The Latest Psychology of Selling
Up until a few years ago, most sales training was just some random sales guru’s idea of what worked in sales, with no data or science to back it up.
But today, we live in an unprecedented time of data and science on what’s actually working in sales.
1. They don’t care about your features.
The latest data on the psychology of selling is unequivocal: Salespeople who lead sales conversations by talking about the features of their offering are far less likely to actually close the deal.
Instead of leading with features, seek to understand exactly what’s going on in your prospect’s world, and identify the key challenges they’re facing. Then match those challenges with the solutions that you offer. Never focus too deeply on the actual features of your offering.
2. Keep it back and forth.
Here’s another powerful new data point on the psychology of selling: Top-performing sales reps have much more “back and forth” in their sales conversations. There are no monologues. Top salespeople don’t just talk all the time. Instead, it’s a true back and forth, like a ping-pong match.
Keep your prospects fully engaged in the sales conversation by asking lots of questions, constantly going back and forth, and mirroring the dynamic of catching up with a friend that you haven’t talked to in a couple of years. That’s the kind of back and forth we need to see.
3. Slow it down.
While they have more back and forth, conversations by top-performing salespeople are also much slower in terms of actual pace. The most recent data on the psychology of selling shows that top performers’ prospects speak fewer words per minute, and top salespeople speak fewer words per minute, too. The more we can slow down the pace and create a comfortable, unrushed conversation with genuine back and forth, the more likely we are to close the sale.
Let’s face it: When you’re speaking to someone you’re actually comfortable with, the pace of the conversation naturally slows down. You don’t feel like you’re in a rush or constantly thinking about what to say next. Get your prospect to that comfortable place by slowing everything down.
4. Half aren’t a fit. Know that.
Another key piece of data on the psychology of selling is that about half of prospects will never be a fit for what you sell. It’s really important to let that sink in. Once it does, it will really change the psychology of how you sell.
Traditionally, salespeople think they need to close every single person they get in front of. This belief affects the way we think; it changes the psychology behind how we sell. But when we realize that half of all prospects are never going to buy from us—no matter what—everything suddenly shifts.
The goal of the conversation is no longer to close every single person with a pulse. Instead, it’s simply to determine whether the prospect you’re talking to right now is an actual fit for what you sell. And if they’re not, move on.
5. Sell like it’s a game.
Modern sales really is like a video game. These days, video games consist of people from around the world logging onto the internet and interacting in the same online platform to engage back and forth. Sounds a lot like modern-day selling to me. You’re logging onto the internet, and you’re connecting with people that you’re never going to actually see face-to-face.
And quite frankly, even if you are seeing prospects face-to-face in real life, it’s still a game. Even if it goes horribly wrong, they’re not going to remember you. They’re not going to come up to you at the supermarket, and start yelling at you. It’s just a game.
Once we determine that sales is a game, suddenly all of the undue pressure for perfection disappears. This is one of the fundamental pillars behind the psychology of selling successfully today: Sell like it’s a game, be mentally strong, and you’ll feel like you have control of any sales situation.
6. If you’re enjoying it, then they will.
Enjoyment is a vitally important piece of the psychology of selling. If your prospects sense that you’re not enjoying the conversation, they’re going to want to end that conversation. Just think of any conversation you’ve ever had with a person at a barbecue who clearly doesn’t want to be chatting with you. You can sense it right away. As a result, you want to end that conversation as quickly as possible. The same is true in sales.
This is not to suggest you should be cheesy or insincere. Simply engage in the conversation with genuine interest and enjoy the process of connecting with another person. Prospects are just people. The more you can enjoy just having a conversation with another person, the more they’ll enjoy it, too.
7. Humans sense fear instantly.
One of our deepest elements of psychological programming as humans derives from when we were hunter-gatherers, and we evolved to immediately sense fear on another person. It’s all over our face when we’re nervous. We start to twitch, our voice trembles, we quiver, we react strangely. Your prospects can immediately sense the fear on you, if you’re feeling it.
Put your mind at ease. Recognize that it’s just a game. There’s no pressure to close this specific deal—you’re just having a conversation. Enjoy it. Because if you’re feeling fear, the prospect is going to sense it right away.
8. Get them talking.
It doesn’t require a PhD in the psychology of selling to understand that people enjoy conversations in which they’re fully engaged and doing a lot of the talking. Think back to when you were in college or high school. Did you enjoy long lectures where the teacher or the professor was just going on and on for hours? Of course not.
The latest research shows that we must engage our prospects in conversations with tons of back and forth, getting them to do a lot of the talking. This approach creates more buy-in on the part of prospects around the ultimate solutions we share at the end of the sales conversation.
9. Link their challenge to your solution.
This is the ultimate key behind the psychology of selling: Your prospect is at point A, they want to get to point B. Between point A and point B is a very rocky road. You have the solution that can help get them from point A to point B. If you can demonstrate that you have that solution, they’re going to make an investment, assuming the ROI sounds right. So, we need to link their challenges to your solution.
If prospects believe that you can help them solve their challenges, your solution is going to seem like a total no-brainer. That’s why we have all of these conversations at the beginning of the sales interaction about what’s going on in their world, what they’re looking to accomplish, and what’s holding them back. This groundwork ultimately enables us to link their challenges to our solution.
Remember, this has nothing to do with the features of your offering. It’s about the end solution you’re going to create for them.
So there you have it. Now you know the The Latest Psychology of Selling [New Data]. Which of these ideas behind sales psychology did you find most useful for your own selling strategy? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below to join the conversation.
Source: Sales Insight lab