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The Contagious Power of Emotions in Sales
Episode 3315th March 2024 • Connect & Convert: The Sales Accelerator Podcast • Sales RX and Wizard of Ads Employee Optimization
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In this episode, we explore the concept of emotional contagion and its impact on sales. Just as we learned about physical contagion during the COVID pandemic, salespeople and customers unconsciously mirror each other's emotions. Negative emotions can hinder sales, while confidence and positivity are more likely to lead to success. We discuss strategies for salespeople to convey confident language and emotions, and how sales managers can monitor and support their teams in this area.

Transcripts

Dennis:

Hello everyone and welcome back to connect and convert your

Dennis:

sales accelerator podcast where we share weekly insider secrets to

Dennis:

growing your sales faster than ever.

Dennis:

I'm Dennis Collins, your host and my co host.

Dennis:

Hello Leah.

Dennis:

Say hello.

Dennis:

Hello.

Dennis:

Hello.

Dennis:

Hi, I think you're going to love our topic today, Leah, because we've, do

Dennis:

you realize it was, it's almost four years ago to the day as we record this.

Dennis:

That we were hit with COVID.

Dennis:

Did you guys get hit pretty hard up in Canada there with COVID?

Leah:

COVID, COVID.

Leah:

I don't, that, that's a new word.

Dennis:

You guys may, maybe you didn't have it.

Leah:

No, I don't think there's anyone that doesn't have that

Leah:

word in their vocabulary.

Leah:

And we all learned a lot about a lot of things.

Dennis:

Yeah.

Dennis:

Well, we learned a lot about contagion.

Dennis:

Didn't we?

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Wear your mask, stay home when you feel sick.

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Avoid crowds stay six feet away or in a Canadian speak three

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meters or something like that.

Dennis:

I don't know what it is two meters.

Dennis:

Anyway, wear your mask stay home avoid crowds watch Oh, wash your

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hands for at least a minute.

Dennis:

Right.

Dennis:

We learned how to wash your hands.

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And by the way, get your shots.

Dennis:

Okay.

Dennis:

So, but today I want to talk a little bit about a different kind of contagion.

Dennis:

I want to talk about emotional.

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Contagion.

Dennis:

What the heck is that?

Dennis:

Well, yes, very spooky.

Dennis:

Well, brain science is very clear.

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It's an automatic and subconscious response that causes humans to mirror

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or mimic the behaviors around them.

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By the way, I have, I have, uh, a four year old and a three year old

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grandchild, a four year old granddaughter and her three year old brother.

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I already see it.

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in them.

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The three year old absolutely mimics what the four year old is doing,

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both physically and emotionally.

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So it's a real thing.

Dennis:

Uh, we're built on a biological level to mimic others.

Dennis:

We are wired to respond.

Dennis:

Uh, we're, we're very good at picking up on each other's emotions, both positive

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and negative without even trying.

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Unfortunately, it's, it's unavoidably human.

Dennis:

It's how we make connections, Dennis.

Dennis:

Absolutely.

Dennis:

And it's, it's a good thing.

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We have these neurons that fire when we watch someone else do something, even

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when we're not doing the same thing.

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Laugh and the whole world laughs with you.

Dennis:

Did you ever hear that one, Leah?

Dennis:

Absolutely.

Dennis:

Yeah.

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Automatic response.

Dennis:

Remember back in the day of the, um, the old 1950s and 60s TV

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shows, they use laugh tracks.

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Why did they use a laugh track?

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They did it.

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So to prime laughing.

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It's a way of showing empathy.

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As you said, Leah, it's a connecting device.

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It's a connecting device and we are all very bad at controlling emotions.

Dennis:

Even when we can modulate our moods, we tend to be able to do so only in spurts.

Dennis:

So Leah, you might ask, Why, and I'm asking it's sales

Dennis:

and it's a great question.

Dennis:

You know, the deal, go ahead.

Leah:

No, I was just going to say it's, it's something that is so basic

Leah:

and sales actually is, and think about it, it is, uh, you know, it's not

Leah:

necessarily something that's learned.

Leah:

It can be focused on, on various products and different types of businesses, but

Leah:

this Basic ability to connect is what people are looking for when they're

Leah:

interviewing potential salespeople.

Leah:

It's how are they able to relate to others?

Leah:

Are, how are they, how comfortable are they with others?

Leah:

And that's all part of this mimicking.

Dennis:

It is.

Dennis:

And it has, as all things, a good side and a bad side.

Dennis:

So let's say, you know, You and I have both been in the

Dennis:

sales business for a long time.

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Let's say that somehow we're irritated or frustrated.

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A customer has done something that irritated us and all of a sudden, we

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develop an emotional response to that.

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What happens?

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When a salesperson demonstrates that emotional response that's

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negative, guess who picks it up?

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It's contagious.

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However The good news is the positive emotions can also be conveyed.

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Confidence, assertive, probing questions about needs, relevant solutions,

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prospects say yes 50 to 70 percent of the time when we're asking relevant

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questions, nonassertive, wishy washy, I don't want to seem pushy behavior.

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Drops to no more than 30 percent closure.

Dennis:

So when we're relaxed, confident, and assumptive, relaxed, confident,

Dennis:

and assumptive, those emotions are transferred to the customer, just like

Dennis:

negative emotions are, thereby giving us a better chance to make a sale.

Dennis:

How does that check in with what you have found in your career?

Leah:

Well, you know, it's, again, think about the customers

Leah:

that you feel the closest to.

Leah:

They're the ones that are the easiest to feel closest to.

Leah:

They're the ones that are very similar to you.

Leah:

They have a connection with you, you with them, and you're not even trying.

Leah:

Then there's the clients that you have to work to have that connection with.

Leah:

You recognize them.

Leah:

Maybe they remind you of, you know, Uncle Harry at Thanksgiving and,

Leah:

and you know how to work with them.

Leah:

You know how.

Leah:

Um, to, to deal with how they're speaking.

Leah:

So you're able to connect with them by a little bit of work.

Leah:

Then there's those ones that, Oh, I, I don't get it.

Leah:

I don't understand these people.

Leah:

I don't want to work with them.

Leah:

Well, customers have that same feeling towards us too.

Leah:

And it's what we do, how we manage those types of relationships

Leah:

that make the difference.

Dennis:

Precisely, we have control over the emotions that we portray.

Dennis:

For instance, let's give some examples.

Dennis:

I like to give hard, hard, uh, examples.

Dennis:

So what would be considered weak or negative or passive behavior?

Dennis:

Uh, have you ever heard a salesperson?

Dennis:

I'm just checking in.

Dennis:

Well, I was kind of hoping and wondering if, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Dennis:

Hey, I have my whole day open.

Dennis:

Have you ever heard that?

Dennis:

Oh, absolutely.

Dennis:

What do you think?

Dennis:

What's the best time for you?

Leah:

And sometimes when we hear these kinds of things.

Leah:

Things, I know I'm interrupting you, Dennis, but sometimes you hear these

Leah:

kind of things and we're sitting on a sales floor in a cubicle and you're

Leah:

hearing the guy next to you or the gal next to you talking like that.

Leah:

And that's when it strikes you.

Leah:

It's tough to hear it within yourself because sometimes you're not in the

Leah:

mood for the less weak the the more direct question think about what it's

Leah:

how it's positioning yourself, right?

Leah:

Asking that and how do you feel about this?

Leah:

You know that that that's giving all the power of the conversation to the

Leah:

to the client as opposed to trying to connect with them What's the turn

Leah:

that the term you use hedge words?

Leah:

Dennis, I've heard you say that.

Dennis:

Hedge words.

Leah:

Yeah.

Leah:

It's like, uh, not quite, it's not really a offensive, it's kind of offensive.

Leah:

It's a hedge.

Leah:

It's a, it's a, I'm not quite sure what I'm saying there.

Leah:

Uh, and here I am doing it.

Leah:

It's a um, and a uh, and you know, and I think, and maybe, and sometimes, and

Leah:

You're, you're, you're just drawing out.

Leah:

You end up with a very long conversation, but if you actually, and I know Dennis,

Leah:

you do this all the time, if you actually listen to what the, what the salesperson

Leah:

is saying, they're not saying anything.

Dennis:

You know, it's funny you mentioned that on the, I've referenced

Dennis:

this on a lot of our episodes.

Dennis:

I listened to a large number of hours of recorded sales conversations

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and I'll tell you one thing.

Dennis:

When I start hearing the ahs, the ums, the filler words.

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All of that, the maybes, the sort ofs, I can predict right now after

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having done this for so long, I can predict the outcome of that call.

Dennis:

It's not a position of confidence.

Dennis:

It's a position of weakness.

Dennis:

It's a position of uncertainty.

Dennis:

And I, I've heard it.

Dennis:

I've, I can, I can tell you for a fact, those less confident, those

Dennis:

Negative behaviors and words hurt, but let's not leave it on the negative.

Paul:

Hold on, hold on, hold on.

Paul:

I'm going to interrupt you.

Leah:

Oh, here we have Boomer coming in.

Dennis:

Yeah.

Paul:

So I'm going to push you guys aside for just a moment.

Paul:

And just something that comes to mind is something I learned years ago, but

Paul:

it had to do with digital marketing.

Paul:

And what was always said is everything online is intangible,

Paul:

but the feelings are very real.

Paul:

That applies here.

Paul:

I think as well, it's very intangible, but the feelings are extremely

Paul:

real and they have an impact.

Paul:

So I just want to add that in there because, um, that, that

Paul:

just kept going through my head.

Dennis:

And

Leah:

it's interesting.

Leah:

Thank you.

Leah:

Love it.

Leah:

And, and what you're saying, Paul is exactly right.

Leah:

Because if I, as a salesperson, I'm feeling kind of, yeah, guess what

Leah:

the prospect is going to be feeling?

Leah:

Eh.

Leah:

I, you know, I love my stories, Dennis, and I remember when Sean and I were

Leah:

replacing all the windows in our home, and in Canada, that's a big deal

Leah:

when you're looking for new windows.

Leah:

So we were down to two different potential, uh, suppliers.

Leah:

And I asked one gentleman, I said, so I'd like a comparison, A to B.

Leah:

You're, you're, you're B here.

Leah:

What's the comparison?

Leah:

And what would you tell me about A windows?

Leah:

And his answer was, well, I, I work for B, so I have to say B is better.

Leah:

Guess, guess who we bought from?

Leah:

We bought from

Dennis:

A.

Leah:

Like, are you surprised?

Leah:

Are you surprised?

Leah:

Because what he said, he wasn't enthused about it.

Leah:

He works there.

Leah:

Okay.

Leah:

Why do they have you working here?

Leah:

What he said, it was, talk about a contagion.

Leah:

I completely was infected.

Dennis:

You caught his disbelief.

Dennis:

You caught it.

Dennis:

Yes.

Dennis:

It was contagious.

Dennis:

So how do we fix that?

Dennis:

Paul?

Dennis:

Yes, the feelings are real, but is there language of confidence that we can use?

Dennis:

Thankfully, the answer is yes.

Dennis:

Ask with confidence.

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Assume you'll get what you ask for.

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Believe you're going to win.

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Use definite words.

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Definitely.

Dennis:

Clearly.

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Obviously.

Dennis:

Certainly.

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Emotional words that denote uncertainty.

Dennis:

All emotional words work, but these work better.

Dennis:

Unsettled, doubtful, or anxious.

Dennis:

Okay, let's schedule a next definite step.

Dennis:

A definite next step.

Dennis:

How about next Thursday at 2 p.

Dennis:

m.?

Dennis:

That's confident language.

Dennis:

There's no question that we're gonna make this work.

Dennis:

It's just a question of what day we're gonna get together to finalize it.

Dennis:

A lot of my customers are telling me they have a challenge with anxiety about

Dennis:

their doubtful about XXX, whatever it is.

Dennis:

What's your biggest challenge, doubt or anxiety about doing business with us?

Dennis:

Ask him directly.

Dennis:

That's a question of confidence.

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A less than confident person would never ask that because

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they'd be afraid of the answer.

Dennis:

A confident sales person says, give it to me.

Dennis:

What's your biggest concern about working with us?

Dennis:

Have you ever used anything like that, Leah?

Leah:

Well, absolutely.

Leah:

And that's how you form a relationship.

Leah:

You have to ask those questions.

Leah:

And it is scary to ask those questions.

Leah:

I don't care how long you've been in sales.

Leah:

You can remember those first few calls.

Leah:

You don't want to know.

Leah:

You don't want to know who else they're talking to.

Leah:

You don't want to know that you're asking for too much money.

Leah:

I just want to get out of here and, and go and be able to think about this,

Leah:

but this all requires practice and it requires confidence even to practice it.

Leah:

This is a difficult thing and, and you can always tell someone who is really,

Leah:

really wanting to get better at this because they're not afraid of the mirror.

Leah:

They're not afraid of self talk.

Leah:

They're not afraid of making these kinds of words part of their

Leah:

repertoire because if they're not, we will naturally go to what's more

Leah:

comfortable and what's more comfortable is the passive way of speaking.

Dennis:

Yep.

Dennis:

Or, you know, I, someone told me once, uh, you can either be

Dennis:

courageous or be comfortable.

Dennis:

You can't be both.

Dennis:

Courage is uncomfortable.

Dennis:

Okay.

Dennis:

Courage is uncomfortable.

Dennis:

Courage is outside the comfort zone.

Dennis:

Courage is outside the status quo.

Dennis:

The top salespeople have the courage to ask the hard questions that show

Dennis:

the customer they have confidence.

Dennis:

They're not afraid of the question and they're not afraid to stand up

Dennis:

and show you how much they believe in their product or service.

Dennis:

So asking those questions, what anxiety do you have about not

Dennis:

coming up with the right solution?

Dennis:

You know, a lot of people look at three, four bids, six bids,

Dennis:

I don't know, a hundred bids.

Dennis:

Why?

Dennis:

Because they're afraid.

Dennis:

Don't be afraid to ask them about that.

Dennis:

Don't be afraid.

Dennis:

Does that make sense?

Dennis:

It's contagious.

Leah:

It, it absolutely is.

Leah:

And being able to have that conversation with people doing what you're doing,

Leah:

whether selling in the, under the same roof for the same company or

Leah:

working in another industry, when you realize that it's part of the

Leah:

human condition, everyone feels this, then it becomes that much easier.

Leah:

But it's, it, you got to talk about it.

Dennis:

Well, a good segue.

Dennis:

It's your turn, small business owners and sales managers.

Dennis:

What can you do to monitor this?

Dennis:

Well, the best way, of course, is getting, either being at a sales conversation

Dennis:

in person or getting recordings.

Dennis:

But the key is all emotions are contagious, we're human.

Dennis:

We connect.

Dennis:

We connect both positively and negatively.

Dennis:

What emotions are your salespeople displaying that are turning?

Dennis:

into behavior during their sales conversation.

Dennis:

That behavior is either moving you away from or toward the sale.

Dennis:

There's no in between.

Dennis:

Everything counts and it's automatic and it's subconscious.

Dennis:

As I said, the best way.

Leah:

Dennis, we've all sat.

Leah:

Yeah.

Leah:

No, you're, you're right.

Leah:

And, and.

Leah:

We've all sat in those Monday morning meetings, where it's around the

Leah:

table, what's your success story?

Leah:

All you need is one person that had a crappy week last week, and is, does not

Leah:

have a success story to infect everyone.

Leah:

And, okay, think about, okay, we've talked about Wizard Academy before, think

Leah:

about when you're at Wizard Academy.

Leah:

When you're taking the classes that are offered and when you're able then

Leah:

to bring that back to, to your, your, your, uh, salesforce, to your, your

Leah:

staff, generally it's, What is it?

Leah:

It's confidence.

Leah:

It's it's realizing that this is going to be contagious.

Leah:

This is going to affect the whole room, which is why we're so excited

Leah:

that Wizard Academy sponsors us.

Leah:

Imagine how I work that in.

Dennis:

Wizard, that's beautiful, Leah.

Dennis:

Wizardacademy.

Dennis:

org if you're more interested.

Dennis:

You won't be, you won't be upset.

Dennis:

You won't be sorry that you checked it out.

Dennis:

Okay, I think that's going to wrap it up for today.

Dennis:

Uh, Hey, We're all contagious, not only physically, but emotionally

Dennis:

control your emotions and you control the outcome of a sales conversation.

Dennis:

That's it for today on Connect and Convert the Sales Accelerator podcast.

Dennis:

We'll see you next time.

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