One of the critical elements in business is sales or marketing efforts leading to sales. I’m often asked by business owners to help them with improving their sales. Whilst marketing is, by and large, mechanical, the sales process or the sale itself is a little more complicated.
Our conscious state of mind can only process three to four new pieces of information at any time. So, our conscious working memory has limitations. It’s no surprise then that 95% of our purchasing decisions are taking place in your subconscious.
The research work conducted by Professor Nelson Cowan shows that our reflective state, that is, when we look back at the decisions, we have made we do so or identify with our conscious, rational state of mind. That is to say, we will always justify our unconscious decisions on a conscious, rational basis.
Your history of rational decision making is an illusion.
On the other hand, our unconscious mind has a logic, it can effortlessly process, deeply, millions and millions bits of data. No stress. No sweat. This unconscious skill set has been developed from the history of our learnings and experience, both good and bad.
Shifting from science to philosophy. It is generally understood Plato promotes the concept of the so-called rational person theory. What Plato actually tells us is a little more complicated. Using the metaphor of a chariot driver, trying to control two horses, one horse is obedient - rational, the other unruly, driven by impulses, the emotional, pulling away, taking us into different directions.
Avoid the suspicious forms of art such as poetry which, Plato says, excites the emotion.
It’s emotion which joins, connects or enables the unconscious mind to communicate with the conscious mind.
Buyers buy on emotion and justify this emotional decision with logic.
If you don't agree, answer this: Have you ever lost a sale or a project to a competitor who had an inferior solution? If you answered yes, the chances are the unruly horse, emotion, took control of that customer’s decision.
Let’s be honest, most of us sell using logic. Plato, in his metaphor, doesn't suggest for a minute that we untie the unruly emotional horse and let it gallop away, leaving the chariot driver to be pulled solely by the rational, obedient horse. In fact, the upshot of cutting loose the unruly horse is that the rational horse works harder, and we get to our end point a lot slower. Rather, Plato tells us we need to manage both and if we want to speed up a little bit, excite our audience with some suspicious forms of art, such as poetry.
And this is another tip. We should use Plato’s clues in our marketing efforts. In business, particularly sales, we should always combine emotion and logic when we engage with our customers. It’s easy to do and you should be practising this at every possible opportunity.
Emotion and logic. Use both. Give it a go.