Head vs. Heart Selling

Listening to him was like hearing fingernails scraping a chalkboard.

Can you hear that? I’ll bet you can. What does it make you feel? Discomfort? Irritation? Anger? A combination of all three?

I don’t remember what he said because he delivered too many facts.

What does that make you feel? Duh…nothing?

Both sentences express the same thought. The difference between them is huge. The first one will make you money. The secind one won’t. Why? The first one makes you feel something whether you want to or not.

The second one expresses an idea. You can understand it. But, you can’t see it, hear it, taste it, feel it, or smell it.

While we’re at it, take a whiff of this. I can tell you that “the scent of her perfume is too strong.” Or, I can say, “My eyes begin to tear from the sharp citrus smell of her perfume.”

Which statement is more likely to make a lasting impression? The one that triggers your sense of smell. In fact, sharp citrus will probably make your mouth water too as you recall the taste of lemons.

Words that appeal to your senses hit their target and make an impression on you. They get through your defences and arouse your emotions.

People’s buying decisions are always based on emotion, not on logic, despite what intellectuals may tell you. They will die denying it, but they too, buy with their emotions.

Is your product or service technical? Does it have a lot of science behind it that you feel compelled to share with your prospects? News flash. They don’t care.

Some of you just felt your pulse race when you read my last sentence. I know because I’ve coached and helped many intelligent people who felt like you do.

By the way, notice that I appealed to your sense of touch when I mentioned your pulse. I didn’t say, “Some of you are resisting this.”

I’ll give you two quick examples to drive home the point about scientific and technical jargon. I worked with a group of sharp sales people who sold heart monitors to hospitals.

Their presentations focused on the advanced technology that made their heart monitors better than their competitors’ products. Their sales skyrocketed when they started telling doctors real stories about their monitors saving lives by drawing attention to emergencies in split seconds. They spoke powerfully to the doctors’ emotions.

The financial planners I’ve trained have had huge ah-ha moments when they discovered the difference between talking about mutual fund performance and painting a picture for their clients living lives of poverty vs. lives of wealth.

How To Find The Emotion In Data

The idea of painting word pictures that communicate your product/service story may be foreign to you.

This exercise will help you put flesh on the bones of dry data. It will make what you are selling irresistible to many people.

Create a storyboard. It’s easy, fun, and profitable. First, write your sales message in head language. Use all the conceptual language you want. Then, ask this question. How can I tell this story without words? Create word pictures that involve all or as many of your five senses as you can.

Keep refining your story until it feels natural and touches your own emotions. That’s when you will have an authentic story to share with prospects, a story that will compel many of them to buy what you are selling.

Have fun with this storyboard image. Write a few sentences that communicate the message you get from the pictures.


How important is it to paint picture stories when you sell? Well, how important is it to “get” or understand the images on your TV screen?

Think of sensory language as the descrambler that imprints a powerful clear message in the hearts of the people you are trying to reach with your products and services. Speak to their emotions so they can take advantage of the many benefits they will gain when they buy from you.

Speak to their heads, and you will leave them cold. You will cheat them out of the opportunity to experience all that you have to offer.

Get the picture?

Take advantage of my offer to give you the secrets of storytelling that will attract an army of hungry buyers to your business. Put your first name and email in the form on the right, and I will immediately reveal those secrets.

I wish you profitable story-selling.

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1 Comment

  • Dave

    April 6, 2015

    Louis, this is intriguing! I see myself as one of those crunchy, fact-based types that you reference. And yet, appealing to the emotions seems to make sense! Now you got me thinking. Looking forward to learning more about *how* to create the story in my techno world.

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