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Ten Strategies to Elicit Emotion in the Purchasing Process

January 25, 2012

beyond insuranceIn our last blog post, we started to explore the importance of motivating your customers by appealing to their emotions. Today, you’ll discover ten strategies used by top insurance and risk management professionals that you can apply right away.

As you probably already realize, the single motivator in purchasing decisions is not data, or facts.  It is emotional response.

People buy when they feel comfortable, when they feel they can trust you and when your process feels natural and reassuring.  In simplistic terms, people rationalize purchasing decisions based on facts, but they make decisions based on feelings. Modern brain research has proven this fact!

Ten Strategies to Elicit Emotion in the Purchasing Process:

There are several strategies to elicit emotion in purchasing decisions.  Let’s start with these ten for immediate results.

  1. Goals, Passions, Struggles.  Create the setting for the customer to talk about his or her goals, passions and struggles.
  1. State of Mind.  Do not start with your product or services.  Rather, gain a grasp of the consumer’s state of mind.  Your quickest route to an emotional connection is found in one’s feelings.beyond insurance
  1. Benefits not Features.  A feature is an attribute of a product or service.  A benefit is the way a product or service will solve the customer’s problem.  Benefits create emotion.  Features do not!
  1. Story Telling.  Plant stories in your presentation to entertain, inform, advise, warn and educate.  Stories are capable of stimulating strong emotion.
  1. Positive Attitude.  Emotion works hand in hand with the way one thinks about an issue or situation.  Your positive attitude influences emotion in purchasing decisions.
  1. Testimonials.  Customers want to feel reassured about their purchasing decisions.  Testimonials increase credibility and comfort in the sales process.  The more specific the testimonial, the more power it has for the customer.
  1. Visuals.  Create vivid, powerful images in the mind of the customer.  Research substantiates that the brain is wired to react to visual stimuli.
  1. Listen.  Far too often, we get so caught up in delivering our ideas that we don’t hear the voice of the customer.  Ask questions and listen.  Getting the customer to talk about his or her issues creates emotion.
  1. Empathy.  Your capacity to identify with the customer’s feelings and emotions is powerful.  Empathy demonstrates a true understanding of the emotional state of the consumer. 
  1. Future Vision.  A vision is a motivating view of the future.  It creates pride.  It gives direction.  Emotion is created by taking the customer to a future place and time and looking back.  Future visions are filled with anticipation.

Logic or Emotion.  And the winner is?  Emotion!

Scott Addis

For more ideas on how to break the commodity trap connect with Beyond Insurance on:

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The author, Scott Addis is the President and CEO of The Addis Group and Addis Intellectual Capital, LLC (AIC). AIC is a coaching and consulting company whose purpose is to transform the process that insurance agents, brokers and carriers use when working with clients. Scott is recognized as an industry leader having been awarded the Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award as well as “25 Most Innovative Agents in America”. Scott can be reached at or 610-945-1019.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 26, 2012 6:08 pm

    Scott- I love this piece. People need to feel good about their buying decisions…and themselves. As I teach, how can we both be emotional heroes in the buying process.

    One of my favorite emotional references continues to be Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Notice I used the word “feel” a lot. That’s how you address the emotions.

    Survival- “What do you feel is the one BIG thing could wipe out your business overnight?”
    Security-“How would you describe the quality of your process to deal with the everyday risks faced by your company?”
    Belonging- “Do you feel you previous broker was an important part of your risk management team?”
    Ego Gratification- “What do you feel you can do better than your competition when it comes to managing your risk?”
    Self Actualization (feeling you make a difference)- “What do you feel can be done with your work comp/health care benefits/401K/etc. to make a greater difference in your employees’ lives?”

    PS the line of thinking (or feeling) presented by Scott and I also applies to managing employees…and at home!

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