By Jeff Shore
A customer wants to buy a computer. The salesperson knows all about computers and gets into the details – fast. He’s quickly talking about terrabytes and RAM and screen resolution and gaming speed.
Only one problem: the customer basically wants to check Facebook, manage the calendar, and watch an occasional YouTube video.
Of course, that’s not the real problem.
The more pertinent issue is that the customer is technically illiterate – they don’t understand how computers work, and they don’t really want to understand.
They just want an easy, user-friendly computer experience. Click a button and watch puppies tripping over each other on the lawn.
The bottom line: people don’t buy a shovel – they buy a hole.
Customers buy the solution to their problem, not the tool that gets them there.
For example, I don’t much care about my oven. I care about my meals.
Feel free to insert a thousand other examples here. There’s no end to the stories that illustrate this point.
So we see that most sales demonstrations are based on facts and features.
The real problem is that customers make purchase decisions based on emotions.
In fact, take emotion away and a customer literally cannot make a decision. Medical studies show that people with brain injuries affecting their emotional “wiring” were significantly less capable of making decisions.
Here are three ways that you can engage your customer emotionally in order to make the purchase decision easier…
1. Create “Anticipated Memories”
This is one of my favorite concepts, courtesy of Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner and founder of behavioral economics. We think of the future in terms of anticipated memories.
Simply put, anticipated memories are opportunities to take a current moment in time and anticipate how we will remember it in the future: “How am I going to look back at this moment?”
It’s the job of the sales professional to bring clarity to anticipated memories. As we paint pictures that create a positive anticipated state, we engage the customer’s emotions.
2. Explain the Product in Life Stories
These stories can be your own, but they are most powerful when they tell the tale of other customers.
These are not testimonials in the way we normally think (“Bob was great – we recommend this product to everyone on the planet”). These are stories that tell how people who purchased your product have experienced life improvement.
This approach utilizes what Robert Cialdini refers to as “social proof.”
Social proof is an extremely influential emotional trigger. It occurs when we see (or hear about) other people taking a certain action and thereby become more inclined to take that same action. It’s a powerful way to emotionally engage your customer.
3. Remove Uncertainty with Confirmation Questions
Lastly, your customer will more fully engage emotionally in the purchase process as you relieve their doubts and uncertainties. You accomplish this by consistently asking confirmation questions.
This is not difficult. It just needs to be intentional and conversational. Asking questions like, “Do you like that?”, “Does that make sense?” and “Is that what you were looking for?” all serve to move your customer through the process.
Each answer removes a little bit more uncertainty and encourages a little bit more engagement.
Remember, your demonstration should be the fun part of the purchase process. You make it that way when you create an experience that is truly customer-driven.