13 min read

Episode 4: Overcoming Buyer's Mentality

Ask April Porter

Every customer has what we called a buyer's mentality, a survival instinct to protect themselves. Customers tend to put up this mental barrier so that they can remain in control of the situation they are in. They are subconsciously afraid that they're gonna be taken advantage of. In today's episode, I will talk about overcoming the buyer's mentality. As a salesperson, how do we overcome this buyer's mentality? How do we fight those subconscious fears? This is one of the most important concepts a salesperson needs to understand before entering any sales situation. By understanding these concepts, a salesperson can reassure the buyer that they are in complete control of the sales presentation and thereby move past the mental barriers that they have. 

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Hello and welcome to the Infinite Franchisee show, I am so excited to be here with you today because we are talking about one of the most important concepts a salesperson needs to understand before entering any sales situation. This concept by understanding it, a salesperson can reassure a buyer that they are in complete control of the sales presentation, and thereby move past the barriers, the mental barriers that the buyers are bringing into the situation and close a sale more easily. 

Today's topic is buyer's mentality. First, to understand the buyer's mentality, we need to look at it from the customer perspective. And we've all been customers every single day of our lives, right? For different things. But let's think about a time when we've gone to make a higher dollar purchase. That's really where we are in more of a sales situation. You know, when we walk in the door to buy a coffee, we know exactly how much we're going to spend. We know exactly what we want in our coffee. And we have very little fear that the barista behind the counter is going to try to make us buy something we don't want to buy or spend more than we want to spend. But when we're in a sales situation where we understand there's going to be a presentation involved, or an actual sales person involved, we tend to put up these mental barriers or guards so that we can remain in control of the situation, we are subconsciously afraid that we're going to be taken advantage of we have fears that are based upon previous experiences either of our own or things that we've heard. I mean, how many times have you heard about the email scam from the Prince of Saudi Arabia, you know, asking for 1000s of dollars, and poor people falling victim to it and wire transfer, you know, wire transferring 1000s of dollars out of their accounts, thinking that they're going to get some kind of big return from some prints, you know, overseas. 

So we know that these scams exist, and we are always trying to protect ourselves. That's human nature, it's instinctual. It's our survival instinct to protect ourselves. So it comes into play in every single sales situation where we fear that somebody else may take control, that we could be manipulated, that we could fall victim to a scam, that we might be convinced to buy something we don't actually need. Or we may be convinced to spend more than we want to spend or that we need to spend in order to solve our problem. We also are subconsciously fearful that the product or service itself won't actually solve the problem, right? So we think it's too good to be true. Sometimes we convince ourselves things are too good to be true, when really they're just factual, we're unfamiliar with the subject matter. So let's talk about a couple of examples to really drive this point home. This happened to stuck out to me in particular, because I realized we were putting up a buyer mentality, my husband and I, on a particular purchase. It was a few years ago, we needed to buy a TV. Now we knew exactly what we needed. We had measured our space at home to see what size TV we needed. We had looked online and had the comparison of the different brands and the features that were the newest, technologically advanced features. We knew that the price point that we wanted to stay in, in fact, we've done so much research that we knew the make and model of the TV that we wanted, where we were buying it from and exactly how much it would cost us. So after doing all this research, we went to the store and we actually went on the Fourth of July. So we were going to hit up the whole Independence Day sales, we knew we were getting a deal, which was also exciting. We went to the TV section. And when we got there, we went and stood right in front of the TV that we had anticipated buying. We weren't really keen on looking at any other TVs because we'd already done all that online. And a salesperson walks up. The salesperson simply says, hey, can I help you today? And rather than saying, yes, we want to buy this TV, this is what we came here for. Could you help get one out of the back and ring us up? We didn't say that. Instead, what we said was no thank you. We're just looking. Why? Why? Why did we say that? It doesn't make any sense. But it all goes back to those subconscious fears and that instinct to protect ourselves. So we didn't want any interference as we stood in front of the TV looking at it in person and we wanted to have a private discussion just to make that final 1% confirmation that “yes, this is what we want to do”. That took us all about 60 seconds. And then guess what? Now we had to find a free salesperson to come back over to say, yes, we want to buy this TV, will you please go in the back, bring it forward, so we can check out. 

That happens whenever we get into a sales situation as customers. And you can identify it, if you've ever bought a car, you know, when you walk on the lot, and you might even have the same experience where you know exactly what type of car you want to buy. But you see that salesperson walking across the parking lot? How does it make you feel as a customer, you know, that feeling in your stomach of dread, like, I just want to look for a minute, I just want to be left alone, just for a few minutes even to take a look at the vehicle in person, I know I'm going to need a test drive, I know I'm going to have to get someone to help me test drive this vehicle. But I don't want to be approached right now. That barrier, that feeling that we have when we see that salesperson walking across the parking lot. That is that protective instinct coming up to the front and saying back off. Back off, I am in control of the situation, I do not want to relinquish control of the situation. And I know as a salesperson, you've been trained, and you're very skilled at taking control. And that's what I'm mostly afraid of. 

So that's the buyer's mentality. And every single buyer, like I said, walks into it. Even if you're a salesperson during the day, when you become the customer, you slip into a buyer's mentality. So as a salesperson, how do we overcome this buyer's mentality? How do we fight those subconscious fears that the person may not even be able to be consciously acknowledging? And how do we do it without calling people out? Right? Because when you call someone out, it makes everything uncomfortable. It certainly doesn't build a rapport, which is what we know we need to do as salespeople? The answer is we have to be honest with them. And we have to allow them to control the situation. Now, you might be saying, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I have always been taught that as a salesperson, I control the situation”. Yes, that is true, you know where the conversation is going. You know what your goal is at the end, you know how to talk to people, how to get into the psychology of their pain points, how to address those pain points, and show them that you have the solution, and how to provide that solution and close the sale. So in a sense, you are in control of that situation. But in a sense, the buyer is also needing to be in control of that situation, in order to feel comfortable to take it all the way to the close. And if you fight that, if you deny them the opportunity to have the feelings of being in control, and to understand that ultimately they are in control, then you are making the journey to that close harder than it needs to be. So let's talk about how to make it easier. 

The first thing you want to do is understand that you need to be honest and transparent. And you need to mean it. You can't feign honesty, when we go through these next points of how to break down the buyers mentality, you can't just be saying it to break down the buyers mentality, you have to mean it. It has to come from a place of sincerity. If it doesn't, people are going to see through it. Number one, people will see through it and you're not going to fool them. But number two, it's all going to come out in the end that you weren't true to your word. And then you're going to earn a reputation for not being true to your word. So as you learn this, if it makes sense to you and you want to embrace it, you have to mean it. And you have to be honest about it. So the first thing you want to ask people is what brings you here, right? Why? What brought you in today? What are you looking for? Let them start the conversation and tell you what they need. Don't just assume that they need what you have because they walked through the door. Of course, they're going to answer you very honestly, but also very short. They have a very small understanding of their real problems, right? So they might say, if you're a fitness facility, they might say I want to get fit or I want to lose weight. If you have a bakery, they might say I need a wedding cake or they might just say I'm looking for some cookies today, right?

So whatever it is, that's where you want to start is to let them start the conversation, then that's where you start to break down the buyer’s mentality. And you say, Well, what do you know about what we have to offer? Again, you're putting them in control, you're giving them the opportunity to lead this conversation. Whatever they tell you, that they know about your product or service, it probably isn't the full story, right? No one knows your product or service better than you. It doesn't matter, you're not going to argue with them at this point, you're not going to correct them. If they're wrong, you're not going to fill in the blanks of what they don't understand about your product or service, you're simply trying to gather information, and allow them to be the contributors, be the majority contributor to the conversation. But here is where we start to get into how this is going to work and how they are going to stay in control for the rest of the conversation. This is where the magic begins. 

So the next thing we say after they tell us what they know about our program, or our product or our service, is that “Okay, great. Well, to be honest, we may not be the right fit for you. I'm only going to know that after I spend some time getting to know you, and what it is that is troubling you, what you think is the right solution, and what you've tried before, that has or hasn't worked, why you're looking for a solution right now?”. Now, you don't have to say all of that, but that's the gist, right? We may not be the right fit for you is the key. And you have to mean it. You have to understand that you cannot solve everybody's problem in the entire world. You have a niche that you're very, very good at. And that niche is who you serve. Even though you could serve someone you could kind of serve someone who has a problem just outside your niche. Are you really the best person to do it? If the answer's no, then you shouldn't be serving that person. Because it's not - even though it's going to bring you in some revenue, it's also not likely to solve their problem 100%. And it could result in a bad review. It could result in bad word of mouth advertising for you. It could result in an unhappy customer just in general, which there's no reason to take people's money and not solve their problem. That's what a scam is, right. And we don't want to be scammers. So be honest and say we may not be the right fit for you. And I'm not going to know until I get to know you better get to know you're what you're looking for and what you've tried in the past that hasn't worked for you. Or maybe you haven't tried anything. I mean, if somebody's looking for a deck on a brand new home, they haven't had a deck on the home before. So they haven't necessarily tried anything. But you still want to know, “what are you looking for? What is important to you? What do you hope to do on this deck? How do you hope to use the deck? Does it need stairs to the yard or not?”. Depending on how they're planning to use it. “What's your budget?”. There's a lot of things you need to know to really fit your product or service perfectly into their lives. So that's the first thing you're going to tell them. And this is going to start to break down a barrier because they're like, “wait, what?”.  You may not be the right fit for me, I thought you were going to try to sell me, I thought this was going to be high pressure. I thought you know there was no way somebody would admit to me that they may not be a good fit. 

So this is where they start to say, “Huh, this is a different selling experience”. And they also begin to trust you. And we all know people buy from people they know, like and trust. So we have just jumped over you just met them. Okay, there's an argument that they know you now. You've just jumped though, not past, like into trust, because by doing this, you get them to like you and start to trust you. The next thing you want to ask though is are you the decision maker? Now it depends on the situation, how you ask this. If it's a corporation that you're talking to somebody in a corporate world, you cannot be obviously straight up ask “are you the one that will be making the decision?” Or “is there someone else that will be involved in this decision?”. If it's a more personal purchase, you might say “are you will you be making this decision by yourself?”. Or “do you have a friend or family member that will be in on this decision?”. 

We always want to be careful and not make assumptions that there is a spouse involved or something like that. So you want to keep an open ended and just ask if there's someone else involved. At this point, if there is someone else involved, you may want to set up an appointment where all the decision makers can be in the room at the same time, this is going to save you time and effort, it's also going to save them time and effort. Plus, you're going to be getting the right information in the hands of everyone who needs it to make the decision. So at this point, you can say, all right, let's set up an appointment where that person can attend. And I will tell you how this appointment will go. And then you would move on to the next phase that we're going to talk about. But if there's not another decision maker, then you can simply flow right into it and say, “great, well, here's what we'll do today. The whole process is going to take less than 30 minutes. And I'd like to ask you a few questions to really get to know you, like I said, get to know what's important to get to know you, know what your budget is, everything I need to know to figure out if we are in fact the right fit for you. So now you're laying out the parameters of the meeting, what you're doing here is you're reassuring them that you're not going to hold them hostage, this is not a timeshare meeting, where they're not going to get out of the room, even after they've said no three times, you're reassuring them that there is a time limit on it, which then makes them say, okay, great. Again, whether consciously or subconsciously, they begin to believe that this will not be high pressure, they begin to relax, that barrier comes down, their guard comes down, they're ready to have a conversation with you, rather than have a battle with you where their defenses are up. Once you get to that point, the next thing you're going to tell them is - If at the end of that conversation, if I believe we're the very best fit for you, I'm going to explain what that what that would look like. And then we can start talking about how we would work together. But if I do not believe that we are the very best fit to solve your situation, I was trying to avoid the word problem or issue right? If we're not the very best fit to help you, then I will explain why I think there may be a better fit out there for you. And I'll even give you a referral. If I have someone in my network that could help you better than I can. How does that feel to you? Did your stomach just dropped? Were you like, whoa, wait, are you telling me I'm having a sales meeting? I'm sitting there with a potential buyer and I'm the one who's going to send them out the door to someone else to give their money to someone else? And my answer to you is 100%. Yes, that's exactly what you're going to do. You could also be thinking, well, great, you know, I'm a salesperson, I work on commission, I have sales quotas, and that's going to hurt my conversion rate, maybe. But at the end of the day, when you do this, this person will leave your office trusting you 100% They will have nothing but wonderful things to say about you. And they will sing your praises to anyone who will listen. In fact, at the end of the conversation, if you're in this situation, and you're saying you know, “I'm really not the very best person who can help you, I can’t help you. But I think I have somebody else who may be able to help you better”. And you give them that referral, they are going to be open to paying you back, reciprocity is going to stick is going to set in. So at that point, you can ask them for a referral very easily. You can say “It was so wonderful meeting you today, and I'm so excited that I was able to help you find a solution to your problem. Even if it wasn't with us. Could I ask you to maybe give us a review? Would you be open to giving us a review?” Most likely they're gonna say 100% yes, because you were wonderful to them. And because they feel like they owe you. They're gonna walk away with a little bit of guilt for not buying from you because they already know, like and trust you, they want to work with you, but it's just not the right fit right now. Another way that this could pay you in the future is that they may decide to use your services in the future.

Number three, you can actually ask them right then and there. Now that you've learned a little bit more about me, do you know anybody else who may need our services? And they may have a list of neighbors or friends or somebody right then and there at the top of their mind that says “yes, you know what I actually do know someone who could use your services” and they may give your referral or more than one. Regardless, what you've done is you've shown yourself to be an honest, transparent salesperson and business owner. You've broken down that buyer’s barrier. And for the person that is the right fit, you have made it extremely easy for them to buy from you. Because the reality is, by the time someone walks through your door, they most likely know enough about your product or service that you are the right fit for probably 99% of them. So you don't have to worry about that 1% that isn't the right fit. Use this technique to break down the barriers to all of the others and then seamlessly walk through to the close of sale. 

All right, so that's today's episode. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this buyer's mentality piece and on the idea behind possibly turning customers away because they're not the right fit. So if you want to connect with us and let us know what you think. Please do and please tune in next week to join us here on the infinite franchisee show

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