What about your prospects decisions ?
As I've mentioned before we humans are learning machines and once we learn something we often assign that task to our unconscious mind. For example we learn to drive a car consciously but after a while it is second nature, like breathing, and we can do it without conscious thought.
Our unconscious mind takes on board a strategy for generating an outcome. This strategy can be likened to a computer program.
Not only do we assign physical tasks to our unconscious but we also assign mental processes. During our formative years we learn ways of making decisions and relating to people and these programs or strategies can stay with us for life.
It is well known that people perceive their world through a set of filters: these filters include their history, their sense of identity, their beliefs and values and their perceptions of the world around them. We pay attention to various aspects of reality based on how we individually use our brains to filter the incoming information.
Our brains are pattern-seeking devices and as time goes by they even detect patterns within patterns. That is, our brain sees similarities in the way we think to solve separate problems, almost like sub-routines that can be used in very different computer programs.
These patterns within patterns (subroutines if you will) are called Metaprograms and they can be used as a persuasion psychology technique.
They exist within our beliefs and values and become part of our psyche exerting a strong influence on our every response to the environment. They operate at a very unconscious level. While we may be aware of some of our beliefs and values it is unlikely we are aware of our Metaprograms.
OK, what has this got to do with sales ?
Well, have you ever presented some information about one of your products / services to a prospect and given them a whole bunch of testimonials or case histories and the prospect couldn't seem to care less.
The prospect doesn't care who else uses the product or how glowingly others heap praise on what you're offering.
How can they not care ?
This is an example of a Metaprogram in action as a persuasion psychology technique.
One of the most basic human activities is making judgments / decisions. If we ask a person HOW they know what they are doing is right, they will either just say they know it is right or they will justify their actions/thoughts by pointing to others who think or behave in the same way.
The people who just know their decision is right operate from an Internal pattern. If you are selling to someone with an Internal Pattern they will not care what others think about your product or service. They must decide for themselves whether your product is worth buying. Don't annoy them by telling them what you or others think. Instead, find out how they make their evaluations.
Those that are interested in testimonials operate from an External Pattern. They will be looking for your references, testimonials or case studies. Take some care here because if you offer someone as a reference that they dislike you will probably lose the sale. They may look to you to validate some comments they make. This is a good sign. It is far better that the prospect with an External Pattern sees you as an external referent, someone who is knowledgeable and trustworthy, who they can rely on to provide the criteria for their judgements. This is the basis for the very successful Consultative Selling model.
So, how do we recognize these patterns in our clients?
The question to uncover this pattern is:
"How do you know when you've made a good purchase?"
Internal people will use the words "I know". "I just know I've done a good job." Or, "It just feels right." They often gesture towards themselves when answering questions.
People with an External Pattern will give answers like " Brian told me" or "Forbes magazine says" or "The sales for this product are going through the roof". Their answers will be based on what others believe or some external data.
OK, so now you can recognise this pattern when you are in a sales call.
Choose your language to influence Internals or Externals. You may not yet know that there are specific language patterns that are more influential to Internals and different language patterns that are more persuasive to Externals.
Want to know these language patterns ? Learn about them at my page on Persuasion Psychology.
Here's to YourSalesSuccess.