Monday, June 15, 2015

Cement Satisfaction with Asymmetric Benefits

People who are skilled at selling are able to craft just the right blend of purchase benefits to wow the shopper. The trick is to know the merchandise and size up the shopper. Still, results from a multinational study indicate there’s more: For certain types of benefits, offering a greater degree doesn’t pay off much in increased satisfaction with the purchase afterwards.
     The researchers were from Virginia Tech, California State University-San Bernardino, Yonsei University and Duksung Women's University in South Korea, Aix-Marseille University in France, and Free University of Bozen-Bolzano in Italy. The retail categories explored were automobiles, banks, computers, housing, and leisure travel.
     With some types of benefits offered to customers, there was a negative asymmetry, in that the absence of the benefit led to dissatisfaction more than an abundance of the benefit led to higher satisfaction. This is true of functional benefits—“Will the product or service solve my problem or meet my needs effectively and efficiently?” Once the shopper believes there’s an adequate amount, the wise salesperson will move on to featuring other benefits.
     Benefits showing positive asymmetry could be characterized by a quote attributed to Mae West, preeminent American sex symbol of the 1930s: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” Here, a shortage of the benefit carries less weight in the purchaser’s evaluation later than does an abundance of the benefit. In the multinational study, symbolism benefits showed positive asymmetry. The right kind of symbolism in a purchased item reduces the social risk expressed in the question, “If the people I admire know I’m using this product or service, am I in danger of falling out of favor with them?”
     What the researchers called the moral benefits also showed positive asymmetry. These benefits address the psychological risk expressed in the question, “Does using this product or service conflict with the image I want to maintain of myself?”
     Be sure your customers recognize the benefits that came from their purchases. With so much going on in their busy lives, the customers can too easily forget to give credit to a service or product for the benefits they obtained. And sales staff can too easily forget to hook the effect to the cause in the customer’s mind.
     As you and your sales staff avoid such oversights, cement satisfaction by correcting for how the consumer’s reasoning handles certain types of benefits statements in asymmetric ways.

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

Click below for more: 
Reduce Unwanted Risks for Your Shoppers
Clarify Cause & Effect with Users
Look It Up: Abstract Benefits Above Shoppers

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