Friday, November 5, 2010

Give Your Sales Pitches Changeups

One of the more surprising consumer research findings of the past couple of years was reported in an article titled, “Enhancing the Television Viewing Experience through Commercial Interruptions.” The University of California-San Diego, New York University, and Carnegie Mellon University researchers discovered that people give higher average ratings of TV programs when the programs include advertising breaks than when the programs don’t.
     Skeptical?
  • Some consumer behavior researchers’ conclusions won’t make sense to you because they are actually error-filled nonsense. But before dismissing these findings about commercial breaks improving viewer enjoyment, ask yourself if you might have overlooked factors the researchers discovered.
  • People are often bad at predicting their behavior when asked directly. Consumers say they’d enjoy programs more without ads. They pay for devices to eliminate ads and to see commercial-free programming. But this does not, in itself, mean that those people would rate programming with commercials as less enjoyable.
  • Being a retailer, you’re probably more interested in how much people liked the commercials than how much they liked the TV programs. It’s the commercials that do the selling for you. How would liking the programming help bring in the money?
     Well, those who had the ads were willing to pay about 30% more for a DVD compilation of programs by the same director. Participants who watched a nature documentary with commercial breaks were willing to donate more to a nature charity after viewing. The enjoyment of the programming did translate into greater financial returns.
     The explanation: Interruptions increase enjoyment. It’s an example of what psychologists call habituation. Consider the massage therapy category of services retailing. Masseuses report that the client generally likes the massage more when they’re rubbed for a while, pounded for a while, kneaded for a while, and then rubbed again than if there’s no change.
     The nature of habituation is related to age. The researchers found that commercial breaks improved the enjoyment more for younger than for older people.
     If you’re producing infomercials, deliver the pitch in brief segments with changeups, especially for younger audiences. The in-store version of the infomercial follows the same rules. When you do all the talking nonstop, you’ll lose the prospect’s attention, whether that prospect is a customer in your store or one of your employees you’re wanting to sell on a better way of increasing your business profitability.

Click below for more:
Sell More by Adding Variety

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