Thursday, August 4, 2016

Prevent Customer Lying for Truer Selling

In the film “(Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies,” behavioral economist Dan Ariely asks a Duke University audience, “How many of you have told a lie since 2014?” The room fills with raised hands. Prof. Ariely goes on to explore various reasons we fib so often.
     Most lies are innocent transgressions, but they become a nuisance when a shopper or customer is lying to you. It’s harder to make the sale and to ensure the customer is satisfied when they’re failing to answer your questions honestly.
     Psychologists have identified nonverbal indicators a customer is lying. For instance, eyeball the eyes. Liars shift their gaze rapidly, or in an effort to control this sign, the liars gaze at something aside from your face. If you say, “May I show you the item once again before you leave?,” they’ll resist looking directly at it.
     Yet, most of us aren’t sufficiently skilled at reading such signals accurately. A better alternative, business experts say, is to prevent the lying. Here’s my version of tips for doing that from a Harvard University study:
  • Disclose. In negotiating, there is information you will correctly choose to withhold. But if you are highly guarded, the other parties become suspicious, and that increases their lying. The information you do provide should be accurate much more often than devious bluffs. Set an example of trustworthiness. 
  • Confront concerns. If the sales transaction has major importance to the shopper—it involves a lot of money or has long-term consequences—ask about second thoughts. Don’t dwell on the topic, but allow time for the shopper to gather their thoughts and express them. Then address those concerns and ask if there are others. The first time, use the open-ended format: “What concerns do you have about this purchase?” From then on, use the closed-ended format: “Do you have other concerns about this purchase?” 
  • Remember what you asked. Rather than tell a bald-faced lie, many shoppers will fib more subtly by prevaricating. They evade answering directly. You’re still not getting the information you need to move the sale forward, and by time you’ve processed the answer, you may have forgotten what you were asking about in the first place. To avoid this, make it a habit to remember. Don’t hound the consumer, though. When you get an evasive answer, ask about something else and then later come back to ask again what you’d missed earlier. 
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Lie in Wait for Lying Shoppers
Use Closed-Ended Questions Selectively
Beat Around the Bushwhack
Answer the Question You Wanted Asked

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