July 15th, 2016 | by

In the book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, Chip and Dan Heath detail how to successfully lead through change by embracing and motivating both our emotional and rational brains (and no, don’t argue guys – you have emotional brains too). This could teach us a lot about a human approach to sales and marketing.


“Knowledge is rarely enough to spark change; it takes emotion to bring knowledge to a boil.”  Switch by Chip and Dan Heath.

Chip and Dan liken successful change management to skillfully herding a rational rider and an emotional elephant along the right path. Similarly, Aristotle’s Rhetoric describes the three modes of persuasion as:

  • ethos (credibility and the ability to build trust)
  • logos (proving a truth by means of logic)
  • pathos (an appeal to the emotions of our audience)

I often like to say that my rational (logos) brain knows I need to get up and go running before heading to the office, but my emotional (pathos) brain really prefers to stay under the covers an extra 45 minutes.  While most marketers and sales professionals may not think of themselves as change agents, they would be mistaken.  In fact, when we ask someone to invest in our product, we are asking them to embrace and champion change within their organization.


Why a Rational Approach to Sales Isn’t Enough

As sales and marketing professionals, how well do we motivate our buyers to change by appealing to both their rational and emotional brains?

Aristotle's Rhetoric

Aristotle’s Rhetoric

Unfortunately, the prevalence of technology and automation has all too often led us to dismiss the importance of the appeal to emotions in the sales process.

Some may think that as long as they send out 17 emails in 51 days, follow up on every lead in less than 10 minutes, monitor their top prospects web browsing activity, and deliver the best looking datasheet, they will close the deal.

Those are all important aspects to the science of sales, but it misses the art of appealing to emotions. Most sales and marketing directors that I speak with note that the number one gap in their teams’ skill sets is their lack of ability to tell stories and authentically connect with their buyers.

Many experts refer to this as the loss of the human element in sales.

Are you feeling that pain too?

Getting Back on Track by Focusing on People

At DiscoverOrg, while we are unabashedly a fast-growing technology company, our differentiators are actually the human element.

This is the human element embedded in our unique research process that makes our data more credible than any other sales intelligence provider and the human element embodied in our org charts that provide the starting off point for deeply understanding buyers, their motivations, and their strategic role within the organization.

But now, we are taking that focus on the human element to the next level. Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing several groundbreaking programs designed to train sales and marketing professionals to connect with both the rational and emotional motivations of their buyers while leveraging data to rapidly accelerate growth.

Ready to direct the rider, motivate the elephant, and shape the path? Stay tuned…

[cta id=”8826″ color=”green” size=”full” align=”center”]

Katie Bullard
About the author

Katie Bullard

As Chief Growth Officer (CGO), Katie brings 15 years of marketing, product, and strategy experience in global, high-growth technology businesses to her role at DiscoverOrg. She has a bachelor’s and masters degree from the University of Virginia.