Sales Training with Value and Content
Career Path : Sales
The big buzzwords in marketing these days are content and value. Customers are considerably more receptive to purchases if you provide them with an initial hook of a free service, and people have more patience with marketing if it comes with entertaining content. Some of this is based on social science research, and some of this is simply in reaction to increasing competition and the normalization of a service based economy, but it has radically changed the face of sales training.
Though samples are nothing new, as a technique to familiarize people with what they might get out of a service or product, and to show them that they can like it, free gifts and handouts matter for another reason. Because of a trick of human psychology, people who have been primed by feeling that they have been given something feel a natural obligation for reciprocity. For example a free sticker makes a consumer feel they owe the giver something, and is more likely to be followed by a sale. Consultative sales programs that give the sales person a chance to pass on useful information also add value to the transaction and make consumers feel more confident. Especially with big ticket items like cars or investments, an educational session that’s pitched with no obligation makes the receiver feel more like they gained in the social transaction and people don’t like feeling lopsided.
In addition to giveaways, the other thing that keeps people buying and coming back time and time again is the senses that a relationship has been formed. In marketing a political candidate, if you give them a lawn or window sign to post, they will be significantly more likely to donate money. A similar effect is seen in people who volunteer their time to a political campaign. In both cases a sense of group membership contributes to the customer’s emotional investment. Once they internalize the value of a given behaviour or belief they devote their own energy to supporting and rationalizing it. When you’re doing sales coaching, encourage your staff to all customers to help with small things.
Especially in online marketing, you will learn that people want to stay around where they feel like there is a community. This is also more obvious in the entertainment industry, for example why seemingly identical bars succeed or flounder can be related to the sort of initial clientele they attract. It can seem hard to create this through sales training, but focus on the commonalties of your customers, including to each other, and to the company. You will add value to the entire sales experience if they feel like they’re participating and being supported with something bigger.
Visit Fusion Learning Inc. for more information on consultative selling programs.