Let's Get Emotional

Hi Persuader,

Here’s a bold statement, but one I’m willing to stand behind: forget about appealing to your prospect or client logically. In sales, appealing to logic comes a (way) distant second to appealing to their emotions.

To illustrate this, I’m going to tell you a story about some college kids who learned this and put it to the test.

The students all got together and agreed before class started that if the professor moved to the right of the classroom, to the student’s right as they were facing the classroom, the students would sit up and pay close attention. They would be very quiet, smile, and nod approvingly at the professor. But if the professor moved to the left of the classroom, the farther left he went, the students would cut up, act out, throw things, look away from the professor and act disinterested.

Class began. They followed through with their plan and it didn’t take but about a half an hour and the professor was pegged into the right side of the room, standing there for the entire rest of the class with the students absolutely gobbling up everything he said, excitedly listening, nodding, smiling and showing their approval of all that he was doing.

The next day, they decided that they would do the exact same thing but just reverse it. So class began and what they did is as the professor would move to the right, which he started right off towards the right of the room, they immediately would cut up and act up and act disinterested and as the professor would go to the left of the room, they would act interested and they would do what they should. It took not too long and the professor was pegged over into the left of the room.

Throughout the whole process, the professor had no idea what was going on. The professor didn’t know that they were doing this and had no way of knowing that they were doing this. He was massively affected by what they did.

Why? Well, we like it when people approve of us, we love to be smiled at, we love encouragement, we love to know we’re having a good impact on people, we love it when people have interest in what we’re saying and doing. These are all fundamentally emotional reactions.

How would you like to be able to affect people in that same way and get them doing things and responding to you in ways that up to now has been happenstance?

The thing to remember first and foremost is that people are led to decisions based on their emotions. Emotions bring people to decisions, logic cements or potentially breaks that decision. The logical aspect is actually is very minor. Obviously, for each person it’s slightly different, but if I were to just grossly generalize, making decisions based on emotion may be as high as 80, 85 percent while logic is only a very small 15, 20 percent to back it up.

A person who makes their living persuading but can’t use emotions well will most likely never make much money, at least the cards are stacked strongly against them. And similarly, a person who can make strong logical arguments but is not adept at utilizing emotion also has the cards strongly stacked against them.

So how do we do this? Well, stay tuned for an upcoming post for more information about getting to your prospect’s and client’s emotions.

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Jonathan Kroner - April 7, 2008

Hi Kenrick,
I agree with the article but I’m not sure the conclusion is that the students simply appealed to the professor’s emotions. The appeal was also made below the professor’s level of awareness.
This is similar to a negotiation tactic where you anchor looking at one eye for approval, anchor looking at the other eye for disapproval, and later seek to employ the anchors. Maybe you could expand on this technique in one of your newsletters — I might have even learned of it from you.
And finally, thank you for your regular newsletters.
Regards from Miami,
Jonathan Kroner

Brian - April 9, 2008

I liked it. Very nice illustration. I also wanted to say thanks for publishing your newsletter. I know it’s a sales tool but it’s also informative.

Yew Heng Chiong - April 13, 2008

Hi Kenrick,

Interesting example. Maybe all man is always seeking for assurance unconsciously, just like the professor.

The professor may look composed and cool on the outside, but deep inside, there is always this need to be assure of doing the RIGHT thing. That’s compulsion may lead him to move to the side where the students show interest.

Yew Heng

Breian Malupa - Breian.com - May 7, 2008

This is so true… not just in sales but in all aspect area in our lives when dealing with people.
In sales, this is a very crucial skill to have. Some people who got introduce to this was a bit uncomfortable with the idea, they think it is manipulating. You can use this skill for good and evil. Thumbs up if you believe in what you are selling, thumbs down if you don’t believe in what you are selling and using this just to get some sales.

This is not manipulation,… it is effective communication. This is the essential fundamentals to resolve conflicts effectively, bridge the gap in building lasting relationships, to radiate a charismatic aura to influence for a good cause. This is an essential life skill.

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotions.” -Dale Carnegie.
Too many people are clueless and ignorant of this. They walk around in circle and left scratching their head why.
Thank you Ken 🙂 for enlightening people with your articles 🙂


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