Thursday, May 26, 2011

Clench Your Fists to Fight Temptation

There are temptations a retailer does well to resist.
  • Buying from a supplier with purchase terms that sound too good to be true
  • Accepting an offer from a customer when there’s clear evidence you can obtain a better price if you’re patient
  • Replying to an obnoxious customer by yelling the obscenities instead of muttering them under your breath
     Research findings from University of Chicago and National University of Singapore suggest that clenching your fists at the moment of temptation can help strengthen your willpower. That might not strike you as surprising. What the research does add is a note on timing: If you bunch up your fists, extend your fingers, contract your calf muscles, or stiffen your biceps too far in advance of facing the temptation, you’ll fatigue yourself, with the result that you’re actually more likely to succumb to the unwise alternative.
     However, when the muscle-clenching was done at the time of temptation, the study participants were better able to accept shorter-term discomfort in the service of longer-term gain.
     It really works only when you want to resist the temptation. If you prefer to dive in and sin, somebody watching might notice how your clenched fists are paired with an excited smile on your face.
     All of this holds for your shoppers, as well. When they are extremely tense at the moment of the sale, it will be more difficult for you to overcome objections. You could keep the tension high for a while, fatiguing the prospect into submission. Better yet, though, is to relax the shopper a bit.
     Consider fear appeals. Raise the fear only when you’ve a product or service to introduce that will substantially reduce the worry. Unless the customers come to believe that you’ve a remedy, many will ignore the risk in order to make the fear go away. Other customers won’t ignore the risk. They’ll stay afraid and probably just get quite irritated at you for getting the fear started. Either way, you’ve lost a sale.
     Many consultants advise retailers to arouse enough fear to scare people into action, but not so much that they tune out the retailer. In my opinion, a better guideline is to raise enough fear of a real danger to win the customer’s attention, but only to the degree that you’ve a guaranteed way to substantially reduce the risk.
     Then watch those clenched fists relax.

Click below for more:
Check Your Optimism When Dealing with Vendors
Scare Customers into Buying
Start Your Shoppers Feeling Yes

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