If you haven’t got a sales background this may be revelation. If you’ve been in sales, then you’ve heard this before. As human beings, we make major (and most minor) decisions in our right brain, our emotional center. People who talk about making logical decisions really believe it, but in the end, their left brain logical mind shuts up and let’s the ol’ right brain go for it!
Years ago, I was in the car business. I did wholesaling, retail sales and new car management, used car management, fleet sales, even F & I (Finance and Insurance). I got to see hundreds and hundreds of shoppers and buyers in the process. And I got to watch the sales process from start to finish thousands of times over.
Sometimes people would come in with a clipboard, having spent weeks looking for just the right car and deal. Ultimately, their logical mind would simply defer, because the number of options became unmanageable. I’ve seen people get red-faced in anger, yelling and threatening salespeople, and walk out happy as clams a couple of hours later. It’s bizarre, really, but the bottom line is this:
Our logical mind will never make a decision we emotionally don’t agree with, unless we feel forced or coerced into it. Often in a divorce, one of the parties isn’t in agreement about breaking off the relationship, regardless of the compelling logic of the situation. Nevertheless, they go along with it. Is this too dramatic an example? No. Sales and the sales process are seen in every area of our life. That same couple made an emotional decision to marry each other at some point. Why? Logically. No way! But an interesting thing happened in their gray matter.
Their logical mind stopped finding the reasons why they shouldn’t make the decision, and started finding all the supporting reasons TO make the decision. Their left brain started putting together a case to support the decision their emotional right brain had decided it wanted. Nothing else mattered. And if you watch the news, you’ve probably seen some pretty crazy marriage decisions, like marrying a convict on death row. Show me the logic of that one!
Whether our left brain wants to admit it or not, we are fundamentally base, emotional, reactive, instinctual creatures. We often don’t understand our own decisions, our own words, our own feelings. But it is from this emotional side of ourselves that we make almost all of our decisions… including our decision to buy.
As a marketer, this is the sizzle versus steak, the benefits versus the features. We have to give the logical brain the points it needs, so it can support the emotional decision we are leading the prospect to. And when we do this right, and give the emotional brain lots and lots of exciting sizzle, there’s only one thing left to do.