Virtual Selling: How To Create Emotional Engagement

We are emotional creatures and we make emotional decisions.

We think about future promise in terms of anticipated memories.

Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner and founder of behavioral economics, suggests that we think of our future in terms of “anticipated memories.” We look forward to specific moments that we will embrace and enjoy.

When a prospective buyer considers a new home, he or she will typically do so with an eye on the features, design, plan layout and yard dimensions.

But wouldn’t it be far more powerful if they approached the purchase by paying attention to the positive emotions associated with anticipated memories?

Let’s bring this closer to home now for what we are all going through.

I’m really looking forward to having breakfast at Edelweiss — my favorite diner here in Auburn, CA.

I can’t wait to get back to hanging out with my church family again.

And I am dreaming about the day I’m out on the ice and playing some hockey.

Where will you go? What will you do?

When we think about our future, we run mental simulations and we subconsciously ask ourselves, “How do I feel?”

It is from our emotions that we make our decision.

Your buyer is no different.

Monitoring, measuring and elevating the customer’s emotional altitude is your job as the salesperson.

Emotional altitude describes a customer’s level of positive emotional experience.

It’s guided by the salesperson.

In other words, the salesperson must model that positive emotion.

It’s a fact that a physical tour or demo of your product is going to trigger more emotion than a virtual one.

But that’s where you come in.

Your job is to bring that product to its emotional life.

Our task as sales professionals is to bring clarity to our customers’ anticipated memories.

It is to help the customer run their own mental simulations.

You have to ask lifestyle questions if you want them to emotionally engage.

The next thing to consider is the concept of emotional language.

Words matter.

Google the phrase ‘high emotion words.’

You’re going to get tons of articles that list emotive words.

Grab some that are interesting to you and start dropping them into your presentation to spice it up a little bit and encourage that emotion.

Then, take those words and craft them into the sentences you use to describe the product.

Asking lifestyle questions are key if you want your customer to emotionally engage.

If you’re selling a home, for example, lifestyle questions might sound like,

Who does the cooking and what is the specialty?

How does this home change for the holidays?

Is there a family wall? Where would that be?

Where does the dog sleep?

Which wall does the television go on and what show does the entire family watch?

All of these questions invoke emotion and that is how people make a decision.

Questions like these are even more important in a virtual environment because they provide something called ‘emotional context.’

You see, we don’t buy anything until we first feel something.

Emotional context is about giving the customer a mental space to step into.

Think of it this way: How would the presentation be different if you were selling to your sister or to your best friend?

Wouldn’t you feel a greater freedom to approach the viewing from an emotional perspective?

In all likelihood, the collective emotional altitude in the room would be much, much higher.

This is precisely what needs to happen with all of our clients.

To be clear: I am not advocating some kind of syrupy, sappy bawl-fest during the process. But I am suggesting that the elements of joy, excitement, anticipation and appreciation be given room to be expressed.

Sometimes a prospect simply needs permission to express what is happening in their minds.

Ask them the direct questions: “Tell me what you’re thinking right now.” “Do you love it? Do you hate it? Talk to me.”

The burden of sustaining emotional altitude rests on the shoulders of the sales professional. You are charged with protecting the energy and sustaining the positive vibe in the sales process.

A quick test of where your energy needs to be at is to simply ask yourself: “Would I want my customer to adopt the energy level I have right now?”

Another way to put that: “Do I have enough positive energy for myself and my customer?”

To be clear, this does not mean you need to be some sort of frantic, over-the-top, hyperactive freak. You don’t want to come off like a Jack Russell terrier who got into a case of Red Bull.

But you do need to radiate positive energy and you need to sustain that throughout the process.

Your customers will take their emotional cues from you.

Give them the opportunity to become emotionally engaged in the experience.

And give yourself a chance to change their world!

Until next time, learn more to earn more.


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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.