Psychologists use the term “projection” to refer to the tendency we all have to assume that what we enjoy is embraced by those around us. To grow their businesses, retailers must broaden their target markets beyond themselves. The flip side of projection is called “introjection.” It consists of incorporating the perspectives of others into our own thinking. It’s harder for people to engage in introjection than in projection.
Fortunately, the distortions are lessened if the retailer becomes aware of how it happens and avoids striving to read the shopper’s mind. When you relax a bit, one distinctive tool you have in face-to-face selling is the ability to reflect each shopper’s brain activity. Princeton University researchers found that when communication between two people is at its best, the brain waves of the two people actually come to have similarities. Along with this, the listener—such as the retail salesperson—begins to anticipate where the speaker—the prospective customer—is going next in their thoughts, and can therefore better influence those thoughts.
The enhanced understanding multiplies your powers in guiding the shopper’s purchase decisions. It works best when you already know the person well. Beyond that, the research findings suggest ways to get better at it:
- Build a common vocabulary with the shopper. Words are the fundamental tools for you to communicate well. Consumer researchers talk about helping customers develop a consumption vocabulary so they can better describe to the salesperson what they're looking for.
- Listen carefully not only to the words, but also to the tone of voice. Watch the shopper’s gestures and their facial expressions. Figure out how they all go together so you can get good at reading the brain.
- Be aware of when you’re in sync. The researchers say you’ll feel visceral signals letting you know you’re now tuned in.
Click below for more:
Prevail Using Customer Need Knowledge
Reflect Carefully on Marketing to the Mirror
Synch with Your Shopper’s Brain Before Influencing
Give a Vocabulary for Richer Shopping