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  Ask anyone what will help your sales and sooner or later you will hear the tired old adage about having a 'USP'' (Unique Selling Point), or perhaps the importance of highlighting the benefits you bring to your clients.

It’s a message that everyone likes to hear because it’s reassuring. We feel comforted talking about the positives we have to offer. The sad truth is however is that this advice is not based on any real evidence about buying behaviour and to put it bluntly, it's wrong.

Behavioural psychology tells us that people are motivated to act (and buy) because of emotional feelings within themselves, not because of what you have to offer. Neural Linguist Programming (NLP), Transactional Analysis (TA) and many other models tell us this.

In other words if you want to sell more you must open up the personal and emotional concerns of a prospect. And then reassure them that you can help them overcome these issues. For example a mechanic should ask a business owner about the problems caused when a delivery van breaks down, not about the unique service packages he puts together for companies.

        The 7 key emotions that make people buy:

  1. Pain in the present:   This is the most powerful driver to act
  2. Pain in the future: Fear of an impending outcome is a strong motivator.
  3. Pleasure in the present: In third place in the selling hierarchy is your buyer’s desire for gain right now.
  4. Pleasure in the future: Delayed gratification is less important. Questions such as 'what ROI do you want next year? fit into this category
  5. Pain in the past: Buyers may well wish to avoid problems they have had in the past
  6. Pleasure in the past: A return to previous greatness... Often a look back will open up pain in the present as people realise what they are missing.
  7. Interest and curiosity. This is the weakest of all emotions and yet the one that salespeople seem to place great stock in 'would you like to see something that will surprise you?' 
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