Let’s talk about our side hustle.
I read this really amazing book last week. Even though it was about hostage negotiations, I was able to simplify and extract key points and tailor them to small businesses.
I spent the weekend crafting and testing this technique you can use TODAY in your business. It is a simple, effective way to develop good and loyal customers. It combines psychology with business.
I even added a few scripts you can use word-for-word.
Let’s Get Started
Anchor Your Price Range
Let’s say you have a product. Calculate the minimum price you can sell it without compromising your profit. Let’s call that X. Be prepared to walk away if the customer wants less than X. Do not let them guilt you into selling below X. You can start off a little higher than X to allow for a healthy bargain. Allowing room for bargain gives your customer a sense of control. Let them feel in control. Give them little wins.
Be A Mirror
Mirroring is essentially imitation. When you copy someone to comfort them. It could be in speech pattern, body language, tempo, vocabulary or even tone of voice.
It’s like when talking to a child, we tend to come down to their level. We bend down to their eye level, soften our voice, and speak slowly.
Or when someone approaches you with a frown. You tighten up and brace for a verbal or physical confrontation.
You can use this to your advantage with your customers, suppliers, siblings, friends, or spouse. Anyone!
Mirroring, when it’s happening, is a sign that people are bonding, are in sync and establishing the kind of rapport that leads to trust. You want your customer to trust you.
Repeat back what people say. People will instinctively elaborate on what they just said. I’m not a psychologist, but I know the more you get someone talking, the more you connect with the person which leads to trust.
You don’t have to repeat the entire thing. For this to work effectively, only pick the last 3 words or the critical word in what they just said.
For example, you sell shoes:
Customer: I can’t buy at that price. It is expensive.
You: It’s expensive?
Customer: Yes, I bought one exactly like this but it was cheaper.
Customer: Yes. I got it from XYZ…
XZY might be a competitor you didn’t even know about.
You get the gist. The conversation might not always go as simple as this but you can adapt smoothly without sounding like a weirdo. It works whether on social media or in person. The more you get your customer talking, the more you learn about them and what they really want.
Move Away From The Money Talks
This is the most important part. Get to know your customer. Ask questions. Get personal. LISTEN!!!!!!!!!
By listening, you understand where they’re coming from. Figure out why they don’t want to pay at your price. Is it that they really can’t afford it or is there something else? Ask open-ended questions.
Asking questions will almost always get you an answer. We naturally respond to questions. Rather than spending most of your time negotiating the price, shift the conversation to something nonmonetary.
Here’s what I mean using the shoe business as an example.
You already know three things about the customer:
1. They like the shoe.
2. They think its expensive.
3. XYZ sells a similar product.
Try this: offer them other shoes and see if they like any of them better. If not, then you know they really like that first shoe.
Now you have confirmed No. 1. for sure.
What you want to do next is change their perception of No 2 from ‘its expensive’ to ‘that’s a good deal’. Move away from the monetary talk.
You: it seems you have a particular dress you want to wear with this shoe?
Customer: Actually yes, it’s black. I have already given it to the tailor for refitting.
You: Tailors. I hope they don’t ruin it.
Customer: Hmm..they better not. My birthday is next week.
You: Oh, you’re a March baby. Some of the nicest people I have ever met are Pisces. What date?
The goal here is not to pry but to be genuinely interested in the person. Listen to the words they use. You will learn what they are worried about (like a shoe not matching their dress or the tailor ruining it).
Offer A Gift or A Favour
After the conversation, offer them something that is of less or no value to you but it is to them. Like free delivery or, in this case, the contact to a very good tailor as a backup, a hair stylist or henna artist to help her complete the look on their special day.
The reason for this offer is that people always feel the need to reciprocate whether its a comment, a gift, or favour. Think of how you compliment someone’s outfit and they instantly return the compliment whether it’s true or not.
Time to close the sale.
Close The Sale
Bring it all together: anchor your price, mirror their words, talk about their world, not the money, throw in the gift and pause for 5-10 seconds (if it’s in-person) to let it all sink in.
You could say something like:
You: It seems you REALLY like this shoe. It’s going to be PERFECT with your black dress for the party. I want you to kill it on that day so here’s what I’m going to do for you. I’m going to give it to you at X naira and because you seem reasonable, I’ll hook you up with the best henna artist and hair stylist in town. She’s a friend. I’ll make sure she gives you a good price. I think that’s a fair offer. What do you think?
At this point, your customer should be in sync with you. They are likely to agree to the price or close to.
If they don’t agree, repeat the closing in different words. Talk about the product, point out how they love it, remind them the benefit of getting the product, throw in the ‘favour’, point out the price is lower than what you originally offered and gently tell them its a fair price. Smile and relax.
If they insist they can’t afford it, then most likely they sincerely can’t afford it. Don’t push it. Offer another product within their price range or some sort of payment plan if you can.
By the end of this sale, your customer should be happy with the experience or else you risk a buyer’s remorse. You don’t want that from your customers. They are less likely to come back if that happens.
To take it a little further, get their contact number for follow up.
Find out when the event is. Send them a goodwill text (please don’t call) on the day. It shows you care. If they reply positively, they will most likely tell someone about you and they will come back when next they need another shoe. If not, …uhmm….forgive and forget.
The best condition for all these to work is in-person. Be sure to smile from the moment you meet them till the end. A genuine warm smile, please. Mirror their body language and voice tone.
If it’s online, use emojis (sparingly).
Got any suggestions? Have you tried something like this before? How did it go?
Tell me all about it.
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