These days, many of our clients are suffering from acute depression due to the current situation in the country.
So far, this is nothing new.
What is certain is that much of the emotion out there could be softened if television, radio, and newspapers did not focus excessively on the theme of recovery.
Worldwide experiments show that when crimes or social problems are reported in an exaggerated way, they tend to grow.
If we recall Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence,” one of the pillars of influence that he usually found at work in society was social proof.
If we want to put it simplistically, we can observe this tendency to have behaviors that are often similar to our peers in society.
If you watch television commercials, more and more of them tend to use “normal” people giving their testimonials about a product or service.
The idea is that we react better to this kind of stimuli in certain situations than when we are presented with actor X or Y.
Strangely enough, this social proof is not used on television but works in precisely the opposite way.
It shows companies that, despite the situation, they are succeeding in the market and growing despite all the setbacks.
It would be like a positive injection that, little by little, would make the companies around us see that there is still hope and that by changing and correcting their competitiveness problems, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
But this is just my modest opinion.
I notice that people around us are already beginning to feel a certain saturation concerning the “recovery” theme.
But what does this have to do with sales?
On a straightforward approach, many sellers may use the trade-in as a justification for selling less.
Taking a more profound approach, we may have a chance to establish trusting relationships with our customers.
But you rightly ask, how?
These days, people have a deficit in having someone to listen to them. It is not new; we know that we are increasingly shut off in our worlds and hear less and less about the problems of others around us as human beings.
When we visit a client, what is the first thing he answers when we ask the usual question, “how are you”?
The typical answer is “we are in a bad way,” “the pandemic…”; in short, we hardly find any other solution than this.
But then how to deal with this situation these days?
We have three alternatives:
Cry with him.
That is, I agree with him and say that things are also pretty bad on our side.
What is the problem with this approach?
Every time we go there, our client starts to get used to “crying” with us, and we get nowhere in terms of sales.
We end up creating an anchor between our person and the emotion of the “pandemic,” and even if it comes in handy now, we are unlikely to get him to see us in any other way than as a fellow crybaby.
Enter with joy and full of positive emotion.
Here would be a bit of what is called the American way.
Enter with a big smile, and when the customer, out of courtesy, asks us how we are, react in the opposite direction and say that everything is excellent.
This approach, although advocated by some sales books, has its problems, as you can imagine.
Probably, our client will think:
“Look at this one, I’m here in crisis, and he’s all cheerful…”
Enter with moderate emotion.
In our view, the best way to handle this situation is to take a moderate approach.
Enter with a neutral level of emotion and go along with the client but in a slightly different way.
When the customer starts complaining, we agree with him, directing him to more positive aspects.
“You are right, Mr. Client, many of our clients have been facing some difficulties; however, from our side, I cannot complain. On the contrary, thank God, given the portfolio of customers we have, we have overcome this situation with some calm.”
How is this approach different?
First, we are not harassing you by going against how you feel.
If we go against the customer’s opinion, this generates resistance from the customer.\Second, it leaves in his head the impression that at least someone is okay.
In other words, a positive anchor with our person and our company.
If we want to go psychologically further, we are secretly giving him a sense of security.
If you were a customer and had to buy a critical product or service for your company, which one would you decide to bet on?
The one that is in crisis and may close its doors in the future?
The one that is stable and will give you guarantees of security?
As you can see, there is a lot more to selling in psychological terms. But, unfortunately, situations as simple as these can have devastating effects on our sales performance.
This week, experiment with this.
During the whole week, have a positive attitude and, above all, don’t complain.
You’ll see that you’ll get to the end of the week with a much better chance of getting some sales!
Also published on Medium.