Feelings Before Thoughts. Always.

“Emotions are the fire of human motivation, the combustible force that secretly drives most decisions to buy.”

— Gary Bencivenga

Ever notice that people aren’t as logical as they tend to think they are? 

It’s a “rookie marketer” mistake, and one that frequently causes people to fail to either predict or change human behavior.

Humans are bad at predicting how they will feel at some point in the future, so you will want to help them focus those emotions and bring that future into the “now.” 

I’m not going to get into all the neuroscience of it, but we have good reason to believe that people generally make decisions on an emotional basis, and then use the logical part of their brain to justify the decision they’ve already made.

If that’s true, then we’re like that with everything. Choosing a new pair of jeans, a new car, or a spouse. They’re also like that about pursuing the kind of transformation your expertise can bring.

Kind of disturbing, isn’t it?

As a thought leader, it’s your job to lead… thoughts. Never forget that those thoughts have their foundation in the emotions of your audience. They’re not thinking logically, so you don’t want to speak to them logically until you’ve addressed their emotions.

People will value the pure information you teach — the clinical or mechanical “how to” stuff — but they will value how you make them feel on a much larger basis. And in fact, they may be quite closed off to the mechanics of what you’re saying until you reach them emotionally.

Sounds unfair, perhaps, and certainly illogical, but as a thought leader, your job is to recognize reality before you can change it.