We are all aware that a company’s sales are in the hands of the salespeople, retailers, key accounts and dealers. These are the vital intermediaries who will build loyalty in seconds and have the power to attract and convert enthusiasts.
We all also know that repeat buyers are more profitable than acquiring new ones. They return a higher margin, are stronger recommenders, and require fewer pricing offers than the cost of acquiring new customers. The ‘physics’ of this equation remain unchanged for all kind of businesses. Any CEO will tell you that returnees and recommenders are the most valuable customers.
Customers have become more sophisticated, technologically adept and also price smart. They have now the world at their fingertips, are extremely savvy navigators and have no hesitation about consulting reviews, comparing prices and checking social media currency. And yet, clients’ attraction but mostly their loyalty have become harder to obtain.
Why? Because people like technology and profits but in the end, they only like other people. The more digital life becomes, the more people value being understood, being touched , involved by other people, not by machines and robots. People personify the world around them and can feel they have relationships with products, services, companies and countries, not just with other people.
In this matter, Daniel Kahneman, Psychologist and Nobel Economics laureate, shows how people are not rational decision makers, that the heart rules the head in decision-making, while Donald Calne, canadian neurologist, states that “the essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions.”
A 2015 study across seven different B2B industries indicated that only 14% of B2B buyers are willing to pay extra for a name, a brand. And it found that personal value (based around emotion) has twice as much impact as business value (based around logic/reason). Due to the level of personal risk B2B buyers feel, B2B buying is highly personal – even more so than B2C buying.
In business decision-making, human emotional factors are found to out do data-based rational or analytical drivers. In a study of 710 global business leaders, a majority of 62% of CEO’s say it is necessary to rely on intuition and soft factors such as company culture or its values.
Emotion seems to be the primary driver of closing business and salespeople must get to the nub of how people feel.
They need to understand that when a deep emotional connection is cultivated, attacks from competitors providing new features, deals and designs will not succeed to steal the client very fast.
There is a urgent need of customizing, personalizing, interacting with, and anticipating the needs and desires of clients but in a different manner as we know it. Now it’s essential to show our clients that each specific visit/business mattered and they continue to be important beyond the sale.
Research shows that people like business partners that bring human touch in their approach . It’s the moment we come now to realize that people around the world are placing more importance on experiences.
As we act to survive and thrive in this new consumer age we must understand that winning is not just about selling more. It’s also about selling for more. And our business approach must be real and personable. A salesperson may not be your soulmate, but can be your best friend, earning your trust, affection and enduring loyalty. As Oprah Winfrey said: “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”