Aroma, the most powerful sales tool

February 1, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

AFP photo



Siddhartha Rastogi

For centuries man has been evolving and, during this evolution, his usage of senses, for his needs and purpose has been evolving too, humans, as we all know having five sensory organs, eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin.

With the arrival of the smartphone over a decade ago, sound or hearing has become the most prevalent sensory function. As time available to people is generally reducing and the number of activities desired to finish is increasing, hearing has gained importance. Radio, audio books, sound messages, internet calls, conference calls, Dolby sound movies are just some of the examples.

Revisiting the last few centuries, the usage of eyes or sensory functions, sight was at its zenith. Knowledge was passed through generations by books and written scriptures. During the early days of internet, most data was in a black and white format. Even the workplace needed an eye for detail and thus seeing believed.

If one rewinds time and goes back to the Paleolithic period, one would find, Olfaction or Sense of Smell ruled the sensory system in human beings. At the beginning of human life, when man lived in caves rather than in gated communities, used hunting and farming as the main source of subsistence, he was under constant danger of wild beasts, who were naturally more powerful than him. Then, Olfaction came to humans’ rescue. He would smell the presence of danger much before he could hear or see it. Also once the threat is gone, its smell would still make the humans aware of nature and the possibility of peril.

Over the years, as the human race advanced, Olfaction or Sense of Smell saw its importance and relevance undermined. Before proceeding further, let’s articulate some basic facts about Olfaction.


  • It’s the most ancient tool to communicate threat, essential for survival.

  • For both humans and other living creatures, it’s an important means by which environment communicates to us.

  • In chimps and other animals, pheromones or scent signals elicit specific behaviors or responses, including sexual arousal, although not completely true for human beings. Scent acts as a major influencer while choosing a sexual partner.

  • Scent helps humans to look out for fertility and opposite genes essential for survival.



Enumerating this discussion using examples-


When a child is born, he can barely see or hear. It’s the bodily smell of parents to which the child is comforted. Similarly when a person has met with a traumatic situation, during the event, he has smelt blood or any other peculiar odour, years later, when encountered with a similar smell, the incident comes back alive in the memory.

As children, what you have smelt at pastry or bakery shops remains with you until old age and you will get cravings and similar emotions whenever you smell a similar aroma. You always despise the eerie or uncanny smell of the hospital, as it reminds you of injury, accident or illness, what you have gone through and were admitted to care facility.


Shifting gears now.


It’s a universally agreed characteristic of business that you need to sell more, create more demand, gain market share, increase your trade, so that you can push margins and increase profitability. That essentially can happen by two means:


First constantly signing new customers or clients and

Second by making sure that existing clients continue to buy more products and services and increase their share with you.


But the question to ask here is how to make sure that clients constantly stick to us and our brands?


Most clients buy for two reasons –


  1. They need those products and services.

  2. They like the people from whom they buy those product and services. Many factors influence this including trust, brand promise, assurances, past experience, future expectations, etc.



Every seller would want to be clubbed under the first point but unfortunately the market opportunity always presents competition and hence the buyer mostly or always has options to choose from. In such a scenario the only way to sell is to increase the likeability of the seller for the buyer.

Wearing an impactful perfume or fragrance is the key. The perfume you wear should represent you and your personality, because your perfume would create an indelible image of you in your client’s mind. You can choose from Oriental, Woodsy or Citrus perfumes, it doesn’t matter, but it’s of the utmost importance that perfume doesn’t confuse the client.


What does that mean?

Different perfumes denote different behavior, different perspectives, different likings, and different attitudes, whilst humans prefer consistency. Thus a single fragrance should be selected and used consistently, repeating the brand promise to the subconscious mind.


Three things happen due to the aroma if client/ potential client associates you with that aroma.


  1. Wherever client/ potential client smells that aroma, he remembers you and hence your products and services.

  2. Even before the meeting has started, your perfume has said it all and impact has been created within buyers mind finding reasons to justify why he should do business with you. In this case you are not selling him but his subconscious mind is selling to his rationale mind.

  3. Long after you have walked out of the meeting room, buyer’s mind still flows with the memories of the fragrance you have brought yourself with, thereby increasing the possibility to quick decision making and execution.



Thus the key to sales success is not to accept any gifts or assortments of perfumes and fragrances but to carefully choose one to last for a lifetime.


Wear it to believe it and results will speak of your unswerving success.










Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha was born to a learned middle class educated family in Semi Urban India. His father was an extremely honest man who because of his honesty had to pay the price in corporate world. Mother is a determined woman who ensured that children are being well taken care off. After a few years of birth, doctors called Siddhartha, a slow child having flat foot. He would fall more than he could walk. Determined mother ensured all therapies for her son to come out strong to fight the world. Siddhartha joined swimming when he was in 6th standard. Seeing other children of his class, he jumped in 10 feet deep pool and learnt swimming on his own, the very same day.

From that day there was no looking back. He topped his city in 12th and went to score highest in his B school exams. During his profession as banker, he became youngest branch manager of a MNC bank managing their biggest wealth branch in the country. There he found love of his life and got married. His love of his life emerged in the form of his daughter who completely changed him for good.

Siddhartha Rastogi is Director for a boutique Investment bank in India.

Siddhartha is a forward looking thinker & writer who has written a book on decision making. 8 Simple steps to effective decision making.

He writes on various social and current issues via his blog and can also be found on twitter.


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