Whether you’re selling a defined physical product or service – or simply trying to “sell” others on the idea of following you – you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you aren’t paying attention to the basic principles of human psychology.
When you take the time to look at how people making purchase decisions, as well as the specific factors driving the emotional responses they experience when confronted with a buying opportunity, you’ll find that you’re better able to tailor your pitch in order to create a more compelling sales offer.
Here’s how to do it…
Step #1 – Understand your prospect’s motivations
In NLP, we often talk about the key distinction of being “towards” or “away” motivated. That is, are we more likely to be persuaded by the opportunity to move “towards” a benefit or “away” from a potential source of pain? Understanding which camp your prospect falls into could significantly change the way you structure your sales pitch.
For example, if you’re selling a training course, you could market your product based on the benefits users will experience or by highlighting the opportunities these participants will miss out on if they don’t enroll. Since tailoring your pitch to the wrong source of motivation wouldn’t be nearly as effective, it’s important to take some time to figure out appeal will resonate best with your audience.
But how do you find this out? Simple – listen to the words your prospects are using, either in in-person conversations or through web comments and other types of digital communication. If you hear your prospects discussing their hopes, dreams and goals, it’s likely that they’re “towards” motivated, meaning that you’ll want to focus on selling your product’s benefits.
On the other hand, if your audience spends most of its time talking about missed opportunities or other regrets, you’ll want to craft a sales pitch based on “away” appeals to meet this audience’s needs.
Step #2 – Understand stereotypical buying behavior
No matter how much we might argue that we’re logical, rational thinkers, the reality is that most of us make purchase decisions based on emotions and feelings. Although we may use facts to justify the conclusions we’ve already drawn, the actual decision to purchase is typically rooted in our emotional thought processes.
So what does this mean for salespeople? Well, for starters, it means that we need to focus on achieving and ideal emotional state in order to encourage the sales process to move forward. And to uncover exactly what that ideal emotional state is, we need to delve deeper into what our prospects are thinking and feeling to determine their hidden, “hot button” emotional issues.
Suppose the training course we’re selling in our previous example is a personal finance coaching package, which we plan to target to young families that are struggling with debt. Based on our examinations of the niche, we’ve found that our target prospects are typically more “away” motivated, as they worry about how they’ll be able to provide for their growing families in the future.
Now, by putting ourselves in the shoes of these couples, we can think about the emotional triggers that may make them more likely to purchase. For example, the couple in question may be concerned about how rising college costs will affect their future financial security. By highlighting how our personal finance class will help them to be prepared for this situation, we’ve both raised a potent emotional “red flag” and demonstrated how our product will eliminate this concern, which may trigger a buying decision.
Step #3 – Understand how to clearly convey value
The final key to using human psychology to create a compelling sales offer is to understand how to convey value to our sales prospects. Truly, the value of an object is never set in stone – it’s up to you, as the salesperson, to create value for your audience within the products and services you’re selling.
As an example, consider our personal finance training course. To a wealthy heiress, it has very little value as understanding these principles will likely have little impact on her world. On the other hand, to a struggling, growing family, the value of this course could be akin to being thrown a floatation device after falling into rough waters.
However, in order to get our struggling family to recognize how important our course will be for their financial well-being, we need to find a way to convey that sense of value. There are a few different sales techniques you can use to accomplish this goal:
- Use targeted stories to get readers to claim ownership of the value of your product.
- Compare your product or service to other to highlight key elements of value.
- Share social proof indicators (for example, testimonials from past customers) that indicate other people have found value in your product or service offering.
It can take some practice to determine how to integrate these value signifiers into your pitch, but you’ll likely find that taking the time to learn how to use human psychology to craft a compelling sales offer will be well worth the effort in terms of increased sales and opportunities.
Image: One from RM