Your company offers a great product.

Of course, it does.

If it didn't, you wouldn't be so committed to it.

You wouldn't be working day and night, giving your heart and soul to growing your business.

So why aren't you meeting or exceeding your sales goals?

Why aren't customers beating down your doors, so to speak, to buy?

Of all the questions we ask ourselves about business every day, this is one of the most vexing.

Great product, well-trained staff, attractive marketing materials, priced right - you've checked off all the boxes, and still the sales numbers just don't add up.

What's going wrong?

Well, the answer is probably in your customer's subconscious mind.

And it's up to you to dig in there and find it.

Let me explain:

Your customer's decision whether to buy your product or not - that all-important purchase decision - is rooted in a subconscious, emotional response.

Not logical.

Not rational.

Emotional.

Subconscious.

Yes, purchase decisions - or any decision, for that matter - are made emotionally by the subconscious mind, using all manner of conscious and subconscious perceptions, associations, and judgments to make, and then support, that emotional response.

To put it more simply and practically for our purposes, purchase decisions are all a matter of attraction and avoidance.

As you look at your product offering and all the other steps that go into the purchase process, think of attraction and avoidance.

"Is this going to attract my customer or is this something my customer wants to avoid?"

The conscious mind, we know, is drawn to purchases that make sense, are rational, or have objectively desirable results, and is repelled by purchases that don't make sense, are irrational, or have objectively undesirable results.

The subconscious mind, on the other hand, is drawn to purchases that create pleasant associations and the promise of positive emotional responses, and is repelled by anything that feels unpleasant.

In other words, the subconscious mind is attracted to emotional gratification and seeks to avoid emotional pain.

If both the conscious mind and subconscious mind are attracted by your product and your process, you more than likely have a sale. If both minds find something to avoid, then the sale is doomed.

But what if the conscious mind and subconscious mind don't agree? In that case, what the subconscious mind decides, goes.

Don't believe me?

Just ask yourself this: Why do people buy things they know they can't afford?

Of course, it's because the emotional attraction to it, the emotional gratification they will get from having it, overrides the logical need to avoid spending more than they objectively know they should. Or, to look at it from another angle, they want to avoid the emotional pain of not having this thing they desire.

So, if you think you have all your pieces in place, from your product itself, to your pricing, to your marketing and sales systems, but your sales results are still not what they should be, this "attraction-avoidance" mindset should give you some important answers.

Look at every step in your systems that "touch" the customer and ask yourself two questions:

1.     Is my customer's conscious mind saying, "attract" or "avoid"?

2.     Is my customer's subconscious mind saying, "attract" or "avoid"?

Your customer's subconscious mind is going to drive the purchase decision.

Your customer's conscious mind is going to give your customer the rational justification for supporting the subconscious decision that's already been made.

Both are vital if you want to transform customer resistance into an enthusiastic "yes."

And your systems are the detailed road map - like a treasure map that reveals where the treasure is hidden - that will show you all the touch points where avoidance rather than attraction may be driving your customer away.

Published on: Aug 15, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.