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5 Ways to Stir Customer Emotions

March 15, 2012

Right Brain/Left BrainWhat is logic?  It is reason supported by facts.  What is emotion?  It is the feeling that leads us to act and react.  Emotion describes the intensity of how our body and mind will respond to an event.  Emotions drive us toward pleasure or away from perceived danger.  Perhaps, emotions are best described as signals from the subconscious that steers the decision making process.  This is especially true when logic sees all choices as equal.

There are several strategies to elicit emotion in purchasing decisions. 

A suggested list includes:

  1.  Goals, Passions, Struggles-  Create the setting for the customer to talk about his or her goals, passions and struggles.
  2.  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.
  3.  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!
  4.  Story Telling-  Plant stories in your presentation to entertain, inform, advise, warn and educate.  Stories are capable of stimulating strong emotion.
  5.  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.

Making moneyThe 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.

It is always the heart which is touched first.  So, what does this mean to you and your business?  Although you may take great pride in the “features and benefits” of your offerings, it is imperative that you assess the degree to which you are able to stimulate the emotions for those you serve.  In order to accomplish this, you must deeply engage your customer’s emotions in addition to, and even above, their intellect.  The simplest strategy is to find out what keeps your customer up at night as well as what drives them.

It is your discovery of their goals, passions and struggles which opens the door for an intense and lasting relationship – an emotional connection which transcends price and product.

 How do you elicit emotion in your own organization to drive the consumer to a purchasing decision?

-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

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 15, 2012 3:20 pm

    Thoughtful post – you caught my attention with three comments:

    A signals from the subconscious that steers the decision making process

    eloquently stated…

    B discovery of their goals, passions and struggles which opens the door for an intense and lasting relationship

    a Socratic dialogue with follow up and clarifying questions is critical

    C elicit emotion in your own organization

    Starting with three, involves asking less Situation & Problem questions while focusing on more Implicattion and Need’s Payoff questions (with credit to Rackham and Carnegie before him)… then listening actively [getting comfortable what lesser communicators might label awkward silence] and developing a narrative that is accurate.

    With regard to
    1. Goals, Passions, Struggles- the narrative …

    2. State of Mind- asking how they feel NOT what they think

    3. Benefits not Features- I would offer that Scott Addis paints client outcomes well beyond benefits but it is semantics

    4. Story Selling- uncovers emtional and cognitive biases

    5. Positive Attitude- infectious enthusiasm rules most days

    For a decent summary of Pathos …. as well as Ethos and Logos:

    Missing the intellectual discourse with my friend on the Main Line…. I may have a refferal for you –

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