Is Buying an Emotional Decision?

In today’s highly scientific and rational world we live in, many believe there is no place for emotion in our decision making. In fact people who base their decisions on emotions are scorned upon in society and most especially in business. Yet I would challenge this and assert that emotion plays a very significant part in most peoples and businesses buying decisions.

Wow I hear you say, peoples well maybe but businesses, no way.

Okay well let’s start with people. Think about the most significant purchase you have ever made, a house, a car, a job or a holiday. Be honest are you telling me there was no element of emotion in any of these decisions? Yes in every case there will be rational elements based around let’s say your budget, colour, fuel economy, number of seats and carbon emissions if it is a car but there will also be a ‘feel good’ element for some people or imagining how they will look in the car. A house is certainly no different or any other purchase for that matter. Supermarkets make millions a day on ‘impulse buys’.

‘Alright then’ I hear you say ‘but businesses are different they have procurement processes’.

You are right they do and in most cases they do an excellent job but even for them there is an element of emotion in the decision making. Yes like our domestic buyer they have buying criteria and these are very sophisticated. As are the scoring and procurement processes which they use to evaluate our tenders, bids and offerings. Corporate business all do their best to remove emotion but they cannot irradiate it totally.

For example how do you evaluate “trust”? Yes you can rationalise it to a degree with due diligence but ultimately many decisions, even on multi-million pound contracts, come down to a need for the client to trust you will deliver a service or a solution. Confidence or faith in you, your business, and your solution is massively important and you know I have heard it said that trust and confidence accounts in the end for 50-80% of the sale. This is arguable but what is not is that there is a lot of rational decision making by the buyer in any purchase but you know there is also a huge amount of emotion too.

Try it for yourself, count how many times you hear people in business relying on ‘gut feel’ or rationalising their decision to friends or colleagues as ‘it just didn’t feel right’.

Psychologists will tell you that generally people use subjective reasons for buying things and objective reasons for rejecting alternatives. They will rarely articulate these subjective reasons and often this is a highly subconscious process that even they are not aware but this is typically the way we all behave.

So sales people understand this, if you are to become a successful sales person you need to learn that emotions play a massive part in any sales process. Consequently you need to learn about how you build confidence and trust. You need to learn about rapport, how you create it and what you must avoid doing if you are not to break it. Also learn that often you are taking the buyer on an emotional journey and so be respectful of them and their journey.

At Selling Success we have decades of experience of selling and know how important this stuff is in helping you build mutually beneficial relationships with your clients. Come along to one of our Relationship Selling Taster sessions if you want to learn more.

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