As consumers, we are nearly blind to advertising today. Anything that does catch our attention must be seriously different and unique, and “wake up” our brain out of that resistance state.
We’ve developed, as a society, a resistance to being manipulated and persuaded to purchase.
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What’s this got to do with your sales practice?
Well, there are several techniques that are being used that accomplish that “waking up” by being different, unique, and unexpected.
Using one or more of these techniques can create a pattern of interrupting in your prospect’s consciousness, getting them to listen to what you have to say, and ultimately allow you to close more sales.
Attracting new interested prospects keeps getting more difficult. So, as a salesperson, you need to work harder to get the sale.
Turn on any television, and you are bombarded with phrases like, “limited time offer” or “hurry before the sale is over” or “only 100 left”…it’s no wonder we simply tune it all out.
And we’re getting more and more skeptical about having to do so.
Right now, there’s a movement towards using absolute truth in sales. Your prospect expects is to be “sold” with a hard sell.
What if, instead, you simply lay out the facts, the benefits, the features, and let them make the decision? You could do this by simply saying, “Hey, I understand if this offer isn’t for you.”
Having a few reverse psychology techniques in your sales toolbox is a necessary thing if you want to break through all the static noise and really do something with your prospect that is going to make them think.
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Let’s take a look at some of these techniques.
Utilize the Inoculation Effect
This process of resistance is called the Inoculation Effect, and it was developed by William McGuire way back in the early 1960s.
There will come a time when you’re fully aware that your prospect is choosing between you and your direct competition.
Without lying or exaggerating, simply state that you’re aware that some businesses just don’t do business honestly, and they may use techniques like bait and switch or have hidden fees that you don’t realize until you’ve signed a contract.
This will work to your advantage if you truly do your homework on your competitors and the sales techniques they use.
One thing your prospect wants to know is –
- How are you different?
- What makes your product or service unique in the market?
Let them know what the industry standard is…and then let them know what they can expect from you, personally, and point out that this is simply how you do business.
Give them extra…extra time, extra product, extra attention.
When they then go to your competition, they’ll expect that extra, and likely won’t get it. And then, who will be the obvious choice?
Keep your choices limited
Categorizing your products or services will work wonders.
Instead of your potential new client being unable to make a decision, you’ll be guiding them down a path where they feel in control and a part of the process.
You’ll eventually narrow it down to a couple of final options that are easy to decide between.
This is the best way you can serve your prospect while keeping them free from “analysis paralysis”.
Don’t be afraid to be honest
Tell your client when you feel your offer isn’t a great fit for them. They’re expecting to be hard-sold, remember?
If you come in under the radar with honesty, they’ll trust you more, will have more confidence in you and will appreciate the lack of pressure to say yes.
And that may, in fact, make them want to say yes.
The plus to this is that a client who isn’t coerced into a sale, but rather simply chooses to purchase, is a much happier customer who won’t come back later with a refund request or complaint.
Disqualify your prospects
We hear so much about qualifying prospects, but there is a reverse-psychology technique where you actually disqualify your prospect during your pitch.
The goal here isn’t to manipulate them into purchasing something they truly can’t afford, but rather to show them the best option that is just outside their comfort zone financially.
Remember that people will find the money for that which they value, so give them the opportunity to find that extra value with you.
Be prepared to ask the tough questions. Many salespeople avoid this because it seems so counterintuitive.
What if you lose the sale? Well, that is a risk, but it’s highly likely that if you ask a hard question that alienates the prospect, that was a prospect that wasn’t going to purchase anyway.
Some ways to make this more comfortable and easier to accomplish are to ask for permission first:
“Do you mind if I ask you a question? I feel I need to ask in order to know if we’re a good fit, but I’m afraid it’ll upset you.”
Just get it right out in the open. Your prospect probably won’t say no, and what you’ve done is basically said,
“It matters to me that my product/service fits you, and I need to find out more so that I can help you decide.”
No one is going to say no to that and again, if they do, it’s likely they wouldn’t become a client anyways.
Leave us a comment and let us know if you have tried one of these selling techniques and how they worked out for you.
This post is part of a series – Psychology of Sales: Understanding the Customer Mindset. You can find the other posts here:
- History of Psychology in Sales
- Why is Psychology Important to Sales Success?
- How To Utilize the 10 Most Common Psychological Biases
- Key Psychological Sales Strategies
- The Psychology of the Close
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