02 Oct 2012
Do Your Prospects Often Ask You For a Cheaper Price?
What would it be worth to you if you could STOP competing based on price?
Knowing this valuable information before you craft your next sales or marketing message, can help you to influence your customer to decide quickly and make price a non-issue.
If your sales process is currently taking too long, this information will help you close sales faster.
If your customers need to “think about” doing business with you, this information will help you to stop boring and confusing them.
If your customers keep asking you for a better price, I am going to show you how to get the price that you deserve.
We now know there are 3 distinct parts of the brain and each one of them has a different function. However, only 1 of them is responsible for decision making and it fires up around 8 seconds before you are consciously aware that you have even made a decision. The research and information I am about to share with you hasn’t come from psychology, the personal development industry or even a marketing agency – these findings were made by neuro scientists, medical doctors studying brain wave activity with FMRI machines. They were looking to find out which part of your brain lights up when it is presented with different stimuli and the findings have been documented and published in respected publications like the Wall Street Journal and the Harvard Medical Journal.
The biggest part of brain is the neo cortex. We are the only species on the planet that has developed this part of the brain. It is the last thing that forms in the womb and it lights up when we listen to music, look at colours, speak, read and process numbers. If you ever hear people talking about right vs. left brain thinking, they are talking about the neo cortex. In a nutshell – IT THINKS.
Similarly, when your customer says “I need to think about it” or “is this the best price I can get?” this part of the brain is firing up and looking for data. This uses up tons of your brain energy and prolongs the decision making process. So, if you want to drag out the process of getting your customer to decide or compete on price, you want to make sure that your customer has to us this part of his brain. Make sure you give your customer lots of BIG words, numbers, graphs, lists of features and benefits, talk about your competitors and how you stack up next to them – and your customer will NOT decide <that is guaranteed> but he will do a whole lot of thinking and take up more of your valuable time and energy in the process.
Let’s move on to the middle or mammalian brain – this right here is the part of the brain that we share will every warm blooded creature on the planet. This is where you process emotions and feel. But this is not where you make decisions.
At the top of your spinal cord, there is a collection of neurons – which are commonly referred to as the old or reptilian brain. This is the first part of your brain that is formed in the womb and it is the part that keeps you alive – all bodily functions that take place below the level of consciousness, are controlled by this part of your brain.
It is your fight or flight brain – and its sole responsibility is to ensure your survival. It houses the amgydala – which is the chemical factory in your brain that regulates all bodily functions. And it is the part of the brain that lights up when you DECIDE.
It lights up even before you have conscious awareness that you have made a decision. Now, while it is very true that this is the most primitive part of your brain, the good news is that it is very predictable. By understanding how this part of your brain works, you will never again bore and overwhelm your customers AND you will never again be lured into the trap of competing based on price.
How will you do this? By understanding how this part of your customer’s brain works, you can help him to use the least amount of mental energy in processing your message which means that he will make quicker decisions. It is important to remember that unlike the neo-cortex up here (the thinking part of your brain), this part right of your brain is automatic – it does not think, it only DECIDES and ACTS. It is always at work scanning your environment looking for information of value to your survival.
So you might be wondering how does this apply to the price that you charge for your product or service? Just for a moment, I want you to imagine that you are in the business of selling pizzas. Now, it doesn’t matter whether your business is called Pizza Hut, Dominos, Eagleboys, Boston Pizza or Pizza World… you are basically selling an undifferentiated product and the market that you find yourself in looks price conscious, doesn’t it? The reason for that is simple – the consumer finds it hard to distinguish between your pizza and the next guy.
Now if you happen to BE the owners of a Chicago Deep dish pizza shop you might argue that your pizza is better because your crust is thicker and you provide more toppings and value. But in the eyes of the consumer, your pizza is still not really worth much more than the next guy’s pizza. You might be charging $20 and your competitor is charging $18.50. Why is that?
It’s because even though you think there is a difference, in the eyes of your customer, there isn’t. 95% of what you and the next guy offer are essentially the exact same thing. And as long as you keep operating in that zone with a marketing message that doesn’t stand out and stake a claim, you will continue to compete on prize because your customer is up in his neo-cortex trying to figure out which pizza is the best one to order.
So knowing this, what could you do differently? Well one company in 1973 identified a way to stand out and grab market share. It didn’t claim to have the best, the thickest or even the cheapest pizza, it just made you a promise that if you ordered from them, you would get it in 30 minutes or your pizza was free. It was the most successful campaign in the history of the industry – for good reason.
Think about it, when you order a pizza, what is the one question that you have in the back of your mind? I wonder when the pizza will get here?
Dominos answered that question for you. They stopped making you need to think about it and they triggered the part of your brain that decides and dials.
This is the power of Sales Seduction – understanding why your customer says YES and helping him to say YES to your product/service. Can you see now how knowing this information can help you accelerate your sales process, close more business, trigger decisions and allow you to charge a fair price for your product/service?
Great – so your homework today is to go back through one of your sales or marketing messages and identify all the ways that you are boring or overwhelming your prospects. The key to NOT competing on price ever again, is in making it easier for your customers to say ‘YES’.
Click on video to learn what the golden rule is and avoid falling into the fatal trap of breaking it!
Each and every one of you made 1 fatal error today in your marketing message. Now that 1 thing might have slipped through or gone unnoticed because it wasn’t an obvious thing – like a spelling error, using a word incorrectly or not having a compelling call to action. In fact that 1 thing – the fatal error that you made today – wasn’t anything you said at all.
That’s why no one brought it to your attention… until now.
But you know deep down (or at least you probably suspect) that something happened because a large percentage of your audience, who saw your message today, didn’t get it and they didn’t purchase your product or service.
Let’s take a look at the science of neuromarketing to find out why – so that you can take action now and turn your message into one that your leads and customers are dying to say “Yes” to.
You may not know this but your brain sees and interprets images first and makes decisions quickly based on what it sees. And after all of this activity has occurred, much later it pays attention to and tries to process what it hears and the words and numbers you have read.
Somewhere between 80-90% of your brain activity (and what is going on in the minds of your prospects) is a result of trying to make sense of visual stimuli. The optic nerve is physically connected to your old brain (which you already know is the decision making part of your brain) and it processes visual cues 40 times faster than auditory ones.
What happens is your retina captures images and sends that data on 2 distinct paths – one goes up to neo cortex (the thinking part of your brain) and the other goes straight to the reptilian brain. Here’s the interesting part – this second pathway, to the decision making part of your brain is much faster. In fact, it is about 500 times faster. If it takes 1-2 milliseconds for the old brain to process a visual cue, it could take your neo cortex at least 500 milliseconds. This makes that part of your brain that decides dangerously fast and hasty.
Since you and I cannot rely for our survival on the speed at which the new brain processes information, we are hard wired to make decisions at the old brain level – and as you can SEE, those decisions are primarily based on visual input. And your new brain will only kick in much later to help you find data to support your gut reaction (the decision your old brain already made). Your eyes control your brain – and this is also true for your customers. That’s how important visual cues are to your survival and to your sales and marketing messages.
Let’s take a look at a very good example of what not to do. I saw this sign of the front window of a veterinary clinic in my neighbourhood this week. In big orange letters, it took up almost 70% of the front window.
“Pet Laser Treatment.”
Now, if you were a potential customer driving by, would that sign mean anything to the part of your brain that decides? No, of course not.
The average person driving by would have no idea what pet laser means or WHY it would be a good reason to choose that clinic over the next one down the street. To your reptilian brain, that sign means nothing.
If you are a pet owner – what do you care about? What’s important to you in the context of finding a good vet? If you are like most pet owners, you want to know that when you take your animal in for surgery the pain is minimized, the surgery is safe and the healing happens quickly. If you owned a pet those things would be important to you, wouldn’t they?
Yes, now surprisingly pet laser does achieve all of those outcomes – less pain, less risk and quicker recovery – but that sign didn’t help you to know and decide, did it? As you are driving by, that vet has 2-3 seconds to grab your attention and convey his message…and you now know that the best way to do that would be a picture, not a bunch of words, right? What he needed to do was show you a photo of a dog or cat, fit and healthy – with a message like, “we guarantee less risk and a faster recovery for your pet, ask us how?” Or “want Fido’s next surgery to be virtually pain-free, ask us how?”
Now you may not be a veterinarian yourself but I am sure you can see exactly how this applies to your business. How visual are your sales and marketing assets? Take a look at the very last email, brochure or presentation that you made. Was it loaded up with words and stuff that only means something to you? Did you even have any pictures and did they serve a purpose or were they just there to fill space?
Each and every day I see business owners just like you making this fatal mistake. The part of your prospect’s brain that decides is a visual beast. It’s relying on pictures to make a decision and you are trying to convey everything with words and numbers, aren’t you? Your audience can’t tell you exactly why your message is not appealing to them…but I just did.
Your customer’s brain sees images first and words second. In order to get your audience to pay attention and remember your message, you need to quickly deliver a clear picture to the old brain. This is the golden rule of marketing and Sales Seduction – a picture is worth a thousand words. And if you continue to break this golden rule, you will fail to close sales and help customers who really need your product or service.
Click on video above to see and hear Rhondalynn in action.
You may be surprised to hear that 95% of your prospects don’t really understand you message. You have to understand that your potential customer is simply in pain (in some aspect of his life) and he is looking for the solution. So he has come to you… and what do you do?
Let’s take a look at your last ad, press release, email or even the home page of your website. If you are being honest, I would bet that more than 60% of the prime real estate here is focused on YOU – your brand, your product/service, what you are doing and why you are doing it. And if you are using visuals they are probably of your products, your machinery, your location or even YOU.
And if you are like most business owners, the last 40% of your time and space is spent trying to cram as many words as you can into this bottom section to let your prospects know just how much you can do. In my experience, most of you are spending way too much time trying to impress your audience with fancy words and descriptions.
Here’s the bad news – you’ve already lost your potential customer. In fact, you put him to sleep about 2 minutes ago.
Your brain accounts for 2-3% of your body’s mass but uses 25% of your body’s energy. This is a very important fact to know if you are trying to influence or persuade others. Your brain is the 2nd most energy consumptive organ in your body – if you don’t give it what it needs, it will control your thinking. For those of you who are hungry right now, you know exactly what I am talking about.
From a survival perspective, the brain doesn’t like to use more energy than it has to. If you can make it easier for your customer’s brain to grasp your message, process it quickly and decide, you are more likely to get a YES.
Just for fun, I would like to introduce you to one of your customers… well, at least the decision making brain of one of your customers.
The part of your customer’s brain that decides is the same brain that you and I share with this crocodile. This part of the brain is solely focused on what? Survival, that’s right. Does Mr. Crocodile care about your brand, your products, your photo or your features and benefits? No. Does it care about win/win? No. It is solely focused on itself and physical survival. This part of your customer’s brain gets triggered within 30 seconds and is permanently tuned into the WIFM (what’s in it for me) radio station – constantly scanning to protect itself from pain or death.
So what does this mean for you? To the extent you understand the pain of your customer and are here to help him solve it, he will listen to you or read what you have to say.
Let’s come back to your marketing message for a moment. How can you use this insight for your next ad, press release, email or your website?
First, you are going to stop wasting your most valuable real estate talking about your products, your background, your brand, your philosophy or who you have been certified by. Your clients do not care. If this box represents 100% of the time and space that you have to get your message across right now, you need to spend 80% of it:
– Showing your customer you understand his pain
– Recreating his pain
– And offering THE solution with proof you can deliver
This means that you should never waste it with a lame opening statement like “Introducing our new spring line”, “welcome to our newsletter” or “here are our latest clearance items”. While important to you, they mean nothing to the part of your customer’s brain that decides. They are like a bedtime story for your customer.
If you are using photos or video, and I highly suggest you do for reasons that we will cover in a session together very soon, you want to select visuals that support what? That’s right – recreating or demonstrating you understand your customers pain. This is not the time or place (if you are an electrician for example) to show a picture of you and your van. That photo is about you and not your customer’s pain. Remember your customer is tuned into WIFM radio station.
Also, if you are going to feature your brand or logo, it does not belong up here in this important 80% area.
That leaves only 20% for your call to action and contact details, which is plenty of space if you have captured your prospects attention up top in the 80% zone.
Do you remember when I made the bold claim that 95% of your prospects don’t really understand your message? As you can see, the reason for that is really very simple – your customer has come to you in pain (in some aspect of his life) and his crocodile brain is solely fixated on finding THE solution. This part of his brain, which is responsible for decision making does not have the time or patience to sit around reading or listening to information that is all about you. If you don’t capture his attention in the first 30 seconds with something that is relevant to his pain, you’ve lost him. He can’t possibly understand your message no matter how clever or funny it is because he’s not even paying attention – his reptilian brain has already moved on to look for the solution that will keep him alive or cure the pain .
I want you to assume for a moment that you are dying of thirst. Would you be willing to sit for an hour while I substantiate my credentials, talk to you about why I started my company and educate you on the value and qualities of my pure spring water? Or would you simply get up, walk across the street and find the water that you need to survive?
What if you were dirty and itchy? Would you be any more willing to listen to me focus on my brand or my product for an hour? How long would it take before you just got up and found something to wash yourself with?
And what if your house were on fire? Would you kick back and read 3 pages of stuff on my website about how great my water is or would you rather find someone right now who can help you put out the flames?
The bottom line is this – the quickest way to connect with your customer and get the attention of the decision making part of his brain is to let him know immediately that you understand his pain and can cure it. If you do this well upfront, he will listen to whatever it is that you have to say.
This insight will help you go from boring your prospects to convincing them and that’s good for your business.
Today, I’ve got a major challenge for you. I want you to take a look at what you are currently spending on marketing – whether it’s on brochures, your website, pay per clicks, PR, newspaper, direct mail, social media etc. – and I want you to slash the total budget by 20%. No matter what you are selling and where you are selling it, I guarantee that you won’t miss that 20%. And there is a very good reason for that. 96% of the people who see your message right now, don’t get it anyway. You are spending thousands of dollars each year on sales and marketing materials to increase your sales and the vast majority of your prospects don’t understand your message – so they can’t possibly recall it and buy from you.
So with the money you just saved in your pocket, we are going to take a few minutes right now to re-engineer your message and give you a much better chance of getting through and being understood. The good news is this – it is not going to cost you much to take the time right now to create a message that helps more of your prospects to say “yes”. And if more leads say “yes”, the money you do spend on sales and marketing is going to increase your sales.
To prove my point, I’d like to make you an interesting offer – I can either give you $50 cash right now or a piece of paper where I will write the net present value of a five year annuity at a compound annual interest rate of 10%, adjusted for CPI. Which of these sounds more appealing to you? Which would you rather take right now? Which of these can you take now, put in your wallet or spend it at the shopping centre?
Unless you are one of those very rare individuals who can calculate in your head the value of my second offer, I’m willing to bet you’d rather just take the $50. And that makes a whole lot of sense, because everyone knows what $50 is and what it is worth. There’s nothing confusing about it, is there?
The part of your brain that makes decisions is not interested in working hard to figure out what my message means and what it’s worth. That part of your brain is looking for something that is tangible. And if you’re unsure about whether a message is tangible or not – ask yourself “would a 6 year old understand it?”
Think about it – if I offer you a $50 note or an orange, you don’t have to think very hard about it to figure out what I am offering you, do you? Both of them are equally easy to understand. As soon as you see it, you know what it is and you know exactly what you can do with it. $50 will buy you enough food to cook a meal and the orange is good for you – it’s tasty and you can eat it. There are no directions and no heavy thinking required to make sense of what I am offering you. Your new brain doesn’t have to do any thinking (and wasting time) to get my message.
So what does this mean for you, your message and your customers? If you are making it hard for your customers to understand what you do and whether they are getting a good deal, you need to spend some time right now making your offer more tangible. Ask yourself “does my message include a bunch of big words, fluff and jargon?” Could it be boiled down to something that a 6 year old could understand? What do you need to do to communicate it more clearly to increase your sales – t0 help your prospects to be able to say “yes”? Can you simplify the words that you use or introduce photos or props to get your message across faster?
Now, I think you can guess that coming up with a simple, succinct message is a lot harder than being lazy and throwing together an ad full of useless, complicated information. A good rule of thumb here is to remember that you should be working harder to craft and simplify your message than your prospect has to in order to decipher it. Someone has to do the hard work – either you are committed to doing it before hand or your customer will need to think about it.
Now if you are serious about saving money and you want to increase your sales, you won’t spend another cent until you stop, take a good hard look at your materials and do whatever it takes to make your message tangible. You don’t have to spend more money to chase find customers. What you really need to do is take the complication and confusion out of your message so that more of your prospects can say “yes” now.
I recently purchased a pair of authentic Vintage Versace sunglasses online and was amazed at the number of fake designer sunglasses and handbags advertised on the internet. In fact, there are more videos and websites dedicated to promoting and avoiding counterfeit products than there are sites selling genuine designer items.
What does this tell you?
The market for rip offs and counterfeit items is huge. According to fashionistas, editors and bloggers in the industry, the total spending on fake or “knock-off” designer goods eclipses the amount actually spent on the real thing. In fact, if you see someone on the street with a Versace, Hermes or Fendi bag, there’s only a 1 in 100 chance that it’s authentic. Customers prefer replicas.
So how does this impact you and your business?
Unfortunately, many consumers would rather invest a little to give the appearance that they appreciate quality. The fakes are inferior, but many customers choose them anyway because they want to maintain a facade. They want the quick fix – the easy path to looking successful but few want to make the necessary investment of time and money, required to BE successful.
In order to stand out in a marketplace where imitations and charlatans are plentiful, you need to do the opposite of what your competition is doing.
Where their message is confusing, yours must be simple.
When they are selling features and benefits, you must present the solution.
Where they are focused on their brand, you must identify your customer’s pain and cure it.
Where their claims are unsubstantiated, yours must be tangible.
There will always be a long list of vendors and products to satisfy the insatiable appetite for “almost authentic”. And in the end, the purchaser will always get exactly what they paid for. If you continue to compete based on price alone (or intangible claims), 99% of your customers will continue to assume that you are not the real deal either.
Rest assured, your potential customer will continue to be in pain no matter which replicas and quick fixes she purchases in the meantime. Eventually, the pain will become so acute that she will seek out your genuine solution. Make it easier for her to find you by having a clear message that helps her to decide and say “Yes.” Help her to know that you are authentic – put a fair price on what you do, provide tangible proof your solution works and then deliver on your promise.
Solutions are like diamonds, precious and rare. Fakes are like dry leaves in the fall, found everywhere.
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