I’ve made an observation recently.  I’ve come to the realization that what motivates people to ACT, BUY, and DO is not logic; its not numbers; its not even money.  It actually comes down to one simple thing – our feelings.  Emotion and Imagination beat Logic every day of the week.  You’ve probably heard the saying that people don’t remember what you said, but how you made them feel…I’m going to explore this topic a little bit.

Let’s face it, we all in one way or another are in a sales role.  Selling our kids to clean up or finish their food.  Convincing your significant other to go with your color choice when painting the kitchen, not theirs.  Pulling a Jedi Mind Trick on your best friend to meet at your favorite spot versus theirs.  Teachers, lawyers, parents, leaders, coaches, businesses, siblings, friends are all selling something: an idea, service, preference, product, or dream.

The art of the COMPLEX Sell: selling an idea to your kids

The art of the COMPLEX Sell: selling an idea to your kids

Studies show that people rely on emotions, rather than information, to make decisions.  Douglas Van Praet, author of Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and inspire) Marketing offers his opinion, “The most startling truth is we don’t even think our way to logical solutions.  We feel our way to reason.  Emotions don’t hinder decisions.  They constitute the foundation on which they’re made!”

I was first exposed to this feeling trumps facts theory while listening to a Tony Robbins (life and business strategist) video on YouTube several months ago.  Tony was telling a story about a conversation he had with Steve Wynn, business man, art collector, and well known luxury casino and hotel owner.  Steve, the creator of the Wynn hotel in Vegas, told the story on how he built the most expensive hotels in the world, and kept his prices high, because he wanted to make people feel SIGNIFICANT…even during the Recession in 2008 and 2009 when his competitors were shrinking, he went bigger, grander, and added more value.  All to enhance feelings and significance.  He even built a new hotel at the peak of the economic downturn and his goal was simple, it was to add more value…he even raised his prices!  He created the most beautiful, unique, and awesome experience, so people would feel special, important, and like royalty.  This strategy paid off – in a big way.  So remember this:

People don’t purchase products, they purchase feelings.

People don’t acquire things, they acquire states.

People don’t buy stuff, they buy identities.

Have you ever been in a relationship and either you or the person you were dating wanted to break up?  Whether your romance was relatively new or you had been together for a long time, someone had to try to explain why they didn’t want to continue the relationship.  This was always my biggest fear and least favorite thing in the world…breaking up with someone.  I absolutely HATED IT, more than anything.  Well, on a few occasions, I’d hear the girl on the other end, try to explain in great detail, all the rational reasons and facts why we should be together: we have a lot in common, we share the same interests, we like the same activities, our values are aligned.  Yes, all those things are true, but I JUST DON’T FEEL IT!  I probably cried more then they did when I left, but I knew it had to get done. I would then, ponder the points interjected, which all rationally made sense, but:


My biggest fear during my single days: having “the talk”

My biggest fear during my single days: having “the talk”

The fact is, love, feelings, and emotions are not rationale…sometimes they don’t even make sense!  But emotion and feelings are what drive action.

So here is the money question, how do we tap into these so called feelings that are so important?  Here is my 3 phase approach to evoke feelings and not simply rely on facts to get what you want:

PHASE I – 1st Impression

  • Confidence: Confidence and self-believe are very attractive qualities that lead people to follow.
  • Humility: Confidence mixed with being humble is a strong combination.  Humility draws people in and allows others to put their guard down.
  • Sincerity: Being sincere creates trust.  Trust creates dialogue.  Dialogue creates relationships.  Solid relationships are the foundation of what selling an idea is all about.

PHASE II – Tell a Story

  • Make the status quo unsafe: How can you prove that what they are currently doing or want to do is not the best way?  This is where you generate an unmet need or a pain point.
  • Make them smarter: Knowledge is power.  Teaching somebody something they do not know that can help them creates a feeling and emotion – whether it’s information on the marketplace, their own environment, competition, or how other’s are succeeding or failing – intellegient information is always a premium. 
  • Offer a different solution: Provide a solution to make their next move a productive one that is different than what they are currently doing (or have been offered by someone else).

PHASE III – Motives Matter

  • It’s all about YOU not me: Make the other person the center of the story, not you.
  • Bring the VALUE you promised: In the end, its all about value.  Whoever brings the most value wins.  You need to deliver on what you said you were going to do.
  • Prove you CARE, then CLOSE: Make caring a competitive advantage.  Care through Internal Investment then show it through External Execution.  When you have done this, you’ve earned the right to ask for what you want…when these steps have taken place, closing is easy.

In summary, life is all about FEELINGS!  The rational argument doesn’t always win.  Emotion, imagination, and feeling trump all.  Your first impression is what draws people in, but your content keeps them engaged.  Remember to carry yourself with confidence, humility, and sincerity…those are all quality traits that establish credibility and trust.  

Tell a story, don’t rattle off stats and facts.  Jesus spoke in parables for a reason.  People connect with a story, not just info.  Stories stick.  Make sure your story has danger or a threat, educational information that makes the other person smarter, and a unique solution that solves the problem.  

Lastly, make the customer or person you are talking to be the focal point and main character of your story (HINT: the protagonist should not be you, but the other person!).  Always bring value in what you are offering and be different by sincerely caring for all parties involved.  If money is your only motive, if YOU are your only motive…your results will be short lived.  When your motives align with service, value, and fulfilling the other person’s needs first, you will win in the long term.

Give this approach a try!  If you do, your outcomes will improve…I CAN FEEL IT!!!