Trying to figure out your market’s psychological profile can be a nightmare. Even when you think you have your targeted market all figured out, you read a story like the one about the woman in the United States who sued McDonald’s because she was apparently unaware that her coffee was hot. How could you possibly figure out what a buyer like that could be thinking?
Let’s face it: you won’t always be able to tell what is going on inside a buyer’s head. You can, however, learn to predict what he or she may be thinking or how he or she needs to be sold to by knowing a few simple psychology tips. Read on.
People Who Need People
There are a few things you should know about people in general.
First off, they’re egotistical, every single one of them, and when they buy, they buy to fulfill both needs and wants. Each person is focused on his or herself, and that’s not a bad thing. If you know how to handle it, you can use the ego to appeal to the buyer.
You must ask yourself how your product will satisfy a want. Needs are less difficult to sell, as they as after all, a need, but wants can be tricky. Therefore, you have to show the customer how your product can help them fill a specific need. Will your lipstick catch the eye of the guy across the bar? Will this expensive watch show your buddies at work that you make good money? Whether it’s love, wealth or personal worth, selling is about fulfilling a need.
It is also worthy to note that people think in terms of other people. If you place them in a situation with other people, they are more likely to understand your message. A mother looking to buy a minivan might see an ad promoting the great safety features, showing how a family survived a deadly car crash because the minivan they were in was equipped with high-powered breaks and airbags.
For ads and other promotions, it doesn’t hurt to feature reviews and testimonials of products, but be sure the reviews are genuine because…
You Can’t Fool ‘Em
Not in this knowledge economy anyway, which is what Business Insider’s Max Nisen’s pet name of the state of the current economy. Fewer and fewer shoppers are making uninformed decisions. Now that so much information on price and product is available, buyers no longer rely on the car salesman or the tech guy at the electronics store for advice. A few bad reviews on a website might be enough to convince a buyer to purchase a Volvo instead of a BMW.
Reviews themselves are coming under more scrutiny as well, now that consumers know that sellers will intentionally post fake positive reviews will intentionally post fake positive reviews to make their products seem more attractive.
Honesty and transparency are key here. It’s not worth it to try and pull the wool over someone’s eyes. They’ll just get mad and maybe post a bad review about you or your company.
Instead, you can try a different approach. For example, a salesperson selling a fur coat might first play to the buyer’s emotional side. How would a new fur coat look on your shoulders this winter? Isn’t it just so luxurious? Many people tend to make decisions based on their emotional responses, and logic is not often in the equation.
In the case of the expensive fur coat, however, the buyer might be hesitant to spend so much on a coat. Now you can play to the logical side by providing facts to convince the buyer. The coat will last for decades if you take proper care of it, and it won’t ever go out of style. You probably won’t have to buy another coat as no other coat will keep you warmer.
This might be enough to convince the buyer.
Your Personality Matters
If you’ve ever walked into a clothing or electronics store and had to fight off a million salespeople, then you already know the slight animosity some people feel towards salespeople, even ones who don’t work on commission and are just trying to be helpful. Sometimes, buyers just want to look.
The key is to find the middle ground of being an introvert and an extrovert, better known as an ambivert. You should be friendly with all customers and be sincere when talking to them and paying compliments. Let your own personality show through and find a way to connect with the customer by commenting on a cool t-shirt or a funky-looking pair of shoes.
Many sales coaches might tell you to be overly positive and as bright and bubbly as possible, but that really isn’t necessary. People will be able to see right through your fake smile, so take off your poker face and just be genuine. Don’t try to act like your best friends, and be open about your product’s drawbacks as well as its positive qualities.
Combine People and Personality
One of the biggest challenges salespeople, especially ones selling over the phone, have is making a personal connection. If you see people as dollar signs, you’ll never make sell enough to make your goal. Stop and remind yourself that you are a person too.
This is why it’s so important to listen to your customers and pay attention to their needs and wants. If your product can fulfill either of those, move on and go after a different customer. Don’t waste your time trying to force a sale on someone who doesn’t need or want your product. If you insist on selling to people who don’t need or want your product, it will only result in a return later on and maybe a bad remark about a pushy salesperson.
Above all, learn from your mistakes and failures. You won’t sell your product every time, and during a pitch, you might stumble or say the wrong thing. That’s okay. Recognize correctable mistakes, such as misquoting a price, and work on correcting them. Let go of rejections that weren’t your fault, such as a customer in a hurry blowing you off midway through a pitch.
Remember, you’re a person too. How would you like to be sold to?