While we’ve seen that there are dozens upon dozens of sales strategies, there are some that stand out as the cornerstones of sales, and these should be part of any successful salesperson’s arsenal of tactics.
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Here are five of the most effective strategies known to sales that you should strive to master.
1. Everyone Likes to Buy Things
When you purchase something, you buy a result – an end goal, an experience, a story that’s already been formed within your own mind.
If you go to a home goods store, and you buy a gorgeous scented candle, what you’re buying is sitting comfortably on your sofa with a blanket and a good book, a cup of hot cocoa, and that beautiful candle lit and making the room smell delicious.
When you purchase a piece of software, you’re buying the future ease with which you’ll now be able to get more work done; you’re buying efficiency, convenience, and the potential for financial gain.
Lots of people question buying something – especially information – when you can access that same information free elsewhere.
But the convenience of having everything in one place, and the potential result of the utilization of that information is what people are purchasing.
You’ve possibly been in the position where, by the very purchase you made, you felt as if you’d accomplished something.
That’s a common psychological response to buying and one that, as a salesperson, you’d do well to remember.
Obtaining something for free doesn’t have that same sense of accomplishment and ownership. When we pay money for goods or services, we feel better about it and are more apt to use it, than if we’d obtained the same thing for free.
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Remember this when you’re talking to your next prospect – you’re doing them a great service by offering them what they want and need, and exchanging it for dollars.
Your customer expects to pay, and they will willingly do so in order to reap the psychological benefits of the purchase.
2. Less is More
Have you ever been so overwhelmed with the choices presented to you in a purchase, that you became unable to make a choice at all, and walk away empty-handed?
That’s what our second sales technique is all about.
Clearly, you can not eliminate options from your business – and logically, we know that customers like to have a choice i.e. they enjoy the control and feel more invested in the process when they have choices.
But, too many choices and they shut down, and that’s what we don’t want.
One effective way to avoid the too-many-choices problem is to categorize your products/services. Three categories of service sound better than 37 services to choose from, doesn’t it?
Much more psychologically manageable, and an easier decision to tackle.
This will also enable the buyer to feel like part of the process as they decide which category most closely matches who they are and what they want, and from there, they can choose the product or service that fits them.
This will also help you, as the salesperson, more quickly hone in on what it is your prospect desires, and then you can focus on presenting the best features and benefits to match.
3. Losses are Better than Gains
As we’ve discussed with the loss aversion psychological bias, people will most often choose to not lose something rather than gain something of similar value to them.
Taking this a step further, this creates the basis for a seriously strategic sales tactic.
When you’re discussing loss aversion, you’re certainly not talking about logic. There is no way that you can turn this around and make it make sense, but alas, it is what it is, and as humans, we’re nothing if not quirky.
Maybe it’s because we consider $10 that we already have better than the work that would need to be done to obtain an additional $10.
Maybe the risk feels too great. Or maybe, there’s just no way to explain it and people simply feel the way they feel.
Within your sales offerings to your prospects, if it fits your product or service offer, focus more on what the prospect stands to lose, or what they’ll be missing out on, rather than what they stand to gain, or the positive end result.
But it’s a balancing act – clearly, you can’t focus solely on what they’ll lose if they don’t take advantage of your offer, or you’ll seem rather negative and we already know that negativity doesn’t end in sales.
Remembering the peak-end rule here might also help you. Start and end your offering with what is at stake to lose (or not gain), and fill in the middle with the experience the positive end result will bring.
4. Haters Let You Know You’re Doing Something Right
In your sales business, you will have people who adore you, and those who don’t. The key here is that you actually do want to polarize your audience.
The closer you can get to those prospects that love you – those loyal followers that turn into repeat buyers, and your biggest cheerleaders when it comes to referrals – the better off your bottom line is going to be.
So don’t be afraid to be uniquely you.
You can never “make” a prospect like you or want your product. But if the prospects you have do like you, it sure will make it easier to convince them to buy from you, won’t it?
But if you try to please everybody…well, you never will, and you’ll be watering down your message to try to gain acceptance from people who will never buy from you anyways.
Think about your own personality traits.
- What do people really seem to enjoy about you?
- Is it your humor?
- Your nurturing attitude?
- Your dry wit?
Be more of those things that you already know people like about you, and that will bring you more followers and potential prospects that are enthusiastic about creating a relationship with you.
5. Be Prepared with Social Proof
It’s absolutely no surprise to anyone that online sales are soaring and that there doesn’t appear to be anything but growing numbers of online buyers. One of the reasons for this is reviews.
Our buying habits have changed greatly since the advent of the internet, and it’s increasingly more common to view a product or service and look at the reviews of that product or service to help us make up our mind about purchasing.
This is called social proof, and it works on several psychological levels to enable the buying decision.
Buyers purchase what other buyers have purchased. We enjoy having lots of thing, lots of experiences, and we especially enjoy having lots of what that guy over there and that woman over there have.
People buy things en masse – how else do you explain the Beanie Baby phenomenon? It often doesn’t even matter if we need or want it. We buy it because someone else did.
You can utilize social proof within your own sales practice by having available several testimonials from satisfied clients, and phone numbers for references if your client requests them.
The more you can show your prospect that others have paid for and enjoyed their purchase from you, the more your prospect will be to say yes.
Leave us a comment and let us know if you have used one of the key sales strategies to close sales.
This post is part of a series – Psychology of Sales: Understanding the Customer Mindset. Check out the other posts below:
- History of Psychology in Sales
- Why is Psychology Important to Sales Success?
- How To Utilize the 10 Most Common Psychological Biases
- Using Reverse-Psychology Sales Techniques
- The Psychology of the Close
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