Not that I need reminding but I become more and more convinced that selling is a question of emotion rather than fact. People don’t necessarily buy products because of what they are but because of how they make then feel or they project an image of the kind of person they would like to be. People may even buy off someone because they admire them and wish to be associated with them.
In a world full of choice, where we are presented with not one option but often hundreds of similar products, purchasing is not a question of logic. Emotion takes over. We are feeling creatures that think rather than thinking creatures that feel. It is a complicated business.
Whenever I was on the buying side of the table there were a few questions I would always ask myself before putting my hand in my pocket. The obvious one was: Is the product on offer one that would meet a need that I had within my business? Further questions that came to mind though were all to do with the person in front of me and the organisation they represented.
The second questions was: Do they have an understanding of what it was that my business was trying to achieve, some of the obstacles it was facing and some of the opportunities that were opening up in our market? If they didn’t then were they willing to listen to what I had to say and to try to gain that understanding?
Thirdly I was interested in how they thought about how their offer could support these obstacles and opportunities. My concerns were entirely based upon my emotional engagement with the person opposite. Did I believe them? Could I trust them? Do I want them associated with my business?
Online trading, without any apparent human contact, is growing in volume at an ever-increasing rate yet no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that my decisions were based upon fact, it was emotion that was the order of the day. As long as we are human it will always be so.