Use Emotions to Communicate

Everything makes sense at some level.  Pure logic at one extreme and pure emotion at the other.

Consider the situation posed to Cookie Monster,

Luis’ Question, “If you have 10 cookies and I take two, what will I have.”

Cookie’s answer, “A black eye and broken fingers.”

The logical answer is two cookies. The emotional answer is different.

Most of marketing/selling is like that too.  People respond more strongly to emotions  than they do to logic.  Kahnemann and Taversky found that in developing prospect theory.  Losses are about twice as painful as similar sized gains. Not logical.

The emotional side receives new ideas more easily.  The logical part can process them later, but only if they have been received.  There is a reason.  The emotional brain is the ancient part of the brain and includes many sensors and few filters.  Better to notice a possible sabre-tooth tiger and avoid it, even when it is not there.  The logical part of the brain is opposite.  Many filters.  Filters slow things down.

You can access the emotional brain if you work at it.  Simon Sinek  Ted Talk.  has advice drawn from understanding Apple.

Start with why.

“I use Apple because they’re easy to understand and everybody gets it. If Apple were like everyone else, a marketing message from them might sound like this: “We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. Want to buy one?” “Meh.” That’s, how most of us communicate. That’s how most marketing and sales are done, that’s how we communicate interpersonally. We say what we do, we say how we’re different or better and we expect some sort of a behavior, a purchase, a vote, something like that.”

How Apple does it.

“Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?”

Same message, different acceptance.  Telling the what, demands a filter and a challenge to the statement.  Starting with the heart (the why) allows the message to appear in the brain without objection.

Processing is done from there, but from the baseline that says, “I think I like this.”

You will not waste your time watching the video or reading the transcript.

Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is now with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario.

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