In a day when we are repeatedly told that people are buying products based on financial value and economy, it’s a strange thing to hear a sales professional (a professor) speak about injecting love into the sales process. Brian Sheehan is lobbying for a different approach to sales, a relational approach that taps into the emotions and desires of customers rather than the utilitarian purpose of a product. It’s a refreshing perspective and one that Anthony loves, and you can hear all about it on this episode of In The Arena.
How consumers really make buying decisions.
The statistics don’t lie. Buying decisions in today’s marketplace are made according to a 50/50 split. 50% of the time the decision is made on facts alone. 50% of the time it’s based in emotion or an emotional response. With such ambiguous stats why would Brian Sheehan, a professor in a business school, come down so strongly on the side of emotion? Because he’s seen the power it can have in building not only a powerful sales force, but also customer loyalty over the long haul. You can hear more of Brian’s insights on this episode.
An example of what happens when consumers love the brand.
Brian Sheehan conducted a hidden experiment in his classroom once to drive home the point that love of a brand really works. He announced that the University (Syracuse) had struck a deal with Dell computer and was going to refit the entire campus, including all student computers, with Dell equipment. As he looked over the lecture hall he saw at least 100 glowing Apple icons staring back at him. Some students responded so strongly that they were ready to move to another school simply because their favorite computer brand was no longer supported at the school. Brian effectively showed that love for a brand is a powerful force and that those brands that can leverage that have a distinct advantage.
The difficult task of discovering the meaning consumers want from your brand.
Brands like Apple, Harley Davidson, and Volvo have rabid followings of loyal fans. But it didn’t just happen. Those brands have worked very hard to discover the desires and needs of their customers as well as communicating their company philosophy in a way that resonates clearly with those consumers. It’s a strategy that develops an “Us” mentality about the brand and fosters a community surrounding the company and its ethos. How do you get that kind of buy-in from your customers? It’s a very difficult process, which Brian Sheehan explains on this episode.
Is the Love Works approach to sales really worth it?
The degree of difficulty it takes to discover the consumer’s preferences and mindsets in order to position a brand to be in sympathy with those things is very high. What’s more, it’s not something that is easily communicated by the brand. There’s an art to it. So is the effort involved really worth it? Can’t sales continue to be done as they always have? Sure, you can do that – but you are missing out on the power of community and customer loyalty that is only enjoyed by a rare number of companies. Anthony recommends everyone grab a copy of Biran Sheehan’s new book, “Love Works” to learn how to move your company in that direction, and you can find out where to get it on this episode.
Outline of this great episode
[0:42] Anthony’s introduction to the episode.
[1:28] Who is Brian Sheehan?
[2:30] How people really make buying decisions.
[7:34] How big brands can utilize love and intimacy in sales.
[13:00] The ways digital media is being used by big brands to build on love.
[14:16] How to find the meaning consumers are seeking and delivering the message effectively.
[16:58] Why you should get a copy of Brian’s book, “Love Works.”
Resources & Links mentioned in this episode
The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on Soundcloud