Monday, March 28, 2016

Split Perfectionists’ Dichotomous Thinking

Among the more challenging shoppers for a retailer to please are the perfectionists. Research at University of Central Florida indicates this is true because these consumers habitually engage in dichotomous thinking: An item being considered for purchase is either highly acceptable or highly unacceptable. There is no in-between. Yet for most of us, including the salespeople wanting to sell to the perfectionist, items we like are seen to contain mostly good characteristics—not completely good characteristics—and things we dislike are seen to contain a mix of bad, neutral, and good characteristics. There’s more room for negotiation.
     The retail marketplace itself can encourage perfectionism. The growing abundance of choices tempts shoppers to believe they can have it all. But Michigan State University psychologists say there’s also a large genetic component. It’s often what you’re born with. This means perfectionism resists change.
     It can be done, however, at least for the duration of the consumer’s time in your store:
  • Start by determining if this shopper is, in fact, a true perfectionist. Is the shopper spiraling in toward a defined goal, even though that purchase goal is unattainable? A yes answer indicates you’re dealing with a perfectionist. But if the demands change willy-nilly, and no matter what you do, you can’t move even a smidgen toward a sale, terminate the harassment. 
  • Identify areas important to the shopper for which you can satisfy their specifications completely or very close to completely. When other areas of concern keep coming up, evaluate how vital these would be for a non-perfectionist to receive full value from the transaction with you. Then say how close you can come to what the perfectionist is asking you and bring the discussion back to the areas where you can indeed give perfection. 
  • The Central Florida researchers found that the perfectionist’s dichotomous thinking is at its worst when the shopping decisions are difficult. Therefore, work to simplify the decisions for the perfectionist. Limit options. State item specifications and answer questions succinctly. 
     Along with this, honor a shopper’s respect for high standards. Some time back, actor Peter O’Toole revealed on “Late Show with David Letterman” how the dry cleaner shop he uses inspired his choice of an epitaph. A leather jacket he sent to the cleaners came back with a note attached: “It distresses us to return work which is not perfect.”
     “I’m having that on my tombstone,” Mr. O’Toole announced.

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

Click below for more: 
Reflect Carefully on Marketing to the Mirror
Perfect Your Salesmanship for Perfectionists
Simplify the Shopping
De-Stress from the Distress of Perfectionism

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