In February, we celebrate Valentine’s Day – an entire day dedicated to love. Couldn’t we all do with a little more love, this year specifically?
Our #LOVEYOURAGENCY mantra at Square 2 has done wonders for helping us work with clients, attract prospects and keep our people happy through some very challenging times.
We’re going to be spending the entire month focusing on spreading the love. We’ll be sharing with all of you how important love, feelings, emotions and creating emotional connections with your prospects and customers is to seeing the revenue growth you all aspire to generate.
To start, let’s dig into why feelings are so important when it comes to generating leads.
To some of you, this might seem a little fluffy. After all, it’s a business, right? You invest money in marketing, so you expect to see leads, and those leads need to be ready to buy today. But if you look closely at your own buyer behavior, you’ll see it rarely works like that in almost every scenario.
The Data Is In And It’s Not Even Close: People Make Purchase Decisions Emotionally
As an article from Harvard Business Review reports, “Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman says that 95% of our purchase decisions take place unconsciously – but why, then, are we not able to look back through our decision history and find countless examples of emotional decisions? Because our conscious mind will always make up reasons to justify our unconscious decisions.”
The bottom line from the article is this: Sell to Mr. Rational for simple sales, and sell to Mr. Intuitive for complex sales. Since B2B selling usually features long sales cycles that are complex, you need to consider how to connect emotionally with Mr. Intuitive if you want to close the sale.
Let’s use a couple of practical examples to make it real for you.
Think about a few of your more recent large purchase, like a home, a car or an expensive piece of furniture. What was your initial thought? Was it “wow, what a great price” or was it “wow, it looks amazing?” Many, many times we have found items that we love but can’t afford on further review.
We were emotionally sold, but the rational side of our brain stopped us – in that exact order. In fact, if we were never emotionally interested, there wouldn’t have even been a rationalization thought.
This emotional side of a person’s brain is exactly why Facebook uses the word “like” and why other social companies use hearts as their button for providing feedback.
Love is a big part of marketing, and if you ignore the emotional side of your story, you’re going to miss the ability to connect with a lot of your prospects.
The Feeling Of Being Safe
Want to break this down even more? We do this for our clients all of the time. Want to generate more leads? Help your prospects feel safe through your marketing assets and stories.
Want to close more sales opportunities? Help your prospects feel safe with your reps, your process, your products/services and your company.
Moving away from anxious and toward feeling safe – it’s a goal for everyone in marketing and sales. Feeling safe is the emotional goal you’re looking for. We break safe down into three parts that are actually even easier to achieve.
First, prospects have to get to know you. Then, they have to trust you. Finally, they have to like you.
Yes, when you break it all down, if you get prospects to know, like and trust you, they’ll say yes and hire you.
Know, Like And Trust
These are right in front of you; you just never noticed them before. Your website is a great example. If someone comes to your site and it doesn’t work right, doesn’t render well, takes too long to load, doesn’t tell a story, doesn’t educate and doesn’t entice them to stick around, they have an emotional reaction – and it’s not a positive one.
They might articulate it like this: I don’t know what this company does, or, if they can’t get their website right, how are they going to take care of me?
If people can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll feel anxious and give up. Even if someone referred them, if they land on your site and have a negative experience, they won’t feel safe with you.
Your website is going to be the first place prospects will attempt to get to know you. They need access to as much information as possible. This is generally why people encourage marketers to un-gate their info.
The more forms or friction you put up, the more anxious your prospects get. They don’t want to fill out a 10-field form just to get an e-book.
This is also why people put logos of their high-profile clients and testimonials from customers on their website. These assets help prospects feel more relaxed. People think, ”If they can service these guys, they should be able to service me,” or, “Look at all of these other people who have had a good experience here.”
But marketing only gets you so far with know, like and trust. Ultimately, and in most cases, they’ll have to talk with one of your salespeople. If your salespeople come on too hard, don’t work to build trust and can’t get them to like them, that prospect isn’t closing.
Your sales process has to be designed to continue the know, like and trust process. Guide instead of sell. Provide tons of educational information. Ask and answer as many questions as needed. People like talking about themselves. It makes them relax, because it’s a topic they know. The more questions you ask during the sales process, the more they’ll like your sales team.
You can and should apply this filter all through the sales process, even down to the agreement or contract you provide. If it’s too legal, it will scare you contact, and they might not want to move forward. It’s definitely going to slow down your sales cycle and require that they bring in legal, which you know is always a negative experience in almost every way.
Mapping Their Feelings
If you’re like most prospects who first start talking with us, you might be wondering how to identify how people feel while they interact with your marketing and sales efforts.
It’s a little easier than you think. First, we map out the buyer journey using our Cyclonic Buyer Journey™ model and its eight stages. We look at what companies are currently doing and map prospect feelings along the way.
Sad faces, neutral faces, happy faces and excited faces are used to capture how they feel today, and then we repeat this exercise after we’ve redone the sales and marketing experiences.
Our goal is to move people to a happy face as fast as possible and then maintain that as they get through their buyer journey with our client. They need to be excited as they get to the signing stage.
Our research shows that this process typically cuts roughly 25% off the sales cycle and has been shown to increase the close rate by upward of 50% on average. If you’re currently closing 50% of your submitted proposals, when we’re done, you’d be closing 75% of them — a dramatic improvement. But we’ve also seen close rates go from 30% to 60%, a 100% improvement.
When you understand the human brain chemistry and why people make purchase decisions, it does unlock a wide variety of improvements you should consider for your own marketing and sales execution.