Jeffrey Gitomer March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013
By Jeffrey Gitomer
March 11, 2013

When you’re asking an existing or prospective customer a question, the object is to get them to think and respond emotionally.

To most salespeople this strategy sounds like a foreign language.

START YOUR THINKING HERE: The sale is made emotionally and justifiedlogically. Once you understand that fact, it makes perfect sense toengage the customer emotionally to set the tone for them to decide tobuy.

Most salespeople are taught the difference between open-ended andclosed-ended questions. A closed-ended question is one that results in a yes or no answer. An open-ended question is one that begins to createdialogue from the customer. Open-ended questions are good, but theydon’t necessarily breed emotion. This process is necessary tounderstand, but at its core is passé.

Here’s a new way of thinking about your questioning strategy: logic-based questions vs. emotion-based questions.

This thought process and strategy will give you a new awakening abouthow customers think and decide. And by using emotion-based questions,you can get them to decide on you.

CAUTION and CHALLENGE: This is insight to a new questioning process that will help you formulate emotionally engaging questions. I’ll give youphrases to use, and a few sample questions. Your job is to understandthe process and create your own questions based on your product,service, customer needs, and customer’s desired outcome. Questions thatdraw out their emotion, and keep focus away from logic – AKA price.

Logic-based questions center around the old-world “qualifying”questions. These are questions that both annoy and aggravate thecustomer. Logic-based questions basically ask for money information sothe salesperson can begin to salivate. “What’s your present payment?” or “What have you paid in the past?” or “What’s your budget?” or “Do youwant to lease or buy?” These are questions fall under the category of“none of your business.”

KEY CONCEPT: Do not qualify the buyer, let them qualify themselvesbecause you’re so friendly, engaging, and genuinely interested.

The late, great Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in twomonths by becoming really interested in other people, than you can intwo years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Emotion-based questions ask about their life and use, not their money.Prior to beginning your “presentation,” ask the customer emotion-basedquestions that begin with the words, “How long have you been thinkingabout…” or “What were you hoping for…”

Get the customer to paint their vision of outcome.
Get the customer to paint their picture of “after they buy.”

During the purchase, ask emotion-based questions such as, “Is this whatyou had in mind?” or “How do you see this serving your purpose?” or “How do you see your family enjoying this?” Or take it even deeper with,“What do you think Bobby will say when he sees this?”

Emotion-based questions draw out feelings – feelings that will lead totrue engagement and honest answers about how your product or servicewill affect their expected outcome.

When you can get the customer to visualize outcome, you also have themvisualizing ownership – otherwise known to you as “purchase.”

MAJOR POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: People don’t actually come to purchase.They come to purchase because they want to USE. What happens AFTER thepurchase is way more important to the customer than the actualpurchasing process. Drawing out their emotion during the process is thekey to getting them to take ownership.

So, during the sales presentation you might want to ask questions thatbegin with phrases like, “What are you hoping to achieve?” or “How willyou use this in your business?” or “How do you envision this will add to your productivity?” or “How do you believe this will affect yourprofit?”

Whether you are selling to a consumer or a business, whether you areselling on the phone or face-to-face, the process and the emotionalinvolvement are the same. Someone wants to take ownership, and your jobis to get them to visualize it, be engaged by you, agree with you,believe you, have confidence in you, trust you, accept your price, andpull the trigger.

The key to this is emotional involvement. No manipulation, no pressure,no old world sales techniques, no NLP, just friendly and genuineemotional engagement that touches the heart and the mind simultaneously.

“Jeffrey, I’ve been taught to ‘find the pain.’ Is that emotional?” Yes,but in a negative way. A very negative way. Pain is a negative emotion – or as I call it, a “none-of-your-business emotion.” Dumb questionslike, “What keeps you up at night?” create an uneasy, uncomfortableatmosphere between you and the customer. And most of the time, if you’re asking a negative-based question the customer will not give you a realanswer.

AHA! Don’t find the pain. Find the pleasure.

Pleasure evokes positive emotion. “Tell me about your vacation.” “How is Morgan following your passion for fashion?” “How is Henry followingyour passion for golf?” “Where was your biking trip this year?”

Find their pleasure, find their purpose, find their expected outcome,uncover their true emotional motives – and you will find their wallet.

Now that’s pleasure.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, CustomerSatisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little RedBook of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little BlackBook of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The LittleGreen Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching,The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more informationabout training, seminars, and webinars – or email him personally [email protected]

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