There are many skills that business owners (and salespeople) need and that is selling. Understanding the psychology behind a sale will give you a helping hand when it comes to successfully closing a deal, quote or transaction.
Generally speaking, there are three main types of sales:
- Product selling where you focus on the product and on the customer.
- Solution selling is more about solving the customer’s problem. At times, the solution can be quite complicated, but doesn’t always have to be.
- Insight selling works when then the salesperson does a lot of listening and identifies what the customer wants, rather than simply going straight into selling them what to buy.
How to Use Psychology to Close More Deals Faster
Perception really is critical
First impressions do count and if you come across as professional, or reliable or knowledgeable, then you’ve a better chance of getting the sale, or for that matter, even getting your foot in the door! Remember that perception is everything from how you present, how you present your proposals, what you say, the look of your website and online profiles and much more. Even something as simple as not being registered for GST will tell the astute person you’re small and maybe only operating as a hobby-type business.
Get prospects talking
Great questions will help this, but don’t ask so many questions that the person feels overwhelmed. Read the room and don’t go too far with the questions. Likewise, listen. I mean really listen, as they will likely give you some great insight into what they really want.
Missing out or losing out
Position your offer so that if they don’t progress, they might miss out. For example, if you don’t take up business coaching with me, you might not have the successful business you want or make a costly mistake. People really do want to avoid loss.
Put a time limit on offers
I don’t mean an unreasonable one, but a special only for the month of October, puts a limitation; this won’t last forever and may help to reduce procrastination.
Offer something extra or in exchange
Give something for free or value add, so that if they subscribe this month, they will get 13 months for the price of 12.
Don’t confuse your prospect
Giving people too many choices or options confuses them and makes it hard to make a decision. Two or three options only and ideally point them to their best options … with reasoning. However, having said that, ensure you do give them at least two options; we do want a choice.
Understand your prospect
Are they an action person who bases decisions on facts, or do they want to spend time getting to feel comfortable about you? This is a big subject just on its own; something I go through with coaching clients.
Ascertain (ask) if they are thinking short-term or long-term
The long-term planner will be thinking about value and long-term benefits. The short-term person is often dollar focused or looking for a quick solution.
Allow time for people to develop like and trust
By offering samples or smaller packages, this gives a chance to those people to become formable and trust that you are the right solution for them. Developing trust and like happens over time, but with the above example of directing someone to a smaller package which IS clearly their best choice tends to develop trust; you’re there to help them, not just look after yourself.
Be an expert and be confident
Part of the trust (and confidence) comes from you being confident. If you speak confidently, that confidence spreads. Do it humbly, not egotistically. Being calm and confident on the outside will help the person feel more comfortable with any advice or guidance you provide.
If you recommend a smaller option (which may not give you maximum return) the other person will recognize that and trust you more. They will see you’re just not ‘selling’ to them and become more open to your recommendations.
Share relevant stories
Just ensure they are not too long or meandering; share the message you want and have a purpose. If you’re sharing how the solution helped another client achieve an outcome that helps this particular prospect to come to the realization: “I want that too”.
Don’t forget the people factor
People do business with people, not with companies. Real Estate Agents understand this well, they know buyers and sellers will follow them as the person, regardless of which agency they are linked to at the time.
Have great reviews
Whilst Google reviews absolutely will help with your SEO ranking on your website, they also help people feel more comfortable in reaching out. Before selecting a hotel you’ll likely check their reviews or look them up on Trip Advisor. Same goes for most businesses. If you see a restaurant has an average ranking of 2 stars (out of 5) you may not want to ‘take your chances’. Reviews and great word of mouth really are powerful as it removes a little of that fear as to if they are making the right decision.
Read their body language
I remember reading a book years ago by Alan Pease. I still have that book (The Definitive Book of Body Language) and it’s very helpful to be able to read a person’s body language. Crossed arms often mean being closed (so don’t do that yourself as a salesperson). If body language is telling you they are not convinced yet, then you might just have to work a little harder.
Be a Solutions Guru
Once you’ve asked questions, and listened, then have the solution for them. Products and services are generally about pain or pleasure. You’re usually solving a problem … so become the solutions guru. Also, don’t adopt a scarcity mindset and believe you can’t give anything away till they sign up; if you really do know your stuff and are somewhat of an expert, then you’ll have more than enough to give some away (not everything) but definitely provide a few golden nuggets.
After all that, end of the day, you won’t close every deal. You will improve your close rate by following up and being a good sales person (and having a great product or service) but if you didn’t close, ask the person (if you can) why they are not proceeding. From their feedback and your own self-review, I’ll bet you worked out something you could have done differently or better.
As part of business coaching with a client, I often review their sales process, what clients send out or how they approach a sale. The things I’ve recommended are sometimes small and might appear insignificant (but do make a difference) and other things are major and hugely impact the results.
One client I worked with was selling an average service worth $60K. They spent a tonne of time in preparing the quote, then just emailed it. They didn’t follow up (didn’t even check the email was received). Instead, I got them to deliver the quote and run through it with the prospective customer. Yes, it did add an extra 1.5 hours to the sales process, but their conversion rate tripled; that meant they could do less quotes to achieve the same level of sales (or quote the same and triple turnover) … ultimately making the business more profitable and successful.
Need help with your business or sales process … reach out to me here.