Think of a situation where you had bulletproof facts, reason, rationale and logic on your side, and believed there was absolutely no way the other person could say no to your perfectly constructed argument and proposal. But the other person dug in their heels and refused to budge. They weren’t swayed by your logic. What’s happening?
When negotiators sit down at the table to hammer out a deal, they come armed with facts, and use logic to sway the other party. They pile on data and use reason to explain their case—so the other party will say yes.
This approach is doomed to fail, because decision-making isn’t logical, it’s emotional, according to the latest findings in neuroscience.
A few years ago, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio made a groundbreaking discovery. He studied people with damage in the part of the brain where emotions are generated. He found them normal, except they were not able to feel emotions. They couldn’t make decisions, even simple decisions, such as what to eat. Both choices have pros and cons, and with no rational way to decide, they were unable to arrive at a decision.
The final conclusion: At the point of decision, emotions are very important for making choices. In fact, even with what we believe are logical decisions, the very point of choice is arguably always based on emotion.
This has huge implications for sales professionals. You must create a vision for the other side to bring about discovery and decision on their part. In the end, your opponent will make the decision because they want to, not because you convinced them with reason.
Something to Think About
How often do you find yourself telling your client, or those you care about, what’s best for them? How often does your mind jump to the thought, “How can I prove my point?” What we now know is that if you help them discover for themselves what feels right, and most advantageous to them, and what feels good to them, they are more likely to agree with your opinion. Their ultimate decision is based on self-interest which is emotional.