Have you ever wished that you had a crystal ball that told you what your customers were thinking? As salespeople, we can all benefit by understanding the customer’s exact needs in order to make more sales.
If you’re an effective salesperson, there’s a good chance that it’s thanks to an aptitude for understanding a client’s frame of mind. The field of psychology offers several insights into why certain sales techniques are effective. If you can understand these insights, you’ll be able to develop an even more impressive edge in selling.
So if you want to improve your sales technique, try these suggestions:
1. First impressions: Focus on emotions
Our brains are wired to focus on emotions before logic, and first impressions have a big impact on what your client ultimately decides about your product or service. This is why it’s crucial to focus on making customers feel good on an emotional level first, before following up with facts.
2. Cognitive dissonance: Get clients on board early
Cognitive dissonance is the idea that people are committed to a certain perception of themselves, and that they will tend to avoid putting themselves in situations that negate this perception. In terms of sales, it’s effective to ask questions that will get customers “on board” in small ways early in the interaction.
Having clients agree that a particular feature is useful, or that a service could save them time, makes them less likely to disagree later on.
3. Follow the crowd: "Here’s what our other clients think…"
Humans are social, and your clients like to know that other people are benefitting from your product or service. Being able to share positive feedback from prior clients, or even simply starting a sentence with the phrase, “Here’s what our other clients have done…” can go a long way toward reassuring clients.
4. Stories, not statistics: The power of anecdotes
Similar to the idea that emotions are more powerful than logic, anecdotes work better than statistics in convincing clients to purchase your product or service. In other words, telling the story of a single satisfied client can have more influence than citing statistics from hundreds of clients.
It’s essential to be sincere in your sales interactions. (Photo: iStock)
5. Scarcity: "For a limited time only"
Scarcity makes people eager to buy. There are a few ways to establish scarcity in what you’re selling. You can offer an exclusive number of spots for a service, sell a limited number of items, or set a timeframe for your sale.
6. Build confidence by giving an out
When your clients feel comfortable about their relationship with you, they’ll be more confident about closing on a sale. Although it might sound counterintuitive, giving clients an “out,” or otherwise maintaining a low-pressure attitude, will build your clients’ trust.
7. Reverse psychology: Let them sell to themselves
Although this point isn’t technically reverse psychology, it’s a similar idea. Give your client reasons to defend what you’re selling by mentioning that they seem to be more interested than you expected, or that you’re not sure whether a product or service is right for them.
By giving a client a reason to defend what you’re selling, they’ll craft their own argument about why they should close the sale.
8. What’s in it for them: Make benefits stand out
Your clients are naturally oriented toward paying attention to risk. That’s why you need to minimize risk and make it easy for them to see the rewards of buying your product or service.
What can the product do for your client in terms of saving them time, money, or effort? If something appears to be a risk, can it be reframed as a benefit? For example, does a higher price translate to more savings in the long run?
Ultimately, it’s essential to be sincere in your sales interactions. People don’t like to be manipulated, and will feel embarrassed or angry if they feel as though they’re being deceived. The tools above are most effective if they’re genuine!
Related: Focus on value — not cost
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Originally published on LifeHealthPro. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.