How Emotional Needs Lead to Tremendous Value and Sales

Emotions Impact Consumer Behavior

BrandsMany salespeople assume that customers make buying decisions with a rational approach, analyzing details like features and financial aspects. However, research has shown that emotions shape the attitudes that drive consumer decisions and behavior. And, those emotions (or hot buttons) impact behavior far more than technical or functional factors.

Consider how people frequently buy name brand products over the generic alternative. If it doesn’t make logical sense to pay more for a product with the same ingredients why do they do it? It’s the emotional attachment they have to the brand.

Psychology Today describes it this way…

“A nationally advertised brand has power in the marketplace because it creates an emotional connection to the consumer. A brand is nothing more than a mental representation of a product in the consumer’s mind. If the representation consists only of the product’s attributes, features, and other information, there are no emotional links to influence consumer preference and action. The richer the emotional content of a brand’s mental representation, the more likely the consumer will be a loyal user.” – curated from Psychology Today

Uncover Hot Buttons to Build Enormous Value

Emotional needsAll buyers are influenced by their emotions, however they may not realize it. While the reasons customers care about your products may not be obvious to them, your ability to uncover their  “hot buttons” and understand their emotional needs can have a very concrete impact on your sales success.

When you gain a firm understanding of your customer’s hot buttons you have powerful information to build value in your product. Consider that most customers would pay almost anything to realize their hot buttons and you can see how incorporating a connection between your products benefits and their hot buttons help increase value.

For example, a grandmother with knee pain might decide to just “deal with it” when faced with a pain cream costing $40.00 a tube. However, if that same cream could relieve her knee pain allowing her to spend quality time playing on the floor with her granddaughter it would be well worth it. In fact, if you asked her how much she would pay to have that time she might say something like”I’d pay any amount”.

The ability to spend quality time playing with your granddaughter is an emotional reason for buying the product. It’s a priceless “hot button” and connecting it to your product’s benefits increases value.

Discovering Your Customer’s Hot Buttons

To find your customer’s hot buttons you need to ask questions but before that, you need to gain their trust. Chances are a stranger isn’t just going to hand over emotionally charged information to you. So from the beginning of your interaction you need to establish rapport and sincerely listen and care about your customer’s needs. When they feel the can trust you and see that you’re not just about making a sale they’ll be more inclined to open up and tell you what really matters.

Emotions are What Drive Consumers to take Action

Having a conversation at a more emotional level also encourages your customer to take action. It’s human nature. Even something as simple as our fight or flight response is triggered by an emotion.

“In response to an emotion, humans are compelled to do something. In a physical confrontation, fear forces us to chose between “fight or flight” to insure our self-preservation. In our daily social confrontations, insecurity may cause us to buy the latest iPhone to support our positive self-identity.” – curated from Psychology Today


There are emotional aspects to the decisions and actions your customers take when considering your product. When you make a solid connection, uncover their hot buttons and show how your product can help get them what they want, you increase the chances they’ll say “yes” when you close.

Help, My Customer Isn’t Talking

My Customer Isn’t Talking

She just wouldn’t tell me anything. That customer just didn’t want to talk. How am I supposed to build value when they won’t have a conversation with me?  If you’ve ever heard a colleague say things like this or even said these things yourself you may be a victim of a conversation killer. But there is good news…

On today’s show discover:

  • … three different conversation killers that may be impacting your sales;
  • … what to do if your customer isn’t talking;
  • … the very best way to improve customer communication.

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Why Spock Was Wrong about Needs, Wants and Why People Buy

Needs, Wants and Why People Buy

If you have a closet filled with the exact same outfit and you wear it everyday you are either:

  • Steve Jobs,
  • from the future,
  • a consumer who buys strictly what you need based on logic.

If, on the other hand, you have a wide variety of styles and colors in your closet you, like the vast majority of other consumers, make your buying decisions based on emotion and what you want.

On today’s show discover:

  • …how to find out what your customer wants;
  • …how knowing what they want can increase the value of your product and the likelihood they’ll buy it from you.

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You’re Also a Customer

One great advantage you have as a salesperson is you’re also a customer. It makes sense to rely on your experiences as a consumer to excel on the other side of the counter.Think about the last big item you purchased. Maybe it was a car, a house, or a new computer.

When people are shopping for a big ticket items, like a car, they have valid, logical reasons for needing it but they also have specific wants, aspects about a new car that defy logic, things that have a powerful influence over their final decision. It needs to be red, it has to be a FORD, it has to look cool, I want a sunroof.

This influence isn’t limited to large purchases….you even make small purchases based on emotion and what you want.

Why are There so Many Types of Trash Cans?

Have you ever taken a look at how many different types of trash cans there are? There are metal ones, plastic ones, black, red and green ones, trash cans with wheels, with lids that come off and with lids that stay on. Why are there so many different types? It’s just a can to hold trash right?

Well, the only reason we have so many choices as consumers is because we buy what we want. If we only bought based on what we need, we would have just one model,style and color….it would be simple and logical. However, because there are people who want RED trash cans (even though it doesn’t make logical sense) red trash cans are available!

Wants, Needs and Why People Buy

When faced with a purchasing decision Wants generally outweigh Needs and in many cases you may even want something you don’t really need at all. (I don’t know about you but I can think of a dozen things I’ve bought over the years because I wanted them even though I really didn’t need them).

Take jumping out of plane for instance. You don’t NEED a parachute to jump out of a plane, but you probably WANT one! In this case the WANT is WAY more important don’t you think?

It’s Highly Illogical

Why people buy, it's not logicalIt’s common to find sales books that tell you to build value by showing the customer how your product meets their needs. It’s a good place to start but if you really want to excel in sales show them how your product gets them what they want! That’s far more important to your customer.

For this reason, Mr Spock would have been a terrible salesperson. He was WAY too logical. Remember, whatever you’re selling your customer can get in a dozen different places but if you can show them how your product gives them what they want they’ll buy it from you.

How do You do Find out What they Want?

Well, along with the probing questions you ask to find out what they need, incorporate questions to find out what they want and look for that emotional response.


Using a two step process identify your customer’s needs and then understand them.

  • Step one Identify the need with a question like:
    • What prompted you to call in today?
  • Step two understand the need with questions like:
    • How long has that been an issue?
    • What else have you tried?
    • At it’s worst, how bad is the pain?


Now, use the same process to identify your customer’s wants…their hot buttons, the emotional reason they want to resolve their need.

  • Step one identify their wants (or hot-buttons):
    • Once we get rid of that back pain, what’s the first thing you’ll want to do that’s difficult for you to do now?
  • Step two understand their want and especially their emotional attachment with questions like:
    • Why is biking so important to you?
    • How will it feel to be back on your bike again?
    • Where do you like to ride?

Some salespeople struggle with this because it seems counter intuitive…. I’m supposed to be talking about my pain product not about their love of bike riding right? (wrong).

When you discover your customer’s wants a lot of great things happen:

  • You strengthen your connection with them which helps build trust and value (you’re not just another salesperson)
  • You actively engage the customer in the buying process (engaged shoppers become engaged buyers)
  • You have the ability to demonstrate how your product not only meets their needs but also gets them what they want

That makes you and your product far more valuable.

Today’s One Two Punch:

Discover your customer’s wants and create a stronger desire for your product


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The Secret To Knowing What Your Customer Really Wants

The “Listen to Needs” step is a critical point in the sales process because the information you learn here helps you tailor benefits and build personal value in the product or service you’re selling. Additionally, understanding what your customer wants from an emotional perspective gives you powerful information to overcome any hesitation that may arise later in the process. But how do you get customer’s to open up and tell you what they want, why they want it and why it’s so important to them? What’s the secret to finding out what your customer really wants?

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