Psychology of Selling
Many senior executives, and other business professionals, will still cling to the mantra that: ‘People buy people first’. This is the belief that has underpinned the psychology of selling. Yet if this is still completely true, why do Amazon and eBay, among many others, run hugely successful operations where customers never meet or talk to another human being? In this article, let’s examine how the ‘psychology’ might be expanded to deal with this situation.
People now buy both people and entities
Is this more the truth of the matter? Psychologically, people wish to feel both welcomed and valued before they are content to consider becoming – or even remaining – a customer of a company. In days when a larger proportion of purchases and business were conducted through face-to-face (or perhaps telephonic) communications, then that personal relationship was often key.
Expanding this into the modern marketplace, the psychological comfort needed to ‘do business’ with an (perhaps even willingly recognized as impersonal) entity often comes from a variety of sources. This can range from the evidence of others on social media to an examination of the company’s own online presence. Yet, it can surely be argued, that the end result remains the same: to feel comfortable when doing business. Wise organizations will spend great effort in finding ways to achieve this.
The psychological aftermath of selling
Again, in personal situations, to be successful, the follow-up call was and surely remains a given. Buyer’s remorse is often seen as the act of cancellation of a service order or purchase, but that is only one possibility. This remorse can often allow a reluctant acceptance that what is done is done, but will make it much harder to sell again to that customer. There’s a classic customer service saying: ‘You’re only as good as your last sale’. In truth, this should suggest that: ‘You are only as good as your next sale’ to be both forward looking and more positive.
Why many companies shouldn’t look for ‘repeat business’
This header seems quite controversial, but bear with the reasoning. Psychologically, asking employees to deliver: ‘Repeat business’ can lead to an understanding that this means: ‘Same again’. Perhaps, once more, a new form of words can change such a mindset: ‘Gain new business from the same customer’. This should encourage thought on how to offer different products and services, seek increased opportunities; and, yes, there are still occasions when a repeat order would be an acceptable fallback outcome. Surely, it shouldn’t be an original aim!
Adapting to a psychology of buying
In reaching conclusions from the above, perhaps it is time to change the focus to this alternative. Our digital world gives us much more in the way of opportunities to truly understand potential customers, and to communicate with them in a more intimate and closely targeted way.
The internet search is increasingly often their starting point; an example of the premise that instant access often drastically shortens more traditionally understood sales cycles. Here they will start a process, perhaps sub-consciously to some degree, of screening potential businesses. Psychologically, buyers will still tend to decide with their hearts and emotions, and use selective information to rationalize their desired decision.
Finding a credible and reliable source will matter as much as it ever has, your task will be to find emotionally-driven ways to deliver the trust and confidence that meets the psychological needs which will still allow sales to take place.