Is that true? Is selling really a transference of feeling? I’ve said it over and over for decades. Taken from a persuasion perspective you’d have to say, Yes. A handful of historic examples provides ample evidence. Napoleon, Garibaldi, Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Mao Zedong were all successful in the arts of persuasion. They had logic and reasoning, but their message only caught fire because of their feelings. They felt what they believed with undeniable passion. Equally gifted but not as mad, were Lord Nelson, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy.
The porridge of logic is dry eating without the cream of feeling.
Faking your feelings doesn’t work without substance.In persuading anyone of anything, especially in persuading a prospect to hand over cash for goods and or services, you have to be real. Some motivators tell you to get excited about your company or your product whether you feel it or not – jump up and down before a presentation, listen to loud music, read an inspirational quote, recite affirmations. (‘I am a millionaire, I am a millionaire, I am a millionaire’). This is supposed to improve your appeal. I can tell you if you just want to make your eyes sparkle it takes a lot less energy to pull three hairs out of your nose. If you don’t already feel it, no amount of fakery will get you warmed up.
- You need to feel good about being a salesperson without needing to pump yourself up.
You need to feel good about the product or service you’re selling without needing to re-read the brochure.
You need to feel good about the company you represent without needing to be re-inducted every day.
Fix your feelings or flee!
- See those people in government offices stumbling around like clockwork crash dummies?
See those sales reps in the pub at lunch time and coffee shops for the rest of the day?
See those customer service people doodling and googling?
See those counter sales people gossiping and texting?
See those trade reps parked under a tree for three hours?
See that sales person so reluctant every day to get out of bed and face the job?
None of them feel good about where they work, who manages them, what they sell or to whom they sell it. They don’t resign because they need the money. There’s no honour in their work, no joy, no purpose because there are no feelings. They are selling their souls for a few perishable coins. There is real joy in meaningful work, and none in forced labour.
So use your feelings
Let’s say you love your product, love your company, love your boss, and even love your customers (bless you!) Most sales people are in this position. So why, oh why, Oh WHY don’t you let your feelings flow? Why do you rave on about facts and specifications and dimensions and weight per square foot poundal and ergonomic capacities per megalitre and reputational comparisons and ROI per micro-cent invested and why don’t you SHUT UP and ask a question to see if being so boring is getting through? Yes, eventually the facts and figures will appeal to someone I suppose, but what the customer eventually buys is your feeling, your joy, your confidence, your ideas, your love. Let it loose.