When you ask customers a question, the object is to get them to think and respond emotionally.

To most salespeople, this strategy sounds like a foreign language.

The sale is made emotionally and justified logically. Once you understand that fact, it makes sense to engage customers emotionally to set the tone for them to decide to buy.

Most salespeople are taught the difference between open-ended and closed-ended questions. (A closed-ended question is one that results in a yes or no answer. An open-ended question is one that begins to create dialogue from the customer.) Open-ended questions are good, but they don’t necessarily breed emotion.

Here’s a new way of thinking about your questioning strategy: logic-based questions vs. emotion-based questions.

To help you formulate emotionally engaging questions, I’ll give you phrases to use, and a few sample questions. Your job is to understand the process and create your own questions based on your product, service, customers’ needs and customers’ desired outcomes. Questions that draw out their emotions, and keep focus away from logic – also known as price.

Logic-based questions, or “qualifying” questions, both annoy and aggravate customers. They basically ask for money information so the salesperson can begin to salivate. “What’s your present payment?” or “What have you paid in the past?” or “What’s your budget?” or “Do you want to lease or buy?” These are questions that fall under the category of “none of your business.”

KEY CONCEPT: Do not qualify the buyers; let them qualify themselves because you’re so friendly, engaging and genuinely interested.

Emotion-based questions ask about their life and use, not their money. Before beginning your “presentation,” ask the customers emotion-based questions that begin with the words, “How long have you been thinking about ... ” or “What were you hoping for ... ”

Get the customers to paint their vision of outcome or their picture of “after they buy.”

During the purchase, ask emotion-based questions such as “Is this what you had in mind?” or “How do you see your family enjoying this?”

When you can get customers to visualize outcome, you also have them visualizing ownership, otherwise known to you as “purchase.”

MAJOR POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: People don’t actually come to purchase. They come to purchase because they want to USE. What happens AFTER the purchase is way more important to customers than the actual purchasing process. Drawing out their emotion during the process is the key to getting them to take ownership.

Someone wants to take ownership, and your job is to get them to visualize it, be engaged by you, agree with you, believe you, have confidence in you, trust you, accept your price, and pull the trigger.

The key to this is emotional involvement. No manipulation, no pressure, no old-world sales techniques.

“But Jeffrey, I’ve been taught to ‘find the pain.’ Is that emotional?” Yes, but in a negative way. Pain is a negative emotion, or as I call it, a “none-of-your-business emotion.” Dumb questions like “What keeps you up at night?” create an uneasy, uncomfortable atmosphere between you and the customer. Don’t find the pain. Find the pleasure.

Pleasure evokes positive emotion. “Tell me about your vacation.” “Where was your biking trip this year?”

Find their pleasure, find their expected outcome, uncover their true emotional motives – and you will find their wallet.

Now that’s pleasure.