If You Want to Sell, Feel It!

While logic and emotion are the two sides of sales, you can argue there is really only one side—emotion. The logic side of the equation is not really sales. Logic deals with facts, statistics, costs, savings, efficiencies, and so on. But do these things really pertain to sales? Doesn’t a Web site or a brochure give all the logical facts on one page? That isn’t selling. The logical part of the process is certainly important, but it’s not selling. Isn’t sales really more about influence, and isn’t influence really about inspiration? Inspiration clearly is not about logic. Who gets inspired by logic? Have you ever been inspired by a movie without a soundtrack? Just think of Rocky, one of the best examples of an inspiring movie. Most people who saw it can hum the tunes of certain scenes, like when he runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. People remember because they are affected emotionally, not logically. Rocky is far from a logical movie. We get sold on it because it’s inspiring, AND we get sold on it because Rocky was sold on it. Rocky believed in himself, and the viewer, therefore, believed in Rocky.

The most important source of emotion in the sales process is the salesperson. The car salesman who sees his job as just that—a job—and who sells on the technicalities of a car, will usually lose out to the car salesman next door whose job is his passion and who talks to people about how this or that car will make them feel. He believes in his cars. He’s passionate about cars, and he conveys that passion to the buyer.


Emotions not only affect our results, they almost exclusively determine our results. First, our OWN emotions affect our sales. This is the most important factor in the entire process. The level of emotion around our goals is the greatest indicator of where we’ll be one, three, five, or twenty years from now. Our level of success is directly correlated to our emotional attachment to the end result we’re looking for. That point warrants repeating: We are as successful in accomplishing our goals as our level of emotional connection to our goals. If we don’t FEEL a deep and burning connection to them, we are unlikely to achieve them. But, there is nothing more powerful or amazing on earth than the human ability to achieve when we are driven, determined, and convicted by our goals. Conversely, there is nothing more sad than a person who sets goals with little or no emotional attachment to the end results. Another great boxing movie, Cinderella Man, is about an Irish boxer named James Braddock. He was a decent boxer, but never achieved anything until his family became destitute.

Boxing was his last hope. He decided what he had to do and put every bit of energy and effort toward it. He was fully connected to his goal.

When sales professionals are not connected emotionally to their goals, they set themselves up for disheartenment, sadness, discouragement, frustration, perhaps even disillusionment with sales in general, often referred to as “burn out”. By the way, have you noticed that people who consistently accomplish their goals don’t get “burned-out”? It’s not a coincidence! If you’re not emotionally attached to your goals, either get some new goals or figure out what needs to be done to feel that burning desire to accomplish them. If not, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you even begin.


The second important emotion is the salesperson’s feelings toward his or her product/service. People sense our passion, or lack thereof, and that is what they’re buying. Prospects are too busy today to want to spend much time gathering information. They want others to do the research. But prospects are not stupid. They know that every salesperson is interested in making a sale, at times regardless of whether or not that sale will be good for a particular prospect. They base their level of trust on a salesperson’s level of passion for what he or she is selling. Salespeople build rapport slowly or quickly based on their level passion for their products and services. And how quickly we build rapport is important.


Rapport is not usually considered an emotion, but I believe emotions affect whether or not rapport is built. Great salespeople often hear their prospects say, “I just really feel good about you,” or “I really feel like I trust you, and I don’t normally trust people this quickly.” Many people believe rapport to be something that either happens or doesn’t happen and little can be done about it. Not true. However, if we are not convicted about what we’re selling, rapport will be very difficult, especially via the phone.

For those who sell on the phone, building rapport quickly is life and death. If we do not have high levels of passion and self-belief and belief in our product/service, the person on the other end of that phone line will pick up on it in seconds and become uninterested. Phone sales require a high level of energy, an energy that can only be drummed up continually if there is a deep excitement and passion about what is being offered.

That being said, anyone with substantial phone prospecting experience knows it is virtually impossible to always sound and feel excited. Sometimes discouragement sets in. It’s inevitable in phone selling. That is when the passion and belief will “pull” one through those times and aid in the ability to persevere to success.

Rapport is not only important for phone selling, it is increasingly important in every sales situation as our world grows more disconnected. People now depend upon others they do not know well, and the ability to build rapport quickly continues to become more valuable in the marketplace. The ability to build rapport quickly will always partially depend upon the extent we feel emotional attachment or passion about what we do. Our passion is perceived by others and helps build rapport without words.


We have all heard, “Sales is eighty percent emotion and twenty percent logic.” The mistake many sales reps make is to conclude the “eighty percent” is in the prospect’s emotions. It is clear to the reader by now, however, that the 80 percent primarily deals with the salesperson’s emotions! That being said, the emotions of the prospect are critically important also.

Sometimes selling professionals are passionate about what they’re selling, but struggle to communicate that passion. For those with more introverted personalities, sometimes their passion is harder to perceive by those they’re communicating with. It is very important for salespeople to by highly conscious of their own personality type, so they know where and when they need to communicate more boldly or more subtly and with whom. For example, a highly extroverted person meeting with a prospect who is rather introverted will usually have no problems communicating their passion. But, a rather introverted salesperson meeting with a highly extroverted prospect will definitely do themselves a favor by working to be more vivacious than they normally would, lest they bore their prospect uninterested. So here we’re dealing with communicating our passion. We’ve already established the necessity of our passion, and we’re taking that as granted. In this arena though, we understand that our own passionate feelings toward what we’re selling is moderately useless if it’s not effectively communicated to our prospects. And from a success standpoint, this is the only part of the “80 percent” that is important to a sale being made or lost. The extent to which sales professionals are able to effectively pass their passion and belief on to the prospect is the extent to which they will have success in sales.

This depends upon a few different things, like the words they use, their follow-through in the sales process, the organization of their sales process, their level of knowledge in the industry, and so forth. These things also communicate competence which builds trust and confidence in the prospect.


I hope it is now clear that the most important element of sales and selling is emotion. And the most important emotion is the one found in the selling professional. It is commonly said, “You can’t give love if you don’t have love.” The same is true in sales: You cannot pass along the right emotions if you do not first own the right emotions.

Watch for the next article on how to strengthen this emotion and passion so they can be passed along to prospects and watch you sales skyrocket!


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    • admin

      Thank you Engagement Photographer. I hope you “swing back” often and I’ll work to post more for you!
      – Jon O’Malley

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