More than ever before, business owners today must master the art of salesmanship. If they don’t, the competition will outsell them. They’ll shred them to smithereens. But gone are the days of the “don’t think just sell” salesman. To succeed in today’s increasingly complex marketplace, you must think — and think hard.
You must accurately figure out your customers’ needs and move speedily to satisfy them. To annihilate the competition and close more deals, you must fully grasp “sales psychology.” Here are 9 practical sales psychology ideas you can learn and start implementing immediately.
i) Focus on What Prospects Might Lose
The thought of loss quite naturally terrifies many people. Psychologists call it “loss aversion.” Maybe that’s because accumulating stuff is terribly difficult.
But what do most marketers focus on? They focus on what the prospect will gain should they grab their offer. That, though, isn’t always the most effective approach.
Here’s a simple trick that’ll distinguish you from everyone else. Make your copy communicate what the person might lose if they choose a different deal. Also, point out what they stand to lose if they don’t make the buying decision now.
ii) You Aren’t Perfect — Admit It
Many businesses try too hard to explain away their weaknesses instead of owning them. Such companies typically get defensive even when customers voice legitimate concerns.
But that’s not the best way to convince your prospects and finalize more deals. Contrary to what many people believe, admitting you’re facing a few challenges is ok.
In fact, such admission might infuse the relationship you have with your customers with fresh momentum. But always remember: your job is to solve problems — to sell. Your job isn’t to research your business’ weaknesses and expose them! Be “strategic” about how you acknowledge shortcomings.
iii) Stop Presenting Multiple Deals at Once
Making decisions is hard. But it gets even harder if people have too many of them to make. The prospect’s decision-making ability also comes into play. You probably have a Libra friend who takes eons before deciding on what to order in a restaurant. How long do you think they’d take if they had to make a major buying decision? They’d take forever.
It’s called the “too much choice effect.” Some studies reveal that too much choice often leads to undesirable outcomes. The first consequence is that the prospect’s urge to choose any offer may subside. The second one is that they might experience diminished satisfaction from the product they eventually buy – if they ever do. So, assemble a few irresistible deals and showcase them to your prospects. It’s easier to choose the best option if there are 3 and not 10 alternatives.
iv) Always Offer More Than They Expect
Ever wondered why some companies keep offering bonuses? It’s because words such as “bonuses” work like a charm. In the prospect’s mind, a bonus often means “more benefits” or “increased satisfaction.”
Here’s an important fact about people (consumers) that you must know. It’s that humans “crave the unexpected.” The nucleus accumbens, the brain’s “pleasure center,” reacts differently to different kinds of pleasure. Interestingly, this pleasure zone reacts most strongly if the pleasures in question are unexpected.
So find a way to exceed people’s expectations. Give them a discount when they least expect it. Send them a small birthday gift. What else can you do?
v) Clearly Communicate “What’s in it” for Prospects
People think of themselves and little else pretty much all of the time. They process the world in terms of who they are and what they want.
Ever wondered why “toads” keep getting promoted while nice, hardworking people get passed over for promotion?
Such toxic people shoot to the top in the corporate world because they do one thing. They suck up to the boss. They’ll do everything else it takes to win. While everyone else focuses on their job, the toads focus on the boss! In the end, they win. And everyone else whines.
First, you need to agree with Sigmund Freud’s idea of “primary narcissism.” Freud correctly asserts that people are almost always thinking about themselves. And that’s something all of us start doing from a very young age.
For that reason, your copy must clearly answer the prospect’s question: “what’s in it for me?” So, learn how to craft compelling answers for every question your ideal customer might ask. That’s how you start closing humongous deals that others can only dream of.
vi) Leverage Evidence
Snake oil salesmanship is now long dead. Superlatives such as “best,” “finest,” and “greatest” make copy wobble. If that’s what your copy looks like, here’s bad news: you won’t sell much.
No one ever admits that they have the crappiest product or service in the world. And people know that. Everyone these days seems to have developed some sort of a BS meter that protects them from dishonest marketers.
Instead of telling people your widget is the best, show them credible evidence that your product works. Show them testimonials. Display social proof. Show them sales numbers. Create a video about how it works.
vii) Help Them Justify their Buying Decision
There’s a widely held understanding that consumers are rational and rely on rational thought processes to make purchasing decisions. When they see a great product they’ve been meaning to buy, the desire to own it increases. But the feeling starts waning after some time. And the person goes back to thinking straight.
At that point, the person likely only needs a bit of justification to buy the product. They may want to read a detailed description of the product. They’ll probably research the item’s specs and what those features can do for them. Once they’re convinced the product will satisfy their needs, they’re ready to shell out the money.
So, you should learn how to craft copy that describes the product super clearly and compellingly. If you possess good copywriting skills, you may handle the writing task yourself. Otherwise, hire someone who gets results doing that sort of work.
viii) Appeal to their Senses
Imagine more than 6,000,000 people travel to Paris each year just to see Leonardo da Vinci’s painting: Mona Lisa. That painting is over 500 years old, yet people are willing to pay to view it. But why? It’s because everyone who cares about art has read vivid descriptions about the artist and his masterpiece. The images are so clear and powerful that visiting Paris becomes a “must do before I die” sort of thing.
A person’s desire to own a product grows dramatically if they touch, smell, see, taste, or feel it. Marketing tactics have been involving all along, and “sensory marketing” is now all the rage.
That’s why most salespeople want prospects to touch and test products they’re interested in. They want you to smell the product, see the colors and hear the sounds associated with it or the brand.
Selling online? People can’t touch or smell things online. So you’ll have to be terrific at describing your products. Not great at it? Don’t worry. Seek an expert copywriter.
Sales Psychology: Final Thoughts
Snake-oil salesmanship is an obsolete marketing idea. Anyone practicing it in the 21st century lives in a word that no longer exists. Today’s most successful marketers have perfected the art of “psychological marketing.”
To close more deals, you must understand how customers and prospects think. That’s the only way to provide them with the best solutions for their needs. Want to see more customers and invigorate your sales now and in the long term? Try psychological marketing — it works.
This is where Veloxy Mobile and Veloxy Engage stand tall, poised to work right into most of the above ideas. With Veloxy, companies can keep track of their customers’ needs, expectations and behavior patterns.