How do you keep from competing on price in a down economy? Get your prospects emotionally engaged. This morning I had the pleasure of meeting a sales manager for a chain of KIA dealerships in the Seattle area. Like many others we work with, this man was sick and tired of being undercut on price. “I could understand it if our prospects were going with another brand,” he said, “but to know they chose another KIA dealer, and didn’t buy from us because of a $250 price difference, is hard to take.”
When a prospect is choosing a competitor based only on price, it is usually because the salesperson is using a traditional, features and benefits sales approach that appeals to the prospects intellect. All things being equal, the prospect makes a rational decision based on the only difference which is price. Sound familiar?
In his recent book How We Decide, author and researcher Jonah Lehrer investigates how the human brain helps us make decisions. Interestingly, we need our emotions, not just rational thought, to make good decisions. In fact, our feelings are the key to making effective snap decisions. Surprisingly the book concludes, the more important the decision, the less you should think about it. For decisions like buying a car, Lehrer suggests it is best to do a little research, then let your guts guide you toward the right decision. For a great review on Lehrer’s book check out The Corporate Board’s MLA blog.
One of the foundational cornerstones of the Sandler Selling System is: People buy emotionally, and justify their decision intellectually. Emotions are a strong tool. When you can uncover the pains that lead the prospect to buy emotionally, you have gotten well beyond any surface reasons for buying. You’ve discovered a trigger that is going to satisfy more for the prospect than just improving gas mileage. You’ve given him or her a sense of relief and satisfaction.
So, next time you’re in front of a prospect, make sure you’re asking good questions to identify the pain behind the purchase. Then, become the hero who saves the day with your product or service.
Copyright 2012 Sandler Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.