Understanding How Clients Emotions Can Impact Their Buying Decisions


For any sales pitch, three different approaches can be used to facilitate negotiations. Ethos, an ethical approach to negotiations that relies on a credible foundation of information, is effective for those looking to assert a sense of authority. Logos, an appeal to logic and reason, is intended to use logic and reason as the primary basis for negotiation, highlighting that the position being argued is the best and most reasonable outcome. Pathos, the last approach, relies on emotional appeals to be effective, and for sales, this method is imperative for client retention. 

The Benefits of an Emotional Approach

The idea of mixing emotions into a business approach may seem untrustworthy, especially when considering the volatility of decisions based on emotions. Acting on impulse can lead to serious problems with investments, especially for those in sales who rely on supply and demand to facilitate business. Although daunting, taking an emotional approach to business negotiations, especially in sales, can be a strong strategy for influencing client buying habits. Some of the biggest ways an emotional appeal can impact clients include: 

  • Personalization: By taking an emotional approach, the negotiations automatically become more personal for the client, making them feel unique during these business proceedings. Emotional approaches rely on understanding the audience being presented with a buying opportunity, meaning that the pitch will inevitably highlight the client’s taste to garner support for the deal. For example, charities typically take an emotional approach when fundraising by making donors feel obligated to support their cause due to their emotional attachment to the cause in need of funding. The same logic applies to sales, using a buyer’s unique emotional investment into a product as the pivoting point for a transaction, leading to a mutually beneficial sale on either side. 
  • Vulnerability: Sharing any kind of emotion with an audience in any setting requires one to exercise a certain level of vulnerability. In sales, as a salesperson, being in touch with one’s emotions shows a sense of vulnerability that can be appealing to potential clients, investors, or partners. Shareholders and investors have their motives for getting involved in business deals, and showing that their business is much appreciated by displaying a sense of vulnerability can increase their support, making these clients feel more appreciated for their business than in deals with other companies. 
  • Humanity: Business dealings are typically revered as devoid of emotion to focus on the figures that go into a sale, prioritizing numbers over interactions. Although seemingly efficient for getting a sale done, this lack of humanity can draw a divide between clients and a business, leaving a customer feeling underappreciated and only valued for their purchasing power. Emotional approaches emphasize the humanity behind these sales representatives making their pitches, allowing clients to view them as more than just a point of sale. 

What Makes an Emotional Approach Different from Other Approaches?

Any good sales pitch contains elements of the three main methods of persuasion, typically highlighting one as a primary leading factor that best suits the situation at hand. For emotion-led pitches, these arguments put an emotional spin on facts and statistics to make the dealings personal to an investor. These approaches typically benefit older, more established businesses with strong client relationships and can properly play towards those clients’ needs. Newer businesses that lack this foundation will have a harder time making strong pitches to clients using a more emotional approach, mainly because these clients do not have a working relationship with these companies. 

One downfall of allowing emotions to hold a greater place in negotiations is conflating expectations with actual projections. Suppose a sales forecast says that a company will most likely achieve a certain monetary milestone based on factual data. In that case, this is an actual projection of business that will most likely occur over a fiscal cycle, making this a more ethos-based approach. On the other hand, if a salesperson is expecting a company to make these sales, then using this expectation to formulate a sales pitch to investors, this emotion-based approach is bound to be less reliable than others based on data. 

Understanding when to use an emotion-based approach comes from proper influence training, giving those in a sales position the foundation needed for navigating these situations. From laying the groundwork for effective client relations to starting negotiations, understanding how to have these conversations is imperative to starting any sales deals. Having a grasp on the various approaches to negotiations and when to use those skills is crucial for success in any field but is particularly important for sales and advertising positions. 

 Integrating an Emotional Appeal into Client Relationships

The positives of using a dynamic approach for sales all rely on formulating a strong relationship with a client. Without knowing their preferences and preferred business antics, using an emotional approach to try and pitch a sales decision can end up backfiring, reflecting poorly on both the sales representative and their business. Knowing when to use these emotions, as well as what contexts and clients would benefit from a more emotional approach, comes from proper sales training. 

At Shapiro Negotiations Institute, our courses on negotiation and influence training can help those in a multitude of fields find the best ways to increase their capacity for negotiating, creating client relationships, and overall increasing their performance at work. For those in sales, our classes on negotiation and influence training can impart essential marketing strategies, helping sales representatives make the most of their client relationships. For more information on the courses we offer, visit our website and contact us for more registration information