Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ease Purchasers’ Worry About Explaining

Why is it that a shopper will select an item from your store that both they and you know is not the best one for them? In answering that question, we’ll want to exercise some humility. We may think we know what’s best for the customer when, in fact, we don’t. We may think that the shopper agrees with us as to what’s the superior item when, in fact, they don’t.
     There are instances in which consumers buy a unsuitable item in order to push back against what they perceive as excessive sales pressure. It’s called “reactance.” But there are many other instances in which reactance isn’t the motivating force.
     Researchers at University of Cologne and Jacobs University found that one of those motivations is a need to have something to talk about. Participants in their studies sometimes preferred an objectively inferior alternative because the purchase enabled them to form an opinion, with both positives and negatives. The near-perfect alternative didn’t allow for as much conversation. We’re social animals, so we’re more comfortable when we can discuss our choices with others.
     We also worry about social risk. People will hesitate buying a product or service because of fears of what others will think of them when the purchase becomes known. They’ll be called on to explain themselves.
     Ease the concerns by giving purchasers easily remembered explanations for why the superior alternative is best.
     Not that those explanations will necessarily be accurate when coming from experts. Researchers at University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, New York University, and University of British Columbia found that product and service experts don’t stay sufficiently familiar with details of their logic. They’re accustomed to giving advice from habit rather than tracing out the details each time. If pinned down by requests for those details, experts often make up reasons for their conclusions.
     What’s worse is that the experts tend to consider the reasons as genuine. They’ll create false memories on the spot and then accept those memories as real. They don’t know they’re lying.
     Staff members identified as experts are proud of the designation and feel accountable for advice they give. When they can’t recall details in their reasoning, they assume it must have slipped from mind. They dig deeper to fill in the gaps, not realizing the deep digging leads their brains to subconsciously create phony recollections.
     The alibi for purchase could be interesting, but phony.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
React When Faced with Reactance
Ease Social Risk by Accommodating Shyness
Articulate the Reasoning Experts Use
Appeal to the Heart

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