Selling on emotion

Why is it that people insist on making buying decisions based on emotion? And afterwards they try every angle to justify the decision.  Read on to see what you can do about this to help your selling.

The school holidays have just begun here in the Archer household which has coincided with selling 9 puppies that Brodie gave birth to last month. It’s been a log haul, creating blogs, photos on the sites, taking phone calls, talking to prospective owners. So far we’ve found brilliant homes for 6 pups and do you know what is it that was the secret to selling the puppies?

Quite simple. You sit the family down on the couch and you put a puppy in their arms. 5 minutes later, they’ve fallen in love and want to keep it. I used to call this technique the “puppy dog close”. To sell anything, let the customer feel what its like to own it. Pet shop owners would give the customer the puppy to take home for the weekend, knowing full well, that by Monday morning, they would want to own it.

Emotions taking over. And we created the same thing, inadvertently, by letting the owner cuddle their new puppy.  You see, puppies are devastatingly cute. You can’t resist their little noses, their big brown eyes and tiny tails wagging for you. Puppies have an in-built ability to just love you and be with you.  And that’s far too much emotion for most humans to resist.

So when my wife announced that she wanted to keep not one puppy for us…but two pups, I was astonished and immediately my logic cells kicked in.

She was all emotional and was soon allied by three children all oozing uncontrollable, irrational decision making.  “Daddy, we have to keep Alfie and Florence”

Now why is having three dogs an irrational decision:

  1. Italian Spinones grow up to be very large and hairy dogs, and puppies grow up, believe me.
  2. We don’t have room for three dogs in the boot of the car
  3. It’ll be me who has to walk them. Now walking one dog is easy, Brodie runs with me, two dogs seems OK, but walking three huge Spinone’s seems impossible.
  4. Vets fees for 3 dogs, require a new credit card and make my eyes water
  5. So does 3 pet insurance plans, Brodie costs me £30 a month.
  6. Think of the food costs?
  7. And there’s the kennel fees if we go away.

My family are still clouded in emotion and desperately want to keep 2 puppies as well as Brodie

The lesson? Think about what you sell. Are you making the purchasing decision emotional?

  • If you sell photos of sports events, do you play on the emotional memories that you can take away and recall for ever….or do you focus on the 5″ x 4″ photo being of good quality and high resolution and easily uploaded to Facebook?
  • If you sell life insurance, do you focus on the features and bolt-ons, the low monthly premiums…or do you talk about the inner warm feeling that if anything ever happened to you, your family would never have to think bad thoughts over your grave.  Money, or the lack of it, changes people.
  • Do you ask questions to reveal the emotional needs and pains of the customer?
  • When selling the house, do you ask where little Johnnie’s room might be and how would he decorate it. Remember the puppy dog close.
  • Do you ask what it might feel like to own the product, what it might mean to them….play on the emotions.
  • Do you play on your sales team’s emotions when influencing or persuading them?  Most decisions have emotion packed into them, even when you’re not buying anything.
  • If you don’t then you really ought to.

So where does this emotional buying decision leave me?  When I pick up Florence and Alfie, yes my family have already named them, I just adore them, who wouldn’t,they’re puppies.  But logically, I think it’s wrong and I genuinely need your help and I’ve posted a reader poll on my blog.

Do you think we should keep 2 puppies or 1 puppy?  Please complete the poll below, and give me your opinion and I’ll present the outcome to my family at the weekend.

I’ll let you know the result next week.

Do you think Paul’s family should keep 1 puppy or 2 puppies?

1 puppy
2 puppies