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Sean Luce

The Heart Of The Matter

How many sales reps are (answer honestly) finding out what their prospects and clients needs are for their business? I mean asking the questions that really make the prospect ponder on what would happen if they used your radio station. Do you really find out what problems theyre dealing with? Are those prospects feeling emotionally connected to you, because you are an attractive person? No, Im not talking about lust -- though I am talking about the lust for a solution. In most cases, we never get our prospects emotionally involved.
Mother Teresa was once quoted as saying, If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will. Isnt that the same way our prospects sometimes view us, when were getting their answers to the typical, cookie-cutter questions that we are required to ask? We may give many options for how we can help them, but we dont inspire lust, or a wish, or generate any real emotional value in their eyes for what we offer. The potential client doesnt think about what they would like to do if they spend money with you. Why cant we extrapolate that information from what they tell us?

Many times sales reps are not focused and want to get out of the clients office as soon as possible -- especially when faced with a prospect who knows we dont know what the heck were doing. (Sorry for being so cynical, but thats true in many calls that I make with reps.)

Lets get emotional! Lets see what you would pony up! Recently, research was done at Carnegie Mellon University to see if people would act like Mother Teresa. The research was conducted on charitable contributions to an abstract cause, versus a charitable contribution to a single person. Two charity request letters were sent out with an opportunity to donate money to Save the Children, a charity that focuses on children worldwide. The researchers tested two letters to find out which one would garner more contributions. Visualize receiving one of these letters. Which one would you respond to with a bigger donation?

Letter 1:
Food shortages in Malawi are affecting more than 3 million children.
More than 11 million people in Ethiopia need immediate food assistance.
Four million Angolans, one third of the population, have been forced to leave their homes.
Letter 2:

Any money you can donate will go to Rokia, a 7-year-old girl from Mali, in Africa. Rokia is desperately poor and faces the threat of severe hunger and starvation. Her life will be changed for the better as a result of your financial gift. Save the Children will work with Rokias family and other members of the community to help feed and educate her and provide basic medical care and hygiene education. Which letter would make you more likely to contribute? On average in this study, the ones who read the statistics contributed $1.14. The people who read about Rokia contributed $2.38 -- more than twice as much.

We get so caught up in talking about statistics with our numbers, and how proud we are of our AQH or whatever survey your station uses, that we forget what is really important. Digging deep and finding the emotional connection is what matters. When you get to the heart, you can control the mind, at least in my experience.

Some rules of thumb on asking questions:
Buying is almost always emotional. Logic can either reinforce a decision or destroy it.
Unless the prospect is talking about the problems theyve had or anticipate having, they will not be emotionally involved in your needs call.
Never ask a problem-related question unless you have a harder question behind it.
May I ask you a few more questions? (Yes.) Good.

Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at

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