A Feel for the Deal

By Christopher Zoukis

From effective language, the book segues logically to evoking emotions.  Sellers are advised to “create not simply a logical but a gut response” from buyers.  Research proves that most people make decisions to buy based on emotion first, followed by logical reasoning.  The illustration provided is BMW’s automobile commercial that declares:  “We don’t just make cars, we make joy!”  The seller’s job is to develop and ask questions that generate emotions appropriate to the buyer’s decision-making process.  Doing so, allows the seller to bond with the buyer during the sales process.   Image courtesy www.cartoonstock.com

Seidman supplies a number of sample questions designed to evoke emotions in each stage of the selling process.  The author advises sellers to remember that gestures, tone of voice, and facial expressions “must support the emotion you are emphasizing.”  In addition, two primary points about evoking emotions are related and re-emphasized:  first, since buying decisions are based on emotions, word choices are important; second, sellers need to “find their voice” by making certain to use their own vocabulary and personality. 

Another powerful selling tool is the power of storytelling.  A specific methodology for using and applying the persuasive power of storytelling is explained in detail.  Seidman’s model is called PET:  P is for personal.  E is for emotional.  And T is for teachable or trainable. 

The stories should be personal, linking experiences common to most people.  First experiences, such as school, kissing, jobs, paychecks, and bad blunders, such as foot-in-mouth comments and accidents or funny mistakes are good sources for story content.

Emotion should pervade the story.  It should strike a chord in the buyer.  The Secret Language of Influence includes a chart of forty-eight different emotions, both positive and negative. 

Finally, the story has to have a point.  It must teach something.  The author states that once the seller has selected a story, it must then be crafted to demonstrate or teach that happy endings and winning situations are the outcome of doing business with the seller.

A Question of Power

The author, Dan Seidman, asserts that wise sales professionals utilize questions to move the buyer in the right direction.  The seller develops questions intended for the benefit of the person being asked.  This means that great sellers ask great questions.  And Seidman provides a three-part strategy for acquiring great questions:  reasons for questions; rules for questions; categories of questions.

A list of fifteen results gained from great questions is presented, ranging from generating rapport to identifying the prospects needs and goals to timely presentation of solutions.  The second step encompasses five rules that lead to great questions.  The five rules cover evoking emotion, leading with soft statements, digging deeper for more details, identifying types of questions for each phase of the sale, and selecting five power questions that can positively affect the sale.  Various examples are offered for each of the five rules. 

The third strategy, categories of questions, is broken down into five sections:  qualifying questions, discovery questions, questions to surmount objections, vision questions, and questions to capture commitment.  The latter section is the most important, because this is where the sale is closed.  Seidman offers five examples of powerful questions to close the sale.