Just because there’s a lot of professionalism in the process of engaging B2B prospects doesn’t mean emotions aren’t essential. But sometimes, people can’t balance between cutting out the role of emotions or overdramatizing them beyond what’s necessary.
An effective and more realistic approach would never veer to either extreme.
When people think of emotional decision making, they immediately think of a lot of clichés. There’s the tyrant CEO who fires somebody just because they brought in the wrong newspaper. There’s the spineless manager who can’t get her careless employees in line.
They don’t immediately think of the more real situations where people still think but at the same time are doing so under the guidance of their emotions. What about the supervisor who wants to outsource because his whole department is caving in from doing too much leg work? What about the executive who can’t stand another minute of crunching financial numbers because they’d rather focus on a product launch? What about office politics? You’d be surprised to learn that they require emotional intelligence more than anything purely fact and/or logic-based.
These are all indicators of prospect needs but at the same time, the reasons are no less emotional. Now if you still can’t figure out exactly what differentiates them from bad emotional decision making, here it is:
- Emotions are justified by work – The relationship between work and the emotions involved is strong enough for them to justify each other. They’re not petty. Complexity of a pain point doesn’t even have to be in the equation. It’s already enough that your prospect’s emotions (whether it’s distress, determination, excitement) are in equal proportion with the work involved.
- They actually make more sense – Think of it like witnessing strange prospect behavior for the first time but finding it increasingly accepted as you do a bit more digging. Sometimes a prospect’s hesitation or eagerness makes more sense if you actually allow the possibility of emotions to fill in the blanks. Do you honestly think everyone around prefers to reduce costs just for the sake of reducing them?
- Maturity can also spot overreaction – Emotional intelligence implies maturity. That in turn means you know whether an emotional element to a particular decision is proper or not. That’s why understanding the role of emotions in prospect behavior is key to balancing out how much of an emotional factor should be considered.
When you know how much emotion is involved and how much should actually be behind a prospect decision, you develop a stronger sense of empathy. When you have a good sense of empathy, you will understand how there is still an emotional essence to B2B prospecting.