Pretty much any experienced sales professional would agree that psychology plays an important role in the process of making a deal. Customers respond to certain triggers, methods, and behaviors. You want to increase your company’s revenue, so you shouldn’t ignore this fact. While you don’t have to stock your sales team with psych majors, you should keep the following concepts in mind when you’re making changes to improve sales performance.
Neuroscience Conquers a World Full of Gimmicks
Think about the last time that you were personally influenced by a slick sales gimmick. More than likely, you never have been. This kind of marketing just doesn’t work. Good science is what helps to make sales.
The decision to make a purchase is a complex process. It involves chemical and hormonal reactions that influence three different areas of the brain. A person’s instincts comes from the so-called reptilian part of their basal ganglia. This section is concerned with safety and survival. Middle brain processes are emotional and involve memory. Rational thought occurs in the new brain, which processes language and facts. A sales pitch has to appeal to all three different levels of the brain while creating the proper chemical conditions to connect with your customer.
When a customer’s cortisol levels are elevated, they’re in the mood for something to calm them down. That’s a perfect time to deliver a pitch about how your product or service will cure whatever they’re worried about.
Take a landing page for instance. The overall design could generate an emotional response that appeals to the middle brain. If you have the right kind of headline that’s shocking enough to surprise your customers in a good way, then it could release adrenaline to excite the reptilian brain. Negative headlines could cause an increase in stress, which raises cortisol. When a customer’s cortisol levels are elevated, they’re in the mood for something to calm them down. That’s a perfect time to deliver a pitch about how your product or service will cure whatever they’re worried about. You simply need to know the right way to frame your pitches.
Gearing a Pitch to Your Customer’s Brains
Say, for example, you’re a company that sells special artisan breads through an eCommerce site. These gluten and preservative free loaves are attractive to customers who’ve become aware of the harmful chemicals and pesticides used in the production of mass-market food. In this example, you shouldn’t be trying to sell them bread. You should instead be selling them an appealing eco-friendly healthy lifestyle. Educated customers who are aware of the dangers inherent in products sold by regular retailers may be willing to pay up to five times as much for your bread provided they’re convinced that they’re buying a lifestyle.
Wholesalers can use this same psychological marketing trick to manage price points. By creating a sense of urgency, wholesale companies can make B2B buyers feel like they need to take action now so they’re not left behind. It’s the same concept as using a shocking headline to manipulate cortisol and adrenaline levels on a much larger scale.
Best of all, there’s a way to program your customers to make the best decisions for everyone involved.
Reprogramming Someone’s Mental State
Even though it might sound like something out of a B-grade sci-fi movie, it’s fully possible to use the concept of neuro-linguistic programming to help motivate customers. When applied correctly, ads targeting using NLP techniques can ensure that everyone involved in the sales process makes beneficial purchasing decisions.
While NLP dates back to the 1970s as far as clinical psychology is concerned, sales teams are only just starting to apply it to their needs. Marketing professionals have to establish a rapport with their customers and gain their trust. NLP asks people to think about why they do and say certain things. Once salespeople are aware of why they have certain habits, they can break them and try new things.
NLP is all about becoming a more powerful communicator. Reading non-verbal cues is a big part of this, but that may not be the most relevant thing for those who only make sales online.
Mindfulness techniques are often used to help people reduce their level of anxiety. NLP uses the same methods to incorporate subconscious thinking into the sales process. This shouldn’t be confused with the pseudoscience-based subliminal advertising techniques promoted in the past. Rather, this kind of methodology focuses solely on building an environment that’s conducive to making a sale.
Biochemistry Continues to Evolve
Mental health professionals have used science to prove why a number of time-honored sales techniques work. However, new biochemical transmitters are being discovered on a daily basis. It’s not hard to believe that even the most sophisticated neuroscience-based methods might become obsolete in a few years. Keep your eyes peeled for new developments and you won’t be left in the dust.