I am in the market to acquire something. You are one of many businesses offering what I need. It is your fault if I buy from you or not. From the moment I shop you online, correspond via email, chat by phone, or meet in-person – the judgement begins.
One way or another, you will influence me. It’s your fault if I buy from you or not.
I will buy what is best for me from who is best for me. Many others sell the exact same thing that you sell. Rub me the right way or the wrong way and the outcome is determined. Influence is everything.
These seven areas of influence will win me or lose me in the end. I am judging all consumer touch-points: your online presence (including web and social sites) and how you communicate with me in chats, emails and phone calls.
Sometimes we learn faster by understanding what we may be doing wrong and could be doing better. So, this week I’ll focus on the weak. Next week, I’ll give you the strength.
You lost me at hello.
I can tell in an instant if you are happy to have me. It takes just a few seconds to feel warmly welcomed or uncomfortably awkward. You worked so hard to get me there! What are you doing to keep me here? Have I just interrupted your day or am I the best call you’ve gotten all day? Lose me now and I may never come back.
You didn’t care.
I need your product to solve a problem. I need just a little empathy and understanding right now, because I don’t have something that I need. If I don’t sense an authentic level of concern or enthusiasm, then I’ll find a business that does. Your business mantra can make all sorts of fancy written promises and commitments. What it says compared to what you do is the delta. I’ll keep shopping if I sense that you’re not taking me seriously or simply not understanding my issue.
You weren’t listening.
Are you hearing me? Really listening? It is aggravating to repeat what I have already said, answer unrelated questions, or hear a sales pitch that is forced and out of focus. To listen up, you may need to shut up while I share my story. Although you’ve heard it all before, I beg you to bite your tongue and hear me out if you want me in.
You bored me.
Perhaps it was your total lack of enthusiasm that put me off. Maybe your delivery was just plain dull. In all likelihood, you talked features and not benefits and bored me to tears. If you’re not excited, I’m not excited (and I want to be). Our engagement was far from an immersive experience, so I’ll go find somebody with a tad more energy and bounce in their step to award my business.
I knew more than you.
If you promised to be the expert, then be the expert. I shouldn’t know more than you. If you don’t have an answer to my question, please don’t fake it, dismiss it, or deny it. This is not a knowledge competition between you and I. It is a knowledge competition between you and the other hundred companies that sell what you sell. I won’t become your client if you don’t impress me with expertise.
You cost more, but you weren’t worth more.
I will pay more when I feel I am receiving more. That doesn’t mean getting more product, that means getting more confidence. I highly value a richer relationship. Typically, this applies to the ease of doing business with you and your after-the-sale commitment. If I am convinced that you classify this as a strictly commodity sale, then price is indeed the pressure point. Just know that I’ll pay more for loyalty-grade service only.
You never asked me to buy.
This final factor almost sounds too silly to list. However, some salespeople fail to nail the sale because they never ask for it. Every consumer needs to know when it’s time to buy. This conversation could go on forever until you summarize why you are the right choice for me, and that you have met every one of my needs. If you are not confirming that we have discussed every aspect, and that you are fully confident that it is OK to wrap this up, then I’ll find somebody who will.
Am I making this too simplistic? Good, then I have achieved my purpose. All those fancy sales manuals can give you tips and tricks to making more sales. In my opinion, influence is everything.
Stuart Cohen, Chief Motivation Officer at StuartLloydCohen.com
If you can think big, Stuart will help you do big! An accomplished 28-year travel industry executive turned serial solopreneur, Stuart is a creator of brands and an energizing motivational speaker. He motivates & maximizes personal performance in leadership, entrepreneurship, salesmanship & wellness.