Five Customer Emotions

A big mistake salespeople and their managers’ make is they think that rational analysis by customers is how buying decisions are made. Companies spend large amounts of time and money training salespeople on technology, competition and cost justification.  But, this is not enough to guarantee success. Information and facts can prove your case but emotions move the customer to action.

Common Emotions in the Buying Process

Here are five areas where powerful customer emotions commonly affect the sale:

1.      Fear and Uncertainty

Many times the customer does not come right out and just say they are afraid. Fear and uncertainty are powerful emotions that can get in the way of logic. Customers are often concerned about paying too much or that they will be criticized by their boss.

Offering sincere assurances, talking about personal experiences or sharing customer testimonials can help make the customer feel more comfortable with your proposed solution.

2.      Past experiences

Many business decisions are clouded by a positive or negative experience that may have happened years ago. Even in sales situations that are not completely related, customers will often draw on past history as a frame of reference when making a buying decision.

A simple statement such as, “I had a customer who had a similar experience as yours, and here is how we worked together to make a change for the better, “can diffuse a negative past experience.

3.      Perceptions and assumptions

These are very difficult to overcome. For many customers perception is reality. Some customers may feel a product is too expensive, or not environmentally green enough. These feelings may be based on some opinion or experience from the past and are often never formally stated.

  It is often not enough to address these deeply seated
  perceptions with facts alone. A good question to open up the
  customers is to ask, “Why do you feel that way?”  Often, the
  customer may be open to hearing your explanation.

4.      Ego

It is frustrating to deal with a buyer who knows it all and has all the answers. Arguing and disagreeing with a big ego customer is pointless.  Often no amount of facts or data can change their mind.

With these customers it is imperative to build a relationship and have them sense you are on their side. If this is done, customers will often open up and listen to a different viewpoint.

5.      Style and Behavior

Customers judge salespeople on a first impression. Some buyers will immediately process in their minds that they either don’t like you or do not feel comfortable with you. It is a good practice to ask friendly customers and coworkers to assess your style and approach. Sloppiness, rude behavior and tardiness are knockouts.

Customers are looking for a trusted advisor, not just a technical expert with a well-defined sales process.  Salespeople must go beyond logic and learn to connect with common emotions that affect the buying decisions.

Joe Rickard is a training leader and consultant dedicated to the graphic communications Industry. Joe founded Intellective Solutions LLC ( to serve the printing industry market. Intellective Solutions Inc. provides consulting, training material and marketing services. He can be reached at 845 753 6156. Follow me on Twitter @joerickardIS. An expanded version of this article was published in the December editions of Quick Printing Magazine and MyPrintResourc