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Understanding your audience : Rationality doesn’t buy. Emotions buy (In brief)

Most people concentrate on logic when they try to sell. However, many studies have demonstrated that people don’t buy logically. They buy emotionally. In fact, every time a client buys something, it is purely to satisfy pleasure or decrease suffering. People, (as human beings), are emotive creatures. Unless they want or desire what you sell, they simply won’t buy your product.

People buy for two reasons :

  • The good reason - the rational one. Because they have a need for something you offer. In short: To satisfy a need.
  • The real reason - the irrational one. The real reason is always emotional. People buy what they want - and what they desire.

In other words, they will buy a washing machine because they need a washing machine, either for the first time or as a replacement. It's a 'must have.' But - which washing machine will they buy?

The brain:

The brain is divided into 3 parts: The logic brain (neocortex), the emotional brain (limbic) and primitive brain (reptilian). Though they all communicate with each other, they do however have their own specific function.

  • The logic brain (neocortex)
    This one thinks. It analyses rational data and shares deductions with the other two. It will justify the purchase.
  • The emotional brain (limbic)
    This one feels. It processes emotions and feelings. It also shares what it discovers with the two other brains. It has a big influence on the logic brain, which means authorising feelings to dominate and control thoughts.
  • The primitive brain (reptilian)
    This one is our survival brain. It takes into consideration what the other two send but is the one that will make the decision.

What does it means ? It means that the logical brain has very little control over purchasing. It means that the process isn’t what we might think – or work towards.

Here is basically the client’s process :

  • They see/smell/touch or taste the product
  • They want the product for the benefits that it gives (emotional brain) They justify their decision (logic brain)
  • They buy (primitive brain)
  • So, you need to put up front the problems you solve - the benefits you bring. Not the product. As Steve Jobs said: ‘Sell dreams, not products!’ Don’t start with the ‘What’ - start with the ‘Why’

    Some homework: Find ways for your clients to desire what you sell, and then take away any logical reason that can justify them not to buy it.