If you want to improve your conversion rate, you need to understand the power of emotions.
When I’m coaching advisors who are preparing to meet with a large prospect, I ask them to send me their current presentation. Invariably, it’s a PowerPoint, with graphs, charts and data.
I ask this question: What’s the emotion you are trying to elicit? There’s rarely a satisfactory response, because they’re not thinking about emotions. They believe humans process information rationally.
This is a critical misunderstanding.
Think of the brain as a giant funnel. Every minute of your waking day, you hear sounds, smell odors, touch things, see things, talk with other people, and make thousands of judgments. Your brain needs to prioritize or it will be overwhelmed.
The brain gives information a well-defined pecking order. At the top is information that signals possible danger. Fear is a great motivator. It doesn’t have to take the form of being physically attacked. For example, fear of economic losses can also have a significant impact.
Other emotions follow right behind. If you feel that one choice is better (or less risky) than another, you’re more likely to choose it.
The brain “likes” emotional information, both positive and negative. According to psychological researchers, that’s why emotional memories are so vivid. The victim of a traumatic attack can relive all of the horrific details by revisiting the scene of the crime, even many years later.
The same level of recall occurs with positive emotional events like the birth of a child, a special trip, or graduation. That’s why you can forget where you put your glasses ten minutes ago but vividly recall your high school prom.
Factual data is at the bottom of the brain’s pecking order.
Of course, you need to present the data supporting your value proposition, but you also need to tap into an emotion.
When I discuss emotions, I offer meet with resistance. Here’s a common lament: How can I appeal to the emotion of an investment committee?
Committees are just an aggregation of people, each of whom carries psychological baggage. As a group, it’s likely they want to do the best job for those who benefit from the retirement plan, endowment or non-profit.
They are looking for someone they can trust. Someone who provides reassurance by alleviating worry, anxiety and concern. These are all emotions.
Your presentation should tap into those emotions. You can do this by asking questions that demonstrate a genuine curiosity and concern for the task confronting them. You need to address these issues:
Why should they trust you?
How will retaining you alleviate their concern that they are acting in the best interests of those they serve?
Once you switch your orientation from overwhelming prospects with data, to tapping into powerful emotions, you will see a transformational change.
Resource of the week:
This blog discusses the power of emotions in sales.