Selling Tools: Emotion vs. Logic vs. Scarcity/Urgency

Intentionally Inspirational
4 min readNov 7, 2020


Intentionally Inspirational founder Jason Wright posed an interesting question on Facebook the other day. He asked, “What is your favorite selling tool from these options: emotion, logic, or scarcity/urgency?” Whether they realize it or not, it’s a question that a lot of business owners tackle daily. They are making conscious or unconscious sales moves that use one of these three techniques.

How do you use emotions in sales?

When we talk about emotional sales, we’re talking about sales that are made because of how the customer is feeling. You are using your marketing materials to trigger an emotional reaction with your customers.

Emotional sales use a person’s emotions to trigger a purchase response. Oftentimes it will be a fear of missing out or a fear of being the last one to have something. For some purchasers, it’s about having the newest thing first.

Look at what Apple has done with its iPhone sales. People line up every time a new phone is released because they need to and want to be the first person to get the newest, shiniest iPhone.

Another good example is this recent video by the group Rock the Vote. The video, titled Build the Vote 2020, is a joint effort by Rock the Vote and the popular game Minecraft. It is designed to teach children the importance of voting and the influence that they have on the American political landscape.

The video gets its message across by playing off of kids’ emotional connection with the game Minecraft. They love Minecraft. Their friends love Minecraft. They want to be a part of the Minecraft community. They have a limited opportunity to participate in the Minecraft community. This advertisement is all about triggering these emotions.

These children don’t care about voting, but they do care about missing out on something cool that’s happening in their favorite video game. They do care about being the only person in their group of friends that’s missing out.

In most instances, purchasers allow emotions to guide their decision-making process. Therefore, emotional marketing can be a very powerful tool when you use it.

How do you use logic in sales?

If emotion is one side of the sales coin, logic is the other. When you use logic in sales, you’re appealing to someone’s common sense. Your sales tactic is to appeal to a person’s sense of reason. You are laying out an argument for why your product or service is the best solution for a given situation. You are the most logical choice in the market.

Logical sales arguments are usually backed by evidence. You need some credible source to back up your argument that your product is the best or that your product is something the purchaser cannot live without.

For example, in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that “…235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized.” (New York Times).

Let’s say you sell no-slip mats for bathtubs. You may use logic to make the sale. You appeal to the person’s sense of safety. You make him or her think, “If I do not purchase this no-slip mat, I may fall in the bathtub and end up in the hospital.”

Depending on what you’re selling, a logical sale may be the best option to sell your service or product.

How do you use scarcity/urgency in sales?

The scarcity/urgency sales tactic stems from the Commodity Theory, something that was developed by Timothy Brock in the 1960s. According to the American Psychological Association’s Dictionary of Psychology, it is a theory of “…proposing that the value of a product or service is related to its availability. In general, a product that is in short supply is perceived as having greater value than one that is readily available.”

One of the very best examples of scarcity/urgency is Amazon’s Prime Day (or two days in the most recent instance). During those two days, Amazon sells people on the idea that they’re getting the best deal possible on what they’re buying. It increases the scarcity of the item, by only offering a limited quantity. You have to buy on that specific day and you have to act fast if you want to get the sales price.

By making the item scarce and the need to buy urgent, Amazon is increasing the number of impulse buys. People do not have the opportunity to think about the purchase because if they do, they might miss out on the deal altogether.

Which sales tool is best?

Now that you have a better idea of what the three tactics are, the natural next question is which one is best. Trouble is, like most things in marketing, there is no right answer.

You want to choose the sales tool that fits best with you, your personality, and your customers. Some people are very empathetic, which is why emotional selling may be their best bet. Other people can pinpoint the most logical reason for a sale and that’s why using logic in sales may be the best choice. Some people know how to make even the most mundane things sound urgent.

Look at the product you’re selling and play to your strengths. Does the product lend itself to urgency or is it just a logical choice? Do your clients tend to want security or are they the kind of people that follow their emotions?

Everyone has a different opinion about this topic and all of them are the right answers. The only way you can go wrong is if you don’t try.

Good luck!

Written by Erika Towne



Intentionally Inspirational

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