Growing your business or reaching sales targets can be all encompassing and that could mean you forgetting a very important point.
Whether you sell services or products, you’re in the business of selling to people.
When it comes to sales, you need to nurture, not push. Getting to “Yes” may be the target but it’s what you do when you get there and how that makes the person who says “Yes!” that you should focus on.
You see, sales is about psychology and unless you understand how people buy then your networking, social media, marketing and follow up and sales process won’t work so well.
In his brilliant book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” Dr Robert Cialdini talks about the ‘6 Principles of Persuasion’. In summary, why we buy all comes to down understanding what makes a person tick.
Cialdini said that there are six reasons behind persuading people. These are key areas that we need to focus on in sales and marketing if we’re to be successful.
These six shortcuts can act as a universal guide to persuading and selling, and they are:
It’s a fascinating book and if you want to catch up quickly you can watch his video here.
It’s a useful theory and much of it makes sense in your sales and follow-up. So, here’s how you could use a CRM like SalesRadar along with the six principles to gain more customers and sales.
1. Reciprocity – giving back
Reciprocity is the notion that if you help someone then they are more likely to help you back. If you give something to someone then they are more likely to give something back to you.
Why not use your CRM to remind you to build on this with simple acts of kindness or by doing something that enriches your leads’ day, week, or business.
If you’re a keen networker for example you could easily use one of your follow-ups in the process to help connect your new connections with someone you think they could do business with.
By helping them, they will feel special and may wish to help you back. This could be in the form of a connection or lead for you or a sale in the future. Even if they don’t help you immediately, the karma can’t be a bad thing!
2. Scarcity – the fear of missing out
We’ve all experienced this. Missing out on an experience or product can drive people to buy something even when they don’t really need it because they in fact feel like they want it.
Why not connect with your potential customers on social media so that they see the content you put out and make a point of sharing success stories, awards, articles you’re featured in, or products and services you’re selling and sharing.
From flash sales to limited stock items, generate some exclusivity. Build the ‘FOMO’ and work in some scarcity to push for an earlier decision on that order. People don’t want to miss out on anything, so make sure they know why they shouldn’t miss out on what you’re offering.
3. Authority – building trust
Dr Cialdini stated that we trust people in authority and that something as simple as a uniform can really make a difference to the way someone behaves towards you. We’re not suggesting you dress up, though.
Why not create some video content for your YouTube channel and share tips and advice with your audience and leads? Or create some authority off the back of someone else by joining them on their podcast, Facebook Live show, or blog.
Why do you think Apple call their tech support staff ‘geniuses’? They’re probably not certified in the truest sense of the word, but they’re highly trained by Apple because they need to be trusted with customers’ expensive devices.
People buy from others who are seen as an authority. Build your authority, share great content with your leads and set reminders to check in with them and share it too.
4. Consistency – knowing what to expect
An interesting area of the book that will really help your marketing and your sales process is that people are more likely to say “yes” to something when they see the consistency in it.
The ‘foot in the door’ technique is a good example here. If you ask a website visitor to complete a short questionnaire or request information and they say ‘yes’, they’re taking action. They’ve made a small psychological commitment. You can then build on this to make larger requests. Accepting a free sample can lead to making a small transaction, which can lead to a larger sale. The more effort someone puts in to get something, the more committed they are to it and the more likely the Rule of Consistency will kick in.
If their involvement is public then all the better. Get them to write testimonials, or have them fill out online forms. Make them members of a special group. Give them public recognition. The more public, the stronger their sense of consistency and the more likely they are to stay with you.
5. Liking – three important little factors
We buy from people we ‘like’ and this is very interesting when you look at why and when people buy. There are three areas key to this from Cialdini’s book:
- Similarity –We like people we think are similar to us in terms of interests, opinions, personality, background, etc.
- Compliments –We love to receive praise, and tend to like those who give it.
- Contact and Cooperation –We feel a sense of commonality when working with others to fulfil a common goal.
You can quickly see how you could use those in your sales, can’t you?
Remember to research your leads and find common ground with them and add that information to their profile on your CRM (Similarity).
Follow them on social media (SalesRadar will find these for you in most cases) and then comment, share and like their content on social media. (Compliments. But be genuine)
And when you’re working on sales, do it for them, not for you. What are they trying to achieve and how can you help them do that with your service or product? Show them that you can, demonstrate it and become part of their solution (Contact and Cooperation).
Typically, we do what others around us do. We’re a tribal species, after all. So, how do you use this to persuade people to buy from you? In marketing terms it’s rather simple; use testimonials from people just like your enquiries and sales leads to convert them to the way of thinking like others.
If they resonate with the story, the person and the message then they’re likely to say “yes” purely because they see themselves in the situation.
Make sure that your social media but also your follow-up includes people like the people you’re trying to convert. A simple sales call could be transformed with a mini anecdote about a successful story involving someone just like the person you’re on the phone to.
Make a Customer, Not a Sale
Ultimately, all you have to remember is that when you’re making a sale, or trying to, you’re actually trying to make a customer and they’re very human indeed. Add in emotion and understanding into your sales and marketing and record the personal information in your CRM for that moment when you need it.
It’s really rather simple, but someone is more likely to buy from you if you give them something first (reciprocity), what you have needs a decision soon (scarcity), you know what you’re doing and others say so (authority), you’re not hot and cold (consistency), you work on them, not the sale (liking), and they can see that others just like them are buying from you (consensus).
A CRM just joins it all up and helps you stay on track of many more like them.