Sunday, August 2, 2009

Inside Sales Teams Must Communicate Emotion

Companies are trying everything under the sun in order to get pre-sold these days. I'll explain pre-sold or pre-qualified as I like to call it later, but one way to get the word-of-mouth engine humming is for all inside sales teams to learn the art of communication through emotion. By communicating emotion and trust you get people to listen. It doesn't matter if you're a SaaS company or an install software company, you still need to deliver on this basic human principal. The Web 2.0 world is clamoring for an emotional connection. If they don't get it from you, then they will look to your competitors.

Inside sales team objectives vary from company to company. Some companies have teams of cold callers, some have folks who work on getting appointments set for sales directors and some sell from A to Z by themselves. All teams, regardless of their business objectives must share this quality of communication. If you tap in to people's emotions they in turn will turn to the biggest channel of communication....known as the world wide wide and share with their friends about the connection and trust they have for you as an individual, your product and your company. The inside sales group is usually the first person from your company that the prospect talks with. I want my team prepared. How about you?

I understand that this may come across as strange to a lot of "highly experienced" sales folks, but it is exactly what buyers are asking for today. This necessity to communicate on an emotional level is only compounded in the social-media world because of the power of word of mouth. You can make a 1000 calls a day, send out 1000 emails, have 3 hour phone conversations and do mass-marketing campaigns until your blue in the face, but it will all amount to a hill of beans if you're not connecting on an emotional level with your market. These attempts will get you heard, but it will not get people to listen. The only way people will listen is if you're hitting their emotion button. Once you press this "emotion button" with one, watch the good word spread. This person will spread the word on how much you helped them to all of their network. Word of mouth referral is the best pre-selling you can do. By pre-selling I mean that your company and its product is coming pre-qualified or pre-sold by way of a personal recommendation.

This may sound a little funny to some of you, so let me give you one example of connecting on an emotional level with a prospect. You're a company that sells IT Governance software and you're an inside sales rep who is talking to the Dir of IT. You have had multiple conversations with him and from a technical standpoint your company is going to be able to deliver on all of his business objectives. The golden gem on a personal level that you uncovered during your conversations, is that his inability to monitor his entire network efficiently means he has to work a lot of weekends. You also know he has two kids and both are into sports. Because he has to work on the weekends he is missing his daughter's softball games and his son's soccer matches. This is the emotional connection and the biggest value-add to your prospect. He wants to see his kid's games. Now let's jump forward in time. Your software is installed and he has gained tremendous real-time visibility across his network, has spear-headed problems before they impact the performance of the network and his boss couldn't be happier. He also no longer needs to work weekends! You follow up with him and ask him how his daughter's hitting is going and his son's corner kicks....the best answer would be an answer!!!! He has an answer now because he is at all of their games. Your software, has delivered for him on a professional level and more importantly on a personal level.

Hey...maybe I'm on to something here. Picture know how on all company websites they have a ROI tab....well maybe we should have two levels of ROI: one level for the typical hard ROI numbers for the business and the other dedicated to emotional ROI. My example earlier might read like this..."By selecting ABC Company's product I was able to decrease my compliance costs by 50%. I also no longer have to work from home on the weekends fixing network problems. This allowed me to watch my daughter hit the game winning run in her softball tournament last Saturday afternoon."

"It's not personal, it's just business" going......going......gone!

Seth Godin does a great job of talking about this in this short video clip "The Mindset of a Winner"

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