Meeting your prospect in the middle and being in the right place at the right time doesn’t often just happen. There is planning and research that goes into making the perfect sales pitch and, more importantly, landing the sale.
We at Grey Matter rely heavily on human psychology to plan and execute our sales processes. Getting into the mind of the buyer can help salespeople understand how best to approach each sale and get the best results.
We have done great amounts of research on the psychology of sales. Here is an overview of what you need to know to become the best salesperson.
Begin in the Root Brain
The primary decision-making centers for the brain are in the root brain and limbic system, controlling instinctive and emotional reactions. This tells us where to begin our message.
Most sales pitches and ads begin with facts which can throw a listener into a skeptic mode, as facts appeal to the analytic part of the brain. This can damage the image of trustworthiness one might create by appealing to their emotions.
Tell a story. Storytelling in sales creates a sense of empathy, and therefore, connection between prospect and sales person. Our brains are hardwired to engage with and remember stories, motivating voluntary cooperation. By sharing a success story, a personal anecdote, etc., the listener feels connected with the storyteller, eliciting emotions and encouraging trust.
People retain 65 to 70 percent of information shared through stories while only 5 to 10 percent of information is retained through dry presentation of data and statistics.
Using visual, emotionally-engaging, memorable ads and sales tactics appeal to the prospect’s emotion center where feelings of trust, likability, and connection are built. Once these feelings are built, the prospect is more likely to justify a change and will be more interested in facts and data.
Most people buy from people and companies they trust. But where does that trust come from, how is it built?
Generally, trust is built with people we like and connect with. But making a connection or being likable as a business is a little trickier. To be an influential sales person, you must be able to demonstrate both personal trust (connection) and professional trust (credibility).
Motivating a Change
People, more often than not, don’t like change. This, alone, can make the sales process difficult. When you bypass the prospect’s analytical thinking, it can be easier to reach an emotional response that would motivate change. How do you do this?
Create memorable content that elicits an emotional response. Presenting prospects with visual content allows them to retain 70% of the information, as compared to 10% without visual guides.
Create a need. Listeners are two times more likely to avoid a loss as they are to pursue a gain. Present to them what they would lack without your product or service before presenting features. The fear of loss creates a sense of urgency to make a change and encourages a decision.
The key to using the knowledge is to have trust built with the prospect first and then use relevant insight to get their attention. You cannot fear monger your customers or it will have the opposite effect. This process takes a lot of practice but when you learn how to use it effectively, you can position the "risk of loss" provocatively and then follow up with how you are uniquely qualified to solve the problem (pursuit of gain).