Welcome to first post in my Sales Psychology series. Today I’m going to be breaking down the three fundamental elements to effectively and ethically convince other people to buy your stuff.
The best part? It doesn’t matter if your “stuff” is a product, service or simply an idea.
Last week I announced my plan to spend the month of September drilling down into the nitty gritty details of the art (and science) of selling.
I also announced some kick ass prizes to be won (including thousands of dollars of free consulting) so, if you’re new here, you better go take a look at last week’s intro Sales Psychology post.
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There is a trifecta of psychology required to successfully and easily sell things. If you’ve ever made sales of any kind, then I can guarantee these psychological keys were present. Even if you didn’t know it.
We’re going to break all this down further later in the week, but for now, the idea of this introductory post is to bring these three key concepts into your awareness.
Everyone who runs a business, sells or simply communicates is already doing this stuff to some extent. Simply by becoming conscious of these three keys you can figure out what you are already good at and find new ways to improve your sales weak-points.
Emotion – The first key to successful sales
Selling is really about decision making – that’s why when I mentioned parenting as a sales example in last week’s post, a few people sat up and paid attention. A sale is just a decision to hand over cash (or agreement) in exchange for something. Whenever a decision is made, it is emotion that determines the outcome.
An expert sales person leads their prospect on an emotional journey. They understand that to hand over cash, the prospect needs to feel a certain something and they tailor their pitch to evoke those emotions.
If a prospect doesn’t have emotional buy-in for the stuff they’re being pitched, they’ll never agree, make the deal or sign on the dotted line.
Even though many people value themselves as level headed, analytical and emotionally controlled they still always buy things based on feelings rather than facts. The most dispassionate and calculated individual is still a sucker for a sales person who knows how to push the right emotional buttons. The trick lies in knowing where those buttons are on the vastly different individuals you might encounter.
Trust – The second key to successful sales
Trust is the blogger’s favorite sales buzzword. It’s super critical and there are some fantastic resources out there about how to build trust online. Chris Brogan in particular has built a whole career around this idea.
Everyone is focused on building trust in business. In the offline world, it’s just as big a buzzword among corporate marketing managers.
When every is focused on trust, it means the fast-track to sales victory lies in you learning the skill to build trust faster than anyone else.
In this series, I’ll be breaking down the psychological formula for building “rapport”. Rapport is a state of connection and communicative trust between individuals that makes selling of all kinds an absolute breeze.
There is a formula to rapport – a formula to ensure your pitch is always understood and that you’re always trusted and liked. It’s kind of like canned charisma.
At the end of the day, people only do business with the people they like. You probably find it simple to get along (and be liked) by certain types of people, but what about the others? A great salesperson has the flexibility to build rapport with anyone and establish that feeling of mutual “liking” and trust every time.
Rationalization – The third key to successful sales
This is where logic really comes into play. I already mentioned that sales decisions are always made emotionally, but there are also a set of logical requirements that go into every deal.
When a consumer approaches a buying decision, the ultimate outcome will rest on how they feel. This is the first key and it’s very unconscious. However, at the conscious level, every consumer holds a whole set of logical, structured criteria in their mind as well.
Everyone who buys a car goes in with a checklist of “things they want”. This includes seat warmers, a hatchback and all that rubbish. Ultimately though, the happy car shopper always drives away with the machine that makes their little heart go *flutter*
A lot of sales training and sales gurus focus on techniques to help the client walk through their conscious-mind checklist. Many assume that this is the “logic” of selling. It isn’t.
Logic and rationalization come into play when we look at the psychological and communication trickery required to have the prospect buy what they really want (read: crave) rather than what they’ve told themselves it’s okay to have.
Mastering the psychology of sales rationalization is critical. It’s is the difference between selling a discount hatchback family wagon versus the sporty two-door that the buyer can’t take her eyes off. If your business has a “sporty model” then you know the value of this – the difference in margin is enormous!
The final key to successful selling
I said there were three, but I lied. There’s actually a fourth, but it’s a bit of a weird one. It’s you.
You, the individual, are the key to your sales success. You the entrepreneur, artist, blogger, parent, executive or circus clown. Even if you mastered all three of the keys, if you don’t align your thinking and action in the right way none of it will matter.
This means overcoming your fear of selling – everyone has is afraid of it.
It means being able to bounce back from rejection – sales people experience a lot of it.
It means being able to believe in what you do so you can throw yourself into selling with enthusiasm, ethics, effectiveness and other things that start with E.
The shortcut to achieving all this is coming up in future posts in this series.
Wrapping it up
This article is an enormous teaser, but don’t worry. The next post in the series will be arriving tomorrow – you won’t have long to wait before you can start getting the practical answers.
Despite being a teaser of things to come, there is an important point here. Once you know the keys to selling, it’s easy to quickly identify the areas of weakness where your business and selling style is struggling.
So, teaser though it may be, please use this information.
Comment Question: Which area do you need to work on the most… and why?
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