Selling is the most important skill every business owner, entrepreneur and manager must adopt for the business to progress and stay out of trouble. But how do you know what buyers want?
A set of ingenious studies conducted by Stanford’s Zakary Tormala and Jayson Jia, and Harvard Business School’s Michael Norton paint a clear picture of our unconscious preference for potential over actual success. You might think a person’s track record of success is the single most important factor in determining the future. However, buyers do not want the current big thing they want the NEXT big thing. The study uncovered a bias leading to the preference for the potential for greatness over someone who has already achieved it.
Why is this important to know when pitching?
Although we base evidence of success on past performance rather than future potential, people are much more impressed, by our potential than by our track record. The success of your business and the amount you earn is directly related to how well you pitch and perform personally and professionally. If your focus is solely on your historic success, you may lose-out to other people that are future focused. If you are so focused on solving historic known problems, you may lose sight of the marginal gains and savings.
How to sell capitalising on future potential
- Be personable.
- Tell stories.
- Show them your why.
- Trust is everything.
- Understand their problem better than them.
- Have authority and credibility.
Customers that have bought you first will buy your products, they will keep returning and referring others and will follow you to future success. Why? Because how you made them feel in the relationship building process, they share your values and feel they know you and trust you.
Be real and human by sharing your personal view and experience honestly, the subject and amount will depend on the buyer, the better you able to research into the buyer interests and character, the better you can build rapport. Even in B2B sales environments, people buy real people.
Never underestimate the power of stories. Stories have a way of engaging, inspiring, communicating complex ideas and motivating action. We are all “hard wired” to be persuaded by real, relevant, short and engaging stories. Stories are pictures communicated in words.
Show them your why
If you want people to walk with you, you must tell them why they should follow you. Give step-by-step path to achieve the results your buyer wants and needs. Help them to understand your journey and why you are committed to their result.
Trust is everything
Trust aligns you to them and their concerns. With trust your buyer believes you will act in their best interest rather than your own. They have the conviction that you will deliver on your promise.
Understand their problem better than them
You must understand them so well, finding out what they want to accomplish and focusing on their future results and impact. For the buyer to engage you or buy your products, they must have the conviction that you understand their problems, wants and future needs and you have the best solution for them.
Demonstrate authority and credibility
The way you communicate and present yourself has a powerful effect on your credibility, trustworthiness and authority. For other people to buy you, you must buy-into you wholeheartedly. Self-assured people can naturally broadcast their self-assurance, this quality draws customers and opportunities to them and their cause. The people who are most confident are also the most comfortable in their own skin, this contributes to their success.
Your customers overwhelmingly buy you and then your products because they know you, like you, trust and believe in you. You do not have to be the best company in the market or have the best product; selling is complex and multifaceted, however, one thing is certain people buy you before they buy your products. The you they buy is the vision you paint of their future.