Episode #008: Heuristics? Bless you! with Maria Cronley
In This Episode of The Buyer’s Mind with Jeff Shore:
Maria Cronley, author of Consumer Behavior, joins Jeff to discuss how we use heuristics everyday in making decisions. Heuristics are decision-making shortcuts built into our brains. When you’re in the store trying to decide which bottle of wine to buy, how do you decide? Unless you’re a wine expert, most of us use the Price-Quality heuristic. The most expensive bottle must be the best!. Understanding this behavior will definitely help you become a better sales professional.
Topics we’re going to cover on today’s podcast:
- [3:01] Quote of the Day
- [5:12] Sales Tip of the Day
- [10:02] How do you research the “typical” consumer?
- [14:14] What are the stories we tell ourselves?
- [19:33] What role does memory play in our decisions?
- [23:06] How do consumers user inference to decide?
- [29:07] Motivational Summary
Jeff’s 10 Reasons He Likes Sales
- I believe sales is a noble profession, and that salespeople who act in the best interest of and service to their customers provide a valuable offering to society.
- I believe that salespeople should at all times act in the best interest of their customers, and that there is no place for manipulation, exploitation, or trickery as a part of the legitimate sales process. Neither do I believe that salespeople should sit back and wait for the customer to ask permission to purchase. Sales is about acting in the customer’s best interests, and that includes persuading them to act upon the solution that is right for them.
- I believe that the sales process must be based upon a position of mutual respect between the sales professional and the customer. The respect of the customer towards the salesperson must be earned. The respect of the salesperson for the customer must be assumed even before the first conversation takes place.
- I believe that the discovery of the customer’s current situation (and accompanying dissatisfaction) must be the sales professional’s primary task, and must be thoroughly ascertained before an appropriate solution can be presented.
- I believe that purchasing is primarily an emotional endeavor, and that the salesperson has a responsibility to allow the customer to become involved emotionally in the process.
- I believe that feature-dumping is the curse of salespeople who do not know their customers well enough. I believe that the demonstration of the product should be seen as the presentation of a solution to a customer’s problems, and that the demonstration should be an interactive discussion, not a one-sided discourse.
- I believe that terms are best discussed after customer has formed an emotional attachment to the product.
- I believe that gaining agreements all throughout the sales process is absolutely vital to an effective sales process, and that the customer needs to be involved in a series of small decisions in order to make the right overall conclusion. I believe that asking someone to purchase in a respectful manner is not only appropriate but a valuable part of the service provided, and that forcing a customer to ask permission to purchase is blatantly disrespectful.
- I believe that the sales process is an ongoing relationship, and like any healthy relationship it relies upon constant communication to be functional and effective.
- I believe that sales and customer care go hand-in-hand, and that the strongest sales professionals in the world are those who are most dedicated to serving the needs of their customers.
More about our guest Maria Cronley:
Maria Cronley is the chief academic affairs officer and professor of marketing at Ohio Northern University. Author of Consumer Behavior.
Primary research interests center on consumer judgment and decision processes, with specific emphasis in the areas of inference and biased information processing, heuristic thinking, and health communication. Numerous published articles in scholarly journals.
Links from today’s podcast:
Jeff: Think you know what’s going on in your customer’s mind? Heck, even your customer doesn’t know what’s going on in your customer’s mind. We’ll unpack that and a whole lot more on today’s Buyer’s Mind Podcast. Stick around.
Announcer: Welcome to the Buyer’s Mind. Where we take a closer look deep inside your customer’s decision-making mechanism. To reverse engineer the perfect sales presentation. Now, please welcome your host, Jeff Shore.
Jeff: Welcome everyone to the Buyer’s Mind Podcast. If you’re interested in learning about consumer behavior, do we have a show for you. This podcast is all about taking a stroll through the buying brain even those recesses of the brain where non-conscious decisions get made. and we’re gonna talk about that today. It’s about making it easy for your customer to purchase because you just know them that well. I’m your host, Jeff Shore, you can read the full bio here in the show notes or you can go to jeffshore.com. While you’re there, you can sign up for our free video newsletter, little Saturday morning inspiration to help you on your journey. I’m joined by our show producer, Paul Murphy. Murph, how are you doing?
Paul: Doing really good. How are you today, Jeff?
Jeff: I’m doing great. Hey, let me ask you a bizarre question here. Let’s just see how this goes here. Have you been to the supermarket lately and if so how do you choose spaghetti sauce?
Paul: Well, I go to the supermarket all the time and choosing spaghetti sauce has become nearly impossible. I mean, have you see the choices? Do I want to with cheese, chunky or not chunky, organic or chemical filled, I don’t know, whatever it is. Anyway, I can remember when it used to be just like Ragu or Prego. It’s overwhelming. I have to be an expert in spaghetti sauce.
Jeff: And that’s just at the store. If you’re shopping online, how many more choices do you have along those lines and so somewhere along the line there is just so much for us to be able to choose from that our brains kind of lock up. There are just too many choices. So what do you do, Murph? Do you have a default for that?
Paul: Sales. I just look for whatever’s cheap.
Jeff: And that’s a valid point. In the absence of something that makes a product stand out, then we’re gonna chase it like a commodity. We’re gonna look at the price and we’re gonna go in that direction. Obviously, if you’re a sales practitioner, that’s sometimes a very difficult position to be in. When you get commoditized, you’re gonna lose out. So we’re gonna unpack some of that today. What does the brain do in making a choice when that brain is otherwise overwhelmed. It’s a very, very interesting topic. We’re gonna look at mental shortcuts today and Murph, maybe we’ll help you out with your spaghetti sauce dilemma.
Paul: That would be great, thank you.
Jeff: You bet. We’ll see what we can do. Before I forget to mention it, make sure you stay with us until the end of the podcast. We’ve got some great stuff to give away in our ongoing launch promotion, good stuff, too, trust me. Let me give you our quote of the day. This is from Amos Bronson Alcott. “To be ignorant of one’s ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.” One more time because it’s both clever and heavy. “To be ignorant of one’s ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.” The fact of the matter is that we are human beings and as such a good part of our lives, they’re lived an automatic pilot. We just can’t account for the decisions that we make except often to say, “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.” Right? How many bad decisions have come back around to, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” But our customers out there are often so confused at the time of a purchase decision, that they really need a helper. They need someone with a clear head because their own head is a foggy mess. And I just wanna tell you, that’s where you come in. Be the hero, my friends, be the hero. Your customer needs a hero. What does a hero do? Swoops in a time when somebody is in distress and makes everything all better. Be the hero.
I want to let you know that the Buyer’s Mind podcast is sponsored by our friends at HomeStreet Bank. This is not just our show’s sponsor. I used HomeStreet and my last home purchase, it was an amazing experience. Easiest transaction ever and I’ve purchased quite a few homes. Professional, dependable, great rates, great service and if you’re a real estate professional you’re just not going to find better people when it comes to taking care of your client. And they can do it all, banking, home loans, credit lines. Go to homestreetbank.com to learn more. That’s homestreetbank.com.
Coming up in just a few minutes an interview with Dr. Maria Cronley. We’re gonna talk about how your customers sort out some, not all, of the information that’s available to them and then how they use shortcuts in order to make decisions. The academic sorts call this consumer inference and we’re gonna unpack that on today’s show. It’s really, really interesting because we have a true bona fide expert on the subject of decision making. Before we get that, we’re gonna bring you our sales tip of the day and that is to do this, practice the mental check in. See, sometimes when a customer is in the midst of a purchase consideration, they can get stressed out and overloaded. This is particularly true when we look at larger purchases. There are times when we need to ask a simple check-in question. It’s easy, it’s conversational, it sounds something like this, “Hey, how we doing? I know this is a lot to take in. Are you doing okay with all this?” That little opportunity to step in and ask that check-in question will go a long way towards reducing your customer’s stress. Sometimes your customer needs permission to share what they are feeling and this gives them the freedom to do just that. You know what, sometimes they’ll respond by saying, “Oh yeah, this is great.” Well, that’s good information to know. And sometimes they’ll come back and share that they’re struggling or that they don’t understand something but now they feel like they have a safe place to be able to vent that. And listen, if they’re struggling and you don’t know it, does that help you in some way? Not that I can think of. It’s always beneficial when your customer is open and honest. Try it with your next presentation, that check-in question. “So, how we doing? I know there’s a lot to take in. Are you doing okay with all this?” All right, there you go.
And before we get to our interview, let me tell you about an opportunity. I want to invite you to join us for the 2017 Jeff Shore Sales Leadership Summit and Exposition, to become a better leader for your career, for your team, to grow in ways that you never thought possible and take your career to the next level. Now, this is specifically targeted towards real estate executives, but we’ve had people outside the real estate industry who have gotten so much out of this. As the premier industry gathering, you’re gonna learn from the best of the best about what it takes to make you a better leader, a better manager, a better coach with more insights, with more actual strategies, with more a-ha moments than ever before. You’re gonna come away from the summit confident that you possess the tools and the knowledge not only to succeed but to truly change the world. And I have to tell you one other thing. We do this at the Loews Coronado Resort just outside of San Diego. We do it on a Thursday, Friday. Most of our guests, hundreds of guests spend the weekend. We’ve done this year after year, they’ve spent the weekend in San Diego. And there are worst places to be in, August in San Diego. It’s a beautiful city. So it’s not just that you’re gonna come away with some solid, solid opportunities to make a substantial difference in your own organization. You’re gonna come away renewed and refreshed. You can find more information about the summit and other exclusive training events throughout the year for sales leaders and for sales pros at jeffshore.com/events.
All right, well, I’m thrilled to bring out our guest, Dr. Maria Cronley, the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Ohio Northern University. Dr. Cronley has a Ph D. in marketing from the University of Cincinnati. She is the author of numerous academic papers and co-author. Also the co-author of a very popular textbook entitled “Consumer Behavior.” That’s what got my attention because we’re all about that here on the Buyer’s Mind podcast. So Dr. Maria Cronley, thanks for being with us today.
Dr. Cronley: I’m thrilled to be here. Thanks for having me, Jeff.
Jeff: Let me ask you, how does one get into the study of consumer behavior and decision making in the first place? This probably goes back I assume to your academic career where you looked at it and you said, “This is interesting.” Is there a story behind that?
Dr. Cronley: Sure, absolutely. It actually goes back even a little bit farther. So when I finished college, I actually went to work in the field of marketing and I was working for a big consumer bank and basically, I was writing junk mail. So I was the person that wrote those annoying …
Jeff: So you were that person? We were always wondering, it was you.
Dr. Cronley: That’s right, it was me. As we were doing those pieces, I did always wonder, what makes a consumer want to go ahead and apply for a credit card or go ahead and make a purchase? And so really at first, I was approaching some of these questions in terms of how do we improve business performance for the bank I worked in? But then later on as I decided to make the switch into higher education, I realized that thinking about these questions also has implications for how we make rules and laws about public policy for marketing and also how do we just help make people make better decisions? How do we make customers choose better and make more informed decisions? So that’s really what led me down the path toward studying consumer behavior.
Jeff: But I would think that the research possibilities would also be frustrating to some extent because when you’re trying to think, okay here’s a hypothesis or maybe a better way to look at it say, here’s the avatar of a “typical consumer.” There is no such thing as a typical consumer so it seems to me it would be a little bit frustrating in trying to do the research because we are all so different and we make decisions in so many different ways.
Dr. Cronley: Absolutely and you’re right, it can be frustrating. I think that for a long time marketing researchers in this area really tried to use a variety of methods. We drew from psychology very often to try to understand consumers. More recently I’d say since the 1960’s and 70’s, we really use more of a behavioral, scientific behavioral approach and in fact try to apply the scientific method to understand how consumers approach decisions. And I think that has been extremely fruitful for the field of consumer psychology and consumer behavior in how we study it. But interestingly, you have to take the combination of the consumer as an individual and a unique person. You have to combine that with the type of decision they’re making and you have to look at the situation and I think as you mix and match those variables, that’s where styles of decision making and how consumers make decisions actually occur.
Jeff: It’s so fascinating. When I’m looking at it and I’m going to sort of set the table here by sharing just a few thoughts and hopefully we can agree upon. If you think I’m wrong, please correct me but, you know, if we start with the premise that of course the brain is an extremely complicated machine and there is just simply too much information for our conscious brain to process, so we could get into a whole discussion here and dual process theory, but the brain being a creative machine is constantly looking for shortcuts in order to make decisions and most of the time, if the logic boxes are checked, we’re gonna let our gut take over and the emotion is gonna make the decision. Do you agree with those premises? Do you feel like I’ve got the right so far?
Dr. Cronley: I do actually. I think that we already know that consumers don’t approach every judgment and purchase decision in the same way. We do have sort of two styles of thinking. Sometimes we really are slow and deliberative when we care a lot about the decision and the risk is high, we’re gonna be highly involved, we’re gonna be rational, we’re gonna be systematic. But I would say those are the rarer kinds of decisions that we make, right? If you’re gonna purchase a house or who you’re gonna marry, right? Most of the time we’re actually making decisions in more of an automatic way. So we will use cognitive shortcuts, we’ll use our own intuition, and we really can even train our unconscious mind to perform sort of routine decisions. We call this the adaptive unconscious. So sort of through the decisions we make every day in the practice that we have, we can actually train ourselves to sort of make decisions automatically. Think about when you drive, right? Unfortunately, many of us drive automatically and we don’t always pay attention the way we should be. We make purchase decisions the same way. You can find yourself driving down the grocery aisle making a lot of automatic or routine decisions. In addition, we do often use cognitive shortcuts. There are lots of ways that we try to make our own decision-making more efficient and faster. And using those cognitive shortcuts or what we call heuristics is the way that we can actually be more efficient in our decision making. I think a big misconception is that we sometimes think that when we’re making decisions automatically or when our customers are making decisions automatically and using these types of cognitive shortcuts, that we’re making bad decisions. And actually, that’s not true. Very often, we’re making very good decisions and we’re doing them efficiently.
Jeff: So there are times when we can trust our gut but I guess the overriding message is, often times we just don’t have a choice but to trust our gut. So if I’m on the freeway, you used the driving example, I’m driving along, look, my system one is fully in control, right? My system two is just, you know, players gonna play, play, whatever it is. And now somebody cuts me off and what do I do? I lay on the horn. And there was nothing about it that said, that’s undesirable behavior, I think I need to send that gentleman a message. What are my options? Well, one option is to honk. No this is crazy. We lay on the horn and then the story comes afterwards, right? Where we talk about how we were going to defend that. It doesn’t necessarily make it a bad decision, it was an uncontrolled decision to some extent.
Dr. Cronley: Right, absolutely. And sometimes we make these shortcut type decisions not only based on habit or routine or practice or needing to make a decision quickly like in your driving example but also sometimes we don’t have the information to make a fully informed slow deliberative decision. Most of the time, we do have incomplete information and so using a shortcut can help us cope with that situation of not having full information. I think about a really common purchase decision that we make, right? Everybody very often will go to the grocery store and we’re standing in front of the wine selection, right, in the grocery store and we’re trying to select a bottle of wine. Most consumers don’t really know what makes a good bottle of wine objectively, right?
Dr. Cronley: And they don’t have that information in front of them at hand. So things like when the bottle of wine was produced and how long it sat on the shelf and how long it aged in the barrel and the type of grape are all objective things that would help us understand the quality of a bottle of wine. But what do most consumers use? When you go to the grocery store, you want a good bottle of wine, you choose the one that’s more expensive, right? We almost always use price as a signal for quality when we’re choosing wine. It’s called the price quality heuristic. And that is, we tend to go ahead when we have incomplete information, we’ll judge quality using price. You get what you pay for, right?
Jeff: Love it. It’s absolutely ringing true. One of my clients is the Hearts on Fire, it’s a diamond company. If there was anything that’s more commoditized than a diamond I’m not sure exactly what it is. And so what they do is, and I’ll tell you where I’m going with this is in just a moment, but what they do is, the idea is to make sure that the customer who’s gonna purchase a diamond has a really good story that goes along with that purchase decision. So for example, they call the 10-table diamond because you can see it sparkling from ten tables away. Now look, that’s gonna go a long way away from the four C’s that we’re trained to look for in a diamond and all that stuff. It’s just a good story. How important are the stories that get made up in a consumer’s mind as a part, like for example, the price quality heuristic, that’s nothing more than a story that I have told myself to give myself a shortcut and a little cognitive ease when I’m making a decision.
Dr. Cronley: Absolutely. And we apply these all the time so there are many examples of these. So for example, the bandwagon effect, right? Everyone else is going, everyone else is doing it, this must be the right way to go, right? You look at the restaurant and you see all the reviews or you see the crowded parking lot, this must be a great restaurant. So you use those kinds of cognitive shortcuts and the stories you tell yourself to help you not only make the decision but then justify the decision afterward. So, we use these all the time.
Jeff: It was interesting. I was just reading about this. I know Bill Bennett at Tufts University has done a lot of work on this idea that those stories are nothing more than a play by play on a gut decision that we made instinctively but we almost, we have to come up with a story in order to justify why we did this. Is this a big part of your research to look at it and say how do I identify and sort of reverse engineer the decision according to the story or is the story really sort of disconnected from the initial decision?
Dr. Cronley: I think the story comes into play very often when we’re trying to justify the decision we made. I think it’s a natural tendency, right, to have that cognitive dissonance, right? To start to question the decisions that we’ve made or to realize that we may have to justify that decision to someone else and so by building the story we actually sort of build a mental defense in our own memory to help us understand and justify why we made a decision. And also then, if we have a good story, it’s easy to justify to someone else. I think later on too that story can help us in terms of our own memory. When we’re trying to make a similar decision, we might actually remember the story and the details around the story more easily than all the things that led us to the decision in the first place. Like the price or the attribute of the product. I think sometimes it’s actually easier to build the memory around the story so that later it’s easier to retrieve, it’s more accessible.
Jeff: So is that, obviously, that’s a non-conscious function for a consumer but I have to believe that in any decision I’m gonna make I’m gonna have to go back into my memory and sort of piece together my experiences, my memory of experiences, memory inclusive of course of what I’ve heard from other people along those lines. It might be a snap judgment but there is actually, probably a series of events that occurred that led into that snap judgment.
Dr. Cronley: Oh, absolutely. And I think then we often will go ahead and whether we do it consciously or not, though all of those pieces of the story and all of those things become associated in our memory. And so later on maybe when we’re in a similar situation and one piece of that story is activated or brought from memory, then that will actually tie to other things. Potentially trip other things in your memory. And so this can actually change some of the ways in which we make judgments about products. So it’s interesting, two kinds of cognitive shortcuts come to mind as we’re thinking about this. One is called the liking agreement heuristic and it’s just the fact that we tend to agree with people that we like. And I think this has something to do with memory in the sense that if they remind us of other people that we like or they have qualities of those people that are familiar to us or that we care about, then we’re gonna be more likely to be receptive to them. Same thing with a product that’s like another product. Like a Honda lawnmower, right? You buy a Honda lawnmower and you really like it and you go to the store and you see a Honda hedge clipper, you’re more likely to feel favorably toward it. And it’s not just a brand effect, it’s actually, I think, the consumer experience effect with it.
Jeff: But I would reiterate here that this doesn’t always have to make sense. I could picture somebody looking at it saying, “I might buy a Honda car because the Honda lawnmower was such a great experience,” or even as you’re talking about the liking agreement heuristic. Well, I think you just described the way that con men make a living because there is an association between being likable and being trustworthy and then being a good influencer. And the only difference between a con man and a true service professional is intent or motive from the very beginning. So there’s often a disconnect between what the heuristics would tell us and the presence of just pure logic.
Dr. Cronley: I think that’s true and I think that I do believe that cognitive shortcuts and heuristics often help us make efficient decisions when we don’t have full information and we have to infer some things or when we don’t have time and we have to be fast and efficient. But at the end of the day, they can still lead us down to a tradeoff decision in the sense that they may lead us to a suboptimal decision or position. And so, we do have to realize that there is a tradeoff there.
Jeff: I guess I’m looking at it as from the decisions that I make. There are times when I don’t really frankly care at times of going back and doing the post analysis. I remember being in a rain forest in Cost Rica when I heard a slithering sound to my immediate right and I got out of there in a hurry based on my heuristic that snakes kill and that’s it. And you know what, I don’t regret that decision quite frankly. You used the word infer and I know you’ve co-written several research papers on the topic of consumer inference. As I understand it, consumers, they get overwhelmed. They’re basically forced to make decisions based on limited or often incomplete information and so they infer that a choice is good or bad using these types of shortcuts. Is that close? Does that sound like I’ve got it now?
Dr. Cronley: That’s pretty close. I mean an inference is simply a judgment or a conclusion that goes beyond the known information. So we make inferences all the time, right? You infer that the quality of that wine bottle is good because the price is high.
Jeff: Then the sales person can be trusted because they’re likable.
Dr. Cronley: Because they’re likable, right. We actually tend to trust attractive people, right? We infer that this person, we know that this person’s attractive and so you know what, I’m going to infer that there’s a lot of other good qualities about them too. That they’re nice, that they’re kind, that they’re approachable, that they’re funny. So we make lots of inferences like that. Very often we’re forced to because we just don’t have the complete information and so if we have to make a decision we’ll have to fill in those gaps. Otherwise, we would become overwhelmed because we never have access to all of the information.
Jeff: Sure.Yeah. We’re just about out of time but let’s just think about it now about how we help people in this process because one of the stances that we take on the Buyer’s Mind is that our job is to make it easier for customers to do what is in their best interest. And so, there’s a lot to unpack there, we always want to act in our customer’s best interest but we wanna make that easy. What can influence practitioners do just to make it easier for a customer to get out of their own way and sometimes to get outside of their own head?
Dr. Cronley: First doing all, doing all the tricks of the trade in terms of helping them activate in memory the things that they like about a product or a brand. So helping prime those stories, right? Those positive memories. Or giving them information and helping them make that inference. So recognizing that they’re not always gonna have the information that they need but then helping them give them enough pieces of information that they can use our cognitive shortcut. They can use a rule of thumb that will lead to hopefully a good and efficient decision. I think doing things like that. Giving people a reason why. You know what, consumers often like to have a because. Often they’ll do something if you just give them a reason why and usually or often, that’s enough. I also find that if you don’t overwhelm consumers, if you give them an acceptable option to begin with, usually the way consumers process information is that they’ll look at that first choice and they’ll say, okay, is this good enough? Does this meet the standard of whatever it is I need it to meet? Quality, price, features? And if it does, then they’re likely to choose that option. You don’t necessarily have to give them everything that they want, you just have to understand what is the key thing that they want and then deliver that.
Jeff: Fantastic. That was absolutely amazing. Dr. Maria Cronley from Ohio Northern University. That was really, really valuable stuff. Dr. Cronley, thank you so much for being on the Buyer’s Mind. Really appreciate the time.
Dr. Cronley: It was a pleasure, Jeff. I really enjoyed our conversation.
Jeff: Yeah, super. You know Murph, I’ll tell you what I loved about that so much is that when you look at the academic pedigree, Dr. Maria Cronley is just, she’s got it all going on. She’s really, really strong. But that was so down to earth, so easy to understand, so dang approachable. Was that just me or did you feel the same way?
Paul: Well, just funny to hear that she got her start in writing junk mail.
Jeff: Yeah. That was great.
Paul: You’re approachable just to begin with.
Jeff: Yeah, that was awesome, right? Yeah, yeah. And she owned up to it, right? She was willing to jump in right from the beginning. Anything else stick out to you, Murph?
Paul: Well, the whole idea of the fact that we go with the bandwagon. If you see a parking lot that’s full, that’s the restaurant you want to go to because obviously, everybody is eating there. But does that really make it the best restaurant?
Jeff: Right. Yeah, absolutely. I love the idea of the liking agreement heuristic. This is something that we teach a Shore Consulting on a regular basis. Robert Cialdini talked about this 30 years ago in his book “Influence the Psychology of Persuasion” as one of the six key influence practices. It’s just a very commonly held heuristic if you will that if I like you, I am more likely to trust you. If I trust you, I am likely to be influenced by you. So there is that sense of liking leading to agreement very strong. The price quality heuristic, boy, how strong was that? You’re looking at a bottle of wine, what are you gonna do? You want a good bottle of wine, you spend more money. Even though over and over again in blind tests there’s rarely a correlation for the average consumer between how much they spend and whether or not they like the wine. So that was really strong and especially as it relates to those of you who are in our audience and you sell a higher end product or you’re selling a premium brand product in your marketplace. There is something to be said about the price quality heuristic that your customers are going to bring in to the conversation. It was really really good stuff and I just want to encourage all of you as you listen to these podcasts to think application. To be looking at it and saying, “How do I take what I just learned and put it right back into my own presentation?” Because when we understand the customer on a deeper level, that sale starts to roll out right in front of us. The customer will literally show us how to help them to purchase and that’s our job, to make it easy on our customers to buy.
Before we wrap it up, I wrote a blog piece a couple of years ago that has been shared over and over again. This is “10 Things That I Believe About Sales.” And I wanted to share with you those 10 things. And I’m gonna ask you as you’re listening just to try them on for size. Do you agree with these? because what we want to do is we want to be grounded, we want to know why we do what we do. We want to believe in what we believe. So here you go. “10 Things That I Believe About Sales.”
Number one, I believe sales is a noble profession and that salespeople who act in the best interest of and service to their customers provide a valuable offering to society.
Number two, I believe the salespeople should at all times act in the best interest of their customers and that there is no place for manipulation, exploitation, or trickery as a part of a legitimate sales process.
Number three, I believe that the sales process must be based upon a position of mutual respect between the sales professional and the customer. The respect of the customer towards the sales person must be earned. The respect of the sales person for the customer must be assumed even before the first conversation takes place.
Number four, I believe that the discovery of the customer’s current situation and the accompanying dissatisfaction must be the sales professionals primary task and must be thoroughly ascertained before an appropriate solution can be presented.
Number five, I believe that purchasing is primarily an emotional endeavor and that the sales person has a responsibility to allow the customer to become involved emotionally in the process.
Number six, I believe that feature dumping is the curse of sales people who do not know their customers well enough. I believe that the demonstration of the product should be seen as the presentation of a solution to a customer’s problem and that the demonstration should be an interactive discussion, not a one-sided discourse.
Number seven, I believe that terms are best discussed after the customer has formed an emotional attachment to the product.
Number eight, I believe that gaining agreements all throughout the sales process is absolutely vital to an effective sales presentation and that the customer needs to be involved in a series of small decisions in order to make the right overall conclusion.
Number nine, I believe that the sales process is an ongoing relationship and like any healthy relationship, it relies upon constant communication to be functional and effective.
And number 10, I believe that sales and customer care go hand in hand and that the strongest sales professionals in the world are those who are most dedicated to serving the needs of their customers.
Now I’m gonna post those 10 beliefs in the show notes so that you have the opportunity to maybe copy and paste, maybe take it and just ruminate on a little bit and ask yourself, what do you believe? What do you believe? I want to make sure that you are looking at it from the perspective that we are always centered. We know why we do what we do. And if you’re ever having a bad day, go back to number one, sales is a noble profession because we get to change people’s lives.
Well, if you like this podcast, would really love it if you would hit the subscribe button. It would mean so much to us. A review would mean even more. Thank you so much and if you wanna post a link to the podcast in your social media page, that would be great. All right, well listen, at the beginning of this show I told you that we were running a contest. You have the chance to win the Bose Quiet Comfort 25 Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones. I love these headphones. I wear them when I’m traveling, I wear them when I’m listening to podcasts, or when I wanna hear the strongest quality in my music. So for the winner, you can take your choice of either the over the ear or the noise canceling ear buds. So you can listen to the Buyer’s Mind Podcast while you’re working out, while you’re going for a run, whatever it is. You get both a physical and a mental workout at the same time.
So I’m giving away several Shore Consulting swag bags. That’s my five books, a coffee mug, my motivational CD, and a bag to carry it all in. But one grand prize winner will win the Quiet Comfort Headphones as well. So all you have to do is download the Buyer’s Mind episodes on iTunes. So go to iTunes, download the episodes, subscribe to the podcast and then just leave a quick review. It’s gonna take you all of 30 seconds. Once you’ve done that, go to jeffshore.com/podcast and click on the contest link. It’ll just ask you for your email address and the name that you used for the review on iTunes so that we could pick the winners. We’re gonna give away 10 swag bags with the books and the mug and the CD and everything else and then the grand prize, you’ll have your choice of either the Bose Quiet Comfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones or the Noise Cancelling Quiet Comfort 20 Earbuds. So, there you go, get on that right away.
Well, that’s a wrap on our podcast for today. Hope you enjoyed it, you can find everything you need at jeffshore.com. Until then, go out there and change someone’s world.