Super Agent

Human Decision-Making: What Really Drives Change?

There is a field of neuroscience and behavioral science called “Behavioral Economics” that focuses on how people make decisions—according to a Harvard Magazine article, it was born out of the need to explain odd observations and human anomalies. For example, “People say they want to save for retirement, eat better, start exercising, quit smoking—and they mean it—but they do no such things.” The article also explains that for decades, the standard academic model of a decision-maker has been someone who is intelligent, analytic, rational, and logical. The problem: “when we turn to actual human beings, we find, instead of robot-like logic, all manner of irrational, self-sabotaging, and even altruistic behavior.”

As the examples above suggest, logic alone cannot explain human-decision making. If people were inspired to act by reason alone, everyone would exercise, eat healthy, save money, etc. The same principal is true of decision-makers in the sales process, but we often see agents trying to use logic to persuade them to make a change. Producers come to the first meeting prepared to provide a list of statistics and facts meant to affirm their expertise, but instead they create barriers rather than breaking them down and are ultimately unsuccessful. Why? Because emotion, not reason, drives change behavior. If decision makers are emotionally engaged at the start of the sales process, they will be much more open to trust the logic that comes as the next step.

So, how can you effectively appeal to the buyer’s emotions? There are two important steps:

Step 1: Believe. We focused on the importance of belief in our last blog post. If you are truly invested, the buyer will feel it.

Step 2: Use stories. A good story can provide important information while arousing the listener’s emotions and energy to act. Innovative business author Daniel Pink explains: “Humans are creatures of emotion as much as logic, and facts and arguments move us most when they are embedded in good stories.  The world’s priests, politicians, and teachers have always known this by instinct… storytelling is increasingly seen as an essential business skill.”

Are you evoking the emotions that will inspire your prospects to act?

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