Understanding the Buyer’s Story: Unveiling the Emotion

Get to know your buyer's story

Use Curiosity To Find Your Buyer’s Story

Understanding your buyer’s story is a crucial aspect of closing the deal. But what exactly is the buyer’s story, and why is it so essential to know it?  

To put it simply, the buyer’s story isn’t just a recitation of their personal history; it’s a window into their desires, motivations, fears, and aspirations. It’s the emotional narrative that drives their decisions, and as a salesperson, tapping into this narrative can make all the difference in making a sale or watching your customer walk away.  

Today, we’ll delve into the idea of a buyer’s story and see how it can transform our approach to sales. We will also uncover the secrets of unlocking emotions, fostering empathy, and ultimately, forging meaningful connections with your customers. 

The Buyer’s Story: Unveiling the Emotion 

When we talk about the buyer’s story, we’re not just interested in knowing their life’s superficial details. We’re after the emotions that drive their decisions. So, how can you tell if your salesperson has unearthed the right kind of story? Well, if they start by sharing facts like, “John and Janna have been married for 20 years. He’s a mechanic, she’s a hairdresser. They have four Chihuahuas and love The Shawshank Redemption,” you might find it cute, but it’s not the story we’re seeking. 

The Power of Being Super Curious: The Three R’s 

To access the emotions hidden within people’s stories, you must become super curious. Enter the Three R’s: Retell, Relive, Refeel. 

  • Retell: When you ask the right questions, you encourage the person to retell their story. These questions should go beyond the surface, like “Why did that happen? What did you do? What did she say?” This leads to a chronological account of the events, much like the classic “once upon a time” beginning in every great story. 
  • Relive: As they retell their story, something remarkable happens – they mentally time travel. This phenomenon, known as chronosthesia, involves reliving the emotions they experienced at the time of the story. Whether the event occurred ten minutes or ten years ago, they reconnect with those emotions. 
  • Refeel: By mentally revisiting the past, the person refeels the emotions associated with that moment. Imagine asking someone to describe a positive experience like the birth of their child. As they delve into the details, you’ll notice them emotionally reliving it – perhaps even hearing the joyous cries. 

A Real-Life Example: Chelsea’s Sales Journey 

Now, let’s bring this framework to life with a compelling story about a salesperson named Chelsea in 2015. She faced a challenging situation when a couple walked into her office. This couple, Dan and April, appeared to be just casually browsing. 

Chelsea, freshly back from a four-day absence, initially hesitated to inquire about their story. However, a little nudge from within (and some imaginary guidance from me) pushed her to dig deeper. She wanted to understand why they were there. 

As Chelsea probed, she discovered that their visit wasn’t ordinary. It was prompted by a traumatic event – a shooting near their residence on Linda Lane. Chelsea’s curiosity pushed her to ask more questions, despite the discomfort of the situation. 

Dan and April eventually shared their harrowing experience. Late one night, they heard gunshots outside their apartment. Dan bravely opened the door, only to face the gunman responsible for the tragedy. In that moment, he became the sole eyewitness in a homicide case. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Go Deeper 

Rather than shying away from the uncomfortable details, Chelsea leaned into her empathy, the second most critical skill in this process. She asked how they were coping, which led to the revelation that they had been sleeping on friends’ couches with their one-year-old son. Their apartment was no longer safe, with a bullet hole through their child’s bedroom window and onesie. The emotions flowed, and tears followed. 

Stories Cause Emotions To Reemerge  

Bernard Remi, a social psychologist, once noted that emotional experiences are reactivated when stories are retold. It’s not just about listening; it’s about being an empathetic listener. When people recount their emotions, they often relive the same feelings as when those emotions originally occurred – it’s the power of the Three R’s: Retell, Relive, Refeel. 

The Buyer’s Story Unveiled 

Understanding the buyer’s story goes beyond surface-level information. It’s about tapping into their emotions, and the Three R’s framework – Retell, Relive, Refeel – can help you unlock this power. By becoming a super curious and empathetic salesperson, you can connect with your customers on a deeper level, leading to more meaningful interactions and ultimately, successful sales. So, the next time you meet a potential buyer, don’t just ask for their story – ask for their emotions, and watch the magic happen. 

If you want to become better at leveraging curiosity to make more sales and build deeper relationships with your customers, than you need to order your copy of Storygetter!

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About the Author: Ryan Taft

As the former National Sales Training Manager for a Top 5 homebuilder and a licensed Realtor® in Arizona, Ryan Taft is consumed with a passion for helping others achieve breakthrough results in sales, business and life.