One good idea is priceless in sales! wouldn’t you agree?
Scarcity produces desire! Take it one step further, rejection can breed obsession. Crazy how the human mind works. What if you could use this psychology and put it into your sales formula? After all, isn’t perception everything.
"Salespeople who are great at "opening" will tell you they never "close"... a great opening naturally leads to more sales!" A lot of this has to do with the way you market yourself and how other people see you – once again perception.
Consequently, in any form of sales if there is no desire there is no sale – it’s that simple! Desire is to wish or long for something. But how do we get our prospects to want it so bad they just have to have it?
One of the best ways is to ask an implication question. This type of question intensifies need creating desire. Sometimes, if we probe too deep we can actually cause a disturbance which might result in the prospect losing sleep. But that could be a good thing. I’m not suggesting manipulation or dishonesty but sometimes you need to tell people not what they want to hear but what they need to hear. A solution to their problem can be difficult to initially swallow but with the right conversation and education, the prospect will eventually get used to the idea. The goal is to put their mind at ease and a smile on their face!
Here are my suggested top eight questions which will create urgency and give you a better understanding of your customer's needs. This is your discovery phase and without this, you won’t get that sale.
Good questions to ask:
- How important is it that you solve this problem and what’s the timeframe?
- What are the consequences if you do nothing – cost per day?
- How do you assess value?
- What are the major challenges you are addressing at the moment?
- What is the business/organisation’s working style?
- What are your key areas of focus at the moment, and are these likely to change in the short/medium term?
- Why do you want this so much?
- Tell me in order of 1-5 your priorities over the next 6-12 months?
Pick and choose the questions that best suit the situation then write down your prospect’s reply to the question exactly in their words. If cost is discussed ask specifically for dollar value. This will be useful for your follow up email/proposal where you will sprinkle exactly their words again and offer your solution. It shows you were listening to them and really care - this builds trust. Often the issues raised by your prospect become objections so this way you beat them to the punch. Armed with many reasons why you know your solution is the cure to their problem you continue the conversation in a highly confident and persuasive manner.
Your question will normally be followed by a question from your prospect and you will pause then reply, That’s a good question.” Repeat their question out loud to get reassurance from your prospect that you heard it correctly and then reply. The goal of this process is to build a bridge where they feel safe to cross the bridge with you. Make your prospect feel listened to, stroking their ego by showing you care. Once you have that trust established and safety is no longer an issue you have created desire. You then need to create scarcity with a clever call to action.
The expert in this field is Dr Robert Cialdini and his six findings are well recognised.
Six key principles of influence by Dr Robert Cialdini
- Reciprocity – People tend to return a favour, it brings out the human spirit: As the saying goes, “When one good deed leads to another.”
- Commitment and Consistency – If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honour that commitment because of establishing that idea or goal as being congruent with their self-image. Even if the original incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honour the agreement. Hence the statement, “My word is my bond.”
- Social Proof – People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, it was recorded, in one experiment, if one or more people looked up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what the others were looking at. At one point the experiment was aborted, as so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic.
- Authority – People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts.
- Liking – People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Dr Cialdini cites that people were more likely to buy if they liked the person who was selling the product to them. Some of the many biases favouring more attractive people he has previously discussed substantially.
- Scarcity – Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a "limited time only" encourages sales.
Click on WATCH and view the Science of Persuasion video - Not to be missed!
On a final note:
Please share this article if you feel you learnt something. By doing so, you will give it “Social Proof” that people like it and think it is good, so others will hopefully follow! You will also come across as an authoritarian in your field by sharing your expert opinion and you will be creating an opportunity for reciprocity!
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