Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer
Sales and marketing people know that buyers make decisions based both on rational and emotional reasons. That dichotomy sometimes creates a schism in sales and marketing communication messaging.
Sales reps, who rely on face-to-face communications, tend to focus on rational arguments in a sales pitch, highlighting that their product is faster, better or cheaper. Corporate management and marketing, who strategize indirect corporate messaging, can afford to be more considered, seeking to trigger emotional responses.
The most successful companies, marketing and sales people, however, never lose sight of the need to fulfill both buyer needs. Compelling and meaningful stories that a buyer can relate to provide emotional security. They also complement, by substantiating, rational product features. Without both, a “no decision” is more likely than a good decision. Logic is good, but not good enough to overcome the fear of change, an emotion that needs to be overcome.
The emotional appeal begins with evaluating a prospect’s top business challenges, based on thorough knowledge of the organization. The appeal must correlate to the business problem, value and differentiation.
Recounting business challenges, opportunities and successes at similar companies is more useful to a prospect than a litany of “discovery” questions. Industry benchmark data, survey analyses and anecdotes from other companies lend credibility.
In next month’s column, we will continue reviewing the ways to combine emotional and rational appeals to win more deals.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions, comments or opinions that you’d like to share, write to me at edpierce@ITAcommunications.com.