When we think about the word “confidence” in the context of sales, we usually relate it to the salesperson.
And sure, we know that a salesperson’s confidence level affects their sales–without a doubt!
But the data also suggest that we should give equal consideration to the customer’s confidence.
Simply put, customer confidence creates a “positive priming effect” for decision making.
What is a “positive priming effect” you ask? Priming is an implicit memory effect in which exposure to one stimulus influences the response to another stimulus. A positive prime speeds up processing, while a negative prime slows down processing.
When we focus on creating confidence in our customer (the first stimulus) we make them more receptive to our offer (the second stimulus).
The good news? Salespeople can learn how to strategically create customer confidence throughout the sales presentation!
1. Listen for Opportunities to Provide Genuine Compliments
Buyers (and really everyone for that matter) want to feel good about themselves! And fewer things in this life create a more pleasant feeling than receiving a genuine, kind and unexpected compliment from another person.
Compliments that focus on a person’s behavior, sense of awareness, sense of self and level of intelligence tend to receive the strongest positive responses. They are, therefore, the most effective way to create customer confidence. Consider the following examples:
• “That’s a very smart way to think about it.”
• “Great question! I love it when buyers come in so well-educated on the process.”
• “You clearly know exactly what you want. Good for you.”
• “Wow. You’ve really done your homework on this haven’t you?! Kudos to you.”
Conversely, compliments directed at a person’s looks, clothes, car or otherwise superficial items are less effective and may have an unintended negative response from buyers. These types of compliments create the risk of feeling fake or downright sleazy and should generally be avoided unless it relates directly to the product you sell.
2. Watch Your Rhetoric
Words matter tremendously. Words and labels can either build confidence or tear people down (even when that isn’t the intended result).
For example, it makes my skin crawl when a salesperson (usually a gentleman older than myself but not always) refers to me as “sweetie” or calls me “adorable” or “cute”. Just stop it already.
Even one of my doctors–a woman roughly the same age as me–refers to me as “little one.” It makes me insanely uncomfortable. These are not words or labels of empowerment.
Consider how you address people in your sales presentation. Although it is no longer in vogue to address people as Mr. or Mrs., a well placed Mr. or Mrs. still goes a long way to show respect and build a buyer’s sense of worth.
3. Provide a “Why You Are Smart to Buy Now” Message
A well-designed “Why You Are Smart to Buy Now Message” builds buyer confidence in a couple of highly effective ways.
First, this type of message supports what the buyer already wants to believe. They already want to buy your product or service and are often seeking validation for their desire. So give it to them! And make them feel good about buying!
Second, this approach provides the buyer with sound bites to share with others about the “why” behind their buying decision. Think about it–one of the reasons buyers hesitate is fear of judgement by their peers. By providing customers with simple, repeatable bullet points, you create the confidence for them to handle the potential naysayers!
A confident customer is a decisive customer.
And a decisive customer on a mission is ready for you to change their world!