“What’s in it for me?” the customer wants to know. If you keep in mind that this is always what your customers want to know, you’ll be ahead in the game, and it is a game or sorts when your target is a highly complex and often mysterious fellow human being. On your side of the net (think tennis), maybe you come to the court with a checklist of motivators or pyramid of needs with which to wub the game.
The challenge is that human psychology isn’t easily summarized or understood in a few short bullet points. However, time and experience have shown that triggers do exist that can point consumers toward your products and services. Let’s take a look at those:
Emotions: Sometimes, it’s the intangible benefits that are the key to persuasion. Logic can be tossed aside when a strong feeling is involved. People are naturally dissatisfied and go on life-long searches for such riches as wealth, glory, love, and security. Do your offerings have an emotional hot button? Use it! Do your customers yearn for guarantees of satisfaction (for uptime, security, or compliance, for example)? If you’re a partner or reseller, look for a vendor that offers these promises to customers.
Facts: A savvy customer (no matter how “in love” he or she is with what you’re selling) will feel compelled to justify desire with cold, hard facts. Make sure to partner with a vendor that provides total marketing support for its products and services. The better you can articulate the value of your offerings, the better you’ll be able to grow your business.
Value: You must demonstrate a value that seems to be equal to or greater than the asking price. The greater the value relative to the price, the more likely people are to buy. Value is not a fixed number; rather, it is relative to what you are selling: what others charge … what the prospect is used to paying … and how badly the product or service is desired. On top of those items, what differentiates your offer from other offers?
Proof: People don’t mind being “sold,” but they do mind being cheated or tricked. More importantly, they’re naturally suspicious and seek to circumvent risk. To avoid skepticism, your approach should be to help, not convince, them. Back up your claims with evidence, such as authoritative endorsements, survey results, scientific data, and et cetera. People look to others for guidance and then act accordingly. This is what makes testimonials and use cases so influential.
Convenience: Are you making it easy to acquire your offerings? Emphasize the exclusivity and convenience of what you are selling. Don’t forget how much people want to physically examine merchandise before they buy it, making some online or hard-copy sales tricky. Is there an element of the sensory experience that you can bring to your message?
These are just basic human quantifiers for the sales process—the tip of the iceberg as it were. However, they’ll put you in good stead for upcoming negotiations and power struggles. Enjoy the sell!