Understanding your customers, and their decision-making behaviour can make all the difference in guiding them through the purchase process. NLP, or neuro linguistic programming, goes a long way in helping sellers and marketers alike understand the ways that their customers organise their thinking, feeling, language and behaviour day to day. This is where a human approach to selling is valuable; it takes a human to understand a human, after all.
Why it works
Most customers won’t buy a product or service unless they perceive a rational reason for purchase, as well as a sense that the brand’s values and purpose match their own. Because the latter tends to dwell in a customer’s subconscious, tapping into this emotional element can be tricky. Most sales approaches focus on the conscious mind, but this accounts for less than 10% of human thinking processes. NLP techniques allow you to tap into the other 90%, the emotions and subconscious impulses that your prospect is often not even aware are shaping their responses. When incorporated effectively, this approach will allow you to target both the logical and emotional parts of the mind in combination.
To do this effectively, sales and marketing communications need to match the values and thought processes of the customer. Successful interactions that tap into these subconscious drives instantly make the customer feel happy and connected with the brand, making them far more likely to make a positive purchase decision.
A truly customer-centric approach
In a recent article
, we looked at the importance of putting Customer Success at the heart of your business, establishing a one-to-one dialogue with your customer that allows you to gain insight into the emotions behind their decisions at every stage of the customer journey. Another article
also looked at how human engagement in a world increasingly dominated by digital marketing is critical to setting you apart from other brands.
An emotionally intelligent approach enables you to put the customer and their success right at the centre of your strategy and bring the human side of your brand to the fore. With an understanding of your customers’ psychology, it is much easier to devise a selling and marketing strategy tailored to your target audience, building a brand that they can trust and become loyal to; this will appeal to both the emotional and logical sides of your customers’ rationale.
By taking into account your customers’ emotional and psychological needs, you’re already on the ladder to building a truly adaptable sales and marketing strategy that’s responsive and reactive to each and every customer.
So, how can you do it?
Key elements of an emotionally intelligent sales strategy include:
Research shows that in communication involving attitudes and feelings, the words you use are less significant than the tone of your voice. In a face to face situation, words account for 7% of communication only, whilst tone of voice accounts for 38%. Over the telephone, 84% of communication is the sound of your voice and only 16% the actual words you use. The best way, therefore, to establish a rapport with a prospect at the start of a conversation is to match their speech patterns – pitch, pace, tone, volume - and to respond to the verbal cues that indicate their feelings and state of mind. Establishing rapport with your customer makes them relax and be themselves with you and encourages them to communicate openly and share information, key requirements of a strong trusting relationship.
The secret to effective, emotionally intelligent communication is to listen more than you speak. This means taking a consultative approach, asking open relevant questions to establish your customer’s likes and needs, and to understand their pain points. Allowing the customer to talk will not only give you vital insights into their decision-making process but will help them to feel comfortable with you. It is also important to take the time to understand what kind of communicator they are – do they prefer visual materials, for example, or would they benefit from hearing feedback from other customers? Do they want a daily update or would they prefer to hear from you on a less frequent basis? Adopting your customer’s communication style and adhering to their preferences, will increase the effectiveness of communication with them.
Empathy and Understanding
Understanding your customer’s pain points and motivations will help you to tailor your approach and your sales process to suit their needs. Understanding their buying strategy, their decision making process, which individuals make up the decision making unit and what their individual motivating factors are, enables you to present the right information, at the right point in time to a more receptive audience. What is more, by showing empathy and demonstrating that you really understand their pain, relating their experience to that of other customers you engage with in their industry, reinforces your knowledge and experience and gives them confidence in you as a potential partner. Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, acknowledging the challenges and issues they face will not only enable you to position your solution appropriately, but most importantly, with credibility.
Demonstrating that your values are in line with your customers’ is possibly the most important element in an emotionally intelligent approach, and the hardest to get right. You need to show the human side of your business and that you care about the things your customer cares about. Once you have understood what that is, you need to demonstrate that your business and proposition are aligned to those values. Keep in mind that the priority for some customers may not be revenue growth or profit; it may be more important for them to grow their business in a way that retains company culture or employee satisfaction levels, for example.
An emotionally intelligent selling approach, based on trust, communication, empathy, and shared values, allows you to create a deeper connection, which is the foundation for a successful, sustainable long-term relationship. A deeper personal connection and human side to your brand not only increases your ability to influence and persuade based on a foundation of trust, it gives prospective customers a reason to want to work with you, rather than your competitors.
The Telemarketing Company invests time to develop emotionally intelligent sales teams, capable and passionate about building and nurturing relationships based on trust and empathy.
When it comes to creating an emotional, lasting connection, nothing works better than human interaction with an individual that listens and understands. If you’re looking to incorporate emotional intelligence into your strategy and create a positive, lasting relationship with a loyal customer base, contact us to discuss how we can help.