A Sales Tool that Directs Choices
Written by Harlan Goerger
Want to move your sales and choices forward faster and easier. Learn how to use this tool and make it happen.
The Law of Contrast Makes for Interesting Sales Outcomes
Recently viewing a few videos on TED.com Dan Ariely’s video caught my eye. You can view it on my blog.
What I saw was the reinforcement of The Law of Contrast and how potent it is. It also pointed out that many of our choices and decisions are not based on logic! How can a salesperson use this information?
(The Law of Contrast: When two different items/ideas are brought closer together, the greater their differences become.)
If you have watched the video to the end you observed the test with the two men’s faces, Tom and Jerry, With just the two there was little difference in the choice.
Add the distorted version into the picture of Jerry and the regular Jerry picture gets the most choices! Now why would placing a distorted picture make such a difference?
First the reality is we make choices and decisions in nano seconds without really know how, why or what causes the choice. Our primitive lizard brain, “Liz” for short, makes many of the choices for us based on fight or flight response!
Here is what might be happening. We see the distorted picture of Jerry which causes a negative or flight/fight type response and causes us to pick something that is more comfortable.
A big key in understanding choice, humans are basically comfort creatures, we tend to gravitate to comfort far quicker than going for the unknown and possible uncomfortable.
So we move from the uncomfortable to something more comfortable. Yet we also look for something familiar, even if it was only observed for the first time a second ago. The distorted Jerry face looks familiar to the non-distorted Jerry face, thus more familiar than the Tom face and our choice is made.
The choice is made without our logic being engaged, without real thought or decision process being put in gear.
If your skeptical, consider your own choices very carefully. Have you ever wondered why you made that choice?
So much for the psychology and deep stuff. How can a salesperson or others apply this realty to influencing others choices?
1.) Get over the idea we all make logical choices and use deep thinking in making a choice. For the most part we use very little thinking on most choices. The exception is when working with an expert in an area, the “Liz” is not as in control. One reason why the old facts/features/benefits does not work as well, it’s logic based.
2.) Create an image, either real or through word picture that creates a positive picture of what the other party wants. ie: Them being highly persuasive and getting a Yes almost all the time, make it a clear picture.
3.) Then create or show an image where they are better but still not getting the results they want which frustrates them. There is a slight contrast, but not severe.
4.) Which outcome do they wish to have, of course the better one!
5.) Once a choice is made it takes on ownership and becomes the property of the customer. Now they tend to defend the choice! Imagine that!
6.) The contrasting ideas/items have to be presented next to each other, otherwise the contrast will not be great enough.
That’s great, but my customer is really stalling and not really making any choices, how can this work with them?
When a person is asked to make a choice between two somewhat similar yet different choices, even though they really have no vested interest in the choice, once made the ownership kicks in. Have the customer make one or two choices like this and soon they are engaged and saying yes without fully cognitive thought.
Yes this can be highly manipulative if used for the wrong reasons. If the choice is good for all parties and it move things ahead in a positive way, yes utilize it. If not, then you choose to walk away.
By the way, I utilized this on a sales call this morning with some skeptical salespeople. They are now in my training.
This is an Omega approach to resistance which is counter intuitive, yet works in alignment with how we think and react. This is different than the Alpha type approach of overpowering others with logic.
The first step to successfully applying the idea is to change our own mindset about influence, persuasion and selling.
Think it through, use your imagination and give it a try. Have questions, drop me a line. Or get the book, Bypassing NO in Business, it has 30 such ideas in it.
(Omega & Alpha based on research of Dr. Eric Knowles)