Have you ever walked into a pet store and been handed an 8-week old puppy to hold who has cuteness oozing out of every pore as well as all 4 paws?
The moment you stare into the eyes of that bundle of adorability you form a bond.
Of course the store owners know this.
They totally understand that you holding the puppy exponentially increases the likelihood of it going home with you.
When we are doing a consult with a prospective client we don’t have a puppy to hand them to try and form a bond, but we do have something else that can be equally as effective and a lot less manipulative.
Imagine You’re A World-Class Life Coach
I want you imagine this scenario.
You’re an in-demand world-class Life Coach making an excellent living, picking and choosing who you want to work with.
You can also see a steady stream of passive income drop into your bank account from people who have bought your fantastic products.
Imagine this in as much detail as you can – maybe even close your eyes to do so. See what you would see, hear what you would hear and allow all those lovely feelings of satisfaction and achievement to arise.
It feels great doesn’t it?
So bask in the moment a tad longer and maybe even take a snapshot of what you are seeing, hearing and feeling so you can replay it again whenever you wish.
As Human Beings we tend to think that we make decisions using rationale and logic, but science has proven that to be far from the truth. That even when we really should be employing more critical thinking we still tend to default to emotions.
We like to think we voted for that candidate because of her policies. Or we bought that car because of it’s fuel efficiency. Or even that we hired that coach because she had the best resume. But it’s seldom the case.
One of the main reasons Clinton lost the election to Trump is because she and the Democratic Party tried to appeal to people’s logic.
Emotion Trumps Logic (pun probably intended)
Trump couldn’t care less about logic, he was appealing to people’s emotions – especially their fears.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to sell your services on logic and of course it can work on occasions, but you also need to bring emotion into play to be really successful.
Asking questions like, ‘How will you feel in 5-years if you don’t make the changes you have just told me you need to make?’ is far more powerful than simply saying, ‘I think I can help you get where you want to be, how about we get you signed up?’
The former expression invokes emotions. Maybe regret, maybe fear, maybe disappointment. It really doesn’t matter because each person will tap into the feeling that not changing will create for them.
You may be feeling a twinge of discomfort and be thinking even though I said to the contrary it feels manipulative. It really isn’t.
Or should I say, it really isn’t if you genuinely think you can help the person who has inquired about your services.
Appealing to people’s emotions is helping them to make a decision that they will be happy with weeks, months or years down the road.
You Have To Believe In What You’re Saying
It only becomes manipulative and lacking in integrity if you don’t honestly believe you can provide more value than the client will be paying you.
The pet shop owner seldom cares whether you really want a puppy.
He doesn’t worry about whether it will eat your sofa. And he’s not concerned as to your ability to pay the vet bills.
He just wants the cash for the puppy.
Once you have walked out of the store with the hound it’s not his responsibility what happens to you or the dog and nobody will blame him if things don’t work out.
We’re not in that situation. We have an ongoing duty of care to our clients. We also want happy clients who will refer us to other people.
As such this isn’t a zero sum game and using an emotional approach should always be coupled with a strong belief we are the best person to help our clients.
Next time you do a consult appeal to people’s emotions as well as their more rational side and see what happens.
And in case you’re wondering, yes that is one of my puppies. Would you like to hold her?