Thursday, March 14, 2013

W11.04 Mental Triggers That Influence People To Book Your Services…


The only difference between a kid trying to talk you into buying an ice-cream and a guy trying to talk you into buying a car is experience. Experience and knowledge. The kid uses every trick in the book, just like the car salesman, but the kid does it naturally. “But I cleaned up my room dad, just like you asked!” This kid is hitting on the first principle of selling: reciprocity.

A person feels value from you, they want to pay you back. It’s natural.

The sales guy knows that, which is why he says: “Look, if you buy today I am going to give you a satellite reception system for free.” But the salesman knows what he is doing, while the kid hasn’t thought it through. Alexander once said:

“…it will be found that every single thing we are doing in the Work is exactly 
what is being done in Nature where the conditions are right, the difference being that we are learning to do it consciously..”

You could say the same about sales. As I’ve written previously, the oldest profession in the world is not what you are thinking it is - it is sales. Ever since a guy wanted something, sales happened first. The difference being, now you need to learn to do sell consciously. You need to understand that human beings are more mechanical than they are conscious, and while many of us believe we are making decisions, it truer to say that mostly the decisions are making us.

As a person wanting to influence another person to make a decision in both your interests, it serves you to understand how that person is going to make that decision. Here’s some of most powerful drives that influence people’s decision-making:

Reciprocity
In Japan, when you give money to someone for their wedding, they spend at least 30~50% of it on buying you a present back! Crazy? Maybe to you, but people like to be out of debt in Japan - it’s a cash economy. When someone gives you something of value, you naturally feel you want to give something back. How can you pay me back for example? Join my mail list now, that’s all I ask. Will you do that as a thank you for this blog? See the box on the top, right hand side of my blog fill it in now to show your thanks for all that you are learning from me.

Credibility/Authority
Who believes an actor in a white coat on TV selling pharmaceuticals? Enough people that the advertising companies continue the charade. In Japan, nearly every website that promotes some kind of get healthy modality, including BodyChance, features a guy in a white coat telling everyone “This is OK. It works.” Credibility reassures a person’s intuitive tendency to see disaster about to happen. You need to shut that part of their brain down - reassure them you are credible - otherwise they are listening for what’s wrong, not for what’s right.

Commitment
Once a person has already done something with you, they are invested in proving that they made the right decision. So it can be good to get them to take an action - because that still costs them something. The first thing a student can give you is attention - that is a resource that costs them time. Try to offer a slow but graduated path to commitment with you - it does not have to involve paying money at the start. Each step they take along the way increases the likelihood of them doing more. “Dad, I’ll just watch 20 minutes TV, that’s all. I promise.” What do you think happens after 20 minutes?

Follow The Leader
“Everyone is my class has got a mobile phone Dad!” Everyone? “Well, not everyone, but nearly everyone.” Angelica is selling me on getting a phone, and is using the “proof” that all the other parents have let their kids have one - so why not me? This really does influence people. When they think Alexander Technique is some obscure, unknown technique that no-one does - it shuts down their desire to study it. So that’s why we roll out the big names “Hey, these people did it, why not you?” In your niche - who are those people?

Sorry, We’re Full.
Scarcity is easily one of the most powerful driver human beings have, but I won’t discuss it today. It is too important - it needs an entire blog post. So please wait, I can’t tell you now.

How does that feel?

Scarcity gets people wanting more - that’s the aim of it. We don’t like to miss out. I love scarcity, but I use it genuinely: I decide on how many I like to have in a workshop, and I turn people away once I have that number. At BodyChance, staff teacher Basil loves to go to the lists of his Introductions for Musicians and put a line through them like this and instead write “FULL” in big red letters. It actually encourages people to come back!

Community & Events
Once a person has been studying with BodyChance for a certain amount of time, they have reasons to come that have nothing to do with Alexander Technique learning: new friends, a social life, a feeling of belonging. A sustainable business is one where loyalty is paramount, and loyalty comes from a sense of belonging, a sense of place.

Events are a way to build community - I am sure most Alexander Technique teachers with lots of private students would do well if they built a back-end business for their long-time students that involved some kind of group activity - learning entertainment, a residential, a monthly class + social time. Something that binds them to you in another way. They want you to do that, even if they don’t know they do.

Ask For The Sale
Once you have built a powerful path of graduated commitment into your community, you need to ask for a sale. What the sale will be, how much you ask - all of these go to the question of Product. But you must ask.

As one of my mentors Brendan put it: “If you don’t ask, the only answer is not.” To that Marj added: “This is a gamble you can’t lose. Because the worst that can happen is you end up with what you already had.”

So ask for the sale. And they fall through the funnel and into your community.

TOMORROW: Kimberly Peterson is next in the growing line of courageous teachers willing to expose their careers for analysis based upon my 12 Steps That Lead To Financial Success.

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