We talk about marketing and we often leave out the component of the sales process. The sales process is where we’re actually closing the deal. We’ve brought back a guest that we had on before that was a lot of fun and brought to the marketing and sales side of things actual science. If you recall we heard from David Hoffeld. He literally wrote the book on science in sales.
There are certain rules our brains follow that are almost innate. We don’t try to do it, our brains just utilize them and it helps us make rapid choices. Once you know some of these rules, regardless if you’re in sales or marketing, you’re going to become instantly more effective.
When you walk by the sign that says “Don’t Touch: Wet Paint.” What do you want to do? You want to touch it. Why is it that a sign that tells you not to do something makes you want to do it? The reason is because of reactants. Reactants are the feelings of psychological pressure that occurs when people believe their ability to freely choose is being restricted by another person. This is also why signs that say don’t litter have been shown to increase littering. That’s why many communities put up signs that say “Please Pitch In” instead of “Don’t Litter”.
We leverage this all the time in sales and marketing. Often times we’re trying to get somebody to do something like click on our website. Or to speed up a sales cycle we try to create urgency. What happens though is people often react negatively to these strategies because they feel reactant. They feel like you are pressuring them to do something. Scientific studies have validated what creates reactants but how do we reduce them? Research shows that letting people know, whether it’s a good choice or not it’s their choice reduces reactants and creates even more urgency to comply with your request.
There is another principal you can use whether you’re in sales or marketing and it’s called social proof. Social proof is very powerful. There have now been over sixty years of research on social proof and even some brain science. Social proof is the idea that we connect the persuasiveness of a behavior or an idea with how other people are responding to it. That’s why we like bestselling books, blockbuster movies or businesses that have a lot of satisfied customers. If other people are doing it it’s more likely to be a good idea. So share what other people are doing, especially those that are like your potential customers. Similarity amplifies the persuasiveness of social proof. Share real world examples of how past customers have experienced success with your product or service. If you do that it lowers the perception of risk and people now are far more likely to embrace your ideas.
Second level questions
Second level questions is where you ask someone to assess something or give their opinion about something. David talks about these in the book. This is very powerful for creating robust follow up questions and is has been studied scientifically.
Contacting David Hoffeld
Book: The Science of Selling