Tuesday December 8, 2020
There is a real art to the psychology of selling, and most salespeople aren’t aware of how they attract customers or how they repel their prospects. Let's dive into what works and what doesn't work with the modern consumer.
Drop the Over-Enthusiasm, and Lose the Pressure
Your prospects don’t like cheesy enthusiasm because it doesn’t seem real. It doesn't come across the same way as good energy does! Ethusasim often looks forced and one sided. It causes them to instinctually react and pull away from you. There’s actually a psychological reason that they would want to run the other way and that is thanks to the phenomenon of reactance. It says that anytime we clearly try to forcefully push someone in one direction, they will naturally resist and try to go in the other direction. They’ll push back, or pull back, or just drop everything and run (or hang up)! So drop the hyper enthusiasm, and stick to being real and genuine with prospects instead, and don't confuse enthusiasm for energy. Great energy is a must, it keeps your engaging and memorable, without bordering on fake and cheesy.
Along with losing the over-enthusiasm, you’ll want to make sure you are the salesperson who doesn’t apply the pressure to your prospects. Not only is it supremely unhelpful in gaining a prospect’s trust, but it’s also likely to kill the sale completely. You want to remove all pressure from the selling situation. Instead of trying to persuade the prospect to give you a yes, take a step back and ask more questions, keep them talking about themselves. Again, the concept of reactance means that if you push someone to do something, they’ll immediately pull back. So don’t push, don’t put on the pressure.
One of the biggest reasons that prospects and buyers don’t ultimately choose to do business with a salesperson is that they felt the salesperson didn’t really understand their needs. And one of the fastest deterrents away from sales people is their sales pitch.
Sales pitches can be spotted a mile away from today’s empowered consumers. And they feel even more ungenuine and forced as they ever did. If you start throwing out your same pitch, it sounds like just a one-size-fits-all, unpersonal, presentation. No one is ever engaged with a presentation. But a conversation, now that’s different! Create value with your prospect by creating a conversation about them:
- Ask about the issues that are important to them
- The challenges they're facing
- Then you can decide if they’re a good fit for your product or service
Your relationship with prospects and the way the conversation goes, should be similar in style to a doctor-patient conversation. Through asking questions, and letting your prospect talk about the most important issues, you can diagnose the ‘problem’ with your prospect, and then, only once you have a full understanding of their challenges and needs, can you offer the solution that will solve their problem.
Always Remember, It’s All About Them
“What’s in it for me” is the question you should keep in mind when talking to prospects because that is exactly what they will be asking themselves during your interaction. All prospects care about themselves. They don’t care about you. They don’t care about your offering. And they don’t care about how great you think your service is. They only care about what’s in it for them. This idea is central to the psychology of selling in EVERY industry.
When talking with sales people, prospects ask themselves the same two questions in every conversation:
- Is this conversation going to be worth my time?
- Is this salesperson’s solution going to help me solve a problem that I care about?
If they can’t answer affirmatively to either or both of those questions, then you’re in trouble. You’ve got to make the conversation about them, understanding and addressing their concerns, asking questions about their challenges, and listening closely to the things they care about.
Once they get to talking about themselves, they’re going to be engaged in the conversation
See It from their Point of View
Think about what your selling process must be like from your prospect’s perspective.
- What’s the buyer’s actual experience of buying from you?
- What does it feel like?
- What’s good about it?
- What’s not good?
Really step into their shoes! Start to think more like your buyers.
- What do they care about?
- What are the challenges that they’re facing?
- What are the reasons that they do business with you?
- What are the reasons that they do business with your competitors?
When delving into what makes your target customer tick, you really need to start trying to think just like them. After all, you already know they love talking about themselves, but how can you truly understand what they care about and craft those conversations around their major concerns if you aren’t willing to walk a mile or two in their shoes.
Never Underestimate the Power of a Question
When a prospect says, “I’ve got this problem…” you need to respond with thoughtful questions, not a sales pitch. Most salespeople out there respond with some form of, “well, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got an awesome new series of products that can help solve your problem.” You want to do the exact opposite. Take a step back and create value through the thoughtful and poignant questions you ask. By asking questions, you are getting your prospect to say for themselves what the problem really is, and ask them what would the solution be, if your product can fix this for them then you're in a position to ask what is stopping them from changing that today? The more that you ask questions and get them talkinig about themselves and their issues, the better position you'll be in to offer them your solution. It is like that saying "if I tell you something it's a lie, but if you say it, it's your truth." Get them to talk about their problem and what they've tried already to solve it, ask what it would mean to them to no longer have this problem.
With the right questions, your prospects may even sell themselves on your solution as you engage in a meaningful conversation with them.
Some examples of powerful questions to add to your repertoire:
- “What would you say this challenge is costing you today?”
- “Can you help me understand how this problem affects you?”
- “What have you done to try to solve this problem in the past?”
- “What issues or obstacles are being caused by this problem?”
By asking questions like these, you’ll create more value, develop a more meaningful and unique relationship with the prospect, and end up closing more sales. People connect with people. No products, not businesses, not services. Your relationship and conversation with them is their real tie to your company.
It’s Human to Want Options
Giving prospects multiple options in your sales proposals is key to the psychology of selling. While the majority of sales proposals only give one option, this is a huge lost opportunity. First, give a basic option as a less expensive choice that provides the bare essentials to solve the problem at hand, but is still profitable for you. Next, give a middle option that’s your core offering for the majority of your prospects. And finally, offer a third, premium option that’s more expensive and has more deliverables.
The psychology of selling tells us that your prospects will
- No longer feel the need to shop around, you’re already giving them multiple choices
- See great value in the basic and middle options
- Potentially go with the high, premium option because they simply want the best
Continue to build on your success by nurturing the relationships you make with clients, personalizing their service and your communications with them.
The word of mouth your customers will pass along on your behalf earns you even more prospects.
Then you will have created value plus a name for yourself as one of those businesses that treat their customers like royalty!
Set your team apart from the rest and start using some of this psychology to win over your prospects today!