“People are not rational.” This is how Entrepreneur contributor Ted Chong begins a recent article that discusses the relationship between sales and human behavior. While it may sound harsh, Chong does not say what he does to offend anyone. Even though every prospective customer is different, it’s likely that they will all share at least a few common traits. It’s up to sales reps to know these traits and understand how they can affect the prospect’s buying decisions using good sales behavior.
He shares five insights into human behavior that you, as a salesperson, can use to guide your own good sales behavior.
Good Sales Behavior
People will do more to avoid loss than to gain pleasure
A lot of sales reps focus on selling to a prospective customer’s desire for success. However, as Wong points out, research shows that, typically, a person's fear of loss is stronger than any desire they may have. So, what can sales reps do to pry a prospect away from their safe current situation? Wong says a good sales behavior tactic is to offer free trials, which present no risk to the prospect. “Once they start incorporating your solution in their lives, loss aversion will work in your favor,” he explains. “It becomes hard for them to stop using your solution, so they will pay to continue using it.” Money-back guarantees can also be effective ways to dampen a prospective customer's worries about loss.
People are interested in themselves
Whether you want to admit it or not, humans are generally driven by self-interest. Sales reps need to recognize this fact and make sure that they are basically selling to other peoples’ egos. “Seek to understand the needs of your audience and convince them based on their need, not yours,” he explains. A good sales behavior is to uncover the prospect’s own needs, wants, fears, and goals, and then use what you find out to craft your approach. Rather than spend the time touting your own success, focus on the prospect instead.
People are lazy
Or, in more gentle terms, people prefer instant gratification as opposed to working harder than they feel they need to. This could explain why so many people try the infamous get-rich-quick tricks. And as a sales rep, you should tap into this, but for a more beneficial purpose and strong business relationship. “We can design our sales process to make it insanely easy for people to make purchases,” Wong suggests. “On top of that, we can limit the choices we offer to customers to increase sales.” Good sales behaviors include offering the prospect fewer decisions to make and options to choose from. This simplifies the process, making it easy for the prospect to buy. Even better, customize one or two options to make buying even simpler.
Understanding basic common traits will help you understand the people you are selling to and what makes them buy. Adjust your strategy to complement your prospects’ behaviors, and you’re more likely to close deals.