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Olsen on Sales: It’s Emotional

The human animal is 99% emotional. We decide with our hearts and then justify our decisions with our “logical” brain.

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The human animal is 99% emotional. We decide with our hearts and then justify our decisions with our “logical” brain.

Change makes us uncomfortable. A worldwide pandemic and social upheaval represent big, emotion-laden change for all of us. Staying focused with so much clamoring for our attention is a challenge. We must set limits on how much we are going to pay attention to the outside world, if at all, during work hours and stay on task vs. staying on the internet worrying and talking about things beyond our control.

Sales is a transfer of emotion. Master Sellers control theirs. One of the earmarks of a great seller is that we can’t tell what kind of day they are having. Master Sellers plan their work and work their plan. They don’t let the outside world affect how they perform. Of course, they prefer to have good days than poor days, but they know how to stay on course.

Many sellers are ruled by their emotions. If they are having a tough time in their personal lives, their sales performance shows it. The Master Seller keeps their life in compartments. The Master Seller uses work as a refuge when things in their personal lives are wobbling. Master Sellers know how to put on their “happy face” when it’s game time.

Prospecting—It’s Emotional

Prospecting is arguably the most difficult thing we do.  It takes emotional fortitude to call 50 prospects a day and maybe find two potential customers. Master Sellers embrace the challenge, while most sellers don’t prospect in any kind of professional, focused way. They seldom prospect, therefore aren’t fluid when they do it, thus getting poor results, which creates the vicious circle of poor results, reluctance and non-performance for bringing in new business.

Most sellers prospect when it’s slow or when they lose a big account. Master Sellers have a disciplined, scheduled approach to prospecting as part of their overall plan of attack.

Overcoming Objections—It’s Emotional

Most sellers don’t ask for the order! When I first started, I read a book by Tom Hopkins that said that 90% of sellers don’t ask for the order. I couldn’t believe it. Having coached salespeople for 30 years, I have to agree with that number.  Most sellers do a form of the following:

Quotron: “Mrs. Customer, I have a car of 2×4 14’s I can get into you at $750/MBF, what d’ya think?”

Customer: “Thanks for the number. I appreciate it. I’ll let you know.”

Since they don’t ask for the order, these sellers never have to overcome an objection, because they never get them—another vicious circle of non-performance.

The Master Seller asks for the order every time and is ready and willing, intellectually, and more importantly, emotionally, to overcome objections. Overcoming objections is a low-percentage business. Once a customer has said no, it will be more difficult to get them to say yes, but Master Sellers do it every day. But even a 5% closing percentage on objections will produce and extra 2.5 orders per day in a 50-call day. Multiply 2.5 x 22 working days = 55 extra order a month, which is why Master Sellers make four times the average.

Closing—It’s Emotional

We make two emotional mistakes in closing. First, we are too nervous and timid. These emotions are transferred directly to the customer, making them nervous and timid also. Wanting the order too badly is the other emotional mistake. This makes us too aggressive, which is off-putting, sends the message that we don’t care, and is easy to say no to.

Master Sellers are positively, naively assumptive. They are relaxed because they know why their deal is good for the customer and they know the customer will say yes. This is the dichotomy of the Master Seller; they are realistic in knowing that not everyone will say yes, but their positive self-talk and attitude ignore that “realistic” fact.

Sales—It’s Emotional

I tell my students, “We’re not going to smart our way to the top of the sales business.” We work (much) harder than the average and we relate to our customers on a human/emotional level while controlling our own… emotions.