Elevate Emotions and Excitement, Part 1

NOTE: This article originally appeared in the August 2015 issue of Autodealer.

We are ALL emotional buyers! Brand development and marketing specialists know this and have exploited it for decades. Every good sales person knows that people buy with their emotions, then backward-justify the decision with their intellect and information.

An Example of Buying with Emotions
Let me give you an example of buying with emotions. The average man shopping for a new car will talk about design and quality, safety, fuel economy, horsepower, crash test results and the length of the power train warranty. In the end, he’ll base 75% of his choice on the sound the car doors make when they close, how the leather seats feel, how the stereo system sounds playing his favorite streaming music, and the way the car’s alloy rims look in the showroom. These details have nothing to do with quality, performance, long term cost of ownership, or reliability.

After he decides, “I love this car, I must have it,” he will self-approve his gut buying decision by talking about its practicality, its 5-star safety ratings, and any other benefits that might make it an allowable purchase in mind. He might walk into the showroom looking for a fuel efficient Toyota Sienna minivan for hauling the family around, but he’ll drive away in a fully loaded 4WD Sequoia with the 371-HP V8. Why? Because somehow the massive engine and off road capability of the Sequoia reminds him of the lifted black 1987 Ford Bronco he had as a teenager with the high output 351 engine and 38 inch mud tires that he drove his junior year in college when he made the varsity football team and dated a cheerleader. We are all emotional buyers influenced by our feelings of excitement. This explains why fit and finish and packaging and branding can be as important as quality and service… maybe more so.

Selling to Older Buyers
When selling to Baby Boomers, emotional stimulation plays an even greater role in the decision-making processes. Over time, buyers who have reached a certain age and financial status are more likely to toss out their purely logical method of making purchase decisions and adopt an intuitive emotionally driven buying process. Many Boomers have transitioned fully from the facade of information-based buying to saying, “The heck with it, I like it, I want it, and I’ll finance it. My credit is impeccable.” However, you can’t just push any emotional Baby Boomer button to get the sale. Older buyers are savvy and hate being manipulated. If you’re a young salesperson, don’t lose out on the sale by trying to sell the same way you buy. Remember, the mature buyer probably didn’t spend a week researching automobiles on the Internet before walking onto the lot. Provide the right mix of rational and emotional information – then back off and let them sell themselves.

Know Your Customers Emotions and Bring Yours
No matter what the age of your customer, take care to listen and understand your customer’s emotions while bringing your own excitement and emotions to the conversation. Take good notes during your initial conversation with your customer; make sure you know their pressing wants, needs and desires; but also listen for telltale clues about past buying experiences, previous automobiles they have liked or disliked, and what really gets them excited.

Your buyers expect you to bring some emotion to the sales process also. Because first impressions are emotionally based, the buying process starts the moment your customer first sets eyes on you. If they form a negative opinion about you, it is much harder for them to reverse their feelings and get emotionally involved.

Remember this important fact – Your customer’s level of enthusiasm will never be higher than yours.

The reason most customers don’t buy an automobile from you isn’t a lack of money or good credit, but a lack of interest and excitement. At the very least, you should be excited about what you’re selling. The more your customers have to listen to a monotone voice going on about uninteresting features, facts, and figures, the less they’re going to listen and the less likely they will be to buy. If you’re not fired up about what you are selling, don’t expect your customer to get fired up about buying it. You can get your customer revved-up and emotionally charged simply by using enthusiastic phrases like:

“This is a really exciting feature in this model…”

“You’re going to love this…”

“This is one of my favorite things about this car.”

It’s no coincidence that the last four letters in ENTHUSIASM are the acronym “I Am Sold Myself”.

Some customers may already know what they want; they just need your help making it okay for them to buy it and figuring out which options are best for their lifestyle. They may already know that they want a specific car model, and just need help determining new or certified pre-owned, style, color and options.

Be sure to listen to the many emotional cues your customer will divulge when discussing things during your initial conversations. You can turn a ho-hum presentation into an emotionally stimulating conversation between friends when you jump on emotional cues and continue to talk about what is really important to your customer.

Be sure to:

  1. Start each new topic by telling your customer how what you’re going to say ties into what they told you they want. (“You said one of your goals for your next car is to …”)
  2. When presenting benefits, take time to bridge the gap between what they told you they want and how each benefit provides it. (“Here’s how you’ll get the low cost of ownership you’re looking for…”)

It sounds so simple, and it is, but few sales people do it effectively. Instead they memorize “tracks” and talk about the features the same way to every customer, without taking the time to clearly tie the feature to the specific benefit the individual customer is looking for. When done correctly, this small act of tying what they want to what you’re selling can be the tipping point of the entire sale.

Try It

Try bringing your own emotions to your next 10 sales opportunities. Take a minute and think about one of the models currently on your lot. Now, key in on just one or two features you’re excited about. What does it do? What are 2-3 benefits of the feature? Why do you like them? Why do your customers like them? Come up with at least 5 “You’re going to love this” benefits for the feature. Now, try each of the five at least twice over the next 10 opportunities and figure out which work best.

If you’re feeling bold, call the last 5 customers who’ve purchased that model from you and ask what they’re enjoying most about the vehicle. This is also a great opportunity to uncover any potential issues and, more importantly, ask for referrals.

Run through this same exercise for every feature of the vehicle over the next 30 days and watch your sales soar. You won’t be able to contain your excitement.

Next time, we’ll dig into Elevating Emotions with Effective Language. I’m excited about it and hope you are too!


By James Mueller (President) and Steve Howard (Founder), No Pressure Selling®

No Pressure Selling® has been helping sales consultants sell the way their customers want to buy for more than 30 years. For more information please call 800.515.0034, or visit www.nopressureselling.com today.




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