice is simply not sensible, but 'cool'.

Be a human understanding

Negotiating and selling therefore has to focus far more on our emotions. Salespeople have to understand people. Unfortunately, we are more or less laypeople when it comes to understanding people, we didn't learn that at school, in teaching or at university. That wasn't on any of the schedules. So far we have only been able to consult our common sense. Or look for explanations from our days as Stone Age people. But recently, brain research has come to the rescue.

In colorful images, brain tomographs provide us with more and more information about what is going on in the consumer's brain when he is thinking about his favorite brand or preparing a purchase decision. At least we can see, safely made visible by contrast media, in which different areas of the brain are thought, processed and finally decided, and how all of this is linked. And this can be extremely helpful for sales. However, what exactly is being thought cannot be seen.

The look into the brain

Those who emotionalize people more are more successful. An experiment by Texas scientists at Baylor College in Houston recently provided evidence of this. The number one in the cola market was tested against the number two. Lo and behold: Coca Cola drinkers showed significantly higher reactions in emotional areas of the brain than Pepsi Cola drinkers when they were told which drink they were currently drinking. In the blind test, both test groups found that Pepsi tasted better.

The evolutionarily older part of our brain, known colloquially as the reptilian brain, our limbic system, in coordination with our cerebrum, unconsciously and without our being able to influence this, constantly makes vital decisions: good for us or bad for us. Good for us is rewarded with a pleasant feeling, bad for us with an uncomfortable feeling.

This is caused by messenger substances such as serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, cortisol and adrenaline. Although they are released by the brain, we perceive them as physical reactions, for example in the area of ​​the internal organs. Hence gut feeling. We are puppets of our hormones, the neuroscientists call out to all those who are so particularly proud of their 'free' will. Our brain gives us the good feeling that we are free to make decisions. Cleverly done!

“The limbic system has the first and the last word in relation to the rational cortical system. The first in the emergence of our wishes and goals, the last in the decision about whether what reason and understanding have come up with should be done now and in this way and not otherwise, ”writes the Bremen brain researcher Gerhard Roth in his book, which is well worth reading 'From the point of view of the brain'.

Because they don't know what they're doing

Often customers cannot provide any information about the real reasons for their behavior - or they are fooling themselves. Because a lot of what happens in the subconscious is not accessible to the mind. And yet: We all look for and find plausible-sounding explanations why we do something - and hate other things like the plague. Whereby some things seem to be 'out of thin air'.

To prove this, scientists used electrodes to stimulate the brain region responsible for laughing in a test subject, which made her suddenly laugh. If you asked her why she was laughing so loudly, she would come up with seemingly logical reasons. If you showed her a picture of a horse at about the same time, she said the horse looked terribly funny. If you gave her a text to read, she said that this text made her laugh.

Brain researchers tell us that most decisions are made by our brain before we are even aware of them. No wonder we sometimes have to apologize for an inappropriate word that has slipped out of our way - even though the brain tried very hard to disguise its real motives. Often we are only the rationalizing executor who explains to ourselves and others why a decision was exactly the same and not different. This knowledge is particularly valuable when dealing with objections. 'Too expensive' is usually just a pretext.

Have lunch or be lunch

If two people meet, our limbic system decides without our intervention and in fractions of a second: friend or foe. Without really knowing why - and whether we want to or not - we find someone likeable or unsympathetic straight away. How can this happen?

Our familiarity memory is scanned at breakneck speed, compared with stored emotionally conditioned positive or negative previous experiences and presented to us as the result. And that's just as well. Because in acute moments of danger, our brain jumps too slowly to put the body on alert.

Let's assume that our limbic system votes for enemy, then our body - like that of an animal - only knows three possible reactions: hit it, run away, kill it. In situations associated with pressure, fear, anger, and threat, it takes all of our will to evade the reflex of attack or flight. Because our body is fully pumped with stress hormones and ready to swing the club. Since we no longer live in the jungle, we civilized brain workers of the 21st century like to unpack these in verbal form - depending on the situation and the adrenaline dose in a more or less subtle way. The injuries inflicted are emotional and sometimes deeper than a physical wound. And they often heal worse.

Generate pleasure instead of frustration

"Happiness comes to those who smile," says a Japanese proverb. Brain research proves that all those who steadfastly believe in the positive are right. Whenever we have thought or done something that, from the point of view of the brain, deserves a reward, happiness hormones are released.

These endogenous opiates, chemically very similar to drugs, make us feel good; depending on the type and dosage, they make us happy, euphoric, ecstatic. And they make us addicted. We want more of that! Persistent runners know this phenomenon as 'runners high'. The body rewards us for a successful escape. We got away with it again.

Positive feelings tell us what to do and negative feelings tell us what to stop. Nature's strategy not only helps us survive, but it can also remarkably improve our quality of life. This is how evolution has set it up so that man is constantly on the lookout for good feelings. At home as well as at work.

Happiness is addicting

For sales, this means: If you manage to create a feel-good atmosphere, create a positive mood, give the customer moments of happiness, you will be successful in the long term. Because those who feel good, who have a good feeling, who feel confirmed, are more likely to buy - and more. This activates shopping centers, the money is more relaxed and the price as the sole decision criterion takes a back seat.

There are other benefits to being in a positive state. We are becoming more open and therefore more creative. We become more agile and take action. And we like to forgive small mistakes. All in all: we see the world a little through rose-colored glasses; like a lover who only sees the good sides and gently overlooks weaknesses.

Negative, on the other hand, paralyzes. Fear paralyzes and makes you stupid. The explanation for this is simple: when there is fear, threat or stress, the connection points between the individual brain cells, the so-called synaptic gaps, are blocked. There the brain waves can no longer flow unhindered and we can no longer think clearly. The result: a blackout.

So this is the message to all new old hard sellers: selling over pressure and discomfort is just as wrong as selling over fear. Both may lead to short-term success, but in the long run they are destructive. Because fear is poison for the soul. Our brain responds to this with avoidance strategies. Or we retreat to the vanishing point. Because humans too have a distance to flee.

time for emotions

So if our decisions are largely controlled by our subconscious and are in truth emotional decisions, then it is high time to link the still mostly technical and objective orientation of many sales discussions with properly balanced, emotionally touching argumentation.

In summary, three key points must be observed:

1. People actively look for good feelings (because they are rewarded with happiness hormones).
2. People avoid negative feelings (because they are accompanied by fear and stress hormones).
3. Emotional things are better stored and anchored more sustainably than rational things.

Banknotes are voting papers! And there is new voting every day! Anyone who understands what makes their customers tick, what they need and how to make them happy has earned their ballot papers. Emotion management becomes the most demanding task of a sales employee. To do this, he needs knowledge, skills - and time. His biggest obstacle is an 'optimization of sales processes' prescribed by red pen actors, which rationalizes away time for feelings as unnecessary.

And a second hurdle: wherever the mind rules, access to the emotions is quite difficult. They are negated, ridiculed, fogged and covered with cloaks. A lot of sensitivity and empathy are required, because who would like to be exposed in their true feelings?

However, if you as a customer are emotionally connected to 'your' salesperson, this will also be transferred to the product. And the best thing about it: When people are pleasantly touched, they seek contact with other people and like to talk. This is how they become active positive referrers. Recommended store is almost already sold in advance. This brings the recommended a more positive perception, a greater willingness to talk, a lower price sensitivity and quick decisions. And this in turn leads to good new customer business - and quickly to new referral business!


Book tip on the topic:

Negotiate successfully - sell successfully
How to attract people and markets
BusinessVillage 2005, 128 pages
as eBook 14.80 €, (www.businessvillage.de)
Print version € 21.80, (ISBN: 3-93835-810-6)

Order here: http://www.anneschueller.de/rw_e13v/main.asp?WebID=schueller3&PageID=122

About the author:

Anne M. Schüller is a marketing consultant and leading expert in loyalty marketing. She has worked for many years in senior sales and marketing positions in various service companies. As a six-time book author, she gives top-class keynote speeches on the topics of customer loyalty, recommendation marketing and emotional selling. She is also available to interested companies for marketing-oriented management coaching as well as for in-house workshops and seminars. She lives in Munich.

Contact: [email protected] or www.anneschueller.de
About Anne M. Schüller

Anne M. Schüller: keynote speaker, bestselling author, business coach. Leading expert in touchpoint management. New book: The Orbit Organization

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