I can't remember where I came across this but I came across a very interesting concept when reading some articles online. The concept is that the most important factor to closing a sale is feelings. That is right, that people make purchases based on feelings and nothing more. Not features, not pricing not even benefits. When I heard this it was like a light went off in my head. This is so true. People only buy when they feel it is the right thing to do, they will never buy when they don't. I then started to think about my own purchase behavior and how their are certain feelings I have to feel to make a purchase. I realized just how powerful this statement was. In this article I look at where in the sales process and how in the sales process feelings can be impacted to increase sales meeting closing rates.
Why Feelings Are Important
After giving this more thought I think I have to agree that people only buy when they feel feelings that make them want to buy. After giving some thought to specifically what those feelings are I came up with the following list
In addition trust, safety and confidence I think there are other feelings that often get me to make purchases but are not necessarily mandatory for me to make a purchase. These feelings are:
- Frustration (with a situation or another supplier)
- A feeling of being cared for
After thinking about the sales I have closed recently I feel that this theory definitely holds true. I can think specifically of the last sale I made. The customer trusted the service because they were able to trial it first free of charge. The customer felt save because they knew exactly what they were buying as a result of the free trial and that their was no contract they would be locked into. The customer had the confidence that the service would do everything they wanted it to because they had already seen that it could in the free trial. If you are having challenges closing sales I would suggest trying to build trust, safety and confidence with the prospect. If you are not sure how to do this, getting some sales training may be a good way to learn how to do this. If this is of interest, click here.
Places Feelings Impact A Sales Meeting
You might be thinking this is how you dress or your body language. We will get there but this is not the first impression. I would argue in today's day and age the first impression prospects usually get of you is from your company's website. Before meeting with a company I am going to guess that 98% of prospects will first check out your website. At this stage already you need to create feelings of trust, safety and confidence in your prospect and feelings of excitement or being cared for probably would not hurt either. How can you do this? For trust try showing a trust seal, customer testimonials or social proof (how many clients you have). To create a feeling of safety include a low risk way for them to try your product. To create confidence an idea might be to include case study examples or again to use customer testimonials with exact facts and figures. To create excitement an idea might be to have exciting videos or compelling case studies. To create a sense of being cared for make it clear that you offer great customer support and service by show casing things like a 24 1-800 number prominently on your homepage.
In Person First Impression
The next part would be making a good first impression that creates warm feelings when you meet in person for the first time. A great article to read more about how to do this is How To Make A Great First Impression With Potential Customers. Think about your own situation, if you feel a connection, comfortable and cared for in an initial meeting with a supplier, will probably listen intently to what the person has to say and may even decide at that point that you are going to purchase what they are selling. I know this is the way I operate.
Again within the presentation it is critical to look at your presentation and determine what feelings it is creating in your prospects. Is the presentation creating feelings of angst or calmness. Is the presentation creating feelings of excitement or of being bored. What are the feelings your presentation is going to make and are those the feelings the ones you want it to create in your prospect? Again the feelings you want to focus on are creating a feeling of trust, confidence and safety. Ways to do this is to do less talking and more listening. Ask questions, this will get the the prospect to feel heard, deepening the trust they have in you. A common complaint with buyers is not being heard. This article on the Most Common Sales Mistakes is great proof of that fact. Also be sure to ask questions that evoke feelings using words like "love" "hate" "frustrate" "angry" "exhilarate". An example of these questions might be "What functionality would you love to have in an email marketing service provider?" or "What things made you angry with your last batch of uniforms?". Ask as many questions as possible related to what you are selling to build trust. The longer people talk to you the more they trust you. If you need ideas for questions to ask read my articles on the SPIN Selling Questions. To build confidence tell stories of how you have helped other companies. Talk about how many clients you have. Finally to build a feeling of safety give the prospect an out or way they can cancel the purchase if they are not satisfied after the purchase.
After The Meeting
How and when you follow up after your sales meeting can also have an impact on how your prospect feels. If you follow up promptly in great detail this will increase the prospects confidence in you. If you deliver follow up materials by the date you stated in your meeting this will increase the trust the prospect has in you. If you don't it will decrease the trust.
Follow Up Paperwork
Again here is another place where you can build the feelings you need to close the sale, or create feelings that will cause the sale to be derailed. If you send over paperwork that creates feelings of distrust, lack of confidence or a lack of safety the sale will either stall or not go through. Make sure the paperwork looks professional to build trust. Keep documents short to increase the sense of security, people are intimidated by long contracts and will feel less safe with long contracts they can't understand. Restate the outs and guarantee's you have provided to the prospect in the paperwork so that your prospect is remind and reassured to create a feeling of security.
My name is Chris R. Keller. I work at Profitworks Small Business Services helping various B2B small businesses in Waterloo and Kitchener Ontario generate new customers. Feel free to connect with me on Google+ or if you are just interested in getting new customers for your B2B small businesses enter your email in the box provided below and click the "Send Me Free Updates" button.