Buying behavior is changing rapidly and with increasingly shifting points of engagement - when prospects decide to engage with vendors - it is vital for businesses to make a good impression and, therefore, become memorable in the eye of potential customers. But how can this be achieved? We asked the question to Mark Stuyt, who referred to psychology to create some useful guidelines for salesmen who want to be remembered.
1. Trigger your prospects’ emotions
Although most people like to consider themselves rational actors, most of the decisions we make are based on emotions. As a matter of fact, 95% of our mental processes take place in our unconscious, intuitive brain; only 5% of our thoughts happen in the rational part of our brain. Good salesmen know this, and offer their prospects an emotionally engaging sales experience, that goes far beyond mere analysis of prices, features and functions.
The most powerful emotions that you can trigger as a salesman are fear, joy and surprise. Remind your clients of all the challenges they face; give them a solution, and do it in a novel way. Excite fear, joy and surprise, and you will make a long-lasting impression.
2. Be aware of the “serial positioning effect”
Our brains use a series of shortcuts to get us through our stimuli-rich lives. For example, we tend to remember more accurately the beginning and the end of an event, a relationship, or a business deal. This is what psychologists call the “serial positioning effect”, and it plays an important role in business relationships. As the opening and the closing moments of a deal tend to tinge the whole experience, we need to make sure that we make a first great impression and that we end our business relationships successfully.
It is particularly difficult to recover from a bad first impression: people tend to maintain opinions, to the point that the human brain actively filters information to keep all the data that support our pre-made ideas, while discarding all the rest. This is another of our brain’s shortcuts, which makes it extremely important that business relationships start on the right foot.
3. Ask the right questions- in the right order
Our brains process questions differently depending on the way they are asked - and in what order.
“What” questions relate to information, and for this reason activate synapses in our logical brain; “how” questions are business process-related and speak to those parts of our brain that have to do with interaction; “why” questions are highly emotional, and engage our brain more deeply than any other type of question. If you want to make a lasting impression on your prospects, ask “what”, “how” and “why” questions, in this order; you will drive increasingly deep engagement in your listener, and be more memorable.
Article based on Mark Stuyt's presentation during conneXion 2015 in Dubai
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