People Buy Based On Emotions and Then Rationalize Their Decisions Intellectually

Most salespeople think that their prospects make buying decisions based on logic and rational thought. As result of this belief they focus on presenting their products and services in an intellectual logical manner.

The real truth is that all buying decisions, and for that matter, all decisions are made with a high degree of emotion and then subsequently rationalized intellectually.

If you don’t think you rationalize your behavior let me give you an example that will illustrate how you do, in fact, rationalize. Let’s pretend for a moment that you were in the grocery store and when you checked out and got back to your car you realize the cashier had given you a dollar more change than you should have gotten. Would you go back and return the dollar? Most people would probably go back and return the dollar under those circumstances. Same scenario except this time it is raining very hard and you are one hundred yards away from the grocery store would you go back and return the dollar. Many of us would not. We would rationalize our behavior by saying to ourselves it’s only a dollar, they won’t miss it, it’s too much trouble, it wasn’t my mistake. Now for those of you who would trudge back into the store let’s add another element to the mix. Let’s pretend it’s raining, you don’t have an umbrella and you are one hundred yards away from your car and you have a small child in tow. Would you return to the store and give them their dollar back. I doubt few of you reading this would because of the inconvenience and you would rationalize your behavior for not doing so.

The truth of the matter is no matter how much you rationalize your behavior if you kept the dollar you are in effect stealing. No matter the circumstance, no matter the difficulty of returning the dollar, no matter the weather. As human beings, rationalization is a psychological mechanism for justifying behaviors and actions we choose not to engage in. So it is with your buyers. They justify buying and they justify not buying. It has nothing to do with logic.

Unfortunately, most sales training programs and sales managers do not teach this concept properly. Effective sales training incorporates a high degree of teaching advanced psychology and understanding of human nature.

As professional salespeople we should look to participate in sales training that teaches us how to identify opportunities and emotional reasons to help our prospects rationalize their decision to buy our product or service.

No matter the product or service you sell you must realize that you are in the business of selling feelings not products or services. And the more you come to understand the complex psychological nature of human beings the more effective you will become at influencing their behavior and the more money you will make.


What a wonderful idea. I will be back, and probably become a regular visitor. thanks

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