Select Page

We tend to think of ourselves as rational, logical creatures. After all, it was out intellect that created so many of the great advances in our world. Even our schooling teaches us to use logic to solve problems and arguments.

However, in all of those advances our intellectual curiosity was driven by fundamental human emotions.

Now, Spock may have an argument with me but humans tend to buy with their hearts and emotions. We use our minds to justify what we want to do emotionally.

In fact, the most famous brands in the world leverage emotion in their marketing:

Apple – sexy, stylish and hip
Harley-Davidson – independent, powerful and free
Nike – achievement, success and strength

Now, as important as the quality of your service (or the listing you just put on the market) is to your success, it’s your ability to engage the emotions of your market that will really open the financial floodgates.

If you want to persuade someone to enter your sales funnel or to increase the appeal of your listings, the quickest and surest way to do it is to appeal to their emotions.

It’s the emotional part of the brain that says “I want that.” The logical side then responds with a yes or no. But, if the original emotional appeal isn’t there, the logical part never gets a chance to chime in.

So, if your marketing materials and presentation lead with features and/or your own credentials, you’ve lost the battle before it’s even begun.

Benefits appeal to Emotions
Features appeal to Logic
Logic validates Emotions, Emotions drive Sales

This extends beyond the benefits and features comparisons of selling 101. This is the psychological side of selling.

Let’s take a look at some postcard marketing examples (mailed to a targeted list, of course.) Go ahead and take off your marketing cap and put on your consumer hat.

Which postcard message would most likely inspire you to act?

Example A

“Want to find your dream home? Search national and local listings at”

Example B

“Discover how real estate professionals buy and sell their homes with a powerful free tool now available to you at”

In the first example, it’s pretty easy for the reader to say “No, I don’t want to find my dream home” and toss the postcard.

The second example packs more emotional punch. Let’s break it down:

  • Curiosity and need for knowledge is aroused by the word “discover”
  • Trust is stimulated since this is the tool expert “real estate professionals” use
  • Greed is satisfied by the fact that this new tool is free

There’s more psychological pop and more emotions triggered in the second example making it more difficult for the logical side of the brain to say no. A non-interested person receiving this postcard may even check out the offer, simply because of the emotional appeal.

The two most basic emotions hard-wired into us humans are: avoid pain and maximize pleasure.

However, through social and technological advancement we’re now free to expand on our “must have” emotions to include:

  • Security – the need to feel safe
  • Adventure – the need for excitement and a “rush”
  • Freedom – the need for independence
  • Exchange – the need to contribute and share
  • Power – the need to be an authority
  • Expansion – the need to build and grow
  • Acceptance – the need to belong
  • Community – the need to be around others like us
  • Self-Expression – the need to reveal our individuality
  • and others

If your marketing can demonstrate that you (or your listing) can meet any of these basic needs – or better yet, satisfy several of these needs – then you’ll be able to attract more clients and sell more homes easier and more profitably than hyping features all day long.

Now, some folks view emotion based marketing as negatively manipulative and that a simple features and benefits approach is the way to go. What do you think?