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The Emotional Side of Sales

Written by Jamie Irvine | 3.5 Minute Read

If you care about your career, your business, and the people you do business with then regardless of whether you are willing to admit it or not there is an emotional side to sales.

All the sales training tells us that when we are selling we need to put our heart and soul into our sales process but then when we are rejected all the sales training tells us to not take it personally.

How can you do both?

Recently, I had a customer tell me they no longer wanted to receive sales calls from me. That hurt because I was working very hard to try and give them excellent service.

It ruined my day!

Of course, as a sales professional, I kept working and did my best to not allow it to affect my performance. Yet all day in the back of my mind I kept thinking about it, in my heart I kept feeling it, all day long.

Now the creator in me is using it as fuel to write this article and hopefully, the benefit will be that you and I can share our feelings on this and move on.

The reason my customer requested that they did not receive any more sales calls was totally outside of my control. That didn’t seem to matter though, it still was a rejection, and it still hurt.

What to do about the emotional side of sales?

If you are in sales, rejection is the name of the game. Closing ratios are commonly less than 30% so obviously as sales professionals we have to learn how to deal with rejection.

Should we strive to remove our emotion in an effort to make it hurt less?

Honestly, I wish that was the answer but I don’t believe that is what we should do. To start with if we become robotic about our profession we make it that much easier for robots to replace us and let’s face it we are already facing that threat.

Second, no matter how much people say that they don’t want to deal with salespeople I find it ironic that those same people often complain that when they need to talk to someone no one is “available”.

People are social creatures. We need social interaction and we have benefited over the years by coming together and creating things for the mutual benefit of all mankind. You know, harnessing fire, the wheel, modern medicine, and yes even the technology that threatens our profession was created for the benefit of mankind as it’s motivation.

So if you take the emotion out of your sales process and out of your business you eliminate your most powerful asset. At the core of social interaction is emotion. While it is true that people don’t want to be sold anymore they don’t want to be isolated either.

From Being Sold to Providing an Experience

The buying experience, or user experience as most software companies will call it, is now the most important part of your business. Features and benefits are an afterthought, the price is an afterthought if the experience is amazing. What it feels like when your customer uses your service or product is a fundamental component to the health of all businesses!

If that is true than removing emotion is the absolute opposite of what you should be doing. In fact, I believe that we need to put a lot more emotion into our businesses.

Why does your business exist?

What greater purpose does your business serve?

Why should your employees care?

Why should your customers buy from you instead of just buying it online and having it delivered?

As a sales professional, you need to convey the emotion behind the answers to these questions. You need to show your customers that you are intimately concerned with them and providing them with the best experience possible.

If that means that when they say “NO” your feelings are hurt then I say good. That means you are on the right track. That means that you care enough to feel hurt in the first place and that feeling can motivate you to carry on and find others who will see your emotion, your concern, your care, and will respond.

In Conclusion

Sales is not an easy job. It’s a career filled with ups and downs, elation and hurt, and is threatened now by globalization, stiff competition, changing buying habits, and robots for goodness sakes.

The only way we are going to survive is if we become deeply interested in creating a superior buying experience for our customers. This goes way beyond building superficial rapport and showing personal interest. We have to reach people at a very emotional level so that they support us, not a competitor, and not a robot. Our last line of defense against all that threatens our honorable profession and businesses is emotion!

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Author: Jamie Irvine

My name is Jamie Irvine and I have been a Sales Professional since 1997 and an Entrepreneur since 2009.

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