“I’ve worked with Lenann repeatedly because she inspires skeptical individuals to take up the challenge of generating business. The Deloitte professionals in the Baltics closed 62 pieces of new busine.. Gavin Hill
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Articles written by Lenann McGookey Gardner are available for print and online publication. To request usage permission, contact 505.828.1788 or email Lenann@YouCanSell.com

Is Your Business Success All About Emotional Connections?

I teach selling.

When I walk into a new business, they expect … sales techniques.


Manipulation 101.

But that’s not what I have to give! We have all sorts of research that shows that … people hate to feel manipulated or tricked, and move away from manipulators!

So what’s working in selling … and, for that matter, in all aspects of business success? Positive emotional connections!

Really? I went to Harvard Business School. Didn’t they teach me what business is REALLY all about?

Yes, they did. And they taught me that business is all about people (along with quite a bit about numbers, and creativity, and financing, and effective operations, and marketing, and sales).

In 2002, Dr. Daniel Kahneman, a Psychology professor at Princeton, won the Nobel Prize for economics. His studies proved that we behave emotionally first, and rationally second.

Quoting author Susan Scott in her book Fierce Leadership, “We are emotional beings engaged in emotional enterprises. Without an emotional impetus, we withhold our best efforts, drag our feet, delay decisions, or walk away altogether. The competition offers a better price, and ‘loyal’ customer leave. Talented, unengaged employees learn of a work environment in which they sense they’ll be happier, and they, too, will be gone.”

“This is not hypothetical,” she concludes. “The lack of meaningful connections with coworkers and customers is costing companies billions annually.”

I’m struck that this insight is not more respected – more top-of-mind – more a part of strategic thinking – but as I go from company to company consulting, and it’s just not being discussed.

Thus this article.

If I stick to my field of expertise, sales, I can say that there is always an emotional aspect to complex sales.

Even when the purchase is high-tech, even when those doing the purchasing are highly rational, there’s a rational part of the buying process – that’s what gets you and your offering considered. And then there’s the emotional part – and that’s what leads to your being chosen over others, all of whom could have done the work.

So what would happen differently if you told yourself that your sales – or even your career – depend on emotional connections and emotional decision-making?

• Would you, perhaps, stop relying on data to “make the case” for working with you? And would you think more about the specific individuals who are making the decision, and what’s driving them? (Would you be open to “drivers” that are not logical?)

• Might you, perhaps, stop sending emailed proposals, trusting that the logic in the document will get you selected, and, instead, spend more time face-to-face and phone-to-phone with those who can choose to spend money with you? (Research says such “F2F and P2P time” correlates directly with closed sales. We have no comparable data for E2E -- email to email communication).

• Could you focus more on the words people use, rather than just the underlying concepts they’re communicating, seeking the emotional loading on their conversations, and even their emails?

All are changes for the better.

Lenann McGookey Gardner has worked with professionals across the U.S. and in 45 countries around the world, to massively improve business results. She is an award-winning salesperson, consultant and executive coach, a Harvard MBA and a past #1 salesperson worldwide at a unit of Xerox Corporation. Recognized as a “2010 Top Performing CEO” by the NM Business Weekly, she also won the American Marketing Association’s state “Professional Services Marketer of the Year” award. Learn more at http://www.YouCanSell.com or http://www.YouCanLeadCoaching.com.