Yes, you deserve a raise. Yes, I will make a donation to your cause. Yes, you can take the day off. Wouldn’t it be marvelous to get a positive response to everything? As unrealistic as it may sound, there is a way to get to hear those three magic letters.
Many of us equate the concept of ‘selling’ to an exchange between two parties where one is offering a product or service and the other is giving money in return. It is time to unlearn the typical understanding of salesmanship and re-learn the art it is at heart.
Regardless of the walk of life you associate yourself to, you are selling something every single day. As a parent, you could be selling the idea of early bedtime to your child or as a student you could be convincing your professor why you need an extension to your research paper’s deadline. Money may not always be exchanged, but whenever you attempt to persuade someone to change their perspective, you are selling.
Now people like you and me certainly love buying. Whether it is the latest smartphone or the trendiest handbag, we crave to have it all. Ironically however, we hate being sold to. So how can you really make a sale without actually selling?
BREAK THEIR ACTION PARALYSIS
Purchase decisions are primarily made by the human brain. To be able to have the power to influence these decisions, it is crucial to understand what triggers the mind. Action paralysis occurs when a customer has multiple choices to choose from. This indecisiveness often leads to the customer backing out of taking any action at all. Generally, customers tend to take an action or make a commitment when a bare minimum is clearly communicated. Be it a free trial or a product demo, remind your customers how easy it is to get started.
MAKE THEM FEEL INCLUDED
Individuality is an overrated characteristic that we are prone to incorporate in everything we do, think or say. Though it is a strong personality trait, we often forget the power of communal conformity. Research has proven that customers are more inclined to take an action if that makes them feel they belong to a superior or exclusive group of people who are associated with a status level they look up to. A study analyzing voting patterns proved that people labelled as ‘politically active’ had a higher turnout than others who were not tagged with a label.
MINIMIZE THEIR PURCHASING PAIN
Customer spending patterns are a powerful dataset that is often overlooked when assessing buying behaviors. Neuro-economic studies demonstrate that humans by nature ‘spend till it hurts’. Identifying the various pain points customers experience and minimizing their affect is the key here. Asking a customer to pay $2,400 a year for a service or $200 per month may sound the same to you, because technically it is the same amount. However, from a customer’s point of view, a down payment of $2,400 is a much larger pain point than only $200 a month.
IDENTIFY AN ENEMY
How could this possibly have a positive impact? You know what – this is a great idea! While knowing the right people is of immense importance, recognizing your enemy is vital as well. The ‘enemy’ is not a physical being or a competitor, rather an ideology or belief. Strongly associate yourself with ideologies you believe in and distance yourself from the ‘outsiders’ to help you discover your brand’s true voice. This will not only establish a unique brand identity, but will help you achieve a cult following just like Apple did when they labelled PC’s as boring and uncool.