- Blog post
Two ‘Illogical’ Sales Influencers
Logic is part of any sales effort. But when faced with tough decisions, the human brain often uses other ways to decide. Here are two such quirks – and ideas on how they can help you win the sales you deserve.
The Familiarity Effect
Several years ago, two companies started about the same time in the same industry.
Company A did solid work. Since it was unknown, it ran a big ad every month in a major trade magazine. Company B put its faith in superior technology and a strong value proposition.
Today, the first company is a giant in its industry. The second one isn’t. Why? When buyers were in doubt – which was most of the time – they chose the familiar name.
The lesson for sales? Stay visible. Never miss an opportunity to get your name out. When the time comes for buyers to decide, the name they know will carry far more weight than the one they don’t.
The Recency Effect
Buyers also give extra weight to the most recent information.
That’s why the IRS arrests tax cheats just before April 15. Arrests made in November wouldn’t be nearly as effective in persuading people not to cheat.
You can benefit from the Recency Effect. For example, try to go last if you’re making a competitive sales presentation. More broadly, make the best last impression. For example, if a study confirms your products are the best, use that fact as a follow-up, when the buyer is mulling over the decision. It will have far more impact than if you bury it at the beginning.
Adapted from “Selling the Invisible,” by Harry Beckwith and published by Warner Books.