I still regret it today – even after 15 years. I had my heart set on a new digital camera. A Sony. And I was in Hong Kong’s tech district where there were bargains to be had. I’d found the exact model I wanted and negotiated a good deal.
Then another salesman stepped in. He showed me a lot of technical stuff trying to convince me the camera he wanted to sell me was better than the one I wanted. He used a few sales techniques like making statements I couldn’t really disagree with to lead me towards the decision he wanted me to make. He could see I knew a little bit about the technology but not enough to challenge his ‘knowledge’. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing as a buyer! He took me to a place in my mind where I either followed his logic and bought his suggestion or I demonstrated to him my total stupidity and bought what I wanted. So of course I bought his suggestion.
And I regret it even now. I didn’t have the camera I wanted. I felt I’d been sold to. I felt I’d been pressured into buying something I didn’t want but I was also too ashamed of myself to admit it. Now I may be doing the salesman a huge dis-service. He might have been right about all the technical stuff and I might have had the better camera after all. But it didn’t feel like it. I might have used his technical speak to justify the purchase to others, but it didn’t work with me. I never went back to that store. Nor did I recommend it to anyone.
People buy on emotion
You see, for everything except day to day items, people buy for emotional reasons. They don’t buy because of features or even necessarily benefits, but because they have invested emotional capital in the decision. They use the features and benefits to justify the decision later. Ask any android phone user why he thinks people buy seemingly more expensive and lower spec Apple products. He wont be able to explain it rationally. People have emotional capital invested in their love of Apple tech. (Yes, I have an iPhone and an iPad – but Windows PC’s. sort that conundrum if you can).
So if you want to avoid buyers’ remorse and get more recommendations, you need to connect with your client’s emotions. Find out why they are looking to buy something and help them achieve the emotion reasons. If they have a problem, help take away the pain. Whatever you do, don’t leave them feeling like Dilbert – trapped, blackmailed and left with no option. Find a way to give the client what they need whilst getting what you need. The ‘win-win’ situation. Not only is it ethical, but you get loads of recommendations, and we all want that in business.