Selling: How to Crack the Psychological Code That Reveals Untold Secrets

Well, maybe that got your attention :-) It certainly would have if you’re one of the (I’m not going to divulge how many – doesn’t really matter) business owners who tell us you want more more profitable custom in 2012!

Is using a Psychological Code in order to sell ethical?

Firstly I’d say: Don’t get freaked out. We all use techniques to help us get the results or outcomes we want and up to 99% of the time we’re not even aware of it!

Once you open your mind to this there are gazillions of examples that come to mind without trying too hard. To make it a no-brainer though, let’s take one of the most fundamental that we can all relate to:

A baby wet/hungry/hot/cold/ not just crying but yelling at the top of his/her lungs until somebody takes notice and starts fulfilling that need to change the unbearable status quo. This babe isn’t taking any prisoners and it becomes impossible for any but the hardest hearted within earshot to ignore! You don’t even have to have been on the receiving end of this – you’re bound to have been a perpetrator!

Depends what you want

How do you set parameters between what’s ethical and what’s not? With the baby in the fundamental example it could be anything from swapping the discomfort of being wet to the comfort of being dry to the very essence of survival: “Feed me!”

I’ve developed my own litmus test for this ethics question over the years, and it started when I was in the employ of others to sell their products or services. It wasn’t even very difficult either – once I realised I’d unintentionally gone down some wrong routes, and worked for some outfits (even household names) that I felt weren’t operating in or with integrity – and faced up to answer the question I devised for me:

“If someone you loved wanted/ required/ needed this kind of service/ product (that you are employed to sell/ persuade people to buy), would you be happy that they’re buying it from you and that it will ‘do what it says it will on the tin’?”

Ping me and I’ll tell those of you who are interested the story about the high powered bloke whom I’d never met yet was caring enough to share some home truths with me about the track (not illegal but definitely tacky) I’d got myself on who was instrumental in the creation of my test for me – and it’s stood me in good stead ever since when I sell, promote or endorse my own or others’ products or services! :-)

Okay, so let’s skip to where you’ve done your own due diligence and have a clear, happy conscience about what you’re selling and get on with the ‘Psychological Code’:

I’m referring to Joe Sugarman’s 30 Triggers. Joe was part of the direct mail, direct marketing, direct selling spearhead movement of the 1980s. He was one of the pioneer ‘ad men’ to realise the need to understand target audiences and segmentation versus the previously adopted mass marketing approach. Technology played a huge part in this new ability to cost effectively test products, marketing messages, bring split runs into play and… well, just have some real creative fun in sales & marketing precision in ways that weren’t possible in the pre-computer-that-fits-on-a-desk era.

Your starter for 5 Top Triggers Tips

Here are my interpretations of and variations on the first 5 of Joe’s Top 30 Triggers. You’ll notice I’m calling them tips rather than triggers. In my opinion they’re a mix of both so I’d say “Don’t worry about the handle, just dive in and see what you can get to work for you!”

  1. Get commitment to buy (something) initially
  2. Add upsells as a “by the way”
    Once you learn what works you can replicate it

  3. Understand your product nature/ personality
  4. For example, with toys, you’re selling to the adult
    Sell them the fun or educational value

  5. Know the nature of your prospect
  6. Their likes/ dislikes, hopes, dreams

  7. Raise your own objections
  8. Highlight what you know are potential drawbacks to your product or service and use them to your own advantage
    “Raise and Resolve”

  9. Take each and every potential problem and turn it into an opportunity
  10. This one is so varied – send your own in and I’ll give you ideas to turn them around!

More to come, obviously – we’ve only just started with the first five of thirty! Yet we’ll return to my litmus test before signing off.

It was part of the kick off point for the workshop last week where the defining questions and (sometimes like teeth being pulled, I kid you not) answers of
why you’re in the business you’re in and
why anybody should buy from you, stay with you and grow with you
absolutely must be clearly and definitively answered before any Psychological Codes have any effect or meaning…

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