How using emotive words can help your MSP win more business

Richard Tubb

It’s well documented that I’m no fan of sales proposals (see our previous article, Sales Proposals: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly) but if you find yourself writing a sales proposal, it’s worth remembering one important fact.

People buy based on emotions, not on logic.

Emotion vs Logic

I’m continuously surprised by the number of IT solution providers and managed service providers (MSP’s) who are shocked when prospective clients choose a competing proposal to their own when it’s clearly obvious that it isn’t the best solution for them.

Why can’t they see sense?

It’s often because you’ve not done a good enough job of getting them emotionally invested in your solution.

Two Examples

Let me give you an example of two proposal statements.

“Widget Inc have a clear need to combat email spam, so that they can sufficiently allow their staff to deal with legitimate emails effectively.”

This is a rational statement, highlighting the reasons a business might want to tackle email spam. Now let’s try that same sentence put in emotional terms.

“Widget Inc are constantly fighting spam. To be successful, they need a powerful email tool that will intensely monitor spam, allowing their staff to be successful in dealing with important emails.”

The words “fighting”, “powerful” and “successful” are all great examples of emotional words. Used correctly, this can build a positive image in the readers mind and stir them to action rather than disinterest.

Using emotive words in sales situations

The technique doesn’t just work for proposals.

The next time you are visiting with a client in a sales situation, when they explain a problem to you, ask them to explain the effect it has on them. They might say that a problem “Stops me from working” or “Gets in the way of me doing things”. Ask them how this makes them feel. Typically they’ll profess “Frustration” or “Annoyance”. Their emotions coming to the surface.

Emotive Websites

It works for websites too. On my own website, which provides expert help for IT companies, I talk about MSP owners being “overwhelmed”, “uncomfortable” and “unsure”. These are the actual emotions I know IT business owners feel when they approach me with their business challenges.

Enough talk – give me some examples

Fair enough. Here's a short slide show of words that can give your sales proposals, websites and just about anything else you need to write that extra punch:


Most business owners want to move away from pain and frustration and towards pleasure and success. By remembering this every time you write or speak to a prospective client, you’re much more likely to talk in terms they really understand and as a result, win more business.