You’ve all heard that decisions are based on emotions, not logic. My mentor says “logic makes people think, emotion makes people act.

A few years back I learned an exercise that can help you understand not only how this works, but that you can use to improve the way you sell and persuade others. If you want to get better at sales, you need to get inside the customer’s head. This is a great way to do it.

1) Think of the last major purchase you made. Write it down.

2) Write down all the factors that pushed you over the edge. Be honest.

Was it the salesman? Did you really need the panoramic sunroof? How about the car itself? Was the decision made on logic (We just had a third kid. we need a Minivan), or emotion (It’s Spring! It sure would be nice to have a new car!; I need a Hot Tub)

3) Now be REALLY honest! This is where you learn.

Deep down did you think the new car would make you look a little bit cooler driving down the street with the top down? Or did you feel it might make you more popular with the cool kids? Perhaps you’re trying to make a statement to some friends or family members about your success?

Don’t laugh! When you’re really honest, you know exactly what I’m talking about! We all have very specific emotional triggers which move to closer to acting on something. We also tend use logic to try to justify our emotional decisions.

4) Now, think about a time you really wanted to buy something and you didn’t?

What was different this time? What could have been done to sway you one way or another? Dig deep and think about the emotional hot buttons that might have pushed you over the edge.