It’s interesting because whenever we talk about products, we use language which describes how we feel; we love them, like them, hate them. We don't describe them with logical Mr Spock-like language. And that tells us a lot about how we really make decisions.
In this article, I'm going to show how you can magnetically connect your customer to your product or service in such a way so that they will happily choose you over your competition without you ever having to be pushy… and it’s all down to selling to their heart first, not their head.
Let's dive in...
We all like to believe that we are rational. More than that, we like people to see us as rational.
We want our decisions and behaviour to be making sense to others as much as ourselves.
This is especially important in business.
Ask Richard Branson why he started Virgin Atlantic and he'd be able to pull out a huge report justifying it. Ask Elon Musk why he started building electric cars and he could give you the clearest investment report you could wish for. Ask Mark Zuckerberg where Facebook will be in 5 years and he'll give the cool-headed answer you'd expect.
No one wants to be 'guessing' their way through life and we all want to appear as though our head rules our heart.
However, the rational explanations to our behaviour often happen AFTER we've already made the decision.
And the proof of that lies in something that gives our everyday lives meaning: Ask someone why they love their partner and they'll try to rationalise it. They'll explain about their partner's virtues, how they treat others, their qualities but in the end, there's no ‘reason’ why they love each other because love isn't a matter of the head it’s a matter of the heart.
Every decision you take has its root in your heart, not your head. In fact, we use our head to justify our decisions, not to make them
And if you really think about almost every decision you take has its root in your heart, not your head. In fact, we use our head to justify our decisions, not to make them.
Take buying a car, the salesperson may tell you all about the family size boot, the fuel economy, the onboard tech, but what makes you decide is how you feel when you sit in it. You have an emotional response and it’s that response which truly determines your decision.
I remember when my wife and I were buying our home, the moment we walked in we instantly both loved it. I remember us looking at each other and smiling. We knew, there and then this was the place for our family. All the discussions that followed were rational explorations of the decision we'd already made in our hearts. It was partly justification but also proving to ourselves that the emotional decision we had made was the right one.
So, buying decisions really take place in your heart first and your head second.
Call it chemistry or hormones or spirit, our base instincts are emotional. We feel first and think second. This is perfectly illustrated by what psychologists call stimulus-response. This means that if you provide a stimulus to someone their response to that will be the natural instinctive one which they have learned over time. For example, some people's 'go-to' response to a challenge is to meet it head-on whereas others they may shy away from it. Some people may eat more when stressed others will eat less. These are very often natural responses that we don't even think about. Stimulus-response is why the supermarkets bake fresh bread in their store because it makes shoppers hungry and, therefore, buy more.
Just take our stimulus-response to social media. We don't rationalise our comments we use emoticons (emotion icons) to represent how we feel. The very act of 'liking' is an emotional response and every aspect of social media is geared towards emotional responses to what we see.
Remember we make decisions with their heart so by showing your customer the emotional benefits of your business you will create a stronger bond with them
Knowing that emotions govern a large part of our decision-making process enables us to market and sell more effectively by helping our customer connect deeply with our business at an emotional level.
So, how do you do it?
Remember features and benefits? If you're selling anything the rule is to focus on selling the benefits and not the features. (For example, the benefit of a carbon fibre bike is not that it's light (that’s the feature), but it makes for a smoother, more comfortable ride.)
The benefit your business brings to the market is how it positively affects your customer. However, how your product/service benefits your customer only uncovers the tip of the emotional iceberg. We need to take it one step further.
We're going create "Emotional Benefits"
We need to identify how your prospect feels before using your business. What are their frustrations? What's their pain? Here are four examples:
|Business||Pain From Problem|
|Plumber||Damage to the customer's house if there's a burst pipe|
|Solicitor||Financial implications of being taken to court|
|Vet||Losing a loved pet|
|Cinema||Finding something to do with the kids|
Now identify all the pain points around not using your product or service. Next, describe how that makes your prospect feel. (I recommend that you look at this list of emotions https://www.healthline.com/health/list-of-emotions. They're broken down into categories which makes it easier to find the one you're after.)
|Business||Pain From Problem||Resulting Emotion|
|Plumber||Damage to the customer's house if there's a burst pipe||Panic|
|Solicitor||Financial implications of being taken to court||Powerless|
|Vet||Losing a loved pet||Scared|
|Cinema||Finding something to do with the kids||Frazzled|
This is how someone feels when they come to you. Your job is to move their emotional state from negative to positive. Now write down how you want them to feel after they've used your business:
|Business||Pain From Porblem||Resulting Emotion||Feeling After Using The Business|
|Plumber||Damage to the customer's house if there's a burst pipe||Panic||Calm|
|Solicitor||Financial implications of being taken to court||Powerless||Strong|
|Vet||Losing a loved pet||Scared||Reassured|
|Cinema||Finding something to do with the kids||Frazzled||Energised|
Think up as many as you can.
Now you have a set of emotions that will resonate deeply with your prospect which you can put to good work. Take the 'feeling' that you've identified and weave it into your marketing. Let's take the example of the cinema.
First, we emphasise the pain:
Kids driving you crazy? Looking for something the whole family can enjoy?
Then we focus on the emotional benefit:
Join us at Awesome Cinemas and enjoy the unique thrill and excitement of the big screen. Feel like you're in the centre of the action with our 360-surround sound. Immerse yourself in our Cinemax 4K picture, so sharp you'll believe it's real. And leave with a smile on everyone's face!
Notice that I've expanded on the idea of feeling "energised" using words which generate a similar feeling like "thrill", "excitement", "smile". This creates a more powerful connection between the business and the reader because it links how they want to feel with what you're going to deliver.
Let's take the example of the vet:
First, we emphasise the pain:
Worried that your pet could face an uncertain future if you don't have a health care plan for them?
Then we assert the emotional benefit:
At Artemis Vets we know how much your pet means to you which is why we have insurance plans to suit every pet and every pocket. Our vets are fully qualified and trained and our facilities boast the most up-to-date technology in the county. Our insurance plan will give you complete peace of mind so you can enjoy your pet without worrying about the future.
Again, I've taken the emotional feeling of "reassured" and expanded on it. Phrases like "peace of mine", "suit every pocket" "without worrying about the future" all convey that sense of reassurance the customer needs to hear to feel the emotional benefit of the business.
When people feel 'connected' to your business you don't need to sell to them. They are already pre-sold because you've taken care of their most fundamental requirement - their emotional wellbeing.
Remember we make decisions with their heart so by showing your customer the emotional benefits of your business you will create a stronger bond with them. And most importantly, demonstrating that at you can solve their problem at the deepest level will magnetically attract people to your business and convert more of them into customers.