Using the Power of Emotions and Intention in Sales

By Samantha Plateroti

In the dynamic world of sales, understanding the psychology behind purchasing decisions is one of the best things to learn and understand as a sale person.

If you're in sales, you'll hear time and time again that people buy with emotion and justify with logic. One piece that is often left out of the equation though, is intent. 

People generally have an underlying purpose that is making them want to purchase something. Some will argue this is where the emotional piece comes into play, but to me,  they work hand in hand 👭.

In this guide, we'll explore the interplay between emotion & intent in purchasing decisions an how as a sales professional, you can leverage this understanding to help with your sales tactics.

Let's jump in!

jump in pool

The Role of Emotion and Logic in Purchasing Decisions

Neuroscience research has shown that our subconscious minds play a crucial role in shaping our purchasing decisions, often driven by powerful emotions such as the desire for status, security, or pleasure. These emotions act as the initial driving force behind our decision-making process, influencing the products or services we are drawn to.

However, once a decision is made, our conscious minds kick in, adding in some rational explanations to justify our choices.

This salsa [dance💃🕺] between emotion and logic shows the complexity of consumer behavior where emotions meet rational thoughts that shape our choices.

Heart and mind balance each other out and drive purchasing decisions, but could neuroscience be missing something?

Understanding Intention:

Intention is an idea you plan (or intend) to carry out. Could this be the main motivation behind the emotion and logic behind making a purchasing decision?

In my opinion, it's the driving force that compels individuals to even begin to seek out a particular product or service.

[Enter in Clearbit & intent data]

Intent data provides insight into when potential buyers are actively searching online for a solution (aka your solution 😉) and indicates their interest in specific products/services based on the content they're engaging with online. 

Marketers can use tools like Clearbit to gauge customer intent by analyzing online behavior, including website visits, search queries, and social media activity.

By understanding a customer's intent, as a marketer you can tailor your messaging and offering to better align with needs & interests.

Plus, if you know someone is in the market for your service... wouldn't that be the perfect time to reach out??

BTW... #Dijyouknow that HubSpot has acquired Clearbit?

The Marriage of Emotion and Intent in Sales:

Intent data is not just for marketers 🙅‍♀️. For sales teams, recognizing the dual influence of emotion and intent could be huge in their game. While emotions often initiate the decision-making process, intent provides valuable insight into the customer's underlying motivations.

To effectively use this knowledge, focus on a prospect's:

Needs & Desires

By presenting the product or service in a way that aligns with the prospect's unique needs and desires, salespeople have the power to bring up the emotions of their potential buyers.

To do: Ask discovery questions that will allow you to then paint a vivid picture to your prospect by using relatable scenarios. 

This may look like asking about their day to day. How are you currently x,y,z? How often do you x,y,z? What does you x,y,z look like?

This will help you tap into their emotions and you may even want (in some cases) to prescribe their emotion.

Let me use an example of what I mean:

  • You: I saw your newsletter, it looks great! How often are you sending them out?
  • Them: Once a week to our subscribers (short and sweet... let's keep digging)
  • You:  What does your process for creating and sending out newsletters look like?
  • Them: I gather content throughout the week, sit down on Thursday mornings and draft them in Mailchimp, and schedule it to go out at 1pm.
  • You: How do you feel about this process? (DON'T BE SHY TO ASK)
  • Them: It's okay, but it takes a ton of time and I am responsible for so many other things.

If you validate their emotions, this will allow you to address their intent while also creating a connection with them.

This will then help you personalize your solution to their need. This prospect told me she is doing SO many other things. I should find out what those are and show how our product/service can help. This approach allows customers to envision themselves benefiting from the product or service, creating a sense of motivation and a desire to make a purchase.

By leveraging both emotion and intent you can create a buying experience that is not only persuasive, but also deeply impactful.

woman on phone

Integrating Emotion and Intent for Sales Success:

Incorporating both emotion and intent into sales strategies requires a slightly different approach than what you may be used to.

Here are some tips:

  • Personalize Your Approach: Personalization is not just a marketing and BDR thing. Use customer data to tailor your messaging & even demo to align with your prospects needs, interests, and intent. Listen carefully to what they are saying to you. Use that to your advantage. 
  • Tell Compelling Stories: Share customer success stories that they can relate to - try to make it either industry relevant or service relevant. You want to do this to show value of your product/service.
  • Focus on Benefits, Not Features: This goes back to personalize. Show how your prospects day-to-day will look. Don't just go through every single feature of your platform/service. Highlight how your offering addresses their specific needs (hint - this will light a fire under their intent 🔥
  • Follow-Up Strategically: The buying journey doesn't stop there. Stay engaged. SEnd relevant information. You want to keep reinforcing what you uncovered during your discovery.

With that said... In the complex landscape of sales, understanding how emotion and intent can work for you is essential. While emotions drive the initial decision process, intent provides valuable insight into the customer's motivations.

By understanding this and using some of the tips discussed today, you can create more meaningful interactions, build stronger relationships, and drive more sales 🤑

Don't be scared of a little emotion. Embrace it!


Up above, I mentioned a tool called Clearbit. If you're interested in learning more about this tool and how to get started hmu. 

If you have totally different need and you aren't sure there is a tool to help you with it... there probably is. So hmu for that too~


What are your thoughts? Leave a comment.

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