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The emotional selling proposition.
Video length: 3:31
Dave Harries: Grant, the third part of tone of voice is the emotional selling proposition. That, on the face of it, might seem a little bit fluffy. What does it really mean?
Grant Leboff: It’s anything but, and yet people do neglect it. You’re absolutely right. In a lot of business to business communications … It’s not always true for business to consumer, but in business to business communications, people always think about the logical and rational reasons why you should buy my services. “These are the benefits. These are the reasons to buy.” That’s fine, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that. You should, but you have to understand that all decision making has an emotional element to it.
Antonio Damasio is one of the leading behavioural psychologists in the world. In his book, “Descartes’ Error,” he says that human beings are feeling machines that think, we’re not thinking machines that feel. In other words, in essence, we are feeling machines, and emotion plays a part in everything that we do. To ignore the emotional proposition to the customer, what you stand for emotionally, just means you’re leaving it to change, and then it can mean that it’s incongruent.
In other words, if you sell candles, emotionally, you’re selling romance. If that’s the case, what language do you use on your website? What do you wear when you go and see a customer, and is your logo black? No one associates the color black with romance, so if that’s the case, there’s an incongruence, which means you won’t be trusted and everything else. To not define your emotional proposition and be aware of it, and then see how that manifests itself in your communications is an enormous miss, because you are not reacting to one of the key factors in any buying process.
Dave Harries: Emotions, though, are … With the best one in the world, not particularly scientific, I suppose, or they don’t appear to be. Presumably, some different customers can have different emotions, so you might have more than one reaction to your product or service. How do you deal with that?
Grant Leboff: It’s not about the customer reactions. It’s about what you stand for emotionally, as a business. For example, Harley Davidson are all about freedom, and they understand that, and they understand who their customers are and why that appears and, therefore, it comes through in a very congruent way, in their design, their logos, the language they use and everything else. It’s just understanding. In the same ways you’d understand what your value proposition is, “This is what we deliver to the customer, and it may not be for everybody,” you say emotionally, this is what we give to the customer. If you like it’s an internal thing. It’s not something you go and advertise, but by having a key understanding of it and a clear understanding of it, it’s like a compass that always points north.
It means that when you are putting things together, when you go and see a customer, what am I going to wear today? We live in a business world today where going in smart jeans or going in a suit, does it matter? Often, it doesn’t, but it does matter in terms of your emotional proposition. What do you think the customer’s buying? Do you sell training or empowerment? Accountancy or reassurance? What is it you sell? Of course, your emotional proposition, quite rightly, would be different depending on your audience. You could have an accountant that works with corporates, and it could be about being risk-averse and be reassurance. You could have an accountancy that works with entrepreneurs, and it’s more about aspiration and confidence. You can have different service providers whose emotional propositions are very different, even though they’re in the same sector, as you like. It’s very important to define, to give you that congruence of what you’re doing.
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