What Are “Hot Buttons” In Sales?

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

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We have all heard the terminology about the so called “Hot Button.” “You have to find the prospect’s hot buttons…” “Push their hot buttons…” etc.

But here is a question for you: What exactly are hot buttons? The last time I looked I did not see any buttons on the buyer. What are these magical buttons or triggers that you can push that suddenly make the prospect turn wild with desire of what you sell?

If you look it up, you will find ‘hot buttons’ defined something like this…

“An emotional and usually controversial issue or concern that triggers immediate intense reaction.”

Well, simply put, a hot button is…

“A problem, need, urgent desire or source of pain that stirs enough emotion in the prospect to motivate the prospect to want to take immediate action to solve the issue.”

The key words to remember are emotion and intense. A benefit does not usually create an emotional reaction that leads to a buying decision. Also, understand that the fear of loss is a far more intense emotion than the desire for gain.

So how do you find and consequently push these hot buttons?

Finding The Hot Button

To find the prospect’s emotional triggers, you need to find their problems. Unearth the prospect’s problems and pain and you will discover their hot buttons. Then present how your product or service will solve those problems, and you will be pushing those hot buttons.

Don’t Confuse Mere Interest with Hot Buttons

Often when a prospect mentions some area of interest, the salesperson assumes such is a hot button, and relentlessly pursues the idea. However, such initial areas of interest usually just scratch the surface of the prospect’s situation.

Also, keep in mind that today’s modern buyers are smart, and are not too quick to reveal their emotions and concerns, as they know doing so will weaken their negotiating strength. In addition, the prospect’s true hot buttons, those areas of serious problems and pain, may not be immediately evident, even to the prospect.

They love to buy, they don’t want to be sold.

Solutions to Problems = Hot Buttons

You need to have a systematic method of asking questions to uncover the prospect’s problems.

Find areas the prospect is losing, hurting, or suffering in some way due to the lack of your product or service. Exemplify those areas of problems and pain, and then present your solution and you will hit the hot buttons on the head.

Please check our Advanced Selling Skills Training for more tips on how to uncover the hot buttons of your prospects and customers and how to improve your salesmanship.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

Sales DNA

Originally published: 27 December, 2012

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