Our brain is incredible. But every now and then it takes shortcuts and is a bit lazy. That is why you can affect other people fairly easily by your way of talking and acting. How does it work? Here are three tricks you can use to become a better sales rep.
1. Aim for the stars to reach the treetops
There is a very simple psychological rule that says that if we receive something, we want to give something in return. Think of when you get an unexpected gift from a friend. First you are happy and flattered, and then you start panicking a bit and try to think of a good way to reciprocate the lovely gift. This instinct does not only apply to physical gifts, but also to actions. That is why it’s so clever for sales reps!
Let me give you an example. A person calls you and asks if you want to be a monthly donor to a charity organisation and donate SEK 200 per month. You say no, since you don’t want to commit to anything. The sales rep says that they understand, but asks if you would consider donating SEK 50 as a one-off sum instead? The likelihood that you will donate SEK 50 is much higher than if the sales rep had started by asking you for 50 SEK right away. Why? Because you feel that you want to be as accommodating as the sales rep! To aim high and then adapt the offer to the customer is, in other words, a clever move as a sales rep.
2. Get a finger and take the whole hand
Have you ever made a choice or taken a stand on something, only to feel that you have to stay on that track? Then you have faced the “consistency principle.” It’s a psychological reflex that leads us to feel compelled, both by ourselves and others, to stay consistent with our previous actions.
As a sales rep, this can be used in a number of ways but the basic principle is easy: ask for something that many people agree to, only to ask for something bigger. The small question could be how the customer is doing today or if they would like to sign a petition. What’s important is that you ask the person for something they can easily agree to – and that you have planned your next move. Once the customer has taken that first, small step, they will start changing their attitude and say yes to bigger requests that are in line with the first “yes.”
3. Use examples and statistics as evidence
You have probably, just like I have, asked yourself “what shall I do?” and then done exactly what everyone around you does. And no wonder! If everyone does it, it must be the right thing to do, right? To think like that is a clever shortcut for the brain, and it leads us to see other people as social evidence for what is a correct behaviour.
You should therefore make sure you use examples and statistics when you talk to customers. Emphasise that your company is one of the market leaders, talk about “Satisfied Sue” from last week and tell them what other people think about your product or service. It’s also clever to mention how many users your products or services have. The more evidence you can show that others have chosen you and your company, the better!
The most important sales trick of them all
To be able to use the above-mentioned tricks, you have to have a firm foundation to stand on. What have you offered the customer before? Has the customer already said “yes”? And what feedback have you received from previous customers? To have your customer data in order is therefore the most important sales trick of them all.