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You've heard me say it many times: to succeed out there in commercial cyberspace, you've got to speak to the need your customer feels. I don't say it just because I think it sounds clever - I've got lots of good reasons, not to mention all of the history of successful selling to back me up. And remember, online the customer rules like never before. You go ignoring your customers' needs and feelings and you won't be online for long. It's one of the caveats in convention sales training, too - if you want to sell, you've got to think like your customers rather than try to make them think like you. Or in Grok-talk, you gotta surf a mile with their mouse.

But underlying that is an even deeper principle:

PEOPLE RATIONALIZE BUYING DECISIONS BASED ON FACTS, BUT

PEOPLE MAKE BUYING DECISIONS BASED ON FEELINGS.

Excuse me for shouting, but it’s that important. The single biggest motivator in buying is not data, nor is it facts, it’s emotional response. Humans buy when they feel comfortable, when they feel they can trust you, when the process feels natural and reassuring, and when they come to the feeling that buying will make them feel good. (And by the way, Martians are no different.) Fail to address that, and most of your prospects will bail out sooner or later in the process. Tap into that correctly and your conversion rate will go up dramatically.

No, this isn’t some kernel of interplanetary wisdom I imported from Mars. You folks have known this about yourselves for a long time. My job is to tap you not-so-gently on the head and point out you’re not using it in the design and implementation of your site.

Even a cursory search on the Internet gets you this sort of information:

People buy on emotion and justify with fact. You may resist this statement. You may want to shout, "No! No! No! I am a rational, cognitive human being! I make calm, considered, well-thought-out decisions! I do not buy on emotion! … By the time you've finished this book, I hope you'll have this principle scrawled across your time manager, emblazoned on your desk blotter at work, taped to the dashboard of your car, and posted on your refrigerator at home.”

ALL BUYING DECISIONS ARE EMOTIONAL.

People have both logical and emotional buying motives. Recent consumer surveys show that, in most cases, 20% of the decision to make a purchase is logical and 80% is emotional. Logic is reason supported by facts. Emotions are feelings that cause us to act and react and can be a large influence in our buying habits.

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