The following article is an excerpt from Jeff Shore’s newest book, Follow Up and Close the Sale, coming from McGraw-Hill July 14. Click here to pre-order your copy and unlock Jeff’s exclusive pre-order bonuses.
The Buying Brain
One of the most important concepts you must understand about your customer’s journey is what goes on in the buying brain.
You need to understand Emotional Altitude (EA), which can be defined as the level of positive emotional involvement in a situation or a decision.
A marriage proposal should be a time of high Emotional Altitude.
Enjoying a reunion with an old friend makes for elevated EA.
So does a really good meal served by an attentive and friendly food server.
Buying a really cool jacket or a piece of sports memorabilia or a new car—all should be times of high Emotional Altitude.
It is important to note that the distinction here is not between positive emotion and negative emotion. Rather, the distinction is between positive emotion versus no emotion.
The absence of emotion makes for an unremarkable setting in which to make a purchase decision.
Why is EA so important?
To answer this question, we have to understand how much of the buying decision is based on emotion and how much on logic.
On my podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, I interview psychologists, behavioral economists, and top-level marketers to try to understand the way people make purchase decisions.
One of the most fascinating guests I’ve had on the show was the Danish researcher Martin Lindstrom, a renowned expert in the study of consumer psychology.
In an extensive research study, Lindstrom observed people’s brains through an fMRI while those study participants were making purchase decisions.
He could literally see which part of the brain was firing when purchase decisions were being made.
He found that (drum roll, please . . .) 85 percent of the decision is based on emotion and 15 percent is based on logic.
Yes, 85 percent! That is a staggering number. It tosses out the kitchen window much of what we have believed about sales, not to mention a good chunk of the content that sales trainers have taught over the years.
The farther your customer is removed from the initial emotional experience, the more the Emotional Altitude wanes.
And when the EA plummets far enough, you will fall out of your customer’s emotional memory altogether.
Time is your enemy.
How do you keep your customer’s Emotional Altitude high? You guessed it: follow-up.
Your customer needs you to follow up, but not so they get overwhelmed with product features and functionality.
What your customer needs is your assistance in keeping them emotionally engaged.