“People buy on emotions“… we hear it all the time. They have often downloaded the specs and comparisons off the internet before they even walk into your shop or office, with a clear understanding of what they THINK they need. But that doesn’t mean they can’t leave with what YOU think is best for their needs…
“S/he’s a natural sales person”. We hear that all the time too. So how do we go about developing the skill-set to achieve this ability to convince? Does it work for all products or services? Does it work across industries? Is it a gift or can it be learnt?
Imagine meeting a sales person who, through his or her skill, took your money and gave you nothing in return – no product or service in the exchange – yes you heard right… Nothing. Yet you leave happy, content, and not missing your money at all… Crazy, right? Not really. I was that sales person for over 15 years, taking money from people and giving them nothing in return; well, nothing tangible. I gave them an emotion.
After 15 years raising millions of euros for leading charities, and now working in commercial and public sectors I have understood that it isn’t too much of leap to go from selling ‘charity’ to selling products or services. Indeed, there are many parallels between great fundraisers and great sales people. Successful fundraisers make you feel special about your giving. They build trust by explaining clearly how your money will make a difference to others, and communicate effectively how good it feels to make an impact as an individual. Great fundraisers communicate this trust, make you feel comfortable in their company, and empower you to make the ‘right’ choice and give you confidence in choosing their charity. They are great motivators and communicate intelligently, understanding WHY you want to give, and feeding back total reassurance.
Most people have doubts when making a purchase. Is this the right choice of product or service? Can I get a better deal? Will my partner mind me spending the money? Do I really need it? Is this good value and quality? It’s the same way when giving your money to charity; arguably even more difficult. There are thousands of worthy causes, so who deserves my money? How much should we give? How do I know my hard-earned money is going to be used well? Can I see what they will spend it on?
Often it is just blind faith, with no money-back guarantee. Being a successful fundraiser requires mastery.
The approach we use in training top performing sales teams is through a mix of coaching, mentoring and teaching through practice. We train for the mental process that leads to a win-win situation, focussing on Neuroscience, Psychology, Behaviour and Business Sense. In a win-win, the Customer is happy to spend the money with no residual guilt, and the Sales Person feels great selling at a profitable price, ethically and convincingly. These mental processes are all based on Emotions, which in turn drive behaviours and actions, leading to the optimal outcome & result.
Negative emotions such as anxiety leave a customer doubting the purchase, haggling the price down and leaving with suspicion, questioning the guarantees and return policies. Negative emotions, such as frustration, turn the sales person to harder selling approaches, less flexibility or even excessive discounting (to get rid of the irritating customer). We need to turn this around.
It is up to the sales person to recognise the emotions of their customers and be self-aware of themselves in order to steer the conversation away from negativity. Being frustrated at your first customer of the day because you’ve been stuck in traffic for an hour doesn’t cut it. Nor does cutting short your last one because you want to get home to watch the game.
A positive mindset is an open one where the possibility of discussion, enabling trust and mutual understanding is likely to lead to the win-win scenario. Emotional intelligence helps the sales person recognise a mood and do their best to change it, in turn influencing the behaviour and the actions of the customer towards a more positive sales experience. A positive mindset requires the sales person to listen and observe attentively, in order to decide their approach. The approach must have one singular goal; to UP-REGULATE OXYTOCIN.
The approach must have one singular goal; to UP-REGULATE OXYTOCIN.
Oxytocin is a substance in our minds associated with care and trust. It can be stimulated through intelligent choices of words that inspire safety, wellbeing and calm by the sales person. The environment and surroundings can also help to enhance the up-regulation of oxytocin, as well as the lead up to the sales experience when possible.
We also need to down-regulate Cortisol, which triggers the flight or fright response and puts people on edge, ready to argue or back away. Avoiding Cortisol triggering helps set the scene for Oxytocin release and we need to pay heed if we are the unconscious cause of this harmful chemical.
The after effect of the sales exchange is also important, to complete the experience and pave the way for repeat business. Sales people need to trigger Dopamine with quick tangible and clear rewards and recognition, closely followed by a feeling of gratitude to the customer, colleagues and the business. The customer needs to leave with an after-glow of satisfaction and pride in their purchase.
To summarise, Unlocking the Potential of sales teams is key to growing your business or increasing your profitability, preventing price wars with competitors and discounting. At UP we go far deeper than teaching sales ‘techniques’ and coach them into intelligent conversation, deep listening and flow. Whether you are selling an expensive piece of Jewellery, a corporate service or a pair of jeans, the same process applies. The variables become your time to sell, the value of the exchange and the product or service, but YOUR BRAIN CAN’T TELL THE DIFFERENCE. All it knows is the chemicals it senses. And that’s the same for your customer….
If you would like more information on how to hack your customers brains, please get in touch. We can also put you in touch with our clients if you want their feedback on results.