Touch It To Sell It – How To Use Touch In Sales
Christopher Philip

Touch is a powerful force that can be used to influence others nonverbally. However, new research by Rhonda Hadi and Ana Valenzuela has found that a mere touch of an object can create intimate bonding with a consumer product.

In their study, they found that affectionate gestures such as hugging and stroking can “serve as routes to object attachment.”

“We suggest that the mere execution of an affectionate gesture can generate emotional attachment, which translates into enhanced product attitudes,” say the researchers in their paper.

This is qualified, however. The object must have humanlike characteristics for attachment to take place.

It’s common for people to use touch to related to objects. For example, children often hug their teddy bears, a gambler might kiss the dice for good luck, or a collector might gently stroke the steering wheel of a beloved classic car.

Touch is a way that we embody our feelings and attitudes toward inanimate objects – it’s how we related to them.

So how should a salesman use this information?

Simple. Encourage consumers to interact with the object. Have them pick it up, look at its features and interact with its texture. Point out how soft or smooth it is. Even this will be enough to create a bond between the consumer and the object.


Hadi, Rhonda and Valenzuela, A., A meaningful embrace: Contingent effects of embodied cues of affection, Journal of Consumer Psychology. 2014.