This is part three of the Cognitive Biases in Sales series talking about the top cognitive biases that salespeople are running into on a daily basis. If you missed either of the first two blogs, check out part one here and part two here.
Cognitive bias number three has to do with stress. When your prospects are overly anxious, this could be positive stress or negative stress, what ends up happening is the habit pathways in their brain get triggered and stimulated. So, they end up being less likely to be able to make new decisions because the stronger the habit pathways are in the brain, the more concrete they are in their current ways of doing life and business.
This is one of the things you need to overcome as a salesperson. You need to manage the stress that your prospect is going through. If you don't manage the stress, they're going to be less likely to be able to make any new decision because their current reality gets further cemented into their mind.
Now, one of the interesting parts about this particular cognitive bias as it relates to sales is, salespeople often like to get their prospects really excited about their product or service. One of the problems with that is if your sales prospects get too excited and you take them to too much of an emotional high, that can end up triggering a positive form of stress and even anxiety.
So, as a salesperson, you need to monitor how much stress and anxiety your sales prospect is experiencing at any point in time. If they're getting overly excited you need to take them down a notch. Otherwise, what ends up happening is their excitement goes flying and the next thing you know, their habit circuits are coming online because they're getting stressed and they're less likely to see a new possibility.
You've probably seen this before, the more excited your prospect becomes, the more they see a picture in their mind. But then all of the sudden it starts to collapse; they get overwhelmed and they start to lose track of what is their logical next step. So, as a salesperson, what do you do?
If you notice your prospects starting to spike and their emotions are getting a little too excited, you can start to pace it down a couple of notches. You can say, "That's cool, I'm glad you're seeing how this can help you. Now who in your company do you think may not be quite so interested in something like this, just at first glance, or on a first impression basis?” So, at their moment of peak excitement, try to take them down a couple of notches because you want to make them have a really sober excitement, not an overly enthusiastic, anxious type of an excitement.
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Now, what if its negative stress that your prospect is experiencing, you need to be able to manage that as well. Let's say your prospect is really stressed out, and that's why they're talking to you in the first place. Because they just have too much stress going on in their life and in their business and your product or service is hopefully going to help them with that. Well as the salesperson, you don't just jump all over that problem, instead you make them feel heard. You can even use strategic pauses and help that prospect start to feel more calm energy coming from you as a salesperson.
The more calming energy you can provide, the less likely it is that their stress habit circuits are going to begin to trigger. And as you make them calmer and more relaxed, you have a higher chance of them seeing new possibilities for their future. They’ll have more access to the creative parts of their brain that can realistically navigate the challenges that they need to navigate in order to make that change in their business.
STRESS IS A DEAL BREAKER
So, keep in mind that stress is truly a deal breaker, not a deal maker. Excitement, over-enthusiasm, and any negative anxiety are deal breakers, not deal makers. So, in the sales process, you need to constantly be monitoring and be very in touch with your prospect's emotional state. Keep them sober about what you're doing and you're far more likely to have them be truly excited and in a great place, cognitively, to actually buy and pursue your product or service.
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