Mastering the art of emotional selling is critical when working in sales, no matter who you are or what your mindset is.
This week on INSIDE Inside Sales, Darryl is once again joined by respected keynote speaker and Sales Development rockstar, Randy Riemersma. Darryl and Randy discuss how often sales professionals only engage their rational mindsets during the sales process, forgetting entirely about the emotional side. They also talk about how simply being empathetic to the needs of your prospect will make them more receptive to what you have to say, as well as how connecting human-to-human will create greater trust and engagement. Learn how to have a radical impact on your success through using an engaging emotional process on this episode of INSIDE Inside Sales!
Host: Darryl Praill, VanillaSoft
Guest: Randy Riemersma, Span The Chasm
Darryl Praill: How are you doing, folks? Darryl Praill here with VanillaSoft and of course this, my friends, is the “INSIDE Inside Sales” show. How y’all doing? How you been keeping? We live in interesting times, don’t we? I tell ya, lot’s going on — a lot to make you go, hm. Lots of things you didn’t see coming, but yet, here we are, and you gotta deal with it, right? It’s like a sales cycle. In any sales cycle, you just don’t know what’s gonna be around that corner. You don’t know who’s gonna come in and throw you an objection, throw you a curveball, even though you thought you’ve got it all lined up. You just don’t know. You try to prepare. You try to anticipate. You have methodologies in place that will hopefully ensure that you are safe, that you are lined up with your responses. You know how to respond to the crisis in the moment.
Darryl Praill: However, it seems that, my friends, that just doesn’t always work. Life has its own way of saying, you’re cute, but this is what I’m gonna do. And that’s kind of the environment we’re in now. So many of us working from home. Well, I think the vast majority of us working from home, right? And just wondering, what’s gonna happen next. Ah, you know what this does? This plays with your emotions. I mean, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it in my own staff and in my employees where everybody reacts a little differently, and it’s not unlike a sales cycle. I see some employees get really anxious, and that manifests itself in uncertainties, in lack of work production. They’re on edge. They react. They’re quick to react shall we say whether for good or for bad.
Darryl Praill: I see it in other ways. How some people choose to see the glass half empty instead of the glass half full. It’s an emotional response whenever there’s uncertainty, and unknown, and risk, lots of risk. I see it in the fiery conversations that take place as we wonder if we have faith and trust in our political leaders. Or faith and trust in our health leaders. Is the system gonna be there for us? We see it play out in so many ways that it truly causes you, it should cause you, to reflect upon how you approach your sales prospects because my friend, whenever you go into a deal, you are gonna often paint a scenario of pain. You’re gonna speak to their fears, and what we need you to do instead, instead of dwelling there, is to build hope for them and to create confidence that you’re the individual they need to rely upon to get them through this hardship.
Darryl Praill: I’m a big fan of video as one medium to communicate, and I’ve had this debate for so many years, and I continue to have it. I posted about it not too long ago, where I told people to stop calling out this bullshit response about I’m just being authentic. I have a crappy video, or poor audio, or poor camera or poor on-air presence, for lack of a better statement, because I’m authentic. And the reason I call that out as bullshit, and I use the word bullshit, and I’m swearing b your own biases just like you cherry-picked your leads, you have your own biases that influence your decisions.
Darryl Praill: But, the reality is we see it over, and over, and over again where people will pick and choose whether to watch your content or not, hear from you or not, whether they find you engaging, whether they find you annoying to watch, how you sound, because you have to realize they’ve got choice. They have lots of choice. Man, there’s so much content out there. They can just shut you off and go to the next person who’s probably saying 80% of the same thing you’re saying. You may not agree with me in which case we will disagree, and that’s fine. But, I’m telling you, people are influenced and they react emotionally. They react. And their reaction, whether they stay listening to your sales call, or they stay watching your video content, or they read your posts, it’s because they know you’re speaking to their pain, but they have hope that you’re gonna do it. They are looking to you to lead them to the promised land. The vendor, the sales rep that helps them through that process, is the one who’s going to succeed. You need to recognize we are emotional people.
Welcome Randy Riemersma
Darryl Praill: So, let me ask you this. When it comes to your sales plan, how you approach that prospect call? Do you have an emotional plan? Many of you have a calling plan, but do you have an emotional plan? I bet you, you don’t. But you know what? You should. And that, my friend, is why we’re bringing back a veteran of the show. It’s been some time since he’s been here. Last time I butchered his name. My goal is to butcher his name a second time cause I wanna be consistent, so you have confidence in me. Randy Riemersma, Randy Riemersma, Riemersma. It’s the emphasis on the Rie, and I knew it. I got it wrong anyway. But Randy, you find that part of me charming and endearing, and that’s what makes you come back over and over again, right? As you just are enamored with how charming and endearing I am. Randy, for those who are listening, he’s taking his glasses off, and he’s physically got a migraine. I can see he’s rubbing his brow, thinking how the hell did I get myself into this podcast conversation? Randy, as I was speaking to you about an emotional plan, cause I know you are a soft, sensitive dude, did that resonate with anything I said, or was I just a victim of the virus that’s going around? I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.
Randy Riemersma: I am a mushy gushy guy inside. No, Darryl, you know, this is, we talked about this a little bit. This topic of emotion in the sales process, I think, is critical no matter who you are or what your general mindset or what your make up is. I tend to be a little bit on the more production, prescriptive Germanic end of the spectrum, not overly emotional. I am an emotional being, but I don’t necessarily process them externally in the same way some other people do. That said, it is very easy, I believe, for those of us in B2B sales especially to be very good at our scientific, left-to-right sales process and completely miss the opportunity to have an engaging emotional process which as an overlay on top of that is gonna have a radical impact on your success because we as human beings, we make decisions with both sets of our mind. We actually make emotional decisions first and then validate them with the rational side of our mind. But, we B2B salespeople, we tend to sell to the rational side of our mind and forget to engage the emotional piece. So, long answer to a very short, simple question, yes. I absolutely believe that this is a great time, especially with what’s going on in the marketplace right now, to be not only aware of it, to be very intentional with emotions in how we engage our clients and prospects.
Are you emotionally invested?
Darryl Praill: So, let me ask this. Is there a quick and dirty way to simply, if you could posit a question to a sales rep to convey to them that they’re not factoring in emotion in their sales process?
Randy Riemersma: Yeah, so I say, yes. Let me answer then you can tell me if I answered your question. When I go into a meeting, any meeting that I have, I have these three things that I ask myself which will indicate whether or not I have an emotional plan in place. I ask myself, based on this meeting, what do I want them to know? That’s the rational side of their brain – what do I want them to know? The next thing I want is what do I want them to feel – the emotional side of their brain. Therefore, know plus feel, what do I want them to do? So having a know, feel, do plan for every engagement will help you to remember to have an emotional plan. We B2B salespeople, especially, tend to be very good at what we want them to know, and therefore, we want them to do, but here’s the deal, emotion is the rocket fuel for action.
Darryl Praill: So, you nailed it. That’s the question, I think. Many of us approach it with we know what we wanna have happen and we know what we want them to do, but we totally skip the asset of emotion. And I think and part of it it’s because not every one of us are comfortable with our emotions. We can control the logical side, yet, so many people don’t buy on logic. They buy on emotion. I wanna buy this fast car because it’s a pretty color. It just makes me feel good. It makes me feel younger. I want that convertible Corvette because now I’m in my fifties, and I just wanna relive the youth I had once upon a time. It’s not necessarily an economically wise decision. There’s a bit of a cliche there, but we still do it. It’s an emotional purchase. And yet, I see other reps who actually really use emotion to their advantage. They just crank it like a dial. And if all things are equal between you and the other vendor who’s bidding on the business, you get it because they’re just emotionally invested in you. To me, that’s like gold.
Randy Riemersma: It’s freaking gold. It’s beyond that. It’s the shiniest gold you can get. I mean, you think about it, you talk about the Corvette, no one bought a Corvette because of the gas mileage you got, right? If we were truly making decisions rationally, we would all drive very small engine cars, we would all have a small electric car or something like that, but we don’t. Look in my garage. Those are not rational decisions. They’re rational in the sense that they get me from point A to point B, but for me, I like to get there with a certain feeling, right? And so my emotions have far outweighed the rational mindset on what I should buy, and I spend way too much money driving a car that’s not incredibly practical but does get me from point A to point B, and I’ve convinced myself of that, safely, nice German making, but it is very much an emotional piece. If you think about the big decisions we make, a house, a car, they’re often really and emotionally. We make emotional decisions. We back them up with intellectual alibis. Once I’ve emotionally bought into something, I form the data to support my decision.
Darryl Praill: All right. So, what I wanna do is I wanna explore how we actually build an emotional plan as part of our prospecting efforts in our discovery process. But, I don’t wanna do that yet. Instead, what I wanna do is I wanna start the process earlier than normal in our typical “INSIDE Inside Sales” podcast cause I wanna let you go uninterrupted. So, with that folks, we’re gonna take a brief little break, and when we come back, Randy is gonna give us the how-to on how to build your emotional plan.
Building an emotional plan
Darryl Praill: Okay, Randy, we’re back. And, I did make him a promise before we left. I said, you, my friend, will teach them how to build an emotional plan. So, where do we start? What’s the process? Educate me, oh, wise one. And in the process, I want you to really evoke a lot of emotion and get me heavily invested in you as an expert.
Randy Riemersma: I’m gonna poke you in the eye a little bit. Well, okay, great, heavily invested in me. I will do my best to create credibility, which would be a natural trust magnet that will automatically pull us relationally together. I just wanna go back a little bit too to this idea of emotions. If you think about the relationships that you have, Darryl, that you highly prize, how strong is the emotional component of it?
Darryl Praill: It’s huge. I mean, it’s through the roof. When I think of the relationships I have, I highly prize, my first reaction is, do they get me? Which emotion’s a big part of it. Do I trust them? And do I respect them? Nowhere along the way do I say, do they have an IQ of 200?
Randy Riemersma: Right. I mean, you think about it, let’s dial back, and I don’t wanna take too much time on this, but when you and I met a while ago on LinkedIn, then we had a conversation, we both dropped down our barriers a little bit, we shared authentically, and that’s when we said, hey, I like that guy, right? I wanna spend more time with him. I even said to you, “Man, I wish we coulda sold together. We woulda had a blast working together in the early days.” And I’ve enjoyed your sense of humor
Darryl Praill: Yes.
Randy Riemersma: And I’ve learned some things about me that make me more human that you’re like, yeah, I get it. You remind me of, and blah, blah, blah. When we connected emotionally, I would say our relationship went from facts and figures to actual real connection. It has some real substance which allows to actually survive some things that a ration-based relationship wouldn’t. Just a pure ration-based relationship, I mess up, boom, I’m at the curb. So, why am I saying this? People, if your prospect, if your client is emotionally bonded to you, is emotionally bonded to the value that your solution brings to the marketplace, you will win more, it will go faster, and when those bumps come in the road, you will survive those much better building an authentic relationship. So, Darryl, you said, let me map it out. I’m gonna draw a picture today. So, if you normally listen to this on just on audio, that’s gonna be fine, I’ll talk through it, so you’ll still be able to get it, but it might be worth watching this one in real-time because I’m going draw two pictures that I think will be helpful in the process. So, first off, let me introduce the ever-popular flip chart.
Darryl Praill: This may be the first flip chart we’ve ever had on the “INSIDE Inside Sales” show. I love it.
Randy Riemersma: All right. Hopefully, the quality is okay. So, having an emotional plan here and we as salespeople, we think we go left to right in the sales process, and I wanna do the same thing with our emotional plan. And my encouragement here is to have two tracks. One, this is them. I want you to have a plan for their emotions, and I want you to have a plan for their emotions about you. So, their emotions about themselves and their emotions about you. So, the first one is let’s talk about you as we go left to right in the sales process. The first thing I want them to think about, I want them to be curious about you. Does this guy or gal know something that I don’t know? And this is a little bit hearkened back to a challenger sale, bringing a provocative point of view to the marketplace.
Randy Riemersma: At MuleSoft, everything we do in our sales campaigns is built on bringing a provocative point of view to the marketplace because we want people leaning in. They’re curious, do you know something that I don’t know? And that’s what we wanna create, some curiosity there. The next thing I want them to do, we’re gonna move from that over into it, as we have our conversation, I want them to build up some desire for what I have, right? We have this conversation. I emotionally, I want a, “Wow, Randy, you guys get it. You see a different world. I want it.” I begin to move towards that. I emotionally want that. It creates hunger. The smell of bacon, how that invokes hunger in your mouth, and you wanna have it. So, first, I want them to be curious about you, then build desire for what you have, and then what that’s gonna do as you move from desire, what’s the next one? Urgency, right? I want it, and I want it now. What you have told me is delectable, not just for my rational side of my head, but for my emotional side, I’m connecting that. What you’re selling, I want now.
Randy Riemersma: So, curiosity, desire, urgency. For them, and this is critical that we have that we have this plan for them, right? They must feel pain or fear. And I’ll draw a picture for this in a minute, but we must start the conversation with them. Based on our provocative point of view, it’s gotta create a sense of pain or fear. And, the reason why this is so important is because so many people, you know, the old boiling frog thing, you raised it one degree at a time, the frog is boiling, but it doesn’t know it’s boiling. So many of our clients and prospects are suffering, but they’re not aware of it. We need to expose that pain for them. And as we expose that pain, because where we brought our point of view and we can adapt that to their marketplace in a way that’s very meaningful, we take them from pain, and then we create the magic motivator of hope, right?
Randy Riemersma: They see some hope. Oh, you know something that can free me from the state that you just showed me. You held up a mirror, you showed me this problem, and now you’re creating hope that you can actually solve that for me. It fuels that desire. If I see that hope, that drives my desire. And what then? If we go through this process with them, the next thing we want them to feel is to go from pain to hope, to confidence. I get it dude or dudette. You have the ability to solve this problem for me. Risk is the number one killer two-yard line for deals. People are like, oh, my feature set wasn’t right. Well, it wasn’t that your feature set wasn’t right, it’s just that as they’ve gone through the process, by the time they got to this point, they said, this is too high of a chance to blow up in my face. Therefore, I am going to back away from it.
Randy Riemersma: So, curious about what you know, provocative point of view, adapting it to their environment creates desire, and then when they see the personal and business benefits, they’re gonna want it now, urgency. It starts with fear and pain. We must get them afraid, feeling fear of pain, or they won’t move. We’re gonna create hope based on the way we’re gonna apply this to their environment, and because of the way we’re gonna tie in use cases and references, we’re gonna create confidence for them. So, this is sort of the six pieces, right? Curiosity, desire, urgency, pain, hope, confidence. That’s your emotional plan. You should have this as you’re going through your process.
The fear factor
Randy Riemersma: I wanna dig into the pain and fear here for a minute. Darryl, we live most of our lives in this emotional band where sometimes things are pretty good, sometimes they’re a little bit crappy. I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers football fan. They won, they lost, the pizza was good, the pizza was cold. My diet Coke was cold and sparkly; it was warm and flat. But, we live most of our life in this emotional band. Let’s say this is 80 to 90% of our time. For salespeople, why I say you must get them, make the current state unacceptable, why we have to light up this fear and pain because if we only sell this glorious, wonderful, delectable future state out here, that’s too far away, it’s too abstract, they got too much other crap going on in their world. They’re saying, yeah, that’d be nice to get, and I’ll get that someday, but right now I’ve got all this other crap I gotta deal with.
Randy Riemersma: However, if we’re able to emotionally get them with fear and pain in our provocative point of view out of their comfort band and down here outside of there where they see there’s a real problem, they’re like, crap, I gotta do something about this. And here’s the beautiful thing about this reference point right here. If you look at this future state out here and this reference point of pain down here, this my friend is value. Keenan does a great job of this in “Gap Selling,” talking us through this. But, it’s the gap between their current state that we’ve established and that future state of glorious wonderfulness, that is what value is in their mind, and until we have this reference point of the current state being unacceptable, there’s no reference point to create value, it’s abstract. Therefore, they’re gonna default the features, and they’re gonna default to pricing. You wanna get a big deal done, create a great gap between the current state and the future state, that value is what they’re gonna monetize against. All right, so, go ahead. You had a question or a comment?
Darryl Praill: No, those who are listening, let me explain the visual he’s drawn right now, which is fundamentally imagine yourself like a quadrant in a grid. It could be like a Gartner quadrant or something to that effect. It’s an X and Y, you have four quadrants, two by two. And, what he’s saying is that the band where most people live is kind of on the Y-axis. It could be a low of a third of the way up to a high of two-thirds of the way up. And, you kinda live in that area, but what you wanna do, you know, if you just paint the perfect vision, like I’m in the upper right corner, but that’s so far away from them that they can’t visualize it. Whereas, what you wanna do is you wanna show them the pain, which is really in the bottom left corner. The delta between the bottom left corner and the top right corner, but I’m doing this vertically, not on an angle, just that delta from the lowest of the low to the highest of the high, that’s the value that he’s talking about. You wanna get them beyond that band. So, make them feel bad, if you will, the pain at the lowest of the low and show them the highest of the high, hope, where you wanna bring them to, that’s the delta he’s talking about.
Randy Riemersma: Absolutely. Again, that has to exist in their mind. It doesn’t matter if it exists in your mind, it must exist in their mind because they’re the ones that have to be able to assign the value to that gap between their current state, what they’re suffering in now that we’ve now exposed them to and that glorious future state. That gap is where the value that they can monetize against: low value gap, low monetization. Therefore, we as salespeople, we need to stretch that out and show them because of our experience, because of our provocative point of view, because of the hundreds and thousands of clients that we have served that created that trust, that curiosity at the front end, what that value gap is.
Randy Riemersma: So, just to wrap it up, and I wanna kinda close this out, especially in context of what we’re dealing with now in the marketplace. We must have that emotional plan. Curiosity, desire, urgency, pain, hope, and confidence. They gotta have confidence there at the end because risk kills all deals. The lowest risk usually wins at the end inside the two-yard line. You can be sexy all you want at the front end of the football field, but, at the end, you gotta be boring and successful. Remove the risk. In this emotional plan, especially for those who get excited about our work, those that maybe are not, maybe a little more production-oriented like myself, I wanna to also say, especially during this time when our customers and our prospects are under extreme distress with what may be going on in the marketplace when we’re recording this, we’re just in the middle of all this coronavirus stuff, step zero of our emotional plan, before we get to curiosity, before we get to creating pain, let’s enter the conversation through the doorway of empathy. Human to human. Connecting with them human to human before we try to connect to them business to business or business to consumer. We gotta slow down and assess where they are effective so that we can meet them where they are and by taking time to meet them where we are, again, that’s gonna create receptivity, trust, they’ll be more receptive to what you have to say. So, Darryl, over to you.
The journey of emotional selling
Darryl Praill: So, let’s just recap what he said, all right? And this is really, really important. He said, there’s two paths. There’s your path, your journey, and their path, and you’re walking it together. You were moving from a state of curiosity to desire, to urgency. They’re going from a state of pain or fear to hope or confidence. Those paths are in parallel. So, your curiosity drives their pain or fear. In other words, what’s the effect of that on your company right now? Oh, that process is killing us. It’s killing our productivity. There’s a financial hit. Because you were curious, you evoked pain. Well, what if we could fix that for you? Would that be good? That’s your desire. If I can make that go away, would that be helpful? Yes! Yes, can you do that for me? That’s hope, right? I can do it for you in 30 days’ time. Would that have an impact in your business? Oh my gosh, that would help us, and have others done this for you? Yes, I’ve done this with others. That’s confidence. Now, I’ve done a poor job of that, but you do see the cause and effect. Curiosity can drive pain or fear. Desire can drive hope. Urgency can drive confidence. And, what you need to understand to Randy’s point is that pain or fear, hope, and confidence are all emotional responses. The biggest thing there you need to understand is exactly what he said there. The final thought is it all starts with empathy. You need to recognize and convey that you understand their world. If you do that, they will listen to everything you have to say. Randy, how’d I do?
Randy Riemersma: Bam. I give you high marks for that one. The technology gets lower marks than you do. I think just to cap it out too, here’s the interesting thing I’ve seen, and Keenan does a good job of pointing this out in “Gap Selling” as well. It’s a great read. When we come in early in the conversation, we invoke these emotions, we bring that provocative point of view, and we show them the difference between a unique way of looking at their current state and their future state, we expose something new to them. Fascinating what happens in the mind. This goes to confidence and trust and those things. How to build that. When you show someone a problem they weren’t aware of, they automatically give you attribution that you can solve it. For repetition, if you show someone a problem they weren’t aware of, they will automatically give you attribution that you can solve it. Put you way ahead in the sales process from day one. So, that’s available to you if you choose to invoke it. If you wanna be lazy, that’s fine too, run your normal sales play. But, having an intentional emotional sales process is as valuable, arguably more so than your standard science-based, left-to-right process. Darryl, that’s all I got.
Darryl Praill: So, the whole point here folks is you need an emotional plan for prospects. It’s not enough to say, what am I gonna do and what do I wanna have happen. It’s what do I want to do? What do I want them to feel? What do I wanna have happen? It all goes together. If you are forgetting the emotional aspect of your selling, you are leaving money on the table, and quite possibly you will get beat by the competition who wants the same business you want. That’s the story today, folks. That’s what you’ve learned. Randy, what’s the best way to reach you, my friend?
Randy Riemersma: If you can spell Riemersma, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can text me, probably easier at 404-307-3201. Or, you can find me on LinkedIn, Randy Riemersma. There’s two of us. We’re both software salespeople of a certain generation, but I think you’ll be able to figure it out. I’m the charming bald guy with glasses, not the handsome man with a full head of hair.
Darryl Praill: It’s like you just described you and I. Just saying that. Okay, that’s my good friend, Randy. Folks, you did it. You survived, and you’re a little bit wiser. We hope you had fun today. I know I did. All right, back to reality, it sucks, but it is what it is. My friends, all those out there getting through these days, you’re not alone. We’re here with you. So, we hope you enjoy. Hope you take this chance to catch up on all those back episodes of “INSIDE Inside Sales.” We’ll talk to you soon. Take care. Bye-bye.