People have the same two reasons for everything they do. They are:

1. The real reason.

2. The reason that sounds good.

The real reason is emotional, based on feelings. The reason that “sounds good” is full of facts and logic, used to justify the decision. That’s why, in a logic-versus-emotion smack-down, emotion wins. Every time.
Don’t believe me?

Ask your neighbor why he bought that expensive new car. You’ll likely hear him quote Consumer Reports for gas mileage, resale value or safety ratings, right? Sounds good, but you know better. You know your neighbor sees that car more like a picture frame. He looks good sitting in it, and it sure looks good sitting in his driveway.

That’s the real reason he bought that car, but no way is he going to say that out loud. Especially not to you.

Your prospects, customers and clients are no different than your neighbor. Like your neighbor, they may not tell you the real reason they did or didn’t hire you or buy from you. The real reason could be as simple as, “We really liked the other firm or supplier. We could see ourselves working with them and enjoying it.”

Yet how likely is that quote to be included in the press release announcing the contract award? Or when the boss wants to know why one vendor/supplier was chosen over the other? Not very.

More than likely the official statement or justification will cite the selected firm’s credentials, experience and track record to demonstrate the client’s thoroughly logical conclusion. Or beaucoup testimonials, ratings, warranty, savings or guarantees are rattled off. Because that’s what people do: They use facts and logic to justify what essentially boils down to an emotional decision.

A feeling.

Unfortunately, because the reasons that sound good are the ones we’re so
accustomed to hearing, we tend to pack our marketing messages, web copy and even our client interviews with plenty of them. We resist the emotional side.

Instead, we think the key to winning the work or making the sale is to find enough solid reasons that make our point and provide reasons that prove our product, service or firm is the slam dunk, right choice.


Emotions are More Powerful than Facts

You know this firsthand if you’ve tried to talk someone out of a phobia using facts and logic. Studies abound that prove you’re more likely to die in a car accident on your way to Costco than in an airplane crash. (OK, I made up the Costco part.)

Try convincing someone who’s afraid of flying to get on a plane using your statistics, physics, charts or graphs.

Not going to work, is it?

Still don’t believe me? Try getting someone to switch his favorite brand of anything based on facts, logic and comparisons.

I tried. My father was a Ford man. My first car was a Ford Pinto. I realize I just carbon dated myself, but the point is that some Ford Pintos had a rather newsworthy problem. In a rear-end collision, some Pintos had a nasty little habit of exploding. Ford allegedly knew this but decided it would be cheaper to settle lawsuits than to stop production.


When I received the recall notice on my chili-pepper-green hatchback model, I showed it to my dad and asked him what all the hoopla was about. We used words like “hoopla” back then.

He huffed. He cussed. He ranted at the injustice — to Ford.

“Go ahead and take the car in,” he eventually said. It’s free, but, really, there was no need to worry he told me.

“This whole thing is a communist plot by Chevy,” he declared.

You laugh? He was serious.

“Ford would never put a car out there knowing it was dangerous. They’re not like that,” he explained.

Presented with facts, in writing, on Ford letterhead, by Ford itself, my dad denied its truth. He defended his brand.

Powerful thing, those emotional connections.

Facts and Feelings. You need both.

Your marketing, sales conversations and new business pitches need facts and logic. Absolutely. They’re what most people use to justify their decision or choice, so make sure you give them their due. But facts and logic can be cold and preachy. They sound like boring monologues.

When you appeal to the emotions, it feels more like a dialogue. I’m not talking about marketing or visuals that show an emotion. I’m talking about making your prospect or client feel one — smile, relief, trust, fear, safety, pride or appreciation. It’s called personification, and when you do that, even the biggest corporate entity becomes approachable. Maybe even likeable.

And likeable is good thing. Being likeable can be THE thing, the REAL thing that sets you apart from the competition and wins you the work.

Whether they ever say so out loud or not.

NOTE:  My upcoming workshop will include these and other ways you can make your business stand out, win more work and still be yourself in client interviews. Learn more at

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