Having a successful sales process is essential for every business. If your business is struggling to stand out against the competition, there is likely an inefficiency with the business development tactics. However, it can be fixed, by utilizing a more finely tuned understanding of how the psychology of your customers relates to the business, the product or service, and the sales structure.
In this post, we’re going to look at where these psychological relations exist, and how applying their principles to your company’s sales and marketing techniques facilitates improvement and growth.
Why Do We Buy What We Buy?
The reasoning behind every purchase is unique. We are driven by many things, such as need, emotion, impulse, and sentiment, among many others. Most purchases are consistent of an element of many of those factors. For some products or services, it is easy to determine the buyer’s major motivating factors, but for others it’s not so simple.
Buying food in general, for example, is largely based in the need to survive, but what brands of foods consumers choose to buy is impacted greatly by the packaging and presentation. Health foods often place major focus on their health benefits, such as displaying nutritional benefits on the front of the packaging. Their marketing will often associate many branding elements with active lifestyles or recreational activities such as climbing mountains, etc.
They’re doing this because modifying a product’s brand to relate more to the targeted consumer results in more sales. You see this also when brands of children’s food try to create packaging that looks appealing to the children. These brands have the marketing challenge of having to appeal to the children first, primarily through emotion appeals, such as having an interesting packaging, then subsequently having to appeal to the parents through need, such as providing the essential nutrients that the child needs to grow while still tasting good.
Sentiment appeals of selling are primarily related to a product that is a part of or is otherwise related to an icon of popular culture. These kinds of products often focus on solely the souvenir aspect of this appeal, such as non-functional replicas, statues/figurines, or collectibles; or comparably, something that is caters to other needs, such as having a super hero themed set of towels, or cups with a movie/show logo or character printed on it. These items pair the appeal of practicality with the strong pull of sentiment and emotional connections.
For companies that offer services, it takes a creative approach to appeal to consumers. This means having effective marketing strategies to build trust with consumers, as well as efficiently handling the process of closing the sale when the marketing ventures have attracted consumers to the offer. The sales process begins the moment a consumer is exposed to the brand, until long after they’ve paid and left. It is a cyclical process that, if done correctly, repeats itself, resulting in return customers and growth of the business. This is the cycle of the sale. It has many small components that make it into a powerful whole, such as using a combination of online and offline marketing, an effective sales or customer service process, and remarketing to previous customers in the hopes that the brand stays relevant in their minds, and they consider returning to the business for their desired product or service before going to competitors.
When these elements of marketing and sales falter or get neglected in a business, the business always suffers as a result. This either leads to the business failing, or a shift in the consumer demographic of the product. This is why hotels that don’t market their brand, don’t perform high levels of upkeep, and don’t provide first-rate levels of customer service often end up with a lower-class demographic of consumers. Comparatively, the companies who run commercials about how nice their hotel is, have very strict standards of cleanliness and comfortability, and have exceptional customer service will attract the type of demographic that is willing to pay much more for their service, when the bare bones of it are accomplishing the exact same thing.
The same ideals can be applied to cars, or luxury water bottles, or anything that does the exact same thing as all of their competitors, but their product is markedly more expensive.
Therefore, the actions of the business, as well as the type/quality of product affect the demographic of clientele. Different types of people will find these different styles of marketing, sales, and presentation as appealing or unappealing to their needs, lifestyles, desires, etc. It is up to the business to understand the mindset of the consumer to broaden the horizons of what the company can achieve, and become relevant enough to stay in business.
It should come as no surprise really that we buy largely based on our emotions and our lifestyles. Humans make decisions from past experiences, emotional triggers, and logic. These processes exist to motivate us towards things that will help us to thrive and to push us away from things that threaten to harm us.
Visualization the Value Proposition
In your business, what are your objectives?
Your business has many objectives that are important for growth. Possibly your main objective is to get consumers to visualize the benefits of life with your product or service more effectively, or maybe your company needs to build more trust and familiarity with your brand in the mind of consumers. Each business is unique in their strong suits in this regard, but a collection of strong pieces makes an even stronger whole. It is a crucial aspect of business development or marketing to be able to identify what the business needs to focus on more prominently to appeal to their targeted consumer.
Improving these aspects of your business take time, and the solutions may not always be clear. Many companies spend millions each year trying a large variation of marketing and advertising strategies to give them insights into how these different forms of marketing compare in the Return on Investment (ROI). They can then use those insights to do choose their marketing mediums more effectively, which leads to a better ROI, and faster growth of the business.
This gives insights not only to mediums of delivery, but also the type of message in the advertisement. Some businesses find that their marketing materials are more effective when they appeal to the consumers need and sentiment, while others find that their consumers connect more with emotional triggers. Marketing to these more effective forms allows your business to tap into the way that human psychology works, because it makes the consumer feel more connected with your product, and therefore, they are far more likely to be determine that your business is worthy of their hard-earned cash.
What is Your Business’ Value Proposition?
What value does your company provide to consumers? How does the value of your product or service compare to the businesses who are in competition with you?
These are important questions your business development team must consider.
You’re likely in a business that has many competitors who can do the same exact thing as you. Businesses like this must become prominent to survive in a free and open market. That means asking questions like “What are we doing to stand out to consumers, and create connections with them?” and “How can we do this more effectively?”
It’s often most effective to describe “life after” the product, or “life with” the product or service. An effective piece of marketing makes the consumer desire having that product in their life, or making their life better or easier by using that service. When this is done successfully, the marketing fulfilled its duty of creating a value proposition that is appealing to consumers.
A value proposition explains what it is that people can stand to gain from using your product. This means talking about how it will improve their life in a way that creates an emotional response, or connection. That goes beyond simply telling consumers, “Our product is the shiniest and the most well made.” It means explaining to the consumer how their life is going to be positively influenced.
A proper value proposition creates the motivation in a consumer to go out of their way to obtain a business’ product.
What is your business doing to create a value proposition?
Is it effective in creating motivation in the minds on consumers?
To create a value proposition, it is important to start by determining the motivating factors that cause people to be interested in your product or service.
Say you have a book about losing weight. In this case, the motivation in the consumer is the notion of losing weight sure, but it’s also more than that. They want to lose weight so that they feel healthier, or more energetic. There’s likely also underlying factors, such as their desire to feel good about their physical appearance. They want to feel confident and they want to feel attractive. People who are largely focused on this as an issue in their life will have a strong desire to look for something that will help them achieve this goal. If you place your marketing in the correct places to target these types of people, you will likely see an increase in the percentage of people who see your advertisement and choose to interact with it rather than just marketing to people in a non-targeting form of marketing.
This all starts with knowing your customers, knowing what their needs and desires are, and using this knowledge to improve the message your business sends to consumers, and through what medium.
One of the biggest things to keep in mind is tailoring your marketing and sales process to create legitimacy in the company and the product. One effective manner of accomplishing this is providing allegorical examples of the effectiveness of the product, i.e. testimonials from past customers or encouraging them to give the company a rating or review. Businesses are sometimes fighting a losing battle when you try getting people to pay attention and interact with their marketing pieces. We’re all sick of being sold to and we’ve all bought into too many things we later regretted. Knowing how to send the right message to the right consumers is critical in having reasonable ROI for your marketing.
The human brain is hardwired to listen to stories in an attempt to gain lessons about life. We’ve been exchanging stories around campfires since we were still living in caves and deriving lessons and ideals from them is something we have instilled in us. We know that stories can benefit us, and help us to understand the world around us more clearly.
The most obvious way to do this is to tell your story about who you/your business is, or telling the stories of the people who have used your product or service, and it has benefited them greatly. Tell about how you or your customers once were overweight, or struggling to make money, or didn’t know anything about investing or sales, etc. Then explain how the product turned it around for you and how you are now healthy or wealthy or a confident salesman.
This helps to grabs attention and it gets your audience to relate to the marketing, causing them to reflect internally on how they would experience the same benefits from using the product or service. If done effectively, they will be emotionally invested and they will feel compelled to buy the product or service.
Emotion is your friend when it is compelling your audience to buy, but it can also work against you when the consumer is anxious or worried. People are driven away from things that they think might cause them harm and wasting money causes harm. To be effective in your marketing and sales, you need to overcome the hidden objections in the minds of the consumer.
This is one reason it is tremendously important to always build rapport and to generate a relationship with a customer before, during, and after the sales process. This can be achieved through creating positive brand awareness in the community, or reducing the chance of risk that the consumer has, such as offering a money back guarantee. A lot of people won’t take advantage of this guarantee, but simply knowing it is there will help the consumer to feel less anxious about that aspect of buying your product.
On the other side of that, using marketing techniques that create a sense of urgency can work to your advantage. Offering deals for limited times can create motivation in a customer who might have otherwise decided on not completing the purchase. If they don’t act now, they will lose out on one of the product’s benefits.
People are typically more driven by emotion when they act quickly. The approach, if done effectively, will encourage the consumer to act right now. If this doesn’t work, it may be effective for your business to create re-marketing campaigns that will promote your brand when the consumer goes to different places on the internet. For some businesses, there is a highly profitable ROI in re-marketing, for others, it may not be profitable. It depends on many factors, such as the consumer’s likelihood to convert to a paying customer later down the road, or the amount of profit made from the products that were purchased as a result of the re-marketing campaign.
Marketing is all about trying new things and seeing what works in the most effective manner. Perhaps it is more effective to show ads in the evening, because people become more relaxed, or tired, which may cause them to be emotional or impulsive regarding buying decisions. Theoretically, suppressing impulses requires energy, therefore people will be more susceptible to advertising.
Trying different things, and thinking outside of the box is what leads to the discovery of brilliant, effective marketing pieces, or shows exactly what doesn’t work and should be avoided. This trial and error combined with utilizing the collective knowledge of the internet or other resources is what will lead you to find the most effecting sales and marketing techniques for your business in your market(s).
All this shows how even an understanding of human psychology can go a long way in marketing and sales. Recognizing what the consumers are motivated by and how to speak to that is what makes sales and marketing more of an art than a science.
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