FEEDING THE SALES MACHINE
Let’s all take a moment to hear what Eugene Schwartz said about sales.
Eugene Schwartz. You may not know about him, but you should pay attention to what he said.
Because Eugene Schwartz, the guy most of us have never heard of, was nothing less than one of the most successful advertisers of all time. He had an innate ability to grasp the very nature of sales. He understood the core of it all: human nature.
He stated that, “Desires have, of course, tremendous driving power. And they already exist. You cannot create them, diminish them, or battle them. But you can expand them, sharpen them, channel them, and give them a goal.”
Why is this so important?
Beyond the need for food and shelter and intimacy, humans have certain innate desires of which they may, or may not even be aware. Companies are not really selling widgets, gizmos, mobile apps or pizza with peperoni. (Sorry about the last one, lunchtime is looming.)
But I digress, as I was saying, companies are meeting a need, but not in the way you may think. Yes. Good products solve a problem in some way. But no one makes a decision in a vacuum.
We are thinking and feeling beings. Like it or not, a whole lot of personal and business sales decisions are made based on intangibles and then afterwards, backed up by facts. According several research studies, including one in Psychology Today, consumer behavior is more heavily based on emotions than most people would think.
Fireworks in the Brain
When volunteers were hooked up to neural mapping equipment and asked about their favorite brands, the emotional parts of their brains lit up like miniature lightning storms. Researchers concluded that emotions and likability had more to do with buying than rational and or logical reasoning processes. And, even if they did not actually like a brand, they at least had to feel a sense of trust about the company or product.
Hooked on a Feeling
To which top sales leaders have said, “Duh.” Successful campaigns have been doing this for decades. Companies market emotion and ideals as much as they do a product or process. They sell convenience, acceptance, an image or some other intangible connection that is tied up in the solution they offer their clients.
As someone once said, you are not really selling a quarter inch drill bit. You’re selling a quarter inch hole that they will use to hang a picture of their grandkids on the wall.
How can you leverage this information so that your sales team is more effective?
To quote a recent article in Time Magazine, “Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90 percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence.”
In other words, you have to locate the sales stars that understand people (and can relate to them) on a human level. In order to be the best, you have to hire and retain the best. For an added bonus today, I wanted to share a useful tool that may help you put all of this in perspective.
It’s called the Cost of Failure Calculator. It is a free tool that helps you more accurately determine what an underperforming or failed sales team member actually costs you. Be warned though, it is kind of scary.
You might not want to know.
For more on increasing sales, hiring and retaining the best, be sure to follow my blog.
Jamie Crosbie President ProActivate, Inc.