How to Sell Like a Dog (without working like one)

3 years ago, my husband and I decided to get a dog. We were living in a small condo, and had our hearts set on a Beagle we had seen online at the local shelter’s website. Ie: a smallish dog that would be cuddly and cute, and would fit our lifestyle. Small enough for the limited outdoor space and 2-bedroom condo we lived in, while known to not shed or be too needy.

dog on beach

When we arrived at the shelter, we learned that the Beagle we had seen had already been adopted. But they had another dog they thought we would like to meet. This one was a little older, twice the size of the Beagle, would definitely shed in the house, and would probably not fit well in our limited space. We decided immediately to keep looking, knowing that this dog would not be a good fit; but agreed to visit with her at the shelter.

Within a few moments, we were introduced to this much-larger, much more difficult to manage Border Collie. She walked into the room, and immediately jumped up on my husband’s lap, kissed his face, and cuddled right up to him. Within a few moments, she noticed me and proceeded to do the same.

We were sold. Immediately. We couldn’t stop thinking about her.

A few years later, Rozzi is so much a part of our family that I can’t imagine life without her. She sheds, she is incredibly needy, she takes over the furniture, and she is big enough that it limits us in our options for new places to live. And she is the best thing that ever happened to us.

Rozzi is by far one of the best salespeople (dogs) I’ve ever seen. She sold us on that first day, and she’s continued to get her way ever since. She knew what we wanted. She knew what we needed. And she knew how to counteract our indifference to her features (size, breed) by appealing to our emotions. Once you’ve been snuggled by a rescue dog, one who was on the verge of being put down at an overcrowded shelter just days before she was picked up and brought to another shelter for adoption; you can’t say no to her. This was no longer about a list of features. It was a decision made purely by our emotions.

Since that day, Rozzi has ‘sold’ her way into getting everything she wants. She has full access to our furniture. She gets the best toys and treats. She gets everything she wants, because she goes above and beyond to continue playing on our emotions. She continues to be a true sales expert, and people can’t say no to her.

So what does this all mean for your own selling techniques? How can an Attorney, a CPA, or a Retailer use the tactics that come so easily to dogs in order to improve their own results?

It’s a matter of responding to the emotions and needs of your prospective clients and customers. If a woman gets a hairstyle that makes her feel sexy and confident, and she truly experiences those feelings, that next haircut will be an easy sell even if the price is high. If a financial planner can provide ways to reduce debt and increase savings for their clients, so that they eliminate the stress and anxiety that come along with financial worries; their clients will associate that relief and security with their expert advice. If an attorney provides their clients with the security of knowing they have someone looking out for their best interests, who will make a difficult situation easier to navigate through so that they can ease their worries; they will be more likely to turn to that attorney for their needs in the future.

What emotions are your clients and customers experiencing as they make a decision about whether to buy from you? How can you meet them in their emotional state, and respond to those most basic needs?

We’d love to know what tactics and strategies you use when selling at an emotional level. Please comment below.