Sales Skills

The Prospect Activator…Emotion!

What sparks a prospect’s interest? What is the single most important ingredient in the recipe of new business acquisition? Emotion!

So, what is emotion? And why is it so important for you? It is the feeling that leads the prospect to act and react. Emotion describes the intensity of how the prospect responds to you. Emotions drive the prospect toward pleasure and away from perceived danger. Perhaps, emotions are best described as signals from the subconscious that steer the prospect’s decision-making process – especially when all choices appear to be equal.

Logic vs Emotion

The prospect’s decision-making process relies on a mixture of emotion and its partner, logic. Think of a situation where you had indisputable facts, reason, and logic on your side and believed there was no way the prospect would say no to your perfectly constructed proposal. To do so would be impossible, you figured, because there was no other logical solution or answer. And then the prospect dug in his or her heels and refused to budge. The prospect was not swayed by your logic. You were shocked when you did not get the order.

What happened? You tried to persuade the prospect with reason, but did not move them with emotion.

The challenge with relying exclusively on emotion is that after he or she has left the persuasive situation, the emotions fade, leaving nothing to fall back on. Logic plays a key role in creating a foundation for emotion. The balance between logic and emotion is much like the twin engines of persuasion and influence. And it is essential that you read the prospect, as analytical types need more logic than emotion. On the other hand, the amiable, or more easy-going, prospect requires more emotion and less logic. Regardless of their personality type, you must have both elements present in your message to a prospect to be most effective.

Using a risk management process with prospects allows them to react based on emotions, then justify their decisions with logic and fact. It is a disciplined system that reveals risk issues that impact performance while providing a blueprint for resolution. A prospect exhibits a great deal of emotion when he or she becomes aware of the implications of these risks. When you apply all the steps of the risk management process, you are basing your conversation on logic, while simultaneously stimulating emotions and emotional connections.

Stirring Emotion in the Buying Process

People buy when they feel comfortable, when they feel they can trust you and when your process feels natural and reassuring. In simplistic terms, people rationalize purchasing decisions based on facts, but they make decisions based on feelings.

It is always the heart that is touched first. So, what does this mean to you and your business? Although you may take great pride in the “features and benefits” of your offerings, it is imperative that you assess the degree to which you are able to stimulate the emotions for those whom you serve. In order to accomplish this, you must deeply engage your customer’s feelings in addition to, and even above, their intellect. The simplest strategy is to find out what keeps your customer up at night as well as what drives them. It is your discovery of their goals, passions, and struggles that opens the door for an intense and lasting relationship – an emotional connection that transcends price and product.

There are a range of emotions that affect the customer’s purchasing decisions including fear, greed, pride, envy, anger, pain, and guilt, to name a few. In the business of insurance, compliance and risk management, fear is a real motivator. Fear of losing something. Fear of lawsuits. Fear of injury. Fear of risk...an emotion that impacts purchasing decisions.

5 Ways to Stimulate Emotions

Beyond Insurance® would like to suggest five ways to stimulate prospect emotions.

  • Prior to the first prospect meeting, research the risk issues that may impact the business or family.
  • Conduct a thoughtful discovery session whereby the prospect openly communicates his or her goals, passions, and struggles.
  • Deliver a risk management process that includes strategies to alleviate pain points.
  • Teach the prospect things that he or she does not know.
  • Effectively communicate the results of your plan. Monitor results.

While your success in the business of insurance and risk management is dependent upon your technical and tactical skills, your ability to stir emotion is the single, most important ingredient as relates new business acquisition. What sparks the prospect? You now know the answer – emotion!