Pre-Sales: The Emotional Chessboard

Dan Gorman
2 min readJun 1, 2023

Nothing happens until a sale is made. And before a sale, there’s pre-sales. Think of it as the opening moves in a game of chess. Strategy, positioning, gauging the opponent’s — or in our case, the customer’s — needs and intentions.

But here’s the thing — we aren’t playing with pawns and knights; we’re dealing with people. And people? Well, they’re emotional creatures.

As Zig Ziglar once said, “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.” He wasn’t wrong. Emotions drive decisions. They light a fire under desires and quell doubts. Emotions shape experiences, and in the game of sales, the customer’s experience is king.

Trust? That’s the first emotional checkpoint. It’s the foundation, the handshake before the talk. It’s not about the hard sell. It’s about connection, understanding, empathy. Get this right, and you’re not just another sales pitch; you’re a trusted advisor.

And decisions — they’re often a gut thing, a feeling. Stoke the fires of excitement, anticipation, and you’ve got more than a customer considering a purchase; you’ve got a customer wanting to purchase.

Now, loyalty, that’s the long game. Make an emotional connection, and you’re no longer a faceless company. You’re a brand, a trusted friend. Loyalty isn’t a one-off purchase. It’s a relationship, a series of purchases, referrals, the gift that keeps giving.

So, how do we tap into this goldmine of emotional engagement?

First, understand your customer. Put yourself in their shoes. What’s keeping them up at night? How can we help? Next, tell a story. Facts tell, stories sell. It’s not about the what; it’s about the why. Finally, focus on benefits, not features. Don’t sell a mattress, sell a good night’s sleep.

Remember, in this game, emotions are not the side show, they’re the main event. As Maya Angelou so aptly put, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And in pre-sales, it’s all about how you make them feel.