As we become more and more interconnected we less often come across that sales person that has plied their trade in the proverbial trenches of the sales business. Even in this day of SAAS, Cloud, interconnectivity, interoperablity and integrations there are still sales people out there selling "stuff" in person.One often thinks the good sales manager has a background in psychology as they can read their prospects and at the right time ask the right question that could trigger a sale. Sometimes they are shunned as they can delve into the deep recesses of the mind of the prospect pushing them to buy something they do not really want. Many do try to live up to that standard.Sales reps and managers often attended seminars on selling whereas a super hyped up sales gury would tell them what they are doing, well not exactly, they would tell them what they are doing right and everything you as the rep are doing wrong in order to... BING BANG BOOM sell more seminars to you!
One left the seminar less than satisfied but at the same time believing the unthinkable was possible.Going back to plying your trade in selling and understand the customer... here are a few points on the psychology of selling.
1. Play on their insecurities
We always mention pain points, it sounds as if we suggest you bring up your prospect’s problems without actually mentioning them. Maybe they have not even identifed that they had a pain point.
A sales manager reaches out to you, starts talking about all your problems.They describe the grim future of your company, painting the darkest picture ever and your business is soon to evaporate into nothingness. To conclude the only possible way to avoid this is to use them and their service! BAMM!
They then briefly introduce the services provided by their company and how they helped their clients tackle their challenges some worse than yours! The same ones you did not know you had.
Tips:Never start your conversation with anything that may come off as “Hi, you will not survive if you do not listen to me..." ever. Getting carried away with the insecurities of your target and continuously pushing their buttons is frowned upon. This is the old way of "desperate selling"...Nobody wants to feel like an infomercial character not the rep or the prospect. Never insult a company whereas the founder is there and you are telling them all they did was a step closer to killing their business. DO NOT DO IT! After all, a professional who is confident about their core strengths doesn’t have to intimidate people into employing their services.
Sales executives historically should initiate action and motivate potential customers to move to the next stage in the sales funnel or "sausage machine". If prospects are not prodded enough or not told that they don’t have all the time in the world you will not progress. This is also wrong!Limited time offers may triggers some sales but will loose more. Telling them that they should make their choice by the end of the current day is as acceptable as counting the days before the offer ends. Some would say that it’s fine to create a false sense of urgency by pretending that a permanent offer is a temporary one. We all know there will always be special offers.In B2Bs, decisions are made by a group of people instead of just one person, it makes a particularly bad impression. It shows you don’t respect your prospect’s time and workload. Is that the approach your prospects expect from their ideal vendor? Setting up a time to close a deal is one thing, having good sales processes in that time to help drive the process is critical but a one trick pony "limited time offer" is not the best route. Identifying the key influencers in a business (B2Bs) is critical as you need all on board to get the deal done. This takes time, not limited time.
3. The bandwagon
We assure you that appealing to the majority too much, and without thinking, will hurt your sales. Because someone else did it does not mean it is right for you and your development in sales.Need an Example?Company X offers a range of services, including app development for Healthcare and Fintechs. So, when the sales executives of the company need to find more leads for their Healthcare app development service, would it make sense for them to include the full list of their clients regardless of their specialization and industry? Of course not. Healthcare institutions are not going to be impressed by how many Fintech organizations were boosted by the company. They are looking for a vendor trusted by other health facilities like them.Only relevant use cases or business cases to the prospect’s industry may seem like a logical thing to do, but many people make the "freshman" mistake of choosing big-name brands over relevant brands when describing their clients. They believe that the scale of their operations is enough to impress their target audience. They throw in the Fortune 500s, The tech giants and others... non may resonate with their prospect. Only use relevant cases and to find out what is relevant, do your homework!
4. Reverse psychology
Sales managers like to try the following trick by introducing their prospects to the price packages and start with the cheapest one (the price play), subtly implying that the prospects wouldn’t be able to afford the larger package. Their goal is to make their prospects take the bait and purchase the more expensive package of services to prove the sales manager wrong. It seems like a clever idea, but in reality, you are more likely to offend your B2B prospects and lose them forever. Success depends on the individual qualities of the sales rep.
Remember this doesn’t work in B2B. Since it’s a group that makes the ultimate buying decision, there is no point in challenging them or daring them to acquire a more costly service package or even a less costly there are more influencers in the picture not just this one. By offering a cheaper version may also insult your prospect. Arrogance does not sell in B2B.You will gain more respect by cutting the conversation short if there is not buying signal or need for your service. Be mindful, be respectful and move on.
A few tips on how to shape the right approach to communication with the prospects. QQQQ and Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t try to be all-knowing or pretend like you know your prospect’s business better than they do. Offer them an opportunity to talk about themselves. Socrates once said “Speak, so that I may see you,” and this saying is still relevant. The more eager your prospects are to talk about themselves, the easier it is for you to select the right pace. This helps the QQQ stage (qualify, qualify...)
Intrigue. Prospects always look for something exclusive. They hope to find more than a special price. Good service with benefits that fit them like a glove, is good. If you lay your cards down in the first email, you can lose that sense of awe and your unique value proposition won’t look as impressive as it should. Keep some details for the second call with the customer or for a separate email, but mention that you would love to show more information about the relevant pain points or a specific area. Avoid the regurgitation method by "throwing up all the information at once"...
Emotions for speaking, and for selling. B2B buyers want the facts, they want the solution, they want to be entertained (invest time in) and want to know that you understand they are important but only one part of the decision making. What they do appreciate is a sincere “Hello, how are you doing?” and a naturally flowing conversation with friendly sales executives who can balance between talking shop and being amicable, and most importantly listening!